I'll Show up in a party dress
Live a night I can't confess
Kiss the men who can't care less
Keep going til dark's gone.

You ask me how I feel, I say
If there's grass, then let's make hay
I've paid the piper for the day
He said he'll play til dawn.

I woke up just to write this song
Party dress and frills all gone
Lipstick smudged and cheeks all long
The words are like a dream - 

I'll remember this all past,
Parting words, receding mast
The time you said this wouldn't last
Then tore at all my seams.

On the porch, a man sits smoking
Says he dreamed a song while toking
Sits with scraps of paper, groping
Hoping, for a song. 



Soft Shell Crab

eyes in another world
out of water
sea still in them,
ocean waves crashing,
drowning in air. 

far away,
soft shell dream.

the cage,
the bucket,
the tupperware -
crowded with other crabs -
still moving, twitchin'
in the cock blocky kitchen -
waiting for the hot oil
snap crackle pop -

so, she waits without waiting
sees without seeing
stares up at the ceiling,
she be's without being.


Dead tree out front.
Tree man from city came by,
That's not dead it's still moist inside,
If you peel back the bark.
It'll come back,
He said.
But the leaves stayed brown
Through summer
And crinkled in the wind
didn't fall off
Just stood and stayed
And whispered - I'm not dead yet
I'm not dead yet
I'd like to go for a walk
This street is killing me.
But there's no moving a sad tree
Just have to wait for it to decide
That things aren't that bad,
That the small gated 2 by 4 plot
Is not that small,
that the concrete slabs
Are fair substitute
For the soft forest carpet - 
But it keeps crying
and whimpering
And in a strong enough wind,
loses it.



She paused
in black
peered in
rubbed her face
moved on.

I looked through the fine lattice
to see what she saw and saw
the piano
Peer back -
white keys
black irises
wooden eyelid
watching the street
36 ways - 
seeing the drunks, still drunk
and fresh in the morning dew
Peering back. 


He took me to the forest in the pitch black
And I could feel fire in me
But there was nothing to burn.



I like to sleep
In a heap
Of cheap
Rotting meat -
They call it a body
They have little names
For everything -
Such fun.
And freed from the clings
Of my meat puppet strings
My mind roams
Finds new homes
New sky domes
Where memory
is being.



My albatross my babadook
my shadow with no eyes to look
my dragging chain, my heavy ball
my echo when i sound the call
my haunting past that won't go home
my forwards backwards palindrome
my memory of things long past
my limping loping sail-less mast
the things I carry, carry me
in foggy blinding memory.



Two wings for hands and finger tips
Exhausted find a resting place
On hip bone perch-less wing tipped tips.
Down valley roads with no no names
We spent two nights without last names
I spent the first without first names - 
But leave that there for now.
Happiness is for the birds
I'll take mine with a shot absurd
Beat Beating down dark flapping wings
That raise up clouds and sapping winds - 
The future may not meet the end
But hunger is a man's best friend.



Being with someone
is being someone else
when someone else is watching
someone be something else
and someone is becoming
so that someone can become in
a space where someone's coming
and learning to be someone in place
of just themselves.

It's a mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad world.
And I'd like to check out.



I have something in my chest
I have something on my chest.
She turns to me,
water in her eyes,
working the phlegm around in her jaws
"There are so many things
going on
in my body
right now,"
she says.
And I have no idea what she means.
Or maybe i do -
what she said could be said
to be always to be true.
The patio is calm

the wine
the pipe,
she doesn't want to smoke from it -
I don't want to smoke from the grim reaper.
She says. He goes and finds another -
All the time extolling the coolness
of the grim toker.
waiting for the creep
of morning air,
for night to punch out.
Then, snap.
I'm early morning sober,
and it gets worse.
Things are clear and boring.
The seated man with buttons
undone - hair on his chest exposed,

what's his end game?
6 years in a basement apartment
Florida Paper's Man in DC.
picking up chicks
at the Raven,
living off the fat dying embers
of Mount Pleasant,
Seeing if maybe
tonight he can get laid.
No more story, morning glory,

fit to print.



I turned to hear
from where
came such a scare.
and there
in a heated heap
the pile of flesh
on flesh
on flesh.
my eyes took a minute
to adjust and register
a seated human form
among piles of clothes
and rubbish
and then -  hung exposed -
two milky breasts -
large fleshscaped
forgotten lands
of sexual in your window
out your door -
do come back for more.





now I see
the asphalt
hot and gritty,
the lonely curb
the hubcap spin
the lost girl's shoe
the old men's shuffle
the beating sun
the yellow double

i see it all -
my daily route
the round and round
and rounded mute
of days spent in
the same old grove
worn in until
the gears run smooth




Here for now
Gone tomorrow.
I come home to their
pound pound pounding,
scurry, hurry, shower

punch punch punching
at the air,
peeling onions
peel peel peeled
and at the center,
nil naught, nuthing
the soft slop sound
suck suck sucking.



This is just to say

I have eaten
the keys
that you've been
collecting -

the ones
you've been saving
since you
were a kid.

forgive me
they fit right in
to my lock



the carpetbagger

I came down early
to a pair of shoes
upholstered in floral flourishes
that my grandmother might have had -
on an armchair,
colors vibrant
spring riot
loud and proud
and dirty.
wedge heels.
and a scarf,
teal tropical blue
with tassels.

what would she look like?
I thought.
and leaving for the morning,

thought I'd never know.
but then,
key slowly moving to lock the door behind me,
the bouquet burst out,
pushing through the door -
all curves and soft bits
wrapped tight under
a mini-skirt with a print to match the shoes,
teal tights
to match her scarf,
short tussled bedroom hair -
to match the scene -
soft -
olive skin.
fresh and clean.

"can you make sure that's all locked up?"
she asked as she slipped by,
dropping flower petals as she passed.
one night stand -
what a riot -
that beauty,
click clack
on a narrow pair
of wedge heels
down the bricked
alley way
away she went.
borrowed nights,
early flights.
put on war paint
stuff and stitch
into a floral
get-up and go?
maybe, no.



Ma Mignonne

my sweet love -
evening dove,
best lay here,
D.C. dear,
wet'n willing
tall'n filling
my pleasure
(at leisure)
high as kite
pussy tight -
yes you dear
when you're near,
change your tune
get well soon.
eat some sweets
eat some meats
heel your self
drink top shelf
smoke some herb
calm and curb
your worries
your hurries,
mind closeness -
loosen up
your love cup
let me shove
my sweet love.



The Itch

The Itch is an itch
But don't you scratch it
the Itch decides when you
can itch it, the Itch decides
when you can scratch Itch
it tells you when to come
and itch it. -
it tells you that tonight it
it tells you that tonight
you'll itch Itch.

The Itch is a beast with an
itchy beard,
an itchy temper
to be feared
the Itch is a creature
that doesn't feel
that asks for an itch
like you ask for a meal
and after you itch Itch
Itch doesn't care.

And so, you itch Itch
and then you go
And Itch forgets
and so, and so...
until next time
Itch aks
his itch itched
and you - quite freely -
bare your pink lips.



The Haven

Once upon a midnight, dreary, through the streets both slick and scary
Rode a figure stitched in black, seeking out a future more
Down the streets on black wet wheels, frame and heart and eyes of steel
She sought what hunger told her to, she sought what people sought her for
And gently raping at her door, she sucked at pipes to help ignore
That touch was touch and nothing more.

Through oiled ways remembered in the cold of cold November
Spun the wheels of nevermore, spoke on spoke on spoke, past fork
The now ghost of red framed fame, the figure mounted came and came
Down streets straight past sleeping doors, Rounded cornered liquor stores
Seeking, seeking, nevermore, the pedals slow but steady, sure
And whispering, no nevermore.

Passing through on R past Seventh, Up the hill on fair eleventh,
Over on Columbia, paved arrows to that empty door -
On which she'd raise her hand tapping, tapping tapping, gently rapping
Rapping at that under door, whispering that she'd like more
But clicking knob and creaking hinge would whisper back no, nevermore - 
Merely this, and nothing more.



Stopping by Woods

Whose woods are these I think I know
He said I shouldn't come here though
But he won't mind me stopping here
When times are cold and time is slow
My brain is full of long time fear
but quieted by soft white snow
between the woods and frozen lake
beneath the ice, runs through the flow.

He gives his head a knowing shake
To say that this is some mistake
and that I should have stayed my feet
And hushed my worries flake for flake
And buried loneliness in deep -
No promises no time to keep
I ask to stay and get some sleep
I ask to stay and fall asleep.



Because I could not stop

Because I could not stop in time
To find another one
Because I lingered on your porch
To watch the setting sun

I found myself without the will
To seek or find or mend
Another verse another trope -
I saw in me the end.

Because I could not stop for time
He kindly sat by me
And showed me that my shelves of things
Bore no real memory

The things I carried one by one
in slurries of emotion
Were less than nothing to me now -
sand castles in the ocean.



I'd rather love a shadow
than a man
I'd rather live a dream than
have a plan
I'd rather keep moving than
take a stand - 
getting and regretting go
hand in hand.



Cost of giving ____

A penny for her thoughts
a fortune for the rest -
a lady's judged
by hips and chest
and measured best
by lips and crest
a penny for her thoughts -
a fortune for her head.



This is just to Say

I ate your girl
the porch
in summer

and which
you were probably
for later

forgive me,
she was so sweet and
so cold -
never told.




There was a dent in his chest
where a small pit fruit fit,
a chain round his Florida tan,

And below - a slick, thick, stick
with a giant red pop at the end.

He said -
Some made it out
some didn't.
He held my hand through the
New Year's crowd
gathered in the wet black night - 
Faceless traces in a cloud
of whispering.



Origami Instructions

It took years, but, at last
he unfolded.

And I saw all the creases
laid out -
the river looking ones
at the corners of his eyes
the ladder looking ones
that marched up his forehead
the creases on the soft side of his elbows
the folds around his balls
and head, and ear lobes,
 the wrinkles that came with time -
all unfolded flat with a swipe of the palm,
and I saw the pattern
was my own, 

the creases wouldn't hold -
despite furrowing,
concentration, consternation
determined determination -
nature won flat out,
washed away castles,
made up lands
dreamy plans,
stupid hopes.
And I learned, I learned
I'd never learn
to fold a man.



the truth is, I'm going to miss you terribly