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"Put your ear down close to your soul and listen hard." Anne Sexton 

Heather Brager is a critically acclaimed juggler of calamity, an accomplished procrastinator, and shuffler of idioms. Her poetry and drawings can be found in various digital and print journals around the globe, and on the web.  She currently resides in New England and prefers the precipice of where the Atlantic meets the sand to the official looking office where she spends most of her time. 

Friday, December 10, 2010

she occasionally speaks in language

adjunct formations
using correct participles
indentations leading her
properly configured paragraphs
never ending a sentence with a preposition
or speaking without
proper articulation

and fluid pictures are found
covering the transparency

with remnants of childhood
patterns and textures of fabrics

tasting late season June berries
adhesive of one hundred holiday envelopes

narrow stairs creaking after midnight
the distant pack of wild coyotes

she occasionally thinks in thoughts

overwhelmed with nostalgia
in moments not yet had
reconstructing the pressure
of speaking digestible clarity
his eyes from across the crowded bar
and the tang of scotch and
soda on his lower lip

© 12.10.2010 heather brager

Thursday, November 18, 2010


our deep breaths
are sometimes months in the making
with time standing, stooping
cradling our hesitation and worry
with days striking, stretching,
urging our constant hurry

in various rooms, the vacuum
and tenderness the dust
on the uppermost shelf

we weave every feast
and sharpen our knives
mornings shove us out of doors
we are found, front and center
with our minds, wandering
fetching and cataloging
in particulars and sealing deals

with pleasure in hidden devils
for a moment of couched reprieve
and coveted, unmeasured relief

©11.18.2010 heather brager  

Friday, October 29, 2010


images muffled by vacant obscurity
entranced by a silver tongued dichotomy

sharp like bruised tact, a tic intermittent
the sign reads, we’re open at six

the fervent ones, riding each leaden gulp
purring and wet just after 3:00 a.m.

drown by the moon, her fluorescent stare
drinking the inky sheen in sheer resolve

there exposed, quiet like milky thighs
impending three times three distinct slaps

motion and stillness are momentarily magnified
then swallowed inside the ticking clock

©10.29.2010 heather brager 

(photo by Anaris88 via

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


their routine departures
the left is right, ambidextrous
compounded and condensed
mountainous country to city escapes
halting a destination
by patchwork exits
and liquor’s no solution
for voices bellowing overhead
edgy, just lying in the wait
for breathing to commence

©10.26.2010 heather brager 

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Just so.

i’m tying small knots
a macramé of indigenous drifts

pandering subtle threads
of ferocious softness

i'm slipping inevitable strings
and bonding supple thoughts

knitting an invisible net
by needling noiseless doubt

securing gaps in space
with a tapestry of screens

i’m fraying at the edges
and smoothing all the seams

©9.30.2010 heather brager 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The waiting.

the room

could be a vacant tomb

an empty box

shipped over ground

from somewhere

beyond the range

and the freezing

sheets are smooth

and vast across

empty miles and miles

of damp and hungry neglect

against her legs

...but a table

is ready and waiting

dust on the dishes

frost on the panes

as and she longs

to glide beneath

winter’s looming

atmospheric change

©9.16.2010 heather brager

Thursday, September 9, 2010

To fall.

they plunged close to the surface
cupped hands and open mouths
silhouettes of birds skimming over
then swooping skyward's gradient
and ladling amber clouds

leaves settled an autumnal blanket
wandering on glassine reflections
swelling wings and sinking sunlight
with other vistas left to the distance

currents drifted over peaks and east
falling, lapping at the sharp edges
resisting chills that crept through the screens
echoing through the gloomy canyons
and decomposing summer’s damages

© heather brager 9.9.2010

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Predictable irrationality.

step back from the perimeter
with your simplistic twist
of scrawled and fractured practicalities

there is futile sanity
within the tepid oscillation
you dangle-swing
a predictable pendulum

you know this worth
these words flee from my lips
with adjunct effected reiteration

slink backwards to your
shaky corner and coil
amidst your trembling
and fallacious sanctum

© heather brager 9.2.2010

Monday, August 16, 2010

within perspective.

from up where the world
expands vast with highs and lows
dips dark and elevation dazzling
with breaks in shadow formed under vapor
suspended gnarls depicting elegant endurance
clutch the overhangs in place

on the ground, with the grit of independence
the slurry of safety in anonymity
the air sultry with expectancy and
sirens threaten the distance, with late-night cracks
slapping the scene from its knees on the floor

midway though, a window is opened
and she rinses a dinner plate and fork
questioning the subtle ache in her chest
reluctant to settle, somewhere under the lights
she considers expanding the views
and with wet hands, tosses her scrutiny

© heather brager 8.16.2010

Friday, August 13, 2010

if not now.

ticking muted clocks
with rhythm in our blueprints
already measured

what if I need you
despite all the resistance
slow time down a bit

what if I spoke it
wanting what is possible
suspension instead

clicking these moments
the warp of our perception
lodged within the gears

© heather brager 8.13.2010

Sunday, August 8, 2010

pay her no mind.

she had hesitated and wept
but she made up her mind

she had chosen her position
she had positioned her hopeless options

so inside of the boundaries
within the shaky walls, stacked against
she had decided what was best

Then she fucking changed her mind.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Driving to you.

I tried to fill the coffee cup
but your hands
pushed my change away

with the nighttime silence
that is smothered
by your breathing pattern

I carefully crept over
creaking floorboards

I tried to offer
some direction across
but you would rather use
your own lost map

so with the sun in my eyes
I drove east and again
the western heat's arrest

I tried to picture the way
in memories stored
little by little coming to a stop

but I have never been
down this paved road
or in this room before

© Heather Brager 7.27.2010

Monday, July 19, 2010


there is view from outside of his bolted door
as he hunkers down quietly in the corner in a chair
a smoke and a drink and medium inundations
to temper the vibration from inside his skull
to soften the struggle of all he let go
there is a draft seeping out from under the door
and a hum of the fan from above pushing down
as he wonders if this moment is all that he is
connecting, retreating, creeping out from within
to temper the hope from inside of his cells
to soften the edges of a life come undone

(c) Heather Brager July 2010

Monday, July 12, 2010


blind leading the blind
lightning cuts through the darkness
lost beneath the clouds

(c) heather brager 7.12.10

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Mind's Eye.

her irises smolder
through the fabric
of your t-shirt
tracing the dip of your triceps
and their unintentional flex
skimming over the past
in fading images of ink
her eyes follow
the rise of your chest
and they know the inside
as they stroke the angled line
of your clenched jaw
her gaze always sees
what is just beyond

diminutive is
the falsified stature
slithering on an underbelly
sliced open wide

not so wise are the eyes
that search deep within
lost on expectations
calculated rapidly
by probable lies

(c) Heather Brager 7.5.10

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


when flesh is enough
words outside of the body
will they find their way

(c) Heather Brager 6.23.2010

Sunday, June 13, 2010

One night.

sound slides through
the unoccupied atmosphere
a possibility murmurs
its vexing blend of tantalization
and all at once
mingles effortlessly amid smoke and sex
their separated psyches are far ahead
of fears left abandoned
there is syncopated rhythm
in their fibrous simplicity
between resolve and ache
and issues of human trust
the story of two bodies
and minds divided right and left

the horizon lies sediment down
at eighty miles per hour
leaning on remnants
pushing away the feckless ones
and all at once
one night is another
pallid and layered sunrise
belting out every lost direction
in the voice of Nina Simone

(c) Heather Brager 6.13.2010

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

White noise.

when the echoes end
and warmth is enough to hold
thought wrapped in the sheets

talking in your sleep
the ceiling fan is humming
warning of daybreak

tenderness begins
it's all part of the same thing
outside of our terms

(c) Heather Brager 6.2.2010

Friday, May 21, 2010

Inside out.

if my hopeless gasping paused
for a moment, soundlessly respite
if I considered every moment
of contentment held inside

with quiet children dreaming
their own intervals of time
threaded through connections
never hampered by our lies

if I pondered my reflection
from the inside out
through my eyes, saw deception
filtering solemn, wary guilt

if absent for a moment
a day locked outside the door
which direction would I travel
which direction is true north

if air fed my silent cells
and love still fed my heart
if information fed my wit
from the inside out

if I paused for a moment
ferociously contrite
with children quietly dreaming
their own intervals of time

(c) Heather Brager 5.21.2010

Monday, May 17, 2010

Tangled up in the machinery.

their language is bare
separate from the invisible pressure of rusted gears
those once well oiled
and now a mechanic’s sordid reverie

a cup of coffee
rising steam stirred amidst new sunlight
the sense of palpable ease, in absence of weight
their elbows on the table
envelopes left unopened in delay

an uncomplicated progression
of moments that replace mislaid machinery
expression no longer wrenched
but simplicity of choice and turning a key

(c) Heather Brager 5.17.2010

Friday, May 7, 2010

In another room.

in our hands, cunningly cupped
the key, smooth with moisture
just enough shine, to bandage the wear
just enough belief, to shroud the damage

our carefully plotted notions
perpendicular, to our pounding hearts

the twist, cool with deliberation
in our fingers, loosely clasped
an image flash, the strings of memory
projections, positioned on the table

neat and tidy, in linear rows
but hidden, from our sightless eyes

inside the door, roughly ajar
as restrained as hungry beasts
the subtle lies, we whisper to air
long enough, to halt our resignation

Monday, May 3, 2010

Sunday, May 2, 2010


full throttle, an electrical impulse
then a whisper, her name in the dark
capture me, it sighs
and as he awakens
just remains

how many new days, will break
and close, with exits over entrances
both on the same page
each beginning, again
at dawn

will his pockets empty, or fill
with possibility or regret
turn inside out or linger,
inside chance
or desire

how many times, will he flee
with a fist full of dreams
drowning under doubt, suspicion
stifling, resisting the impulse
to just be

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Within time.

their bones were hollow, fragile

perfectly placed within
situated geometry
their skin tender, thickened by moments
layered in growth, within
the stability sawn short

they once alighted the branches
from heights, prospecting
within a realm of ticks
situated clocks

their thoughts were hollow, breakable

forming consecutive rings
within which, human fingers
situated sounds
hastily, they cut through
the wind and their wings

drifted to the bottom, broken

Monday, April 19, 2010

Pollination management.

behind the picket fence is a quaint little cottage
suitably surrounded by the loveliest of gardens

moss cobbled paths edged with fragrant gardenias
sweet double roses, clematis and petunias

butterflies, birds and the bees are a-flutter
in a delicate humming that personifies summer

but inside the cottage the caretaker is weeping
for her life is a shambles and her fabric needs basting

she’s run out of butter with no offer of balm
this hymning and hawing has her feeling forlorn

through the windows she sees only grime on the panes
her irises are muddied and her mirror is blank

the honey crystallized while she waited on the clock
and locks on the gate have since rusted shut

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Land and no escape.

so, the layers of the view
from the window, broken down
a tree, stark branches

(but that lovely dip near the elbow)
and the shallow roots
in this climate, that climate
leaning, how could it do anything but

silhouetted against
a shade of perfect, mango sky
and quite content watching time pass
and from this direction
the sun was setting (always setting)

beyond, an empty
and never-ending stretch
measured by telephone poles

crosses held up by strings
(her mind followed them
to the contented homes
she would never see)

in the distance
a range of lonely mountains
mingling with subtle clouds
that (for a moment) overlapped

and she scanned the emptiness
the crosses and the tree
and back through the glass
to the pen in her hand, and thought
(as ink on the page)

though part of the same landscape
and covered by an umbrella sky
inevitably, they each stood alone

Friday, April 16, 2010

Are we having fun yet?

I don’t know how to behave, she says
white linen napkin in her lap
red lipstick on the rim of her glass

I don’t know how to filter my thoughts, he says
a conversation in the back of his mind
noting the temperature of her pending ignition

I don’t know how these things go, she thinks
his fingers stroking her hot palms
and her tongue navigating his lower lip

I don’t know where this is going, he thinks
and fickle paths are rerouted
to accommodate his recurring past

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

In a jar on the shelf.

behind the glass
he could almost make it out

the figure was organic
distorted and imprecise

shaped through
opalescent translucence

he could almost trace
the curves and bends

his eyes moistened to the light

his fingers barely
glanced the surface

cool to the touch
the camber wavered softly

convex like his chest
it was a blockade

though at times
with perfect earthly glow

like an apparition in sunlight

Saturday, April 10, 2010


somewhere in the depths
of space and time
a moon orbited an isolated planet

she did not choose to be attached
by the invisible tether
she simply revolved there
drawn by a force inexplicable

she affected the tides, she pushed the winds

but over time, her momentum slowed
and little by little
she was released into vastness
drifting into quiet, unlit space

and the planet was not disturbed

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Conversation with a six year old.

“I want to be 100 years old”
and my reply is “someday you may”
my voice reminding my mind
that he is only six years old
and I was six once, barefoot
picking wild strawberries
along the ditch, swatting mosquitoes
with pink fingertips

and he nods in understanding
while I explain that people die every day
accidents, falls and disease,
their bodies weakened by old age
he pauses and shrugs, reminding me
that he is six years old
for but a brief moment

he is young and I will never be again,
so I wait for him to ask the inevitable

“what happens when you die”
and it’s my turn to shrug
reminding myself
that I don’t know anything

and he tells me with a wry grin
that he wants to come back as a falcon

Monday, April 5, 2010

Mystery dissolved.

an instant offers a volume of language
the rapid blink of the eyes

condensed, cataloged and magnified

like an unsolved powder, tipped into a glass
half full, or half punch drunk

and a finger slowly dipped and swirled
pink with novelty, then blue from affect

an instant suggests a finite degree
one in a million samples, pulsing in harmony

a tongue seductively tasting the atrophy
while pictures revolve, with hasty possibility

of reality, of fault, of regret

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Friday, April 2, 2010

Final velocity.

the room echoes staccato
heels clack to the floor with
the urgency of mitigation
against her breasts

if the walls released and crumbled
oxygen could rush forth
and the detectable vacuum
would vibrate her mind loose
of the agonizing pause

it’s just a moment of time
and acceleration by definition
is neither fast nor slow
but fragments
within the continuum

the room echoes staccato
and she opens the door


Wednesday, March 31, 2010


I could find her in a crowd
deep eyes spilling dark and flashing
lips too red, speaking muffled rhetoric
and her skin, the
soft brown leather, oiled
coarse hair twirling down and brushing your hands
as she looks back
or forward and through

it's a flash and a flicker
she's faint and has no light of her own
deem me silly, scared or soured
in spiteful jealousy
and still, I see her legs
pantyhose snagged just above
her right knee
strut a little too shaky in her
three inch heels
I can smell her
the sound of her blouse
damp with false pride
her crime is manipulation

but you don't really trust me
and she doesn't see
how could you both
blinded by your lives
the spiritual, covert operations
drowning down and out
and through
your new galactic sea

and she doesn't know I exist
but with her fuck-me jeans
and your house on the lake
you never told her of your false affections
of your sad affliction
and still somehow
she wanted to be me

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

To yield.

It can be heard in that distant soliloquy
somewhere in the mind’s blinking eye
maybe the third or something vaporous and celestial
as a quick catch in the smooth cream colored fabric
silky, woven with care by a real woman
speaking with her hands
of these voices of reason
in duality’s treasonous, poisonous breath
questioning the wherewithal by challenging the comforting rasp
this, possibility’s grand adventure
and her damp words on your skin
crawling the curves and arching with appetite
of unyielding presence

it can be heard, in the distant echo of requirement
this may be the time to arrive
this may be the destination blending fire
with defenseless sprouting seeds
these assets visible before they are drawn
dissolving a doubting landscape with maturity
challenging you to grasp the filament
to watch it blossom and unravel

Touching the art.

just moments before in a stark white museum
echoing silence from ceiling to floor, sterile and bare
but this breathtaking scene on the wall
this architecture of layered blues
with violent red
scarlet tresses climbing off the canvas
in smears just asking to be licked
and her father’s voice whispering rules into her left brain
without hesitation, her arm reached out
fingers splayed tips exposed, despite the alarms
she expected the paint to be wet

months before in a lucid dream
his beautiful arms bare, brown and smooth
in the burning barren, desert sun
ancient tribal tattoos
in raised patterns cut into his forearms
curved by the sepia tone landscape and a river only heard
she, without contemplation
she reached out with burning fingers to slide slowly
across his wet skin
and it mattered not
who was this man

years before in a child’s curious wander
spying a soft winged moth the size of her heart
deconstructing with awe and innocent wonder
in powdered patterns of camouflage and a perfectly round eye
staring back and taunting
until her finger traced the image
and then leaving behind an iridescent dust
it flew up and away with an impressionist's smile
drawn on her mind

Endurance test.

inside of yielding skin
the human pelt electric
with the impulses of depravity



in vacant bones
the heart constructed
and engineered
a compulsory





just like every
crawling animal
and every other
solitary impostor

do livestock dream
of golden pastures
the fish of rushing seas
birds of ancient cityscapes
or the snake
of his former sheath

sinuous fibers
patch them together
capillaries and gray matter
the false reminiscences
of places been
cells converged
and fluids bartered

only to end
frame and flesh
trapped in the cage
of this
lonesome day

Fear of heights.

my feet are leaden
on a glassine suspension
peering down on the breath, of life
carved in butter

my steps are thunder
hovering over a sleeping babe
and limbs, an agitated bull
surrounded by the finest

an engine overbuilt
at a perpetual red light
and several merging exits
take turns passing, in solitude

this, the nomadic empathy
on an elevated plane
and the neon arrow blinking:
you are here

What Remains.

the room was dim and double deep

echoing with dirty concrete and unfinished drywall

hollow of the temporary pauses

of entrances and exits and the roar of motors

with a door twice the height

when standard was all

that had ever been necessary

a driveway of soft new asphalt

fresh and delicate gardens beside

and two kneeling together with gloved hands

removing their weeds

pluck by pluck

making rows for neat disposal

because they had gone

broken remnants remained

of paint cans

frozen and half empty

streaked with the colors of abandoned rooms

and boxes of odds and ends

tossed into the brimming trash can

that had been previously crushed

by the garbage truck


there was often a shadow on her wall
shifting to accommodate the varying glow
swaying for the sake of movement
tormented by passing headlights
echoing through drops on the pane

there was often a shape in the darkness
watching vigilantly her every move
bending to form and then to vanish
plotting like moonlight cactus
to fade harshly with the rise of the sun

there was often a presence in her room
sounding empty as a leaking faucet
dissipating into the vapor bound
in cyclical return at 3:00 a.m.
to drip torture her awake again

System failure.

she would whet her lips
with a human tongue
robotically transfixed
with empty regard
her mechanical cells
would struggle
to convert
trying hard to contain
the breaks
in each line
but the force of accrual
would cause gears
to seize
in her momentary

her particles are sliding
through the air
enveloped in desiccated time
and her softened elements
rear their heads
while they mouth the words
“does not compute”


you pushed
through my door
all smooth talkin’ and swagger
a formidable life
composed of circumstance
and waylays
yet I tried to adore you
with your rerun scripts
of moonlit nights
and early morning swims
so affably allowed
despite setbacks
and pretexts
because springtime
always comes
and you made me coffee
with my french press


the northern face is frozen
with sheer cliffs jutting out of the dirt
skyward as they stab the darkened overhang
of chemicals, vapors and grit.
if she squints her eyes just right
in the rising light she is not alone
and rocks take form and move in pace
as she climbs the miles of vacant trails.
soundlessly a shimmering green snake
slowly shifts across her steps
a winding path that is hers alone
but shared by many counterparts.
somewhere above her head
she will pause to drink chilled air
evaporating quickly back to earth
as she wonders if memory serves her well
and if summertime will ever return.

The voices.

the words of clarity
whispered to her
with intermittent bursts
they spun around
the rear of her head
but she chose to listen
when she felt thirsty
and pushed them away
when she was full

the words of trust
crept inside her pores
slithering within her ears
so she dodged and shook
but still could hear
then tossed them away
pulling bits from her hair

the words of faith
oscillated her mind
her right brain coaxing
and her left brain
smacking her upside
her pretty little head
until she grew weary

the words of hope
crawled deep inside
her smoldering heart
she forced her intellect
around their bulk
trembling with conviction
and found a way to begin

Springtime in her garden.

it is the flower that often falls
with a leveraged snip of sheers
and those frigid planes she’d lick
with slow and easy deliberation
if you reached out and handed them to her

soft and supple as a pussy willow
her roots dig deep beneath the soil
and she’d wrap them around you
with startling strength
as she pulled you steadily through

green boughs in an airstream
she’d bend, sway and succumb
dripping incoherent sap
while stroking every tender risk
with the burning buds of her fingertips

calm as blushing cherry blossoms
billowing in a sugary breeze
she’d splice her limbs to feel your bones
with only a gust of hesitation
as you'd close your gate to fence her in

Take One.

there was a divergence
within the ease
it wrapped itself comfortably within
dotting the page in a 12 point font
it told itself that every day
would start anew
that the dawn would open the doors
that the sun would burn away the fog
it told itself that it would no longer
have to chase its tale
there were pages
that had been written
the words projected vivid scenes
on the ceiling above the bed
inside its eyelids and within
the compartments of its heart
were reels of its own actors
playing the appropriate parts
acting out simplicity and disparity
in a perfectly imperfect loop
there was aching tenderness
in the awkward silences
it threaded itself through the scenes
weaving a story’s chapters
without consecutive order
it jumbled in its assonance
and it stumbled
through each sentence
it focused on time and space
and what was needed
to accurately portray
it hoped the absent pages
weren’t permanently delayed


the clock had stopped
and she tapped the glass
with her early morning fingers
the sun would rise
and her internal timer was set
to robotic repeat of talks and ticks
thinking this is the point
while she sipped her coffee
too hot to gulp but it was friday
and her week on week off
was the host of some simple focus
she wasn’t afraid
of much of anything anymore
and started her car
with a cold key
the destinations she had outlined
in her five year plan
had dropped off the margins
the reasons she had come and gone
were all that she had left
to justify the new shoes
it was time who knew
she was the only one in the room
and who had any reason
to expect an outcome

Her truth.

not soft petals crushed
by the unmistakable weight
or pounding rains

not unfurling tendrils
of diminutive growth
trampled underfoot

above a wind
then a calm

beyond dryness of drought
burnt by the sky
and past the fury
of what still stands
by design

not with brief scent
of an orange lily
or splintered sapling ghosts

but with nature's
force and fervor
and of the earth
from which they grow

Monday, March 29, 2010

early morning frame of reference.

frames slow to frozen
three squares across and three down
we are here for now

the air is heavy
lights dim and your hands are soft
with six hours left

waking before dawn
the cats are showing us why
we are all alike


there are drips

from the eves

and flashing glow

on quiet walls

in random repeat

he may never

enter this space

while these patterns


red paint splatters

down the hall


complex words
and conjugated verbs
heard from behind worn covers
extracted from shabby
dog-eared pages
his tired socks on the coffee table
threadbare fatigues
filled with holes
and the stains on his hands

suspended in time
and trapped by ranks
spouting Vonnegut aloud
in his amber moment
viewing commerce through
blue bucolic eyes
debating separations of church and state
without judgment of color
but textures and views
carving mythology from origins
of the culturally innate
interpreting Hemingway, Campbell
Camus and Twain

reflecting the intellect
of a girl with her hair
wrapping her fingers
consumed by thoughts
on the philosophy of art
the efforts and strife of validity in a fight
of the surmounted generation
developing her foundation
in his depiction
of existential life

The nature of things.

with subterranean inhalation
a virtual diaphragm pulsed and translucent lungs expanded
a blackened universe swallowed
and with a forceful gulp, pushed down
a swill of dust and water
spun an atmosphere enveloped earth
encompassed the mountains standing
eminently, bold and sullen
ingested the swirling sea in a brazen attempt
to consume the creatures swimming within
swimming, noiselessly naïve

they motioned like machines
rambled like killer instinct
floated like swollen seeds in a dog-day breeze
implanted the soil with their hasty impertinence
and then washed their hands
with vestal tongues
and manufactured phosphates

and yet they breathe
the ants and vermin, birds and humans
cold and wet living things
convulse beneath the facade
soar above the fertile land
barely scratching the surfaces
unaware, that which devoured them whole
has left them inspired and exposed

The parts make a whole.

she was

a rattle in the chest
of a sleeping child
and the red velvet
of a dress pressed neatly
below the knee

she was

a mosquito hum
in a mother’s ear
and the kneading
of skin on the ass
of a bold eyed temptress

she was the quiet
of warmth
and of muffled covers
and the slice of a blade
above his naked bones

she was the scene
through a window
with the darkness
in his breath
and the light that fell
across an empty floor

she was

Eating words.

they sit across the table
as you rearrange your napkin and your bent fork
with cold hands and your bound life
you are swallowing and aware
with the rise and the fall of your covered breast
you count the distance from here to there
buffered by the hum of voices around you
droning the things you used to bemoan
they sit across the table wondering
why you’ve gone and where you’ve been
and why you are chewing
with your mouth open
while damp eyes draw patterns
of moments in time on the wall behind
that is covered with a child’s fingerprints


the current yawned
and pushed her sighs
over empty and barren wastelands

soft iridescent wings
were caught, held and elevated
with migrant simplicity

projecting all directions
no purpose and no question
of unmapped intentions

high above ground
over infertile precipices
they drifted inside grace

the current stretched
and blinked her eyes
at their vanishing blue escape


What do you want from me?

glossy eyeing me dark
and bitterly reflecting
as if there is something
I could actually give you
differently to drown out
to just tie me up
and sugar coat me

from the sidewalk, her hair shines justice in the sunlight off buildings scraping the sky

eyes breathe what cannot be seen through the shells rambling zombie-like

warping in and out of time like dreams captured in shared glasses of red wine

What is it that you actually need?

moping around
with your little black cloud
tethered to my half empty cup
shuffling along cynically
mind fucking me
leaning up top considering
your arms out and leaping
watching the edge from below
mouth wide from the street

from the air, her views are softened by the dewy glow of early next year’s emulsion

judgment suspended, deeply pillowed with no concern until awakened by needing hands

where is this place, this pulsing controlled environment smelling of late morning breakfast

A long year.

there were evaluations
outside of boundaries and abrupt severances
of former arrangements
coupled with sordid calculations
of the future disguised as the present
playing the part of the now
wrapped in deceiving guise

and his was a life lead inside of his own head
spurring affections through supple distractions
of high magic and unworldly meditations
with the stars and the moon
in perfect configuration
to balance all of the power in the universe
on her hot little fingertips

and time rolls and ticks and the sun rises and sets
while she impatiently waits for clarity
to grip her neck tightly
and he occasionally removes
the pictures from his safe
to examine her heart on the page
that she extended far beyond
her years and his comfort


she is unexpectedly near
sultry by his lubricious stare
as she pulls on her stockings
with corporeal measure
an abrupt seam scaling calves and thighs
in faintly varying command
as her soles slide into four inch heels
smooth with a delicate strap

she will emerge unrestrained
with her locks unfastened
and his deep jagged glance
feeding her subtle sway
consumed by the risk of curvature
sheer black lace visible only by sense
in fluid drifts she will drown
in his molten omnipresence

The long delay.

this tenderness has teeth

your mouth reaching for elucidating words
a soul caught in humming vibration
this heat map burning with sinuous tincture

you need to climb inside his chest
with fingers pulsing and hunting friction
on his skin’s charged electrical system

you close your eyes to search his mind
with a heart bound inside his hands
the famine emerges fully visceral

as he clutches your heart’s arrest


what were you
but a pink sunrise
above a distant mountain top

a pausing beacon
in the darkness
guiding me nearer a safe harbor

a bending limb
to rest my weary wings
on a long and tedious flight

and when I alighted

your bough

your shore

your sullen
mountain peak

the view was of you
looking back at me

It all comes from the same thing.

these pages are rectangular, colorless and sharp like the edges of the box in which they are hidden. this place where the yielding flesh of a woman is reserved and protected from the acrimony of a bitter world. and through my beveled glass the view is obstructed and time is complicated happenstance. many stolen years are misplaced and labeled as hygienic experience and dropped to the floor as lessons learned.

the link to you is glaring with putrid light and i force myself to turn away from this want, for you don’t owe me one thing. these debts are my own from some territory in pasts overlapped where the sky was a different shade of quiet gray. so we begin again with the cyclical movement that reflects the seasons, knowing that offspring will hatch and sprouts will return from underneath the dirty ice. we wake and wash and stretch and breathe with the knowledge that the sun often rises to pay us back what we have earned.

Who she is.

the feminine is not
the shape and arch of a toned physique
nor the flex of muscled arms and petite belly in taut skin
her beauty is not
the proposal of available sex
or the pheromone gist
and embodiment of eager youth

temptation’s awareness bites this fruit
the souls of many embodied, supple in divine flesh
Durga ridicules the self indulgent simplicity
and Penelope mocks
the modern lovers' antiphonies

for a sonnet echoes within her every curve
she is nurturing and time, sustenance and bequest
there is strength in her awareness
and power in her words
and the quest is to possess
her very existence

Nothing more.

will you even know this woman
standing alone under the endless sky
you swear she is the vision from a civilization past
you wish she’d follow time with the drums in your chest
you know she is not falling
in time with your rhythm

she's been here before
despite refusal to recur
she wants nothing more
but for you
to wrap her in the folds
of your diagnostic mind
strike the pulses agonizing from your fingertips
tie her securely
with the fibers of your measured

she longs to coax your heart
free of your ribcage
if you would just set it in her lap
she'd want nothing more from you

The missing piece.

when he dusts off his wounded knees
stepping back from an edge sharp with attempts
after scaling up and over to a subsequent stage

his tired eyes avert his own callous reflection

if only he allowed this sweeping sanction
to loosen within his torso
he would be handed acquiescence

when he stands looking out
forward across the empty plains
upward to the softening, velvet sky
and back to his past of vacant realities

his eyes drop down
from a segmented purpose
and he is puzzled with pieces of his life
spliced together in selfish haste

if he continues trudging onward
with the stride that wakes him each morning
with the trust that wraps its arms
around his smiling children

his reflection will become whole
his vision, a bronzed speculation
his puzzle, an unadulterated home

A simple matter of physics.

it began as many things do
with a sharp intake of breath
possibility fluttering about
and the silent, irrational utterance
of cynical language

it began as a notion dodging
through an inner space
packed full of wasted remnants
fickle mysticism, ten o’clock news
and useless constraint

it began with no precise need
for a compass, or a map
for the odometer’s calculated speed
or a thermometer’s
measured heat

it simply began
because every good story
wishes its quintessence
and every action
must be set into motion

What is this?

if we define and distill this essence
in an imaginary amber bottle

if we contract and stoop to skew our form
and crawl within the confines of a single word

will we compile each consecutive moment

hoping that somewhere the apex houses
that pure and sweet concentrate
of our positions
no longer diluted
by excessively controlled

but this deliberation is filtered
by our own twisted perspective

is the goal to travel to some
predictable and untainted destination

a holy matrimonial development
that irrefutably will drip
with lament

isn’t joy captured within the awesome voyage

there are snapshots to be taken
and views to be savored

as our amber is unearthed
and our world becomes
a variable blend


her fingers were wintry and the hands
slightly unstable as she pulled across his back
extending rough associations
while hoping to identify the lever
the button or the release

time was irrelevant there
tenure shrouded by a murky veil that seemed obscured
in quiet moments and other times
an echoing steel and concrete barrier
entirely unscalable

there was an exhale of pauses
and low utterances in the unpretentious union of limbs
buried in the rhythmic motion
of sunrise and dusk
sunrise and dusk

there was pressure in her ribs
with the weight of reachable worlds fixed to liberation
of things to be tied
all taste and smell and sight
swimming in fragile forms
of delicate risk

there were many segments drifting
within a center she vowed hesitation would not visit
with its distant face peering both in
and outward
from the interior
of her unhinging trapdoor

Time spent waiting.

her elusive dreams had
been captured and released

through days, sprung from cages
with bated anticipation

through nights, slumped through
unparalleled disregard
withdrawn guarantees
falling behind
undefined spaces

for she’d made a practice
of tempting fate
and folding
with each rise of the sun
she held onto her breath
hoping to pass go, holding

she was told ‘don’t forget to stroke
your carefully placed projections’

on repeat, time left her there
while she put her pawns away

The familiarity of water.

it’s a sodden trail
again today
appearing as soft and soaked
as the river’s edge
when the torrent
a line is waving parallel
but the water’s long gone
someplace downstream

there’d be sugar
on her lips
if not for half moon bites
of a bland sandwich
scanning across
the swell
she waits for a juicy bit
but she never quite
cuts through
the fat

it’s just that tender rub
that place
slightly beyond
her clear line of sight
it’s over a decade
a never-reaching step
and the piece she missed
because the water
made her
feet numb