Categories
Uncategorized

For Nairb Eeryt

the moment you turned & walked into the room

my world went Peckinpah

explosions of laughter

and parking garage lore

you are the unlikeliest surprise

a penultimate friendship

my war horse riding brother

charging beside me off

to our generation’s wars

in armor made from James Joyce t-shirts

imagine my uncorked shock

to meet a lion experimental

unmormon poseidon

over-the-rhine renaissance

gypsy king

this day is your birthday

you sit back all Kerouac

this day is for breaking someone else’s heart

so stick around

i’m gonna read this poem out loud to you from a stage

my next gig in town

& there’s a band I wanna go see with you

every tomorrow night

Categories
Americana art beauty Christmas chronology comfort confections Southern Gothic Uncategorized

on the perpetually wet streets of Clifton

10 pm
fresh out of sin
headed for a sip
in a bergamot tearoom
I became distracted
my January boots
compelled
to follow memories
through puddles of patchouli oil
stalls peddling shiny baubles
half finished dissertations
and bohemian postulation
stopping abruptly
at Biagio’s Bistro
fine Italian cuisine
featuring a gourmet dessert cart
a self service bar for the regulars
despite having
no customers &
a candlelit patina
covering
a thousand nights
spent ruining tablecloths
lovingly destroying
illusions
your every word brilliant
eyes alight
that saccharine fucking
Andrea Bocelli CD playing
on maddening repeat
my laughter too loud
for the intimate room
we were certainly doomed
our conversations
were always the wildest sex
i smiled remembering
into the fezziwig glow
of the old window
warmed by the fact
they still haven’t dusted
when
my ears perked alive
as suddenly crept
haunted sounds of
a minstrel show
a hand
strumming a guitar
your voice
in half notes
amidst sodium lamp motes
drawing me toward
that ancient apartment building
where you
serenaded me
I began to
swiftly seek
certain
I would find you
if only the source of the sound
was located
before the melody ended
rounding the corner
I found myself all alone
with weary dumpsters & brownstones
breathing clouds of longing
hair damp
with the scent
of dead pine wreaths
& recollection
because
truth be told
i miss my friend
so true without you
there will never again be
music for me
on the perpetually wet streets
of Clifton

Categories
Americana art astronomy beauty behavior books cinema comfort dance deviance divinity happiness history humanity humor iconography local color performance poetic theory Uncategorized

Mother-Over-the-Rhine

we were four madcaps deep

in a ratskeller bathroom stall

stoned

within boozy historic walls

one of us pissing

three of us smoking

all of us drinking

3 queens and a king holding court

in the men’s room shitter

gods were made

mushroom euphoric

k-hole bar bouncers lamented

upstairs Nagasaki

our glee

our group dynamic pee

a urinal patron

chimed in

with delighted confusion

so

my lips began

to recite a poem

summoned at will

about buying tickets to the show

spoken word,

nay,

spoken turd, i say

he laughed and applauded

on the other side

of our bomb shelter door

in that moment

we

truly lived

Categories
Americana astronomy battle belief comfort communication divinity family happiness health Kentucky local color love medicine poetry religious studies rituals Southern Gothic the arts theatre Uncategorized

Liturgy of the Hours

every night you were away

i sought you out

through blackberry bramble ether

from weeping constellations above dixmyth avenue

to jessamine county barns filled with horse hay

perpetually wrapping blue ribbon around my finger

whispering vespers

my plea to the particles of the universe

to hold you together

to bring you back from oblivion

as you had done for me

you are my chosen family

inextricably part

of my thunderous heart

to which you will always hold the latchkey

Categories
Americana art beauty behavior belief communication happiness human behavior Jazz journalism life literature love mindfulness muse museums poetry travel travel writing Uncategorized

The Secret of My Traveling Crystal Necklace

Back in 2012, when I had my first book release in Los Angeles, I had a crystal beaded necklace that pulled apart in my suitcase. It seemed wrong to rid myself of the estranged gems, and I harboured unlikely notions of restringing the beloved baubleĀ one day. As I was packing to leave, some of the beads accidentally rolled under my voluptuous bed in The Biltmore Hotel. I suspect they may still be there, as things seem not to change much there, except the sheets, and I liked the notion of leaving a part of myself behind in the City of Angels.

The beads remained in my suitcase as I drove and flew to poetry gigs all over the country for the next few years. In keeping with the precedent set in Los Angeles, I started purposefully dropping them in places I stayed. I would toss the pea-sized stones into locations they were unlikely to be found: down antique brassĀ filigree air vents in byzantine hotels, behind cabinetry permanently affixed, through imperfectly sawed holes cut for plumbing to climb and dive through plaster, beneath the loose floorboards of my friend’s apartment, into the chasms of airport elevator shafts. You get the idea.

There are pieces of my secret crystal beaded necklace hidden in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Redondo Beach, Berkeley, Venice Beach, San Francisco, Oakland, Salt Lake City, Chicago, Cleveland, New York City, Elyria, Canton, Nashville, Lexington, Dallas, Cincinnati, and even pitiful Little Rock, Arkansas, a place I didn’t care for at all. I consider them amulets to protect people and cities with whom I fell in love, and talismans to keep away those whom I didn’t. The faceted baubles keep me tethered, connected through minutiae, in the smallest of ways.

More beads remain in my suitcase to this day, an impossible amount hidden within the satin folds, certainly a greater number than my finite crystal necklace was ever originally composed of. It is as if the universe is telling me that I have more journeys to take, love to make, and fine people to meet. So, if you’re staying in a heat wilted hotel by the Pacific Ocean, enduring a vaulted matchbox overlooking the Hudson River, standing by a tuneless luggage carousel, or renting a beautiful two bedroom flat nestled near Lake Erie, and a magical crystal bead finds you, that’s just me…and I’ll be seeing you.

 

Categories
travel writing

driving from los angeles to berkeley for a poetry gig in a pickup truck

he made it clear

with his cowboy smile

it was

okay to be myself

having

sweet tea in an irish joint

patrick’s roadhouse

green t-rex mounted on the roof

why the hell not

santa monica

pacific coast highway

a bust of rimbaud staring

at our obscene amount of french fries

we found ourselves eating in miss havisham’s sitting room

surrounded by

bric-a-brac of the damned

laughing at local customs 

i decided

on my fifth trip to california

(terrestrial green valley

little indian girl that i am)

to give myself to the pacific ocean

for the first time

so

we stopped in santa barbara

i was only going to dip my toes in

kicking off my ballet flats

but i allowed the tide

to pull me out

again and again until i

fully clothed in blouse and skirt

walked into the sea waist high

edna pontellier awakening

with no desire to die

it was that moment

i felt pure bliss streaming

down in salt water tears

it was that moment 

i was most alive

Categories
botany poetry

casablanca lily

we laugh together

in such a way

we coax night flowers

to burst open

Categories
art love museums Music poetry

words fall short

we loved rampantly

we parted in flames

we left lovely scars

but i wouldn’t trade one

telford avenue kiss

Categories
behavior sociology writing

the misadventures of the great and mighty shithead

sexy sadie came along

to turn the world on

but apparently i came

to piss people off

.

to call the world out

on its bullshit

while fully acknowledging

i display copious piles of my own

.

people don’t like their hypocrisy

half truths

abuses

and dysfunctions pointed out to them

.

facts become offensive

.

well folks

being a great talent

being of great intelligence

being a great beauty

isn’t enough

when the fiber of your character

indicates what you truly are

is a great and mighty shithead

Categories
art books childhood ecology education Jazz Music nature poetry Short Stories sociology Urban Legends writing

sarah smile

she wonders why

he

chose her

this is because

she is incapable of hubris

and beautifully unaware

of the radiant light emitted

by her smile