“A broken heart is my Achilles heel. I have a nose for trouble but no stomach for pain.”
With that, she gave me a piece of her mind and a wave of her hand.
I will never play Operation with the likes of her again.


The sweet sound of surf echoes at my door and I can smell the serendipity and sea salt.

The brash pounding of waves beseeches an entrance and my ear is damp with the cackle of conchs and whispers of the oyster bed.

She is here.

It is Mid-Summer’s Night Eve and she is here, the mermaid of my youth, the one others call figment, hallucination, psychosis –  the one I have named Stella.

(For Stella, who did a kind favor to a stranger)


Poe sleeps in a shroud nightshirt,

head heavy against the prose.

laudunum seeps malevolence i

into sheets of blackened hell.

To dream is to suffer.

To awakenk, to die.

Moans weave despondent dirges

around his sleeping tongue,

Lachrymose echoes of

Lacerated thought.

The acrid taste of “nevermore”

drips lamentation down his throat.

To suffer is to dream.

To die, to awaken.

As vapors of nightmare

stain outline around his form,

night claims Poe’s body;

moonlight thieves his soul.

The Age of Victoria,

tatted in trepidation

elevates Poe’s abandonment

unravels bone into marrow..

A carriage of darkened dream

cradles Poe deep inside

to the edge of a cemetery

Iron-fenced in heavy metaphors.

Tombstones of canonized poets

toppled by amateur vandals

provoke the spectacle

into sacrilege and chaos.

Wrapped in self-loathing,

Poe dismounts from the dream,

kicking feckless bits of imagery,

rolling meter out the grave.

He is here to scavenge sonnets

rob sepulchres of rhyme

gut essence out of verse

loot catacombs of allegory

Poe embeds a shard of simile

inside his barren womb of work

gives birth to a stillborn concept

resuscitated by his words.


Copyright 2010


I am Prometheus, bound to my words, while you, my crow, devour my heart.

I am Prometheus, chained to contrition, while you, my accomplice, accept stolen fire.

I am Prometheus, lashed to a legend, while you, my raconteur, transpose paladin and pariah.

I am Prometheus, standing before you, hair singed with sacrifice, fingers charred with circumstance, the mortal smell of potter’s clay caked upon my soul.

I am Prometheus:  creator, thief, and penitent.

Can you promise to be Hercules and free me from myself?

Copyright 2010


“It’s not in here.”

“Are you sure? Could you check again?”
The anxiety in my voice acts like scissors, cutting the edge off my consonants.

The robed saint sighs and pretends to look in the massive book…again… dragging his index finger down the pages.
He smells of alleluia and cucumbers.
He sounds like destiny right after a beer.

I know the answer before it is given.

“Maybe you should see that other guy.”
He’s careful not to make eye contact.

“And he would be…?”

“Down there.”
He points with a sadness that hurts my bones.

I wish he would look at me, at least acknowledge I am here.
I bet his eyes are the color of atonement.

But I will never know because I am off to see if I should be with that “other guy,” the one parents warn against, the one who shreds salvation and weaves it into a lanyard for the key to condemnation.

Just thinking about all this makes my conscience sweaty.
How did it come to this?

That other guy has a book, too, but this one is held together with rubberbands and lies.

I give him my name and feel all dizzy while he hums to himself, flipping the pages.
I think he is singing “Steam Heat” in the back of his head.
I chuckle a bit and his eyes lock onto mine like a sniper.
He smells of refried cabbage and feels like Monday.
There is no doubt that his eyes are probably the colorless hue of deep desperation.

I hold my breath.
I so don’t want to go with him.

“You’re not in here.”

The book snaps shut to the sound of a hurricane.
But it is just the exhalation of breath I have finally let loose.

“Are you sure? Am I even dead?”

The other guy, the ultimate sinner, reaches inside and pulls out my soul by the tail.
It wiggles with life.

So now I am at the bus stop, waiting endlessly in some limbo.
I guess I should be happy to be alive and relieved that this was all some kind of dream.

But all I can think about is why I’m not good enough or bad enough to make it into any book.

Copyright 2010


You are my diary, keeper of secrets;

My pint of tequila, obliterator of past.

You are my center, sacred space of focus;

My birthday, my deathday, my moments between.

In a world of uncertainty, you are reality.

In a world of delusion, you are but dream.

You are the second I take before jumping, the sharp intake of breath before I free fall.

Copyright 2010


Thoughts of you drip from my fingers and everything I touch becomes saturated.

I don’t remember you as anything more than arid and barren so how did this happen?

When did drought manifest into deluge?

And yet here I stand, holding cupped hands, while memories of you flood between my palms, drenching my fingers and soaking  through my life.

My shoes are soggy now and everywhere I go I leave wet footprints of you behind.

New lovers make me wipe my feet before entering their lives…but I still leave a puddle of mess.

This would strike me as ironically amusing if I wasn’t so dehydrated since you left.