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flame of trees
against dusk
we cradle cold 
in our knuckles
as night fills in
rivers, roads

captivity

i think of you at night
the way an animal
returns to a cage
out of habit

drowning

my thoughts move too quickly and i am afraid. still sleeping too much or not enough. at night my heart strikes my chest like a stone. in food courts and classrooms with my hands on my ears, lungs shivering. conversation still sounds like drowning. colours push past my lips and block my throat. words wash away in this tremble. still feeling i have no personality. still writing like when i was fourteen.

Delivery Status Notification (Failure)

fear of being
alone in my skin
body is
hollow stone
a dry branch
splitting

i apply lipstick

to chapped mouth
rub
dirt and oil
from cheeks
nose forehead
wash myself

off

the dream breaks,

sound stumbles
out the radio, into
amber shadow

sad at a party

the need to scratch off your fingerprints. sound hammers into too many angles, tugs the clotted strings behind your eyes. your mouth spills stones. stories on the floor like dirty clothes. lightbulbs buzz, too hot under your skin. every touch brings a jangle of broken glass.

this, too, is trying. the tired love poured into a teacup. five a.m. light in a stranger’s kitchen. how your fingers ache as you do up your jacket, flip open the deadbolt and leave.

Dissociate

bittergrapes:

At times I cannot contain.
Buoy float body, multiple people
struggle inside. I am not breathing.
Not really here. These hands, unworked,
lotioned and potioned into compliance,
corkscrew hair that will not uncurl,
eyes like corpses, feet clenched 
in the dying position. I am not
what I thought I am. A ringing
summoning up the end. Here I float,
river people, thrown on Adler beach
for the police ledger to proclaim.

diary

the last three weeks i have not been able to read. words are too full of stones. often i will talk about my day and my friends think it is bad poetry, or absurdist humour. alcohol may intensity this effect. two days ago i looked at my face in the mirror of a public washroom. my body kept changing size. i felt the walls draw nearer and farther. right now i have a feeling of polished granite behind my eyes. my skin is a thin layer of steel. my brain a heavy pocket. i listen to rilo kiley and see movement in the corners of my vision.

A poet is always on the edge of the unsayable—trying to turn it into something that sounds.
Lorna Crozier (via arkoftheache)

the bottle reads
take care
when operating vehicles
or heavy
machinery

i feel oddly loved

depression

i lay on my side
like a sea shell
the animal inside
long eroded

cherry branches

shiver in dusk

black on blue

i imagine colours streaming out of my mouth; primary glare and a clamour of edges. this is the feeling of sweat on my eyelids, the ache as night fades into morning. i am trying to explain in words that do not sound like jokes, that do not sound like yelling. this hole in my chest filled with static. this silence that eats itself. these are my lips in the shape of sorry, sorry, i am sorry. i am not sure what i’m apologizing for.

evidence of existing

i lie in bed, breathe
softly
so as not to disturb

the stillness

       .

eyes
trace
     down
  white ceiling
to jackets
      scarves

the question of years
           that lead here

i wash chasms into my hands
and forest fires
course under my skin.
do not be fooled
by trembles —
these are earthquakes.

i am not afraid
of you; only
a man, and me
a force of nature.