Poetry, Prose, Art, Photography, Curiosities



fainting goat

every day

with him

was the last day

pavlov’s monday

she got distracted mid-orgasm

thinking about a situation at work

and cursed, baffled

that’s fine, she thought

the spacious hierarchy

and building structure will allow for

never walking through

that department again

fuck you, all the same

as the days pile up

flash bulb memories

are what i remember

of the alcoholic father

the alcoholic first husband

the drunken loss of a decade with the blue eyes

it may be a disease but that makes you no less vile as a person

there’s no excuse for

trembling as my dad threw a giant television set out the front door into the yard

stairs turning upside down as the father of my sons headbutted me into submission

for wanting to leave his dysfunctions

threats of handguns and bodybags

that’s booze soaked rage

a blitzkrieg of anger

a pot boiled over

every tea kettle in the world simultaneously

spitting steam


when it rains in springtime

most days i hate you

but when it rains in springtime

i miss you

nina simone crying that she gets along without you very well

i will never achieve indifference

but neither will you


we’re even


i was born in the poorest county

in the fifth poorest state in the union

though kentucky isn’t truly a state

it’s a commonwealth

where wealth is uncommon

and the only glistening skylines

down in those parts are tombstones

i’ve known for years at heart

i’m an expatriate

who wants no part

of that prime real estate


love is an unsupervised child

with bad intentions

and a chemistry set

embracing needles

age has
inoculated me
to human charm
genuine and feigned
thank goodness


sprouting up
from pure shit
one may still
grow to be
a wondrous flower

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.


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