Poetry, Prose, Art, Photography, Curiosities

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.



i’ve never met a typewriter
i didn’t want to bang

no survivors

we were dazzling together
the way crushed glass sparkles
on asphalt


even our shoes
sitting together
at the end of the bed
look in love with each other


two trees were once saplings together

nested in an egg crate they fell in love

until a bittersweet morning when

they were planted far apart in a forest

he edge bound by the ocean

she in the land locked middle

for many years

they could not touch

they could not speak

time passed into grandchildren

but eventually

his roots found hers deep within the earth

now she holds the moon up in her limbs

to thank him


she takes a powder

a hard-boiled detective

would describe me all gum-shoe mickey spillane

as a serial passion killer

beneath a slow moving ceiling fan

swaying to a street corner saxophone

smoke unfurling through suspicious window shades

into a neon-lit city of perpetual night

feet propped on his overworked desk

waxing how this dish

she takes a powder

varies her modus operandi

jealousy mistrust stubborn convictions

yet what is unquestionably hers

are the exit wounds

she leaves on the guy


death by chocolate

i am having dreams
where i take long road trips
back east
stopping at chocolate shops
and hardware stores
acquiring extravagant truffles
fit for a fetid pig
a pick-axe

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