Wordle #187


I am face deep
in the wash basin
peeling back the scars
that section off my heart.
The water therein
Is composed of my tears,
of stars dissolved
by bluster and longing.

My thighs are spoon-smooth
and firm as nearly ripened fruit.
I have spent
the entire morning
chasing birds
in the camouflaged highways
of an abandoned coppice
behind my house.

I have white, full breasts
like twin satellites
barely contained
inside an indigo dress.
I have the time
to break myself down
and reassemble the pieces.
On the inside
I am completely naked.

I am curious
about human nature.
I am curious
about you.
I am like the S in steel,
all curves and romance.
We could lie down
together in the grass
and reposition ourselves
in imitation of passing clouds.
We could make halos
of pedestrian fires.
In other words we could
become something to each other
that we could never be apart.

I know things,
impossible things
like how your fingers feel
when pressed to my lips.
I know how long it takes
for your smile to unfold,
the bittersweet chronaxia
that divvies up each
and every one
of our actions and reactions.
I know that a time will come
when we occupy
the same spaces.


Wordle #205

Week 199

I am neither scrimshank nor martyr.
I am a perfectly ordinary woman
who stands accused, maligned by society
for a crime in which she took no part.

In this place monsters and men
can be said to inhabit the same bodies.
In this place I have seen nightmares manifest
but none of that compares
to losing my faith in humanity.

I have summoned demons from air,
from places deep and uncultivated
within my own brittle psyche.
I have taken my resentment and my blood
and made them into a fearsome warpaint.

My cellmate is panting obscenely from above.
The rickety scaffolding protests
nearly as much as she does
and I think, with some revulsion,
of all the absences I must now endure.

My torporific life rarely invites review.
It was an operation performed all in white.
My heart did not survive my dream’s pursuits
and my mind is no sharper for hindsight.

I haven’t received mail for many years
and I’ve had no visitors, I am negligible.
I have only my innocence as a consolation
but it may as well be a sack of potatoes
or a handful of worms in a paper cup.


Bonus Wordle “Wild West”

Bonus Wild West

The saloon doors swing open with a shrill sigh. A man steps in, spurs on his boots jangling like loose change, holsters loaded. A cowboy from the frontier he claims but he’s got a very specific aura, the sort that hangs over a man like a noose. His face and hands are cracked from weather exposure and emotions that I cannot discern at a glance. He takes the stool beside mine, elbows on the bar, gaze just to the right of the bartender’s suspecting frown. He orders Cactus wine and some victuals. He is in need of lodging but the barkeep insists that there are no rooms for rent. This, of course, is a lie there are always room for rent. Strangers aren’t welcome in these parts and the lawman is a no-account drunk.

I’ll only be needing a roof, a barn would do.” The man is undaunted by the bartender’s churlish demeanor and so it goes for a couple of rounds each man with his own agenda. I reckon this guy is an outlaw, he’s all gristle and grace, eyes as black and soulless as a lump coal but I’ve got a room and nothing fit to steal so I make the man an offer. He accepts. The bartender shakes his head slowly from side to side. I swallow my regret down with a pint and lay my money on the bar.

The man says nothing on the journey but on arrival he is compelled to tell his story. He was, in his youth, a gunslinger. Just like his old man and his five, now three, older brothers. Point of fact he comes from a long line of criminals. He didn’t have the stomach for blood though and picked up a lasso in his late 20s.

People judge on account of my appearance and my name once they hear it. Reckon I’m as low as they come. Don’t much care for proof, gossip should be a crime, can take away a man’s life as surely as a bullet.” He goes silent as smoke and I know he’s said all that he means to for now.

I have never written anything in this genre, ever




Wordle #198 (Inner Critic)

Week 192.png

She is numerous.

I number my days

according to her slights.

She cheapens my gains

with nestled half-truths.

Sometimes she is muted,

her woebegone stare,

her artificial pout

hanging in space like ellipses.

I hate her and it grows

exponentially each day.

She is deleterious to my sanity

and very particular that I should remain

maternal and at arm’s length.

Her behavior is outrageous.

She watches from on high

while the consequences take effect.

Her tongue is parched

from stirring the same acerbic soup.

She greets me with a sneer

and amasses my doubts around her

like a suit of thorns.



Wordle #186

Week 178

Life assures me like cancer

that I am finite, farfetched,

suppressed as a simulacrum.

It’s not possible to think

about the present moment

when married to its vision.

Everything that exists,

exists on a continuum

of reflection and conjecture.

What was once transparent

is now rooted like granite

with splinters of chamomile

bursting free at the edges.

It only takes a thimbleful,

a single breath, a ray of light,

a drop of blood to get me going.

All humans are layogenic,

a sideways glance,

a bout of nostalgia,

a darkened room

with two sets of curious eyes

locked together in breathless limbo.

Once met you’ll discover me.

I’ll never give you what you want.

Worth is synonymous with depth.

My scars are carved, not painted

red and bold like lips on paper.

It’s the constant itching

that reminds me that I’m current.

Who would I be without

these disfigurements?

Never trust a smiling face,

it takes longer to heal

when the wound is uneven.

I am not autophobic just conscientious

I don’t want to be blinded by conceit,

to find myself adored

by a stranger with sticky hands

and a heart overflowing with forgiveness.

Love is permissive like a drug,

if I should ever taste it

I’ll forget to come up for air.

I must maintain my ego,

the cracks in my heart

where I keep my needle and thread.

A fairy must remain anonymous

if she is to conjure.

Who would I be without

this blessed and cursed veil?

I can smell the bleach on your skin,

the ritual cleansings

the fear that your hands

might communicate your true intent.

What you love most about me

has nothing to do with me at all.

tough one!



Wordle #179

Week 170

I cannot abide this malaise,
the transition from limbo
to a cell of artificial design.
I want to live in the bones,
in the spaces creased
with perseverance.
It is in the depths
that I am made whole.

My heart is no longer cordate,
no longer flesh
it is an unsavory ligament
soliloquizing in inertia.
I stow it beneath the floorboards.
I hear it grunting and snuffling
like a fat, grey pig
as my fingers tick
aghast with the passage of time.

They say I am mentally ill,
that I must inoculate myself
against all thought and defect,
that I must become accountable.
I am a homely god,
my creations as mud on linen.
I go up in smoke
and there is no place in me
material enough to stitch.


Wordle #294


A grinning shell of a man,
a slack-jointed vagabond
extends his hands
in mimicry of cheer.
I was happy once,
still am mostly
that’s the thing about
these overcast days
they give way in time.

A fugue of a woman,
a line of bent stars on her wrist
looks down the length of a leather strap.
Venting is one thing but hatred is another.
I’ve seen more faces than I can count,
same man different seasons.
Lies create their own realities.

A sun-weathered man,
a proud, strait-backed farmer
grips the handle of his shovel.
You have to trim away the excess
otherwise there’s no room for growth.
That’s the paradox of modernity
we have everything we could ever need
and we still live beyond our means.

A single woman,
a book-bargaining teacher
draws her name on the blackboard.
Talent isn’t god-given its achieved.
You can’t undo mistakes with nostalgia.
The mind is full of fractures and snares,
live forcefully as the heart decrees.

Wordle #150

Week 150.png

Sanity is merely an affectation,
a veil underneath which
the darkest shadows may pass.
I am just a girl, insignificant,
in the scheme of things.
There is comfort in
the knowings and doings other,
in penny-gush and reflection.
There is comfort in
the superficial and mundane
though I do not count
myself among them.

Iris assigns names
to those she does not know.
She gathers their ghosts
into sickly webs and sews
them throat to throat.

I cannot bear to hear
pretty words spoken of me,
labels are much too expensive.
I will not grovel or peak
under another man’s agenda.
We are all mutable,
beyond reason, insane.
To represent or to copy
that has always been the game.
I own my occhiolism,
my bittersweet nothings,
not altogether unlike yours
but enough to distinguish.

Iris assigns names
to those she does not know.
She gathers their ghosts
into sickly webs and sews
them throat to throat.

Wordle #148 and The Other Me

Week 148.png

Your cheeks heavy with lutalica
and the acerbic sting of mediocrity
leave me feeling helpless.
I have nothing to offer
the you who wants for everything.
(God how I hate when our faces
align and eclipse.)

I who am, by all accounts, insectile-meander
struck by the voracity of human greed
and more so by my own capacity for indulgence.
I wallow alongside you,
sober but not altogether sane.

You always knew how to skin a razor
and I am only a decoy anyhow.
Deep down I think you know
that we are just fractures of the same person
and that I allow your dominance
only because it shores up the cracks in my own ego.

You who are unassailable and instantaneous
could survive out in the open
with or without my consent
but I will always defy you
if only to quiet my fear of nonexistence.


Wordle #147 “March 20th, 2017″

Week 147.png

The night is a ballet of light and shadow,
staccato and interminable I echo with desire.
I burn beneath the moon’s levitation.
She is iridescent, mother of pearl,
uncharacteristically immense.
I latch onto her with reverence and foreboding.

I am inseparable from myself
though my legs strain
with the effort to deliver me astray.
I am a perfect and disquieting fracture,
I am heat without a definitive source.
Where is my heart
when I’m in need of a sacrifice?

What use have I of memories?
Memories incite me only
to stillness and paranoia.
Where is my passion,
my great unnerving hope?
Where is the harmony
begotten of my tribal roots?
I am more riddle than heliotrope.

I understand the flame,
that in weeping I consume adjacent bodies,
that even purity sheds itself and is extinguished.
It is intention alone that I cannot grasp
how right thought can bleed
so readily into misdemeanor

What purpose does my crookedness serve?
Can one manufacture experience
through the consolidation of thought alone?
I await that precise moment,
the moment of flashover when the moon
casts her grin like a sickle across
my still quivering throat.