The Artist

Outside the sun wallows and swoons. She is like a woman in love, radiant and docile. Her golden headdress drops feathers to the ground. Feathers which the shadows with their infinite recesses fold into themselves for safe-keeping.

The mud cracks in a way that is vaguely sinister and fantastically human. If I look long enough I will find the face of someone ancient and famous who embodies humanity more in death than most of us do in life.

There is a carnival of flowers dancing around my ankles. There is heat in my body and seagulls shrieking as they swoop dangerously close to my head. I leave them all behind and go inside. Once inside I turn cold and cavernous. I am waiting for an excuse to write so I clean the drain and put on the water full blast and watch everything fall into darkness.

I smell of wool and dried sweat. The window is looking in on me without reservation or pretense. The sky is supple and blue. I want to climb into it and lie down as if it were a lake that I could breathe inside.

Today I visited the home of a painter who became a writer who dreamt of being a painter. I found her words more beautiful then her still lifes and portraits. Her paintings were mechanical. She wrote under a pseudonym but there was more of her in print.

I went home with a postcard of the artist herself not one she had painted but one taken of her in Paris. In the photograph she looks like she wants to crawl out of her skin, like she’s felt everything at least once and has decided that she wants to go on living only she can’t quite bring herself to live the life she really wants. She was phenomenally strong and phenomenally patient and when I look at her I see a person who is both resigned to a life of fire and anonymity, a life of compromise and incessant wanderings.

When I left the museum I realized that it doesn’t matter what you pursue because pursuing anything is still a voluntary act of creation. There is the sun and the moon and a sky full of ceaseless fish with scales that reflect like mirrors all the brightness and vastness which exists in each of us whatever shape our dreams assume.

PS I did like the painting she created of her husband, by far the most expressive




Were I to gather my thoughts
just as they appear you would
not recognize the portrait.
I am a reflection of the voyeur.
My selves are not selves at all,
they are fragments
of a more substantial being.
A fragment can assimilate
any number of designations.
Make of me what you will.

Each teardrop is a star quilted
in unparalleled darkness,
I unstitch them one by one
but they go up in smoke
before ever reaching my lips.

I shed my second skin
and settle into the pauses
of your sacred architecture.
My derelict bones are dry enough to burn.
Will you furnish me when vacant?
Can you love me knowing
that I am temporary and inexact?

All that spills through my fingers is lost
for I have not the composure
to bend down and recover it.
My fingers stumble down
the length of your sternum.
If you were truly a fish
I would have emptied you
before consumption.

I drink your flesh by the inch
and when I have planted your root
as deep as it can go, I will fall upon it
again and again until I am grounded.
It is the act of loving which makes us whole.

really hard to write today, very stuck

Tale Weaver # 55 Making Sense of Nonsense – Agrotive


A thousand pipettes fire
from the minarets
of my deconstructed soul.

I have the itch again,
that need which being bottomless
is without resolution.

My hands stick to the keys,
to the letters crowding in retrospect.
I hate everything I read.

Paper towns, miles of fog,
an agrotive of eyeless houses
shuddering in the distance.

Today my words topple like soldiers
in a mass grave each one a father, a son,
an unrecognizable mask of death.

These are not the words I was born with,
they come not from my muse
but as a consequence of her neglect.

Wordle #158


I chew the cancer beading

In your branches,

The beastly sycophant,

The unbecoming cheat.

I channel release

In proximity to fire,

An unrepentant muse

Leaves, scattering regret

As a giant spills lightening

From the flare of a nostril.

I contemplate poverty

The grisly depths,

The unspeakable choices

The compromises imposed

By her compromised identities.

The weight of impotence

In this stillborn catastrophe.

I choke the keys

With ungainly fingers

Tiny panthers pawing

Blossoming, alien flesh

Ferocious in exile,

I lick the browning blood,

The fragile existentials

Of a thousand useless clowns.

I do not write but burn

A host of infinite poisons

And potentials that in sum

Amount to nothing at all

Wordle 205

204Brenda Warren

The red door

Stands ajar

As if it were a novel

And the inhabitants


Without predecessor

Loiter listlessly

In my absence

Each wishing to exist

And I unable to deal

That life-giving breath.

There are no mail slots,

No windows dimmed or otherwise

Just closet after closet

Into which my personas

Are posthumously cast.

I twiddle my keys

But the grinning locks

Have their own teeth,

Their own defiance.

The three-pentacled star

That can no longer beget

Winks at me from behind

Billowing eyelashes

And one by one

All those sacred wishes

Rush out energetically

Like ovulating salmon.

I sit back to the wall

Singing to the sun’s fiery sister

Without pack or pact

I cannot repair

What has been lost.

I write as if the paper

Were gauze

And the ink ointment,

But I never heal.

Mediocrity is always astounding

For all my efforts

I still suffer the limitations

Of my craft,

Some days the words

Do not add up at all

Even though

I have delivered them

Ribboned in my blood.





Vincent Cacciotti


Perhaps I am a sphinx

For my vowels as mice squeak

Vehement in stupor

They wind round and round

The black veins of an oiled clock

Never do they embellish

The requisite rind

The insular consonant

This bludgeoned throat

Wails on conclusion

Having established naught



2 Short Poems (Capacity/Terminal Velocity)



My alveolate tongue has reached capacity

What remains of my heart cannot be quoted

Because it has not yet been understood

Terminal Velocity 

Fear has cast all logic astray

I sit thread-less with sewn fingers

Contemplating my terminal in life

Will I take the black train

With the single illumined window?

Or will I take the red one

Screeching to a vainglorious halt?


When I was in high school I had a dream. The dream began brilliantly I was soaring through the clouds free and unencumbered. I saw a flashing light and found myself unable to focus on anything else. I fell from the sky faster and faster. I noticed beneath me was a train station or rather a single platform in the middle of a landscape that did not exist. The scene was black and white (well mostly grey) except a single yellow window in a speeding black train. The light drew me and I kept moving toward that flash and then I woke up suddenly outside my body. When I reentered my body I had a very violent fit. It felt like that lit window was death but even though I struggled vehemently against it the whole time I was dreaming I was being summoned toward it at a horrifying speed. So the black train in the poem is reference to the dream. I have probably told you this dream before somewhere but maybe not everyone has read it. I feel I am not the only one who has had this dream.

Return to Sender

1Elle Muliarchyk

Were I persuasive I’d roll you between

My thumb and forefinger until pliable

But you exhaust now my ingenuity.

I am too distracted to seduce

But you will not yield without courtship,

My heart is not such that I can reach in

Whenever I please and extract wholly

You’ve taken so much from me already

If I did not love you would I remain

Poised for your triumphant return?



My thoughts drift

On the ether


But indistinguishable

From impediment


I stumble,

Bare feet scorched

Aloft celestial highways

Too many

Querulous prayers

One for the death

Of every

Beleaguered phantom


The stars

No longer incline

Toward my siren call

Helpless, heedless

My muse undresses

With the lights off

And in the presence

Of my beloved

I am



Writer’s block =(



My hands

Have become worn

Reverting paper into pith.

My heart woke

With a requiem.,

Silver and spiritless.

Underneath the Bodhi tree

I find neither epiphany

Nor inveiglement.


Today is still

And with heavy eyes

I consume in silence

The exhaust

Of countless

Defeated sighs.

In the next inhalation

A star will find, within me,

Some distant ancestor

But for now

I am without whim


I’ll save my wishes

For another day

A day of turmoil

A day when the ink

Spills motley and riotous

In the articulation

Of carefully

Arranged winds

Tomorrow I’ll be

Jackson Pollock