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the burn

Posted on 2011.02.14 at 02:40
Couch strewn with lazy limbs and heavy heads of desert warriors, wanderers seeking refuge from the beating sun—my leg pressed against yours, sticky with sweat, powdery white. I tried to sleep as thumping bass floated across the cracking, dusty ground and invaded my nervous system like cannons pounding in my ears, stray rays of sunlight playing with blood vessels in my closed eyes to form kaleidoscope patterns in rainbow colors.

Later, we walked the streets of our fabricated metropolis, fingers intertwined, eyes wide with wonder. You pulled me by the hand and led the way to beats that dropped and skipped, matching my heartbeat, then twisting away into lower, deeper, dirtier patterns. Your eyes met mine, your smile wide with the exhilaration, the sheer magic energy of the moment. My heart shot sparks down to my fingertips; all I could do was smile along.

Friends and strangers pushing in on all sides, we sat content, contained. Your arms wrapped tight and pulled me closer, dusty fur crushed up against your chest and I felt at home, even as the harsh alkaline stung my nostrils, reminding me that this could not stay. But you pulled me tight against you as the wind whipped the fine grit around us and they danced with fire as if they’d never been burned and you! your hand on my jaw so gently guiding me into a kiss that exploded with fireworks, radiant and haphazard.

You held me close as the timber caught, saturated in kerosene and quickly the flames licked, dancing up and down until he stood, glorious, engulfed. We watched, breathless, as the man burned in effigy, and then, creaking beams made structurally unsound, collapsed into a sparkling heap. The embers dropped like falling stars to set the world ablaze but found nothing else to burn.

Posted on 2010.10.13 at 21:35
I love you half drunk and half asleep
as you throw an arm around me and pull
my jutting shoulder blades closer to your chest,
wrapping me up in warm and solid and
mumbling into my hair about how you
want me closer


meditations on indio: the place to be

Posted on 2010.10.13 at 21:22
In the predawn the air shimmers
like heat waves rising off the asphalt in the summer.
I am shivering.
The sunrise is imminent, palpable but for the mountains,
the teasing sky shades of indigo,
the sense of urgency builds almost indefinitely,
waiting for the beat to drop
when the bass finally kicks in.
I am waiting.

The ground here seems alive,
springing back comically when prodded,
the grass soft, tender,
comically juxtaposed against the desert backdrop.
We are not meant to live here.
Yet this field flourishes, so vibrant—
a testament to the tenacity of our will
the drive to create
to impose ourselves upon a landscape that cannot
does not want to
support us. This is ultimately unsustainable
but for our persistence, our obstinacy,
our refusal to hear the land say no.

This that we have created, we rejoice in.
A conception completely ours,
pride taken in the artificiality of such a thing,
the magnitude of the gathering.
From a larger perspective, it seems absurd.
How can such a thing be possible?
But for our desire, would not.


donna marie

Posted on 2010.10.13 at 21:14
yellow pink tipped roses piled
can’t even remember their proper name

insular little village diner, cylinders of sugar—no packets
two glasses of ice water and insurmountable menus
can’t make a decision to save my life
happy families and girl scouts chattering, lively, life-ly
phone rings; it’s going to happen

in LA nothing’s real,
flights and weekend bags packed in a quiet calm
not disbelieving but not understanding,
who am i here to who i was to you anyway?
you barely knew me here
i hardly came back

childhood house smelling like always
i always just walked out the door,
time capsuled
shock to the system

i need to be alone

everything flooding in at once
jet lag late night inconsolable mess
i remember in this room, before, feeling so alone
who am i now here
who lives here, who lived here
how can i remember not to forget

somber dresses, ties
boys with windsor knots pulled up
awkwardly adult in adolescent bodies
who are they to be men? children
hours chase hours perversely, a tortoise race

nowhere to go but here
tissue boxes scattered but no trashcans
yellow pink tipped roses everywhere
so many living things, an incongruity
adults whose names i learn and then forget
we’re grownups now too, i remember

everyone has a story
i have a few, 20 years and change
getting sick at school and watching jeopardy from the couch
the easy bake oven you knew i loved
every concert, play, graduation
vegetarian stuffing just for me
are these what we will become? all stories
what will my stories make of me?
how can i remember when we are constantly forgetting?

seven families, more or less
come together for one last
who are we who were we who will we become
does this change everything?


hip hop don't stop

Posted on 2009.07.07 at 19:40
hip hop don’t stop
don’t don’t don’t stop

your smooth and rough slides by me,
my soft is perpetually in motion over your
ins and outs and my fingertips find
ups and downs and the music
enters my open and flows down into my closed and
through my inside; it pushes and pulls me
against your soft and rough and up and down your ins and outs

your sharp bites into my soft, pointedly prickling
outside of yes and no and maybe into
of course

my up pushes on your down,
flowing through your parallel with perpendicular forces,
pressing against hards under softs,
beats filling in the pause that seemed so indefinite

in my energy i feel your lethargy
my outside flowing into your inside through the smooth,
aroung the rough and into the warm,
wrapping and enveloping to stop the cold

don’t don’t don’t don’t stop
hip hop don’t stop



Posted on 2009.07.07 at 19:18
Everything is bigger than we could possibly imagine.

I sat in a chair with my back to a metal pole and felt the wind move and shake my body like it was nothing, like I was nothing, insignificant and small against the forces of nature. It blew like it wanted to sweep us all away as we stood, defiant, refusing to let go of the piece of earth that we had claimed, at least temporarily, as our own.


I don’t know why we feel that we belong here. Nothing lives here, nothing grows, thrives or evolves but somehow, in this vast expanse of barren land, I feel that I have come home. Something deep inside me has been pulling me here forever, a magnet in the very depths of my being that knows this as the one true pole. I can’t explain the ways in which I feel connected to this land, but I want to bathe in its dust and bake under its scorching sun. I want to be in the desert and feel the desert in me.


As I went wandering on a journey through myself, my feet crushed the cracked and crumbling surface and soon set me on a course of steps I could not retrace. I burned through cigarettes as I tried to cut through the pressing darkness that wrapped around me like a blanket, smothering but comforting. And even though I could see lights in the distances in every direction, I knew that I was very alone and felt liberated but slightly frightened.

The purple light shone like a beacon across the dry and dusty playa, grabbing me around the waist and pulling me in as I zigzagged across tire tracks and ground cracks like I was following some kind of bizarre choreography, leading me to the only place I could possibly end up. Something about it seemed unquestionable—subconsciously understood as my ultimate destination, like the bubbling house beats were written into my brain waves in flowing, changing melodies and colors. And it was not until I arrived that I understood why it was the here in which I had to be.

When I walked into the glow of the purple light, you were there, waiting. Like you knew I was coming, like you knew I was lost, like you were meant to help me find my way to where I was supposed to be. Because it was there and then that I was supposed to be, being here now, and you were what I needed to find, and I was what you needed to arrive. And you were soft and I needed something comfortable, something familiar, something new and old at the same time. I feel like we have met before in some other dimension, like our souls have twisted together like snakes or ribbons intertwined, inseparable, because when I look into your eyes I see the answers to the questions I didn’t know I had. I see myself mirrored and augmented and I see you beautiful, me beautiful, everything wondrous and exciting.

And I understand why you are with her because I can see that your minds and hearts and souls speak the same language, but I’m scared that I’ll never do it right. Scared that I’ll never find the complement, the one whose hands can spread over my body and make me feel unbroken, whose mind speaks in tongues and fragments and poetic verses, whose eyes reflect my unsung melodies. I’m scared that I’m wrong and that’s why, scared that I won’t know how to or what to or when to, scared that I am the only one in all of existence that speaks this language.

Even as your hands form circles on my smooth skin, I know that this is not that and I wonder if this is all I will ever have. And I want to be here now, I am here now, I do here now, but I want more. Not now, not here, but someday, sometime. But for now, all I need is your head resting on top of mine as the sun scorches my bare skin and I wrap my arms around you to keep you close, keep me steady, keep us grounded as the wind blows around us and we cling to this bit of land that is not ours forever, but ours for now.



Posted on 2009.04.01 at 19:09
I feel you in me like no one before, your soul reaching out to mine as your body does, with the urgency of a new lover, fraught with excitement and hesitation and tinged with happy disbelief. Your lips meet mine and I feel that we are in a constant state of motion-- not quite an equilibrium, but a perfect state of give and take, like the moon pushes and pulls the ocean’s tides.



Posted on 2009.03.29 at 23:51
They say that we live in a bubble and I remember
the soapy shiny film infused with refracted rainbows,
floating lazily away from the wand raised to my childish lips,
puckered in a half-kiss.
I remember how I used to watch them drift into the air and sometimes
gently float back down, bursting on my bare shoulders and
leaving them sticky-soft.
But that’s the thing that I remember--
that you can’t hold on.

Born and raised on the streets of suburbia,
I rode my bike up and down streets lined with maples and oak trees and
always wore my helmet.
My sister and I chased the blinking dots of fireflies,
cupping them in our hands to watch their lights glow in the purple dusk and
we were not afraid.
At night I sat on the swing
that always creaked because we never bothered to oil it and
all I could hear was the hum of cicadas and
the darkness pressed in around me.
I was safe and away from the city with
under-funded schools and gang violence and
almost everything bad.

When I turned sixteen I drove fast, windows down,
the wind whipping my hair into golden tangles and roaring over
the songs on the radio.
But I had to be home by midnight and there were some places I
just couldn’t go alone at night
(or ever)
because they were too dangerous,
too many dark alleys full of potential criminals.
I smoked cigarettes on a sidewalk outside of a coffee shop
twenty paces from the city limits and had to promise that I would not
walk back to my car alone.

But now I smoke cigarettes on my porch where
the sun bakes my skin during the day, smoke curling
lazily up in tendrils of grayish white and
at night the desert chill wraps around me and in between
the blankets but I rarely think of locking my door because
right there, over the horizon, I can see the refraction of
dozens of rainbows.
I can’t can’t can’t don’t want to escape.



Posted on 2009.01.27 at 21:46
My knee bumps yours underneath the table in a coffee shop, your back sliding down the vinyl coated booth as you stretch your feet onto an extra chair. Your face is thinner now, your skin hugging the jawbone, black hairs coating your cheek. I want to say

—You look good

but I think that that’s the kind of thing you say in movies when you are meeting up with an ex or something like that. And it’s not like we were ever anything.

Posted on 2008.10.21 at 23:48
I needed to be close to him and feel nothing, to understand that the emotions associated with distant memory had no bearing on my present state of existence. I needed to know that I could move on with my life and understand him in the context of my past and present, but never future. I needed to know that what never began had ended.

I felt his rough cheek against mine as he embraced me in the train station, his chameleon eyes glinting in the patchy filtered sunshine. He was the one that really started it all three years ago, dancing close to music in the living room that would be his bedroom not too long after. After him, I changed the way I looked at boys, at relationships and everything entangled. I learned not to expect too much, to depend on myself and know that I do not need constant emotional engagement.

I am floating in the middle of a city I have never really known. We are not intimate, but curiously entwined like new lovers still discovering elements of each others’ beings. I feel free and independent for the first time in ages, liberated by cars moving on a labyrinth of cables criss-crossing across the city. Strange that something so confining can feel like the ultimate redemption.


Sometimes I feel like my senses and perceptions are so much that I might just explode, a ball of fire engulfing me and leaving in my place a pile of carbon and matter of no consequence. My heart gets so full at the immense beauty of the world and it makes me want to scream, release my inexpressible joy and sense of fulfillment to the cosmos, sending my emotional outburst spinning into the utmost heights, through the stars and out into a vast expanse of nothingness.

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