everyone around you is greiving

the lyrics are like fuzzy

poems point me all directions

memory knows not

cuts ribbons like cutting

arms, wrist, future plans

cutting like how

we cut out our long tongues

faithless journeys and how

time does it’s own hemming

short on the leg

long on the cuff

bits of fabric dragon


tides like fire

eyes like swallowing

the poison

getting ready to forgive

the sun




(when you drown)

no matter where you are

I can always hear you

is this music?

a song that sings itself to sleep

rests on the easy marrow of the day

knows not

the empty void

the empty creation

a song kept

like a kiss

or a ribbon

like an amulet or

a talisman

a phrase heard

not, but almost

fully forgotten

and how it lingers

how it blows out

like a candle

how the wick

and the ember

still glow somewhere


more importantly

for some reason –

there is a suitcase I haven’t named

and everything keeps screaming at me

have fun with god


I escape

I fumble with my morality compass

I make earthquakes

I break the surface

like a neon string in the dark

my spider-waves

are always


for you

brianna lea pruett

you shine for me

full stream.

technicolour and shit

neon like a halogen

oh you tired castle you

you and your ink-blot memories and your whistle-drop hymns

your secret santa avalanches and your new moon linen

your closed floors / opened doors

dusted chairs  / creaky stares





how to kill a poem

baby skunk and I

caught in that awkward


like an octopus

all of us once linked arms

like a human tide

I was in the middle

biting at the air like a

pirate destitute

I raised my arms in grief

and was instantly


i am knee deep

in the art of forgetting you

equals remembering you

is the same pain

the same great big swath

of paint we were

the same totem pole

of shared grief

like digging a grave

for a baby palm tree

my sing a long song for now

is the ghost song in you that

feels blindly around itself

for the contours of shade

and light and comfort

it is a slower trace

than the one I’m used to

a clear sunset

and your violent swath

like an airplane

only in real time

only to a painting

which means

to me

that your sunset

was like an airplane

in the distance

a doomed airplane

maybe it caught fire

maybe it didn’t

how we were then

caught forever

in the crash and burn

how then

crash and burn was

at max

an ethos


and then you died –

there is a postcard fire

that I start in my mind

with my Dad sometimes

we take our time

adding to the fire

as we shed

over the



we are winter cats

subtle to the gristle

find me –

the cellar is creaking, I am


spread out between fingers like

the dew on the calm

moon, moves

the water

between us –

the black was everywhere

I couldn’t make space for it

I couldn’t swallow yr loss

I am not a cowboy

and these are not my boots

gifted, they were

from a mermaid

knew your mom

before the great flood

a jury in oakland said

to the landlords and the city of oakland that it was really no one’s fault. the whole concept of blame, sort of, just, flies out the window, a broken window, with flames for hours for days for weeks for months and years, for ever in our collective grief, but, a jury in oakland said –

sigh manifesto

breathe in

breathe out

let the fog

breathe in

let the fog


grave dancers union

some cut out cardboard
hanging like a mobile
in the air
Lou’s Records
I bought it on cassette
they got me
I was 15

be still, my garden

the moon is coming

fear not

my nervous fingers like

feathers in the sun

pierce the coming storm

how innocent the rain

when you smile

I am everywhere but here

in short,

I’ve made peace with

the loneliness

I’ve been

searching for

it burns because

it still burns

blood and water

flood and wonder

my sparklehorse postcard, these days

consists loose twig and purple ribbon

a pail of lunch on the horizon

a unicorn morning in the making

it is a deleted text

to an old friend

with a flannel back pack

and no phone –

the vines when raked

don’t fall far from the walls

swamp mist and chicken shit

palm fronds as big as a toad’s tongue

ripe as rain

silence and thunder




I started a poem

it was just a small poem

we were just kids


I never told you

I still write


take me back

take me back, remind me. set my feet into yr dirt earth. we were sentient once. it came like a spasm. a coming of age. there were wooded bowls for soup. we had a limousine furnished from scrap tin and make believe, the cashmere in the closet, where the rats fed, so young, so fast, everything eye liner and shadow, i learnt from sage. from ocean and sand. from clouds to doom. all of it. in one belt. one sitting. one life line, as they say. ribbons in the wind, if you will. i remember back seat and tape player. john lennon’s julia, battling the wind in my hair, i played it over and over. high as a kite. my eyes were red and my hair was green.

my spirit animal knows this

my stay at home secret companion knows this

my tiger in the reeds knows this

my poem is as a poem does knows this

my pooh-faced cloud incarnate knows this

my soft cloud disposition knows this

my life is not a campfire

and this is not a movie

there is a chance

we will not

survive this

take yr time

be safe

stay warm

about a decade ago

I decided, upon walking the street in a little town north of the mississippi river, to buy a van, to drive it home to oakland, to be a roadie for my friends’ bands. also, to get the fuck out of missouri. I was visiting my mom. It was a fight or flight moment. I mean, shit, the van was only five hundred dollars. what could go wrong? my driver’s license was expired, the van was not registered, had no tags, no license plates, it was a cold october morning and I said fuck it. on the way out of town, I stopped at my friends’ place, where he made me a couple of CD’s, for the road. I promptly bought a CD player and some speakers. And with barely enough gas money, save for coffee and peanuts, an engine and break lines that were slowly corroding because of the salt on the ice, think cold colorado, windy wyoming, utah’s mountainous cliff drops, think splayed freshly cut deer, in half, think hunter s. thompson incarnate, think death mission, think the walls are crumbling… and though I am not on an adventure, an adventure which, at the time, opened pages, for my writing, and headphones and scribblings and a faucet poured out, was it trauma was it losing myself was it what I had been searching for the whole time, I know not. but I wrote for months. and I found that If I could just keep writing. If I could just keep listening. I could make it home –

fields of gold

I would light the smokes

for the two of us

so he could drive

my heart is a swinging pendulum of glitter and gold

that tossed in the breeze from my cigarette and the wind and the road and that saxophone solo and how free I felt like a dove or a raven or an owl at night surfing the unknown stars in the distance surfing the imaginary idea of future because when you’re a kid that’s what you do when you’re out in the wild unknown with your wild unknown friends and you cling to that you cling to what feels like comfort like casmere like making destitute a place of friendship like making loss a sense of coming together like endless bummer like true friends forever like riding a bicycle and all that wind in your hair like how everything coming at you is a welcome’d and perfect calm

we were promised jetpacks

damn. the energy in this is intense. it makes me feel things that I don’t want to feel. like, maybe there’s still some dark fog I left in the back of that drawer I’ve been cleaning out for decades I’m picturing a hallway. my hand forever reaching deeper and deeper it stretches there’s stuff everywhere not just pen caps and rubber bands or folded notes and scratched out poems there’s pictures on the wall there’s memories everywhere I can see them in the distance at first just colors then oozing colors like picture frames barfing dancing singing searching with my desperate digits combing spider man crawling slow and fuck man this album is amazing and fuck man where are you tyler? please come home

I’m a southern bouy

land locked or knot

I took a boat to a cloud

that wound up in the future

I am an expert swimmer

imagine bath

creepy keys

candles and


hold your memories close

we are not the

closed doors



the future is bright

may it cast it’s hidden secrecy in waves across our invisible shadows like deja vu like humidity and song like a fishing line and a guitar in a canoe on a lake at night alone a sea of stars –

we are nothing without who loves us

bend me yr palms

hurry now. my direction. go with the wind. tilt that shit. this way. there are hearts in the fronds. they have secret feathers. the rats tend to them. they are delicate. ear drums like pencils. flowers on the ready. so. hurry now. take yr time. you’ll never believe what happened –

we can turn the tide

we can erase the moon

say when

tree beard

the mammoth and the moth

your heart

is the tree

i felt

when i


met you

my grief yr grief

i get lost in the details

i set sail for ambivalence

i get lost in the details

everyone around you is grieving

black and red and velvet

alcatraz like the ocean

when you woke up

oh, death

you tired tyrant, you sleepy monolith of epic clarity, you heavy heavy air, you and your shelf life, you and your tired old obituaries and your faded paperback detective stories and your make-believe airports and your broken pencils and your unfinished crosswords and your late night secret-coffee-monologue-poems and your evening sketches, you and your serious blanket isolation, you, the owl to my wingspan, you and your secret cauldron promises and your sweet forgiveness, your bliss acceptance, you and your choose-your-own-adventure never-land dreams, and your secret crutch, your hidden misery, your red riding hood shroud and your sunny, perfect days, you and your clear glass fate and your mountains and your lakes and your wind, you and your full laughter and your full tilt exorcism, you and your axe –

oh, sad and heavy news

you unwanted guest, you silent waiter, you and your appropriate attire. you and your clean cut and your deep breath. you and your open krishna mouth and your endless dark matter. you and your forever sunrise and your endless night. you and your sudden whip and your instant forgiveness. you, the long distance traveler to my seasoned response. you the patient mentor to my grief. oh, sad and heavy news, won’t you, for once, join me in a prayer? won’t you help me turn back time? If it’s in your power to disassemble, surely we can turn the tide. surely, we’re magicians, after all –

I do not exist

there’s enough cloud

for the both of us

wild lavender

and purple sage


i still dream about her

white blinds

purple pigeons

her pure black hair

and that howling wind

I don’t mind

being late to the party

I was busy

I wasn’t sure you’d show

I sat on the cliff

I sang “Jane Says” to no one

I started bleeding and I didn’t care

the strings were so thick

the seaweed was everywhere

I waited so long

fire is death

wait for it to pass

this concussion

reminds me of losing you

and who we were then

and how you left

and how it hurt

and how sudden

it still feels

letting you go

is the pure blanket of clarity

that fills my days

touch the ceiling

touch the ceiling

break through it

The second time I committed suicide

I was knee deep in Cormac McCarthy’s All The Pretty Horses.

I recorded nine hours of Pink Floyd onto cassette tapes from a scratchy and faded Colorado station.

Lost in Santa Fe’s ugly summer, its angry cacti.

I quit taking my anti-depressants and bottomed out.

I downed the rest and headed for New Mexico’s endless oasis.

The green belt.

Think empty and rusted cars.

Sun faded porno’s.

Abandoned washing machines.

Suddenly, a dark and moody patch of forever-charcoal clouds shone on.

I found a wallet, with a bullet hole – pierced through.

I found a shady shrub and sat down.

I felt nothing.

And the Nothing was growing inside me.

And I realized I was dying.

Two songs found me then;

“Jesus Don’t Want me for a Sunbeam” and

“Things are Going to Get Easier.”

I remember spilling apple juice all over the place.

Taking off my clothes.

Crawling into bed.

I remember the stomach pump.

My lips were blue.

My hair was brown.

I remember the sunflower fields in Kansas.

Mom and I, on the road again.

And all those Black-Eyed Susan’s.

Winking at me.

i used to be a sunflower

i used to be the moon

i used to be an astronaut

staring down

at you

I want to collect records

like you collect rain

there is a tiny ghost inside me that knows I will die someday

memory and mantra

back and forth

music is memory

back and forth

my friends

died in that fire

there’s a picture of you

inside me


there’s not enough string

bring me

closer to you

love is acceptance

patience is flowers

plant everything

go broke

love is acceptance

patience is everything

plant flowers

slow down

wind and fire

yr hair in the neon sun

we were summertime gloves

kids against the world

reverse echo

the dogs on my block

set off car alarms

the mellow in me

is at war with everything

I have a hat

I do not wear my hat

I can’t stop breathing

it’s like everything inside me

just wants to

get away

I am


many postcards

to you

and who

I was


oh, memory, you sleepy sith

you tired traveler, you distant warrior, you imaginary me, (you turn into dreams, don’t you know?) like a river, I collect and let go of everything you have to offer, we’re cool like that, you and me and our collective un belief, you and I and our collective acceptance, you and I and our shared sun. you the moon to my earth, but, I remember, I do, and there you go again –

how evil the sun

shone so darkly powerful

in it’s brilliant defiance

of my grief

you are

where I’m at

my greatest image of you is

not a picture frame worthy

I am a lone cowboy

I do not have the photos

to prove it

I am an endless drought

of surging inspiration


of all things

music is memory

don’t pick the flowers

let it rain

elevator soul

glimmer and switch

glitter and twitch

wrestle with which

we were night’s welcomed dew

the two

of us


yr strings paint brushes

and you




like you

I’m a nervous castle

like gristle on the grapevine

we were taut and taunt

ween and want


dear spirit/thunder

test me

I will best you

it was a new kind of dark

a poloroid postcard

a cardboard cut-out

neon dusk

in the autumn sun

when I go deaf

won’t you join me

fireball and all

shit and solace

steel mojitos around

we’ll toast the captain

set sail for spain

search for mermaids

herbie, the one eyed pirate shih tzu


survived katrina

but not the anesthesia

perched on the corner of the bed

with the cone of shame on

the last time I saw him


every time I hear a siren

feels like

you’ve been


your breath

ever since

you died

I am faded paper

limestone and yellow’d I am the sun and the strawberry moon and I collect daisies on the daydream walks I take from memory makes me hungry for Spring’s late night butterfly’s and I am nothing paper like steaming coffee or tea or perhaps there is no daydream and it’s always winter makes me fonder for the subtle things like mint and I have to wash my hands again

my new poem is not the song of the river

bloom and cotton

your final burden

exit:  stage left

enter:  curtain

bloom and cotton

your final curtain

exit:  stage left

enter:  burden