everyone around you is greiving

Category: 2019: open poems

(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.