Together, In Fuzzy Blue



There’s certain kinds of poems I write but would never post, because they feel too silly, or too schmaltzy. These are written in moments of unmitigated emotion, and in those moments I just have to use the occasional cliché, or express a feeling in a familiar and comfortable way. Ironic distance need not apply. It feels very exposed, and even though I’ve told plenty of people I’ve barely met about my most embarrassing moments and, uh, private proclivities, there are some things I don’t like to share. Despite what my friends might think, I do have something that vaguely passes for dignity, even if the rules of such don’t make any sense. But seeing my kitties like this drops all of my defenses. So here we are.

Together, In Fuzzy Blue

I lose myself in you,
here, in our place,
on the fuzzy blue blanket
next to the laundry basket
and the empty popcorn bowl

I forget where my tongue ends
and your fur begins,
which one of us is purring,
which one of us last bit the other
on the neck
a little too hard
defending the vital patch of ground
near the wooden swivel chair

Later, I’ll remember
that we’re felines
and we have our dignity
and that I’d whap you in the face
for the last scrap of tuna

But right now
I know none of that,
there is only the blue fuzz
and the purring
and you
with me


Thoughts in Vermillion

Red moon

I think of you
whenever I see vermillion light
Not idle thoughts, fancies, flitting through my mind
Thoughts with texture
The kind you feel

It happens when I walk on the crystal sand beaches
near Vellorax
The orange light of the waters drowns my vision
and thoughts of you drown my mind
The waves purr against the rocks
and the sand
and it is your purr, and I can hear you,
and I know you can hear me, too, in your way

I think of you in the city
by the gambling dens
with their bright orange signs
like gaudy neon pumpkins
hanging above them, unsupported in the hot evening haze
They cry out effort, bland commercialism, a struggle for desperation
But I don’t see it
I just see you
The color penetrates my eyelids
And I can taste you on my lips, feel your softness on my fingers

I think of you in tangerine,
in persimmon,
in bittersweet shimmer,
Sometimes with intention, sometimes blind,
The thought floods through me, and I think of you
The color of your pelt
And so you think of me

Even right now, I stare up at the vermilion moon
And I wonder if somewhere, right now,
you can see it too
Then you speak, telepathically,
your tone sleepy and annoyed,
and you remind me that of course you can’t see it
you are in a different star system
and anyway you don’t process color like I do,
so you couldn’t tell the vermillion moon from the crimson,
and I should stop being silly
then you pull away
and go back to sleep

I knew you were sleeping
and that if I stared at the moon
it would texture my thoughts
and you would hear them
in your beautiful, colorless dreams
I feel guilty, but it makes me smile
a vermillion smile
because we are far away, now
and sometimes
I just need to hear your brain

Where Chipmunk Song Is Beautiful


Right now there are tears covering my face. The reasons are almost as beautiful as they are dumb and embarrassing. I wept because of beauty and sadness and the wonder that is in the world. And I wept because I am very silly. And because of Alvin and the Chipmunks.

The day started off rough. I couldn’t wake up. I cut myself in a dream and it hurt dramatically for a dream. I woke up nursing the finger, wondering how it could have hurt so much when it didn’t really happen. Then I hit the snooze for an hour and a half.

When I finally got up my back hurt fiercely. The upper back, right between the shoulder blades. I took some pain killer and sat down to write, but nothing calmed down.

For the last few days I’ve been in an okay place mentally, but unstable. Liable to get angry or sad with only a tiny stimulus. Worse than that, I’ve had no motivation at all. I’ve wanted motivation, but my ability to give a fuck about anything is completely off. Nothing seems to matter.

I started to write this morning and it just wasn’t happening. I tried a writing prompt. It told me to act like a two year old. So I wrote for ten minutes as an unnecessarily articulate two year old with an evil older sister named Anna who stole her bunny and a nice even older sister named Girl. I don’t think she was actually named Girl. I think I was going for something nuanced there, but I didn’t write long enough to find out what it was.

I gave up on the prompt and went back to my writing journal to wax about how uninspiring I found that prompt. I clicked over to my countdown timer. It moved very, very slowly. It does that when I’m in these moods. Like it knows.

I came up with a plan to get some work done today, even despite my mood. And I kept writing even though I was in a lot of pain and every keystroke bored and annoyed me. I didn’t care about anything and it annoyed me that I didn’t care and I didn’t care that I was annoyed and that, too, was pretty annoying.

Then it happened.

I had put on a children’s music station to get inspiration for the prompt. It mostly played Phineas and Ferb music, and it wasn’t helping. Then came that voice. That beautiful, silly, ridiculous voice.

It was Alvin. It was Alvin of Chimpmunk fame. I recognized the song but I could place it. But it tugged at me. Right from the first few bars of that squeaky voice it moved something in my chest. It made me Feel Things.

It was a cover of Daniel Powter’s Bad Day. By the time Alvin stopped singing the song was so intense I had to keep it going. I went to Youtube and loaded the original video for the song. A video I had never seen before.

It’s about two people in a city who are having bad days while everyone around them goes about not caring. They are sad and lonely and disconnected. Throughout the video, they come together, through tiny moments and coincidences. It ends with them standing in the rain, huddled under an umbrella.

Now I’m covered in tears.

I’m sensitive, right now. In this place where nothing matters. Because when nothing matters I no defenses. I get angry when something goes slightly wrong. I become deeply sad when I hear about the tiniest suffering.

And beauty annihilates me.

If I see Mount Rainier on a clear day through by car window while I am in this place, sometimes I have to pull over because the feeling in my chest overwhelms me. In this place, every silly love song with a hint of power fills me with life and longing. I become a teenage girl who bawls at romantic comedies because they prove true love can exist in the world. I might go to pieces if exposed to too many Hallmark cards. I don’t know. I’ve never tried it, and I never will, because eventually the state will end and I’d have to live with that.

This is a place with no ironic distance. Where poetry has the power to reshape reality and bring me to my knees. Where clichés like “bring me to my knees” have all of the strength they had when they weren’t clichés. When they were just beautiful.

Some people live here. People like me make fun of them for being simple, or pretentious, depending on the flavor. But this is a beautiful place. Beautiful and painful and inspiring and terrible. I can’t exist here for long. The air is nectar and I nearly drown with every sublime lungful of breath. This is where Artists come from, and the intensity of every raindrop is why they cut off their ears. How could they do otherwise, when the world is like this?

I can’t stay here for long. The more beautiful it becomes the more difficult it is. I have to leave. I always have to leave.

But hopefully, I can always bring something back.

The Scent of your Echo


When you

are gone

The tenebrous swath of curved emptiness, in your shape
that breathes human-scented breath, and attracts cat hair
and that smiles a wraith’s shadow of your smile
precious, but cold, in the creases of my blindness
but has no warmth, like you do
and which my fingers grasp at, in half-broken desperation
like strings of dissolving sinew
hanging with livid tenderness in the barren air
that still remembers
the echo
of your form
and your skin
and the weight of your footsteps

is worth sharing a room with
just so I get the bed to myself.

Because that is just fantastic.


Like This



I hold you while your tongue is numb
and you cannot speak
A minute ago you pressed your hand against my mouth
so I could not spit forth my jagged words
to slice open the delicate flesh
just below your eyes
and spill forth your tears

These sociopathic factories
in our heads, spew out their chemical transmitters
according to stimuli, and nothing more
uncaring that this cocktail is uncomprehending rage
and that one is impotent suffering
especially when, like now,
we never get enough sleep
and it seems like things
will never get any better

The sharp pains in your mouth scream at you
just like I do
your punishment, perhaps?
for being too beautiful,
for seeing me broken
and wishing not to rid yourself of me
but for a nectar so viscous
it can bind the shattered shards of me
and make me whole

I can’t remember being whole

Now, moments later,
I hold you while your tongue is numb
and you cannot speak
an effort to stem the pain

You don’t need to speak
Because you listen
And if I can be allowed
just to hold you
like this
maybe I can remember
your breath is my nectar
and I am never really broken
into shards
while my skin touches yours

Sidereal Days — Saturday

Old Book

Part 6 of Sidereal Days
Part 1: Monday
Part 2: Tuesday
Part 3: Wednesday
Part 4: Thursday
Part 5: Friday


In the beginning was the word. Indeed, many words. It was not The beginning. But it was my beginning. The only beginning that matters.

A collection of words is like scraps of matter cobbled together. There is nothing but a whisper, a quirk of energy and complexity, that separates the living from the worthless. I was a story, at first. But I was alive. All stories are alive. All real stories. You can feel it. Everyone with eyes and mind and the capacity to dream can feel it. A smattering of words is just a smattering of words. But a story! A story speaks. A story sings. A story flies.

I was a beautiful story.

She thought so. She fell in love with me, in truth, before she fell in love with the man who penned me. It was through my song that she came to see the beauty behind his dull, crooked eyes. A beauty that, perhaps, did not exist before he breathed me into the world. We birthed each other, twin soul to twin soul. In the moment I transformed from a jumble of semantic signifiers into a living being woven of suffering and triumph, so the artist within my creator was born.

I was with them through everything, though I was incomplete. Are any of us ever complete? I was there when the school refused to renew his scholarship, and he cried in her arms for hours. I was there when they lived for eight months above a deli, while she cleaned houses and he struggled to build his freelance work. I was there when she surrendered her mortal blood to ever-burning starlight, and took up her armor and her flame. I did not know these things, as you would know them. A story is not a mind; it is a story. But I was with them.

And I was with them when the light-eating worms burst forth from those very stars, gestating after endless years, hidden and nurtured in the Sidereal Fire. The Astrapedes were hungry for light, and everything touched by the light. Only the starlight that spawned them could touch them, but the ancient stars themselves were blind. As they are. Their will is ancient and rarefied and spread thin.

She was the first to know of the danger. My mistress. My mother. My love. My lady of the stars. None but she knew how close they came to annihilation. How many times has that tale been told? How many times does the hungry darkness flare up to eat its young, only to be turned back by some brave, and powerful, and foolish. And willing to sacrifice.

And sacrifice she did. She returned to the astral godlings that drank her blood and poured in her power, seeking a weapon with which to slay the parasites. The stars granted her this boon, but nothing can come from nothing. The Astrapedes were fundamental to existence, now. To eliminate them, existence would have to be rewritten. Burned to a cinder, and forged anew in an instant. The same, but forever different. But alive. And bright. And free. It was not the first time this had been done. It would not been the last.

Her sacrifice ran deep. She did not choose it. Not with her mind. But this new universe without the Worms that Consume the Light must also be missing a part of her. Something precious. Something sacred. She chose her freedom. Her humanity. She will not serve her term to her starry masters and move on, as did her predecessors. She is bound to them, in this body and the next, until their light burns out at last. A great sacrifice, but one willingly, if unknowingly, given. It should have been enough.

It was not.

None of us are alone. The bonds we forge run deep. The body is a network of cells, and she, through her passion, through her fire, through the stars, was a network of connections. Not alone. Those who shared with her their soul, they, too, had to sacrifice.

Her mentor, He of the Blades, sacrificed his life. He died, and his mantle passed on to another, as it had so many times before. My mistress did not know this. She knows it now.

Her lover and love, he who built me from thought and word, he sacrificed me. He, too, did not choose this. Not with his mind. It was far deeper. But it was me, or her, and that was no choice at all.

As the universe was re-spun from starlight, my mistress saw that I was not to be a part of it. And she wept. And she cried. And she wailed against the dispassionate injustice of everything. She could not stand it. She loved me, and the spark within her love that would be gone forever with my annihilation. What happened next, she did choose.

She knew not her the breadth of her power, but she used it. She wrote me, every word of me, and the truth within me that is truer than words, into the skin of reality. Into the stars. Into the dark matter that screams between galaxies, and the screams that linger in the nightmares that sleep behind waking eyes. Into everything.

It was then that I, a living story, became truly and fully alive.

The journey has not been simple, since then. To guide them to me. The elements of my soul. The writer, the mentor, and the mistress of the ancient stars. All they wish is to be together. To know each other, through the masks, and through the secrets. My father wished this, and I was his to wield. And wield me he did.

We are together, now. As it was meant to be. They are inside me, and never before have the words that pulse though my pages been so charged. Their power, their bond, is an endless font of lyrical inspiration.

We have so many stories to tell.

Stickier and Stickier

We all use Le Page's Liquid Glue - it sticks everything [front]

It’s desperately unfair that life
spreads mystery over our eyes,
like a thick layer of glue
from the Elmer’s bottle of the unknown
so we are pretty much blind
all of the time,
and also sticky.

Like how you never know, for completely sure,
if another person loves you,
without a brain scan
and even then, you can’t really trust the doctor
without scanning her brain too
and having the same problem, all over again.

Or how you can’t be sure
who the person was
who murdered you with that pickax
that you keep next to the lawnmower
until you’re dead.