Saturday, December 11, 2010

Speed Reading

And I'm stuck at this wall
making nothing at all
waiting out this is a cattle call
but I'm doing it
scream as loud as I can
-you're such a sensitive man,
tall, gloried egoless span
when you're screwing me-
Can I pull this apart
without destroying a heart
was I wrong from the start
when I asked that we

Hold on
hold down
the nausea that threatens to over take (it)
Hold on
hold down
and I don't know how much more I can take (of it)

We dance when we walk
and we sing we don't talk
our avoidances stalk
each other out till we
let the dawn wakes
from our glor'ous mistakes
and our tiny earthquakes
of denial and doubt
Gonna tear out my lungs
we're out of ladder rungs
and you're speaking in tongues
and I think that we'll

Hold on
hold down
the nausea that threatens to over take (it)
Hold on
hold down
and I don't know how much more I can take (of it).

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I am nobody.

I walk the hall of many places
the streets of blooming and barren cities
and the molding of rooms full and empty
is my footpath.
These are not new haunts, or lurks, for me;
I have sat in the shadows of giants,
nursed at the teet of revolutions,
And spoken into the ear of power there
from my beige on beige perches and portals.
Those who possess kind words leave only
sheer slugs trails of personal expression and experience
My near invisibility intact when I, seated, am near
when the exchange of profession and proclamations
of projects produced are rung out.
My history, footprints, leave no trace there
and there is no reminders as to where I have tread.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

BMI- Or...

Or how your Denial of another girl's weight because she looks thinner proves my point.

The other day, I showed you a slide show
that I had seen.
It was of men and women- and
for humor's sake, a cat-
and listed their BMIs, along with their Heights
and Weights- or should I say, the components that
are used to calculate BMI.

To my horror, you agreed every time
a beautiful young woman
Until we reached her, a short young lady
with largish breasts and a bright label of OBESE
above her photo.

"She's OBESE? No she isn't, where are you
getting this???" you say.
I point to where her height (5'3") and
Weight (170lbs) is listed.
"That must be an old photo of her, there is no way that
she could possibly weight 170lbs!" and your denial of this
reality is a lead sinker to me.

"This," I explain, "is a photo project in which
people wer asked to submit
a photo of themselves and height and
weight at the time the
photo was taken. The point is that BMI is flawed.
That it has no conistent baring on the health of the subjects
and numbers don't predict a person"

You sputter then, and start to say that there
must be some reason why
the standard is still used- some proper data
must be recorded and consistent.
It takes me a long time to get you to understand that
BMI is a formula that is determined after recording Height and Weight
and that there is no reason

For this standard to keep on other than label someone's
fitness, for which purpose
it is useless- the point of this whole ordeal of
showing it to you.
This is after ramblings about measurements of necks waists
and heads- none of which are considered when little girls are given
a BMI in elementary school.

Little girls, just starting to mature, in a nurse's office with
a handful of other little girls
being measured and weighed on the mantis like scales
that always occupy that space.
As they step off the scales, and the school nurse tells her to put
her shoes back on as she calculates and then "publically" declares her
"Overweight" or even "Obese"

Maybe this isn't true anymore- I hope not, this public shaming of our
bodies just as they begin
to change and grow in ways we are trying to understand. I hope that
even if she is labeled "normal"
(which usage of the word is inaccurate) my niece is never made to
be given a label in the same small crowded spaces where I was shamed with
my body- height and weight.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


It is confusing when you say it-
Every time I hear it, I think
that maybe I do not understand the word
because it is not my experience of
how things rush out.

"1 divided into words or syllables meaningfully arranged"
I struggle to arrange these words
with only a "book" knowing of how they might mean
never knowing truly the meaning it is
arranging itself for you.

"2 Able to Speak" Sometimes or maybe even
More often than I say, My thoughts
will not come into words, leaving me silently
wanting, tongue still yet wanting to
articulate out the within.

"3 expressing oneself readily, clearly, or effectively"
The words are sought for bitterly,
struggled with, and always- always- found lacking
in the ability of that first charge of
"expressing oneself"

Often these words are unwilling, jumbled, and ineffective to
the ideas that drive them;
my voice does not air readily the frustrations
laying between my thoughts and tongue
so you:

Fail to see the desperation of grasping for my words
Failing to factor in affect
inconsistently portrayed, and routinely unprojected are
an accuracy of the emotion within, displaced
from line of sight.

That you do not hear my struggles does not mean they don't
That I fail to emote them does not
end them. Just because you see meaning and effectiveness
does not mean that it is always as my
Intended pattern.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

To Inspiration


I allow myself to wither
My passions separated out from
the lyrical
The core of thought desiccated
in prose
While I try to ferment these thoughts
into words.

From time to time the dam breaks open
and my need for poetry to
out my thoughts, unable to
my scratch work in my head
any longer
to describe.

In this way the disparate parts of me
I segregate the elements that make me
my passion
from my thoughts, and so I dwell in the
facts and figures
moving out my emotions through a
vent hole
in private.


There is a time that a story can move
words without sound
dance more powerful without music
ecstatic exhalations of
power, emotion and thought in one
gigantic swoop of expression.

My own words trembled and failed to pass out
the encompassing effects.
But though my speech doesn't move
my thoughts do, my soul does
and, guided forward by the winds of fellows
already moving, I move too.


In 1969 (no jokes just now please)
Feminist Theorist Carol Hanisch declared
"The personal is Political"
A response to the idea that when a group
of people suffering under
oppression come together to discuss their
oppression, it is "Just group therapy."

Throughout the ages (maybe longer than we've been homo sapiens sapiens)
art has been a method of non-verbal declaration
Expression of our interior into the exterior world.
To dare to speak the unspeakable,
Expressing in words-
or without them- that which might,
in fullness, not lend itself to language alone.

We are taught (Or is it demanded?)
that our desperation is private, our personal
a secret to be shared in dimly- or fluorescently- lit rooms.
Our pain is somehow ours alone,
to separate experience
from the cause and conditions that
create and foster the framework upon which we are suspended.

Instead, someday (soon?)
can we not take our experience and, raw as art,
push out our collective ill-conceived self-loathing
acknowledging our unified-
and diverse-
experience, as people whose lives
before "without" defined, bloom from within identified out.

Dedicated to the performers of Sins Invalid- who inspire me not only to take my personal into public/political, but to take my experience- my "art"- there as well.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Analogy>Simile>Metaphor and Me

I. Analogy

Experience : is to

I put my hand down
into a vat of wine that was fermenting
and felt the foam that was bubbling
As the glucose broke down into
ethanol, and CO2 bubbled up
past the layer of sludgy
grape rinds.

:: as Emotion : is to

I read articles
constructed by "professionals", families
supposed allies in my life, that then make
Emotions active, rising my blood pressure
and the heat slowly releasing
from my skin
in waves, stomach acids

II. Simile

My emotions then rise within me
CO2 from fermenting glucose;
my skin and thoughts release
the exothermic reaction of fermentation;
My physiological markers of distress feel
the bubbling yeast felt on my hands.

III. Metaphor

My rage and indignation
ferments as I read the words my
oft called
(by others)
allies have written
about, for, in lieu of me.

I release out my CO2 exhalations
In effort to respond to those who would
speak "for"
(how can they?)
me and mine
the heat, passion, held in frothing.

Bubbling up within me, I try to
translate out this emotion and find my
words lacking
(can words ever?)
to express the
emotion, sensation, feeling of you

and your presumptions of how far I can take this.


If you would like more info on what fermentation is/does/means in wine making, try this article at everyday Chemistry.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Allied, Unallied, Re-Ally.

Allied forces grey and green and flying
Technicolor on the television
our memorabilia reflecting
that our father's father's (father's)
alliance was not based on the same
wants needs expectations
of our allies...

And today I sit in a sea wider
Broader than the Atlantic that frothed
at Nomandy when my "grandfather"
the beaches soon to be wet with
a fluid that is NOT ocean
contemplate wonder self-doubt
me as ally...

My ancestral family rose up out of
Normandy and conquered and pillaged
presumed dominance
over those whose father's fathers were kings
In the name of our own prides
to subjugate the pride of a culture still rebuilding from
the last invasion...

I have to ask myself if their blood runs
too hot within my veins? Does it
my heart beats, my ancestral privilege?
Does conquest or obliviousness run in the
double helix of my fathers and again
in me...?

As my Grandfather's brothers walked into
a camp teeming with death unpredicted-
did they feel the foot of their soul sink
into the quicksand of realization?
Or did they allow pride to restablize
them as heros....?

When we cast our roles as heros
denying how we conquest or ally without
how is that any different than the ignorance
we declare ourselves fighting to conquer?
Good things do sometimes come from our ignorances-
but should they?

Poetry and the vision of thought

I pour out these words
to describe the state of being
in my head
before I can make them form
the language that you all are speaking
Hours Days weeks at a time they build up
till over washing into this flood plain
of poetry
before fermenting, bubbling, then
coalescing into words that make sense
or seem to

Until I realize I've misunderstood your language again.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


The arch curling round
bracing around what is surely
those absences society sees in us
the lack- they say lack
lack, a word with so much of saying
that there is something that
should must be there
but isn't-
of eyes touching
easy embrace
the societally explained expectations
that lead only to disappointment
when pursued-
in my experience at least.

Instead there is that space
of each of us being our own
and yet united
continued, flowing, unlimited
by the bonds of societal affection.
our skills and wants and needs
uniquely ours and yet
a part and parcel of the drive
or desire of one whole.

United only by
the touching of our feet.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

In a full room
I sit by your side
till you set your hands on
my shoulders, and I relax
and indulge in the pressure of
your arms pulling me back against you

Leaned back without fear
and there was a feeling
unidentified till morn
of comfort, or pleasure, of you
giving in to the presence of me.

the averse to you
and me, we had not yet
embraced those sensations which
cause our agitation to cease,
In the presence of one another.

Silk-I felt it then
Against my back, my cheek,
my distress melting into
Nothing- comfort, the feeling here
of peace with who we are, you and I.

But I'll let this stand
- This is just a dream.

Monday, March 29, 2010

I know my place

I worry if I don't try to drive
even if it means I crash and burn
I will be leaving the embers to burn
to ashes all that remains in this shell

an egg that upon cracking will
float off on a breeze.

Chicks are given beaks so that
they can crack their own shells
from the inside OUT into the world
A self determination that allows

the pheonix to blossom up again stronger
after one more self destruction.

If I do not crash (crack) myself
how can the flare of light come
as I push my beak out of my shell
to take in life anew?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Ode to Pittsburgh

I think Pittsburgh is beautiful.
I see in it a visualization of the struggle
of man versus nature and nature versus man
the urban decay at odds with
a more natural entropy
The steel and concrete
rusting and crumbling in the grips of a natural world
that wants to take it back.
In the little nooks and valleys
the abandoned children of industrialization sit
the aged metal as red now as the bricks
of the homes that once housed their blood
and now house the ferocity of LIFE
once abandoned, thriving
under even the least hospitable eaves.

I would say that this is a morbid love song.
but instead of the talk of death in life
and life in death
between two lovers as emotionally entwined
as the rust and root of this city
as the living things flourish unexpectedly
in the ruins of our pasts.
In the crevasses are hidden awaY
the skeletons of our (industrial) revolutions
safely out of mind of the eye of progress.
The victorian edwardian Industr-ian fingers
twisting through the trees that were once shaved
bald from the hills,
when the dirty coal chimnies smoked and raked the sky.

Traces of the old liveliness-
The culture and BREATH of our ancestors-
in the crawling brickwork and tiling
and the decaying steps
that once guided our fathers weary feet back home.
Our shared history, sometimes ignored or forgotten
by the very life that thrives
in it's place.

Maybe you need a special appreciation
for decay- but also an equal passion
for life- to hear the adoration in my voice.
For in every begining
every striving and thriving
there is the traces of our endings
of the sweat and tears
and blood shed on the tracks
of our ever onward progression.
And in every building overtaken
by weeds and youths
the windows shattered or the bricks decayed
is the stimulous for growth
in the same forces we decry today
as destruction, but
will laud tomorrow as our salvation.

When I fell in love with Pittsburgh
it wasn't for the shining lights
or the memories of being held there
so joyous I dared not breathe-
It was that in every corner
I could not help but see
arriving from under our cracks.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

There are no words to describe this driving light
as each moment of study and contemplation
bares more of my soul-

do not tell me because of my birth I am less filled with this light
That I do not know my own soul
or that my devotion is less.

What but devotion can lift my soul in song
in buzzing and passion and change
with each learning?

When the words of my soul flow out my mouth,
they flow with as true a force as any other's devotion
and set to flare the spark within me.

Why then is there doubt as to the motivations of my heart?
Can they not see the glowing of joy that radiates from my soul
As I sing beside them?

Or is it, perhaps, that my mother's path was not the same as my own
that the blood of her womb did not spark this light
through so rich a heritage?

When I sing with this tongue the words of my soul, do not doubt them;
When I speak, do not assume I speak them lightly;
When I dance, do not assume superficiality;

When I ask, do not wait until you too see my soul glowing
before you weigh my ferver as more than a feather's press;
I assure you, you wil see it shortly.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Tighter strung than a cat gut violin
high wire short cuts
undercutting the over extensions of my
over trouble waters