The makeshift ashtray one trick pony

poetry, big thoughts, mischief, vanity press

love #10

I watch the clock
like it has a mind
a second opinion on my worst version
to be distracted by your seeing you
after a month,
watching you
cross a street in a shirt
it’s like I saw you smile
for the first time

knowing true
as you stack avocados in between
that mundane —
are my daydreams

what I lack
in consistency,
I stick —

I feel your heart

love #9

when we ascended
I gripped the sides of the metal cart
curled and bowed to all the other rides
my lip along
the slow curve of your nose
swaying our weight
to each turn,
your hand on my hip, just below
sitting cooling off at the window fan
I laid down
your body a magnet

the chains clink
like a favorite rhythm
you raise your hand up
my back, tracing an invisible
up river destination
we interlocked
puzzle pieces, finally making sense
the peace in being one with one

and here at our descent
we peer at unforgiving circles left by the ocean
don’t we forget
how many afternoons in sun
tangled between light green
sheets, just as the rain comes
your embrace, complete

love #8

I was destructive,
you smiled and cupped your hands
around mine,
clenching like you do when you hug someone
–you haven’t seem them in such a long time
a lingering touch
around my right shoulder
blade like a knife
but made of flowers as we lie
staring straight into the sun

I was destructive,
feeling your breath
on my neck every time you laughed
bright and light like a shimmering
lake on a lost detour to a trail you struggle
to make into analogy, its pure fleeting nature
–so good, so simple, so familiar
feeling your tentative touches, even the ones that remained
silent sitting in a room set to laughter

I was destructive,
being lost in your embrace
your whispers into my palm, at a concert feeling
safe –like falling asleep under stars, a small
triangle under sleeping covers
closing our eyes under white fog

I was destructive

love #7

you and I
have come
this far,
that’s what I think

when I sit close
to another man
on the bus, your words an interruption

I don’t want explanations,
or reasons,
or feelings,
I just want

that time on the couch together, barefooted
lounging lizards,
in the evening sun,
wearing bracelets of flowers

you and I
that’s what I think

love #6 (devil’s churn)

Some things he does not know:

that she stops speaking
when she thinks
how you must
like confetti leaves,
like a smile after staying up all night, at work,
like she wrote down your home, so she’d never forget,

like screaming as you bang
your knee straight into pain
on the blunt edge
of a futon you hate,
that she craves
your voice
like buying all the favorite foods,
like the neck after a kiss on the back,
like laughing so hard you choke,

that she stays
in that position, squatting, listening
to the next break, and all
the air it requires,
your figure a landmark
that she moves her kitchen table inches from the fridge, to escape the sun


love #5 (cape perpetua)

there is a room
full of pictures,
paralyzed on soft beach, that tell
a story without
–knowing I have no will
–to write

a lived letter
that opens when needed,
those reassuring words you’d want everyone to whisper
calming like that day
laundered sheets at night where
you rest, relieved
you made it another day

from forest to highway,
distracted by caresses, sweet with seawater
–your face frozen like a bad Roman relief
–I reach for cliffs too high

mine met yours
just a day,
just hours, just
–feeling your stare
–we dream

love #4

in one beat
there must be millions,
millions of lies,
piled there high like construction paper mountains — we painted them
gold and blue,
in the garage behind
rows and rows
of shoes,
in my dreams
I search
this room more than others,
a lie I tell myself
before every good night —

in that beat
there must be millions,
millions of hearts,
made brittle by the changing seasons — bringing beauty in descent
my cheeks warm with early summer
smelling earth cross legged
inhaling, drunk with sun
eager to own
something wild —

in its beat
there must be millions,
millions of wishes,
finally in relief
from negative
to a memento flicked through yard sale crates — arranged saddest to happiest
all the things
we wouldn’t do
a crude movie
on my car’s windshield,
what more to say than yes, and
yes, yes I
on a day
sweet with intentions

love #3 (ofrendas)


I finger
the plush red and white
quilting, touching it to your cheek, brushing your one ponytail complete with yellow birds, the one you picked out all by yourself
because momma
was feeling good
that day —
you didn’t find wrong spaces for wrong intentions, or cut the scallions too slowly, too thickly, like the tangled mess of seaweed left unattended,
you dropped 5 glasses of pure blue
down your shirt
staining a sign of contrition,
waving down grand planes
their wings a freedom
you’d never know


Every time I think of Dad
I think
I should not
unless it is time,
unless it is convenient,
unless it is safe —
in my dreams he
called to say
won’t you spare
an hour
eating with your hands, with me,
just laughing away
the growing spider’s web,
beautiful to the summer’s eye,
floating along light wood


In unwrapping crushed
paper, from the van’s plastic floor
I felt —
the underside
of humid seat cushions and pleas for the next exit
when you screamed
I hate you
after pictures of
the beauty
drawn to evening rituals
garbage hidden
in between linoleum corners,
for next month’s game


We would laugh
hands briefly touching in
the exchange of dinner peas
holding back
shared tears
wrapped in your baby’s blanket
I found
my earth, my weight
feet above water

love #2a

Things left unsaid:

Your fingernails are too long and need a trim. One too many
scratches down there and that’s when I say
that’s too

Love is all these:

Trails of snails
early, too early for warm winds, but still
you sat on a bench, sanded with trusting hands. When we took walks uphill
my face done by spring sun
and wilting chains of daisies
Our fingers pointed twice, as one to stars made small and big, then small again —
incessant fireworks
our unrealized dreams

When to say goodbye:

or so it would seem is the prevailing logic, the prevailing translucent reality
there, you point, there someone took
a right
like you always do
you say
both things can be true,
it makes me angry

love #1

out your window
I saw white on white on white,
rooftop chimneys
a beacon on seas
where our heroine grasps her
saving metal, hands
covered in dead
animal skins

you kissed
the space
where bone meets flesh
gripping my hips,
cut to the song
of knowing your worth

counting your smiles
lit by setting light
escaping the sound
saying all the things
you’re too afraid to give
a home

daring the logic
of gravity and clumsy
sleep too long

with the new moon
hanging like a paper pastry

with two hands
flying out the car door
window, in summer, wherever
our bodies share space