The makeshift ashtray one trick pony

poetry, big thoughts, mischief, vanity press

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



i hate
that feeling
like a tired bum putting his hands out in earnest need,
i hate
that need
like our make up kisses, too early for morning and too late for night, your hushed desire
we love
like how much i run away, finding your head in between my hips, considering your hair in my hands. Your words in my ear, creating vibrations of this future life. You told me
we depend
on the same sloping angles. Baby, you got me. I’m done my beer. I’ve told you all
the stories
of my dream, your feverish what ifs, asking you for resolution. I like to sit across from you, fighting my demons, those persistent prisons. They seduce. They comfort. They tell you you’re not right.
i see
your smiles in every pocket of my day. what is real, what is fantasy, what is bottom, and what is up. i build
with hands the same size, stained with lead letters, I always want you.

still your money

What does it mean
when missing
your true love
all askew
from the very idea,
what does it mean

to feel the cold
metallic thread,
a net, patterned
by sleep

When you know
all those sorries
added up to no sorrow,
the kind carried
with lost limbs
notes written in earnest —
true, what is another measure

Where life refuses
to emerge,

How I gave
up, shampooing away as
gently, the ring I tossed
to eager hands
I still dream

of answering

for my three

It’s not about the father
it’s not about wanting your desires
fulfilled by your father
it’s not about him
it’s not about longing
for him
it’s not about his needs

It’s about yours, the female
child, a day away from birth
about forgiveness
about freeing yourself from
the hook

they all say
it’s about the woman’s
failure to birth
and sustain that dream
the father’s dream,
the father’s ascension

I destroy my heart
every awakening
losing the weight
between cries to friends
across states

and yet there remains

for all the cooks I fell in love with

it’s 2 am
the soy pots are washed
dried wheat
like polished rice
at what rate
does the heart beat

you smile at each other
in your own secret
ways, edged against a ceiling
to ceiling
green ladder
I knew slow

motion in turns
that’s how we know how much
to sell
called out advances

your sunburnt,
blushing cheeks.

for courtney

I imagine us small
holding hands
eye to eye
finger to finger
afternoon sunshine

pours through crevices
the tips of our hair touching

the summer I
drew through the rain
on a creaky deck
singing songs
that weren’t mine

I watched an airplane
lights against grey blue sky
we both hate the 4th,
who wouldn’t

if they knew
how to wear
their souls
on their skin

our ancestral
lines laughing at the
front door,
we met

the long meal

I arrange things
on my kitchen table, that’s
also¬†a desk, that’s also
a set down of groceries, that’s
also the space
between love and hatred,

like cousins you hear
loudly enough for empty seats

truly, I found no path
on your map of big goodbyes

hit by opening umbrellas
striped by shade and sun

I said
let me go
let me rest
let me pause

beneath that tree with the broad bottom
you return,
tracing your new skin
meeting lips so full of words

your small touch in a pink room
the red waffling of your shirt,
catching bad jokes just to talk
we talked all night

to remember in sight
to live in horizons
to die in their shadows

creating today