Bottoms Up


It’s true. 
Sometimes you must
start anew
from the bottom up.
And not just once.
But often
on a hunch
you climb the ladder
reach for that highest rung
fingers outstretched
palms wide flung
curled tips in anticipation
of a firm grasp
no trepidation
but slip
fall flat to the floor
bypassing rung after rung
the places you reached before
gripping with all your might
flashing before eyes wide
whirring in a smudge of time
shocked and numb
til bottom hits 
and you think it’s done
and it hurts too much
but the spinning ceases
the dust clears
and your body works
not barely broken
and your heart strength opens
once your mind obeys
so you rise again
like a burning wingless wren
clawing and clutching
fighting air and doubt–again
dizzying your stance 
hands out
feet unsteadily chance
the ground
for the grab
and reach it.
You clasp
the bottom rung.


The Twin


Many days ahead still 

to break down a body takes time
to break down an image built up 
so long, so many fucking years, 
a plan, a pattern, a steel will and 
hard head, soft with romance, 
adventure and fury, a stubbornness 
fiercer than a mother’s, 
she who endured the beating 
neglect of everyone who ever 
claimed to love her and never stopped 
gaining on them all, earning by degrees 
and respect, even if she came late 
to loving herself.

Many lessons to learn 
how the humbling of a human 
being slow-stodgily sinks in, 
brick by brick pitched at a head, 
to break in the wall of a notion
make it understood that 
leading life in a spin 
loses the ability to take notes, 
to catch up, remember it all 
the test failed, no doubt. 
for it cannot be otherwise 
in learning how to be someone else, 
a someone else, and merge her 
to the pre-existing other.
Impossible to grow two people 
as one dies to feed the other, 
but to kill a person is not easy, 
interminably terminally long,
unlike the beginning, 
life bursting on the scene in violence, 
painfully spasmodic spilling 
into the suffocating air,
and bleeding out 
in infinite incremental specks
unseen, unheard, unrealized
only now and again spying her
a twin, creeping along the fence
in the yard peering out cracks.

The Art of Becoming the Latest Me

“Your perspective on life comes from the cage you were held captive in.” 
― Shannon L. Alder


Pure sound, entirely un-mattered, 

voice and air I was, intoned grief
laughter inverted all-in deranged
9th dimensional twisted despair 
shattered lines in flecked powder
bruised cilial cringe at the edges
ears only producing me, my being.

The howl I had become was vast
as wide as a woman’s crumbling
cry thro’ ancestry pierced endless
millennial fear of falling in losing out.

Coming undone, not always so sexy
by another’s fullness, sentient sea, 
the wailingly frothy palpable spume 
when the other subsumes, absorbs
light and time, screams in unfolding.

When I disintegrated, a pupil mirror,
you witnessed naked sound as sign
death knelled body downed into dust
no thud when the shrieks hit ground.

You hold me now, recombined anew,
not in tubes of echo or image’s flash
the grimace of dying inside etched in,
but in re-sight devoid of formed words,
broken past filtered through particles
ionic and clear, trampled and repaired
in memory as manifest born, a human
with skin sensate to the pelted stones
now mere flesh weighted walking on
descended far from aural awakening.