Thank you to Impossible Archetype for publishing my poem, splitting in their latest issue.

Recently, I have been writing one sentence a day (often more) toward, into, from behind, from within my body. It is a way through.

When we are taught how to read, we begin with simplicity. The vocabulary of others. Oftentimes, the language of us, our innards, our guts are overshadowed and forgotten.

I am reaching toward the alphabetics of my innards. It is painful. It is queer. It is changing my mind about things. It is political. It is overdramatic and gutsy. It fidgets and fondles. But it is time.



Waiting Room

Aren’t bodies like road trips? Rotating needs from fuel to rest to wonder and even occasional souvenir purchases. The scars on my body are just that—souvenirs—from all the shapes I have been and the ones I needed to adjust. And the ones I gave away. And the ones collecting dust. And the shapes I have yet to give a name to.

how skinny is your swim…

dipping skinny         
          venus spotlight
 two billion ways to
         locate stars
limbs fly through water
        : propellers of flesh strokes
        singed from mosquito wings
soft water dried from ember
         flight of bonfire spirit animals
moon light too shy
         to compete with planets
but if it were to slide
         into view
its gleam would stop
          on breasts, milky drips
terrible swimmers, but 
nipples like hooks digging in
         to tread the rest along


Sometimes we are meant to meet someone that exists in our lives for one night. And in this particular night, we learn that when they dance, their hips reveal the newness of their bend.

We learn that eye contact can be far more intimate than kissing or exchange of phone number.

We may learn that it is far easier to describe the ways in which gender can be experimented with for someone who never knew you before.

We also may learn that there is so much to be studied in a gesture of accidental brush of flesh against wrist.

We may also gather that tattoos can become a way in which one learns your skin’s habits.

We may also collect insight in the ways in which vocabulary is shared, thrust as a device for understanding the awkwardness of strangers.

Sometimes it isn’t necessary to exchange too many syllables or surname.

Sometimes postulating about what all this means is just a means to take away from a moment. Sometimes moments are just that: temporary.

Sometimes poets can be described as analysts or social workers winding their way toward the innards of an understanding.



Once upon a time there that was that time you fell in love on a makeshift dance floor with mix tape prepared by fiction writers and you kept this to yourself. Then, you called yourself a dormant drug addict. Next, you compared the ritual of coffee drinking to cocaine. After that, you called your knees weak for hammocks and hip hop. Finally, you titled yourself a hippie because of your lackluster bank account and lean toward bartering. And when the evening called itself over, you walked away with empty pockets, a dry mouth and a need to walk off the burn of a human like a summer sunset.


“helmet hair is very beautiful”

It is a Monday evening and the air feels far more chilled than it did a few hours earlier. I am biking from one part of Brooklyn to another toward home. Lately, my rides are filled with songs, not from stuffed-up ears playing pre-recorded tunes, but from my mouth. Sometimes I make up songs or start poems, as I glide down streets and turn corners.

Heleanore, my rusty bike, houses the weight of my body and due to its constantly stubborn lack of gear shifting, I often find myself moving slower. My speed– or lack there of– has been a cause of slight shyness when others want to ride along with me. Oftentimes, I am left behind, which is fine by me. Like dancing, I prefer to ride alone.

Here I am, with broken bike seat beneath my seat, with invisible moon haunting me lovingly behind clouds when suddenly:

“Hey, can I tell you something?” says bike rider rolling beside me in bike lane, with flashing lights in front and back, wearing spandex and helmet and sly smile.

Uh, yeah. Sure, I say with deep reluctance.

“Helmet hair is very beautiful.” Anonymous bike guy then proceeds to speed along past me, before I could respond.


Here is the thing: No, I was not wearing a helmet and although this is not required by law, I recognize that I am putting my safety at risk. Biking in New York City is a completely different experience from other places I’ve rolled over. There are bike lanes; however, cars often forget their manners in these parts.

I didn’t mind the reminder to be safe– even from a stranger. What I did mind was attributing my lack of helmet wearing to some sort of beauty regimen. I immediately thought: if I were male, would he have still approached me in this way with this particularly gendered language?

Twenty minutes later, I arrived home safely. Chained Heleanore to post near my apartment and walked up the stoop to my home. Thought about helmets and all the other ways in which I put my safety at risk. I thought about all the reasons one should protect themselves from falls and that time the concrete hit me in a way that loosened my teeth and forced nine stitches in my skin. I was not on a bike (therefore a helmet may have been awkward) but we are often reminded of the impermanence of our bodies in times such as these.

For the record, I am not worried about aforementioned helmet hair, nor am I particularly bothered about beauty or lack there of in me.

I am, however, interested in remaining in tact (now) for as long as I can.

pay attention.

Eventually you can’t help but figure out that, while gender is a construct, so is a traffic light, and if you ignore either of them, you get hit by cars. Which, also, are constructs.”― Imogen BinnieNevada

Your limbs have become flesh-covered ticker tape messages telling others around you how you want to be r(e)ad. You’ve stretched out your politics to wrap around you like binding, but in a different way, and when others call you miss or lady, you wonder if you could find a word that can detach from the feminine/masculine trope. You search for a human to love who houses various genders in their body; you wonder if someone were to dismember the scaffolding of your bones, what conjugation would dominate. Maybe you are looking to get hit. You test the concrete with your scuffed-up boots and as traffic drives by, you tease windshields and rotating wheels with your blur.


Dear Freud,

My habit is to feel everything. Can you analyze my constant need to walk out of windows and relationships. It may be difficult to find peace within the nudity of my gender. I’ve always sat up and I fumble with how to digest knees without suffocating blood stream. Intake. Sometimes I still think of that other Jennifer who I fell in love with, hidden behind so many scratches, she looked like a first draft college essay but she was beautiful but she is. And that mid-week wandering in New Jersey forest where we searched for drugs within the leaves of native trees but all we found was more oxygen. Some people purchase air because there is so much distrust in what we cannot see. Freud, before I can properly make love, I must sound out their bookshelf. I can be called upon to alphabetize and partition. Sometimes I still question my sexuality and then. Friday evenings, we decide if glass must be separate from reprocessed plastic. Freud, law states that we must cover up what rises and fumes on our bodies; yet, garbage must be placed against curbside in see-through bag. What are we emphasizing. Where do you hide your shame {behind zipper}. Would you prefer silence slept against the small of your back or a [red] woman. When was the last time you truly meant it.

But this music. This music has limbs that can hold me into morning.

So hold me into mourning/ hold me into mourning/ So hold me/ So into/ hold mourning/ So hold/ to mourning/ me in[to] mourning/ So me (in)to / mourning …

how to remain amidst the push.

In these parts, you may notice the aggressiveness of air quality. Those are a particular type of peanut roasting in the aroma of buttered honey. That is halal and those spices will dig their way into your belly and cause you to swoon for blocks. That is urine. This is cologne-covered-man and that is a gust of taxi pollution. What do you call that force of salt on twisted bread and I think that over there is a pizza truck where you may fall in love with the lust of real Italian sauce.

Here is this city, in this borough, breathe in. Forgot about the belligerence of food options. And sometimes the humans forget to bathe or simply cannot due to lack of water and tub. But make room for them. And sometimes the rain-drenched-concrete emits an aroma of sour and stun. Make room for that too.

If you get lost, follow the trail of bread crumbs and chicken wings before the pigeons pick them up. These lights color the air, creating a fragrance of rainbow and blind. And there is a scent to New York rubber, scratched tire wheels and bicycles bruised by potholes. None of this is deodorized.  Nothing is sterile here. Put away your anti-bacterial lotion; this city is meant to penetrate your nostrils and follow you home.


What is the language of their stare? It is tent-like, encompassing shards of split apart bodies. Only certain parts are devoured.

There is a mathematical equation to the dialect of these men. And some of them grope and attempt to take cells off women. Pieces of shoulder and whatever juts out becomes fair game.

These men enjoy the scent of flesh fondled by wind and summertime sweat. Perfume can be a gateway drug. So can lipstick and ribcages that exhale.

These men lick their lips as though the ones they seek out are meals. They rub hands together– creating a friction– like knives sharpening. These glares are weapon-like.

When will they pounce and will they ask first or will they take and will they wash their fingers before probing.

These men speak in clicks and teeth rub. A universal dialect of disrobe. There is an assumption of permission.


And then there are the men who are hybrids. Composites of the earth…of various genders and rhythms…those who transcend what we are used to.

I have met only a few of these men. Men who ask before taking. Men who are intellectuals and deep-thinkers. Men who raise children to be poets. Men who are queer or gender warriors.

One I call Dad. One I called lover. One I have recently reconnected with who challenges my heart and mind in remarkable ways.

I walk beside a painter. We travel the busy blocks of Brooklyn during a festival celebrating a particular culture and its music and cuisine. I watch the men eat their way toward those who pass. One grabs onto a woman’s strap and pulls her toward him. My body is enraged. The painter tells me that this is what happens in their culture.
Unfortunately, it is permissible, she adds.
I walk with bag of dirty laundry held captive in giant blue bag. Three men call out to me. Hey, Red. Roots of rage grow fierce as I assume they are working toward inappropriate thoughts or gestures. Instead, when I speak to them, they look at me as though I am just a human, rather than a particular gender. We talk about poetry and one of them recites a poem he memorized when he was young and living in Michigan. The other comments on the yogurt I am eating. Does that have fruit in it? I hear that’s really good.  And the third man tells me he is a graphic designer; I can help you with any cover art when your books come out, he says.
There are more than just two genders out there and within the ones we (think) we know best, there are so many deviations. The men who take and take and grab and harm are out there. But so are the ones who take you to garage sales as a kid and remind you the importance of storytelling and old time radio shows.
There are the ones who aggressively feast on women and there are the ones who ask permission before touching your hips and kissing their way in.
I am beginning to learn the importance of the delineations between these men. Some are poets. Some are teachers. Some are brothers. Some used to be women. Perhaps there is a need to be open to those who may surprise us because those are the ones who may have the power to teach us to look beyond the ones who haunt……


a press of summer

Dear Lidia,

Let’s call this a love letter. Let’s talk about how bodies smell differently in the summetime and that I keep calling myself a hippie but body hair and dreadlocks shouldn’t be enough to title myself beatnik bohemia. Shall we pour ocean into wine glasses and get drunk on the float of seaweed and litter’d lives thrown in? Can we roll poems into literate joints and fill each cylinder with shards of Kathy Acker? We can get high off the fumes of feminist monsterisms. What is marriage like. What is it like to sleep beside a man and to mother and to scratch out your sexuality into classrooms and west coast coffee shops? Do you long for soft? Do you desire the itch of inconsistency? Lidia, as you read this, I travel alongside my soul sister on a journey upstate. We head toward a land where the sky is not scraped by metal and 9-to-5’ers. We head toward a pond and exhaled kayaks and I am hoping to dig up some poems as I spend days camping closer to Autumn’s mist. I may be in love with a man; can you still call me queer? I haven’t written a new poem in over a week; call me poet still, yes? You swam miles toward something and I wonder if you ever reached it and what were its colors and can you paint it into my forearm. Let’s talk about the pop of pills hidden beneath tongues like muscular mouth tents. Let’s address the ways in which summertime can elicit more nudity than bedrooms can and I’ve been told my stare is misleading. Keep track of your daily intake of blinks, Lidia. Otherwise, someone may try to hide their genitals beneath your ribcage and apparently prophylactics are impersonal and numbing. How about we breaststroke toward a patch of earth where there are no men or mangled memories. Can you forward me Freud’s phone number? I’d like to be his next case study.