home – o sweet home – o

dear brick and streaked wooden / dear ghostly walk-up / dear burnt-up confessional / dear stacked & sturdy studio

Yesterday, I house hunted for a closet called one bedroom and memorized the view of pigeons scooping out their yawns.

Fifteen years ago, I lost hand-carved flip lighter with built in gasoline pump off drunk roof from drunk fingers forcing it to its death.

Six years ago, a grove with fern and paw prints.

Four years ago, composted meals from seeds stuck together like bodies birthing roots.

Two years ago, an addict and his blood replaced paint and refuge. Dripped his skinny breaths into wallets and extracted. Thirty-seven poems stolen and money from an occurrence better left undeclared.

Twenty years ago,  a swimming pool and barbecue and built-in-family before the fracture. A bedroom painted purple where screams suffocated behind hoarded pill bottles and there was blood here too — wiped before it could be unraveled.

Five days ago, I built a callus on my pointer finger from strumming invisible songs. My wrist grew phantoms from the reverberations of rhythm.

Thirty years ago, my words were less ruptured and gender was a word existing decades later in a way that would wind my hair in circulatory patterns & cause my body to feel puzzled and unglued.

Tomorrow, I will twist my ankles like a cursive Q and there may be a teardrop so big and illuminating it resembles a disco ball and yes, it rotates down face and into the first crease it catches.

Right now, all I need is this ink and enough bricks to keep me warm and if closets are big enough to hold my breaths–full-figured and agoraphobic, then I can live here. Amidst the crowd. The graffiti steam. The urine and judgements like chain mail. Window-less views of obstructed earth. I can do this.

dear sun-dried cinder and spikes/ dear brownstone beauty / dear stained glass glare / dear exercise regime of fourth-floor climb / dear new york / dear new jersey / dear borrowed bedrooms/ dear denver / dear nooks where sleep existed beside against and alone / let me know when I am home. 


hair today then/gone.

Here is the thing about hair.

When I was younger, it was a slightly different color. Not as red. A bit more…….(gasp) blonde. Some referred to it as dirty blond, but I’d yet to reach the true height of my experimental dirty phase (that has yet to end).

It was long and curly and healthy and luscious and.. and.. and.. pretty.

My grandmother always said:
If you ever cut it, give it to me.

She had thin hair and so does the rest of my family.

Luckily, I also obtained other qualities detached from genetics: dimples, small breasts and my homo-ness.

I’m sure if I searched deeper in my family, I’d find the culprit of my dimples
(actually, I remember my grandmother having a hint of them)

I’d find someone in my clan with small breasts
(thank you to whomever that may be…….though I wish they could be even smaller)

And I know of at least one queer wonder in the family, though I never met him.
(thank you, too)

As I grew, my relationship to my hair got tangled. I kept all my anger inside my curls. The length represented someone who I no longer wanted to be. Each time in my life when things were wrong, I took rusty (sometimes) scissors to hair and would cut.

One inch.
Two inches.
Three inches.

I went from long to extremely short in well under five minutes at the age of seventeen.

My mother called it: boy short.

I called it: freeing.

Then, I bleached it.
Dirty blond shifted to slightly orange.

This began my journey through root experimentation.

Pink. Purple. Blue. Black. Red. Red. Red.

Hello, Red.

I finally realized I was just in the wrong scalp.

I was born a redhead in a dirty blond’s body.

Each month, I must alter this. This becomes my least favorite time of the month, perhaps tied with the days in which my body reminds me of these eggs I’ve got and the babies I could (possibly) be birthing with each stain of my underwear.

Through each haircut, I’ve been the exact same person. Naturally, I have changed just a little: gotten a bit more mature and gained knowledge in areas I was not so aware of.

But I’ve always been a homo.
Funny……how hairstyle can sometimes change that.
Change the type of homo I am.

I’ve got all these knots in my hair.
Dreadlocks and tangles and today I cut two of them out.
Big ones.
Big monstrous ropes of red mixed with other shades of not-so-red.

When I went to work, I felt lighter. There was too much stuck inside those beasts of hair.

Then, I came home. Had a dance party in my bedroom. Grabbed my scissors and began to cut.

Slowly. Deliberately. Like a contemplative meditational chant.

I could use a touch up…..it’s hard to reach some places…..but I feel lighter than I have in over a year.

It’s just hair.
And I’m still just as queer as I was yesterday.
I’d like to keep cutting.
I could use some help.


throw up yer gang signs

color of neck: blue

redhead in poems and curves
breath like highly admired peanut crush
gets noticed for color of neck: blue
bandana of cotton and street sale

advertises homo in back pocket
preference for fisting and bottom loving
until boy wearing knowledge of anger’s direction

calls out:

and she wonders if this is
new sexual position or

a reason to remove fabric from body and
bike away.

Happy Birthday, Charles Bukowski.

Charles Bukowski sips wine like glass shard woman

Charles Bukowski sips wine like glass shard woman

That woman screams out her name from my mouth.

I do this sometimes.
I don’t watch videos or look at pictures to push out an orgasm.

I think of words.
Shaped as women.
Letters shaped as skin.

She pushes her lips together like they are too heavy for her face.
Her teeth are perfectly straight line-up of criminals waiting to bite me away.

Women, Charles.

I am trying to get away from them.

I left the country with passport and two backpacks and folded clothing and empty notebook and extra ink and I just needed to find my way out of these women.

Their smell.

The salt and vinegar. Smell of nail polish remover or mascara. Grease and leather.

You like the pretty ones. The ones with inches against their heels.

I like the girls who look like boys. The dirty ones.
The ones who confuse men like you or challenge men like you or put men like you out of commission.

Oh, women.

I think about the one who dipped me in the Pacific and covered me with shells and dried kelp.
Or the one who never owned a bed, preferred bathrooms and barrooms and dance floors and car parts like hood or roof and alleys and brick wall blankets. Those women.

Women with wrists tied up like elliptical gifts.

Hair, sometimes enough to pull on or that stubble that scrapes or what gets shaved away that slides beneath me.

I left so I could write, Charles, because their sex is too distracting.

You and I, we are supposed to be alone, with occasional bouts of bodies releasing us toward our next poem.

They think I am capable of love, Charles.
Can I send you on over?
Can you let them know how we are?

That woman kisses an erection onto me.

* * *

My nudity is alarming at times.

Bruises form and I forget to ask why.

I used to be hairless.
All those men and women like that, you know.
They hate the challenge of hair.

Don’t want your pubes in my teeth, she says.

My cunt hides now, which I like because sometimes I don’t want it there.
Sometimes I want a different shape or Latin classification.
Not a mammal but a reptile. Or amphibian maybe.

Those women popped your pimples with their manicured press-on nails, with their crooked, nicotine teeth. They never asked you to stop being ugly. And if they had, you would have just sent them to get more beer.

That woman blinks slowly enough to translate the wind pattern of clouds.
She moves over me like a wave of grunts.

I fake three orgasms in seven different languages.

I yearn to grow hairier, to challenge her digestive system.

I order up another round of poems, place them beneath my body and use the still-wet ink as lubricant.

When I look outside my window, Charles, I see only the tops of trees.
Everything is dark, yet the sky is plum.

Yours in whiskey and women,

unbound s/he: ejaculating beauty (an excerpt)

Aimee Herman

Aimee Herman during performance: ejaculating beauty

(excerpt from unbound s/he: ejaculating beauty)

I am thinking of a word for this.
Or maybe I can congest it into a sound.
Or a dance move.
Or interlude of intricate gestures.

Beyond gender.
Beyond categorical configurations.
Maybe I just don’t want to be figured out.

On Monday, I stick my whole fist into my vagina and feel around for what may be hidden up there.
I search for the SLASH.

On Tuesday, I dress my cunt up in streamers and lace like cotton-shaped birthday cake.
Clit like a candle, I blow out several times until it’s sore enough to grow lungs and demand a nap.

On Wednesday, I am boy or boy parts or masculine or uncertain.

On Thursday, I am Monday.

On Friday, I am Wednesday.

On Saturday and Sunday, I take turns, as the hours change, revelling in my inconsistencies.

My. Body. Weeps.

I gather the skin on my body like magical four leaf clovers found only from hours or weeks or decades of patient searching.

My closet is a schizophrenic approach to wardrobe.

I am mortar and pestle ground up nerves and identities and genders and sounds and needs and clarifications and blurs and words and poems.

I am queer, this word, this music, this distance between its beginnings—a past—to where it stands now—its present-led future.

I understand this.

* * *

What is left behind.
What is necessary to gather, stick in pockets, or throw away.

What can be should be needs to be celebrated?

…the memorization of inconsistencies…to be both or three quarters of one and a sprinkling of the other…to be unafraid of asking what pronoun is most necessary…to understand the importance and need to ask…a widening of this spectrum…of queerness…of experimental language and representation…the poetics of homo…the song of body reclaiming itself…a celebration of contrast, incongruent gender, and unstuck designations through…

the ejaculation of queer BEAUTY