A Separation (or Dismembered in disHarmony)

After the divorce, they split everything in half: torso, curdled hazel, garden soil brown, knees, the scars you inherited, the scars you gave her, fourteen moles carefully severed, chapters forty-seven through fifty-two, books (you requested all the endings; she begged for the acknowledgments), the ghost of your uterus, the ghost of her sex drive, that time that time that time she gave you, that time that time that time you never got to, grid paper, the tags they used to tag the buildings they crawled inside, half a song (mostly chorus), cracked voice, swollen cartilage, library card, flint, James Baldwin, pile of uneaten hair, invisibility cloak (barely noticeable). They grew their arms long enough to carry, to carry. Walked six years in different directions. Dropped what they had when they could no longer speak footprints. And then, started over.

Tonight! BOOG CITY Poetry Festival

Tonight, I’m looking forward to performing alongside the magnificent Trae Durica in my poetic play, postulation.

What happens when two lovers reunite after being left? Come to SIDEWALK CAFE and find out!


Sidewalk Cafe
94 Avenue A
The East Village

Directions: A/B/C/D/E/F/V to W. 4th St.
Directions: F/V to 2nd Ave., L to 1st Ave.
Venue is at East 6th Street

7th Boog Poets’ Theater Night, featuring:

5:30 p.m. postulation by Aimee Herman

5:45 p.m. Skin of A Spell by Jenn McCreary

6:00 p.m. The Triumph of the Thirteenth Family of Passerines by Maggie Dubris

6:15 p.m. The Body in Equipoise by Joel Allegretti

6:30 p.m. Stage Wrong: Triology by John Trause

6:45 p.m. Unfinished Acts by Christine Choi

7:00 p.m. An Excerpt from Tacoma Method by Zhang Er

7:15 p.m. Shakespeare’s Itches by Susanna Rich

lovers in past tense.

Dear Rebel,

My fourth lover has left the country. She has been traveling since I first handed her my weakest muscle over a decade ago and now I think she is getting closer to settling. The last time I traveled with passport and backpack, I was just getting over the Canadian. I was on a hunt for language that didn’t hurt when I spoke it. I wrote poems beside canals with the haunt of red lights in the nearby distance. I almost got arrested for possession for hash that time, but it wasn’t mine, nor did it taste my lips; we were just exchanging words for stanzas.

You are traveling over pages and memories. I want to know what it was like to see his tattoos and smell his distance. Do lovers change shape once they no longer belong to us. Or do they always belong to us? 

My seventh lover (not counting the ones that didn’t count) was difficult to get over. I ingested medicine cabinets and poetry books, slapped starvation on my tongue and called my collarbone a rail for many months until I no longer needed to think about the disturbance of breaths and bruises.

We mourn and mourn until suddenly we can longer remember what it felt like to hurt. Are you there yet. I am there.

I recently met a human who reminded me that there is no one way to approach someone.

And I wanted to retort: there is no one way to love. Each time is different because we all arrive with varying marks and allergies and desires.

Rebel, we love differently because we are poets. Our kind of loving simmers and boils simultaneously. Our kind of kisses pass through megaphones.

It never gets easier, but it can make more sense. Some love spends months or years trapped in a lost dialect that neither lover speak. I am finding that when you meet someone who has studied the rules and historical lineage of phonics, you can stop. That is the right one.


sometimes you need to remember how to love

An early morning sky resembles a history of love. There is yellow like jaundice, a bit diseased or perhaps an attempt at pushing out the infection left by another. It rises out of yellow and presses itself into blue. Mixed with bleach. A streak of orange which symbolizes the one that was unexpected but got away. Went away. Can one file a missing person’s report if the misplaced one chose to walk out of view?

A new way to make coffee this morning with alternative saturation process (suggested by magical friend). First gulp–because sipping is never an option–reveals a smoothness similar to the hair of a past love. Fingers always slid through it like a blond waterslide.

I know how to love books, poetry, the color green that can be seen on grasshoppers. I always remember how to love music, even when the words are too loud or fast to be deciphered. I can lose myself in the blend of instruments or hum of a singer’s voice slipping away from throat.

I need to be reminded the direction of how to walk. I tend to step backwards. I stop reading a book 10 pages before the end. I don’t want to feel like it’s over. Like I have to move on. I don’t like to move on. Practice the art of wavering; it eliminates the mourning process.

I can stare at leaves for hours. Or, Autumn leaves. The ones which are like mood rings. Hold them long enough and they shift color. Some are striped. Some are curved at the ends. Some have holes or are ripped or without stems. Some are so big, they fall apart when picked up the wrong way. Some are too small; they go unnoticed. Leaves are like bodies.

Blame the ghosts. They claim too much of our attention. The ghosts stick to walls and hide in the corners where cobwebs grow. The ghosts steal our taste buds, scratch our eyes out, stick bombs in mouth to numb our appetites. The ghosts turn off our alarm clocks, lock our bedroom doors, throw shadows into window panes to scare away our ability to walk away.

found poem (revised)

Remember, bent
knees beside your shoulder
purple tie
belted waist
breath in swallows

look up the word freckle in the dictionary
harmless brown patch
clustered color
genetic like grass from soil

the bathtub grows arms
when body dips inside
smooth porcelain container

she is gulped oceans

sing me awake

bruise love
turquoise & promises
nightlights & pillowcases
belt loops & pulled zippers

manatee falls in love with elephant
swim toward new species
hunt grey swim

your memory is of August trees

to be left or to leave
dried salt
drunk off preserved time

drowning(what is this water made of)

What if we were given the opportunity to choose our own diagnosis?

As a kid, I devoured books like Encyclopedia Brown, Anastasia Krupnik and Choose Your Own Adventures. The ability to go to page twelve if I want Becky to dive beneath the shark-filled waters to see if the treasure is there amazed me.

What if life could be this way?

If you want to leave all your community behind, head north for the girl who held your heart once, go to page 102.

If you are ready to go back to school and learn something that might get you a better job, go to page 70.

Ready for travel? Grab your passport and turn to page 212.

Diagnoses are similar. Some people would rather not know. They prefer heading through the entire book of themselves without interruption. Without skipping pages. Without peeking into what is to come. More specifically, they would rather not know if something grows in their body.

silence the sick and it will go away

What type of adventure am I choosing? I think I’d like to turn to page 47 and fall in love. After a few pages seeped in that, kind of like a comfortable drown, I will go back 32 pages, quit my job and take a bus trip across the country. At a rest stop, I’ll turn to page 93, where I will walk 1.3 miles to the nearest cafe, ask the woman behind the counter if I could work there and start existing for several weeks as a local. Then, I finger page 111 where I say goodbye and buy a ticket to a foreign city I’ve never been to and only speak about 12 words in their language. Here, I learn a new trade, volunteer my time and labor for free housing, write poems and humble myself through the art of missing Brooklyn’s amenities. Turn to page 303. I find religion in my soul through meditation and sworn off Internet connection. Skip to page 419 and I get married. I contemplate page 660. Rather, I peek a little at it’s projection of baby and normalcy. Then, I fall backwards onto page 123. All it says is:

Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; but remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hope for. (Epicurus)

I don’t go back to page 1 or even 115. However, I decide to stay where I am and gather up my love for the present.

This borough of graffiti’d breaths and there are pigeons everywhere far more curious than I am. And what about the sunrise caught as bike wheels bring me closer to the rash of color on the sky. There are the flowers that grow in tiny gardens beside concrete stoops and bodegas at every corner selling all the oddities I might need in one place. The Museum of Modern Art. Enough farmer’s markets to keep my vegetable bin continually filled up. The surprising friendships I’ve made. Enough stages to keep my poems occupied…………..

If I took the death and water out of drown, it would turn into submersion in and inhalation of. I’d like to try this out for awhile. Complete submersion. Inhalation of New York. Maybe I’ll exhale out a book or right now I’d settle on a twenty-four hour fit of smiles. My curiosity wants me to skip some pages, but I’m going to slow down. Curb my impatience. See what waits for me as I allow it just to happen.