plastic paroxysms

A battery-operated radio rests beside my bed on hand-painted table. I dig the art of turning it on, slight finger-tip touch tuning it toward a new station. I do not mind the garble, sometimes the static. It’s in me too. Many nights, I have fallen asleep to its hum of voices. I prefer the stations that talk to me; it feels like I have company. A roundtable discussion of politics, some of which I do not understand, but it pushes me toward a more pensive sleep.

And inside my closet beneath old sheets and towels with stains from the drip of my hair is a record player, purchased for ten dollars at stoop sale in Brooklyn. An Italian carried its surprising weight fifteen blocks for me. Records still wait to rotate as I put off getting its needle surgically enhanced or screwed back on or offered some version of CPR. Its body craves an electric outlet over batteries, but it still relies on something to set it off, to turn it on, to make it move.

In my sock drawer, where misshapen cotton searches for its mate, there are various other plastic parts in need of batteries. Colors include pink (or I prefer to notice it as salmon), silver, purple, red. Various widths and lengths and one is called Sharonda and they are all just devices to stimulate what humans can’t. As I search for paroxysms between my thighs, these batteries act as matchmakers, bringing me closer to orgasm.

dear organ of offspring and gesticulation


Last night, you inserted a dream inside my head. You stole the how, but I received news from another that I had impregnated her. She was angry and I didn’t know how to soothe her. I felt excited by my body’s ability to shoot magic dust into her, allowing cells to form into another human.

Outside of my dream, I don’t want to think of my body having/producing sperm. I want to think of it as glittery blood/cum/gender-empowered ejaculate that has no other name to compare it to. When I awoke, my body felt as though it was a giant hemorrhage. I dipped my fingers into my cunt, thinking they’d be dyed red. I prepared myself for a bed covered in blood, covered in menstruation. However, there was nothing.

For the past three days, uterus, you have been kicking me, bullying my insides and I want to know why.

I press heated towel against you.
I drink enough water to drown you.
I finger myself until orgasms distract you.
I even exercise in order to sweat you away.

Dear Uterus,

You are persistent like love
like my appetite
like my addictions.

All i want to do is poem and you press me further into bed and steal away my motivation for words.

excerpts from a window peering through a life

In what year did they begin fire drills? Heads and knees tucked to chest to prep for bombs. I am not united in this front of skin and veins. I think back to those years where we were forced out of class due to called-in bomb threat or preparation for an inferno of flames to melt away the school. Why don’t families have drills like this? Or bodies? Before the cancer or depression or heart attack or mini-stroke, how about a drill?

Andy Flemming throws a three-piece dissected bee at me in science class. I am twelve. He calls me a screen door and I watch the severed insect slide down my paved chest. My three best friends at the time have elevated breasts, regular periods and body hair. They prefer tampons to pads and waxing to razors. Two out of three have already been menstruating for two years. There are no bras in my wardrobe; I wear undershirts. If it weren’t for my nipples, I’d have no idea where my breasts are.

My belly lies against red cotton sheets with limited thread count. I am crying. My fingers smell like my insides. A salt and vinegar soak. I am desperate for an orgasm, instead, my brain channels memories inappropriate for masturbation. How sad to be inside a body that can never be clean enough.

photo by June Liu


a disrobe

turn to hide the symptoms


I cannot say “I love you”
outside of text, poems
a whispered orgasm phony like blessed sneezes.

[i must turn around for this]

I attempt to sing its syntax
insist upon deep-throating its intimidation.

the la-la-love of it
weight and burst of musical initials

{too much}

and i could never carry a tune past shower stalls and
bike ride shouts

can you possibly love me after this?

almond milk eyes
drink my crunch.

where did that ceiling come from?

asbestos kills

add to that:
this day
last night
a haunting of unknown infiltration

perhaps i was touched
toward this moment.

my body wants to window
wants to reflect
wants to close
wants to rise
wants to streak

gather up these tiny squares while i disrobe
lay bricks over the numb
until the sound of choke

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,