barista

writing poetry is like craving coffee. one bad cup, one bad line and the day is ruined. and i hate knowing that in order to love that first sip i gotta drink like 15 cups to find it. and the problem in processing caffeine is that everything starts happening at the speed of sound. shit gets missed. light becomes leaden. time blinks in and out while my senses try and make sense. noticing focuses then snaps like an oversharpened pencil. yet i keep writing with that hobbled tool making word shapes and letter sounds and sentence pictures. i once cut the line of a funeral procession because of over caffeination. i felt so bad that i wrote a poem about it. but i never apologized to the family in the lead car.  i keep looking for the line that was waiting in line. scanning for a raised hand at the back of the stanza. for the voice simmering just under the noise and the scribbles. coffee in coffee shops is easy, asking someone else to grind it out and brew it means that you are in their hands for the gift of the sip. hell you can even hand it back and ask them to make it again. and again. yet when these ridiculous dancing ideas meet dark roast and accepting paper, i light up. and if it rhymes easily, everything stops. and i stop. my heart stops. my coffee cools and i wonder if i should rewrite the whole piece around it.

hyoid

i keep getting caught in the space between knowing a thing and understanding it. forests are full of reminders of the unseen. of distance between. reminders escaping meaning. like how that woodpecker eyed me before i, he. or how i heard him, before he, me. i drew to him as the echoes varied. high low high low fast slow fast slow. in alternating tones. the pound from his sounds was designed to save him from headaches. like this forest does for me. it separates the mind from the pain. the 'here we go' from the 'again'. but i just had to know more, so i googled for a bit. a woodpecker's skull sits on suspension, has seatbelts to hold its brain in place, and the pace never pecks in the exact same space. peckings had stopped, but were still chased around the green by echoes. and it seemed like the moment was here and everywhere. just like the unseen. suddenly i was two feet from his workspace. interrupting his meal, my eyes fell into his, mid grace. my meaning making started and i believed the bird wanted me closer. he chose here to stay and wait a bit longer. and the longer i stood the clearer it became that actually 'no sir' was his message as he flew off abandoning me there.

portum

my house is vast 
and filled with prayers
i’ve made room for you
atop the stairs
the shelves are filled
with things you need
the light’s left on
so you can see. 
if i am asleep and
you need to talk
or you stumble in
and can barely walk
or you reach the door
with little left
from life and loss
and pain and theft;
others are here with
hands to hold
offering warmth to 
shake off cold,
suspecting that you might
need to be told-
you belong.