…for Buk


it will be said once,
in the afterglow of meaningless sex
and senseless conversation-
when you’ve gone through
your last cigarette,
too tired to use me once more-
once your generous gift
of pearls have lost their luster-
your limbs shivering and twitching,
itching like a trigger finger
that found it’s mark too soon-
you won’t think
we took things too far,
the scratch of your pen
drawing your blood out from the page
as the landlady,
rabid and foaming in her housecoat
barks for the rent.
Darling, look here
when your sketchy memory tries
to draw up my face,
i will have skipped town
like a wiry comet about to meet it’s fate
Hell bent, skin ablaze
flesh sweet and salty with whiskey
too hopped up to know better,
to know what it all meant or
even be afraid-
so think of me,
head aligned with the stars,
so soon to find the earth
for was i not,
everything to you once-
was i not
your whore, your muse?


Author’s NoteA love letter to Charles Bukowski~

i wrote this poem after reading an article about Charles Bukowski’s girlfriend Francis Smith and what life with him became for her during the disintegration of their relationship. The true love of his life & his muse had been Jane Baker…….she died young and Buk was completely traumatized over her death. Every woman that he was with after her was unfortunately held up to her example and seldom passed the test.

Francis had given birth to Buk’s daughter Marina so they always had that attachment that might have been easier to break if they hadn’t had a child together. He was horrible to her, often referring to her as Snaggle tooth and worse yet Shack-Job. He’d call her a whore to her face. He was known for his drinking binges, his outbursts and was  even violent towards her. There’s even one poem by him entitled: “To the Whore that Stole My Poems” which may or may not have been referring to Francis.

That said: I wrote this point from her point of view….. tried to get into her skin for a few moments and say to him.


October 28th

…for Emily

It’s the 28th of October,
and the rain has gone to snow
icing the tops of the gravestones on the lawn
but not quite making it to the ground~

In a respit from the attic,
the ghost coasts along the front porch
in her ten dollar flea market chair~
a cotton specter flirting with the gales,
her gauzy gown catching and falling
catching…  and falling
like a gray lady patiently waiting
her husbands return from sea~
May i have this dance, she asks
may i, may i?

She is all girl…
with her christmas light inards,
all white except the two red bulbs
that have fixed her gaze-
a pumpkin in her lap
seated as a child would
her release from the eves…
as a watcher of graves,
of cautious mailmen and haunted children…
the laughing teenagers weighed with books
and the blazing flutter of abandoned leaves-
the joyous parade of all living and dying things-


On any other night,
i may have let you pass by~
along the river, past the benches
beneath dimly lit gaslight that catches
the angle of your cheekbone
as you turn back and look
to a woman you may have imagined~

Your evening is mapped out in your brain
sending images that flicker and stutter,
halting in jerky gestures like the
nudie picture shows down by the Penny Arcade~
celluloid girlies with sepia toned smiles
on any other night…
they might have kissed you


I am already in front of you,
i am already tasting you in my head~
imagining the smooth coppery planes
of your existence
the throb of your pulse against my tongue,
holding you fast between my thighs, beneath the secretive
folds of my gown.
i am already damp from your struggle….
i am already living your life~

of you…

i shall not resist your earthiness,
your warm, gasping breath
catching the air in a crystallized vapor
of winter~
the warmth of your body beneath
how i will myself beneath each layer,
transcending the animated skin
to vein,
…the becoming one with you~

You will have convinced yourself
that you wanted this,
that in some distorted dream,
i have had you before~
the last halting smile of your recollection
as you wonder…

…have i seen her before?
…do i know the scent of her?
…was she one of those girls on the screen….?


Little do you know as i slip toward shadow,
that your perfection was

Night Falls on Mayberry

They say that on the night
she ran out in to the road barefoot,
deafness fell for four straight blocks.
A fat, lazy calico stalked the streets,
the crickets chirped and rubbed their feet-

They say that by the time
she tripped the curb,
no one wondered, no one heard
and the girl, lip torn and knees scraped raw
was an apparition that no one saw.

Let us cast our eyes, directionless,
away from other people’s affairs-
pouring our ignorance like a watery cascade
of nonchalant incidents and numbered days
The Danaides own endless parade,
where no one hopes and no one’s saved.
No one sees, no one asks
beyond the framework or painted trim,
and this girl will be lost
on the street where she lives.


Author’s Note:  This was….well, IS…. a difficult write.

Not just because of the subject matter but also because of the way i wanted it to sound… it needed to sound slightly disjointed without completely ruining the flow.

No one ever really wants to discuss abuse- there is not a way to pretty up its horror or the effect it has on its victims or their loved ones.

If we, as a society continue to exist only for ourselves and never for anyone else… if we don’t speak up or shout out when we see someone being abused then it will always be that dirty little secret… the thing that happens to ‘someone’ else. But it isn’t about ‘someone’ else. It happens every moment of every day and in every town across the world. Even in yours.


I don’t want to write about pretty things today,
Speak the dumbed down language of Cinderella
Or eat glistening apples that set naive girls to sleep-
I’ve eaten my share of gingerbread house,
Had enough glass slippers slice my feet.

I refuse to braid my hair into fiery plaits
To be torn from my scalp as you climb my tower,
Or lay spinning my straw hour after hour-
Fuck off, Charming… I ain’t your princess
I’m going to be the Witch today.

Boning Knife

She lit you up like a bonfire,
all tinder and smoke and flame~
The blush that flooded her breasts,
welled up like a spill of blood.
What is not love but true obsession?
The force that shares it’s cradle with crime,
With fraud that does not falter,
when she asks if you could love her…
When you say that she’ll always be your girl~
That cutting angle of your jaw when you swear
always, always and always
then thrusting the blade downwards,
wipe your hands clean on her blouse.

Where I Came to Die

were it not for you,
trembling in soft gray coats of silence,
pushing papers away with fingertips,
unspoken for…
i would still be there,
a blanket of sleep tugged high
above the arch of my brows
like so much silver in a drawer
laid side by side,
otherwise forgotten,
having spent my usefulness
in worlds far from this
where i recount my moments
shiny pennies in a jar
with all my days before me ~
not there,
without identity,
in some other body’s bed~
were it not for you,
to sustain my presence
my name.


She has a way of moving her hands,
the subtle lift of wrist as she smooths shadow over eyelid,
the stroke of azure that finds the crease,
pale beige that floats to brow.
I watch, mesmerized…
as her fingertips provoke cool flesh,
smudging liner against moon glow pallor,
the pale pink that finds the lips unyielding-
“How…..?” I ask finally.
“Some are easier than others,” she admits
as her warm, dark hands ease the sable brush
over the high plane of cheekbone,
narrowing in on its territory
“she seems at peace, though very young.”
My gaze lowers to the unanimated girl-
still as secrets.
The dark dress concealing
the unspoken laws of the living,
never having learned the language of the heart,
never yielding to the pleasures of the flesh.
Life has lead to white linen sheets, not wrapped
in laughing limbs, entangled
but pulled up and over by this woman here
who dapples the girl’s mouth with pigment now.
And I wish, how I wish:
That I could kiss her awake once more.


Dip your fingers into the cool darkness that winter has breathed upon us,
When each shivering star has come to seek you out
And the owls swivel their heads with lamp-lit eyes
…This will be our time-
Haunted too, soft spoken as moans that murmur secrets,
Vibrating sighs of drowsy content and of hours spent,
Laid beside each other in the frosted earth
I shall call you forth from sleep…. From fields of unknowing
Where each moment will have its hour, each mouth its kiss…
Where in some other unspoken territory my body has become yours,
And within the dark tide of the sky, we wear our nocturnal speech.

Becoming (Ultrasounds)

I am at first, the droning of a heartbeat.
I am at first my mother’s
and then, I am my own.
The lining of the womb encases my body but never the soul
that travels far and wide beyond this earthly cavern.
Only Her humming anchors me in space and yet… only temporarily-
As I am evolving… I am becoming.
Newborn I will be, from my first squalling breath
Until my last rasping gasp-
Ever learning, ever discovering, ever desiring
the passions and addictions that will one day express me.
I am a moment in time, I am all times
I was at first my mother’s and now,
I am my own.


Author’s NoteI was approached by the phenomenal artist/photographer Roberto Duran to compose a piece for his brilliant  “Ultrasounds” project.

I adore Roberto and his work so i jumped at the opportunity…. as you can imagine… it’s always an incredible honor be able to lend something to someone whose work you love and admire.  Thank you, Roberto!

Please visit Roberto and his work at the link provided below: