a study in the cautious medium

it’s night & the deer don’t sound.

we are waiting for the slight tremble of a curtain,
a flash of red bird, that flash of:

we are both real & in the same precise bed,
limbs touching like gradual stones.



When I am standing in this open field (with
these open mountains and cows with their
open tongues) it is like I can feel my brother
in the corner of my left eye, like we are
sharing a motel bed again the way we used to,
like I am the glass of water,
on the stool in the bathroom, where I spend
too much time.


When I say I’ve never
been in love before I mean it; I say this
looking into the mirror and it is like I am
looking into the wrinkling face of my mother.

When I picture my mother I picture her
in the kitchen with flour on her hands,
even though she does not bake.
More: she is in bed again, with coughs of wires.

I’ve started planting herbs (basil, thyme), I thought
to dirty my hands, but the more
I look in the mirror the more I see
and feel like my mother, the more I realize
that dirtying my hands was only a pretense.


My best friend from school is a boy
whose nose bleeds easily. He transferred
after the first semester. He is in Sicily now,
probably making all of the Italian boys fall
in love with him.

The other friend shares the first friend’s name;
when he kisses me it is like I have forgotten
to do the laundry.


I meet a boy at this farm who also
loves Anne Carson and it is all I can do
not to think about him. It’s that I’m lonely, it’s that
it helps that when we’re with each other, just
the two of us, we barely speak, but at meals
there are times when I can feel his eyes on me
like a rush of cold pond water.


When I harvest radish
the vegetables heads’ are small and round
and this is good and I wish I could be
small and round and I wish
it could be good.


In the field here again it is
as though for a moment I am
my brother, but only
for a moment.

In Getting to Know Your Skin

I mean, there was the deer, but of course there’s always the deer.
Then when we stood in front of the trees in the back of my house for probably 30 seconds.
I wasn’t counting but really it felt like 30 hours, like the trees
were a circus tent,
and your face pulled back (your skin
a wild form)

How we were all wild then,
and more importantly:

Also I had this love for you like I didn’t know you well enough just yet

Like if you had scratched my scalp all would have been normal —
I still would have walked into the woods (with the deer);
would have turned off my bedroom lights before leaving, in the mornings

Maybe it was when we brushed our teeth together for the first time
that I knew your hair had a certain pull, my fingers
all tangled up in its threads like long strands of blood cells

A Conversation about Emily Dickinson


I have no mother
I have no father
I have no face

My heart
is an immaculate machine

I love you so much
I will knock over buildings
I will eat you alive

Look at my scales my wings
Look at my shiny shiny teeth


what a pretty pretty face
what a convincing facsimile of a heart

i grieve in the backseat
and choke on the lights
burning red white green

kissing the concrete teeth
of the stranger
with his hand up my skirt

in the morning i’ll be ten feet tall
solid gold
not sorry for anything

i am having so much fun right now
i am having so much fun


A body becomes a prison like
that. Certain chemicals cast
spells in correct quantities. You
don’t believe in ghosts – Well,
you’ve never met my dad.

A bad idea is blossoming
somewhere under your skull.
You want to bend me
backwards & snap me shut.

What is left you will tie with ribbon
leave by the front door.
                       Tear the skin from the flesh.
                       Tear the flesh from the bone.

Look after your
mom, babe. Look after her now.

A Conversation with Kate Zambreno and Jenny Offill


Chapter 1

The universe started. Things were done.
you look out your window trying to find likeness
you can only find images. Everywhere. And the colors are nice.

Chapter 2

You march unto the arms of your father
as if soaring through the waves of God
You hold him shining infinite
You are one.
You are infinite spirit.
Ants work at your feet
Your aunt holds a cigarette
Smoke kind of looks beautiful out free in the air
You wonder if it ever existed inside someone? 

Chapter 3

The most beautiful day of your life
dust mites float in and around your space
on top of the big bed
spilled juice
the sun upon the sheets
dust fairies flying by
you wish you could be part of it
you are it.

Chapter 4

Suddenly you can’t tell a photograph from a memory.
A speck from a giant
a day from the other
smoke from dust.

Chapter 5

The sea breeze teaches you to be.

Chapter 6

The universe is and things are getting done
You look out the window to escape
You want to float out shining through god
Be a speck of the sun
memory is a giant photograph
a day and another
on top of the big bed
the most beautiful fairy 
spills the juice
all around is sea breeze
you wish you were part of it.

** God holds a cigarrette. **

Chapter 7

You are it. 
And the colors are nice.

Virginie Despentes on rape and feminism


my mom and I discuss lena dunham and then browse the mace bottles on amazon,
also a set of finger knives that look like a cat

I think ‘this is so gorgeous-symbolic’
I say ‘I am so buying a yoko ono t-shirt tomorrow’


I know

my mom points to a graphic of the police-strength mace and says
‘is this pink okay?
do you want it to be pale or bright?’

people on amazon are reviewing the merits of the pink
if it is too light or too purple-ish

I imagine my hand a balanced object
held out to my attacker
roy lichtenstein quotes puffing from my clench:
‘yo, is this magenta too much?’

all I want out of my life is to have my back cracked and to poop a lot and to sometimes have sex


anne sexton

today at work a woman offered me free chicken

and I felt a sensation close to the reverberation

someone might experience if they heard a large sound through their leg

I am in bed now; this room is at fault for that

later you can fuck me in my town’s public garden

because, I know now: it’s fun to eat the bible

lack of control can control something quiet