Stuff to Read

non/fiction and poetry

The Orange Game

You walk with the sun and it lights up your ears

I wish you had stopped me from shaving your mullet

I sheared away summer and the slugs came for their share

I know that they congregate still, in the cold yard

To nibble on your fallen curls.

I imagine hiding in your warm conch, where the sun shone for all of August

And where it will find me to play orange inside my eyes when I am finished

Hibernating for your hair to regrow


the space trade

we pitched a tent between 3 and

5 and

held the masses at bay with a moat full of hours.

he bundled up minutes to build a strong fence and

I taped seconds over the windows.

in the morning, we took it all down and

sold it for space.


in the lull of the car, where strange music settled into strange luggage
and clouds on trees passing slept
like happy wormwebs on broccoli, I held my breath
to steady my ears, which were falling toward my stomach
like “our cavities are flooded with spit; stop the car; let us dry on the road.”

in the car, in my body, in my stomach, suspended in mobile in mobile in mobile, each swimming within the other and the whole awakening light dust clouds with
our zooming and putting
we screeched through green courses, followed by drowsy clouds
grumpy and waking.

until the sky was painted and we were towing a sheer sheet behind us, zipping through cities and soaking the people and
the cloth caught up and was wrapped in our tires
and we stumbled and tossed into indigo seas
like submarine passengers
zipping and putting and pissing off clouds.

Free Tiger

“All the way back, once you go up the stairs.” This was how she directed him to the bathroom. When he called from the top of the stairs to her, she put down the cherry and took the knife with her and yelled as she came to him “all the way back. Past Max’s room.”

“No,” he replied, “there’s a tiger.”
“A what?”
“There’s a tiger in Max’s room.”
“Do you want a… some pepper spray or something? It’s in my bag.”
He thought about this, then shook his head. “So it isn’t your tiger?”
She shook her head back, “No. It must have come with the house.”
“Oh. Ok,” he said, “what are you making?”
She shrugged the knife-holding-arm an inch higher in response, “cherries.”
He nodded and walked out of the doorway, back toward Max’s room.
She walked away, feeling for dirty parts on the floor with her feet and yelling, “also I think we are out of toilet paper.”

A Sheet From My Mother

I was going to paint the bumpy green walls in my new house but I forgot a drop cloth.
I left my plastic basket of paints on the lawn and went back inside to find something.
A sheet from my mother was under my bed. Green and blue stripes; not one that I used.
I put it in the basket.

Pried-open paint cans and brand new brushes scattered across the floor before I unfolded the sheet to go under them.
Green and blue stripes; and spots.
I felt a rush to my face as the thoughts of my mother folding this sheet fled and in their stead appeared thoughts of you shaking me awake with disgust in your eyes.
I took it off your bunk bed to wash but you balled it up and handed it to me.
I took it home and it was hidden.

With my stale shame spread over the floor, I stroke the bumpy green walls until they are white and new spots spot over the old.

When Cupid Met Belinda

When Cupid met Belinda, he thought “That is enough woman to love and do other things with.” She was big and bright and spinning toward him with intent to collide.  If you ask Belinda, she’ll look up from addressing wedding invites, blue and red, and say “Don’t bother me.  He was cute.”

When Cupid met Belinda, he thought “This woman will kill me, and I will let her make me die.”  And she will, and her family knows it and so does his, and they are celebrating soon.  The ring will be huge, they say, caused by a smash that stretches the pair around the world forever.  When Cupid met Belinda, he knew it would happen.  He took off his hat and put down his drink and closed his eyes and let the end come.

After years, if you ask Belinda, she will dig out a wedding invite to show you and say “You see?  He wanted it.”  And he did.  In case he forgets, she’ll drag the invite with her around the world; around their ring.  Blue and red: what happened when Cupid asked to meet Belinda.

Clicky Climby Magic Bug

My face pounded against my head
It hurt my fingernails, but I popped the top from its orange body
Roll away white hat

Swallowed technology on my tongue
Clicky climby magic bug

And stretched out in bed as my palms disappeared and my feet curled painlessly into fiddleheads

Is that what we fear? Sandpaper on the curly wood bits of my body band. Zz zz ready to go.

With my shoulders I picked up the empty bottle but no instructions said not to do what I’d done.

Fuzzy misty reception scrambler
Smack my head until my picture stills and walks and talks

Clunky driving licensed bug

Stomach Town

They kept being alive by eating the things that were good. You could buy things to eat everywhere. Some places sold things to eat that would make you fat. Some places sold things that would make you happy if you ate them. No places sold the bad things to eat because no one wanted them as food, but sometimes they would be sold as medicine that did help keep you alive but didn’t taste good.
The really bad things to eat weren’t eaten much at all, but used as sidewalks and roads and buildings and computers and fences and bathtubs. Still used, but not eaten. There were some places you could go to buy things that would make you feel funny and intoxicated if you ate them. These were much fun but enjoyed in moderation for parties with other friends who were silly from the eating of things.

Everything was divided: can it be eaten? Yes? What will it make you if you eat it? Fat? Happy? Silly? Dead? Do or do not eat it. You would eat and then wait and then eat again–maybe a different thing each time!

Can Phone

“I am so

in love with you”

The other –the


bit of—tin

at the end

of this twine

is miles gone


Bumping along

foreign exit signs

and raccoons

Tapping at strange

asphalt past Detroit


sunlight and


moony nights

Morse code of mine

vibrates back along the

track of




gray string in

Of course

what I want,



I dress for They who built the buildings and cross to sidewalks They made where They tell me to go.
Their empire is great and so I must please Them, the giants of cities and bases and railroads. They stamp me with “yes” and I’m in with the big ones. But I’ll tell you a secret:
They built this for me because I want to dress up and walk to a building and have frozen burgers.
Put on what I say and cross where I say when my name is in neon reflected large in the rivers.
We worship They whom We have pulled from the masses of Us to please Us for our dollars, but We dress how They say.

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