Whiskey and wine or

beer and cigarettes, it

takes a substance to write a line.

Regret begets regret begets

passion begets whiskey and wine or

beer and cigarettes maybe lines

between lines, lines

under lines written in ink on

cigarette paper to inhale words that

are hard to say out loud and

even harder on my lungs and they’re

indelible but

at least I can’t see them anymore.

At least they are staining my lungs

instead of my lips, words

that won’t help anyone by being heard

words that flow dark and heavy, ideas

born of drunken sadness or

high lowness or

exceptional mediocrity, I’ve

always been an overachiever when it comes to

underachieving, I can’t

draw a straight line or walk

a straight line or visualize

a straight line but I try.

I try to

reason with myself and my own actions I

try to tell your voice in my head that

I tried,

I tried so hard but sometimes

the harder I feel I’m trying the

less it looks like I’m doing anything

at all.


I feel lonely until I remind myself

that real loneliness is wanting to tell someone

you miss them

but having no one to miss.


I feel like I’ve crossed some imaginary,

indelible line that can be neither seen

nor heard and I remember

there is no line,

there are no lines between the lines

on this paper between

my fingertips so I

take another sip,

light another cigarette printed with

the things I’ll never say and

look even harder for another line

to cross.

Something Isn’t Right


I drink wine, red, like blood and an image pops into my head: you’re lying on the floor at my feet bleeding out slowly, agonizingly. You’re not speaking but your eyes are begging. I tell you not to bother begging out loud, don’t waste the last of your breath on words that won’t matter. This image makes me smile as I down my glass of wine, step over your body that isn’t there, and go for another.

When I return, you’re still lying there and I vaguely think to myself that something isn’t right but then am distracted by the growing pool of blood surrounding your beautiful body. I step over you again and feel your blood, warm and velvety under my feet.

Your eyes are following me. They look heavy. I sit in your blood and place your head in my lap, stroke your hair at the base of your neck like you used to like so much. Back when you loved me. Before you ruined everything.

I remember how you used to love wine so I pour a bit between your lips and you cringe, I apologize for the bitterness but I don’t like sweet wine anymore.

“A lot has changed since you left.”

I stroke your hair again.

“I wish you felt better.”

You just stare up at me..

“We haven’t seen each other in so long, surely you can think of something to say to me…”

Those big green eyes have that same look in them, like you have something to say but you’re being stubborn. All I want is to hear your voice once more, before it’s gone but you won’t speak. This makes me cry. Your head in my lap, one hand in your hair and the other holding my wine and I ask you to please just say something, anything. Say my name, say you hate me just…please..

You blink at me in response.

“Fucking figures.”

I finish my wine, shove your head off of me and go for another glass. I nearly slip in your blood and feel it drip down the backs of my thighs from where I sat. On my way back I smile and am calmed by the footprints I’ve left on the carpet and the black and white checkered linoleum. I walk back in and apologize for getting so emotional but

“it really hurts my feelings that you won’t say something. It’s the least you could do, don’t you think?”

I sit on my knees at the edge of your spilled blood and draw a heart with my index finger, then raise my hand high above my head and slap it against the heart, splashing blood all over both of us.

You blink again.

An alarm on the bedside table goes off and you jump a little. I tell you to relax, it’s just time to take my meds. I pull the makeup bag full of pill bottles off the table and it lands with a smacking sound and another splash. My hands leave bloody prints on the bottles as I open each one and cup five little pills in the palm of my hand.

I chase them with the remainder of my wine and feel your blood, now cold, on my face.

“Another glass?”

I ask you. Of course, you don’t respond so I just get up and go for another, dragging the fingers of my free hand along the wall on my way. I refill and turn to go back. At first glance, all the blood on the floor and wall is gone. I blink hard and it all comes back. Something isn’t right.

“My eyes are playing tricks on me again,”

I tell you, as I walk through what is left of your life, coagulating on my bedroom floor. I look out the window, ask if you remember when we used to sleep under the big tree at the back of the field. Again, not surprisingly, you don’t answer.

“Well do you?”

I turn to look at you and in the split second time span of a blink, your blood covered body is sitting cross legged in the middle of your puddle, grinning at me. Green eyes open wide like you just did a shot of really good dope. Your teeth bright white against the dark red streaking your face. I jump and drop my wine and suddenly all is returned to normal.

Something isn’t right but your body is now back where it belongs, lying in a pool of blood on my floor. I pick up my glass, walk around you and go for more. I empty the bottle and go back to my original place at your head. I feel tipsy and tired and I giggle to you that this is ironic since you always promised you would die for me but you would also be the one to kill me.

“Looks like I finally beat you at something!”

I lean down to kiss your bloody mouth and feel my lips hit your teeth. Your eyes are wide and you’re grinning again. That same grin as when you beat me at Candy Land.

Or beat me in general.

I gasp and try to get up but I slip and land on your body, feel your arms wrap around me but I push away, take a step back and suddenly it’s all gone..

the blood, the body, that violent grin…

I stand staring at the place where you were just dying for me, or maybe because of me, and the only thing I can think to do is get more wine. I stumble to the kitchen, all the footprints and fingerprints gone, open a new bottle and take a long drink then walk slowly back to the bedroom..peek in and you’re still not there.

I fall to my knees and begin clawing at the carpet, looking for any sign of you but all I find are bottles of pills.

I crawl to the spot on the floor that is still warm from your bloody body and curl up, knees to my chest, and fall asleep.

Something isn’t right.

One Less Vein

An old slam piece.  I have no regrets.

We look like sisters and speak with the same voice.

Our eyes are green and orange and just a little too bright and

our skin matches the dope melted in the bottom of the bubble.

Roughly 73% purity.  Only the best for us, including rehab

minimum security.

That’s how I got this deep scar on my arm: Four a.m. Up three days.

Science experiments on his living room floor while he replenished our supply from the day before.

The house smells of propane from the cookroom and the candles

scattered throughout the house.

We didn’t bother to keep the power on.

Later, in the driveway, there’s a big fight

a huge scene

We beat each other black and blue, you hate me and

I hate you.

We epitomize dysfunction by kissing each others’ bruises while he holds a camera above our heads.

Below his waist….

We walk away from each other but not for the last time.

It’s hard to remember anger when all your memories are laced.

Fast forward a few months, middle of the night, text message


you know who is you know where.


And no further conversation is needed.

I visit you but when you see my face you take that plastic phone and




it against the partition between us.

Somehow this is all my fault and I say


fuck you, watch me walk away. All you are now is one less vein to feed.


And you scream

Scream things you always say to me. Words I can’t even feel anymore.

Especially when they come from you.

A few weeks later you recieve the same message that I did but we are in different places.


Emergency room.


Sedative injection bruises paint me blue and green and of course,

you had to come see.

You sit across the table in the third floor psych ward.

The staff is nervous, waiting for me to grab you by the throat and squeeze until you see the world

the way that I see it, now but instead you say


Sobriety doesn’t suit you. You’re getting fat but maybe now our mothers

will be able to tell us apart.


I lean in, press my lips against yours and whisper, pretending my breath is cyanide and we will both die


If there wasn’t a man behind me holding a needle with my name on it, I would rip out your eyes so

I couldn’t see us in them anymore.


You smile.

You tell me you love me, too and to watch carefully as you walk out

because I can’t follow you.


That’s all I am to you.

One less vein to feed.

The Wrong Words

My cigarette burns between my fingertips.
In my ears, the music plays too loud,
taking me away from here,
from this,
from your sick sense of entitlement and
the dangerous way I hate you.
The disastrous way you loved me.
For some reason you’re stuck in my head like
a song but I can’t remember the lyrics. The
empty spaces between my words were
never big enough for me to
crawl into but that doesn’t stop me from
Like a contortionist, my body wraps
around the letters in your lies but
instead of protecting me, they
expose me. My
cigarette burns between my fingertips.
The music is too loud and
I don’t remember the lyrics but
the wrong words are still said in your voice.

Perpetual Motion

Drinking Bukowski and

reading in red wine,

St. Kerouac watches closely as I’m riding

in your passenger seat, watching

my thoughts drift away and disappear

with clouds of smoke out

the open windows.  They

leave behind nothing but the way their

smell permeates the air.

You tell me you love me in a voice reserved

for between the sheets and I

sift through sand in the vast desert of

my imagination for words grand and

eloquent enough to paint the landscape with how

I love you, too.

Spinning tires and rushing wind are

the background noise in between your songs

that get stuck in my head.

Interstate signs and mile markers invade

my vision and blur as we pass until you are

all that I clearly see.

We are perpetual motion and that is

the most beautiful form of poetry.

My Own Funeral

The alley is too dark but
I walk through it, anyways.
The bath scalds my skin but
I sit in it, anyways.
Both serve as reminders that I’m still
alive when I’ve awoken from yet another dream where
I’m watching my own funeral from inside my casket or
when I can’t explain why I feel most
attractive with a hangover. It
probably has something to do with how warm this rock is,
down here at the bottom but
rock bottom is a place I look up to from
Hell where the fire burns weed and the brimstone is
made of Vicodin and I feel at home for the first time in
a long time.
Cross country, cross body, cross stitched and pulled open and restitched and
bleeding, laughing,
chain smoking, whiskey straight from the bottle, cheap beer and
as long as he’s here and he loves me, I
couldn’t be happier.
The best part of my rock at the bottom of the dark alley flooded with
scalding hot water is that my pen still works and
if I’m writing, I’m alive.
I’m always okay.
Even at my own funeral.

Dear Penthouse

You’ll never believe this.

And probably, you shouldn’t.

But you’re going to want to and

that’s what it’s all about.

A sensual illusion, illuminated

by soft moans followed

by even louder moans and maybe

when I tell you I’m slapping my own ass,

it’s just a belt, against a couch but maybe

just maybe

I’m actually slapping myself so hard you

can hear it travel through the speaker

of the phone and the wires connecting

us, wherever you are.

And wherever I am.

Maybe you wanted a threesome.

Two beautiful women licking

and sucking

and lapping at each other while you

pretend that the sticky hand around your cock

is my mouth and

the hand holding the phone is around

the back of my neck, maybe

this other woman, maybe she

actually has her face between my thighs, nose

deep and writing poetry with her tongue but


just maybe

you’re on speaker and we are smoking cigarettes.

“What are you doing now, baby?”

you moan into the phone and with

a sigh full of apparent pleasure I tell you

“my fingers are in my pussy and you feel so good,”

and even though you know damn well I’m

holding a phone in one hand,

you still ask

“and what about the other hand?”

Maybe you ask for a tall blonde, thick

with southern belle charm and I

give you my best ‘tall girl with big fake titties’

impression and ask

“what do you wanna do to me, daddy?

Oh, my name?  Well,

I’m whoever you wanna pay me to be, big boy.”

And maybe

I really am some nameless, faceless

sex doll with big tits and a smooth accent or maybe

I’m only five feet tall with small breasts and no southern charm but


We fuck with our eyes closed for the sake of


Maybe you are calling me at home.

Maybe you are the man I’m waiting for, the man

with a voice as slick as k-y jelly and as raspy

as the sound my vibrator makes when I use it

after we hang up.


Probably not.

You’ll want to believe this but

you probably shouldn’t.


Am I a hypocrite because

I don’t believe in God but


I’m afraid, I still want my father to protect me?

Am I hypocrite because I

love a man but I hate myself and you

can’t really love any man until

you love yourself but what about when

loving him feels like the only way? He

doesn’t make you love yourself any more

(and not often any less)


you already do but at least you aren’t

scarred about the wrists and overdosing on

some combination of heroin and fake

heroin just to get his attention, at least

you can get his attention if you ask for it



and again,

and again,

and finally,

despite his frustrations,

he listens instead of never

listening or worse,

beating you for asking him to listen.

Am I hypocrite because I don’t think a man

should beat his woman when he’s mad at work but

I believe a man should beat a woman just as

hard as she beats him?

Am I a hypocrite because

I don’t believe in God but


I’m scared,

I still ask my father to protect me?

Usually the only thing that scares me is


Usually, I’m only afraid if I don’t know what’s ahead.


Not knowing what’s ahead is worse than knowing because at least,

I could have avoided the speed bumps.

Am I hypocrite for not wanting to know my

future but for wanting to know what it holds?

Am I a hypocrite because I don’t believe in fate

or true love

or ‘meant to be’

or anything that makes me feel like

I should be better than I already am?

Am I a hypocrite because I accept mediocrity?

Because I define mediocrity?

Because it’s all I’ll ever be, am I a

hypocrite because you swore to never

accept it?

Am I hypocrite because

I don’t believe in God but


I’m afraid, I still want my father to protect me?


Smoke escapes lips stained

bloody-red with merlot, along

with lyrics to a song you both

already know.

Without looking into eyes and

using only words, it’s

easy to romanticize what

creates a perfect girl, but

words are easy, words

flow like merlot makes

you blush.  Words

lie like photos lie, like

the reflection of these lips can’t

lie, unless they’re moving.

Perception of a beautiful face is

like a sweet dream with a

lovely tint, laced

with images that give a brutal hint

of what lies behind big,

summoning eyes, reflecting like

a mirror because there’s nothing else


Violence ensues when you hate your

reflection and what you don’t recognize

translates as loss but

if a broken mirror is seven years bad luck, then

what will the shattered image cost?

Greasy Handprints

When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a princess.

I thought it was an occupation I could maintain with my daddy’s
greasy hand prints on my sides and hair so unruly, it couldn’t be combed, just
tousled by the uncles,
my grandfather telling me
 “get out of the garage, you belong in the kitchen”
and it broke my heart because I never wanted to be a boy,
I just wanted to be with he and my father.
In my family, the women cook, the men are served first.
We would eat fast to clear the table when they were finished and
I still believe in that value.
My grandfather and father taught me what was a good man.
My grandmother taught me how to take care of one and
my mother made sure I understood that I didn’t have to.
My other grandfather, at bedtime,
he would say to me
 “see ya in the funny papers” and I always thought he meant obituaries.
Nothing really funny about when some middle-aged housewife
dies from all of her favorite habits,
catching up to her at once and they bury her
in her favorite pair of my pinstripe pants,
hair bottle bleach blonde and fading tattoos and raspy laugh, all
smiling from a long time ago in a grainy, cartoon- like photo.
Ya know..

The funny papers only..
not really funny.
I would try my hardest to smooth the rat’s nest curls just in case
I needed a good picture in the morning and now every time I fall asleep,
I think about the funny papers and try to laugh and
if Grandpa were still alive, he probably wouldn’t love me like
he used to and I just wanted to be a princess
with my daddy’s greasy hand prints
keeping me from falling apart