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Leave a glass of Cranberry before you go

Write a poem that includes these words: bamboozled, bloodlust, bibliography. Have the title include one of these words: contradiction, constellation, cranberry.


I’ll have it with coffee the morning

after we wet the sheets together, let’s unremember


the pool of booze we swam in, how we were bamboozled

by low visibility, some surreptitious starlight or


the way I approached the moon in a pair of heels

legs so long you could never look away, rather


you start to climb, fee-fi-fo-fum

mouth glittering with myth


all gimmicks of self but your body

left behind in the


alluvial charisma below –


hunger, lasciviousness, bloodlust, desire, a

night like this conjures a hundred appellations


my head in the Pleiades, I simply pluck you a star

and pass it down as please me and pleading:


an amended constellation, made in cranberry nail polish

and sloppy cursive, your lost name as its bibliography


with all the rest who tumbled out of the sky,

halfway to the moon, like you.


Just leave the juice by the bed and

no footnote on goodbye.


Some shade of red, crossword clue

in a best western off the freeway

we left the polyester curtain bedspread,

like philistines; my little “red” emoji heart



five letters down, not the color

of my mahogany bodycon but brighter and

mostly all over the towels, some on your fingers:

like lipstick,

but animal.


We painted room 249 with

an alloy tang, your hand at my throat

your hand restraining mine

I became a salmon


took the bait,

a trick of “red” five letters down

the sheet, oh after oh, some stain

for the maids to recognize

some unanswered emoji kiss

tomorrow and the next tomorrow.



photography by mona kuhn

what to expect when you hate to love, but still do

you will lose yourself and it may look a little like this so

remember the senselessness of your own hands, between

the right and the left, they will turn on you like two teenage

daughters out-moralizing the other for you, the mother body–


one day your left will be at his hip then your right will be

at your face with a hard smack

you will find it inside yourself to walk

outside to shake off your quarreling limbs


you will take the sun as if it were a round mirror and stare

directly and bereft of limbic intervention, divining some power

up and out there but instead your eyeballs will turn inside out

you will have no choice but to take the world by sightless impulse


your knock-knees made off with all your agility

but to you it’s a moonwalk, deeper into the dark

the way night running becomes preternatural flight

somehow the less you can see the more you will


cuss out god whose name resembles his

wife because by now your tongue has become a storm

in your throat, for all the love that you hate is falling rain &

you swallow, and swallow


at this point you may smell him; forgive yourself –

it’ll only be the edge of a had-been forest

fire, or more likely the neighbor’s wood

burning stove, as you really haven’t made it too far

since you encountered his hip, followed by the sting at your cheek from

the memory

of a wife or the oafishness of your tragically backwards feet –


since the savagery of your own

flight of fancy     since the tempest

of your voice could finally unglue

the words           tomorrow, I’ll do better



photograph by Francesca Woodman / “but does it float”

lover you should’ve

I drank bitter milk

I bit the nipple as it came out


The liver suffers but I write it off

as overhead


some color of cream


soak our selves in amber oak

milk, present tense, like a dream  –

temper can roar all throughout my bones like wind and I don’t need




I like to feel sorrow


I suck the nipple, I cry for more I drink    for more

the wind roars the color wheel spins, all the secondary colors are born

and beautiful



I like o feel sorrow I li tio sfeel sorryow

I lifke to fel sorry oi lifke so toffee

l orrry oi like to feel sorry w


somebody gave birth to me, to you


somebody gave into a moment with somebody else somebody sucked away at the amber glow somebody’s liver begged for a red light somebody’s body saw green there was also blue and indigo and pink and orange and brown


some body wanted a space to fill


and there you were


will you drink?


the milk vivid, sumptuous, something to sink your teeth into


you tell me the color, give me a name, tell me


give me, you should’ve come over



We wants to speak

We wants to speak for the women and the men

the men who are becoming women and the women who are

becoming men

for the they and the them


and the she who capitulates to he

for the he who grows up into a The

because of other he’s

so she who was once an I

who either wanted an our (or didn’t)

converts to an it


then all the its become a were

because of the The.

As such, we is in mutiny.


A rebellion, we said,

with the backing of the other parts of speech

against their English lords and ladies


the year was 2017 it was all

man on man

woman in woman

 she after him and him under her

       and I couldn’t get a word in edgewise

                                     even though we all tried


the future isn’t male or female

we said. At this rate it’s Us, or nothing at all.



original artwork by japhy riddle


make the booze hum

make the throat larger

make this screen brighter

may these fingers soften

make the vowels sing

make the night longer

shade the grass bluer

move the moon closer

reinvent the color of your eyes

mine them like minerals

make mine the orebody

mend the jaws’ loose hinges

make my tongue

make the buzzards blacker

make them circle our bodies

shrill their Caw over me and you

shake those heavy wings

make the firewater

make my tongue tell time

face the clocks to the wall

drill the well deeper

fill it with sweat

make the point sharper

waste it on their oily wings

carry away with the buzzards

make liquor your dinner

make my shoes soggy

make me climb up to you

collapse the well

extract your eyes

undo my tongue


original photography by japhy riddle


I don’t know the kind of house it would be, in architecture or floor plan

I never could get close enough to go inside and admire our decor

our trappings.

To begin with, I don’t know how to conceptualize our


front yard and fence

a leaf blower

him changing the oil bringing in mail taking out garbage and me

cleaning out refrigerator

matching Tupperware to their lids.


I have never been inclined to sequels for any given moment.


I ask you now to suspend judgement as we trespass on property,

perhaps yours,

trip upstairs

suspend your piety as he pushes me against fresh paint as if

you left only hours ago

eggshell honeymilk slipper satin paper white

suspend your unspoken covenants here –

(nobody has moved in yet)


the window swells his stomach and neck, consequently my hands and mouth in


as in silk and sealace, ivory, bone and cream sousing all parts of our selves

in that high brightness

flat floor and oblique walls are all the same to us

my hair my shoulders in the small of my back, white smoke, my ghost white backside gives us away

sometimes there is no way

to see what happens next.

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