grown-up love

i go in search of a drink

and find a bar with a door-bell

and ring it and go into the glowing cave

and see earthquake tori calling to me from the tv

from across the continents, saying: let diagonal lies lie;

singing: we are all shell-shocked at one time or another by truth—

this is life. let it be. drink your drink. live your life. love your self, love.


poem in your pocket: not your normal ode


i don’t trust

pants without pockets.

i don’t trust myself

to wear them, to not

have that container—like a

bucket but so much closer—

to not suddenly drop my phone,

your number, my own hand

straight down my back/side.

the kangaroo has the

right idea: built-in

storage. if we had a

skin pocket, i suppose

i would want to carry you

around in mine. unless i

was being carried in yours.

we could take turns—at least

until the baby came.

i don’t trust a poem

that can be kept in a pocket.

it should be a siren: burning

a hole straight through and out.

it should burn the pants

right off you—right

down to the ground.

a good poem is all the lies and all the truths

you have ever told, rolled up into a tidy

scroll, for just a moment, and then—charging

forward and backward and upward and downward and

every which wayward to take out an entire block—

like a bulldozer, like a flock of flying rhinoceros.

i don’t trust a person

who can be kept in a pocket,

who wants to pocket another.

if i were to carry you around in mine,

it would be for just a tiny time,

until you gathered the dark heat you needed,

until you chewed your way out:

slowly, gorgeously,

letting me feel your teeth

as you broke into the world

to be heeded again.

this isn’t what i expected to write on

poem in your pocket day.

but when do we ever know

exactly what we are going to say,

what is going to break out of all

of our invisible burning pockets?

if you always do, shame on you.


there is fight left


this is no place for mirrors:

sharp shards,
sharper truth-lies;

there’s enough coming at us.

keep your beveled glass and
judging eyes and light-throwing.

i am coming apart
on my own terms

from the inside out,

like a million-watt
welded fist


spilling pieces of

there is fight left,

somewhere in this heft of
crying blood.

and if that isn’t true,
i don’t know what is.

for tjr