A Poem about You Bloggers, You Might Want to Read This, Fellow Toads

I bet Shakespeare was bad in bed.

I bet Henry Miller began with a cigarette

and ended leaving to write facts,

the vase empty of flowers.

Allen Ginsberg probably annihilated in

the fucking, chanting run-ons, then passed out in another

realm of the subconscious.

Steinbeck, meh, I feel nothing about that.

Hemingway? Far from ordinary but so many lovers

it cheapened his passion.


I think about these things. I fall in love

with writers. I do. I have a little black book

between my mattresses filled with

photographs of words. Just words.

Fonts say a lot unless the word hurts me

in the chest or, some, shocking my entire being. Read More

A Wish

From With Real Toads–When Good Wishes Go Bad. Wednesday prompt.


Round, white stones

perfect and alone.

How odd, the shapes curved by the ocean.

I found you in a sea.

I had been drifting on a makeshift raft.

Counting constellations I couldn’t name.

I caressed your smooth unending circumference,

turning and turning you.

Stone.  Open,

I wished.


Tell me the answers and the points

of navigation in the charts. Direct

me skyward, seaward–I don’t care. Read More

Star Charts

Sobonfu was an African healer

-a keeper of the rituals of Dagara—

rituals of preparing and healing

mind, body, spirit

to receive.


You went to her with my letters.


You carried my pain in envelopes and journals.


And that alone cannot reveal enough how much I love you.



You combined our written grief

and went to her, placing and meditating

at the altars. Whispering through tears for

me to find my strength. For me to heal.

For you to heal. Heal from the madness

we had endured.

Heal from the sores this world

bit into us.


You were never as afraid of the world

I felt so swallowed up in. Read More

Baba Marta

For Brendan’s prompt at Real Toads.  It took me awhile to really chew on this one. Good one, Brendan! I chose an interesting combo of Plath and the Slavic goddess/demon Morana:

I inhabit the wax image of myself, a

Doll’s body. Sickness begins here; I am

A dartboard for witches.

–Sylvia Plath




They burned dolls of Morana, Baba Marta,

tired of

her winter

her death

her nightmares she breathed into the children

pressing their chests and stealing their breath,

crippling their faith, their little bodies–

her dark hair spreading

around their beds like night.



I burn her in such winters-

a landscape of old-whore petticoats,

my many faces. My many bodies.

She haunted me in mirrors with her

cracked face, cackling and blinking eyes–

waxen lashes sweeping.


Morana in my dreams, bringing a kind of death

to an old part of me, where sickness began

and pressed my chest.

A sleeping winter she taunts.



Baba Marta doesn’t know

I have passed the fear of broken faces,

waxen doll limbs and pulled out hair.

I saw her in the mirrors and creeks

I used to hide in.

Baba Marta doesn’t know

I let her do it now

so she doesn’t feel bad.


The dartboard for witches

has become a board I write poetry on,

my black ink bleeding her away

from this body I have become.











This body’s breath
caught sharp and held

I hold it and like water
it escapes my fingers and spills
over my toes
when I am thirsty
asking too much from my body
when I am not enough

I give it tea and fruit and poisons
I exhale the fumes of the vices
herbal or smoky and fine
licking at these wet fingers
that let a pen scratch
let a word be plucked
from a curl of steam

this body’s breath
will learn it can’t hold what is borrowed

and maybe then stop
cupping and drinking
hold and take nothing
it’s enough just to breathe

let the vices unthread from the seams
of the spine into origami wings
taking flight in paper vees
and leave me in the water




Real Toad’s Saturday prompt on “Remains”

If These Walls Could Talk

“If These Walls Could Talk” at Real Toads. I chose the First Class Reading and Writing Room–USS Titanic

Reading and writing room on "A" deck
Reading and writing room on “A” deck

The film’s exposure may have caught it right–black ink stains of shadows

butting up to white explosions of sunlight through the windows,

through the curtains even, all that light warming the orientals

and swag. The sound the last man’s trousers made as they

whisked over the fine floral chair cushion–burgundy. I imagine.


And bourbon beneath crystal stoppers, so smooth a sail

the liquor is still.  A lovely woman wanders in here in the

long hour of the afternoon-her thin arm embracing

the white pillar, delicate piano fingers slowly tracing

the cool, glossy molding. She has never made love yet.

She carries that around like a question.

She has never been known.


I am stuck on this woman; I write about her in Read More

Paramour, My Lover

A poem written for and inspired by Real Toad’s “Sunday Mini-Challenge: Paramour“, the amazing challenge written and designed by Brendan over at Oran’s Well.

(photos of eduardoizq)


It is like shedding light, and looking into the mirror

Naked and burning and unashamed in fever

Drop the platitudes you hide in like you

Dropped your panties onto the tiles.

Drop the cage you have lived in like you

Dropped your bustier.

Touch your curves not shyly but curiously

Looking at your body like he does. Look at it

The way you always should have, through your nature—

That wild forgotten forest.


The ever present burn he has shot you with-

an injection of a fine heroin

Heady and lost, but found in some

Kind of ache

An ache you’ve always had but silenced

And his mouth has opened yours

And his words that fall read like a promise

You are about to lose a virginity

You didn’t know you had.


“I own you.”


Hands, his hands everywhere, in your hair,

On your throat.


“Your heart and body belong to me tonight.”


Submit yourself like a fallen bird to something

So hungry—someone as alone and ravenous as

You are—both of you ripped open to your

Secret desires.


He assaults your limitations and spreads you like night,

Jabbing his arrow into your center

And giving you peace in annihilation.


Look into the mirror, your eyes two black

Solitaire spheres, lost in the pool of lust,

Lost in thinking how your minds unravel each other’s,

How his certainty and control only gives you

Permission to let go and be taken

Entirely, trusting the hands of your captor.

Lost in how you are driving him into

What he needs—no control, no limits, only nature.

Lost in how he is driving you into

Your needs—relief, a breaking, a release

–release from all the mirrors you’ve held

Up to yourself, back when you didn’t

Even know you were suffocating in

everything you have judged

Yourself on, everything law you

Have been governed by.


“You. Are. Mine. And I am going to break you.”


And then his sweet murmurs, whispers that

Remind you of how he read you poetry, the

Two of you naked in his white sheets.


And hunger grows like wildfire, you cannot get enough

Of this intoxicating strangeness, drunk on this existential

Affair, this music.

Hunger must be fed, wildfire spreads in that forest

He made you remember, forced you to look at.


Force yourself to keep looking into the mirror,

Imagine those dark eyes are his, imagine looking

Into him,

And it is you.