sadboi cento

From the Latin word for “patchwork,” the cento (or collage poem) is a poetic form composed entirely of lines from poems by other poets. I used the lyrics of some of my favorite broody male musicians to make this cento. If you’d like to listen to the songs I pulled lines from, you can do so here: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/1jho9zYpQuzj3bVxSzRxdF?si=0EJLKiDHQ2i1Zj-9IJefmA.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all the lonely hearts!

No bells anymore, just my stomach rumbling.
I make coffee while looking out the window and notice that
I can’t remember when or if I woke up.
Take a forty-five minute shower and kiss the mirror
and say, “Look at me. Baby, we’ll be fine.”
I am trying to make peace with where I am.

I’m laughing out loud so much it appears that I am crying.
(I remember laughing to take that away from you)
(I remember quiet evenings trembling close)
(I’d give my body to be back again)

I am trying to make peace with where you are.

I’m still standing in the same place where you left me standing,
dreaming of a lighthouse in the woods. I am easy to find.
(You can’t imagine how I hate this.)
Come to me now, like you did then —
Don’t leave my hyper heart alone on the water —
My only lover, give out to give in —
I am trying to make peace but not at all.

O, behold the hole in my heart.
(There’s blood on that blade, fuck me, I’m falling apart)
I’m afraid that I am feeling much too many feelings
simultaneously at such a rapid clip
and words are futile devices.
I am trying to make peace inside today.
I am trying, but it’s not working.

(Where does the baby bluebird go when she dies?
No chain to the sky, does she fly above the weather?)

(2021)

Antidote

*This is an erasure poem created from the NY Times article
“Slowing Down To Feel” by Gia Kourlas*

I found a tree,
thick yet unbound.

My muscles were laughing at me,
sites of parasitic effort;
a struggle to stand.

Let the weight move into lightness –
Melt lower and deeper –
Stay with me. Stay with me.

In relearning yourself,
no part disappears.
To breathe, to remain,
can be an antidote to dusk.

(2021)

Samsara

I think I can survive off champagne and compliments, I think I’m becoming lighter, I think I’m leaking, I think I’m killing the good and the bad bacteria, I think I’m terribly bored, I think I can call my state “contentment” when I see a green pine in white winter, I think I’m rebuilding and the structure remains a mystery, I think my body needs to take charge, I think I can be happy with what I have, I think I need a whole lot more, I think I’m safe in this room, I think I’ll keep the fire door propped open, I think I’ll wear double layers and wait outside, I think I need to stay on the sidelines, I think I need to be in the throng, I think I destroyed you, I think I’m sinking back into warm & familiar devastation, I think “sorry” isn’t good enough, I think one day I’ll look back on this and smile at its golden-dripping triviality, I think I want to force you into something, I think I need to find a patch of quiet that solves everything, I think I need to be newborn and swaddled, I think I’ll skip dinner, I think I’ll binge cartoons, I think I’ll unplug, I think I’ll weather the storm, I think I’ll let the sleet pummel me raw, I think I’ll sleep all day again, I think I’ll add an extra blanket, I think I can hear from you without falling apart, I think I’ll never get over it, I think you’re a stranger to me now, I think there’s no answer without you, I think this trauma is very old, I think this sorrow goes beyond you and me, I think all I want is your body and redemption, I think I’ll ask just once more, I think I already know the answer, I think I’ll let the clock run out and then beg for more time, I think I want you to be happy no matter what, I think that last one was a lie, I think I’ll burn down your home state, I think I’ll save the helpless creatures, I think I’ll sacrifice myself, I think I’ll take a breath and make a different choice, I think the world is closing in on itself, I think I look weary, I think it’s all wasted on me, I think there’s no more floor to fall through, I think tomorrow will be better, I think I can survive

(2021)

A Pantoum For A Poet’s New Voice

I have nothing left to say.
What does a dry well do in dead heat?
Reverberates the sound, I suppose –
Of what clawing animal, I do not know.

What does a dry well do in dead heat?
Gathers the stifle, hoards the wet memory
Of what clawing animal, I do not know.
The air pressed at the stone rim pleads for a song.

Gathers the stifle, hoards the wet memory
Reverberates the sound, I suppose –
The air pressed at the stone rim pleads for a song.
I have nothing left to say.

(2020)

Hope / Blue

*the words “Blue” and “Hope” are interchangeable*

The sky is absent of ____
until the fog burns off around midday –
a deeper ____ invited to each clear night nestled with stars

My walls are stained with it
(bathroom ____ bleeds to kitchen ____)
I’m cloaked in soft ____

Dry my hands on ____,
wear it thin on my chest and thighs
(____ can chafe in the name of appearances –
I peel it off and slip into a cozier ____ at day’s end)

____ never leaves my eyes
even when flecked with sunlight
at a fierce angle, even when
clouded over, a disappointment
seeping out from somewhere

I leak ____.
I smell of it.

____ in the ring he gave me
____ in the ring I still wear
____ ringing in my ears, lingering
on my lips, an anthem echoing
a deep cut

____ when alone
In a wrong crowd: more ____ still
In his company: Is there a word beyond ____?

(2020)