Bostrom

If this is in fact a simulation,
it is a pretty beautiful one.

Here,
bees still form complex systems
of drones and queens,
nursery bees and undertakers,
all in the name of that sweet moment
of diving headfirst into
the perfect pollen.

            Here,
            there are thousands of porchlights
            lit up each night
            like a song for the safe voyage
            of walkers and dancers
            through the last breath of a long day.

                        Here,
                        where bells toll for pleasure
                        after centuries of having to keep
                        the time.

Here,
where friends hold hands
beneath a bridge in the Brooklyn
of the west.

            Here,
            where if you ask the internet nicely
            it will sing you gently to sleep.

                        Here,
                        where your lover
                        keeps interrupting your poetry
                        with her poetry
                        and your collective laughter
                        interrupts the both of you.

This is the where I wish to be in,
plugged in, dosed dizzy,
and fully, fully alive.


day #6 of #nationalpoetrymonth | Cover image: Rodion Kutsaev

Clement Park

Burned in the back of my head
is a chain link fence
between Columbine High School
and Clement Park
littered to the brim with love,

as if the flowers were at war
with the metal,

as if the photos were at war
with the wind.

Stuck to the fence are
fourteen names,

as if there is anyone around
to respond to them.

If I’d ever heard the word
“lockdown” before April 20th, 1999,
I don’t remember it.

I do remember my teacher defining it
to my fifth grade class,
locking the front and back door to our
classroom,

like a physical manifestation
of thoughts and prayers.

I remember learning the term
“school shooting.”

I remember learning the term,
“vigil.”

and I remember learning
what it looks like when white blood cells
rush in like one-thousand tealight candles
to attempt to heal a wound that resists
being closed.

We have all witnessed
the creation of a language of fear,
forced onto our tongues
and lodged in the back of our throats
like the itch of a chain link fence in the
wind.

It is not a language we can choose to forget.

It has taught us the word “troubled,”
it has taught us the word “youth,”
but these t’s are just borrowed
from the word “terror.”

There is no language to terror.

Only in the painfully slow fight
for the collective souls of all of us,
against a language
resistant to sharing its origin,

like a brutal wind
that comes to take
whenever it wants.


day #4 of #national poetry month | cover image: Ariel Don

Self-Portrait #1

This morning
my face was covered in hair.
I felt as if

I was
somehow more honest
in this feral state.

This afternoon
I shaved.
I watched my

hair fall to the
tile floor,

it felt like an autumn,
here in early spring.

Buried beneath my wilderness
was an also honest face I’d missed,
a me I’d known before.

I wish to be all of the forests
that I’ve grown
and laid rest to.

I suppose I’m walking through them
even now.


day #3 of #national poetry month | cover image: sensoryarthouse.com

Still Life of Furniture in a Room

Is there a true here to now?
How long is now allotted?

Could I be lost between the
walls of now, unknowingly?

Is here a place? Sounds find
shadowed corners and stay.

The furniture of yesterday
awakes before I do to settle
into its same crop circle of
carpet.

The same faces in
the popcorn ceiling
remain like old friends.

Place like a
still life of memory.

And what place am I?

What amalgamation
of memories?

I too am made of walls, after all.

I am admittedly carpeted appropriately
and windowed.

I am a room inside of a larger room undoubtedly,
and undoubtedly that bigger room is somewhat
the blueprint of the room I am.

But also, do I not wander?

This room I am in is quite large
from my vantage point.

There are vast halls within it
brimming with the life of other rooms,
lighting up the night with eyes like old lamps.

Each room a still life of its own memories,
formed in the shadow of the lamp-lit eyes of others.

So, what place shadows onto me?

Am I a bedroom/house/
street/neighborhood/
city/state/country?

How many shadows
have been placed upon me?

What light could I hope to provide in their dim?

Is there shine the right shine I wish to add to?

When you look upon me,
what place do you see?

Because when I look upon you,
I wish to see the place you have become
in spite of your place as well as in its resonance.

It is a rare room that hasn’t had furniture
brought in and out of it,

and it is a rarer room yet
that has not space enough for movement.

It is movement after all,
that allows us the great grace of becoming
more of the room that we hold
in the dearest chambers
of our hearts.


day 2 of #nationalpoetrymonth | cover image: steinart.no

let this be a flower in a field on fire

let this be a flower
in a field
on fire.

let this be a train
that moves backwards
the more it moves
forward.

let this be a broken bone,
a fractured sense of self,
a painting with a bullet wound
in its acrylic heart.

let this crack open
the shell of everything.

let this be an ambulance
through the small hallway
of your childhood home.

let this be a wound
that you pick open
every time it scabs.

let this
be spelled incorrectly
but sound perfectly incorrect.

let’s invite god
into the winter of our
grieving.

let’s dishevel
what’s left of our hair,

unbrush the back
of a once-wild horse,

uncover our garden
and introduce it to the frost
like a handshake with a hope
that looks like a blade.

let this kiss you
on both of your kidneys,
two red chalices
holding the anger
of your everyyear.

let this blister
before your lover
invites it to burst all over them
like an afterbirth.

let this sleep
through the war.

let this fight
through the dream.

let us weep
like our tears
could cool down the soil.

let me love you
in a language i will never
learn to speak.

let us honor arrows
for releasing the chi.

let us have an abundance
of only what we want and need,

a poem
that cannot be written,

a million wrong ways
to love each other.

let us dance with the king
of carrot flowers
who only speaks in maybes
until we too wear his carrot crown.

let it die like it was meant to.

let us never cease to grieve
anything,

let it muddle,

and let the muddle muddle
into more muddle,
as is where we birth tomorrow.

let this be a flower
in a field
on fire.

that does not dream
what it can sense before its very very face,

that there is no line
between what is burning
and what is drenched in rain.


Photo: Michael Benz

The Anatomy of a 32-Year-Old Man

What arms are these
that I have found
set gently against the
ground?

They fit just fine
and within them
is a sense of something
new.

An eastern wind
blows in
as I pluck an apple
from the tree
that I grew beside.

These arms change
in an intimate set
of seasons.

These arms
that wish to be wings
and thus move
to become them.

Flower petals fall
all around me.

I do not flinch
at death

nor do I
make myself big
in the face of its
bear.

I cup my new hands
at the end of these new arms
and pray for rain
that pools like fire.

I pray to gods
that look at me
evenly
from the other side
of a healing Earth.


every year on my birthday i write a birthday poem. “the anatomy of a ___ year old man.” thank you for reading.

Image: Joe Pilié

Punketry the Album: Oppenheimer

This winter, I was a part of Black Market Translations recording session Punketry the Album, based on the event of the same name. Punketry is a monthly Denver showcase of poets reading over punk music. My first track that came out of the session is called “Oppenheimer” after Robert Oppenheimer, who was involved in the creation of the atomic bomb, and famous quoted the Bhagavad Gita upon its completion saying “I am become death, destroyer of worlds…”