Category Archives: Poetry

Elegy for Matthew Wong

So this is it. At dawn, you count the sheep on your ceiling and at dusk, you ring for your mother. So much for life. When it is as brittle as cherry tart crushed like unset soil. When only an … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | Tagged | Leave a comment

Pixie Dust

The suicide rate of Palo Alto’s high schools is about five times the national average. After six months, Mama buys a new bag of rice—weighing down her             shoulders on the way home. At once, she spills it all out on … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | Tagged | Leave a comment

Radio to Me

Nine months insignificant gray matter defines the canyon between us. My language waits to be named to unload a double barrel chamber packed with muted vowels until we fire. Finger Finger I think of the rings around your bones how … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | Tagged | Leave a comment

Hush

I wait inside your anatomy. Sealed hemmed ridged fetus. My mouth lips tongue unborn we share the same host. Separate from you I am hard to feel stray split hairs halving your spine. I wait under a yellow tree for … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | Tagged | Leave a comment

Moss

It’s like sitting beneath a tree maple oak redwood magnolia. How the small of your back sets into impressed strength alligator trunk spine. You trust in me because you trust yourself this moment will not go anywhere. Under a sea … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | Tagged | 1 Comment

1976

In quiet acceleration you drove. Left behind sprinklers Kool-Aid bare feet racing to sirens mating cats in the alley. You left a house filled with curtains wooden spoons your name. You were dark mother always squinting something awful through your … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | Tagged | Leave a comment

When You Kiss Me

When you kiss me you get all of me, the face, the mouth, the fingers. You get the years of being broken by love. The irreconcilable ache of this body, alone, the unshackled heave of its engineering, the low notes … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | Tagged | 1 Comment

Middle Night

No joy in knowing 3:20 in the morning. Ask the bus driver saddled with third shift; she’ll tell you. The derelict loneliness, the empty seats, the ones and twos who mumble to the themselves indecipherably, possibly, she fears, how to … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | Tagged | Leave a comment

taxonomy

1. i draw a prayer from my gut & skip it like a stone among tardy stars who missed the bus en route to the sunrise. i whisper at these car windowpanes & the moon looming over the horizon like … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | Tagged | Leave a comment

The Merchants Shout from the Medinas

Photo, p. 149, from Anarchy, Protest & Rebellion: And the Counterculture that Changed America by Fred W. McDarrah Tenements along Orchard Street, December 2, 1963 Smoke in the air settles over the Empire State Building. We face north on Orchard Street. … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | Tagged | Leave a comment

The Sun Was a Kissing Cousin in 1959

Photo, p. 151, from Anarchy, Protest & Rebellion: And the Counterculture that Changed America by Fred W. McDarrah A tenement rooftop for cool summer breezes and views of the bridges from Henry Street, August 30, 1959 It can’t be too hot … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | Tagged | Leave a comment

Heart Psalm

Between plumbing issues and so many dogs I cannot breathe, do you not wonder what will happen next? Is the garage down the alley on fire? Did the great mastiff find its way home? Can the southerly wind bring snow? … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | Tagged | Leave a comment

Case Study.

i suppose the bones are funny? i suppose you remember the bones. your cat’s little femurs made feast by a fox and my molars sinking in my skull. small. my neck was to the dentist’s lamp as you cried at … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | Tagged | Leave a comment

Wong Kar-Wai and This World Before the Morning Remembers Its Name

There is always water in my dreams. In the horizon where everything began, is where I could touch your name. Engraved in its boundaries, a tapestry of longing. Distance is an interlude numbered by the supplications of leaves before the mapmaker’s … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | Tagged | Leave a comment

Chopsticks in Chinese Restaurants

I sat in a small restaurant in the southernmost district of Beijing. There was a food rating on the wall: C. With a fat, yellowed, sad-face emoji. Chinese people parted around me and my luggage as Jennifer, the woman who’d … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | Tagged | Leave a comment

To the Artist at the End of the World

You squat on a rubbled rock surrounded by bombed-out footprints of an ignorant child with balding wings. An infant lay sleeping at your feet. Eyes wide open—her sable tears, singed red, fill her lash-lidded windows pour down her toasted cheeks. … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | Tagged | Leave a comment

Wild Violets Grow in the Long Grass

Australian violets flower in the shade; four half-moons crucify indigo hearts. Eased along the fence line scarlet pimpernel ignores the forecast, red as defiance for the poor man’s weathervane. My rabbit tried to get among them, made it to the … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | Tagged | Leave a comment

In the biofield

arm hands announce sheer light your cantaloupe blonde hair the way vines relax over the necks of grapes George Cassidy Payne is interested in the intersection of poetry, social justice, representations of spirituality and concepts of self. He’s a part-time … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | Tagged | Leave a comment

Thoughts from the Back of the Lyft

Today is Joni Mitchell’s birthday so the radio host decides to spin “California”. I hum along quietly to show solidarity with the driver —to signal that we are the same and we are different. He has a ponytail that reminds … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | Tagged | 1 Comment

corn husk beak

slug a tongue from my mouth when I am bone wet with death ash twice a heavy flick just enough to pepper the membrane so that I may speak this spell into the garden of your ear a   copper   eye   under   the   tongue three   squares   tree   bark   salted in   the   vinegar   of   unwashed   hands … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | Tagged | Leave a comment

The Search

I’ve walked towards Venus as it sank behind a dark hill. I’ve stepped over the harvest moon shining on a wet dock. I’ve gazed upon the blue-ice gleam of a forehead in an open coffin. And searched for the north … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | Tagged | 2 Comments

In Silence

A round white moon rises from the whitecaps. A lone mallard rides the waves deeper into dusk. What will happen to the duck, solitary as driftwood, after you turn for home to be alone again? You’ll flick on the lights. … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | Tagged | Leave a comment

Angling for a Late Summer Harvest

In the photo from the paper fathers and sons are angling from the banks of the river that shrugs past the city, near the railroad bridge, the trains rattling drinking glasses to toast the journey as they descend deep into … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | Tagged | Leave a comment

Lagos

Elegy for the city that has housed my body since it’s birth, for the streets, perfect carvers of who I would never want to be. like seeking forgiveness, this city is always on its knees, back bent into a sujūd, … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | Tagged | Leave a comment

Last Call

why didn’t you say this when we were both beautiful I mean look at us now our shoes are shinier than our complexions and when was the last time we were complimented by our own reflections at this stage we … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | Tagged | Leave a comment