Hacking Genius

Tell me an important thing about you
that no one or few people know.

The most difficult and longest running struggle
of my life is choosing between something
that is good for me and something that lets me
produce my greatest work.

* * *

I want his attention
I want to spend his time
even though I am probably not worthy
even though the variables are not ripe for it
even though we cannot choose each other
even though it would create
a monster of pain
with an entourage of chaos
as large as any joy I might pull from it

I want to be his addiction
because I’m addicted to what he does to me
because he ignites me
because he awakens me
because he makes mediocrity feel
like a bed of nails

because he catalyzes in my blood
wars and constellations
invokes a new and complex radiance
I have acquired a taste for overnight
it spills like raw honey,
like rituals,
all over the walls of my harnessed madness,
on my breakfasts, the abstract
shapes on my vision board
it drips from my fingers
contaminating my expressions
staining the choreography of my gestures
influencing every half inch of
movement in my arabesque
inserting itself in every quarter note
of melody I dance to
so subtle
even the audience in the front row
doesn’t see, like immortality
in a million imperceptible increments
then talk about the performance afterward
like it’s the most potent drug
they’ve ever gotten into

so give me his love
even though I can never handle it
give me his love because I need it
because why would I deprive the world
of the adamantine contradiction
of sin mimicking salvation
to absolute perfection
and being there to witness it
every night, every matinee

When Two Artists Love

I love you
and I may have lost you for good
and I’m so scared, so scared
so scared, repeat to fade,
fade to black
a sudden tidal wave
of doubt overcomes me
of whether I could face the world
and this at the time when
I thought I had my life
figured out
I know what I want
and have relentlessly pursued it

you are what I want the most
the best I ever had
five senses on synesthesia
and electricity crossed with fever
in the blood type of desire
and you’d probably laugh
if you ever found this
you’re probably over it by now
you’re probably fucking a
brand new chick by now
exploding new abstracts
in someone else’s mind by now
you have a level of chill
that is unheard of to me
as if nothing fazes you
savant-like focus on your goals
I’d had to constantly remind you
the rest of the world exists
you gotta eat some time
look at me sometimes

but in the haze in the periphery
of your triple-decimal-
precision life’s trajectory,
you had loved me
for one spell, one exhale
of the giving muse
stretched out naked on your bed
divine inspiration yours for the taking
me of all people
I have ten years’ worth of grind-
ing for my dreams and I
have learned to live in the pace
of destiny’s slow simmer
free fall in slow motion
blue hour in full spectrum
osmosis of a metaphor in the brain

and see I really thought we were perfect
with me pulling you back to earth
while you provide me
with a beautiful distraction
mid-air spiritual collision
and I was starting to hear
my soul in your songs
and it thrilled me, the thought
of you finding your DNA in my films
and your voice in my poems

too soon, too soon we fell apart, lover
now all the stars are in chaos
the tarot has murdered the zodiac
I am rhyming directionless
and all light is just light

Preoccupied / Hazel Eyed / Archetype.

My favorite memory of you

is me
stretched out on the couch
in the dress you fucked me in,
my pulse and breathing still not
completely back to normal
and still reeling from
the smoky transfusions of passion
from your body into mine

idly watching you across the hall
sitting with your back to the kitchen wall
barricaded from the 11 o’clock darkness
by your defiance of sleep
typing furiously on your iPhone
as if that brand new song couldn’t
escape from your soul fast enough

and me, barefoot and reverent
walking over to ask for another kiss
as if I were just a permission away
from a world where I didn’t exist,
and there was only your will
and your words
and the truth you were trying
to give justice to at the moment

shrouded in bulletproof silence
just a verse away from
creation or destruction, as if
in this desecrated temple
where I had lain and loved you
you’d been possessed by something god-like

as if among those cooling embers
of our intimacy you have
found an arrow of freedom
to kill your demons with,

as if on that obscure night there was
a spark of your inner fire
that you recognized
and you ran with it,
and didn’t mind that I was there
to bear witness

you looked so powerful
you looked so vulnerable

did I give you that? I don’t mind
not getting confirmation
I just know that I was there

the bed was still warm, warrior
my flesh still a map of your
recent conquests, warrior

and I got to watch you put
your armor back on

Privilege is a Tarnished Heirloom

When they weren’t busy
hiding stolen millions in Swiss banks
and disappearing the corpses of
their enemies between steel rebars
of magnificent bridges, they liked to
discover struggling artists
and open doors for them.

It was some kind of golden age
for the arts, if you could just ignore
all the stories of torture and
the warnings that it would take
four generations to pay for it all.

They found her rising star when she was
seventeen and made her incandescent.
With London’s West End marquees
and golden statues engraved with her
once-unknown name, she brought honor to
her country with her stellar portrayals
of people’s suffering under different
bloodthirsty regimes drunk on fascism.

I was a little girl when I saw her on stage,
but I still know the songs by heart.

I recently watched her burning, on Twitter.
She was going down in no less than
resplendent flames, as she continued
to praise and defend the bloodthirsty regime
drunk on fascism that found her rising star
at seventeen and made her incandescent.

Irony is dead.

Ivory Tower

Equally loud as the excluded voices,
the unchallenged vector of
repeated stories ricocheting
in the cavernous space where
there might have been other eyes,
other colors, other pains,
other eloquences with which
to climb out of the pain.
The sledgehammer words,
crushing words, with neither
nuance nor secrets
never been fed solids,
never knowing grace in opposition
or breathing in layers,
just white light
in a white room
with all white corners
and one door that only
opens outward.
White poetry on white paper.
Uniform cadence beating
ad nauseam. Outside,
the world writhes and articulates
in a box that quickly
becomes inadequate for
an orchestra of revelation
that anyone would know better
than try to contain.

Ex Libris

I have dogeared the nights
where the sky was your face
and the stars were the story of us

you are all my creases
and protruding corners
gently reminding me that
the pages time has buried

still exist

and oh,
how the words still glimmer

The Last Days of Winter

I have to stop looking for that
cross-shaped shadow cast
on bare brick, reclaimed
architecture changing
as the light changes.

I have to stop falling for that
peripheral purpose
enigmas that don’t take root
and actually say something
even if it means defending
a flaw I would like to
pretend isn’t there.

I have to stop disturbing that
where home is not compromised
by a borrowed hour being
given back on the spring forward.

I have to stop calling it
looking at my own intentions
with an outsider’s eyes
the closest to confrontation
being a casual gaze
settling on the shell,
melody with no lyrics
skimming everything
the melancholy touches,
envying what it doesn’t.

Ko Gasumi (高霞の構え)

I am that woman
you saw in the picture

the poet reaching for
a metaphor for some sin
like an archer for her quiver.
And all at once the moment
is a volatile pause and a sword
and a battle with not
a few casualties.
Were you offended?
The truth with her cat-like eyes
and unfinished tattoos
does not balk at putting on
a dark cloak and slipping past
the guards at the port.
(The gatekeepers aren’t
always right.)
There are some messages that
need to be smuggled across
unfriendly terrains; just
because you’re on a penance
does not mean you should starve
the children whose camps
are pitched at the border.
I have no fear of robbing
the virgin page, of drilling
a monolithic truce open
to reveal the little restless
fires at the base.
Some revolutions die
when the words run out,
but what the warrior gains,
she can shed and put
on again, if she wants to,
encumbered only by
the unanswered question
that can’t stand on its own.