It was just locker room talk
Alternative facts
I have the best words
Sad! (Exclamation mark!)
American carnage
Mexico is gonna pay for that wall
I have the best people
He’s for the little guy
Forgotten men and women (x3)
Yuge Jyna
I don’t even have to ask, they just let me
We have to bring the jobs back!
Our country has a lot of problems
Repeal and replace Obama Care
It was a great speech
The world is a total mess
Extreme vetting
He’s gunna Make America Great Again


I sobbed last night.
I let the warmth of my tears
overtake the pit in my stomach.

I pushed down the hollow of watching
red bleed across the map
and overtake the white and the blue.

You think you know people,
then you end up disappointed.
I deactivated my social media accounts.

I wasn’t built for this era:
of hate, fear-mongering, and war.
My purpose resides somewhere
above the lithosphere.

Lean closer, closer
so I can whisper my sorrows
and remove this unbearable weight
like a female Jesus.

I cried last night —
for my daughter, for her generation
they’ve had this heaped on them unwillingly.

I felt ashamed to exist here.
I became a balloon with a pin-sized hole
slowly, slowly deflated.

Racism, intolerance, misogyny —
I wasn’t built for this era.
Give me back my MTV, the bygone years.

This cloak of reality
needs to be pitched into the fire
and build a Phoenix from the ashes.

“When they go low, we go high.”


I am unencumbered by dog,
by man,
by theories.

Take your sideways glances,
your sharp-toothed grin,
and your crazy elsewhere.

I will glide,
nyet, nyet,
slide along slowly and surely.

Take off this rag-tag coat.
This long shouldered burden.
This freedom from being free.

Set the funeral pyre alight
With bow and arrow
Become a viking and rebel.

Salt stained tears become your face.
Heart eating becomes a hobby.

Sequestered by the calm.


I’m kicked back
in the recliner
with a pillow propped
at my lower back,
and the curtains drawn wide.

I pick the dead skin
from my heel,
where I had a sizable
blister in July, and now
a mosquito bite.

Every time I awoke
during the night
to scratch it,
I thought of the Zika virus
and what a pain in the ass
mosquitoes are —
their only purpose being
to spread diseases.

The women’s 100 meter hurdles race
is on the Rio Olympics,
and I feel lazy watching it.
I wonder how many hours of training
that woman put in, only to come in

Outside, near the sidewalk,
an old man who has a face
that is one continuous wrinkle,
dons a bucket hat,
and has the leaf blower
cranked full blast.
It’s only purpose to generate noise
in his perfectly manicured yard.
I wonder what he’s seen,
this old man:
combat, death, the first rose in June
for the last 78 years?

My focus goes back
to the itch near my heel
and smaller things,
like how strange my voice sounds
when I hear it on video.


Recalling the time
You called me a dyke
As if that were
The worst thing to be like.
Sticks and stones
And broken bones,
I never wanted to see
You down on your knees,
Begging pretty please
Or forgiveness nonetheless.
Of course you were Mormon,
Sling arrows, then turn and run,
Light switch is off
Everything’s better thrown with a scoff.
Wanna-be punk —
But truly straight-edge junk,
Playing guitars in the attic
Never pragmatic.
You were upset we didn’t bring
The Polish exchange student queen.
She was foreign enough
not to be your fool,
Time to wipe the drool
Then lose your cool.
Direct it at me
Let the words fly,
Set them free.
I can take it.
And I did.
You’re nothing but an immature kid.
Draw your cartoons,
Play distorted tunes.
I will write this poem
And remind you, he who is without sin
Let him cast the first stone.


You dropped words
heavy on me,
a fancy paperweight
from a forgotten vacation;
a rapper’s lyrics
so salty and stained
that spittle flies
when they are spoken.

You cried for a few minutes,
as incomprehensible verbalization
poured from your wicked mouth
like wet cement —
all the while, not understanding
the depth of what you’d done —
the final check mate move
you had initiated.

I ran outside,
for fear of suffocation,
with my brain a swirl
of reds and grays.
The cotton was thick
on the patio that summer,
dense as Utah’s dark, snowy winters.

I should have been
smiling into the sun
as I pedaled my bike
past the gurgling river,
but my mouth tasted
like I had swallowed sand
and it had collected
at the back of my throat.

That was when I realized
you were leaving.
I was a burden.
You felt saddled by me.
You needed some newer,
fresher horizon.

Now whenever I see cottonwood trees
shedding their seed,
I think of that July weekend,
my sandpaper throat,
and how you closed the door





Mr. Brooks smells like love
on a Saturday morning.
Love and passion fruit,
sweet with juice to dribble
and dark seeds.

Spreading himself too thin
jam or preserves…
she doesn’t deserve
him at all.
He gets hot when she smiles.

He barks, she bites
and which is stronger?
This bond is broken,
taking with it…dreams

of California’s ocean side
and a thin-lipped smile
which is never wide enough
to drive you home,
Mr. Brooks.


Uncle Ted smokes a cigarette.
It’s cherried,
until tufts of smoke
flare from his nostrils.
He rides a motorcycle on weekends.

My dad kneels, solemnly
near his mother’s grave.
He places lilies and baby’s breath
directly behind the headstone.
The Salem Cemetery is generally
slow on Sunday.

The veterans have their crosses lined up
neatly in perfect rows.
The stars and stripes wave freedom
and stink of death.
My Grandpa fought in World War II.

My mother sighs
as she gets in the stifling hot car.
I prop my swollen knee
on a fluffy pillow
and close my eyes.


Once he struggled to find himself and he told me about it. He had always written poetry and love songs, but refrained from sharing them. He was usually toying with my mind and when I was in a good mood I let him toy with my heart too.

I never really told him how much I hated life or how I felt about him. He said I always looked happy. I knew I had decided to like chocolate brown eyes and humor, instead of long hair and science fiction. I swore myself to secrecy on that one.

Sometimes, I watched midnight movies and thought about him. Then I would stay awake listening to Abbey Road. He liked to go to bed early and always seemed drowsy if I called past 10:00. I tried to avoid late-night conversations for fear I might say something I didn’t truly mean.

So tonight I lie awake because when he dropped me off, I told him I wouldn’t be able to fall asleep. He said he’d go home and dream quickly. Then I wondered if he snores and if he would wear his navy blue slippers when he gets up in the morning.


Last night
you haunted my dreams,
like the ghost-owner
of an 18th-century Victorian.

You peeled some twenties
from your back pocket
to purchase a bag
of weed-laced Doritos;
handing the crumpled bills to your ruddy faced dealer
whose hands were larger than was natural.

They were the best chips
I’d ever tasted,
even though they were the color of moss,
and after eating a few
we were giggling
like Catholic school girls
with a dirty secret.

There were paddles
and fluorescent bouncy balls
so we played a game of
table tennis,
but we were in such fits of laughter
that I don’t think we kept score.

I produced a notebook and a pen
and sat on the floor
in a nearby apartment alone.
The words wouldn’t stop flowing
and I could tell they were the best
I had ever written
but can’t recall them now.

I was happy,
blissfully happy,
and that’s how I know it was a dream
because you were there,
and I was elated.
That never happened in real life.