There's this film between us, a static hissing and a loose vertical hold
but through it I can see you smiling and laughing, your voice somehow higher
rich and familiar, confusingly warm. We make these videos to remember.

Coming home to a wife and baby, feel her bend into you,
"Welcome Home" against your cheek.
You can do anything, we can do anything.

It changed though,
time changes you.

Maybe it's no different than with spiders, and in coming to know them you were able to find the knives to betray them. You knew in the end through having observed and measured each arm exactly how to cut these strings, though I don't imagine even now to understand their knots or where they met the ground.

Then again, maybe not.
It's just like these movies and the hiss that wasn't there until we looked back. Maybe you never cut these strings, God knows I editorialize, but maybe you did.
I can't remember, even with these tapes.
Even with tapes and tapes and tapes and tapes.



"Your stuff's fine... I mean good, your stuff's good."
--Andrea Ramsey on why Oscillations should be updated more often.



it's a voltage problem
an overflow and a need to be grounded

an electric leak

uncovered outlet with cartoon lightning
pouring out like a tap, like a limp hose
lightning collecting around its coiled base
lightning collecting in the storm drains

it's not safe, but you know that
you could be swallowed by an earthquake
set upon by wolves or murderers
suddenly finding yourself under the ice, looking up and gasping

you could be shocked if you let yourself be

you could drop a radio in the bath
or shuffle along the carpet in socks
lick the outlet
kiss the outlet

there are tiny deaths waiting for you
treading water in this lit pool
the salt of my skin a conductor
these lips just conduits.



I need to write something, or I needed to...
I needed to find a tense, having read the Tense Present¹, and found myself drawn along the wrong lines.
Drawn along lines too honestly assessed and even.
One side giving me four. An enormously trite feeling of being 'boxed in'².

SWE/PCE and the always otherized other, that sinking feeling
"I can't dismiss this. I just wrote a paper about how I can't dismiss this."
What do I know though?
I don't know anything and yet I run in the idiom of this thing that claims to.
What claim do I make?³

Don't mistake these twitching fingers for eager hands
I make no claim with them. I aim to make no claim with them.

¹: unflattering, coy wordplay
²: demonstrable evidence of something too ugly to admit
³: let us not forget, we present something in what we say as well as how we say it⁴
⁴: I'd forgotten.




that's what happened
somewhere along the line i chipped
and a fault
chip, fault and the lines that flow out of it
it runs up my face and around the back
like a mask
but not like a mask thematically
the opposite of that, really

like a smile


big ideas

not for....i want it so that people....when they....its for....
for pain....? and animal driven orgasm!
for pain. not pleasure!
for loneliness not love!

!fat throats swollen feet!
I want something
lodged inside __ a gag ref;ex!
with scalpels!

with flashing lights.
lets think.


"[flesh] no skin left to _
[not for] not for pity
fuck dirt
post it online because you're creative and tortured.
conjealed twins
clumps of

Fuck this...

I am going to write
a ballad about murder.
they'll love it
they eat that shit up


I think I just need to shutup sometimes
and write music that
and make
pop music that
isn't for....isn't for.......



the dimensions of outer space vision
comedy that attracts back to living
webs in solitude suspense in the living room


East, yet to be seen.
I want to be there, and feel the stares of people I will come to know.
And in the meantime, get to know the homegrown.
owned, breeded and sold.
purity, no washing of the product.
it’s the weekend. oh it’s a party.
but my party. and i will last through it. and sustain in the daytime.
sleep is close to secondary.
primary and a half.

and as the lights go out on the train, everyone is sent in a tender panic.
the changes are comforting to my own cycle.
and it has returned and i can maintain it.

i can see the natural white blonde which is stunning. in any setting.

my hunger unsettling. no problems with it.
blonde is like cream in my strawberry champagne
and i just want something to fill me.
as unappealing as the formentation white may be.
it settles a desire.

influences of kerouac, jack
discussions of junky and bringing it back (junkie)
sugar and her heart attacks
in the emotional standpoint
an aspect of which i have eliminated madness
and respect with total control.

today's date.

depart from this ego
comfort in your own state
learn to love yourself and the folk
it’s okay, sometimes.
to enjoy the sensitivity.


Careerism Cassandra

In a cool, dry, place, unkempt:
holding a hospital in yr claw, what should be holding you.

Stop, tether, stop. We don't walk so good.
Staggered amongst recordings, seeded and dead,
proceed to dive, without warmth.

I've gotten nowhere with these moans,
these nighttime initials.
Tumbling feelings, parasitic infections, burrowed in seagrass,
shivering between blades,
coming home to sand and a shell I expected to grow into.

But the flesh does not move unless by dragging, unless by wolves.
I do not grow myself,
Tumors don't diagnose, the plugging does.

Fix and kill, fix and kill, you can't plug a home because we do not rescue behaviour. Behaviour satisfies within cages. we do not monitor you.
They'll feed us to the dogs, Cassandra. ou'll eat yrself and I'll rattle through the howls...so fucking depressing, so fucking depressing. Fix us. Kill us. Stop. Tether. Stop.x
Bodies in a cool dry place, classified, and never known.


If I'm going to waltz I'll do it clumsily
sloppy and incomplete
wrist to wrist, like I sleep
because there's plenty of opportunities
to do things well.


were not

"I have nothing to say. I have probably never had an original thought in my entire life."
When I'm biking it's okay to have these bleak, self effacing thoughts because they're transient. I can fix them to a location and leave that location so quickly even an idea could eat my dust. It's when they stick or catch on my tongue in the getaway that they become a problem.

If they stick I have other ways to fix them.

I can pin them down with words and stretch them to the point of caricature. Shout them into the palms of my hands then rub them up and down the keyboard. "Look, look at what I've done. Would you tell me if I was wrong?" I don't think I'm wrong.

Let me tell you what it feels like.

Okay, imagine what you want is in the first panel, center of the frame. Okay, second panel now and it's farther away and a little bit further to the left. Third panel and it's almost gone. I think you get the idea. I think you can handle the closure between panels.


Keeping Track

heavy pumping in the legs and a steady rhythm
stretching as you cross the line then a tearing
push the skin to a new personal best
keep moving

the rabbit runs with paws pinwheels
alarm clock heart in its doomed orbit
white fur gone tawny with rust and wear
racing parallel

everyone runs their own race
and even though you've never hungered
you want the oil in your smile
the weight round your shoulders

as you cross the line look back
the rabbit in your jaws kicks
and at last you begin to stagger
you haven't won

but at last
you've lost everything just for them
and just imagine how pleased with you
he'll be.


the curtain hits the cast

when the actress stands
steps from the box whole
expectation of blood mocked
and having bent
steel to her will carries on

the audience waits patient
as the trick is staged again
and again until it slips
and a set of legs kick
one two and stop

magician made the fool
confirmed and canonized
in his falling upon the sword

the patsy's victory


nose bleed

it's a familiar rush of something behind your face
slipping as though in your wanting the body you invoked
this wine

bringing forth something richer than words
shaken loose from shuttling from one end to the other
in flight

thicker than family in it's resolve
but flowing given the moment
of crisis

where danger and the safe are twins
who hate you or love you or failing that
just fuck you

and your nose bleeds even when you're alone
as though you've been dropped from a height
and lived


looking at sand as thrown stones
or anything at its most basic elements
a cacaphony of simple things emerges
recesses and combines to produce noise
static that can't be differentiated or broken down again
but rather marched upon and held to one's chest and pinned
in the way we refuse to do to each stone
but find as a compound something simpler
something ugly and easy

all i want is to melt it down
put it in a centrifuge away from stains
and sounds and poison and keep it there like a secret
until we can see every strand
or stone divided and bathed in light
held tightly and dearly in suspension
we'll call it a suspension of belief
or a suspension of hardness
or if nothing else just a testament
to how frightened we all really are

i don't want to feel hard anymore
don't let this cup pass me by
rather keep me cold and wet and pliant
formless and too easily shaped
like skin or clay
if you'll ignore it's finer features.


That's All

i chew my nails because i don't know what to do with my hands otherwise
i can't hit anything or make anything with them
and when i put them to paper nowadays i just feel all sore about a lot of things


Dress Rehearsal

These days when I sit down to write I don't know what the hell I'm trying to say. For the most part I bang away on the keyboard about one stupid thing or another, pounding every detail I can think of out onto the page just to get them written down in front of me for a second. If I'm lucky there's enough there for me to pretend I've got something to say, or if I'm really lucky I'll realize it's something I actually wanted to say in the first place. Unfortunately, that's not how I'm comfortable writing.

Kurt Vonnegut broke down writers into two types, swoopers and bashers. You've got the ones who draft out every single idea at once regardless of quality (the swoopers) and then the ones who smash their way through sentence by sentence, ensuring each is how it should be before moving on (the bashers). I identify as the latter, but lately I've been writing like the former. What that means, unfortunately is I'll spend a solid forty-five minutes at a time puking out every dumb little swooper line in my head with no idea where I'm going at any point in the process before something clicks in my brain and puts me back in the basher mind-set which immediately reacts with horror to the wall of ugly, aimless text in front of it and annihilates the entire thing.

A better man than me would just buckle down and go through the messy text, and damn if I'm not trying to be a better man, but mostly it just seems too impossible and pointless to do so. The main problem is that I know I don't have much to say about anything. I can wax poetic about my own life and the clumsy little vignettes contained therein, but when you break it on down I'm not spilling any blood here. I don't want to write where it hurts and I don't want it to hurt when I write, and I guess that's really the main problem here. I don't know what to tell you 'cause everything I'm feeling these days is too sharp still and I don't want anybody to get hurt and I don't want anybody to worry. So let's all just take a second until things seem a little less taut and maybe I can get some thinking done.


What withers the stone at the bottom of the vase.
Elated by the silent descent of rotten pedals sinking into water, I sense it like rain falling on the sea, swept into waves to join the army of currents that strike fists into silt. Currents that don't so much as pull. Currents that push and change tendencies. The stone gets broken at an unnoticed rate. The stone sinks, but only into the surface of the glass.
I'm afraid of the possibility of watching descent and not knowing it. I'm afraid of this glass' eventual break, and any other walls I can't find myself pushing against.






taking in one breath too hard you fall forward, sputtering
embracing so thoroughly some cliché
a jest and trope so infinite as to be divine
breaking with every sweat an artifice built in cups of wine
and shaped by smoke held too long and pulled too deeply

in its breaking you catch yourself reflected and given time
enough to weigh and measure every organ
pressing filament and sinew as grave robbers might
intrepid and hushed in their exploration of the heart
seeking only to understand what they've come to betray

the same way every flake of gold spirals out from calamity
you feel certain that this terminating reflection has done nothing
but cease unbroken, welcoming good luck,
and that the autumn sun will eventually rise
on your grave unturned and a heart unbroken


Tied Down

Sometimes I get sentimental on the bike ride home. Passing underneath the dark boughs of the park makes me want to embrace their uncertainty and let my bike skip the pavement; topple me sideways and clumsy into the grass.

I imagine rubbing my face in it's cold sure palms, letting it poke between my eyelids or along my face; kissing my inner ear. I could just lay there a while and hope nobody found me, hope a snow plow could cover me, just for a while so it could be me and the tiny inexperienced fingers of the grass. All I ask is a season or two, until the frost thawed and poured from my caved chest like a tidal pool and the new flowers could spring up, coil and set me loose again.

Other times I find myself howling mad as I speed down towards the hill. Possessed I whisper to myself, "If not tonight, some other night to be certain." As though the speed or the flight sync the present me to the reflected me; the refracted me splayed up on some future wall where all the flowers have gone. I've always felt that some day I'd become quite insane, that eventually the bathwater would run two drops too low and consume me; tearing me from my body in a sucking gurgling whirlpool. "Keep fighting, but know that I'll win."

Is it truly so wicked to want to disappear, just for a while? To take a vacation from the self? On reflection it's not the uncertainty of twisted boughs I seek in those drunken maudlin minutes, but rather the certainty their shadows promise; their potential for oblivion. A sweet temporary rush of blood to and then away and a flash so hot and so bright that for seven seconds there'd be . However, wicked or not I'm still fighting-- or trying to fight and right now that seems a reasonable amount to do, just to hold the ebb high while when the moon's sliding lower. Hold the ebb high, just for a little while, if you can, I mean.


I Don't Get It

When trying to describe a scene I'm constantly losing the words for the simplest things; confusing crown molding for architectural trim, unsure whether a colander is a spoon or a strainer, mistaking auburn for red and red for blond. I've always assumed some large part of this to be the product of my upbringing. I honestly worry that I've been so privileged and spoiled that it never seemed pertinent for me to learn the names of things, their purpose or how they eventually fall into disrepair. My family were so doting that it was never really necessary for me to engage with life and learn the protocols for basic interaction with everyday objects.

My childhood left me unfamiliar with the way dust collects or how to handle a broom, the methods of replacing a screen in a window, what it meant to be on a lease, the sound of water boiling and how a french press is operated, how best to break an egg or steam vegetables, how to peel and chop garlic, and the other simple feats of maintenance that seem second nature to others. I find myself every day in situations that make me uncomfortable and confused that if articulated to my friends would instantly cause them to lose all respect for me as a human being.

My first time using a laundromat in the city I googled 'How to use a laundromat' five or six times, just to confirm for myself that I'd be physically prepared to wash my clothes when I got there.
I did not know how to make an omelet until the internet taught me how. I felt like an honest-to-god liar when I told my current employers I'd cleaned before in my day-to-day life.

I don't know what to tell you. This seemed like a compelling topic when I started it.


since last you asked

I learned
lights and city swell if you let them
look away long enough they'll bloom
and their buds flower
spewing cigarettes into the gutter
women under their arm laughing

ugly city flowers
sliding as close as they can to the sidewalk
wildflowers free in their cars
transplanted from some other sick city
with its own sick lights
in hibernation

look me in the eye and ask it again

don't worry, i'll tell you the truth this time
because poems don't come easy anymore
and for once i'm certain
this is not beauty.


The Decadent Graveyard

bolts fastened to brick walls loosely dangling and creaking underweight that needs grounding,
every step taken pulls down on dangling wooden boards, lumber spines that broke this countries back,

yet these are the smallest steps we take lifts from,
where support shapes from difficulties and craftsmanship,
gathered twine and fibrous systems
held together interwoven complexities, holding out and holding on,
braids in threads only learned in high quantities and capacities
in numbers and quality,
keep it together,
"keep it together"

I look at the ladder and see labor, I look at the ladder and see years
of sweat and of tweaking and of fine tuning,
I see process.

I see growth from someone who has claimed to stop since the age of 13,
I'm 5'8 and still require some lifting, baffled by how we get high and remain low,
or how we seek to be planted and only find it when others may think I'm digging myself the most shallow of graves.

But I wanted this one where the roses will never die,where there's always more to feed, where the names of the days repeat each week and we stay stagnant except for our altitude,
and I've waited far too long for this
in a bleak, expansive, sort of way.


To Mute Morning

hours and hours spent without words, every motion to maintain the illusion of rest and a halt to uneven rushes as though he were becoming a clock, becoming a statue, becoming the rook

hours and hours spent hating these flowers that curl up from the mouth; chrysanthemum forced through chapped lips, periwinkles crawling steadily into my nose tickling giggling and sloughing rock from the shoulder

i can't feel it when the water passes by when i'm scaled and divided and split through the center by a rich green moss or when it's pressed to my face to my chest undulating in its bristled heave
i kiss it

i press my stone face to the morning and dare myself to feel nothing when it turns orange purple blue against my cheeks and i dare myself not to think of when this morning will find itself balanced and come to an evening

i dare myself not to imagine this gargoyle split its human heart spilling forth and tumbling and in its crashing to the pavement introduce the morning to red


Vonnegut Heart

I woke today at 2:30 after four aborted attempts at pulling myself from strange dreams. My stomach lurched with hunger and anxiety about my continued unemployment. "If you really need a job you can just get one." It runs through my head over and over, each loop a fresh strike to my lazy and spoiled brow. I want to throw up, but not really, so instead I read for a while.
By the time I get out of bed it's nearly 5:00 and I know it would have been even later had I not been extremely hungry by that point. I remember that my horoscope for the day said something about overwhelming creative energy so I start to do some art while I wait for my coffee to boil. I finish my breakfast and am honestly feeling creative in a way that I haven't in months. It was unbelievably nice so I stuck with it for the rest of the day, starting with an idle drawing of a fancy frame then moving onto drawing gay smut while I listened to God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater.

All I wanted to say was that I spent my day feeling terrible for a little while but then feeling considerably less terrible later on and that's not so bad when you get down to it. I can spend a lot of time sulking around because things aren't the way I think they aught to be in my life but I don't think I should anymore. It's not helping anyone and doesn't endear me to anybody.

These sickly nights that turn to morning are all I've ever asked.

These useless words that aren't hardly poetry are all I ever intended.


Fell asleep again and in my dreams I was trying to write a poem
"If I had the guts to do it, I wouldn't"
written over and over in my childish hand. I drank some more beer then a childhood tormentor turned to me, whispered, "If you don't want to drink then stop drinking. Look over at me and know that I'm not as drunk as you are." Now there was something I could drink to.
I gave up on the dumb poem, the subject matter was tired, overly cathartic. Instead I watched as one of the class was exposed to be a prolific chemist responsible for a hazardous pharmaceutical. They threw their water bottle at the teacher; looked awfully upset. Could have drank to that too, but I didn't have the beer yet.


I had a beautiful and tragic dream this morning.
I was a dog, and my name was Max.

Maybe one day I'll tell you all about it.

Then again, maybe I won't.

I put on my old glasses; took off the too fine frames that had seemed so important, so briefly stumbled out into a week of heavy nights that looked warmer than they were and breathed easy I didn't seem to mind, if only for seven days out of thousands, that everything was exactly the way it was and goddamn if that didn't make it nice to be outside on a summer night.
That's all really.
Somehow those old square frames made my brain syrupy and sweet, not minding all too much about anything, just wanting someone true to hold and be held by.
Now I'm still wearing these old glasses and I don't feel too sure about what I want. Or, I know what I want, sort of but it seems so much like something I didn't really want at all when I found it a little bit on into one charged blue black night.
I guess what I'm trying to say's that I wanted something until I had it, and I guess that's not so strange, but I hope it doesn't work out that way again.



document every moment obsessively
if only to kill and stuff these golden times
to press with pins, anesthetized until still

chronicled and counted against time spent ill
or escaped in a too big drunk
or gone unmeasured in countless mason jars
poured up the stairs frantic and justifiably so

up ladders folding back in their ascension
to join ghosts kept like bugs crucified
in dusty cobwebs twitching out of habit

gone like the glow from where you stood
in the one and one silvering vampirism
burning the mist through to some other pool
where everything must be so easy


As always, Cliche circulatory Imagery Poem

Mustn't Keep Secrets

Share ourselves and shame ourselves,
flow as blood that does not belong to us,
pump fists, lock valves.

This heart here on my wrist can't pump through anything at all,
This heart is a cynic. It bleeds through cliches,
uses damage as leverage for jokes.
It gets paranoid, gets flighty, floats up like sputum,
which is to say, it chokes. It coughs.
It hits ceilings like a sore throat after too many smokes,
folding there on the hot roof of my mouth, waiting to be frightened and swallowed back like thought, scratching into an already dug out point, scratching at wetted eyelids and cheeks enclosing dry eyes.

I can't feel what once lured me in check with myself. What once tried to tell me how I'd know if I'd be okay. I can't feel it. What grounds me, or sends me flying to rooftops like a tongue pushing against words before they're bitten into syllables,
and what keeps these thoughts from running together.
It's been a trying beginning to adulthood, privileged and lazy. Lucky but too fucked up.
It's been heavier thn skin and it has worn thinner the line that knots and seperates anxieties from reality.



looking back what i liked most of all was drinking gin on the floor
and the silence before we turned the radio on
eating stoned wheat thins because
you had nothing else to offer me

i remember now, your face
somehow smiling and laughing with every muscle
while i winced and pressed my palm to the carpet
speaking with authority on the outside world

it made me want to kiss you if only just to taste whatever it was
that made the drinks go down so much easier
and bound truth to a moment and emotion
what set your tongue on fire, numbed your cheeks to the blush

it was freedom i was looking for and that's why i did it


little wish

pressing a finger to some pricked spindle
i turned to the morning light blue and hollow
faced another day stillborn and whimpered
mourning hours forfeit and a life gone to rot

"i just wish they hadn't lied to me all this time
or that i had believed them, even once"



I threw myself against a fence
hoping for a spark to catch then give
in a rush of poppies like a fever
yellow red roiling black fingers raking sand

From an eroding cliff came the late bloom
a ringing filament in the spine
pulled taught by some needful thing
then left with gravity to splinter and burn

Left sinking against black into some divine haze
where want gives way to want and stems turn
the flames are contained owing nothing to hunger
where smoke doesn't mean a fire but a lie

Even the immolated needed to breathe
and needed a place to burn their hunger
and a hunger upon which to place this discontent

A place for flames that bring no light, only heat.


modern art makes me sick

all of the people i should know,
all of the places i should be,
i must say,
modern art makes me sick.

being seen and being known,
having some contribution rightfully owned,

i know art is material but i'd like to transcend that ideal, it's a paradox
knowing that art is meaningful, meaning is formless.
however art is visible form.

i'd like to keep the art i create in the simplest of forms, without becoming so laughably vague

because if this is the reliant idea that should keep my art going, having a place in some social phenomena, where is that place within myself?
that place from which meaning erupts without form, into something with form?

the form is ground in which there is compromise, but the grandiose structures that are attributed to that form are the ones that dominate that compromise and place the art form into the completely objective realm, constructed only by phenomenal thought.

i seek to balance meaningful art and form, without indomitable structure,
the structure in which is initiated by critics of the social body, critiquing the form.


save yr prayers

i've let my nails grow out but all that really means
is that the red skin around them gets torn twice as often
and when i clench my fists and whimper at nothing
my penitent grip leaves a mark

but by the time those marks have faded
i find myself in too familiar places
scratching and biting every three seconds
if not at the nail then at the finger and if not the finger
the hand

idling long enough to let any devil in
praying hard and quickly so my tongue
can't catch in the chattering teeth

"let me be alive this time."

"help me be alive."

life never comes to ones like these
and more and more it seems
it never leaves


forgotten priorities

smoked enough cigarettes that I could count on my face turning red
blaming it on the sun.
She looks at me from not very far away, shoulder brushing against shoulder,
but I can't hold contact.
I may be looking at your eyes, but I'm thinking about my face

with blood vessels too close to the skin, to the surface, to your line of vision.

In the morning my mouth moves how my circulation would talk, and my muscles contract like how my self esteem functions. I talk loud and fast , mumbling without saying anything , paranoid of their absence of acknowledgement, spilling coffee on my bed for the one millionth time this month.

There are too many things that need doing, too many anxieties for time needed for healing, to much harm that needs reducing.
I think afternoons are meant for rooftops, and this heat is meant to set us running from its lashing flames. If we can't leave the city we need to crawl higher. Heat rises, but these mornings send me escalating in a pulse much faster.

How's it possible I've come full circle all over again? How is it possible for these dizzying seasons to be so cyclical?


that ringing in my ears and the way i fell up the stairs tells me
that im drunk and deserved every single second of the pain
that makes you throw yourself against every brick wall
that you've passed on your way 'home' from wherever you were

"Oh, I'll take my shit and get out of your home." You shout to someone
a subject somehow made unclear despite the fact that you're alone
a subject somehow made unclear simply by being a subject at all.

Stop gutting yourself, Travis Cannon,
and don't think of what they'd say
when you weren't around.


how we get removed from conversations like suicide (and other ambigouous phrasing of sentences)

lighten these lonely muscles like cords dropping
the popping of knee caps,
hyper-extension and the pressure releasing
fluidity like noise

these gestures must be made bigger,
glances speaking like setting while words build weaker characters,
we leave to write our fables and walk down the street with them holding hands
clutching nails into knuckles to bleed a solution,
a more natural response to an ending.

Leave town and be forgotten,
Stay here and get pushed out
out into what?
out into who?

The victor in you can't voice a story, they can only write one.
What we won't allow to push past these pages will, and what tries to
can come flowing back
with a history contextualized by those who have shed and lost the most
-and if I feel like I lose anymore-
no, i'm losing more.
I've lost more.
I've felt n' feared the cyclical nature of these things
and I want it to be beautiful to tell each other that

if you were shown secrets as heat waves,
they lied about only being visible from a distance.
I can see summer rising out of my footsteps
and I want to hold what we can share closer than the warm air filling my lungs


Spend No Time

the red of my knuckles from hitting the wall
every night in my sleep where love rather than science
tells me this is how its been for the past thousand years

"we've lived this before you know"
i know, i know, i know
"you haven't lived yet, you know"

punch to the pipes underneath and through
then climb in and disappear in the steam
as though it weren't so much to ask for alchemy

as though it weren't so much to ask for heat

i know it's too much to ask
i know it's too much.


so sick of goodbyes

we err on the cautious side these days
count black birds in fences
stare into every oncoming car
looking for signs that the time has come to run
though that which we're running from
seems more and more to be running
from us

'no one sees you like i do'


I go decidedly missing

I shouldn't be counting the people that love me like I would spare change. I treat you too much like I'm rolling pennies and I can barely make five cents.While 5 cents isn't much, It still makes me feel far from broke.
But lately I feel like my pockets can barely hold you.
I've sewn them back together, focused on the seams,
but we're always coming undone (the pockets and I)
and thus I end up counting
because nobody stays

counting and recounting
to make sure you'll be there
to know you're not spent

not yet


bad nerves

this morning as i was taking a shower i was almost certain my appendix was to burst.
i stared into the tile wall and imagined the initial pain and how it would intensify. and how i would look outside of my body. and for one second, i sincerely asked my appendix, "please don't," because it was then that i felt my dreams physically more than i had felt reality. the sharpness was unbelievably vivid, yet all at once it had completely disappeared.


my body is angry with itself, i can tell
the vains in my temples, pulsating
my nerves are restless
i feel like i want to scrape them across concrete as sardines
teeth grind together
scrape to powder
fall out

the one part that considers development of nerves and other things is on an indefinite hiatus
the last thing to arise
is screams
it just knows what it is and knows not to react.


I just kind of wasted time

It stands in the way
which is to say, I stand in my own way
because in situations like these the stakes are
placed too high
laid too low and too lawful
and we must withdraw; rise up and kick out fores
just hoping we'll push enough away
to save ourselves.


Tuesday Scavenger Hunt

My kitchen is my favorite place to stand. Cramped yellow walls push your attention outward through the window, past their molded frames, and into the shit stained alley. I grew up in poetry thinking of snow in pristine shades of blues and pinks. Or it was white, encompassing, controlled, and sterile. A cover up. For when winter melts, we can smell what it had been hiding from us all this time.

Past the alley there are people , most of which are like myself, going to greasy diners and upping property value like gut ache. And nobody can stay stagnant. Notre Dame becomes less like a road and more like the canal everytime I walk down it, the ebb and flow taking me where I need to be, and the people are always growing and shifting like sand or silt or something that can be broken down and built back up. Yesterday I drifted back into the laundromat, stuffed my clothes ino the machine, sat down, and witnessed similar cycles. People rinsed their hands along their hairlines, smoothed creases in the street with their footsteps, and I almost felt washed of you when I saw her walk by and head toward the lofts.
"Had she stopped by my house as promised?" I will go to hers.
And so I went, but not on purpose. It was 3 AM and I had spent the evening drenched at the pool, swimming laps, and laughing with the other manatees. The YMCA made us wear shower caps and I'm certain my did more than contain my mess of hair, but it strained my thoughts together tightly until I could feel why I've been so drawn to you.
You got naked like you always talk about doing and I felt relieved to know some people don't feel like they have to cover up anything.
I felt the same way at the diner, but better. I felt like a rat. I, drunk,braless, broke, with ripped pants, and you, cheery, thinking of romance, in love with the city and the dirt so much that I don't even think you could see it. We wriggled our tails, squeeked at the night, ate our scraps, and scampered off into the cold air to scavenge.
When we made it to the lofts she was not there, or maybe sleeping, and my bruxing ceased into sneezing fits and the feeling of a slow respiratory death. Maybe she had never been to my house that afternoon anyway. I decided to end the hunt. You said you wanted to watch the sunrise, and it's possible I took home the ugliest pants in the world.
Two weeks that I've known you, and in two weeks you'll be gone. I'm unsure as to whether you've been a friend or some sort of healthy reminder that the people in our lives aren't ever actually in them , just like they can never actually be out of them. But before you leave, I'll be topless, and with a little effort we'll expose this hidden skin with inked hands and intentionally fleeting pricks past the surface.
I'd say goodbye too, but it would be more like 'thanks' interpreted through a wave out my kitchen window.


soon it will eat us.


Sometimes I don't know if I am trying to create an entirely new universe

to feel like I belong/to escape from myself/or to even be god




no love poems today.seriously.


She Tends

I'm going to carve into your chest
a schematic of the simple human being
you'll see its beating heart
small fist thumping
between your collars all aheave
little fairy lungs
mincing right around as it swats
pompous gift giver swollen
spleen all caught afire

From your chest I'll coo nothing
busy hands too busy
with my only noble art
shake dirt around your shoulders
pray for demercy
can't you understand?


Everything Gets Crossed Out

Think back to when you played your pathos like a joke

When you were the hammer and melon

shocked monkey star wipes

it doesn’t translate anymore

at least not as a joke

a problem laying not with revision

but with the fear of it




I Can't Hear You, Future Me, I'm Too Busy Drinkin'!

Dear Present Travis,

When you were younger and felt like you'd missed out on everything you really hadn't even begun to be alive.
I know you felt like you were constantly missing out on these extraordinary chances and squandering every gift ever given to you, but I can promise you it just seemed that way at the time.
You're a teenager and you're stupid; maybe not as stupid as most teenagers but still unquestionably stupid. However, you know even now that you aren't capable of really fucking it all up.
Stop worrying that you're ruining your life, in the end that's what makes you miss the most important opportunities.
Stop being so pretentious and stop hiding behind that weird veneer of intellectualism.
You misspelled pretentious three times just now and you're somehow going to survive.

Stop being an Idiot,
Future Travis

p.s. This isn't an excuse for you to not write your fucking letter of intent. Stop being an idiot.



with the hot iron of association
everywhere I sit feels stiff and folded
but with depth
like picnic blankets on the beach,
hot towels crunching with the rhythms of our jaws,
and how when there was nothing left to say,
we would fill our mouths with sand


Everytime I Think I Know Who I Am Someone Tells Me I've Changed

I still haven't written my letter of intent because I still don't know what my intentions are.

However, I'm working on a solution. I've decided that before I'm able to decide what it is I intend to be, I need to understand who I am now and who I've been. I need to re-evaluate where I am right now, where I want to be and where I've come from.

In short, I've decided that rather than sitting down to write my letter of intent I need to procrastinate in a manner which allows me to still feel as though I'm spending my time productively; though clearly I'm aware that I'm not.

Stay Tuned for: Where I've Been


Wearing Thin, Breaking Up

Suddenly he found himself
hungry and less certain,
two undone legs gone toothpick
gone shaky and knock-kneed
easily alarmed and suddenly
thin, wearing
all of these our finest clothes
but still prone to buckling
still unused to buckles.
"We used to be better than this."


Sleep till Noon, Wring Hands All Along the Night

Today all I've been thinking about is school and the fact that I still don't know what I want out of it.
Actually I slept all day today, so what I mean to say is that for the last couple hours I've been thinking about school and what I want out of it (and have come to no conclusion.)

Right now the two schools I'm seriously considering are Concordia and UNBC, both for their Creative Writing program (though UNBC's is actually a joint degree in Fine Arts and Creative Writing.) It might seem like it doesn't make sense for me to travel across the country to enroll in a program that's offered in the city I'm in, but it didn't really make sense for me to travel across the country to not enroll in said program either. Clearly sensibility is not a factor in this decision.

Something that regrettably has been a factor though is the November 24 2008 Issue of Maclean's, in which they ranked all of Canada's universities. It's not that I put a lot of faith in rankings like these, it's just that I can't stop myself from consider them. For example, now that I know Concordia rarely ranks in the top ten in most categories I can't help but consider the stupid weight of public opinion when measuring how I feel about the two universities. Seeing UNBC consistently ranked highly throughout the issue, for everything from class sizes to student satisfaction, does make the university more appealing to me, even though I know these things don't accurately reflect what I'm looking for in a university.

The fact that I don't know what I want out of university is probably the biggest problem in deciding where I want to go. Do I want to go to a smaller, less-prestigious university? Do I want to enroll in one of the big names that dominate the top ten lists? Will it bother me that when I tell people what university I went to they'll smile and nod even though they've never heard the name in their lives?

Naturally all of this hand-wringing is pointless. No matter where I go I'm going to come out with either a BA or BFA that will do me little good in the post-apocalyptic wastes of the Economic Recession.


2008: My Word Against Me

I meant to say something, to say anything really
but between having nothing to say and not knowing how to say it
my words got lost

No, my words got choked
my words got beaten and thrown against
every wall I could find

They were all I had
and so they were all I had to lose
and loose

They came out wrong, all blind and deformed
hideous baby words we keep locked in the attic
and we called the lot of them idiots

And when their prince comes we let down words
stumbling and gagging down the stairs
hopping two or three at a time just to meet someone new

An attic is a terrible place, you see
one somehow so inhospitable that words rush out of it
filling the exchange with their barking laughs

Idiot words telling horrible tales
horrible things about me and my home
which might I add is exquisite

That's why I have to keep on running
town to town, in search of any ear untainted
anyone who doesn't know already who I am

Soon this poem too will be another awful breed of mongrel
yipping about something I'd swear I've never felt
but what does it matter, who will you trust

The Idiot or that which Made Him?
that which Made Him or The Idiot?

Who choked who?



Shifting from the quiet night by the fury of an alarm clock used up by the summer months it slowly simmered away with , the morning buzzes of schedules, humidity , waiting, and reminiscing.

Sometimes luck finds us in indelible pricks to the skin, surfacing for masochists gouging deep into themselves, into months,
receiving returns to often familiar endorphin rushes,
luck's lysed like the bursting of boxcars from our dicey rolls we shook in anticipation
like I shivered on the couch and rattle awkwardly in an open set of arms.

and each morning is as loaded with luck
as the amount of ammunition we keep close ready to fling ourselves into
when we're loaded with our insecurities and self hatred
as if we're meant to be flammable

but I would never hurt myself here,
here where I keep the blankets damp after the dryer's failed attempts
I can't toss you into being something warm, like I can't keep summer close,
but I keep the blankets humid like a reminder
and roll the dice anyway,

like maybe somethings can't be forced, but others can be mimicked,
and these false feelings of unfulfillable goals,
are as meek and powerless as the hope we throw away into fountains when it gets too hot for change to sit idle in our pockets.


2008- A Lengthy Essay on The Breaking Point of a Lifelong Oddyssey

- Writing Exercise: write about something you never talk about AND 2008 Life Exercise: deal with something you've always avoided-

When I was of grade school age, I used to have nights where I locked myself in my room, holding either my family cat Lassie or my stuffed toy Babar close to my chest, and sit atop my bed either in a silence or in long sobs between breaths that stayed equally as close to me as the objects I would have been holding. Sometimes my sister would be there alongside me, sometimes it was just me.

Back then I never told anyone that my parents yelled a lot. I told my friends about a reoccurring nightmare I used to have where I was a bride to be, driving a vehicle in the rain in my wedding dress, while the revolting voice of my groom yelled at me from the windshield wipers as they squeeked back and forth. It never made any concrete sense, the way that dreams never make any real sense. But later in the dream I would find myself sitting down at the kitchen table with all five of my family members seated around near to me. In front of us were disgusting amounts of beef piled in stacks on the table. Everyone was yelling. The words never made sense, but it was tense , it was sickening, and it was scary. This dream stopped happening around the age of ten, but I doubt I'll ever be able to forget it, not that it haunts me or anything. I just kept the dream alive by telling people I knew about it. My friends never completely understood how or why it was a nightmare, and I never completely understood why it was important enough to tell other people.All I knew is that it existed, and it was frightening. It was a fear too big for me to understand.
When I got older I'd always defend my parents and family dynamics from the scrutiny of my older siblings. Everything was fine if I saw it as fine, and if we stir the pot it will get worse. I learned this, too. At about age eight I had tried to fix things by yelling back. I told my parents that they should shutup because yelling wouldn't make anything better. But, I was told it was none of my business. I stayed out of it.

I stayed out of it later, too. I liked hanging out with my Dad when Mom was not around. We went on hikes, we watched movies, we listened to music, and I learned lots about pop culture and rock. I also learned what .5% alcoholic beer was, and for whatever reason, I liked to point this out to my friends when I was a kid. "My Dad doesn't drink". Mom on the other hand, was always angry at me. She made me do chores and yelled at me when I didn't. She forced me to get involved in things I wanted nothing to do with.She embarrassed me when she tried to be cool or my friend. Mom was never my friend. She pushed me to be things that I always ended up feeling stuck being ....a tap dancer, a classical guitarist, a sailor. Mom never let me relax. I couldn't let Mom down without feeling shamed. Mom had so many expectations.

In Junior highschool my dad began working in different cities. He'd come home on weekends and that's all I'd ever see of him. I was never around at that time anyway. I spent all my time at the barn with the horses. It was a haven there. I could escape school pressure, I could escape my family, and all the while I could be doing exactly what I had always been wanting to do in life since I was about 5 years old: Ride Horses. Of course, this added some further complication to my life. I didn't know my parents at all. I avoided being at home. Mom would be angry and sad that I was never home. Tensions raised in my family and I was never there to want to know what was going on or find out what was going on. I knew one of my sisters hated me for some reason,the other two didn't seem to have the time for me, and if I ever made it home for dinner fights would have always been on the menu.
Even when hanging out with my friends it was never at home. Hang outs at my house ended when at one point my friends and I were watching a movie and the phone rang and I didn't pick it up. My Dad stormed in the room , yelling , and called me a fucking moron. It scared the shit out of me at the time, but it isn't a memory that ever surfaced much afterward. I figured he was drunk, so it was okay. He didn't really mean it. He was drunk.
About four years ago, my Father retired from working his job in a different city. After he had been gone so long I didn't feel like I had much to say to him. He gave me rides to the barn. That's all the time I gave him, and it was all the time he gave me. He watched TV a lot and said offensive things the rest of the time. I noticed he didn't respect my Mom much, and she didn't respect herself much. I didn't respect either of them much, but I began feeling sorry for Mom. I tried to make her happy, but she was still always stressed out and I didn't have anything real to say to her. I virtually lacked a relationship with either of my parents.
And one night the absence of feelings for my Father turned to something near hatred when I witnessed him calling my sister a bitch. Straight-up verbal abuse like this was never common in my house, and so it left me scared and frightened when it did happen.
I talked about it with my sister. We walked to the watertower and I think maybe we both cried. I could see for the first time what was so wrong with my family. Those Nightmares were finally beginning to make some sense.

I sometimes tell people I don't have secrets. Usually, I don't think I ever do. Children of alcoholics learn to carry shame,emotion, and knowledge much differently than other kids. Everything always comes down to feeling like my fault, and it's not worth talking about because that would make people feel worse. I would make people feel worse. Sure, insight on situations is present, but you don't learn it until it is absolutely unavoidable.

I came home from University in 2008. I was feeling heartbroken, I was lonely, I felt like a failure (to Mom and myself) because I had wussed out on treeplanting and ended up back in Comox. The last thing I needed was more loneliness out in a forest. I couldn't make friends, I had done well at University but didn't feel like any of the knowledge I had acquired would stay with me. And everything I was happy to be home for just made me feel ashamed. I was happy to ride again, I was happy to see Mom, I was happy to no longer have to be courageous and strong. I could live in Comox. It could be easy.

Mom and I drove from Prince George to Comox in one day. I was glad to see Mom. We could talk. Things were seeming like maybe they would be lovely.
At home I ignored Dad (which at this point in my life was a pretty usual thing), I kept my resent quiet, and we kept to ourselves anyway. It seemed like Mom and him got along better than usual too. They went places and did things together. I didn't notice him drinking much. It remained at a pretty level status quo and that was good enough for me.
In the spring I broke my hand and began having to make several weekly trips to Campbell River with my mom that involved lots of waiting around in cars and in doctor's offices. We spent a lot of time together and it reminded me of when I was a younger teenager and we'd drive to and from victoria or campbell river to guitar lessons.
During this time I noticed my Dad had started drinking more again, and Mom would fight with him more again. I started to hide more in my room again.
One day over lunch Mom said she was worried about Dad "he is acting pretty depressed". The subject made me fearful of facing mom about my feelings toward Dad "Maybe he should just get a hobby or a job" I said. I knew it was a stupid thing to say. I just didn't know what else to say.

One morning after a trip back from Nanaimo that mom and I had been on because my Dad had hurt his back and couldn't come, Mom noticed my hand (that had a pin sticking out of it because of surgery) looked very infected. Instead of first going home we went to the walk in clinic and then the hospital to get me some very strong antibotics.
What we came home to however , was much worse.

"Call Tom, I can't deal with this" Mom told me. I had to call my uncle to get him to come over and convince my Father that he was not sober enough to drive away. Of course, this was after much fighting had gone one. A fight , unlike others, where I had heard every detail of history between my parents. Dad's drinking, how things weren't working out, etc etc. The same old cliches you always hear about people in shitty relationships. I called Tom, and then I hid in my room. I didn't even see Tom. I didn't want to. Dad stayed at home that night and mom forced him to apologize to me the next morning. He barely said anything, and as usual, Mom apologized for him. I could finally see that's what she had always been doing all of my life.

A few weeks later I got up for work, remembering it was Father's day, and I saw my Dad on the computer at 530 in the morning. Not wanting to have much conversation I didn't ask why he was up so early and instead said a quick "happy father's day" before I left for work, and he laughed and said "thanks".

That day he left town and I haven't seen him since.

Of course, this story has not ended there.
You may now be wondering "Holy shit, Dee, you shouldn't write this so publicly." or perhaps, as my insecurities are now telling me , "Holy shit , Dee. This is really none of my business and really long and self-indulgent".
While maybe the latter is true, I don't think the former is. This was the reality of 2008 for me. Dealing with all of this bullshit and the aftermath of it which is still affecting me (and no doubt will continue affecting me for a long long fucking time). I don't know what is to come in 2009, or ever, but I made a resolution to myself which is to not carry so much shame and not be so silent.
There is so much that we need to talk about that gets labeled as taboo or too personal. Topics that are deemed inappropriate for public venues. And it's how communities fall apart.
Now, I know oscillations isn't exactly a community, but in some ways it is. There are a community of people who read this. There are a few of my friends who read everything I write on here, and it's usually just weird poetry. Or things that kind of avoid stating outright what they are...which of course is fine, I guess that's the point of poetry. It's subtely direct. It finds artistic ways of expressing topics. Well, I can't say I've been feeling very artistic this year, and it's shown by my lack of writing poetic things anymore, and I've been thinking a lot about escapism and how this blog is one of the ways in which I escape. Now, I think it's really constructive escapism and I'm glad to have it, but it just hasn't been good enough for me this year. Why? Because life actually really happened. I could not find euphemisms in poetry to express everything I've been feeling. It's been hard to talk to my friends or sisters about. It's been hard to talk to myself about.
So yeah, there . There it is. There , written down for a few people (some strangers) to publicly see is my 2008 oddyssey. And I guess now that it is in 2009, I can only be hopeful that better events will take place.
My Mom successfully had her brain surgery, my dad is currently out my life, I am in montreal, and I am trying to live better and better, and share more and more of myself.
I wish for everyone to try and do the same.

Thanks for giving a shit, and have a wonderfully honest, happy new year.
"May we always carry our histories with us, but never let them bury us."

Wear your heart on your fuckin' sleeve.


Sometimes I worry. No, I worry a lot. I'm a nervous and tightly wound person, most people wouldn't know, until they're present for a moment where I can't hold it in and I explode into a symphony of hyperventilation and tears, often accompanied by stifled screams about how much I hate what I am. I am afraid of being with other people in a bed, alone. I am afraid of men in general. I am afraid of saying no to men when I'm in bed with them, alone. I've spent this year tearing myself apart and being torn apart physically and emotionally trying to find some comfort for the bad things done to me in the summer months of 2007. Instead I feel like all I've done is regress, into old habits, old thoughts, old emotions, and even older coping mechanisms.
I can only spend so much time thinking about throwing myself head first through a window before I actually do it. I think that's still a while yet, and maybe I'll stop thinking about it before then.
I started my new year drunk and pissing blood. Old habits and old coping mechanisms led me there, this time I couldn't even pretend it was fun at first. The fact is that until I suck it up and start actually talking about it, or doing something about it, I'm going to keep putting myself in violently degrading situations, and I'll keep being afraid of men.

p.s. Sorry I suck at posting on a more than biannually basis anymore