el niño

i could hear her outside. i could hear him outside.

they promised a storm this january. i could hear the wind gusting the leaves against the bony trees outside. the smell of the vapor clouded with dirt. condensation steeped with metallic taste. water shuddering in the teapot. and i could hear them outside.

they were the eye of the storm.

the glass leaning against all shades of dehydrated purples and swollen greys. the gusts rattling the leaves. the wind whipping her hair. soft solar flares with medusa in mind. and his hair as well. the mane of a lion mask. they promised a storm this january.

they were the eye of the storm.

a soft whistle turning to a scream. the teapot.

behind me the sliding door opening the wind shaking the leaves against the bony trees the sliding door shutting behind HAVE A NICE DAY AT WORK and then her collapsing collapsing collapsing onto the bathroom floor. shutting within the collapsing. the moans and final gasp of a redwood tree as it shudders to the earth.

i poured the water curling steam, filling two ceramic mugs.

a tiny breath between the frame and the door creaked ajar. she let me in. there, a gloating room of yellow light and her a dark smudge scrawled on the tiles and the wall. with her shoelaces still tied. 

she shields her eyes with one hand, IT’S NOT SUPPOSED TO HURT

in the other, a gold tuft of lion hair clenched in a fist.

i could hear the rain on the roof.

Try your best to remember the sun is just another star

you entered          —          slowly.          interrupting

The first time we met I stood peeking out from behind the incense cedars and you were cloud-scattered sunlight flickering through the branches.
Told me your mother named you Spear-Strength and I returned that my mother named me after the cold Pacific White Waves.

Traces of Apollo in your blood fire springing from your brow and I notice you pop out a cigarette to light whenever we get to the top of a mountain. Curry recipe in your hands and spurs clicking the ground at your heels with a red paisley cowboy kid look in your eyes. I seem to keep getting in your way in the kitchen.

smelling of:      smoked paprika     fresh-baked bread     basket of wildflowers

The steel carabiners clink together like wind-chimes hung from our waists.
Tied in to the stony crag where I hear you say I’m strong.

After three years I’m taking my vengeance on the split granite dome and when I finally reach the top I find you waiting like Sampson fast asleep but you jerk awake easily when I touch your hair and I start to wonder why I have the tendency to want to wake you up.

figure-eight knots         eight-spotted          american forester          american kestrel

Tying feathers to my elbows and ankles I’ve got a nature to run into the sunset clouds to keep my legs from getting too restless at night.
I know that in the end I’ll be running back through the doors every time but you’ve got a different type of restlessness don’t you and when I do come running back through the doors sweaty and red like I’d been chased by one of my recent nightmares you jump up with your guitar playing like you wanted to make me dance and singing like “It’s okay it was just a bad dream just go back to sleep.”

And after the day you told me “I know what it’s like to fall through the ice” I started thinking about how I could tell you that I know what it’s like because I’ve fallen through the ice too.

alternative folk    //      bluegrass punk     //     americana     //     new wave post-hardcore

Taking night walks to the docks to clear the noise from our heads got me thinking about the day we met and how you looked at me like sunlight.
But you’re not the sun are you at least not in the sense of the springtime sunlight warming our faces but more like one of those pictures captured in space that we have to dim to see on a screen more like one of those pictures of a rough molten sphere so turbulent it bursts in flares at least every other day and I’m catching your reflection glances because I’m the moon phasing full churning up the tides into this rip current catching us red-handed.

When we dance we light up the sky.

the same           universe            for the brief           —

So we will mostly undress.
You started asking me about where I got my oceanid veins and I said it’s all about learning to kiss the face of chaos to catch a pure breath of peace but that’s when I started to remember I needed to come up for air.

See I’ve got this wild habit of keeping my foot off the brake when I’m driving the downhill curves and (I think I’m getting better at it but) every now and then I crash (turn and burn) and now (for five straight days) you’ve set forest fires on my mind so when you find the words to ask me how I slept last night I honestly gotta say that my spine aches from whiplash and I honestly gotta say that I’ve felt it before (hit and run). All I want to hear you promise me you won’t leave without saying goodbye.

please          watch your step! on         your way out of           the garden


Semi-precious stones, shattered by
cedarwood branches, soaked in
meadow-kissed rivulets awakened under the dawn horizon.

Framework of tissue, skin, and bone:
the clockwork of gaze.

And you were looking at me.

Please describe your relationship with destruction

Some people are forest fires
Some people are redwoods —
Can’t grow unless they’re burned.

But oh, do they grow.


I drive up the mountain smelling like suitcases and sandalwood
And lay my blankets on the bottom bunk in the middle bedroom.

He hands me a compass to map out the trail to Taft Point,
Unaware that I wish it could just point me to where I lost myself.