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Your Typical Spiel
i appreciate what brueggars is trying to do but bagels were not meant for anything more than cream cheese and maybe an egg. maybe.

every time i try to spell brueggars i see dave egger’s name in there even though it’s spelled wrong.
when i think of dave eggers i think of that book he wrote that i haven’t read but still carried the title with me because i know if i read it i would absorb it in my body as long as i lived and i would have a weird lumpy skin tag in the shape of a book. it would be somewhere on my right side, between my hip and top rib bone. that’s the side i sleep on most, the reason my right leg always aches, i hope.

i wonder how i can write a heartbreaking work of staggering genius and i think to do that i would have to become all the heart and all the breaking and surrender to not ever knowing the space between ever again and i’m scared, i don’t want to do that and also i don’t want to be that and also maybe i can just be this bagel. a bagel doesn’t have to worry about taxes and saying the wrong thing and losing anything more than some sesames and also itself

the coffee here is terrible. i appreciate what they’re trying to do, the awake they’re trying to pronounce with thick burning aftertaste but the bitterness is messing with the way vintage nelly furtado and my big sweater want me to stay awake by the window. marisa was here before her class and we were talking about strangers with identical scars and the cosmic crash of the planets in my head when i’m sleeping. i met a son i had last night, he was breaking in the heart and i wasn’t allowed to hug him because he wasn’t really mine anymore and then i woke up still feeling like i let him down. who was that little blonde boy. and i’ve never been blonde but maybe once, i was. maybe once, i knew how to take care of more than myself.

there’s a jug in the shape of a fish over there and it would be great for holding scabs. i wonder if there’s a universe where scabs are used as currency. we’ll all be trading little pieces of ourselves for other little pieces of ourselves like we don’t already do that. we’ll all be flayed in the name of capitalism. i think we already are and anyone with a third eye already lives in the scabbed universe. i wonder if they can see into a place where we’ll trade ourselves in the name of the bubbles we fill each other with. i wonder how many three eyed people i’ve met aside from the one i know, i wonder how many of them know why i smile at my shoes on the train. i wonder how many of them can see right through me, know why the little blonde boy is sad. i want to know why he’s sad and i want to know what i did and i don’t want to do it again. i want this coffee to be better and i want this old song to flip into another old song and i want to stop smiling at my shoes because they don’t smile back and neither do you and i feel like i am breaking in the heart

but of course i know i’m not. not yet

feels kind of gratuitous to post this, but i was nominated by my favorite professor to represent lesley university at this festival! i’ll be reading the poem that was published in the chapbook next to other college poets in the greater boston area. my poem is about my grandma and civil war and kneecaps and elephants and feelings.

feels kind of gratuitous to post this, but i was nominated by my favorite professor to represent lesley university at this festival! i’ll be reading the poem that was published in the chapbook next to other college poets in the greater boston area. my poem is about my grandma and civil war and kneecaps and elephants and feelings.


we’re at felipe’s and itchy asks me if i’ve written the poem about my lipstick on the burrito yet. i feel like the marked burrito is the poem itself and i almost don’t want to touch that but now i have. the real poem is in the way itchy remembers all of me, and memory is a kind of superpower. also a kind of love.

one time marshall took my glasses right off my face and cleaned them for me.
marisa said Aw That’s Love Right There and i agree and then marshall told me my glasses were gross. but that’s Love too. and it’s lots of things and strands of other things and stuff and moon rocks and reflections of trees on just-washed cars, but i’m still afraid to say it out loud when it becomes a rubberband ball around one lone name in my gut.

guac didn’t like to hug when we first met but now she hugs. we also say ‘i love you’ when we hang up on the phone. we still talk on the phone. i’m talking on the phone more often now. i get to say “love” to people a lot more now. this is kind of like practice but also like snapping the rubberbands to wake up what lives in the tangle of them, to get me used to the way it stirs my insides. when i get poetic with guac she tells me poetry hides what i need to Just Fucking Say Already
and she’s right
but then we hug with words and hang up

to test my maternal instinct i want to adopt a basil plant and raise it as my own and never ever pluck any of it for eats. i keep a bottle of dried basil by my bed so i already don’t trust myself but doesn’t something shift when you become a parent?

on the train yesterday, i read a short story about a dad who shook his baby to death on purpose.

my dad would never do that but he has kicked a family computer to death. otherwise only reached for his belt once but the same way you’d reach for the pull of a broken lawnmower. you could annihilate the overgrowth of grass, the spill of Loud and Too Much
if you had it in you to destroy. he never did. but he still spits, still shakes with something when he gets mad.

i’m afraid when i’m older i’ll finally see it for what it is in the half of me that’s his.

my phone changes “i love you” to I Live You and i think that’s closer to the womb than anything else we can say so even when my mom tells me that she kissed her phone because i was on the other end of it, i know i’ll never be half the mother she is even though half of my person is of her unscarred tissue and sunspots

she says “y’aburnee” which means I Love You So Much I Hope I Die First, I Hope You Bury Me and no one that didn’t grow up hearing it realizes that the etymology doesn’t originate in romance - it began as a rumble in the womb. Mothers are the ones that say that word to you more than anyone else in your lifetime. even if they’re not actually saying it out loud. and they mean it and I’m scared

i’ll be a horrible mother. i already am - i’ve left harold behind again. when i visit home, i watch him on the window by the sink. his bamboo looks greener, taller. less hollow. there are oceans inside the flutes of him, they sound along with my mother’s humming as she washes the filo from her hands. there are so many recipes to learn from her. so much selflessness i want to take, which means i’ll never have it

i’ll always be learning how to love, unlearning the haves i think i need to have. getting lipstick on my burrito was the best poem i’ve ever written and i’ll only call anyone on the phone when i have it in me to say I Love You before the dial tone

i love you

all of you

but also i live you. i live you i live you i live you
even if i can’t say it out loud

i wrote this in my sleep i don’t know whats happening

the ladybugs are eating the city
i see their underbelly above me
a parachute. a hat. the biggest hat
we twist it like a soda cap until our heads pop right off
you are made of yarn, it’s the softest thing i’ve ever been

everything bagel

kiev is imploding under the tongue of the world’s attention
and my coffee is too bitter today, not quite as nutty as i like it
and i have too much reading to finish, about the modern middle
east’s history, how colonialism turned my motherland into dehydrated
leather, how every explosion is a zit popping into infinity into the end of
time into the crux of the universe stored in my spice cabinet, i ran out
of cinnamon and now my chicken won’t be just So, just the way i like it
it won’t be That so i add it to the list on the fridge in my head, stored between the nodes that ache sometimes, they’re just waiting to hatch into the Self, the one i store the blueprints for in my wishbone - imagine if self actualization worked that way if actualization worked both ways, if it could leak through time, lacquer our previousness like we are beads on a string, a mountain range rising and falling like green lines on a black screen, do you see the ceiling fan reflected there? it reminds us that pulse can jump out of wrists to slap us in the corneas when we forget we have it for a reason. poetry always ends before it tells me this reason, but the sentiment lingers in the tone that hangs over the room, we snap at it because we know we should but we still don’t know the reason. there’s always a reason (look, i’m doing the thing,
the slam poetry thing, the thing where i stop
before i’m supposed to start) i think there is too much
happening everywhere always and my family lives in my wrist where the pulse is they are the pulse, i pulse with everything they helped me become they are everything i still want to become, i wonder what it’s like to become, what they had for dinner last night, how they’re coping with the weather, what’s the weather like in my wrist? and sometimes i forget they’re
there but i always know they’re there, does that make sense? they are the blue that might not really be blue, they kick like incisors, like baby sharks with basketballs for sneakers, i always know when i should call but i don’t always call because it’s easier to tuck everything under the tongue, to write to write to write to write for you always, i write for you always, you are the reason. you are one person and you are every person and i love you so much it hurts and i love all of the yous so much it hurts and this coffee is so bitter, so not as actual as i like, so not as infinity as what rushes blue inside me is used to but you should still try the egg sandwich at brueggers

to the one that got me drinking coffee:
  • you have jawbreaker eyes. they’re nice. so are clouds. and the mist that sprays over vegetables at the supermarket, and blueberry scones.
  • your eyes are the right shade of blueberry scone
  • a blueberry scone but instead of blueberries, your eyeballs multiply and litter the pastry like pimples
  • orange rinds curling up in your tea but instead of orange rinds it’s really your skin
  • you throw panic like zest
  • i don’t know how to write about you like you’re a person anymore.
  • i think of you when bagpipes
let’s be math

let’s be math


They call me Thunder Thighs. Sometimes i forget how big my thighs really are. my thighs could kill a man. they could snatch  the lightning like a cigarette from between zeus’ fingers. they high five. they’re always high fiving. they’re always stoked about something. they meet each other like a prayer. they’re always praying for something even when i’m not. this is why my strides are so long even when i have no destination.  i’ve got rosary beads where bikes would have chains. they’re dusty, they’re always rattling like ghost of christian past. i’m not afraid of naming it “past” anymore, but i still like the way its scars ooze hymnals. i hear it when middle eastern air filters through the anise pods in my body.

it’s muffled, but when i walk i know my great grandmother’s prayers travel like sap through my tendons. the bullet that went through her head is nestled between two lives i don’t remember. they’re each an arm that cradles it like her son’s arms cradled her. my thighs probably have rings on the inside: who i was before i even Was

is trapped in my center of gravity.

my thighs are probably older than i am. they probably belonged to my great grandmother. i bet every body part i have belonged to a dead relative. the way they curve or jut closer to the space around my body is to reach closer to the family i can still hug.

the people i still somewhat resemble. the biology that civil war failed to claim

so the cosmic will hanging in the soundwaves left us with moles and hairs to inherit. they connect kind of like constellations but more like something less precious, something with the capacity to kill with the roots it stores in the nucleus of you: that planet that centers all the rings. it hangs like a doorknocker behind your bellybutton. When you’re born, the portal between you and mother is broken but so much has traveled between you before your body sealed itself. This is why it hurts to stick your finger in your middle, to knock at your navel — something ancient is carving you from the inside out, you’re not supposed to know it’s there.

You’re not supposed to know why there’s a cellar in your stomach because that’s where the lizards live — these dehydrated past versions of all the Selves you’ve ever been. They wait to expand when they sense other halves of themselves behind other bellybuttons you orbit. This is why when I meet certain people, I feel a tug at my navel, I feel my breath want to collapse into the cellar of myself. I can’t breathe, I see stars turning into fleas, chewing my vision purple. This is why I like purple so much. Why I collect it under my eyes. This is why I trust my stride even when I can’t see where I’m going.

When I can’t breathe, I keep walking. They call me Thunder Thighs.




if you’ve got any of that that explores or makes reference to your heritage, culture, region, hometown, neighborhood, community, etc etc etc. any type of art or writing welcome.

deadline february 15!

(but send it anyway if you still have something after that)

more info here:

and then send it here:

if you know anyone that might be interested, please pass this on. thank you!

always futures to find in the mud

always futures to find in the mud

How do you upload the digital version of your hand drawn drawing like that? That's cool

Hey thanks! I just scan and crop them straight from my sketchbooks. If the notebook lines are overwhelming I just play with the contrast a little.

i saw a picture of a dead giant squid and it made me sad

the giant squid is probably a planet
when you think you see it
you’re really seeing its reflection

god is probably actually really just a planet
the giant squid kind
the giant squid is probably actually really God
which is why it has so many arms
the better to hold us with, my dears
we are all held by something all the time
even if we’re all alone

call it gravity or galaxy or metaphor or
a giant fucking squid playing god
but also playing bocce with the zodiac,
calling other planets Astrology in order to stuff its cheeks with them
like gum balls

luckily the astrologies have all tasted like disgruntled marbles so far
but they’re growing soft.
they like being held, too
even molars start to feel like hugs
if you don’t bite too hard
or if you bite hard enough

the end of the world will look like the
biggest bubblegum bubble you have
ever seen
and then the
the pimple on the cosmos’ nose
so full of space phlegm, the stuff
fine art coughs onto the canvas when it clears its
palette. looks like an air bubble but acrylic goes
plastic enough to hold tangles of the universe’s throat floss.
it’s all ready to burst between god’s thumbs
meteoriting the ocean like it’s
the galaxy’s mirror

luckily god doesn’t have thumbs,
just tentacles, and an affinity
for hugs.

the giant squid peers
into the ocean to kiss the earth goodnight
we stab ripples into its face
in an attempt to call it our own
like we aren’t just a floating marble
melting into gumball ready to expand
then not

the giant squid is definitely another planet
the end of the world will look like so many
arms holding us out of existence
but for now we exist, as long as this
tentacle god planet
thinks we are only its reflection kissing it back
as long as it thinks we are as nice as we aren’t.

stop stabbing at things

He tells me

"I’m the tongue that comes out of the deflated bubble at your heel, you will never break those boots in. I’ll always be licking the ground in your wake."

He turns me into a slug and I’m finding that moving forward without knowing what comfort is means that I will be here when the pavement becomes more salt than pavement. I’ll become just bones for feet where just bones and flesh used to be. But at least this way, I’ll be cracking lightning’s taunts in my wake’s ear. It’ll know the shudder skin makes when it’s not quite ready to fall off.
There’s that.

he tells me nothing else
just smiles -
this will be a long winter
long enough to think of better things to call it.