Fairy Tales’ Charm



They wait smugly to tell you

Who you are, who you’re allowed

To be; they speak your new name

Like Rumpelstiltskin to control


The way you see your own skin,

The way the story must end.


Each word that’s spoken provides

A direction, a tangent,

A torque to turn with finesse

The driest straw into gold:


The way the story must end,

The way you see your own skin.


We are no more who they say

We are, than who we say we

Are. We Cower in our caves

Trading tales like bits of flint.


The way the story becomes

Begins within our own skin.


(November 4, 2017)




Presumptuous tropes

Slip like ropes around my neck.

We are never free.


(October 31, 2017)

I am Not You

I write into myself
a space to survive
the expectations and lies
that have become my home.
This is no autobiography,
but a bald accusation,
of anyone who dares
arrive at a reading
and not see themselves
inscribed upon the page.
I have become myself,
naked and exposed,
despite interpretations
formed in other’s woes.

(September 17, 2017)

Witness to a Dream

He stands within someone’s dream;
It cannot be his own,
For he is awake and chanting.
The square is full; people watch,
As he starts to speak.
They listen as if his words
Were under water
Trapped in tangled weeds.
He sees the words in air,
And cannot question
His own clarity.
Without hope of redemption,
He sees what he sees.

(August 22, 2017)


We listen if we listen
Or not to the song
We sing without
Knowing the song’s sung
Solely by ourselves
To ourselves as we walk
Past others singing as well
To themselves their song
We cannot hear like ours
Since what we sing is ours
And what they sing is theirs
The resonance we share
Transcends our melodies
As oceans transcend waves
(August 15, 2017)


“I reconstitute a memory”
–Roland Barthes
By now neither hears
The other tell a story
Different than the one
They shared. The past shatters
In the moment. Memory’s
Scattered bits cohere
Only through proximity
And a desire to cohere.
The emotional scraps
Linger. He sanctifies
His past in phrases,
Images, intonations,
Until what she possibly
Meant when she did
What he remembers
Becomes a patchwork
In which he wraps himself
Against the oncoming cold.

(June 7, 2017)

Defined Away

“I envision myself nibbled up by other’s words, dissolved in the ether of gossip.
–Roland Barthes
Through her talk
With her friends,
He was contained,
Made safe, behind
A wall of words.
He was unaware
Of the incremental
Layers, which shaped
The shell
She placed him in.
Out of hearing
He dissolved
Into a side character
Forgotten before
A scene ends.
He was left
A revision
Defined in her
Story, silenced,
(June 3, 2017)

He Breaks the Wall

He exists
Within parenthesis,
An aside
To an inattentive audience.
He fears not knowing,
Being seen the fool;
So, he stays silent
As he sifts through her words.
What he thought she said,
She said,
But not within the context
That he thought.
He said
What he could say,
What he should say.
She said, he said
What she would say,
If he said
What he should say.
He breaks the wall,
The membrane,
Between thought and vision,
Memory and forgetting,
The impermeable space
Of  parenthesis.
Such are the pirouettes
Which define his day.

(May 22, 2017)

All Fall Down

Meaning’s Absolute
Falls into disarray
By default,
As easily as
Collapse across the ground
Feigning death.
(May 23, 2017)


I address you
The other self
Split into reflection
Through a lens
Neither you nor I
Yet another other
Beyond us both
Who turns again
With a jaundiced eye
Gazes and thus transforms
You me us
Into a fractal array
Without apparent source
(May 14, 2017)