The stairway to heaven rests – covered in age old blood and anger and lies and distrust – must have been hard on you to keep the lies hidden for so many centuries – play the angel when you are the devil’s soul – smile and laugh as you sing barefoot in the church choir – no one notices that the wood beneath your feet burns and chars – tell the world your lies till they accept it for truth – corrupt in the name of religion – those who see different become heretics sacrificed to your unforgiving rage.


In the beauty of the night’s light it fell – broke on the soft earth below – faded into dust – no tears could bring it back but I couldn’t cry any so it wouldn’t have mattered if tears could resurrect it from the bone dry dust – the winds blew scattering dust like smoke until the eye couldn’t find the particles anymore – in the night I opened my eyes and the darkness was gone replaced by everything – eyes closed again because darkness was safer than everything – breath faded like the shattered shards of it then faded into the dust and blew away into smoke – and I was gone forever.


Under the influence of a Yellow Tail and Shock Top induced freedom I talked of dreams – how Ireland calls not as my homeland or my heritage – but as my escape from the place that kills my soul piece by piece day by day – she said I’ll come see you there and well get trashed on a Sunday night in an Irish pub on Guinness or the like – we’ll do a damn fine job because I can drink and so can you – I talked of the fact that my curse is wanting nothing less than everything and she said when you get everything you feel everything and the curse doesn’t go away it just changes a little – before ten arrived we left for our beds and Merlot sitting on the head boards where we left them four hours before.


Tomorrow I will be me again – but I have no idea who that is anymore – maybe I have never known – the only place I have an idea is under the wide-open skies or on parchment in ink.

Tomorrow I will leave here – to where is still a question mark engraved permanently on my brain matter which quit receiving blood and oxygen months ago.

Tomorrow I want to stand in the rain – let it wet my cheeks paste clothing to body and wash away the world – simply stand and soak up the sky that falls from above – watch lightning split the air into fragments of rage – smile at how small I am.

Tomorrow I will let myself feel.

Briefly It Enters, & Briefly It Speaks ~ Jane Kenyon

Thanks Rebecca K.

Crying in the night – afraid of what I want to be because it is told to me that that is bad – against the doctrines I am supposed to follow – the day came that I threw up my hands tore my hair shouted to the sky -resolved never to take another step backward- I felt the wings on my back quiver with the hope that they would finally be unbound – released to fly – others spoke the same rhetoric of examples – women who have failed how it is our place to watch the men succeed to clean the house bear the children.

I Have Been Her

I tore my hands from the clawing embrace and promised myself I would never become the possession of another – promised I would not let myself be confined to small spaces – that I would let the mists of my mind soar on dove’s wings through the rain falling over the big empty of the world – promised I would shed my tears unashamedly so that I would make room for my laughter – swore I would learn to climb so I could fly from the tallest peak.

I Have Been Her

I have flown and I have fallen – I have laughed and I have cried – to stay free I remember that I -lose the soulskin by becoming too involved with ego, by being to exacting perfectionistic or unnecessarily martyred, or driven by a blind ambition or by being dissatisfied about self family community culture world and not saying or doing anything about it or by pretending [ I am] an unending source for others or by not doing all [I] can to help [myself]- sometimes I realize that I have clipped my own wings by doing one of the very things I have warned myself to guard against.

I Have Been Her

Sometimes I realize that people aren’t who I thought they were and that I should have trusted my initial reaction that I dismissed as being a bitch – and that had I listened to that initial reaction I wouldn’t be in a place where people around me hang dark clouds over their heads and try to drag me under the current of their own flood.

I Have Been Her

Sometimes I realize that I am -Hambre del Alma, the starving soul- to feed the starvation I write – I pour out my woes and the ink sometimes feel like blood in my hands and when I am done I am emptied of the poisons I willingly consumed.

I Have Been Her

Sometimes it would be better to weep in front of the world so that they could see something was wrong – maybe if others had seen me cry they would realize the pain I bear – that everyone bears inside but are told to bury because it isn’t polite to freak out in public – and I try to cry so that I have room to laugh but I rarely spill those tears anywhere other than the page and the night – the two times that that has occurred have both been because of men and I detest the typicality of that.

I Have Been Her

The first I was thirteen and full of fire and for the first time I felt that fire snuffed out by the only man who could have done so – my father whose words are sharper than his knives and faster than his bullets and I survived but the scar tissue still pulls from time to time.

I Have Been Her

The second time I was 21 and full of hope with no idea how to use it or act on it and then I did and the hope was gone – in some ways that one hurt more than the first because I did it to myself – and I suppose that is why all the books and histories say -the regal woman the one who rules who looks on who stands alone- because in refusing to sacrifice yourself – refusing to follow the rules and be normal – you must be willing to stand alone – but you must also be willing to recognize those who stand with you – others who fight the definitions placed on them – who follow their dreams – who pick you up dry your tears and tell you to buck up and live on – and I am fortunate to have those people because not everyone does – and they cannot save you but they can make you save yourself.
I Have Been Her


I love my words – they take all of my soul until nothing is left – an all-consuming fire that burns bright ever so bright but fades again into the depths of the night as fast as it flared to life – words give me moments of bliss & glimpses of beauty but they always go away.
I love my dog – he is always there – always happy to see me & sad to see me go – & he is the tie with my heart the thing that keeps it beating steady & true – because his honesty drives my own & his love encourages mine – & when I cry he doesn’t ask me to stop just licks the tears away until they cease & snuggles against my body like a living medicine.
I love breath iced in the air – when the temperature goes below comfort & every expulsion of air rises in clouds that crystallize & fall to the diamond earth below.
I love my horse – he transports me to another freedom – one where my feet don’t touch the ground where my eyes focus out & my skin feels his lust for life – where my ears hear the shuffle of hooves in the dirt & the soft exhalation of breath as he turns inward – ready to become a part of me & I of him.
I love the whistle of wind – through the grass how it sings a soft melody – through the sage how it rustles & bears the sweet strong scent of the wild & rugged – through the trees how it sounds different from lodge pole to pine to fir to quakies – but the quakies are the best – their whistle bounces along on shaky tremors like children laughing & it makes me smile even when am sad.
I love the seconds after waking up – how my body slowly moves & stretches as the pulse begins to pound again like a bear after a long hibernation – how the fuzzies of a good sleep slowly fade into the background & the light plays over hair & skin tangled in sheets making awareness rise but not enough to abandon the nest – not yet.
I love my wanderlust – my urge to see what is beyond – to go where the sky meets the earth & farther because I want to see what is new what is fresh what is truly wild – the roving gypsy lust for new things & places the insatiable itch to move on.
I love my Frank Church – my rugged mountains & treacherous rocks that teach me every day that life is about falling down & continuing on – bleeding your soul into what you do with sweat & curses that the empty sky above takes from your mouth & throws into the wind to be eaten like a worm by a robin – breaking what you think you are capable of down into confidence & hard won respect for yourself.
I love the moon as it shines over rustling water – how it eats away the darkness never succeeding but always trying with its army of stars to keep it company – how it calls to me & the wild things to worship its untouchable beauty – its perfect imperfections – its whispering call to the ebbs & tides of life & flesh & blood & cycles.
I love the ocean – the ocean I have never seen because even though my eyes have never touched it in this life some previous version of me sat on the rocky coasts of an emerald land & smiled as the waves caressed the pain away.
I love the moments before sleep – how vision wavers & you see the other realms that your mind knows exist but blocks off because it is used to being told such notions are insanity – how the blood thickens & slows to a steady rhythm of content – & the ghosts you forget about when awake creep in to say hello because they are lonely & most don’t talk to them anymore.
I love the feel of a dress against skin – how it flutters & clings & swings as you move – how you are not shrouded in concealment & it feels like freedom & power – not the same feeling that sweats & sweatshirts give but just as good.
I love the sweet call of booze & smoke – the loud noise of friends at bars during a night of play a night of debauchery a night of life.
I love the first knowing – when everything is knew & you are free to explore & discover to touch & brush skin against skin & lips against lips – to slide hands against sweat & taste & feel life in flashes of sensation & knowing & sometimes that is a blessing & sometimes it is a curse but the knowing is there & precious in its way.
I love how the mists rise from the ground – swirling & angry under a morning sun that beats away the chill of fall – how the roofs & trucks & horses steam & it all causes a faint fog over the ground like some movie where the demon creatures will emerge from the grey swirls – but nothing like that happens.
I love all of these things but I am afraid that I will never love someone – or maybe I am afraid of the pain of having to turn away because I will have to – because loving all of these things requires nothing – there are no strings – even with my dog & my horse they expect nothing & are grateful for everything – but someone else – they expect even when they don’t realize – when you love someone there are strings attached no matter how hard you try to cut them away with a skinning ready knife – I will not be able to give them all of myself & will refuse to be half one thing & half another & poor at both until the love is gone – & I want to feel & experience that yet it terrifies because I have seen it tear others apart – cause a rise & a fall during which it is impossible to hold together – seen it limit people in their dreams & choices & wishes & they don’t even realize they have closed doors that can never be opened again – & I am terrified of love & lusting for it & there are no answers not even from the ghosts that say hello from other realms – there is nothing but a slightly used soul making its way with not enough past to guide it & no sight to look into the future.

Like the Saguaros

Published in Twisted Ink Webzine ~ Spring 2010

How many times have I fled
Into the maw of yet another trap
to be able to see the right turns,
We have to be able to see the wrong ones
That foresight doesn’t happen often
Not for me
Not in my world
Where instinct is dulled by the concept of blending in
Because so often
That is the easier option
For the time being anyway.
I want to be like the wild Saguaros
For Saguaros can be shot full of holes
Carved upon
Knocked over
Stepped on
And still they live,
Still they store life-giving water
Still they grow wild and repair themselves over time
Yet the Saguaro has all the time in the world
It feels as if
I have mere seconds
Mere flashes of an eyelash
To heal the holes I have shot in myself
The scars I have carved deep into flesh
The wounds that heal halfway
Only to be ripped open again
Torn to bleeding
In the wreathing smoke clouds
The sweet seduction of booze
The laughter of everyone I am with
Everyone I didn’t want to forget.
Maybe if I try hard enough
I will come back as a Saguaro
In my next life
I think that will be a step up
Maybe if I learn
To not waste [my] time hating a failure
I will become something
Something as peaceful as
A Saguaro
Then again
I have always detested being bad at things
I am bad at letting go
Better at sticking with things I know I can do well
Maybe that is why
Some people become career criminals
Maybe they are simply good at that
And nothing else
No matter how twisted or straight
Broken or whole
We can always find things we have in common
We like to think we are better than certain people
We really aren’t.
In so many ways
It doesn’t matter
It is just easier to focus on others
Than on me
On the realization
I have utterly and completely lost it
Undergo the familiar battle
Until I feel IT
The joy a woman feels when she has done
Something that she feels dogged about
That she feels intense about
Something that took risk
Something that made her stretch
Best herself
And succeed—maybe gracefully
Maybe not
But she did it
Created something
The someone
The art
The battle
The moment
Her life
My life.
Then I can paint again
I can write again
I can laugh again
I can look past the failures
Look instead at what I have accomplished
I have survived paying the price
Rebuilt from the ashes
I let myself burn to
Grown again
Like the Saguaro grows anew.