Oct 07


My suitcase is beginning to claim
a layer of dust on its surface, 
and I hate it. 
I hate that I haven't pulled on my shoes 
and jacket and marched to a new place in ages-
even though I despise security lines, 
I still love the in between of airports.
You're neither home nor away. 
It's a wonderful feeling knowing that 
you are about to see an entirely new slice
of the world in mere moments. 
It's almost as wonderful as
stepping into your closet,
brushing the dust off your suitcase, 
and filling it with clothes once more. 


Oct 07

"Hey, Iris, How Are You?"

I'm in the mood to pour gasoline onto
lit matches. And by that I mean 
I'm in the mood to scream my lungs 
out, to feel the tears on my face evaporate
into salty air. 

I'm in the mood to destruct a 
carefully built tower of cards-
5 of spades. Was that yours?

I'm in the mood to smash a bottle of 
champagne against a brick wall, like
an actress in a silent film,
splattering fizzy alcohol all over 
her mink coat. 

I'm in the mood to stick my head out
into the world and watch
other people as they struggle and 

I want to watch the way their brows
almost hit each other in focus, 
and the way they grin after
winning the fight. I want to talk to them-
to say, "I feel the same way on 
Friday afternoons."

I want to watch the greatest sunset 
from the highest peak- yet I'm still in
the mood to dump gasoline all over your
Sep 10

Fifteen Countdown

The Challenge: CJP-Teens: What do adults get wrong about teenagers?

Counting backwards is never fun, 
especially when you're fifteen. 

Ten friends who misplaced their true selves, 
relentlessly searching the Lost and Found
which they find in the form of drugs. 

Nine contradictions of being a teenager:
you hate your family, you love your roots, you 
Sep 10


For a moment, we were heroes. 
We sat on the shoulders
of giants, we faced the setting
sun with determination and
a billowing cape. 

We never looked back;
you can't erase the past. 

For a moment, we were heroes. 
We stood in front of the 
blazing flames and watched them 
die away: nothing bad ever lasts. 

I'm trying to look through
a kaleidoscope; trying to see
the universe as an optical illusion
for my eyes only. 

For a moment, for a lifetime, 
we are heroes.
You can't stop the dreamers. 
Jul 01


Another story to tell-
because these days I 
can't think of the future. 

Do you wonder about the stars-
every night they shine
for billions of souls to see. 

Guess what's on my mind- 
have you got an answer?
I'd tell you, it's
just- you might be afraid. See, 

kings and queens rule over
land- worry rules over 
my thoughts.

(nothing can be simple)

Only breathing, but even then the 
precious air seems to fight for space in my
quilted body. 

(restless rise and fall)

Saying things is not believing
them, yet  
under every star-filled sky is a 
victory and a child.

When we look around, 
x-rays of our eyes look like magnifying glasses. 
You're sweet to wonder about my 
zagging thoughts. Are you sure it's better to be together?
Apr 22

Midnight In Hotel Rooms

Lying under 
starchy white comforters, 
listening to the 
air conditioner hum
its own sweet

My mom
fiddling with the 
chunky black radio,
turning and turning
the knob
the clinky static
gives way to 
soft music. 

Unfamiliar voices 
filter through like
dust particles,
gently, almost
and then
the light shines 
on them and 
they're all you
can see. 

Soft, kind words, 
from an unknown
whispered and 
murmured as the 
neon numbers 
grow higher, 
climbing the 
ferris wheel 
until they 
reach the peak:


There's something
so sacred and 
treasured about
midnight in hotel rooms.

The moon is 
kissing the dark-dark 
the stars are aglow.

Maybe a door or 
two slam shut on
Apr 22


the lullaby plays on
like a river, 
a steady stream of c's
and d's, a sleepy
tune for you and me. 

the branches of the melody droop, 
nice and slow, 
and once again, 
the moon is just for show. 

glistening chords, 
shimmering arpeggios, 
the way you look, 
new york, 
i did it my way, 
drenched in wine. 

the lullaby swings, 
a faint jazzy
and i'm not sure
if the stars hear my voice
or not. 
Apr 22

the grave

Mama is anxious this morning. Her hands, slim and smooth, like lettuce leaves, tremble slightly as they clutch the handle of Kamilla’s pram. We are headed into town, as we did daily, to fetch the loaf of bread that is permitted to each family in our community.

Klaud is walking ahead, as usual. Tati has made Klaud’s responsibilities as the oldest very clear. As soon as Klaud is of age, he is to join the Nazi Party. Tati supports the Nazis- he’s a Party member. Klaud spends a lot of time in our living room, crouched by the burning wood, listening to Tati list off all the acts Klaud will have to follow through with as soon as he is older. It seems to me that Tati already has a foot in the future; he is always three steps ahead of everyone else.
Mar 18


Broken rulers have no way to measure, and 
I think fragile is another word for scared to fall. 
Dusty lemons make me feel sick,
and I take back everything I just said. 
Lemon scented letters-
Hands are wild adventurers.
Iris thinks the world should move slower. 

(*written using cut-up poetry technique* from Angela Palm's Writing Like the Beat Poets workshop, March 16)
Mar 18

Lonely Perfectionism

Luminescent stones leap out to rest under my feet-
candles have no place telling me it's too dark to see.
Asteriks seem like lonely perfectionists, and
my thoughts don't fit me the way I want them to. 
Is there a reason why Sundays make me so sad?
The gritty hugs from relatives make me uneasy-
marshmallows armed with stickiness.
Rough magenta crayons barely being held together, 
wax is untrustworthy. 

(*written using cut-up poetry technique*)