Sep 15
Yellow Sweater's picture

At the Altar

Oh Lord of Windows, 
Oh Window, 
Oh Mirror with Drawn Curtains,  

maybe if I keep tapping, 
keep drumming my fingers on your altar, 
you’ll wake up. Maybe 

this rhythm will crack the stone
like it’s glass.
Maybe this beat will break

open, and an aria will pour out
from a metronome that’s forgotten  
it's a metronome and remembered 

it’s actually the throat
of everything vibrating, 
voicing an endless vowel. 

maybe cracks will appear in the moon as well 
and we will finally see the lightbulb
inside the lampshade.

May 10
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The Farmer's Market

my uncle grabbed a bag 
of fiddleheads, 
tender beginnings, 
at the farmer’s market, 
said he was going 
to fry them
with honey, pink-
peppercorn, and salt. 
the farmers bring dirt 
to Market Street, 
spread it over 
the concrete, like 
a memory. I can smell 
the black coffee, 
watered earth. 
sunlight seeps 
around the corner,
shining off the tents like 
they’re the towers 
of camelot. I remember 
when the vendors 
would hand me 
a little taste of whatever 
they’d brought 
to the city, plant 
a seed in my belly, 
watch me smile 
as it began to sprout. 
May 01
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Mixed Metaphors Chapter 1

A light mist was pouring in off the Caspian sea. I closed my click, sighing into the dark as I pulled on a yellow, wide-legged, vinyl jumpsuit. It was museum quality, a molecular recreation of something an obscure rock star had worn in the late 20th century. It’d cost me a week’s allowance. I ran a matching stick of lip-stain over my mouth, smirking into the mirror. The door to my room slid open. I grimaced at the soft buzzing noise it made as it shut behind me. My mother was asleep, and I doubted she cared enough to wake up. But my crypt of an apartment was stiflingly quiet, especially at one o’clock in the morning, and any small sound echoed.  
Mar 21
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Thunder and the Boat

we're lying,  
as corpses  
on the deck  
of our boat,  
staring into 
the folds of 
the universe's  
cloak, fingers 
stained pink  
from the cold.  
could become 
a form of  
as thunder cuts 
another hole 
in the sky.   
Mar 21
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Love Poem

I want to write a love poem to a volcano, 
but that would involve learning to love God
and I’m not quite ready to make peace 
with the war yet. I’m still fighting, still kissing, 
still dancing in the steam. we planted 
poppies last spring, made holes in the ground
dropped seeds into the heart of the earth.
sometimes I wonder If everything is already
red even before it catches fire. what if 
this is all part of God’s blood red plan what if 
God was speaking through Margret Thatcher
when she assured the free world that 
nuclear weapons actually make us safer, 
what if our missiles land in His palm?
If that’s the case, it’s not peace I want, but
to build my own empire under the covers 
as we learn to love the trembling ground.

Mar 21
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cut the string, swallow the sea, burn the boat. 
I never wanted to chronicle the apocalypse. 
Easter, Christ rose from the dead like a fresh 
loaf of bread. the East had it right, communion
should be taken with yeast. spring is a hot 
balloon. this is a needle, I’m holding a needle. 

God, Kierkegaard spake like Zarathustra, he
said we grow big in proportion to what we love. 
I love life, not You. I’m growing bigger than You, 
so big I’m going to explode. the sun is going 
to explode. the universe is going to explode. 
Sophia gives birth and becomes a virgin again. 

my Mama says God is Love. I wish I could love
Love like she loves Love. I’d swell and never 
stop swelling. she has a planet inside her, green
as a garden. but I’m fighting with a dying star. 
she read Narnia, not Nietzsche. she knows, 
not negates: surrender superman, superlatives.
Jan 11
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An Unraveling

I recently came across a translation of Euripedes’s Medea by David Kocas. It felt more like an encounter really, like I'd come across Medea herself: an icon in a barren church, a window into God’s abandoned feminine half, a woman burning with grief. Yes, Medea is a political play. Yes, it engages in a conversation around topics strikingly relevant to a modern mind: xenophobia, misogyny, distrust of intellectuals. Yes, even the characters seem reminiscent of modern tropes; a Gen Z-er might call Jason a manipulate, mansplain, manwhore. But at its heart, Euripides’s Medea is the story of a woman, a woman robbed of everything that, in Ancient Greece, constituted her womanhood: her home, her family, her husband. Medea is the story of a woman forced to reckon with the existential grief of having to redefine herself completely. 
Jan 07
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The Bus

inch worms are portals, 
this one is full of golden light, 
a sour smell, and a hum, 
humming louder than a hive.  
I climbed inside, listened 
to it creak as it folded forward, 
metallic in movement but 
not in spirit; anima animated. 
we weren’t moving very fast, 
but it was a miracle we 
were moving at all, moving like
air moves through lungs, in
gasps, ready to return, to relieve,
to revive the burden of
our own body. faithful, faithless, 
free, breathing, it brought
us back home to our hearts.    

Dec 28
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Prayer Wheel or Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone

At the beginning of December, I found myself on Capitol Hill for a poetry reading. I had some time to spare, so I walked around the neighborhood’s green-space, Cal Anderson Park. If you were paying close attention to the news, you might recognize the name as the heart of the former Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, a self-declared anarchist community in the middle of Seattle. Ground Zero of the Culture War. A Beautiful Desperate Experiment. A Necessary Disaster. America.  

The park was a little rough around the edges: graffiti on the cement, empty soda cans and drug-needles underneath the picnic tables. There were only a couple of people, wrapped in their puff-jackets, trudging through the puddles. The rainbow crosswalk, the rainbow bridge leading over the scarred road, had a fresh coat of paint. The grass was dulled by winter. 
Dec 12
poem challenge: Red
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God is real because Red is thick enough to paint with/ because we can use our tongues to trace the face of a demon/ when it’s dark, when we’re bored, when we need fire/ Red, not the red of a stop sign or the American flag/  but Red, a Red that’s gone sour and sweet and bitter like a pomegranate seed stuck in its shell/ or the wilted Red of my old diary’s faux leather cover/ or the Red, the almost Red, the almost more than Red/ of her lips/ Red is proof that God is real/ that God drinks the same wine/ that God laughs at dinner parties and cries after the guests have left/ that God lusts and lives and loves/ But there's another Red/ a Red that’s more than God or the Devil or a Sunburned Face/ a Red found in the scream behind stop/ in the threads of a flag/ in the heart of a pomegranate seed/ in the blood squeezed from the tanned hide of sacrificed skin/ in her throat/ in the grapes that grow from the earth/ a Red too beautiful for us to love