Hearts of Palm


Suppose I asked you if you would have done anything differently and you said “yes.”

You, who have been my adopted mentor for about longer than I’ve been a functioning human and I realize even now how wholly I would accept your teachings, granting “words of wisdom” as a tag to any that you’ve thrown my way.

Explain the pang I feel then, being outside looking in, watching your sidekick scribble by flashlight as the music surrounds us, drawing us together. I can clutch the hand of my sweetheart but yours is at home, and I presume you are separated by the mundanities of adulthood that can now only be escaped one at a time, with someone always left behind to shoulder the load.

Do you wish for full escape?

I wonder if you are here only halfheartedly, the residue of responsibility ever simmering on your back burners, making your time here bittersweet.

Or, perhaps, this is everything you’ve dreamed.

Perhaps the dancing ponytail of a ten year old girl was the perfect date,
the fulfillment of twinkling eyes now by your side for Thursday night blues rock shows.
I do like to think you’ve always been meant for old houses filled with guitars,
the loudness of happy children, dusty books of poetry
with spines bent and bent again.

I’d be lying if I said that same arrangement didn’t lay heavy on my mind.
A halcyon dream, a vision that once filled my skin with excitement, the blood lust for a baby of my own... but now I wonder when I place my lips against my lover’s if one day our union will cause the same separation, that these pockets of weeknight outings will be experienced alone.

Your date dances with the apathy
of youthfully ignorant bliss,
but I wonder if you’d rather kiss
a lover’s lips.



Sometimes I think I purposely avoid writing about important things that occur, in all of their many-splendored levels of absurdities, because these moments don’t even feel like they belong to me. As if during these moments I am living someone else's life in some other era.


I guess that’s what happens when I encounter situations that half of me, greedy and instant, hungers to be a part of and signs on enthusiastically only for the other half to cower in fear at these brazen occurrences that rip me out of my comfort zone.

I am a toddler edging closer to the laughing edge of the water with only the dim recognition that at any point the waves might surge and, well, take me.

I am afraid of the water... but I am more afraid of missing the wholesome warmth of sun on skin, of smiling seagulls cawing after the crusts of sandwich lunches, the freest of feelings.

So as my car pulls up to driveways and my hand hesitates on the gearshaft with a clear and immediate “what the fuck are you doing right now,” I try my hardest to think of cool pink lemonade on salty lips. If I can just imagine the feel of sand between toes then I can gather myself up from the beat up Kia and go knock on a stranger’s door.


Hustler, Baby


I must admit, as I look on the things I have seen and done this weekend, that I must be an abnormal person.

Surely a normal person would get upset at being charged twelve dollars for two thin hot dogs and then watching as the Canal Street vendor tried to shortchange me, “just another tourist,” but I can’t. I can’t be mad that I got to participate in such a swindle as even that interaction feels so beautiful, felt so beautiful as the parade floats rounding the corner turned the street into a chaos of color and sound, casting glows onto the dark weathered face of my hot dog vendor. 

Perhaps I was just intoxicated on revelry and merriment but I stared him in the eye, waiting for him to divvy up the rest of my change, watching this schooled hustler’s face for any sign of disappointment, watching how quickly he recovered saying “oh you handed me a 20, that’s right that’s right.” How could I be mad at such a skillful artist? 

I stood there with a grin on my face, imagining all of the stumbling-slurring fools that ended up paying 15-20 dollars for a hot dog that was already marked up to a ridiculous margin...


Sleepy Feat


We pulled into the slowed-down city
at 4 in the morning but we -
eyes wide with weariness and wanderer’s blood lust -
stayed up a little longer
lingering through half deserted streets
until the shining branches dripping down
with disco balls sent us the call
to find our set of sheets.


Porch Swing


I have to try to do this justice.

I don’t know for certain how long this house has been here, this renovated New Orleans farmhouse, but the thin long lines of wood flooring on this porch look as if they have been here before brick buildings and planned city grid lines though I know they are incapable of having such an age. I feel as if they have watched as the creatures of the swamp pooled together and rose, forming such a city as this - watched as the neon-colored bulbs of smoky jazz clubs gave way to the hollow glow of so many LED lights, as the alligators slunk back into the mist and the sorority girls claimed the streets to roam at night. 

I feel just as old as this house, awake unreasonably early and settled into a porch swing, listening to music and setting myself adrift. Everyone else is sleeping, cloistered off in solitary pockets of unconsciousness, and I am here staring at the way these roses wrap through the old wood balustrades painted white with a hint of seemingly-intentional dirt and grunge.




written 2-1

I can see the pages lined up before me,
blank except that on closer inspection I can see
the faintest lines of sketched charcoal begin to emerge.

The word “emerge” begs the question -
have these lines been etched into my skin already? Have they always been here?
I am trying to train my eyes, taking care to note the details of each and every thing I see...
including these lines, hand drawn by Clotho herself.

The word “emerge” begs the question -
have I simply been submerged? Perhaps the lush valleys and stretched out mountain ranges,
supported by my calcium deposits and fault lines,
have owned this shape forever and I am just now touring the countryside.

This is how I feel today.
I feel like a walking composition of thick and thin strokes,
contoured and imperfect but art nonetheless.
I am content with this smudged canvas full of hand drawn shapes
marked by experienced distortion, proportions ever so slightly skewed.

I am content because I know that this pen is not held by only my hands
but by the collective of schooled hands that have written these same words,
sketched these lines, fingered these melodies.

Hands that are smooth, gnarled, hairy, dainty.
Such different but unified hands that work with the strength of laughter and impulsion,
the obsessive desire to connect through creation.

Large hands that hold old guitars just so,
roughly belying a grace that explains the glow
rising like steam off of golden-haired fingers -
small hands that lovingly press reality into amorphous blobs
of compacted dirt, singing the female form electric and
imprinting heartbeats into static clay.

Hands that hold my face and brush back my hair,
hands that speak louder than any voice I have ever heard.
Hands that sketch through touch, creating a portrait of my landscapes.
I will wear these fingerprints for all to see.


Spoken Word


The first wobbly step outside of my comfort zone has been taken - not just reading my words in front of a group of people that I know, but reading in front of one of my adopted mentors in writing...

It always takes me off guard when my physical reactions are completely out of sync with my emotional status - take, for instance, the heart of mine that began to pound against the walls of my chest in excitement and panic and no small element of “what the fuck are you doing on stage in a fur coat right now?!”

But, like I know would be,
I was proud as shit of myself, and inspired.

my one picture from that night   

Me mid-sentence: taken by GM Palmer

my friend Alex: taken by GM Palmer