The Motley

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013


I sometimes return. To that river’s island where

we hid as children, running but

defiant still. Hiding from time, that

old bastard, though we were bastards too,

satisfied to bask on the river’s island, backs

turned to the mountain that birthed it

And who are we to call time old anyway.


we were always relieved to find the island

still there, but the winter was long and the melted

snow had washed the errant blood from her

stony floor. Back when we were immortal, and our concern was spent

on the face of a body that had watched the

births of our grandfathers instead of the direction we were


Monday, April 29th, 2013

Sometimes she wishes she could just lie down in the road

And let traffic have its way with her

(the closest she will ever get to the car of her dreams is when it rolls across her body)

She is just so tired

Of being on her feet

(the wheels grinding her into the asphalt, making her one with the road)

Monday, April 29th, 2013
Monday, April 29th, 2013
Danny Draws the Zoo
Monday, April 29th, 2013
Monday, April 29th, 2013
Monday, April 29th, 2013
I Went to the Woods
Monday, April 29th, 2013
It's OK to go to Sleep
Monday, April 29th, 2013
Saturday, April 27th, 2013

The trees on either side of her appeared black in the waning moonlight. She continued walking along the path, scarcely discernible through the overgrown brush and the dark canopy above. Pushing through the thicket, she heard the lap of the water up ahead. Stopping at the edge of the trees, looking out over the loch, Ciara reached down and pulled a small blade from her boot. Methodically she scanned the rocky shoreline, searching. There we are. She crossed to the far side of the bank where the patch of purple heather flourished along the bank and, pulling the blossoms aside, she began to hack at the base from the stems where they branched off of the primary root. Collecting several handfuls she rose slowly, tucking them away in her satchel.

Saturday, April 27th, 2013

Colored Dreams


He had a dream

and I have mine too

But I tell my momma

That this world still divides


Saturday, April 27th, 2013

In Due Time

More than once I’ve been told that on the list of your priorities I come a close third to that damn job and that old Chevy you’ll never fix.

Perhaps I’ll be on the front burner one day

Perhaps the whistles of the wind won’t be the only sweet nothings I hear

The bed sheets won’t be the only thing beside me

Barren woman cold and scorned

Perhaps that won’t be me.

I suppose I could confront you

But we both know you’ve never been one to want to be called out on your shit.

Where’s my cut?

I’ve put in my due time

But so quickly I forget

What’s yours isn’t mine.

Saturday, April 27th, 2013

I. Oxymoron


It’s been a long day already

Four kids delivered and more due

Tomorrow, I hope.


I count heads. A mother is missing.

When I walk out, the field is vast

But I know she didn’t wander far


I find her cornered

Between the fence and a Tung

Tree. Part of her is red

Where it shouldn’t be.

Saturday, April 27th, 2013

Clouds burn cigarette slow, cleansing

Us on the passenger seat wrapped

In glassed curtains of fog, and nothing

Is clearer than the packaged morning,

Chills and squirrel fluffed Oaks swelling

Inside the sunroof. Sinking

Saturday, April 27th, 2013

Sisyphus has been performing his endless task for an unknowable time. Eternity has worked her course and what was once stone, before it shattered to pebbles and then roughened to sand, has been worn to dust. And Sisyphus’ task remains as difficult as ever. Now he must separate the dust that was once the mountain from the dust that was once a rolled stone before carrying each handful of earth to pile at the top of a shifting mound. He is sitting, sifting through the dirt. He does not tire. He does not stop. He does what he has been made to do.

Eternity has seen him at his work.

Saturday, April 27th, 2013

This is my story, but it’s also his. Mostly it is mine, for I have the telling of it. (My king is generous).

This is the story of how I became a queen.

I. We grew up on opposite sides of Campbell, a small town that looms large in my mind. I lived in a neighborhood of cottages that cuddled together in companionship; he grew up on the wrong side of the tracks, amid shacks that leaned towards each other like drunks around a trash-can fire. His name was Erik Jensen and mine was Aria Paraskos but those names were only lies and they are only words now. Mother raised me alone in a two-bedroom house crowded with potted plants. They flung their greedy green arms over everything and used to make me dream that I was strangling in their vines. I would wake gasping for breath and Mother would be there before I could even begin to cry; she would catch my tears in her hands the moment they started to fall, whispering, hush my dear, Mommy is here. My father slipped through Mother’s fingers so she clung to me, the wreckage of their failed love, to keep her afloat. I was good at my job. Then.

He grew like a weed until he was tall as a tree, and that is what we called him. Tree dodged a brother’s cruel mischief and a father’s disappointment until he grew too tall for them to reach. Mister Jensen lost his eye in a work accident, and his will along with it. The house fell down around them and Tree dreamed of wielding a hammer, of building something that would last. But fate and my father had other plans.

Saturday, April 27th, 2013

The first time Eloise got drunk was at her mother’s tea party.

“Eloise, did you dip the strawberries?”

“Yes, Mother, yesterday.” A few minutes passed in anxious silence.

“Eloise, taste this jam.”

She licked the spoon, seedy and red. “Tastes good to me.”

The timer dinged, and her mother quickly pulled the tray of scones out of the oven.

“Eloise, where are the cucumber sandwiches?!”

“Mother, they’re on the table already.”


“Will you go pick some hydrangeas -- the purple ones -- and put them in the vase?”


Eloise walked outside onto the wrap-around porch, scissors in hand, and made her way down the steps onto the plush grass. She clipped the biggest bloom she could find, and a few contending ones around it. They drooped in the heat. Her heels sunk in the ground. She looked across the yard to the narrow road, and to the cornfields threatening to take it over. She thought she would rather walk barefoot down the road of bubbling tar, or into the maze of corn higher than her head, than to return to the house.

Unfamiliar Portrait
Saturday, April 27th, 2013
Migration Installation
Saturday, April 27th, 2013
Three Brothers
Saturday, April 27th, 2013
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