Working Stiff

Stagnating, hemmed in,
My mind reaches, grasping for
any wisp of creativity that dares
to sparkle through the dust,
that has not yet been trampled by
procedures, politics, pettiness.
I am so much more than you see;
You have no idea.
You buy eight hours of my day,
and I tick off every minute.
You will not get the best of me;
You wouldn’t know what to do with it if you had it;
So keep signing those checks, as
I make ready, as
I make my wings a feather at a time,
a dab of glue, a touch of wax, a kiss of hope.
Someday I will fly too close to the sun.


You sank your teeth and claws into me,
after I bared my neck and swished my hair out of the way.
Like all your victims, I was
by your separateness, your philosophy, your sophistry,
your rebellion, your anarchy.
I signed on in a hurry for the full tour,
eager to hear your Eastern thoughts
filtered through smug Western egotism.
I added myself to
the line of willing victims vying to be next
even as I saw the ones before me drop, used, exhausted, and pale;
even as I saw the line behind me growing longer.

Until I realized.

Until I understood that
you are a paragon of emptiness; a dry, cold corpse
desperately trying to steal warmth, living energy,
hope, light
for yourself.
But nothing fills the chasm, the ache, and so
you keep on. As you empty one, you collect another,
trying to revive the dank echoes of your absent soul.
You took without conscience or scruple,
because you were only meeting your needs.
You were blameless, natural, and vicious;
a clever, charming predator.
But I have escaped, and I’m here to tell you:
Siphoning the lifeblood of a thousand women
will never make you a Man.

Nascent Inferno

Hidden deep
banked by years
wrong turns, responsibilities,
expectations, duty,
good-girl rules,
well-meaning advice,
are these:
the smoldering fires of dreams.
They are smoking, burning through.
I see the flames licking at the edge of my aching imagination.
I smell the incense of my true soul burning sweet and fearless.
I hear it crackling, racing through the dry, dead underbrush of my fear.
I blow tenderly on these embers;
this is the fire I will tend.