Now all that we have seen can wait.
I’m a slow fire, burning out:
watching you.

You were always so careful.
What did you have to be so careful for?

What grace of the body
tired and waiting for the silver tongue
to sweep him awake
should rough you into waking

to hold my hand
curse the gods
hit the road
armed or unarmed
in song?

What grip is it
in your balls
to know the weapons I’ve kept
under your porch
under your tongue
and eyeballs




The House on the Hill

It was modest yet distinguished

Gleaming white clapboards three stories high,

Green shutters and a turn-off driveway

To the huge garage that you knew

Without being told used to be

A real carriage house.

They were regular people

Mowed their own lawn

Didn’t send their daughter away to school.

She went to the town school

With us regular guys, and if

Her clothes were a little better

It was so subtle even the girls

Couldn’t find a way to be put off.

What she saw in me I can’t imagine

But I had her first, in the back

Of her Dad’s station wagon

A dozen times,

Another dozen times.

And then she went with Preston

Told him she was a virgin.

We giggled together over that.

She was pregnant by one of us

I was sure at the time.

Now I’m a little less sure

But whatever, he did the right thing

And married her, white dress and all.

They settled down,

I went away,

And it was twenty years

Before I saw her again.

She had lost three babies in a row

And her pretty body

Was sixty pounds heavier.

Preston was out of work.

I didn’t know what to say.

This is life I guess

In a small town, probably

It’s life anywhere.



the santa fe trail

you can read maps by starlight

in places i’ve been

and you sleep like shit

off the mexican beer

and wake up covered in bites

in hotels where

life is impossible

and everything still alive

wants blood.

did you know what you wanted

at the taco truck in dale hart?

do you know that there’s a

whole country out there

that doesn’t care about new york?

i do now.

i might know everything now.

i’ve drank from the shallow creeks.

i’ve chewed the tacos rellenos with

fire still in the seeds.

i looked up for god and every grackle

in the tree followed my gaze.

next time i’ll follow the trails in the sand

and the small streams will lead me to the window rock.

or maybe the other way –

to lay down in a graveyard

where desert rats use cow skulls as ashtrays.

and if the rains ever come again

maybe white petals

will bud up from my bones

and a lost rabbit can

spend a day

sleeping under my shade.



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Responding to Facebook

“What’s on your mind?”  The white and blue screen asks.

What’s on my mind?  Money.  The cost of hospital-grade tubing that is in your nose when you wake up.

What’s on my mind?  The cost of honesty.  I’ve been racking up hopes and dreams, only to find expiration dates, boundaries, and under used gym cards.

What’s on my mind?  The relief that this moment will disappear from feeds by worthwhile-thirty.  This one is for the boring generations, STILL (italicized) on Facebook.

What’s on my mind?  I am too comfortable with this format of communication; and I miss coming home late, and thinking that “I’ll just be tired,” like when I wrote that letter the night before surgery, or on the eves of confessions past.

What’s on my mind? She walked by the fish tank…but she didn’t even tap on the glass. 

But what’s really on my mind…I don’t remember


99 PROBLEMS – by 47 teenagers and 1 teacher in Southern New Mexico

99 Problems

  1. homophobic parents
  2. I had to give my dog, Monster, away, we had him for 5 years, I had to give him away because he’s a pit bull and our new apartment is racist against pits.
  3. bullying–girls tearing girls down, why can’t girls build girls up?
  4. low grades, you got to make them high grades, that’s a problem
  5. always tired
  6. anxiety
  7. anxiety
  8. people underestimating just how overwhelmed I am
  9. I don’t know
  10. you scared me
  11. trouble with communication
  12. family and school
  13. soap collapses like egg whites when you beat at it for too long
  14. Bev Courtney
  15. Bev Courtney doesn’t think she’s a problem and that’s a problem
  16. no left over pasta
  17. leaky shower
  18. squishy floor
  19. I’m too moody, maybe it’s because of the damn squishy floor
  20. not having a raincoat when it’s raining
  21. not having an umbrella when it’s raining
  22. only having Old Navy stupid sandals when it’s raining
  23. when your taking your long, beautiful time in the shower and the water suddenly gets cold
  24. a teacher trying to put problems in student’s mouths
  25. moving to a new school
  26. my coach says we can’t throw cheerleaders in the air
  27. Deanna says that’s not really a problem
  28. Deanna says everybody’s gonna know the cheerleading problem is hers because Cesar A’s the only other athlete in here, and football players don’t throw people in the air a ton
  29. If you clench wads of toilet paper in your fists while you’re hiking, you’ll leave little tissue trails like so many scattered breadcrumbs across the forest floor
  30. my sister’s wet the bed
  31. this 2 dollar food is too delicious and it’s making me fat
  32. taking notes everyday is bad for my carpal tunnel
  33. notes, what notes? we were supposed to take notes?
  34. when you miss one day of school and you go from an A to a F and your teachers don’t give you time to make it up
  35. everyone on Varsity wants to be a star player all by themselves
  36. everybody’s looking at MaxPreps instead of the scoreboard
  37. Oñate has 3 really good teams, Freshman, JV, Varsity but we just stink in games
  38. too many books, too little time said one girl out of 4065 girls
  39. the fact that women are afraid to walk alone
  40. men who make us feel that way
  41. the senators and congressmen who think all the rape victims are lying
  42. the senators and congressmen who think how dare this woman drag a man’s name through the mud
  43. the hundreds of thousands of rape kits sitting in a police station closet that never get processed
  44. the children who go to bed hungry because our country can’t get its shit together to care about all the people here
  45. just violence
  46. the ginger teacher in training says, what isn’t a problem?
  47. hi, welcome to Chili’s
  48. people don’t work together
  49. Waluigi not in Smash
  50. love
  51. people who have problems when other people objectify themselves
  52. My Chemical Romance broke up
  53. Justin Bieber
  54. nothin’s true
  55. I asked Nate what a problem was and he looked at me like a tired boulder and Joseph C, his neighbor, said people
  56. overplayed pop songs
  57. the school smells like fish
  58. the school smells like Joe’s Crab Shack on the 5th of July, after hours, in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
  59. North Korea
  60. guinea pigs, I had 3 guinea pigs, one died and the other 2 ate him and then the other 2 died from eating his poisonous guinea pig meat, true story
  61. relationships
  62. lack of responsibility
  63. hypocrisy
  64. feelings
  65. grandma forcing me to eat more
  66. puberty
  67. puberty some more
  68. still puberty
  69. mumble rappers
  70. going to school all damn early
  71. hitting your small toe against something
  72. hand stuck in a pickle jar
  73. there’s no more marching band
  74. not having the liberty to go out with friends
  75. waiting until December to celebrate Christmas
  76. waiting until October to celebrate Christmas
  77. dad jokes you can find when you search “dad jokes” on Google
  78. educated people are hot because they have more degrees
  79. did you hear about the kidnapping, don’t worry he woke up
  80. weed laws
  81. white women pulling their kids closer when someone of color walks by
  82. poverty
  83. people in poverty when they say they chose to live this way
  84. small toilets
  85. losing course credit after 5 unexcused absences
  86. bubble gum that tastes like Pepto
  87. I asked Juan for a problem and he just smiled at me with these sweet brown eyes and shook his head, it’s like he doesn’t have any problems on the tip of his tongue, it’s almost like he’s the buddha on top of A Mountain, it’s like he doesn’t have a single issue reverberating from his vocal chords, and I guess that’s a problem, I’m the teacher and I told the students to tell me a problem and dammit, Juan should have a problem and he should have it quick, I’ll flunk him
  88. teachers who flunk Juan because he doesn’t have a problem
  89. teachers who use grades against kids like a piano wire cold around their necks, just barely pressing into their skin
  90. my daughter was crying hysterically over something stupid and I told her, I’ll give you something to cry about, and she said, I already have something to cry about
  91. maybe that’s a problem
  92. the church choir that couldn’t hit the highest notes, the most heavenly notes  
  93. Maria G says, you’re in my seat
  94. I say, why are you late
  95. she says, flu shot
  96. everybody knows if you got the flu shot, the flu’s not a problem
  97. the white lady that says, can I talk to your manager?
  98. stepping in water while you have socks on
  99. talking about problems on Lemon Haze

99 PROBLEMS – by 47 teenagers and 1 teacher in Southern New Mexico

Read more "99 PROBLEMS – by 47 teenagers and 1 teacher in Southern New Mexico"


New men

We’re designing new men

macerated men

cut to length

arbiter of luck

maker of stage

metal men

flesh men


huge and triumphant

unable to remember or feel


men made out of iron

and lace


men who whistle

and club words off of pages

and the names out of children’s mouths


what luck with forgetting

the forgetting men


made new and bright

made out of everything you’d seen

from the lighthouse in Windsor and Bohemia

and older places


watching them move into the light and out of it

while you shouted their names

to see if they could move in time


find Robin here