electronic chairs

We don’t set an empty seat

at the table

where you should be.

Instead we laugh:

at what?

There has always been an emptiness here,

like a devoured stocking; an unfulfilled

Christmas Wish.

Pulling crackers is like

pulling teeth or pushing daisies

out of the grave of your memory.


You are at your home,

which is not mine,

was never mine,

honouring your most ancient ritual.

Stubby fingers clasp a brown bottle,

labelled with the same shade as the scarlet letters

you left on my mothers face.


Your armchair retracts electronically.

I think you told me that once?

An electric machine for a prehistoric man.

You sit in it all day

(At least I imagine:

I never knew you)

and do not think of the trail of

shattered green glass,

empty words,

that hang on the trail of years


of your paternity.


I used to ask myself: did

you know it was Christmas?


Do you hear the tones of your

loyal quintet this year?

They lost their harmonies in the

snow, years ago.

You did not come.

Their vocal chords froze.

They thawed into a collection of red,

blue, and black.

Exalting voices made bleak and dull.


I look for a second for your space at the table.

I remember, the next, your electronic chair.




Winter Song

frost has crusted the machinations of my mind

clawed its way into the amgydala

drowned the hippocampus solid.

set ablaze the occipital lobe.


i see in blues and greys now and feel

the crack of branch underfoot and the cold grit

in the knee of the boy that trips over

the not-so-permafrost on his drive way.


the rivers of a body run blue and white

and the caverns of skin freeze-thaw

until i am cracked open and

the cryogenics of winter preserve the carcass


cigarettes cannot power a steam combustion engine

and this fag is not a Snowpiercer

frost has crusted the machinations of my mind

if they defrost only liquid remains




i have been silent for too long,

crushed under the weight of numbers on paper.

words in a stiff bound spine. thoughts in a noisy mind.

but now it is time.

time to emerge, straight-backed and smiling,

and sift through the sound, the numbers, and paper,

and say for myself, there is more than just this.

that i am stronger than panic and fright, greater than the quivers of my own fragile soul.

it is time to stand, to shout in defiance, that i am better, am happy.

time to step from the shadow of myself and cast light.

untitled prose

Before anything else, you said, but I guess the meaning was lost in the colloquialism, distorted in the evolution of language, because Before seemed to mean after, the back of a queue, An endless loading screen, a screensaver, I didn’t come before, but instead in between, When there was empty time and blank spaces to fill, Then you called on me and whispered in my ear “before anything else.”

the sunflower

The sunflower thrives when the riverbed flows,

And it does not lack nor want, but simply thrives.

The cicada sings when the rains pour down,

And it does not think of the dry season that comes.

The coral reef swells when the tide washes high,

And does not fear that it may ever be low.

This is how I loved you, at first, unaware that you were

my sea, my water, my rain and my sun.

The rush of life and the smile on my lips,

The red in my cheeks and the spring in my step.

And now that it is dry and the river does not rush,

I know even greater the space you possess,

And the life that you give to a daffodil that would otherwise wilt.


today i found
that cancer is
not reserved
for the old or dying
but instead makes
the young old
and the loved die.

today i heard
in the shaking voice
of a grandmother
that an aunt, a sister
a daughter and
a lover were now
so much less.

a statistic in a commercial
and a family history
of x, y, or z
a victim to a villain
without a face and
only a name that you
dare not say.

today i knew that
five months of
“hopeful treatment” was
not hope but desperation
and that maybe soon
Michelle would fade from
is to was.

a fond memory overshadowed by a dark, sudden decline.


The ticking of a clock and the Screaming of a
child, too young to know the evil of the world
it has been thrust into. Too young, unafraid,
to know the injustice, malpractice, corruptness of
the Earth it calls home. It does not yet know, or care,
of the rich, the poor, the well, the poor, the good, the bad,
or what it means to say the word cancer, or death.

30 second

It is strange to me now, to
feel such elation, a swell in my
chest, that my melancholy is so
quickly gone. I tell myself I must be
dreaming, but is in sleep that I am
now most sullen, where my eyes
cannot perceive your face and my ears
cannot rejoice in your melodious voice.

i cannot begin

i cannot begin to explain the moment that

comes before and after the chill that racks

my bones and skin and wraps my stomach

in knots around itself as i begin to wish my

life away and crave for the sharp sting of

metal on skin and wish nothing more than

to use pain to replace the loathing of self

that swells like a fungus in my body