Gypsum Words

Irregular Poetry

Thunder and Darkness

Get your crown on straight.
The clouds are rolling in
And low. So low.

Billowing black ink, they
Roil with anticipation.

It is time. So affix your
Crown of thunder.
And clothe yourself in darkness.

It is not often we get to dance
In clouds that touch the ground.

The time has come to play our song.
It is time to play.


Paper, pencil, mind.
The long path to …

What is recovery?
Who I was?
Who I will be?

I don’t know about all that.

I know my eyebrows furrow often.
And I feel determined.
And frustrated.
And tired.
I yearn for the energy to be how
I feel on the inside.

Body! Repair thyself! Mend!

Identity. The opposite of duplicity.
I was legion.
Now there’s only two. And we’re begging
To be one.

One. One.


Black Blood

Power. The dynamic power of life,
Of becoming. The day ahead filled with
Potential. Technologies to be tapped,
Deals to be brokered. The realm of possibility.
Of hope. My domain.


Blink. Darkness.
Black blood. Rich. It comes from …

Where am I?

Blink. Darkness.


Darkness again.

Blink. Darkness.

So much black. What happened? Am I alive? Will I live?

This world. I love it so. I have so much yet to give it. Yet,
There it is again.
Black blood. It comes from within me. Am I dying?

Blink. Darkness. Fuck.

Pain. So much pain. Who am I?
Am I black blood?
Where am I?

Blink again. Fucking shit. Darkness.

I know nothing. I know everything I need to know.
Black blood. I love you. You broke me apart.
I lay in pieces. But I’m not dead. Not yet.

I will reassemble.

Black blood, I love you. When you ejected from me,
I might’ve been dying.

But I’m not dead. I’m just broken.

Blink. Light. Still broken. But I’m not
I’m not dead. I’m not dead. I’m not



I’m alive. I can’t believe I’m alive. I’m alive.
Black blood, I love you.

I am reassembling. I will return to this world. And with me,
I carry the power of hope, love, and possibility.
With grim determination.
Gritty optimism.
I am here. And I know.

Black blood, you taught me about the creative power
Of destruction. The magic of autopoiesis.
I reassemble. Each day carries pain. Suffering.
My body aches under the strain.

My spirit on the other hand. What can I say?
Nothing splits the buckets like
Death. Black blood, thank you.
I know.

It’s work. Hard work. Autopoiesis.
But I’m alive and I am renewing.
You took self doubt and shame with you.

A real fucking plot twist. Near death is.
But I am here and I am reassembling.

Black blood, thank you. I love you.


To My Siblings

I’ve wanted you to see,
For so long,
The hidden things of the world.

Not the secret powers of brutes

Nor the secret relationships of
Celestial bodies. Or other similar things.

Just love. Just the hidden power of love.

Loneliness is the heat death of
The heart.

Crop Circles, Rivers, Leather

Wet asphalt.
In the silence, I can hear
The rushing water of late night traffic.
A river of hopes in armor.

And standing in this black puddle,
I couldn’t care less about my shoes.

Our lives might be crop circles, the design of
We may never lay witness to.


Once, when I manipulated symbols,
I saw an image of
How robots saw the world.

These images contained
Jagged barbs of uncertainty penetrating
Clarity in a way that fended off
A limning of the world in their own peculiar language.

It’s taken a long time but I’ve learned
Those tines of uncertainty
Jutting in from all angles
Describe our vision too.

There is so much here that I cannot
Know where to begin.
We fear rose colored glasses. I want
My friends and my family, those that I don’t know,
Those that I haven’t met,
Those that I never will meet,
Those that I will meet one day
To pick a color other than the heavy black
Of fear
To paint those tines of uncertainty.

I want you to be beautiful. To be seen.
Not shrinking.
Not puffing.
But being. A verb not a noun. Dynamic not static.

Those images of robot eyes, those spikes of chance
That penetrate where the sensor cannot
Gather data – they’re colored white. Not black.

Domination Of Thought Is An Act Of Evil

Playfully and gingerly
It tickles my nose,
Darting in before retreating out.
But I can feel it.
Fetid yet sweet.
Like leaves rotting in stagnant water.

Yet we know no other way.
We can’t Understand a world any other way.
So we dominate with our
Bodies and our thoughts.
Our systems.
Our justice.


They, cosmologists being the they,
They say that maybe the difference
Between what is and the opposite
(What would the opposite have been?)
Was perhaps 4%.


Someone else says there’s more good in the world
Than evil.
But not by much.

Maybe 4%?

Our entire universe 4%.
Possibly 4% more love than hate.

And so perhaps my love for you
Is that way too.
4% greater than my selfishness.

But if we can have all this for just 4% then I say we can have
Each other for a mere 4% too.

It doesn’t take a landslide victory to let beauty unfold.

Wherein I Curse to Make My Point

When I learned about the concept of
Mimetic desire, my initial impulse
Was to be dissatisfied with the
Human condition.

Fashion. And the collapse of fashion.
The red queen continually holds court.
And the credit cards of the world wear down.

Mistake 1: I’m different.

Mistake 2: This isn’t cause for celebration.

The third mistake is deeper and insidious.
The proof is boring so I’ll skip it.

But consider this possibility. That average
Is absolutely fucking amazing. And that
Average people all over are absolutely
Fucking amazing.

But we’re so focused on those that are one
Or two standard deviations out that we
Miss out on the fact that to be human, an
Average, everyday, fucking ordinary person
Is to be amazing.

The roiling mass of humanity is a fucking
Celebration. A big bang of beauty and
Talent and genius.

And we’re fucking bored.


Her bones roots.
Knotted. Twisted.
Her skin leaves.

These four walls a drought.

The Speed of Joy

The greatest ant.
Still an ant.
The greatest person
Is still a verb not a noun.

Remember that nothing kills joy faster than comparison.

Still yet
Nothing kills comparison faster than joy.

Contained in this Poem:

    • Commentary regarding the human condition.
    • Mundane experiences masquerading as epiphanies.
    • A rejection of modernity.
      • Or at least of technicity.
        • The ever-looming shadow of Martin Heidegger.
    • A sense that we all perpetuate modernity.
      • A nod that the author does too.
        • Middle class guilt.
    • An attempt at absolution.
      • A thin hue of nihilism.
    • Recognition that poetry is merely play.
    • A pronunciation that all play is holy.
        • A sense of satisfaction from having:
          • Exonerated poetry.
            • Also the author.
    • A dodged bullet.

Autumn Soups

On the weekends, usually after 11:00,
I make soup.

Five or six pots all in various stages along
Their journey. Rebellious onions. Confident carrots.
Each preparing for their eventual union like the hours
Before senior prom.

It’s a sad comfort, this manufactured busyness. A nod
To a past of lack and want. An arid childhood bereft of
Love and compassion. And food.

So I construct this boiling bulwark facing pastward.

I lobotomize each individual potato with the same
Mechanical care of those original doctors. Brutal
Doctors, so crude. Would Apollo have approved? Or would
He have expressed consternation? I begin to sink
Inward, slipping beneath the boiling surface of my own
Autumnal soup. A thick soup, salted with those
Old emotions. How old are you, anyhow, gloom? I wonder
If these kinds of heirlooms decay slower than our beloved glossy plastics.

Can there ever be an eye of the storm in a tempest of
Children’s songs?

My daughter bubbles into the kitchen and my own
Blue eyes inquire within.

From within my own boiling cauldron, I see her looking
At me looking at her looking at me.
The distortion of my old battles bend what I see. And I know it.

Is this why I make soup? Because my parents refused to
Emerge? Do I want to stay in here and slowly unravel
Like some hearty vegetable, some stout ingredient?

The cool air rushes in to meet me within and I pick her up my arms.
I show her the spinach soup ingredients and the carrot
Soup ingredients.

We stir.
We laugh.
We touch.

There’s some garlic, so standoffish. It could use some new
New friends. We’ll shove it out onto
The dance floor. But first we’ll help it out of its coat.

Later, we will all eat the soup and we will savor it. And
That paradoxical miracle of nothing, of lack, that lonely vacuum,
That gives birth to abundance, will play out once again as it always

This is true thanksgiving.

The steam continues its upward journey, dissipating
Like emotions. Next weekend I think I’ll make beet soup. You know,
I haven’t done anything with turnips. I wonder if there’s any
Good soups that use turnips.

Infinite Rubicon

Running in the dark,
You are the world’s secret.
Floating on an ocean, illuminated by starlight,
Supported by depths unfathomable.

You can’t look up. Well, you can but don’t.
Inviting, they quietly call. To swim amongst the stars.
To get lost in the infinite expanse.

Jump out at them. Begging to fall up.

Perhaps that’s what death is. The opportunity to
Fall forever.
Drifting out on an ocean of unfathomable depth.

Perhaps an opportunity to awaken on the shores
Of some distant island, itself drifting on an ocean of
Unfathomable depth.

And the salty sting in your eye brings you back.
Warmly wrapped in your products.
Evidence of that twinkling constellation we deny.

We are supported by depths unfathomable.

In Body Computing

Perhaps memories are stored within the mind.
Perhaps all those cognitive storms are localized
To that irregular computer and its fleshy grooves.
Perhaps. Perhaps.

But I know something else. That regret and
Depression and self-loathing and misanthropy
Are all stored in the body. Deceptive fat.
Pretending that’s energy.
Remembered emotions clinging to you,
Pretending to be fuel,
Refusing to release.
Release. Release.

Stretching and dancing. Programming
In motion. Executing that beautiful set of
Instructions. Dumping that awful store. Just
The best form of amnesia. Recoloring
Your memories, drilling through time to rescue
Your past from the maws of those
Spidery predators,
Lurking in the corners of your past.

Stretching and dancing.
Stretching and dancing.
No one is ever unhappy stretching and dancing.

Modern Necromancers

We all know the rules to this dark game.
We wait
And you suffer.
Still and without contact. Denying contact.
You must suffer

(And who are we?)

And we wait.
When we chance to meet, are we waving
At you or your ghost? Your echo?

Each time we force open that door
And the odor of the hungry void
Hangs, lingering, sickly sweet,
It reminds us a bit of our own mortality
But mostly yours.

Glances. Stares. Nods. It’s his turn
To touch you. To find that hint that
We can bring back you
From the dead.

And when we do, we hit the
Reset button, living out that one
Assignment every asshole ethics
Professor forces on their class.

(Seven to ten pages, cited, 12 point font, 1.5 spacing)

We’ll see you lucid again but
Slightly less than the last time;
We know that one day
The game will end.

Our service in the borderlands between life
And death
Will expire along with you.

And we’ll turn our homework in then.

A Sunday Run

My body rolled over, pulled close, and whispered
In my ear,
“Do you still love me?”
Banal platitudes hovering near, I blink
At the flat light in front of me.
Early enough for the world to be ours

Rhythm inconsistent in the greying
Mist, my body fighting against the
Cellophane crinkle of some scientific
Jacket, I hear the gentle raillery.
“Hey, pilot, haven’t you always wanted to fly?”


“Then let’s fly!”
And ripping modernity away
And into some poor bush,
We flew.
Through the graffiti cave
Up into the cotton candy mist
Wrapped sugar sweet over the
Decaying bridge and out along
That blackened snake, sacrificed
Long ago for our health.

And we flew. Not for competition but
For love.

With holy fire, we flew.

And we remembered how to love ourselves.
Doubt, double-minded,
Evaporating into the smoky morning.

And we sang in harmony. Proud and in love

A Birth

The air is still.
Voices rustle as leaves
Trembling on a gusty night.
Flickers of flashes,
The fear
Of forgetting
Grip and release.

The world is small and with
Precise dimension.
We press in,
The weight of
Ten thousand
Black holes, patient
And impatient,
Pulverizing time
As a pestle.
The itch, the irritation of
Creation must,


We explode out, racing
And joyous!
Our exuberant nova
Tracing out the pattern.

Tumbling, we turn back
And collapse to a
Single point.

Our fractal shifts and
Out here at the edge,
So far from the heat
And violence of its birth,
We honor it with our own.

Sleeping and content,
The universe rests
On her mother’s bosom
As we race outward on this
Smooth fabric.

Mixing Ink

You threw me against the wall
And I shattered.
And as the droplets rained down
You threw yourself too,
Shattering with me.

We’re messy. Not clean.
Like ink poured into water.
Like ink poured into ink.
Murky clouds roiling;
Rolling over each other
Before flattening.

No bowl. No measured
No spoon.
No rag.

No, not out here on the frontier
Of a frontier
Of a frontier
Of a frontier.

Out here
We make our patterns
Wildly and without

Stupid Tree

Knotted capillaries
Creating puzzles out of the sky.
Quietly swaying, dancing
With the unseen.

Breathing in our moist exhaust,
Recycling our unobtrusive lies,
Our honest laughter,
Our heated debates.

I don’t know how to appreciate you.

House Moth

You’re more beautiful than I thought.
Shimmering wings. Fractal things.
The rhythmic pulse, pushing patient
Air past my face.

Emergent venation, sturdy chitin, bursting from the
Perfect right angles of the board and batten.
Six-pane windows that beckon a door.

A door not meant for me.

It was once, if I had imagined you.
But I didn’t. I imagined guns.
War. Loud machines. Staccato.

I didn’t imagine the dip and push,
Floating effortlessly to new places.
Beautiful places. Joyous faces.

She’ll be out presently to join you.
Just let me graze your antennae.
Furry, like a long brown fern leaf.
She said you’re a butterfly, so we’ll
Keep your secret between the two of us.

Royal Jelly

In the middle of every clock,
In every crooked pupil of that
Infinite oculus,
Deep, deep, past the heat and
Pressure. Past the cold stillness,
The existential terror, lies the hive, the
Silvered honeycomb.

Glinting in the eternal moonlight,
Each pearl awaits, yearning.

Under the indifferent gaze of the dark attendants,
A sea.
The choice is not theirs. Nor is it of the ripe
Queen’s, desultory on her mountain.

No. They strain their antennae for
That weak signal.
That decision from afar, for which ones
Shall be ignored.
To shrivel to weightless husks.
And which shall be the chosen ones;
To receive the royal jelly.

Just a Reason to Get Together

Hey, so do you want to come over
For the Super Bowl? Mom and dad
Are going to be there. Matt and Lydia too.
It’s going to be great. I have a new hot
Wings recipe. Shouldn’t be like last year.

What? No, I didn’t know that. I didn’t…

Well, I’m sure you’re right. I don’t know about
The sex trafficking thing. There’s a lot of terrible
Things happening in the world but that doesn’t
Mean we can’t get together and enjoy each
Other’s company.

Yea, it is crazy they spend millions of dollars
While people go hungry. I just…

The homeless always have it rough. I feel bad for them too.

Look, I just wanted to see if you want to get
Together. We never celebrate anything.
We never get to see each other. It’s just an
Excuse to see one another and be together.
Don’t you ever just want to laugh with other people?

Look, I don’t even know who’s playing. I don’t care.
It’s just a reason to get together.

You don’t have to come if you don’t want to. Really.

Something Different, Something New

We compromised and parked our
Cars at the bottom of the hill.
It was as if the Valdez has spilled a second time,
Burping vaseline down the slope.
Our gear in one hand and sap on
The other, we crudely made our
Way up only by the grace of
Those otherwise forgotten trees.

“It’s just too hard to predict anymore.”

“What? The winters?”

“Yea. Ten years ago, you knew when the snow would fall.
When the chinooks would melt it all. When it would freeze again.
The last big dump before the final melt.”

“I have a friend who’s a big game guide. Spends a lot of time
In the back country. He says that every year he sees something
Different. Something new.”

I guess that’s the way of it now. Every year, something different,
Something new.

Boy Toys

My daughter, younger than a breath,
Has already developed a contempt
For boy toys.

Her lip curls and she calls them ugly.
Brutish, vaguely suggestive of
Violence. Or outrightly so.

Even the colors are wrong. These are not
Things one would find in a meadow.
They undo meadows.

I never thought I would prefer flowers
To tank treads. I hesitate to get preachy
But she’s not wrong. They are ugly.