What a Fish Dreams

I wake up, swollen like a half-drowned thing,

not quite a bloated corpse.

Lips fish-plump and waterlogged,

as if I’ve been kissed too much,

never enough.

Head sore in spots,

battered around the fisherman’s boat.

Catch of the day,

treated brutally, carelessly.

Have I been swimming in your black waters

again, all night?


Because of You


Because of you, I see the tender exposure

of a stranger’s long black toes

in cheap rubber sandals and I weep.

I cry at the vulnerability of an orange smoke fox

crossing the road at night.

At the death throes of a squirrel struck by a car

epileptic, then still.

Your beauty is a complication I did not desire,

yet your existence is a wish whispered softly within.

I bleed at random, then profusely, without cease,

soaking pants and sheets, in the streets

like a wounded thing that won’t die.

And somehow, I blame you.

Autumn leaves dance like lapping flames in the road behind

a car’s speed, tail lights burning red. It reminds me of

your strokes of energy glowing green

and yellow with power and love,

delicate, controlled, and full.



Map of Flesh

*note: For archival and other purposes, I’m sharing here my old poetry, most of which was written between 1998 and 2003. Before I turned to painting, my creativity came out in words.*

Map of Flesh


Weaving the red thread through dreams,

wearing the map on my flesh.

One breath into emptiness.

My skin was caught by landmarks,

the points from which a figure

was made and pulled through.

An amphibian summoning

the will to pull itself out of the water

for the first time.

Is it better to wait until it is as easy

as rolling over and lazily opening

one’s eyes from near-sighted red

to the deathlike blinding white?

Points of discomfort tending to pain,

laying on his chest in the dark,

a chain around my neck

and a wig on my head.

I felt the body’s points like marks

on a map, these points were stitches, stones.

And as the flesh collapsed and withdrew,

then spun itself and reformed, these points

remained and became

the foundation of this strange and wonderful

ancient landscape. Our flesh

ceased to matter.

Now neither fish nor flesh,

siamese twins with newly forming legs,

we emerged and floated,

drawn by a light.

My mouth opened

like a void and the flesh swelled

to meet it not

the flesh but the light

and I became a hole.