Monday, February 1, 2016


Your icy words,
like scabbards,
cut to the quick,
forming on the surface
of my broken resolve,
sinking rapidly
into the freezing waters
of my fractured soul,
forming a sheet of ice
around my broken heart,
growing downward
into the darkness
toward the black shores
of my soul where
the ocean ends and
dark sands chafe my path,
reaching down,
the ice finger of death,
killing everything inside me,
encasing me in a tube
of ice and death and
the bitter cold of winter
threatening my very existence.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Beautiful lies

Beautiful lies flutter
in my head
- like moths
congregating at the light -
breaking me down
in this endless fight
for what had
never been mine,
burying me deep
within the numbing hurt,
fighting demons
inside my troubled mind
broken and shattered,
wanting to be whole
I cling to you even
as you exhale
your last breath
hoping to give me
what I need.

And though still alive,
I'm barely breathing.

Monday, January 25, 2016


Smooth and round
the stone shifts 
in my mouth 
from cheek to cheek,
warmed by my tongue
that still holds
your name captive
with the memory
of that time 
we skipped stones
by the lake
and left ripples
that never ended
even after stolen 
summer kisses,
when you gifted me
with this stone 
to remember you, 
and though the years 
have taken you away, 
the white stone remains 
hidden in my mouth
with your name 
written on it
known only to the one

who receives it.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Tangency of the Mind

Could there be more aloneness
than the alone I feel 
when surrounded 
by loved ones and tactful 
friends staring at me with either
disapproval or pity as if
my very existence screams
of their own fragile ones
and so they watch me drown
in my own vomit and pretend
I'm sailing rather than sinking
my own ship, a reflection
of their own mental illness
where normalcy is in the eye
of the beholder and lunacy

simply a tangent of the mind

Stained Glass Mirrors

Cataractic eyes 
glare into stained glass
like a mirror of colors 
cut into asymmetrical
shapes that make no 
sense without losing
a beauty that is indescribable 
in its sheer rawness, 
the brokenness staring back 
with green eyes that do not envy 
the pain that implodes 
into a thousand shards 
of vibrant stains 
blotting the setting sun 
as you see through your 
very own cloudy eyes

Thursday, January 7, 2016

I Am Poem (Frame)

Image: "Beautiful Meteor" by 

It means pure, but is closer to blotched (like my birth-face) 
and pockmarked than free of blemishes.
It is the number five. 
It is like falling stars on a moonless night 
when the ocean guides your light.
It is like crab-hunting at midnight, 
flashlights cutting through the air.
It is the memory of Tito in his blue Jeep, finding those starfish 
I thought I'd bring back to the city with me,
who taught me selflessness and compassion
when he revealed that starfish are living creatures too.
My name is Karen;

it means that purity comes in many shades of gray

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Of Picasso and da Vinci

in the pinnacle of mid-life crisis,
I took a wrong turn and came across
a roomful of broken mirrors that mocked 
me with subtle persuasion - the Women of Algiers -
posing nude to distort the image of me
to me as blind as nipples hardening at your touch, 
a tribute series of perturbing proportions: lines

beneath my eyes gathering the darkness, eyeliner
smudged in black-brown streaks like fallen stars, 
sadness dappled under tear-stained lashes, out 
of the corner of my eyes the crows' feet 
tread heavily, the smile lines around my mouth
stiffening with each mask stitched into it,
a Mona Lisa hidden in enigmatic shadows

so that I am both blind and mute, a surviving 
painting artistically reworked to be 
photographed but never admired, leaving 
no trace of the ineffable tender touch 
of my master, a copy of profound genius, 
an expression of both pleasure and pain 
so intense that even those bare-breasted 
women with judgmental eyes and wide feet
- shaking my mortal dust off with rejection - 
admit that there is something more 
mournful than humanity in my sheltered gaze