Today I tried to cut a leaf that felt a lot like a living thing
It was a big giant Monstera deliciosa— a creature that I’ve watched in secret glee as it crawled and climbed in beautiful blind life-fury.
I took a blunt knife so I’d feel the pain and cut one enormous leaf 
Each cut felt sickly-sweet delicious
Going in, out between crunchy flesh green.
A part of me was sightless and emptied, and another was alive and torrid.
I was taking beauty as if it was my own
A siege on someone else’s flesh, blood and self-lust
I felt the predatory delight in taking what’s not mine,
Thieving shameless
Because I want it
Because I can.
In my gut,
rose a hot cloud.

But, isn’t this nature?
Isn’t this what it means to be wildly alive? 
One over the other; the thriving of the fittest? 
Maybe we can no longer stomach being wild.
Maybe this is how we die. 
The moment the last wild cell in us evolves into the nether, 
and, suddenly, the world grows alien
and the air hostile,
and we become the hunted across the great divide.

Starr_080731-9585_Monstera_deliciosa.jpg (2816×2112)
2008, Monstera deliciosa (leaf) in Maui, Makawao. Forest & Kim Starr.

I like to make you watch me cry

I like to make you watch me cry.

I like to go somewhere unseeing, unhearing

of ‘darlings’, ‘tell me what’s wrongs’

and other sweet nothings

—a place so far that you can’t save me from drowning.

I like to go there and cry,

while you watch helpless

as salt mountains crumble

and roll down my cheeks.


I like to make you watch me cry

quietly in a sort of everyday horror

while we sit at the table in silence

as if what we’re eating is just dinner.


I like to make you watch me cry

because it takes out my pain and all its pieces,

lays them out in a live exhibition

that you have no choice but to comment on after.


I like to make you watch me cry,

because after that game we just played

where you take the things you love and tear them,

darling, I’m feeling cruel-faced.



1887, The Open court: Carus, Paul. Open Court Publishing company, Chicago.

To the buried cleaning lady

You stuck your broom between my feet, sweeping out young, expensive  dirt.

I turned back aghast at your inconsideration, expecting red knives and needles,

but there was nothing;

nothing but a yellow, mellow you cleaning the floor.

I recognised, it was really my offence,

to miss your kind blindness.

See, the thousand colourful people and the musical mall- they couldn’t see you,

and you, them.

A genial indifference,

a courteous disremember,

a mutual burial,

between you, the plaza and me.  


Photo- robyngough.com
Photo- robyngough.com