Vine and Sand

he shed a line of crystalline notes
each incandescent half-step
more unexpected than the last

a high, winding vine
creeping from an unseen branch
tendrils tendering my neck
taking root within my chest

his melody sweeps into a golden desert
of glass sand and endless thirst
and hot wind slipping in and out of me

I spin on burning soles
to avoid his lashes
I claw at the constricting song
to breathe again

© 2018 Stellular Scribe


On the Accountability of an Unpublished Writer

Yesterday, my sister asked me why I was writing so much during winter break.

I told her: “I have a deadline I need to meet.”

“You don’t have a deadline,” she said. “This is all in your head. You’re doing this to yourself.”

Her response was not an unusual one. But it got me wondering: what is the difference between holding yourself accountable and having someone else depend upon your accountability?

I tried to explain to her that the deadlines I have set for myself are no less valuable than the deadlines set, say for example, by an agent or an editor. They are the liability of an unpublished writer. If I do not see myself as serious enough to meet a daily word count or to revise a certain number of pages a week, how can I ever visualize myself in the professional world of fiction?

Especially as a college student, these breaks are the most freedom I have to pursue finishing my novel, HYMNS OF SALT AND TERROR. If I don’t commit myself now, I will be unequipped to manage myself during the chaos of classes and work come February.

Yes, this is all in my head. Yes, I am doing this to myself.

Because who else will?

© 2018 Stellular Scribe

Your Body Brought the Sea

Your body brought the sea to my bed,
cloaking me as the rushed arch of a wave,
a tide suspended,
unable to break.

Grabbing onto you is like running
my fingers through the wet of a storm.

Despite the salt and surf,
you are not cold —
quivering with mammalian heat against my chest,
holding with arms of fever
and hurricane infection.

I swim for hours.
I never drown.

© 2018 Stellular Scribe


Hymns of Salt and Terror

play not those hymns of salt and terror
for though they smell of poppy
and taste of sweet
their very tone
condemns the player
to water’s ire, the belly of the sea

lend not their false notes, my child
for in their octaves
dead fishwives weep
and curse the waves
that push you deeper
that fill your sails with treachery

© 2017 Stellular Scribe


The Lotus-Eaters II

This lotus smells of yesterday,
of Ithaca it knows no name.
A portside sigh: young lungs long
to breathe sweet lethargy
and rest undone efforts upon the sand.
For them, there is no other way.

North winds, blown them from their way —
a haven set eight suns past yesterday.
Their maternal ship berths abalone sand,
but for the land, they slave to name.
Aloe bud of Sicily? Scheria of draped ivy? Lethargy,
in silken draw, keeps their attentions from lasting long.

There, stillwater: strange stalks bend, long
the lotus flower lends her scent. She blossoms the way
of islander pride, fleshing their frames with lethargy
and laying their bodies swelled with dreams — as since yesterday,
the strangers have dared to sleep. Wroth Against calls the name
of his first mate to journey beyond bank and sand.

In droves of want, the crew unloads upon the sand,
unsuspecting of the perennial lure and why they long
to inhale an utterance of the flower’s name.
All panting and peeling, islanders stir and lead the way
to the lotus that smells of yesterday.
With warm blood, they pluck her fruit of lethargy.

Upon seaborne tongues melts saccharine lethargy,
thawing the salt from supple bone. They make lovers of the sand.
For such, they sink, unable to recall the storms of yesterday,
for the berry’s burn they languish and crave. As long
as each youth forgoes his way,
each youth forgets his name.

After the first mate, Wroth Against shrieks his name.
“Quick now, shed your lethargy,
for in this land you are less than a cast-a-way.
Conjure Ithaca’s olive vine, her poppy red, her pearly sand!
Get up, you reek of lotus flower. We have not long
before the winds return. We were so foretold yesterday!”

King Perish drags his men aboard, towing with them the rank of yesterday.
A portside sigh: young eyes long
westward over the sea, in memory of that apathetic sand.

© 2017 Stellular Scribe


Statuesque II

Embalming marble corpses, chased with earth
and gold, exhuming amber knuckle bones,
upending ores of afterlife, a dearth
of animated moss and stones —

Recall the body, once inscribed by men
as beauty manifest, divine in form.
And now, collapsing jasper wonders when
its effigy would ever be so warm

as living flesh, as dripping tear, as blood
and skin and breath. For calcified, the cast
of Venus, bronzed and cold, deprives of flood
and blush — in this, she knows her chance has passed.

— the spade, it snapped. The bust, in dust, recoiled
her jewel from ancient light: the myrtle spoiled.

© 2017 Stellular Scribe



I summoned my godself last night.
She was of adventitious frame,
gilded in hippocampi,
the sororal All of
Hermetic name.

Inside, rolled upon herself — she and I were intertwined.
Bedfellows, in one body.
She said, “Remember that time?”

I knew myself awake in her.
She pressed our hand into the sheet to prove a
thought we never had. “It’s real, now,”
she concealed. “Can your archangels do that?”

© 2017 Stellular Scribe