Tuesday, September 9, 2014


Rewards are heavy,
I’d say,
for the sweat
on my brow
of the written word.

Three poems means
Three whole books.

I decided today 
this is what I deserve;

And it has been peaceful,
And splendid,
and I feel read-y 
for you now,

. . . . . .
© erika simone 2014

Monday, September 8, 2014


lonely parts
loving parts
selfless parts
demanding parts
angry parts
hurt parts
centered parts
unrequited parts
having parts
un-having parts
sleeping parts
stretching parts

parts that are young
that fail, refuse, despite everything
to grow alongside silvering hair

parts that you wear
on a pattern
on a shirt we bought you

parts that would possess
each of us within the other

parts that blanket in the night

parts that shout when
heavily disturbed

parts that are parts, frag-
mented, and parts that are
of a whole

parts of every zillionth
of this earth,
this spinning,
well-oiled machine
we inhabit

mourning parts
morning parts

parts that blanket in the night

parts that raise hell,
hardly necessary;
raise earth, i say,
hell's inspiration and reminder

parts that raise
parts that cultivate
parts that nurture

parts of me
parts of you

parts, please
that only love.

parts that blanket in the night:

heavy cotton parts, woven,
for getting under when
day sets me on fire,
which parts of me feel cool off,
laying me down
in the night

. . . . .
© erika simone 2014


fuck, i am tired.

. . .

a parent is
a pedestal:
this i dreamt;
this you were.

waking, though,
i feel chained
to something low.

the curse of old age is:
you care less about
tarrying with the young,

grumble to yourself
that the returns on your investents,
your children,
aren't quite what you'd hoped.

the grumbling of you
makes me feel entitled to say:
thinking of you once or twice
while away for a weekend of fun
was, always feels like, a mistake.

and i may as well be wearing your black eyes
baking you apple pies:
this is how a song went years ago.

. . .

you fell over while i was away;
called it vertigo, like grandma has;
broke, you say (i havent yet seen)
the window;

are sorry.

the window to the house
where dreams

grew out of
grime once
and now turn
to sorta-nightmares,

mine never means mine when you seek a yours from my mine.

so polluted by opinions generated
first by father, then
perpetuated, enabled, by

that I Am Not
deserving of big,
good things which last--
at least for a lifetime--
i wonder when
other than words
will actually feel

like mine.

and why, if selfless,
this quest,
this day-long grasping,
if not for a body,
then for nourishment,
if not for a check,
then for a title,
if not for a god,
then for a light,
if not for success,
then for obscurity?

all an act
of borrowing;

and if it is
and nothing's mine
in these, hopefully, ninety
or so years:
what good is, to me, warm
golden sun?
waking next to
striving for
comfort or peace?

. . .

it is, let's sup-
like the sunflower
which grows tall
toward its light,
planted there on borrowed ground,
taking into it what good
ground provides:
then blossoming, seemingly,
for itself     and     for beauty    and to

remind us:  Life;
and that, all of us with eyes open to see it:
We are, we are, we are;

in drought,

and dispersing bits of itself
from itself,

back into ground
generously given:

there is no take
without take back.

. . . . .
© erika simone 2014


I surrendered 

my rights to
Kept quiet,
shyness being
the M.O. of most of us--
And fought internally
her rationalizations
that a broken, solitary
heart would          
'find somebody
Better' Suited;    
after a year or more of being,
to one another,
from a distance,
Something (any-

I fought this:
"I found
makes me
---fought:  that
I suddenly wasn't
important enough
to even    

in this way,
for years,
And for 'values'
with which I was raised--
forgiveness, patience--
she strung me along
in some form,
like a loose dog lead
through the vascillating dried
And damp grasses
of an adolescence.
I was 

not "okay,"
but broken!,
ears hanging low.

my love
was deemed worthless
(maybe you can imagine, or relate)
once, by her, for
a while.

So I submitted 
to the underspoken, 
shoegazing identity
That made me simul-
Well-liked and avoided.
Try to explain it.

I have only
recovered parts of the
of choice
and following heart
and mind
and passion
a decade later,
to the day.
I don't speak with her
even electronically,
since that was the thing
that first did me in;
fool me 99 times,
shame on me.
am I right?

I remember some things about her:
She was too small,
and mousy,
spoke lowly of certain 
things dear to my heart,
did so openly,
lacked tact; then

suffered her mother's suicide;
which echoed in me

The loss,
though I couldn't know 
first-hand, though she loved 
everything but me;
a death which
echoed in me:
which amplified the darkness
with which she had already left me,
when I first heard.

I learned through her
of, in all senses of the word,

it was necessary;
unless it most certainly wasn't:

That has always been my

She taught me not to love
but to follow and deny fright:
trust, even, anxiety,     
more than a warm bed
and instinct
and comfort;
her, I always thought, sad!, pseudo-elite story
slowly trumped 
almost all aspects of my 
own authentic one.
I survived out of, 
oh, what do you call it?
sheer steely will 

Help from certain ones whom
I remember--
steadfast at the time,
who hugged me even
though I didn't remember I 
deserved to ask;

Carried me 
to my room, when, 
by the dark side of the lake, 
I drank away my pain, I thought, 
only awakening it more, 
too weak with weeping 
to stand up and orient myself home 
through the tall trees 
I can't begin to name.

I remember:
not her,
Nor blossoms of our 'love' 
eventually minimally requited,
(tongue which never lapped
tongue which briefwhirled in a mouth,
of too-thin lips)
But rather

The sturdiness that overcame
these two delicate flowers,
for the fifteen or so minutes it took to
carry me back,
my full weight
on their shoulders:
the two of them    
climbing with me
up countless stairs
through countless doorways;
tucking me into bright red sheets
and bringing me, perhaps,
water, 0% ABV
before leaving;

when I awoke:

what the sun looked like coming 
through the room's East facing window;

and the fog, like ice crystals, 
like tears, wetting each tiny pane; 

how holy that seemed, 
even though I forgot, maybe forever,
about 'holy';

the coolness and ripeness 
of the grass beneath me, as I sat 
to write in the nearby courtyard, 
a year or more later;

And if I could sum it all up,
all of what I remember 
of a decade ago;
that forced act of letting go was

My dawn.

How I found it, rose with it,
I can only call the clarity of my five senses,
that animal quality hidden deep within 
modern humans;

since something about that place 
--i swear it--
is spooky:
the wind will literally carry to you,
if you are weak enough of heart and spirit,
the scent of your lover's hair
when you are walking to class or
ignorantly sitting by the lake,
reading (and

maybe you can 
imagine, or relate)


This was abandonment one,
my heart's first real death,
the tiny one that was overlooked
by a denial
that left me floating aimlessly
til bumped this way and that by boundary,
through an imaginary ether

flanked by two obscurities:
cyberspace--how modern--                    
and the semiotics 
of the Pleiades: 
the number seven college 
in the U.S. World and News Report.

here it all is
but mostly,
I forgot 
all about it.

. . . . . .
© erika simone 2014

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


The soap 
in my eyes:
mother calling 
from the other 
side of the glass 
shower door, saying— 
it won’t hurt forever,
just rinse it out— 
my urgency

as was me then, not 
not having an ounce 
of faith— 

that water would be
the universal 

I felt fully 
--and only-- 
the sting

of lye 
to mucous 

and saw only
pitch darkness.

. . .

in chemistry class, 
at prep school, we
mixed moles of this 
with moles of that,
lit Bunsen burners 
up to 
bright blue flame;

and when the trash bin melted
from our ignorance to 
the consequences of
chemical reaction,

water became
the universal 

. . .

It is Lady Macbeth
--quite the Killer Queen-- 
in her insanity,
with her OUT, SPOTs
who relies not on 
remorse, but on
vigor, and

the universal

. . .

When I wake, I sit over 
it and flush it down;
come to the sink and splash 
my face with it;
dip in its stream the sponge
that with added acidity
wipes down every 
visible surface— 

with it:
I keep house.
with it I
am trapped, domestic.

and for ‘feminism',
for ‘modernity',
the remedy must 
then be

the universal solve-

It is water
that releases me when I
see it in waves 
there, it is violent, churning
gradually eroding;

There, at the ocean,
it both 

pollutes and purifies,

taking, with each ebb,
surface and below-surface
drying on my skin after:
as salty as the rife,
wee beads
that populate his neck and shoulders
in this Houston heat from being
beside, on top of, and under me.

The saline 
so salient,

consistent across its permutations,

each drip both 
dirty and clean:

Stuff of Life.

      for birth.
          for baptism.
     for thirst.
    for cleanliness.
    water, for play.


cacophonous   incongruous   mellifluous   briny  eroding

, the:

and drips,
and swells-- 

as they crest there
at sea’s edge 

over bloodstain

pre-repentant head; 
crest over 

my bare, exposed eye, 

here in the house,
onto my sponge:

wicking with them, with it,
daily myriad micro-massacres.

. . . . . .

© erika s. haines 2014