Tuesday, September 16, 2014


An anger witnessed,
worked through,
withdrawn, is windshield wiper
to my intention.

My heart,
so heated,
my head,
so purged,
does this:

waltzes into vacation homes,
of a sort,
grownup homes,
in which I play house:
and doles out little doses
of this and that,
the joy leftover.

I cannot help but mirror
what’s left after the anger
onto what still contains it,
and then extract.

A house can be enraged.

The boldness of your art:
clear boundary,
positive and negative,

contain a white lie,
a willful omission:

that which curves,
or is curious
that which is black-and-white
that which is clear
that which is angular.

I didn’t let myself see,
because I adopted your sight
considered at least, your vision.

To consider does not mean
to adopt fiction as reality;
to consider means
to adopt reality as expanded;

I confess:
your rejection of a story I wanted to tell
(about a ghost)
made me feel crazy;
it was an idea I felt compelled to consider;
like you considered the shape of my body,
its scars, its curves, flows, personifications;
beliefs, and that which is curious beyond that which is;

some of us just can’t rest our minds
on black-and-white or
obtuse Ang-

and maybe you’re trying to create,
like in your art,
the simplicity which denies,
if not fears,
an uncontrolled universe.

(Sam Beam mentions deity;
is still capable of naming something
Ghost on Ghost)

I am not equipped to be certain,
but I am bold enough to surmise.

And how different is this from
walking, for a moment, conscious of
god or ghost?

A light somewhere in me allows me
the peace to forgive the small deaths
our interactions sometimes create within;

right here,
at the very least,
my heart celebrates a victory,
is at least large enough to hear
that which I don’t completely understand

in the hopes of, someday,

If a seed can go into the ground
and grow, by sun,
into a sprout,
then a bud,
then a flower,
and the colors and shape and texture
of that bloom make a child 
squeal with delight:
why can a person not
settle into a home
and grow, by dark,
into a bitterness
and a poison
if not fed light,
if not given vitamins
from a union with
the thing that warms us?

A distant star demands it:
Be affected 
by me!

All parts considered,
a house can be en-
And as joy
can be seen as an emptiness,
a person can be 

out, aversion, un-school:
you from me;
over, o(h)-


. . . . .

© erika s. haines 2014

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

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