Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

happy 2015
January 1, 2015

‘Twas the night before New Year’s, when all through the house

Not a creature was sober, not even a mouse;

The streamers were hung from the ceiling with care,

In preparation for guests who soon would be there;

The champagne was nestled all snug on its ice;

While countdowns and make-outs began to seem nice;

And bae in her bow tie, and I in my vest,

Had just begun pregaming the long winter’s fest,

When out on the street there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the couch to see what was the matter.

Away to the side door I drunkenly tripped,

Stepped out in the snow and tried not to slip.

The moon on the trash heaps and gutters of slush

Made me pause, the wind whipping, my face growing flush,

When what to my wondering eyes did appear,

But a huge group of queermos all carrying beer,

With a swaggering leader, her style all the rage,

I knew in a moment she must be Ellen Page.

Flyer than eagles  her wingwomen they came,

And she whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:

“Hey, Kristen! now, Portia! now Ellen and Vixen!

On, Laverne! on, Riese! on, Samira and Blitzen!

To the top of the porch! to the end of the hall!

Now drink away! sing away! dance away all!”

So up to the porch the roller girls they flew

With bags full of whiskey, and rainbow cake too—

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,

Into the house Ellen Page came with a bound.

In her best Tomboy snapback, her cheeks all aglow,

her clothes were all dusted with glitter and snow;

She flipped up the collar of her frayed denim vest,

And her Canadian flannel out-gayed all the rest.

Her eyes—how they smoldered! her smirk was so dreamy!

The holes in her jeans made us all a bit steamy!

Her eyeliner game was as always mad strong,

And her skinny tie proved that she could do no wrong;

With effortless cool, she opened a beer with her teeth

when I noticed the mistletoe she was dancing beneath;

I sidled up towards her, with no ounce of stealth,

And I blushed when she smiled, in spite of myself;

A wink of her eye and a touch of her hand

were all that it took; I could barely stand;

She spoke not a word, but started dancing with me,

Robyn playing in the background, as gay as could be.

And laying her hand on the side of my face,

she kissed me, then turned with queerest of grace;

She slipped on her blazer, gave her posse a call,

And away they all ran to Times Square and the ball.

And I heard her exclaim, as she danced out of sight—

“Happy New Year to all, and to all a gay night!”


cactus heart
December 3, 2014

Despite what my lack of recent blog posts might suggest, I haven’t completely neglected my creative writing since starting grad school. In fact, my poem “Two for the 8 o’clock show” is in the latest issue of Cactus Heart! It was just released today, and I can’t wait to read it once I’m done with all of my term papers for this semester.

I also recently had a few pieces very graciously rejected by The Open Bar (Tin House’s blog). Their Broadside Thirty series features short pieces (thirty lines or less) by poets under thirty. Below is one of my thirty-line cast-offs. Enjoy!


I’ve seen oceans from airplanes.
I’ve seen Asia in electronic
pixels and plastic.
I’ve heard that if you put a shell to your ear,
it blocks out the traffic.

The bus schedule is in hieroglyphs,
the newspaper in Latin.
I’m a land of busted languages,
land of crumpled receipts, land of dollar bills.
My politics are shallow.
My pockets are deep.

Eat me to death –
I am sugar and syrup and salt.
The cabinets are empty
and the plates are filth.
My nails are grit.
My teeth are plaque.
My brain’s in the gutter
and my lungs are in bed.

Binge on borrowed money,
stolen sweets, waste time on wifi
from the neighbors next door.
Quest through the comments section –
“Asshole, idiot, faggot, slut.”
Sticks, stones, bones, and such.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll take out the trash.
On Tuesday I’ll wash the dishes.
On Saturday I’ll put the dog to sleep,
grab my bootstraps,

new year
December 28, 2013

While I love having chips and salsa for dinner and watching as much Battlestar Galactica as humanly possible in a single 24-hour period, I can only handle a few days of winter break before I start to go mad. In the spirit of easing myself back into meaningful activity, I’ve closed my netflix tab and ventured back to the literary side of the internet. Surprisingly, it is still alive and well, despite my growing concern that the entire US population is out shopping (I went to the mall yesterday: 0/10, would not recommend).

Eunoia Review featured two of my poems this week, “Home Room” and “Baked.” The Eunoia editors are wonderful; they somehow manage to be organized enough to feature a new writer every single day, and I’m very pleased to have contributed to their blog.

Also wonderful is Thrush Poetry, whose editors very graciously rejected one of my recent submissions. I saw this rejection coming from a mile off, given that I originally discovered the journal on this list: “Top 10 Lit Mags to Send Your Very Best Poetry (and get happily rejected)“.  Regardless of Thrush’s polite brush-off, I love their November issue, particularly Geffrey Davis’ “Could You Forgive My Clumsiness.” He writes, “I’ve not yet learned // how to make clean, unequivocal room / in my poems, to offer an evenhanded display // of my inconstant heart.” It’s one of those poems that I read and wondered why I didn’t write it first.

On that note, here is one of my poetic cast-offs, whose only future lies in my dogged dedication to this blog. Think of it as store-brand poetry: cheaper and just as filling.


Sometimes I go to sleep with everyone I’ve ever kissed
called to the forefront of my thoughts,
and I am always too alive
in those moments to give myself up
to the unconscious necessity within me,
but I try.

I don’t have enough words for the truth.
Even now I am lying,
because the whole truth would be us two
in a perfectly lit room,
stone sober, bare limbed,
me telling you that I don’t cry anymore.
(Does honesty still count
if no one believes me?)

I read somewhere that the average person
has been intimate with 4 people during their lifetime,
and I think that the average person is bad at truth
or bad at arithmetic or bad at intimacy.
Probably all three.
I don’t know what I’m bad at.
I’m just trying to find the way
to be most myself.

September 10, 2013

In her address book,

she writes a list

of what you are not:

not a dinosaur or a fetus,

not Napoleon’s horse,

not the string of a cello,

not the Word of God

or the Hudson River,

not a chicken wing,

not a dandelion root.

She coughs into her sleeve,

avoids making eye contact,

notes the type of shoe

you choose not to wear.

These introductions take awhile.

She is still learning the names

of everyone she has ever met.

August 17, 2013

I recently experienced hard drive failure. Not as serious as nuclear war or a heart attack, just a little disaster. This is the way my world ends, not with a bang, but a whimper and a perpetually rebooting laptop. On the bright side, my computer is now a beautiful, pristine tabula rasa; everything is in its place. It’s easy to organize nothing.

But anyway, despite this minor technological catastrophe, I am pleased to announce that the wonderful poetry and photography blog, Bare Hands, has released its 17th issue, of which my poem “Epilogue” is a part! You should read it. Remember that other time Bare Hands published my stuff? That was pretty great, too.

Expect more poetry once I have salvaged what I can from a cacophony of email attachments and google docs. 

(I have an external hard drive now.)

a poem for Shelley-Jo Talvacchia
April 17, 2012

This recent article from NPR describes a young poet whose only profession is sitting in the street with a typewriter and writing poems on topics suggested by pedestrians.  In the spirit of this brave individual’s endeavor to live off poetry alone, I have written a poem on a topic suggest by Shelley-Jo, my mother’s friend.  She asked for “a victory poem for love and kindness,” and so hopefully, the poem below speaks to her request.  If you would like to request a poem, by all means, let me know, and I’ll do my best (which, according to my mother, I always do).

Take all your slow winding-downs,
the watch hands sweeping out their
shadowed paths on pulsing wrists,
the sleep-darkened eyelid corners
where fear collects at the end of
the day, light fast fading.

Her breath is a whisper in
moonlight, silvered and silent,
but here, see her opened mouth,
her heart beating under the thin cloth,
see her hair laid out on the pillow,
hear the dreams spilling from her
lips, from her up-turned fingertips,
feel the strong, imagined, embrace –
take it.  It is the only thing laced
with the terror-free taste of
kindness (her sleeping self,
the characters of her most familiar
fantasies with their laughing hands,
their impossibly opened arms.
Fall into them.)  Let this be
the healing of every unmended thing.

Radio, someone still loves you…
April 11, 2012

Yes, for the next seven weeks, I will be reading and talking about poetry with my lovely co-host, Clare Costello, on Carleton’s radio station!  KRLX 88.1 FM, Wednesday nights, 9pm central time.  Clare and I will be reading our own poetry, poetry we like, and we will be having guests on the show.  Fun times!  Tune in:

And here’s a poem, because presumably that’s what this blog is about:

Through the kitchen window

The band-aids are on your
five left fingers, the blood
cleaned and gone – it was
the knife moving beyond
its realm of fruit flesh (the
pomegranate sliced open,
exploding seeds, deep red juice).
It was the neighbor, her
bare shoulders, her white
laundry, the fold of her body
bending down, her arm
reaching for the clothespins
(oh, pin me down, won’t you?).
It was your wandering eyes,
your steady, steady hands.


oh hey there
March 5, 2012

No, my dear blog, I did not forget about you. I’ve just been so busy writing new poems for my workshop that I haven’t had time to revise any of my already-written poems.  And much to the chagrin of certain people among my readership, I (almost) always revise my poems before setting them free to jaunt about the internets.  It’s like tying your kid’s shoes before letting them loose in a playground (or perhaps it is more like making sure they don’t do weird things with scissors to their own hair so that they won’t be mercilessly picked on by bullies).  But anyway, the long rambling point I am in the process of making is that I’m here and I’m still writing.  And because I just came from a poetry reading and feel a need to live up to the artsy standard I have set for myself by being a part of said reading, I suppose that a poem is in order.

One day when passion becomes too much for my lungs to hold and my hands to resist,
I will bind your wrists to bed posts and trace maps across the territory of your torso,
explore the vast uncharted wilderness of pulsating skin.
I will leave teeth marks and make muscles sing,
uncap pens with my teeth and scrawl masterpieces of the most primal kind.
I will discover language for the first time,
new and living on your limbs, under your breasts, down your spine,
and the lines will lace your deep blood with the glorious ache
of making love out of nothing but dark ink.

entering the twitterverse
July 20, 2011

So, I now have a twitter account.  Slowly but surely, I am catching up with the times.  Follow me if you are so inclined @vNeck_Trees.  I’ll probably be tweeting things of a poetic nature a fair bit, so look forward to that, and if you’re curious about the literary mags that I’m interested in, you can find out about some of those through my twitter as well.

And because this is a poetry blog, after all, I’ve written a haiku about twitter, since the brevity of the form seems fitting, given the character limitations of a tweet…


All noises have ceased.

Crickets have stopped chirping and

the birds are offline.

Poetry: a new service of Carleton’s social thought department
February 2, 2011

Yes, I have started a poetry blog.  Don’t judge.  That is to say, don’t judge me for the fact that I have chosen to not only write poetry but also share it.  Really, the blog’s subtitle says it all.  You can judge the poems themselves all you want.  Comment to your little heart’s desire.  In the midst of all the judgment, though, I hope that you do take some time to enjoy reading the poems and the inevitable philosophical musings that will accompany them.