cirque de la nuit


August 2016

The Disappearing Act Inside Me, Act VIII

The way you talk at me,
filling the air with noxious doubt
shrinks my shadow.
Around us billow
clouds of distrust
tainting every
free breath I take

I step away

In your eyes, dimmed
by pained misconceptions,
I am a shell
to be filled with dark, twisted
ideas and plans
to be contorted and
mislead down
vine encrusted
paths to nowhere

To you I am a
follower of men
supple to their whim and fancy
susceptible to every
lash of the whip

Heed me.

I don’t need a strap
my mind is the scourge.
The indelible etchings
I leave on a soul
are borne from
my licks of flame
and the parlance
I speak.

I may be bathed in swaths
of shade,
and barely visible to your
naked eye

But I am a thin ray of
unafraid of ominous circumstance…

bidden circuitously
into the wild

and there I remain
with a
flog of wit,
and a truncheon of
for the untamed things

I am the ringleader.


Lost Wallet

It was probably about 12 degrees Fahrenheit outside (Which he would note as -11C)

and snow was piled on top of my car, crisp and inviting,
like the snowbanks in my hometown.
I love to crunch my fingers down into the white abyss
and pack it up into an ice-ball, or blow it into a flurry of flakes.
(Which one depends on the wetness of the snow)

Of course I was panicking.
not the cute panicking where the cheeks flush,
and the hair looks windswept as you circle around
searching your thoughts
and the purse,
and under the car seat.

No I was fully panicking,
with the angry slamming of my empty beer glass
on the table top
and rolling my eyes at the server
when they tell me to have a nice day
the stomping to the car and throwing everything from under the seat out onto
the sidewalk

and he was quiet
“it’s probably in the parking lot”

I sucked in sharply,
“yah right, it’s gone.”

He drove me through the drifts,
knowledgeably navigating the Columbus streets

We arrived at my car

a little black wallet sat peaceably in the snow

He brushed off the windshield
and told me to start my car

I thought back to something he’d said
at the table

back before I realized my wallet wasn’t under the piles of receipts,
mittens, tissues, scarves and junk
in my purse

when I’d confessed that
I don’t talk about my writing
because people don’t listen
but when you don’t talk about something
it doesn’t’ feel real

and then I’d apologized.

because you learn to apologize
when you are a listener
conversing with talkers,
you apologize for filling the air
they’d rather fill themselves.

and he’d stopped me.
“don’t apologize”
“fuck ’em,”
“you can talk about
whatever you want to”

He said it will all the confidence
I’d never had
and all the sincerity
I needed to hear

Witching Hours

Dark souls facing friendly fire from
the elder combatants.

We aren’t at war.
But they are.

They toil and rage with their
indentured spite and
grandstanding righteousness.
Firmly seated on their throne
raised by fractured skulls,
pasted together
with stolen saliva and splattered blood.
Yet they eagerly crave our own

Our youthful exuberance is
perceived arrogance
and our will to go
uncharted into murky
Godless waters
marks us with the scarlet letter.

We, emboldened by the misguided sanctimony,
bear the cross greedily.
It suits our ambitions just fine.

Star-crossed hearts blur love lines
and the essence within
erupts on the skins surface
when we create ourselves anew
shucking the dirt they’ve buried us in.

We laugh hysterically
as we un-tether ourselves,
cut loose the anchor
and risk all ruin
to breath new world air.

Swallow’s Song

I walk through the neighborhood
picking at the bones of our friendship
wallowing in our past trails
searching for the tender meat that once was ours

At times, this place is a graveyard.
But the memories of you and I
have not long been buried,
the earth covering our treasured moments
is still moist and fertile

What if we dig?
Can we uncover where things went wrong
and breathe life into us again?
You won’t need a shovel
I’ll use my hands-
penance for my part in the demise.

The smell of hops lingers here
makes me smile,
mixes with the taste of malt
so divine.
Shared laughs, quiet tears
marching our way through the
misty ravine floor,
across dusty pub tiles,
to cold dry concrete.
All in search of
amity’s sweet balanced flavor.

Our luminescence existed
and I still search for it in every corner
of our beloved city.

What do you see?

I was horrible at coloring.
I pissed my dad off to no end wandering outside the lines and coloring everything various weird shades that they shouldn’t be.
But then again I was a creative boundless child, so it wasn’t unexpected.

I’ve been that way since birth, just unbidden by structure and rules,
So a child’s personality can definitely get in the way of their diagnoses.

I was getting my physical for the ROTC at 18 years old when they told me I was color-blind ( Red-Blind/Protanopia).

All this time, they thought I was just unconventional, or really not understanding the concept of colors.
And I didn’t know any better. I still don’t.

I wonder how many things have passed through my life unlearned simply because I march to the beat of my own walking drum. A loud throbbing heartbeat that no one else can hear?

But even if I was the standard prototype of normal with my vision, and my alternative approach to life disappeared. I still have a feeling the sky would be evergreen, and the mountains bright red, the oceans might be orange on any given day.

I’m learning, ever so slowly that “know thyself” is a lifetime goal, and never a destination.




**for those who are curious as to what colorblindness is, or how it appears, visit the site-– it has a neat simulator you can play with to understand what the various colorblind/impaired people see.


Living with Death

5, 30, Fifty, or 100 years from now
What does it matter when we will die?

The beautiful truth is

flowers will still grow from our bones.

Ashes to ashes
dust to dust
from whence we came
return we must


(I encountered a snail on a riverside trail months ago, near one of my favorite willow trees. Today I found the corpse of a snail, with the same markings on his shell. Goodbye little friend)

*image from V. Mischenko



Gathering storm clouds loom
grey and foreboding
but eventually they make way to
the slow clearing of the squall,
into a hazel sunset

The blue-green of a jealous clear sky is
envious of the
luscious grass below and
responds by reflecting as
a tender agate.

A gentle amber glows warm
and cozy, beckoning
a drowsy comfortable

The colors of your changeling gözleri*
never cease.

They speak lifetimes before me,
and put to sleep my wrestling demons.
They usurp my insecurities unquietly,
and reprimand my trembling soul.

Those limpid prisms of honesty
perceive everything.
with such a visage,
you could drown the world.
But you wade in the shallows
and you rescued me from the depths


A Dream

Have a talk with the moon.

Go ahead
Tilt back your head
lengthen your neck
and just… howl

Let your senses
run wild
Taste the
tempestuous air
and feel the soft wet dirt
with calloused fingers

Don’t be caged
by social graces
and false elegance

Set it ablaze
and run with your tribe

you are everything
beautiful, dangerous
mysterious, and complete

replete within
your dazzling self


*image: “A kitten’s dream” MIRSAD AGIC

Nothing to Carry

When I was little, elementary school aged, and I arrived home from school(always on foot, we only lived a few blocks from the school)I’d drop my backpack and run right back outside.

All I carried on my little shoulders was a knapsack filled with a pencil box, and some paper folders. I was fortunate to have parents who refused to stifle my incurable curiosity, and love for the outdoors, so homework could always be done later, after dinner.

I just dropped my backpack and ran. I ran to my bike, or roller-blades, I ran to the park behind our house or to the neighbors house to play with the kids my age. I ran to the little roly-poly colony that I was building under the sparkly white rocks my dad had put out the year before. It was that easy for me.

Now it has become harder to shed what I carry with me through the day. And when I arrive home, it feels much more difficult to strip away the accumulated layers of muck and mire. I can’t peel my stiff clothes off fast enough, and I can’t cast my work bag far enough away. And I don’t run. I slink to the sofa and drop wearily to my back. I stare at the ceiling fan long enough to feel Catholic guilty about not finishing my daily chores.

But the other day I arrived home, and dropped my purse on the floor. I turned and walked right back out the door. I crossed the street and made my way to the ravine. I plucked acorns, and watched the young bucks chewing bark off the trees. I rescued wayward daddy long legs from venturing onto the bike path. I stayed outside much too late, and was covered in mosquito bites that itch like the dickens. I watched the stars prick their way through the deep black blue sky. And I listened to the crickets chirping in the thicket. And when I slipped quietly back inside, I carried nothing.


Free- Falling

“Don’t come any closer” I warned him.
He stepped towards me
“Not another step” I cautioned.
Edged even closer
“I’m serious” I pleaded halfheartedly.
He took me in his arms
“Don’t touch me” I wriggled in his grasp.
He looked down at me with gleaming eyes
and softly kissed my lips.

I stepped back
and off the cliff
falling fast and away from his confused face.

I’m not afraid to be free.

via Daily Prompt: Confused

*Trigger note: this is not glorifying or sanitizing suicide. This is a completely metaphorical snapshot of an emotional withdrawal from a situation.


I dubbed myself Single Girl MacGyver
for a reason.

I starkly took on tasks
meant to be shared by couples
“Yes, dining in for one, please”

I eagerly sought out opportunities
to meet and mingle with new people
“are you here alone?”

And I dabbled in new experiences
with gumption
“This beer tastes like soap”

I gambled on adventures
to grow my soul
“where do I put the barf bag?”

I never knew why people liked to
burden themselves to another and
I prized my autonomy above all else

Even when I fell into dating
the man with changeling eyes.

I took him with me on my escapades
explaining the thrill was in the
absolute uncertainty.

So I wasn’t prepared to walk
hand in hand through the door
to his friends birthday party
and hear him say, “this is my girlfriend…”

I was even more unready for the way my
heart leaped joyfully to hear him say it….

Rock Bottom

Rock bottom was my ultimate obsession.
No matter how many times I had to scrape myself off the bathroom floor
and force myself to become that phoenix that my parents
told me I could be…

As soon as I felt the sting of rushing wind on my face, and noted
the sky full of stars above me.

I’d play the Icarus card, and down I would fall

I wanted to be found in the deep places of the world
where no one knew what lurked
I wanted to be that dangerous and mysterious creature
that was breathtaking.

In the end
obsession’s can make or break you.
Mine did both.


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