Every Sunday
the Knight walks

the Princess

to the train

Her gait soft

like a

His legs light

like fire.

Sunday, the Knight

walks the


to the station, she
always makes him


He waits gladly.

She waves a wand
her eyelash;

he sings into her ear.

She rewards him.

Within a minute
the Princess

vani s h e  s .    .      .

intermittent joy

A Pass-A-Poem by Emily Dickinson, Gertrude Stein, and Wallace Stevens

Violet sky—black nebulous—
Something in the atmosphere—
The Color of Pleasure
Purple—Royalty among things.

and things in things are things
are things and things..two things.
three things. purple things…with wings.

Sings of something fantastical.
Like a violet sky.
Yes: like Beauty of the Mind.

Speak (for Octavio Paz)

You spoke of a city
brimming with unspoken reality
dusty skulls shimmering in forgetfulness
exposed by the darkness of memory.
You spoke of prayers that forgot their meaning
reminding us that words are only as potent
as the sound in the mouths that say them—
but even sound itself can be silent.

You spoke of time as a subtle thing—
a brave thing, a broken thing—
something we shall never embody
for as long as we live and die
time goes on and forgets us
as each grain of sand forgets the rock it once was
as each rock forgets the touch of mother earth.

You spoke of the beauty of a woman’s breasts
and as you dipped your hands into paradise
you thought only of interior liberation
how the lion cascades over mother earth’s mountains
only to gaze at the desert from its peak.

The Crisis

The subway trains are toast
packed to the brim with
some of the most imbecilic trolls.
Hands and feet in between the
closing doors. Priority seats taken
up by twenty-something-year-olds.
And countless homeless souls
begging greedy pockets for a quarter.
We have a courtesy crisis on our hands!
And no enforcement to behold.
Only dogs sniffing for bombs and
armed forces demanding tolls
because who knows what’s in the
pockets of preteens putting up a show?
I said there’s a crisis on our hands!
And it demands proper attention!
No more idleness, no more “good intentions”
no more automated messages from
graying wenches who haven’t been on
a subway car in decades.
I’m tired of all the talking
I’m tired of all the crap
I’m tired of being pushed back in
when escaping the subway trap.
Is it really so hard to be courteous?
I find it very hard to believe.
Then again, we’re living in the time
of “me,” while all else

falls beneath.

Chapter Two

Shall I compare the beginning of my new life
To a box full of lightbulbs? A bundle
Of firewood one buys in late summer?
What I am trying to say:

I am coated in darkness. But I have
Potential. I am barricaded by my own self
But I am at least well put together.

And forever is only an idea, not a
Frame of time. I know because
I have already lived a million forevers
And I have many, many more to go.

It shows in the bouts of wisdom
Of which I never knew the name
Something like a pessimistic realism

That loses hope as quickly as it regains
Its composure…measures my success
In my number of job offers. What I mean:
I am not yet depressed, but it is probable.

I am not yet alone, though sometimes
I feel as though that wouldn’t be
The worst thing that could happen.

He Says

I’ve been fighting a lunatic
A ludicrous maker of little white lies
An avid fantasizer of little legs,
And Bambi eyes, with shallow heads
He says he can give me everything
I say, make me a better woman
Because I’m sickened by my diet
Because I’m silenced by ignorant ears
Because I’m different in a world that’s all the same
And I’m tired
He says put your hand in your mouth
Cut your meal in half
You’re a skank, and a glutton
You need to be this way
And I run away to the recreation center
To the third-floor bathroom
He says put your hand in your mouth
This is as good as it gets
This is as good as it gets