Month: August 2017

Tribute to Violet Ritis Tuite: Died on August 4, 1992

Violet Ritis Tuite (Mom) died on Aug. 4th, 1992. I lived with her for over a year before she died. In those days she had me thinking about what it is to come to terms with whatever life we have or have not lived. The doctor told her the cancer was her interior landscape that not even a hurricane could revamp at that point. She wanted the unanswered. Why was her second child a stillborn birth? Why didn’t she talk with her only sister, Dolores, about the incest that shattered them before Dolores killed herself alone in a hotel...

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On Stephen Dwoskin’s Dirty, or How I Know I Am Not Ready to Write a Poem About You

Epileptic light reveals everything in the glitchy darkness, that itch of flash exposed—it is pixelated as I see it, the sound shut off so they are glancing at each other with silent fists and open palms, and I put on a song where the vocalist’s voice is as scratchy as the two girls on my screen, and I think about the uncurtained expanse of window behind my sofa and wonder who watched when we lay here, our faces ground into one another’s cunts and what the light was like upon our...

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Self-Portrait as Eldest Son

O mother of railroad spike and salt, dandelion and charm. O mother of candle wax, patient as a museum, see what I’ve brought back with the lips of your first lover: the unrequited axe handle. O mother, here is your constellation of poppies, red heads to hang above his bed. Here is his pant-leg of rust, his shoelace of guitar string. Here is your guillotine, O mother, built from sperm and birth-slap, aluminum and ipecac. Here is his arm of hemp, his lung of carnival tent. O mother, your wilderness at his ankle, your knuckle in his, your mouth...

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Solo

Those were better times for everyone I knew. The saxophone screamed from oiled fingers saying something I can’t remember. Snow came in the winter and left when it was no longer wanted. Even the rain had a job, which was to remind us that nothing dies as slow as the sadness of teenagers. I’m lying: I never understood what the saxophone was saying, the reason our hair was so afraid of our heads, the true purpose of shoulder pads. Bodies piled up under the streets. I kept my windows up to avoid the smell and hung those little green...

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June(ing)

We notice it happening, or as a friend simply said, “No one takes care of each other anymore.” We were walking as the sun set in beach fog, bicycles and homeless men exchanging clothes; let’s just say, our laughter was noticed. Later, at the restaurant bar, I ordered an Aberlauer 12, a big rock in it, a polar bear asleep in shy gold, and I watched as the other patrons receded into the universe that wasn’t yet made; we talked about his boss, the fifty-something workaholic with the twenty-something girlfriend. I told him I believed everyone in America was...

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