autobio – day seven

Allure of echinoderm symmetry

We marveled gasping in sea[wage] wa[te]r


My mom shook the Etch a Sketch with vigor

At the attachment a variation

We were trees we were leaves we were litter


This habit of margins

No scientific names found

Long, divided – but extending

Sometimes the wings are dark, especially in females


We chased balloons in the rain

Developed unique body plans

If I tattoo you with flowers, it will be a kind of protection

If I eat Lays with my Grandma, it will be connection

We avoided the porn, adjusted the Craftmatic


Distinguished from other brittle stars

Distinguished from the bottom-dweller

The rapture of pentaradial force

The wrath of a sessile ancestor


Oh, calcareous fatty deposits

Oh, carton of YiaYia’s Winstons

Yellow calla lilies callow in the breeze


We wanted a gut of snakes

We wanted a mouth teeming with stars


*italicized phrases appropriated from

autobio – day six

Gently falling skin economy

Expectation – snow

A meridian of angles to better

The quacking of a fragile biology

Feathered eggshell of a father


To pollute our failures we lubricated silence

Crashed the sneering anti-party

Hid carapace’s measure in a cube

A field guide to pieces

Medicine glass – a fire


prompt from Poets & Writers’ The Time is Now:

Make a list of ten words by flipping randomly through any book–a dictionary, a poetry collection, a novel, an encyclopedia–and choosing a word you see on the page. Incorporate these words into a poem made up of three stanzas composed of five lines each.

autobio for day five

to curate a chapel we put our hands together and blew

in warmer latitudes a glimpse of ocean mouth

the sea-green beyond finger steeple


a self of units

song a decorated structure

any starling

any rattle


we migrate from saltwater

any of creeping various

the body of the lower

amatory, saclike

family of egress


“jam bat echolocation”


Genital moths in these undercurrents sound

One zaps the other in a disco fight

In these frequencies the skin of light jumps

Echoes migration of cave etching

Sonographic teeth on the radio


Insects’ lips fight ultrasound with ultrasound

Feel it suck and bounce

Grab the spiny-legged

Rasp of a scaly abdomen

My species a one-click strategy

My sensitive species


Hunting we smash records vibrate vaginas

Any bat can squeak

Evolutionary arms race to the artificial version

Simple probing extremely simple

The pitch of a neuron crescendo

The courtship call we produce


source texts:

A Death’s Head Moth Visits California


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I am trying to understand you, moth

Your brown blink of dun fur dotted white buzzing

You, dead on my office floor

You, taunting me on the house porch

Who do you carry?


The Internet tells me you bear a skull on your thorax

But I see a smiling pig snout as if you welcomed the down and out and muddy

Do I know you? Did we meet on the beached fishing boat in Monterosso?

I sense you have a message transcending statistical data


We are both honey-named short proboscis Medusas

Larvae for the undercurrent’s meat

Taxonomical aberrations

Pierce the wax, damage the fruit


The myth of my Italian heritage says I may have the malocchia

To be stalked by a death’s head moth

To be stalked by wings I must carry a horn

Stout tongue of the stigma

If the oil forms an eye, your fur is mine


Myth says moths are dead souls

Your body was as intact as a specimen

As I set you in the wastebasket

Where is the apparition you’ve been carrying?

I want to talk to her.


image from

mama, turn out the light –

The eggs are laid in the galleries

We wander, plucking faces from white walls

The yolk demands its attachment

The yolk broadcasts the feed


A nest of small beaks, a nest of plumes

In circles, circles

Wingless, a shiny cadence

Tufted f-stop heart 

Lets light in, brave


The fight is feathery distance but we claw its shimmer of idea

A hologram that pops up strata with puffed chins and chest

The shooting gallery where we fire and fire

A high squealing wah wah wah


first and last lines quoted from 80’s era editions of Field Guide to Insects (Embioptera order) and Field Guide to Birds (White-Fronted Goose) respectively…