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Topic: Tenda's poems  (Read 15644 times)
Permalink  •  September 15, 2013, 02:01:51 AM
Re: Tenda's poems
« Reply #30 on: September 15, 2013, 02:01:51 AM »

you're a sand nigger

Permalink  •  September 26, 2013, 12:50:35 PM
Re: Tenda's poems
« Reply #31 on: September 26, 2013, 12:50:35 PM »

I learned young most people will either
Love you or hate you
If you can tell them what they're thinking.

I have this image stuck in my mind
When I'm around you, that hovers round you --
It's this place I need to pass through,
The last transition before my fingers
Are going to mesh with yours,
The scene I'm looking through
To you
Wondering if you see it looking back at me.

It's atmosphere that rushes out the window
When the car hits the water,
It's stale air and a smell
You can't ever place
But readily distinguish --

Accumulated breath that blows out the windshield,
Sum underfoot miles -- baggage --
Tumbling out the odometer and trunk
At the same time. A life's experiences,
Exhalations, rolled up into one last gasp
Just before the lungs fill with water.
And the car sinks.

Underwater, I won't need
The things that were --
Underwater, the things that were
To be
Won't happen.

I'm looking through a plunge

To an entire world that off-roads

While a car stands still.

Looking into your eyes, the light scatters off
Cracked safety glass and half-open
Window cataracts, sunset reds playing off the
Rear-view mirror under cresting foam.
When I reach out, I reach in --
And when you take my hand,
I take you under.

Through the frothy looking-glass,
I'm every right kind of beautiful
And the car never crashed.
Singing on-key we hit all the high notes,
And drive back to my place
As the setting sun rises.

It's a hazy,
Cold water impact standing between
Where I am and you,
That sinks to the core of the matter,
Ever further fathoms further,
One phantom opportunity
Fading into the pitch black
Pinpoints of your irises
While a car pulls up,
And the driver rolls down the window to ask:
"Where did you two want to go tonight?"

Permalink  •  September 30, 2013, 10:48:01 AM
Re: Tenda's poems
« Reply #32 on: September 30, 2013, 10:48:01 AM »

Online I blush between asterisks,
Just project this idea I think
What you just said
May have made me feel

At the zoo, I shriek when a wasp buzzes me
And the fathers
With their daughters
And the mothers
With their sons
Smile or chuckle.

I think I'm blushing for the first time,
Suddenly at a loss for words and
Staring at my feet.
I didn't know about this kind of embarrassment --
The warm and validating rush of


When my self escapes my mouth,
In good company,

And the world looks on:
All the cultured patrons of the zoo
Just happy to see

A tried-and-true trope
On exhibit.

Permalink  •  October 03, 2013, 09:23:56 PM
Re: Tenda's poems
« Reply #33 on: October 03, 2013, 09:23:56 PM »

The tanks in Baltimore are blue and backlit,
Glass whose thickness I got at
Finger-length impression
Pressing myself against it,
Eyeballing refraction.

At the time there's a spiral of inference
I look clean to the bottom of
That tells me the glass pane is holding back
An indoor sea,
Millions of gallons of water
Probing the glass with
A constant, unquenchable complaint
Far-exceeding what my four fingers registered.

In 2003, it's just fingertips and a pane of glass,
Keen memory of how the light played off the
Back walls but
Faded out so quickly
In the murky bottom of the tank.
I'm not thinking of this weird,

Uncomfortable regret

That a decade later,
There aren't any fish in the aquarium.

I've gotten old enough that the admixture of
Into memory has gotten so painfully palpable --
I can never convince myself
The fish I'm seeing in those tanks are
The fish that were,
Just the fish I'm borrowing,

Composite fish

Cobbled together as a lifetime of experiences
Into the silhouettes that flesh out
Dreams and memories,
Filling in the gaps behind and
Coloring in the yet-unseen vistas like

This compensation might be universal, I guess.
I'm watching the sun set over the Inner Harbor
And this new timescale I've discovered,
Going-on twenty-six,
Where I'm seeing farther ahead
But parts and pasts behind me've
Faded irretrievably into the dark.

Permalink  •  October 18, 2013, 05:38:08 PM
Re: Tenda's poems
« Reply #34 on: October 18, 2013, 05:38:08 PM »

I was twenty-five when I first wondered if the world was just so quiet
Or if it always was, or if it had to be.


I'm so fucking frustrated that this is what accreted,
All that we have to show for the business of living;
The bones of a world where every child
Independently strikes and internalizes

'cold and empty space.'

Silence is intrinsic to where I grew up,
There's no medium
And I know I'm hurtling through one

But it's cold and empty space.

The purpose of my vibrations and
The fluttering,
The fibrillation
Starts and ends with me --
Transit is just self-evident
Because I hurt more or less;
It wasn't because sound carried,
Just because days differed
In small and unimportant ways,

And I didn't get you had to be closer than arm's length
To be hurt by anyone,
And I never hit on the constancy of earshot.

We made a cultural meme of the phrase
No one could hear you scream,
And I never thought differently. It went unchallenged
Because I saw it,
I saw human trajectories end in screams,
People become rubble,

Supernova landmarks impressing dark light
On lives separated by years or decades from the point of impact,
The firecracker gunshot
So fucking
tinny and frail,
collapsing echoes on a cast-iron stairwell

But it wasn't sound. There were no voices.
It's all just visual,
This thunderclap panorama
That rings between my ears

Without passing through them

Of a pitch-black backdrop,
Lifeless faces on straw bodies that
Leave noiseless, glittering trails --
Frenetic debris,
Space junk without
The importance connoted
By a population of satellites we'd mourn if broken --

Impacts without larger consequence.
An unsung space opera.
You died,
And I kept a photograph
But I never heard why.


What I remember of Amanda Appleyard is all qualitative.
She always wore white eyeliner,
Spaghetti straps that violated the dress code.
She was sent home from 7th-grade science, once, for that --
I know it was the only class I ever had with her.

Amanda Appleyard was the first girl
We would say had breasts. She was the first girl
I had a prerogative to like,
Because she had prematurely injected sex
Into our lives
And there was no other locus,
There was no other ground on which to stand
To make the case
You weren't a faggot.

It was before the circle-jerk at Jason's,
It was before flaccid penises
Crashed on the rocks of static,
Snowswept porno -- those distorted,
Robotic moans ... crying in the bathroom ...
My father driving me home.

It was sex before we knew what sex was.
Bravado in a playpen, utter naivety that made plausible
And tantalizing
The endless stream of rumors
About who she fucked, who she was fucking,
Who would fuck her.

I remember Amanda Appleyard's voice --
The lilting way she spoke, the upturned punctuation,
Softened periods that left the most benign sentences
Open-ended teases and flirts ...
But I don't remember a single word she ever said,
Can't hear her speak one.
I never said a word to Amanda Appleyard,

But I would have sworn on my life she was so much fucking happier than me.

I understood it was all relative,
But there was no proof or reason to believe
Any frame of reference existed other than mine.
Her happiness was just a rung of the ladder to dangle from,
But it was what I knew. A comfortable world
With hard edges, an extreme and inked buffer
To bounce and break against
While I struggled to keep up the pretense

My life was one colored within the lines

Without ever stopping to realize
There had to be someone else spouting
What they were, and whether I was.

It was the wrong realization I had struck on,
The insistence of
Cold and empty spaces
Without the inference

I had been fed that line!
I'd been told that it was so quiet. And I'd swallowed it whole.

It was the constancy of earshot --
A distance without units --
Hemming in the night, ...
The toroid twist-tied
With no need to grasp for dark matter
Or the yet-undiscovered-truth;

Just the words shared in a world of people
Who could never stop listening,

But never once spoke.


I'm so fucking frustrated that I have to tell you this.
Nearer the origin, everyone I knew's trajectory
Was so similar -- a generation typified by the early onset of
Angst and ennui,
Where being the first in your class to meekly say

I write poetry

And vocalize a cold and empty space
Earned you awe and recognition,
An invitation to the Teen Arts festival,
And an award from the governor.

Confluence and community were just these commonplace things
For so long, when we all ran down the same checklist,
Same scavenger hunt for the same rites of passage.

I'm so tired, and I just want to rest,
And I'm so sad and I'm so lonely that we've all drifted so far apart
Because in adulthood, we were robbed of any common cause.
I hate this waking dead bullshit,
The constant, painful drone of my heart railing against
Circumstance as I am slammed again and again against the
Edge of the table, and I reverberate soundlessly --
A fork without a voice.

"Life is a crucible," though.
The kindly reproach fell on the world instead of people
When I thrash, scream into cold and empty space

I'm going to burn entirely to ashes

But I wouldn't, I shouldn't. "Because that's just how life is,"
This self-perpetuating schema civilization set in motion
Because no one had ever opened their mouth
To say to any one other person,

This is how I feel.
This is what I'm afraid of.
This is what I don't have,
This's what I think you do,
These are the words underpinning the


Of the relation, it's all relative, this is


frame of reference,
And please, God, please just open your mouth too
And tell me all about yours.

If Amanda didn't like being fucked
I wouldn't fuck myself for not being her,
And I'm sure I'd just take one step down the ladder instead of throwing it away
But the woman struggling to hold onto the next rung
Could've said hello, too.
I could have said hello, too.
There was no ladder at the start of all things,
And I fucking hate that I have to tell you there doesn't need to be a ladder
At the end of it.

The greatest secret we never shared was the inverse
Of the shrill truth our closed and veiled faces jabbered:
Suffering was only the way of the world we built,
And the handiwork was implicit,
And the hands are still alive!,
In the same room!,
Ultimately and completely trapped within
The constancy of earshot
With no mechanism in the human body
That would pause the hungry, hungry listening
That propels us on our

Fibrillating orbits.

I can print twenty-five years of memory onto spooled paper,
A miserable electocardiogram running the full gauntlet
Of disease --

You could print yours,
And we could sit and annotate them,
Match every cardiac event to disappointment
That this is the world humanity wrought.

Anxiety out of inadequacy,
Fear out of expectations,

Bradycardia out of lonesomeness.

I'm so tired. I just want to rest.
I have an unshakable belief in Heaven that gets made fun of,
Because I have an unshakable belief that we all just deserve
Rest from labors, and an end to weariness,

Competition, comparing, and contrasting.

I want to put the old bones to rest,
I want to die in a world where we've averaged out
The inadequacy, banished into the annals of legend
Hypertension and heartache
So that I don't need to make my last thoughts be of a belief
In a magical Heaven I'm supposed to believe can be real

When all the enterprise

Of all of life

That the universe has ever known

Has produced not what every single person wanted,

But only this:

Cold and empty space,
Distance without units,
And forks without a voice.

Permalink  •  November 15, 2013, 11:43:47 AM
Re: Tenda's poems
« Reply #35 on: November 15, 2013, 11:43:47 AM »

My heart consolidates in spite of you,
Sleeps easy dreams
You call me Emily
Without ever having had the looming discussion
Why that's so important.


The days float by black
On a high-contrast, solar backdrop
Ripped from the pages of the novella
I'm too depressed to be working on.
I am the debris

Shuttling out of hyperspace,

So eminently mobile
Against the backdrop

Of everyone else's simple,
Easy-come, easy-go lives.
The motion sickness isn't outwardly evident,
The halting lurch
Echoed every waking day
I am still transgender,

And you are not.
I am the ablative,
My pulpy fictional detective
I built a sci-fi story around to illustrate painstakingly
The element of being
So out of element.

It's the day-in day-out business
Of being alien,
A stranger in a strange land --

The son of Moses altogether glanced over
In the popular scripture,
The heavy and juicy name
Whose meaning was taken somewhere so much more purposeful
When Heinlein lifted it
And the popular adherents

Flocked to the bull,
Can't ever remember the title was only lifted,

And that God spilled blood
Over the intransigence of the idolatry
We all practice
So well,

And it was only on a plea God pitied
His one pious prophet's
Call to halt it, take no more lives,
Build no more pillars of salt,

And let us take a hand in building something else instead.
For all the transit,
Life always comes together so neatly full-circle --

The fate of Lot's wife echoed in a pithy song that got me through
A Wicked Little Town
And through into space;

Just the woman on shaky legs beside the ferry,
Pregnant only with a purpose handed-down,
To live a life of ablation --
Gershom, a stranger in a strange land,
Tidally-locked into a corner of circumscript emotion
And a foreign Earth ...

Living life to erase what came before,
And to hem with laser precision what is
Into the lines others made
And celebrated so gaily,
The gold and bronze idols
Of man
And womanhood.

Permalink  •  November 18, 2013, 07:51:15 AM
Re: Tenda's poems
« Reply #36 on: November 18, 2013, 07:51:15 AM »

I knew for a long time I wanted to write something
Full-bodied, as bombarding as living life,
But the experience is so intangible --
I'm here but I'm yesterday;
What is, is, because of what came before,
And what we see or choose not to
That we think may be just around the corner.


I only died in a dream once.
All of this rising water I'm treading
Was rendered literal
On the sleeper's canvas,
A cold tide that rushed in at ankle height,
Slowly creeping to calf and knee.

The sudden and final rush towards death meant
Falling out of the world,
The ground giving way beneath
As I wound down a slide
Carved from a glacier,
Just constantly growing

Darker and more far removed from

The world fading away as memory crashed in on itself
And approached the zero bound,
So completely terrified but quickly forgetting
What it was I was afraid of,
All clarion thought falling apart
In the face of

Just that abject terror,
The last thought possible to hold onto just being,
"I'm dieing now."

I'm dieing now.

I engineered what I thought would defy the odds and be
A successful overdose
Some months later. The terror was dream-lent,
Faded away like dreams do,
And it wasn't something I was afraid of at that time,
In that moment,

Though for the lengthy convalescence --
The uncomfortable, nagging sensation of dialysis
At the wrist, acetylcysteine served twice daily
In soda --
The dream became clear again,

And the even more uncomfortable sensation
Of sliding that seemingly endless slide
Into the cold,
And the dark,
And its unknowable yet inevitable terminus.

Life seems given so freely,
That the elusiveness of death for me
Has been something of a trip.
I made legit and calculated attempts at suicide three times,

And three times the smallest part of myself survived;
The mote of life just being so fucking inextinguishable,
Indefatigable, untiring of the
Day labor adventure of living
For no reason other than to live.

But the business of living is dream-like too,
Experience as apt to fade as imagined ones,
And walking out of the hospital was just another instance
Of terror fading
Upon waking.

Life, it seemed, would go on --
But the water was rising,
Never faded like my attention paid to it did,
And I never walked --
Only sloughed.


In any kind of aftermath,
Life is more resonant --
Full-bodied, seems precious even if given freely,
And even I'm given to feeling
I would drive myself to the brink
Of turning it back in,
Unsure I would even get to voice my defiant,
Stupid request for a refund
That the suicides really embodied.

The way I talked you down, reminding you
Bumblebees were a thing,
Grass can be walked barefoot,
Rain felt on the face,
Suddenly seemed poignant instead of desperate.
I was walking the loving waking world,
And it seemed for once like an ends
Not calling out for a means;

It was enough to just take in the sunshine,
Pontificate on why it seems so much

Paler in the wintertime,
Why I love and loathe rhyme
The way some people treat puns,
Which I just find wonderful.
The abject wonder of just being,
Being reminded it's just enough
Just to be, that the world
On some promises

Unfailingly --
The sun doesn't fail to rise,
Clouds always break,
Inclement weather is only ever an
And not a state of being,
There is no waking nightmare --

Nightmares themselves are just
Another noun,
They're removed from dreams because
One of the two needs to be the norm,
We can't explain the concept
Without stumbling over the words,
"It was just a bad dream."

It's experientially different
But that's the beauty of everything!
It's all so different,
And I can tell you what it is to me,
You can tell me what it is to you,
And the emerging conversation is
Just, I mean,
It's basically its own consciousness.
There's just this greater veneer over everything

Where meaning is rising from the ashes of happenstance,
The ground falling in is just a painful metaphor
To dream while
Dreaming one is dieing
Because it doesn't,
The ground doesn't fall out.
It's just a painful metaphor because

All my life, the ground never gave out,
And I know it would be terrible if I did.
In 2007 I'm talking to Jamie Meliado,
Just fucking exuberant,
Sharing this grand theory of everything and all of it
That's spun off solely of anecdotes:

A man once lost the engagement ring hours before proposing,
But found it when he doubled back.
Another man got it from a kindhearted stranger
After they put it through the loudspeaker at the convention,
And at another less business-like convention,
A woman dressed as an anime character
(Having just received an award for the quality of said costuming)
Proposed with a ring of her own,

And it all happened.
I don't know that it did,
But I know that it did,
And that makes this a world worth living in.
It's a loving, waking world,
Meaning out of randomness
We never need to elucidate with theoretical physics.

It's okay just how it is.

Walking out of the hospital,
It was an okay world to remember.
Life seemed it would go on.


Like I said, though,
Experiences fade. Water rises. Tides ebb,
But they also flow,
And a tide that reaches the brink
Of turning life in,

Reaches that brink more than once,
Seems ever-doomed to break upon it again.

I can't quantify how happy or upset I was when I met you --
The memories are shredded,
Like a remembered dream,
And it only cuts in the first time you're calling me girlfriend.
I know about things we did before,
Time spent in one another's company,

What transpired therein,

But it's weightless. It's ethereal,
Just paint on the canvas,
And I can't recall how I felt other than pangs of love
I probably only recall
Because they're echoed in how you've made me feel since then,
On a regular basis,
After memory cuts in

And the tape plays smoothly.

I've been at the point of holding the handful of
Warfarin in my hand,
A medication meted out carefully because it is, was, is,
Literally rat poison.
An insidious killer, I thought!
It would be a gruesome and miserable death,
But I can forestall anyone finding out
What's happened
Until I was past the point of no return.

That's where I was, one night. Holding the pills,
Putting the pills down,
Getting dressed at 10PM because I think,
"I won't make it if I don't go to the hospital NOW,"
But you talked me down.

I slept on it.
I was miserable upon waking,
It's always bad dreams, for me
But you talked me down.
You talked me up.

I can't help but smile when I'm with you,
I can't help feeling I just want the moment to stretch out
As interminably as that slide in the glacier,
But with a different terminus;

I want a happy inevitability to life,
And you became that for me.
You come online,
We talk,
We make plans,

And plans come true! It's
Waking upon dreaming,
To dream with someone,
To share dreams,
And have them thus far come true.
And the greatest dream around the corner,

And all indication it'll come true too. It has to.

I just have this sticky and irrational belief that
Things tend to balance out.
I saw death, in a dream, (but only once),
And it was a kind of cold and dark inevitability.

You're what I've found that balances it out,
Opposites clashing into neutrality --
You're all the light it takes to drown out
Unending and perpetual dark,

You're all the warmth it takes to escape a crevasse
By force of hope and heart,
The inexhaustible palpitations
Pounding away at the ice while existence proclaims so utterly,
Fucking brazenly beautiful,
"I am a warm-blooded creature."

You've proven equal in measure of inevitability --
One of life's unfailing promises,
You're here when you say you will be,
You never renege on trust,
You rise and you set and you ebb and you
And it's all so perfect, and it's all so beautiful,

You're my embodiment of the loving waking world

And I am just so fucking happy

I found you.

Because everything else was,

I was walking out of the hospital into another dream,
A full-bodied snatch of life that only seemed
Because of what had transpired yesterday,
Of what I feared or adored
I thought I saw
Just around the corner.

But you did me one better.

You're here, you're there, and you were there, too.
And you're still here, on and on,
And I still love you,
Still feel your love,
And will move the Great Plains --
In lieu of a mountain,
There is none between here and Idaho --
To be with you.

I love you. You are waking upon dreaming
Without forgetting or fading;
Something so eminently, categorically lovely
That it's not possible for it to ever change.
And I won't change, either, for you.

Here and there,
Now and then,
Onward and forward (and backward, and nowward):
I love you.

You saved my life.

And I don't want it to ever end.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2013, 08:09:58 AM by Tenda »

Permalink  •  December 12, 2013, 04:27:43 PM
Re: Tenda's poems
« Reply #37 on: December 12, 2013, 04:27:43 PM »

We burnt cattails tied to stakes in the sand,
Lingered long enough the tide changed hands,
That the sun set and
We draped the towels we'd lain on
Over our shoulders to keep up the borrowed,
Fading warmth of sun-baked sand
Where the sun had laid in turn.

Alone in the water after dark I melt into the tide
When for a moment there's a voice other than mine
Pitched against the pressing roar of the sea --
There's a heartfelt unity in urgency and
Two feeble cries
Up against a regular, constant sound
They'll never be heard over,
Crying all the same.

Knee-deep in saltwater, it's the quiet reverses of the
Loud waves
Lapping at my ankles, it's the

Cold touch


Ghost fingers,
Pulling while the foam pushes,

And it's the most easily-ignored plea in the world,
But alone in the water after dark I'm
Bowled over and overcome,
Washed away with pity for the undertow,

For latchkey children calling at neighbors' doors,
Begging anybody's mother will touch them.

Growing up was the loneliest transit,

Unlit rooms and

Listening to her television through my wall,
Pretending to sleep,

Empty and distant goodbyes and goodnights,

Harmed by
But impossible to see

I would be twenty-one years old when she first put her arms around me,
And that the neighbors' mothers
Only had eyes for the children of their own.

Piled into the backseat for the ride home,
Our thighs touch but I'm far away,
Silent while the oncoming headlights
Bob and bounce behind my eyes;

A hundred million yellow jellyfish are
Putting on a show of empathy,
But I've been just as robbed at birth --
Hopelessly wordless,
Helpless and fragile,
A far-off ghost of the deep water

Where the riptide ends

Looking through her fingers,
Still surprised it could all slip through
Just because of mother.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2013, 04:38:09 PM by Tenda »

Permalink  •  December 16, 2013, 04:24:18 PM
Re: Tenda's poems
« Reply #38 on: December 16, 2013, 04:24:18 PM »


Sara was a Long Island native, big-chested and
Sexually voracious; I loved how she would
Throw me to the floor in public places,
Grind on me in the dormitory common room and
Drag us in front of the television to make out,
Eliciting the nerdiest complaints
From the boys who couldn't see their Smash Brothers.

Everything petered out because
Sara said
She had been waiting for me to put it in her,

Which was strange to me,

Because I thought everything else was the build-up
To her
Putting it in me;

Sex is weird, I've always thought,
Pinned to the floor by Sara or
Watching Elizabeth's chest rise and fall
After an opiate overdose,
'911' dialed on my phone and with my thumb
Hovering over the 'Send' key should she stop breathing again,
Stop telling me she wishes I would let her die
And stop saying anything at all.

Angela and I painted the walls red
In a fight after oral,
Tailor's shears glinting in the moonlight,
Cool breeze through the open windows,
Blood red blood flying as we fought
To stop one another from committing suicide,
After she caught me downstairs cutting
And regressed herself.

Jeremy is memories locked to January frost,
A story where the moral is that
Coercion to give road head is just
Because once he lets up,

You don't know where you are,

And once you get away,

You don't know the way home.
I was saved after him,
The miracle bore out,
But I don't think I ever found my way home.

I prostituted myself to spite
Sami's family after they kicked me out,
Empowered by the powerlessness sex takes on
After a rape,
And fell in love with three crisp, clean
Hundred-dollar bills I was handed after playing out my
Stupid, childish game.
Everything is repeats,

This blood red blood is tape spooled around my heart
Playing out over-and-over,
From girl to girl and the occasional guy
I'm flummoxed by the terminus,
The point sex needs to happen to save a relationship
Or keep it moving forward. There's just that focal point,
I swirl around the whorl
Spellbound by anxiety and the aftermath,
My take on the afterglow,
Where the erection I got is just a reason to self-harm
Even if it felt good,
Because I'm just that spiteful and
Just that emotional
And just that attached to a larger,
More glistening idea.

I'm driven forward by the pangs of a phantom vagina,
The false hopes this girl will want to peg me
When the others didn't,
That physical attraction will somehow smoothly transition
Into the penetration of me
Instead of crash headlong
Into the wall put up because I'm not going to be

I hated boyfriends because boys were stupid,
Fumbled every girlfriend because sex was a wall unbroachable,
Spent a night every month in the bathtub
At knifepoint,
Playing out the tape and
Blood red blood
Spilt for sex's sake
Because it felt like something missing,
Something worth having I didn't,
That life was more worthless having not.
It was integral to an identity
Was integral,
It was key to womanhood
In the sense sustaining my claim to what I was,
What I needed to be,
And the romantic
Put-along, the transversal, the destination and
Were important, oh-so-important,

Steeped in blood red blood

I'd only vindicate when I got there,
And would only bleed out meaninglessly
Until. There was no way to dress it up,

I am not part and privy to the American quest of
Satisfying virginity's exit clause,
I am not part and privy
To withholding virginity,
I cannot game around marriage, I cannot
Say I am virginal I am innocent I am pure

Someone took that from me,
And then I burnt the ashes through
Infernal, hate-driven combustion
Until there was nothing left of sex but the exercise,
The physical motion of

Present-day performance,
Mother this is a magical creature,
I am a futanari,
I can bill myself as a hermaphrodite,
I get billed as a dickgirl,
I'm called a shemale behind my back,
But I sit in front of this webcam

With a hairbrush, with a bottle,
With anything long and firm and

Present-day performance is free --
I have not regressed, I am not part and privy to
Prostitution, again, because
I'm not going to take money from my friends.
They offer, but it's immaterial,
It's not what I'm trying to get out of this,
It's not integral to
It's not integral to
It's not the blood red blood,
Not why the tape plays out,
Everything wrapped around my finger
Swollen and engorged, the grip is

"Of a vice,"

Hello mother I am a whore,
I squeal when they talk dirty to their slut,
My blood boils to get strange men off and
Watch them masturbate to me,
So utterly uninterested in those penises

We only ever call cocks,
Sparingly dicks,
Within the verbal trappings of these seductions and

Hello mother I learned to bind my own wrists,
Masturbate myself with my feet,
Suspend myself from the ceiling,
Hello mother I am turned-out,
Turn myself out as the trick
Without owning one,
Just being,
The sordid state of being a magical
Being a carnal
Being a magical creature,

Men love to look at this, mother,
And I can't get over my love to be seen

And the faux-appreciation

Of erupting penises,
Validation found wrapped up in streaming cum
I beg for to bring them closer to release,

Looking up out of this canyon

It's a performer's learned trick I can keep my face off-camera to

Hide my disinterest, the boredom faced alongside exhaustion

When they don't want to orgasm quickly,
When it stretches out,
When it's so painful
And I just want them to finish,

It's flashbacks to Brian,
It's flashbacks to lying in bed so afraid I'm going to wake him if I move,
I don't have a right to lie under the blankets because
I'd have to be his,
Have to risk rousing him into another bid for a midnight handjob,
I have to

Go through life cold,
So distant from the webcam
At a distance of two or three feet,

Face hidden and voice disguised,
Cooing and moaning before using words because
It's hard to talk dirty after a while,
It's repeats,

Sex is blood red blood we play over and over with one another and
It gets them off so much faster if I just
Squeak and moan, so I do it,

But my mind is elsewhere --
I'm repeats, this is dedicated to the girlfriends instead of the boys,
This is Sara, Angela, Sam and Sami, Elizabeth beating me
Beating me over the head with anything hard and blunt and
This is the bathtub incantation minus the knife
Because indulging that is too risky while on blood thinners
And so in the end, I guess,
I can blame this terminus on the unrelated events of my life.

I had a blood clot. I got put on thinners. I can't cut,
I need to prostitute,
I hate strangers,
I rely on friends,
And so I webcam

And dream of ex-girlfriends

While dreading the moment the present-day boyfriend signs on,
Awash in the horniness of his morning wood,
And asks:
"Emily, do you want to play?"

And being who I am,
I'm not given an option of responses --
The tape plays out,
I am my own blood red blood,
And sex aches eternal
Quivering and quavering across the
Finger-thin, red woolen cord
Tied between us in the verge
The knife would go.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2013, 04:30:34 PM by Tenda »

Permalink  •  December 17, 2013, 06:15:51 PM
Re: Tenda's poems
« Reply #39 on: December 17, 2013, 06:15:51 PM »


Sound is so much heavier underwater
And I'm borne down by it into the dark
Because at the center of everything

There's nothing,
Nothing but the night. I was told I float

But I can't ever stop swimming,

I know I'm weightless

But it's only inertia that moves me,

I'm too big and I'm too old to be afraid
And I shouldn't be; I brave the dark routinely
Trying to suit an overgrown appetite,

I pass the dripping columned border
Light fails and
Night opens -- unfolds without ever folding,
Abyss opposite the day without ever ending --

But I can't stop being terrified
In spite of what I know,
In spite of what you tell me.
The dark's just the dark but
It bothers me, it never stops bothering me.
It's just that every living thing throngs me
In a babel: I've seen more fish
Than stars,
Eaten more many-legged jetting things
Than I can count,
But the only constant I've ever seen firsthand is the
Constancy of pointlessness.

At the center of everything there's nothing
And sound is so much heavier underwater
And I bellow so loud
Without anyone ever listening,
Sing songs into the current

Hearing unauthored songs on the current

Without ever putting faces to words,
Names to faces,
Names to places,

Because nothing ever comes
And there's no place to name.

There's no arrival in the deep,
Just come-and-go,
Just pass-me-by,
Just counts of remora,
Just shapes of schools,
Just the tattoos left by barnacles
That'll outlive the life behind the girth
When the girth fails,
Swimming stops,
And the dead flesh sinks --

I won't float, at the end of all things --

I'll sink, into the dark. Into the night,
Which is a place as well as a time
And where I spend most of the day
And it's the place day just isn't.

I've seen the sun, sometimes, and I can remember it:
How it dithers in the wind,
Winks behind gray,
Hides from every storm.
I remember the names we give groups,
The unimportant not-names,
For all the not-faces:

The salmon, the tuna,
The sharks,
The porpoises,
And I dimly remember excitement when I learned
The world was full of things,
That my mother could teach me their names,
And thinking someday I'd meet
The children outside or inside the schools,
But I haven't. But I won't. But we don't.

I live at the center of everything,
Where there is nothing
That isn't blue, or isn't black, or isn't silver,

Or hasn't given up

And puts up no pretense of color

Or opacity

At all.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2013, 12:31:56 PM by Tenda »

Permalink  •  December 21, 2013, 01:38:31 PM
Re: Tenda's poems
« Reply #40 on: December 21, 2013, 01:38:31 PM »

It's just the barest fingertips that crash, only the
Crest that rises, only the froth that seethes;
The waves around the navel, the nape of the neck,
The milky web when my hands are
Full of your seed and I spread them,
The loving cling of potential bundled by protein,
Gravity-burdened strands
Pregnant and reeking
With everything this motile, craning love embodies.

It's so hard to write a love poem
Because I don't want to have what you don't,
I don't want to look down the bridge of my nose --
I want to believe I'm celebrating something universal,
I'm sharing without being selfish,
Selfless in the exploration and community
I'm leveraging from something personal,
Wholehearted and openhearted without coming across
Like I'm blowing this out of proportion,
Or saying whatever you've got just isn't as good.

Hearts run the spectrum and
There are other fish in the sea,
I can't equivocate these intertwined arteries
With any other
But there's other joinings,

Legs raised to the ceiling

Where the heart is penetrated,
Not where it's heartfelt,
And these rhythm strips start to run in proper rhythm
As the leads line up, electrodes and pins and needles
On the pleasure pressure points
That run south along the history highway --

Hopes always dwelt southwards,
The queen dreams of an untapped Southern Continent,
And these happy trails
Lead to that aching wonderland Cook never found,
The Endeavour touching down somewhere
Closer to home for all of us:

The thighs that brush and cross,
The provinces set off by heavy lines in maps
Drawn where the yearning to be touched
 is strongest.

Life started around here, circles around here,
Endeavors to return here and
Start another life here,
And wired and socketed and
Male-to-female plugged like this,
The electric touch and
Ecstasy that
Spins around us
Between sweeps of the hair out of the face,
Exultations and
The moaning, the pan-
Panting, the gasping and
Electric screaming

When these waves
 crash on the shore
Is the happiest feeling,

I'm loving love and loving motion
In motion together with you,

Quiet in the afterglow on the sand after the tide breaks --
This is what was missing,
What I hope that we all find,
And such a great

And such a small

But such an illustrative

Part of all the everything that flows, that ebbs, and flows
When we connect.

Permalink  •  December 30, 2013, 03:49:40 PM
Re: Tenda's poems
« Reply #41 on: December 30, 2013, 03:49:40 PM »

The Black Eye, the Silver King, and the Red Deep

Out of respect for tradition and trope as much as anything,
My sister sat me down by a fireside
Before opining to me her vision of the origin of the world
On tip-toes, fingers curled into
Claws reaching out from a
Hunched and folded back,
Face shadowed by a flickering flame,
Foregoing all punctuation
For the crackling,
Hard stops
Admitted by the fire as I watched

As much as listened

As she spun, as she crowed, and as she sung.


At the periphery of every beginning
There's a god,
And to each god there's a whimsy --
A whimsy for earthen tones,
A whimsy for things that fly,
A whimsy for the unpredictable,
A whimsy by which a god is known --
And each god has a family
Like to ours,
Mothers and sisters and brothers and
All godly and godlike and
Altogether invested in a heavenly business of creating,
And of shepherding creation,
And scratching behind the ears
In peace and plenty,
And doing good
The business

Of being

Now and forever,
Here and everywhere,
Then and always.

Immortal realms, though, approach limits;
Every possibility becomes
Just something that happened,
Every eventuality
Is either commonplace, or unimportant,
Or just the pivotal events
Around which
The history of a kingdom that never ends
Must be told,
And leaves fingerprints like
Glass in the desert --
Illuminated riverbeds that run
From the surface of the world
To the center
Because the creator is evident in the creation,
And I have seen the creation --
And thereby, I say I know the creator.

What I've known of the world is
Eminent caprice,
A defining whorl of
Anything-and-everything all-the-time
That beats on in an irregular rhythm so tilted
It's pounding out three-sevenths' time,
A number only the odd savant like myself can utter

And only at the end of a sentence,
Never near the start. The world's obviously orphaned,
And a god that

Orphans all creation,
Abandons at the doorstep all mute or living things

Would have to be defined by it,
Would have to possess the whimsy of capriciousness,
Would have to be the fickle, unknowingly callous
God I perceive. The first and the last careless
God, the one who purloined all
Righteous authority
And broke loose from what was a
Right system,
Setting in motion the grand schema of
Living, breathing life and
Shape changing,
Shifting stone
Without a hand pressed firmly over anything's contours,
Setting in motion for one Earth's inhabitants
An unjust universe
That needn't be,
But was,
Because there need be eventually
A god who presses hot iron to the stone
Just to see sparks fly.

She's like to me, I've always thought,
When I think about her like that, and
I see her linger where the silver dust
Falls from the mirror
And the looking glass fails,
Falls through too alongside me
As my eyes track the hard edges of my self --

I've seen her linger in an open silver deep,
Past where the glass holds back the
Probing, pounding ocean's tide against
The sky; the upward crashing,
The groaning waves beneath the wind that
Crash up, crash up,
And I hear her plead:

Heed the sea, heed the sea!,
For the sea is whence we came;
Heed the sea, heed the sea!,
For the sea is where we go.

I've seen a silver body that
Glitters in the black,
I've seen a black eye that
Glimmers in the deep --
One golden,
One darken,
Two wise eyes that came from where
Nothing else could
And linger on, linger on,
And I have seen the creation --

And so I say I know the creator.
There was a time when she and I weren't so
Wrapped up in the grand uninvolvement,
A place where the order of the day was
Order, a home where we slept together in a
Trundle bed, and where she was

The silver king,
Sleek and shapely,
Beautiful beyond and above the boundaries of the word and
World, the kind of wonderful thing you can only be when you're
Divine, you're your own mother, the mother of
Everything, and everything is just definitively your

Your kingdom and domain. She lived and lost
Before we ever stood on the shore at Sandy Hook,
But the echoes ride in,
The bolt leaves its impression,
Like mother's nails leave tracks
On backs
On the blankets,
In the dark,
Before bedtime

When all the kingdom burned,
The mountains crashed soundlessly and
In the night,
And she was none the wiser, ever-unbelieving
Her wild-eyed daughter
When she unlocked the door,
Walked back in,
And asked how she slept.


I was lost enough before the fireside,
I expected a ghost story but
Different ghosts,
Never skeletons
Rattling our remembered closet.
I could hardly follow my sister as she moved seamlessly
Between an imagined god-being
From a world of gods
That I think she's implying still is

To patches of herself or us,
And our mother, or who else's mother,
And why mother?
There's a trailing, railing string of words
On the tip of my tongue
But she steals the air out of my lungs

I remember how it is,

I can't see past the fixation,

I can't forget the click of the lock on the other side of the door
Opened only long after dawn.
Sleeping is so stolen and
Stolen from you
When you can't walk away from it
And you take what you can by force,
Then lose the difference between strained and
Clasped fingers
When the motionless pounding of your jailor's door
Rocks you too powerfully to rest.

I never thought before, though,
That her mountains crashed as violently
And soundlessly
As mine,
And even now the detail's lost --
Pointless minutiae --
When the gap is so wide,
And there's nothing I could say to span or
Prop up what's already lost --

Something ventured and

Nothing gained

Every time the

Mountain quaked

Pebbles rolling down to shore
Thenceforth to be
Pebbles no more,

Just all the accumulating grit:
Sand and wasps and
Chips of shells,

Blood-tinged, already, when first noticed underfoot:
At Sandy Hook.

I remember Elsie lost her sandals in the
Riptide, underfoot, as we waded;
And though I swear to this day
It was nothing,

She swore on that day

There was a porpoise

Just past the buoys,
Just past her sandal,
When we ventured out to pick them up.

I never wanted to go to the beach like Elsie, I never
Pressed my nose against the windows
Driving down the Parkway.
I never saw a porpoise past the breakers,
Never ever imagined underwater,
Nor would put the crown to the flesh and
Deem any fish
The king of fish
As Elsie found

Her silver king,
The shining shape beyond the lifeguard's purview
That I see she's come to imagine as
Greater than life,
Greater than death,

Its own mother,

Liberated from everything
Tethering us to our
Sordid, sullen lots;
The dumb and wide-mouthed center of the universe
Gaping maw godfish
My sister fixated on,
Building up her empire of
Treasonous childplay
Around the silver swallow
Only she could see

And drifting ever further
With every stone skipped
From that vantage point.

But this all cuts across my eyes in a single
Flash and spasm,
A flange of memory and
The pang of a half-remembered fin:

Sympathy without empathy,
Understanding without appreciation,
Sharing without equivocation and
All the hollow tendrils of family that tie us together,
Flat and knotted without any blood present.


At the height of the kingdom,
Ilberi's towers tapped the same
Star-splattered seine that the
Tallest waves do,
The only kind of mastery that mattered --

I can build a castle,
I can build a a facsimile of a castle,
I can build castles over and over in the sand
 with parapets of coral,
Taller and more shapely than every other castle,

Worth the devotion of every mother
Except mine, being mine,
And drawing them hither doting --
Mothers swirling sons and wunderkind,
Nurturing fantasies her own brood's
Just yet to lead
Behind Ilberi, and Ilberi's steaming trail of

Tumbling sand that rolls and falls from
Waterfalls carved solemn and tall
Into facades of castles on shores gone by,
Ilberi's youth blazing forth into darken times

Where the towers shadowing towers by design
End at once in the wastes,
When the burgeoning stops -- a pause --
For the porpoise king's
And well-meaning attempt
To bring home a bottlenosed prince

Sets a-mess the full lot and loll of
His and hers, the once-tied tied-no-more
As every tie of the kingdom blows away,
The gossiping mothers rising again on
Frothy currents of a scandalous
Happy for once the kid's not theirs,
Just offcolor,
Such that no porpoise mom will shed
No porpoise tear
Should she beach,
Should she die,
Should she end up moored forevermore
The wrong side of a sandbar,

Past a buoy,
Past a breaker,

Just the dumb
Black-eyed, silver king flesh carcass
Dividing line

Whose kingdoms burn on all sides,
A heat for which her body has
No retort;

A wanted state of negligence,
The sea aflame and all earthbound things
In similar clamor, yet unknowing
Their calamity need not be rolling
So steadily as
That boulder aches and
Rolls to-and-fro,
The capricious god was always
Underwater, marine and drowned
Such that until that awkward day,
When all our fighting faded far
Because look once
Look what I saw
Behold, said I,
It's more than my sandal

Look here

At this

That I've found, as I paddle

Out past the breakers,
Out near the buoy,
Out to the end of the ocean's
Breadth, where the sea kingdom ends and the
Sea god's death would lie on the doorstep
Plain to see --
The black-eyed porpoise, my Ilberi,
The callous god
Who orphaned our world
Such that
We're all her orphans,
Gaping and left wanting
Behind locked doors,
Just past the buoy,
Where the eye looks,
And the heart follows,
But the tide can never reverse
And go.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2014, 12:39:07 PM by Tenda »

Permalink  •  January 09, 2014, 01:50:22 PM
Re: Tenda's poems
« Reply #42 on: January 09, 2014, 01:50:22 PM »

The edge of anticipation is velvety and cloying,
Worth touching and rubbing against --
The ongoing evening between buying a plane ticket and
Departing, take-off and then taking off,
All the bundled joy that overtakes anxieties as
Every preparation is undertaken and then
Bundled with the packing,
Until the packing is done
And all that remains is
Reunion -- arrival and a warm embrace,
The interlocking of fingers and lips and
Every body part that yearns to be touched after
The longest wait and forever-time that
Stretched out beforehand,
Living life waiting for the something-better that was always
Integral, always taken into account without any understanding
What was worth waiting for,
Until it dawned, and then it came,
And then the sun peaked on a perfect midday
And the world lounged at noon,
Forever, forever-more.

Permalink  •  January 09, 2014, 03:04:29 PM
Re: Tenda's poems
« Reply #43 on: January 09, 2014, 03:04:29 PM »

“This is a girl trapped in a boy’s body,”
You are introducing me over-and-over in a nightmare:

The angle of incidence equals the angle of reflection,
The woman in the mirror is farcical,
The dream is a stupid obsession realized in
The outward perception

I am just a pervert and faggot
And what I change cannot change the reality baked into me —

I’m crying in CCD but I can’t tell mother why,
Even if I wanted to I don’t understand it myself —
I am twisted, I am self-loathing, I am burning up inside and
Cancerous, malefic, a knot umbilicized to a future
I wish I could abort but I can’t,
I can't,

I know I can’t -- I can’t tear or cut it out of myself although
I’ll try, and I’ll try, and I’ll dance on knifepoint
While I carry my knot and the pregnant panging
Pregnancy of holding within me someone who would,
But never could, quaking on the tip,

Everything fevered and exhausting,
I’m standing fulfilled
On the steps of Queen of Peace Our Lord & Mother
But I’ll never stop being so out of breath and hungry,
No matter what it is
Or how it is
The pious learn to feed the poor.

Permalink  •  January 09, 2014, 03:13:20 PM
Re: Tenda's poems
« Reply #44 on: January 09, 2014, 03:13:20 PM »

The Onion King

Puking in the snow, the stench of my wort
As everything unfolds at the tip
Stings my eyes and nose and everything's just so
Civic planning is so much more orderly than
What I'm running away from,
And I don't understand how I'm ever going to get away
When every street's on a straight line from the origin.

I'm peeling apart under your firm hands,
I'm crying after-the-fact but

I reverberate soundlessly when you beat me,
And my shirt sticks to the small of my back with blood after you leave.

It sticks; I feel a thousand pinpoints of tension,
My body is so sensitive to your violence: it’s stretching,
My blood is reaching out to you:
“Please stop,” it’s crying,
“But don’t let me go.”

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