Paint Swatch Project #6


Honey blue–
Your elbow is a miracle.
Your wrist, my home.
I bring the back of your hand to my lips and hold it there, memorizing your skin.
Your collarbone hums endless stories and I dip my ear to listen close.
Your arm encircles me, pulls me towards your warmth.
Lying next to you, I think haven.
I think homecoming
I think pilgrimage
I think yes.
I think yes.


Poem 2/5: On being sick

I was tagged by the beautiful writer, poet, and professor, Janice Sapigao, to a five-poem challenge. I won’t lie–it has been slow goin’. But I’m making my way through, slowly but surely. And since I’ve been sick as a muhfuckin’ dog this week, I wrote this poem as an ode to my sore throat.

On being sick

My throat is a creature
separate from me.

It scratches and howls,
is restless before the moon.

I try to appease it,
calm its raised hackles–

It growls, whimpers
refuses comfort.

On Writing After Grad School: The Paint Swatch Project

One of the things I have a difficult time with is understanding how to meld together what sometimes feels like different worlds: my creative, sacred space of writing and my more logical, tangible “real” world of work and the everyday.

I am still in the process of learning how to create that time for myself to, well, create. No one will give me that time, so I must search for and give it to myself.

Thus, when I find something that compels me to write, I hold onto it. I try my best not to try and understand the project, but to just let it be a space for generating without editing.

Thus, the importance of the Paint Swatch Project.

I have a bunch of paint swatches with whimsical, narrative-evoking names. From these paint swatches, I want to see what stories or poems come from them. Right now I’m working on poems, but I wonder if perhaps flash fiction can emerge from these, too. My main draw to the Paint Swatch Project, though, is that it’s been helping me to generate work. I have no idea what will, or even if anything will come of this project, but it’s getting me to write more often. To descend into a world where my mind and emotions and intuition–my past, present, and future–all swirl together.


After Midnight

The dark, marled–

sneaks under door

ways. The path to dreams

opened, yawns. After

midnight the moon is

a harmony. In sleep

find a calm





What does the witch brew?

Soft hands crush

lavender. Mustard seeds split

open. Rose quartz

swims in

oil. She swirls future

with past.

She hands the ember

to you.


don’t you know?

bruises are clouds

under your

skin carrying news of

stormy weather.

you hold the sky inside of you–

your body, universal

your heart, a solar system–

watch your bruises darken and lighten.

meditate on

clear skies.

will a planet into


Hunger for poetry

every poem. here.

is an unwrite.

of all that has been written in me without. permission.

–nayyirah waheed


I recently stumbled upon the poet nayyirah waheed, whose words are so beautiful they make my soul ache.

Around the same time I discovered her work and site, I started to have this hunger for poetry–I’ve been feeling starved for it. All I’ve wanted to do for the past couple of weeks is read poetry collections and write poems, sate myself with poetry. This has never happened to me before.

I’ve never considered myself a poet, even with all of my notebooks filled with page after page of poems I wrote when I was a teenager–I never thought of myself as a poet. And once I went to grad school, that seemed to solidify in my mind that I was a prose writer, albeit with a leaning towards poetics in my prose, but I felt like I just didn’t have what it took to understand the intricacies of poetry.

But with this new desire for all things poetry, I’ve been wanting to learn about punctuation and language in poetry, I want to understand how it works in hopes that maybe I can implement all the subtle tools that poets use to create work.

At the center of this new poetry obsession, though: line breaks. What?! How can a line break, something as simple as hitting [RETURN] communicate so strongly to readers? But they do! And I feel like in my experimentation with poetry right now, I’ve been playing with line breaks–where to place them, why, where is the break, where is the absence, where is the precipice?

So I purchased a couple books of poetry to aid in my poetry education/feast (and I saw these poetry collections on nayyirah waheed’s site): No Matter the Wreckage by Sarah Kay and Anatomy of Being by Shinji Moon. Next up to purchase/obtain: salt. and nejma by nayyirah waheed.