Breadcrumb #381


There’s a beehive in the doorframe of our laundry room. I imagine the honeycomb like menudo tripe, not golden, but burning and hot and red. The laundry room has lost its pulse in our little green courtyard. We watch it empty from our apartment windows. We have to walk two blocks to do our wash and dry. We tug our dresses at our feet in pillowcases and carry yellowed towels in baskets at our hips. 


I slash brown on my mouth as we wait for our polka dots and stripes to dry and watch him fold his khakis and shirts. I sting him with my eyes and he reciprocates. The dryers whir and stop and whir and stop.  

We feel his shadow fall and catch and fall and catch. Our baskets and sacks make their own shadows on the sidewalk, our earbuds hang around our necks, our hair frizzing from heat. I walk in front, my basket on my head, wires knotting my curls, sugar sticky crystals my mouth. We are home, in the trees and the clouds and the sun, the hive set free, thousands of beads, furry and fat and shiny then black, strand his wrists and his eyes and his stomach and our dresses dance on the grass and fall and hum and fall and hum.

• • •

Breadcrumb #329


Your words are footprints in the snow and it keeps a-snowing and you keep a-wandering and the fruit machine plays Beethoven’s fifth symphony beneath mirrors made of sunlight where we find comfort in the faux log fire. I run in circles and never see the same thing twice. There is nothing to be done except carve trenches in the sand and mould manic chaotic calligraphy and chant to the approaching sea. Music for life preservation; my acoustic arsenal, but my head no longer attached floats like the last petals of autumn and dreams and fears spill out in a stream of dust - are we tracing shadows on the floor as the sun sets? I walked the city for days manic routes making patterns with footsteps and now with one wing only I circle the skyscrapers and bathe in smog. Perhaps eyes are glass and water swells and love is mist in the morning? Fuck mirrors I only observe myself in rippled water or sharpened metallic blades. Qualitative servitude and happiness as delusion: help me ingest your scum. If you repent, oh lord, I will forgive you (hope for the hopeless) and mountains are tombs of past worlds. Observatories on long abandoned cliffs, a multitude of vibrations echoing in endless night need no signs. Judgment reduces reality to predetermined texts, but, are u a person with two legs living in a city on earth or a form of eternal energy floating in the ether? Life is living, survival instincts, social constructs, detours from reality. Behaviorists found that the body reacts to a representation of reality the same as it does to reality. Judge your judgments. How long can you look in the mirror? Experience as oceanic flotsam, reality washes up on perceptual shores, categorize, quantify, qualify... why build alters? Let flotsam be flotsam. Existence in a locked coffin soft velvet lined in a deep red. Let us rest and sleep. In the never ending noir we leave our memories, like winter days from the birth of the universe. City growing concrete chimera, sea sways invades recedes, wind pulls puppet trees that seed. My skin tightens, bones toughen, neural sculpture and the static 'I'. Unchangeable, ultra constant, anchor in spacetime, vital reflexive grounder. Is this so, or are we all hurricanes? Multiplicitous heterarchical plateau of existence. Where is the boundary of separation? Connected in subterranea, the windows of my old school are boarded up with cast iron sheets but early education still finds gaps to regulate my existence in society. Today we found fragments of discipline long forgotten and practiced them in new unknown ways to celebrate the difference within repetition. There are long toothed eels in the water and passive spectators observe slow destruction. Always worshiping whispers and relentless productional impurity. Territory of my memory chalked in the sidewalk: AK47 of youth. Auto-bills squeeze last breath of nana. Whale blood floods deck. Media factions knife eyes. Red wine lips grin MP (and I watch on TV). But remember, when love becomes so passionate and beautiful it forms a sacred entity that should be worshiped. Sun rises like lone siskin upon the frost perching on a horizon of cold black moss and sunlight spreads, spilling gold or fragile hope. Focus on contours where shadows swift recede, reveals hidden worms for feasts 'til eve sky bleeds. Spaces circumscribe words, gaps between each letter, blank paper between curves / dots / lines. Font ink perimeter jagged (as is the self). From swimming underwater to surfacing, walking on land: you are entering a new aquatic ambience. What does water actually feel like? My mind is an egg. Condensation on windows of the morning bus as an aquatic union of our unseen selves. We eat the strange fruit: cleansed demons smother angels and dream together in the endless embrace of tears of love and hate collecting on the mountain. Nothing is everything in the moment, forever is never in the instant. Confusion of illusions fusing protrusions. Reasons for exodus: rotary fumarolic burst, planetary myoclonic jerk, involuntary symbiotic hearse. Integrated lanes arranged degrade, mysteries disappear. In the fortress undescribed bloom spreads. Labyrinthine tunnels beneath the streets reinforce ancient relics of architecture that stand bold and uniformed in red brick. Backstreets like creases in the wrinkled face of the city. Everything is right angles and circles in the city. Pigeons chewing cigarette butts in ceremonial feasts, manic typing surrounds me like an army of hundred legged plastic spiders and I can see heaven in the fluorescent lamp. Red eyed demons cower in their shuffling buggies in endless rows and the aluminium sky births endless razor sharp tears. War cries and death screams in the morning traffic - a thousand deafening soliloquy's. They used the pen as the sword to carve doctrines of a new world into the backs of their enemies but I am reborn every morning and I dip my hands in grease before attempting the trapeze. Birthed with a crimson latex cloak we howl from a fecal fountain for the weeping teat. Trace the story of your life onto hopeful shadows and be done with story telling - a diary of translucent autopsies (my body is naked as the pond and as reflective and transparent). Throwing visceral pebbles upon abstract pools as arm / stem mutate, collaborate, mould and make for voids sake. Look no further for yourself; find all you ever need in a quick and sudden leap. That infinitesimal mirrors reflect forest gems across the parade: there, waiting, grinning, is the single raindrop amongst all. When I looked up I noticed an aeroplane had painted a beautiful motif across the sky with fuel and fumes. Attempting to locate experiential hapax legomenon fuels cardiac polyphagia; farctate and hamartithia resulting. Lir bathed my anabiosis in mesonoxian foam. She embraced me with flame and baked my ashen heart. Purport dragon wings about your glass frame and they will surely break free and fly away. The oneiromancer is cyclops and we are but gangrels; rondures of psyche. I read runes of futures unseen on the inside of my eyelids. Dive beneath subterranea and be yourself garnish to abyssal bliss, caress rhizomatic, whirling and detonate neural extravaganza. The walker and the trail, silken patterns on azure cloth. Ripples of the wind trace hieroglyphs abundant. Fresh portals abandon unseen into tentacles and other temporal discrepancies. Solemn sunset resides in argent mourning bed where I collect fragments, images and sounds. Tell me again that story of old. I collect fragments, images and sounds. Malachite trunks gleam in shadow woods among Rayleigh scattering. Dismember, rearrange and duplicate. Genetically engineer new bodies of music into sonic chimera of sweet songs with floral improvisation. I cling to the teeth of the behemoth, vigorously sharpening fangs as its mouth closes around me. Long shadows of lost memory in high noon of now, floral borders on the desert of yesterday and scintilla of tomorrow. The abstract reverie of infinite flux where dusk limns molluscs of Phoenicia and narcoleptic cormorants lure amnesiac perca fluviatilis upon the horizon of my lethargy. Let them feed (industrial genesis). I bade farewell to the womb and ate the living heads of beasts. Wander on the nighttime bloom, soothe the song beneath the moon, daybreak lost, forgotten noon, come again and maybe soon. Phantom predecessors detonate awkward rituals in murky distance where orchard cannibals lick apple stalks (they are closer to the branch). Tumultuous affectation; pulchritudinous lexica. Why do we do what we do? Because what is, is. In the silent dream with long knotted tunnels no eyes nor feet not brain be, just liquid light; moonlight wash. I am in some crazed world. insect voiced drone banter, wide eyed monsters and coughing, sneezing half dreams. Cower not, in your glove ten fingered hand of a mutants claw, stretch and fondle chaos; believe dark mist that soaks you. All be yourself!. When every point on the map offers biophonic bliss. Conditions for collisions: the impact of multiple flows moulds mutants, partial representations collected to form a new beast. Existence as waterfalls: the long plunge, then sudden, new depths. The gorge between reality and perception. Orchestra: feet drum the earth lungs blow the air heart beat a metronome ears project from external symphony an eternity. A microtonal wail. The universe: melodies realized as harmonic interconnections made multi-sensory in a dreamscape of inner consciousness where I am a whisper seeking in the mist. I am the no thing wandering the green land, sleeping in the seas sand pondering the vortex. Pierce the yolk dawn in Hypnos' nest: Oh wandering, waking dream of ganzfeld rest. Feed the unicorn on the shores of Lethe, inhale the cuneiform of somnambulist breath. Rambling prophecies that truth forgot where old workers spines were carved into great thrones. I reject the father whilst kneeling down to pray. Hundred headed stallions howl at every corner to satisfy the carnage. Eyeless, bald mannequins slow waltz to corrugated sheet symphonies. Upon the heather I lay, wrapped in a cloak of sparrow feathers making faces from passing clouds. We are vacant bubbles floating in hot mad lava, random access intruders. A lifetime in the fishbowl. Vacant obelisk of cranial deformation crowns your mutant drooling impotence. Demolish purity, transcend communication, compute divinity. Tribal scenes in luminous dreams. Perceptual jigsaw, endure perpetual realignment. Property is carnage. Collaborate with swinging nooses and daisy chains. Interconnecting glances of various strangers. Raindrops on the bus stop depict the coming of the new dichotomy and the adjacent era enters unnoticed as dew on grass blades. The gradual realization of oblivion. The wandering wisps of invention, dancers in the art. A wild and lucid vision in this subtle, endless dark. I am an infinite alien. I chose to live in this body for its lifetime. I killed a dead man to aid the rebirth, eating flowers in the morning straight from the dirt. Allow my passage through your alien scented orgy, dazzling eyes and crazy puppet arms, hypnotized by some imagined grandiose rhetoric. I enter the swamp, skin immersed, heels in silt, and sink. Dream feeders insert exotic waste and I transcribe the sunlight with pale, knife-edge wings. Life as a book of poems. Translucent figurines bathe in preparation for morning cataract of diaphanous connections. I have been summoned to rejoin the dust. Seek the wide sea that sleeps in a snowflake: a new cartography of flesh. Certainty provides comfort for the foolish (where utopia seeks to reduce perfection to the singular, existence remains unbiased. What is comfort but a numbing of the senses? Forgive everyone always. Fragments of coherence in everyday life trailing through endless virtual potential. I greet the abyss with a warm kiss (she has been waiting for me). Only when all is lost will it begin. Your touch is an ancient riddle, a slow breeze through the trees where every breath is a new world. I am naked in the moonlight, I am bathing in the flames, I am full of whispers and made from the dust: I am nothing at last. Of all the twisting heavens that sparkle and invent in darkness sparse yet thick I never knew what she meant. I see reflections of dreams in the fogged window on the top floor of the bus. I built this laden artifact for you but decided to leave it to the forest breeze. Sewer angels dry their tears on golden blankets of yesterday laughing at dreams of redemption, caressed by ergot and rams bones. The railroad is well built but still doesn’t lead anywhere. The first thing I see today I will take into my heart and cherish forever. To be still, but wandering deep in secret gardens of Gaia through petal raindrops, the fingertips of sorcery. Together as one, apart as many. Trees bury leaves on forest floors. Seeds merry breath and no less adore prisms of wisdom from before; breed, feed life forever more. From the grave I earned my life and to its return I’ll always strive.

• • •



Breadcrumb #326


If she were to believe such modern-day classics as Dawson’s Creek, my mother might have expected, at some point in my teenage years, to catch me in bed with a boyfriend. Neither of us would have guessed I would be found with a squirrel.

    Two nights before, my mother had pried a hole into the wall of her bedroom to release a squirrel that had made its way through a hole in the roof and scuttled and scratched his way down. This interrupted her HGTV viewing and had to be stopped. I returned the next day from a sleepover. I should have been drinking illicitly at a party in an abandoned factory like the cool kids, but instead, my friends and I were marathoning Pretear, a 13-episode anime series that reimagined Snow White. She showed me the cardboard patch covering the hole beside her nightstand.

    I returned home from school Monday afternoon ready to complete my Calculus homework while snacking on store brand Goldfish crackers and watching reruns of M*A*S*H*. But the squirrel had returned. Back through the roof, he had wound through the walls and easily broke through the cardboard reinforcements. I found him clinging to the blinds of my mother’s bedroom window.

    I closed the door. In my haze, I could barely hear the jocular camaraderie of Captains Pierce and Honeycutt. Outside, I wrestled the screens off of the window. When I returned to my mother’s bedroom, the squirrel had hidden himself somewhere. Tip-toeing to the window, I pulled up the blinds, opened the window, and retreated. By the time my mother returned home from work, all trace of the squirrel was gone. We assumed he had found his way out the window.

When I returned to my mother’s bedroom, the squirrel had hidden himself somewhere.

    I went to bed promptly at 10:30. At some point in my childhood, the parent-mandated bedtime became my own self-enforced habit for school nights. I allowed myself no exceptions. My mother kissed me goodnight at the side of my bed as I set my glasses aside. Glasses have been my constant companion since I failed the eye test in elementary school. Without them, I can’t read the big “E” at the top of the chart. My only failing grade.

    As my head set against the pillow and my body began to relax into its sleeping repose, a vaguely brown blur shot out from underneath it and past my face.

    I grasped for my glasses. He was sitting at the end of my bed.

    My mother, rushing back, shut the door and instructed me to open my window, which had no screen. We spent the next 30 minutes attempting to coax the squirrel into the dark night of our backyard. We adopted tense Sumo-wrestling style postures, which were quickly abandoned to avoid actual contact when the squirrel scampered in the wrong direction. We finally made progress when we borrowed some food from Robin, my cat, who looked on only vaguely concerned from the living room. Following a trail of dry meat-flavored tidbits, the squirrel finally stepped out nonchalantly. I promptly slammed the window shut behind him.

    Crawling back into bed, I tried not to think about how the squirrel might have passed the time between the afternoon and the night’s climax. The next day, I found casual ways to draw the conversation towards my interesting interlude with the squirrel. My mother continues to buy me random knick-knacks with squirrels on them to this day. We all survived the infamous squirrel incident. All except my hot water bottle bunny, who lost his pink plastic nose to the invader.

• • •

Breadcrumb #324


When my parents started mailing me pieces of my childhood, they came back broken. Picture frames with shattered glass, surrounded by leaking snow globes that still played White Christmas, small shards of sparkling glass cutting deeply into the fibers of 1980s Kodak matte prints. A small child, underwater. Eyes open, paddling. Red polka dot swim suit on both the child submerged and the child in the reflection on the underside of the waves. A swim school instructor had the idea to photograph children mid stroke in 8 feet of water. I swam the length of the pool over and over for him to get the best shot. Each time I breached, I went back under with my cheeks puffed and lips pursed to preserve my air supply. 

    There are things that make it. My first dogs, Jack and Russell. Two small ceramic dogs from a set of what surely was an elderly woman's hobbyist collection. 1994 stamped into their bellies. We could not have the graceful German Shepard of my father’s childhood and we certainly couldn't have the "Dog— any breed ok" that appeared as number one on every Dear Santa letter I penned. So, these were my dogs.  Despite the fact they had to be carried and couldn’t go outside and were constantly on the verge of breaking and being put in the garbage. There is the not-to-scale-Jack Russell, named Jack, with white fur over a light grey mask over his muzzle and eyes. There is to-scale-Golden Retriever, named Russell because he looks like his name might actually be Russell. Three of Jack’s legs have been broken and expertly repaired by my mother or grandfather or whoever was around to super glue. Jack comes back to me wrapped in an old black sock of my father’s.  It has a golden toe and is in the box next to a white gym sock of my father’s that holds Russell. These two socks somehow survived the horrors of my mother’s laundry room and made it to this box to keep these first ceramic canines intact long enough to live in a home with my two real dogs. It's horrible to say Jack and Russell aren't real. It’s horrible to admit that they're just ceramic because all that time on the blue carpet of my bedroom, I pretended they were. By this I mean that I pretended they were enough. 

It’s horrible to say Jack and Russell aren’t real.

    So in between the broken picture frame and the leaky Christmas snow globe and the small travel cases from hotels and airplanes that my mom sends because I might have forgotten how to pack my bags for a trip across country I did every year for the first 15 years of my life, and again for the next 15 after that, is a small envelope with twenty Ambien. The Ambien are intact, tucked in between Jack and Russell and the socks my dad left behind or socks that left my dad behind or the socks my father left behind when he left and it was just me, using them to scrub the end of a golf club or a sneaker or polish a spoon.

    I could call and say things broke but inevitably they must know because they packed the box. I don't call though I think of calling because the new pretenses of my father almost killing himself and begrudgingly coming back to life is that we get along and only talk about present problems not past ones. This is a box full of my past that cannot even compare to this now present future I spend all my hours obsessing over. This is a box of sadness and loneliness and small ceramic friends with imaginary personalities. This is a box that shows me that even I knew then what I wanted all along, and that I didn't stop until I got to it.  One day I will have a dog. Maybe even two. One day I’ll leave. Maybe never come back.  Jack's grey mask over his white fur looks like my real dog Gunner’s. Jack is lean and fast and so is she. Russell is big and brooding but gentle, and so is my real dog Cash. Russell has blonde hair and a steady face, and so does Cash. There is no girl figurine in the box except the image of one in a red polka dot swimsuit under water. She opens her eyes wide though the chlorine must burn. She's probably used to it in the way that all swimmers are. She held her eyes open, the instructor told my mother, when all the other kids had theirs closed. I dust the girl off, try to pick the shimmering scales of glass off the surface, run my hand over the cuts in the photo fabric that weren't there before the frame broke on its ill-advised postal voyage. She might have been better off had she stayed on the wall of that room with the blue carpet where I last left her. But maybe, the person who packed her in the box knew that much like the real girl, this one couldn't stay either.

• • •

Breadcrumb #323



Alice is wearing a soft silver beanie interlaced with threads like twinkling stars. She has the round, open face of a flower and long eyelashes. She had a rum and diet when she first arrived at the party, but now she is sitting on the sofa alone. Pink bangs obscure her expression as she glares down at her notebook.

    Untie me
    Bruises bloom
    Across white skin
    And as blood glistens
    I know you for what you are
    An animosity I will never escape from

    “What are you writing?”

    Alice looks up to see a boy with golden eyes watching her. He is tall and large-boned, but stands slightly stooped over. When their eyes meet his crinkle like twin suns.

    “A poem.” 

    “Are you a writer?”

    Alice watches him closely. The look in his eyes appears sincere. “I want to be.”

    “Me too. Do you mind if I take the seat beside you?”

    Alice shrugs. The boy plops into the seat next to her. “My name is Gabe. What’s yours?"          

     Gabe was haunted. Need threatened to swallow him. He claimed Alice could save him but Alice objected. She was familiar with symptom swapping. She said it was best to look inward.

    Gabe had flowers delivered to her doorstep every morning for weeks. There were orchids, tulips, roses. There were lilies, gladioli, and chrysanthemums. The flowers were always white. Gabe spoke about his family, dreams, and what she meant to him. Alice was rootless. His devotion touched her.  

    “So you’re essentially a good girl,” Gabe concluded, when discussing their pasts.


    Alice hated her reflection. She wrapped men around her finger. Her friendships were dependent on the possibility of sex. Her friendships were based on male egos. She did not believe anyone could care for her. She did not believe anyone could see her. Her friends disappeared with Gabe in the picture. But that was alright. She began to lean on him. He was her father, son, and brother. She was his mother, daughter, and sister.

She did not believe anyone could care for her. She did not believe anyone could see her.

    He was different once he claimed her affection. She fell from the pedestal and broke into pieces. He cut his hands on the shards. He was surprised women bleed.  


    Alice tries to mingle when she arrives at the party. But uncertainties weigh on her. She loves Gabe. She left Gabe. She makes an excuse to her friends and slips outside. There is a table and chairs on the deck. Alice takes another sip of her beer and opens to a fresh page of her notebook. 


    If someone offered you smack right now, you would have done what he had, but with the awareness of an adult, and while he always assumed you were “essentially a good girl” there is a darkness in you that might even surpass the darkness in him.

    Smile and keep smiling. Inside you register emotion in kaleidoscopic detail. But once you cross the line—you did not land on your feet, you did a face plant—it is much easier to give in and give up than to get past this.

    You must lose yourself in others because you are already aware that you do not exist. Eleanor brushes up against you. Disappear into the crowd, two women, with singular life stories, lost in a sea of people who are simultaneously together and alone. For a while, you can project yourself outwards, and escape.

    I am the girl to avoid, Alice thinks, as Greg approaches. Greg is the friend of a friend. He has the elastic gaze of a true New Yorker. His bulk obscures the rest of the room as he muscles closer.

    “What are you doing all on your own?”

    Her notebook hops across the table when she shrugs. “I don’t play well with others.”

    Greg stands out from the mosaic of people over his shoulder. But Alice notices when a man with bald head like a peeled potato edges closer. Greg turns to the man. “Tony. Get us two more beers.”

    “I already have a beer.” 

      “Have another one.”

      “Okay. But I could go for something more exciting than beer.”

      “Like what?”

      “Like coke.”

      Greg passes her what looks like a cigarette. Alice reaches for her lighter and the cigarette droops to the floor. 

    “What are you doing? Don’t waste it you dope. There’s coke in there.”

      “There is?! I’ve never done coke in a cigarette before!”

    “I can tell you’re very excited about doing coke. Your cheeks keep curving upwards in this big smile.”

    Tony reappears with the beers. For a moment Alice can feel the weight of a beer in each hand.

    “I have more coke at home if you want to come to my place.” Greg leans closer to shelter Alice from view.

    “Can we do more here?”

    “I might be able to get you some. Let’s do some shots first.”

    Alice glances down at the pink cylinder in her purse. She slips her bag over her shoulder. Inside Greg pours them both two shots of Patron at the kitchen table. They clink glasses and she tosses hers back in quick succession.

    “You look like such a nice girl. But you’re hard as nails, aren’t you?”

    “I’m a bad person,” Alice says agreeably.

    Her head pounds. She looks away for a moment. They are in a bathroom. Greg tips a line of white powder across his pinky and tells her to snort. Suddenly her mood is brighter. Wonder and contentment hit her in waves. 

    “This is great!!!”

    Greg leans forward as if to kiss her. Alice steps back and traces the shape of his eyebrow just to tease him.

    She walks away.


      Love is an open wound that will not stop bleeding. It darkens corners, and street signs, and when the man smiles at her, she knows she should walk away, which is why she walks closer. He has beady eyes, with too much hardness in them, but she feels strangely confident now, because it is only when you expect better from people that they can hurt you.

    Alice grasps hands with the man. When she pulls away there is a small packet in her closed fist. Alice slips inside the closest shop and opens the door to the bathroom. She inhales deeply. Thought and emotion meld, with an overarching clarity. There is nothing more peaceful.

    An evening comes when Alice passes Gabe on the street again. He likes seeing her red-eyed, downcast, and alone. Her drinks her tears for nourishment. They give body to his soul.

    Alice is in the company of another man, a handsome stranger. He can see the light in the other man’s eyes when he kisses her. Although her expression is sad, a dull electricity shines in her baby blues, as if transmitting the message that it is time to move on.


    In upstate New York Gabe sat in her bedroom. His heart was creaking open. A flower—pedals crumpled—crushed in his large hands.

    Alice opens the door to her apartment when she returns home from the party and turns on the light. The is a liter of Bacardi and a half empty coke zero on the kitchen table. She tucks her keys in her pocket as she locks the door, pulls out a chair, and sits.  

    Her skin is beginning to itch. Not the deep, writhing itch of poison ivy, but as if someone is tickling her. Her head is whirlwind of pixilated throbbing. She can feel a light sweat, like a sheen of poison rising from her skin. Alice retrieves the cloth sunglass case nestled beneath her left breast. Inside is a purple pill case. When she turns it over several pieces of cut up, day-glow colored straws fall into her open hand. Alice unwraps a fresh square of paper and forms a line.

    From inside the bedroom she hears a sound. The headboard denting the wall as someone stands abruptly. There are footsteps. Alice freezes. The pink cylinder in her purse might protect her from an intruder but not one with a gun. Alice grabs the pepper spray and stands, simultaneously unlocking the door behind her.

    Her bedroom door opens. “Alice. My Alice.” He is drunk and probably high.

    “You need to leave.” 

    “You left me.”

    “I didn’t leave you. I gave you a choice.” Her right hand shakes but she focuses on the feel of plastic under her fingertips.

    Gabe takes several heaving steps towards her. He moves as if to hug her, pulling her in against the warmth of his body. For a moment she can almost believe he is the source of comfort and protection she imagined him to be. She pushes against his chest. His hands wrap around her throat. She is seeing stars.

• • •