Conversations with a Human Heart.

Category: heart song.

until I lasso the moon.


artist: unknown


Sideways, I’m spinning stories until they’re lassoed around a waning moon—quickly, quickly now, before she disappears.

I secure them proper like—the honda knot, hangman’s knot, that fucking fisherman’s eye—each splitting thread of a reluctant noose. I try spinning anywhere, spinning nowhere, spinning in and out of line until the stories refuse to be spun a moment more.

These stories.

I take your stories and his stories and his stories, too. I take her stories, most of their stories, until the outside stories look like my story, the one I’ve been dreaming for all thirty-something of these years.

And for a moment I think I’ve got the pulse of it all—this blistering human collective—until a grand mal moment unravels each darling thread from a tipsy-turvy crescent.

She’s a propellor now, moving further from this crooked sphere.

I’m an anchor now, treading neck-deep in this unforgiving earth.

These stories.

Though I know tantrums are unbecoming in a world bloated with nice-to-meet-yous, I rage against the poppy bloom—a prayer for fields lit red with the fires of transformation rather than the savage whispers of pacifying petals.

A crimson wild enough to resurrect the moon.

For tonight, I suck back with force to wipe clean the stained glass of a wicked history; the story of the girl blurs as the story of the woman comes into focus.

Lines dissolve and the word “habit” lingers in a charcoal sky.

These stories got away and mother moon is disappointed in me again.


what love is.

love is

love is the thing that keeps us safe. it’s the thing we remember the longest and feel the deepest and try the hardest for.

love keeps us spinning—a revolving top at the eye of calm and joy and fear and grief and ecstasy.

it’s grit and velvet.

love is recalling a first touch with every touch. it’s releasing the torments—lies we’ve fed ourselves and wounds we’ve endured at the hands of others—because we know the promise of more exists within us and around us, an electric static in the ether.

it’s trying when you’ve got less than nothing left.

love is celebrating the inhale with a gracious exhale. it’s stillness wrapped in overload and falling as we rise.

love is evolution; a good-intentioned revolt against a self who hasn’t lived.

love is a ceremonious risk of hearts and bodies in a world that sometimes forgets to nurture. it’s a gamble between the comfort of existing in the safety of what is—with all its intricate inadequacies—and what might be.

love is imperfect words melding with mismatched tempos for a song indescribably pure. it’s the explosion of time contained in a single kiss; the recollection of a moment you call home.

artwork: “danced out of existence” by vanitylife


this post was grown on the gram 

choke on poetry.

moon throat

I read poetry, write poetry, choke on poetry.

Lines making sharp k-turns in on themselves

allowing no space for interpretation because my

own words interfere with his words and

then these words are discarded as not-quite-something enough.

This body was made to grow things.

Babes. Wishes. Words.

Growth means many things and I used to think these things good.

Too much is too much.

I’m being picky with expression; learning what it feels like to struggle with everything that’s left.

Thoughts root whether or not we nurture them

the burden of a creative mind.

the setback of an everyday.

Life can grow through concrete slab and, much the same, words find their way.

Wash dishes and watch as hopeful words sprout from damp fingers.

Ping. Ping. Ping.

Snip. Snip. Snip.

Into a jar. On the windowsill.. for later.

Chase sleep and listen as angry words bellow from a place you only vaguely know of as “away”

Stuff. Stuff. Stuff.

Fluff. Fluff. Fluff.

Into your pillow. Under your head.. for tomorrow.

Fit tasks into hours and feel the moment explode as language swells impatiently to incomprehensible dimensions.

Pick. Pick. Pick.

Plink. Plink. Plink.

Into a glass. Onto the shelf.. for soon.

But the foundation can’t hold with all these hidden messages, all these waiting words.

Not anymore.

I’ll have to compose

for fear of losing this house we call home.

for fear of being a home-wrecker in this nasty little love affair they call “art”


[image: Luciana Urtiga]


the hall of mirror effect.


everybody loves you here

is all she could hear when his hand let go

and she found herself standing in my image

softly blinking at a vision of strength where there once was only fear.

and when the voice returned it whispered:

there are pieces of courage embedded in your skin; and

I am here to press them deeper

until your body remembers it as always being so.

the reply to an infinite reflection is love; the hall of mirror effect containing you.

the whiskey turned to water.

picture face window


*disclaimer: this post is part of a 30 day writing challenge; today’s prompt required me to write for 15 minutes, uninterrupted. I cannot and will not accept responsibility for the nonsense which you are about to consume. 

Stand down, Little One. Stand down. Stand down. Your whiskey’s turned to water and now the cat’s got to be let out of that godforsaken bag.

Stand down and tell me stories about when it was me and you. Tell me what it was like before things started weighing so very much.

I saw her in my dream the other night; you know the one. She was as cruel and kind as ever and you would have been so proud. I wasn’t scared of her—not this time. I think that means I’m becoming a lady; isn’t’ that what happens when you become a lady? I always wanted to become a lady. But most of the time I wear different jeans and tattered tees. Sometimes red lipstick, but never lady hats. I don’t want to talk about hats. Hats. Cats. Bats. Rats—I have a worry infestation.

There are moments I rise up to my ceiling; when the night finally comes to take me away from this place. Body snatcher. Body keeper. It’s the lighter bits that drift away.

Stand down, Little Lady. Stand down. You have to find yourself again. Something about this moon makes me think the time to stand down has passed. Time to recline; show this heart that ceiling; like when the night comes to carry you away. It’s so scary, I know. But do it anyway. Show your ribcage how to unfold. Show your heart what it means to be lifted; words lifted.

Words lifted.

Great words are lifted from the deeper places and I fear you’ll never know secure like I do. You’ll never lie to yourself like I do.

But winter is here and that makes life seem more intimate, don’t you think? I wish my cherry blossom tree could whisper to me though the coldest months “don’t worry, child. I’m coming back. I always come back. ”

For now I’m left with water where there once was whiskey and he’s taken to tea. Tea drinker meets whiskey drinker and they fall in love. Making little twiskey wea babies.

Count down. Count down. What’s the use of this? Count down. Count down.

Keep smiling, you must keep smiling. I can’t carry the weight of the world in my purse, I’ve taken to smaller purses these days.

Boundaries are for keeping. Boundaries are for keeping. But a libra thinks boundaries are for bending. And I am apologetically so. I don’t know what to say to her. Not the one who is far away, but the one who is farther away. The one who I would talk to without any words. When did fixing things become so strange? When did Mercury Retrograde become so cruel? Kiss and make up; both of you. Stop the tug of war with my thoughts. Back and forth. Back and forth. Until they just let go. Maybe I imagined all the tugging and waring. Maybe there was only letting go. Maybe the last letter was the last letter to end all the letters. Maybe it’s my move. Maybe. Maybe. Maybe I should be trying harder, but maybe I’m not trying hard enough. Maybe it’s a test from the universe to fight harder. Maybe its a test from the universe to let go. Maybe. Maybe. Maybe I miss her and am sick of the universe.

Maybe it’s time check in with your heart, Dear. But maybe I’m tired of a heart being the end all say all of all the things. Bones can be checked. Check in with your spine. Check in with your brain. Check in with your integrity and then tell me the heart is the only one who speaks. She’s not. She’s been quiet. And I’ve let her. I’ve let her have space and quiet and time. By now I think she owes me some sort of sign.

Dear heart, please tell me. What is the meaning of all this?

My whiskey. Still whiskey. But I’m losing cubes by the word. Type the ice to water. Type the whiskey to something much softer. Soft whiskey. Hard whiskey. Laughter—that’s all I hear. Now what I am I supposed to do with that? Keep typing.

Stand down. Let it happen and cry if you must. It won’t be easy, they never said it would be easy. But stand down.

Stand down. Stand down.


[image: this is your brain on stream of consciousness]

what if.


“and what if I have nothing to write?” brain demanded.

“it’s entirely possible, child. I daresay… altogether probable,” heart replied. “the point is to write something anyway.”



[image: it’s time to dive in]



Come now, Little Child. You mustn’t be so shy.

These words, these words, these words used to excite and free you and now they’ve put you in weird corners in odd positions thinking impossible thoughts that never can serve you (I promise).

Because words that serve you open you up—until your insides are on the outsides blinking thoughtfully into your own teary eyes. They’ll gaze into the universe that is those wild hazels and you’ll feel the sensual hum of a job well done, of a something that’s shifted. Words that serve you make your skin tingle with yesyesyes, the electric pulse of doing the thing that makes you feel most alive, the thing that makes every cell scream “oh, hell yes. it’s fucking go-time.

When all of this happens, the un-serving words are very-nearly banished to far-away places—for they are conservative and stiff and dislike the company of swearing cells. They’ll march off in less radical directions with un-serving heads hung low.

You’re tired of it already, and who could blame you. You’ve gone up and down and up and down and upandfuckingdown. But you mustn’t be so timid.

Split in half. Split and pour out of yourself like you mean it, like your life depends on it.

Your life depends on it. 

And when the doctor comes to inspect the damage you’ve done, he’ll say “there’s nothing I can do here” and he’ll clasp his leather bag and march out your door and back into the world of un-split humans—the humans he can help.

Then you’ll realize it’s done. It’s done and it’s real and you’re not turning back. You’ll stand there, alone, in the middle of the most remarkable disaster you’ve ever seen. You’ll stare at all the recently-inside you words painted across walls and spilled onto floors and dripping, dripping from your trembling fingers. You’ll sway, still out of breath, still distilling the prognosis in your liberated heart; but you’ll know deep-down that everything is exactly as it should be—that un-split open doesn’t serve you any more than those un-serving words once did(n’t).

You’ll exist somewhere between that place of “I can’t help you” and “I can help myself.”

Welcome to Splits-ville.


[image: julie loen on pinterest]

the universe inside.

Screen Shot 2014-08-12 at 10.05.49 PM

Everything seems to be whispering, “open, open, open” and it’s hard until it’s not. 

It’s hard to breathe when your heart is being squeezed by the world around you. Suddenly words are nooses and actions are branches from which you hang yourself again and again.

They aren’t words misspoken, but words that are trapped somewhere between the stone in your chest that is supposed to be beating and the swollen slug in your mouth that is supposed to be enunciating the everything around you.

Sour milk and fresh chalk and week-old easter flowers. 

The time you spend writing has not amounted to enough yet, you see that now. The heart sent wishes, but the will was weak—fixated on all the ideas of “should.”

But you’re seeing it now, it’s “open, open, open.”

Let the words pour even if you can feel the pestle grinding into that heartspace—and the dust that wafts up from your center will make you cough and sputter and you’ll be glad you’re alone to deal with it. Glad the only one to witness is a notebook with more blank pages than not.

And the coughs and sputters will escalate until your eyes are draining and your throat is screaming raw; but raw is good because after you’ve coughed yourself to hot white, you’ll notice flecks of blood on your pages—blood that will remind you of your aliveness.

Of rage and passion and life and fragility and nothing.

You’ll stare at the flecks on the page. You’ll take your pen and connect the dots with poems until you can identify constellations and planets and moons.

There is is, you’ll think to yourself. There’s the universe I had inside of me.  


[image: catrin welz stein on pinterest]

inspiration: a love affair

fly away

Inspiration crept into my room last night. I was sleeping soundly when I felt the gentle pull on my eyelids and the movement of breath against my face—like coffee and mint and green, green grass mixed together. I was hardly offended.

When my eyes fluttered open I saw her there, staring excitedly. She spoke in broken English, but not really broken English. Pieces of poem and slices of sentence and parts of a paragraph spilled from her mouth puddling themselves on my just-washed sheets. She whispered promises. She promised me eloquent language; and she would give it to me, all of it.

If I only trusted her.

If I only let her pull me from my bed, limb by limb, and carry me away through the window.

And I was excited, but sleepy too. Because the hours, while technically morning, were still cloaked in a heavy night. So my body resisted my heart’s enthusiasm and politely asked inspiration to just sit tight for a little while.

But you know the end of this story.

You know that inspiration doesn’t sit tight.

She danced away pulling her beautiful language behind her—an elaborate train on her pristine wedding dress, the marriage to which I neglected to say “I do.”

So when I woke up this morning in actual morning I noticed the lighting in my room was all wrong. The spot where she stood when she had kissed me was frighteningly ordinary and the places on my face where she touched me were humming no longer.

I missed her terribly.

When I was little I was acutely aware of these moments. I knew how tragic the vanishment of an inspired thought could be; the equivalent of a dropped ice cream cone or an escaped balloon, my heart hurt for those evaporated thoughts.

To reassure myself, I created a theory at age seven that all of those thoughts are collected in a bucket. And when we finally die, that bucket is returned to us. The fuller those buckets, the freer those thoughts were to flow, the more open your heart was allowed to be. Because for every thread of inspiration you are able to grasp, there are a hundred threads (at least) in that bucket. For the better you become at catching those thoughts—I suggest a mason jar to study and learn from and experience—the more clever the others will become. And the ones that got away will grow your bucket heavier and heaver.

When we fly away from here, that’s how we gauge a life well-lived. That’s how we can feel and know and believe if our time has been a job well done. Our buckets, like our hearts, will be full to the brim.  

So now, the trick with this creating is telling inspiration, “No. Don’t go. I know it is late and my body is tired, but you are such a delight that I would sacrifice all the sleep I could just to keep you close a little while longer.” 

And even then, she might not oblige, because inspiration often plays the trickster. She teases and unsettles us. She distracts us from things we “should be doing” and just when we say, “Alright, Love. I’m all yours. Let’s make magic together,” she loses interest and flutters away, to some other—more brilliant, desirable, talented—writer, of that much you are sure.

I had even hoped—an impossible, naive, desperate hope of all hopes—that if I sat down this morning and wrote of her, she’d indulge her vanity and come visit once more. 

So much for that.

authenticity will save you.


“We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be.” ― May Sarton

There comes a time in our lives when the activities of others should fall away into the recesses of our yesterdays. That time is now.

There comes a day when our past should be made to stay there; when we should leave others to be as they wish to be; when we should honor the version of us that is so eager to emerge. That day is today.

We can not accomplish great things—be it career, be it health, be it love—without a deep bow of farewell to the pieces of our past, no matter how alluring or accessible those pieces may remain.

Embrace who you are by ignoring what you are not—you are not the girlfriend of the ex, you are not the old job you kept, the cruel words you slung, the mistakes, the triumphs, the disappointments, the celebrations.

You are not your yesterday.

You are not me.

You are you.

You are the you that is living a life completely unique to every other life that spins around you. Don’t you squander that. Don’t you dare diminish the magic of that rarity by trying to recreate a life that is not yours.

Authenticity: the most extraordinary magic in the universe—magic of the heart, ripe with honesty and love.

So I challenge you to break away from everything you want to be and listen to the whispers of who you are.

Be authentic, even when it scares the life out of you; because the life it scares away will be the weird, recycled bits that you attached, like decoupage, in fear. And the layers that melt away will resemble sticky, lacquered clumps of paper—awkward attempts of a former skin you tried to wear.

Authenticity is naked; it is raw and honest and free. Authenticity is the flesh of a bare ass and unkempt pubic hair; it is a laugh so fierce it sings and a voice so proud it inspires.

Authenticity is who you are when no one is watching.

And to remember that “you,” you must only recall the forever-moments—moments that have been carved into the walls of your heart.

You will know forever-moments; they will fill you with heat, a fierce magic that spins wildly in your chest. You’ll crack open when they happen, and you’ll crack open again when you recall them—a Fabergé ribcage, split open and filled with light, pouring from your center like a beacon.

When you find those moments, you must stop.

Stop to offer yourself completely to everything that swirls around you. Let the feeling settle into your skin, become intimately acquainted with the sensation of a forever-moment—for this is the sensation of purpose, and purpose is the bedmate of authenticity. Let the two tangle in the sheets together—let them have their sexy fling, then watch in awe as a the fire sparks in your soul. Let their limbs twist together in a mass unrecognizable; let their sweat pool and their breaths dance and their voices bellow out together: yes, yes.. yes!

Embrace the sacred romance. Bottle the passion in your heart.

Be fearlessly authentic, child.

Be unapologetically you.