The Cwtch List

welsh n. a safe place, a cuddle or hug

ear songs.

I once met an orchid who lived in the forest
And its fragrance followed me all the way home
It wrapped its warm arms securely round my nose
Hugging it with love, but never letting go

I once went to the seaside, thinking I might run into Sally
I suppose Sally was sick that day
So I picked up a seashell and put it to my ear
You can imagine my surprise as you learn what I did hear

Expecting songs of the seaside,
I heard echoes of the ocean
I have nothing against shells going travelling
But the change of accent seems a bit too much 

I once attended a lecture
From one of the greatest minds of our time
I found it quite engaging
Yet the woman beside me found otherwise

Visibly perturbed, she slouched down in her seat
Trying to avoid the words that would inevitably meet her feet 
To this I give no opinion
But of course she gave hers

                                    A lecture too long,
                                      An intermission too short
                                        A subject too boring,
                                          And the lecturer has a wart

But most of all how dry it was
       And to this I took attention
    No time of contemplation
 Not a moment could be lost or a step mistook

The refreshments table waited me, and I a glass of water
Running back to the woman in haste
I found her scribbling on the program book
Leaving it quite defaced

Extending my hand I asked if this was alright
Staring at my glass, her face went alight
Perhaps the night wasn’t too dry after all
Or maybe the glass was too small

So I put it to my ear
To check again if the ocean was here
But really now I think that it is time for me to go
And the wet stain on my shirt would certainly say so


Red of her lips, the sprite of her night, the opals of her eyes,

I can hear the ringing of hearts to pump open my pupils,

Lights flood into the cavity the cave of her mind, a cavernous and capricious mind, a fountain of distilled wonder, the reins of her veracity keep me tethered to a balloon under the smiles that bound across her television screen.

Did I mention the hair?

rivers and streams, I splash and play, no no no no oceans I’m drowning but I have gills for her thoughts.  A red sea, the ginger of my spice rack…Ginny Weasley.

Did I mention the dragons?  Growling, breathing, flaming steaming, elephantine within my stomach, behemoth rising from my limbs, colossals walking across the plains of my lungs.The dragons, the dragons, the dragon, a beast growing, Dean Thomas holds hands with my Ginny.  I can’t play Quidditch this easy.  Ron’s her brother, I’m his best friend, Ron and his rat, only brotherly feelings, dragon laughs, nothing there, dragon scoffs, just a sister, Dean Thomas, keep your hands off her, dragon growls, snogging behind the tapestries, dragon roars.

Shivering, sewers drench me in memories, nearly corporeal, feeding and engorging, obese from the love, virility of adolescence.  Age eleven, an IV from the heart to the page, dripping emotion into a bucket, golden and splashing across a diary page.  Seeping with confusion, fear, love, dreams, insecurities.  He eats them up, like the consumer sucking upon the dried teat, transfixed on a photo of torrential milk.  Chambers of secrets all around us, sucking us dry, with every impassioned moment another bite to take the feelings off our hands.  Not so secret, in plain sight, inescapable and unrelenting, how many licks does a  parseltongue take to charm the snake, the places and people. The Dolores Umbridges, Dursleys and the you know whos, that’s right you know who, who is it?

Dragons get tattooed on chests of waiting heroes which fade faster than vanishing cabinets when snakes crawl above his last tower.

If I save you from a basilisk, don’t you think that deserves a kiss?



      Yes,       the wind is a thing

To take a ride on

To listen to,       if alone

If the sound of leaves,        aren’t nearly enough


O’ yes,    the wind is truly a thing

To sing to,       when the rain hasn’t come,       nearly enough

It’ll whistle back even,       if you hold your ear,       close to it

Especially,     when the wind has been lost on your lips


O’ yes,      indeed O’ yes,      the wind is a thing

To be scared of,     even as a man

O’ but it’s not so bad

Especially when,      you’ve got a blanket

Whose warm to you

And will sing to you

Even when the wind has stopped

          It’ll be warm to you

And what more could you ask of it?   For a comforter to be comforting?

Oh oh oh oh ohohoh the wind,      it is a thing

And it might ask you,

                                                             Are you?


Are you                              a thing?

                          To be warm to?  To be sung to?

O’ yes, yes oh yes.  I am a thing. 

I am a thing more than other things are things beyond what things might think a thing should be.


                          And things,        like this thing,

       Things like this want love,              

                                   They want to ride.

               They want to listen when the sound of leaves

                                                 aren’t nearly enough

They want to whistle,         

                                     and to be scared if only      

                                                                                          for a moment.





                  t                     t



          warm and  be warmed and warm and worm and warm again

                          but mostly,         they want to be a thing.

Take a Seat

Take a seat
Yeah just take it, have it, I don’t need it  
I’ve used it long enough and now you can have it
Anyway, I have more than enough seats for myself
And I could do with giving away a few
So take a seat. Yeah take a seat.

It’s not going to be the most comfortable
But it’s a seat right? 
At least you’ll have one now 
The kids on the bus who gave it up for their grandma
They don’t have a seat, so take it.
That’s right, just take the seat

It looks like you’re out of breath
Why not take a load off
In fact I’ll breathe for you
Seeing how you’re fresh out of it and all 
I’ll breathe for you………………..
Just slow down, breathe with me, breathe breathe, breathe
Here, take my seat, catch your breath 

You’ve been chasing it for awhile, haven’t you? 
Well that’s why we’re here
So we can run 
We can run after it together 
But it’s hard to run 
It’s hard when you’ve only got one pair of lungs 
And you have to try and breathe the whole world in 
So here, take a seat and rest for awhile 

My legs are tired now
We’ve been running for a month 
And there’s no sign of it 
We re-traced your steps 
We looked in the last place you saw it 
We visited St. Anthony for tea 
We even asked “If I were your breath, where would I go?” 
Are you sure you lost it? 
Let’s take a seat now, the show’s about to start

We can’t be worried about your breath, just now
It’d be rude to talk during the performance 
We can maybe start looking again during the intermission 
But for right now, let’s be quiet, let’s not worry too much
This is no time to banter about these things
Or put needless anxiety through our lips 
There’s a show on right now and it’s no time for this nonsense 
So stay in your seat, and watch 

I forgot to breathe
I stopped remembering that you couldn’t and I forgot to breathe 
I’ve been talking all this time and you haven’t said a word 
Not because you’re speechless, but because you’re breathless 
I forgot to breathe 
and now 
I have to ask 

Can I have a seat?


Photo credit: Kyle Thompson :

wind-up digital clocks

have you ever felt wrong?

ever felt like you’ve fallen


the shelf

stumbling from room to room to staircase to

winding, willowing, winnowing room

Beating as soft as a


would if it fell upon your neck?

ever felt so touched

by the way

           your toes don’t collapse?

by the way your ankles slide             effortlessly

and how you seem to move in space

the other day I didn’t expect it

but my limbs began to melt

      they melted all afternoon

and just as I put away the dinner dishes

I realized they were turning into tomato soup

and             by all the ways that water can be altered,

and             flavored and spiced. 

of all the ways that a vegetable might be a fruit

and of all the ways that things can be mixed together and heated and stirred…

to make a slopping mess of



                              and most of all small-minded of soups. 

                                                       the tomato soup is my least favorite.

so you might sympathize with me,

you might understand my woes,

I would wake up day after day, make my breakfast, have a tea

I ready for work and drive the dull, but not unsatisfying drive to work

But try as I might

I cannot get through the day

without Jerry from marketing

announcing how horrid it must be to have tomato soup for limbs.

so I sit.                                                 I wind up my digital clock

and send a few emails back and forth to a fellow employee I’ve made up in my head

his name is Craig                                    and                                  he steals office supplies

I’m not one to tell tales or wind up stories

so I keep the issue out of the boss’s hair,

as his hair is already very messy and needs a good washing.

but Craig still steals supplies no matter how many emails I send

so I end up going home with this problem in my head

but I’m having trouble sleeping with all this post-it notes and staplers on my bed.



When I was a boy, swing sets were surfboards and I’d ride them until the beach grew dark and the waters were cold.

The momentum I built was taller than my house, because anything taller lived only in my imagination

Until I saw twin towers look taller than god, but god didn’t seem so tall that day at all

I came home from catholic school and the television filled our house with words in every head

And all I could think to say was “Is there anything else on?” not because I was bored, or I had a problem understanding or didn’t have a heart.   

I just wondered if televisions worked the same when they knew people were dying. 

Do you think radios know what mayday, mayday means? 

Or how the newspapers felt as it slipped its toes in between the words “The Great Titanic Sinks”,

For their sake, if they feel it I hope they remember the feeling of the moon

And I hope they feel the smiles on their faces, and I hope they read the stories about children finding love in bookstores, and I hope they know how to cope because I couldn’t after seeing so much blood.


When I was a boy, I wanted to be an “All aboard man” and I’d conduct overtures on the score sheets of steel rails and electricity through my brainstem.

Sharing cubicles with the reaper, making last calls and leaps into the future

But as I grew, I found out that you couldn’t just be one thing and how quaint it was if I wanted to be everything

And I read Shakespeare and I thought “to be or not to be” was about living

And to be a boy you had to play football and smear the queer at school

And being cool, meant insults and aloofness when all I ever felt was excitement

And as a man, you couldn’t cry

Well these tears, these tears were on my face when I got it

and the red in my eyes, why I don’t know why, you see they used to be dry, and I’d like to comply to your idea of a guy, but I just might imply that I would have to lie. 

Well here’s my necktie.


When I was a boy, my first kiss was in a closet and I’d like to say I was gay

Because life would be perfect in some way, but it’s not and to be honest, I don’t even remember her name.

Instead it was under a tree, with a girl named Clarice who grew up to be a painting.

She was the colors of the rainbow, from her head to her foot, a brilliant light,

But in her eyes she couldn’t see because the rest of her was blinding bright.

One day the rainbow began to drip and slide off her, covered in rain without a storm

And there she stood, naked and grey in a Technicolor puddle but her pupils stayed the same

Everyone sees her different since that day, but in her eyes nothing really changed.

It wasn’t a very good kiss anyway.


When I was a boy, I once read of something called love

And I heard it’s something that turns you into librarian

You’ll thumb through troves of torn and tarnished pages

To finally find the book you wanted, today it was a book about snails.

And you’ll take that book and put it in the correct snail section with all of the other snail books.

And in exactly 2 hours and 43 minutes Thomas will take the book, away from its snail family and take it home

And in 2 weeks, 4 days on an OK afternoon, Thomas will bring that book back.

And you will have done all that searching and finding and correctly placing

Only to have to sort through the pile again, but when you find it, at least you found it and that’s more than some can say.



Here we go/surprising seeing hearing at/opened for the/here’s the first time. A flare a/ breath a/wow. Here we/ grass, it seems so much/ clearer. But allergic to endings/marked, dated calendarized/ a/ back to focusing on a settled scene/ the others/the problems/ the Cute/little/problems//reality doesn’t/doesn’t/ reality doesn’t deliver like a pizza to my door knob on my parents house/ bleeds brass/ stains the neighbors driveway and/carpet/Berber/ carpet. Steam cleaned through the rows of record sleeves/the/carpet/ feets never touch to oceans who never boil/the/the/

pages never  open/ open/ to alleyways with broken waterpipes/reaching tongs/ for afternoon spaghetti and where my day runs/ in/ chorus / takes the stage/he asked “where have my socks gone”/when he laughed/when the socks filled his mouth/whereas our findings conclude/ you might want to talk to your doctor/ watermarked faces with copyrighted emotions/ reactivity to the surprised faces/ leaving  packages in the Sunday mail/for the Monday man/ light feet make hard snow/a way out/care products left in the dirt/a / quarter eaten sandwich/ forgotten tampons thirsty in rain/we won’t/we go on Ferris wheels on the bus and we all fall down/we 

look down from the table/from our work that is reworked/ as we/ work out our working memory/ we look down/ from the tables of men/ from the tides of white water tinctures/wakeful wharfs mask tinnitus/the noise/the background scars  to tune out our /noise/bringing tubes to the underbellies of bees/bees that live in penthouses to dream of/ noise/the eye droppers popping ink into my eyes to see the words your mouth spills onto my diary/ and the words are/ noise/ noise/ noooise/ are we fit to only live in the tails of the distribution/to be cut by the knife of the ceiling and to rest ones head on the floor?


Photo credit:

Gladis laid her first egg this weekend.  The family is very proud.

Baby Bottle

maybe I’m just. You see I have this thing, where where where where where where the space in my mind is too shallow to hold all of this responsibility, sieves to catch. Well let me just explain to you why this isn’t my fault, you see see me see u, see us together and instead of blaming me let me just confuse you entirely, let me just show you how I’m different, how I’m an expection to your rule and then you will understand, then you will come to me and say it’s quite alright that I’m a scared child.

The bastard.  This has gone on entirely too long and I doubt that I will be able to suffer through his whole “experience” much longer.  I’m not so much angry at him as at myself, no no he’s a pisshead and I know it.  I carry around this little bracelet he gave me once and I know for a fact that he doesn’t even remember giving it to me.  He is so engulfed  by himself, that the rest of the world must drown with him, I’m so tired of coughing up blood and water every time I have the sense enough to come up for air.

what am I? I’m disgusting and she sees it, I spent this whole time trying to hide it, hide it from her maybe, maybe  just for a bit, a short while, but it’s over, she sees me now, sees us. I’m sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry I didn’t realize that if I only thought of myself that others could be hurt, that someone would be left alone, that I could leave a baby in it’s crib while I waited to be feed my bottle. Suuuup suup ssuuuuup suup shh mmm the baby is full now and needs to burp.

The problem with him is that he knows it already.  He knows what I’m going to say and says it first, you know what that feels like? It’s like getting turned on and on and on and then teased for an hour, only to never come once.  Completely dissatisfying, and as much as you want to punch a teaser in his sack and then squeeze, you don’t, because who does that?  I wish I could though. I wish I didn’t find depression sitting at the bottom of my suitcase and I wish I didn’t have to try and muffle it with my handful of clothes, I wish I could stay, but drowning isn’t fun anymore.