Four Miles of Sky (You and I) Flying

Joni Mitchell singing ’bout blue and thats all you could see really. Blue.
I was driving so I didn’t look down but
I imagined the road, the big concrete feet holding us up.
All of it made down river somewhere called tongue point.
Everything all caught up in my chest and Joni crooning, helping me to make something

Im better talking after I wait a minute. Clearer, calmer,
apt to let the sky sooth that sharp twist of words over my tongue.
Better, but often not patient enough for it.
Taking the bridge into the sky that day on top of all that
deep green and steady rush below,
I let your hand on my chest steady me into flight.
I offered you the same.

We’ve been here ever since,
Daytime and sun-drenched, hand-holding, sweaty behind the knees.
Later cold-nosed under blankets in the night, softest clutching I’ve ever.

You always telling me where you are going,
even though I won’t remember. Even though I know
you’ll always come home to me.

Every bridge arching and aching for our crossing.
Every mile one that I want to take with you.

Sunset on the A-M Bridge.

Sunset on the Astoria-Megler Bridge.



There was that time in the cab, nearly kicked out. Something about our credit cards, or the way our voices burned too bright, something about your charm kept our seats. We stopped at every intersection, but just barely made the turns, holding on to each other and cackling til’ we almost puked. Spent too much money on cocktails and imagined bar fights. The bartender hugged us on our way out. The night like a medium weight blanket, air still and salt smelling.

Your family was my family and my arms were your arms and I don’t know when you’re working anymore, so am not sure when to call. Which is a shitty way to say I can’t remember the way your car smells anymore, am always cooking and never bringing the wine, have lost track of which Murder She Wrote episodes I’ve already seen.

That conversation in the italian place, some crinkled corners of eyes, a promise of new into the world. A promise to figure it out. I’m still here and all of these words are stand in’s for stories we’ve yet to tell, voices breaking over sunset after sunset.

Your heart was my heart was your heart.




Since moving here I’m nothing but honeyed with promise. Shut
away from my failings like a thicket of blackberry blush. Your
cheeks on my chest, your sweet sweaty hope on my tongue. I can
smell you, hair stuck to forehead and pumping each gear of
those hundred mile legs. Just a few whispers north of my
stumble, shake, and steady.

Since moving here I am anything but movies alone, more like
April rain, perfumed. More verse than riddle.
You’ve offered me trowel, said,

“This fertile part, that’s ours.
That’s the way our names sound together.”

Since moving here I am everything if not heavy breathing and sprint, no longer
a crawling season, heating up to overflowing and


Every liter of the root of us blooming.

(c) David A. Pike (dreamboat)

(c) David A. Pike (dreamboat)


Happy Nat’l Poetry month, Y’all. I’ve been all over the place lately, poeming with sweet friends and comrades and loving it. This past weekend, we took a trip to Bellingham to do a few shows for Bent and had the best time. It was wholly inspiring, and just really holy to be in the company such incredible talented hearts.

The road to poem bliss

Of course I’m gonna try my hand again at this 30/30 deal. Here goes (day one, yesterday)

I would be red,
sweating and blistery,
blustery and brand new under the tips of your fingers.
Vibrating through the peach fuzz on the backs
of your hands and whispering more clearly
than ever before that I
I want.

You smell like a tree I’d crawl up and sleep in and I’d
rather walk to your house barefoot and bruised
everyday than
steer clear of that way of you;
all easy laugh and careful planning.

I would be red,
deeper and deeper until there was nothing else.
Edging under the corners of your comforters
warming the flush of your cheeks in the dark.

I don’t even know you,
but If I weren’t this way I’d tell you:
I’m ready.
I’m ready.
I’m ready.

Also, you should watch this video of my dreamy friend Elaina Ellis reading a piece she wrote about bears that makes me swoon with poemantic love:

300 Conversations About One Thing

I’ve been trying for a minute to suss out what it is I want to write about. I’m still relatively sure that I don’t even now what I’m doing pretending to have like, a blog or whatever this is. It seems, short of discussing my personal life in great detail on the internet (Thanks for teaching me the skillz, Livejournal), I don’t have much experience. But! I’m spastic-ly enthusiastic about it, and so I continue to come back to you, little blog.

Life is still pretty fun and funny over here. The fall is definitely upon us, and yesterday I had to turn on the heat in my drafty apartment and crawl underneath a pile of flannel when I returned home from playing in this queer kickball tournament. After consuming three cups of throat coat tea and watching two episodes of Battlestar Galactica, I passed out at 9pm. Because, that’s how I like to roll in the Autumn, dudes. Other important activities that i’d like to note are: eating peanut butter at three a.m., wearing scarves, having nightmares about pivot tables and bar graphs (thanks, day job!), having not-so-nightmares about slow dancing to R & B hits from the mid-nineties with a pretty lady, and buying flowers for myself at the farmer’s market.

Kickball. Yogaball. Having a ball.

Anyway here’s some other news and things I’m excited about/amused by:

– The folks at The Portland Review put up a few more of my lil’ poems on their rad blog: here, here and here. This one is trending on tumblr now, which sort of freaks me out a little, but hey. Who doesn’t love a rampantly metaphorical emotionally stunted poem about my ex-girlfriend?

– A little story by me about my intense and strange relationship with my mother is going to go up on the Original Plumbing blog sometime in the next few months. So, that’s cool and totally nerve wracking because like, that kind of realness isn’t something that my fam really does on the regular.

– I’m sort of obsessed with St. Vincent, and missed her show in Seattle (doh!) but am somewhat satiated by this hysterical and insightful post from Mr. Boehmer on the Ironing Board Collective blog.

– Have I mentioned that I am in total LIKE with The Ironing Board? Well, I am. This morning I snickered so much while reading this post that I blew a big splash of emergen-c water out through my nose (grody/warranted).

A Journey Of A Thousand Miles Begins With A Spinach Salad


By Rachel Brown

The longest trip I took this summer
Started at 2nd and Market, in Old City,

where I flirted with my parents
and cried over my spinach.

My father said they had some news.
“You’re pregnant,”

popped out, because everyone
was, or had been;

Benjamin and Hadass, a storyteller,
who decided to have a bris,

or had a bris without deciding;
Shula and Daniel, both rabbis,

who will not have a bris.
Helen, my friend since elementary school,

who is married in Christ to her husband Pete,
at whose wedding we danced the polka;

the couple I canned peaches with
before they moved to California.

But my parents are not
among these couples.

My father is dying.
During phone calls he doodles tight ovals

crowded against each other
traveling across stray envelopes.

In college he trained to be a sculptor
until he had an internship with Henry Moore.

Moore was always sketching and my father
did not want to draw. That left the soup spoon

as the only outlet
for the energy in his hands.

He turned it over and over with an easy grace.
The longest trip I took this summer

started when I put out my hand across the table
on top of my father’s hand, over the spoon,

and with his other hand he reached
for my mother to join us

as if, in a deep pit,
we were making a pact:

We would dig ourselves out
one mouthful at a time.

Saying Your Names by Richard Siken

>Chemical names, bird names, names of fire
and flight and snow, baby names, paint names,
delicate names like bones in the body,
Rumplestiltskin names that are always changing,
names that no one’s ever able to figure out.
Names of spells and names of hexes, names
cursed quietly under the breath, or called out
loudly to fill the yard, calling you inside again,
calling you home. Nicknames and pet names
and baroque French monikers, written in
shorthand, written in longhand, scrawled
illegibly in brown ink on the backs of yellowing
photographs, or embossed on envelopes lined
with gold. Names called out across the water,
names I called you behind your back,
sour and delicious, secret and unrepeatable,
the names of flowers that open only once,
shouted from balconies, shouted from rooftops,
or muffled by pillows, or whispered in sleep,
or caught in the throat like a lump of meat.
I try, I do. I try and try. A happy ending?
Sure enough — Hello darling, welcome home.
I’ll call you darling, hold you tight. We are
not traitors but the lights go out. It’s dark.
Sweetheart, is that you? There are no tears,
no pictures of him squarely. A seaside framed
in glass, and boats, those little boats with
sails aflutter, shining lights upon the water,
lights that splinter when they hit the pier.
His voice on tape, his name on the envelope,
the soft sound of a body falling off a bridge
behind you, the body hardly even makes
a sound. The waters of the dead, a clear road,
every lover in the form of stars, the road
blocked. All night I stretched my arms across
him, rivers of blood, the dark woods, singing
with all my skin and bone Please keep him safe.
Let him lay his head on my chest and we will be
like sailors, swimming in the sound of it, dashed
to pieces. Makes a cathedral, him pressing against
me, his lips at my neck, and yes, I do believe
his mouth is heaven, his kisses falling over me
like stars. Names of heat and names of light,
names of collision in the dark, on the side of the
bus, in the bark of the tree, in ballpoint pen
on jeans and hands and the backs of matchbooks
that then get lost. Names like pain cries, names
like tombstones, names forgotten and reinvented,
names forbidden or overused. Your name like
a song I sing to myself, your name like a box
where I keep my love, your name like a nest
in the tree of love, your name like a boat in the
sea of love — O now we’re in the sea of love!
Your name like detergent in the washing machine.
Your name like two X’s like punched-in eyes,
like a drunk cartoon passed out in the gutter,
your name with two X’s to mark the spots,
to hold the place, to keep the treasure from
becoming ever lost. I’m saying your name
in the grocery store, I’m saying your name on
the bridge at dawn. Your name like an animal
covered with frost, your name like a music that’s
been transposed, a suit of fur, a coat of mud,
a kick in the pants, a lungful of glass, the sails
in wind and the slap of waves on the hull
of a boat that’s sinking to the sound of mermaids
singing songs of love, and the tug of a simple
profound sadness when it sounds so far away.
Here is a map with a your name fora capital,
here is an arrow to prove a point: we laugh
and it pits the world against us, we laugh,
and we’ve got nothing left to lose, and our hearts
turn red, and the river rises like a barn on fire.
I came to tell you, we’ll swim in the water, we’ll
swim like something sparkling underneath
the waves. Our bodies shivering, and the sound
of our breathing, and the shore so far away.
I’ll use my body like a ladder, climbing
to the thing behind it, saying farewell to flesh,
farewell to everything caught underfoot
and flattened. Names of poisons, names of
handguns, names of places we’ve been
together, names of people we’d be together,
Names of endurance, names of devotion,
street names and place names and all the names
of our dark heaven crackling in their pan.
It’s a bed of straw, darling. It sure as shit is.
If there was one thing I could save from the fire,
he said, the broken arms of the sycamore,
the eucalyptus still trying to climb out of the yard —
your breath on my neck like a music that holds
my hands down, kisses as they burn their way
along my spine — or rain, our bodies wet,
clothes clinging arm to elbow, clothes clinging
nipple to groin — I’ll be right here. I’m waiting.
Say hallelujah, say goodnight, say it over
the canned music and your feet won’t stumble,
his face getting larger, the rest blurring
on every side. And angels, about twelve angels,
angels knocking on your head right now, hello
hello, a flash in the sky, would you like to
meet him there, in Heaven? Imagine a room,
a sudden glow. Here is my hand, my heart,
my throat, my wrist. Here are the illuminated
cities at the center of me, and here is the center
of me, which is a lake, which is a well that we
can drink from, but I can’t go through with it.
I just don’t want to die anymore.