snooze button
by t. zoEy benally

i thought i felt the credits roll
when i fell asleep last night
music slowly fade to thin trickle
watered down syrup steam

i could see the white font
credits marching up the screen
their vinyl go-go boots
equipped with silencers

so it was a big surprise
when i sat up this morning
at 6:17AM, the same scrappy
old trailer surroundings

but i had the distinct impression
of fortune, found frog skins
dance along a crumbling precipice
that i had pushed the snooze button on death


an old dude made me mad today
by t. zoEy benally

an old dude made me mad today.
i haven't been this mad since i had the old dude sitting behind me
on the airplane that kept hitting and kicking the back of the seat.
so i turned around and smiled at that old man and asked him if there was a problem.
he never said what the problem was, but i think he was mad that i was leaning my seat back.
he didn't think that although the seat in front of me was leaned back,
and the seat in front of that was leaned back, and the seat in front of that...
he didn't think that i should be allowed to lean my seat back.
actually i think he thought i was an easy target.

the old dude that made me mad today probably thought i was an easy target also.
and i was an easy target because i was under the delusion that he was a friend,
and that is the reason that i got so mad,
but i'm not going to be making that mistake anymore.
you know a person has lost an argument when they resort to personal attacks.
you know a person has lost an argument when they start contradicting themselves.
these two things happened and it made me mad.
it made me mad how easily the insults and bad mouthing rolled off this person's tongue.
it's been a long time since this person has been my friend.
this person had already judged me and had already been
harboring feelings of superiority, and feelings of arrogance.
he was just another crotchety old dude kicking the back of my chair in the airplane.


by t. zoEy benally

the first guy asked me to prom the week that it was happening
but fortunately i was tiny and had my pick of the leftover smalls
a 75% off pale pink strapless covered with iridescent lace
my cousin was excited and filled her bath tub with bubbles
and roses, curled my eyelashes and feathered my hair
neither of us knew the exact formulation of gel, mousse
and hair spray that would be required to make it stick
she painted my face, tried to give the illusion to who knows who
that i wasn't really a dusty rez girl with old dancing shoes
he brought a corsage of three carnations, baby's breath
and a burgundy ribbon covering a lavender elastic band
14 year old me, until the moment he presented the corsage
in it's thin plastic case, worried about long pins poking
through flimsy material into skin

the second guy asked me several weeks in advanced
an upper classman who didn't know that i secretly hoped
his lab partner had asked me instead, and unfortunately
i later discovered that he could only declare his undying crush
on me under the cover of night and the influence of alcohol
so i bought a dress from a respected college girl and reformulated
it into something not quite vintage, but totally me
lavender lace and plum satin tiers, and a safety pin
because i hadn't quite mastered the art of alteration
he brought me white roses, bought me dinner--a girl of 15
totally out of place with seniors and juniors, our only
connection was biology class, but i wasn't out of place there
he wasn't a very good dancer, but tried to make it up
by finding a party, but i just fell asleep so he brought me home

the third guy latched onto me at a dance several months before
and wouldn't go away, so i finally just asked him to the prom
my mom hated his black trans-am, so i ended up
going with a girlfriend--i think he would have stood me up
anyway--but i ran into his mom coming home from work
and she said i was beautiful in the silver dress i had created,
i was still learning and didn't realize that i should have taken
a couple of inches off the waist, but she said i was beautiful
16 year old lovely even without a corsage...
and we danced, two girls, and then suddenly he was there
complete with another wrist corsage of red roses, silver ribbons
and we danced, danced until we didn't have a ride home

the fourth guy was my best friend, and my dress fit perfectly
constructed of white satin and black lace, he brought
unexpected blue carnations, white roses, baby's breath
and that totally appropriate elastic band, because, although
he didn't admit it until we were both in our late 20's,
he loved dancing with me

the only pictures that remain of those proms exist in my mind
i see us standing stiffly posed and i remember the spicy
carnation scent, honeyed baby's breath, slick satin ribbons
sticky grip of hairspray and mascara, i see the cheezy props
i remember sliding out of nice shoes after a night of dancing
i can feel scissor metal slice through taffeta, satin, lace and acetate
and i remember the music...


earth and sky
by t. zoEy benally

i want to write you something beautiful
i want to communicate me to you so that you will understand
and be compelled to hide a little piece of me inside your mind
communicate me then, communicate me now
so that when we are both gone from here
we might both have, the universe might have
that small whisker of understanding,
communication launched, unfettered ships, colorful flags flying
sent out into unknown, deep dark secret seas
and received, welcomed, by neighboring shores

what did i taste like back then? did i taste like honey?
my skin, lips and tongue flavored with unknown bee
thoughts, dusted yellow with flower pollen
or did i taste like wild, sticky red-gold dates
adorned with crystallized sugar lace
dipped in fresh milk still nutty, unpasteurized
or maybe i tasted like fresh bread soft, still warm
from the oven with the slightest hint of crust
fragrant with fennel seeds, light coat of butter
i wanted to taste of fertile valleys, dark earth, the future

how did it feel to travel outside map boundaries?
to hear my parched deserts call to your towering rain clouds
beckon and beg precious moisture, just short of hurricanes
how did it feel, stormy skies, whorled zephyrs
ancient code strung up spiral staircase through generations
how did it feel when platectonic plates shifted, birthing
new volcanoes, electric lightning bolts grounding in earth
rivers meniscus raised with runoff from turbulent storms
both coming to grey junctions where boundaries blur
where your atoms and molecules mix with mine

if this is beautiful--please welcome this message
encoded in yes-no bottles, carried on electron tides
if this is beautiful please accept this gift from my mind
small ribbon of time tied, threaded through heart muscle fibers
so that the blood that reaches every capillary
has been tinged with this memory fragment, melted tissue dye
coloring rouge lips, coconut shell eyes, blushed cheeks
if this is beautiful--please provide amnesty
to this criminal that holds on to and treasures
all flavors of quarks left by who you were
who i was, who we were...


hollow, filled
by t. zoEy benally

today fifteen cats were trapped by their own hunger
starved hollow, internal fleas nibbling at their innards
chortle in the greenish pink depths of carnivore gut
in between sips of plasma, meowed and scratched
from filthy cat litter that will now never be changed
tidy clay forever steeped in digest mousie juice

carved out hulls where sunlit children once danced
rattle and roll with words bellowed from wind lungs
abandoned seed husks tumble and crush beneath
gravity powered feet, rushing off into important futures
and fifteen cats share my fate, imprisoned until the end
imprisoned to prove that someone is capable of love

but potential wealth is not love for anyone except yourself
and i would wish for my future, to be lost in Columbia or to fade back
into the anise scented past, rafters pungent with dried
marjoram, thyme, lavender, chamomile, and find myself wrapped in
fragrant cotton sheets, absorbing your warmth and resting complete
beneath the squinty sun's gaze, empty cavern filled by your hope


my little pony
by t. zoEy benally

my little pony has a one trick mind
gobbles down my ideas and calls them pony's own
my little pony's borrowed ideas cascade plastic pastel
twirl enticingly down pretend pony purple cheek

my little pony has a single cell mind
regurgitates key phrases, memorized mantras
furiously scribbles notes to remind pony brain
of all the cool things to think

my little pony has unified my minions
organized them into one non-thinking blob
taught them obedience, learn them
not to creatively ponder

my little one trick pony will one day
take over the world and lead the lemming mass
marching unified, mezmerized over canyon ledges
cloned images of me


sick day
by t. zoEy benally

return to bed now
comrades toiling, no sickness
me shedding virus


oneword: hay
by t. zoEy benally

it feels like falling out of trees
feels like heartworm twirl through my valves
threatening to clog and choke blood flow off
it feels like karate chop to the neck
swift blow to the sternum
with a bike handle end
when i inhale too much hay.


spin class haiku
by t. zoey benally

i survived spin class
conjured mountains, high resist
volunteer torture


never ending cycle
by t. zoEy benally

i used to actually care about stains, mess
chaos in general would bother me
but since the beginning of my time
i have found ways to limit the whirlwinds
of madness that i personally create

it amazes me how quickly the books
crawl out of their rows and onto
the heads of other books
a virtual mosh pit of reading
churning in rectangle stacks

i find it amazing how my very own
socks embark on adventures
to places unknown beneath
my children's bunkbed, flattened
to a linty, dusty cotton spot

about a decade back, i found myself
literally, the sole soldier at war
with calamity, fighting back
turmoil on a daily basis, husband,
children all considered the enemy

so i put down my weapons and said,
"i will fight no more forever."
and today, my house is messy
but i don't care, if they don't care
who am i kidding--martha stewart
will never visit me anyway!


oneword: hay
by t. zoEy benally

she sat atop the stacked hay rectangles, her feet dangle over the side and swing as she yells hay prices down to ranchers and farmers below. she stands, towers 17-inches times six layers of hay over their vehicles and effortlessly drops green flowerless bales into truck beds and onto trailers.


Lucky Me
by t. zoEy benally

I’m lucky that I remember the time before we were friends.
You’re lucky that I remember the day that we became friends.
Lucky how I remember how my life was before I became
accustomed to the free speech, raucous ideas & irreverent debate
we have entertained these past years.
Although I am different from that person then,
I can still remember how it was not to have you as a friend.
It is that memory that will pull us both through these tough times.
It is that memory that will allow me to respect
your need to slide back into talons,
retreat behind prison bars painted grey peeling latex,
and continue to lick your wounds coating the raw,
tattered edges with saliva devoid of growth hormone.

The moment we became friends, the sun
yawned and stretched in the west, dragging cherry,
strawberry and orange flavored sunset sheets
and eventually the dark quilts of night, draped from strong shoulders.
The air was grey and cool, broken only
by gold day remnants and jaundiced halogen car beams.
I was having trust issues with 7% DEET,
worried that a virus infested mosquito
would penetrate the defenses and I would lose time
suspended in the deep fog of WNV, WEE, SLE, or some other -itis.
You, accosted by an over zealous prose writer, asked if I needed a ride,
but I was in dire need of three thousand more steps before midnight.
So I braved the night, braved mosquito central,
aka, the bridge over San Juan River waters, and eventually made it home.
I barely knew your name, and I had no clue what your phone number was,
so I couldn’t call you to let you know of my success.

I remember my thoughts the day before we became friends.
I remember walking home and the heat
burning the tops of my arms at the elbows. I remember
running plan a, plan b, plan c, on how to make small adjustments
to the Navajo Nation, and maybe bring our people towards self-sufficiency.
I remember not knowing your name. I remember turning my music up
so that I could ignore passerby comments, car bleats and honks.
One of those was you, you later told me—slightly annoyed
—after I crossed the road just past the intersection,
after I crossed the road for some coffee.
“I was yelling at you. Didn’t you hear me?”

It’s lucky how I remember the time before we were friends.
It’s lucky that I remember because I can now
fold time rivers that we had into oxbows and continue with the flow.
I can insert shunts across clogged artery portions
so that the blood continues to flow and it doesn’t kill me.
I smear briney floods all over my cheeks
and am surprised that white sediment does not dry and crust,
but we are lucky that I remember the moment that we became friends.
We are lucky that I remember, lucky that I can fold
excess time fabric back over those two years and sew
back and forth, back and forth, until those moments
are imprisoned by miles of thread.
We are lucky that I can take care of it alone;
lucky that we won’t have to wait for you
to decide to finally tell me what you’ve been telling everyone else,
for you to finally get up the nerve and tell me the truth
—that our friendship is over.


for the children
by t. zoEy benally

"our relationship has elements of domestic violence that we are both responsible for." that is what she has told herself since her hair was styled in a short bob, since she only had her high school diploma, since she had never been anywhere except these small grey towns in the northeastern corner of dine bi keyah. this was her explaination for the strained relationship, strange behavior seived through flour sacks. she loathed herself and he loathed himself. they were two worms living off the others too few green leaves gathered at places of business. each trying to save the other from themselves, trying to make the other a better man--woman. never satisfied, never happy, wasted earth rotations, imprisoned in the other's shadow they stayed together "for the children."


scary dudes in heat today...
by t. zoEy benally

all the scary dudes were in heat today
lumpy nosed, blood shot eyed, busty dudes
driving rumbly white GMCs with expired tags
they think it turns me on when they yell
"hey baby--where you going baby?"
or "wooooo! walk faster baby!"
yep--they're so sexy i am inspired
to spit some snot onto the sidewalk


along a



what folks don't know
by t. zoey benally

over and over throughout this life
the people i love at one time or another
have tried to punish me for being me.

days and days will go by and they will
deny me the things i love the best
met with silence, arms remain closed.

and when they begin, they often
get stuck in a holding pattern, forget
their original goal, lose themselves in BIA-ness.

i am left watching them ensconsed in
self-righteousness, cloaked in judgement,
earth circles spent on nothing.

but what they don't realize is that
i am not afraid, not afraid of me
and no amount of torture
will make me betray me.


oneword: sage
by t. zoEy benally

i must run slow like a cow
thick hooves clomp river rocks
slow legs support a huge slab o' beef
slide slowly through sagebrush and tumbleweeds
slow red cow runner attracts horse flies
with their bayonette proboscis
sticky starved tongue
to lap up blood pooled
on the back of my lumbering cow leg.


oneword: pane
by t. zoEy benally

thomas stared through the window pane
absorbed the ringing thump of rain bullets
pelted on the galvanized roof
acid rain dissolved traces of zinc
and it ran down gutters
collecting bits of lead from paint
and soaked into the ground
showered tomato plants
festive blooms perched at odd
angles on their angelic heads


oneword: punch
by t. zoEy benally

thick red syrup glugged out the narrow end, leapt into the pitcher, thinner than honey and much cooler than the stuff that pours out from Pompeii; he slid the pitcher under the faucet, glass scratched againt stainless steel, and approximated the amount to make one liter of punch.


oneword: faces
by t. zoEy benally

she faces away from the wind, doesn't like sand blow into her eyes, did not really mind sand blasted into her scalp, snugged near hair folicles, tucked beside hair shafts, boulders kneel at the base of tall, leafless trees.


oneword: roll
by t. zoEy benally

it turned to a greasy smear on the sidewalk concrete
candy oils creeped into grey crevices
abandoned tootsie roll left over after the fair


oneword: base
by t. zoEy benally

7 inch strip at the wall base
covered in dark chocolate rubber
to protect dry wall
and latex paint
from muddy
pine-sol scented
mop water


maybe it doesn't make sense
by t. zoEy benally

i wipe fine cemetary dust off my work shoes
and it all makes sense, ummm--well it sorta makes sense
okay--it doesn't make a damn bit of sense

he was like a cloud, normally gentle, but prone to outbursts
he was an expressive, articulate, and he loved quality
sometimes extravegant, sometimes lavish
but always just a little bit of opulence
sadly, he is another wanderer i will not bump into again

and i kinda think maybe i know why he did what he did
i think it was because he could not escape the fine
cemetery dirt that supported the aluminum frames, planks
covered with olefin grass carpet, smack dab between
yellow and blue on the color spectrum, dirt imbedded in seams

could not escape the grim foundations that support
all the luxuriant and sumptuous things in this world
could not forget the drilled earth, dug mines, and tailings
could not erase the fact that our sovereign nation
is held in trust and we don't even own air space above it
okay--maybe it was just because of love?

the last time i saw him we were shopping in Hobby Lobby
and i recall his voice, and the solar timbre
as he told me how excited he was to work at the college
i remember his squinty smile and the way his bangs
licked ebony across his forhead, he was decked out,
large turquoise chunks strung audaciously

the time before that i don't remember the location
but i remember he talked about working on computers
for a hospital, but he never told me he had been
to Italy, never told me he had seen operas
also never told me his email address

but the time before that i had him all to myself
my grandson, Naneesht'ezhi Tachiinii link
on a bus from Buffalo--NY to Niagra Falls
he made me laugh until i got the chills
singing a Navajo song about a little dog

he remembered the pin i wore with my velvet shirt
Navajo woman profiled, silver etched with turquoise earring
he said he remembered it from junior high band
when we marched in velveteen shirts and white pants
he played second clarinet

and i remembered how impressed i always was
that he could speak both Navajo and English
so eloquently, and secretly wished he would teach me
because no one else called me Masaan, and now i wish
i could also remember English words only he would use

but it sorta makes sense, maybe makes sense
okay--it totally doesn't make any sense at all
that it would be powdery yellow dust
not completely wiped off shoes in the end.


oneword: ridge
by t. zoEy benally

my right leg barely shoves the aluminum pedal to the lowest point in it's rotation, and my shoulder muscles burn with lactic acid as they command my arms to veer off the rutt ridge left over from three glaaniis caught in the last big rainstorm


oneword: plumb

by t. zoEy benally

red hills slid down, clay topped inclines supported the too thick cement foundation slabs, and with eyes squinted by the sun he raised the solid metal mass into the air to see if the line was plumb


my week in ABQ
by t. zoEy benally

one of my friends hears "Abiquiu" everytime i say "A-B-Q"
his questions baffled me, until i realized
so i threw in a quick "Albuquerque," just to clear up the confusion

late Wednesday morning the sun was eye squinty in Shiprock
i galloped my silver pony east, cutting across the NAPI edge
we continued at a gallop southeast to Cuba

i hopped off and we walked through Cuba, admiring pine and elm trees
i should have taken a picture of the signs, the 2 dollar part at least
sadly it would be the last time we would see 2.93 gas in Cuba

we resumed our original pace after the hill and curve
we passed lumbering semi beasts and pokey domestic donkeys
a Texas longhorn latched onto us and followed us through Bernalillo

i checked into the hotel, and left the pony content to gnosh greens
the training was in full swing, i made it in time for my first section
my colleagues and i finished off the day and made plans for the evening

sushi was first on the list--beloved Sushi King--adored by 3 year olds
the world over! then a trek around downtown, slightly skewed
made much more entertaining by green filters

the next day was similar to the first, training, then food adventures
Vietnam 2000 was Thusday's adventure, then a visit with an old
friend from 1st grade, a friend that remembers much more than i!

Friday was the end of the training, and no matter how many trainings i do
i always feel sad, always wish i could continue work with new potential
we quietly packed remnants into boxes and carried them out to the van

i cruise north Rio Grande, quest to find MPH program director's house
i don't remember it being so far out! i don't remember that curve!
i try not to second guess myself and keep the pony moving forward

we find the graduation afterparty and narrowly evade leftovers!
i'm not a very good Navajo--bad at feeding guests, despiser of leftovers...
i feel my positive feedback insomnia loop kicking in--....must ...sleep

i crawl between hotel sheets, dream for an hour of non-threatening
colors, shapes, and smells, listen to Law and Order in my sleep
no world problems solved in that quick selfish bit of sleep

groggily i steer pony back down Indian School, picking our way
carefully through side streets, taking care not to careen into arroyos
i leave pony in a quiet area, a good distance from the Blue Dragon

the poets are wonderful, but it takes too long for the two vats
of iced coffee to kick in and i must go dancing and sweat the caffeine
out of my veins, so that i can sleep and dream of threatening things

in the morning, i pack pony, and slowly meander out of ABQ
we meet a friend at the Range in Bernalillo to eat breakfast
then begin the long journey back to SR


one word: clad
by t. zoEy benally

clad only in wet fear--i lie awake surrounded by dark. weighed down by water embedded into terrycloth--i ponder solutions, but cannot move beneath the weight of this fear shroud that has descended upon me, that has been thrown upon me by my own hands.


today eye had lunch at Rez Rock Cafe
eye had the only thing on the menu
that eye can eat there--tuna salad sandwich
it used to be better, but it got lame...
eye need to walk another 2K steps before midnight
eye rode my bike home in the rain
eye enjoyed it, except for the bridge
the New Mexico state guys are doing repairs
eye got nervous, but fortunately no one ran me over
by the way... that is my eye!


Congratulations My Friend
by t. zoEy benally

Congratulations my friend on your graduation today
It was thrilling to watch
You lean into the red tape stretched
Across the bureaucracy threshold
As I watched I felt smooth heart muscles pinch
Pain crawled up my throat
It used hyaline cartilage ridges as foot and hand holds
Shoving dirty fingernails into pink epithelia
Liquid from my heart was diverted
To tear ducts, and heavy weights
Were applied to my smile corners
And I swear that this is how it feels
When your heart is broken
Another friend later confirmed this--
He once felt the same way about a stripper
Congratulations my friend, even though
I really wanted to run and bury my face
In my hands and let the plasma run
I knew I must stand witness
So I scrawled notes in my notebook
Letters leaned left and right
As if repulsed to find themselves
In the same sentence
Normally they push anxiously forward
Strain to get everything out
So we can all get to work
And save our little corner of the world
I planted my feet, squared my shoulders
I knew I must keep myself there
To watch and listen, so that I could remember
Because history always repeats itself
Congratulations my friend
My ears ache now from bleated
Squeak stanzas squeezed from unbalanced
Merry-go-rounds and Ferris wheels
I cringe at the screamed ultrasonic terror
Of salted slugs, and their shivered suffering
Turgor pressure drop, flaccid cell flop
And I remember two conversations--
How if they had not occurred
I might be able cheer
Along with everyone else
Congratulations my friend
I feel like Steven Jobs
To your Bill Gates
I feel robbed of opportunity
All because of one letter


was blind, but now i see...
by t. zoEy benally

you follow in the footsteps of Santa
lumber calmly down moonlit path, away,
dew coated pebbles bounce reflected sunlight,
sent on your way because i no longer
believe in you.

your fairy dust sparkles continue
to fade, plastic coat scuffed, scratched
dim the amount of glitter that ricochets
energy three hundred thousand
kilometers per second because you
cannot deliver.

i believed you when i was young
believed that things would be better
that we would make a difference,
go places, make changes, have fun
i believed and followed with blind eyes
wide, hands and wallet open.

but now the thick crust i thought
was love has peeled from my eyes,
dessicated bacteria and white blood cells
suspended in plasma, shriveled red blood
cells, congregated on vitamin K lattice work
and i see what was really going on.


weekend away
by t. zoEy benally

we disappeared into the garish depths
of the glittering world this weekend
waded-in the shallow end by Sandia Star
held our noses, wet our sweltering heads
predicted to be permanently overheated
lips parched and cracked by inaugural
greenhouse conditions, hatched in our
small desert, unwelcome visitor imposed

we continually pay for the televised world
so it's only fair that we be allowed in
mustard layers billowed out of ash stacks
under fluffy white emission disguise
ocher air, brimming with ozone, but not
the kind that would patch the hole
over antarctica or the rain forests
another people that pay for shiny lights

we wandered the malls, checked out excess
marked down, 75% off, unsold piles
of Christmas decorations, ornaments
dug from our hillsides, sucked from our land
hydrogen sulfide gas released, pooling
around hogans, corrals, dense black
poison earth flatulence, vented
excess cooled and washed with our water

we drove streets and admired houses
where families "do their part" in hopes of
"saving the earth," plastic containers sorted
cardboard allegedly recycled, relieving
them of guilt so they can swim Wal-mart
parking lots, silently tail pedestrians back to
their vehicles, dorsal fin poised prepared to attack
and claim a really close parking spot

we disappeared this weekend, watched television
took showers, flushed the toilet, washed our hands
and faces without leaving the warm hotel room
the floor was carpeted, no gritty sand duned along
window sills, a faux grass mat welcomed us

we disappeared for a weekend, but we are back
hooked up, rubber needles sunk again
into our arms, eternal plasma donors
funding the glittering world with our father,
mother, imprisoned by the gambler, pleasant
in his white marble pueblo in the east
oh, and he sent email while we were gone
to let us know he cut our medical care by 33%


where ever you are now--stay there
by t. zoEy benally

where ever you are now--stay there
eyes awash in liquid crystal display glow
stay, and answer that phone call like you always do
chatter happily with important colleagues
continue networking, power elbow rubs
stay, and pass a little more judgment on so called
team members, relax, gossip, plot, scheme and breathe

whatever you are now doing--keep at it
recklessly drive, speed, 70 MPH, your important
self toward that urgent email box, spewing
alerts like so much volcanic lava and ash
dial that cellphone, shift your eyes from the road
half mile inattention increments for each number
don't let my passing alter your activities

if you didn't give me petals from your heart
bouquets from your mind and soul
precious jewel minutes, intact, unfractured
if i wasn't important enough to merit
an answer to my emails, messages, questions
then keep your cheap plastic flowers
selfish tears, filled with your secret minerals

i am not needed where you are now
so when i am gone, remain there
continue to perch, vulture, on dried juniper
do not circle my empty corpse
once it has been abandoned by this spirit
my ebullient intellect, ideas, creativity, that you fear
stay in your tree, head hooked over pebble heart

i will have no need for your tardy tears
will not appreciate embellished stories
of times we never spent together, shared
i will not even acknowledge ATP expended
body moisture lost after i am dead
so where ever you are now, while i am here
stay there, when i am dead


by t. zoey benally

indian designs traverse box edges
sweet dust puffs from frayed corners
brown fibers possess boiled grits flavor
and when you tear taped seams, hollow
sounds vibrate through this conglomeration
of ninety degree angles


by t. zoEy benally

i just carried a box full of records
2 miles from the post office
home in the rain, semis throwing
small chunks of mud at me

i watched my significant other zip past
one mile from home, and i knew
deep in the aching muscles
of my shoulders, forearms, biceps
tired hand tendons, no relief
that i am no more obvious to him
than a mangy stray dog
and these are HIS records!

and before that, i exchanged emails
with an instructor that scheduled
the same day we are performing
at Sparrows Poetry Festival
despite my having informed him,
links included, several weeks before

i can see the wimpy dominoes
crashing into each other in a massive
tsunami that will wash all my work
towards graduating in May
down towards life's floor drain
where it will swirl, gathering
lost pubic hairs, dried snot
and swallow down crusted pipes
i will lose elective credits
my University of Michigan biostatistics
credits will expire, and i will end up
driving back and forth to ABQ
to retake these units, increasing
my risk of being taken out
by a glaanii, speeder
or sleepy person
on NM 550...

...and i type this trying to beat the clock
trying to slip under the wire
of the scheduled blogger outage
at 4PM PST!


one word: click
by t. zoEy benally

ninety degrees of metal bites 90 degree metal
silver teeth slide and click, crystal structure shock
corners pinch together, cubist shoulders rub
descend right angle staircases, 11 by seven


one word: pane
by t. zoEy benally

green bottles, brown bottles, clear bottles
recline atop rough cedar tree shade house beams
no doubt chopped, axe nibble, round and round
hands blistered, dribbled sweat burned eyes
now sun shines through improvised skylight
red and amber bottle pane watercolors
tortillas, roast mutton, chili, soda pop and salt

it's freaky that this word came back up on oneword again! fortunately i wrote something totally different than before.


sand under the guardrail
washed down from the hill
presumably headed to the river
small, dirty beach pooled
on concrete at the bridge edge
little pebbles and sticks lounge
no ocean waves lap, no wetness
for the pile of sand trapped
under the guardrail