The Place Where All Horizons Meet

“bring me
the horizon”
you said…

as if horizons
were singular,
just some
pearl, some
place to
tumblr_n2rlthrgkx1qb30dwo1_500you show what
you don’t know
when you asked,
you don’t
“I am horizons” I said
and rose my sun over
my mountains, casting
crimson crowns in
delicate dewdrops,
hanging pearls on
silk-stranded soft edges
soft, all my edges, all my
vast untrammeled lands
met together, met together
on my skin translucent.

(or, is it in?
in my skin,

opalescent, white,

translucent skin
trammeled skin
tattooed skin
my skin
(my skins)
unstained and stained
all at once and only
by the shadows of the past
marking me indelible
in shadows playing
hide and seek with shades
tumblr_o4q9jrKTyG1trdezwo1_500(on my hide,
in my hide
so pure and
so unblemished
but only on
the outside)

shades that
lurk and lurch and loom,
arising from some world of
yesterday revolving ever in
my mind, in my
imagination, in
my tears that run
everlasting down my cheeks
in waterfall kisses
of grief…
and that horizon where past
and present and future
meet in shadows,
in kabuki dancers
dancing ever on my skin
and I feel its pressure deep within,
the coming presence of a moment,
a moment sacred, a pregnant moment,

it feels so light,
it feels so heavy,
it sets me free
and paralyzes
with crippling fear
and aching purpose

in me,
the place
where all
horizons meet.


The Aggregate

There are blows in life.  Some of them are soft, lil love taps from beyond and they leave a red mark but you know it is gonna fade.  Others…well, they will leave bruises, and yet those mottled tattooes of violence and hurt are temporary too.

Some of them are so bad that they break parts of us off completely, and we have to heal and go on.

But the things I wanna talk about here are the ones that are so small, so tiny by comparison, and so constant.

I am talking about the aggregate effect of blows that come to people who are unable to heal from the last one by the time the next blow lands.
And in general, this aggregation is not the same for a cis-het person as it is for a transgender person…dysphoria has a tendency to make the blows extra sticky.  In fact, I would say that the slings and arrows and attacks that we face as transgender people more closely resemble concussion syndrome than anything else:


….blow magnifies…..


and gets WORSE and WORSE…

So you can end up pushed absolutely into the red zone, completely pegged out at your absolute capacity to endure the words and looks and spurnings of the majority of people you meet…and one small word lands and shakes things exponentially yet again…and poof…….

you are falling, having been pushed too far and you are over the edge.
And that is when the desperation sets in…when you literally do not feel like going on anymore…when it doesn’t matter if you go on because no matter what there are always gonna be the ones poised to pounce and hurt…ready to throw your past into your face…ready to out you for their own purposes and without your permission.  And then they reason that “Hey, you are an out trans-woman so what is the big deal?”  Never recognizing that they have robbed you of your voice and your words to tell your own story in your own way.

I will confess that I choke on words when I reach out to someone in desperation, needing to talk with someone who would listen and understand and accept…and then hear their “counsel” back is “Charissa you shouldn’t talk about it so much.”

So…hold it in and die in the aggregated crush of burdens…or talk about it and be rebuked.

In times like these?  It is tough to see any good reason to keep ontumblr_nylx6zqH7U1usjcy3o1_1280

and Roses

sometimes I wonder about my life
here in darkness, here with bones
here in this hole in the dust.

who knew that a hole could be full
of anything but blank and black?
It’s full of me, and full of bones, and back

lifted, arched towards the sky
an umbrella raised to shelter some
deep work of resurrection and roses.

and roses.
Incarnate Dead
Roses, and Holy Saturday
that is my life, caught between
the knitting needles of time and its end…

hung, strung, in one
big long wait in darkness
and no sound and no breath.

outside, I hear rumors of things
like stars wheeling and cards dealing
and people crying, lonely sighing

and roses.

“The Art of Blessing the Day” by Marge Piercy

The Art of Blessing the Day

This is the blessing for rain after drought:
Come down, wash the air so it shimmers,
a perfumed shawl of lavender chiffon.
Let the parched leaves suckle and swell.
Enter my skin, wash me for the little
chrysalis of sleep rocked in your plashing.
In the morning the world is peeled to shining.

This is the blessing for sun after long rain:
Now everything shakes itself free and rises.
The trees are bright as pushcart ices.
Every last lily opens its satin thighs.
The bees dance and roll in pollen
and the cardinal at the top of the pine
sings at full throttle, fountaining.

This is the blessing for a ripe peach:
This is luck made round. Frost can nip
the blossom, kill the bee. It can drop,
a hard green useless nut. Brown fungus,
the burrowing worm that coils in rot can
blemish it and wind crush it on the ground.
Yet this peach fills my mouth with juicy sun.

This is the blessing for the first garden tomato:
Those green boxes of tasteless acid the store
sells in January, those red things with the savor
of wet chalk, they mock your fragrant name.
How fat and sweet you are weighing down my palm,
warm as the flank of a cow in the sun.
You are the savor of summer in a thin red skin.

This is the blessing for a political victory:
Although I shall not forget that things
work in increments and epicycles and sometime
leaps that half the time fall back down,
let’s not relinquish dancing while the music
fits into our hips and bounces our heels.
We must never forget, pleasure is real as pain.

The blessing for the return of a favorite cat,
the blessing for love returned, for friends’
return, for money received unexpected,
the blessing for the rising of the bread,
the sun, the oppressed. I am not sentimental
about old men mumbling the Hebrew by rote
with no more feeling than one says gesundheit.

But the discipline of blessings is to taste
each moment, the bitter, the sour, the sweet
and the salty, and be glad for what does not
hurt. The art is in compressing attention
to each little and big blossom of the tree
of life, to let the tongue sing each fruit,
its savor, its aroma and its use.

Attention is love, what we must give
children, mothers, fathers, pets,
our friends, the news, the woes of others.
What we want to change we curse and then
pick up a tool. Bless whatever you can
with eyes and hands and tongue. If you
can’t bless it, get ready to make it new.


always on the outside

the dishwasher blasted on, heat and water and sound…white noise and clean water jetting against the dishes until their bones were bleached, picked clean and dry.

in the kitchen, the sound of women laughing, easy-talking and including one another wafted thru the air, and reached back back back to me there, in the dish room…and outside.

always outside

there was one who used to talk to me a lot…but got too naked a view of the broken tumblage within me, the shards and jagged edges of my soul and the way that my emotions (amplified by brain trauma) are at times a runaway train with no options but the wall at the end and the carnage of the full speed collision…and so she pulled back…

way back so that she does not even greet me by name anymore.  just the casual nice-nice.

i brought it on myself, i guess.  i don’t have the cotillion dress manners and savoir faire…i am all “big-girl” hips and belly and shoulders and thighs and voice torn by testosterone and ruined…

they will never really know how outside i am, and how could they?  they have no clue there is a side known as out cus they are in.  always inside.

but i listened, savored, much like a peasant would look on from afar at revelries in the distant high castle, and felt good that there was happiness and joy in the world.

but i missed my quiet and solitary kitchbah turned loud and crowded kitchen…

and then i heard Mama whisper to me…it is the lowest place…the place of least honor…it is the loneliest place that She haunts, and it is there She takes up residence.

and so i embrace it, and hang on.

i give thanks that i am here…and can hear…and can bask in the glow of the bright suns around me.FB_IMG_1447349130732


That Never-forgetful Wind

some say the wind forgets what it touches,
forgets what it tastes, what it pushes
but I say the wind in the branches and rushes
and rippling the water with fingers and tongue
never ever forgets anything.

in the air that it pushes are draughts and elixirs
the mineral walls that it scratches and itches
are under its fingernails rakey, ah trickster
wind tasting and touching and saving and twitching
and never forgetting a thing.

and I find in me a wind, echoing that one
that tosses the stars around like they are dust
and my wind finds everyplace, my every cranny done
sparkly or plain or shallow, it simply must
always remember whatever it knows.

some say the wind forgets
but I know different.

The Story of Esther…told with SPUNK!!

 Found online:  not written by me but GAWD I wish!!!

anonymous asked:

Cat Cat Cat! Purim is coming up soon. Can you tell us the Purim story, with swears?

swanjolras answered:

oh my god, is this my thing now. OKAY, fair warning, this one’s gonna be… real long.

OKAY SO LIKE. way back in the waybackwhen, we’ve been kicked outta judea for the… first? second? first time.

(we got kicked out of israel/judea a… few times. we got kicked out of spain twice, we got kicked out of the netherlands three times, we got kicked out of france and bavaria five times, we got kicked out ofmainz in particular four times…god bless the gentiles honestly they’re god’s appointed travel agency. ANYWAY)

so we’re in persia. and we’re under the rule of king ahasueare– king ahahasay– king ahasueueueueue-


and king ahdahahaah has a wife, vashti, who is among the hottest women in the whole country. like. picture michelle obama crossed with robin wright. sort of like a 40-year-old raven symone. are you picturing it? good. king ashashsasd isn’t. cos she’s hiding in her room


vashti is like ughhhhhhhh FINE

king aaaaaaahhahaha is like …ONLY YOUR CROWN

vashti is like …not fine

so, because this is ancient persia and men are terrible, vashti is promptly divorced and king aughjesus decides to hold the Country’s Biggest Beauty Contest, where the Most Beautiful Women in Persia will all audition to be his wife!!! (I TOLD YOU MEN WERE TERRIBLE)


haman, a smug motherfucker with a three-pointed hat, size 7, and a zero-pointed ego, size 300; a councillor for the king. haman, because ancient persia does not have any kind of government that could reasonably be labeled “sensible”, writes and institutes a law that says Everyone In This Country Must Bow Down To Me When I Pass, because Reasons.

BUT, guess who does not bow down to people, you guessed right,it is the jews. chiefly and specifically in this instance an equallysmug (but much less powerful) motherfucker by the name of mordecai.

haman passes mordecai, is like “you don’t look like you’re bowing??? that is not a bow shape??? exPLAIN.” mordecai is like “r u god? i don’t think yr god? i think god would have better taste in hats? so”

and haman is IRKED but THEN mordecai overhears two courtiers having a conversation that goes something along the lines of:

COURTIER ONE: i am going to kill the king

COURTIER TWO: wow, what a coincidence, so am i

COURTIER ONE: lots of killing. like. a bunch. so much of the being killed is going to happen

COURTIER TWO: great plan.

and mordecai is like, well. that’s not good, but also… that’s good… because i’m gonna go and. tell the king. that’s a thing i’m gonna do, right now, and the king is like SHIT!!! THAT SOUNDS IMPORTANT, SOMEONE GO KILL THOSE DUDES, and those dudes are gone killed

and the king goes to haman, our motherfucker with the terrible hat, and goes “theoretically, my bro. if there was a dude so fab you had to honor him, like, the most. how would you do that thing” and haman’s like “ah! this theoretical person! definitely not me! i would, theoretically, give that person a fuckton of money and also fancy clothes and also tell the kingdom that they were the best in persia. that is what i would do for mys- for them.”


…anyway haman is plotting like a motherfucker, which he is, and mordecai is mad afraid, but there is no time for plotting or fear because guess what it’s beauty contest time, motherfuckers

and guess who mordecai has enrolled in it, it is HIS NIECE, ESTHER

esther is hotter than vashti, but, like, in a chiller way. in my head, samira wiley.

(in my head, esther is a lesbian. in my head esther is my girlfriend. right. ANYWAY)

king ahooleyhoo immediately picks esther, as she is the Most Beautiful Woman In A Ten Thousand Mile Radius (as are all jews OBVIOUSLY), and she is taken up into the palace to be the most beautiful and powerful woman in a ten thousand mile radius. and she is also mad smart, so

what does a mad smart woman do? a mad smart woman does not tell her new husband, the king of the persians, that she is jewish. that is a smart move.

meanwhile haman has finished his Plotting and has resulted in this: he is going to get revenge against mordecai by Killing All The Jews.

“oh yeah,” say the jews. “real original.”

meanwhile esther is wandering around in king asdfasdfasdf’s palace, where there is literally no kosher food, because the only people who could order kosher food prepares specially would be a) the king (who does not know she is a jew) or b) haman (who is a motherfucker).

so esther’s eating seeds and nuts and gettin increasingly hungry and increasingly irritated and eventually she’s like, HUSBAND DARLING, CAN I SEE MY UNCLE; the king says yes, upon which mordecai is like ESTHER? ESTHER HAMAN IS PLOTTING TO KILL US ALL. ALL THE JEWS. DO SOMETHING

esther is like, i have a solution to this. the solution involves getting naked.

so she holds a banquet for her husband the king, and at the banquet is like WOW… GOSH… I’M VERY NAKED… AT THIS BEAUTIFUL BANQUET WITH KEGSTANDS. WOULD YOU LIKE TO HAVE A LOT OF SEX AND GOOD FOOD, DARLING HUSBAND

darling husband is like fuck yes, gets drunk as shit. esther is like okay. yes. now that you are full of good food and heavily sexed up, can i have a thing. can that thing be that you vow to protect me from anyone who wants to kill me

…sure, says king aheshehaara. i mean. as things to ask for go. that went

great, says esther. havin a banquet tomorrow night too. be there or be square

king ajldfghfdghk;dfghufgsdoi has no desire to be square, so he comes to the banquet tomorrow night to find that esther has also invited… HAMAN? “well,” he thinks to himself, “i have never pictured this threesome before, but y’know what, life is a rich tapestry”

but they are eating? and not sexing? and eventually esther goes “ah okay remember that promise to protect me from anyone who would kill me. what if i told you. i knew a dude who would do that thing”

“I WOULD SUPER KILL THAT DUDE,” says king ahassafrass, who has exactly 2 problem-solving methods

“great,” says esther. “what if i told you… THIS IS THE DUDE”

!!!!! says king ahahahahhfewsse.

!!!!!! says esther.

¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡ says haman.


and the king has haman hanged on the gallows on which he was planning to hang all the jews. and guess who is instituted as councillor in his place, that’s right, IT’S MORDECAI

who declares that the anniversary of Us Not Being Dead shall be celebrated every year forever with dressing up in costumes, and also that we shall eat little cookies shaped like haman’s hat, and also that whenever haman’s name is mentioned we will yell like hell

hey, says king aharseadslic. could, theoretically, this holiday include getting so drunk you can’t tell the difference between mordecai and haman

…i guess so, says mordecai

right, says king ahasuerus. carry on, haman


so pour yrself a whiskey, put on a fake beard, and raise a glass: it’s purim 5776, and guess what, motherfuckers?

you still ain’t managed to kill us yet.

Such A Beautiful Disruptive Moment

the dam finally broke, and
I just kept smiling, smiling,
smiling like Aphrodite.
and why wouldn’t I?

tornados run across this fruited plain
fires race around these redwood trunks
each one natural, powerful, hungry,
and THOSE things, well…
I think I would run
I know I would

but a dam? well, pshaw!
a man made that, thinking
to choke out a river?  HAH!
stupid dolt, we just kept pushing

Aphrodite and I.
I kept smiling because She
gives me Her Nod, Her
quick chin lift and dancing
bright flashing eyes that tell me

every hour is Holy
every sensual second
is Sacred in its quick
butterfly rise and its

sad sinking sunset.
and that pile of patriarchy
eminent in threat and rattley-death
hard and straight and deaf and dumb
(fee fie foe fum!!)

jammed down Her fertile river-craw,
those dirty fingers down the throat of love
that choking violating deep and rough and raw
in turbine hums exploding in the cries of mourning doves
well it’s blown now…and on the run
in painful splintery disjointed strides
streaked with dirty water and rust
and ruined careful engineered remains.

and Aphrodite, that river, and me
lick at the bones with our eyes
and our waters and our ululating
triumphal throat-splitting ear-spitting

We suck, we clean, we set free and tear
the stench of man right out of marrow
and sow Sacred Communion, Holy Power
of Body and Blood anew across the waters,

alive again, alive
those waters once again
So…keep smiling and just yank
that unruly thread until it comes unfurled
and falls apart, all fall down
in one beautiful disruptive moment

such a beautiful disruptive moment.

Me Moon

when you speak of me
you speak of weeds and brambles
thorns, nettles and stoney ground.

when you think of me
it’s craters and dark
and bare landscape stark
and lacking curves.
I am gardens, moon, roses, sea.
I am me, in bowers and blooms
and labyrinth beds of unusual growth.
I am small trees and tall firs 
fragrance stirs, honey bees

I am Grace in the echo
of the moon’s deep wells
I am tides reaching and running
yearning and aching

I am reflected light
soft yet bright
sometimes yes often no
but always…always…
always aglow

Please…think of what you know.

the endless ache of bones
the songs sung in your marrow
the shadow in your eyes
the light that holds your heart

think of who you know

when gravity gives up
finally worn out
in my grave insistent
persistence at breathing.
tumblr_o46w3ckPYT1s93t2co1_540And why…yes, this is important
the why of me
dancing on desolation
rhyming in respiration
overthrowing tables of treason

and though it is dark,
it is not night, My Love,
it is the season of silence
that speaks, that sings
sings in me garden
sings in me moon
sings in me roses
sings in me sea
sings in me

Live Life Laff Love Lift

I’m awake now, seeing what I see.
I am scared, scarred, and yet unflinching free
you have lined me, scored me,
blew smoke in my face
but though I blink, I do not shirk
my ever choice for grace
but I am becoming…dangerous, un-dis-eased
at home in my skin
and learning how to harbor deep
my treasure-heart within
my chest, within my me
within this cage of bone and flesh
within my life decree where grace
and Grace and I do mesh
live live live live live
Life Life Life Life Life
laugh laugh laugh laugh
Love Love Love Love Love
lift lift lift lift lift

A Seascape Moment

the careless sowing of seaweed
in the currents, in the tides
in and out and out and in and in

the fog clinging melancholy
to its ever love green heart
hills, bristly beneath its touch

the singing needles verdant
joying in the glimmering sun
glancing off the bright dancing waters

the artful accidental masterpiece
of a world random in Intentioned Love
and the soft mercy of knowing eyes

and you, me, a part of everything
apart from everything
and everything in its place

Crushed In Switzerland

that illusion is breaking up
like ice squeezed tight and crushed
in the fists of inevitability
and spring

there is no such thing as neutral
in a world pulled tight, pulled taut
between that endless winter
cold and bleak
and ravenous in black
consuming every weak
meek heart and undefended

and the coming
time of harvest
when all things
are marked
paid in full
and the ever-day
dawns without the sun
and sings unto the moon

“olly olly oxen free!!”

But you, like the ice
must be broken up
must choose to become
either water, or air
or forever frozen
in evil’s horrid grip

You must become
crushed in Switzerland
and thus set free forever

Miss You

I miss you…I miss you so, in tears
I miss you with nerves frayed
nerves ‘fraid
and nerves numb
but never quiet
I miss you in rainbows and winds
and the stir of the leaves
amidst the plum blossoms
and wild cherry petals
streaming down
like the tears I cry
in my longing for your
Image 001


This poem is one year old…I wrote it last year trying to deal with my worst enemy in this world.

I wanted to repost it, because frankly right now there is a great deal of uncertainty in my life…forces vie and swirl around me. People are easily inconsistent and squirt out in weak places…some vie for power, and some seek to judge from outside observation and have no clue about inside motivations…to give up power in deference to one who seeks it, only to have another assume that I am shirking my duties hurts me immensely.

I think most of those feelings are exacerbated by my old enemy:


You, long my nemesis and hater of my soul. You’ve chilled my days and frozen all my long night’s coal in hours of stark terror and silent desperate screams on razor blades I’ve la…

Source: Abandonment

Marking Time

i’ve been marking time since day one
day by day by day by day by day
and for each spin around the sun
i carve a line within

i haven’t figured it all out,
not quite, not yet, not all
whether those lines mark the way
out of these bars or just pass the days

but now they are my act of faith,
my memorials stark and blue
and some day i’ll slip between them
or simply pass thru to you

i am marking time, my countdown to you

In The Heart Of My Heart

there is a small living fluttery thing,
inside me, inside my heart.
in the heart of my heart it dwells turbulently
colored yellow and red and green tufted wings
all hidden in browns and lonesome strange things.

it pummels against the bars of its cage
inside me, inside my heart.
in the heart of my heart it aches and it bleeds
from its rushes and thrashings at bars that won’t break
all the loneliest ache of my soul.
if i could discover a lost sacred knife
and cut my way into my heart
in the heart of my heart i would slice, i would gash
a bloody doorway rent with one razor slash
so that bird could take wing at long last.

crystal slim blade and dark russet wings
inside me, inside my heart.
in the bosom of my heart twine two holy things
the one who beats at me, the one that cuts free
in the heart of my heart of my heart.


i sit at the window
in my rosy chair
wrapped inside my blankets
missing cosy sleep

i stare into darkness
and try to lift the night
with an act of my sheer will
I try to light the sun

but the dark is heavy
it resists my grasp
claims that it has kismet
over my soft heart

everyday the sun comes up
and the dark recedes
but my captive heart’s still torn
and the wound still bleeds

Between Shadow and Reality

Your cannon eyes thunder without a sound
and the incoming scintillating round
whistles to me, till I look just in time
to get knocked backwards
into Kingdom come

you know, that tenuous tenebrous
gold-lined twilight of the soul.
It’s not nearly so glamorous
(or as agonizing) as that place
St John got so cross about.

This is the place that sits
on the dusty outskirts
of that land he called
the Dark Night of the Soul.
The wind blows across the mouth
of those cannon eyes and I swear
that in the mindless cheeping
of the springtime frogs I can hear
John Wayne out-shouting
John of the cross, declaring

“there’s a new sheriff in town, pilgrim!”
© Collection Feu Follet
The laws and logic of this place
hang in that suspension of being,
where soul and body swim
and are different and liquid.

Sometimes you eat the temporal
and sometimes the temporal eats you
while eternity is always hard to bear.
Shell-shocked and alone, I remind myself
that the logic of God is so different
to the logic of humanity.

Yet I still chase after shadows
a haunting enticement of so much
substance without being and
the substance myself.

where reality lies
and where shadows seduce.


On My Way To Trinidad

I saw the eagle soar that day
on my way to Trinidad
to walk from sidewalks, shops, trinkets
to redwoods tall and shady deep
Image 002
That eagle, beak hooked, gleaming bright
a yellow barb to hook the sun
and pull it there behind its flight
into the always never-end

of trees, and fogs and oceans song
of silences and sounds of streams
I was on my way to Trinidad
and melancholic bitter-sweet

In The Quiet Rain

here quiet
here quiet in the rain
in the dancing rain

the water
washes clean
the water washes all things
clean in the rain

and so
and so my clothes
and so my clothes no longer fit
at all in the shrinking rain

so I
will clothe myself
in veils and showers
of rain fresher than
the brand new spring

and older than my skin

Your Tragic Tranny Chalice (dedicated to Costco)

I was feeling fine, my day was good, and the sun shone outside.
As I walked the aisles looking for the stuff deemed so necessary
(after all, it HAS to be the Costco brand…cus KIRKLAND)
people smiled and we were soft on one another…

until I got to you, Checker, you with your fear become repulsion
become anger become hatred become revulsion become revenge
and your decision that I was a fraud and committing fraud
you who have let 5 ft tall dark skinned dark haired women
use the card of a nearly 6 ft tall blond norwegian woman
you who let half a dozen people use this common card,
the Holy Grail:  the Sacred Costco Card

and yet me, who most coincidentally and closely resembles the card holder
but happens to be trans, me…you choose to police.
And loudly, and publically and angrily, and relentlessly.

whoever you are, you hard hearted shrew, I hope you never feel the way I do
I hope it never happens to you, for it is worse than the underside of dog-vomit
which is about what you thought I was made out of, based on your words and tone.
and then when you called over the henchman to loudly flat out dehumanize
and disappear me into what you want me to be in…boxed in your word SIR
(as if sirs walk with flowers in their hair and flowing jewelry and trinkets and flair)

and everything inside that I was began to melt
it was your western version of acid in the face

thank you, Costco zombie of horror and hate.
you don’t even remember anything but
the spectacle of tears and your own sweet wine
of derision that you drank from my heart become your tragic tranny chalice

but I will never be able to forget, because your acid burns my face yet and still

and I don’t even know if anyone cared enough to hold you accountable
and that diminishes me further, becoming even more of no account or worth

may the Lord restore my heart and give again to me an unscarred face

Here Among These Ruins

I spend a lotta time out here,
in these ruins made so soft
with moss and time’s unceasing flow
that rubs away the razor edge

and dulls the sharpest aching grief
that haunts and sanctifies those things
amidst the stones that sing of glory
here, abandoned and now gently

haunting precious mourning here

among these ruins

At The Rim Of My Soul’s Furthest Reach

There’s a universe inside me, bound
between my soul-yearn’s furthest reach
and my bleak body’s dullest beach,
a nexus edge, of light and dirt
Bright pin-prick sharp stars pierce my heart
and shards, a thousand brilliant shards
release their shattered broken song
in full throat glory greater than…
and I swallow my tears, my pain
and my hurt too and hope this gain
this extra gravity jars loose
those stars from my deep skies inside
and shoot them streaming fiery
and hopeful and without limit
thru endless skies within my soul
until they finally hit that wall
at the horizon where my body
and my spirit dance…just at
the limit…and if they, perchance?  Should MEET?
Oh…the Fireworks!! The GLANCE!
And then shall the night finally
become complete and my soft eyes
shall finally close and come to rest,
my heart shall at last breathe it’s best
at the rim
of my soul’s
furthest reach

Of Such Hot Indifference

when you walked into the room
you smiled and blew out your breath
upwards, at the locks that impishly
strayed into the wide clear fields
of your forehead.

they puffed backwards, but danced
on the verge of mischievous descent
back down into your field of vision.

when you saw my dusty hands
you smiled and thought pastry-thoughts
and rumbled your tummy in ever-hope
of tidbits, delectable deliberate sweet nothings
such as you had become accustomed to
and assumed would be ever-there…

but your hair fell again
across your face and in your eyes
and it fractured your line of sight

…and thus it was that you failed
to notice that the dust on my hands
wasn’t flour at all

but just the remains of the body
cremated in the fires

of such hot indifference

The Glance of the Moon

as tears well

(it’s funny that tears
well most well
when I am not well)

up in my eyes
and they go all limpid
I limp around the room
I see the angles, the planes,

the endless lines
and sharp edges

of your geometry
and I am glad I am going
even though it hurts as much
being gone as it did being there

it’s just that my lines are round
my planes are spheres

and I have no angles
in the softness of my heart

and the glance of the moon

“All Means All”: A Meaningless Circular Statement

I love words…they are so powerful, so magical.

They are alive, they pulse and glow and they do things and go places that you might not mean for them to do and go…and this is especially the case when we use them carelessly and just spew them out because we can.

The biggest problem we face with words is that we forget that they mean something…and when we do that, we set them free to impose a meaning in a situation that controls and distorts reality from what is consciously heard on the surface of the words.

For instance:  saying “everything is red” is a meaningless statement, by definition.  “Everything” means all conceivable existing things without exclusion”…and thus, red would not exist, because how could there be any state of being or place of perception that was other than red and thus giving meaning to red as something distinct and identifiable?

We only know red in contrast to other colors…thus, it is impossible for “everything” to be red.  The more accurate statement would be “It was red as far as the eye could see” or some variant on that approach.

Recently, I heard someone posing a so-called logical argument that “All means all”, and thus there was no need to delineate who is included in “all”…imprecise shortcut thinking that ultimately is lazy and sloppy given this society we live in where “all” has meant white anglo saxon and protestant for about 300 years.

“All” needs some defining additions, some inclusive categories, because in America (alas) we have lived in blatant contradiction to our incredible founding documents…and in the church we have followed the way of the culture and turned out the poor, the needy, the wrong colored wrong gendered wrong orientated…

So what does All mean?

Let’s define it with something that says “included in our list, but not limited to just this list”…yeah, intentionally worded in an awkward way, because there are some really beautiful crafted statements extant that can be adopted…such as the great ELCA “Reconciling In Christ” statement…it gives specificity and depth to the platitude “All means all”.

As to the fears of “being branded?”

I think it would be pretty cool to be branded with the ideals of RIC to the point that when people saw me coming they said “Omg here comes that Charissa…she is branded with the Reconciling in Christ position that all are welcome to come to Jesus!”

I Like The Rhythms When We Love

i like the rhythms when we love
the way we move in time as one
and yet distinct and separate
and yet not separated

they come, the movements, just like waves
we wash up on each other’s sand
and drink up each one’s offerings
from shallows and from fathoms deep

and fingers move like lacy spray
and arms and legs like breakers sure
and hearts like rocks, like booming waves
and souls like everlasting sand

i like the rhythms when we love

Enough Water

“A tear is enough water to float a desire to God.”
— Charles Spurgeon

Oh God it is on oceans that
I float my heart to you,
my heart tragic and Titanic
and full of broken dreams

my tears feed every ocean that
ships sail upon so free
and so, will my desires, prayers,
and longings come to Thee?

as the passenger disembarks
and clambers from the boat
so I distinguish me from my
desires, they mere ships

to sail the oceans of the heart
to catch those winds so strong
and carry me home to You, God…
for this I ever long.
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in the forest, thru the mists
under grey clouds on the moor
I wander, wander…I linger

even though my time
here has passed and
so has day become night

and I a woman of the night
in all its mystery and splendour
and thus imbibe its secrets and its wonder

yet do I loiter…here in the forest
near the old house once filled
with glory and light and music

but now just an empty shell
under grey clouds on the moor
in the forests thru the mists


RECongress “Transgender Lives in the Church” Talk (Transcript)


This is one of the most amazing things I have ever read, and I cannot recommend it enough. Please please PLEASE take the time to read this.

Thank you Anna…brilliant and beautiful like you.

Catholic Trans*

This is the text of a talk I gave as part of a panel on “Transgender in the Church” at the Religious Education Congress in Anaheim, CA on February 27, 2016. You can order the audio here (#5-12).

Thank you all for being here and showing interest in this topic. Really, truly, thank you.

All of a sudden everyone is talking about “trans” issues… and I’m like wait, that’s me. I mean… my story’s kinda weird and everything, but whaaat!? And the thing is for 21 years no one cared about that story. It was a “phase,” or I was “experimenting.”

There’s the activist side of me, the philosophy major that kinda wants to give you the ABCs of trans issues. After all, we’re at an educator’s conference. But the thing is what we’re dealing with here isn’t primarily a movement or phenomenon; what we’re dealing with here are the…

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Cold Comfort

As it unfolds in front of me, that river
that river of green-streaked golden brown
that flow unceasing of time…that goes around
and comes around and goes around again
I can just make out in the flotsam and jetsam
all the refuse there that everyone has refused
to snatch up and drink and make a part
of their own will and way

I can just see those things that we threw
in together, wishing upon twinkles and glints
star-reflections ripply and quick on the river-folds
and they roll in time and show me their bellies to scratch
and I do, with recollections of willow days wandy
and star-nights silver thru the open window
wafting in the cool night breezes
that were the only blankets that we wore…
Image 001
and the birds, singing songs of light, of times
coming hopeful and bright and all full of promise
and trees reaching, straining to drink the cool peaceful night
and so standing tall as our example, bending graceful

in the wind and standing strong in the rain.
And now, your hope and promise has arrived,
drawn in reed baskets from that river
and denial done, death thwarted
(for some time anyway, a go-round or two)

and I sit for us both, on the high bluffs
that overlook that flow,
that go round of time relentless
but constant and thus of some cold comfort.

Such A Long Way Home

I have such a long way home
such a long league of the sea
the last one, longest of them all
as I swim home to my True me.

I have come so far across
the desert sands so red, so hot
no water any where to dip
my tongue, my pen, my deepest thought
But here I am, the sand and sea
embracing in an endless dance
where there is both and neither here
as I transform in this last chance

to swim the promised depths, my home
in waters full of mystery
I have such a long way home
but I will get there, true and free

A Different End To The Story

All full of himself and stiff
gait wobbly, bopping up and down
walk waggly, blipping circley side-side
aggressive lean forward looking
for something to pierce, to rip

pent up all day inside the clothes of decency
but out now, unleashed now from the world of men
and striding like Colossus thru the realm
of women and children and all that rage
and self loathing his ticket to intoxication…
just looking for a reason, a place
to vent…and vent that place, tear it
to shreds and bloody ruination plunging
his vicious teeth deep into soft innocent
flesh not yet on the planet 5 years.

He wore his privilege like porcupine quills.
And then his tongue, bullwhip cracking
his pig eyes squinty and squealy and sweaty
and his anger was only surpassed
by his sanctimonious self righteousness
and utter unawareness of anything but himself.

And I?  Constrained by bonds of love and consternation
responsible for hearts and souls, and yes his own as well
I bit my fucking lip until it bled, and imagined
my nails raking his face to shreds
the way his words tore the heart

from my precious precious angels
and here I sit, impotent work
with keyboard and words and tears
of sorrow, of ruination, of rage
and longing for the day when a man
won’t be such a dick.

I sit longing for a different end to the story.

My Exodus

I moved away while you weren’t watching
(it was easier than I thought it would be,
escaping past your X-Ray eyes
that look for flesh and blood and thus
missed my exodus)
Image 001
I live by the sea, now, high
above the sandy shore and on a bluff
that looks like it leans out
but really tucks back in
and stands in stone throw
to the singing sea-grass.

My house has seven windows
my house has one pure door
thru which no shadow enters
(for you won’t come to visit)
straight from the greenwood do you run
straight past my house without a glance
because the sea has given voice
to great desires, and great hungers

but you fail (as you once remembered)
to grasp the truth…these waters sing of me
my ever fall and rise, my adoration of your eyes
my ever in and out, my weeping heart, my spirit-shout
because I live between the forest and the sea
on a bluff there…I live
I live in that gulf between
you and me.