The opposite of living is not dying –
it is not living.
Existing is different. Surviving is different.
Counting minutes under
breaths of air and
dollar signs
is different

In many ways

life is but a whisper in a scheme,
a breath of air exhaled in wait.

I want to gather up branches
to crown the fruit of time
framed by genuine sound –
accidental laughter or
unexpected song –
what you hear when you catch people
whispering in wait.

Let’s just
stop contemplating history
and remember why we’re here –

Philosophy is a prescription for over-thinking;
dangerous when abused,
necessary for this stage of outburst –
poison overflowing cup,
just enough so that the first sip won’t kill you
and the next
but not in the sense of dying,
just in the sense of
the opposite of living.

Let’s just
keep contemplating
in the sense of gazing
like at stars
in space
where everything was known and never spoken,
translated into light and understood
and maybe surreal
in the sense of “above”,
but just for then,
for now,
for right,
for real,
it was real
and with real
and that moment, framed
with sound of unexpected song,
only felt
as ungasped gasp,
as a slowing of time,
as a stop
because this is living,
this is real,
this is –

Let’s just
keep contemplating –

I want to hear you whisper before you leave.

EJZ 07.29.2015

Sea Poem IV


I lie here, still,
in the sand
and am washed over
by thoughts of your touch.

I feel the ocean move toward me
Hear it, longing to enter the depths of my heart,
my body
my soul.

I see your face in the salt of the sea.

You move close enough to tickle my feet
and tease me with an ebb and flow of your tide.

Consume me in waters,
my restless one,
my sea-struck song,
my uncrossed bridge.

I long to taste you on my lips
and be washed away
by the crashing sounds of your love
and my bliss.

When you look with the depths of your dark ocean eyes,
you’ll find me,
in the sand.

EJZ 05.04.2015

*Photo by Laura Farrell


I am
blank slate. I am
empty drum. I am
hunger pang. I am

Who am I?
Am I anything?

It takes every effort
of every sinew
of every muscle in my body,
the concentration
of every nerve,
of every synapse in my brain
just to form a sentence

and I don’t even recognize the voice speaking it.

It must be mine.

Is it mine?
Am I real enough to claim anything?

A hollow shell of an individual –
I never claimed to be whole in the first place.
Don’t push me – I’m tired.
There is no honor, no
no nobility in suffering.

I want to go home
but I don’t have a place in mind.

EJZ 05.01.2015

Leggings are a Universal Language

Whittling down to the essence – The bare naked stark bones of unfortunately typical male-female interaction.

I like to go to extremes.

Mating Ritual of the Female Human
Wear leggings.
Go outside.
Men will come.
Give phone number to the one that would piss off your father the most.
Wait for text.
Get text.
an hour or two –
so you don’t look desperate –
so you don’t look like you were waiting
for his text.
Say, “Not much, you?”
Freak out.
Throw phone.
Wait five minutes.
Curse him.
Call him an asshole for not texting you back immediately.
Hope he crashes his car.
Think, “Oh my god what if he did crash his car?”
Feel bad.
Text him – “Are you ok?”
Wait five minutes.
Call him.
When he answers, hang up.
Text him – “Sorry, butt-dialed you.”
(This will remind him of the leggings)
Make plans.
Promise yourself you’re not going to have sex with him.
Wear leggings.
Drink colorful cocktail.
Have sex with him.
Never hear from him again.
Curse him.
Have a laughing fit.
Hope he crashes his car.
Wear leggings.
Go outside.

Mating Ritual of the Male Human
Go outside.
Tell every girl wearing leggings she’s beautiful.
Get one phone number.
Forget her face.
Remember the leggings.
Wait a day.
Text her, all cool – “Sup?”
Forget you texted her.
Get a phone call.
Get a text.
Think about leggings.
Make plans with leggings.
Think, “Is it gay if I order a cosmo too?”
Order a beer.
Have sex with leggings.
Realize leggings is actually a person with feelings.
Realize you are actually a person with feelings.
Stop texting leggings
Et voila! – no more feelings.

Isn’t it funny how we have to ask questions when we don’t care about the answers just so we can pretend to be a certain way to prove to another person who’s pretending to be a certain way that we’re worth seeing naked, because that’s all we ever really thought about in the first place, right?

I’ve stopped pretending.
When I get asked for my phone number, I give out a link to my blog
to see if he can handle crazy first.
I ask questions I already know the answers to
just to see if that person has gotten sick of pretending
like I’m sick of pretending.

I’m so sick of pretending

but I’m still wearing leggings –
They’re comfortable –
like a second skin
I don’t know how to shed.

EJZ 04.25.2015


Since the second poem references the first, I am posting both here.

I’m trying to remember the sound of your voice
but all I can see is your eyes.

Have you ever lay back and just watched the sky breathe?

Why is it
every word you write
or I consider
makes me want to cry?

I’ve never felt this before.
I miss it already.

Every step, breath
to last as long as possible.

and waiting.

Will it last?
Can I make it last?
Can I make it?

I don’t want to say this.
Just breathe silent.
If I shut my eyes,
not here.

I’m afraid to get close –
don’t want to get hurt.
Instead I question,
how long will it take you to bury me alive?
Would it be better to be emotion-strangled?

Today I cried.
I miss you.
I already miss you.
I am so bad at missing people
no matter how much I practice
I never get good at saying goodbye –
too permanent –
fear commitment –
long stability –
long commitment

If I could contain all my dreams in a basket and never let them go, I would do that.

I don’t want you to be just memory.

I wish I could get close enough,
just enough to forget
but I remember everything,
even the sound of your voice,
the way your chest moved under moonlight
and sometimes I can’t speak –
it’s too sublime.

I remember everything
and forget to cope.

Too much, too much!
Sensitive as
begging –
Can I make it out alive?

Lingering 09.01.2015
Lips, starving
for touch, the taste
of things that never were
Chasing the ghost
of a beauty, a truth
proven lie, nightmare
I keep waking up into
I wrote, I don’t want you to be just memory –
Should I have read that one to you?
Would you have understood?
Did you think I’d forget?
I wrote, I remember everything
I wrote, too sublime
I guess I meant too good to be true
but for that moment,
the one,
enamored and waiting
You wrote,
I’ll keep you waiting too
I remember
but I’m not waiting anymore –
Only long enough for truth to turn lie –
Didn’t take long
You do a fine job
Just memory,
Just ghost,
to lips confessing truth,
can’t survive without –
so no more lingering,
no more starving lips.


Can you be half-pregnant?

I need you.
I need you in my bones.
A deep body need –

I want you,
leaking from my heart
spilling through my veins
and returning.
My blood is begging you,
“Replace me”.

I don’t want to be my own.

Devour my tongue
with notes of cherry, grape, pine,
and shield me in your
oak, barrel, cask.

I desire to bathe in you,
to wash away the past
permeating my skin.

I have a mild case of alcoholism –
my first admission of half truth.

The rest is a lie I tell myself  –
and the same.

So I’ll half deny my blood.

My capillaries scream at me.

My dreams are haunted by questions.

The answers lost in sudden chaos with which I wake
when I half-asleep remember I’m supposed to forget
that face, that laugh, that voice, that hand
that everything I thought was true
was lie.

I’d rather keep lying to myself
than let him do it

So I’ll half deny my blood.

My capillaries scream at me.

My dreams, still haunted.

EJZ 05.05.2015

These Hands

These hands will write
broken words to form full sentences,
not stories
but truths.

The knuckles will crack and bleed
as I drag them, groping,
blind and searching
for an answer.

They will learn
to feel a warmth, another hand,
a safety, a security, a love
and that hand may let go
but these hands will still be mine.

Bruises, chips and cracks will heal
and they will soften
and wrap around another
and whisper,
“Don’t worry,
you are safe in my hands now
and look,
you have your own, too”.

Sometimes, fingernails, painted
will chip;
They won’t be perfect
but they will be mine
and they will be safe
and they will write.

EJZ 08.27.2015