Cover (up) Girl

Maybe if I make my makeup perfect, streamlined, or
Curvy in the right places,
they won’t notice
I paint my face with lies

My smile

Is my future bright enough?
Do the fluorescent lights shine loud enough to blind you from my past?

My soul

Does the blood bleed ruptured red enough?
Can you make the latest new bold hue from the color of the circles in the creases of my eyes?

Will you love me when you see me in the morning?

EJZ 11.04.2016

Drunk Dreams


Star swarm
Relative anxiety
Pretending to pretend to
not care anymore
Instead we laugh, drink
and dine our nights
away in glitter splendor
and wine, half-drunk
is not really drunken
unless you can smell it on your pores

Discursive thought pattern
in a well of smoke
It tells you to shut up
and then it laughs at you for thinking
thoughts about yourself
and you think you’re surely crazy
so you think and drink some more.

Handle with care.
Do you see how you’ve fallen?
It’s in just such a way
that meditating on starlight is
not enough for our eyes tonight

Kiss me and make me feel the stars again.

Why can’t I get you out of my head
when you’ve gotten so out of my life
that I can’t remember if yesterday was a year ago or today
And every time I think of stars
I think of you and the wine
and you’ve ruined time for me

Where do you go when you’re dead but living?
What do ghosts smell like?
Apothic red and haunting moonlight
My drunk dreams are cheaper than you

I’d drink from your cup any day,
anytime, and never all at once.

What the fuck was I talking about when I accidentally told you I love you?
Accidentally on purpose I decided you were my tomorrow
and hung my wedding dress on the cobweb cabinet shelf of my mind
and you
Decided I was yesterday
and never, all at once
You’re always to me
Always, always

and I can smell you on my pores.


minus one is a radical idea
so radical that –
it’s imaginary
So that’s where I’ll begin
or end
or both
This mathematical mind scramble just threw me

Sensibility never made much sense to me
To say we were once
one would be a computational error
I can’t solve for X because I don’t know the alphabet
you know I don’t do division long-hand
I don’t do division well at all.

Do you think
we were one or just two imaginaries
being added together?
i + i for an i + i
2i is still not real
and you can’t divide by zero

So is this a division problem
or addition
or subtraction
or metaphysics?

Where do I begin?
From a tiny wish?
A whisper of imagination sent to heaven?
Does God hear me?
Am I an echo of a prayer?
Am I
                Am I
                                Am I

beginning again where I left off?

Were we divided
or just whispering?

EJZ 12.30.2015

The image of a jungle is coming to mind when I think about my parents dying.

Like I can’t sift through all the wild green leaves
and the noises around me make me feel crowded and alone

I am lost and I can’t find my way out of this place
and even if I could, I wouldn’t know where I was going
so how would I know when I wasn’t lost anymore?
What familiar place could I begin to call home?
What is familiar anyway?
How does love feel when it means something?

Is there a place called somewhere
that somehow
becomes something
more than an upchuck of color
and voices calling you
by a name you can’t remember is yours or not?

Do we ever wake up from this
not-quite-nightmare but far-from-dream?
What’s on the other side of life?
Is that home? Because that’s where you went
and you’re the most familiar place
and the only thing I think of
that starts in my heart and ends with an “ome”.
Is it just me saying “Ohm”?
Is it just me writing?

Is it just me?

EJZ 1.11.2016

I am a love addict.

and that may sound romantic
but it’s a torturous hell
and my heart and my life
are an endless, bottomless cavern
that cannot be filled.
Never enough to be quenched, my thirst.

You know, you can’t hold water in your hands
but you try and you try
to form yourself in such a way
to become a vial, yourself
and you’re vile, yourself
but you can’t tell
because all your mirrors are broken
and you can’t see yourself
in the water you’re still trying to contain in your hands –
the ones that couldn’t grasp to begin with
because you think it’s your life force,
all that’s left on Earth
and you forget the fountain you strayed from
before you set out on your quest for that unattainable goal
which had you scrambling through mazes and missions and conquests, untenable
and you dropped your key from your back pocket
and it drowned in the water
which slipped through your hands
as you desperately tried to contain it
and friction won’t help
and frantic slits throats
and stupefies –
Losing your head
in the water,
slipping through hands
like time on the shore
and nobody told you
the power was not in the key,
in the water,
it was in you
but you had to let go to find out
and then you find out
there never was water,
just hope
and your hands couldn’t grasp what they never felt
so you’re left empty, forlorn

but there is a fountain

still water,
the key, floating
and yours
if you choose to look in
and grasp
and say –

I am a love addict
and that may sound romantic
but it’s a torturous hell.

EJZ 09.17.2015

The Player’s Plight

Enter Stage Right:

Medicine Man brings miracle –
Prescription for performing –
The antidote for agony
from pharmacy of philosophy
is firm foundation,
and benefit
of the doubt is a powerful drug –
it can knock you out for years
as long as you keep using it.

Stage set with scene of full bed,
pillow at each side,
as if made for two;
but she read the script,
she knows each night of this play is spent alone –
she knows the plot twist called loneliness,
and she remembers when that room was furnished with fantasy
and she wasn’t alone.

A body lay there, sleeping,
awakened by memories of the script she wrote –
he must have read it wrong.

She had learned to be an actress
who only knew her role
in a script she didn’t write
and every single benefit of every single doubt
was given to the unseen,
shaking hand of the playwright
who seemed to change in shape and form and meaning
the longer she kept using it.

So she thought, maybe,
maybe if she said it this way
or maybe,
maybe if she smiled that way,
the director wouldn’t macerate her makeup
with crude, chastising, cruelties,
vaguely very real threats,
a gun to her head,
“Do it BETTER,”
which really meant, do it “MY WAY”,
which seemed to change in shape and form and meaning
the longer he kept using her.

the director has nothing without the actress.
The actress can just find another script
or write her own.

So maybe,
she didn’t want to be an actress anymore.

what happens when actress tries to become director is
she gets fired
or maybe,
she walks away,
or runs,
by one who can play “quiet” better.

Either way.

Maybe she read the script wrong
or maybe –
bad script.

Either way.

Maybe I don’t want to be an actress anymore.
I want to stop pretending this wasn’t about me in the first place.

The bed looks pretty all nice and made
with plethora of pillows
and lace overlays,
daffodils dallying on duvet cover
which everybody knows is just for show
but doesn’t it look nice?
Makes it look like home
which, of course,
is where the heart is.

But last time I checked
I took my heart with me
and lay it down to sleep,
buried in my chest
under covers,
a blanket worn, but present,
a gift from miracle maker –
Medicine Man,
lying in firm foundation,
as I turn to see
full space,

and I miss
something –
No, not you,
I just
you were something worth missing.

EJZ 07.05.2015

On Serenity

You asked me how to describe this scene,
twinkling candlelight salted sea
we found later on
skin on skin,
harmonic floating
was just as serene as the moon,
blue and full
(not up for debate this time).

How often does this happen?
Two souls meet –
serendipity –
and the moon stays full for nights on endless end?
You told me,
“The moon is always full –
we just don’t always
see it that way”.

So what does that mean for our souls?
Are they tandem swimming
but we don’t always feel them
until we see it happen and
when we do, is it just
serene as the moon
because now we remember what full means?

EJZ 08.04.2015


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.