Ho Ho Ho

Happy Holidays to all!



And then we sit reveled
For hours

Steve plays home movies
Of us

Haven’t seen those kids since
Ninety Five

Time has turned us into

Like a pre-ice age
Glacier’s coming


Mixing drinks with dark liquids
Stay warm

Heavy heavy blankets and such
Light laughter

My family is around the tree
Sitting still

History makes a small mark
On me

Haven’t been able to sit
Still since





Walked into the
Blizzard, hand and knee
They talk about heat
And cold as two lines
Each as bold
As the other

Up to the knees ->uffda
Those who’ve been know
The immediate fatigue
Of so much moisture
Suddenly solid and
Light and weightless

Aren’t you worried of
All that whipping snow,
The air seems to free
The sweat from your
Lungs heaving in and
Out, and replacing it

“Well, yes.”

After all



The new millennium



angel humming, angel
hands and ardor
set the bone
daylight out

angel humming, angel
color your hair
change of pace
on your plate

angel humming, angel
when your flight lands
contrails stay cold
against the blue

angel humming, angel
always the time
and not the mood
always kindness





and there’s a launch
the wave pulls back
the tide recedes, if only
for a moment and suddenly
as if from a memory
comes roaring back

it’s fine, it’s just chewing
they didn’t even think of this
that it could so suddenly arrive
from years ago
from miles ago
far out it felt like a ripple

on shore it’s roaring
and the wreckage is mounting
banner blues don’t shine
like they do back home
here they’re brown
and a delicate white

what home is there

when home is

held under

held for too long





the new millennium turns
eighteen today

it can vote
it can smoke
it can go to war
it can buy pornography

it it so chooses

the new millennium turns
eighteen today

it might start looking for new
dorm furniture at target
or it might not

the new millennium will sit
and stare at where it grew up
with a new sense of place
or it might not
especially if the new millennium grew up
in a military family

the new millennium will delete embarassing
photos, statuses, texts, and burn old things
the new millennium will take advantage of
discounted membership fees to the local gym
and not take advantage of the gym

it will stand and watch
as adulthood clobbers it with a rock
and the new millennium will learn from its
stupid mistakes

and the new millennium will organize
and start coalitions to eradicate
homelessness, sexism, racism, and identity politics
and improve public housing

the new millennium will embrace empathy
and kindness
the new millennium will learn to love
the way the old millenniums never could
(except Bea Arthur)

*in loving memory of Bea Arthur



Just outside Calgary

Switching it up this week.

Good friend Jenn Geiger recently took a trip to Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada. I asked her if she wouldn’t mind sharing some pictures that I could then write from for allthisthunder. She returned with some stellar photos, which we reviewed and among many wonderful options picked the three below (and one as the feature image). Suffice it to say all the photos that populate this post are her work. Hope you enjoy.

Additional thanks to Canada.


treeview 12:9

they say there’s a mother
who leans from the window
and watches her children
and watches her children

they say there’s a mother
who leans from the tracks
and waves the wind in
and waves the wind in

they say there’s a mother
who washes her new hands
and makes a decision
and makes a decision

they say there’s a mother
who down by the lake
and weathered listens
and weathered listens

they say there’s a mother
who lives in the tired depth
and in the light glistens
and in the light glistens


rose 12:9

exchange breath for patience

the same way tar does in large

quantities, it holds things down

and sucks them in when they

least expected to bloom

seems the desperation of death

leads to the best of us-

did you expect a better thundering

as weight of water met the body

of itself

did the vacant wandering of light

and mist, leave a certain salinity

in the mouth of this cradle, or not-

oh just hold now

oh just ply the rock

with a soft skin

and revel

in the



two pals 12:9

Now it can breathe. Your elbows on the edge of the bed. Watered your chest so as to coax your noise. To unfurl you. Your voice and your rhythm. Your skin and your humble relative.
Kept mentioning the silence you felt on the street. Most homes darkened after 8PM and occasional lights on in second floors. Wandering in and out of your clothes. Myriads.
“So let’s go see some Elk.”
Do you bend like the smaller trees now. Did the leveling leave you adept. On the rim of a body do you speak to me now. Do you travel across the surface at varying speeds.
You bathe in haze. The tendons in your arms curled up and slick. We’ll see where you end up, but we’re not going to throw popcorn. Or roll and laugh.
“We’ll see where I end up.”
Sometimes you seem so clear to me. You seem to enjoy the walks. The snow and your head sweating from the wool. You tell me your chest feels encased and thin. But it’s clouding up.
I’m glad we’re here standing together.
“Lots of friends have stood on a body of fresh water.”

Walk and Talk



as they said
it regains you;
and sun becomes
a smaller cousin
following you around
the side of
the house

stood on the
edge of the
street, staring at
the other side
took a breath
took a step
and flew

musculature never ending
strides and leaps
skin on paper
crumpling it until
it gains a
magical, if not
unexpected smoothness

this walking home
if not nowhere;
ends up being
a fairly stable
and fairly endless
set of circumstances
that fit

beach 2




like a cut tree

at the sudden cutting

learning to float upright

can begin to litter

subtle clues to lead

old ghosts beg less

doesn’t do much good

it starts to take

cultural center





We won’t punish you for failing, understand we can’t.”


We won’t be around, all of the time.”


You are stronger than those who would attempt you.”


Your resilience will be a gleeful one.”


Your pride and your body are your hymnal.”


You can learn to sing the sun.”



Let’s Get Intimate

This week explores the theme of intimacy, featuring a piece from Juli Del Prete.


Detachment Theory

by Juli Del Prete

I. Do not immediately respond to their text messages. Imagine that you are in a video game, and you gain 1 HP (“health point”) for each minute of inaction. Soon you will be bulletproof.

II. Plan dates that remind them of the impermanence of all things.
Toolkit: flowers plucked and left unwatered, wandering in graveyards, Nietzsche.

III. Once you have named someone you have tamed someone so it is best to assign them an alternate referential title.
Examples include: “Yale Boy,” “Red Scarf,” “Scabies”

IV. Remain silent and still during intimate encounters. “Always keep them guessing,” said Coco Chanel, I think.

V. Never relinquish custody of the aux cord. You do not truly know a person until you give them control of your car stereo, they turn on Dashboard Confessional, oh no, they’re crying, oh no, you’re crying, hands down this is the best day you can ever remember

VI. There is no need to be chill. This is 2017. We are post-chill. Sit in your freezer for three days. Become ice.

VII. A breakup is not necessary. “Always keep them guessing,” said Coco Chanel, I think. In any case, a simple “be right back” will do.

VIII. Do not come back.

IX. Ease the heartache by reminding yourself of the impermanence of all things.
Toolkit: flowers plucked and left unwatered, wandering in graveyards, Nietzsche.

X. Immortalize them in the written word: an exorcism.

XI. Post it on the Internet. Share it with others. It is their burden now. Maybe you’re reading this and it reminds you of someone. Your ex? No, not your ex: you never dated. You never broke up. You said you’d be right back. Where did you leave them? Where did you go?




Suddenly home

by Alex Gudding

What is delicacy
When I’ve had your blood on me

Does it evolve beyond recognition
And reliability

It is more brutal, now
This sharing of fluid

This heaving in the lungs
When we trade a cough

Does the body intimate
Actually imitate

A shyer side
Of crashing muscles

Not violence, no
But it’s cousin, suddenly home

There’s no glamour
In holding hair back

In shaving armpits
Or piss in the toilet

But there’s honesty
In an open-door policy

Leading, after a number
Of days and days and days and days

To eventually become
One another’s hymnal



Hys: In Three


Hys Body

Will hys body
Rob hym of
Joy, and leave
Friends in failure
Joints in disarray

Or, will hys
Body become sacred
And kept well
As a folded
Blanket, across feet

Will hys body
Be self-celebratory
Cleansed each morning
And salted with
care, to taste

Or, will hys
Body become trained
Like mine was
And learn to
Crush shells, wanton

Will hys hair
Grow long, and
Wrap about hys
Waist so it
Stays in shape

Will hys hands
Clap with such
Fervor, they become
Larger and larger




Hys love

When hys life
Is first graced
With love, will
hys body swallow
another and then
Consume them for
Fuel in the
leaner months, or
Will hys love
Consume hym

Will hys love
For country, and
Profession, turn on
Hym when he
Least expects it,
And lean into
Hys finances, hys
Lovers, and their
Inability to support
One another

Will hys idea
Of love become
An idea of
Survival, for the
Eventual arrival of
A steady pay,
And subsequent heat
To keep the
Oven on, in
The winter



Hys interest

             Will hys male
collect hym over
             years and years
until hys debt
             cannot be repaid
Will hys male
             accrue vast amounts
of interest along
             with several credit
cards that lay
             like silent peril
in the freezer
             Will hys male
             a bird sanctuary
breathing fog in
             the early morning
Will hys male
             be eventually fed
and laid on
             the bank of
the river, and
             carried slowly away

All that’s ambitious

This week we’re focusing on the theme of Ambition, and work from Fletcher Pierson.





by Fletcher Pierson

I don’t know what you’re talking about.
You think I’ve figured out what you need in a month?
Please, leave me alone.
Does your family know you’re out here?
No, I’m terribly sorry.
I can’t teach you what you want to know.
Let’s begin.
His hair is white like the snow that’s set in since March
the way it falls and stays in the corners
pristine and ungrayed, sheets pulled threadbare

Posed a bird been eating too many waterlogged books
less never prey for always seeing all ways
eyes orbed and ever glowing
that’s how I knew.

Seven months and seven answers
and now a prescient lifetime to look forward to.
Fall is when the sounds come out
the ghosts trapped in every signpost
talling tales for wanderers unexpecting
but never surprised.

He tells me what I’m asking for demands a solitude
holy lenses must unobstructed be
an array of four rooms and their councilmen
too fickle and much too weighty in rule.
No one puts pupil and sense to hand
about our business on rooftops by late night
lest their better instinct make cases
your bodily congress get cold and turn.

Fall in love and lose them.
Fall in love and push them away.
Fall in love and tell yourself there’s no point.

Skin to steel and back again
forest-clad days eating between seconds siblings
trails desired cut across a city breathing
railing on the beast’s ribs with the finest sights.
Questions practiced never spoken
answers wrapped backwards in misspelling
brow up tone playing and a puzzle
given as a gift in the shape of a curse.

Deepest in winter and my shift ghostly
to be in a place peopled is to evade
long gaze rayed across galleries
presence pushed from here elsewhere.
Any stress on what occupies
matched with a step out of side
time here is for loving all of others
personality’s air can’t tell that.

But the silks sucked to the palm
follow a chosen pull
anchors in a bullseye heart tilt west
every glance fully hit.

A place for the cars to go when the sun’s up
but the sun’s up and almost over
and there’s been no cars here since
the first flakes of fall.

Gold in ivory flown back in waiting
winter part two much too late
rings on blue fire linked fieldways to me
smile soft and knowing.
His eyes unfurl sparking fibers
dashing round true form found
wind bending to him now
as his ropes turns to they becomes all.

Shape dispelled but wings still seen
hoops of the honest truth rising wide
current and leeway keep me safe in the trap
vocalizing the last mystery I’ll ever need.
‘Make your body a straight line
lead with the palm flat and the shot straight through
press into the breath of gradient blues

The key here is to lose your balance at the right time
with just enough pressure already exerted via the back leg
when it naturally slips out from under you
the air should be just the right viscosity to hang
for juuust long enough to be very uncomfortable

And then it’ll take you.’





by Alexander Gudding

It started black.

It started black and it grew into more than black it became white. It became black and white and everyone with it. And everyone was black and white and I was not, I was blue and I knew. I knew that I was blue and this made me better. This made me better because I knew that I knew better. My family became black and white. My friends became black and white. My lovers became black and white. And what was black and what was white was not blue and I had no time for anything not blue. Because those who were blue knew. And plenty pretended to be blue. And plenty were actually blue. And it was these who taught me I was blue.

Just like that.

Turns out I was so blue I had no idea until I melted back into the air. And so left brown, and yellow, and red, and green, and black, and white, and grey. And suddenly I had no color other than blue. And I became distant. And I was the sky as the sky is distant yet always around. And nothing ever happened because I was so blue. And then night came. And I became a darker blue than I had ever been. Now I was dark blue and everyone was asleep and it was night.

Just like that.

And certain nights the path is low. It’s low and it’s dark blue but it’s there. And looking for dawn is like looking for the sound. Maybe it’s better to be, for now. Leaves distance. As the sky is distant yet always around. 

It starts black.