Solid Quarter

Visit Trembling Pillow Press for poetry books, broadsides, chapbooks, and Solid Quarter Magazine.

Visit New Orleans Poetry Fest for the annual 4 day poetry festival directed by Bill Lavender and Megan Burns.

Megan Burns' Poeticsofbone&city project on Tumblr

Tuesday, December 31, 2019


a coin placed on the headstone
           mark a bargaining     for life

          she is "great flood" Mehet-Weret

always cross roaded       never still, this circle

i was wedded to the root, she says, great tap root, and i think i will make it a poem, no not a poem, i will make it a book, no not a book, i will make it a mapping, an escape route, do you recall we were always this side of the river, i was silt legged, a pelican not of color but rooted to region, i mean we rot here, she said name a hue to protect you, and it washes down, the eyes cast of i could never be a clever girl, can you... i have always been surrounded by women, or angels, i mean, have you ever left your body. you know when you can't feel. it only occurred to me after four decades that i have never really felt anything at all.

     i swayed barge giver
                    crossing water is a junction
                                   no one stays on the boat, girl

you have to choose a shore sooner or later
             step out and it's an  either/ either
                                    we're never leaving this cave
   & it's because the fire is nowhere near burning out

her name is domain of horrors. did you translate that right. i have been in these hospitals most of my lives. do you mean life. but there were some i forgot. tell me what year it is. it's two different years across continents. right now, you could take my hand and we would be in the futuring. i am dreaming we made it. i am dreaming i slipped out the window. did you jump. she died a few times. but one of us survived. i put hysteria in my pocket. i had to steal it.

  be careful touching a beast burning.

          i held inside me the grief i slipped from each of you.

          i rolled inside me like pearls the damage, all of the suffer you
kissed me. you fucked me. you put inside me. you laid your hand
in my hand and i breathed in.        did you think i was just your friend, another human?

                  i am devouring. as she has always been,    i have yet to meet the face

 that calms this trampling.        this is the year i said good bye to masking.

    the sistrum leaks. take a travel, i am gone blood thirsting to silk roads of soft landing.

             there is a type of petal that will not burn.

                 tell me you mean the naming.


Thursday, December 26, 2019

Anesthesia: A Suite Not Dream

"In his mind abandoning photography meant submitting to loss" 
-House of Leaves

"We have surpassed all of our templates..." 
-Laura Mattingly, 12.25.19

Anesthesia: A Suite Not Dream


let me wing over you 
a pass-
ing,       passage "of time"    "with
                  out sensation"  steer   bliss
under you, i am reach

i am   _____ible 
          swallowing my tongue               its tail 

rip her up out/ rip inside          
down my throat              
        between my legs    instrument of extraction 

 i caress each intrusion into the body  

         was not love that pulled me apart 

             there is no drug 
                    there is no drug
                           there is no drug 
    that will ever sleep me through that raping 

i would have found it by now

      i would have folded wings down

i would fly  

                       but i

stayed strapped down          you   are     going 

                    to have to hold her d____


drown      i sing into the twilight 
what is a controlled loss / does it temper
   does it twinkle.... look at the lights in this hotel 

i was dreaming we walked there.

           i sing           down into a time line 

 not my own. i come to

i woke up here. in this place. where all is similar
and i 
i am the different             stone angel 
                                        prayer like water   
prayer like my name erased. 


xmas day: i told her ask the cards what i need to do when they put me under again, 4 hours in the tabling. as close to death, i would shimmer. and what is it you want. to hurt god.    G-D.   to refuse that love. b/c if that's not good enough. girl, if no one is g--d enough          is it you or them  quitting early, is it you or them bringing you back up.... 

                          it's never all going to be fixed


  if i can just solve this piece
      if i can.
         if i am worth it. 
                        i can make it cohere. i can make all of the words

            under my tongue, the skin sheared where they would silence

           bowls echo           i struck        i was struck 


        unpin scapula.    let me never be afraid of losing you

    my palms were filled with shame.     still.        after all this confession

      after all this doubt doused.                shame pouring between fingers

       an offering:    look at me.          under the lights.       universe perfect. 

        i built hard as cement. i held inside me hard as rock. stone to stone. 

the world touched me and i turned it out.  impenetrable.   

tell me the truth, dream,  
                 you've never met a girl as hard to see as this one. 

Saturday, December 21, 2019


many is the blood and now is the place
imperfect circles we cannot deny

how stillness ellipses
counter weight to death

count me in that number
not sainted, but torn free in my failings

you hold deep in the body all unsaid
secret griefs roll inside me, a rocking

to sleep for the lullaby babes, shush
he says, i'm doing the best i can

& it's never enough, this recitation
prayer me to song or whisper by name

this temporary not remembering
turning to stone, i turn

aperiodic crystal and the rate at which sound
moves, precious heart, genetic inheritance

what could not touch me, led me
apart, a breaking open of portals

"What is life?" they ask
i non exist, where the wings

meet, seven scales that octave
the universe: i came to shift

on the field in one generation
terror to bliss, the rain of suffer

held off course: i heard her speak
inside my head: Love hard

no matter the choosing
the trick to unlock a word

like spirals caught in the tubing
i pass like the light of a star still

wishing, i pass under covers
the night of your hand still moving

in a question of time, i rip off course
i am dreaming of being the answer

Monday, December 09, 2019


he only loves those things 
because he loves to see them break

-"Doll Parts"

god, sometimes

                    i think i'm done

feeling broken

                     like i told her, i'm healed now
 and so i was, now what's that damage you hand me
          put your mouth up to my ear and listen
 how my body crumbles

               do you know a recipe for best girl,  i was lapped
        to your grace, sit lil doggy in the wet spot               you

at the end of the line, been caught

  i been....nah, you know how inside me          ruptured light
       put me down                 if it's too much

             learn to run from what burns
                                                          & what else named is

 a seraphed thing          from cinder-storied-dreams of ever lovely rippled

      a ripping,     a tear in the hand worth a fist in the...

                  sweet honey drip, i wanna give you some ..... good, good 

       most days i'm writing to survive, but tell a truth

    some days
              i'm writing to seduce
                                                like language is: Build a bridge

between us in the room                     body across an ocean of past trespass
                       & what we catch on film
                                                              & what we forget to say out loud

                       what is there to lose          loosened minutes unfurl
         time was wet      
                                we kept wiping it off the backs of our hands

     sometimes, god....

                                 i can barely piece it together 



Sunday, November 03, 2019


"and we were so beautiful in the doorway"
-M. Buzzeo

like rundown, crossback
i remember your eyes
like yesterday
not yesterday itself
back east, a home cawed or clawed
        boys i tribed:  not safe & safe  & what are you now
now you can't eclipse me  

i fantasize this language
one palm touches another
there are many separate translations
for what we are: occurring as
i am lead, hurdled to pure light

the way patina dances on the tongue
it only takes a little bit to turn me on
can't bear the sentence cut off, strange animal
to hibernate

 i cave you in the fire we round, listen it echoes
      the flames' sound paws us
i dreamed of his hands on my face, my neck, my stomach

i dreamed of a hand able to build and pull down
without the song of violence etched in those life lines

we grew up younger & larger
than we ever imagined: what do you forget every day

i never forget this wounding or desire
what does that make of me

i have trouble in this space of particle
light to wave, shimmers       do you know

how to capture ___        i had to steal it

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

State of Memory

State of Memory

identify with the object of affection
past appropriate, graffiti your heart
box cars: tap, tap, tap

where the softest parts, where did we go
off course, i wanted not knowing what i want
i whispered to nothing, with you
i found a quieting i have never known

it disappears: i gathered safe
from unsafe people           for a memory to fix 
they have to be encoded
turned hopeless on hope: photograph
locked: make it summon, make it occur

coat the heat of edge along desire
why attachment sings disaster
                rapid shifts in mood  
under the impact of implicit memory 
swiped enough faces to buy my freedom
on each wrist braceleted escape

i was decentralized, walked 3 rings round
a burnt cindering, shame is what i cast in
i care not for the small narrative of power
framed upon sands

we traveled 93 million miles in 8 minutes

find yourself lost between languages
the printing plate, heavy, burnished
stains clear: my childhood tucked

under synapses, a gate left unlocked
loose a whole herd, what's an unreasonable

amount of data, what happened before new orleans
tell a photon how to avoid absorption
under 40,000 years but it takes eternity
i tried to be brave but there was a lot of time
left: a drowning held under only long
enough to panic, & you see stars that are not our star
our star, our star, sing a song

Saturday, October 12, 2019


winged myth downloaded
a woman snaked by rape
no one need be beholden in stone
for that forked telling

let them bake beauty into a cake
fed us, i could see bodies strapped to the bed
in the long night of song

why not use what you know
to build -- let me understand
three options & sell to the highest bidder
if you wade into currency

they already own you
money has no meaning, but what
you create, they have the power to steal

adorn truth in a masking, slip silent
under the web, i packed it in lines
burnt into me while traveling
behind veils, where this side rings not

is fleeting what you worry under
& if you can't see that, you are
far under still, you won't know freedom

you've been confined your whole life
shackles thin enough for you to grasp at joy
but have you asked yourself why it doesn't last

have you ever wondered why
suffering has been fed to you
your entire existence

the sticky embrace called "hope"
that isn't holding you but holding you down
don't read the words, it's shaped in the sound
the virus is uploaded daily directly into your mind
you call it living, but there has never been an "alive"

if you try to disentangle, you will see arise
inside you: the sicknesses they have coded
to keep you just hooked enough to not sink

Friday, October 04, 2019

Probable Minds

....this life of yours which you are living is not merely a piece of the entire existence, but is, in a certain sense, the whole; only this whole is not so constituted that it can be surveyed in one single glance. 
-E. Schrodinger

             dark seer of folding tongues
how i laid under
the cross hatched gist of touching lids
there, there mockery for a joint
gone blue into tempest
having found the last notes
of this bleak dawning
no one knows what you are
each morning, how you learn
about love from a leaning in
to say what will you temper
flow rapid like water to the lowest
licking point, put yourself into every
part of me until my body pulls tight
& rode down the bucking heat
i forget where one of us ends
& the other begins & it is no matter

as words have edges that people do not

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

Random Disruption :: Contained Object

Border /


i want to show you the moutains
holding up the phone, the screen fills
with desert, your voice suspended, they are farther than they seem

            i know          about running out of space

 the world not wild enough  
  can’t we still get married, you laugh

       we can do anything            if it comes to cruelty
                       scenery slipping past

                   i have $20.00 left and nowhere to go and HIV
                     & echo: what kills us
   wherever you go, there you are


look, she tells me over the cards, you are never going to get
what you needed        
       i get on stages flowing over, what is constant
is the way i can’t hold     the memory of any sweetness  
   i forget that love exists in the absence of a body before me
       they call it splitting: the way i fold down between acts
                  i pretend to understand cues.    


you will turn on me or i will turn on you       & then time passes

     loneliness makes a small rip, then grows to erase even safe

     i know something about people who no one can love

         it’s dry and hot and cold at night   (endures)
            we are stuck here. it seems (untethered) the sun melts

i will never find you. and you will never see me.  that is what family means


                                 The observed cannot be separated from the observer.

i think i am beginning to understand              that we are not dependent on the universe

           as much as it is dependent upon us               to see it clearly        

i named every tear after a star. i tacked them to the night sky
above our heads and sang to you across death valley

           a barycenter contains an inherent two-body problem  
                                neither holds, either is the shifting space that threatens
a double star is just an illusion of light            it is hard to measure
      what any one person ever gives another person in this life

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Wanting to Die

and the love, whatever it was, an infection

i tried to last as long as you in the shatter
memory, a lip drooling, i have sliced
off more sounds than most

let me taste it, not rotten, a low
hung bruised fruit no one wants
palmed into violence, i have cut

my way out more than once, that song
sings inside my head constant, silence
is what takes the shape of love here and no

one touches, no one sees, till you disappear
and then let me tell you, bit by anger
planted inside you, i am one more line
written where you left, i emerge to surrender

excised from the deep tap root
you asked me to take in damage
say the woman was forty two and dear
how much time do we have left

put this blood angel up to my ear
we enter their star, they've all gone away
i whispered but you were gone too

anne, i will enter death a light
anne, fur and rings, it's lovely, tell me it's not lovely
how you will look and look for me
in ways you never tried when i was right here

where light meets light creates a darkness
and i like it more than i like me
i am unbalanced, to meet the bleeding trees
i've wiped the program

i am in torment and have no place here
i know your blades of glass, the shock
of sunsets, how i have loved you and all of life
is not up for discussion, it's how i could not

feel any of it, how numb can you swim
forever: how could love ask this of me
ashamed is the life i can't live

the way love will fall around you
riddled with the desire of it
and you falling, can’t grasp on to anything


Thursday, September 12, 2019


for kia

every morning you should write a love poem

poem love
a write
should you


should you
every, love,
morning write
a poem

a morning write
should you love
every poem

you should love
a poem every


love should write
a you, poem,
every morning

every morning poem
you love
write, a should

should you
love, a poem
morning every

you should morning love a poem every write

what number did the angel use to seek you? 

355  870  133  775  753  566  282  171  965  822  696  715  154  895  927  771  684  550  356  565
932  989  336  497  820  416  315  131  686  750  525  316  955  959  873  578  477  688  821  995
735  943  185  103  611  627  233  261  124  700  877  522  727  546  264  441  496  215  458  290
183  246  618  337  751  528  141  852  690  600  675  108  487  351  681  695  899  320  580  115
245  461  208  174  532  621  456  140  277  651  499  248  311  904  772  354  447  663  473  847
967  990  393  722  813  866  346  377  843  533  417  739  177  896  340  120  291  117  789  335
478  790  906  871  762  958  628  349  395  366  142  227  226  457  938  710  322  644  770  429
396  155  902  331  260  428  308  844  431  293  257  270  236  805  179  923  662  845  405  608
603  629  919  723  526  448  827  223  828  485  266  388  930  123  319  310  987  195  803  279
741  924  188  484  613  423  357  323  614  504  848  701  914  856  719  606  897  918  892  505
950  386  647  152  370  984  199  328  341  620  779  894  851  518  454  471  730  883  451  880
229  106  841  243  687  632  280  846  714  400  952  352  304  609  493  591  523  816  307  720
655  520  693  556  105  839  369  838  379  954  633  773  203  292  391  449  373  228  898  707
214  963  219  362  810  186  945  666  438  469  691  854  692  850  235  855  782  713  808  656
859  234  778  398  798  865  561  957  110  202  491  285  562  437  756  180  480  401  255  860
474  410  376  784  187  537  463  858  475  125  982  677  911  817  347  853  541  928  975  212
740  205  101  729  702  161  929  494  258  381  953  517  733  409  317  909  757  824  664  809
433  136  793  711  112  116  616  165  903  942  683  263  278  143  800  232  888  747  462  960
348  425  209  586  242  863  623  330  879  799  834  399  534  146  721  570  359  705  640  163
978  819  139  519  658  669  749  634  931  776  508  785  645  926  238  435  387  509  725  842
881  465  222  483  986  151  382  917  275  442  685  312  450  411  305  599  976  601  670  436
849  993  127  657  737  907  390  887  138  626  833  786  563  743  466  157  806  540  549  755
792  758  811  974  893  372  642  126  130  221  198  309  840  624  213  588  774  678  225  940
639  527  343  302  502  905  415  889  668  251  397  718  470  602  543  196  832  452  148  513
748  353  175  211  594  637  173  767  380  176  648  768  925  516  617  272  489  111  488  604
872  384  935  574  512  385  679  641  241  162  577  530  100  306  787  910  490  299  646  247
121  253  694  479  971  453  374  797  680  999  128  659  514  166  421  867  424  402  371  908
216  538  551  607  804  539  585  259  313  944  977  712  732  900  717  252  104  332  589  998
673  653  365  973  891  635  375  831  378  547  464  638  761  901  113  979  886  970  507  200
300  997  339  149  181  318  829  972  267  482  912  994  244  708  358  564  937  542  218  672
652  204  936  890  818  704  948  545  273  736  168  830  968  160  536  230  361  407  207  321
220  981  791  189  132  579  764  951  667  869  297  250  754  660  467  217  406  440  446  476
481  915  324  289  583  575  303  861  422  511  192  612  760  837  946  728  500  118  459  153
210  781  274  268  807  752  145  650  689  281  630  327  468  631  969  596  521  107  419  814
744  439  812  921  426  636  159  763  239  874  363  334  665  342  134  156  295  815  676  576
985  590  535  868  392  350  460  862  495  344  338  325  765  766  367  674  262  329  759  558
529  738  619  167  158  170  709  780  109  592  615  559  403  597  885  996  835  193  301  933
430  383  283  190  920  345  182  249  443  991  360  240  486  571  414  947  548  706  271  988
178  510  413  934  716  875  554  557  553  364  742  581  147  980  555  584  697  389  643  916
394  567  231  783  649  857  326  256  472  119  794  801  164  552  169  568  682  825  788  836
573  610  265  726  734  418  796  237  992  286  492  661  622  582  802  287  150  625  412  503
699  137  605  671  876  269  745  333  595  922  962  444  445  884  724  314  544  572  276  769
191  206  201  404  368  434  408  184  129  983  864  194  587  501  144  949  956  427  966  598
172  224  560  531  654  777  102  254  593  455  961  939  288  122  698  569  114  823  746  703
296  941  882  878  964  524  731  913  515  795  420  135  506  826  298  432  197  284  498  294

Friday, September 06, 2019

Without motion


language is as close as i want
to get to love
it turns
me round

i wanted to run
into someone
safe enough to wing over
me, the air cold enough

clinging to this temporary
as near as i can stand
it’s fleeting, we retreat

control is about living
& for us, that meant survive
all the world did not give us
& then gave back its madness

i could read the pattern
of how we break, the body
that can’t relax hits a tipping point

written in hate, it was armoring
we had no desire to be the fire
put out, come for me

early morning before we disappear
back into lives, swallowing
of time under our fingers, fingers
you would trace the way i am

fingers under here, we be
this type of animal sheltering
in anonymous

you were the only
beast i could let go

Thursday, August 01, 2019


" 'Eclipse' is related to the Greek word for abandonment"   -RBD, draft 82

outside of the poem, nothing
this story eclipses me
do i ever get to leave childhood
at the border, an edge designed to threaten
i was numb but wanted to appear
mostly intact. learn to shine

learn to pull up to love, where no setting for you
stands. and anyway, i go out on what rises
before me: i was the choice people made
breaking because hard exists only in relation
to what must bend because of it

space will consume you: the poem
is all i knew of safe, i built it out into places
to hold more and then that too abandoned me
it looked like i was leaving the way i framed

picture this truth, the soft ways we go under
is what undoes us. no one is listening finally.

i was invisible and thought being seen
was the path but it was seeing itself
love in this life is masked illusion
a child marked by a sign not yet translated
i did not want any life that came before me

i did not want this life before me
& that colored the hours most, they
flee from me that sometime did we seek
sought not, looked up as it darkens
the swollen spot where light pours in
not cracks, not fissures, but time
time itself we crumble under

i was outside it and never coming back

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Kindness is a bargaining

Family Dinner

Kindness skirts the absolve, tender
love curtained, the way nice is handled
purpled in tones I could not remember
one day in the life of being so small
except windows, you look out empty

What is so real as the absence of sound?
the way I was gathered was wilder
taught we hold tongue tight
but affection is fluid, he says don't be
scared: Terror is a necessary fluid.

Only things temporary are precious.
where others built brick by brick, I found
my hands full of sand, grain by grain, each
numbered, look miracles, come in the way
you receive them. The back porch held us

in the summer, while New Orleans disappeared
we carved out too much dreaming and built this too
what we needed: And to be fed by love at every meal
what a life that would be: The blood jet is poetry.
Love is this desert: hot, dry, and endless.

Friday, June 21, 2019

New Dollbaby Piece up at Jacket2: EXTREME TEXTS

 Extreme texts
Edited by Divya Victor


The poetics of hysteria and motherhood


Trigger warning: abuse, suicide

The following document is an archive of two years of my life when I lost custody of my children after I tried to end an abusive marriage. The court took my kids from me based on the art I create: appropriately, the art in this case centers around historical instances when real women also lost their voices, autonomy, and their lives due to their own inability to have freedom and safety in this world. It’s 2019, and women are still not safe. I want to send the song of this text into the future until the answer is sure: when are women going to be safe in this world?

Read full piece at Jacket2:

Friday, June 07, 2019

RE: Survival

imagine we still spoke
& you asked me
what is the most terrible thing
that happened to you

and i turn, facing you
perhaps in bed
as the morning light filters through dusty slats
june below sea level in a city, listing to sink

here naked, covers strewn around our ankles
the a/c never stops humming
we barely touch, the heat of our skin
filling the emptiness

and i get lost in the deep swell
of your eyes upon me
to think in all of this chaos
you could see

the answer
i whisper into the palm
of your hand

Saturday, June 01, 2019


The wolf song is the sound of the rending you will suffer,
in itself a murdering.    – A. Carter, The Company of Wolves

for dean


dropped spit

a beast desires most

violence contained

slaps the edge of coat here

bristling, says: “what am i”

says: “good girl”

says: “hold down”

i bend where i can’t translate

my body betrays

collar this dream

i am led


travel unmapped darkness

a veil drops

to skin

think of how we’ll escape

hung on the hook

called time

we coat the hours

i will inside you anyway

sing & dig in

teeth bared



terrible terrain

the animal of us attacked

to pin me under

to wipe your hand

down the mask

of memory

we built in temporary frames

a den of hungers

not asleep, not awake

but suspended


have you known

such heat as i have known

bite down enough

tremble each limb till

it lets go its safety

its fiction of

i was strong

against         sometimes

being left

is a gift


don’t ask me to love

outside the poem

its safety net of syllables

dangling, i would open beneath

let it fall

let it fall apart

i lose the ability to be afraid

in measured doses

torn muzzle to trade instead

a sacrifice of shattered

points, light braided

to break    bloodied maw

call forth