2 0 2


Imagine all the shapes
you are, inside.


One long list
of tangents,
kept tight with
memory glue
and spit
and you,
believe in
without seeing


Addicted to oxygen:
we never yell
at anyone, for that.


Applaud the shapes
at arm's length,
and remember
we are apart
for a reason.

5 0 5

Children of the Reef (Revision; Thanks to Brad, Umar, and Chris)


I. Neptune's Theater

A wandering rock spins smooth

as its warm sea calcimines.

And turquoise Neptune in his cloudy blue bath bath

drips epochs of lace from his fingertips

Sculpts a submerged eden of crimson and emerald

where painted parrots chat up cardinals

butterfly and angel fry sway with wave pulse

and foliated coral fingers beckon from arched windows.

Neptune’s children are flat and bright, spined and notched

free yet entangled in lace mesh ecosystem

beneath an array of bioluminescent stars

as a gangly pretender watches and blows bubbles.

II. Sapien Siege

The hot acidic hand of death grasps

the mesh rends and tangles

the ecosystem shattered

reef’s loosed children scream beneath planet’s stars.

Butterflies impaled

cyanide-swooning damsels

mesh-tangled angels hauled heavenward

coral to potash, corpses to coal.

The pretender to the throne blinks

rubs blurry lenses,

kicks plastic fins

and moves on to the next show


Unseeing and unaware

of the luminous filament in his wake.

Self-appointed divinity,

deus ex machina.




Ann says: All of the animal and human characters in this poem (except Neptune and The Pretender) are named after coral reef fish. Coral reefs, one of the most diverse ecosystems, are expected to be largely extinct within one human generation.

Copyright 2013 by Ann Marcaida.

Images:1. Andrey Narchuk 2.  Neil Craver Photography

1 0 1

flaw[less] & the fittest

“what was meant to be will be”
say those who doubt Darwin
but worship one deity piously
as they hypocrite their way
through life with blinders on

I know what you’ve done &
I know where you’ve been but
I don’t need details because
we’ve waited long enough

those things don’t matter now;
your flaws mirror mine & we’ve
made maps out of mistakes
unlike most people too afraid
of wild, uncharted territory

I’ve never been one for checking
the rearview, since I’m always so
focused on blazing new trails so
forgive me if I’m not interested in
yesterdays or well-beaten paths —

naturally, I’ve selected you.

0 0 0

Newton’s Dark Majesty

Please listen carefully.
We take all of our customer complaints
Very seriously. In an effort to never go dark
All particles and all far away names have been
Changed many times by a single thing, 
Which will continue to be Bright
All Day and
Bright All Night. Gone is the
Undependable Horoscopic nature
Of worlds proposed by Copernicus and
Brahe, both disproved
By the magic of Galileo, Kepler and
A mint master,
“The Sun is only
One system, one of Many Who
Wonder.” Thank you for calling Helio. 
Bright All Day. Bright All Night.
Our menu has changed. Please
Listen carefully. Please shade your eyes.

1 0 1


Sometimes I can’t shake this feeling
I’m going nowhere
Then I remember that
I’m circling the sun
The universe is spinning
And it gives me motion sickness
I wish I could stop the future still
And stay in present day until
I could catch my breath
And single my vision
But time keeps moving forward
Until there’s nothing left
And in just a few short years 
I’ll be gone
I don’t know what I’m moving toward
But I’m sure it will be for good
Still, forever makes me shudder 
And I don’t know if it should…
It’s just such a long time
To be gone…

1 0 1

A quantum mechanics haiku

Before space could see
What was there? Nothing or just
Everything at once.

1 0 1

This I (redraft)

This I,


this chemical chimera,

this sugar-headed slave

of bright suggestion,

foams sherbet at the gills,

saliva now syrup,

saturated, crystalline.


The walls are sticky

with finger-painted feather imitations,

Rachis reaching floor to ceiling

so every Barb stands out

as delineated by Darwin

now haloed in halogen buzz.


Old as love,

when first quill broke scales

to suggest a sweeter prospect

and snarls became songs.

This I traces only the Afterfeather

In a hope of plumage of its own


And a sweetness not so fleeting.

1 0 1


I washed the fire out my hair and the water turned black.

I could still smell smoke sitting still in the air.
Had anything changed?
No, not really. 
Just some carbon shifting silently.
So slightly, almost no one would notice. 
If you hadn’t been there,
You’d assume that’s how things always were,
Nothing was missing,
And you had the full picture.
But how some things seem,
Are rarely how they are. 
Even if it makes no noticeable mark,
Everything is changed.

We’re all just burning wood.

2 0 2


Measure me in sparks

Electrical filaments

Of glowing neurons 

10 0 10

A Light is Written

stars and ink they cannot mix

why copies of copies fade

before they go extinct stars a

moment longer and they span

the hours in moments dead

a light is written