out my window

I am Gladys Kravitz
watching a dead girl rise.
Her pungent eyes cast a stench of black syllables
she spits at the street.
Her glances taste like the rotten apples
Lilith rued in the Garden of Eden.
I am not Gladys Kravitz
but I can’t stop looking out my window.
Slithering succotash.
The dead girl stops to vomit then smiles as
she spins a whistle round her finger.
A broken digit of Paradise.
A field of flowers, serpents, and flame.
To the corner she leaps in one bound
like a black tarp in wind.
She’ll soon be meeting Adam,
that heavenly dealer.
Stifle your needles with your head!
Carpe diem.
The needle needles Adam to exorcise her demons.
Together. Apart. We watch the dead girl rise.

Brenda Warren 2020


Written following the Napo Day 5 prompt

pillow wet with night

Rooted under eyelids
lost images of pursuit
fled through bedded gardens
where smiling sycophants fawned a preacher
who locked the gate behind me.
Deadly and benign.

Waiting for a sign
he chuckled
and looked toward his god.
Undignified and holy.
He slammed me down.

My face became a radish.
Its roots sought water through the dirt.

Brenda Warren 2020



Jesus on 4th Avenue North

Every Friday Jesus walks down 4th Avenue North
carrying plastic bags from IGA.
Sometimes wind spirals his wispy white beard
round the tall staff that measures his stride.

The folds of his long wool coat
move in waves,
like he’s walking on water.
Once in a while, his eyes dance with the sky
and he shouts out,
spilling clouds of syllables
scribbled from his mind.

Brenda Warren 2020

Fourteen Lines

you misinterpret your existence
sitting amongst your disowned treasures
like the eye of the storm
you never cry without knowing why
you don’t know it’s hard to live
you stop breathing to
keep yourself alive
in this liquid window
that can’t hold anything in
you forget
who you never will be
you misinterpret your existence


This poem came from Fourteen Sad Lines. When I felt blocked, I went to that poem, and reworked it by trying to come up with an opposing piece line by line.


Our love is a nest of twigs
intricately woven
where secrets whisper
in dark spaces and

we giggle

we find each other
in coins on the side of the road



Is this what I’m left with?
This final destination
This pit in my gut
This aching at the base of my skull
Living in limbo
Wondering if the light will ever shine

Waiting for the axe to fall
To chop me into two distinct selves
The one you think I am
And the one who hides in darkness
Waiting for the end of everything
Created by my own necessity
Not knowing how to stop
To stop it from falling
Like an apple from a tree
Rotten to the core
This hidden me
Trying not to rise
It hisses and rattles
Venom and spit
It’s all that’s left
Of empty



How do you shrug off what you can’t remember? Do you just let it dissolve into someone else’s recollection?
As if there’s a memo
Evidence without a frame
Your last word a crime

A dish with out a spoon
A clattering key
A misshapen reality
A distracted song

The little dog sighs
At the cow’s benign lies
As beneath the moon
It moos


knot to dot

this poem is stuck in my
denying its
existence in
knotted threads I
unravel and pull then
sputter and
spit nonsensical
bile scattered
phrases that
refuse to

there are no dots