“Crabapple Pie”

The sour of Spring

Failing the fight of suspended life

I pick the ripest from the orchard

And return with a full basket to bake down

Thrown dough dusting the dim

with a floury flame

My knuckles carve the skin

as I pour the restless reduction in

Topping the the sharp steam

I stab the delicate surface

To the fiery black

To rise

a resurrected death

To top with cream

and indulge in the emerald tart of Spring’s release

Somethings are meant to die

To make anew

Crabapple Pie

-Joshua Tool 04/30/18


“Writers Block”

I slept with the windows open

The humidity stood still as my pencil slipped between my fingers

My neighbors apartment smelled of curry

My cat danced on the thin of the balcony as I pushed the sheets down with my feet and began to sweat

The air conditioner was broken

And I had writers block…

-Joshua Tool 04/11/18

“Will You Sign My Cast?”

Love is like a broken bone, once it breaks it never heals quite the same

Love is buckled knees

It’s untied shoes

It’s the bar of soap with yesterdays dirt on it

It’s driving a brand new car with unpaid parking tickets

It’s wet concrete

It’s your favorite song before it hits the radio

It’s double sided tape

It’s a bandaid in the swimming pool

It’s checkmate in a game of go fish

It’s a house fire

It’s letting go

Love is pain

And pain is art

And art is life

And I am starving

Yet my cup runneth over with paint

And today I get my cast taken off

-Joshua Tool 03/26/18

“There Is No One At The Kids Table”

Time is no longer linear

It mocks the stretching of teeth and mashes together like the food on my plate that I no longer separate into sections

I allow everything to touch

Time is a construct of our adolescence

Taught to plan for the future

Now told to live in the present because you can’t change the past

Yet if you aren’t careful the past will catch up

I shoveled the cold mush of food I had been pushing together for 20 minutes as I thought about when I would sit at the kids table, separating each item on my plate

Like I could compartmentalize each flavor

My pallet has now grown dull and stained with vodka and beer

No taste, just as if I could compartmentalize my thoughts

As if I could separate time in black outs and hang overs

Some twisted sense of control

They say your cells replace themselves every seven years

And your skeleton every ten

But my tooth enamel is never coming back and my memories will never leave

I reached my hand to my wine glass and left to the other room

I stared at the black screen of the tv and sipped on my Pinot

I stared for so long that I became everything I have ever been

Every memory in the grasp of my being

I know who I am

Because I will always be more than time

-Joshua Tool 03/26/18

“Involuntary Mandible Meandering”

When your skin touches your teeth

A kaleidoscopic of hot and cold

A prism and prison

Of love and lonely

Peeling back dry flakes of skin on your dehydrated lips

Like a grape to a raisin stead a bottle of nice wine

When your teeth touch your lips

Biting down to contemplate where to begin and when does it end

I cleaned everything but my mind

-Joshua Tool 03/22/18

“ Letter Opener “

It starts with fingerprints

I try to leave them everywhere

I was doing something important in the rain

Guess it doesn’t count

It was washed away

It starts with the taste of sweat that beaded and now cascades my lips

Naivety was were I slept before casts were my only friend

It starts with blind love

It’s a feeling that brings braces and bikes back

When you thought I was everything and I thought you to be magical

It all starts somewhere ……..

-Joshua Tool 02/11/18

“Black Mold”

I am always uncomfortable

Like my anxious husk is ready to peel

But instead

Just dies and dries and could blow away in the lightest breeze

Like there are boulders in my throat with nowhere to go

Like a lover always pushing too hard on my sternum

A tensing tongue and ground up gums

It’s brushing your teeth to blood and falling asleep just to numb

It’s a constant hangover without the hooch

So I drink

Cause it doesn’t seem to matter if I do

And then it does

I am always uncomfortable

-Joshua Tool 02/05/18

“Heart Shaped Handicapped Sticker”

a limp

Something that brings attention

Like your smile but crueler

I try to dance it off

Cacti swimming in my blood

Tingle and pierce

I shake my bum leg

I walk to you and kiss you on the mouth

I fall and kiss you on the hand

My princess

I am paralyzed from all of the years walking the wrong way

Away from you

-Joshua Tool 01/23/18


Chipping my teeth on hotel ice left over from the bucket we had chilled the champagne in

You stared out into the down pour that was Portland, or was it Seattle?

I don’t remember, it was my birthday and I was drunk

White noise slapping the streets as it’s mist passed through the screen on the half opened window

I guess you aren’t allowed to open windows fully in hotels anymore

Too many jumpers

Window still open, I set the bucket of half melted ice on the dresser

I wonder if it will rain all night? I thought to myself

I hope it does

Something so perfectly tangible about rain

and calming


Like no matter how much blood I drool on my shirt, somewhere there is grass growing greener

Window still open, we cleaned out the mini bar and jumped

Right into bed

the mist beading on our faces

We chipped our teeth on each other’s

I passed out with my socks on

It would be and Irish breakfast in bed

and It was still raining

-Joshua Tool 01/20/18

“Empty Spaces”

I find a tub

One that has feet

And that can also accommodate my scraggly limbs

And it sits in the living room

It is not hooked up to any plumbing so I bathe in only sun from the window

Splashing on dust and the furniture that has scratched the old wooden floors

and staring at the exposed brick walls

That look as if someone where playing piano when the mason had nestled them together

Tones bouncing and falling

The mortar dripping and hardening

I sit until my spine hurts like an over used bible

And stare at the dancing dust

I think about painting the ceiling cerulean

And decide that would be hideous

I think about Love

And what it means

I think about you

But I also think about me

And how there isn’t room for two in this tub

And I’m okay with that.

-Joshua Tool 01/19/18