New Chapbook!

Hi all!

I am pleased to announce a new chapbook, “Capricorn Scapegoat.” I am still working out printing kinks and cost, but for now they are $10 plus $3 for shipping. This is a 61 page poetry booklet with a cover painted by myself. You can Venmo me at @francesshmances, in which you should include your name and mailing address.



the isopod carries the
sea weed gamete
the bee, the pollen
the dog, the burr

like this we keep
pulling the sun up
stuck on our coats
and in our hair,
walk it over to dusk
while the world looks
like collapse
and drop it into

as much as i am learning
to lasso bolts of chaos,
i count on these
consistent transitions
to orient

even though time is moving
away from us in all directions,
the planet is spinning faster,
and sometimes i don’t recognize
this world

its expanse
is constantly revealing itself
as a prankster that lets me
in on the joke
between breakdowns

we belong to each other
in revolutions
in the unknown
in the emerging and the present and the past

it doesn’t matter if you want it or not
or if you don’t believe in the possibility
it will ride you like a seed
blood thirsty to root


my guts itch
keep trying to put my head back on straight 
so used to riding the rat’s nest
like a raft this
quiet is making me ill.

texture on skin
we succumb, 
been doing the same thing for
too long.

i used to think i’d wake up and 
the mountains would be moved
once clockwise on earth’s crust
because doesn’t time refuse to wait
for anyone?
and that horizon that watched us get taller
will one day be shorter than a nail sliver
overshadowed by a moon
that wants to consume it.

but i learned that
mountains run,
and they are not slow.
you will get tired
of tracking them.

people will keep saying
there is no future:
the horizon will stop
paying you mind.

and all the while
you will keep waking up
and wiping the dust
from your eyes
and out of your mouth
by and by.

Hard Seed

this world doesn’t make sense
and why should i?
scan the toes,
the calves, the knees.
scan the hips, stomach, chest.
down my shoulders, neck, and head
my head in my chest in my toes on the floor.

i go inside,
i pull in the outside with a fishing net
that blooms underwater
but suffocates the fauna.
i’m tired of explaining,
it doesn’t change anything,
so i float with the garbage.
we party,
we scream in a car in the packed lot,
we wrap rotting gifts with words,
fumble with the shapes,
feel feet frozen.

the words are seeds
that harden
as i put them in my hand.
they weren’t quite ready
to grow.
their strategy for survival
is to sleep
until they are called.
you just have to cut the seed
let it sip the water
and wait
to germinate
but i never do.

an accent is comfort
an accent lets me
choose where i come from,
let’s me pretend to be a we
with a past
i can control.
my mother’s accent
watered down from three continents,
sounds like the gibberish
i speak to myself.

we can pull in relief with a net
before we suffocate it.
i am not the person who survived.
they wear me out, elicit pity
i want them to be tough
despite everything.
and they are
in a specific hibernation,
a revenge procrastination.
we will show the world what they
missed out on
while it passes us by.

where have the limits of possibility
been stifled by my own hand?
i think healing looks like this
but it doesn’t.
i think talking helps like this
but it can’t.
i think thinking prepares like this
but it won’t.
i am being called to
leave the net on the deck,
let the flowers fruit,
and sit in the sun.

you don’t heal a hard seed.

tessa rae
abve ay
mon bee fir
rife ebe nom

flel lell lock
crop lik te
sew op slush
free tum lie

you don’t heal a hard seed
but that doesn’t mean
i won’t try.

I’ve started a Patreon!

In trying to figure out if there is a way out of customer service based employment for myself and in attempting to carve out more intentional time for art and writing, I have started an experimental Patreon. There will be weekly updates with information about what I am working on, goofy videos, photos of nature hikes and my dog, etc. In sum, it is a curated art and life journal that will have both visual art and excerpts from rough draft writing.

In the last year, I wrote 70k+ words of a memoir, several rough poems, and have started drawing and painting again. Join me in the journey towards centering my creative practice by becoming a Patreon.

Word Thief

To Julian
(can I call you Julian?
Mx. Brolaski?
“????? Brolaski?”
In good faith I will call you Julian,
I hope that is ok)

i heard you are lonely
thought i was reading theory
disguised as
with the density
of a baked corn cake
like a kernal about to pop
on the fire

i took
a fine toothed comb thru
yr words and thought
i could crack them like eggs
i put my ear to the paper
and the words hissed at

in yr loneliness
i noticed
wanting to be wanted
and not not wanting to be wanted
as not not not a person

you said
you are not interested
in waiting
to be seen by me
but the nature of
is that it orrsteps
and so you steal what
you are afraid
is not
already yours
the same way that i move

you are word hungry
conjure many magical beasts
gods and goddesses
genders and ungenders
you want to be and are
of a mongrelitude
a self-constitution that
resists assimilation
but is maybe still bitter
or ambivalent
about it

you use older words
so many words
too many words
i have to write a
poem by poem translation
fueled by yr
wandering circumlocution
some dictionaries have already lost
words exploded by
the flame of observation

a nod to Hildegard
prosecuted for
brilliance and
i know you have many mouths
many hands
many feet
in different corners
spread like a tanned skin
who shrivels itself
to spite the hunter

you said
all of our
psychological problems
manifest in writing
but also ask
what if what there was
to record in you
was suthing in you
and i think about
a greeting
a meeting
here where i read
my guts like tea leaves
and write them
from the inkwells
in my eyes
and hope that someone
might find some kinship
or for a moment
see yourself as
you want to be seen

what if i said
this place we meet
on paper
is exactly where we
were meant to*


purposefully dispossessed thoughts
poured into thin conifer needle capsules, pungent and bright
plucked from the ether to make a nesting crown
to bring it home
to make a home
shrinking diadem to
earth down repurposed
a room sized roost
a big enough bed to lay in
but not to escape the noise
slow to expand
sped up to contract
when left in remiss
daggers at the temples
a speed
a vigilance
a history chasing a moment or memory
stop spacing out
trust the process
pluck the needles from the ether to
forge a fragile knife
that cuts but breaks
where is my agency
where is i am
where am i
a bleeding temple
drawing purpose
lying in my own bed
what do i want of these words
what good do they do in my head
what do i tell you about them
without removing myself
an assembly of needles is only a bed
if you see the body sleeping in it
a knife is only a weapon
if you see the wielder strike
an image
a conjuring
a needle
how do i change the meaning
or the picture
or the process
how do i leave the room without knowing
what i’ll come back to

trying to summon a waking dream
is not the same as sleeping in one
how do i picture a body in the future
a new place


i’m trying to come back
from the place i have displaced language
the map was lost in a fire tornado
and anyway there are too many new roads
and empty buildings
nests without raptors
beds without rest

i just wanted quiet
i wandered a little too far

i tried to use the stars but wound up cursing
their indifference
the trees were too terse
i was too tense
buoyed out of my body by grief
and a rupture
and a rupture
and a rupture

loss everywhere
and a body losing itself
you can’t slip skin off
but you can mute it
frances 5 and loud
frances 15 and unspeaking
left alone too long
in a messy room
in a thirsty city

a place that can never be touched twice
a world contained by chaos
a quiet that sets in after
the fire tornado
digs a your house a grave

what does it mean to rebuild
once the shock stops calling lightning

Journal #10


not to be confused with solidarity
is understood as
conceptually tied
to domination.

to the extent that
we learn to
perceive others arrogantly

or come to see them
only as products of arrogant perception
and continue to perceive them that way,
we fail to identify with them,
fail to love them.

the failure of identification
is the manifestation
of the “relation”
loving leads to
double perception
playful foolishness
that lends itself to travel.

do not be self-important
do not take norms as sacred
come here and sit with us
on a dirty bench
littered with a chorus.