When you wake up realizing you need $1,000

This life throws
Vomits at us
Undoes safety pins
Pokes us with them
Mows down
The grass we planted
Lights fires
That destroy forests we love

We feel better after we throw up
Acupuncture is good for you
Grass regrows
Fires make a nutrient rich soil


I want to lay all over you like it were nothing
Strewn, my arms
over slopes of skin
like it were nothing
more than my common ground
i want to be like simply roots
grown, my legs
between your earthen legs
like it were mysterious facts
that we grew cells near each other
until we became inseparable

2:20 am
i awake. fell asleep writing
these poetry lines in my head at 10:29
and they knock me back awake
i lay beside you
tasting ink in my saliva
feeling sheets beneath us like
paper blank aching for lines


am in dark
laying and relaying and setting and resetting
of all constellations
over high points
where light
kisses moments on your skin
must be stars
and there must be a map of you
in the sky
i will find it
i lay and relay
constellations over you in the dark
of my room


You invaded my dreams
of last night
I awoke crying
on beautiful breasts
Full of guilt to be having
You were everywhere
flaunting yourself in my face
At family gatherings
at streets unknown
I told you how you had hurt me
and you stared blankly
kept talking.

I am exhausted with your
Was exhausted for trying
to make you happy
Exhausted for not fitting
into the threading of selfishness
Exhausted for weeping on the floor
before you begging
for small attentions
Why how. Unfathamable.
This pain should be gone.
I have love in my life.
And you not seeing clearly.

Not cleaning up messes.
The story of us.
That’s it.
You. Not. Ever. Cleaning up messes.

Exacerbating them with blindness.
I cannot afford to buy you glasses.
None fit the metal threading
Around your heart.

My belief in the importance of historical data is waning. That two people should build great buildings of love and hope and rocking chairs. Of libraries and debates. Of memory and knowing and triumph. Of tenderness interlaced with struggle.

But rape of the heart is the simple drop-sound of all those things let go from fingers and the falling is as slow as a feather. The sound so difficult to hear, but so loud to my ears. The taking. Away. Sound. The sound of disregard. Is so quiet. And I am wishing for clanks and bangings of enormous metal on metal. The sounds of buildings being demolished. The warning beep of backwards bulldozers.

But it is light as a feather and the slow-free fall is aching me.

The slowest race

Is not forever
In steel toed boots and rags
It is the most temporary place
The slowest race
Unforgiven graces
Where visages lift weights
And hands procure metal grates

I sigh
Coming nigh to the edge
Of a particular pledge
Where street signs lead masses
To kindergarten classes

Option B

Morning tension
My mind pulls my skin taught
Rotting food in the back of the fridge
Like beliefs I once had about you
Meals that I lovingly made
Breaking down with bacterial propagation
Unrecognizable. You are.
I slam doors to my words
Around you
Convince myself there is nothing to say
When really thereistoomuch
But I am no longer speaking to the person I once knew
Or the person you puppeteered yourself to be

Spring flowers lillies tulips irises things I don’t know names of
Show their sweet sex in my yard
Paperwhites look at me lovingly
They have transformed soil and light
Into images of beauty

This world makes us capable
Of succumbing to degradation
Or building from the unseen
I circle option B
And move on

Gamble it


We seep down into an inky valley
24 31 37 38

4 of us written in history books like madonnas of our own right
No end in sight
From darling to daemon
From beacon to bear

24 31 37 38
4 of us represent cross-points
Each one of unfurled petals
Each one creating the clover
They all stop to inhale (us)

We trot like ponies
On wet earth
But pagan carpets lay the way

Senseless poems written in late night haste
My mouth forms it’s own taste
Of left-behind whiskey

Even if we lose it all
We are fucking golden.

When Artists Crawl Out…


How many times have you met someone and

ached to know them deeper?

How often have you thought that

a real-life story was likely better than any movie you’ve watched in the last 5 years?

How many people around you are full of tattoos and tribulation and the kindest hearts?

This is nothing to balk at. Your experience is reality and most often movies don’t go for that format. For me, I used to pretend I was in a movie constantly as a kid. That there were cameras placed in the plants in my house, that someone was filming me from behind that tree while I walked down the road. Because I did feel my life was that interesting at the age of 7. That one day I would be a star of some kind, that surely I fell from a distant star and it would be recognized soon enough that

I just wasn’t made of this earth.

But that has yet to happen. I live here, no ship has swung by  to pick up my aching bones (and heart). No one has sent me a message in a bottle with a secret inscription stating what my mission is here. I am waiting, still.

But some people go ahead and create that reality for themselves. Some people live an artist’s life that others dream about. Some people chase down art inside themselves like it was the last meal they might have on this planet. One more canvas, one more photo, one more film, one more song… their artist’s legs are built like Jesse Owens’. Made for artistic sprint and jumping into pure air with no fear of what they might hit at the end. Living like this is a beautiful place and frightening for the rest of us.

We all want a success story near us. It helps us keep going.

It pulls our hearts from basements and gives us power when we see another human being in full expression. And we all have that flame, but when we share it… none of it is gone. We help someone else be brighter. Lighting another’s lamp never made our lamp go out.

We have a chance to make a difference in some lives right now. You have a chance to tip your torch towards some souls who are living that artist’s life and need some food for those powerful legs.

They need all of us to make it through this sprint and if we don’t come through, we let another human being fail. This is about making a community out of strangers. About the desire for that real-grit story to be told BY the real-grit folks who live it every day.

This movie is being made by rough-edged tattooed guys who are also some of the gentlest kindest most concerned people you’ve ever been close to, by queer people who have cast out from families, by monied kids who choose to live as artists instead of following their parent’s status quo, by people who knew when they were little that they would hold cameras up to life’s hardships and show them for everyone, by sweet-souled women who wear all the knives at their hips to protect anyone around them, by me, and maybe by you.

Don’t let these people fall, because they are you.

This world has too much apathy to let this campaign go by. There is simply too much heart-on-display to allow this to slip into the night without putting a few freaking dollars in the coffer of the church they are building. A church of Life, truly. Where spires are made from overcoming and the pews are full of stories that need to be told. It’s a place where we have a chance to feel united despite disconnect. It’s a place where we can jump into the game at any time and change it for the better for us all.

Every now and then a project comes along that can represent all of those things and we have the opportunity to know we did something good for someone else, but also for ourselves. Because watching Jesse Owens win so long ago felt like America won.

Help these artists win, for every





that ever lived inside you.


WATCH THE VIDEO HERE, and I dare you to not let your heart be moved. But I challenge you to support something on faith.

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Courtney Henslee-Kresha

33 year old mother of three daughters. Courtney is witty, truthful, daring, and sexy. She resides in Austin, Texas. Her youth was spent in both Houston and the Texas Hill Country. This lends her raw Texas appeal alongside intense intelligence. For three years, she produced and hosted a popular show on KPFT called WholeMother where her following ranged from young alternative mothers to cowboys looking for wit and a mothering voice. From street smart to rural smart, she drives like a maniac and writes with a passion.

The Days Roll By

May 2015
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