If I told you I was dying, would you believe me?
I’m not lying. I’m just doing it very slowly.
I can feel the ceiling sinking but it’s no concern
You’re in the same predicament.
Forgive my flippant reverence for the infinite.
Just give me one night, alone. I can figure it out.
It’s of no concern of yours. You
have your own honesty to burn you up inside.
I understand if you don’t have room for mine.
I called my mom.
She said she’s doing just fine.
Sometimes I don’t know who is talking who
down off the ledge.
There’s a room inside my head where I try to prove
the things I’ve said.
May the best confession be
the easiest to believe instead of the hardest
to disregard because there’s a difference between
memory and destiny whether we pass life’s test
or fail death’s miserably.
It’d be disastrous for us
to repeat anybody’s path but ours.
The hours ask so much of us.
An ounce of feathers could become
a pound of flesh without a second chance
any minute if enough of us get famished
and can’t hold a candle to holding still.
We thrash and spill over ourselves like Mississippi
flood waters through the windowsill.
We fill ourselves to the gills with distraction
and dashed hopes of killing the last thing
that captured our passion.
are for assholes who don’t know how to listen.
Your therapist will tell you to hate your parents
especially if you don’t already.
She’s really into Freud
and she believes childhood memories are the way to explain
the choices you make.
For example, one time you ran away
from a thicket of hornets or the other time, just last week,
when you slept walked your way into the closet and took a shit
Think back to potty training. It was a long
time ago I know.
Your mind’s been held captive
by the actions of your ego. Or is it
the inactions of your id?
next to my lover
I listen to her breathe and think about the very end
of waves lapping up the sand and hermit crabs
Their houses newly flooded
but they’ve become accustomed to gargling
salt water as my dad was
and I always wondered
why he did that
in the mornings
before he went to work and I think
of my mother and her heartbeat and how I
owe mine to her
and how without both of them,
I couldn’t begin to bend the hook of my elbow
behind the crook of my lover’s neck
and get a squeeze in
before the world
calls us out of bed and into itself.
I have a black angel
fish I’ve been trying to figure out
how to discipline.
She nips at all the other fishes’ fins
and there’s nothing
I can do about it.
I could starve her
but then I’d harm
the other fish.
Isn’t that always
the way? Paying
for someone else’s sins?
As if morality had a balance
or swimming in your own piss
wasn’t enough already?
You know that part
in your favorite song
where everything crescendos
and you head bang in your kitchen
when no one else is around?
Maybe that’s the part
that’s stuck in the black angel’s
head and she only wants to be alone.
Or maybe the other fish didn’t know
they were in a mosh pit.
It’s all forgotten as soon as I walk away.
I’m not the boss of those fish.
Sure, I have to change the water.
Sure, I have to feed them and watch them
and ask them questions.
I can’t blame
them for not answering.
They can’t talk
I’m teaching them to read
by stacking Time
magazines against the back of the glass.
I watch and wait for the sake of the others.
Hopefully, reading will teach them love or patience.
Old enough to know better
yet I throw fistfuls of fits
against a chain link fence
to see which side I’m on.
Fallen out of love enough to consider
it a little bit of a crutch.
It’s the same thing over and over again.
On one side, a heart explodes on its own.
On the other,
there’s no one there to believe
the gory details of the ghost story
so does the camp fire
dampen our capacity
to drown out the absence.
Finding bright lights in the abyss is kind of my specialty.
What better place to find meaning
than in the negative space?
Sedated laughter isn’t genuine.
I’ve been a better friend in the past
than I am now.
I’m too proud of how
I break down and vent
and invent a dependency on people
they see a different me
I can’t see myself.
Today I crossed out the phrase
on the bathroom mirror and wrote
I need help
loving somebody else in its place.
When I grow up I want to be a victim.
I don’t know what positive attention
has to do with anything.
Fill me full of blame
and I’ll sing an off key, woe is me refrain
softly so as to drag you down to the same
gutter where the lackluster lover’s subtly feign
I’ll have your back if you have mine.
Don’t ever change.
No need to get my own, if I can use your spine.
When I grow up I want to be codependent
I don’t know enough about being alone and content
I feel at home when anchored in the canker soar
of angry noise.
Strange décor hangs on your
Tie me up if I become unmoored.
Set adrift and left to my devices I’m torn
Between justifying vices and just defining my life as
so not where I thought I’d wind up. This too will pass.
Feeling in love and feeling alive are often
Feeling distant has nothing
to do with proximity. Maybe I’m trapped
inside my own head, or maybe it would be
more accurate to say inside my mother’s head,
in the faint imagination of what I thought
she might have said?
I once sought
validation externally because internally, I
wrung my hands at a sink full of dishes
after serving dinner to a silent family and sighed.
I don’t know
was the most affirmative utterance
I could come up with.
I often felt
nothing, like I was an empty husk
of a person, or a solar powered robot at dusk
or the ghost in the machine without the ghost.
Maybe I looked for other people who appeared
to be near puncturing through themselves
with their inner workings or lack thereof.
When you have no feelings, you seek out people who do.
Paradoxically so though, because if mine don’t matter,
yours sure as alarm clocks at dawn don’t either.
Two empties don’t make a full.
Two fools doling out approval in the most
moderate of doses is no way to escape
the inner pull that we were put here
to do more than be polite.
To be more than contained by night.
June 11, 2013 Rap music is so diverse in its themes, its style, its content but when it becomes a vehicle to be talked about in mainstream news, the rap that gets in national news is always the rap music that perpetuates misogyny that is most obscene in its lyrics and then this comes to stand for what rap is. Really its for me the perfect paradigm of colonialism, that is to say, we think of rap music as a little third-world country, that young white consumers are able to go to and take out of it whatever they want. We would have to acknowledge that what young white consumers, primarily male, oftentimes suburban, most got energized by in rap music was misogyny, obscenity, pugilistic eroticism and therefore that form of rap began to make the largest sums of money.
Bad news is just as good as good if it comes
from you. Anything worth worshiping is seldom
confused but I wonder if when god gets tired
prayers sound like taunts.
down and needing to unwind, on the seventh day
god said fuck it.
Somebody get me barrel of hay.
I’m napping right here under this apple tree.
Does anybody know any good bedtime stories?
I love the ones where the animals could talk,
everybody gets snacks, and the humans would walk
away feeling ashamed of their of their own curiosity.
This being-on-call-24/7-jazz is not for me.
Instead, would it be cool if I took a few days off?
The humans could use a little slack in the rope.
Why does everybody act like I’m a joke?
Is there another way a bird learns to fly besides taking off?
I hate to cut you off but I have to cut you off.
It’s 2am somewhere and you might not be drunk
but you’re humble with your sanity and I can’t believe
you’re done so buy another round for some people
you don’t know.
Take it slow
doesn’t mean keep it slow.
Just ask the horizon
for a break.
She’ll tell you life’s been no easy fix,
too straight to fake.
I look like I’m not bent,
like I don’t wrap around the earth.
What I wouldn’t
give to mend the gap between sky and dirt.
The pencil lost sight of its word
as soon as it entered his ear.
It slipped through the drum like a wasp’s nest.
The king of night is a streetlight
pulsing above a cold motorcycle
who’ll never see her rider again.
She didn’t lose him like I lost my breath.
I’ll get it back but death is better
than half of marriages.
Death is forever.
The good news is as good as the bad.
There are 31 reasons to believe the mad
may have not been born that way
and hopefully they won’t stay that way.
The birthday balloons will lose their helium.
A finger gets feverish to fight off infection.
Blood isn’t always a bad thing.
could bring me an ear that’s never
felt naked before and press it to the concrete,
I assure you, I’ll give you my eye
of a needle’s chance
at dancing with death and not stepping on her feet.
The sun will rise. The motorcycle will find
a new rider. The stray dog will find its way home
A family who stays alone
prays for someone, anyone, all of them
to get better.
A sickness will stick
to the ribs for as long as it remembers
to part ways with the harp of ribs
that float freely between the strings.
When I grow up
I hope I’m as cool as I was
when I was thirteen.
Wallet chain, ripped jeans,
I was like a Harley
-riding, meth-lab-having, bad daddy
or the rock or the kids. And I still don’t
have any of those.
But this morning I stared at motorcycles
for three hours online
and decided I should start with a 250cc
and a whole bunch of leather.
I’m taking a safety
course in July.
I promoted myself to boyfriend status
with the apple of my happy place
but still don’t have plans
for a meth lab and I’m ok
with that. Actually,
I hate the word boyfriend.
I’m not a boy.
I’m more than a friend.
I prefer man-companion.
When I was a nine I used to ride
flattened cardboard boxes
down flights of carpet stairs
just to get my adrenaline to spike.
Never mind how the baseboard tasted
or how the novacane
made the crack in my face numb.
I bite my tongue
so much more
now than I used to and like it
My mom used to say if you don’t
have anything nice to say,
go talk to the wall.
I have a chalkboard painted five by eight
on my living room
wall and I talk to it
more than I talk to my mom.
If I was going
to have an outer body experience, I would want
to leave through my bellybutton.
for consistency’s sake.
there’s probably a greater chance
I could make my way back
when I finally decide to return
if I leave this world
as I found it.
I hope so much I can fit a pen and a little notepad
out of my bellybutton
so I can take notes
out there and remember
what I learn.
Hopefully, there’s not a security checkpoint
on the way back to my body
because I plan on grabbing everything
I can get my hands on.