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Smoked a pneumoniac cigarette. Sky is scattered in words. I take buses to various spots on the margin, yet rarely look up at the book. Roof over my head protects my eyes from thoughts of flight. cat is sleeping on our best chair. rain slowly devours minute layers of window, like mica flakes. They say pneumonia once can affect you for years. It's the disease your friend's cousin's grandmother got. As ethereal as knowing someone whose house burnt down. My own burnt down when I was fourteen. I was in better spirits then, maybe grateful for being spared from pneumonia.
An old drug induced conversation revealed to me a possible reason why I execute strange idle maneuvers with my hands. Old tribes on this planet did not live in locales where hunting was most efficient. Instead, they ate seeds. To successfully sustain oneself on seeds, the act of splicing and devouring the meat inside the shell would have to be performed constantly, perhaps all day. This became an automatic action, like breathing. Talk to your son, open seeds. Watch the sunset, open seeds. Embrace your lover, sing and cry and open seeds. I'm suffering eons of conditioning, opening invisible seeds.
Without the tongues of conformity, rebellion would remain unsatisfied. Gray afternoon, persistent pelting of frozen snow click clacks umbrellas baseball caps and suitcases. An old pink american is rambling loudly to a vague neighbor at the bus stop. He demands that Martin Luther King, Jr.'s holiday is a worthless act of reverse racism. Demands that the generals who gave their lives in the war between the states should be glorified with their own bank-observed holiday. His friend ignores him, I react with profanity's yell. His eyes go wide and gray, like the bicycles broken in the thrift store's poverty windows.
Remember how love drooled at your neck, sitting on midnight mattress, sweat and cigarette, only to dislocate blankets again, split the atom of careless fluids, a savage look in their eyes that says you're ready, now and again and as many times in moon's voyeurism, in miserable apartments of broken widows and windows, anxious children, drug sales, firearm wallmart combination safes and cockroach citizens, a roaming pleasure in the coalroom of poverty, their hands somehow both small and strong, their miraculous smell a camouflaged splinter, creasing into memory's fingerweb, so unbelievable now, to imagine that you were once so uncompromising?
And the radio says we all need gentle. Because the noise of living wears down escapism's calcium shell. We need gentle sometimes because our cocks and cunts are sore from dry humping a world, who giggling, knock us away when the friskiness becomes too much to bear. Not to be sweet talked into an early grave, we need gentle. Not fake and hushed and anxiously whispered. Gentle may be screamed or dangerously scattered like a stubborn cardboard puzzle. I know I need gentle because I am sick of interacting ignorantly with radios, I want gentle lovingly packaged around delicate barbs.
I'm in love with the sun. Her ancestors are sore with ambition, watching her silver mouth speak in Icelandic whispers, listening to the lash of her hair. I realize that being in love with someone so loved could ruin me. In the evening, I smoke cigarettes over a puddle, where doused butts waver like fiberglass fish, the movements decorate a reflection in lacquer colored curls. It's difficult to look her in the face. Walk all night on the cooling material of cities, shaking my head, remembering childhood drawings, my first kiss, not my first, the first one in her light.
I'm giving up musical instruments, and learning to play the yarn and dagger. I'm going to play loud into the AM, I'm going to wake up all the mice and bats, scratch the walls and wring out my fingers, scratch my fingers and follow the walls in knit and knitting trails, various furies and blood fresh, compose absurd operas. Fuck the neighbors, call the cops, I'm not using fucking headphones. Dig rivets into the bathroom mirror, taunt the cat, slice up the bed sheets. Run engorged by lyrics, past the bars and mailboxes, past the hearts already cut into trees.
The fight wanders between rooms in its underwear. Only things we agree on mean less than a grain of corn meal, mean more than leaving you on the leyline label of our first beer or last grope. All the smoke wasted in our arguments, caresses like torn aluminum cans climbing my arms, animal music on an armchair or pressed deep into the colors of pillowcases, mining for memories in cotton wool, for some year when non sequiturs were traded slyly over the lustful approximations of anonymous restaurants and parklands, those fragrant territories now pawed, a generous history, now slowly discarded.
Bamboo plant gift in the limited sunshine, rays surmise patterns on a monitor, wood floors, painted sheetrock, chords and plugs gangbanged into the outlet, blacks and grays, the surge protector switch a flickering firefly in the shadow behind the wood dresser, a television on its last legs, errant laundry hung on hangers, room subsequently confused with the smell of cheap detergent and breakfast, toilet needs two flushes per deposit, police ringing faint buzzers, receivers squawk, angry and disturbed in the hallway, door squeaks, tenants I've never met explain a beautiful story to an officer, shower pissing streams of flawed plumbing.
Guitar scratches immature graffiti through sautéed air. Gives resistance, strings carve into damp fingers, walls swell, room respiring. Fire colored veins frame corners of sight, kick the max volume up notches, feedback curls into a refined voltage, nails go brittle as makeshift pick. There are sounds that are not notes, notes that are not sound or rational. There is an approximation of song, even in the most unprofessional of hands, a tease to extend and capture the speeding car drag of an auricular notion, written page ramblings translated to a universal tongue. Generate heat and fury, primitive man breaks tool.
school is where they massage my balls with reiterations is where half my class clicks car-alarm key chains on their way out and checks their cellphone every time a top forty hit chimes someone's tiny speaker school is when i pay more for textbooks than i usually pay for drugs on extended weekends is when I'm disgusted/intrigued by the strange plastic women, their perms gleaming like a daddy's platinum card school is why the children in these attempting adults are dying broken faced in their brains and ear canals so they can look ready to enjoy an impending minimum wage
"Last cowl" Drinking licorice liquor out the fridge standing in boxers while it's below zero outside. Then lay under quilt and fantasize a pair of legs, drawing faces and make believes in a composition notebook with a black felt tip. Felt real to have that dream again: A movie is being filmed, I'm on set. An eccentric inventor has created a robotic camera that's programmed to follow him around, complete with wheels for panning. I'm not needed here, but I follow them around anyway. He has a lab coat, his hands constantly make and retract fists. Awaken stiff and sober.
I HATE THESE FUCKING BUSES. If you live here, and you don't hate the bus, FUCK YOU. The bus drivers mostly slackjawed perverted creeps, they whine like babies when you don't have the extra nickel, they take extra long breaks when you're late, they work for a company that literally pisses on the commuters whose income finances it, changing schedules arbitrarily. This is not a poem, just a public message to the Albany, NY CDTA. If I meet the ones responsible for hundreds of hour long waits in the below zero cold, I'LL STRANGLE SOME DECENCY INTO YOU FUCKING BASTARDS.
Tragedies collected under nails. Let the cold wind breathe. Ignore silent animals. They would tap you on the shoulder if interest proved worthwhile, right? Why question the peasants? It is in their sweat you sleep. Yank down the rags, curtain, roll in the warmth, knotted in horizon folds. Appropriate a meal, eat it with your unwashed paws in the tree shadows. Wait for the grays to turn recognizable. Ignore the sounds of erudite students, of their awkward machines, of the faint sniff texture of cradle in their developing adulthoods. They don't know to ignore you. To them you are diseased.
Massage her with hand shadows. It's the first time you've noticed that when she smiles, her past frowns. Naturally, this is why she understands you. You like to perform secretly power-related gestures in her presence. Carrying her to bed when she falls asleep watching TV, only for her to wake up halfway to the room, to begin placing kisses on you, half-dreaming, guide you with a hand as you meet reenergized in the darkness. It is best this way. Because, without a word, without an awkward dose of sarcasm, you are meeting on familiar territory, fascination renewed and seemingly bottomless.
The tortoise took speed. The mad hatter was a product of electroshock therapy. Little red riding hood's mom was on workfare. The little prince was a mushroom inspired hallucination while piloting. Rudolph's condition was actually the product of a rare and terminal disease. Little miss muffet had issues, and often complained of problems with sexual intimacy. The stories are splattered into interpretations, retellings. There is a reason why there was an Emperor Of The United States. There is a reason we read fantasy fiction slabs one-handed on subways. To quote Andrew Dice Clay: "Little boy blue, he needed the money."
It's not cold out because cold can be cute. There's something snow does to your mind. The scientific term would be Chionophobia. Your desires and inconsistencies become erratic geometric shapes floating white and unique, dodging and chasing your breath, pressed dioramas of mountainsides, sculpted in the streets by nature and plow, composed and identified by barren white areas inside what feels like your chest, could be your brain, spirals defy gravity, curious white approximations of DNA, tunnels of water flakes, to step through them is to speak to an enemy you cannot see, self-muttering, self-repressing, self-incriminated, dangerous and striding mad.
They're stealing my mail. Eventually I will have proof. Then I'll hide out downstairs with a bat. If no one shows up I'll take said bat to every door in this building. If I don't find what I'm looking for I'll kidnap the mailman. If they won't talk I'll hire a private detective. If he's a drunk I'll steal his liver, tell him he can't have it back until the job is finished. If this means fabricating my lost mail for me and submitting them, so be it. Then, at least I'll have fake mail, which should count for something.
The twisted thing about working has always been the balance between paycheck, sanity, and doing it all over again the next week. Why work for chump change to purchase the items that rationalize your need to work for chump change to pay the overpriced rent you can barely afford to rationalize your need to keep a job you can't stand for the eventual raise that's rearranging titanic deck chairs as far as your wallet's concerned to rationalize the fact that you've been there that long, sweated for others that long, betrayed time better spent on realizing dreams for that long?
Sun peels through shades of frozen matter, breaks up wet and careless dances of alabaster confetti, following invisible spires focused conically, imploding into now powerful breaths, energized by novels, paintings, creations served to document HEAT, another word for CALORIE, another word for SKEWERED MIRROR, making crazed cross-eyed smiles in the bathroom, stabbing at zits and facial imperfections, performing the busywork of improvement over the natural process, impress who? Like any other needs, deserves, or can directly appreciate such forms of worship, taken me long to learn this important concept, that our imperfections mark us, ugly a critical weapon against anonymity.
Frying plantains at four am. The coffee machine finally shuts down for good, barely sputtering its last, undrinkable cup, in my underwear, cigarette and stunned look, this cannot be. Last night dreams about unknown Latinas, the smell of sweat, their voices calm instruments, elegant noises, swirling like packs of dogs under full moons in summers' heated bristles, something wet about their stares, dry about their humor. Crack a fresh pack on the way to my bus stop, no place to throw the wrapper but the sidewalk, get the awkward glance from geezer. The landfills are piling too, high as missiles.
Bury flowers in the moss encrusted flesh touched most closely to surfaces slept in youth's undercurrent/ let the razor's dulling become gold/ that artifacts of pasts are marks bitten with each passage rite/ capacity for bullshit becomes larger with age/ pattering towards an eventual burst?/ don't think about the love lost and failed/ for it will think twice as long of what betrayed/ held herald chains to sleep's diameter/ and whispered like gasoline in the caverns of an ear/ forging trails for errant sparks of argument/ the longest hair a fuse/ from scalp to interrupted dream/ promises thrashed though dangerously…
…why spend blood on written word?/ attempting to withdraw the sacrifices/ scoop the evidence back up with the entrails/ bow head low from sun/ it's no one's fault/ we couldn't stand the screaming/ now flinging spears into the sky/ an ocean of revenge/ pile bodies limp as stones for Babylon/ winter makes for difficult progress/ the stars at night do not deter/ to reach that light that nourishes and drives insane/ a wild beast/ each hoof a tanning tool/ names in brand/ calligraphy still smoking/ the smell of an expired moment/ apologizing/ certain to savor it when it happens again.
Discard the reference to her (minutes away from mindfuck, clenching and from behind, somehow gentle) with the remnants of unsent letters and package conspiracies (failed to follow through)/ too many revisions, phrases abandoned to youth fountain journals and undiscovered countries of aging paper/ some people are simple, deriving questionable kicks from abusive introversion, their own paths of least resistance/ that does not make them simple, nor anyone else complex/ EVERYTHING IS BULLSHIT/ anyone who was there understands/ the cynic in his lobster shell reads Rilke, then cries over spilt roses, despite previous advice, massaging the thorns like whats the point.
Debilitated by styrofoam coffee in rush hour, busy street hop/ you giggling anxiously behind your gloved hands, steam stuttering out, a laughter I could see/ under the bus stop, vehicles faded in the mirrors of your glasses/ never caught the color of your eyes or lashes/ in class today/ someone I've never seen, must be new/ had legs like an embrace seen from afar, a face I had to begin sketching/ she knows I stared/ how long has it been/ probably months/ leave it alone/ smiling under masks does little in the way of communication/ smoking under no smoking signs.
Went out drank read poetry drank ranted poetry drank pissed drank went to work smoked slept smoked smoked coffee smoked read failed worked headphones smoked coffee smoked water water water worked water headphones smoked lunched shopped left smoked busride keys door greet cat naked smoked heater pissed relaxed read failed wrote semi-failed cleaned house laundry new massive attack track 7 doesn‘t work plan to return it slept failed re-ductaped various household objects smoked water smoked failed telephone no one necessary home so wrote considered new idea for perpetual motion device maybe failed if not rich talked to mom 100 words.
I've changed a lot in the past ten or fifteen years, but I have this to say today: Peace out, Mr. Rogers. I watched you when I was a runt. Don't remember too much of it, but remember being plugged into PBS. Many years later I'm tripping on acid, trying to watch an episode. He was playing a piano, said something like "Each of these keys is different, and the combinations of sounds here are almost infinite. These keys are just like you, children. Different and capable of infinity." I started crying, it scared the shit out of me. R.I.P.
2800 words saved and sorted. Is this a journal or a heroin shot in an auditory gland turned legible in phosphorescent eye? The thing about this writing shit is that it only changes the world through perspective. A nation, every single one of you, reading the word PEACE can disregard it as freely as they/you can internalize it. Bizarre that language is an interpretive construct, a set of keys for a jewel box of dangerous trinkets, rendered soft and meaningless in a spectrum of hands. Anyone can turn the key. But to regard some sentiment to junk? We wax pathetic.
The Tip Jar