REPORT A PROBLEM
A bustling crowd of dragonflies poses as rhodedendron in my backyard. Hundreds of sets of wings are fighting the wind, trying to take flight. Their fleshy green wings beat upward, but a wooded spiderweb holds their feet in its grasp like soe sort of sick child who has caught a fly and knows his power right before tearing off a leg and a wing to watch its disabled hobbling before mashing it with the roll of a thumb. But these dragonflies won’t give up. They refuse to accept the accusation that they’re rhodedendron bound to the earth staring at sky.
I have some questions
Slit open like an envelope
What do you write inside me
Are those your words
When all is through
Or do some stay
Inking over other lines
Filling empty space
As they quietly edit my story
Do I sway the flourish of your pen
Does the canvas
Inside your mouth
Bear witness to the etchings of my tongue
Or do my saliva silkscreens
Of partial paragraphs
When you brush your teeth
If I had a child
Would I birth a novel
We both wrote,
That takes on a life of its own
Tell me not where of I were
Maybe I’m the devil and I fear not this hell you speak of. My landscape is ever concrete beneath the concepts you would subscribe to it, layers of fog dressing the other nakedness of hillsides rolling below, hidden undulating behind your masks of self deception.
Maybe I’m the creator and everything you know is souls I threw down in some cosmic game of 52 pickup. My true face would cease your existence because then we would be the same. You prefer the illusion of individuality. Eternity forces me to favor not being alone.
My brother and I went picking through the forest. We sorted our way down a stream bed, balancing from rock to rock, muddied our feet, furrowed our brows at skunk cabbage. The place was littered with the foreign flora of metal pipe branches, electrical wire vines. A showoff biker said “oh shit” every time he fell. We scaled a steep hill and viewed the whole park then rolled down the other side, A dizzying half mile of remembering I am young no matter what. I have to thank my brother for reminding me of what is so easy to forget.
i’ll find you in the pages i’ve written
this pile of paper and electronic scrawlings
surely you’ve ducked behind a the or an a
i’ll see a toe poking out
or a wisp of hair that will give you away
somehow i’ll derive the whirl of your fingerprints
frozen within the lines
i’ll recognize that observer peering out
behind dark glasses
as someone trying to get lost
in crowded words
you cannot possibly disintegrate with each one written
letting go of strands of your soul
like leaves to a creek
i’ll decipher the map
find the x you’ve left me
I’ll build my walls so high you can’t see me
and seal the bricks with the tears I can’t cry
I’ll feel my lips take on the grim curve
my mother’s possess
and lash out in anger I didn’t know I had
I’ll push you further and further away
so I don’t have to feel anything at all
contemplate the new bottle of pills I was given
wondering how many one could ingest
I’ll feel like throwing up every moment
and suck more smoke deep in my lungs
then exhale to watch the proof that I’m breathing
building these walls
my lips are blackened
more than a kiss
giving you them
on a face
newspaper printed across the cheekbone
a camel light pack plastered
tattooed in a fold
across and under
but I’d have novels as well
torn strips slashing the eyes
a snickers wrapper
the curl curve
slick down the neck
cigarette butt barrettes
tofu strung in coffee washed hair
creamer caught in collarboneswith a razor blade pendant
that rests between anorexia ravished breasts
the rest hidden
behind rotting food
plummet drain in a belly button of water bleach burrowing down to the pipes to maze a toxic path away from home my children will pilfer the plots of land they called no ones that were propertied out with invisible lines that still hold your weapons and frivolous excess will untie the wires you laced through the iron corset you've forced on me I will break out of these shackles you use to conform me to your wishes it may scar my face burn my hair in plumes of noxious smoke but my children will set me free
The trees in the forest are wondering if when the humans all kill themselves, anyone will hear. They’re wondering if the layering of years of growth will add up to anything more than the ashes of pages that were pressed out in haste.
The trees in the forest are wondering whose sisters and brothers will fall first. They’re wondering if the sky will still be blue when the smoke clears.
The trees in the forest are wondering why quiet peace has to change. They’re wondering if anything will ever be the same.
They want to know who listens to hear.
The earth will swallow me up in its caverns and passages. I’ll wander the maze till my feet and fingers become my eyes in the darkness. Strange mosses and molds will become the feast I devour in the land beyond day. Time will become a memory I have forgotten without the sun to track. Slowly I’ll reach a new heavy gaited rhythm that plods along with the heart beat of below. Whispers of air currents and trickles of water will be my new companions, holding light conversations with the vibrations of my eardrums. I will be searching for the minotaur.
He’s like a fucking museum, everything in glass cases, man. Everything is all lighted up and held on high, but you can’t touch a damn thing. What’s the point of that? Who wants a museum? Not me, I don’t want no fucking museum. Give me some interaction. Give me a beach, not some lame ass sand box. Fuck the corporate ladder. I want to climb a real tree this time around. We need to get rid of the museums, man. Put that shit back where it came from. We should see shit walking around, not closed up in a box.
Maybe I’m just lovesick
Your hip pours into the cup of my hand
Ribs flow through gaps in my fingertips as
up your side,
then are swept down
the canyon between your shoulder blades
to the shallow
narrow of your back
You are a new earth
for my being to play along
Get lost below the surface
An internally shining sun to rise and set
An internally glowing moon bathing me in light
Blackholes that persuade me past their event horizon
I don’t think I’ll turn back
I like this new dimension
He slips quietly like a beggar housed only in darkness in the night, staying close to the walls. He's knocking on my door again now that I've replaced all the lights. The black mist is creeping under the space between the door and the floor, lightly teasing my toes with its cold tendril touch. My fingertips are frozen to my side of the doorknob so I I know he is there waiting for his turn once I twist the lock. Should I open the door, let him in this one last time? He feels like an old friend coming to call.
the music they played
in a chamber so vast
encompassing everything in its hugeness
blue and open
or topaz and pearl
red luster stretched out
chords investing in blackness
fresh and free formed petals
to cry to wish to utter up
tangibly entwisting the tongue
sparking light to the surface of skin
bursts of life breathed
to exist or not exist
if all is balance
an equilibrium in being
equating to zero
nothing makes everything worth it
i remember the old songs sometimes
my soul acknowledges the notes
which memories are worth dredging out
from the depths of the lake
to leave rotting there at the bottom
can none be forgotten since they become twisted in currents
little bits wash to the shore
a hunkered over
the unnamed forgotten
the body recalls what the library attributes to lost
some dusty bookshelf you don't go
do wounds really heal
after the bruises
are we walking injuries awaiting
some final infection
or loss of blood so great that
the pain becomes too much to recover from
there are people in that helicopter that’s flyin
There are people in that train that’s crashin
there are people in that car that’s flippin
what are the movies doin to us?
what is the news doin to us?
making death a plaything
a far away thing
some thing we the viewers
the future killers
we’re subtly being told
who’s a life
who’s a thing
what’s worth saving
and what’s safe for the pickings
we’re being told that some people ain’t life
we’re being told
that some people ain’t life....
How do you comfort the dying? Mix a vodka cranberry juice? Tell them you’ll go to their funeral and you will eat bacon.? I try to imagine the steaming plates of meaty lasagna and platters of rolls of salami, ham and roast beef. It leaves me sad to think of a true shining soul to leave so soon. Maybe it doesn’t matter since so many true souls are sent out the door each day from hunger and bombs and hate. When will we unlearn this strange enrapture with death and remember more the daily pass of life and love it?
the night belongs to us of vanity. the solitary inspection and invasion of the skin and form , searching for foul imperfection. staying up too late. meticulous, meditative or compulsive “cleansing” of the body. the jabbing out of consciousness from keyboards with probing fingertips. the subtle avoidance of unwanted work.
is vanity the right word? a matter of semantics and slants. introspection, meditation, self absorbed, bored.
maybe it’s just bored. an excuse to keep the brain turning a few extra revolutions to see if anything can be tilled from the ground. an artifact for the archeologists to ponder over.
like the gnarled bark of a tranquil tree
uneven landscapes of smooth terrain with single orbal droplets
shining smooth as beauty of dried lips
my blood seeped onto a dollar bill
with nose bleeding
not even realizing my own blood my own life from body
then I divorced it from my body as something of a reaction abnormal not real
not real dark
dark and bloodless as normal reality
make me dream this silly body of mine holds
that some soul haunts my cells
having worthwhile contributions to vomit out for the world
Peace Rally, D.C.
It was amazing to see so many people all gathered to speak out against the war and corporate greed. I had issue with the semi blood thirst I detected among some of the Palestinians, but overall it was a very calm gathering. The two teenage girls, 15 and 16, from the refugee camps who spoke were incredible. They had such hope even after witnessing Jenin and growing up in camps their entire lives. If they can hope, we can all still have hope. Of course I’m sure the news will overlook the 75000+ people who gathered there.
He was something that no one saw.
Something only caught in the glint of most people’s eyes,
shifted within the grains of their identity to the point of invisibility.
He shimmered and turned, casually gliding through life
as easily as smoke passes on the arms of the wind.
He was something,
carried his something proudly in his shoulders, let it show minutely in the curve of his fingers that held his cigarette.
He had a way of catching you even if you just passed each other on the sidewalk, then disappeared back into his world. Quietly.
You are left staring, wondering what that something was that just infected you.
You see man with a small column of smoke rising at one side
paused at a corner behind you.
You almost fall as you cross the next street.
A chunk of tar is missing from the road,
revealing the cobblestones that got paved over so traffic could run more smoothly.
You wish you could break off a piece of the darkness that hardened you
so you could see yourself underneath.
You wonder if everything is rotten inside and the shell’s all that’s left of who you were.
You go home and as you walk to your door you notice the morning’s rain is still caught in the branches of the tree that stands next to your mailbox.
The drops shine in the afternoon sun like Christmas lights that don’t have to be connected by wire. You think that is something.
Later, as you spoon the soup you harvested from a tin can for dinner into your mouth, you start to question yourself. Who you are exactly.
You start to believe there is some shining fracture of light, buried in your flesh and bones or quietly sitting, meditating.
You remember being a child, believing you could achieve anything.
When the berries you squished between two stones was the dye used by the people your ancestors killed so they could live in this country.
When the stars sang to you on cold winter nights while you lay in your snowpants in a deep mattress of pure white until your parents called you inside, and you thought you were just as unique as all those stars above and all the little crystals of ice that held you.
When you believed every moment tied to the next in an unending knot.
That night, when you are puzzling over coffee with friends at the eat n’ park, crayons in hand improving a placemat,
you think you are somehow achieving something, in small pieces.
And it isn’t anything like what the adults who raised you would have told you was achievement,
but maybe they just didn’t have the words to tell you that with back then.
You believe you have the calling of a Michelangelo
flowing in your fingertips as they hover above the paper.
You can see bodies in the fibers, souls, figments, strands of ideas, thoughts begging to be set free.
You can see them clearly.
You wonder if hands can harness the soul.
By now you have forgotten it was something in a stranger’s eye that reminded you of life,
reminded you not to forget your something.
You don’t notice the curve of his chin forming in your scribbling.
You realize you want to hold onto your life.
Your fingers wrap more tightly around the green crayon you flourish.
You won’t let go.
dedicated to a homeless guy i met in d.c. i traded him a pack of cigarettes and a pair of socks to hear a poem/ conversation.
don’t touch me boy
not after you’ve taken so much
i’m not some sort of personal depository for your anger
i won’t stay here as you throw your pain in
like hurting me will make you hurt less
like somehow it will just disappear when it hits me
i’ve seen the violence on your face
the sadness that you have to find an end to
the rapidity you throw yourself in
no regard for where i stand
or what i might need
don’t touch me, please
i should have left in january
second chances never work
our two coats are sitting on the love seat
caught in an empty armed embrace
as i leave the house with plastic bags
of clothes i kept
intermingled with yours on the floor
i remember the good times,
would it have been better
if we stayed on open land
could that air
those expanses of green
have kept us from this hole we fell into
maybe it was these streets,
the miles of concrete mazing out to nowhere
that choked us
to the point that I can’t say
I love you
and mean it like i did before.
Turn around little girl. Don’t get lost looking down that hole. The only thing you’ll find is the bottom then you’ll have to figure out how to get back up. See something because you want to. Because it will mean something. Seeing for the sake of seeing usually ends up in scraped knees, bruised elbows, rocky hearts. You don’t want that little girl. You got enough of that last year. Turn around. There are other paths to play on. You don’t need your own light to brighten up everyone else’s down those paths. Turn around little girl. You need fuel.
I’m getting a taste of what it is to be psychotic. These new meds bring voices to my head while I fall asleep. I hear whispers and fragments. I try to ignore them, but then the bright lights I see whether my eyes are open or closed become apparent. If I try ignoring those by visualizing an object, it is all too real before me. My dreams are now vivid. My nightmares become brutally real, down to the cat piss soaked into the knees of my jeans. My arms feel nonexistent fingertips. These things aren’t real, but they scare me.
The Tip Jar