We walk in like we own the place
and our noses are dripping and we giggle and
cling onto each other like
flames, and that’s what we are.
The way the ice can shoot up through my soles
and crawl up the back of my legs is satisfying,
just like the way we keep glancing over our
shoulders to remind ourselves that
this journey is illegal.
We keep looking around for anyone who
can see through our scheme and drag
Misha back to her prison of
white walls on an elm tree shaded hillside
that we’ve been told to adore while
we bathe in bile and hockey player’s
sweat and dirty money.
We march towards a table that
we’ve sat at before.
We’ve sat everywhere before,
and like every other time,
people are shackled in suitjackets and silk,
drinking expensive bottles of cheap wine.
Our freedom lies in t-shirts and
sweat from dance and varsity basketball.
We are already the loudest ones there.
We have something to say, because we are
young and tomorrow is just another day
that we don’t give a fuck about.
And we hope our laughter will make you
choke on your angus steak that you cut so carefully
and someone with a diploma from Harvard
can resuscitate you and you’ll know what it feels like
to be alive too.
And we’ll joke about how we’re dying
and our arteries are constricting as we eat
fries and onion rings.
Steph asks for barbeque sauce.
Cookie already has food in her lap.
The bread is warm in my stomach and
if I close my eyes, I can see loaves being
pulled from ovens and they are gold and I want
to lie amongst them and capture their warmth
and trap it under my skin so I can glow.
I open my eyes and we have diet coke and ginger ale
and now more, because my glass is already empty.
Cookie reminds us that she hates Julia. We know.
She used to come with us.
We divorced her. She isn’t allowed anymore, because
that’s what you get for being a raging bitch.
Salad, hamburgers and tiny iron cauldrons of
macaroni and cheese, like every other time we’ve been.
Creatures of habit, the way
we talk forever about forever and
we watch the same busboy make trip after trip
carrying bins filled with scraped-empty dishes
and crystal goblets to show
we’ve got class.
I’m euphoric and it’s when I’m happiest
because it takes a special group of people
to be able to go to dinner and hate everyone together
as often as we do.
Misha hates Freshman,
Steph hates stupid people in smart classes,
Cookie still hates Julia.
I hate subtraction and the way
the numbers on the bill can squirm around
when I blink because they think I’m as funny
as I find them, so as always, I overpay
so I can avoid thinking and my fuzzy
thoughts can wrestle without nightmare of a
numerical arch enemies.
I press my spoon to the roof of my mouth
as my sorbet melts and we linger, knowing that
we are on top of just this world that we’ve created
and we can fold it up and pack it away with the
remainder of Misha’s macaroni
and we can continue to thrive on our self importance.
We evict ourselves and fall to lower energy levels
of prosaicness. Id wants to climb that hill
higher and higher and
inhale razor cold to cut apart my lungs.
I would drag them all behind me
and in some striking moment of clarity,
we immortalize ourselves by giving
Gibbet Hill its name and spending
perpetuity with our heads on stakes,
overlooking those who cannot laugh.
There are 99 drops of sweat
oozing through the cracks in a roof
from 99 men, maybe more, but
ot doesn’t matter much.
They’ve been up there a while,
trapped in a time loop.
I’ve seen them patching the same holes
on that same roof,
pounding the same rhythm
with the same hammer and nails.
They’re just older now.
If Dre heard their beats,
he would have put them in a recoding studio
and played it to the masses.
Shame they can’t get there,
and disappear inside a shiny black limousine.
The knees of their jeans are covered in tar
and the soles of their construction boots have melted,
stuck on a collapsing roof of a moldy old room.
The room is empty save for
metal bucket. The bucket collects
those drops of sweat that
fall from the ceiling, and it
then overflows, leaving
a sick orange puddle of powdered rust
and some rotting floorboards.
If the bucket wasn’t there
maybe there would be no floor, just a hole.
Maybe there would be no one to patch the roof.
The house would be a lost cause,
like tabloid magazines and the knots in
the shoelaces of my converse.
There would be nothing left to save,
and the workers could just jump
and pray for flight.
Those workers who don’t really
know what they’re working for,
but as long as they sing, I’ll listen.
The roof hasn’t collapsed yet.
They don’t know what they’re trying to fix,
they just hear a chant of
fix it fix it fix it.
Maybe they think their sweat is evaporating before
if falls through the roof.
They think is released into the air with
every shred of their dignity,
and they can inhale it
with the clouds of car exhaust,
cigarette smoke, and really good weed.
Their sweat will dissipate with the sicking sun
that’s too bright and makes me want to shut my eyes.
I think they shut their eyes too, but I don’t know
how they stay up there, tapping and tapping
with the same goddamn hammer.
I am bloody, pink,
waiting under glass of
a butcher shop window
between steaks and spare ribs
and we are all bound with twine.
My neighbors change because they
are cold and carry potential,
but I am just cold.
It took a long time for the decay
to rise to my surface and for
mold to bloom on my skin,
green and purple fractal flowers.
No amount of fire can
burn away the rot festering
inside of me.
So my dead neighbors come and go,
and we have dead handshakes
and dead conversations
and dead goodbyes
and dead deaths.
My neighbors will move on
to become part of someone else,
someone equally dead but so unaware
that I give a carcass leer and they shy away.
I am happy when my best friend the
butcher raises his shining cleaver and
it catches sunlight and it
glimmers for a second before
he hacks away at my body and I am fed to
dogs who don’t care how vividly you feel.
They will consume you in the spirit of
self maintenance and they are more alive
in their stupidity and natural instinct,
just not knowing, not just pretending.
There is a rope
with a sailor’s knot,
never to be undone,
tied around my middle.
It cuts under my ribcage
and burns red raw skin on my sides
and my belly.
I’m chasing a butterfly but
I can’t catch it.
My rope is tied to a tent,
and the tent is filled with bones
and I keep dragging them behind me.
There are skeletons for my father
telling me that I am a bitch
for my mother,
and how she thought she was important enough to leave
for six months and assumed we would care
for my sister, sitting on a swingset,
asking me where I would go when things fell apart,
for my brother, and that Christmas when he
wrapped his fingers around my neck,
disappeared and left a week of bruises.
There are skeletons for me too,
from whenever I decided that hate was
easier, and stronger
When the butterfly goes too high and
I collapse into grass,
nights washes over me like water
and presses my eyes closed,
drowning me in the pressure.
My skeletons claw their way uphill towards
me, phalanges digging into dirt,
white bone hands crawling and carving
pinstripe scars up and down my body,
over my face,
and when I wake I want to peel them off
They take chalk to outline
my mind so when my corpse is cleared away,
there is still a glowing
white line in a black room to
tell the world that once,
I was still there, every part of me,
assembled, a jigsaw puzzle
blanketing a fertilizer bomb.
And maybe that butterfly,
stained with ink-black dots,
can save me,
find my pieces,
bring me together again.
Globes of mellow colors rest in a two dimensional plain of green, and a crack interrupts the careful order and forces a new interpretation of rules, trials and natural law. Each separate universe falls one by one, swallowed by black holes, leaving them stacked on top of each other, struggling to be seen and crawl back, hoping for at least a temporary benignity. They are unnoticed but expect an accidental death at any second.
That white-blue glow flickers and buzzes, barely adequate but no one complains. it is pale and familiar and obscured under hazy smoke that rises regally, lingers, tracing Rorschach dreams and nightmares into your visions and burning them there before that grey folds into itself and implodes, vanishing but not forgoteen. It has metamorphosed into soldiers that have pinned your tongue to the roof of your mouth and filled your nose with poison and they march into your lungs, stabbing you as they go, reminding you that they are still there.
A kid’s ribs for a starving project I did. Don’t worry, you’re not supposed to be able to tell what it is, which is I guess a pretty weak explanation for why it looks like shit.
I guess I’ll post my art here too, just so I can have something other than text.
Conceptually, it is everything
I stand for.
But the definition of a child’s
crush is seeing the prettiest
boy on the playground, chasing
him until he gives up
and you can wrap your arms around
him in a bone-crushing,
soul wrenching hug,
he might as you
to be his girlfriend.
Maybe he would hold your hand
as you swing back and forth
on two swings until
they swing in sync and you’re married.
It is a marriage both literal
Conceptually, this is a child’s
dream, but literally, boys are
gross and girls have cooties.
Literally, concepts don’t work.
Philosophically, this seems to be
an appropriate option
where you can have your
second grade crush
and your fourth grade crush
and that guy who just
told you yesterday he wanted to
fuck you back in high school
and you can pretend you aren’t
handcuffed to someone with a
long gone key,
until you find flame and iron
to split you apart.
it all makes sense.
But emotionally, can you handly
Personally, can you survive not
knowing your rank:
Private, colonel, general,
in their priority?
Mathematically, it doesn’t add up.