Vomit vacuum sucks the drainhole
of my gut up into splintered-silent ribs.
Each breath rips whore nails
from inside dusty lungs
to find muted screams
in a soft throat.
The dog’s breathing
slows to regular
and my own breathing
gasps to follow
The dog’s cough
and his scars
The moon is lower now, mattress
visions of caskets snap closed,
eyes roll back & shut & roll to pillows.
The neighbor down the hall sniffs coke &
practices drums & karaoke with his girl
‘til 4AM, moaning hair metal,
80’s rock, Michael Jackson,
until they argue
and start throwing chairs.
The sounds of screams exchanged
should really call 911
before someone gets hurt.
Eyes taped shut,
have felt love.
have felt love.
have felt love
that comes, comes,
& ends a notebook,
around the track
with the flag
This is where the hour is one too many.
Where laziness falls asleep.
Where Bukowski slaughters Hux.
Where headlines befall images.
Where I tell not show.
Where I do not rest,
but instead feel the weight
of all I have resolved to learn
of all I have resolved to feel
of all I have resolved to change
of all I have accepted as unknown;
of the rain pressure mounting
behind the patched tin ceiling.
Removing reality dream
fearful death, night
life sparks rising.
snakes and dunes
pulpy molted bird
that is filched
and stars alone
Paisley Egyptian Princess & Fish
drip tandem crisscrossed eyeballs
in colloquial familiarity, scaled &
liquid, tangible by the root, fragile
slip into coral made in ice tentacle
victims pressured by ashen currents,
while starfish grasp with one slipping
suckercup, avoiding drifting oblivion
& confronting mirrored prey amoeba
slime bathing tentacles & glass masks.
Mask of the Devil sprouts pyramids
moved by uneven ripples split into
adjacent intersection masking grubs
burying beneath the chin bone, into
the wet mouth hiding beartrap teeth.
Temple third-eye blossoming spectacle
peaks with a top-hatted boy pharaoh,
he, eyelids sewn shot, showering upside-
down treble clefs and fossil arthropod
skinned cheeks structured with fishbone.
The moth with newspaper wings sat under the arrow lungs of the eyeless
blood dripped falcon, more whole than the super-glued roman sculpture.
Next door a 50’s con held up church with a roulette table in the kitchen,
and boarded up the massage parlor
The eye of the man was a centrifuge of ducks, mallard and hen, spiraling
outward into evaporated roach-ground
Next door, slits in the picket fence displayed perfectly formed tits & broach,
empty shoes made of feet below, blending
The marble foundation formed from twine lollipops and fuzzy candy tabs,
ice-etched to the frequency of splintered seashell
Next door through the forest of knives a spaceship bearing gargoyles peaked
bodies through collages of faces in technicolor sepia
The heiress molted into tiled pieces, her own dog and sunhat caught in blizzard
cuneiform, kaliedescoping again to fractalled inchworms cemented in motion.
The air was wet with tadpoles,
the night heady with flame.
A broken staircase
Candle ate moth / Dark ate light.
Ten-thousand magnetic steeples
reversed poles and pulled
a rusted chain of dissidence
into hells gate with nitrous hiss.
Light ate dark / Bug ate zapper.
Petrified earth cried:
“Sky, what has entered me?”
nothing had penetrated rock before,
nothing ever burned by magnified glass.
The seven day prayer candle burned out
seven days ago, and the twisted blinds
are held together with chopsticks and moving tape
after snapping in an unresolved haunting.
The nights enter like gemstones and exit like rabbits.
Truth sequestered from skin; I get a haircut
instead of another tattoo.
While shaving my neck with a straight razor,
the bald Albanian barber asks me:
"Which is scarier: people or mirrors?"
Before I could reply he shook his head:
“Trick question. They are the same thing.”
Walking home, I tore up the if-I-die note I had hidden
in my back pocket, and taught the pieces to dance
to the silence of buckshot screaming into a black hole.
The choreography was as patient as pregnant pauses
breathing into paper bags.
To the neighbors, smoking cigarettes on their stoops,
the shredded paper just looked like litter.
“No one is ever satisfied with the success, is ever satisfied with the success, is ever satisfied with the dream. It’s the hunger before a meal when you realize how good it is to be alive.”
With each passing day I feel youth slip from my bones like scoops
falling off a summer ice cream cone to blistering pavement.
All of my friend’s dogs are dying of old age just like mine.
Childhood trees we used to climb have either grown too tall to reach
or were struck by lightning. Decisions, no matter how trivial, become monumental
in the scope of time. There is no end in sight…only the faintest memory of humble beginnings, leading us
blindly into the vacuum of tomorrow, sucking the dreams from our head to feed the plague of survival.
That’s why you bruise with a breath. Your heart beats too hard for your house of card frame. Your body—desert willow—thrives on nothing, pumping cells full of carrots, vitamins and codeine.
Last night, While you were sleeping, I sank to the bottom of the ocean
with a seven mile chain attached to a thousand pound anchor and a Swiss army knife. Slipping
through seasons I fell colder and deeper and darker, waving and giggling as I sank
for miles, watching the surface light blur and fade completely until I was in night,
a gentle pulse of luminescence massaging me with it’s glow, the old-ironsides squid laughing,
the rave fish pulsing with dinner plate pupils, the leather armor jellyfish are calm as Sunday's first toke,
and the flat rainbow fish spin their data and vanish into black.
All I think I know at 22:
Why they call this the information age;
What Buddy meant when he said, “There is a distance the size of bravery”;
This is the best part.
Next time I act like a heartbroken Holmes,
do me a favor and let me drink it away.
Words hurt what whiskey soothes.
I catch your name drifting away on a nimbus,
past the trees of someone else’s hometown.
Your eyes are bean sprouts and your scent
is divorce. Your fingers are still placid,
not yet bloody from the scratch of anxiety.
Eyebrows bow to nose bone in speculative uncertainty,
confusing rainy prom nights with dreams of Hercules.
One more sip of wine will detonate firecracker cheeks.
I hold your hand in secret on desolate city streets,
remembering the practice of lost lovers and
drunk fucking in dead friend’s beds and falling down staircases
in mid-afternoon moonshine. Our pasts intertwine, just as
West-coast tourist traps fill family photo albums.
This isn't going to sound like anything
other than cars crashing into a waterfall.
I've been up for about eight months,
but now I'm drunk,
My shit is all over everywhere.
Jazz is cutting the cheese
with a butterknife in the kitchen,
we got gals dancing on table tops,
taking pictures with disposable cameras.
I get such a fucking kick being around people.
I love your soldier dance, I keep getting shocked,
To tell the story of the nice-guy
is to tell a tale of unlost innocence.
There is no complexity that circumstance can’t remedy. There is no effort
to niceness; only a virgin world that blossoms
on genetically mutated ideology, growing larger than generations past.
Tomorrow, in Houston,
a butcher will wake up to slaughter a cow he may have named.
There will no be no tears when he grills steak for the wife he wooed
and the children he prescribed himself.
from fifteen to twenty-two.
Tiramisu for dessert.
Ten guns in the cabinet beneath the stairs
and innocence buried behind the woodshed.
Pretend now, that you are forgiven.
Mistakes fade like snow angels, regrets
float like chemtrails.
You love you as much as the world always did.
You have not seen friends struck down by powders or lunacy,
you have only lived in the glow of their light. Hearts remain full.
The word swagger hasn’t been hijacked by hip hop
and bluejeans still mask imperfections. Sunsets are memorable,
and so are first dates and last kisses.
Sun won't blister fragile shoulders.
Fields blossom just in time to suit your irregular taste buds,
satisfying sweet corn cravings on Christmas.
Forget your father’s words
or a stranger's hand.
Forget improbability, impossibility,
and improper goodbyes.
Forget the tears cried alone
into vomit filled sheets at midnight.
Forget the effect but remember the cause,
camouflaged like a landmine of good ideas.
Forget the fights and slow-turn walk-aways
that turned words flaccid.
Forget friends fucking ex-girl friends
and amphetamines crashing into hallucinations.
Nice-guys vanish like good ideas,
lost in the shuffle,
looking for pen and paper,
just like house cats die
on the forth of July,
and all that’s left are ashes
on a mantel
alongside fraudulent grins.
but with perfect fashion,
in muted greys and translucent lilacs
sit outside Union Square.
They have the coolest tattoos
and the coolest carboard signs,
all more transcendental and valuable
than the sidewalk they sleep on.
Some are tweaking, some are sleep,
some lean and have spit dribbling
from their burned lips as they drift
into a coma, like war heroes.
I want to give them a bowl
of my homemade vegan chili.
They can have cheese and sour cream,
depending how righteous they are.
I want to speak sweetly with their mothers
while they prune geraniums
along the cracked and faded sidewalk.
I wont smoke in their parent's garage
like an outcast uncle,
or have more than one beer with dinner.
The next day I’ll go back to the storefront
to explain everything I've learned, over
instant coffee and Entenmanns.
This time it's their turn to share wisdom
as 13th Street muscles from slumber,
achy under the weight of lost bodegas
I’ve been told every homeless person needs a sign,
no matter what variation or breed.
Some write a new message every day, some stick to one,
but only a few don’t write anything at all.
“Not even gonna lie:
need money for bud.”
The pulse behind the sign renders words irrelevant.
The 500 year old Chinese woman captures the room
like a drunk teenager.
The oily scarecrow with a leather hat dances,
rattling his tin can.
Only occasionally will an assertive hungry hobo be satisfied
with a granola bar in place of anything less than Jackson.
“This is what it sounds like,
when the doves cry.”
Southern church bells ringing through dive bars filled with sinners.
Bumpy reptilian skin splits to reveal
a placid galaxy of green cream
that moves through my throat
like a greased pig on a waterslide
and spreads like wildfire in my belly.
I am fueled by the divinity of now,
before the indifferent air of tomorrow
ruins such simple perfection
and the only option is to start over,
only half above water.
I made chicken soup in August.
The timing is terrible, but
you should still try a bowl.
When you go home,
tell your parents what I said:
You look better
in a prom dress
then you ever could
in a wedding gown.
Let's bury this corpse
underneath a church
hearse and all.
If you steal a carnation
to hang like an icicle
in your bedroom,
I'll never tell a soul.
Our war kept us safe
from the dungeons
of autonomous thought.
Now every time I step outside,
my summer skin feels like winter.
I take pictures of old bedrooms
like a bread crumb trail back
to my resting head.
Dirty dishes in the sink
are an insistent reminder
of a delicious past.
I used to swallow the Aquafresh,
now I spit the Crest.
Sometimes, in the morning,
fried chicken embryo
a fried chicken embryo.
I let a lady bug walk in circles
around the rim of my glass
for good luck.
Before bed, I remove the ashtray
from the nightstand
to avoid drinking soot while sleeping.
I dream of solitary confinement,
everywhere but here,
and biting my veins
to bleed out
into abandoned city streets.
When I wake up, I need to tell her:
I like the way your wet wool dress
to your disappearing bird bones.
match book legs and twine hair
move slow with a cane
and secret black bag.
smell of booze and smoke
trail like jet stream of unseen
bermuda triangle casualties.
he doesn’t buy anything, but pisses all over
the customers-only toilet.
he throws cardboard towel cut with razor fingernails
in front of the garbage can for unpaid help to pick up
with dandelloin rubber gloves.
“thanks, man, I could barely move,”
falls from burned lips before melting
out the door like yogurt in August sun.
The old metaphor rings
too true as I think of friends
lost to the lives they lived.
Brave words sucked out of
young lungs and spoken before
they ever had the chance.
Beautiful young faces glow in pictures,
like rookie-year baseball cards,
capturing untold potential.
Not a bad thing, some will say --
“to die before growing old”
“to stay beautiful forever”
“to live such a full life in so few years”
-- but still, best friends cry,
eyeballs turn to cracked glass,
and cotton-candy hearts callus.
Because they can never leave us the right way.
So I maintain the lemonade nights
and starshine days in my brain.
Thanks to Angels,
I treat each magical step
like bold beams of light
shot out of the dreams
we strive to make right.
between hugs and struggles
that tempt our inevitable fate,
let me tell you,
“I love you”,
before it’s too late.
Wanna be startin’ something
cruise control seventy-five
dirty snow snuggles roadside
Proud-to-be-a country boys
sad because here and not there
dumb sippin’ on gin and juice
Let me tell you ‘bout the sound
of crystalline and easy
funk breaking loose bored boot straps
Close your eyes and follow now
the groove that makes zombies move
ugly bodies waiting for bass-drops
A New Journey just begun
up top in number one…
tires run run run
run run run run
steel rail steel trees
steel truck steel snow
Slow Funk makes me giggly
lanky legs go all wiggly…
boom boom pa
boom boom, boom pa
Feeling the energy of the city from
or maybe it’s just the rhymes of
Between barren snow-salted hills speeding cars
frantic drivers with waiting families
SOMEHOW I AM ALIVE;
but too tired from hustle bustle.
Friday night saw a pantless party
boys and girls with bloated pupils
and girls girls girls
girls like you’ve never seen,
dressed in black lace boy shorts
with generous ass showing;
enough to make heart race and dick rise.
chattered with rolling College Roll Models
and chased drunks through dirty courtyards.
stumbled back to a borrowed bed
to lay alongside happy best friends.
slept without dreams on the crowded bed
without sheets or desires or sorrows.
Saturday saw a New Year with hazy eyes
dead-beat hugs and sad good-byes before
heading down four flights of stairs back
to timid light and shrewd Harlem streets.
Mindless train ride;
Dodge eyes & jot note about being alive.
Back to sleep in Brooklyn
lights and sounds and vibrations and eyeballs and
suddenly we’re in miserable China Town.
enjoyed magnificent spread from rice to duck but
last meal meant last dollar meant last meal.
skyline and Statue Lady watched smoke rise from
the forgotten Brooklyn Promenade.
floorboards singing with love
from friends treating friends
Stronger and Braver-
Happier and Fearless-
I just saw a kitten try to play with a cactus. Honest.
I was sitting in my kitchen (minding my own business)
and this little girl goes bounding through,
bounces off a wall and a table and another wall,
lands on the coffee table,
and starts swatting the little green cactus.
And to think sometimes I’m afraid of crowded bars on weekends.
let this book do its cold work
in tiny hands
that hold guns like
toy trucks and barbie dolls
soft fingers turn pages
towards anything but
happily ever after
if they can listen
they can obey
if they can read
they can learn
if they can stand
they can fight
freedom fighters fueled by sugary cereals
as synthetic as their manipulated beliefs
line up to be the next
the next main character
in our best selling novel
so that future generations can
let this book do its cold work.