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 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.
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.
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.