Don't ask me how I feel
because I'll say the same thing I say ever day
I'll say I'm feeling fine
I'm feeling great
better than I did when I hated myself
now I love myself.
And I'll stand there and lie through my teeth
because the smile it puts on your face
makes everything okay
up until the second it fades away
the second everything comes unglued
just like it used to.
No matter how well defined the border lines are
I'll walk all along, and cross the ocean
into a barren land of wasted emotion
from the best and the worst of intentions.
No matter how tightly the blinds are drawn
light will peek through and shed light
upon a bleak urban interior landscape
complete with cigarette butts, Vonnegut, and everything in between.
Nights in White Satin may be gone off the charts
but not from our hearts.
In this case, white satin is the plain, unmade bed belonging to my sister.
I thought I told you to stay away, yet you linger on the backside of my eyelids.
Constant blue lights
gently illuminate this bedroom, untouched by the night.
Be careful what you wish for because Jesus saves
but he'll also fuck you over for the shit of it.
I wish Jesus would talk to me like he does others.
I wish he could tell me how he fought boredom those three days.
If I had read the Bible more than once I would know he spent them in Hell.
And if Bob Dylan can make young girls swoon simply by saying "You're the prettiest darn girl I've ever seen" then why can't I by telling one she looks pretty everyday.
Maybe if I added guitar and harmonica to it, it would work.
But I can only play three chords on my guitar and I can barely play 'Mary Had A Little Lamb' with my harmonica but it's a start.
I walked through a long, dark, and wet cave with some friends early today.
Stoned, I stumbled through the cave, falling over only once, at the end.
On the other side of the mountain, the cave lead out.
Seeing how it did eventually lead out, I guess it's a tunnel.
On the other side of the mountain, the tunnel lead out.
Opening up to the river and the sun.
Letting the current lead us downstream we met two nice young ladies.
One giggled at me when I introduced myself.
And I'm not sure if she thought I was cute or if she could tell how high I was.
Either way, it was nice to hear her giggle.
And Mark, John and Luke and all the other prophets are gone,
and I try not to lie,
so let me tell you about Jesus.
What bad could happen to a boy of sixteen, walking through the woods trying to find a nice spot to smoke and read Slaughterhouse-Five?
But now that I'm thinking about it, Stephen King may or may not have written a book about this exact question, more or less.
And as everyone who has read The Gunslinger Volume Six: Song of Sussanah, knows, everything Stephen King writes happens. Stephen King is God, in this sense.
Nevertheless, I found a nice spot, next to a dried out creek bed, complete with a gallon bucket and the scent of lavender.
And so I sat, and rolled a couple cigarettes, and dove into the mind and time traveling of Billy Pilgrim.
Sitting there, on that bucket, old Kurt spoke to me.
The previous owner of this copy of Slaughterhouse-Five also spoke to me.
With highlights and underlines he allowed me into his mind and thought processes while reading this book.
He underlined every passage that had to do with the Tralfamadorians views on time and the coexistence of every moment.
Soon, it became dark and I could no longer read, having only one cigarette left, I headed home.
Fifteen minutes later I was home, and if Stephen King had written about this event he wrote it as it happened. With no harm and no foul.
And maybe I dislike him for that
and maybe I don't understand why he did that,
why he would wrote a boring tale of a boring boy going on a boring walk in some boring Northern California forest.
And this writing does not feel complete but the Pabst is starting to kick in so I think I'll leave this one alone for now.
And Stephen King damn it, I can't even think of a title for this piece of shit.
Nevermind, I got it.
And what a slap in the face it is
to keep my father's old driver's license
tucked nicely into my cigarette pouch.
Because every son wants to slap his father's face
and also to be just like him.
Nothing complements a cup of Earl Gray tea
quite like a walk around Nevada City
and a few cigarettes.
knowing I will see you tomorrow
and complement your outfit (because it will be nice)
will do fine.
I asked for a dance and you promised me two
and I won't think of much more until the second one is done.
And even after that I'm sure I will think of little more.
Until we dance again.
The football players will still get "pumped up" on four or five EPI pens before a game
and I will still hate them
and the girls will still post on Instagram
and I will still hate them
and she will still laugh at my jokes
and I will still love that laugh.
This has all happened before.
To me, my grandfather, and a boy named John who lived in 1970's New York.
It's all been done before,
it's all a copy of a copy of a copy of Jesus
but it will still never cease to amaze
Shock and Awe was a failure, some will tell you
and 40 percent of the Central African peoples will be infected with HIV
and Jesus will never leave the cross.
And you laugh will never cease to amaze
When the hard cider is all gone
and the pabst is all stale
and the vodka makes you gag
and the drug testing doesn't let you smoke weed
what do you do?
You have a fucking good time
with some great people
and you pack bowls for them
and roll joints for them
and hate the frat boys with them.
You laugh at the funny jokes
and duck call at the bad ones.
You smoke too many cigarettes
and give away your only lighter.
You fall asleep with one of them in your arms.
But don't worry, next weekend it will be someone else.
This time it was a tenacious blonde who's taking you to prom.
Next week it might be the lovely red head who wears his heart on his sleave
or it may be the funny Jewish kid who plays beer pong by himself.
Maybe it'll be the girl who shows up when all the booze is gone
and sits next to you and lets you hold her close.
But never by yourself,
they're all to lovely to let that happen.
A few days from then you'll go on a walk and bring a few cigarettes and a book
but the cigarettes remind you of them and the book reminds you of her
so you leave Leaves of Grass in the grass and smoke the cigarettes
thinking of the Before.
thinking of the Then.
Not worrying about the Now
and forgetting the When.
You sleep like a baby,
in the sense that you wake up every few hours and struggle to fall asleep without your mother's breathing to sing a lullaby.
falling in to old habits,
throwing two years into a bottle and downing it.
She's smoking her last cigarette so she sneaks into your room careful not to wake your seemingly sleeping Self and digs in your backpack until she finds your cigarettes.
In the morning she will magically have those two years back
and she will have forgotten those cigarettes she took from you.
But you'll throw her empty bottles away before your sister can find them and Understand.
And she won't lend you that twenty bucks she said she would because she spent it on two bottles of Jägermeister.
And the girl who lives down the street knows none of this because to her it's not real.
She only knows that your mother has a two year NA chip
and she only knows that you used to Hate yourself.
She knows that you like her
and she thinks she likes you.
And she lets you put your arm around her
and she snaps at Satan with you.
And you love the lovely red head and you hope he reads this
and is happy because he is in one of your ramblings.
just as your heart smiles
when you find yourself in one of his.
however more poetic and sensitive and lovely they are.
There is a small patch of forest just next to my house.
When I was little my sister and I would go there and dance and sing.
Today I decided to visit. Beer bottles and empty cigarette packs littered the ground.
I had been there in a while but someone had. I sat down on a rotting log and pulled out my own pack of cigarettes.
I stayed there, sitting on that log, accompanied by my thoughts and the sound of the wind rushing through the pines above.
It's as if the trees were speaking to me.
In an ancient and eminent language they whispered.
They told me stories the Moon wanted to remain unknown.
They sang to me songs the birds first whistled.
And with strength the river envied they swept me away.
The innocence of the pines was obvious in this serene place.
Press your lips together
and press them on mine.
Feel my tongue on yours
and close your eyes.
See my face
imprinted on the back of your eyelids.
Kiss me long
and kiss me deeply.
Don't dare to pull away;
Let's stay here,
you and me,
and etch our names into a tree.
Let us lay in the grass
and touch our feet with our feet.
Let us stay in this place
until the moon rises.
Place your hand
on the small of my back
and feel my hand
on the small of your back
while my other touches your face.
Let us be swept away
by the love in this place.
Let our hips come together
as the sun comes to horizon.
Taste my neck
and I'll bite yours.
Worry not about the marks,
we will grow to love them.
Run your hand through my hair
while mine holds your face on mine.
Let us not separate.
Let us not evaporate.
Let us not leave this place.
If I ever am to leave this town
I will bring only one suitcase.
A couple pairs of jeans, an extra pair
of underwear, socks and a few t shirts.
A half dozen books and maybe
a towel (you always need one).
Stuffed in a brown paper bag, which has,
been stuffed in the
bottom of my suitcase,
will be all the memories I'm too frightened to leave behind.
The star doesn't shine
(no candle is inside)
The wind doesn't blow
(no switch has been flipped)
The words mean nothing
(no book has been opened)
The bed isn't made
(no person slept there)
The heart doesn't long
(no heart beats)
The phone doesn't ring
(no one questions)
The cigarette burns aren't fading
only become less painful and more scabbed over.
When I first saw her, I was happy, please understand.
I saw her entering the cafe from my position opposite the door.
Brett Shady was playing the center of the room but my attention was not on him, not entirely.
She and her boyfriend took the only standing room still available in the far corner.
I'm not sure if she saw me but I think she did.
I think she kissed her boyfriend after she first saw me, which is fine.
I would have done the same, had our rolls been reversed.
After a few more songs I could no longer bear it. I stepped
I walked two blocks up the rode from the cafe to Bonanza Market.
I bought a pack of cigarettes and walked even further up the hill.
There, I found my favorite spot, one which I had found with a dear friend.
There is a swing hanging under a big tree, surrounded by flowers.
I must have went through half the pack before deciding to move on.
I figured I'd catch the rest of the show from the door.
Walking back however, something caught my eye.
A play was just beginning at the Nevada Theatre and I heard it was semi decent.
I snuck in through the side as I had done many times before and took my seat.
On stage, performing a small girl was another girl who I had kissed.
Who I loved.
When I first saw her I think she saw me too.
I looked down feeling a tear in my eye.
When I looked up I was sure.
She was looking at me with a sort of pleasant smile on my face.
As if she'd known what I was feeling.
The regret, the sadness, the longing.
All these things came rushing up inside me so quickly that I had to leave.
I again went to my favorite spot and finished the pack, saving a few cigarettes for that night.
Oh God, how I would need them.
I walked back to maybe see the end of Brett Shady's set. The show was over however.
Walking out was a friend of mine who I had not spoken to in a while. I waved her down and we began talking. About what I remember not. But it took my mind off things.
A while after a girl I had onced kissed and had once kissed me walked out of the cafe with her boyfriend.
She smiled at the friend I was with, not sparing me a glance.
My friend turned to me
"How could you let her go, Nolan? Why would you let her go?''
I turned my back to her and began walking.
Two or maybe three ours later I arrived home, all my tears shed.
I didn't sleep that night.
The face of the girl and her boyfriend came flooding into my dreams as the tears had off my face.
The face of the girl on stage came flooding into my mind as the nicotine had done my blood.
Regret was sharing my bed that night.
Whispering in my ear accusingly "How could you have let her go?"
Pain was in my room that night.
Roughly fondling my heart as if it were a stone.
Sadness was kissing my mouth that night.
Only allowing whimpers to come out.
I moved my bed today
to another corner of
the room and as it went
a small business card
was revealed and
written on it was
"Nolan Fillman has an appointment with
Eric Schlanger, L.C.S.W.,
Tues, 11-22-11 at 5:00 P.M."
And I remembered what I did that day.
I talked to Eric about my life
about how I wanted to kill myself
and about how my grades were
slipping and about how alcohol
tasted better when I was drunk and
about how I hated myself.
He told me that he was my friend.
And that I could call him
instead of killing myself
or getting drunk.
And later that night I did.
When my father yelled at
me about my
I called Eric and told him I felt
like drinking and
that I hated my father.
He talked to me.
I can't remember about what.
I think it was about a trip
he took to
He and his wife had spent two weeks there
and they ate good food
and met good people.
I slept well that night.
And I want to call Eric Schlanger, L.C.S.W. right now.
I want to call him and have him tell me about Spain.
His number is written on the card right under where
it says TELEPHONE.
And I remember where his office is.
On Spring Street, Suite C2.
But I have to give 24 hours notice to avoid a late cancellation fee.
And it's been eleven months.
The fire still burns brightly out of the holes in the ground.
Years ago, the Bad Men had lit them.
Ju's father had been there and he had died.
Ju had grown resentful of the Bad Men.
And now, six years after his father's death he had a chance.
A chance at revenge.
Before him stood the Bad Mayor's Casa De Espana
and in his pocket lies a button fashioned by the Men of Long Ago.
And beneath Espana was Two Oceans of RDX the Men of Long Ago had created.
The Withchman Ki had told him where to put it and how to get it there.
It had taken him weeks for the right moment to arise and finally he got it.
Now, 3 days after planting it he was ready.
The Witchman Ki had told him he needed only be 3 Fallen Oak lengths away from the bomb.
The Witchman Ki had told him he would be okay if he was that far away.
And that the button would not work any farther.
Ju pulled the button from his pocket and smiled.
His remaining 9 teeth clattered violently.
He pressed the button and sat-fell down.
"I love you father," Ju thought.
The Witchman Ki laughed, miles away.
A talking dog and
a girl in flowers and
an old man in a suit and
a wolf with arrows in his eyes and
two bodies entwined and
a girl ascending stairs and
the Empire State Building and
a young man smoking and
a house tilting over a cliff and
a lost paradise and
snow falling on lamps and
two teenagers floating in a pool and
waves crashing and
dilapidated house in Berkshires, MA and
the Devil and God and
boys in jackets and
young men singing and
fans blowing air on a bed and
These are the things I see.
These are the things that haunt me.
Holidays have always been a tricky thing for me.
On Father's Day I stole my father's vicodin.
On Easter I got black out drunk.
On my sister's third birthday I smoked Salvia.
On Christmas I stole my Aunt's brandy.
On New Years I stayed home alone and smoked cigarettes 5 hours into the new year.
On St. Patrick's day I saw a lot of green. And smoked a lot of green as it happened.
On the first day of summer I was in summer school.
On the first day of school I ditched.
On Valentines Day I bought myself chocolate and cried.
On Halloween I dressed up as myself and got my stomach pumped.
On my birthday I stayed home from school sick and watched TV all day.
But on the day I first spoke with her I was in a black box.
I love baseball.
The smell of the grass, the crack of the bat, the pop of ball hitting mitt.
I love baseball.
The friendship, the camaraderie, the seed shells littering the ground.
I love baseball.
From behind home plate, to the on deck circle, to the bullpen in right center field.
I love the fist bumps I recieve, entering the dug out after a well placed sac-bunt.
I love the hollers and cheers when the ball flies over the fence.
I love seeing the other players and knowing they love the same things as me.
Standing on the top step of the dug out, impatiently waiting for my spot in the lineup.
I love watching my shortstop tag out runner after runner.
I love my pitcher hitting his spots and I love our left fielder diving for pop flies.
I love catching and blocking balls in the dirt.
I love the bruises I find on my body after every game.
I love keeping my foot on home plate before throwing over to first on a double play.
I love seeing the lights and hearing the cheers, knowing they're for me, my team, my sport.
I love baseball.
I have a strange relationship with my across-the-street neighbor.
Every morning, after the coffee pot is brewing and the bed is made,
I enjoy a cigarette or two just outside the front door.
I look across the street and I see him.
Bearded, usually wearing a hoodie, sweatpants and slippers.
On a typical morning he is out before me, about half way through his cigarette.
Although I've lived across the street from him for the better part of two years, I do not know his name.
I know that he smokes Marlboro 100's, just from the way his pack, generally in his cigarette holding hand, looks.
I know he has a wife, and a what seems to be three year old daughter.
I love this man.
I love him and his wife and his daughter and his Marlboro 100's.
Every morning that I see him, it is a sign that I am awake, that this is all real.
For if I were to not wake my mind would not be so cruel as to trick me.
My mind would not be so cruel as to deceivingly use my only sense of comfort against me.
Before daylight savings so rudely interrupted my subconscious schedule, the sun would just creep above the low tree line behind the man's house as he put out his cigarette and go inside.
On some days, I imitate him shortly after, dropping my cigarette and returning inside.
On other days, days when I need all of the tobacco in my cigarette, which have been occurring more often than they used to, I follow him more slowly. I stay outside until the sun is completely out from behind the tree line. Some days, as was the case this morning, I need two cigarettes to properly prepare me for the day.
And on these days, the man returns outside, with his baby girl in his arms and his wife following behind.
They all pile into his grey Toyota pickup and are off.
Where to, I know not.
All I know is that I will see him tomorrow.
And I love him for that.
I'm not feeling regret or bitterness
I just wish you'd stop embarrassing yourself.
And if this will only make you sad, for God's sake do not read it.
I miss the way I thought of you before I really knew you.
I miss the way I perceived you to be.
As this beautiful, mysterious, intelligent thing.
I don't miss how you turned out to be.
How you were all along.
And if this is making you sad, I beseech thee; do not continue.
I miss the way your hair smelled in my mind, before I ever smelled it.
I miss the way I imagined your hands touching.
The soft elegant strokes would run across my back and neck.
I don't miss how they turned out to feel,
only how they felt before you ever stroked my skin.
And if this will only make you angry, avert your eyes, please.
Because I do not need you.
Least of all angry.
I need to do this though.
I need to put these words out there.
Just as I did before I met you.
Just as I did while I had you.
Just as I do now that I lost you.
If you want people to like you write them a poem.
If they still don't like you, nothing you can do will change that.