A prisoner on death row, sighing contendedly.
No one was ever sure of his crimes,
but his sentence was clear from the start.
His cell was always absurd,
his life always a mystery.
But now he finds peace.
He has nothing except what he knows;
and what he knows is his end.
It isn't much,
yet it's more than anyone free
has ever had.
There’s a feeling one gets
oftentimes evoked when people wear clothes too tight for their skin
or hotels by the ocean that have pools
and you wonder if the pool gets jealous
does its’ hands get clammy
does its’ mouth quiver with wondering
why it tastes so much like bleach
and if it feels as exposed as a schoolboy’s battered knees after Sunday mass
and the feeling is reiterated once more
this cramp of the foot, this skipped heartbeat you become so fixated on
As you watch the old man on the crowded subway
pick at his scabs, the ones he got when he was 23 or 24
he can’t quite remember anymore but it’s hard to remember
such fine details when your clothes smell like urine and your
children don’t visit anymore
so now he’ll sit on anything that moves as long as it propels him forward
as long as he doesn’t have to see the wrinkles
in between the birthday cakes and the heart medicine that
he’s supposed to take but what’s a chemical to a heart
and what’s a heart to an electrical socket someone with
a medical degree keeps poking at
so this feeling starts getting a name, starts calling cabs and giving them fake addresses
starts moving in and calling itself mister Al on week days and Sister Wendy on the rest
and now the soap stops cleaning and your hands becoming red with scrubbing
some internal message you were supposed to detonate as soon
As you graduated college but the degree was burned in a fire
and all the things you were taught were sold at half price in local yard sales
and so you stop eating dessert for dinner and stop living and
start recollecting, start rewinding the past, time traveling back to a
time when the sun would hit your eyes as you walked crooked streets
the pavement cracking like frost of a glacier in mid September under your feet
and as your voice gets low you smell the scent of lilac flowers in a basket
carried by a woman in threads of agave and cotton, colorful shawls draped
Across her bare arms, wearing rosaries in both her hands chanting words
that you could almost know but you don’t, asking if you’ll buy the flowers
made by the tears of god, crafted by the arthritic hands of mother Mary and
Don’t you just love the virginal white of martyrdom
but there are stones being thrown across the street by rude boys in t-shirts
long enough to be dresses, jeweled numbers on their backs like football players
or prison inmates and the distinction is not as clear
as they ricochet off the tough brown skin of the woman
you begin seeing embers of scarlet and it’s beautiful in the way
the slaughter of a thousand roses by the hands of scissors is beautiful
but the taste of disgust is not far behind,
and you wish the lilacs were a shield of ivory armor
And you wish the boys were boys and not men
there’s a feeling one gets
and I’m afraid you’ll always feel the feeling
like the peel of a peach
What your light does under my sky?
You overdo it, from time to time
I see you, Sun, hiding somewhere
Well done, but your ray gives you away.
Maybe you're hiding, or is just mistake,
That you're sitting by yourself deep there,
In that obscurity..
God's fault, we can see
He just put you there easily,
Yeah, he's God, he can do anything he want
That's part of his job I know
You're someone's fault,
But, my old friend, you still glow
Maybe he goofed or made a bad turn,
I want to see smile on your face, 'cause you still burn.
Tumbling up and down the aisle,
Idling in front of the ice cream.
Crying about how that one flavor left,
Letting you hang and dry on a bucket of ice.
Ask yourself, "Is it really worth going through?"
Turn the corner and plunge face first in
Fishy residue that kinda tastes like glue.
Glacial grandmas clogging up the aisle,
Eyes subdued by pretty colored boxes.
Nod yes, "This is what my momma says I want to do."
Hurdle over tantrum throwing toddlers,
Tell yourself how they'll never be like you.
U-turn into some pickled shallots,
Shattered shards ticked gently between your toes.
Ask yourself, "Shouldn't I expect more?"
Slip and slide past the yellow caution sign,
Sigh and shrug as your feet begin to leave the floor.
Fly over registers of frustrated heads,
Heading towards the front door and into the trash can.
They say, "No, no. This is what living life is for."
Dumped properly in a swamp on the corner.
Corn bits and bran flakes filter through your nostrils.
Nothing's been gained from this whole ordeal,
Or maybe you're not destined to enjoy it.
How absurd to stand
On moving land,
To touch the sky
As planets roll by
To drink the rain
Knowing from where it came,
To eat fruit and corn grown
From dead flesh and bone.
To enjoy the heat of the sun,
A vast nuclear bomb,
To breath the air
That burning deisel put there!
they say that’s out. No dice. Preposterous. Absurd. Went completely unheard.
That was then; this is now.
Now is sober reflection in direction.
Now is routine. The rest unseen.
Now is habit falling into havoc. Now is empty.. whats your trend? To apprehend fuck.
The last time I had seen this particular cousin of mine, I was still in college and he had a head full of hair. In between, there had been three funerals, two weddings and four births in our Trojan royalty of a family. I had been a university graduate for a year, and the prospect for a job, a decent one at that, had started to grow dimmer by the day. He asked, “Will you tutor my daughter?” “Yes!” I said. And we set out immediately. He, on his bike and I, on my motorcycle following him. We took a right turn at the famous landmark of the statue of demoness Putana, sitting on the grass with her bosom out and legs spread forward. He introduced me to his wife and daughter. Telling them to stand side by side, he told me, “She's only eleven, but look at her! Already equal in length and width to her mother, who is no delicate petal herself. Do you think you can teach her GK?”
The universe wasn't made with dissent. Plus, the chicken samosas were really delicious. I tried on a grin while the overachieving pre-teen bustled around the room showing me her accolades for painting, singing, studying. As I left he pointed at a tree, “Do you know what tree is that?”
“Bael?” I answered thoughtfully.
“Apple. That's an apple tree.”
“Oh! Does it bear fruits?”
“Not in this climate!” He laughed out loud.
Last week, Cortney moved into a four story apartment
with seven twenty-something year old roomates, all boys.
The men share the first three floors.
while Cortney has the enire top floor to herself.
I spent the night there saturday night.
And around 10:00pm
a twenty-three year old boy
Blonde, baby faced, named Kevin Smith
stumbled drunk into Cortneys penthouse room.
Kevin smith removed his pants, and crawled into bed with us.
Kevin Smith nuzzled into my face, pulled me close, and rested his hand,
firmly on my ass.
Kevin Smiths breath smelled of rum, coffee, (and a man who regularly brushes his teeth.
Good Job Kevin Smith.)
At first, Cortney and I assumed Kevin Smith was each other.
after further, mostly-unconcious, inventory of our limbs,
we gathered this was neither the case, nor a hallucination.
Cortney flopped dryly for her cellphone and shined it's light at Kevin Smith.
"What the fuck" Shouted Cortney.
No response from Kevin Smith.
"What the fuck!!"
We got out of bed and put clothes on,
laughed at how ridiculous it was
that a drunk stranger just grabbed my ass,
while an unconcious Kevin Smith laid in Cortneys bed.
Kevin Smith sat up
"This is really telling. I uh..."
Cortney cut him off
As she turned on the light.
"Can you guys call my phone?" Asked Kevin Smith,
"No." Said Cortney
Get out of my room."
physically pushing Kevin Smith out of her room.
Cortney held up Kevin Smiths drunk zanax filled body on the stairs.
preventing Kevin Smith from otherwise falling down said stairs and dying.
Kevin Smith showed his appreciation by saying,
"High fives all around"
I watched Cortney strattle drunk Kevin Smith awkwardly, yet also motherly
down the stairs.
I leaned over the railing and high fived Kevin Smith.
"I just want you to know," mumbled Kevin Smith
you guys are my friends.
You don't need to.. I got this".
"No, you really don't" said Cortney,
"if you fall down or throw up on me
you owe me $20"
Cortney delivered Kevin Smith to his bed.
Kevin Smith mumbled something, and Cortney returned upstairs.
"What the fuck?" Laughed Cortney.
"What the fuck." I replied.
What just happened.
Everybody is avoiding something. The news, the lack of news, the
rain, the pain, the silence. We speak to destroy the silences
we come across; we speak out of fear, out of longing for our
words to mean something, to prevent our thoughts from
drifting away like wisps of clouds on a windy day. Many of us
make the most severe mistake, the grand avoidance: the
avoidance of life. The reluctance to fully exist, as though the
fullness of it will make it shorter. We’ll take long suffering over short
fulfillment: what choice do we have? It’s the lesser of two evils:
beauty and silence. If silence is unquietable, we can at least
have quite a lot of it. That’s the joke: the two women at
the resort, the food that is both terrible and served in frustratingly
small portions. It’s adolescent to think about this: we ought to
accept life’s quietness and quiet down. Attune ourselves to its silent
rhythms. You cannot be an anarchist in the face of an inhuman
anarchy imposed on the inhabitants of a quiet universe.