Three seventy-five. At my current muscle weight, that’s the amount of force, in pounds, with which my fist smashes into my opponent’s face. Flesh molds against my knuckles, vessels rupture under the impact; I am that unstoppable object, that destruction you can only watch. I am that confused, hurt, angry child. I channel it through my arms, conduct it through my knuckles, watch it spark and jump from fist to cheekbone. This is the therapy I so wantonly crave, so needed. The only place I can vent the full wrath of my frustration upon the world; or…at least, a single member of it….
Jump back three days.
Why can’t I see you more? I text her. Because I don’t want a relationship. She says. I don’t need a relationship. I just want to see more of you. I tell her. I’m afraid I’ll invest too much. She says. I don’t understand. Is that a bad thing? Seven years of friendship, two of off-on dates and rendezvous. How could you get more invested? What else can you spill after your hearts in a pool at my feet?
I drank a lot that night.
Jump back four days.
I’m coming out that way. What are you doing tonight? I always initiate…everything. Always the first question, the first proposal, the first, the first, the first. Am I that threatening? Going out with friends. Homework and going out is all this woman seems to do. Maybe one less night with friends, one more with me wouldn’t hurt? Cool. Celebrating a birthday with friends, we’ll be out and about. Maybe we should meet up? If I’m here, she’s got no reason to refuse me…right? I thought distance was our only problem. Maybe it isn’t. I don’t know. I don’t want you to see me stupid drunk. What a stupid excuse. I actually want to see you stupid drunk. I will at some point if we keep things up.
Long story short, a guy she sometimes fucks is going to be wherever it is they’re going, and she doesn’t want to have two guys she’s seeing in the same vicinity. What does that make me? I’m getting frustrated with all this confusion and sideways talking. My group incidentally ends up at the same place they are. I don’t even talk to her face-to-face. I’m such a sporting guy. She goes home...alone, to my relief. I get stupid drunk with friends. But never forget to message her back and act like everything’s cool.
Jump ahead a week.
More conversations to clear up why I fill only one void in her life lead to more confusion. I’m frothing with it. It’ll be in my mouth soon. Wait…I taste it already.
“Let’s drink and pick fights,” I say to a couple buds. Two hours out, we’re sloshed and trading licks in a back alley. The guy that had taunted and jostled me in the bar follows us out and picks a fight. Says I’m too drunk. Not worth it. I hide a smile, raise my arms, “Let’s see.”
Shirts are off. Left hook to my ribs, I pivot an elbow, deflect with forearm. This leaves his side open. I duck his wild right-hand and drive a straight hit into his open spleen. He hits the alley wall. “Still want to take a drunk?” I taunt from my knee. He comes back, still sure of himself. I’ll show you what confidence does to us, my friend. He puts up a boxer’s guard and comes back, more cautious. Friends and enemies cheer and joan around me. I don’t hear a thing. There are thoughts. Dark, confused, smashed together, waiting to be dealt with. I focus on all of it. I focus on his face. I listen to the conversations that leave me more hurt and alone than they should. I lean into a false waltz stance, he doesn’t notice the feet. I notice his. He’s more drunk, on less, than I. Every time you breathe, I hope you think of me. The mass in my mind flows through my arms and legs. I charge and he punches straight where my head should go. I dodge right, grab his wrist, snap in and pull out, stringing him in an invisible flaying bed; my left elbow crosses his solar plexus, throwing him to the ground. Knees pin his arms. The hate, and anger, and confusion, and helplessness dissolve between fist and flesh, arc across the pain in my heart and the bruises and blood flowing freely from a fool....
Never entice a man with a need to portray his problems upon a heedless world.
His friend steps in and plants a well-thought-out fist against my jaw. The one on the ground is down for the count. My friends don’t step in. They know me. I roll off him before his friend’s hit can follow through. Now I have physical pain to channel, too. I grin and my assailant isn’t comforted. This is the release I need. This is my way out. This is what will help. Fuck you, world. Fuck you girl. Damn all of you for your games and your feelings and your mysteries. To hell with why you think you need to hide your heart. Wear it on your goddamn sleeves. Fuck your dishonesty and your insincerity. Fuck your exes. May you all drowned in your lies and guilt and shame. Damn you for assuming I’d ever judge any of you, for not taking my love at face-value, for thinking I had anywhere near the ulterior motives you all harbored. My left hand grabs his left elbow, simultaneously blocking a right jab and flipping his arm out of the way for the full force of my right arm into his ribs. A cacophony of bone and flesh giving way to my wrath meets my ears. He yelps. Never yelp when you’re trying to be strong for a friend. Keep your damned lips closed, asshole. He recovers only slightly before my right meets his face. My arc is perfect: the momentum of muscle as it curves the natural twist of a muscled arm, the darkness of my life gathering on knuckle-tips like obsidian gems glinting in the dirty hallway between worlds of vice and vindication, the cording muscle releasing the pent-up rage of a thousand lives gathered in one body.
Connection shatters worlds. The horror of life bleeds across his broken window to the world. The reflection of my jeweled nirvana wink across his eyes. See the world I live in, failed rescuer. See the hopeless honor I hold in my bosom. Sleep with the knowledge that even when you try, someone will always be there to flash the dark, jaded realities across your eyes…and bring you to my level.
The other friends won’t budge ‘till I’ve stepped past. They part like the Red Sea for me. My ark is empty until I interact with the world tomorrow.
Brief peace is better than none.
I'm a lost sock
Longing to keep a foot from feeling cold
Even though I can't cover your entire body
Ill settle for an extremity
Because it's true that
Something really is better than nothing
I was dropped between the dryer and the washing machine
Forgotten about just like the paper clip and the thumbtack
My mirror matching partner
May have gone on to meet another
But either way I lie here in lint
I remember the comfort of being in a shoe
When the warmth flowed through me
I knew I was really getting somewhere
Always aware I was part of a pair
One of a two
Half of a couple that together made a team
Then again there was way back when
I was pressed and packaged and pristine and
Presented myself to people in a store
Who could care less to think twice or
Double take and have a second glance at me
I was as unique as all the rest
But I took my job very seriously
Now I crave to do anything
To help anyone and be of use anywhere
To maybe one day be rediscovered and
Perhaps reunite with my other or
Become a fine furniture duster or
A puppet upon the hand of a person Practicing how to be humble
It's a dream and a hope and
One of the few things left I'm free to have faith in
They can take my feet away but
They can't take everything
Somewhere out there is a bare paw
Chilled to the bone and shivering
Stinging exposed to the world
Wishing I was there
Come find me
Drop something worth picking up
So you notice that long lost missing sock
Reach and retrieve me and return me to reality
I've been waiting for this forever it seems
But through your eyes it's just a
Routine insignificant finding
Unknowing that it means the world to me and
My entire existence revolves around dependency
I am so confused inside,
I can't even write poetry anymore.
There is nothing in my head that I understand,
I can no longer do simple addition,
and I can't speak.
Walking in a straight line, nope,
so uncoordinated, and I don't have
that kind of an addiction.
I act worse than a child
who was first born.
I am new to the world,
but I already feel
I've been here too long
and know too much.
Neglectedly I am loved,
and in kindness I am hated.
My emotions come in spurts of madness,
and all I can speak the slightest bit coherent
While I continue to scribble with
my thoughts mean nothing to me at all.
I am living in an upside down world
of opposite days,
I sleep at day in math
and stay up all night.
I am a child born bat
and I crave weak moths
so I might suffice living.
I'm too strange for love,
too sensitive for hate,
please throw your anger at me.
I long to be fatally injured
because being hurt inside
is killing me.
Don't touch me,
your fingertips are burning me!
Hey, here's a joke!
Where to scars go,
once they fade from your skin?
They stick to your memories!
Escape the irrational thoughts,
and jump into the river,
hide from the ones who love you,
the point of survival,
is not surviving at all.
I'm in love with perfection
It's something I crave
It's something i'm drawn too
it's something I can't achieve
Maybe we all have our own perfections
we're just looking in different directions.
Standing firm on my chosen path, I cannot help but look to the desolate fields outside
Despite no wall between, I feel alone
Others glide past with ease, and share only brief interaction
I admit I sometimes yearn for the company
But I do not crave such connections displayed in this dense population.
But a man caught my eye
With movements so fast, he seemed motionless and calm
Beneath the heavy shadow he remained at peace
No ropes laid out for escape nor comfort
And the dark sun was not quick enough to cast a shadow on his image.
This man spoke words of honesty
Although they may have been from cunning I could not see
I chose to wear this blindfold and open my hands long ago
I wonder if in the exchange of good for moments of pleasure
Did this man conceal treasures from those bodiless tax collectors?
As we spoke, I felt him offload words into my ears
Words with slight glimmers that brought more light to my own
This honestly deceiving man was not lost
He stayed hidden, concealed
Secretly passing his light to my torch, to carry forward in my journey.
Perhaps all is not lost, perhaps, we will wait and see, perhaps we will see.
I was there from the time you were born. I stood in
the delivery room, staring down at you before you
could even open your eyes to see me. Your
parents, relatives and doctors couldn’t see me
there, in the corner, watching you with cloudy eyes,
but I was there from the time you were born.
And I followed you home.
I was with you always, your constant companion.
You played with your toys alone while I stared from
all angles in nearby mirrors; my matted, clotted
hair with oily sweat that hung off my dented
forehead like glue. I was always your constant
companion, drifting behind your mother’s car on
your ride to preschool. You alone in the bathroom,
but I was on the other side of the door, wind
whistling through the bruised hole in my throat. My
arms twisted and hanging in their sockets as I
stood hunched on the other side of the shower
curtain. I wait and follow you. I follow and drift
I’m not seen. I’m almost not-there in light. You
never saw me that morning as I sat across from
you at the breakfast table, a shiny red clot hanging
from an empty tooth socket as I gaped grotesquely
at you. I wonder sometimes if you know I’m there. I
think you are aware, but you’ll never understand
just how close I am.
I spend hours of your day doing nothing more than
breathing in your ear.
Breathing – gagging, really.
I crave to be close to you, to always wrap my
crippled arms around your neck. I lie near you ever
single night, cloudy eyes staring at your ceiling,
underneath your bed, at your sleeping face in the
Yes. You caught me staring occasionally. Your
parents came running down to your room one
night when you screamed. You were just beginning
to talk, so you were only able to cry out “Man! Man
in my room!” You thought you’d never forget the
sight of me, with my collapsed jaw hanging to my
chest, swinging back and forth. I sank back into
your closet and your mother was unable to see me
though you pointed and pointed and pointed. You
thought you’d never forget when they left that
same night. You saw the closet door crack so
softly and me crawling across the floor to your bed
on all fours, shambling in jerking movements as I
pushed myself under your bed on disjointed limbs.
You learned a new word for me: boogeyman. Not
quite the monster you thought I was. I’m just
waiting and following you always, touching your
face with my knotted fingers as you sleep.
You’ll see me again soon. Any day now, I’m
coming, blunt and brutal. One day you’ll walk
across the road and – I believe I’ll plow into you
with loud roar and a screech.
You rolling on the pavement, rolling under wheels,
bluntforce metal fenders and my fingers touching
your face again and again.
As you stare up from the cold pavement with
cloudy eyes; your matted, clotted hair hanging in
your face and your jaw unhinged and swinging to
You’ll see me approaching.
No one else will see me. You will stare past them
into my eyes and I’ll leer down at you. For the first
time in our life, something like a smile will come
over my face. You’ll swear you’re looking into a
mirror as clotted red bubbles from our mouths.
I’ll lean down, past the doctors and the oogling
people and pick you up in my crooked arms.
Our faces will touch. My wings will unfurl. And then
you’ll have to follow me.
And I am always with you.
I am your guardian angel.
free verse and booze is the
for self perceived brilliance.
but the opinion i crave
should not cast the crown.
Nor should it glisten.
We are all Beautiful.
It was a moment so chilling when I realized I had feelings for you again.
This rotation of endless "agains" has kept me up day and night in anger,
love, lust, but most of all, confusion.
This relation we have is driven by sexual jabs and hurtful comments
designed to inflict the most pain on each other.
This "again" that I feel will fade into nothing more than another hatred for you.
But just like every other time, soon we will both start gazing at each other from across the room
and quickly looking away as though the other hadn't seen our eyes on their face;
We will begin once again lose the offensive spews
and our small conversations will evolve into tense talks with blushed cheeks and hot ears;
Yet somehow, I cannot get enough of this cycle of "agains".
It is addictive like your personality.
It is an obsession like your ability to make me crazy.
I am crazy for you,
but at the same time I fear that this lusty craze with wear off
and we will be left with nothing but silence.
Could this be true admiration for one another? Is this chemical?
Or is this passionate relationship powered on by our teenage hormones and sexually-frustrated bodies?
Just tell me what you want.
If you are happy, I will be content.
I guess, if you look at our situation from afar,
you could say we're in love. I’d disagree.
This is nothing but an infatuation between two people both sharing one common thing:
somebody who they can imitate passionate love with again and again.
I crave your physical touch and your boyish humor.
I need your attention most of all.
You need it too; you need me more than I need you.
How you wish to brush your lips against mine and feel my body and hold my hand and be mine. Nonetheless I wish for that too. Badly.
Nightly I torture myself over what to think, what to want.
But every time this happens, I push you away.
And the cycle of "agains" return, only to ruin us inside even more.
I want to be
In my home
in my work
in my relationships
I want to
and be sated
I want a life
worth passing down
I don't want success. I want significance. I yearn to touch everyone. Explore their deepest fears, darkest secrets, most passionate desires, and beautiful weaknesses. My heart cries to save us all. I can't live for science. For math. For facts. I live to watch you breathe while you sleep. I live to stroke your spine and reassure you that it will all be okay. I live to trace your scars with my fingertips and leave my swirling prints on your skin forever. I live to give you hope for the present and future even though the past still glimmers menacingly behind your eyes and threatens to tear you apart. You are imperfect, and to me, you couldn't be more perfect. You have a purpose. You are beautiful because you don't believe it. I want you to know I love your every flaw. I love your every failure. I will go to the end of the world to rekindle your inner fire, and that is all I need. Now I know that success will never make me whole. I only crave to kiss your wounds and make You while again. I ache for you to understand you are significant and I want to touch your life in an invaluable way that resonates in your dreams, thoughts, and hopes. I am intelligent, that will die along with my appearance and worldly accumulations. What will survive? What will distinguish me in this infinite circle of life-ominous and inescapable? I live to discover my purpose. I will fight to save you from a mortal fate six feet under, and that alone will save me. It is the greatest thing I could ever ask for.
Darkness will fall but we will not. I always thought my most destructive fault was my obsession with fixing the broken, but now I know it is my only chance to overcome the monotonous pattern of life and death.