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I lament the terror that strikes me when old voices are summoned from new mouths.
I want to turn down our opacity
occupy the same physical space.
line up our hearts to beat together.
"if your personality was a beverage,
what beverage would it be?"

She said: "I think I'd be Coffee"

"No,
You can't be coffee."

You're too sweet
Cheap, With two shots of vanilla

COFFEE is bold, smokey,
Burns your throat.

I had coffee once,
Brandy

Woke up to her every morning,
For years I got drunk off of her
When I didn't drink enough water
She made me sick.
but I never drank water
Went down the hall
to a sippy cup full of milk.

Even she,
was not just milk.
She was strawberry milk.
My little Coffee milk.

You are not Coffee.
You are water.

But soak up all my grounds
***** yourself on the dead burnt cherries
I've left for you.

Maybe
you can be some quick
instant version.
She asked: "if your personality was a beverage, what would it be?"

"Well..." I said.
"it'd be smoothe going down. Or at least I like to think so.
It'd be sweet. But,
You know how there's like two types of sweet?

There's like the fruity sour, tangy, bright, sugar sweet?

And there's the malty, caramelly, chocolate, foggy sweet?

It'd be later kind of sweet.

It has a certain childish joy too it.
An optimisim, a simpleness,
like... chocolate milk.

But it has a punch.
And it isn't all, childish, it's also
Responsible,
Protective,
Passionate,
Bold,
Loving,
Hard,
Strong hearted,
Mature, like...

...Whiskey.

I'm like... Whiskey Chocolate Milk."
Psychic type with no
Emotional energy?
Abra fled; no spoons.
"SIR! How do we silence anxiety? Sir."

Welcome to the new era,
A-dread-alized Motivation

We Swept concrete
under bombshelter rugs

Wept skyscraper scaffolding
Twin tears down construction worker cheekbones.
Dangling off plywood
Staring at their lunchmeat
In silliphane
Placing it back
Closing their eyes

The sun rise past the construction
Shone red and yellow
Orange and black
War in the winds

We all knew that there could be only one thing to silence the Trembling fingers
still left shaking
from the resurrection
of our ancesters sins.

The uncertainty of our nationalism,
or ability to breathe. A tragedy
to bond us. Glued
to the severance of anxiety horizens.
"The New Era"
Stapled to the door frame.

Green now in the sky
They painted the missiles gold
so we'd know who sent them.

Waves came
Tore cartilage from the floor boards.
Fires came
Swept veins up in the smoke
a plague would have come,  
but the world glazed over with laughter.

labeled allergies a
coping mechanism
in the face of cataclysm
We swore at each other
Didn't blame god.
For once

This time we didn't want to curse
gods name that way.
Not when we knew our aggressor

The rich had bombshelter elbows
The beautiful had lips like
plane tickets

You stand accused of revolution
Influence,
motivation, rebellion!
PAYING ATTENTION
What do you have to say for yourself?

Says Judge Judy.
to the artists.
All of them.

Shackled in front of ovens,
Brothers and Sisters of rainbow skin

Motivators aren't needed when you're "Silencing Anxiety" She says.

A general in the white house asks:
"They're all too loud.
How do we unleash genocide
for a whole generation?"
And this *******,
Gaunt in the corner?
Says suicide.
The new Genre Tourist Punk
is sailing the nation.
Hawaiian shirts and white keds are lining up all around Orlando to see
up and thrifting bands like
Lobster trap,
Lighthouse tour and
Dogs welcome.

Founded in a Starbucks
by Toni and Dash,
two MECA grads one student loan away from selling out and getting involved in
the lighthouse painting business,
The Band: Lobster Trap
gave birth to a whole new genre.
TOURIST PUNK
Toni and Dash decided they needed to provide music that was expensive. niche.
Something unspeakably mundane.

With smash hits like
"This traffic is *******"
And "My name still isn't Joe".
Lobster Trap is flying
up the American top 40
faster than you can say socks and sandals

Sales of "I HEART LOCATION" merch has skyrocketed with every launched tour.
Crowds of L.L. bean boots and visors are Moshing, breaking poloroid cameras over each others heads in a salmon rage.

old school punk fanatics were skeptical at middle aged middle class suits getting into their scene.
until it hit them that they could now throw punches
at every pedestrian who ever cut them off.

"Hi thirsty, I'm Dad." By Land of the Polite
Has been played more times in the last year then any taylor swift song.

Money once invested in college-bound middle class vacationlander spawn is being wisely spend on bands like "discount Polo",
and "Local Diner"

So listeners.
if you spend an obscene amount of money on travel fair, and over priced, cheaply made souvenirs;
Or Work in customer service thriving to see those leaf peepers choked out by their own ***** packs.
Do yourself a favor.
road trip into your local bullmoose
sporting your states name on your chest.
And Treat yourself to an exclusive new album
of TOURIST PUNK.
Last night Gary Facebooked me:
11:03 PM
"Can I ask you to be crazy with me?"
Gary said he had been flirting with this girl, May
for six months.
She wanted to see him in person tonight,
And he needed a ride.
Gary and I met 11 days ago.
Strangers brought together in the streets of Freeport by pokemon GO.
he spotted me holding my phone out from a mile away.
"Team Instinct?
TEAM INSTINCT!"
Lightning cracked above us
as we cryed in harmony:
"THERE IS NO SHELTER FROM THE STORM!"

My knowledge of him consists of three things.

1. He works as a security guard
Is first responder for medical emergency
Tackles felons and escorts people with restraining orders.
plays it up like he's a security guard for something mysterious
He is a security guard for Wal-mart.

2. Gary buys peoples affection.
Throws his money aimlessly
Pointing at his trophies
Prooving he too is expensive

3. To Gary,
there is nothing better to do
from 12 - 5am
Than wander Looking for pikachu.
With me.
besides visiting this May.

"A taxi would be $80
but I'd rather pay that to you, Bro."

On the drive there,
He is Squeeing, Singing,
Flipping out.
"I've got knots in my stomach Bro."

Upon arrival,
He readily jumps from my car
"Go catch 'em Brock" I say.

When I get back to Freeport
he sends me a messege.
1:04 AM
"Dude.
I think she fell asleep waiting
I'm not inside yet."

I park my car in Freeport,
Finish catching a Weedle.
"I'm on my way, stay safe."

"Man I'm so down."
"She's not coming to the door Nick."
"I'm just gonna curl up on the ground and cry."
"I've called her 24 times"

He heavily thumps his backpack into my backseat
Slumps down into my car.

"There is"
"no shelter"
"From"
"the storm"
"In my heart."

We stare out the window.
At the two homeless men
With no teeth
That he didn't beat.
He's holding night vision binoculars
And a clean Knife.
"I'm sorry I got you involved, Nick
I asked you to be crazy with me."
"There is"
"No shelter"
"From"
"The storm"
"In my heart"
4/4/2017 "day 4"

"Used to?
Isn't being a father permenent?
What, did she die?"

Yes.
Tragic accident
I prefer not to talk about it.

"I'm sorry..."

I'm better now,
it's been four years
She gave me lots of poetry to write
Gave me lots of happiness
when She was mine.

"She'll always be yours."

No.
Okay she didn't die.
She's still out there
somewhere
but she's not mine.
I fell in love
with a nerdy irish woman
We were both fifteen
When I said her one year old daughter
Wasn't gonna scare me away
I was in the trenches love.

"That's powerful
To love someone so much
That you are willing to raise a baby at fifteen."

At fifteen
I didn't even know what love was,
not when I met her anyway.
I was in ****.
I was blinded by a beautiful woman
who was so pretty
I didn't care what baggage she had.
I was willing to risk my life
to spend it with her.

"That's what love is."

No. That's not love.
Love is waking up to someone
staring at you
from over the edge of your bedsheets
Because that's as tall
as they can get in their tippy toes
Love is Mashed potatoes
on your nose
giggling at toppled over snowmen.
Love is not just
putting a bandage on a boo boo,
but knowing someone has always
and will forever kiss and bandage
every single boo boo

"So You can never love someone
like you love a child."

Well, You might.
But I'm broken

Always nuture or abandon
Usually both
While I wander around
praying for a ******
to pop.

"do you really want another child?"

Yes. I am ready.
I have wandered four years
with no purpose of life
other than to provide
for my own baby
I need one,
can't you understand?

"Can you even support a child?"

I could make it work, find a sitter.

No... I can't even feed myself
regularly. ..
There's no way I could
support a family
when I am as sick as I've been.

"who was the real father?"

You all ******* ask that.

She wouldn't tell me okay?
Slept around,
never asked for names.

"But she must have told someone."

she lied to the government.
It was a pack of men
who ***** her.
Wearing masks.
Never got a dna test,
never got ANY testing
Do you think I know?

"I do."

look. It's the only gift
I have left to offer that little girl.
I will not tell a single soul.
It was someone her mother loved very much.
Someone she would never be able to love
without being judged.
someone who must be buried
beneath old corpses
Hidden at the bottom of every bottle
carried on her shoulders
until the day she dies
And even then if she is very lucky
he will never know it's his.
She looked him dead in the eyes and lied.
she was dead in the eyes and lied
she is dead in everyones eyes
because she lied
she can't drink enough to forget
That her family regrets her
And no matter how many
strangers she *****
She can't make up for the ones
she lied about in the beginning
back when he was
the only one to touch her
She compensates
to unravel the web with her body
But the silk is woven so thick now.
as thick as it is

it still won't keep her baby warm.
There's no Pokémon
here in Rio, much like our
clean drinking water.
"He can't walk, he's on decline."
I was briefed as I clocked in.
an anxious robotic voice says
You have clocked in at 9:40pm
"When I get back from vacation He'll be dead"

I stand awkwardly at the landline phone and stare at him.
between us is the Clients bedroom doorway
The Client is asleep.

"When did he go to bed?," I say after a silence.
"Oh about a minute ago"
Breathing becomes fast and heavy from inside the room.

"I think it's a good time for you to go now"
I say, "It was nice to meet you."
"I'll be relieving you tomorrow morning at 8:30"

He leaves,
There is nothing relieving about this man
eager to back into each parking space
******* for his vacation in California
Caring for this helpless old man when I leave.

Architecture rivets as he walks down the hallway.
footsteps echo off the empty fireplaces and yellow wallpaper  
no tumbleweed in the darkness outside
only snow wet and black tar.
as he looks in the mirror his wax smile fades into his hairline

I shiver in the recliner at my journal.
I look at the man sleeping past the doorway.
This is my job now.
That man is my future
Destined for a Hospice Heart
My roommate sat reading terry Pratchett
on our patchwork couch
Covered in my grandmothers quilt
as i boiled water
to make americanos for us
with the aeropress i just bought
her for christmas
It was her only gift this year
Our christmas tree wasn't up yet.
we put that up about three months after everyone else took theirs down
we watched the water drip
Like clockwork from the veins in the lime wallpaper
Collecting in her blind cats water dish
Which lapped happily before tripping over a mis-placed buhhda statue.
my roomate closes her book to say:

"being polyamorous is something you should only try is you are amazing at organization and have a fettish for complicated things."

By the time I heard her say this,
I had been trying to juggle hearts for quite awhile
I must admit my dexterity wasn't high enough
To roll without dropping a few
it's hard when hearts are never the same size
Or weight, or color.
I would be a better librarian.
organizing the hearts
Holding them just long enough to capture and
Stick on a shelf somewhere
That must be why I write so much poetry.
There is a little boy kneeling in a chair playing with a toy tractor.
It keeps falling off the table
(Or he pushes it off)
Then he runs to pick it up and place it back on the table.
There is a diaper on the table.
(Which he also threw on the floor)
A baby has been placed at the table.
When asked the babys name, the little boy says:
"Robo Dog!"
I think that is an awesome name.
I wonder if when that baby grows up he will be emotionally unresponsive.
robotic
Charming player of a Dog
I won't follow these boys around their whole lives but assuming he is.
That little boy is a prophet.
So i'm watching the Prophet and Robo Dog
Throw things off the table and giggle.
Thinking about how simple
Pleasure can be for a child.
How intricate it can be for an adult.
When Prophet commands his Grammy to eat her bagel.
I cannot see them any more
They are sitting behind me in a booth
But I can only imagine she obliged
Or lifted to her mouth and pretended
I like to imagine this is Prophet and Robo Dogs first encounter with false truth.
But it looks like Prophet has a couple years of Holidays on Robo Dog
So that isn't quite true.
4/11/2017

White knuckled on keys
Stabbed through leather steering wheel
Air bag pin cushion.
4/12/17

She said she moved across the countrey to
Get away from her sister
They got a divorce and it was
Against her beleifs.
Against God.
I told her firmly
That i empathized
How it must be hard to move across
The world, to pack up everything
Just for your morals
She said she and her husbamd moved in with the ex husband her sister
And that the whole family besides herself
Supported her sister.
I said that must be hard.
Then when she loved me
Knew i understood.
I promptly told her i was polyamorous.
That my lover moved to ireland
To live with her husband
Packed up everything
And how hard that must be
and She did not flinch
I held her as she cried on my shoulder
She in the fifteen moments I saw her
Realized there is a whole world of differences
She can find comfort in when she is alone
She never once knew what I thought of her
Morals
How In my family we have divorce celevrations.
How ending is always a new beginning
How you can love amd still realize that a forever is going to make you miserable
Or never having a baby will **** you
Or being ***** every night is going to torture you
Even if the abuser is your own husband
I worry for her safety.
A woman who doesn't beleive in the word stop.
Doesn't consider leaving
Or letting go
I could never trust someome like that.
I would never be able to see them without feeling regret.
There is no words for the sorrow I place in that body of theirs.
And it is not my place to change it.
But I can tell them how happy i've been
Letting go someone I love, forever.
Not because We are unhappy.
Just because it was time for them to go.
Tell her how I still love them.
How i miss them every day, but it does not depress me.
It enlightens me.
Tell them of all my happy memories
libraty labrynth where she made me look her up with the dewey decimal system
Ice skating and backwards buttwiggles
Every time we stayed up late and I whispered that she existed.
Because even I wasn't convinced.
Now that she's left.
I'm still not.

But I will never forget either of them.
4/15/17

I look around at what totems I've collected
Paper Fair bracelets and movie tickets
Trash standing in for memories.
Some with pen on the back to remind me what they mean.
Others blank, reminders of how much i've lost.
I keep meeting men twice my age with the life i wanted who have done half as much as me
Who are impressed at how much I've done  
But I just tell everyone I've completed everything I've started.
Like I'm fast forwarding until my body catvhes up.
By the time they realize it's a lie It will be true
And the only thing stopping it from being real
Is time.
but I keep forgetting what I say will happen
Unless i write it down
become a prophet of my own story.
Ink spilling like reminders
Papertrails in lockboxes
4/17/17

You ever wanna lick a lollipop?
You ever wanna take turns licking the lollipop
With your loved one?
You ever wanna lick the lollipop at the same time
But your loved one shoves
the whole lollipop
stick and all
Down their throat
Swallows it
Asphixiates on the mere Concept
Of ever having licked the lollipop in the first place
Let alone the reality that you
You, the love of their life,
They, the victim of ultimatum
Have both licked the lollipop?
.
.
.
Have
You ever been the lollipop?
4/19/17

Pave whatever heartfelt wisdom you have with bedrock
Bury it under thick heavy ores
Tombstome lullaby your thoights for me.
Catacombs.
Temples.
Deep in the under earth hidden from my children
My children who come to me of their own will
I do not make them, they make me.
I am nothing without thise I inspire
Take your worship of their bodoes somewhere else
Take your lures
Your beartraps
Your candy
To the cattleprodding red man wher you will hide your ambitious eros for my family
If you are really "Wise"

Oh, they love you don't they?
You made them so giddy to be slaughtered
After years of molding and guiding
One tertdacyl swoop with your hungery eyes
My friend.
youbare not worthy of my rivalry
I do not need to throw gauntlets down for ****.
Let there be no forgiven intentions
Your mind would not be kept to yourself
If you laced it with trip wire
We know your secrets.

This is not a wizard battle.
we are not spiraling in a cataclysm on rooptop islands playing guitars shootig fireballs at one another

I am standing in a doorway.
You are ***** on a bed
My arms are crossed and you are leaving.
This is not a goodbye
This is a warm bath, ibeprofen for your headache and a razor blade
Charity

Patrick starfish has a better home then you deserve.
Even at the bedrock of bikini bottom
You are mpt far enough down
Down
Down
Out of sight
Get your filthy hands off this grass
This sky
This air.
Stop breathing already
4/20/17

This is a public service announcement.
Attention
There are cockroaches in the walls of your body
Mold in the ceilings of your eyelids
You cry so often they can't dry out.
We paint over them with makeup
we have no idea why
we think paint
will fix your roof
There's still mold
There are still cockroaches
in the walls of your body.
We called them butterflies to be cutesy
it's time we told you
they are cockroaches.
In this familiar metaphor
where you are a grand hotel.
You were actually an AirBnB
Someone decided one day:
"AHH **** it.
We can open our house
to strangers
for a quick buck.
What's the worst that can happen?
They rob us?
HAH!
what are they gonna take?
We got nothin'"
then you did.
And they did.
they smelt bad
brought their girlfriend
and ****** in your guest bedroom

I mean it was your den,
with a sleeping bag
But they ****** in there!
In YOUR sleeping back
And stole your coffee maker!
YOU DIDN'T EVEN HAVE
A COFFEE MAKER
BEFORE YOU STARTED BEING
A HOTEL
you bought that ******* coffee maker
for airbnb guests
and now look at you.
Spent more on ammenaties
then you made.

Should have gone to walmart
but no
you had to "buy local"

Yes
we are still talking about your body
And cockroaches.
That ******* tennant brought cockroaches
You don't know how
but he was from new york
so it was totaly his fault.

now you need to hire pest control

BUT WHO IN THE ****
CAN CONTROL THE PESTS
IN YOUR GODAMNED BODY

Not you.
You buy local.
These hippies don't use pesticides
thats their whole shtick.
You gotta use dirt and pray.

So you do.
You open up the wounds they left
Or you found
Or made last night

And you shove dirt in them.

And I'll be ******
if it doesn't make the cockroaches
leave.
chalk outline
seperation Of cigarette ashes

wet tar, broken glass.
wine stained wedding dress
Playing paper towel commercial
Soaks up all the rosey in her cheeks

When the thud was heard for miles
She didn't **** herself.
Simply tossed her dress
out the hotel window.
at a crime scene

It was some other *******
Who covered it with caution tape.
Lavender & Honey**

You know the age old question:
If you were a drink
What would you be?
I must be alcoholic.
My highs and lows are so extreme.
And it seems i've been transforming
A lot of good little ****** girls
Into blood ******* sirens
As of late.
I would come in a tall glass
Brimming with lavender & honey.
Honey is usually sweet,
But sometimes
Can be overshadowed in bitter.
And much like nectar
I didn't care for myself as a child.
Lavender
Because I try to be soothing
And envelop you in love
You can tell me of your pain & fears
And I will hold them closer than my own
That's what lavender is for, you see.
Comfort.
I suppose I could have
A hint of bergamot as well.
Though I swear i'm not pretentious.
I'm just trying to make things Interesting.
So what do you think?
If I was a drink.
Would you drink me?
"I love it, and for the record,
yes, I absolutely would."
I wake up on a yoga mat
In what is now just My
empty room.

All the clutter That made this house
lived in.
Tucked
in the three old
Sock and underwear drawers
That used to be:
Hers.

The family photographs
half the nerdy posters
books,
Magic the Gathering cards,
Burgled by some addict named time.

I look out at what I now call
"The guest bedroom".
The only evidence of her
An empty dresser
covered in Princess stickers.

At work
Customers ask:
How are you doing?
"I'm awesome! how are you?"
How are you doing?
"I'm wonderful! what brings you to freeport?"
How are you doing?
"I'm fantastic, peak or dark roast?"

How's your daughter?
"Step-daughter."
That's all I'm allowed to tell you
My boss said I'm scaring off customers By
over-sharing
So he wrote me a script.

I would love to tell you
I don't know how she's doing
And it's killing me.

Her mother left me,
We were both fifteen at the time so
My mother, Rightfully cautious
of her overly passionate puppylove eyed son
Didn't let me adopt

So I don't get to see her anymore.

Her mother was a fire who never drank enough rain
And that little girl
Will burn without my clouds.

I am playground math lessons
In space of mindless television
I am baking a cake together Instead of
"You won't eat till you listen".
I am the voice behind every barbie doll
And dinosuar that ever fell in love.

when you ask me how she's doing
All I can think about is how
I earned that
first "I love
you,
dada."

How I made her laugh
more times than her Mother made her
Cry.
How I tucked her in at night
and she made me read her
"Oh The Places You'll Go",
Over
and Over
and Over.
Screaming
when I said she'd go
On through the hakken kraks howl,
and Giggling
when I said she'd move
Mountains.
I raised her for three years.

But because I walked in on my daughter
Locked in "The guest bedroom"
banging on the Oak door
Screaming "DA DAAAA!"
While her mother forgets about us
On the other side of a keyhole.

I have to waste at this register
Handing you a precious cup of coffee
every precious cup of coffee
another abuse I can't protect her from.

"How is your daughter?"
"Step Daugher"
"How are you doing?"
"I'm awesome."
"How is your daugher?"
"Step daughter."
"how are you doing? Step daughter"
"Tell me how you're doing, Step Daughter."
"Please, Tell me you're safe."
"Tell me you're safe."
"Tell me you're safe."
I wake up on a yogibo. It's comfy, but,
I'm in what is now just
My room.
It feels empty.

All the clutter
That made it look lived in
Is in the three empty
Sock and underwear drawers
That used to be:
Hers.

All the pictures of us
and half the nerdy posters
were removed from the walls.
Half of the games,
movies,
books,
Magic the Gathering cards,
Are all gone, so the shelves look bare.
Half the closet is empty.

I walk into the hallway and pass three doors
The first door leads to a bathroom,
The second a closet.
The third is what I now call a "guest bedroom".
The only things in it are an
Empty dresser covered in
Princess stickers...
And a bed frame.

I try not to leave that door open.

Go Down stairs
Sink into car,
Turn on Spotify
Crank the volume to 24
So I can't hear my own thoughts.

Drive to work.

Belt all of the lyrics and jam to "The one" and "Whoa whoa whoa" and "sloppy seconds".
By Watsky.
Clock in,
Apron up,
Shout: "Morning, family!"

How am I doing? "I'm awesome! how are you?"
How am I doing? "I'm wonderful! what brings you to freeport?"
How am I doing? "I'm fantastic, peak or dark roast?"

How's my daughter?

"Well actually... I
Broke up with her mom
And I
...
Wasn't the biological father
so I don't get to see her anymore.
My manager said that customers are getting
Uncomfortable around me
because I am too open so that's the
Scripted version I have to tell you."

Even though I'd love to tell you
that I don't know how she's doing,
and it kills me.
How I told her mom that even though she didn't have any
Compassion left for me,
And she lied to me,
Tortured me more than any human
on this earth and was slowly draining the
Life and sanity out of my body
like a leech, that I
Knew what I was signing up for
when I started to call myself
Daddy.
That I was leaving her,
so we could both get
Better, but I was not leaving that little girl.
And if she would let me
Love her, or
Watch her, or
Buy her birthday presents,
I would,
because she was the best thing to ever happen to me.

when you ask me how she's doing
All I can think about
is how I earned that first "I
love you,
dada."

How I made her laugh more times than her
Mother made her
Cry. How I tucked her in
and she made me read her
"Oh The Places You'll Go", over and
Over and
Over.
Screaming when I said she'd go
On through the hakken kraks howl, and
Giggling when I said she'd move mountains.
I raised her for three years and she called me
Daddy.
But her mother said
that because I wasn't the biological father
I don't have any right to see her.

"How am I doing? I'm awesome."
"How am I doing? I'm wonderful."
"How am I doing? I'm waking up."
I wake up on a yogibo. It's comfy,
But I'm in what is now just
My room.
It feels empty.

All the clutter that made it look lived in is in the three empty sock and underwear drawers that used to be
Hers.
All the pictures of us and half the nerdy posters were removed from the walls.
Half of the games, movies, books, Magic the Gathering cards,
Are all gone so the shelves look bare.
Half the closet is empty.

I walk into the hallway and pass three doors
The first door leads to a bathroom,
The second a closet.
The third is what I now call a "guest bedroom".
The only things in it are an
Empty dresser covered in
Princess stickers...
And a bed frame.
I try not to leave that door open.

I walk down the stairs and grab my coat.
I go out to my car, sink into my seat, turn on the engine and check my phone.
I've got two text messages, and a new tinder match.

I ignore it all and open spotify.
I start playing Watsky's album "All you can do".
I crank the volume to 24 so I can't hear my own thoughts.

I check the first text message.

It's from the
Mutual friend of the nice girl
Who I might date when I'm better.

"Hey don't worry about it, she has a lot going on and is super busy all of the time.
She wanted to meet you to see if she liked you but I think shes not really into you.
She said you were super nice, she just can't be with someone as outgoing as you
I think. She's super shy. I really thought she might like you but I guess not. lol.
Sorry!"

I check the second text message.

It's from the
**** buddy in Kennebunk
Who I met on tinder.

"What are you doing tomorrow?"
Sent at 8:33pm yesterday.
I reply: "nothing! wanna hang today? when are you free?"
"I'm free pretty much all day/night. Warning:
I just got my period, so I feel like absolute ****.
I need good feels and comfort(food), if you will. so when?" I send:
"Uhh, I got errands to run... i'll get back to you" In return, I receive a polite:
"Go **** yourself. :) "

I go check the tinder match...
"...Oops."
Unmatch.
No reason.
I Drive to work.
I belt all of the lyrics and jam to "The one" and "Whoa whoa whoa" and "sloppy seconds".
Shut the car down, clock in, apron up, shout: "Morning, family!"

How am I doing? "I'm awesome! how are you?"
How am I doing? "I'm wonderfull! what brings you to freeport?"
How am I doing? "I'm awesome, peak or dark roast?"

How's my daughter?

"Well actually... I
Broke up with her mom and I
Wasn't the biological father so I don't get to see her anymore,
and my manager said that customers are getting
Uncomfortable around me because I am too open so that's the
Scripted version I have to tell you."

Even though I'd love to tell you that I don't know how she's doing, and it kills me.
How I told her mom that even though she didn't have any
Compassion left for me, and she lied to me,
Tortured me more than any human on this earth and was slowly draining the
Life and sanity out of my body like a leech, that I
Knew what I was signing up for when I started to call myself
Daddy.
That I was leaving her, so we could both get
Better, but I was not leaving that little girl.
And if she would let me
Love her, or
Watch her, or
Buy her birthday presents that I would because she was the best thing to ever happen to me.
And when you ask me how she's doing
All I can think about is how I earned that first "I
love you,
dada."
How I made her laugh more times than her
Mother made her
Cry. How I tucked her in and she made me read her
"Oh The Places You'll Go", over and
Over and
Over. Screaming when I said she'd go
On through the hakken kraks howl, and
Giggling when I said she'd move mountains.
I raised her for three years and she called me
Daddy.
But her mother said that because I wasn't the biological father I don't have any right to see her.

"How am I doing? I'm awesome."
"How am I doing? I'm wonderful."
"How am I doing? I'm waking up."
We met up at dobra tea.
Both our bodies were too long
For the tiny tables.
But we loved the atmosphere too much to care.
"I might have stalked you a little bit" she says
Handing me a slip of paper.
"I may have also read your poetry."
It's a poem about what beverage she would be.
I neatly fold it up and hand it back.
"It's perfect."
"Keep it" she says.
"Keep it?"
"Yeah, don't make it weird just keep it."
~~~
The beautiful woman now sits between myself and a bridge.
There is a bike path leading underneath towards the sun.
A guard rail separates us from the
Ocean and seaweed below.

All the trinkets in my pockets
Have been emptied onto the rocks beside me
So as I not hurt myself attempting to conceal them.
We sit against the guard rail holding hands.
"My mom doesn't let me show my sisters pokemon.
Because of evolution.
She's one of those super christians." She says.

"I'm an atheist
But every thing I've ever prayed for has come true.
So, I don't know anymore."

She sits on the guardrail and my head leans against her thigh.
Her fingers run through my hair.

There are so many things I want, that I can't have.
This get's typed into my phone and tucked away like a secret.
"Sorry" I say, and stand up, facing her.

Her forehead leans into my chest.
My arms hold her as I stare into the ocean.

"I have a song stuck in my head" she says.
"Sing it for me."
"I don't know the whole song"
"Sing the part you know"
"Well I only know one line and it's weird."
"Sing the one line, I don't care how awkward it is, I wanna hear it"

"Maybe I'm only in love when you wake me up."

"You didn't tell me you were a GOOD singer."

She reaches for my neck.

"What's your necklace mean?
Well it's the game of thrones martel sigil
People think it's for the show.
But it's for my ex's daughter...
A tattoo was a bad idea,
I can eventually get rid of a necklace."

We notice the sun setting and decide to check it out
As we get up and start walking,
I start to sing.
"I've never been the one to win it all."
~~~
I swing around a lampost and walk to the metal fence at my right.
I stare awhile at the sunset before
Crawling up the slanted wall to my left and sitting up top.
I scribble a note on the wall.
It reads:

"Dear god: please let me kiss her, Amen."

The beautiful creature still stands at the bottom of the ledge.

"You aren't allowed to say i'm a good singer when you sound like that." She says.
"It's like watching a live music video."

I run down and hold her against the metal fence
Our lips dare each other to inch closer.
She pushes her forehead into mine.

"What'd you write?"
She asks.
"It's not for you.
If you want to read it you have to climb up there and find it."

"Ooh you ***."
She crawls up the wall and searches.
"Where is it?"
"That's the fun, you gotta find it."
She finds it.
"This handwriting is awful.
I literally can't read it."
"I didn't want you too."
The sun sets and it's finally dark.
"Think it's dark enough to climb that building?"
~~~
We trek back through the woodsy path
It's pitch black and terrifying.
"We're gonna get eaten by cannibals"
"There's cannibals in maine?"
"There are in this particular part of maine."
We get to the school and start stacking milkcrates like a staircase.
She puts a wooden pallet against the milkcrates
Propping them against the wall.
"You're brilliant."
"I have good ideas sometimes" she says.
Testing the water my feet scale the landmark.
Then come down to support it
While the lady goes up.
After she's safe I follow her.
Adrenaline hits us.
"We're on a freaking roof right now."
"Are we going to fall in?"
"Is there like a trick to walking on rooftops?"
My body plops down and looks at the sky.
"Oh my god...
Please look at the stars with me "
She lays next to me.
"You know how I've been saying I've been transforming a lot of good little ****** girls
Into blood ******* sirens as of late?" She says.
"Yeah."
"I'm starting to think it's not just girls."
"Can I say something cute?
Or would that make things harder?" I ask.
"Say it."
Her breath is sweet.
You have the body of the most gorgeous woman I've ever slept with.
The personality of the woman I fell in love with
The dorkiness of my first high school girlfriend.
The eagerness to get to know me of someone new.
After my ex left me I said I would never love again.
I've been having tons of meaningless ***
Striving for company.
Greif ******* my feelings away
But you.
I'd buy a ******* house with you.

She kisses me.
"Why do you have to be so perfect?" She sobs.
We stay like this.
She moans and wiggles.
We hold our bodies together.
You wanna know what that note on the rocks said?" I ask.
"Yes."
I tell her.
"I'm a terrible wife." She says.
"And I'm a terrible atheist."
Tell me gently, beautiful Siren from the rocks
Whisper me memories
Who seeks my life end short
inform me bluntly, Beautiful siren from the sea
the soldiers marching to my gate.
Should I set the pitch to pour?

The demons march
I seek guidance in your song
Is there something I missed?
We’re sick
our morale is feeding the ant hills

Consult me Nicely, Beautiful siren from the rocks
tell me just how many friends,
I’ll lose to this war.

We found the sugar, found the wine.
lost the honey, lost time.
We’re out of rations,
low on passion.
men coddling tiny strands of hope.

Save me Now, beautiful Siren from the Grave.
My boats still floating
I could sail away.
back to my castle,
where my people lay.

I came here for vacation.
but I found your voice, decided to stay.

The people of my land pray,
that I go deaf and return to them.
but I decided to hear your voice
while my kingdom Rots and fades
While my people die and pray
I needed this getaway

my people, dying by my blade.
can’t stand them lookin’ up to me.
Their tears falling at my feet.
Them saying. “Please king, save me.”
praying “Don’t let them **** me.”
screaming. “They took my family!”
I wasn’t born to be a king.
I wasn’t born to be a king.
The siren sang her song to me.
fleece coddled my head
Choked on a guitar pick
Laughed a hysterical
Cry for help
Again

songs keepers of ID
Acoustic Railroad to meditation
My only distraction
Lack of pills

Late to my doctors appointment
inspired to write a song
Electric highway to medication
Ran out of meds
Again

Hear more songs
instruments change
Guns, skin, razors

This is the dream.
Writing at this desk
You aren't real.
Again
Quit smokin' while you can.
My wife and I been rollin' our own lately
Those things got wax rings in 'em
You're smokin' wax that'll give you cancer
See these 17 year old kids with that mornin' hack
You know it's not from doin' it for years.

2. Be aware of your surroundings.
Some of these kids get so lost in their phones they don't realize they're a target.
Isis could drop right in and pop 'em right there
It's sad.
I got this flip phone.
I can check the time, check the weather
that's all I need.
One person has my number
that's my wife
She's all I need.

3. There's gonna be a revolution.
Last time aristocrats were in power takin' money from the bottom you know what happened?
The French Revolution
It's gonna happen again I can feel it
Republicans think Trump is gonna lead 'em there but he stepped over dead bodies to get where he is
He's not who I'd pick, honestly.
Hilary isn't my first choice either if I could of had my way I'd pick Bernie.
They say oh he's a Socialist like he's some ****
They don't understand the difference.

4. Mary has been working in there 20 years.
Makin' 10 dollars an hour.
That's sad.
I got up to 14 dollars and that's after a two dollar cut in pay
Most those kids won't ever see 15 dollars an hour
I tell 'em get out while you can.
Whether it helpful, useless, or a little too late.
The voices in my head give me advice.

Here's a list of ****** up **** my brain has told me.

1.
Dear Maggot,

As we march
further and further
into the territory of single life.
Which unfortunately
is what happens
to calloused hearts like yours
You'll realize that.
As the goal of *** shifts
from making love,
to meaningless pleasure.
The "unspoken rules."
Of the bedroom
Are always different
And should be spoken.
Loudly.

2.
Although ******* inside a woman
Who loves you enough
To want a baby is a fulfilling
Romantic experience.
******* inside this stranger,
Without a ******, and
Thinking she'll be happy about it,
Is not going to end well.

3.
Not every person
Is going to ask you to
Use a ******* ******.
Take initiative, and wrap it
Before you tap it.

4.
Now that you don't have a girlfriend,
Sleeping at a friends house
Is not always innocent.
A majority of your friends
Will try to sleep with you,  
At the very least.
All of the men will try to sleep with you.

5.
Having *** with a new gender
For the first time
Is exactly like losing your virginity
All over again.
You have no idea what you like anymore.
Why isn't this working?
That doesn't go there.
Oh my god,
Please put that there.

6.
Some of your previous ex's
Will start talking to you again.
You should still probably not sleep with them.
You should probably still not...
...Oh never mind.

7.
When a girl reaches for a 2-liter of soda
After having *** in the backseat of your car.
Do not assume she's thirsty.
She may lift the soda bottle to her ******.
I know what you're thinking,
And yes it's that bad.
Watch, as the soda magically disappears.
When she spreads her legs and says
"Drink from me"
And of course when you say:
"No"
She will get extremely upset at you.
And scream at how terrible of a person you are.
While squirting
****** coke
All over the back seat of your car.

Be very clear about where you stand
On drinking ****** coke
From the beginning.

8.
Just because someone is in a relationship,
Does not mean they won't sleep with you.
Asking if the boyfriend or husband is okay
With you guys hanging out
Is a good first step to taking the higher ground.
Asking during ***
Might **** the mood.

9.
Not every partner wants you to ******* them.
Some people just want to be whipped.
This is not weird in the single life.

10.
These people think you are vanilla as ****.
Fetlife is not for you.
Stick to tinder.

11.
Listen here maggot,
When a girl leaves something behind,
She probably wants a second date.
Even if what the woman left you was
******* ****** coke
All over your brand new leather seats.

12.
Some of the girls you sleep with.
By some miracle,
Will still want to talk to you.
You crazy *******.
They might make amazing friends.
You might even have *** again.
And if you're lucky, they'll teach you something.
dandelion seeds look too peaceful.
delicate moth stems with fluffy hands, floating like whisps of cloud in the wind.
For something so poisonous, they sure look free.

I, like Pavlovs dog, hold my breath to pass howling lawn mowers.
fresh cut grass is out to get me.
I pray that man take the saw off the lawn
may grass grow bountiful but never watered
build a dome to block the rain.
out of lead, to blockthe sun.
I'll peak inside every morning to watch them brown and wilt.
we can't ruin the eco-system fast enough.
****** tissues and blood shot eyes

When you were sniffling today
It was not from the grass.
the blood in your tissues.
was from me.
I am your allergy.

I pray nobody waters me.
Don't ask me how I got here, kid.
unless every time your College head hears the 20th century definition of "Awesome" or "Adventure"
You can hear "sandstorm" instead
wrap the **** in caution tape.
don't want you finding out
Our feet
are the same size.
you're anxious

can't you sit still?

What,
you afraid of bein' caught?

Let me tell you a secret.
nobody is watching you.

If you really wanna learn how to get here

live by that.

I assumed you wanted something?
Follow me.
don't be afraid of that cloud Over there
He just plays guitar
for cigarettes
So he can smoke 'em
Simple man, that Smokey
Not in the kiddy selling business,
Or a mercenary, or part of the
in and out
and in and out and in
and out
Of jail crew
he just plays guitar
and smokes cigarettes.
marlboro reds.
how many did you want?
$60.
Would you stop talkin' so fast?

remember not to take more than two.

And you're eating?

See,
I take care of you...

how about a kiss?
No?

Oh, **
** And you were scared of the clouds.

Light it.

put your clothes on kid.
good luck on your finals.

remember to eat.

remember who takes care of you.
I confused agave
for Amber
when you spoke
Drank a glass full

Choked on all the flys
In elementary school
Muesem of sepia boxes

Sluggish down my throat
Petrified My heart
buzzing
Pathetic, and filthy
frozen in carbonite nectar
Like a classroom fly

blush my cheeks
make my cold hands touchable
Harvest my Amber heart

I never was
A mourning person.
But I have always been
An exhibition.
Submissions to the Annual Musical Torture Experiment for 2017 are officially open!

Submit your five songs by emailing them to
TorturePlaylist@gmail.com

"BUT WHAT IS THE MUSICAL TORTURE EXPERIMENT NICK?"

Well me, I'm glad you asked.
The Musical Torture Experiment was started in 2013 by yours truely, Nicholas R Coulombe.
Where I asked everyone I knew, met, or saw on the street, to hand me 5 songs that I would add to one playlist,
listen to that playlist on a loop
AND NO OTHER MUSIC
for an entire month.

I have continued this tradition each year
recruiting Willing victims & voulenteers
to listen along with me.

These victims have many different lives, interests, and genre preferences,
but there is one thing they all have in common.

The blissfull escapism of living in their headphones.

This gaggle of Tune-heads who use their music as a fundamental life resource, a coping mechanism, an escapist fantasy or meditation.
These people offer their body and spirit to music.

Now, for a whole month, they are relinquishing control of their music.

Shotgun no longer shuts their piehole.

For an entire month.
Listeners will not be able to skip or select any music other than
YOUR SUBMISSIONS!

This is the perfect opportunity to force someone to really find whats so amazing about those artists we culturally hate.
Or maybe theirs an oldy that your grandkids Refuse to consider music because there is static or twangy voices instead of bass drops.

Maybe you talk about your love of skrillex and a hipster spits their kombucha in your face.

If you have songs that DESERVE the light of day.
This is your chance to indulge in their exhibition.

want to voulenteer yourself as tribute to listen along with these crazy *******?
keep tabs on what is being added cause you think its kinda interesting?
Or contribute YOUR five songs?

Just
Send an email to TorturePlaylist@gmail.com
by the end of August to participate!

Go check out the playlist itself here:

https://open.spotify.com/user/124409443/playlist/2TAdzDUKx7sfW1uJrqMS7K
Go check out the playlist itself here:

https://open.spotify.com/user/124409443/playlist/2TAdzDUKx7sfW1uJrqMS7K
Ever given an apology
when embarrassment
was your true feeling?

Is there space between them?
Or is one the wrapping paper?
Silverskin on coffeebean.
Parchment.
Ornate half mask on a dancer in all black
Between Pointed nose and chandileier
Same infastructure as churches
Decorated to make others look to god.
Up, with gargoyales and bells

If embarrassment is the root of an apology.
Does it ring?

What time of day?

Embassy of embarrassment is your apology.
It is no secret, it is kevlar.
Harder to break.

If you are never embarrassed.
You cannot be sorry.

pride and abandon
As honest as they are to a man
Who loves to love
Strike offensive on ears set
To red at your past.
Own the honesty like a magic shield.
You will not have the kevlar of apology
If you do not have the embarrassment.

You'll need to fake it.
This takes delicate work.
Convincing the world you are not selfish
When born in america
Is not easy.

Loving your own failure seems proof enough
To learn from mistakes
But intellect.
Is not the opposite of selfishness.
In abundance you carry both as a burden.

People see you as a man, honest.
People see you as a man, who was not honest.
People see you as a man, selfish.
People see you as a man, who would rather be wrong and manic than human.

And people see through sometimes the armor
Of your *******
And magic armor of your smile

Because you talk too much

When all you want is too be heard,
Your biggest weakness is when someone listens.

You are so powerfull when no one hears you.
And you are so seen when you never open your mouth.

But the second you do.
You are ****.

Underneath the ornate white mask and pointed nose
Without the smooth pleasentries of a nirror for a face.
You are seen a bulbous boiled blemmish.
A red infected wound for an ear.

It hurts to hear their testimony
Wittnessing you when you are without protection.

This is not embarrassment?
You are not embarrassed to be seen an **** thing?

And no.
It just hurts.
And the pain callouses, making it more ****.
Until we got to where we are.

Indestructible in all this broken.
Untouchable from all this infection.
Unlovable from all this attention.

A greiving suit of armor
Galaxias is greek for milky
Your skin is Galaxias
It is the root word of galaxy
I drink milk because it tastes like space

Twentieth-century american theoretical physicist john archibald wheeler summed up einstein's general theory of reletivity as, "matter tells space how to curve; space tells matter how to move".

I guess you are space
and I am matter.
I tell you how to curve
and you tell me how to move on.
A Close friend said "The Perfect Woman"
is much like a shark.

if I am greeted in this ocean,
by a woman
I will allow her to look at me with all primal intent.
splay my wrist open and watch her

as she smells the little turn of blood
floating now in spirals between us

I'll have done it not for the pain, or shock
but for the honesty.
to watch a creature struggling to hold onto their facade
and the tears that start to bloom in the pink
above their sharp teeth.
Look, I know sharks don't cry.
it's not about the crying,
I crave the visceral emotion.
want to give my body to the indulgence
the electric moment where
I feel them feel conflicted
with my whole body
feel their suffering and internal struggle
in my entire manic smile
tight cheeked
all eyes on them like a paid performer
or Alternatively,
I would give them all this passion,
my body in anticipation of their opening
clenching to their masks,
They Devour me.
What is the sound of a silent heart
Isolated in cold scalpel bruises
Carterized by abandonment
Autistic hearts
Feeling emotion without the correct faces
Muscles that can't dance
Blood that is blueshell and breathless
Uncooked lobster hearts
Amazing how a heart screams as it is submerged
Suspended room tempature in a sensory deprivation tank
Left of center
Self examination
snap the nitrile

blue gloves up in your ventricles
grab a *******

or two
we're gonna stretch and

pull down the protector
3,2,1 avant garde

no sound, but your life was hard
I noticed

you spoke it
credits were rollin'

down your cheek
so you smoked it

and laughed at
nothing certain but death and taxes

laxative breakfast served
a generation

you miss it you miss it
a life that hurt because you

scavenged for Christmas
the little blessings

a life worth living
by killing optimists

penetrating defense
to pillar high with indifference

to intent
now you can't ascend

you stash it
in Easter baskets

in sillicone lashes
push the ashes together

then burn the mattress
dust to sand

through fingers, a fist
3rd grade principal

pulled from detention
a stretcher pulled you

white to trenches you fought in
when all you needed was

a breath of attention
who said you could end it

win it
prescription of tribulations

from whatever God you'd scavenge for Christmas
he put you through it

all the abuses
the habits

the black and white canvas
silent obscuring angles

of mannequins
30 seconds of a dancer

who prayed for this madness
who pays for the therapist

who even lets you have it
who kept you out of church

and into church basements
who writes the book of curses

that force fed you the sedative
given by laxatives

that say they went to college.
their Suit is stained in coffee

Yet you have the vices
The film is over

the light flickers darkness
we sit in the coffin

smokin' and screamin'
blood is flowing, but there's

no fire
we're just speakin'

what happens after 3PM
witching hour that one scene

when the camera angle was
blurry.

it spoke to me
said self examination can't be

latex
you gotta get nitrile

they're cut resistant
cover five fingers

not just a lover
a stranger

they protect you from more than danger
so button your blanket

take down the ink curtains
sun was always shining,

closed it
to blurry focus

could take our macguyver theater
wallpaper canvas stretching

hit us in the temple
like a parsha

finished another session
the blessing of human language

the messenger
malakh, without expectation

we fumble to understand
Scalpel in our hand,

ventricle in tact
we're just holdin' a feather pen

talkin' in white and black
we stick our hands in the past

take a look at examination
then take a look at our self.
Whatever happened that night is something we both needed.
As for the future,
I'm not worried about it.
We both learned stuff  
Made a memory
Whatever happens next happens.
Even if that means you can't look at me.
Even if that means we get to be friends.
I'm not crossing my fingers for some crazy outcome of "us".
Magical as that may be,
We only saw two shooting stars
At the time neither of us had anything to wish for
Except the night to never end.
And if we never forget it then it never will.
You have an amazing man who loves you.
I'm just a memory who helped you realize that.
I finally realized I'm not trapped in a bubble of meaningless ***,
I can actually love someone again.
Even though it was placed in an unobtainable
Chimera of every single thing I could possibly love,
At least now I know I can feel that.
And that makes me more happy than any
Ill-fated prophecy.
You love your husband.
And if a day comes you can look at me and call me friend
I'll be ready for it.
I'll greet you with a handshake and a smile
I promise I'll never advance on you again.
I won't ever try to contact you until I know it's appropriate,
Out of respect.
I've been in his shoes and it's awful
There's nothing I can due but stop talking to you.
So I'll do just that.
Until it's okay again.
Thank you for everything.
I needed you as much as you needed me.
I will never feel awkward when I see you.
I hope someday it goes both ways.
I don't feel bad or seduced or betrayed.
I just feel happy to have met you.
Because I never would have been able to get over what my ex did to me
If I wasn't in the shoes of the man who took her.
I finally realized it wasn't his fault.
I don't have to hate him.
It wasn't her fault either.
Sometimes people just feel things.
And that's okay.
Because in the end, we make decisions,
And feel other things.

Goodbye until you decide to say hello.
You're an amazing girl and he's lucky.
I want so many things I can't have.
He says "Geek Poet!
Leave the politics alone
Stick to Pop culture"

Cousin.
Politics ARE Pop culture.
don't you see?

in a world where businesses
buy natural disaster insurance
In fear of presidential tweets
McDonald's burger vending machines
You think this isn't dystopia?

We play games to escape.
where can we go
when the "real world"
is just as scary
upside down?

Tell me, Cousin.
Where do you write your poetry?
is it safe?

Do you surround yourself with muses?
back turned to a ***** woman?
is there whiskey on the bar,
A journal,
your favorite pen?
Your cell phone,
clentching in the public restroom?

because no matter where you are.
that sanctuary
is a ******* pillow fort
compared to the Fort Knox
of an artists imagination

politics ARE pop culture
China is throwing unfathomable
amounts of money into Propaganda
targeting millennials though memes.
Fish don't see water, remember?

You are telling me
I can't write about politics.
There are Americans
who have never voted,
Radical left and right facebook profiles
protecting and attacking A Racist,
selfish, blemish on our history.
you wonder why we are scared, Cousin?

You want to know why I am so loud?

I watch Men step alligator shoe
out of Boston limousines
Slicked back hair straight
from wolf of wallstreet
belligerent screaming
"I do what I Waaaaaaant!"
"She does what she waaaaaaaaaaaaants!"
"We do what we waaaaant!"

This is the world
we're escaping from.
Excuse me if I break
from the zombie jokes
The vampire romances
Focus on the dead bodies
in our own city, Cousin.

Our demons are real now.

dystopian literature
called for the 2017 election
as far back as the 1930s'

Senator Buzz Windrip
from "It can't happen here"
by Sinclair Lewis
makes promises
to "return America to a better time".
back in 1935

buying validity for his ideas
in airtime on the radio,
tarring those who disagree,
as tools of mother russia,

dismissing woman,
as silly socialists.
naming the press
"a lot of irresponsible wind bags."

In the book "Parable of the talents",
Octavia butler Predicts a "Pox" In 2015
Wiping most of the population.
President Andrew Steele Jarret
promising to return the country
to an "Older Simpler time".
She wrote this book in 1998

Want to learn how to defeat Trump?
Read "Our Twisted Hero,"
by Yi Munyol

Read "In the Heart of the Valley of Love, "
by Cynthia Kadohata

All of these Dystopian fantasies
Prepare the Geeks
to rise up and fight.
Pop culture is the only thing saving us
Knowledge is the only thing saving us
Standing up,
Making art,
Being loud
is the only thing saving us
from the red button
in the orange hands
of the man who NEVER Had
the best words,

Because we do.

Repeat After me:

We The Artists
The Geeks who shall inherit
Swear to protect our words.
We will not bow,
bend,
or break.
Ink is the blood of prophets
The voice is a weapon

Excuse me if I fight
For education over distractraction.
Forgive me for preaching
Art as our gospel.

you can't Incite Revolution
by throwing dice at ghosts.

I am sick of being tall
because my friends
are too busy crawling
I'm putting all my stat points into
inspire

Let me incite placebo healing
for a small fraction
of the tortured
anxiety pretzels I walk along
each day.

I will spit
on anxiety paper-cuts
from this paperback of bigotry
in our future history
labeling myself neosporin prayin'
God,
PLEASE
let me be charismatic enough.
Working front register at Starbucks
you ask a little boy in green
if he likes Minecraft
What the coolest thing
he ever built was
then watch
As his family
and the whole line behind them
gasp, fall silent
stare at you
with standing ovation eyes
as he lights right up
to tell you all about it
I never asked who I was praying to
never needed to know
just Watched the dice roll as wishes did off my tongue
Cringed on the gamblers table.
See, my sister needed a bike
As much as she craved transportation
I craved sin more.
So when god dialed his voicemail and got my wish for fire
He transfered over the call
Or rather, down
And I became a jumble of kindling and wood.
On Christmas, the bike sat beneath the tree in a big red ribbon.
My sister sat with her hands clasped in prayer, and suddenly her fingers fell off.
She couldn't ride a bike with no fingers,
So santa swapped out the tags.
Signing the bike over to me.
Soaking my sisters tears in my flames.
Greed wasn't the only thing I prayed for,
I asked for ***. Lots of ***. And coffee. And Comic Sans to dissapear forever
And I got it. Most of it.
I still have to deal with ******* Comic Sans.
Even God cannot be that kind.
With all my wishes there was a price,
A horror, a trauma, to balance out all my bad karma for making these "wishes"
Or "deals".
With whoever was listening
If not God, someone...
It was Becky.
I call it Becky.
The voice
It's less intimidating than schizophrenia, or D.I.D, or the Devil.
When I pray to Becky.
She does not say a word back. she giggles,
In the corners of my eyes, waiting.
Listening to me beg for vices, slowly sacrificing my sanity.
Giving me everything I ask for,
And taking everything I want.
Line for line excercise
Co-written W/ Caroline Dyhrberg
Before she could speak she pointed.
grabbed my hand and sat me on a stone wall.
tugged her mothers shirt and pointed beside me.
sat between us and smiled, kicking her feet.

I just met her that morning, but she knew.
bright little girl
maybe that's why her mother named her after the sun
Soleil.

fond of "No". that was a big one.
and "elsa" of course.
and every night when you tucked her in she'd list everyone she knew and ask if they were home.
"papa home?"
yes, papa is home
"numnum home?"
yes, numnum is home.
"Dada home"?

I can only imagine she does the same.
an I imagine it... so often.
I wonder what they tell her.

"I love your words."
That's the last thing she told me.
and the first.

I love her words too.
I still hear her, whenever I say them.

"Blue"
"Three"
"Venom"
We played Lego Marvel together, and I told her venom was Daddys favorite, so naturally she always wanted to play him when you asked
"who do you wanna be?"
"Venom. BIG Venom"
There's different kinds of venom in lego marvel, cause he can like,
turn hulk size and do hulk stuff, or turn spiderman size and do spiderman stuff?
I liked him because he was super versatile,
but I'm pretty sure she picked him because he's my favorite.

"Elza"
"let it go"
she could sing the whole song before she could even make full sentences.
and her mom would make her stop because she wasn't good at it.
but I thought her voice was beautiful and always told her
"I love your voice"

I don't know very well the relationship between love and memory
but I heard once that the key was repetition
and if for nothing else, just to hear her in my head forever I say them over and over to myself

"I love your words"
"Let it go, Let it go"
"No."
How many domains can one god have before he is daring too close to omnipotent

Curiosity, Risk, Luck, Failure,

How many names must one have before they are a god?
Adonai

How many titles?

Leader
Lover
Father
Mother

I am curious
I am the god of curious

I am so much want, greedy, so selfish.
I am the god of human

I am so human
Show me, god...
The yellow aura
spiraled my night elf hunter avatar
as the DUN-DUMM
of false accommplishment
incited my addiction to
instant gratification.

I had just Leveled up.

The quest giver
gave me a choice

****** boots
Or
a less ****** Dagger

I took the ****** boots
because
**** the system
they looked cooler.

I was going to stomp cave spiders anyway,
what's the point of relinquishing
looking **** fine.
for an extra Attack Point?

****** Boots.

****** boots ALL Day long.

A ***** human avatar
dances
facing a ***** gnome
Named: "Buzz Lightyear"
He is Also dancing,
at crotch height.

This is Typical starting zone
foolery

I stayed up
watching Toonami all night
Naruto, Bleech, Inuyasha.
I could tell the sun came up
not because there was a window in my Kitchen,
there wasn't.

Tom and Jerry came on.
everyone knows
when Tom and Jerry came on
you were no longer pulling an
"all nighter."
You're pulling a
"Drink enough Soda
to get through the rest
of the day-er"

My entire diet
these past two days
has consisted of Gushers & Vault
because
Clearly Coca-Cola is superior
to Pepsi.

Therefore, Vault
was superior to Mountain Dew.
Which is the typical choice drink
of my internet brethren.

I don't know why I dyed my hair black nobody online could see it
But it made me feel
more
like my Night Elf Avatar

I wanted long white hair
I realized that's impossible
in 6th grade
So I Bought & Settled for Black
At least I could be like
"L" from death note,
Long sleeve white shirt, jeans
with no shoes.

I could also be
any other black-haired charecter
From any other angsty Anime
Because of course I loved angsty Anime
Because I held my cell phone like "L"
From Death Note.

I always dreamed
of this singing venus fly trap.

A Fuzzy Memory with a lost Origin
I realized seven years later
the Singing venus flytrap in my head
was AUDREY 2
from Little Shop Of Horrors.

Netflix reunited us in College
Audrey 2 finally Serenaded Me.
I listened with Voyeuristic Intentions
As memory saprilings grew
into the full songs
relieving the void in my soul
Lingering for a Man to be attacked
by a singing venus fly trap
in his own kitchen.

But only once,
Because I firmly beleived
movies should only be seen once
until I stopped
dyeing my hair black.
Despite watching Space jam
more times than any kid born in 1995 Should have
but still
all the kids born in 1995
watched space jam
more than any of them should have
because they were born in 1995.

Apparently
when I first saw little shop of horrors
it aired just before osmosis jones.

I love osmosis jones
almost as much as I love
Buzz lightyear, of Star Command

Buzz lightyears robot companion XR
reminded me of Cyberchase
and to this day Cyberchase
is the best show to watch
when you have no idea
who Gilbert Godfrey is.

Zoombinis is better
than oregon trail.
and also better
than Tom and Jerry.
but not better
than leveling my night elf Hunter.
Named:
"FEED ME A PIZZA!"

I think I spent more time
getting my Zoombinis
to look just right
then I Spent deciding
what outfit to wear

Routine
Black striped Hoodie
Unwashed and worn every day
Grey skulls all over it, because
of course it had grey skulls all over it.
Black pants.
Black socks
No actually, THESE black socks.
Okay, got gushers
and my Coca-Cola.

I now take as much time
to choose my outfit as
designing the perfect Zoombini.
however I have yet to replace
my legs
With
a skateboard.

I think that every grade before sixth grade is fourth grade
and 6th grade is basically 7th grade
which is to say my memory skips them both
to remember ending eighth grade

I miss being cool on the Internet
Whilst lame and forgotten in real life.

like black sock
wasn't quite as good
as that other Black sock.

I wanna go back.
To the seperation
Of who we pretend to be
Vs. who we actually are.
To be dramatic again.
incomparable.

An ideal self on the internet
Who is obviouslly not the real you
is decades more comforting
than Some Characatureized
Facebook Profile.

Today I was offered a choice

Work A minimum wage job
or
continue my useless college degree.

I decided to write a poem, because
**** the system.
If I am to Decide where to respawn from
Let it be poetry.

There is no spiraling Yellow aura
or DUN-DUMM

Sometimes there is snapping though.
Or a lost memory
of A singing venus Fly Trap.

I am a pretend person.
An avatar
just now, I have skin.
You can touch me
I breath without a Macro
or even pressing any keys.

I cannot bring myself to
Watch Space Jam again.
I can Identify Gilbert Godfrey's voice.
I will buy my children zoombinis
And it will collect dust
When all they want
Is to watch the fifth Toy Story movie
Way more than any kid born in 2020 should.
And all the kids born in 2020
Will Watch the fifth Toy Story Movie
Way more than they should
because they
will have been born
in 2020.

And I will rant
about the Missing LGM
and Warp Darkmatter
betraying Buzz Lightyear
By joining Evil Emperor Zurg
So Buzz was forced
to get three new Partners
Princess Mira Nova
Audrey 2
and Osmosis Jones.
because I will have Forgotten
Booster & XR.
Because Booster and XR
Never made a ******* Facebook Profile.

Nobody exists anymore.
We are all represented by our avatars
holding ourselfs up to the standards
of our photoshopped reflections

Being disappointed and overwhelmed

I Take pills to forget that I am
Acting Like myself
but can't find any evidence of Existing.
Besides these memories
of who i used to be.

I want my internet persona
to be nothing like me
So that I may focus on myself
in the real world coherently.

I want thick black lines
dividing mental Venn diagrams

I want Tom and Jerry
To signal me
That it is morning, again.
4am On the drunken floor of my Wingmans apartment I place my red solo tankard down to instigate a quest.
"ROADKILL!"
That's what we call my wingman.
"Roadkill! Lets go on an adventure to king richards faire tomorrow!"
"Sure! When do we leave?"
"Don't worry, I'll wake you up."

See. When your best friend says they need you,
you don't just call them.
You drive.
Tonight,
on the anniversary of Roadkills worst tragedies,
we are getting drunk.
In the morning,
We're going to prove that life is worth living.

7:30am our alarms go off.
"Uhhhg."
"Curse you phone."
Hands slap towards the noise,
Spilling last nights wounded soldiers.

"Roadkill your shirts inside out."
"Thanks man."
Actually, while you have it off.

Black doesn't go with brown.
Pick a whole different shirt."
"It's fine."
"*******. There's a blue shirt right here."

Belting sailor shantees
Roadkill and I adventure three hours in
My four wheeled ground Zepplin.

"A curse to you lads,
a curse on your head,
Drinking pint after pint
until I am dead
I just keep drinking
and I don't know why,
But tonight is the night
that I drink 'til I die!"

Upon arriving at the faire we spot an ocean of goregeous maidens.
The ticket booth doth not take credit cards, however.
So we needed to speak to the gatekeeper.
"Excuse me, where's the atm?" I Ask.
"it's right over there, Handsome.
I'll need your id's first, though.
Don't worry, I don't bite
... hard."

Roadkills eyes grow the size of stormwind.
"I need to bring you everywhere man.
You make everyone love us."

we return with cash in hand
The gatekeeper pulls our ID's from her corset
looks them over before handing them back.
"How are you boys younger than me?"
"It's the beard. "
I wink.
"Keep a secret?"

Swords on hips
songs in chest.
Mead was flowing
Boots were clomping

Roadkill paused to look around
Standing like a pleased statue.

I bounced excitedlly around like a child.
ROADKILL
LOOK AT ALL OF THESE GOREGEOUS OUTFITS ON THESE BEAUTIFUL WOMAN!
"Hey!"
handsome men, too.
"Thank you"
It's like we teleported to Flurb heaven!
Look!
a garb shop!
Oh my god
A boot store!
They have a whole store
for leather larpy boots!
There is a tail shop!
I could buy and wear a fuzzy furry tail!
This is amazing!
There is a giant duck
Being pushed back and forth by two huge jacked dudes.

"I need to hug everyone!"
I am in love with everything!"
"Can i please hug you?"

"I swear to god, Nick if you touch me."

We try the knife throwing challenge.
The crossbow challenge.
The dart throwing challenge.
We **** at all of it but we have a blast.

We walk into a leather shop.
A small redheaded girl dances around us. She puts fur around our necks
Her hands trace our chests as she ties them up
You boys look like the type to rock these.
She drags us by the belts to a mirror.
Look at how handsome you both are.

"Roadkill" I whisper.
He is already lost in her eyes.
I place a hand below his chin and close his mouth.
They talk about where they're from.
Their families.
What they do for fun.
"Oh you do larp? We do dagohir it's like full contact grappley shield kicking larp"

A group of customers walk in and she leaves to tend to them.
A brunette helps take off roadkills stole.
"How much are these anyway?"
Roadkill asks the brunette.
"$600" she answers.
"I feel ashamed for even trying it on"
Says roadkill slipping off the precious treasure.
"Goodbye ladies! have fun today!"
I say, pulling roadkill by the arm.
"Oh... okay then... bye."

"They seemed sad we left.
What was that about?" Asked roadkill.
"Well do you want the blunt educated version or the ignorant positive version?"

"Ignorant of coarse."
Then they're dissapointed because they were interested in us.
"Out of curiousity, what's the blunt educated version?"
"They're upset We didn't fall for their act and buy their expensive wares."
"Whelp... there goes my self confidence. Ignorance really is bliss"
"Yes it is roadkill. Yes it is."

We Travel back home.
Again, singing sailor shantees.

"A curse to you lads,
a curse on your head,
Drinking pint after pint
until I am dead
I just keep drinking
and I don't know why,
But tonight is the night
that I drink 'til I die!"

Park the four wheeled ground zeppelin in front of the Apartment.
Clonk our boots up the stairs
Grab angry orchards out of the fridge
Slunk into the beaten brown couch
raise my bottle into the air
"To living one more day exactly the way we want too, Roadkill."
Roadkill raises his bottle.
clinks it against mine.
"To living."
"I love you, Roadkill. You're the best." -Geek
Let me paint you a picture of this girl.

Imagine a witches cauldron
Heavy, haunting, metal.
Make it as big as a hot tub
As big as three hot tubs.
Fill it with a bright bubbling yellow cream.
picture yourself standing in it.
thick stringy mucus elastics from your wrists.
As you cook.
She is singing.
You are quicksand bound to this 90 degree boiling snot bucket
And she's singing.

Brown purple and green
Dancing in dreadlocks
Sprinkling a little clamshell of mermaid.
Cod peice of Prince
***** now.
Starring at you.
Almost asking.
Mostly stirring in her own devices.

The cauldron smells less like boiling flesh then you expected.
It's more like a sweet hazey butter scent.
Like autumn squash.

This whole time you couldn't move, but now you don't want to.
She's so beautiful, dancing
Her small perky chest and curved swinging hips.
A tattoo, or a birthmark just above right where you want to kiss.

She traces your chin to tell you something.
You try so hard to listen over the crackling and popping of the thick yellow cream surrounding you.
With a soft whimper,
Biting your lip
Pulling your hair
Straight down back
Into the scalding liquid
goodbye into the melting ***.
Your eyes glaze over
Breath hot Thick Mucus into your throat.
Choke on the yellow soup.

And when you wake up.
your memory is of singing.
The brown green purple notes.
Her Perky chest, curved hips
Dancing.
A tattoo, or a birthmark,
Fuzzy, like you forgot some of the details.
You wish you could see her again.
Maybe it will help you remember.
we call these stars.
white strips of clarity bursting through pinpricks
spotlights through feather falling dandruff

thunder buckles the plexiglass sheet with it's shoulder
crackles little eggshell triangles past the dancing dandruff
pale veins spread like ink in fabric
thin burnt parchment
holding back thudding pulses from the Amniotic sun

We call this a sunrise
when the Sun hurls the final flaming shoulder into day.

Not the giggling gums of a baby faced Tele-tubby sun
not the serenade of "goodnight moon, and goodnight you"

My sunrise is A dragon-glass egg,
pulsing to the drumbeat of a feathered heart

A tea-light spider spinning webs into an inferno shoulder
flexing flamesilk muscles through each pinprick star

lamp posts hum a prismatic prayer
Grassy fields catch light with their fireflies
old country porch lights attract moths
dust hung in stasis
starts feather falling when light catches

tubes of Mercury fashioned into bar-signs
flicker as ghosts hum on the gas
poets flick cigarette ashes
call in stardust for the wind to carry
up
to Gatsby it up in the pin ******
there is nothing more beautiful and warm
then stardust Dancing rich in the suns desperate pinpricks

Watching the Debut of struggling birth
throwing itself against confinement
shedding light, on the tiniest flurry of dandruff
before filling each vein of the broken sky with fire.

I love to watch gasoline soaked parchment
curl in on itself like an old handwritten letter.
I call this the night sky.

Catch the falling ashes on my tongue like snowflakes.
If I swallow enough of them
a tiny pheonix fire in my belly can hurl it's little shoulder against my rib cage.
Pounding until it bursts out through all these pinpricks.

I will call out to the mothsdust, dandruff and fireflies
invite them to dance in the combustion.

If I am anything like a starlit night.
I will buckle before I burst

Thunderclap an invitation
Shatter the street lamps and mercury tubes
with the winding bass drop.
direct the audiences attention to dust hung gentle in a cold still sky.
feather falling in silence
A blossoming caged sun.
No one expects a gentle sunrise
A little girl found a deck of cards
On her daddy's poker table.

She always knew how to make a home
Out of a gambler.

Her hands were steady as they were small
She built a tower, stories tall.
When daddy returned, it never fell.
The boys bet his chips around it.

We built this family with a house of cards
Steady hands and racing hearts.
We built this family with a house of cards.
Queen of hearts, two of cups.

Daddys a fool, played his part
Just half a step into the dark
When A little girl found a deck of cards
Sitting on her mommys altar.

Her hands were steady as they were small
She watched her house of cards grow.
When mommy returned to Tarot.
The cards had found themselves
a different owner.

We built this family with a house of cards
A good read, a bad hand.
We built this family with a house of cards.
The fool, The queen of hearts

The dealer busts, we grow old
A little girl can build a home.
With nothin' but two decks of cards
Shuffled all together
I met a Carnival Arsonist
burlap sack around her
fiery heart, force taught
to start fires
bright, to distract her from stars.

Always sat in her ashes
Marlboro hacked up her passion
until the ferris wheel called her
to get a glimpse at her burns.

Each night it's siren syringes
hallucinations injected noises
bending over foreclosure
turning up folders
found an old phone her
Owner planted to spy.

He popped her first red balloon
kept the dart pressed in her side.

Manic Panic won't let her dye.
Her highlights don't hide her lies.
"I'm Fine" always "I'm Fine".

Built thick walls of timber
to guard to try Tinder.
Tender to two tired hearts
begged strangers to beat her

"Play a game, win a prize
Play a game, win a prize"

Poured gasoline on the
carnival, watched it
burn from inside.
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