An evening spent washing dishes
makes my hands thin and wrinkling
like tissue paper.
It’s ten o’clock.
Tonight each streetlight will
pop on one by one and
me and the guys who smoke out back
will watch owls drop from the trees
and sweep mice out of their holes.
Inside the pizza boils in the oven,
blistering up like pimples on elbows.
They can smell it from the doorstep
peeling the paint from the asphalt and
the huger gnaws and claws deep into the belly.
Onward the light crawls
trying to outshine the stars
and our Pizza Hut sign,
blazes a banner of glory to the highway.
I feel sick on gasoline and the cigarette breath
that clings to your apron.
No one can clean out the gutters
After the doors close
to the Greyhound bus stop
nobly trying to stay awake
over the thousand miles home.
Dark haired, blue eyed,
a starry lady’s dream-
but you hide in your hole,
and wheeze out a whiny song
on your harmonica
white bright linoleum tile
leering up in angled shapes on the floor
is bent over
by the bathroom window,
pouring ink-red medicine
into a plastic cup.
the sky, dark with sleep, is
distorted to my eye
through the frosted pane
looks up at me,
face hung like wet sheets on a line
and hands me the cup
tells me to
go breathe in the dew outside
(his eyes are pooled and ragged)
it will help release your throat
the lights of empty streets, sharp as spines
lie below, rippling like waves on a lake
and above my head,
i watch the ****** of light
as they shimmer in the night
and slide past to hide in the hills
breathe in breathe out breathe in
i am small and silly in
my bare feet and little pajamas
standing on the splintering wooden porch
that hangs on the edge of my house
dad slides opens the glass door behind me
and comes to rub my back in slow circles
and listen with me
to the sound of hills echoing
with the hum
of rumbling semi-trucks
running away into an unfathomed depth,
somewhere i can’t see with my child eyes
based on a true story
I want to chop off
chunks of my
hair with a blunt
steak knife bit by
bit until my scalp
is pink and my knuckles glow
pale and distinct like planks
of bleached driftwood.
I want to spread paint
across my back into a
picture of the beach
and lay on it so that
maybe the scratch of the
sand will itch through my t-shirt
and then I can charge
horseshoe ***** to
build townhouses on my
I want to eat at a
table weighed down
with plates bursting with
steaming pasta and
bowls of stark
white rice stuff
that will make me
sick with happiness and
shining like Buddha,
because food is nothing
I can’t draw you with words,
but the color of your eyes
can be aptly describes
with the hues of cornflower
and Persian blue.
The sketches of your laughter
cannot be drawn or seen,
but the drawers in my head
can be pulled out
and see, your smile repeats itself!
Time spent with you
will fly away in the wind
but by the lamplit flow of words
my minutes spent on you
will stick to these pages and dry into
constantly blooming memories.
So my dear,
even when you’re far away
bent over the nuances of a fishing hook,
this little notebook will hold the scraps of time
I’ve kept pressed inside
preserving the moments like cats in formaldehyde.
It's nice to remember
I don’t worry about you very much.
For most of the day I putter like
an old man around the house,
dropping my keys down air vents in
the floor while I absently let my
food grow cold.
You see, the mountains rooted
in my room keep me fairly fit. I
grip the stones with my bare toes as
if I were a shoeless monk, searching
for God’s face behind every boulder.
So I’ve really got no time for
concern over your health,
the state of your van,
or if that woman has sliced an incision into
the wall of your left ventricle again so you have to
find a towel to soak up the blood
trickling from your chest,
telling your concerned friends with their flat faces that
really, you’re Ok, you’re
fine you’re all right it’s
Ok don’t worry about it until your eyes look
down to the sky for sleep.
I don’t dither about it.
There are many squiggling bugs to sweep
out the door, dull people to talk to, a sun to
burn my skin.
But there are moments,
cold, slippery moments caught in the
inches between sleep and wakefulness that
tumble down the ***** towards me in a
My eyes are filled with smoke,
the grass ignites into birthday candles,
and I awake with tears
is to find a calm spring morning
and to sit in it.
For a while admire the deep blueness
of the sky
and the trilling chatter of the birds.
Let the dewed morning dampen your pants
allow the cold to chill your arms.
The sun is still rising
and its warmth will reach you
For anyone who is sad.
teenagers are constantly breaking
underneath the strain of potato chips
and fake ***;
plastic johns lining the house party outside.
All there is to do is drink
sparkling grape juice and wake up
sticky-eyed from nightmare tears.
Ah, another day
trapped like bears in a little zoo
and fighting with sharpened fingernails;
with animal growls.
Another one bites a strawberry
to make their mouth drip blood red.
It’s paradise in our happy school
And there’s nobody here.
I got up to sharpen my pencil and saw
the silent desks,
empty toilet stalls.
There’s no one to talk to
in this lonesome hell.
Glad I'm not in high school anymore.
— The End —