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May 2018 · 147
The desk Gabo sat at
Andrew T May 2018
You measure time by smoking cigarettes,
out on balcony where sunlight strokes
the wooden panels soaked from the rain
cast down from skies that are shades of blue
too beautiful to paint on a borrowed canvas,
once belonging to your mother
who brought it over while on a voyage
through endless waters, cumbersome,
an eternity to get through.
You are in Cartagena. And he is in Virginia.
You and him face-time, looking into screens,
to see if you’ve both aged, to see why
you both no longer smile at sarcasm and punchlines.
You look for jobs on your laptop,
while piano melodies flutter in the background,
nothing coming up in your search,
worth wasting time for. You read books
by Viet Thanh Ngyuen, talk to strangers in bars,
and sleep in until noon in a plush bed built
from hands you’ve never touched.
The clock, ticking on the wall,
a heart still beating under a cage of ribs,
and you don’t want to step foot
on a cold floor where dust refuses to collect,
a path laid out to the balcony
where you stand over the railing,
a dream in your muddied mind, a hangover
perhaps, a change in mood,
a wrist being bent, in an angle
that is in the direction of a journey
you will never take without a hand,
a guide, a push to get you going.
You take a photograph with your phone
of the place where Gabo used to sit and eat,
and drink and write. And you tell yourself,
“What a pretty desk, look how it stands upright.”
Apr 2018 · 78
Warm song
Andrew T Apr 2018
Hire me before I go off the deep-end
of this swimming pool at a rec-center,

bury me in designer clothes, packets
of sugar, make me something pretty.

I am tired. Debt has me shivering,
the heating bill needs to be paid,

I need to **** this coffee grinder,
in order to produce warmth.
Jan 2018 · 159
A band played tonight
Andrew T Jan 2018
A band played tonight
The first person walked inside
He saw things in black and white
He shook his head, and left.

A band played tonight
The second person danced inside
She saw the love and peace
She nodded her head to the beat.
Nov 2017 · 184
Feel
Andrew T Nov 2017
We covered our bodies in blankets, in the shadows of each other, not wanting to admit feelings, that may have bloomed from an excess of drinking jack and smoking *****. We met each other in January, and you offered me a glass of red wine. I drank it and floated in your eyes, like laying in a bathtub full of warm water, just soaking in the heat. You played me your cello, gliding the bow across the strings, chuckling lightly when you made a mistake with your fingers. Maybe this isn’t love, maybe this is infatuation, and maybe I shouldn’t get ****** up when I’m hanging out with you. Because the moment I reveal how I truly feel about you, is the moment you can choose whether to hold onto my hand tighter, or push me away. Distance—a total of three months—made me contemplate our status together. I guess I never felt I was really good enough for you, and that’s what made me try that much harder to impress you. I thought impressing you, would drive you towards me. However, it’s not January anymore, it’s November, and my feelings for you still haven’t changed. I’ve waited for you, staring at my phone, hoping it would blink with a text. Last night, I’ll always remember. When the text popped up on my phone, I almost drove my car into the median. I shouldn’t be texting and driving. Maybe I shouldn’t be drinking and writing. I love how you poke your fingers up my nose, and laugh, and how you don’t mind when I do the same. I don’t know how to describe it, but when your body is pressed up against mine, I feel less dead inside. You make me feel happy. I wished I didn’t snore, so that I could lay next to you all night, without waking you up. Let’s agree not to argue, let’s agree not to fight. I don’t know how much longer you’ll be living in the city. And I’m not going to prevent you from getting on the next stop to your journey. Sometimes, I don’t know why I waited for you in the first place. But I’m sitting in this chair, smokes in hand, and I have this window to look out at. And I’m looking into the distance and realizing you’re not so far from me this time. You could be right; usually you’re always right. But I hope you’re wrong this time, I really do. I can’t promise you that I’ll never have feelings for you. It’s the way you look at me, as though you can see through my ******* and my façade, and still allow me to be vulnerable. And don’t even get me started on the kissing; because, when we touch lips, I feel we have enough electricity to recover the beat back into a resting heart. This is all still so surreal for me. Last night, didn’t feel normal. It felt better than normal. Just let it happen, you told me under your breath. I’m probably too honest with you. But at least you know how I feel.
Jul 2017 · 230
Tumblr Poem
Andrew T Jul 2017
Poets pray at the altar of their bed
for a chance to have one of their verses go viral.
If I snore during my prayers,
I've been spending my free time
trying to write you a letter.
You may read it like a voicemail,
and that's fine because I'm still a millennial.

For ex: I bought you this carton of Parliaments,
with the money I earned from changing diapers
at a daycare. We don't have to talk about the future,
because all that does is make me beg for a beer.

I caught feelings for you and you knew that.
because this rain pours from clouds high
in a white sky. It looks like a half-cut marble.
Jay told me to listen to his audio cassette tape,
and now I'm going to wait for you on this balcony.
Don't worry it's a story-high,
and I'm scared of blood.
Worse, I fear being mortal
in a world without you.
Jun 2017 · 314
Nature Walk
Andrew T Jun 2017
Walk the nature trail when it's dark outside and the children are fast asleep, tucked under blankets stitched by their immigrant grandfathers. Let your shoes soak in the muddy ground, collecting dirt and crushed leaves, as you walk deeper into the forest. The birds weep as their lullabies get lost and twisted in the shadows. A deer or is it a gazelle hurries across the dirt-trodden trail, leaping into the a patch of ancient shrubs. Somewhere, miles away from civilization, is a city running on the labor of your Vietnamese father, his hands caked in red brick dust and pollen. Currently, all that matters is that the tab of acid you've taken has settled in your belly, as you cross the corroded wooden bridge to the other side of the trail, where the young adults are playing the ukulele and drinking Heineken.

I am empty like the pill bottle on my brother’s nightstand.
May 2017 · 689
Ending
Andrew T May 2017
Thu used to live in Saigon. When the war ended,
she had fallen in love with a boy who lived next door to her.
He was her first love. He would write love poems to her.
Sometimes they would hold hands.
Once they shared a kiss.
They were young and deeply in love.
But as the war finished, they moved on from each other.
The boy went to live with his family in Australia, while she moved to America.
After they broke up, Thu would still think about him.
He was the one who dumped her.
The breakup crushed her heart.
But she didn’t let it mar her dignity.
Time passed, Thu moved to Virginia
and she went to high school in Fairfax County.
The letters started pouring in from the boy.
But she had too much pride and she didn’t respond until one day.
That was the day that John Lennon was murdered
in cold blood.
She was heartbroken like every other person in the world.
Yet, she also thought of the boy and how much he loved John Lennon.
Thu remembers reading the newspaper, seeing John Lennon’s face
on the front page of the paper.
She took a pair of scissors
and cut a square around John’s face.
Then she wrote a letter to the boy.
And then she sealed the newspaper clipping and the letter in an envelope.
Begged her mom over the phone to send the letter to the boy.
Her mom was still in Saigon and somehow she made contact with the boy.
And she gave the letter to him.
A month later, she opened the mail and there was a letter from the boy.
She read the letter, stifled a cry, and then proceeded to write.
The next day she sent the letter.
Thu was happy to read his words.
It was as though she could hear his voice through his sentences.
Like he was there next to her, looking at her,
speaking to her spirit.
Days passed.
Weeks passed.
And then after a month, she realized he wasn’t going to respond back to her letter.
She couldn’t believe that he didn’t give her a response.

“And that’s the end of the story,” Thu said to her son.
“What do you mean that’s the end of the story? That can’t be the end!”
“Well you’re the writer, right? Think of an ending.”
May 2017 · 315
Your turn_Table
Andrew T May 2017
As the beat breaks,
the floor trembles,
the records spin, and we
all dance
on the hardwood floor
covered in spilt beer
cocktail napkins,
at a house show in DC,
where I'll always remember
rushing on the stage
and waving my cellphone,
as though I brightened
the light in a beacon
tucked away in a lighthouse
on a grotesque rock formation,
in the corner of the James River.
I studied her movements:
tiny and minute,
enough to bring exposure
to the deejay scratching records
on a set of turntables,
cut from a maple tree.
The lights cut off,
like a road raged driver
who maneuvers frantically
around my vehicle,
this vessel containing my space,
personal and untouched,
a lonely cabin in a dense forest.
Now I'm considering whether
I should break the beer bottle over
the bar booth, or send her an emoji, a meme, or a gif,
to let her know my heart
possesses multitudes,
beyond the scope of your timeline. Found life in
the bottom of a Murakami Well
deeper and larger than the cavern
behind the hidden waterfall,
in a tourist attraction in Chattanooga.
This is for when I'm sorry; make me
forget
about drawings you’ve sketched
on the back of your pair of converses.
So do me a solid,
give me the first home video
of your newborn crawling around
the carpet, or the dance floor.
And then tell me why can't I be great too.
May 2017 · 325
For M
Andrew T May 2017
Sometimes your love may come and go,
like light shining down from the sky
before the clouds set in and night arrives.
Tomorrow, the sunlight may never show
replaced with the rain streaming down my face
It'll keep hurting for as long as we live.
Please let me have some more time to rest
so that we'll have these days to spend in bliss
"is it weird that I can't stop thinking about you"
were once words you've said.
Now you say, "You've grown those words
in the garden of your mind."
Maybe I have, watered them with beer,
but that's something you'll never get to know.
I wrote you these lines
for you to read, next time you gaze
into the mirror. And I'm afraid,
we'll never get another chance
to walk your dog across the park
while we hold hands.
I don't want to sleep with someone else,
nor do I want to sleep alone.
So I stay up, late at night,
smoking and overthinking,
staying awake,
not going to bed.
May 2017 · 986
Sleepless
Andrew T May 2017
Drink the first beer after you wake up. The door to her bedroom is closed, so don't play the acoustic guitar, loudly, if at all. A dog is laying on the lumpy couch. Try your best not to disturb the dog who’s name is Pasco. You hear her talking upstairs, but you don’t go say, hi. Put on your coat, grab your smokes from your pocket, go outside to the porch and light up. No one is outside. It’s dark and the birds are chirping, and she hates when they do that. Do you best not to drink too fast, as you down the second beer. Try not to think about how she accepts you, or rejects you. Think about Virginia. Think about Chicago. Think about LA. Then breathe in deep. Don’t pass out, as you drink the third and fourth beer, one after the other. Throw the keys into your laptop bag, so you don’t try to reach in there and grab them. Sit down on the stoop. Pick up your cig from the ashtray, light it again, and smoke it. She doesn’t care as much and you’re going to have to be okay with this fact of life.

Don’t sleep on the couch tonight.
couch spotify uber cool word beers chicago virgina
Apr 2017 · 631
Hi-C
Andrew T Apr 2017
We walked through the woods,
when it was growing thick with shadows, the way smoke funnels
out a chimney. She wore a hoodie and yoga pants,
attire to match her mood: relaxed and comfortable.
Her eyes reminded me of what lies beneath puddles,
after a rainstorm had passed through
the small hometown, which disowned you.
We wrote songs while sitting on tree stumps,
chewing tobacco and drinking gin.
Because, we wanted people to write movies about us,
like the ones they played before the explosion
took out a half of Paris, DC, and Sydney.
Test me again, and I will never talk to you,
you said those words and you meant it.
I regret ever running
into you at the house,
and falling for you,
like how I'm falling
over on my ***.
And now we will never text,
have a conversation,
or hold each other in bed.
Kiss me goodnight,
but don't say
that you ever cared about me,
because I don't believe
in the lyrics,
your favorite musician sings.
Apr 2017 · 488
unsaid_Things
Andrew T Apr 2017
friday morning,
we wake up hungover
from last night's binge drinking,
because even though we love our jobs,
no one really wants to work for their entire lives,
when so many things are unanswered,
perverted, and misconstrued.  
hashtag all of those millennial catchphrases,
to garner hearts from your friends
who you haven't seen in years,
friends who work in San Fran,
Chicago, Greenwich Village.
crank up your laptop speakers,
as Neon Indian's Polish Girl
plays that **** synth,
and take a drag from a P-Funk,
before your Grandma hits your
shoulder with the newspaper daily—
right after she speaks in Vietnamese,
asking you what is your name,
because she has Alzheimer’s.
but in these social media days,
isn't everything that is worth mentioning to your sister,
everything that is worth fighting for,
everything that is ****** in this world,
on the internet (maybe, just Twitter tbh).
screenshot the cat meme you like,
save it,
share it,
move on.
if only she wasn't allergic to cats,
maybe it could have worked out.
that was 7 years ago.
—*** ova it. Then, mix your red bull with your coffee,
because the next 10 hours of your life,
will be revolving around caring about people
other than your ungrateful and ingratiating ***.
don't cry,
when I say good-bye.
stay for a while, under the shade of the rooftop
where the deejay spins Frank Ocean
and Frank Sinatra records,
as everyone is drinking scotch, or Yuengling,
and ashing over the veranda bansister,
; the bad boys try to open their souls
to the good girls. and the bad girls,
reveal too much to the good boys.
we devoured those drugs, as though
they were jelly beans from a convenience store,
and then we broke into the store
and ate some more.
break the coals on top of the ******,
puff, puff, pass—
inhale, exhale,
fit the deformed piece
back into the Dinosaur puzzle,
and crawl back into bed,
pull the covers over
your trembling body,
shut your eyes,
and reflect,
for the day is heavy with regret
and unsaid things.
Mar 2017 · 477
Vince
Andrew T Mar 2017
give me a chance
to take you out
for one last night
in the city,

as the angels sleep on the sidewalks,
and the reptiles snore in the white house.

I'm crying alone
while your friends check their phones,
smoke their vapes,
and Brady the dog nudges my leg
with his snout,
soft as a napkin
wiping breadcrumbs off a table.

Chipotle before we write diary entries
for our children who look like your
ex-boyfriend. Tell them stories
past their curfew,
as their heads cloud with dreams,
where nothing but beauty blooms,
and sadness goes to pasture,
to be cooked on a rotisserie,
and spit out into bits.

like your flesh when it's been burnt by a lighter.
so listen up,
finish your game of FIFA,
then make me laugh,
so that I could forget about yesterday's fight.
Mar 2017 · 448
Tinsel Town
Andrew T Mar 2017
Late in the evening, the child takes off her reading glasses
And lays on the glass floor with blurry sight and an open reality.
While her textbooks blaze their myths
in the hearthside under the black coals,
By the window is a telescope
with a scratched up mirror, the knobs can’t be adjusted.

On the table are her laminated note cards
with trivial knowledge written
in fancy cursive.

The cards slip from the countertop and drift unto dust clouds.

That is suspended in a broken imagination.
Her handwriting sits on top of weightless ambitions
and sinks through the melting mesh net.

Cough syrup puddles pollute the kitchen sink,
purple pools of empty dreams.

Undercooked food for her thought
is smoking in the oven,
but she knows the smoke will clear soon;
all that is needed is time, time and space.

Everything that matters gets clogged
up in the sink’s drain, her thoughts,
and her sanity.

She once believed she had a connection with God,
but that illusion
Left her with a soggy tissue box
just like her high-school sweetheart.
Nicholas Sparks’s novels are the bottomless hole,
which she jumps into
each night, not even pretending to trip over the ledge.

The grandfather clock laughs with her
and doesn’t act his age,
Right below him sitting on a plush pedestal
is Breakfast at Tiffany’s,
The novel not the movie.
It sits upright with its legs crossed just as a lady would,

Black sunglasses to correct her eyesight
when everything collapses in a man’s world.

The stardust on the windowsill eats
through her emotional doll house, she
Yearns for a thrill like getting hit
by a chloroform dart in her breast. She desperately

wants an intoxicating heart sickness.
Wine glasses stand in line patiently
Waiting for her to fill them up
and then swallow their anxiousness away.

She thinks of her bubbly mother
who smiles while her Dad beats her.
But every evening, she ties an apron around her waist,
turns the chicken broth stew into escape from perfection.
She uses a wooden ladle,
but longed for a silver spoon

When all she had were Vogue magazines and the black and white pictures.

The girl get up from the carpet floor,
and leans over her half-opened window.
Outside the fireflies battle the moths
for the attention of a dying lamppost.
As the flame is cremated, a street-smart ***
rolls down the street in his shopping cart,

Steering the cart with the negative weight of newspapers.
The girl lies back down

And her lighter flickers
under a torn page of a child’s diary, she twirls around
Her spectacles searching for a woman in the reflection.
But she can’t see anything

human, just an animal
who lusts for a world that exists only in Tinsel Town.

Thoughts of waiting tables in the evening
and casting calls in the morning.
Another girl who wants to be a golden star
that never shines underneath a concrete sidewalk
Feb 2017 · 694
LMS
Andrew T Feb 2017
LMS
I don't feel safe,
as though a predator has found
the combination to my comfort zone,
and now has unlocked it,
and is stealing my peace of mind.
"Please stop," I plead.

My arms are shaking, my hangover
is bigger than Trump's Wall.
The same blocked number appears and reappears
, then repeats on my phone screen.
I had to block you on my Gmail (Is that even a thing?).
Tinder used to be for fun,
and now I have contracted a haunting for five lifetimes.

My old friends do not want to speak to me.
I understand their worries, finally,
and I hope it's not too late to listen.
But your screeching voice is deafening
and it's hurting my sanity.

I'm sitting on my soft couch,
writing this poem,
and my fingers tremble as I write.
Because I don't even feel safe in my own house.
Once upon a time,
I thought we would say the "I dos."
Now, all I want is whiskey until I reach oblivion.

IRL is the steepest road to travel on,
but I chose a shortcut,
and now I have fallen off and into a descent
into a madness that Ginsberg has only whispered about
during smoke breaks at the temple building.
Quitting to smoke cigarettes is easier
than dealing with your stab-wounds of sentences.

Like my FaceBook Status,
if you've ever felt violated and controlled
by an old flame.
Then grab a fire extinguisher,
press the lever,
and put out the conflagration,
before it burns your life away.

-Andy
Andrew T Jan 2017
Hillary,

In regards to your previous email, we’ve checked your account and have decided that “alllivesmatter666” is not a sufficient password. Your password requires a letter with caps, and a special character. Furthermore, we regret to inform you that S.O.S is an urgent distress signal, and shouldn’t be used as an acronym for “Secretary of State.” Please refrain from using the words “Secret” and “Classified” in the title box of your emails, this will undoubtedly let foreign spies and officials know the significance of the subject in your messages. If you have any questions, or comments please feel free to contact us at [email protected]

Best regards,

Benny Benghazi,
ITT Manager
(202) 567-9028
Jan 2017 · 408
Flyer
Andrew T Jan 2017
Finger at the blue in the sky
Say I want be like that guy
You say you want me to fly
Like the falcon in the sky
Floating, soaring and climbing
Touching white clouds of heaven
But fog chokes the clean lining
Mists like comics with no timing
Yet I can’t understand why
My wings have to still be tied
Down steel chained to the ground
Can’t move on to new chapters
When the pages are bound
Cuts are bandaged by laughter
It’s that why I rest at the nest?
And you stopped the beat in my chest?
I want that heart of a lion
Instead there’s chicken in my breast
Yes, when I was hatched I was immobile
Pure and noble yeah no sight no vocals
Kept me alive never en danger
But now fam-iliar is the stranger
See brown leaves fall and drift from trees
Bark ripped open soil has frozen
Branches broken missing me  
By a couple of feet I’m beat
My feet are perched, ready to drop
Will I hit the ground or see the top?
***** for you I found the key to the lock
Ya see when I want open doors I don’t knock 
Eyes closed and dived, felt like I died
Til the wind caught me for a ride
Touches my tongue breeze fills my lungs 
Arms now glide, I become alive
Rising, plateauing, descending  
Wings can't brake, till my brash bones break
Tears fall beside me befriending
Me, close to my face, my ending
Ladybug bums buzz hovering
Below my beak, two hit my cheek
Flashback when there was smothering
Ate treats of sweets and flesh at my peak
Now how can I flap forever?
Mood severed, Rain struck the weather
Rain drops plop on me like puddles
That and oil in my feathers
I look back and hear organs playing
Baby chicks clinging, Gospel singing
Knees dove deep in bark they were staying
Rain dropped she thought God heard her praying
Let her have his shy reply that’s brief
Let her have peace and hours of sleep
There’s no need for her sighs of relief
Have brain release, there’s no deceased
Looking forward I need to land
Eyes skipping off until I’m crossed
Jan 2017 · 454
Work Out
Andrew T Jan 2017
Losing you was like shedding the extra fat off my belly;
I loved it, maybe, too much.

Now I stand tall, thin and gaunt.
Push me over and I may fall over.

Share with me, your story,
Allegories of time times you spent

alone and vulnerable in a single moment,
small as a raisin, large as a glacier.

Forget about me, as you live out your journey
through song and Calligraphy.

You belch and I wipe off the *****
from your chin. Silly me, you say.

Take this blade, cut away the fragile hairs
from my forearm. Let me go,

like a mother unwrapping her fingers
around her baby boy's shoulders

so that he can ride his blue bicycle
and pedal off into the distant sunset.

The light is growing,
and we are smiling.
Jan 2017 · 792
Close the door
Andrew T Jan 2017
While the light faded from the windowpane,
I tried to encourage and push you
like a door swinging slowly on its hinges;
But nothing ever made you happy,
nothing ever satisfied you--
as the cool air grew thick and muggy with warmth,
you stomped on top of the floorboards,
which concealed my wounds, my scars, the bruises
I would never let anyone examine.

We struggled to get on the same page,
couldn't even reach the same sentence.
So when you screamed at me, aggressively and loudly,
I gave you the silent treatment,
your threats unable to rattle me.

Why can't I stop thinking about the way you'd
dry the wet off your back with a bath towel?
Don't you miss how I would blow your belly button,
or how you would moan softly as I scratched your back
with my guitar pick?

The cinema plays homevideos of the two of us
laughing at the drunk girl who wrecked her bumper
on the parking space concrete, and the two of us
holding each other's hands at the John Mayer concert.

A nook, a camera, a pair of sunglasses,
a Michael Kors purse, an emerald bracelet;
gifts to show you I cared, to show you I wanted
more than just one night cuddling in
your younger sister's apartment.

F. Scott Fitzgerald died in his forties,
holding a wine bottle in his hand like a newborn,
as his wife Zelda built a fire pit
and burned his stories, page after page, until
the characters twisted and rolled into ash and charcoal.

Are we the writers?
Or are we the characters?

Tell me you don't love me anymore,
so I could finally close the door shut.
Don't leave me voicemails, or send me text messages
with emojis and memes.

I remember we would cruise around Maryland
and Virginia, in my dad's silver sedan,
blasting music and smoking *****.

But now we're swimming
in the deep end of the swimming pool.
You're wearing a life vest and I'm trying to keep afloat,
as the strong water hits my chest,
and the cold chills my bones.

You are Kate Winslet,
and I'm Leonardo DiCaprio
giving you the inflatable killer whale,
so that you could stay above water,
as I slip under the current of our decaying memory,
the years we've lost,
and the time which we'll never regain.

The door is closing on me
and everything darkens from the lights
to your face.

And I know now, that a piece of my heart
sits at the bottom of your mason jar,
like a corroded anchor
dug deep in the floor of the ocean.

Keep it,
and whether you come inside the house,
or walk out to the driveway,
close the door
like eyes
shutting for the last time.
Jan 2017 · 886
Breakfast
Andrew T Jan 2017
For a week straight, I avoided going to the supermarket, even when my stomach grumbled and the fridge stayed empty and lonely. And instead, I looked through my binoculars from the tree house my dad had built with a few planks of wood, nails, and a rusty hammer. A place he’d built before I was put into my mother’s arms and put into a bright blue cradle. Blue as the shirt Abigail was wearing, the same day the cops busted her for giving head to my best friend Isaac in my Toyota Camry. Right in the middle of the parking lot of the supermarket, as I bought pancake batter and cage-free eggs for breakfast.

And Abigail never ate that meal after she spent a week wasting away in a cell block, reading JD Salinger stories over and over, as though his words could heal her marks and bruises.

Today, I made pancakes and eggs for breakfast.  I waited for the TV to load a Netflix show, hoping Abigail had learned from her mistakes. She passed me the salt and pepper shakers, as I lit a cigarette, sat in a chair, and smoldered.

Abigail put her face in her hands, cried for a bit, even reached for the ***** bottle.

We went to the supermarket later, walked down one aisle, and picked up meat and potatoes. As we headed for the self-checkout line, I passed the breakfast section and saw the pancake batter and the eggs. Abigail crumbled to the floor, said, “I’m so sorry.”

After that, we never touched breakfast.
Andrew T Jan 2017
The radio
plays a different song
depending on your mood.
So I make you turn sour grapes
and suddenly Jimmy Eats World
hits the speakers.

I wait; nothing great ever happens.
Blame it on me,
as I drive under the tunnel.
You put the window down,
light a cigarette, and tell me,
"I put my soul into this art ****."

I don't know how to respond
to that statement, so I keep driving.
The smoke leaks out,
covering the night like a quilt.
You ask me, "Where'd you leave the drugs?"

I don't respond.
Tap my shoulder until I twitch
and say, "Cut it out."
But this time, you open the door,
step out to the road,
and ditch me to go watch "La La Land"
with your ex.

I go home and make a tuna melt.
The sunlight is fading and nothing
good is playing on TV.
The couch pulls out into a bed
and there I shut my eyes.

And I tumble into dreams,
dreams where you exist
to hold me up,
instead
of pulling me down.
Jan 2017 · 947
Cassette
Andrew T Jan 2017
Kiss me good-bye until the thunder stops clapping,
until the moon starts glowing, until we all crawl
back to the fireplace, where the logs are burning
and the kids are laughing. Take me to the underground,
to a place I’ve never heard about.
Make me forget how I’ve hurt you.
Ask me questions, even if I can’t give you
all the answers.
Please accept my excuses, even if they’re useless.
Drink coffee with me, beneath the terrace,
as the smokers vape, and the drinkers guzzle.
Tell me what you love about the sunshine
that peeks under the rainclouds.
And tell me to stop,
if I’m talking too much.
Because I can listen to you speak,
on this cassette tape, over and over.
Press play.
Jan 2017 · 426
Thank you. For everything.
Andrew T Jan 2017
Thank you. For everything.

Cecilia touched the red splotch on my polo shirt, removed it with her finger, and wriggled her nose, as the overhead light brightened with a hazy blue. She licked her finger. I was just glad when she pulled out a chair, sat down, moved closer to me, as I poured myself a ***** cran. Cecilia clapped her hands once, and then clapped them again, as the ceiling slowly morphed into a blanket of green smoke. I guess it looked more like the planet, as the smoke turned into small pockets of water blue.

She closed her fingers over my wrist and choose to look at the floor. "What happened to the carpet?" Cecilia asked, her eyes raising. "What do you mean?" I asked, looking down at my feet that were drenched in honey and chocolate. The TV crackled to life and a picture of Joey Biden appeared and he was writing in a diary. He wore a tennis hoodie, sweatpants, and Birkenstocks.

“What do you think he’s writing?” Cecilia asked, as she munched on a pineapple.

Joey put his pencil down on the desk, then walked over to the window on the right-hand side, opened it, and took a green **** sitting on his nightstand, ripped it, letting out a plume of smoke.

I shrugged and took a large bite out of of the pineapple.

“Something funny? Something serious?” Cecilia asked again, not seeming to notice the green smoke filling up the living room.

“You want my honest opinion?” I asked. The walls trembled from the hammers beating against them. A baby grand piano was being played somewhere upstairs. Outside, stray dogs were barking up a rainstorm. I tossed the pineapple over my shoulder and pulled a candy bar sticking out of the couch cushions. I felt the years of decay and melted caramel apple coating my palm, as I hunched forward, and tossed the candy bar out the windows. The dogs howled gratefully and crooned an old jazz bebop tune.

Cecilia laughed, clicking her heels together. “No, lie to me like you do when I ask you, ‘does this dress make me look fat,” she said, as Joey reached up to his bookcase and inserted his diary in between a history text book and Joseph Heller’s Catch-22. He sighed, closed his eyes, and began to talk in Portuguese.

“He’s writing something about ****. Probably because he just got high,” I said, as I put my hand over my mouth and yawned.

Joey stopped talking in Portuguese and then he got up, walked over the TV screen, touched a button. The screen went black.

Cecilia’s face was shrouded in green smoke, green as crinkled dollar bills. “Do you want to go to sleep?” she asked, stepping over the passed-out brown bear laying in a puddle of honey and chocolate.

“It’s our anniversary,” I said, moving my finger gently over a plush red box. I turned and looked at Cecilia who was grabbing my face and kissing it. The box fell into the honey and chocolate, sticking to the floor.

I bent down, picked up the box, and opened it. A paper airplane floated out and unfolded itself, landing neatly in Cecilia’s hands. She began to read it, “Dear President Obama. Thank you. For everything…”

I closed my eyes and listened to an old Louie Armstrong record playing on a turntable a foot away in the kitchen. The needle scratched. Then, the volume lowered down.

The curtains closed.

And the TV buzzed as the dogs burned each house in the neighborhood.
Inspired by a youtube video featuring Obama thanking Joe Biden.
Andrew T Jan 2017
She got my number from her sister Elizabeth.
She spoke in a voice, bearing resemblance to the silkworms the Europeans stole.
She used to date a guy from Hixson who drove a 1956 Chevy Bel Air.

I drove a Toyota.
I didn’t smoke cigarettes, or drink alcohol.
I went to NOVA, the community college.

She texted me: Good Morning; She texted me: I’m thinking about you.
She told me, over the phone, about her car accident, before her family.
She found a new boyfriend: Mark. A mellow skater.

I took my first creative writing class with a Professor as my poet.
I wrote poems about her, long ones, and short ones. Showed them all to her.

I spoke with her over the phone; told her I loved her.

When she didn’t respond.
I hung up.
Dec 2016 · 423
Jules
Andrew T Dec 2016
Jules why did we come here? We're walking across wet sand and hugging onto boulders, that are boomerang shaped. You hold an electric lantern and glow with light, as you walk along the shore. The stars shine brilliantly and I am sad because you don't look at me look the way you look at that lion-shaped rock.

I chew on gum and try to forget about the fact that you're puffing on a Marlboro light. My Uncle died of cancer two months ago, and this is why I now chew on dentine ice. You tell me to stop smacking my lips. I want to push you in your chest, grab your cigarette, and burn a hole in your cardigan. But I bought that cardigan for you last Christmas. It cost a whole paycheck.

I need a better job. But you got me that job. So at the same time, I'm grateful to work at a country club, sweeping the tennis courts with a broom, as I watch young people swing and miss with their racquets. The clouds begin to darken and cluster above the beach. My knee shakes violently and I know it's about to thunder and boom with hard rain.

I open my mouth and try to put my arm around you, pulling you in closer. But you start to climb a rock, crawling on its lopsided surface, and digging your heels into its cracks. You toss the Marlboro **** and brighten the intensity on the lantern. The light spreads across the rock and the beach, like glass shattering onto a tiled floor. You hold the bright lantern in front of your face.

I can no longer see your brown eyes, your black, curly hair, and your jagged nose. You look at me. But all I see is that bright and shining light covering and shrouding your silhouette. You turn right and stare affectionately at the lion shaped rock. I swallow my gum. I pick the cigarette pack from the sandy floor. I flick the lighter. My eyes close.

I miss you.
Dec 2016 · 497
That night
Andrew T Dec 2016
I watched you soar off a balcony,
Only to land on a giant net stitched
From your goals and dreams.
You traded your soul for an extra moment with the silhouette of her shadow.
Bury me in her old cardigan and
Her parking tickets. Take me back
To a time when these feelings
Didn't shatter my good sense.
I traced the outline of our brownstone
On your inner thigh.
You woke up to the bed covered
In roses and firewood.
The getaway car trembled as
You stepped inside, dragging
A red wagon weighed down by your discarded dreams.
Before I could pass out on the futon,
You asked me, do you love me?
As you drank from the merlot bottle.
I wanted to nod my head instead of
Shake it. But hey that's what the
Rewind button is for.
So the parachute refused to open,
And I died that night too with you.
Dec 2016 · 1.2k
Baggage
Andrew T Dec 2016
Her dreams are packed suitcases,
sitting on the driveway,
a piece of cloth sticking out,
ready to be unfolded and opened,
and then carried around.
I miss her
like how Americans
will miss the Obama family.
Touching her lips with my fingertips
is like rubbing healing ointment
onto an open scab.
Mom says, “You will always regret it,
if you don’t send her a text back.”
I dump my phone into the fire,
watch the plastic and metal burn,
the embers and ash piling up.
A black hand reaches for my shoulder,
before I wake up in a cold sweat.
I open up her suitcases:
a blue Grand Canyon blanket,
a laminated receipt
from a Sushi Restaurant,
a deflated basketball,
her knockoff Gucci glasses,
a worn piece of my heart.
I touch my chest.
and I feel nothing there.
Dec 2016 · 429
Letter to Pa
Andrew T Dec 2016
A drop of water races down the windshield of a 98’ Honda Civic.
Art feels queasy from drinking too much milk with his coffee.
There’s a battle in his inner eye and recovery cannot be seen
in the distant future.

Garden snakes wriggle between the blades of
grass while the lawnmower hums
like the orange glowing streetlamp
outside my apartment building.

The cold wind spreads a blanket of wrinkles
onto the pavement smeared with blood and
my pa’s tears.
He spent his entire life hiding in a turtle shell, his head
buried in his guts.

The highs and lows fluctuate within the soul
of a poet who stabs his pen through
notebook paper staining his
leather ledger with black ink.

Songbooks bungee jump off the scaffolding of
red brick tenements as the moonbeams trace concentric circles
round the puddles of
dead rainstorms on the pale concrete.

My pa picks up a bow and arrow,
plucks the string back,
and shoots the target painted
on the granny apple falling

from the heavy branch of the dogwood tree.
Dec 2016 · 883
Shades
Andrew T Dec 2016
You’re eyes are black and white
They make me think you have an old soul
They remind me of classic films,
Of the dusty keys on our piano
Different races but no winner from competition.
I wonder
What these sunglasses will do for you
Dec 2016 · 571
ROFLCOPTER
Andrew T Dec 2016
I met this girl at the bus top across from ironhouse condiminums on west broadstreet, and we started talking and I took the wrong bus just to talk to her. I didn’t even have the right amount of change to give to the bus driver. I needed $1.50 and I was thirty-five cents short. So I walked up the asile and asked the cute girl with raybands and lavish brunette hair if she had some change. She smiled and gave me a quarter and a dime. Excellent, I’m in. After I gave the bus driver the bus fair, I leaned back in a chair and I talked to her about literature, writing, reading, poetry. Her name was Anna and her favorite book happened to be “Catcher and The Rye,” she had stacks of notebooks from grade school until now, and she journaled each day in the morning.

We stopped at Willow Lawn and I said: bye. I recommended to her some novels and I wrote down my email on a ripped out pocket book journal page. I passsed it to her, saw her hand close over the note. And then, as I got off the bus, noticed she crumpled up the note.

Later on, I came across a free sandwich, some bowls, a coors light, and a deep tissue massage (my friend is a massage therapist in training; half black; half white; #winning). So imagine being twisted and getting a deep tissue massage with creamy oil lotion. She had this cushioney tan bed to lay down on and relax.

The two girls Rachel and Rachael sang with perfect pitches these great lyrics. We smoked sticky icky *** from a bowl and a plastic orange ****. I pulled up on the carbueretor and vacummed the mushroom cloud of smoke into my lungs, sending radioactive pleasure into my body. A bowl and stem apparatus. Mouth piece. A water pipe or a **** was smokey jazz brass saxophone. The black gas washed by murky water and condensed icecubes sent me spiraling down.

So, I ended up riding on the GRTC bus, smacked sauce, and I wrote all these great ideas, and weird *** descriptions of the bus interior. Went home, changed clothes, swag black VCU shades with neon yellow sides, and a fresh Kanye West Bear shirt with Japanese eyes and shutter sunglasses. I walked down Shafer street and came up to the compass and Hibbs hall. Outside there was a crowd of people freestyle battling, and I enterered the contest. I became a compeitior and I was the challenger, there was no champion yet. I won one round, lost a round, and then went O.T. sudden death overtime. The whole time I was still high, I was carrying around a VCU Cary Street Gym aluminum water bottle with a black insulated sleeve. So I ended up losing, my friend tapped my shoulder and I said whatup and we walked to subway, and I got a foot long Buffalo Chicken sandwich.

We went to his friend’s townhouse on Main and North Harrison Street. I drank a cup of Pineapple and Rasberry Burnetts *****. We went down Cary street, and took a right on Pine Street and then we went to this Delta Chi Fraternity House. There was a kalidescope discoball with rainbow lights. A bar serving jungle juice from an orange gatorade water cooler. I silded my way into the dance floor and turned around and say this girl who I knew. She was someone I taught tennis to when I was an instructor in high school. Needless to say she got extremely attractive. So I was dumbstruck and trying to process all this **** in my mind, and I told her straight up, “Aiight we’re dancing.” And wow. I taught her to stroke the ball well from the tennis lessons. She wore these pink ******* bunny ears and a white dove cardigan and a black halter top, with a dark mini skirt.
Dec 2016 · 413
Song!
Andrew T Dec 2016
(Verse 1)
You're upsetting me on this balcony,
as our friends smoke my **** and drink my beer.
Drove my Honda to see you in Albany.
Giving you the time you need, then you run dear.
Chasing my roommate around the living room
,with your pants around your waist, you're wasted.
Tasting the dude's face, you're in a giving mood
;Want to dance? You asked in haste, getting naked.

(Chorus)
Now you've left me at the house party, alone
Calling me a difficult *****, because I'm grown.
Groan all you want, give a tantrum on the dance floor
You're not handsome anymore. Can't believe you're a man-*****

Now you've left me at the house party, alone
Calling me a difficult *****, because I'm grown.
Groan all you want, give a tantrum on the dance floor
You're not handsome anymore. Can't believe you're a man-*****

(Verse 2)
Is this what you want; a relationship that's open?
Talk to me. Listen. No, look at my face.
Guess I wanted your heart, cuz my heart was broken.
And beyond repair. But you don't care.
I walk away from the crowd and onto balcony.
Wonder if I should have stuck to learning alchemy.
Because magic is easier than assessing intentions
Of a man who can't understand his own to mention.

(Chorus)

Now you've left me at the house party, alone
Calling me a difficult *****, because I'm grown.
Groan all you want, give a tantrum on the dance floor
You're not handsome anymore. Can't believe you're a man-*****

Now you've left me at the house party, alone
Calling me a difficult *****, because I'm grown.
Groan all you want, give a tantrum on the dance floor
You're not handsome anymore. Can't believe you're a man-*****
Dec 2016 · 389
Burned
Andrew T Dec 2016
We watched Rogue One in a theater, sitting in the handicapped seats because I had made an error in judgement. You forgave me. Nights we kept the house party bumping with Dr. Dre and Drake, as the girls and guys, our friends, grind and rattled along to the beat pulsing from the speakers. I lost my new chick, after I slept with an ex-girlfriend. This happened a week ago, on Monday and I was sober.

So I took a few days off, sleeping the nightmare away on the lumpy couch in the basement, the windows drafty and condensed. And when I woke up, I saw her face in the TV screen, her face wearing glasses covering her blue eyes, and her hair blonde. She put her hand up against the screen, breathed on it, so the glass fogged up. I moved slowly and carefully to the TV and clutched the edges with my bare hands. I leaned in closer and kissed the screen. The TV buzzed and crackled with static, then shut down, and then went black. I crumpled to my knees and put my face in my lap, as I sobbed uncontrollably. I opened my eyes. Everything got colorful.

I was sitting in a restaurant, to upscale for my taste, white table cloth and waiters rushing around in white shirts and black vests. Her face ******* up, looking annoyed and resentful. She asked me to talk. But I looked down at my hands instead, decided to take my time, and drank the cheap scotch. As I set the glass down, she crossed her arms over her chest. No *** tonight, I could tell. Every gesture she made told a story, one secured over an unhappy conclusion.

And I ended up not being a knight and going up to her castle to slay the dragon.

Instead, I burned.
Andrew T Dec 2016
At 2:30 a.m., I drink a beer,
as if it is a crushed Ambien.
I light a joint (the parents are gone for the weekend).
My girlfriend is asleep in the basement,
eyes closed, lightly snoring,
the left side of her face is covered in scars
and burn marks.

I look around my room:
white and blue Ralph Lauren shirts
hang from the lampshade,
the collars and sleeves are layered with dust.
The bookcase is littered
with shoeboxes, novels,
and poetry collections.

I take a drag from my joint
and realize my ears are full of static,
as if they had been packed
with black and white TV sets.
There’s the faint sound
of a car
passing by.

The car is a reminder: Civilization,
glass buildings,
happy hour
at my favorite hole-in-the wall
in Chinatown.
I’m naked, but
not totally bare.

All I’m wearing are blue boxer briefs,
as though it is my uniform
for my current occupation
as a poet.
The blinds are open
and I wonder if I open the window and jump out,
will anyone give a ****?

My therapist will probably label me as suicidal,
if I mention that last thought.
I think I’m just restless and idle.
I take another chug from my beer.
I’m hunched over a notebook,
and writing with a blue pen,
not because I think I’m an authentic writer.

But because my computer’s in the basement
and I don’t want to wake her; I love her.
But I can’t stand her critiques, in regards to me.
Maybe I can’t handle the harshness
in her honesty, as if it is a foreign language
coming from a stranger who I’ve known for years.
I’m not sleepy.

I’m scared.
Scared about growing up,
scared about having to stop
giving a ****,
and finally having
to care about
my life.
Dec 2016 · 558
Dance
Andrew T Dec 2016
Dance with me,
under a raincloud,
as sunshine bursts,
like schoolchildren;
leaping through the double doors,
of a rustic brick building.
Flowerpots filled to the brim
with cigarette butts, and bad
decisions, ones made
after dancing on the boardwalk,
as the darkness shrinks away,
for the sun brightens and shakes.
Quivers—the world spinning and spinning.
Dec 2016 · 348
PIC
Andrew T Dec 2016
PIC
A man sees a child in an old photo album of his…

He finally did it
He achieved success.
He tasted greatness
Tastes like
Cool watermelon on a warm day

Innocence
Captured in the boys’ shortness in stature
Charisma
Can’t be contained in a camera’s lens

Royal Blue Clothing
Doesn’t convey his feelings genuinely
Crimson red would suit his mood authentically
Wishes the dress shirt would fit his enthusiasm

Mentally exhausted from the ceremony
Young underachiever is so eager for leisure
Smile is wide and great, baby teeth are revealed
Moment is so surreal. Happiness is all he feels
There is zeal and anticipation for the future

Hair is brushed to the side like his critics in class
His parents hope this adorable image will last
Like there marriage of twenty years and then some
Oh what a time it was, to hope and dream
Of what it would be like to be a teen

A man looks at the picture in his hand
He shakes his had in disgust, he’s pensive
Wonders how is passion was replaced with apathy
How his life turned into a catastrophe

The moment in the picture
Was perfect
Like the frame that concealed it
Dec 2016 · 413
The Pianist: Greg
Andrew T Dec 2016
My friend Greg is musically talented, a singer-like R-Kelly, and because of that he acts like a dog, around women. Who stand by fire hydrants. He plays with his instrument in front of people on the street. And sometimes, the piano too. When Greg plays, he always wears huge sunglasses. That’s because he wants to impersonate Ray Charles. Plus, it’s cheaper than doing ******. Although, he does make a lot of money and he wants to start a band. Band-Aid company. But on a serious note, Greg teaches lessons to his students. They have tiny fingers, so it’s hard for them to reach the keys. But that’s okay because they’re in his pockets. As a musician, he dresses in black clothing. Excuse me, he dresses in African-American clothing. Before shows at open mics, in front of the audience, Greg sometimes throws up. Gang signs. In all honesty, Greg gives a great performance on stage. He just pretends the audience is naked. And then he gives them five and half minutes. As his friend, before he stepped onto the stage, I told him, “break a leg.” He tells me, thank you for pushing me so hard. As he hops around on crutches. Greg’s really good playing the piano, but the audience always gives him a slow clap. But that’s what happens when you play for retards. He considers himself a feminist womanizer. He sleeps with a lot of women. But don’t worry, he always asks for consent, before he roofies your drink. I know this from experience. He’s a good friend though. Once, I was dancing with a girl and I slipped and fell to the floor. Greg rushed over to me and stuck out his hand And I was so grateful for his friendship, until he grabbed the girl’s ***. But you can’t blame him, it was really dark in there, how was he supposed to know that was his sister. Greg loves Shanghai Noon. He’s a huge fan of Owen Wilson. And me. Greg thinks all Asian people look the same. When he saw the Walking Dead Season premiere, he sent a flower-basket to my parents. Greg is so charming. Like the toilet paper. His favorite sport’s team is the Chicago Cubs, his favorite women are the Chicago Cougars.
Dec 2016 · 330
Text?
Andrew T Dec 2016
Didn’t really know why I felt the way I did
When I saw her
it was like nothing made sense
She coordinated chucks and black nail polish
with Lacoste polos
She belched and smoked
but she hated profanity
She was only in high school but she was wise
beyond her years
She was the prettiest girl I’ve ever seen,
but she was lonely
Only thing that made sense
was that I liked her
Did she reciprocate the same feelings?
I already knew the answer
And I was content
Yet
In the back of my mind
I knew I had a chance
when I first made her laugh
I smiled when she told me
she was into the same bands as me
I fistpumped when I heard
she dumped her boyfriend
But then I remembered
Who I am and who she was and I stopped myself
Because she was the wild child
And I was the awkward guy
We didn’t belong together,
we weren’t right for each other
I stopped calling her and slowly I left her life
Next day I turned on the television and I saw a couple
Holding hands
Walking down their street
Talking about how nice the weather is
And I thought to myself
Why can’t the weather be good in Seattle?
I called Elizabeth.
Dec 2016 · 670
Major Bag Alert
Andrew T Dec 2016
A White girl figure with a blank face and
a dress cropped over her knees lays
smeared flatly onto a restroom door;
a black star encrusted shoe kicks open the
Door.
In comes a knocking the delusions
of grandeur that stay suspended in the
Fragrance of workaholic soccermoms.
In one of the bathroom stalls
swims a ****** rosemary, teenage midlife-crisis
Averted. Theses tests were ironically
positive for the genesis of an unborn
Icon. I might have just used the wrong definition of irony.
Moving on. A hand flushes
the remanents of immortality down a sparkling, smiling toilet.
Rolled poems become unscrolled
when writeen on the pampered virgins paper.
In the next stall,
there lives substance for the homeless man
in the deep, brown soil
Of the marsh. A trash can is hunched over the sink,
attempting to dispense it’s
Apathy for a commercial world.
He turns the corner and sees writeen on the wall in
legible, abstract graffetti; “Ugliness is shrouded
under layers of positive
contradictions.” The words are engraved
deep into the cracked out, white tile wall.
Socialist Olympic torches blaze before ash
crumbles into communists tendencies.
The water is clear but the benches
are polluted with foreigner sea ****,
and
beneath the jangled sands
lie the zombies stuffed deep in the black body bags.
Nov 2016 · 184
The Silence
Andrew T Nov 2016
We’re both relaxed
We’re on fifth street
In New York city
The wrinkles on your forehead remind me
Of our struggles
You’re reading the New Yorker and I’m
Reading The Road
Then your phone starts to sing and “yesterday” starts to play
Sprawling over to the other side of the bench
You pick up your phone quickly
Your lip starts to curl
And a frown appears on your face
Your eyes swell up
As you tell me
“My brother Jon is going to Iraq”
Oct 2016 · 252
Cheekbone
Andrew T Oct 2016
I took a breath of air. Breathed in once, breathed out twice.
She departed now, and I don’t feel any regrets. Because,
We weren’t meant to be connected together, with one another.
She treated me wrong. And I treated her badly as well.
I was under a storm cloud for the longest time,
Trying to find warmth in a frozen pond.
A relic was what love could be—lost potential—found,
In the depths of another lover’s hands.
Lies. Lies. Lies. I plugged my ears with small foam pieces,
Because I couldn’t bear to hear her strained voice.
Broke me into shattered pieces,
They’d spread over the floor. And my soul swathed itself
In the glass, blood staining my cheekbone.
Oct 2016 · 481
Doing the Most
Andrew T Oct 2016
Ok, so you want to meet the love of your life, or at least a sophisticated N.S.A. relationship. Here’s how to do it. Guys leave the pick-up lines at home, many girls are smarter than you’d like to believe. Besides, a poorly-executed pick-up line will only show how your wit is mediocre. And you don’t want that. You want her to believe that you’re funny. Make a girl laugh and you’re in; not in her pants, unless she’s vulnerable, or easy, and do you really want that kind of person? If you’re going to use jokes, and you really desire to prove to your potential soulmate/hookup that you are indeed the next-coming of Louis C.K. then tell her a funny anecdote, involving your younger siblings, or older relatives. Those stories will go over well because they suggest that you do have a heart and a conscience, because you adore your family. But maybe it’s better to not do that. Because sometimes it’s better to keep your mouth shut. Trust me, the more you say, the more chances you have to mess things up. Plus you’ll look all cool and mysterious because you’re listening intently to her. Save the cocky-****** routine; you’re better than that. Point is, don’t try so hard. You don’t have to appear super awesome to her. You will probably never see her again if you act like you’re somebody that you’re not. And look, girls love to talk. So let them talk. Unless they’re mutes. Then, you should probably say something. If neither of you two talk, there’s definitely no chemistry, so just say thanks for the company, and leave the bar. Another thing; don’t gaze into her eyes too much. Of course, making eye contact is an indicator of confidence, but doing it too much is an indicator of creeper status. This is real life; not a bad romantic comedy, she will bolt from the bar to the dance floor and into the arms of that ******* who wears an Ed Hardy Tee. It’s okay to be goofy, but not too goofy; only the guys who get laugh with, get the number. And please be yourself. Unless, you’re a lunatic. Then try to emulate a normal person. Lastly, have fun because everybody only lives once. Except for Jesus, but he probably didn’t have a tough time getting girls, when he could turn water into wine. Another thing; don’t whine if she doesn’t like you. Not every girl is going to like you. Deal with it. Read a self-help book. Lose the beer belly. Or gain the beer belly, because some girls dig that. But most importantly, be honest with yourself. Did you really want to be romantically involved with her, thinking that it was love at first sight when you looked into her eyes, which were so big and so round? Or were you looking at things that were also so big and so round? If you don’t know, then reevaluate what you’re doing. It will work out in the end. Hopefully
Oct 2016 · 408
Backseat Bible
Andrew T Oct 2016
Walking on top of muddy grass I head to my car
Open my rear car door and I see shambles mountain.
Papers fall from my backpack gum wrappers sprawl out
Half-empty plastic water bottles on the floor
I throw all the trash into a white plastic bag
As I dump the filth into the bag my clothes appear
Underneath the heap of unwashed clothing
Lies a bible in the backseat of my sedan
Its blue paperback cover is bent out of shape
Crumbly creased pages fan out like clipped angel wings
The book has sunk into the grey lumpy leather
Dust coats the molded edges of the scuffed pages
I pick up the book and clean it’s raggedy cover
With the bottom of my white-t shirt, now it looks fine
Flipping through each of the old pages I wonder
Why did I leave it in the backseat of my car?
I look at the disorganized landscape and sigh
It all comes back to me as I rub on the binding
Up and down on the tattered spine, I see my church
Inside the church laying on a tabletop counter
Is the backseat bible, my hand grabs it and I leave.
Both church and daydream, the book sits softly in my hands
All of a sudden my cell-phone plays an oldie
I’m late for the movies with my friends, I close the door
Jumping into the front seat I tell them I’ll be late
My seatbelt wraps around my body clicking in
In the passenger seat I place my bible beside me  
I pull out of my driveway, and drive in a new direction
Andrew T Oct 2016
You Facebook messaged me today.
**** it’s been a month or two!
I remember at Velvet I tried
to be like Lennon to your friend Roxy!
“dance?” I said, raising my arms; eye contact; smile.
She smiled and said, “Oh no that’s ok…”
“Ok, I’m not John Lennon haha…”
Twenty mins go by. I lit a jack.
You and I geeked about Murakami.
I was three Natty bo’s deep. I glanced up; rain fell
Your friend Sara pushed up her huge [ellipses] umbrella.
You mentioned your boyfriend is a Deejay at Flash.
You Facebook messaged me today.
Oct 2016 · 247
Knows bone
Andrew T Oct 2016
The days shorten when you’re
about to collapse into the pile of ashes.
Make way for the young, the generation that hypes.
Write to find a journey within the sand
; eat and be merry.
Find your compliments through ART
Andy—he looks right at me—dream on.
Look towards the cross-eyed mannequin,
slipping into a coma. No one wants to be alone,
and vulnerable. We want to touch each other’s
skin, lay in each other’s arms, kiss; nose to nose.
Oct 2016 · 398
A Long Year
Andrew T Oct 2016
I look at your face and it never shows you’re down
A smile spread around that’s taped over the frown
Concealer under your eyes to hide the long nights
Hearing your mom fight has your big headphones on tight

But pop melodies can’t drown out all the loud screams
Dishes left unclean, parents as scared as the teen
Food rots in the fridge, “Keep Out” sign hangs from the door
Damp tissues ignored, scattered across the floor

Try to make her laugh, but my jokes aren’t funny
Shows love through money, dries up the nose when runny
But the low hats and dark shades only cloaked her eyes
Wouldn’t notice my, mouth curved in when I’ve spoken lies

I bet you did see both my pupils wedged with glass  
In sports getting last, cuz I was too effing smacked
Our lamps burnt out, the light in the house faded
In school berated, little girl how did you make it?

You saved the castle when I couldn’t be controlled
You took on new roles, cried for me to be consoled
Writing gave me back my voice when I became mute  
My leaves wouldn’t shoot if you didn’t water the roots

You, you are my blood, without blood my heart won’t pump
When considered a flunk, blood made my heartbeat jump
Really didn’t mean for my lack of energy
To make enemies, but what’s done is now memory  

What happened to me, to us, was unexpected
When it got hectic, everyone was affected
But my family, and Vicky especially you
Kept stable and true and that is how we got through
Andrew T Sep 2016
Jesus wore sandals, you wear sandals.
The heat from the flames seared from out the window of the black Buick.
Emails from job recruiters are trying to make you work for them. Work for the man. Don’t use your brain. Be my slave. You do not exist. You exist for me.
Washington D.C. has a neighborhood; and walking deeper and deeper into its trap will lead to the retelling of the Conrad’s Heart of Darkness.
My GPS is my angel, pointing me in the right direction. A cliché, yes, but how very true.
The Washington Post stand is blocking the entrance to the corner store like a trusted guide.
There’s a lock on the box that holds the newspapers. I’m a Vietnamese American man.
Man,
Whites, black, Hispanics, Asians; they, all give me weird looks.
Emotions course through the stem.
Sleep awaits, but NaS said, “sleep is the cousin of death.”
There is this beauty-skin book sitting on the balustrade of light green row-house, propped against a neat, white fence that holds in the pink magnolias. Rain drops on the book.
Pattering along the cover, the raindrops, slipping, now running down the cracked brick, seeping into a cigarette ****. This is the neighborhood. The book is hope.
Allah, God, Buddha
The can from the soda company is in the grass in the D.C. Neighborhood. Who put it there? It is raining, cleaning my body.
The rain is pouring and I feel like I’ve found my calling.
It is to form the language.
And as that epiphany smacks me in the face, my left side of my brain starts hurting.
What does this mean?
Am I truly waking up from the dream?
I understand. You’re listening to me.
The raindrops fell on my glasses and I felt my vision was changing. The cloudiness disappeared from the lenses. Cay’s pain-stricken face turned into a smile, full of happiness, full of friendship. He’s a good friend. I’m the bad one.
I want to be good.
I want to be good.
It’s change.
For the better, for real.
When it was raining,
The lightbulb popped up outside.
And I finally had the lightbulb speak to me for the first time.
I knew I was a bad person and now I needed to change into a good person.
The car stops moving forward,
I turn the engine off,
And go back to the beginning.
Wrote this before I had a breakdown.
Sep 2016 · 334
S
Andrew T Sep 2016
S
We first met at Arlington Drafthouse on a Saturday night. You were dressed in clothes white as snow. After the open mic we shared a kiss and spent the whole night and the next morning together. I remember when you told me you loved me for the first time and I finally felt safe and wanted for a long time. Over the course of almost two years, we've traveled around Washington DC, took a spontaneous trip to richmond, and saw numerous movies from Elysium to The Imitation Game. When I was selling cars, we ate sushi twice a week; when I worked as a canvasser we shared pizza on your bedroom eating off of paper plates. I've made you feel irritated, loved, appreciated, mad, and happy. You've introduced me to countless friends and I've introduced you to my world of poetry and storytelling. I enjoy blowing your belly button and hearing you say, "eek." My family opened their arms to you and your family has cooked me dinner and given me gifts. Loyalty is the first word that comes to mind when I think of your pretty face. You're older and wiser than me and I'm goofier and clumsier than you. We've broken up in the sunshine and reconnected back in a thunderstorm. So I pray for the raindrops to come crashing down when you're hurt, so that I can dry the tears off of your eyes. Drinks upon drinks; beer, liquor, and shots we've shared with friends of all ages and nationalities and sexes to celebrate life and its beauty. I've broken promises and you've broken my heart before. But with each break we've come together even stronger in our bond and I thank my mother for teaching me to fight for what I desire. Remember going to see John Mayer at Jiffy **** and drinking bud light margaritas? Or playing tennis in the spring afternoon when no one was on the courts and being happy and sad on the weekends when tragedy hit on the the news broadcasts? How about me cooking you spaghetti because that's the only dish I know how to make. We've created a life together through memories and dreams and months of stories. You hate it when I snore at night and I hate it when you stare intently into your phone. Your heart is bigger than my ego and my drive is bigger than your fears. The time we've shared together is important and indispensable. I hope I'm a kind and generous person and above all a good boyfriend. It takes a lot to build a relationship and so little to break another persons trust. What I'm trying to say is I love you very much. And from the bottom of my heart grow better and more valuable as wine grows with age so do you.
Aug 2016 · 481
Funfax
Andrew T Aug 2016
Fairfax Station’s socialite, a trustfundee
Still hallucinates on a lone hammock
In her penthouse.
Her ex-idols still burn the light green foliage
From the Tree of Experience. Her sister’s a screenwriter
Who lives near downtown in a cobwebbed basement.
Each morning she composes a page of dialogue. Usually
There the fragments of yesterday’s conversations
With an insomniac. She is the turned page
In a worn storybook.

Her shutter snaps mental photographs
Through a blurred lens. The girls’ father
Is a patient in an asylum, in his leisure, he treads
Water in a soiled bedpan. Psychotherapy and straightjackets
Cannot restrain his work ethic for Art. Before his admittance
To the institution, in his studio, on a giant canvass
He painted the green youth that struggles to
Grow in an elementary school. The socialite is undeclared
In her major. Unsure of faith leaping.

Remains pessimistic at charity functions. Vast
Auditoriums with smudged tablecloth. She’s accompanied
By an entourage of underdeveloped emotions.
On occasion she side glances from a hand mirror
At a potential love interest. It’s too soon.
The spring is a late bloomer, blue frost clings
To the edges of grass blades. At a coffee shop on
The corner of Main and North Harrison Street,
The screenwriter raps away at her laptop; talking
To herself.

Her coffee foams at the mouth with expired cream.
A welcomed patron to this local getaway;
This is where her father used to read her articles
From the Washington Post. He nearly hanged himself
After the car accident. His wife’s body smashed
Halfway through a windshield. Around his wrist
Is the Movado, she gave him for their anniversary.
For months now, for an hour before night class,
Our writer opens up her treasure chest of demons
To a word document.

She’s almost thirty. The divorce took her strength,
Along with her two legacies. Yesteryear, or
Was it the day before yesteryear? The talented
Family met at a Hibachi restaurant. They had a
Gift card to use. It was a day after the funeral; there black
Clothes were wrinkled, just a bit. Napkins lay
Folded over their laps. Silverware untouched.
Hot bowls of miso soup grew cold. Visits to
The bathroom were common. Tsnumai of
Mixed emotions: trickled, flooded, filled there eyes.

The foreign chef noticed their mood, he
Could only offer body language. In the air
Swan eggs were cracked into two halves.
The yolk sizzled on the aluminum surface.
Fire soared from an onion volcano. Mouths
Watered, and eyes were parched. Kobe steak,
Grilled vegetables, juicy chicken, fried rice.
They chewed their food with shut mouths
And gutwrenched eyes. They sat and ate
Until every last morsel disappeared.

Over her balcony, she leans on the railing
Of her loft. Ashtray spills Marlboro’s remains
That plummet onto a city of funny people.
She can’t use humor as a defensive mechanism,
Why should she? Her credit card is her alcohol.
Her eyes daydream of elevators
And clothing stores. She lays out in
Her hammock, wondering why an automobile
Had to be the antagonist.
They all live above the billboards, below the heavens.
Aug 2016 · 697
Coffee
Andrew T Aug 2016
A Grande Iced coffee sweetened with whole milk always
supplied Trey, the Zombie, with energy. On a bright yellow morning
Trey sat down on a canvass deck chair outside of Starbucks.
He puffed on his e-cigarette. Then he took a sip from his plastic cup.
And as he tasted the refreshing creamy coffee, he remembered
what it was like to be a human being. Before the infection decimated
the world’s population of men, women, and children, everybody
was killing each other with double barreled shotguns, sleeping
with their best friend’s girlfriend to prove that they were not
in love with their best friend, forcing girls and women of all
ages into cramped basements leaving them with a bowl of
white rice and a cup of water, telling them that they had to sleep
with strange men who lived in America and other countries polluted
with lust and desire, or else they would get sent to the bottom
of a swamp where the Alligators roamed the muddy shores in
search of flesh. Trey remembered that he had been a college student
living at home, working as a tennis instructor part time at the
rec center down the street from where he resided at.
This little girl Amy bit him on the ankle. It was the first time
he had taught her how to hit a topspin serve with such
velocity that the tennis ball would bounce off the service box
and rise over the chain-linked fence, where the zombies were, crawling
over and up onto the hard courts. As Trey drank his iced coffee
he realized that life was more pleasant now. People didn’t shoot each
other anymore. Closeted **** and lesbians didn’t sleep with their best friend’s boyfriends and girlfriends just to prove that they were heterosexuals. And wicked men with shaggy hair and yellow teeth didn’t buy young girls and women from cramped basements and **** them because they had the money and the motivation to follow their lustful desires. No. None of this happened anymore. Now that the Zombies had taken over. Everybody just went to Starbucks, and drank iced coffees sweetened with milk.
Aug 2016 · 558
Blue Cap
Andrew T Aug 2016
Each night, indigo blue smoke bloomed from the candle sitting on the patio table while the tall brown-eyed girl spat chewing tobacco into a Styrofoam cup leaning forward with her elbows on the porch railing, watching the black birds pick apart a chicken bone as they teeter tottered across a sable telephone cable. Her name was Candace and she wore a backwards baseball cap, that belonged to her brother Joshua. He had died from a brain aneurysm last year.

She always would tread her fingers around the wide brim of the blue cap, close her eyes and remember how her brother use to take her
to softball practice back when she was in elementary school, driving
her around in his lime green Mitsubishi GT 3000, with the windows down,  and Pink Floyd percolating from the soothing speakers built
into the dashboard. After Joshua had died, Candace dropped out of Mary Washington. She found a job at Movie Theater down the street from the baseball diamond, working at behind the register, arms propped on the countertop, wishing that she had tried out for the club softball team at college. When her shift would end
she’d go back home and sleep in until midafternoon. Then she’d wake up and march over to the library to read the picture books while snuggling  on the lumpy couch with the plump giraffes and short elephants, the toy animals with the holes on the bottom of
their rear ends where the stuffing would roll out whenever she’d squeeze their heads.

One rainy day she strolled to the lake and stole a rowboat from the wooden dock. Dipping the plastic oar into the calm current, she paddled through the blue water, yawning, stuck in her daydreams about winning that soft ball championship back when she was ten years old, and after the game her brother had bought her a fudge brownie sundae
and a strawberry milkshake, with a ****** cherry sunk in the whipped cream.  The night grew darker, as her memories turned more emotional. So she  came back to shore, tied the rowboat back to the dock with looping a knot around the nook with a thick rope cord. Then she went back to her apartment house and
crashed on the couch, the blue baseball cap falling onto the floor.

When she woke up from her nap she put her cap back on her head, and
went out on the porch, lit a cigarette, then gazed out at the shining moon
suspended in the clouded sky. She reached out with her arm, her fingers stretched.

The depths of Joshua’s soul lay beyond her touch, and she knew it.
She grounded out the cigarette, went upstairs to her bedroom, shut the door. And then she cried, cried until the hot tears turned icy with the pain, that was wracking her heart with an emotion that staggered like Joshua had when he was in the kitchen that one day, swaying back and forth. Dropping

to the tiled floor, blood running out his nose like a baseball player
stealing home. Then the memory dissipated from her mind, as if it never
come to fruition in the first place. She took off her blue baseball cap.

She held it in her hands. She clutched the wide brim and treaded her fingers around the stitching, wondering why Joshua had to leave her life.

And why she couldn’t let go of this baseball cap.
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