I wake up thinking about being inside her
the thought beats me over the head
until my mind bleeds into a blurry past
I try to focus on the things that made it worth it
but hatred gives way like rushing water
between the cracks in a dam

there’s these little sentences she would say
brief glances
quirky faces
and I remember love
but the images aren’t in focus
they’re the shimmering pieces of gold
dimly lit beneath the murky current
spilling out between the cracks
that I can’t seal

I can only really recall the trauma
the drunken fights
the sharpened words
choked back by a sob
the spiteful indifference of it all
that replays behind my eyelids
as I attempt to let the drink
lull me to sleep and away from
the clouded waters I drown in
but I tread water better than most.

fuck, I
wish I could remember
the good times

I’m the warm, calm center in the middle of the chaos
the music beats at my ears and
the conversations are rotting corpses

“what’s your major?”
“how many credits do you have left?”
“what job are you getting?”
“how much are you making?”

it’s white noise and I’m sick of static
it burns through the night air meant for silence
we are here and we are all dying
they don’t talk to me
and I don’t talk to them
I stare into the wall
until it melds into the womb I left behind
so many voices
become the buzzing of horse flies
around the pile of shit we all surround ourselves with

“hey, I haven’t seen you in forever!”
“yeah! what’re you doing?”
“I’m a medical technician.”
“I’m a counselor.”
“I work in social media for a publishing company.”
“what do you publish?”
“magazines to keep professionals in the know of
the current state of the fiscal year.”
“oh, that’s amazing!”

I am here and I can do nothing
but wait for the asteroid to hit
I can smell the flesh eating away at itself
we are here and we are all dying

going out for a drink on a weekend night
is like stepping into a zoo run by the animals
it becomes profoundly depressing
the people stumble and slur
spit and hack and vomit on each other
scream and fight and babble about nothing
it’s like a ralph steadman drawing
the scene is grotesque
and I begin to wonder
my god,
is this what I normally look like to the people around me?

nights like these make me question my choices
the drink no longer works and it grabs my hand
as it takes a nosedive off
the cliff’s edge I was so tentatively balanced upon

a drunk man with barbeque sauce spread across his face
says he likes me and has a gift for me
it’s a lint-covered pile of
chewing tobacco directly from his pocket
I haven’t said a word
he doesn’t know me
he doesn’t like me
I don’t like him
I look at his eyes
there’s nothing in there

someone go find the zookeeper

Jack Moody Jun 17

all the people on the television are fat
all the old regulars tell the same damn story they told last week
the drinks are the same price
the women aren’t here
the music sucks
the sun is still up
no one here looks happy
but it’s solitude
I’d rather sit here than call a friend
and do something where the sunlight can reach me
I feel bad
but I’d feel worse out there with real people,
holding conversations,
making eye contact,
it doesn’t make sense
circumstantial happiness sucks the very life out of me
it drains me away
until all that’s left is a black stain on the floor
these people on tv aren’t happy
they were promised money,
brief fame so they can tell their co-workers
at the cubicle about how they finished the sentence
on that big board next to the aging woman
with the plastic in her face
the make-up caked on by faceless artists can’t
hide the gap in their souls
they won’t fill it by standing in front of a camera
that red dot by the lens might as well be aimed between their eyes
there’s no way out of this
but of course, I write this with a drink in front of me
I never said I was any better

one good thing about the titanic
was that every one of them
had to leave the boat,
one way or another

Jack Moody Jun 14

my rose-colored glasses are broken on the pavement.

while walking down the street
towards a destination I deemed necessary,
I bumped into an old man who told me he met death
his hands trembled and his mind was drifting
he was terrified
I shook off the encounter and
resituated the glasses over my eyes

then, farther down the street
my shoulder glanced that of a portly young woman
she was missing teeth and her left ear was torn
she told me that she talked to god
and he had told her it was a mistake
I apologized for the encounter and continued on my way

as I came closer to my destination,
I tripped on a chip in the cement
and a hand reached down to grasp mine
it belonged to a beautiful young woman
her face glowed and she told me
that love was a broken promise
given to us for no reason
but to smile once the teeth in our mouths had rotted
I dropped my glasses for a moment but
returned them properly over my eyes,
as the sun was glaring that day

I waved goodbye and watched her walk away
and as that was happening,
I was accosted by a young man
similar in appearance to me,
perhaps only more weathered
he told me that dreams aren’t for those awake
and that they all fade away when our eyelids open
I attempted to ask what he meant
but he disappeared into the crowd behind me

I could feel that the frame of the left eyeglass was bent,
when I walked headfirst into a drunken homeless man
he wore tattered rags over his body
and clutched at a cheap bottle of vodka in his right hand
my glasses flew off my face
and landed on the street next to us
he apologized
I asked him for a drink

we sat down against a brick wall
and watched the elderly man walk past
he appeared too preoccupied to recognize me,
continuing on his way in a fit of terror

then came the portly woman
her eyes were glazed and we made eye contact
she asked me where my glasses had gone
I told her they were in the middle of the street
she told me they were better off over there

the homeless man and I sat there together,
passing the bottle back and forth
and I waited for the young woman to return
she didn’t
she had gone in the other direction

as the bottle was almost finished,
the young man,
weathered by experience,
stopped for a moment next to us
and asked if I would like those glasses back
that he had seen me wearing, but I had now left
to the mercy of traffic
I told him that I would get them later,
but thank you
he shrugged and
continued down the street

the homeless man and I
then finished the bottle
I stood up to go
and asked him where he was headed
he told me he was going to stick around
I nodded and began walking into the street
to retrieve my rose-colored glasses

as I did that,
a car came barreling towards me
the homeless man approached from behind
and pulled me away
as the glasses were crushed under the weight
of the vehicle heading so certainly
in the direction I was planning on heading

I stood for a moment
looking at the splintered, pink glass
and sat down on the pavement
underneath the shade,
hiding from the prevailing light
of the burning white sun
as the people walked past
I no longer knew where to go.

Jack Moody Jun 9

she said she could’ve loved me
if I wasn’t such a drunk
if I wasn’t so washed away in depression

I told her that for once
the things that made me who I am
weren’t things to be afraid of
when I thought that she accepted my ebbs and flows,
but she wasn’t any different.
just another person that couldn’t stare into a broken mirror
another in a long list of fairytales

these things happen.

I haven’t been happy in my life
until I met her.
because finally,
I believed,
she loved every crack and blurred reflection

for the very first time
every moment that made me
wasn’t an unfortunate tragedy but
an avenue towards her gaze,
a purpose for the pain
that I first found meaningless and masochistic

there was a sun behind black storm clouds
when she smiled and said I wasn’t a bad person
but no matter how I tried,
for her,
to battle my past
and move beyond the spidered glass,
she loved another.
the piece of shit who beat her
abused her
cheated on her
lied to her
refused to love her

but she couldn’t love the
miserable drunk
who would shake the universe for her
because he was flawed and shattered
by the past he desperately tried to, but
couldn’t control

I don’t get it.
I never will
I’d like to never love again
these things happen.

Jack Moody Jun 7

the girl with the blue hair is back for open mic night
she plays ukulele and sings about
getting her pussy licked while snorting adderall
and it sounds like a dying animal

mike the bar back looks over at her with a deft glance
and winks at me
look, I’d fuck her too
but I wouldn’t be proud of it

“that’s really somethin’,” he says

I look over at her and study the curves,
laugh and go back to my drink

“hey, anything looks good after a seven-year dry spell,” he says

“jesus,” I say,
“does your thing even work anymore?”

“yeah I know, I get kind of lightheaded thinking about it.
42 to 49,” he slices his hand through the air: “nothin’.”

“jesus,” I say

“yeah, well I had a few shots with a couple
skanky sluts over the years,
but after your whore wife cheats on you
with your best friend for fourteen years,
I’d rather jerk off in a crowded supermarket than
throw a shot into one of those cunts.”

“jesus, mike.”

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