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Kurtis Emken Oct 2012
I'm standing
in a rain soaked field
looking due North at the
stacked glorious nothing.

And the vapid brands that
stamped and covered these walls
are an echo of their vibrant
former hues.  

The people drive round
and down trying to get
to their brown house maybe.
The parking lots are planar
grey graves, commemorating
the former lives of the

ghosts of shopping malls past
dying ghosts of shopping malls past.

Right on, I'm
walking through the Holocaust
memorial with my coat buttoned
to my throat.  The dying lights of
the Sharper Image really makes
a mockery of what they left.

There is the shell of a Banana Republic.
There's Old Navy, Gamestop, Footlocker
Shoes.  This is the food court where I hit
on that girl who ended up being as
forgettable as a food court meal.

now I'm
looking out just one mile south at the
excavators pushing the dirt and the rock
Digging into land bought by the City,
to build up a new store or twenty

This new real estate is assured to
bring "vibrancy" to our local economy.
Those old stores aren't the right location
so let's just leave, they never existed and

a single family of mallards swim is
circles in Yorkshire Lake.  Calmly watching
as the engines get closer, not really expecting
their time is over to bring in the future of

the ghosts of shopping malls past.
Another ghost of shopping malls past.
Oct 2012 · 1.1k
It's Mathematical
Kurtis Emken Oct 2012
When you met him he was charming
and had a shimmer of silver to his
smile.  He knew what to say before
your brain could construct the words.
And this young man didn't believe
for a concrete second that chivalry
is dead.  He was suddenly everything.

But it started to change, as everything
inevitably does.  He told you first how to
pursue a career.  And then your closest
friends weren't good enough anymore.
You made a ****** ritual sacrifice here
or there.  Old connections had to go, keep
the monster contained.

He sunk his tendrils deep into the non-photo
blue sediment of your mind.  And the man
you called your own was tweaking the serene
oceans of your psyche subtly and oh so surely.
You inadvertently let him shift your beating
heart into a writhing chaos engine for love,
whatever love means anymore.

And he push, push, pushed you ******
into deep sinkholes you've never dared
even tread near before.  You are falling
forward and back through the singularity of
space and time, feebly holding your hands in
front of your face, trying to protect yourself
from a 20,000 foot fall.

Stopping your descent isn't a valid option.  
Halt a moving body so suddenly it will snap
its neck. you are quickly approaching terminal
velocity.  Anyone who could of caught what
is left of you was gone long, long, long ago.
There is no coming back from such impact.
It's mathematical.
Oct 2012 · 1.4k
Kurtis Emken Oct 2012
I hope you shake our home with your anger
and it collapses under our added weight.
I hope that you raise your white flag,
let the breeze scream out its surrender.
I hope that those from the congregation trying
to save us get ******* and give up on us too.

I hope that you unfriend me from Facebook,
and tell your friends to do the same. I hope
you destroy all the moments, cut the
pictures of us into threes.  Tear the
worst from the best and burn through the
all rest, watch my face distort in the flame.

And when you are with fast shrinking friends
at every single’s club in Louisiana, I hope
that you tell every ******* one of them
just how bad I performed in the sack.
In fact, the more you slander me the better.
I hope you fill those sad, bloodless husks with lies.

I hope that you refuse to forgive me. I hope
you move back to Tallahassee.  In three
years time, with your new life all divine,
I hope you forget that she’s my new wife.
I hope that sometime you’ll learn to love me
and say that this was a bad phase of our life.

Tomorrow, I’ll bleed out what’s left of “forever”
and choke on “happily ever after”.  And you
think that you’ve finally gotten over cause
I never think to get sober.  But I hope you
recall staring down the unhinged frames
on the wall, you’re coming down with me too.
This is sorta angry.  Sorry guys and gals.
Kurtis Emken Oct 2012
(Preta प्रेत (Sanskrit) or Peta (Pāli) is the name for a type of (arguably supernatural) being described in Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh, and Jain texts that undergoes more than human suffering, particularly an extreme degree of hunger and thirst. They are often translated into English as “hungry ghosts”, from the Chinese, which in turn is derived from later Indian sources generally followed in Mahayana Buddhism.)

The series of blurs that was summer 2006 makes me wonder what kind of evils we committed in past lives.  What otherworldly desires plagued us with this need to feed upon the surging tidal wave of young blood?  The days from May 16th to August 23rd were black mirror images, indiscernible. I kept the 1997 Honda Accord running, tapping my fingers to the beats of Built to Spill on the dashboard, waiting for you outside your father’s newly constructed home on ice. You would bleed forth, blue sun light reflecting off windows to face like an eight point filter. What we did with the day mattered not.  It was as important to us as the script of action flicks.  We were the only people that we wanted to know and we were the places that we wanted to go.  The day lived and died, as the nighttime was when our karma sprung curse would take us.  Turn off blurred screens, ignore details of the war, pull the hatch shaded curtains tight. We shared a bed in which we did not sleep, bodies silent, blaring alarms.  The same hungry ghosts feeding and choking on ash all night.  We burned out, successful slow turns into frail husks. It was then that we couldn’t get full anymore, we realized that we fit like clothes made out of wasps.  It hasn’t gotten better for either, a ghoul roaming in the night, hunting for the next lay like a record skipping.  We will asphyxiate on stones or have our throats burned by water.  Hopefully we’ve suffered enough to respawn into more advanced forms.  I hope I see you in the next life as anything else.
Sep 2012 · 1.4k
How I Made My Millions
Kurtis Emken Sep 2012
Wake up, stare out your jagged window at the yellow-green, creeping mist that pours through the suburbs.  Taste darkness inside a spit shined, stream lined dank tank that your roommates call home.  Shower and be appalled at just how unshapely you have gotten, your body a testament to your diet of Wendy’s and alcohol.  Go to your dream crush, thankless job and stand at attention as the human flesh wave moves blankly through aisles and registers, even as they pretend that they are not the target market.  Watch as they consume ferociously violent DVDs and smart devices at discount prices.  Stand startlingly still and pray to God that they are like Tyrannosaurus and can’t see movement.  Realize you are a ******* idiot because you get your facts from movies.  Feel fear and dread make a shrapnel nest in your stomach when you understand that this might be the best that you can do.  Frame count with fellow claustrophobic agoraphobics and call that pointless perfection pursuit escape.  Desperately have twisted, quasi-acrobatic *** with every woman that is willing, but not so secretly wish they were that somewhat mousy, yet charming, grad student who makes your coffee every morning.  Try to shrink into her pocket, invisible, only an absent touch away.  Hope that someday you can intervene in her life positively so she notices you there.  Go to sleep and breathe in that yellow-green vapor that reacts with your cells and becomes a clean cancer.  Rinse, repeat and pray for that big break.
Kurtis Emken Sep 2012
My emotions towards you are aquatic.  They drip, slip, pulse
and flow to the path of most resistance.  Subtle beauties
stealthily scrapes my fear built walls to sudden stops.

These firing synapses, so intense that post spinal separation
I feel as if I have woke from a dream, fallen from the
beautiful skeleton winged bird carrying me.

The years I have spent hidden from eye’s view were attempts
at thwarting toothy rejections.  Hidden, you wouldn’t
notice me cautiously juggling salacious seven faces.

You see, if I were to over commit past the “we” to the “us”,
my fine, out of tune Life of Possibilities would rattle
down, fracture shut.  In a positive way of course!

I fear that if I gave you my crumbled, humbled heart you would
leave it somewhere, somewhere that the ravenous street
sweeper sharks might get their carnivore fins on it.

You knew all of this already, placing us back at level 1.
I tried my damndest, you can hardly see.  Sorry
my dear, this is the best my poems can do.
Sep 2012 · 1.2k
Kurtis Emken Sep 2012
Your touch fractures unwound futures,
the softest shock to my system.  Infinite
undiscovery radiates off skin like new born
stars skipping straight to supernova.  Light
grenades blind, deafen, expose.  Truth blurs
focus. We now know what the body is for.
I sabotage and we crash into earth, incinerating
the atmosphere, restarting cycles. We forget our
odd numbered days exist. Our catastrophic collapse
was the best of my life.  For a split second I am now
one as He is three, looping unopposed into life
and death like continuous screaming nothing.
For that, I wish I could thank you.
Sep 2012 · 568
Kurtis Emken Sep 2012
“You need to leave.”
But I know you aren’t going on my volition.
I take heavy comfort that you are going to
visit me at my most vulnerable.  I have
learned simple adjustments, acceptance of
your spirit as part of this temporary, erratic
existence.  Everywhere I turn, you will be.

I have learned to deal with this.

I admit, it gets frustrating.  I wouldn’t know
that it was your face that gazes upon me if
it wasn’t so burned into my retinas.  You are
just inches out of focus, a world vainly viewed
through the plastic lens of a disposable camera.  

I ask you what you want, why you relentlessly
haunt the places I rest my worn, weary body.

I receive a forced, fractured smile in return.  

Some nights, I get a real reply, screaming
silence shot into a shredded cerebral cortex.
You say that we will be merged in this place.
Trust me, I’ll be waiting.
Sep 2012 · 800
Kurtis Emken Sep 2012
Can’t go more than 2 hour(s)
without the 6mb/s fix. Cat-6e
cable wraps around withered limbs
like a starved boa constrictor.  Pushes
out air with a wet wheeze.  Jams its
ends into waiting wrists for a digital
high.  Injects and suffocates vessels
with ones and  zeroes of  hyperbole,
hysterics.  Let it fill to the brim with
the tedium of 547 who this one probably
hates.  Update broken beta software
to 1mb faster than yesterday, muscles
turn black(000), autumn without
rebirth, stunt the growth.  Absorb
convenient facts, no need to know,
no context, blog half truths get followed
twice fold.  New faceless friends,
dreaded foes, all specific silhouettes.
Upload video, 480p, Rated 1 out of 5.
1,150,000 views, 10,098 comments.
Plug me in.
String me out.
Aug 2012 · 678
Double Triple
Kurtis Emken Aug 2012
I want to hit
a walk off
home run.  
I want to strike
down any chance
you had
of winning with
my utterly
deadly arching
I want to throw
the perfect game.
I want everyone of my
to burn right by you.  
I want to see
you go down
I want to hit
for the cycle.
I want to single
double triple
home run my way
back to the
hidden places
you and I once called
This is poem that I wrote while watching my team be terrible at baseball.
Aug 2012 · 1.4k
Kurtis Emken Aug 2012
A friend invite from a former lover is the common cold.
It’s irritating, hard to get rid of.  Try to ignore it.  Don’t.
Hover over her main page.  Bathe in the sick blue light
of LCD.  Cursors open portals to the past, their present.
Approach every aspect of the page like a ghost.  Read
through her interests.  Browse her wall posts.  See how
they change, don’t change, won’t.  Surf aimlessly through
frozen moments.  Find one frame you lurk around in, just
out of focus.  Probably just your right arm or forgotten shoes
that have left a tiny footprint on her digital identity.  Attach
needless significance to it anyway.  Check out the page
of the new person in her life.  Compare said person to self.
(Promise to) never go on the page again.  Respond to request.
She’s a number, placeholder, a ones and zeroes memory.
Aug 2012 · 969
Kurtis Emken Aug 2012
Oh, the Lord spoke to his wandering flock, with
the love and authority that only a father could
possess. His word is powerful, uncompromising,
but he still keeps the gates open, giving us the
option to wander off a cliff or into the fearsome
jaws of wolves.  And we all walk through the
gate, even though he has trusted us to stay put,
even though he has given us all that we need.

I wish I was more like the Lord, so that I could
love you without condition.  I try my best to
forgive as you walk through the gate I built.
I try to be patient, but I don’t always have it
in me.  I break down, I become angry.  I do not
respect as He respects us.  For that, my apologies.

The Lord knows what we are and what we will
be.  His patience cannot be measured.  What is
the span of a life to the Eternal?  He can wait.
He can bide his time.  He knows the moment
in your life that your heart and soul will be most
responsive to his glorious message, his Gospel.  

If I could have a fraction of the knowledge of
the Lord and know when you will receive my
Gospel, my heart would be at rest.  I love
you with all my soul, but my will is not as
strong as the Almighty’s.  I can be tested, I
can be unruly, I can be unreasonable.  My
scope of understanding is limited, childish
in comparison to that of our mutual Savior.

Maybe my message isn’t something that you
are meant to receive.  My message could be
white noise, subtle as the spring rain.  But maybe
I can use the written word as the Lord has.  I do not
have loyal servants who feel called to spread my
message, for it is only meant for one.  I have
written in convoluted puzzles and trivia all this life,
but for once, my message, my goal is plain.

Know that no matter what happens, my heart will be your own.
I know a lot of people are going to think this is a religious poem.  It really isn't.
Aug 2012 · 1.8k
How We Breathe (Underwater)
Kurtis Emken Aug 2012
I was waiting for a simple message from you that
we both know was never to come. I sat impatiently
atop the cities tallest building and watched the coming
storm.  I witnessed the water beat the feeble earth
into submission and it looked alright to me.  But then
the raging sinless sea swallowed the shore.  The end
of our hometown (est. 1919) took about a minute
and a half. A man leapt out of his chair and said it
was amazing as the punishing, purifying wave tore
into his home of 20 years.  The coin laundromats and
malls became the shallows and downtown by the Top 40
radio station became the deep.  Clown fish swam amongst
the stop lights, trash cans and satellite dishes.  And a
coral reef began to grow deeply into the brick of the tasty
Greek restaurant at the corner of MLK and Main.  Eels and
rays swam up the sidewalks and hammerheads patroled
the submerged skyscrapers.  Admittedly, a lot of the
busy people who didn’t take the time to look out their
smudged windows and watch the water devour the flood
walls and seafront property didn’t make it out of their
homes and cars and schools and businesses.  And those
people that didn’t make it to the outskirts of the metro in
time were quickly drowned and integrated breathlessly into
the oceanic food chain.  The deep began to kiss my ankles
and I thought I would surely drown.  I surmised that you
probably weren’t thinking about us at that moment and that
it was for the best.  You had other matters on your mind.

I watched a miniature apocalypse take place and
I thought I should probably call and quickly tell you
that everything you ever loved was gone or going.

I decided against it.

Anything I say to you is gonna come out wrong anyway.

— The End —