Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
lizany Dec 2016

I guess
  Nov 2014 lizany

“go outside,” the doctor says,
“stand on the grass for fifteen minutes a day.”
you’re here because today you want to get better.
“tell me how you’re feeling.”
“I’m scared.”

“I mean physically.”
“so do I.”

an angel can come in a burst of a blister,
on the tip of a finger.
he always starts small
with the whispers,
         “i know about love,”
   like you asked for it.

he prefers to come at the end of the month,
            amid deadlines, another set of blood-soaked, ruined *******,
some traces
     of the relationship with your father and failure.
but you like that: having an excuse that sends you
   scrambling for car keys.

    at first it’s forests, their fires,
the flowers that follow once the ash and skin and soil
are mixed. at first it’s earth and rubbing it in,
     seeing god behind your eyelids.

so you clean the pipes, keep washing sheets.
      the voices they stop coming; once in a while you
      read online how many kids this week have overdosed
    on ****** and it’s foreign. kids with dirt
under their fingernails, kids in basements, kids
with ***** canvas shoes and overgrown cuticles.
           they don’t look like you. you still look like

                   mike sparks a j in the basement.
        we chew on xanax and no one’s paying attention to the TV.
some white static and early afternoon rain. it’s made me gone
ghost, sitting on a leather recliner, silent with a cigarette.
              it’s a right of initation to carve your name in mike’s
coffee table and sign on the back wall. this summer I added
   mine alongside the kids I used to get nervous around in high school.
                       his mom comes downstairs with a joint of her own rolled
and a French manicure. her lip liner is too dark for her
lipstick, and phil’s warmly lit and ivan leans so far into the
couch he isn’t human.

mike sits up, “ma,
you know you owe me some money?” he changes the channel.
she laughs throaty, her insides a swamp. she’s
prettier when she’s high like this.
                       “I got your money,” she promises. it gets soft
from there and phil smiles over his body and ivan moves
further into the couch. she touches mike’s hair.

“good kid,” she tells me and I smile up at her. I wish I had
a body but I left it wandering through
the thunderstorm outside. ivan nods his hazy head.
          mike hands her a diet coke and she hands him a fifty and she goes—through the walls—
       phil digs his hand into the couch cushions to find papers. I go
ghost in the seconds it takes him to spark his lighter.

the ghost lights herself a cigarette.
   the ghost lights herself another cigarette.
               the ghost lights herself a cigarette. “are you chain
smoking now,” phil slurs playfully. “yes,” the ghost agrees.
     “are you having fun,” ivan turns to her.

i don't want to know what love is like i want
                                       air that
                     tastes like apples and
       i want real raw
         brown sugar
       i want to shoot up every
grey second for two weeks— get frantic then
       take benzodiazepine until i shred my
stomach lining, singing
            i want bud light and
a backyard. bed time stories and
            white furniture and ritz crackers
             with fancy party cheeses
                              i want to complain about the drinking age,
                              new york’s black-dusty wind charm. complain like the
                              moon is still lonely and not a destination
                                          i want to wake up in the sun spot
                                          i want to wake up to a baby crying
                          soft like mothers do, going to
                                     that dear one to quiet them down,
                                        i can be here to kiss you calm
                                                              i want to get out of bed
                                                              i want to call friends back
so winter can come and i can still
                              go home.

         throwing on the rag&bon;; jeans,
         neither rag nor bone more milky skeleton-ized, eyes
         pin headed. faces struck yellow all tops of the heads
         with umbrellas and sorry throats. "here take mine" no
         "you'll get sick" it's fine
                                                        the gothic church with social strangers
                                                       ­ tweakers and nodders all smiley side-
                        i know the gimme gimme
                        i know the routine
         and blondie (they think) here she comin she twenty years clean
         blondies a baby she weak as **** she dont know what she got
but i know the "i want" "i want"
         and the ok baby,
         Got U

i dont want to know what love is like,
                  i want to walk the manhattan bridge at sunrise
                  i want
                       grass wisps and capers
                       chicken noodle soup
                       a night at the new york city ballet
                       and pauses in sentences, in breath
                       the breath before a kiss or the breath
                       after it. i want instant hot chocolate
                       and reality television, ugg slippers with
                       faux trim. a bicycle painted lilac with a
                       basket, and clear skin. i want pier 63 on
                       a 70 degree day, the weepies playing
i want to be a ghost
            where ghosts are white sheets with two button eyes
             and make jokes about halloween and their past lives
i want to go there
to street fairs
and watch fireworks and write out names
in fresh concrete patches
                                                     i want to eat blackberries in the bathtub
                                                     i want skin to make me feel safe again
                                   i want to want to live
                                   but i know the "i want" "i want" and the ok baby,
Got U


they were right,
                               they were all
              going (right
they were righjt
they were right

air hanging eyes to dry
blood pull in push out brown golden push IN

they were right they were all right
nothing could ever make me as happy again


it’s a hold on something so quiet and soft in your hands and no one knows what it is and you dont know what it is. it’s the pin drop in a hospital room and so lemonade refreshing. im in a snowstorm and i cant see the city, cant see past my own two feet. im on a long highway drive and it’s rain that comes in sheets so hard i cant move. i walk and the world writhes underneath me and we put needles in our arms. and we wait for the blood push. and i watch my life go away in warm *******. and i watch it go this way like it’s not me. and i’m going home to ****** and i’m scared, i say outloud to maggie, “i’m scared i’m going to do something stupid,” and she is so quick to say “like what” that i know she knows what it is. and i’m so scared.


give up on me , I Know where im going. don’t follow. don’t even look for me. keep
Counting sugar cubes and stirring your coffee , it is my wish for you that it always tastes sweet.
I love you


i just wanted to be kept warm by something that looked like love

i walk slower on the streets of manhattan; stop at
   the strand, look for the man with eyebrow rings
asking "do you know where a girl in this city could get some relief?"
         he laughs, says he just looks like someone who would know
            that. he asks, "is that Monster Blood?”
this will continue to be edited from time to time. it's a long poem i'm working on as a semester project.
  May 2014 lizany
Charles Bukowski
Cass was the youngest and most beautiful of 5 sisters. Cass was the most beautiful girl
in town. 1/2 Indian with a supple and strange body, a snake-like and fiery body with eyes
to go with it. Cass was fluid moving fire. She was like a spirit stuck into a form that
would not hold her. Her hair was black and long and silken and whirled about as did her
body. Her spirit was either very high or very low. There was no in between for Cass. Some
said she was crazy. The dull ones said that. The dull ones would never understand Cass. To
the men she was simply a *** machine and they didn't care whether she was crazy or not.
And Cass danced and flirted, kissed the men, but except for an instance or two, when it
came time to make it with Cass, Cass had somehow slipped away, eluded the men.
Her sisters accused her of misusing her beauty, of not using her mind enough, but Cass
had mind and spirit; she painted, she danced, she sang, she made things of clay, and when
people were hurt either in the spirit or the flesh, Cass felt a deep grieving for them.
Her mind was simply different; her mind was simply not practical. Her sisters were jealous
of her because she attracted their men, and they were angry because they felt she didn't
make the best use of them. She had a habit of being kind to the uglier ones; the so-called
handsome men revolted her- "No guts," she said, "no zap. They are riding on
their perfect little earlobes and well- shaped nostrils...all surface and no
insides..." She had a temper that came close to insanity, she had a temper that some
call insanity. Her father had died of alcohol and her mother had run off leaving the
girls alone. The girls went to a relative who placed them in a convent. The convent had
been an unhappy place, more for Cass than the sisters. The girls were jealous of Cass and
Cass fought most of them. She had razor marks all along her left arm from defending
herself in two fights. There was also a permanent scar along the left cheek but the scar
rather than lessening her beauty only seemed to highlight it. I met her at the West End
Bar several nights after her release from the convent. Being youngest, she was the last of
the sisters to be released. She simply came in and sat next to me. I was probably the
ugliest man in town and this might have had something to do with it.
"Drink?" I asked.
"Sure, why not?"
I don't suppose there was anything unusual in our conversation that night, it was
simply in the feeling Cass gave. She had chosen me and it was as simple as that. No
pressure. She liked her drinks and had a great number of them. She didn't seem quite of
age but they served he anyhow. Perhaps she had forged i.d., I don't know. Anyhow, each
time she came back from the restroom and sat down next to me, I did feel some pride. She
was not only the most beautiful woman in town but also one of the most beautiful I had
ever seen. I placed my arm about her waist and kissed her once.
"Do you think I'm pretty?" she asked.
"Yes, of course, but there's something else... there's more than your
"People are always accusing me of being pretty. Do you really think I'm
"Pretty isn't the word, it hardly does you fair."
Cass reached into her handbag. I thought she was reaching for her handkerchief. She
came out with a long hatpin. Before I could stop her she had run this long hatpin through
her nose, sideways, just above the nostrils. I felt disgust and horror. She looked at me
and laughed, "Now do you think me pretty? What do you think now, man?" I pulled
the hatpin out and held my handkerchief over the bleeding. Several people, including the
bartender, had seen the act. The bartender came down:
"Look," he said to Cass, "you act up again and you're out. We don't need
your dramatics here."
"Oh, *******, man!" she said.
"Better keep her straight," the bartender said to me.
"She'll be all right," I said.
"It's my nose, I can do what I want with my nose."
"No," I said, "it hurts me."
"You mean it hurts you when I stick a pin in my nose?"
"Yes, it does, I mean it."
"All right, I won't do it again. Cheer up."
She kissed me, rather grinning through the kiss and holding the handkerchief to her
nose. We left for my place at closing time. I had some beer and we sat there talking. It
was then that I got the perception of her as a person full of kindness and caring. She
gave herself away without knowing it. At the same time she would leap back into areas of
wildness and incoherence. Schitzi. A beautiful and spiritual schitzi. Perhaps some man,
something, would ruin her forever. I hoped that it wouldn't be me. We went to bed and
after I turned out the lights Cass asked me,
"When do you want it? Now or in the morning?"
"In the morning," I said and turned my back.
In the morning I got up and made a couple of coffees, brought her one in bed. She
"You're the first man who has turned it down at night."
"It's o.k.," I said, "we needn't do it at all."
"No, wait, I want to now. Let me freshen up a bit."
Cass went into the bathroom. She came out shortly, looking quite wonderful, her long
black hair glistening, her eyes and lips glistening, her glistening... She displayed her
body calmly, as a good thing. She got under the sheet.
"Come on, lover man."
I got in. She kissed with abandon but without haste. I let my hands run over her body,
through her hair. I mounted. It was hot, and tight. I began to stroke slowly, wanting to
make it last. Her eyes looked directly into mine.
"What's your name?" I asked.
"What the hell difference does it make?" she asked.
I laughed and went on ahead. Afterwards she dressed and I drove her back to the bar but
she was difficult to forget. I wasn't working and I slept until 2 p.m. then got up and
read the paper. I was in the bathtub when she came in with a large leaf- an elephant ear.
"I knew you'd be in the bathtub," she said, "so I brought you something
to cover that thing with, nature boy."
She threw the elephant leaf down on me in the bathtub.
"How did you know I'd be in the tub?"
"I knew."
Almost every day Cass arrived when I was in the tub. The times were different but she
seldom missed, and there was the elephant leaf. And then we'd make love. One or two nights
she phoned and I had to bail her out of jail for drunkenness and fighting.
"These sons of *******," she said, "just because they buy you a few
drinks they think they can get into your pants."
"Once you accept a drink you create your own trouble."
"I thought they were interested in me, not just my body."
"I'm interested in you and your body. I doubt, though, that most men can see
beyond your body."
I left town for 6 months, bummed around, came back. I had never forgotten Cass, but
we'd had some type of argument and I felt like moving anyhow, and when I got back i
figured she'd be gone, but I had been sitting in the West End Bar about 30 minutes when
she walked in and sat down next to me.
"Well, *******, I see you've come back."
I ordered her a drink. Then I looked at her. She had on a high- necked dress. I had
never seen her in one of those. And under each eye, driven in, were 2 pins with glass
heads. All you could see were the heads of the pins, but the pins were driven down into
her face.
"******* you, still trying to destroy your beauty, eh?"
"No, it's the fad, you fool."
"You're crazy."
"I've missed you," she said.
"Is there anybody else?"
"No there isn't anybody else. Just you. But I'm hustling. It costs ten bucks. But
you get it free."
"Pull those pins out."
"No, it's the fad."
"It's making me very unhappy."
"Are you sure?"
"Hell yes, I'm sure."
Cass slowly pulled the pins out and put them back in her purse.
"Why do you haggle your beauty?" I asked. "Why don't you just live with
"Because people think it's all I have. Beauty is nothing, beauty won't stay. You
don't know how lucky you are to be ugly, because if people like you you know it's for
something else."
"O.k.," I said, "I'm lucky."
"I don't mean you're ugly. People just think you're ugly. You have a fascinating
We had another drink.
"What are you doing?" she asked.
"Nothing. I can't get on to anything. No interest."
"Me neither. If you were a woman you could hustle."
"I don't think I could ever make contact with that many strangers, it's
"You're right, it's wearing, everything is wearing."
We left together. People still stared at Cass on the streets. She was a beautiful
woman, perhaps more beautiful than ever. We made it to my place and I opened a bottle of
wine and we talked. With Cass and I, it always came easy. She talked a while and I would
listen and then i would talk. Our conversation simply went along without strain. We seemed
to discover secrets together. When we discovered a good one Cass would laugh that laugh-
only the way she could. It was like joy out of fire. Through the talking we kissed and
moved closer together. We became quite heated and decided to go to bed. It was then that
Cass took off her high -necked dress and I saw it- the ugly jagged scar across her throat.
It was large and thick.
"******* you, woman," I said from the bed, "******* you, what have you
"I tried it with a broken bottle one night. Don't you like me any more? Am I still
I pulled her down on the bed and kissed her. She pushed away and laughed, "Some
men pay me ten and I undress and they don't want to do it. I keep the ten. It's very
"Yes," I said, "I can't stop laughing... Cass, *****, I love you...stop
destroying yourself; you're the most alive woman I've ever met."
We kissed again. Cass was crying without sound. I could feel the tears. The long black
hair lay beside me like a flag of death. We enjoined and made slow and somber and
wonderful love. In the morning Cass was up making breakfast. She seemed quite calm and
happy. She was singing. I stayed in bed and enjoyed her happiness. Finally she came over
and shook me,
"Up, *******! Throw some cold water on your face and pecker and come enjoy the
I drove her to the beach that day. It was a weekday and not yet summer so things were
splendidly deserted. Beach bums in rags slept on the lawns above the sand. Others sat on
stone benches sharing a lone bottle. The gulls whirled about, mindless yet distracted. Old
ladies in their 70's and 80's sat on the benches and discussed selling real estate left
behind by husbands long ago killed by the pace and stupidity of survival. For it all,
there was peace in the air and we walked about and stretched on the lawns and didn't say
much. It simply felt good being together. I bought a couple of sandwiches, some chips and
drinks and we sat on the sand eating. Then I held Cass and we slept together about an
hour. It was somehow better than *******. There was flowing together without tension.
When we awakened we drove back to my place and I cooked a dinner. After dinner I suggested
to Cass that we shack together. She waited a long time, looking at me, then she slowly
said, "No." I drove her back to the bar, bought her a drink and walked out. I
found a job as a parker in a factory the next day and the rest of the week went to
working. I was too tired to get about much but that Friday night I did get to the West End
Bar. I sat and waited for Cass. Hours went by . After I was fairly drunk the bartender
said to me, "I'm sorry about your girlfriend."
"What is it?" I asked.
"I'm sorry, didn't you know?"
"Suicide. She was buried yesterday."
"Buried?" I asked. It seemed as though she would walk through the doorway at
any moment. How could she be gone?
"Her sisters buried her."
"A suicide? Mind telling me how?"
"She cut her throat."
"I see. Give me another drink."
I drank until closing time. Cass was the most beautiful of 5 sisters, the most
beautiful in town. I managed to drive to my place and I kept thinking, I should have
insisted she stay with me instead of accepting that "no." Everything about her
had indicated that she had cared. I simply had been too offhand about it, lazy, too
unconcerned. I deserved my death and hers. I was a dog. No, why blame the dogs? I got up
and found a bottle of wine and drank from it heavily. Cass the most beautiful girl in town
was dead at 20. Outside somebody honked their automobile horn. They were very loud and
persistent. I sat the bottle down and screamed out: "******* YOU, YOU *******
,SHUT UP!" The night kept coming and there was nothing I could do.
  Apr 2014 lizany
Charles Bukowski
some say we should keep personal remorse from the
stay abstract, and there is some reason in this,
but jezus;
twelve poems gone and I don't keep carbons and you have
paintings too, my best ones; its stifling:
are you trying to crush me out like the rest of them?
why didn't you take my money? they usually do
from the sleeping drunken pants sick in the corner.
next time take my left arm or a fifty
but not my poems:
I'm not Shakespeare
but sometime simply
there won't be any more, abstract or otherwise;
there'll always be mony and ****** and drunkards
down to the last bomb,
but as God said,
crossing his legs,
I see where I have made plenty of poets
but not so very much
  Mar 2014 lizany
Melanie Melon
And when I die I can only hope
that I have chocolate milk in the fridge
and a bulky wikipedia page.

— The End —