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Martin Narrod Dec 2020
Dearest Britni,

I was warmed by your thermal tub, the belly of your indiscretions and the way you held those mule-hearts
in plastic jars beneath the cupboard where your favorite cups and coins were kept.  The magic beat of your fingertips made my skin jump crazy out of my shirt and pants.  I wonder if the turnover has always been this way for you, meaning to say, when the trips always ended did you take back the second pillow into the other room, where your ivory curtains opened, and did you feel the need to lock the door to your bedroom.

The word, 'house guest' implies less visitation privileges than actually took place.  I believe it was more of an involved visit.  There were certainly visitation privileges but there was also visitation writ.  I had to keep my jeans clean.  There were no shoes allowed in the bed.  And extracurricular activities were kept to their time tables-- that is to stay that spontaneity occurred only when it fit into the time table.  I was never much for making you lunch in the morning.  It has always been difficult for me to think of the meals before they happened, though I knew what was in every drawer, every closet, every cabinet.  The insides and outs of a decade of dreams.

In short time I became mesmerized with the perfect patterns in your arms and on your legs.  I could crook my head in a way to look at the sunset from under your arm or stand on a chair to look down at the top of your head.  And then one day you told me I was weird.

This time I wanted to be fulfilled.  I did not want to miss a thing.  I made sure to slide my fingers in between your toes, I squeezed the bottoms of your feet with the bottoms of my feet.  There are many recitals, many performances, and even more personal encounters that cannot be recalled to mind, but I am sure they happened.  If I had the opportunity I would attempt to pick your nose again.  Something I did every chance I had though you abhorred it.  To lick the side of your face, the bottom of your chin, the interior of your armpit, the lengths of your legs, and the rims of your lips-- I lived our life to the fullest.

All interactions were encouraged.  We played in sunlight, in nightlight, during day showers, and ate by the seaside.  We traveled to four states, two lakes, and two oceans.  We drove in excess of 20,000 miles, received fifty-seven parking tickets, five speeding tickets, thirty-five thousand two hundred eighty four compliments, fifty-two salutations, fifteen, "you're an adorable couple," three hundred complimentary access, two free tickets to a museum exhibition, took over one hundred fifty flights between the two of us, and received your father's permission.  We slept in showers, swam in baths, and drank from swimming pools.  We shared the bathroom, the bed, and the kitchen sink.  I memorized how many times you rolled over when sleeping, and you told me what I talked about in my sleep.  I knew the five places you lived at and the four places you wanted to.  We danced in nightclubs, in bars, in schoolyards, in back seats and bedrooms, and ballrooms.  There were fifteen black tie events, one wedding, and over two hundred concerts.  I wrote over fifty thousand poems made over three hundred paintings, and took somewhere around twenty-eight thousand pictures.  I once took you to breakfast every morning for a week and dinner every night.  I bought you one hundred twenty six cups of coffee, fifty-two cocktails, and one Shirley Temple.  I only had to help you change clothes thrice, but I helped you undress over a thousand.  I always remembered to lift up you hair if I helped you put on a jacket, and never made you walk on the street side.

There were over 2,000 bands and artists I introduced you too.  You taught me about fashion, about photography, about being a good person.  We sang in the shower, sang in the car, whispered before falling asleep.  I sent you dozens of flowers and you watered them all.

In my favorite yellow chair I do not have any regrets or any wants.  I fulfilled a life time in two years.  I was an upstanding gentleman, always.  And then out of the blue you didn't want me to touch you anymore.  One time in an airport in DC we ran 48 terminals to see each other again.  You taught me not to be afraid of flying, that it's important to be myself.  And when it ended the first time I wrote you two letters a day for three months.

Tomorrow when I wake up I will make the bed, put the music on, smoke a cigarette, then take a shower.  Afterwards I will get dressed, grab my belongings and go get four shots of espresso like I have been doing every day for the past five years.  Everything will be the same.  At the end of the day, after work, after listening to a plethora of music, talking to a plethora of people, I will not talk to you.  After two years two years and 2,163 phone calls, I will not talk to you for two days in a row.  I will lay in my bed and count the mews, but I miss the weight on the mattress, the heat of your whole, the temperature of your voice, and the redolence of your perfume, but I will have no regrets when I rollover thrice, to the right, to the left, and to the right.
A letter written to a love of my life, written 10 months after lasting seeing one another, but still speaking by phone, the thoughts and imaginations were running rampant.
Martin Narrod Oct 2019
Somewhere something menacing is happening

Overtaking the mind cantankerous me, here inside the apartment. No longer making plans, exciting friends, hosting


More than a before noon call to maintenance or planned visit from someone else’s friend- concocted thirteen months ago. What has made them so afraid to ever allow themselves to enjoy, the chance at sour or sweet, umami, or something in between vexes these feet under-beat.

Seemingly never to trammel a midnight sidewalk or sweaty cramped R&B/Soul Dance party.

some third floor walk up


stranger’s unfurnished creative space

Friday untied to Monday
Martin Narrod Oct 2019
Justin I forgive you, won’t you call me, your birthday must be coming soon we haven’t spoken since we moved our family into the desert. I just pray you’re not seeking cotton fever yet again, chasing the dragon, or at the very least eating school buses while falling into ‘H’ before you find yourself in bed drunk again, and on Ambien too. Dead too soon. You’ve always wondered why I didn’t introduce you to Ryan, my other incredibly dear and brotherly friend. Well wonder none more, he’s in a padded room at Mt. Sinai in Lakeview or perhaps Northwestern’s adult care unit, there was talk or at least I imagined he could make it to Lakeside Manor right there East of Foster. So it’s clemency, peace of mind, and something to loosen the edge off your back, something to let you fall, something to set your pain at weightless your mind at I-Don’t-Have-To-Give-A-****-Anymore, my friend where have you been? Where have you taken yourself? Please drag yourself back at least a half-step, reverse your position and engineer an out please. I can’t begin to accept losing both of my brothers to two versions of the same disease.
Martin Narrod Feb 2019

I’m not being able to escape this, in parts, either on the slip where the drifters weigh themselves against daily chores, or to the perch, where against the millions of suns striking into the cabinets where devoted criminal ****** *** offenders aid and abet their children:

flying kites, tossing bread crumbs to water fowl, playing tag, hide and go seek, or

Cooking food, drinking cold alcoholic beverage, and listening as a friend with a guitar sings about the child born in the mountains as a man, only to find the world as a legend.

Still there is no escape. There is only the peril of night stretching 99% of our brains across the tepid sky, only to wait for the light of those suns to fade, and then only have to worry about the dross and muck on every fingerprint of every man from this place or the next. These are fingerprints that ooze the familiar green devil whose face familiar ages our futures before they can even happen. Then we succumb to the bitterness of these years on the perch, the stoop, the step, wandering around the chollas in nothing but a pair of aquamarine boy’s briefs. This is not insanity. This is the product of insanity. This is not losing, this is the product of living under a government that has been taking what it could not afford, and who trades in what hurts rather than helps what ails rather than aids.

This is the ratcheting heard inside the bruised and frail hearts of many. The pain inside their backs and legs and arms and heads is real. It smells real. It sounds real. It feels real, but no one here has ever known what it is that is happening, therefore they do not understand the great costs being played with when these oozing poison-stricken fingertips start playing at the game of life, or they start playing at the game of their neighbor’s life. There is an outcome of sunset still yet to be seen, and that is the inescapability and uncertainty of millions of children being born today, tomorrow, and hereafter. The children tomorrow should not have to worry about washing someone’s fingerprints off of the skin they have yet to be born inside. Stretching across the dusty and quiet streets, if this Wild West is closing its wildness out and isn’t doing anything but wandering west, there isn’t a committee of sanity that will prevail. Especially as we choke through the gravely heavy metals meddling with the untold stories of tomorrow’s sons and daughters.
Martin Narrod Jan 2019
Your invisible me misses on my invisible you
I miss my invincible youth, I miss your unbelievable cool. I dance on a sky made of heavy metals and gray, I stare at the stars as I wish on them to take me away. As I lie and I wait in bed, thinking of all the dreams that’ve come and went, I’m weakened by a state of unease, the kind that makes a home in your heart then leaves.

Dozens of times I’ve stared off wondering, what would our lives have become? Soon I am trembling, cold sweat down my face, year after year until the panic has left me undone. Weakened by sorrow as it clung to my hide, just like your small hands huddled against me in the night. Fairly often it’s taken every ounce of my strength, even just to keep myself from running full steam back into bed. It’s as if I’ve covered my life with a dark crooked lie in a story that’s good for everybody except me. I’ve spent the last, as long as I can remember doing anything to stay on the move. Drank heartache, beat down sweat, found myself in a tango with the dust that makes men lose their mind. There isn’t any ole place where I haven’t tried to escape, only to find something too eager to plant her back deep in my thoughts supine.  It’s been ages since I’ve smelled the sweetness and sweat, or tasted on the feeling of regret, every choice I chose was chosen as my first, I never flirted with the hurt until the fury of her awesome pleasure began to shrink out of my life. Nothingness intertwined, it bled into every orifice until I was blinded, my eyes covered and limbs behind me, counting the numbers of floods that swept me out of my room. Into the abyss of my abysmal dismissal, a candy of black cigarette tar, alcohol, and even opiates. Not one regret, just a cornucopia of upset, lost and still losing myself into every last bit of her I can hurl into my memory before it goes.
She girl loss alcohol cigarettes upset invisible myself her candy eyes blind rhyme poetry regret escape sweat down depression angst anxiety difficulty men loss mind dust something move what exce
Martin Narrod Dec 2018
well then shepherd in the mess why does that sharpened cowl of wheat surround those sweet yams in the satchel, some scene of loosening transgressions, no pear ripening itself one dull, and one unfulfilling afternoon, rolls down over its branch of sister and brother father and mother Bartletts from the stem, only to make its way into the bottom of that stretched out tawny hide. Where by the wayside every other nobody can see straight inside when a hand moves in, sweeps its fist and then goes deeply down into that can of rotten novelties we all hate, but you feel keeps us in suspense. I wonder will it ever end? Bells busting from the insides of their guts, another candy shock, up and bounces, popcorn kernels, roasted almond slivers, and some preceding green vegetable posted on the 8th St. Diner marquee display on 9th, another advertisement fighting at the sore, devoured hunger for that silhouette following closely behind the moistened wells where my brush dabs lightly into the cup before the gouache and paint mixture begin to dry, that is where I wait and wonder why? Why? Pained with hunger but besmirched with fright, skin sweaty, knotted like muslin yards growing weak against the coil. So humbling were the groans that nearly a decade crossed swiftly across his face, only five or ten minutes had passed before another twenty years flowed into the vast matrix of the rivers of blue sweat marked by estuaries, creeks, and streams across the brow, down the cheeks, and ultimately across the neck, lazing down into the chest, before settling its heavy panic soaking in the guts. Where a heavy glass brick has been vitrifying in the sun, never have two people seen the steamy and piping-hot quarry go from its conviviality and festivity of life, into this shriveled up tree having found its way into the prairie where giant winds bend its branches and enormous thunderstorms nearly strangle it with its own roots. Frisked by sin and pangs of nostalgia in which a thousand thoughts intersplice the whorls imprinted upon our brains.
Thought circles
Martin Narrod Nov 2018
You have come out less who you are. You have given up on your tiny screen, maybe for that chance at your mother’s arms. Maybe that’s me, or maybe we’re both a little far away from knowing who you are: a giant queen of ease visiting strangers hearts. We know things, but to hear ourselves speak we’d need to scream
Out louder than the Red Spot afar. It was a tiny joy to feel, to feel you’d chosen me to shepherd us through the stars. This map worn with your grief leads to a hemlock branch strung hammock where I imagine laying in today’s grand autumnal festivities.
In a place where pain and disease run off together, and don’t stop to think where you and I might be.

In this world where we are
In this world where they gave you a chance
At giving up on who you were.

We were sitting out beside the sea, given a spot of almond milk to go with our tea, it was pouring art and raining beliefs, it had finally given you a chance to breathe, a child free to live without despair’s feral fiends.

Twirling, through verdant orchards caught by envies gleaned by greens’ motif.

This is not the place where I died
But rather the place I learned to stop worrying and learned to love my life.
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