Calcified age lines,
driftwood was once a shiny ship:
hallowed bow, curved spine, dead.
Jaundiced and gaunt didn’t appear
until after the fact,
break a bottle on its back
because I'm facedown,
dead drunk, waves of saliva breaking
desperately against the asphalt.
Tree branches grappling together in the wind
like a handshake
in a bad poem
but they're just trees, just wood.
I am slowburning like an all natural cigarette.
Jaunt through the woods. Drinking spot.
Warm bonfire, I want it to be more like a movie.
Davy Jones my sorrows. Sitting on a log.
Rock bottom and I’m sitting on a log.
Weird girl comes over, she’s artsy and dyslexic.
I hate that word. Artsy. *******.
She asks if I’m okay and I say yeah.
exhume pillowcase from *****,
some thick haired little boy
had curled up to die inside;
Crashed; a solemnly sinking ship captain
with skin peeling like lottery tickets
too leather-faced to shout anything but
TEN THOUSAND THUNDERING TYPHOONS
as he goes down
with his cracked nymphal exoskeleton
wipes the fire off his brow
he is burning like an all natural cigarette
but phoenixes are not legends
they are metaphors,
and that is enough difference for me.
The sea is salty and stinging
and they say
a smooth one
never made a skillful sailor
but you cannot build a ship
out of driftwood,
just watch one deteriorate into it.
Maybe that’s the point.
For three years,
I found myself in an oozing freefall
base jumping as I carved through the air
like an anchor
parachute made of somber bottle twist
carved cork and microscope slide,
salt stained shoes,
distort flashes of organic sunlight
thick necked forays into begging for fare
at deserted train stations
lashed out at friends with bullwhip arms
I couldn’t reach my own back
freefalling, base camp
welling up to greet me
from the depths of a tar pit
but the thing about rock bottoms is:
if they don’t destroy you
they give you something solid to stand on.
And if you leap back up, spread eagle
Like a petrified starfish, swim through that tar pit
that is ocean, the warm hovel of under the covers,
Bonfire, whiskey in the back of an old sailors throat,
All natural cigarette,
You can be born again. I promise.
Depression is not sadness, it is the absence of hope
And it is numb. Reduces us to ashes and drowns us all at once.
But it waxes and it wanes, burns itself out if you let it.
And from that flame, scattered splinters in the ocean,
The shedding of my cracked, nymphal exoskeleton,
I understood the impermanence and necessity of flailing tendrils
White hot curling up a mainmast like a handshake
Wet flesh in the womb of moment between sleep and wake,
Breath slipping away like low tide
Gasping for air until it’s easier to ****
Oxygen out of the saltwater in your lungs
Pain killed a boy and made a man
Watch a phoenix **** a baptism
Violently conjure steam into existence
Just for it to disappear, watch them smile.