J Anātman Feb 2015

It emerges deep in shadow-light bile, this
low-life lonely gutter-placed doggerel,
leaping it pushes forth in tired growl it
barks at passersby deep within the
chest, it has lost all emotion.

You—the summoner—stand distant; a
memory passing in periphery, no state
of sense or shame therein. Instead
those teeth bare, howling, wounding
wandering roams flesh out of its place.

J Anātman Feb 2015

-2. It’s there at three in the afternoon

but the sun only lights you from one side.
Golden scrawls scratching lightly skin,
filling colours from within
a face of pearl.

Blood ripe as pie and round as
a cherry error, smooth as circle
lined up in light and
three fruits for the sun.

Wind lives here too, however,
and can spoil the movement
over summer’s nascent crawl.
Such simple theatrics -

-1. dialectics of marriage; summer.

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

I have chosen for myself
the hardest possible career to succeed at.

I used to make music
and one day I thought,
you know what I’d be even more likely
to fail at?
so I started doing that

my father hated his job
he would wake up in the mornings
and rush to the sink to vomit
because he couldn’t stand the anxiety
of another day at work

he had dreams and ideas
of what he wanted to do
but instead took the route of the family business
and effectively stabbed a knife through his soul
my father was a miserable person

so he engrained in me one thing:
to never settle
to never take the path of least resistance.
I have long believed
that I would rather fail at doing something I truly loved
than never try at all.
otherwise that guilt would eat away inside me
until I was nothing but a flimsy, hollowed-out shell
to be blown to and fro by the winds of time and entropy
I’ve seen the effects of that kind of regret
it looks like death
my stomach twists when I think of one day
looking in the mirror
and seeing that painted across the wrinkles
of my aging face
I just can’t do it.

there are many jobs I could have taken
many classes I could’ve stayed in
that could’ve taken me down the road
my friends have traversed so mindlessly
and maybe I could have been successful at those things
maybe I would be waking up with a woman every morning,
drinking less,
smiling more,
never paying mind to the fact that some people
live paycheck to paycheck,
probably not.

whether it was by environment
or my nature,
I don’t think that was ever going to be an option,

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

Christina Jun 16

There are two worlds that I know of.
The first can be seen, and felt, and heard.
The other spins inside the eyes that pry it.

What becomes of fantasies
That break the paradigm
And live in its schism?

I found comfort in your arms.
I found security in your hands.
I found love in your eyes.
I found kindness in your heart.
I found intelligence in your words.
I found adventure in your mind.
I found persistence
I found relief
I found fun
I found sweetness

You found the bottom of the bottle

and all was lost

You couldn't handle my need for order
for safety
for security
so I went with you, into your chaotic world
I was scared, but I trusted you.
You said you would be by my side
We would be together
but once I was out of my element
you dissipated into the noise
You said you would be back
and that I'll be safe
I haven't had a thought to myself without the noise of the world
The humming the the buzzing the the the YELLING
But I waited for you to return for good
I waited for you
I waited
I waited for so long.
You wouldn't stick around, but left me with empty promises of it
Every time I want to go back, you show your face again
Hope that you would return for good so I'll feel safe, again.

I'm sorry dear, but it got too much.

You can keep your chaos, if that's what makes you happy

but I still don't feel safe
and I still hear the noise

and I still have hope

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.

Drunken tears with lonely fears have felled upon my shoulder
I give you the means, the knowledge, the support to prevent the weekly trend
Yet it always comes down to you wanting to molder

Which is actually funny, in a not so funny way
You want to break the mold
You want to be known as bold

You figure you'll be young forever
Nothing will catch up

Until you're fitting another mold, one you didn't expect

Before you break the societal mold,
you have to break your own

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