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Nicholas Mar 8
how you have begot routine

An occupation entered most

Consuming a once
vivid and polymathic soul
Seeped into your bones
Left you forgot,
a flickering and
dying star

you're here every day,
but you're heart feels vacant;
gone away, or really still at
home, wherever that is

Your body's traveling the
world, but your mind's spinning in
too fast to see past the

Will you reminisce of these days to your future
Or will you skip this period,
for this is
not really you to begin with?

your intermission will come to an end

May you someday return, spirited and

Even Mike from Picture Loans don't wanna banter
'bout the football: I must be Mr. N.S. Senshawl.

My fascias & guttering are gagging for it,
but Safestyle never call: I must be Mr. N.S. Cenchall.

Nadir? It ain't bloomers baron Asil
in Cypriot sanctum tranquil:
it's me, myself & Mr. N.S. Senchall.

All the shitposting edgelords
catsitting for their exes Saturdaynight
are still more cool
than Mr. N.S. Senshaul.

I cross the informationsuperbillygoatsgruffbridge,
data unharvested: I must be  'NIFOC In Norfolk'...
'Drat & dratdrat, wrong username!'
blushed Mr. N. S. Censhawl.

Happy Hanukkah card was a circular
from the Inland Revenue.
Wasn't even addressed to
Mr. N.S. Senchawl.

In my hibernaculum, awaiting the business acumen
of a Sally Army mercenary, knocking to sell
me a doorbell that plays, 'Jingle Bells,
Mr. N.S. Censhall smells'.

Neither chaplain attached to suicide magnet estates,
nor my own personal Semitic Jazz Zeus, ministers
to unspeakably forgotten O me of little face,
Mr. N.S. Cenchawl ,
unseemly as all the major faiths.

Even if I rescued Meghan Markle
from Mr. & Mrs. Shackles' tumbril,
in sadiemaisie bunnyland black swaddling
on the road to Much Marcle,
the press would still misspell the hero of the hour's name,
'Mr. N.S. Censhaul'.

On my birth certificate, impasto vitiligo
of correction fluid furs the phobile mome no.
at my mum's hobile mone. & my name.
I cannot decifur
if it's Mr. N.S. Senchaul
or Mr. N.S. Senshall.
Or 'Mysteron Is Sensual'.

Has my mind gone blanket,
or is it a sense shawl?
Now I feel like Wolverine,
at least a vulperteen.
Militaryindustrial *******, sob,
did they massacre my memories, bub?
Defuse my dreams of a life less stabby?
Contorture me into this cybertiger Caliban,
Now I feel like Wolverine's
wisdomtooth, a pain deemed
so negligible
- like Mr. N. S. Cenchaul.

Stan, Stan!
Baker,  M'intosh, Zodiac Killer,  
Dr. Livingstone,
Mike from Picture Loans,
do you copy, over?
It's me,  Mr. N.S. Dooberry.
Jonathan Surname Aug 2018
In the most quiet voice possible while still being heard
Whisper to yourself a secret out loud, and with a smile.
Please, let it be your own, and not one you've kept for another.
Don't break a promise on my account.

Now, breathe. As if you weren't before-- good, like that.
Do you hear that now? Has the loudness returned to sound?
What was the secret? Not specifics, give me broad themes.
Did it involve a regret, something to have been done and not said?

Your secrets are mine, too. We share them now.
For what paupers we are we are rich in schemes.
Pathological lovers, and our smiles wider than opened meadows.
They might flood this town one day, turn it into a lake.

Did you forget to say, 'I love you'
You shake your head, your mouth quirks.
Eccentric lips kissed to heed a platitude.
Are you breaking up with me?

Why does hope feel restless and final,
does that feeling make sense the way I described?
Is it the contemporary nervousness known as anxiety?
Do you know a healthy person? Are they nice people?

Are you still with me? Willing to listen and reply,
Follow through on my few dictations with glee.
Now that I have your attention it's the last thing I want.
Everything I desire is meant to be unprompted.

If that's true then why did I leave my own surprise birthday?
Oh. Because it's an annual occurrence. There's nothing spontaneous in an anniversary.
Is spontaneity the key to my happiness, or is impulse? How related are the two words?
It's legal to marry your first cousin where I'm from, but we don't talk about that.

Sorry, I'm back. To the whispered secrets again, yes.
But, alright, hold on, I think I have something here for myself.
Is spontaneity the key to my happiness, or is impulse?
Do we lose choice if we're influenced, or ill? Only if you're cited a 5150.

Lost the thread, and mine, too. I'm sorry, this was meant to be for you.

Forgot what I was saying, can you repeat the last thing back to me?
No, before this and that, before I went quiet.
Right. Yeah. I remember now. I'm tired, get the **** out.
But don't leave me, please.


Morning, darling. Did you sleep well? Were your dreams strange?
Sorry to cut you off, I'd like nothing more than to listen, but I also have images,
the likes from which I cannot wake. Didn't Joyce make a similar remark,
No, his was about history. Am I a plagiarist for having ever read?

Neanderthalic poets were the best, I don't care for their new verses as much.

Brush the slept hair from your face because I saw it in a movie once.
Am I cliche for repetition? Pretentious for lowering myself in the lake
to see the creatures nipping at my toes? I didn't see anything down there.
It's too dark.

"Got a light?"
Scoffing a denial like I'm a better man. It's 2017, who even smokes anymore?
My thoughts are the myriad of flaws in my personality. Each one a used **** ******.
Adrenalinic joy pulsed into a tight fit devoid of any semblance of human contact.
That's my way of saying I hate myself, and the thoughts I think.
"Be happy. Smile more. Travel the world."
So I can be depressed in Egypt with more wrinkles in the old age I didn't want to reach?
This actress has phenomenal range. Who is she again? No, the brunette.

Who gives a **** about a blonde anymore?
I'd like to see her deliver some of my written lines, if you catch my drift.
No, I actually want her to play this character I've been writing.
Is my libido tarnished, or am I still recovering from an assault that only exists in my mind?

Stop talking, you're drowning out my favorite part.
Sorry, nevermind, we lost the station. Look, the state line.
White noise and static. I don't know the radio outside of town.
Why aren't we listening from our phones? I needed the nostalgia to feel bad about my choices.

Yes, it worked. It always does. Kissing cousins get found out,
and I wear my impulses as a tattoo sleeve. That is as scarred wounds on my forearms.
And thighs.
And once my neck, but it healed clean as an only slightly lighter shade of skin.
It took two weeks to heal. The grief from having to continually hide it kept me feeling fine.
Maybe I need to lie, more.
This isn't a picnic for me either. Implying picnics are worthwhile events and not cornerstones of an America that was painted into existence by Norman Rockwell.
The irony of hobos using the same red and white sheets to bundle their lives
as the ones used to create a slice of Americana cheaper than the cardboard cutout
apple pies at your local grocer. Is that even ironic?

**** the bourgeoise. Said a white teen.
Where dead end roads are called cul-de-sacs.
No, I won't judge this family further for your smug confirmation bias.
They are good people and you don't deserve them.
Who cares if dad is an accountant, or that mom is a criminal defense lawyer?
That daughter is addicted to the dopamine of comments and likes.
That son is a *** addict in training, and his next week's girlfriend will regret her nights spent.
Which one is worse? Let's dissect their lives.

They didn't choose their station. Or when it'd all turn to static and scratches.
"Change the station. Turn the dial."
To what? It's all white noise and radio signals, and it's being cut down through the air.
The density of space is frightening.
Did you know neutrinos don't interact with matter in the ways that a photon does?

Oh yeah, tell me about your dreams. I think I've calmed myself enough to nod my head,
with a crooked smile that barely shows my teeth. This is my listening expression.
It worked on our first date when I pretended to be interested in your major and we ****** after
bad garlic bread and cheaper wine. You weren't easy, neither was I.
But we had a fever together and needed to sweat out our impurities.

You told me to take the ****** off. Didn't even know I put one on.
What a minx you were, -- oh, right, your dream. So, what happened when you opened the door?
Oh. You woke up? But, wait, what was behind the door? Where did it lead? Was it locked?
Who directed you to the door, the concierge from that hotel we stayed at during our trip to--
Where was that again? Didn't that guy have a mustache, though? You said the one in your dream--
Yeah, right, of course, I'm sorry.

She brushes her hair before bed. Puts on this mask that smells of avocado.
Tastes nothing like it. Yes, I tried it. Twice. I've huffed kerosene with better flavour.
Oh, it's very bold, has legs. It'll swirl in your nasal cavity for days after you breathe it in,
if you breathe in deep enough. What's the point of getting a shallow high?
Now I think I'm getting somewhere, I desire depth.

Sorry, what were you saying?
Oh. You are leaving me? But the cheap Italian dinners we had.
I think you're overreacting, that doesn't sound right.
Okay, yeah, but. No, I mean-- well, no, there's-- No, but.
I'm fine. I'm sorry.

Where did it go wrong? I should have known when she wanted me raw.
Nobody sane wants that from me. Maybe it was when I told her I hated her mother.
She hates that ***** too, the **** am I thinking? Clearly it was when I forgot
the tea she bought from the yearly festival in the hay maze.
We sought to get lost.

Maybe it wasn't a one thing, but the overall of these events.
Occurrences accumulate, and memories carry over into the next day.
Like when she woke first after our supposed one night stand,
and instead of quietly creeping from my bed, which I woke to expect
the lukewarmness of knowing there were two, instead she laid there and watched me sleep.
That bothered me to no end, because in my dreams I have no say in how I look.
What if my brows were comically arched, or expressed an emotion I wasn't feeling.
What if she saw the twitch I took a year during middle school to correct after I was teased.
I failed, a decade of quiet self-ridicule for a muscle that took it upon itself to act without thought--
"Did you know your cheek sometimes droops down as if you've suffered a stroke?"
No, I didn't know that, I've only lived with my face as long as I've known you so I appreciate your observations.
Still, I smiled, and pulled her closer without the thought of gravity.
Now she was letting me go.

We need to unify and get to the root of the problem.
There are four main forces in nature;
electromagnetic, strong nuclear, weak nuclear, and gravitational.
The crux is the unity of conventional with quantum. We don't understand gravity
as it works in a world that relies on thought experiments and metaphor to be
perceived by the general public.
**** the Copenhagen interpretation.

So, she woke up and watched me sleep. She stayed with me in bed and we did nothing but
cure ourselves of sicknesses we had yet to ever diagnose. She asked me where I got my scars.
With the gleam of a subtle sadist she traced them with her fingertips, then her lips.
What a peculiar woman. Why did she ever agree to marry me?
Wait-- no, why is she leaving me is what I should be asking.
Is it the baldness? Doubtful, she's who told me to shave it off in college when it went premature.
She found other places to dig her fingers into me. She was resourceful.
Why is this in the past tense, she's left me, not died.

Why am I feeling surprise when I've anticipated her dislike for me since we shared a Cabernet
I mispronounced when ordering. Why do I only reflect on the one dinner when we had hundreds?
We still have that old bottle. I bought the whole **** thing at the time not knowing you could
purchase by the glass. Looking back I wonder if she took that as a sign, that I wanted her drunk
to ****. Or did she sense my mistake and instead embolden me with the scaffolding needed to
keep up the facade of my crumbling masculinity?

As we got older together we poured more expensive wines into that bottle. It was a whole ordeal.
Every single time, from one bottle to another poured down a slide, which at first we made from stock paper, but then she saw a funnel in the store. We called it our little slide of heaven,
and down came manna.
Even during dinners where we had friends over, their pretensions worse than mine,
we'd simulate an uncorking of a better wine with an app on our phones.
You can download a lot of different sounds.
Our old Cabernet was a twist off.
And we'd see the eyerolls, and pour them a finger less than the rest. Romance deserves alcohol.
And the romantic need it most.

We wrote our own vows. For our marriage, that is, and we renewed them every two years.
We agreed to do that years before the idea of marriage was anything more than a thing
we told ourselves to comfort each other in the idea that the future is anything worth pursuing.
*******, how did we ever make it out of ours 20s with the thoughts we shared?
You crooned to me, once, it was this night where we had walked down to the playground a short half mile from your apartment. I mean, sure, we went there a lot, but this night was different.
Even you agreed the wind blew in a direction that felt strange. We couldn't figure out why
our scarves were billowing in our faces-- do you remember how you tore yours from your neck?
And with all the punctuation of an engagement ring being thrown at the accused you threw
the scarf I bought for you after a three week deliberation on whether the fabric blend would make you itch or if the colour I chose would clash instead of match whatever it was you wore, and it got caught in the wind without the embrace of your beautiful neck and we watched in the dim quiet
of a streetlight glow as the scarf disappeared into the rest of whatever was that way during night.

It took entire moments after we watched it go for either of us to speak. You crooned, like a kettle on a hob, or the hungry moans of a wolf scavenging the last remnants of life in the world, your regret for what you did. You apologized to me, and almost fell to your knees from passion
for your plea. Asking to be forgiven by me.
As if I cared about the money, or the colour. I only worried about your neck and decolletage.
It was cold, and a half mile is a long way to walk without a scarf when you expected to have one.

Instead of giving you mine we shared the one I wore.
Praise Solomon for the nuclear family, because to him divorce meant separation.
So we engineered a response to either of us being a have-not and we became socialists.
You didn't even have a toothbrush at my place, and the only thing we shared was an enjoyment
for ******* with people. Yet, wrapped as mummies in a romantic comedy we stumbled as nervous kids in a three-legged race back home.
Home. Where it was to us then. Your second floor, four bedroom apartment. Or my town house, whose rent was cheaper from a grad student's suicide the semester before.
I lived alone, because I'd tell gullible people stories of ghosts.
You helped me with the idea when I was afraid of having a roommate move in.
They left in tears. We laughed, and proceeded to **** on the floor where he died.
At least, I think it was a he. Is that sexist of me?

"Anybody can **** in a graveyard." I said for pillowtalk,
and that subtle sadism came back to your eyes, and it parted your lips.
But you never said a word.

How about the time.
Remember when?
Of course you do, you were the second billing in the same film as me.
But of course you've made a decision. Who am I to disagree?
Is this the part of the script where I fall to my knees?
Will it count if it's not done as earnestly as I actually feel?
Roleplay always excited me, but did you take my fetish too far by pretending to love me all this time?
I didn't want you to change.
But we grew older together. You barely aged, and I swear you got taller.
Idyllic and ideal, the small town feel of a front porch. And back yard.
Is your Eden elsewhere, Eve? Tell me and we'll leave. I swear to you we'll be okay.
That was something I told you anytime you were upset at something more serious than not.
Anytime you were actually in need, and not only wanting more attention.
It's weird how we come to sense the others in our lives. The conformity of time spent together.
Boarding schools make kids ***. I never knew you, did I?
Of course I did. If not, you're a remarkable actress. You should come to a casting session I'm holding.
In this fantasy I'm a ****** Hollywood producer with enough money to front confidence, and enough debt to break two knees. Meanwhile, in the time before I end up presumed missing and buried shallow in a desert somewhere, I go around and **** the fresh from Kansas teenage girls that get off the Greyhound around the corner from my house.
My ******* God. You're so ******* tight. Jesus ******* Christ.
Sometimes I'd use your actual name in the moment, too heated to remember my own direction.
Take two.
That's a wrap, we're finished for the day. Until dusk then, my love.

"Oh my god, hon. I was kidding." And she kissed my cheek.
"You're stuck with me, I'm afraid. Plus, the divorce laws in this state are ****.
I wouldn't get anything from you."
You smiled wide and stared at me in expectation.
"Yeah, of course, I knew that."
Why did I feel as if I had been drowned?
Why did that feeling keep me buoyant?
I'm sorry.
longform about specific memories of love
Jack Ritter Aug 2017
Remembering to Sing.   Jack Ritter

If every deaf mute fell at once
into the singing seas,

what rhyming tremolos they'd plumb
from hoarding whales and siren thieves.

We'd fetch their choral fugues with nets
of woven unforgetfulness,

and to this deaf and dreamless Earth,
restore Her songs and memories.

  -- --
First published in Austin International Poetry Festival Anthology, 2008.
SøułSurvivør Feb 2015

The counterpoint
to my music...

... with a different instrument.

(C) 2/16/2015

Fugue (fyoog) n.  a musical composition based on one or
more short themes or subjects
that are repeated by different
voices or instruments and developed
by the rules of counterpoint.


— The End —