Thursday, July 28, 2011

I'm glad we stopped at this gas station,
I've been here before with a Lawrence hangover,
ate hot dogs in the rain.
I'm panting in front of the soft drinks,
there's this girl who looks like an angel.
I'm about to skin something,
die, wadded up, sweating limping love.
She does not give a shit.
Teach me to harden my heart
float like the moon through a hive of assholes
lend a glow to the seductive treachery of memory.


Goddamn, you look good,
like you've been fucked,
like you've been fucked,
like a good fucking cup of coffee,
flushed and fucked.
And I'm winking as I back into
shadows and tangles of wire,
because I know you haven't been fucked good enough.
I find myself staring vacantly at legs,
probably for long enough to be noticed,
and I feel like I'll throw up
every time I cough,
which is often.
I'm back in Missouri,
I blew snot all over my shirt,
I'm drunk on warm vodka,
it's humid as hell.
I'm untouchable, goddammit.
I'm bored, don't come near me.
I'm having a great time on an empty heart.


The world is a playground
except someone jumped off the see-saw
and I'm just on my ass in the woodchips,
just sliding down a metal slide
that bubbles flesh
as it spend all day soaking sun
like a sponge,
and someone took a shit
right next to the water fountain,
and now I'm just throwing up
on the merry-go-round.


Drunk as I am,
still even at two in the afternoon
rotten little ape
Waking up as I did
facedown in a back yard
slept for two hours
telling fuck stories 'til dawn
avoiding dog shit
sick on raw meat
drunk as I am
I'm not embarassed
to let you know about the waittress
that just conned me into a second Bloody Mary
and had perfect breasts.


I spent my winter cracking my shell,
unwrapping some ropes
and letting a little light shine.
Far too long
I'd been an asshole,
closed my ribs up like a mollusk
brined and burning.

I'd slobbered a selfish frenzy,
loved my own lies,
gouged out my own eyes
with my own filthy fingertips
and crawled laughing through bedroom windows.

It was time, I felt
for a little innocence
to melt the ice of my eyes,
a little trickling compassion
to do right.
But goddamn,
see if I ever try that again.

At the sight of that first fissure
Hands were upon me
I was taken a fool
a crowbar into the heart
Pried open like an unripe scallop,
swallowed like a raw oyster,
left my shells to be groud
into gravel and chicken feed.

So I'm cinching the armor again,
a slow process
like drawing a bow
a painful rebirth
into this hardened thing
I'd buried
like a casket.

And the armor will be tighter this time,
hell, smothering.
Retreat, boys.
This fucker's gonna eat us alive.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Duck in the swimming pool.

To be a duck,
to be a little brown turd
graced with the wings of cherubim
if not the flaming knives,
to be granted in flight
a vertical undeath,
to have the keys
to the moaning waters of the world,
to see the arc of sound
through the eyes of spheres,
to prefer to paddle in poison,
wade in a sick blue bath,
a maze of chlorine and skin.
Maybe so.
To look for her in wandering compassion,
the fold of sleepless eyes,
I could walk into the room
and fall silent and invisible as breath.
I dare wakefulness to damn me.
Tempting as my dreams have become
I pray within them
to find myself on the other side
of the somnolent mirror.
To burn my pillow
and become a pillar of ghost,
to hurry that path that we all tread,
to wonder why no one else is as excited
by these fabulous failures of the heart.
Each night we are lucky to die,
to sail innocent seas,
each morning we are lucky
to still taste their salt on our lips.
A useless crush,
a high school crush,
a radio crush,
sometimes like cold sap,
sometimes like flames cracking windows,
left unattended swallows you,
becomes something sinister and useless.
You can't purge your mind
of a slicing urge,
you can't begin to train your eyes
to your own muddy footprints,
you can't recall a time unencumbered
by the weight of a glad storm,
by the crawling sting of devotion.
Or at least,
I can't.
I know the saddest girl in the world.
I've stepped across deserts with her,
sailed lifeboats over the Rockies,
plodded the coolest pavement,
I can't help her.
I'm an awkward scalpel,
I'm a wounded bird
wheeling towards Jesus and suicide.
I have nothing left for her
but bitter sheets of blue plastic
blinking in sockets.

She is the saddest girl
and I am the saddest boy.
I have nothing for her,
but I'm glad she's alive.
And she's glad I'm alive.
And we are all alive and hurting.
All together now.
Nothing can stop us.
is just like me on the shoulder
trying to peer around the foggy rainy corner
trying to weigh my present
on a scale not yet born
and getting hit by a car.


I'm willing to choke swallowing some rope
These hands are whipped

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I am PLEASED with myself
pleased pleased pleased
I'd like to die soon
wake up mourned upon mundane tide
an underwear pariah
I'm a little rot
staring from trash cans
and chillums.
A delighted angel
is clapping
that I once was
that I tread water
in a cesspool
that I died angry
in a garden
that I was angry
to the very end
glowing even in a sea of gems
awash in a silver shit
with wings of righteous spit spit spit.
I carry spit in my veins
and the angels are anxious
for me to find my way home.
Fuck you all.
I'm going to Heaven.

Poems about the bats in Buffalo, NY.

I couldn't stand the girls
and their skirts and skinny jeans
and puckered faces
and thighs and breasts and opinions
Can't take it
so I wandered the theater district
sat on a bench
cradled a sinking skull.
The fountains were turned off
the pool lay black as hell
a rippling skin of space
an abyss adrift with
bats flitting and diving
occasionally dipping their toes
and I nearly sobbed
realizing the fountains
were for the night deactivated
dead, perfect companions
Yet I sat stared legs crossed
and I waited
as if I expected the ground to rupture
tearing the sutures
great geysers of relief
a tempest of holy unreality
showers of
[love or come, I can't read my own handwriting]
but of course it's bullshit
and it's just me sitting on a bench
staring at a silent pool of water
dreading the falling minutes
sigh sigh bats and trash
trash and sighs


A bat in Buffalo
eats gnats and mosquitoes
tiny guts vitriol
dissolving amber armor,
a thief for blood,
a sopping rubber glove
with cardboard propellers
twisting my hair
slitting still waters
whistles across night's skin.

flagpole fingers of rosy stone
aching branching industry,
calloused hands raking porcelain
a slobbering dog let loose upon vegetarians

Let me stomp around your picture frames
Let me remind you
that life is an ephemeral gauze
and we should fuck fuck fuck

5 am, twisted spun drunk in Buffalo
There is a part of me
that wonders
what it would feel like
to throw myself in front of the Metro
Buffalo, NY
a part of me
praying to be mugged at knifepoint
a part of me
praying to be harassed by crooked cops
I pretend the trash
blowing on the wind
is a person sneaking up behind me
gun in hand
knife in hand
club in hand
to beat the holy living shit out of me
and there's a part of me
that is sorely disappointed
when it's just trash
when it's just leaves
blowing on the wind
and no one harasses me
and I'm alone
and bored.

I love cigarettes

I love cigarettes
Staining my fingers
I can still smell them on me
in the morning
Moments cast up like dice
like wet feathers
like cherry stars
lit with a Bic lighter
inhale exhale
panting wild in a jungle of sweat
my four a.m. oasis
I love cigarettes

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Albany, NY

Albany wakes up sharp
Like a muddy crack of green thunder
The businessmen are rude in the elevators
and leave an expensive trail, a stain on the air
(I'm not impressed)
My pupils are dilated like mikcaps
so I keep my eyes trained to the ground
I miss industry, chugging chimneys, American royalty
I see Mexicans sawing lumber
I see a band-aid pasted across sidewalk cracks
I see turkey bones
a lonesome boat dry
a parrot in the window screaming
Andrew is so polite to gas station attendants
treats his friends like shit
Because those gas station attendants
would never forgive me
Oh, it's horrible
You wouldn't believe me if I told you
You'd say I'd been blinded by fortune
But it's horrible
This nation is a giant
so many puddles of oceans
and ruts of highways
and slag piles of cities
It's horrible to see
So many county lines drawn in chalk
Countrysides with rotting farms
It's horrible
Like the roar of horses
Like a thousand pounding bleeding drums
It's horrible, I can't stand it
I get to see it all
Slack jaws, dough faces
A billion eyes shine
and make shapeless constellations.
Let me suck on the tailpipe like a whore,
lash me to the trailer hitch
Drag my smokey body home
and bury what's left beneath a limestone slab.

Portland, ME

Tonight I got so drunk
Jogged up bird cages
Fell down elevators
Now I'm on cat hair
and envelopes
sweating, heart pounding, muscles ache taut
Remember why you loved me?


Besides, nothing better to do
Get dressed, roll cigarettes, plod down sidewalks
A black man in overalls
screams Scripture from the corner
It's Sunday morning
"Look at all that body fat!
"I can't have a plate of food?
"I'm sixty pounds underweight!"
"Me too" I tell my shoes
Too poor for pride
Too rich for humility
I camp in front of the sun dial
Squint at girls jogging around the lake
And pray for all us sinners.

Monday, July 11, 2011

I'm serious
This is it, I'm going crazy tonight
I pace through mirrors
Stare at my hands
Weave thread through my tongues
Ball up on cushions
Scratch blood up like oil
I'm deadly serious
All you have to do is pick up the phone
And ask me if I'm doing ok

7/8/11, Amherst, MA
You're my favorite interruption
A tree rises suddenly from a fogbank.
You're a rose rising from the sidewalk,
you're covered in pricks.
You're break time at the slaughterhouse.

7/8/11, Amherst, MA
Don't you dare do that
I've only just met you
and not nearly knowing well enough
for you to dance through the room
sure-footed and sunning
a shadow inverse
impeccable little monster
you press a tattooed hand
up to my side.
Don't you dare,
my ribs ache, will open like jaws
and swallow you whole.

7/8/11, Amherst, MA
I wrote these in that unsleep state, napping on a couch, in between dreams, Amherst, MA, 7-8-11.

I am a tiny bird
Plummeting stone with wings of leaf
Pounding furiously in my fall
To be cast up
With the weightlessness of disaster
and the fruitlessness of misery.


I had a dream, black rails
My head leaning on night
I felt movement, looked down
And you were against me
Staring up
Blue eyes breathing
and the stars spun.


She was tiny,
as big around as a roll of dimes.
Her eyes flashed and her hair was ink
We talked books as she packed a pipe
Talked poetry wet on the porch
I stood in the yard staring at my feet
and we told each other secrets
of all those dark nights
and we became friends.


We found a rhythm
tongues tracing
fingertips floating:
it was a feather in a smokestack
and you hated it,
it was an iron ivory egg
and you smashed it,
twisted pegs and clipped strings
fell to fitful sleep upon your own bed of silence.
I'm tuned, cable strung to the wall
and I rock myself to sleep
waiting for the drums
for the rhythm, for the harmony
dying in a minor key.


Sometimes the wind feels like plastic thread
spider webs piercing my cheek
tightrope that saws through my soles
winter's laughing traitor like sap
into a blue glowing summer.
I am a creature of spaces, gaps
A billion tiny holes through which light shines
and water leaks like tea
strained through a skull's net of teeth:
and summer, joy of light and insects whining
is dry sand is empty salt
shook from my skinny fingers
of space and gauze
running like time down my bloody arms
and spilt wastefully
on an unmade bed.

Raining in Amherst

I gasped when I opened the book
found folded pieces of notebook paper
Inexplicable delights like ants carrying dead ants
Like smiling my way through a night
Or being woken by a rainstorm
as I sleep drunk angel in the yard.
I toyed with the dog bone with my bare feet
stood up and smoked a cigarette on the porch.
It's raining in Amherst.

Friday, July 8, 2011


Something rotten in my marrow
has become dislodged, sailing seas of blood
and sticking in my heart
balanced like a knife.
The weight of dead skin
drags my feet
the syrup drips from my eyes
and my eyelashes wilt like petals.
Leave your door unlocked,
for the love of God,
leave your bedroom open.
I'm blind and can crawl no more.
I'm coming for the cure.
I'm coming
for the cure.


She paused in the open door
at the house party
Breakbeats and yellow backlit
And I swear you can know a girl
By her impossible silhouette.
Impossible legs
her hair clouds flowers blooming
wrapped in impossible caramel
her eyes maybe blue maybe brown coffee.
It was too dark to tell.
She hustled up next to me on the couch,
hustled the gas station attendant
and jumped on the trampoline
like a maniac.

Philadelphia poem

Sitting in a ratty chair on Philadelphia rooftop
Watching planes circle the gotham skyline
as lazily as the mosquitoes
that have followed me across six states
and are the only insistent secrets buzzing in my ear
and the only reason
I have to believe
that I actually taste good.
In this shroud of night and smog
I bow my head
And nearly pray
And thank God for one moment
I am alone.

Burial at Sea.

The ocean doesn't care that I'm sad, sitting as I am on wet sand, being as it is an abyss of tears. The ocean doesn't care that I'm hungry, being as it is the swallowing of the earth, drawing sand from the shore like time whittling toothpicks from our bones. The ocean doesn't care that I threw my worn-out shoes as far as I could towards the horizon, and tomorrow it will probably gently deposit them on the beach among shells and seaweed and some poor fool will throw them away without a second thought to the miles they've carried me, towards what great views and from what crushing loves. If I knew they would be washed to India, if I knew, I would've thrown them in still lashed to my feet, but then some poor fool would be left with a soggy corpse among shells and seaweed, and I would not be writing this now but would be on my way to India still following a broken pair of Vans towards new horizons and from great loves, and I should like to think those shoes won't wash immediately ashore but have died in my stead, and that a grain of my soul has sank with them and one day an oyster will burp a pearl that will rise like a moon and act as a candle so I shall finally be able to light my way home.


Every day I feel I'm drowning
They plant flowers between the exits and the highways
I have no exit
I have no flowers to pick
I collect scraps of metal
and blisters
and burns
and blood on my jeans
and a portfolio of strangers
and their handshakes, forgotten
I fold myself into napkins
and dream about eating pussy
at least four times a week
I mail bloody envelopes
to addresses I cannot remember
I thumb through cellphone contacts
But I hate none of them enough
to call them
and feed my intestines
out of my mouth and through the satellites
and I hate none of them enough
to beg them to thread the other end
through the eye of a needle
And none of them love me enough to do it.

I relate to only insects
I pinch off their wings and examine
their veins with careful scrutiny
through the lens of my broken eyeglasses
that I can't fucking believe
I forgot to bring with me
So I wander selfish and blind
Poor me
And I hate falling asleep sober
Because I wake with tears drying on my cheeks.

Getting Nowhere at the Speed of Sound

7-6, 1xx am, Philadelphia

It's gotten so hard to relate road stories, to find the time and patience to carve details into wood, and I relish instead these abstractions, cascades of emotional response triggered by the images and situations into which I've been thrust. Plenty to say about Virginia and the ocean, about the traffic bleeding into DC as we boiled alive in the van, about the steaming basements and filthy Chinese restaurants, but all I feel is a moment upon Philadelphia rooftops, not my first time, but there I am perched in a broken chair pondering the Philadelphia skyline and slapping at mosquitoes and licking hash oil from my face and fingers and I am only here and I have nothing to say about it because you will never know my horrors and joys, just as I will never know yours, though not for lack of trying. I could ring a bell of night and let loose a sea of flies and fleas and scratch my ankles like oars rowing and get nowhere at the speed of sound, my heart is aching at the bottom of everything and I hate everything I've written and done and tasted. She'll always be right, Shea reminded me at 6 o'clock this morning as I burned my left wrist with a cigarette and blew away the ash and agreed a thousand times and laughed my heart over the ocean and drank more wine and watched The Real Housewives of New York until I couldn't decide whether to laugh or cry or stick a screwdriver into my ears and up my nose until I sneezed brains.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Desperation is a fool's fuel.


Every moment in which we find ourselves is a culmination of our entirety leading up to that moment. Every second we are here-now is an end upon which to stand and look back at the paths and means and decide for ourselves whether or not it's all justified. I am only in Greensboro, NC, all of me, forever, I am only a sad quiet boy sitting on a curb writing drowsily in a yellow notebook with a green pen, my red lighter matching my red sunglasses, my shoes matching my state of being; torn, ragged, blue, ready to be cast into the ocean. If a life of mistakes has led up to this peaceful doldrum, to this Greensboro cigarette and these dirty shaky hands, this calm acceptance of relatively fortuitous though destitute lots, I dare to consider for just a shivering moment to where all the other paths would have led me, and I of course decide it's irrelevant, hung though I may be from a gallows of my own making, from heartsick rope woven of my own devices.

I'm desperately trying to find a reason for calling only couches, gas stations, and highways my home, to be reminded why I've gone without so much for so long, to feel that righteous retribution granted by the Fates and Muses, but there is a loneliness arching over my head that has obscured the mountains and stars. I'm screaming day and night into a shoebox, hearing my echo returned flat, hollow, muted. So many pairs of ears begging to bleed at my behest, save the pair that will not listen, will never listen, the one pair from which I wish to dab the clots, to bandage and kiss and into which I would give up all of the rest just to whisper one more promise, one I would never feign to break as all the others before, a promise silent as a prayer and thunderous as earthquakes and churches collapsing and the world shaking itself apart from the epicenter of the bedrooms of angels, and I'd gladly forget that I ever solitarily considered myself whole as all I hear is the settling dust of Armageddon and a silent night and the tinkling of bells.

There is something completely wrong with the way I've resigned myself to the swallowing ocean, to the night that I could just as easily hide behind my eyelids and sleep away until day breaks with clarity and birdsongs, and find I'd been a bird all along, and that my wings were never clipped by anyone's hands but my own. Desperation is a fool's fuel, but I have nothing left to burn.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Wish You Won't Wish You Won't Wish.

The ocean spoke, saying, "Wish. You won't. Wish you won't. You wish, you won't". I lay in the sand and put my handkerchief over my face so as not to allow the mosquitoes to get their little vampire lips against my soft cheeks. That skin is for you to chew. I'll save it the best I can.

If I had any spine at all, I'd wade into the sweat of Chesapeake Bay and swallow lungfuls until I sank like a stone. If I had any spine at all, I'd march like a soldier all the way from the Atlantic to the Pacific and carry you on my back like all the dead weight you've proven to be, and we could find some crater in the mountains and dig our separate holes and wallow in the mud until we bleed from our eyes and die passively in a puddle of Self.

Wish you won't wish you won't wish you won't. I'll bleed liquor by the end of this, by Gawd.

North Carolina; I picked dried blood out of my hair for hours, gritty maudlin burgundy under chewed fingernails, sprinkled like paprika upon the dusty veins of our nation.

You won't wish. You won't.