Friday, January 31, 2014

the drawing block

go back to the drawing block-
before we carved our initials into it's knife scraped wood, 
and like a chopping board i feel
all yellow in the middle now.
the beautiful things age the hardest and pick up bits of 
time in their delicate grooves, grow dust twice as 
fast and like an over-loved bear, i slipped between the cracks of your wall 
and your sheets and knotted 
against your spine.
gave you ultimatums and 
sleepless nights to ponder the difference between comfortable beds and
clean ones.

i was the foolish carpenter
mistaking stress fractures for rotting beams and scrubbing them
with steel wool, telling myself that i was
fixing it, "i'm fixing it"
now i am calcified as an old bone break.
i can't go back to the drawing board and recreate us as parallel lines but i can appreciate
how we twirl together tighter than DNA.
you tell me that you are coming home and i become aware, 
for the first time, of how aching my feet have grown from
standing on the front porch, 
waiting. 
you come through the door and hang your coat up, i collapse
into your arms.

Monday, January 27, 2014

wikihow

wikihow has taught me how to:

  • tie a fisherman's knot
  • open a bottle of wine with a shoe
  • make french toast
  • talk to the dead
  • fluff my pillows
  • take apart the television set and cry with all the pieces surrounding me like a circle of salt
  • paint a room with my eyes closed
  • write
  • make friends with people who make me nervous
  • roll my sleeves up
  • roll my sleeves down
  • befriend wild animals 
  • tell if i have rabies or cancer or low self esteem or all three
  • smoke pot out of an apple
  • download hardcore bondage porn on a Mac
  • lie to my boss



wikihow has not taught me how to:
  • put the television set back together 
  • talk to people of authority without nervous tears
  • use Cronbach's Alpha to measure the internal consistency of a two variable correlation
  • use Cronbach's Alpha to measure literally anything
  • not burn myself with hot glue gun
  • build a relationship like those two kids from my elementary school on Facebook who love each just as much as when they had baby-teeth
  • make my computer load episodes of the L word faster than twenty fucking minutes
  • draw anything but houses that my Grandfather used to live in
  • throw away things that belonged to ex-girlfriends or ex-friendgirls
  • stop buying hair products and medication and kickballs from Duane Reade's discount shelf
  • love you


i had to learn those things
on my own.

for me, sadness is like my kitchen faucet(the one that sticks and takes forever to heat up and then drips, for hours, into the night). i sob heavy and hoarse like a cough into my fist and am
done with it(left with a damp sleeve that is persistently uncomfortable for the rest of the day and starch dry by dawn).
i store all my mourning for 10:45 A.M. in the winter, i grieve like Haley's comet- fast and hot every 75 years. i am the broken volcano that erupts from it's sides and bleeds fire into the hills, head hollow save for noxious gases, my body never crumbles in the way that the Forest Rangers
wanted it to.

New York has an awful lot of ghosts dressed as people dressed as ghosts
i want to grab the man who stole my cab and kiss him, i want to tell him
about wikihow and about the things that cannot be completed in seven simple steps



Sunday, January 26, 2014

i am good at the small things like
-decorative gift wrapping
-charades
-differentiating between dog breeds
-laundry
-cats
-waking up
-sensing when the 1 train is coming


i am not good at practical things like
-percentages on bar tabs
-time management
-functioning without a crisis

The first time I saw you was on my roommates computer screen and i remember thinking,  "wow, that
is a lot of consonants in one name" which is funny because mine is
all vowels.

for the girls that God forgot

the Devil's cave is surprisingly well-lit and the
half finished drywall probably keeps the 
blood of the innocent from seeping through,
demons only stop by for one drink(I swear, the wife would
kill me),
the gate to hell looks like a basement door, 
the lamb's altar looks like an Ikea mattress, 
the Devil looks like a boy you once knew
from high school and from your bad dreams.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

this is the dream


I woke up on the train at 4:13 A.M. this morning smelling like old beer, sweat and
piss.
the sign said "New Lots Avenue"; plastic like in the bad neighborhoods, where they don't care
if everything breaks and stays that way.
I don't like Brooklyn. I think it's all 
empty warehouses or full warehouses of kids who idealize the empty that 
everyone else is trying to escape. 
Brooklyn is always too wide
and space makes me nervous now, if you cage a bird long enough they start to resent
the sky.
New Lots Avenue doesn't have too many Starbucks, I am
a warrior walking with my Deli coffee and all the houses
are so square and white that they look like my old gym teacher's bottom teeth 
when he touched that girl and it makes me real nervous 
to think about.

Sometimes New York City is so silent that it makes me want to
throw up.
Sometimes she makes me laugh for three hours straight and when I'm done my whole body is
sore from joy. Sometimes, I feel malleable for her;
bright red steel, the mattress commercials
show me my spine as a radiating beam, bent out of shape from sleeping in the
bathtub, drunk and sick while she puts her make up on.

I created this world when I was young and bored and sad, now I'm just trying to get out.
Everywhere, to burst out of the sides of myself- I feel every single day that passes like a nail
through my palm.
Maybe I am a broken volcano, maybe I am high, maybe I am happy.
I don't know what to do with happiness, things are always getting better and better
and that puts a lot of pressure
on the future. I had to wait an hour for the next train into Manhattan, fucking freezing and holding
a leaking paper cup, in the bad neighborhoods no one cares if things stay broken.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

there is a heaviness in happiness, a distinct copper taste of
being acutely aware that you are alive and suddenly
your body is fallible and important and precious and suddenly
the universe has a power over you, it has
something to take away.

i workout now and hate myself for the first few minutes, a distinct copper taste of
unhealthiness, being acutely aware that i am alive and bones and (trembling) muscle and
soft shell organs, weak. scar tissue is fibrous and stronger than skin and
heavier.

if i wrote a book, would anyone
read it, fact check it? would a private investigator knock on my door to count the
freckles i claim sprinkle her shoulders.
poems are easier because no one cares if
it's true.
i missed the call twice before picking up, half 
drunk and whole tired.
less than three minutes, on the other end he laughs
about it, figures that it was
"about time" and "long time comin'". i listen and think that hearing train screams in the distant doesn't
make the impact hurt any less. everyone's got themselves convinced that if they prepare for
tragedy, they can control it.
people give themselves too much credit.
he plays the role of a man who is relieved rather than wrecked. i spend a lot of time around
actors so i don't really ever know what to trust.


i hang up after two minutes of silence and weep, quickly and hard, to get it out. 
our generation inherited a shame that our parents had no time for,
and i cry only for the reflection of myself in tiny broken souls,
maybe that makes me selfish
maybe that makes me empathetic.
how do you know if you are the best or the worst
person in the world.