All That Is Solid Melts into Air
I get a call from Felix. “I’m really busy,” I say. “I think there’s a kidnapping taking place. I’ll call you back.” Something is going on, I know that. Today there was even a shortage of coffins. That’s why you must educate your nerves. The floods, the misery, it’s relentless. A couple of guys with squeegees don’t seem to do the job.
Maybe I should ask for help. I just don't know. It’s all a bit of a blur. One man has painted his beard blue and stuck gold stars on it. I don’t like him staring at me. I tell myself, “Breathe, just breathe. We’re here. We exist.” People are getting out of their cars and dancing in the road. They aren’t going to let fear ruin their night.
At this time of year, it should be raining, but it’s not. Parents send their children here for safekeeping and the children leave in ambulances and body bags. This might be the future, how it’s destroyed. Soon I’ll be lucky if even one wall of my house is still standing. So if you hear sirens in the distance, run.
This isn’t like fixing a Monet after someone has punched it. Horrible things are occurring. My recurrent thought is, “I want macaroni and cheese next time. I haven’t had it in years.” All of a sudden EMTs rush past with a man on a stretcher, his face covered in blood and bite marks. I scream something – in terror, I suppose. The last time I was so unsteady was probably when my mother died. I feel like any minute now I might look up and see her in the window of a plane waving. A policewoman orders me to move along. And I was just about to ask, “What advice do you have for young people?” It was only a couple of days ago that some kids grabbed a classmate and persuaded him with colorful arguments that one eye is enough.
I thought he was going to offer me a ride, but, as I approached the car, a mountain rose to confuse us. I said, “Hey, man, you all right?” It was a warm spring day, and the universe was presiding over its own prolonged rebirth. Birds that hadn’t learned to fly yet were about to be hauled away in trucks. The neighbors just stood there texting. “What does it mean?” the guy asked. He was lucky he had any teeth left. In general, people are beaten, hurt. I saw a black mass of smoke. I heard something that sounded like an orchestra of broken instruments. That was me trying to understand what a friend was.
When Leatherface and the Pope Traded Lives for a Day
Leatherface shoves all
the Eucharist into his mouth,
the blood of Christ
on his new robes; Mass is off
to an exciting start.
Peace be with you.
pieces… be with you.
The Pope shakes
in awe by the power
of the chainsaw.
He can wipe out poverty
in one haphazard slash,
destroy gluttony’s potbelly
with one lousy hit to the stomach,
as the food pours
out to feed the homeless.
At the end of the day,
they meet up sadly.
The Pope invites Leatherface
to a rosary session. Leatherface
invites the Pope to a cookout.
But it’s no good.
The powers that may be must part ways.
When Garfield the Cat Crossed Leatherface’s Path
Garfield nudged Leatherface’s leg with affection,
and in turn, Leatherface did not saw his neck off.
They adored one another.
They both struggled with speech:
Garfield only expressed himself in thought bubbles,
Leatherface only expressed himself in grunts.
They both used objects as crutches:
while Leatherface hugged his chainsaw.
Bonus: THEY BOTH HATED MONDAYS
(Well, Leatherface hated every day,
But that includes Mondays)
Garfield made himself at home at the Sawyer residence.
All was well.
Until Jon Arbuckle, that speciest fuck,
went searching for Garfield, claiming
that he was Garfield’s owner.
Odie, anxious to help, (and annoying as fuck)
sniffed Garfield out at the Sawyer’s.
Leatherface took care of the problem with his chainsaw.
To celebrate, Leatherface threw a dinner party
And served Jon and Odie as Garfield’s favorite dish:
i am your friend the refrigerator
in my belly
pregnant with pasta
lean with cuisine
& a thousand frozen wishes
at 3 a.m. you open my door
wearing a bathrobe
& swollen eyes
i smile with my light
swing my arms out
in a lover's hello
take me--i'm yours
grab all of me
until you're satisfied
please empty me
you shut the door
my light snaps off
i sigh as i shut my eyes
& you disappear
i am your friend
i miss you
Note to My Upstairs Neighbor—That I Wish I’d Given to Her
Follow me home, Linda,
You shot your fiancé
with a BB gun
and he deserved it.
Don’t reach for that rope.
the floors above me
echo like the cave in your head.
The hardwood is waiting
to hear your keys
aching to feel
If you kill yourself
like you say you will,
the funeral flowers
will turn to seed
and the floors of your apartment
crumble to shards
before I hear you walk on my ceiling again, Linda,
so stop it.
Phone me in the middle of the night.
We’ll wear our pajamas and drink wine.
I feel like a round peg in a square hole.
Hypodermic needles of fear
Wake me from my despotic slumber
It’s futile to resist the call of the wild
I feed on words, spoken and repressed
I’ve run the gamut before hiding in plain sight
Religious extremists have it easy because they have God to use as both a weapon and as a crutch
The marijuana finally left my system
All I wanted to do was kick back
Instead I ended up repeatedly kicking myself in the head
Cold shivers of panic and anxiety run down my body like false memories
We went to Niagara Falls and got sick on saltwater taffy and tourism bullshit
I cannot imagine being locked into this kind of stupefying depression with no exit strategy or emergency contact to call
I Woke Up Screaming
Woke up screaming
Nobody gives a shit
You’re told to reach out if you’re feeling bad,
But what good does it do if no one picks up the phone?
I’m lost in the narcissistic membranes of brain synapses that pay me no mind
The only thing that has ever made one iota of sense to me is the art and the art never fails me even when I fail myself
I woke up screaming like a Barbie with no head and whose Dreamhouse is under water
It’s like I hardly exist or I exist, but only to myself behind shutters the color of coal dust
Skate on the frozen ice and pray it does not crack and swallow you whole
I’ve always believed I was brilliant, but that does not feed nor clothe me no matter how generous my daydreams are
She told me she heard my message, but that she was going through her own depression and calling would not be possible at this time
I understand we have to be our biggest champions, but sometimes self-love just ain’t enough in these claustrophobic days and nights of continual terror
Woke up wishing I were dead
Woke up with ice water in my veins
Woke up feeling like I had swallowed Charlie Brown, the football and Schroeder’s piano
Woke up and texted a friend and that only made me feel worse
I am tired of being the only one there for myself
I had a dog when I was fourteen and didn’t fully appreciate him
I’ve done things my way for as long as I can remember and it hasn’t helped me one bit
I need a change of scenery, but don’t drive so I’ll exist behind these canvas curtains and pray God hasn’t completely forgotten about me
Yorick in Purple
Yorick in Purple
For Juliet (Chortle)
Don’t worry this isn’t another poem for you
Another declaration of misappropriated self, formulated without conscience
No, this will have no effect on you because I plan on it being ineffectual
Through the sleet and meandering din of unholy nothingness
Through the clarinet whispers of slip, slide and away orchestrated some thingness
I can hear your poetry screams and it leavens me like the Lord on Sabbath
Don’t worry this poem will be short or it won’t and I will not drop any names because I know how that annoys you
I will do my very best to be brief because what’s the point of drawing out the inevitable?
We talked in great detail about death and it left me in need of a stiff drink of tap water
Don’t worry this poem isn’t for you. In fact it’s not even for me as my fingers find the keys and I allow my mind to wander like stoned sheep out for a morning grazing
I wish I could get choked up, but I just don’t seem to have it in me
More often than not I discover myself going through the motions and the motions like the sea are endless and soaked through and through with debris and fish feces
Woke up one morning to find you watching me sleep
I think you were amazed to see me somewhat at peace and not storming like some Mad Max figurine
Fuck, I just dropped a name and I pray you’ll forgive me for my indiscretions and inability to keep a promise
Through the volcanic wordiness of another limp, untested epiphany
Though the saxophone wails of burgeoning truth and the burdensome lies of another ticker tape parade of mysticism and unmatched fury
I can see you struggling with your brain issues and becoming even more beautiful through the stresses and strains of dead space
Don’t worry I’ll get out while the getting is good
I’ve probably overstayed my welcome like I have a tendency to do
Yes, I’ve said too much because streams of consciousness oftentimes run the gamut before running out of steam
My friend the Gargoyle