part 4 in a series inspired by Shia LeBeouf’s tweets

tell me you think i’m beautiful
even if it is a lie
and let us not shy away from
the utility in fucking
the rent is paid now for sure
but i still feel homeless
i know you too well now to even
have a firm idea of
well i mean the relativity of it all
is the only solid thing
i can’t stop looking at my
phone and computer

even heaven seems really boring

i don’t know what i’m waiting for

this sinking feeling that is bottomless

you can’t talk your way out of this one

CREDITS

May 25, 2015

special thanks to the window I check myself out in after work,
the white sneakers that look better dirty,
the weight gain during relationships.

special thanks to Thomas- who set me off looking for signs,
to the 4 people at the open mic who were not listening
and to the blast-toothed host who said to try doing it for the money.

special thanks to the hotel room I cried in and to Angelica who made me.

special thanks to the hotel room of the heavenly blowjob.
special thanks to the parents’ room downstairs.
special thanks to the early erotic dreams. an orange bikini. sex in swimming pools.

special thanks to Carol the truck driver, who delivers books by force.

this work would not have been possible without the heartbreak, the
punchpillows and the sobpillows. this work would also not have been possible
without the irrational hatred, the grudges, the letters slipped under doors, the forgiveness,
the admitting that the forgiveness was fake.

special thanks to Adam’s first girlfriend Sarah, who he broke up with the first week
of college, but who was very nice, and who gave Eliza and I great gossip.
special thanks to Tara, who I lied about in poems before and after I loved her.

special thanks to Andrew, who will never think I am right.

I would not be the person I am today if it were not for the night I locked myself on the roof and thought I was stuck, until I learned that I could actually climb up the building.

special thanks to the man with the perfect mustache and harsh eyebrows and the two girls with the matching outfits, all of whom ride the subway at 6:34 with me. I always imagine he refers to them as his girlfriends.

specials thanks to books with photographs inside.

special thanks to Minneapolis.

special thanks to the self doubt and the god days and the days I was telekinetic. to talking to myself out loud. to g-strings. special thanks to not breaking a bone. to waking up at 2 in the morning and making quesadillas. to sweating when sad. to knowing exactly when my parents will cry. this could not have come together without a few nights of 8 hours panicking. a roof to pace on. special thanks to the words “juniper” and “fickle”. black skinny jeans. hardened asphalt. to 9:25 AM.

special thanks to always thinking about what is ending, to being afraid of what is next, to nostalgia for what has yet to come, to deleting photographs of birthday parties, to every room starts to look the same, to a pair of jeans that just became cool again after 5 years, to long hair for men became cool again after middle school, to wondering what it is that I am getting ready for, to thinking “why shouldn’t I get the job and the apartment,” and then getting the apartment, to falling in the same love, special thanks to missing the point for five years, I would not be the same without

part 3 in a series inspired by Shia LeBeouf’s tweets

hold your breath, count to two
dive into the deep end

remember: you must get out
or you will dissolve eventually

close your eyes, count to two
don’t let your teeth fall out

remember: you need air to breath
grab the firm ground and pull

your limp body out
don’t go back until
you’ve learned to swim
dry off in
the light of a dying star
the summer sun
on the floor of a rounded
petri dish
floating like a soap bubble
through the void
it’s just like your mother
never taught you:
find what’s inside
while you still have time
and hold it with your breath
mark the moments
with your counting
open eyes and start anew
open eyes and start anew

davey and judi

May 14, 2015

she had no home but
that’s ok
davey had a fast car
and everybody knew it
and she thought she loved marky
but then when she got pregnant
marky just stayed with doretta
isn’t that messed up?
and when the pills didn’t work
(it was too late)
no one would come over
so she panicked,
and she kept it
and then built a home with ronnie
but she always was with davey,
in his fast car
always skinny
always young

you are scooping bowls of ice cream
it is 1978 and you are scooping 3 bowls
1 for you, your daughter, and your son
in the distance you hear them laughing
at the television as the bright spring
florida sunset beats down on your kitchen
you struggle to pick up the bowls and carry
them to the basement
but you make it just fine
and as you set the bowls down you forget
what or who you were getting them for
because you haven’t spoken to your children
in years
it’s 2016
and your wife is crying.

part 2 in a series inspired by Shia LeBeouf’s tweets

don’t let them see me like this

i am not who i am

i am so
fucking sorry

forgive me
for
i live with an ugly
stranger

i mean

i am sometimes
an ugly stranger

i don’t know from where
it comes
i don’t even know how i
got here

please help me with me

and just don’t
don’t let them see me
like this

part 1 in a series inspired by Shia LeBeouf’s tweets

your emotions have
locked you in a box

your life is your life
and your life is hate-fucking
a bad ex-lover
whenever they come around

i’ve no sympathy but to unlock
the door
you can’t hear me knocking,
anyhow

my turned back finds a dusty trail

to follow but wherever i go

it’s like the fucking

hate-fuck capital of the world and

it hurts most

when the faces are

familiar

when I took off I was without a job
and here I am on the ground
still unemployed (for the future)
feet firmly planted
no more turbulence
except in my soul
where the atmosphere is unsteady, shaking, and causing my shoulders to cramp as they try to keep in all this explosive stress.

And that’s gotta mean something,
perhaps symbolizing the constant march of time
or the impermanence of what we rely upon.

Or it could be more personal,
so that my house’s projection
is no longer erect.
The shelter from the storm,
no longer sheltering;
impotent protection.

Or, it is just that a tree had to fall,
when hit by winds of 90 mph,
and the direction of the gust,
combined with the untrimmed foliage,
and the comparative strength of some
branches as opposed to others
led to the half of the tree that
crushed my porch, caving it in.
But what’s poetic about that?

what race are you?
how dark is your skin?

what genitals do you have?
which ones were you born with?
which ones do you wish you had?
who do you want to fuck?

how much does your father make?
and your mother?
and yourself?

what part of town are you from?
what part of town do you look like you’re from?
what color clothes are you wearing?
what style?

what is your dialect or accent?

do you have any children?
how many?

ok,
fill out the form below
and remember
racism, sexism, classism
and all other forms of phobias and isms
are strictly
prohibited.

i wrote a brilliant poem
about how the leak in my engine
is so comparable to the bleeding
of my heart.

but the hoses spraying all over
the place, in directions no one
understands, and the repairman
redirecting things and getting
his hands and arms all
filthy in the process—while poetic—
were much too awkwardly sexual.

sexually awkward.

I would call your phone sometimes
hoping the voice-mail message
at least meant you had been alive
recently enough to pay this month’s bill

When it started to ring
to one of those robots –
an IVR they call them
in the telephone industry – my
sure-shot measurement method
went bust

Text-Messaging wouldn’t do, either;
There isn’t even a robot to give
the common courtesy of a senseless
fleeting hope in the first place

but every now and then I’d get a word
or two, and so at least I knew that
someone was still using your
number

Then it was 2015

and somehow, the telephone slash camera
that I carry in my left-front pocket
started swapping stories with yours

Then, not just spare characters or
a pre-recorded speech, but real
actual photos would appear to me,
for only a moment, as if in a dream

Rather often, you are very nearly smiling

So now I am glad that, so far as my
millesimal view of your days can show,
you are well

but I wonder
if I had dreamt you,
actually,
all along

Filtered Expectations

April 3, 2015

The filtered sunlight
shines on bare ground,
lighting and warming
where there’s nothing to feed,
merely a dry expanse of dirt,
covered with unraked leaves.
Yet still, the sunlight shines,
lighting and warming over
my filtered expectations.

With burns and scars
to prove it

Then I’d have my own stories
and wouldn’t have to borrow
so many of yours

the problem with fighters
though, is they have to
keep fighting,
even when they’re burned

or scarred

or scared

or tired

even when it’s hard to think straight,
let alone to keep fighting,
because that’s just what a fighter does

so even though some of those stories
start off rough,
and even though some of them really
end badly,
and even though the best ones
are still tragic in their way

I wish I was a fighter like you

Questioned Idealism

April 1, 2015

What makes you happy?
What makes you you?
Follow your dreams
and you’ll be happy too!

And here I sit
at age thirty and three,
living my dream as a teen,
while often wanting to scream.

Is this what I wanted,
back as a teen?
Why did I not
dream bigger dreams?

Or why were my dreams
not made up of dollar signs,
carshousestvsboatsplanestrains,
things that are well worth my times?

Behind all these questions,
I know the answer quite well.
I do what I do because
I want to give a hell.

except for when it doesn’t.
But we never remember that
because those are losers anyway
and what do they matter?

And this too, my friend,
it will also improve,
just wait and you’ll see.
Unless it doesn’t,
and you’re just screwed.

shitless

March 30, 2015

I was the only one there without a suit on
without a shit
to give

and the topic was great
and the food should have been better
but I was in jeans and a short sleeve shirt

the only one
without a shit
in the world
to give

Whisky

March 22, 2015

Fill me up a cup,
Cause it’s been a long day.
And I’d love to say
That I’ve been out on the range.
Ropin’ the cattle,
And cuttin’ off their balls,
Brandin’ my mark,
Coverin’ it all.
But, I think you know me,
Know me enough to say
That all I’ve been doin’,
Doin’ the live-long day,
Is playin’ some video games
And watchin’ some TV.
But even so, I feel the need,
The need to get some whisky in me.

The Lecture Hall

March 17, 2015

Tans abound, bathed in
reflecting, radiating, vibrating
softly, glowing fluorescent light.

Worn carpet rests under;
never-in-style patterns surround
as ideas are tossed lazily about.

Some have merit,
some do not.
Some are young and vibrant,
most are not.

Reflected, radiated, vibrated
in lifeless fluorescent light,
surrounded by worn tans,
trying not to stand out.

a poem for today

March 17, 2015

ignorance is meaningless bliss and
the self-aware piece of the larger machine
lives in agony
as it sucks in death and pumps out life
like the ticking of an ageless clock
ceaseless and maddening

the precisely timed moments of
silence have been defined as freedom

in this time the self-aware piece of the
larger machine tends to its surroundings
and reflects and
tries to make a smile and
clasps its hands together and with all the
hope of a hopeless world prays and wishes
for there to be some other place

a place not made out of a machine
a place where self-aware pieces can be a part
of a larger nothing
and can identify as such
and can give freedom a new meaning

where there would be no product or good
no machination and
no life and
no death and

that hope is so fucking strong
it makes the loathing of ticks and the tocks
and the siren that calls you back to work
just palatable enough to stomach

this poem is for you, today
the same as ever yet infinitely unique
just like everything else

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