conversation that never happened

you want to
eat the eiffel tower

you want to eat
notre dame, the grand canyon
so you can fill your
brain with images

“go outside and breathe in the crisp air
and smell the city”

but for what?

for myself to keep?

you think you live to eat
i think you live to kill
and shit

the colors are already
inverted for me
and i just have to
live like this

so that i won’t one day
find myself

in someone else’s brain
trying to tell them
what to do

6:01

I watched that video
again
for the hundredth time
but maybe only the twenty-fifth
without you

and I don’t even know
what day it was

it was every day
at 6:01
until we memorized
each word and we
laughed whether
we fucked it up
or not

but look, man
we’re in the
prime of our lives
got to live the way we got to

gonna make us some money again
gonna fight

but not all fighters
are champions

and I don’t even know
what day it was

but I hope
it didn’t
hurt

) Not (Fade Away)

I fell for you
and I think you fell
for me,
too,
maybe eleven
years
ago

we did our best
to fuck that up

and it worked
so well
that I
stopped
calling

***

You can’t answer now
even if you
ever
wanted to

but I’m sorry
I never remember
anymore
to miss you

somehow,
though,
I don’t think
you would
mind

11212019

at least i’m in wichita
and one of
maryann’s cousins can’t just
towe my car

at least i’m wichita
making over 50 thousand a year
and my mom can’t
yell at me

i’m not back home
smoking mids
behind a gas station
with some kids i went to
school with

rob’s dead
a lot of shitty things have happened
(and continue to)
but it’s fine
it’s fine

what takes me out better be
something
not like falling in the
shower
i’m too self important
for that

i want to say thanks
for the cold air
and thanks for the
moon

Appreciation

Your stock has been one in a million.
Given away freely,
Now of priceless worth.
Your steady trend has been upwards,
Always forward, never back.

And there have been recessions.
There’s even been depressions.
But you’ve been resilient.
Downturns will surely come in the future,
Opportunities for you to turn up.

And here we are today,
More than a decade since inception.
You alone are my portfolio.
Un-diversified.
Exposed to risk.
Betting only on the appreciation of you.

Because it’s the same every time

You are a white-hot point in space
searing through my retinas as I
stare and I
am clinging to this moment
trying
so
desperately
to
hang
on

but I know how this ends
even as you burn as hot as ever
I know how this ends
because it’s the same
every time

and it will be no surprise
as my fingers tire
my grip slips
and I am flung through nothing
and I am incinerated in your
holy light but I
am clinging to this moment
trying
so
desperately
to
hang
on

but my clothes
are already
burning

It Comes in Threes

So watch your back
Two days gone,
Two’ve passed on.
I hope that you’re not next.

One had lived on the edge for years,
Fighting cancer’s deathly grip.
The other dead in two hours’ time,
“Unforeseen” and “tragic,” just as they said,
So, as is always, the rule of threes.

The rule has begun,
So a second life was taken.
Too early for all involved.
The rule has begun,
So who’ll be next?
A question to ponder, all.

I hope it’s not me,
But will it be you?
Or someone unforeseen?
Time can’t be stopped,
so this we all know:
Don’t get in the way
Of the rule of threes.

i’ll get that report to you by COB

you are but a fruit fly
born into a garbage can
it’s so hard to understand
there’s nothing to understand
every night you go to sleep
in order to wake up again
tell your family tell your friends
make your little stupid plans
get all fucking stressed out
eat and breathe and play pretend
there’s nothing to understand
it’s so hard to understand

2019

my pulse beats
within my skull
day by day by
hour by minute

potential
more impossible
by the second

systems slowing
logarithmically
cells regenerating
less
and
less

while the sea ice
e v a p o r a t e s
to the North
of us

I Am Dying
just as the Earth
is Dying

And faster
from arrogance

And faster
from greed

Time does not heal
all wounds.

Time

is a wound
there is no stopping
the bleeding from

skinny atlas

i dare not speak on
lake skaneateles
the silence
is for me

and the clean water
and
the birds chirping
are for me

i don’t want to
think about
the muscle men
of wichita

or the land lords
or the
hit-men

but i do make noise
and i do think of them

and i vomit and
vomit bile
the entire time

all over the
eagle’s nest

muddying the
blue water

all over ed and marie’s
pretty little cabin

as i become the soul of skinny atlas himself

straightening my spine
and readying
to shoulder this
globe forevermore

NIAGARA

for those who toil
and think to build
onward, to the foot of niagara
where one shouldn’t go (but wants to)
a billion pounds of water crushing down
be it for the sharing of ideas
and these planks of wood
i am baptized by the gods of america
uncertain and raw, in my natural
state

fever dream-girl (or: the queasy disgusted stomach of a lost man reading letters from former lovers in a box of regrets)

i kept those letters you wrote to me
for twelve years in order to
read them today
when i finally cared to wonder
what you had to say
and i’m not sure why

i try not to cry as i hold
love letters written from my
fever dream-girl as i begin
to wake and wipe my eyes to
realize that you were real
all along

i bury disgust in my queasy stomach
my selfish, selfish queasy stomach
that i was born with such hunger
for the tender loving words
of a girl of maybe fifteen

i devoured you in waking dreams
but you were as real as me
and wrote love letters that shake
now in the hands of a man
and i’m not sure why

it is not enough, i know
there are lessons to learn, i know
in between the lines
of the young girls
who once loved me
and i will learn them

1 of 1 million

oh thank god for the twenty four seven
when you’re gone i can’t live with myself
the sunflowers i can’t even see on the horizon
i bet they’re not fucking real anyway

oh, renee

gonna write you a million lines just to
fill up the dead spaces i
didn’t even realize they were there
like a little boy left in the car

oh, renee

take me way o’er the rolling hills
i keep my heart beating for you

on a riverside in wichita

my fireworks travel across your nerves twixt your freckles like the constellations

our feet are in the reflection of the sky and dance cross the surface of the ar-kansas river

let’s get married. can we get married? i want to get married; to you.

modern man breathing

you are a stretched out stock image in a powerpoint slide
your gait is the struggling of a worm on drying concrete
your breath is the rot of fish clogging a dam
your voice is a diesel engine whirring through the night
your smile is two particles colliding in the vacuum of space
your mind is made of ice yet dreams of being iron
your heart is the laws of the universe, unreasonable and pointless

growing a neurotic plant

i am a stupid fucking farmer

who will not check for toxic soil

or find a place with the right light and rain

to grow in

upright and happy

but just stare at and

scream directly into the sun
“what you will, will be!”

so that the plants grow crooked

and neurotic.

i dream that the morbid fields

come alive at once

grow vividly wicked

tangle me and choke me out

and let things go back

but even the most crooked stalks

don’t know that it might be

worse for them that way;

it is worse for them anyway

it is worse