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

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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

is random?

o, god of numbers
and infinite variables
why have you forsaken us?

are we not your children
that live together
in this lonesome hatred?

with all your many arms
you do not cradle
but hold us down

we add and subtract raindrops
and guess at how long they fell
in the meantime

forgive me, the crooked and wingless
and small and unheard
that i am the poorest of your numbers
and i do not overstand

a hand with a thumb

you make them clap or they will eat you

the white ones found on monkey island

i’ve no memory of being thrown overboard

but being washed ashore here

hear the incessant clapping and loud snores

make joke

get food

reach for banana

get scrap

i could kill all of them or none

and nothing would assuage my loneliness

pick your teeth with my sun-bleached bones.

who i am and what i done

loss of the things that define(d) me
and the lack of feelings about the loss
now define me

no that’s not true
i’m angry as fuck that that was me
for so long

who i am can change, but what I do
must
change or all those who love me are in for one hell of a shitshow

it’s a beautiful friday afternoon

you would love today

and this song i just heard

oh, you’d never believe

the cubicle i live in

is it selfish or profound
for the unfairness to weigh on me?

that i can only share things
with a bastardized memory
of you?

oh my god,

the agony of

being excluded from

every day,

going forward (outside of my mind)

for you

are dead

i beg that it would save
a single tear

in the lonely moments before
you left

for you to know that
your friends will cry

during minutes that
you won’t see.

Heaven

You told me there are rules
about how babies are born,
about how clothes are worn,
about gluttony and adultery

You spent every Sunday chatting
with your Brothers and Sisters
about how the rules apply
to everyone

There are no exceptions

Then your Husband wrote a letter
about getting out early.
He quoted Seneca, who said
that the wise man will live
as long as he ought

There are no exceptions

So do not talk about heaven

There are rules, after all,
and certain rules apply
when the wise man
cashes
out

it has poisoned its own roots

what infertile soil
could grow such twisted shocks?

and with such plain days as
this to grow!

i too grow, but confused
as i sit and think

it has poisoned its
own roots!

like an invasive weed
on a new island

tarry i, still
among the pathways

yet ingrained
in my fibers

i’d not tend to these abominations
by choice!

they say nothing
but a dead star

lies
round the horizon

they are wrong
though

cuz i can see
it shining

3/10/10 – 3/11/19

1.

it was unseasonably warm that day
and the day before, too,
and it was windy. I remember that much,
and the sun in my eyes
on the patio
through the plate glass
on the short drives
here to there and here to there
while our friends traveled through Germany
for the sixth or seventh time

there was nothing but time then
drinking black coffee in jackets
with the traffic hustling by
whispering about forever at 20
and I remember meaning what I said out there
and I remember the look in her eyes

2.

Time has a way of stopping sometimes
with a phone call for example
in a tacky Chinese restaurant
surrounded by our people
while the sun set just outside

and I told those people what I heard
after I pressed the End Call button
while our hearts all stopped beating
forever, I think,
for just a moment

3.

I drove to her in darkness
and she was all alone
when she let me in to her sitting room

There were no lights on
but she could see me
and she hated every word

I don’t know if I’d leave her now
but I left her then,
nine years ago

4.

We sat in a cafe
in silence
for what couldn’t have been
forever
and my tea got cold
as the weather had
that night

we talked about your boots
not in detail
but we did

5.

I remember you
Warmth in March
sun in the afternoon

I remember you
black coffee
downtown patio

friends in rooms
and cars
and futures
and cul-de-sacs

and I
still try to remember
to remember you

boots and all