Mrs. Brodhead

i’m sure you’d hate me
like i hate me mrs.
brodhead
because you were always
better than me
and i was a step behind
and probably am
and all i can think
the moment i almost
touched you
among the dead
and the dying
grass of the cemetary
where i came
so close to being
better, like you
are
in radiance
mrs. brodhead
when you used to
have a different name
fresh like the fallen
snow

i’m sure you’d hate
me for my shitty
tendancies and give
more than just a nod
as i do —
mrs. brodhead
doesn’t think of that
trudging up the
mountain with
beauty all around
and inside,
too
a place where i once
dreamt of being
warm and opposite
your intellect
ever devouring

the law

a fearful hush is felt
as a blanketed pressure
of extra gravity falls
upon the suburbs
as everyone tries to hold
the same looks on their faces
whenever the law sulks
around

but count yourself lucky
if you have forgotten about this creature
the law

who started innocently
as homework, chores
but has grown with you

now with eyes that pierce the night
like spotlights in the sky
like magic
walls can materialize around you
cold and thick
thrashing you around
the law will grab you by the neck
sudden and deadly

the law exists to traumatize
those who do not fit the mold
whose faces cannot hold long enough
when the spotlight is upon them

light is warm

i must confess i still see you often
well, parts of you
that is
in other women
whom i dare not talk to
selfish
embarrassed
i feel
that i wish those parts were whole
and backwards in time
always backwards in time
like out of a cannon we would go
on fire, too

i think
if you could see me now
able to lift both feet to walk now
and quickly,
even
you would smile that
hungry smile
for a cut of meat deeply within
and i’d have no choice but to smile back
i never had that choice

tin man’s dance

when a man’s an empty kettle
he should be on his mettle
and yet
i’m torn apart

just because
i’m presumin’
that i could be kind of human

if i only had a heart

i’d be tender
i’d be gentle
and awful sentimental
regarding love and art

i’d be friends with
the sparrows
and the boy who shoots
the arrows

if i only had a heart

picture me
a balcony
above a voice sings low

“wherefor art thou
romeo?”

i hear a beat
how sweet

just to register emotion
jealousy
devotion
and really feel the part

i could stay young
and chipper
and i’d lock it
with a zipper

if i only had a heart

(Originally written by Edgar Harbug)

you are a great adventurer

although my soul is an overgrown
jungle
where both the smallest and
largest things exist to eat you
wholly
you perservere there, in the middle
carving out a home and making
friends with the monsters hidden
by shadow
you are a great adventurer
and what’s more, you are still beautiful
even as the vines encroach upon you
while you sleep
to hug you in a deathly way
your smile is the only light around
as you carefully trim your way through
looking for me

i don’t know where i am and why
you would look for me
and it is my confusion that grows the
jungle, anyhow
yet you search for me
with a warm embrace
you, a great adventurer
whose heart is warm like a million suns
whose beauty shines beneath layers of
jungle-trash
and i love you very much
for searching
for finding me
and so much more

loci

up ten stairs
through the bare wooden
door with no handle
and around the 180 degree
turn passed the small room
on the left and the attic
door on the right there
is a white door with an axe
mark just up and left from the
fading gold doorknob

on the left there is a big,
wide bed and on the right
a CRT tv sitting on a
flimsy wooden stand with a wooden
facade and broken plastic wheels
next to maybe sometimes an equally
flimsy corner-desk with similarly
broken wheels and ugly wooden facade

i can stand here whenever i please

in the middle of the room
with two windows facing
west raymond st
and maybe a 6 foot ceiling (if that)
a converted attic room with strange
stucko patterns scraped carelessly
on a ceiling that feels eternal

there is a large, wide, white bookshelf
in the middle
of the two windows where so far
all i have are two pictures inside
one manilla envelope
one of myself, wearing the vicksburg
bulldogs junior varsity soccer outfit
at 16 years old, young dumb and athletic
and the other of my two parents before
they hated one another
holding me in front of a tractor somewhere
my mother was pretty with big hair
my father had bleach white sneakers

the newest addition to the room sits
in the right windowsill
he looks black but in the sunlight you
can see that his dark fur is brown
he has big, loving green eyes
and although i used to come here to sit
and contemplate things and store away
memories in devoted silence

i now just sit with tiny

his purring so loud that it clicks
as he rubs his head against my arm
and licks me a few times
as he is happy to see me
frozen in time

flies live so long

flies live so long
on excuses to stay
with crooked flight patterns
both pointless and unique

oh flies live so long
and yet you can’t kill
themĀ  fast enough
for more will fill
in their place

is it best to just wait
them out?
until there’s nothing
left for them to eat?

and do your best
in the meantime

but why do flies
have to live
for so long?

the ant trap

at what point do
you know
that it is poison
that you are
eating?

you stupid bug

that smelled
your way here
as you were born
to do
looking for
something sweet
to take a little
for your
infinitesimal
self

while the lion’s share goes to your master

it was i who put that poison there,
you bastard!

for you and your kin
because it
disturbs me
to see you
i am repulsed
by the
very site
of you

you should know better
than
to be soft
and dumb

and fall for an easy trap
placed
conveniently
within your
reach

my soul has been subtracted from

in my apartment

there now is an aching, negative space

where you used to be

my dearest friend is gone from me

my soul has been subtracted from

time may never touch a final loss

like a burning, phantom limb

that the mind looks to for comfort

now left there only the aching, negative space

i will forever miss you tiny sinclair

i will remember you in sun beams on windowsills

at 5:30pm when you would wait for me

when i just can’t take the silence

and when i am consumed by helplessness

on 27

your bed is broken

and ants crawl across your desk

900 miles and 20 years

compensating for the earth’s spin

you do not move to see them

if something is not in it for you

just like the ants

when you go outside they are

there, too

the sunlight hides

all the terror in the night

that is still around you

peter pan

you’re not even the shadow
of peter pan
said the old man
as time stood still
in the place where you
wake up and are not sure
if you’re still asleep
and he lifts you
a bloated codfish, you
off the ground with just
the one hand, that
of an old pirate
and the other a hook
while you look around
frantically and feeling helpless and lost because no one
knows you here, anymore

are you
peter pan?
or are you
peter panning?

last night you remember
leaning on the balcony
drunk on whisky
or nostalgia
your childhood dreams crushing
under the weight of you
a bloated codfish, you
so maybe you jumped
or maybe you fell
or maybe you flew
off the balcony
t’ward
the second star to the right
until morning
maybe you woke up a changed
man whom saved his children and
the whole neverland from
the scourge of the adults
the pirates
the hook

are you
peter pan?
or are you
peter panning?

but you fell
and didn’t get up
another apparent suicide
round christmas time

being white is to wish to never have been born at all

being white is to wish
to never have been born at all

it is necessary
to apologize

to defer all understanding
of real suffering

being white is to be wrong
and to grovel in apology

to be born a foreigner
bereft of origin

on stolen land
with borrowed time

inheriting bloody tools
meant for laziness

being white is to be guilty
by association

of placing guilt
by assocation

on those guilty
of associating

with your father’s
brown brother

neither of whom
anyone has ever
met.

i am now exactly how i was…

i am now exactly how
i was in 2005
gripping a metal bar
my face flushed
with fear as i rush
toward the horizon
of sandusky
atop other metal bars
that drop you
and pick you up
before you fall
but the difference is

we ride the back
of a falling dinosaur
crying “there must
be more”
all billions of us at once
locked in by nihilistic
tribalistic
denial

you tell me symmetry is
overrated
as i even my bill out
tipping the waiter
finally finding out
face flushed and
terrified
that my death
is the unremarkable
kind

rubatosis

at 12 am you notice the sound
of your own heart beating
teeth rotting out of your head
you decide not to sleep tonight
and get high instead

you’re in love with a dead horse
these glasses cost you a million dollars
what do you do with your own time
but say what’s all been said?

are you your own fucking body?
is your body fucking you?
are you going to waste our fucking time here?
do you know what means what to you?

you make me feel like the bad guy

you make me feel like the bad guy
like i’m not good enough
you want me to lick your shoes
it’s fucked up that you keep asking
you pretend that it’s not fucked up
that you keep asking
everyone knows it’s fucked up,
but you keep asking
like i’m not good enough
you make me feel like i’m the bad guy
like i’ve still got something to prove
like being a failure isn’t bad enough
you make me feel like the bad guy
and like i’m not up to your standards
but you couldn’t care less about me
and it’s fucked up that you keep asking
for me to lick your shoes
i know that i’m not good enough
to be a friendly fucking robot
and i wish i didn’t care
i wish i didn’t feel like the bad guy
and my life wasn’t all fucked up
i am building a home at the
base of the mountain
because i couldn’t make my way up
please don’t visit me there.

yours is a selfish war

you rush forward
in simple straight lines
bayonets readied to
receive the deathly gasps
of your fellow country-men
of your enemy
and after
you close your eyes
and bury it sharply
into their chest
you look back
desperately for some type of
approval and see nothing
but a general
atop a horse
yawning

on wichita, ks

wichita is a pretty crack whore
who was cool in high school, once
but now an addict
selling her self and begging

as i sit with her on a street corner
before the winter when kansas
has warm fall breezes that travel
far across the empty plains
we talk sarcastically about
old inside jokes shared between
normal high school friends
but i won’t leave here without her crying
and begging me for change
and if i refuse
offering to sell me ass

it’s the oil running through
her veins that makes her cheap
and desperate