your unlucky heart

while standing in
the shade a strong
hand took you

and although

i would share
a million sunlit
hours with you

at that moment

i was so weak
i could not even
look your way

i ran

and i ran
and felt remorseful
but never did i cry

which is just what weak men do

standing in the doorway
with the light bouncing
off kitchen linoleum

i lock eyes with Lal
it’s an eerily quiet
afternoon in wichita

i turn as i smell
a hint of freedom
in the air

i spend a moment with
what is left of you
inside me

it’s an awkward moment
because i am ashamed
and i finally cry

for you

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lift off

the shower’s a warm blanket
but the cold lives in my spine
if only i could see
then i wouldn’t be so blind

tell me i’m not fine
tell me not to cry

the president’s a virus
and my family is the host
they pull all of their pants down
to get lashed by the holy ghost

castigate my mind
tell me that i lie

my father is a rapist
and my mother cries all day
the sun dances in the window
but has nothing much to say

i’m starting to unwind
i’ve nothing but the time

let up
lift off

weeping at the visage of our glorious leader

be wary those that are born
into this prison
and straighten your spine
and look forward
for all eyes belong
to the great gods of hell
who filled walls
with your dead brethren
and covered them in
the faces of their family

eat love and pray
under their holiness, I say
although
it may pick at your soul
to do so
the sun will shine on
endlessly
but men can
block your view.

estelle

a summer dream
we speak of love
in birdsong

do not poison
the air with your
“sentences”

do not focus your
“attention”

i would work a lifetime
for 5 minutes more

with her

discovered 2

inspire my
pencil fingers
to trace your
crooked spine

write stories that
never resolve
that we both hate them
should be enough

lay ruin to topsoil

dig for something

underneath

that never

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

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

Shallow and Meaningless

Part 1 – Untitled

On my way to the airport my mother mentions that a Nigerian man will be coming to live with her. His brother, who is named after a day in the week, is constantly texting her.

“No one has ever said such nice things to me” she says, showing me one of his text messages.

The Nigerian is coming to go to college. “It feels nice to be able to change someone’s life” she says. I wonder why it can’t be her life, or my life, or my autistic brother’s life. She’s given up on us, I suppose.

It is a beautiful July Sunday in Southwest Michigan. The sun beats brilliant down upon the I-94 where the animals know to stay the fuck away.

We arrive at Gerald R. Ford Memorial Airport. An interstate hub. I’m going to visit my Grandmother.

I’m flying with with an airline named Allegiant which I am certain is being run by a couple of computers in a call center basement somewhere in India.

As I arrive to my gate I survey the other passengers. I think of the movie Final Destination but decide to fly anyway. I imagine us all getting sucked out of the pressurized cabin into the air. I think they are all looking around thinking the same thing.

Maybe I’m projecting.

They have the passengers split up into sections. I’m in group three, there is no group one or two, some of group four has window seats but they’re seated last.

I am sat next to an attractive young woman. Potentially younger than 18, although, in my 20s, it is hard now for me to call. She has deep dark red hair and is dressed in a black, laced dress. There’s a seat open still and I say “maybe we’ll get an extra seat, that would be nice.”

She says “yeah.”

A young family of four are to sit near us, a mother and three girls. One of the girls fills the window seat. She looks just like my ex-girlfriend’s younger sister, but thinner. Has the same name: Julie. She wears glasses. She, too, is probably under 18, though I still cannot tell.

Their skin is like porcelain. To my right is the smell of fruit, to my left is the smell of lavendar. I sneak glances at them on occasion, but I never say a word. I imagine fucking them both, and how disappointed we would all be about it; myself, each of them, those I love, damn near everybody. I decide it’s best to not say a word for almost the whole trip.

“The landing is the worst part” I finally say, as we begin to descend.

Read more

the ballad of the penguin and the polar bear

you’ve got the heart
of a bird
that can’t fly
but you want
to be
the mighty bear

you gather your strength
in numbers
sharing your warmth
and empathy

he’s got the heart
and the skin
for the blistering cold
and all alone
though he longs
to share

he sings his sad songs
into the wind
longing for warmth
and empathy

when the world is a giant iceburg
you see what you think you need
floating among
the shards of ice in this vast ocean
the missing puzzle pieces to
a heart that doesn’t bleed

you swim for it
and you find it
but they don’t fit

some foreign things
are foreign
for a reason

some opposites
repel
too hard to touch

you find it’s the things
that make you different
that keep you apart

no matter how you dream

I can’t stop looking at my phone and computer

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

a day in the life by the beatles

as i walk in the clerk behind the counter debates with his associate when they think i will kill myself. i tell him that i was raised on the american dream. and i drove down here with my windows down. and i’m never happy for very long. we traded currency and i went back my hole. it was dark and dry just like i like it. i’d like to have a much bigger hole, however. and maybe one with an adjustable darkness knob. i never let my mother visit. she thinks i live up high, with the star-fuckers. drinking that currency in a bitter drink that is awfully bad for you. i’ve come to understand that for as much as i do, there is more that i don’t. my nights are very dark and dry, i only go out to be insulted by clerks, usually. they live in my neighborhood though so it’s not that big of a deal.

i just wish i could invite my mother over.

poem

here he sits reading
the cliff notes in a
history book
listening to far out
jazz

the main character
in a book he’s
currently working on

is he the writer?
is he the protagonist?
is he both?

every day he wakes
with old eyes and
a young heart
and the pages fill
and disappear

all with the same
fiction
the same drivel
different titles

he finds familiar
dialogue in his stories
he sees his own words
in the history book

he thinks “man,
i must be the
only one alive
out here”