Sicker than a sticker on streets like splat
Whatever the word was
Just jiggle the keys and I’ll juggle the rest
Sicker than a sticker on streets like splat
Whatever the word was
Just jiggle the keys and I’ll juggle the rest
Between me and the fridge
Just a short walk
That hurts a bit now that I think about it
Would be great to have a mini fridge
In my room.
It’s still early enough
And I need to get the juices flowing
My fingers and hands stay remarkable still, though I’m an anxious mess each morning
The execution is so key to the end result
The first, loud click is heard throughout my apartment.
Then the next
Before I know it, I’m looking at a short two sentences sure to start a verbal war on Twitter.
I start, “This may be an unpopular opinion and I may be suspended for it…”
Today, I’m at the freehand on Ohio (19 E), feeling fortunate that I can leave
somewhere to sleep the same night
my need to rush the gauntlet where people (are meant to) battle to meet (but ultimately fall short of) my lofty expectations
negative ruminations behind
and a mind to be sure when this happens next time…
I’ll end the war in a loft
some place more than just “somewhere to sleep the same night”
me elude me
If I wasn’t before
Well then now I am.
You can’t make me,
But I am getting out of the car
And this is the end of the road
It’s been six years and I haven’t seen that face since then.
Read the note written in caps.
Hand quivers a bit.
Turn the body slowly slowly [but not the gaze] back toward them.
Just stay there, almost looking them in the eye.
Then let them make the decision.
“Whatever. It’s not even fun taunting you anymore.”
Phew! Almost needed to be brave.
What do I have a spare tire for? I don’t even know how to drive.
I told my friend I didn’t have friends and he agreed. I wanted to meet new people, but then I couldn’t find any good reason I’d leave my place to meet people.
Though she be bare, each curve is free from chinks;
For times her life leaned on a draining source
I swore we’d last that one night over drinks
The words themselves pushing me forward with force.
I’d hoped so deep the technician was right
Restoration: new battery and case;
We’d go back to where we were that night
My mind occupied, blue light in my face.
The bulk was done and now came time to choose;
You deserve new color and brand new air;
Bells and whistles, I splurged for full kit, too!
Saving you showed me plainly I was bare.
The things I own, I told myself, held worth.
Without care, how’d I expect you to go forth?
Alecs was lucky to be able to hop into this Uber. It was under $8 on a route they’d been taking for months. At the beginning of February the price averaged as low as $6. These days, the lowest has been $13. Now, the other passenger pipes, “Why don’t you try driving for Lyft? I hear they pay well.” It donned on him: ride share apps are so communal in their design that the people (passenger and drivers) will always be on the same side–despite some of those thinly-veiled attempts to pit drivers and passengers against each other, disguised as emails explaining price differences.
Although he had a question for the other passenger, he thought it better to let the thought die in his head than ruin this ‘carpool’ that landed them together 2 days out of every week at 5:40 each morning.
“Why would you want someone to drive for the company with which you chose not to do business? For whatever reason, this Uber ride made more sense for you. In my case the decision was financial. Whatever your reasoning, you got into this car using one app and suggested the driver do the exact opposite. Perhaps this is part of your grand scheme. The more drivers leave Uber, the less drivers the company will need to pay for idling. The cheaper your Uber rides will be in four months. For about eight weeks straight. Right before the prices soar again. You know, due to lack of sufficient drivers.“
The most difficult part of Alecs’ days were sharing spaces with strangers and trying to prevent a screwed up face. Now all is covered like silent show and long gone are the days of shared rides. What was once nonsense-talk to carry on conversation, now feels like a monologue belched out on an island shared with no one. What some of us wouldn’t do to catch water-cooler talk! To speak to someone in the car and get as wrapped up in details as you both allow until the end of your trip together. How deeply we used to be wrapped up in the details!
I fear, on the day of my wedding, we will drop our glass and won’t care where the shards fly. We’ll receive the news. It will be time for us to leave to the wilderness. I’ll be shocked at how irrational I feel, but I’ll be upset–so upset I will refuse to flee in time. I won’t forgive myself if I miss a dance with my father. We sometimes speak on the phone. I feel the fizzing ringer and the phone lights itself. I do some smalltalk with him until nearly twelve minutes when, once again, I see we are both are so keenly aware we have failed where we could’ve connected. It would kill him just as much to miss the father-daughter dance.
We might just take those moments to sway while boulders ripple the ground in vibrations around us. Something metallic sounds like it could hit us next time. Each time we hope its the next time and not this time. Our audience will be partially made up of those crying and looking for cover. The rest will be made up of those too enthralled by the issues of others, they will risk their safety to see us. “They waited until the very last moment to admit there was a gap between.” We will spin both in our favor. They are here to see us.
So my romantic half… Who is to say he doesn’t also see himself waiting for the fall of boulders to stop him from marrying me. Until I know him, I can count on what I have. And I am still imagining what isn’t quite here. So I feel no guilt wanting all the romantic pleasantness even if we are running out of serious time. It feels like as I lay here, looking out at the orchid leaves in the midnight lights, it doesn’t make sense this desire should be off limits. Can’t we all want different things? When I am considering what I personally want, to hell with progressiveness! And never come back!
I know one of the songs I will dance to (even if it has to be with my father): “You are the Ocean” by Phantogram. Even if the song is in my head or I hum it while I cry.
“He loved me. Because he loved me, he waited to hold me. He waited. He waited. And when he finally, finally, finally finally did hold me, there was warmth and acceptance and understanding and purity.” – I cannot remember if I wrote this line or read it.
Chew on your foot
Sleep on your pillow
Walk with your step
Paws on your chin
So you’ll drop your attention down to me
You have me now
When at one time
Watashi wa inu o mochimasen deshita
So many other projects and skyward goals laid themselves out to him, but he could not bear to surpass them. He hadn’t wanted to surpass. But the life of a saboteur chose him. He was built to consider only himself–support only himself. Humanize no one.
Instead, I looked to finding ways of believing the dream was a farce. At this moment, I closed my two wet eyes, forcing my energy into a charged fence around him.
The woman smelled of limes and some other spice my untrained nose was unable to pinpoint.
“He’s going to ruin your life.”
“You know exactly who I’m talking about.”
Her last letters rounded like a dog’s tail in its slumber. I may not have known the smells because I hadn’t had enough meals, but I knew her. A grandmother of mine, but not mine. Of skin, but not quite the undertone. She was unmistakably Dominicana. This statement (outside of feeling and knowing and knowing I knew who she was speaking through) slapped me in the mouth as a paradox on its own. But without smells and sounds and ways of hands and other loud whispers, no one can be quite any one tribe. But I knew.
Thursday morning, I had a pimply whitebump in my mouth. I resisted getting out of bed, telling myself it’d still be there when I got up. No rush. I brushed my teeth after some red wine. As I pulled the bristles back toward the front of my mouth between ragged breaths, I noticed the brownblack bottle of peroxide nearly wobbling on the sink’s edge. It all comes back to guilt, sloth, and lust. Hassle-free addictions. Often not even requiring extra stops to pick them up. And so hard to drop. Afterward, eventually looking up and asking, “But haven’t I always been this way?”
Can you imagine my surprise when the Twitter app force-quit on me each time I went to draft a tweet? It is still the best possible PR for me, honestly. The last account I had was a shitposter’s dream. I wouldn’t dare attach my name to it. Or “couldn’t bear”–you choose. Whatever fits your idea of who you believe is writing this. Assume you know anything about the writer of what you’re reading and you’ll see yourself soon enough in the patterns. Going into patterns like that. Until you become an example of an anxiety-riddled bundle of chaotic, untrained ‘potential.’ So the audience is what determines the meaning…writer’s fallacy… Too bored to unpack it.
Ah! Then I happen upon a tweet I feel too ashamed to share, but I felt the keenest connection to— What I enjoy could offend someone. So then what happens? I hide my opinion in the lower crown molding of the small wall I get in the gallery of my life’s work? Because the other perspective is that it might not be art at all?
And I cried and woke up crying again. The tear on my nose one moment and then my pillowcase the next minute.
What is the weakness with him?
Going in patterns like that.
Now I am supposed to grip your hand back
Otherwise you’ll try checking my pulse
Be alive. Stay present.
I was supposed to lean against you
but splashed Slurpee in your frozen lap and now you’re bluish
How long was I squeezing your hand?
Like a doula, you let me realize when the nerves were gone
And simply didn’t call me again.
resistance is futile.
thinking of us daily
prepared you for me
since before you’d heard
you have wanted it.
Had I known there would be arguing, I would have stayed indoors. To be fair, it hadn’t quite been sanctioned by the governor for us to be out at all. At least not in our state. All uncovered and in close quarterers, seeking answers.
Arizona was still practicing a far from heroic form of social distancing.
But there was something I needed to smell. Before men arrived in bright colors to extinguish those same, bright hues. I needed to smell the almost cologne of tree leaves after all of the water has steamed away. I thought of bracing myself against the blaring sirens to come. It instilling in us a sense terror to follow terror. For a construction site had just burned down less than ten days prior, ten square blocks away.
What was left of the clear air, I felt guilty soaking up for myself. Somewhere, a parent who never wanted to be one, takes gleeful relief in the recommendation to save oneself before the children. And a young boy unwanted by his parents isn’t old enough to be grateful he can finally die today. I nearly let my worry of the world consume me. That was until my eyelids struggled to push back a film penetrating the oil and water of my corneas.
The battle for noise and confusion was being won by nature, but man was not far behind. The noxious air gave way to shouted questions, directed at no one in particular. Here was now a reason to be heard by the selfsame neighbors we’d each avoided since moving in.
I stood outside watching… becoming transfixed thinking of a medical clinic I passed five days earlier. The signage stood out—its contrasting colors calling my immediate attention. Burnt orange and violet combined for such displeasing imagery; there was no choice but to let it burn into my memory. They called it Fast Med, but it looks like the sort of place where you spend hours just waiting to be seen.
An older, grandpa-type brought a bluish tarp to the front. Ambling himself into the cut-out of a porch his wife spent a winter morning turning into a garden. “They’ll need to get used to it eventually,” I immediately thought the better of suggesting. He stared at me for a little while anyway, turning back to his garden and spreading the crinkles out before draping it over the gathering of Chicago Peace and Mister Lincoln roses.
My belly laughed a bit, the chuckle dying out in my throat. Him hearing me in English and recalling it in Spanish, I realized he probably would be struck by few extra layers of hilarity and grimness. Save Mr. Lincoln. Save the peace in Chicago. Yeah, he could go ahead and throw that tarp away. Or leave it covering those roses like corpses until the next fire a week from now.
So I stood still, my right hand on the cool, uneven trunk of a tree in the park some meters from my front door. Closing my eyes to the greyish air, I focused on remembering each fire I’d witnessed, lest they be forgotten altogether. I soaked in the noise like rancid CO₂. Doing my best to translate it. Modeling myself after the unaffected trees surrounding the bushfires twenty-two miles northeast of Mesa, Arizona.
On the morning of June 21st, Alan Sinclair reported, “The incident management team has assumed command of the Central Fire.”
Noting, “Cause: Human-caused” and nothing furthermore than that clipped mention of man’s influence.
Thanking fading sins
Doubt of consequence is seeping in.
Each one shaking with feeling, but wouldn’t say, “And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death.”
The wind hinting-hurling at a tempest mind says to the emptiness in waiting…
Though it was to be filled with faith—
Being whole unknown to us—wholesomeness unknown to us also, “May I wonder?”
“For sin, taking occasion by the commandment deceived me, and by it slew me.”
Until, in some way worthy of your grace.
Your giving of it making it so.
May I believe there is nothing more to abhor of myself if you have found something worth loving?
Or have I once again shown my brazenness?
If Calypso could keep Odysseus ashore
and stare at oceanic expanses knowing everything before the horizon belonged to her
Could clasp her arms around the breastplate of the warrior of the world
If Odysseus could gaze at her holding peace
at black hole sun, spattered gold in shining shadow
and still gaze
If Calypso could imagine Odysseus was hers without poisoning the sands with leaden tears,
then refreshed and tirelessly agile,
I can keep you from turning outward your shadow heart.
From telling nonsense lies to my canvas ears.
So will I sit betwixt Calypso’s legs as she threads seashells into the curls–between my tendrils and coils.
And she can tell me where Odysseus went wrong.
If Calypso can beat down doubt of why he did not stay
Then we can say you drowned at sea.
Out of the tumbling of earth,
Has become me
And swallowed what was once stumble.
The scent in those leaves is yours
The heat of the tangle we share
The hit of this tango we’ve skipped
Long lost in the jungle we wait
Four limbs to be strangles in “yes”
Head light from the toggle and twish
I’ve longed to be headstrong and wrong
Five eyes to be open and melt
You’re mine from the tangle of trust
I’m yours from the break of the day
Put out what you’ve set ablaze.