Truth

Lying, All Week

I went around with
The Blower’s Daughter and Delicate
in my ears
because I wanted to
look at every person in the street
like we were in the
credits of a movie,
of a great life,
together, and
we didn’t even know it.

I try not to do this anymore
it is too hard to go home
after that rush of eyes
meeting for once,
for only one moment,
just one brief smile,
and a hundred moments

that flicker in futures
that are no more real

than love at first sight,
left alone in an elevator
or peace on earth,
rolled up in a newspaper,
or a last unicorn,
scratching on maps
its last whereabouts,

or anything else they’ve sold
out of existence,
cornered into stalls
of soundtracks,
made typical like
lucky trolls or
Marguerite umbrellas.

I still go out.
Music is still my wet street.
It’s still filled, too,
with eyes like that.
I just don’t write about it anymore.
And that, more than any of the rest,
is the best lie I’ve told,
all week.

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The Nothing and My Statue

I want to tell you
about the nothing
and how it was on my back
from late 90s to just now.

My first time was
just a six pack
of coca cola I was
12 maybe 13,

and I was up all night
with the caffeine propping up
my stinging eyes like,
twitchy invisible insect germs,
holding up heavy red curtains.

I used it to get more comic books read.
It gave me the strength to watch
entire nights of reruns.

I moved onto vodka pretty
much the next summer.
Because it made me think I was
an extrovert and a revolutionary,
and because Val Kilmer drank
as Jim Morrison and I wanted to
be a rebel like him.

I always sounded more like
the Lizard King after some drinks.
It was like the liquid gave me skill.

First pack of smokes found
in The Beer Store parking lot on
Chopin Street in Preston.
They bought me the prison yard acceptance
of first year high school.

I smoked more green any man ever seen,
we had something called wheelchair pot and
I laughed at the sky.

Our crew donned Value Village polyester and
tie dyes from local hemp shops.
We slunk through corn field grids
like eager pony tailed lab rats,
hunting down the cheese of
some wheat kings secret plants.
Dried them out in our parents rafters,
sold the shit for better stuff.

Drank a bottle of Robitussin
because some raver chick in
funfer pink told me it was like Acid,
which was hard to come by and
always made me feel like Neo,
even before The Matrix came out.

My first line was the last thing I
ever put on my back,
through my nose.

I say first because it’s all
the same line,
one massive one that stretches from
a cramped apartment on St. Andrew’s hill,
winds through the jungle of a hundred
dirty stalls, stripper’s breasts, mirror and
chipped dinner plates.

I earned a twitch in the final years,
when I would go for days at a time,
I can’t quite tell you
for too long about it
without risking the
abyss taking me back
you have to take my word
you have nothing
to lose by gaining better ground
in this war,
you lose only your mind when you
play the game with the Nothing,
the nothing,
the not-knot but
not-rope
that you see hanging
from your neck on trees
the next morning,
you’ll have to take my warning
as it is.

I’m just not far away from the fire yet
to turn back and laugh
without risking a salty
statuette of my good intent.

I’ve earned that much.

And how.

I sip coffee in the morning now
with all the music that
was always there to
bring me into sleep,
it is the drug I will always
lean hardest on.

One Size

I can’t stand shopping.
I used to love being a kid in the cart and
grabbing stuff from one aisle when nobody looked
and then dropping it somewhere else:

maybe I was a child anarchist,
maybe I was a shit,
maybe I was a fucking artist,
without proper tools or inspiration.
so I took to the shelves and remade them
in my own twisted version of store planning,
in my own storm of shop dropping,
two decades too early,
two little fistfuls of products, poised
to my own devious ends.

Years later when I worked in a grocery store
all that karma was reduced to a single bill
I owed what I owed and at the end of the night
I had to fulfill the duty of looking for products
that been left in the wrong spot
the entire fucking store, shelf by aisle by freezer by display
for lost items, that they called “orphans” in case the
average minimum wage employee needed reminders that this
was a dire and crucial element to the job.

I think about the orphans when i shop now
and still once in awhile create a little chaos
for the next kid whose just trying to finish their shift
and get to some party where they can talk about how
it makes no sense to call them orphans since
they have never really left the florescent home
and they would by this logic call shoplifters kidnappers.

I have to shop sometimes though.
It is water boarding for my soul.
I loathe every salesperson not because
they invite it but because I just detest everything about the phony process.
I even start to sound like Holden Caulfield.

I needed boots though.
It could not be helped.
The previous week I had done a rush job of foot wear.
I had bought a pair, believe it or not, an entire size larger than mine.
This is how much I hate shopping.

They were like clown shoes after a few hours.
So I wore two socks.
but then my feet got all sweaty
and I’m pretty sure some sort of
athletes foot started to flare as a result.
They were on sale too. So no returns.
Now i had to return to the scene of the hell-crime.
I had to do twice what I reluctantly do once a year or more.

So I tried on 18 pair.
No luck.
everything felt like it was hard and designed for robotic footed beings.
everything felt like a twisted Cronenberg three hour retelling of Goldilocks,
with redheaded temper replacing blonde earnestness. Every sales clerk was
more and more a grizzly.

I gave up on Pay-Less.
It should have never crossed my mind to enter since
it looks about the quality of Al Bundy’s shoe shop,
and that can never be good.

I ended up back at the place I started.
Endless bus rides, hours of muzak and increasing
sense of panic driving into my body,
back to the fucking shire I went, seeking the impossible.

I saw them out of the corner of my twitching eye.
They gleamed like fucking Excalibur.
but then they walked like geisha clogs.
5 more pair.
5 more runway walks.
you always fucking wish the salesperson
would just fuck off
and not watch you do your test walk
like what am I going to do?
run out of the store in tight boots?
has this happened?
is it an epidemic?
i start to think about how this must be the shittiest job in the world
watching for potential kidnappers
putting boxes of orphans on shelves like a
detective at the end of some show
and finally
a pair of Timberland’s spoke
my fucking language
and I almost threw the size 13’s from hell
back at the sales clerk and
decided against it
I almost put them on the shelf
but didn’t
I just walked home
proud for having avoided a total rage out
and put the 13’s in the box the Timberland’s
my sacred number 12’s
had come in, and I put the box in the back of my closet
next to the other things
I like to pull out of retirement
for a laugh
now and again you need
to laugh at your own foolish abandon
of logic
of reason of
all fucking hope

because boots are made for walking…
and orphans are made to be re-shelved,
and shopping is for masochists,
see you again next year.

Teacher Student Relations

You are gonna meet all kinds
of people who will tell you
your words are
not as good or
not as worth mention
as the words they say are
better but the truth is
most of them
have big drinking noses
not big writers eyes
and the truth is
they will gather dust with
chapbooks nobody will ever read
and they will piss off more students
then they will help but the most important
thing you will learn from them is that
you can overcome the urge
to remind them their personality
is drift wood
and not even the cool kind
that artists can fashion
something beautiful from,
just gnarly clenched up shit
that nobody
not even their close friends
really thinks any excuse can
justify.

You will also
meet some amazing and
helpful and inspiring ones,
and you will remember them by the
books they developed to show you that
you were not some extraterrestrial to greatness,
and they will always, pound for pound,
outweigh the bitter ones who should
be locked away and kept from the
hands that scrawl on walls the demands
of a new tongue-generation.

They are the ones you need to
worry about impressing,
because they are the people
who teach you the importance
of only writing for yourself.

So let the drift wood
drape its ageing ideal
on the beach
of someone weak enough
in character to actual give a shit.

You have the Gregory Corso gift.

You will rip what little advice can be gleaned from them,
and shave their existence from your margins, otherwise.

If greatness was something that could be mapped
by washed up never-were much’s,
then they would’ve struck the iron,
they would’ve hit the horse
between its eye in their own time,

not still be repeating the wrote requests of
“don’t write like this,”
“this is not how it is done” or
“I hate vampire stories”.

Whatever it is they tell you.
Keep this in mind.

A teacher is only as great as their weakest pupil.

I Spit Your Reason Out

You stated in some circumstances,
we were only meant to work
and slumber in the after-party.

I fought with you I renamed you
cascading demon titles.

I even learned your enemies signatures,
paraded them out for you,
easy like a dealer, then hungry like junkies.

Complicit I charge in all you do
is an angle of you, you, and you.

I won’t go any further
around the room,
just stew on it as you feel fit.

Permit me the moment though
to wave my finger in the air
and tell you just what the whether
has dealt- whether it was rape or capital
assassination of character, whether it
was art science and political
or just another junglist off on a rant
about their own caved-into-stronghold.

I will not re-right your arrows.
Gibran was right, their sentience
it narrows so ol’ natural that
you reminisce about the subtlest
inference of it, like oil of olay
commercial, jagged little glass
plucking the skin in imperfect melodies.

You know what kind of like I like,
the kind of hate you hate to hate.
We are simple side by side
wallet photos
fridge magnets
matching joggers.

We are the constellation anyone can name.
We are easy.
Not simple
Sexy, not sultry.
Unless we wanted to be.
Unless it got out
of hand and turned
out that way.

I spit your reason out,
you judge me perfectly.
We dance on the floor like
marbles
eating through a mason jar
onto hardwood, we hard hoods of
hipster pre-destinations and
another amalgam of personal,
preliminary muses.

You and I are like two magazines,
thrown arbitrarily onto
the same laundr-o-mat floor,
in a hold up that became a
flash mob and ended in
a kiss that had virus’
named after it later,
and love songs, too.

Poe’s Girl

You are sure of it
with Portishead’s Roads
on the bus
you find the perfect harmony between
the sublime terror and
the sublimity of love

and you suggest to me I
might want greater things
than between lines
and hung out to dry later

I might do well now
to respect that and
all that other in effect
noise language
had little to no effect;

I was born in a black and white rainbow
with the volume ‘pumped’ into the noise like
liquid slaughter for a feast of fools and clergy
all indistinguishable in the intellect’s dark,
an abysmal landscape, watching Dark Crystal
with no understanding of legend or fantasy yet,

but it was better than nothing at all
and no time exists to lament
an un-had level of opportunity,

so I bury the curse words in my kids backyard
and I know the story of
Freddy Krueger and The Tell Tale Heart,
and Frasier read a violent version of Dickens
to me when I was but 12, so it’s only a matter of time,

and patience,
and dirt.

Before something’s uncovered.

Lou I Knew Ya

for L.R.

Took me all week to get thru to ya,
I heard the lines in NYC went black
flickered quickly without a notice
and that the hobo kings and queens all
danced for you that night I heard that
the songs were played in every country
and that every musician who had never
said it before was now saying it over and
over. How you were the greatest Lou.
I heard someone awoke from a dream
of you and Nico on some Henry James joyride,
her on the handle bars you in the clouds.
I heard it went overhead the state of Russia
and Denmark then Home, to the borough,
to the suburbs, and then downtown, back to
the easy commotion and hustle and drip.

Back to the light to bargain with.

The Girl and the Good

-when we meet she is trying to pop a
pop tart and I am so
caught up seeing her
smile as she did this
I plum forget that I
am not planning to
fall ever again
so quick and so hard,

because
it is not a really
fair thing to do
to someone, or yourself.

She has been to Gibraltar.
I have been to Maine.

We are both art minded
but she loves the visual,
I am bogged down in wordplay,
and besides all that she is beautiful
in all the easily located ways.

I am a map buried beneath
torn flesh
hidden behind bookshelf eyes,
begging limbs like prison bars,
twitchy pyrotechnical hair,

I am under there,
somewhere, the sheets are
never going to come
out from over my head again,
not for you, or anyone,

I swear.

Hey what kind of pop tart is that anyway?

This is Why I Do It

A flash of brilliance

is worth a thousand scorpions,

is the weight of
a gallon of your best friends laughter,

is the Beelzebub of Ghostbuster caught demons,

is the Houdini prestige,

is a marble in a mason jar,
tumbling from creak-heavy rocking chair,
onto creak-heavier hard-wood floor.

The sound of the shatter
is the alarm clock
the blade of evil light
the day job
the departing whore
the piss-heavy dog
waiting at the door,
to take you out,

back into normalcy.

Back to a quiet,
saturate hell.

And anyone tells you different
is a shit, a liar, an idiot,
or some kind of religious.

You Won’t Know A Good Poem Until It Leaves You

You get a poem in you sometimes and
it burns through the roof of your mouth all the
way down, down, down and
even past you,
into the earth below you
and it keeps going you don’t know where it stops
or if it does,
it’s like the acid from the mouth sucker
in the movie Alien.

It goes through the floors of
the ship and
it penetrates metal,
and it laughs at wire and copper,
and it mistake’s your heart for a fuck fest
and all your friends be damned and even your
best laid plans will get shoved to the
ground and kicked in the shins
just enough to keep them winded,

nothing more than a cosmetic knock or two,
but it’s the overall audacity of the thing,
to think itself worthy of messiah like status
in contrast to your body,
to your life’s work,
to your stink,
it looks to all and winks,
as if to say
“Fuck Ya’ll, ain’t shit without me anyway!!”

Before diving from sight,
as if to never come again,
each time,
as if to never come back.

It’s a bitch and you still love it.