Ocean and Junkies and Blood and Coffee
I drove down to Tijuana and went to jail. In there I was beaten repeatedly. I was arrested for absolutely nothing. One minute, I was walking past a prostitute after I had parked and locked my car, walking around Mars, past the strange billboards and faces destroyed by poverty, in a town destroyed and dependent upon lust and drugs. I was walking around people who hated me for needing me. The poor sat in file on the sidewalks, their palms out. The faces on the necks reminded me of shrunken fruit. The owners of strip joints and street-side booths were happy to see me. Their English was broken and desperate. The prostitute followed me. She was offering me anything. Her face was a novel. It was carved throughout with lines of grief, with angry knuckles and damage from the sun. Her hair was like black straw electrified on its post. Her eyes were sorry. Her whole self almost brought me to tears. I reached into my pocket in the middle of that dark orange sea and handed her a fivespot. She handed me a crumpled baggie with nothing in it. She hustled off. The next minute, I was dropped on my face, cuffed and stuffed and wiping the blood from my forehead onto the back of a torn leather headrest.
In jail the big Mexicans pummeled me in turn. One tried to get my pants off. I fought them wildly. After a while they gave up, from time to time walking by the corner I was thrown into and kicking me, spitting on me. The cops held me for nine hours, took everything I had and kicked me in the ass, out into the dark. Back at my car, my rear windshield was gone and the whole car was gutted, save the driver’s seat. They even got the mirrors. My bike was gone, my music, my books, my backpack, my life. They had my keys back in that dungeon. I could feel the Mexicans laughing at me behind the rusted bars. They were sitting on that diseased, urine stained concrete with no windows, sweating and laughing about me. I broke off my ignition switch with a rock so I could turn the wheel. I had never jump started a car before. I learned quickly. The guards at the border showed no interest in my face.
I drove to Yuma, bitterly. I was low on fuel. It was December. The desert was cold but my face burned with a heat I’d never known. I pulled into a gas station and explained to the Indian behind the counter what had happened. He shook his head. I asked him for ten dollars in gas so I could get to Phoenix. He said nope. Up the street I found a Shell station. The old lady said that I could gas up and she would treat it like a drive off. In the bathroom I locked the door and looked in the mirror. I looked like a mask. My whole face was twisted and swollen. I looked diseased. I fell back against the door and sank to the ground.
I drove north with a sympathy cup of coffee and a full tank. The wind from the opening in back chilled my neck and shoulders, the exhaust billowed inside and choked me, made me sick. The smell flavored my coffee. One of my eyes had just swollen shut so I drove the limit, confused.
I reached Phoenix before dusk. At a stoplight, two girls stared at me like I was an animal. I could feel them. They honked. I looked over. They were laughing with the two guys that were in the backseat. No mercy. By the time I found my sister’s house I was sick from the exhaust and the desert on top of the germs from the floor of the jail spreading under the cuts. I was certain I could not go on for another second. The house was empty. She had moved.
I called one of my brothers collect in Illinois, woke him up. He gave me her new address. He asked me how I was and so on. During the conversation I would throw up while he was talking. I told him everything was fine and that I was home for a while, at least until after the holidays. He told me he loved me. I threw up. I made it back to my car and used up the rest of my strength finding the address.
I parked. Her house was bigger. I could see the Christmas tree in the window. I had nothing to carry inside. She lived in a better part of town. I hadn’t spoken to her for a long time. I thought it was funny this would be the second time in a row I showed up at her place badly beaten. Only this time was worse. I had long hair and was older, taller, a little heavier from working labor. I didn’t want her to see it. I made it to the door and pushed the ringer.
One of my nieces answered. She stared at me. I asked her why she wasn’t in school. She ran back down the hall yelling for my sister. I walked into the doorway. She came out dressed for work. When she saw me she screamed. I broke out laughing. I couldn’t help it. She pulled me in. I stank. When she tried to hug me I stopped her and told her I was in too much pain. She wanted to take me to the hospital. I waved it off.
“Who did this to you?”
She wanted to stay home from work. I told her she didn’t need to waste a day’s pay watching me sleep. I was glad she wasn’t crying. If I never saw a woman cry again it would be too soon. I told her not to make too much out of it. I asked her not to tell anybody I was in town. I made her go to work. I walked into the living room and fell over the arm of the couch and landed on the cushions. I passed out instantly.
I saw the last two years float by on a string. I saw Los Angeles, Venice, Kim’s mouth opening larger than my head and swallowing it, coughing out a tear. I saw Cliff riding an altar boy in the jacuzzi, I saw subdivisions being erected by slaves in loincloths. They hoisted the walls into position by long, heavy ropes. I saw a baby being shot out of a cannon into the middle of the ocean. I saw Kim in profile smoking a cigarette. She took a long pull and the cherry opened up into a flower that expanded backwards into large flames and reduced her face and the rest of California behind her to ash. My mother rose from her coffin and danced a half skeletal dance. Then the dream darkened, a sheet was pulled over my head and there was nothing, not even a graveyard.
I woke up dry as a bone. The house was dark. I had shit and pissed my pants. I made it to the bathroom and washed, scrubbed my only clothes clean and tossed them outside to dry. I had never been so sick in my whole life. My ribcage was painted up and down with bruises from being thrown against the bars. Every moving part of me was stiff. I crawled back under the blanket and fell asleep in shame, hoping that whoever covered me while I was sleeping did so before I lost control of my functions. I slept hard, and woke up older.
I could hear the television. I felt my nieces standing over me. They were talking about me. I reached out from under the blanket and grabbed a leg. They screamed and laughed. I pulled her down on top of me. It hurt. She was bigger. She got away. They ran down the hall then back to the couch. I asked the youngest if she would be a sweetheart and go get my clothes from out back. She brought them in. They were stiff from the sun. I pulled the blanket from my face and dressed underneath. I laid back and asked them where my nephew was. “At his little girlfriend’s.”
I thought about how long I’d been gone. Janie was the oldest. She smiled, “Do you have a girlfriend?”
“I have a boyfriend.”
They yelled and ran back to the room. “Mom! Mom! Uncle Jeff has a BOYFRIEND!” I sat up slowly. My nieces sat around me on the couch.
“What happened to your face?” Lily asked.
“Nothing. What are you talking about?”
She looked at Janie. “He’s lying.”
I sat forward and rested my head into my palms. They watched me. “You tired?”
Janie shook my leg. “You’ve been sleeping for 2 days.”
-excerpt from Breath Upon A Burn. I read some of this for the audiobook version, coming soon. Here's the link, if you want to hear it.
A useless, shiny adjective.
Aria. Awake in bed, arms above her head, stomach rising and falling with breath. Ginger on her tongue. Abdomen, rye. Her mind, steel. Blackened. The pills only hurt, so she kicked without any help. Four years back. Four days of dread, brain snaps, tingles in her fingers and toes, palpitations. Heart on edge. Four more days of a hole in her chest. Withdrawals. Synthetic. Four more days of recovery, and four more days to clear the way.
Always kick on a Monday. Allow Sunday to be the gate.
She kicked on a Monday. Midnight to end Sunday. It had been that way with liquor, with cigarettes, with sugar. She put nothing in the way of feel. Her walls were plenty without help. Her father built the first one, but she had learned control with the first line of ink. Lightning strike, once to remain alone, forever. No other line would be so new. No other pain shocking. Graffiti for the walls, for her own understanding, for her understanding of alone. For her love with it, their affair. On her back. Quilt over glass. Moonrise.
—Four years back, she kicked on a Monday. Midnight. Sunday behind her to show the week it would give itself over or lose her. Wild pig days, itching blood. Taper Sunday to midnight. Clean sheets. Showered and in bed. Breathed up into the night, remembered a story of stars up there, the belt of Orion, the burning of light. Eskimos whose souls would find Heaven stepping up the stars of his belt. Three on the rise up. Open arms of somebody never dead. The story of it, the sadness.
Her sadness. A psalm of the city. A flower filled with blood. Unmoving.
A plant in her heart. It grew only when she shed what was not needed.
She was a flower grown from the city, and it was proud, so proud even death would not usurp her. Her skin graced by the city, the design, the product it pushed. She was vindicated through crawling up a victim. Now the faces of the city were there to keep the flower strong, to keep it alive. With the city as her only love, the nightmares had stopped with her addictions. The city saw to that. When the sadness would punctuate its reach, the city only moved faster to heal.
Her face in the mirror. Sunfall. The lights along the awnings breathed possibilities into the sidewalk, breathed sleaze. One stroke of eyeshadow twice, one carton of juice drained, and the elevator spat her out. The landlord smiled. Lobby. Aria gave her a nod, a late-night-at-the-office sigh, and the landlord laughed, watched her walk away, to someplace offering risks meaning memories. What she would not give to be in the skin, the youth of her, the years facing forward from her. Behind the counter, what the old woman would never know. The eyes of men and lesbians would mean much to her, the smell of the stage, the degenerates, as long as they would want her, she would give herself to them. The years behind the counter. The city was her thief, but she knew nothing righteous. Her eyes clung to the coat of Aria. Long, black. Her hair blue and white, the city opened with neon, prostrated in wait, when her boots would touch the concrete, the city would begin. The landlord looked away.
Aria disappeared through the door.
Tall Jack Coke. He drank half. Two drunks sat facing the bottles blocking the mirror. One drunk spoke to him, but the other cut him off, a pat on the forearm. The stranger spoke to no one but the bartender, and even now the words became one nod: Two shots, a pint, and a tall Jack Coke down the road. The drunk shrugged it off, and they focused on the two women. The bartender looked over the shoulder of the stranger, out the window, while Aria walked past for the place next door, where she would remain until four in the morning, where she would pull in more than any attorney in the city. The drunks and the women followed his stare. The drunks laughed at the bartender, his lust, they laughed along. They knew her silhouette as much as the others. Aria went into the building next door. The bartender shook his head and uttered one word.
Beautiful. The stranger stared into his glass. The word rested upon his lips, a dead thing. Beautiful. Did not come close. The word could not approach her. Aria. Beautiful. It cheapened her. Diluted.
A useless, shiny adjective.
The name was not lost on him. She was a flower reborn by the city. His. He would wait for the time to tell her what she was, when she would listen to him, when he would make the connection fixed for the time ahead. A flower. His. A child risen from the city, into his own. Like the plant from the blood of Robinson Jeffers, the line from the book had scratched him. Long scar. Unmoved beneath the sky her ghost set over him. The flower in his blood, Aria. Her fingers set in ink, born from the city, meant only to move through his hair. Moving through obsidian. Burn the film off his body. Nothing smelled as sweet as blood.
Her blood. It sat in his, trapped by him. When she would move he would feel it. Next door she would work the stage, the faces. When the other girls would spray and wipe the pole after their time, it made her sick, so she never went near it. Aria. No inversions, no slow slides down, no ascents to communize her, no bills handed to her or placed upon her. Their money, on the foot of the stage in front. The faces in the crowd, the look from them. The bodies beneath her. On stage, in dream to get her through, she would watch them burn to bone and ash. The other girls, how they went nude and often beyond, rejects of the city reaching for its grace. Outstretched, ignored. Aria, not once exposing her body as nude, not having to. Her mystery piped in from the city, the Moon on high, the lights and the sick things filtered for her, for the view of the city to keep it for its own. The city. The air as flesh, the rain as veins, the night sky as blood. Aria, her flesh as rain. Next door, the stranger finished his drink and walked out.
Silhouette walking west. The old man watched and it was no more. On his back there, dirt cooled, the night receding lighter. Torn back by dawn, when the city put him to sleep, when the light would bore the artists, the thinkers, the hunters. Light in the city, the expansion of lungs, only levered because it had to be. Tolerated. Daylight for the adopted. Loved just enough. They had to be there for business. Landscape and lifting. Commerce and order, base work. When the Sun would fail, the real blood woke and waited for the naked stars.
—From The Velocity of Ink, a book I wrote, and one I'm reading for Audible. Here's a link for the narration of the chapters above, if you want to hear it. Thanks to @Mamba for creating the photos to go along with the read on YouTube. Here's the link.
Here's the link to the book.
Watching his blood. -From ‘The Velocity of Ink’ with the upcoming audiobook excerpt below.
The red bird was her favorite. Reminded her of old songs from her youth. The blue was the wiser. Never preened for anyone but her. The morning her old man stayed gone, she went ahead and fixed the glass. From his time gone, four days followed with what could be, had the heavens heard her wish. When the detectives came in to tell her the news, she had two words for them: You sure? They glanced at each other, and one of them asked her to come down with them to identify the body, to sit for questioning. She looked at the birds. A tear broke loose over its edge. Once and big. Long crawl down. Inside the tear, the years of it, over. She breathed and looked skyward. Swollen heart. The joy in her. The detectives stared at each other. After she had viewed the corpse, grey room, two-way glass. Never a suspect, but her relief at the news caused intrigue in the lead detective he had not felt in years. Heartbeat aside, he needed a recorded statement. He set the coffee in front of her. Before he hit record he had squeezed her hand.
“Just protocol, sweetheart.”
The apartment between them, empty. His on the end of the hall. Hers two down on the left. The Sun gone from the city, the last moments of light, gold. A knock. Nobody knocked on their floor. Out of bed, the dream pulled back, a café blurred. Feet to floor. Eye through the doorway. Two men in suits, talking to Aria. Her door open. Her body unseen. The men were sharpened. Linear men. He listened there nude. The detectives, there by word of the bartender. The body was discovered a week after death, they canvassed. Easy work led them to Aria. Her voice from her place. The sound. Satin over chalk. The music. She had nothing for them. She had neither felt him walking behind her nor heard a sound. Blade broken off in his head, teeth kicked out. In that order. They waited for body language. Aria, stared through them. She asked them how the landlord was holding up, and nothing more. They left, locked out. A beat of three on down, and the shower turned on.
At the counter, she watched them leave the lift. Across the lobby. The lead told her they were still working the case, but after this much time, absence of outside prints, and the fact nobody in the area knew anything, to have no expected miracles. She smiled at him. This one was plenty. Done with the floor upstairs. The face and body behind the door up there. The ink behind her robe. The hardness of the widow facing him. He gave her a smile, loose. He left with his partner. Night in the city had swallowed day and any trace of the case.
The city kept him busy for its own reasons.
The old man was prepared for nothing, and he remained that way. What he wanted from the city was easy, a blank space from which to breathe. On his bed in the dirt, when the city called to him it was nature now. Servitude, hungry. Involuntary. Never enough love from the skyline, from the base of his fathers looking down on him. When the night covered the city, the old man could even see the tops of the buildings bent down, slight, glass eyes watching his blood.
—Four nights back, a long thought up into the stars, he had been pulled to his feet. A degenerate moved west down the boulevard to pluck their flower. The old man in dirt, he was a fix for the city. Nothing he would do more. Where the silhouette of the stranger would walk east, across the street moved the beauty of the city, a song of life everyone heard but her. A mass of silhouette following. The old man reached down his side and gripped the handle. When he moved, he moved to hunt. The warm voices in his head, what was needed, and what he would give. Unlimited love:
Leave the blade inside, son. Take his teeth for fun.
The kill was not the first, the last, or the slowest. He had done worse to others when the city called him out.
At the counter. The landlady sat, younger. A reverse lift of burden, Schopenhauer. Her old man, dead, the city out there in her consideration. Her birds in tune with her. Well-slept, bellies full. Songs of the streets, audible now. She had tried to feel for him, to feel the loss, any type of semblance to sorrow. It fell dead upon conjure. The wish for him to feel long pain, fear until his end, was the only stone in her faded. Her fridge bulging with health. Skin on the mend. Lotion on her face, lemons to her elbows. Unlimited moonrise, a kind Sun. The faces crossing the lobby almost beautifully. The fridge became full on the afternoon of the letter from the holdings company. A condolence, and praise for her work. She was full management now. All checks would be paid to her name. It arrived with one, made out with an extra month in full. Hers. Signed with a stamp. She sent the post office box a card. A message of grace, of gratitude. She dipped her wedge in honey, sucked it off the end. A slow bite into the meat of the fruit. Life had not been as bright as this dark truth. Age set aside, she could breathe and live like the others did.
The Hungover Poems
Been some time since I've posted on my own profile and not as Prose., but I wanted to post something from here and tag some writers, because I want to start getting back to my own shit. I need to write more, or just plain out start writing again. Prose. is a labor of love, so that's great, but no matter what, I need to write. Realized today I haven't even posted to my own channel in ages, and it worked out, because I didn't want to post my work on The Prose. Channel, because I like to keep that for the writers aside from me, and my voice and big, fat face on the channel is enough from me, without reading my own work, too. Holy fuck, I couldn't even watch that...
Been on this gnarly but satisfying carnivore diet the last couple of months or just less, and yesterday was an all-Hell-breaks-loose day. Beer, whiskey, bread, name it... paying the fiddler now. I'm sure he's thrilled. He's an asshole.
As myself, I want to thank you for being on Prose., and for being so generous with the work you give to it. Every day I read something great on here. So much talent in one place, and I think back to when it was just an idea stemming from another hangover, in the heat of a Texas afternoon, where I happened to find myself in that particular moment in time. Looking at Prose. now, it's very humbling, and I am grateful to you.
Alright, enough mushy feelings and shit. Here's a link to my own channel and some poems from here, but also appearing in a book of mine, set to release in the near future.
Wasted, sorry, lonely and fucked.
It was getting colder out and the rodents were coming in for shelter. I could hear the mice running the walls while I tried to sleep. It wasn’t uncommon for me to feel one run across my feet when I brushed my teeth. Meg would chase the sounds of the mice in the walls and I was going insane. I had flies in the room. They would come in from cracks in the light covers and take over the place. One night I spent six hours killing every fly I saw with folded typing paper. I became obsessed with them. I would crouch behind the big stand after I had cleared the room of them and wait for one to crawl out from the ceiling, and I would spring on him and flatten him. I thought I would never get to Manhattan, I thought I would rot there. The car had been on empty for weeks. I had nowhere to go and no money. All I had was the warehouse and I was lucky I had that. I could feel my mind slipping away moment by moment. It had nothing to do with where I was or the lack of food or humanity. It had to do with the morbid process, my incessant repetition of speeding into brick walls, my travels further into failure. My own brother lived close and he didn’t give a fuck. Time came forth and showed me pictures only the dead could see.
I was not human anymore. I hadn’t used my vocal chords in over six weeks, aside from talking to Meg. I was barely surviving. I learned to adapt to Meg’s food but that made it go quicker. My brother in the south end drove over illegally one Sunday and gave me a twenty. When he walked in and saw me he had to stop and put it together. I was ashen, my ribs were showing. He took me out to eat but my stomach had shrunk and I couldn’t put down half a burger without getting full. He bought me a can of coffee and some groceries. I was able to live for a few days off the groceries. All I had was the typewriter. It was all I ever had. He wanted me to come stay with him in the south end. He even said Meg could live upstairs with me. I couldn’t do it. I convinced him that I was fine. I had become so addicted to being alone that even spending the day with him was painful.
Another month went. On my 29th birthday I locked the place down. I could see headlights outside of my room and I heard someone knocking but I didn’t get up. Insanity had come fast, but it came certain. I didn’t know if it was the years behind it, or if the room was simply the last straw, the snapped end of string with no time left to replace it. I knew that I had lost my mind sometime in the passing week, but coming to terms with it only lost it further. I wanted to be surprised that it had finally found me there in the room, but I wasn’t surprised. The time it took had been well-earned, since the age of 16. The speed of its arrival was only offset by things bigger than the room that I wouldn’t let break me. The room was only there to garnish the grave, what the room reflected was what I’d traded my mind for, to let it go without another fight in me.
I was dead and destroyed, wasted, sorry, lonely and fucked. I had once had women and people who believed in my work. I was once a human with honor and strength and muscular flesh. Now it was gone. Everything was so gone I wondered if it had ever existed. Maybe I was born in the room and everything had been a dream, a neuro-chemical hallucination brought on by flies crawling down my throat and copulating as I slept. I had quit masturbating because it exerted me, and it only made me hungry afterward. I was not even alive. I was a cell in a jar and I was being monitored by giants who had painted this life for me to live as though it was real. I inhaled deeply, closed my eyes and refused to breathe. Not because I wanted to die, but because I was bored with breathing. My body went through a cold wave and then it was dark.
I woke up with a headache and vomit on my chest. Meg was on top of me, licking my face. I was naked, and I reached down and counted the thin muscles that poked out of my stomach. I had eight of them. Eight was a magic number right then. I thought of scenarios with the number eight. If I cut off two toes and two fingers then I would have eight of each. If Johnny had ten apples and Susie ate two of them then how many apples would Johnny have left? Eight, goddamnit! Eight was a powerful figure! I drew figure eights in the air with my finger.
I was 29 years old and I was a loser. I had tried but I had failed. The world was good and sports were good and careers were good and a job meant success and only fools thought they could write. Brad came into my room and told me he wanted money for the utility bill. It was a total of two hundred and eighty-six dollars. I jumped up, and told him there was that number again. I told him I would give him eight-hundred and eighty-eight dollars in eight days. He backed away slowly and said whenever I got some money, that was good enough for him. He told me to take it easy, and he backed out the door. He had his hands up and he bumped his head walking out. I looked at Meg and she cocked her head at me.
I was a freak. I was wasting away by flesh, rotting away by soul. Where were my people now? They were out in the sunshine and they were making love and talking to God and God talked back to them. I was no concern of anybody’s anymore. I was now at the gates of my real self. I was born for the room. I was born to write in the room. Without the room I would blow away and die in the dusty wind.
One night I woke up to the sound of Meg growling deeply. I had never heard her growl like that. I reached back and flipped the light on. She had this huge rat cornered in the room. It was drawn back against the wall, hissing at her. It was horrible. He was big and vicious and his tail reminded me of a whip used to snap out my eyeballs. He took a scratch at Meg and I snapped. He was diseased and hungry and he had the heart of a demon. Then I got it. He was a demon, coming for me to take me away because I had even failed to do that on my own, and the devil was fed up with me. He sent the rat to me to gnaw out my esophagus in my sleep.
I stood and hissed back at him. He was watching me with those eyes and he wanted me. I picked up my typewriter and held it over my head and stepped toward him. He gave me a flash of death and I brought the typewriter down and killed him.
Meg jumped onto the couch when it hit. My typewriter was broken and he was on his back, a claw still ready, but the nerves died in seconds. His face showed pain, remorse to his master for not carrying out his work. I scooped him up and carried him out the door. He was heavy. I walked down the hall and saw myself in the big mirror. There I was, naked, holding this rat. My profile was sick. There were my ribs, and I had a six month beard and long scraggly hair. I saw the picture again and my mind rushed back into my skull. It hit me and I took one more look at the mirror and stumbled back against the wall and slid to the carpet, holding the rat and sobbing. I threw my head back against the wall and screamed. I sobbed and heaved and coughed up yellow and blood on the rat. I cried for him and for my life. I screamed for my mother in Heaven and for my soul, for a way to get back into my body and live again. I screamed at the ceiling and called my fate a worthless whore.
Outside I held the rat by his tail and swung him in circles until I let him go. He disappeared in the darkness, and I heard him thump far out in the grass. Back inside I turned the valve and scrubbed myself with hot water until my skin was red and raw and it pulsed. I spent the next hour bending and screwing my machine back to use.
I’m Dying With You
I’m dying with the cowards
I’m dying with the heroes
I’m dying with the barflies
and the sinners
I’m dying with you
we’re dying together
I’m dying with my dog
I’m dying with all the actors
I’m dying with the guitarists
and the painters
I’m dying with your people
I’m dying with the cities and towns and countries
I’m dying with the warthog
and the Siamese fighting fish
I’m dying with the rivers and mountains
I’m dying with everything natural
like I should
I’m dying with the flower, the pastry chef, the old men behind
I’m dying with millionaires and welfare getters
I’m dying with the children
and parks and playgrounds
I’m dying with famed athletes
I’m dying with animated voices from cartoons
I’m dying with designers and congress
I’m dying with science
and without you.
The constant weight
Desert. Pint. 11:13 p.m.
right now in Barcelona
I'd be doing the same shit
or in Rome
or in Buckeye
the wait transcends
space and time and
but nobody does it
like they do it in
in the desert
sitting here outside of
outside of the writing
the next book
the next hustle
all the next bullshit
sipping a Kilt Lifter
bonus lime wedges
from the belly shirt
and ass behind the bar
while outside the
moon burns white
above the mountains
drinking to forget
what I haven't done
or will never do
all the precious normality
I admire and despise
the constant condition
the constant weight
the constant ghost
the hidden laughing bruise
the sick and tired prostration
before a night slowly wrapping
a lotus dream before
sitting here at the bar
frontal lobe toggled
head change coming
the tapping in
as the night moves
across the desert
winding and watching
the dirt and rock
and the grace of
on all of this.
Nothing’s been the same since you
no matter how I slice it
no matter how I see it
no matter how much time attempts some bullshit move to heal it
You were in my blood and you will stay in my
until my blood stops
your love and roots and every
bit of fur haunt me
no matter where I run
no matter which continent
or bar or highway
your little ghost
sits, sleeps, rides shotgun
your eyes the faintest of blue
looking wise in the sunshine
across the parks and ponds and lakes
your little heart beating big enough
for my own
your belly against my palm
in all those shitty rooms
in shitty towns
or in the beds of
you always knew I had
guts when nobody else
and you always knew I’d
pull us up and out of anywhere
closer to me than any human
deeper under my skin than
my own bones
so far into my heart you’re still
your daddy was in jail
when you had to die
and though I don’t believe
in angels or anything beyond
you came to see me the first night
you were gone
and I held you on the slab in
the cell and fell asleep with my
hand on your stomach one last time
before you went off
to do something greater
than I could ever imagine
I want to take this afternoon
to tell you that I love you more than
and no sacrifice I’ve ever made
to keep you
could hold a candle to how much
I still love you
six years past your
and I want to tell you here
that because of you
I know what unconditional love means
and if you were here now
I’d buy you the best of everything
even though you wouldn’t have
any idea what that means
but your little brother is almost
and he’s happy
and I still talk about you
and his tail still wags at the mention
of your name
and there’s even a little
girl in the mix now
she looks something like you
which is why she’s here
and while it’s true she doesn’t have your
shrewd, moody genius
I know you’d be proud that
I gave her a home
and on days like this
when the whiskey’s half gone
and I’m lost out on the road
while I wait for things to come through
while I cross my fingers and hope
things start to make sense
while I wait for the spines and brains around
me to grow
while tricky assholes have
siphoned my money
while I either do or do not
wait for eminent failure
the Sun sits high and warm
and shines a beautiful
orange across the desert
while I sit in a hotel and
to disappear back into
the days when you were
when I was alive
and we watched each other
anywhere we chose
and while I’m sitting here
and staring into
I want to take this
to tell you
I still love you.
Copulation, debt, Nabokov, and their bullshit.
Pedaling Old Town
lean back and pull up on the bars
five stair drop
let the coffee course
and your beard go white
fuck the rules of them
their candy ass bullshit
if you contrast your blood with
their copulation and debt
you will only suffer
like they do
the only division being
and while life
is not a contrast
keep an eye away
from those who
but right now
and think of
roll past the
young ass and
flowers and find that
red brick bar outside
lean the bike
and order the
talk to your waiter
your life in a hotel room
while you drive the States,
pause for a week
Back out here
in the wind
ignore writers who
bitch about age
it's all bullshit
keep your body lean
keep the fire in
and the sex
the rest is there
only to pull you