what is addiction
what is addiction
an i need i need
waking up surrounded by something once yours
an im ok im okokkk
every muscle bubbles to life underneath the layers when i step
buttock to hamstring pushing the knee out
sole and balls of feet to ankle and calf knee hams and gluts
i need to disconnect
always plugged in in sync with the bluetooth going thru the motions bolted down to the regime
what is discomfort
its swallowing its the feeling of a clammy hand smearing against a hot slide
that feeling is my esophagus kissing when i swallow gummy bears in an attempt to be cool
i cant pull together
the waters are diverting me pushing me from the god i tried so hard to ignore
what is addiction
the people i hurt telling me they love me
telling me that i shouldn’t have to feel this way to feel ok
im sorry i wasted my breaths
but my mouth tastes of aerosol pickle juice and i cant get home
I'm writing to you because I'm not going to your wedding so I'll probably never see you again. I mean, not that you would want to or care to. I'm not typically a skeptical person, but I know an afterthought when I see one. Or when I get a hand drawn wedding invite weeks after being ghosted.
You're probably wondering why I'm being so passive aggressive with you. I wondered that too, but then I asked myself if by the time you read this line, you reread the first paragraph because you proably didn't even detect any traces of affliction in my sloppy handwriting. Did you compare the script in the dozens of letters I wrote before? Do you notice how much deeper the indentation is in this one? There's no heart next to your name. There's no looping curves, or swirls, or little mindless doodles, or micro poems that once garnished my feelings for you.
Do little boys get drunk, Sis? I bet the korean suburbs never sounded so turbulent. But that's your flaw. I languished day after day in my emotions. I marinate in my own misfortune, because I'm society's decrepit, though I once had the potential to become something better.
Is that why you stopped replying after letter 4? When I told you sleeping is the blanket shielding me from my monsters did you look on because I still need a blanket, or because you were too weak to fight them off?
One thing I realized, while you were offline, was that I tend to blame others for my problems or associate my misfortunes or issues with uncontrollable realities. For example I never told you this, but I have a porn addiction. Not just any old used baggage either. My tastes are unique, because while someone on my phone is getting rawed, my head is thrown back and I can't catch my breath either. I'm in sync with the moans, with the thigh slapping, the final, definite orgasm, and then my screen goes black and I'm sticky and disatisfied, because I don't order samplers. I crave the full entree for myself.
So that's what I did. Porn became disgusting to me because it was forced, and I got no real pleasure out of other people's happiness.
I met a girl who when she looked at me I became a bowl of water and she was gonna lap all the fluid I possessed within me. I was going to give her everything I had and not care if she sold it to Goodwill, or mixed it with her own shit in a litterbox. I wanted to squeeze out every ounce of love I had on her face and on her breasts and then paint a future where her and I could forget about the would be lovers and risky messages we sent at odd hours to obscure genders. We would forget about the times we were scammed, the times we were stood up, or thrown down too forcefully, choked, raped.
I loved her those couple days. With every drop of sweat and every fire in my ass I loved her. The cellulite, the freckles, the big nose, everything you weren't. Everything pretty about you I sneered at and craved the opposite. And I loved her so much I didn't give any thought to my own needs. My skin wasn't speckled purple with her lips. My skin wasn't massaged by her fingers, wasn't carressed by her body, save for the moments our thighs or lips kissed. I didn't even come.
She zipped up, packed up, and I didn't even get a handshake good bye.
I realized that some time later while simmered in alcohol.
I realized, that I was a disgusting person, and no one wants to be branded with a rusty iron. No one wants to be associated with a defect, with the inept. You're a woman of God and that's were we came from, according to you. But somewhere in the recesses of your skull I'm a lower life form and you couldn't find a big enough cage for me so you adorted mission.
I was never the pure child you initially thought. I guess you realized that too.
Enjoy your wedding. Sorry I couldn't make it.
Yours at one point.
[Explicit Content Warning]
Summer ’19 means two-stepping to Korean drinking songs. Head a proud billowing flag, arms inherited from a disc jockey. Bottle in hand, I slur my chaser and gulp my song. Bottle in hand, I’m a Japanese Taiko drinker, a sipper of lewd lyrics. Pounding the Svedka... bangbangbangbang...
The song finishes, I’m sliding against the wall.
“Mmm, drink till you’re drunk, raking the cheese... I’m on my knees.” I’m a grade school girl giggling at the lunchroom boys. I’m two high school sweethearts tangled in the back seat of an old car. I’m a sailor voyaging through my emotions, and this bottle steers me down winding, spiraling paths.
A hand on mine, my brother, tugging my candy. “I think you’ve had enough for tonight.”
Giggle. Am I being asked out?
“That’s very sweet of you but I’m not your type.”
“Come on bro,” He takes my cane from my fingers. My support system holding my brittle form up.
I’m a foggy window. Condensation dribbles down my chin.
“Dude,” A palm pressed on the glass.
“Bro, come on, you’re gonna get us in trouble.” The palm smears, smacks, claws the glass. Is it trapped?
“I’ll free you, buddy.” I’m a snail exploring the floor.
My brother sighs, grabbing my face in his hand. “You’re drunk dude. You need to go to bed.” Two faces pressed in kisses. Two faces melting into the softness.
“I’m not drunk, you’re drunk, bitch. Kiss me.”
“I’m not kissing you. Sit the hell up it’s your bedtime.” I’m an emancipation proclamation paper-weighted to the desk.
“My head is heavy,” I say, dragging my face across the floor. “I’m a heavy boy.” My brother sighs again, squatting and scooping me under the legs and back up into his arms.
She’s saddled me, I’m her stallion and we ride wherever she wants. Who gets lashed to go faster? Whose hair is yanked? How can I please you? I don’t know the roads we travel. Her thunder and cry terrifies me. My tongue is a flash of lightning down the curls and pools of her form. Thunder rumbles hot into my ear.
I’m face down in my pillow, my brother stroking my head softly. I’m a cistern in a drought.
“What’s wrong with me anyway?” I ask. “Why doesn’t anyone like me?”
“That’s-” a pause. “There’s nothing wrong with you, bud.. You’re very much loved.”
I shake my head. A numb sadness congeals me from within. “Don’t lie to me. No one messages me back. I’m a bother. I’m a nuisance. I give and give and give and give but when I’m empty who fills me? No one wants an empty jar.”
My brother is quiet, his fingers feeding my skin with touch. I’m famished. I’m deprived. I’m in need.
Our clothes are back on. Her hair is a curtain drawn over her face. I blush, reaching to brush it back. I’m a housekeeper, casting rays of sunlight on polished furniture.
She pulls away.
My cane snatched is from under me.
I still have to walk home. Somehow.
I started lifting weights the other day,
because apparently it’s a good way
to deal with your problems.
But I realized rather quickly,
on like, the second or third repetition
of the first set- my arms were wobbly,
sweaty and shaking and bulbous veins,
that I had no idea what I was doing.
I’m in here, trying to work things out
just like everyone else, and yet
I’m embarrassed and hope no one noticed
my 75 pound bar that I wrestle with.
I see bigger, stronger women and men here,
their bars over their heads, screaming, panting, straining,
as they slam them down on the ground
feeling so accomplished, so relieved.
But I’m screaming too!
Screaming because everything burns
because I’m so weak and everyone is watching.
because I’m pushing so hard but the bar isn’t even moving!
A Call to Action!
Howdy fellow Prosers!
I must first thank everyone who has ever taken the time to read one of my posts and like, repost, comment or recommend to the Spotlight. It really means a lot, and it's always nice to have people interested in your work. If anyone would like me to read their work feel free to tag me (@Iseun1) I'll read it. ^>^
My purpose of writing this, however, was that I am looking for some people who are willing to take the reading of work a step further. It's one thing to say "I really like this piece", and don't get me wrong, that by itself does wonders to the self esteem. Unfortunately, literary journals and the like can't accept everyone just because a few people who follow you like your work.
That being said, if there is anyone willing to give me serious critiques of my work, I would be more than happy to do the same for them. By "serious critique" I mean you have to break down what is being written, tear it apart. I don't want friendly editors, I want someone who, if my work isn't so good, will tell me that, but will also go in depth as to why it is that way, then I will have a better idea on how to improve.
Ideally also, I'll need someone who is online pretty regularly, so we can bounce ideas back and forth from each other. If anyone is interested, shoot me a message, or you can even use my post as a platform to find someone else to help you edit your pieces, I'm easy either way.
Thanks in advance!
Father knows best
There's a fine line between
challenging someone intellectually,
and making them feel like
they are chained to a wall.
I was under the mistaken assumption
that because you got your new bifocals,
you could better see that line,
which was right under your nose
the entire time. But to you,
it spelled out my idiocy, my ineptness,
my linguistical and logistical inferiority,
though the words were blurry;
that's what you said you saw.
And since I'm not on your level,
I could never point out to you,
that you too, simply made a mistake
and you're no better than the rest of us.
“One afternoon in the summer of 1994 I was driving to work and I heard Garrison Keillor read Stephen Dunn’s poem ‘Tenderness’ on The Writer’s Almanac. After he finished the poem I pulled my car over and sat for some time. I had to. That is why I write poems. I want to make somebody else late for work.” - Erik Campbell
In short, it is my goal to write in this way also. When I read Erik Campbell's poems, I am so touched by his work. I read his work around midnight every night, when my mind is going at 100 mph, and everything is quiet except for the humming of my macbook and the dissonance in the way my fingers type. And after three or seven hours, depending on how desperate I was to produce something worth reading, I would finish. I could finally lay down and await the form rejection letter waiting in my inbox the next time I opened my eyes.
I want to write like Campbell. Like Dunn. Those kind of poems and stories that make you have to sit back and contemplate your life. Those kinds of poems that make you feel like you haven't read anything as good, nor will again, in a long time.
Until I get to that point, I have been trying to ease my heart and mind, telling myself that I still have a ways to go. Not everyone can be Stephen Dunn. Not everyone can write like Robert Frost, whose poems are almost over read. Neil Gaiman said that everyone has a story to tell, but what if you don't know how to tell stories?
That's where my insomnia usually begins.
The Kids that Eat the Cookies
We were on our second package. Half an hour into evening shift and we decided to take a break. We sat on the work table furthest from the bakery entrance, listening to music and talking real loud. I kept readjusting myself as the breadcrumbs that covered all the tables were sanding away at my butt. Eight foot baking racks towered around us waiting to be filled with the night’s order of frozen doughs. Though something was telling me we needed to get back to work, I much preferred listening to Brandon talk about the most recent females he occupied his “spare” time with.
“Yeah, dude,” Brandon said. “She’s a cutie.”
“Where’s she from?” I asked.
“Mmm,” Brandon grabbed another chocolate chip cookie. “Like ten minutes from here? She goes to Shamokin’ Dam.”
“Gotta pic?” He fumbled through his phone for a bit, keeping it at an angle so that I couldn’t see the screen unless I wanted to make it painfully obvious.
“Nah dude, I can’t find one. I’ll show you her the next time she snaps me, though.”
“Alright.” We kept talking about other mundane things - mundane for Brandon, at least. He was taking that girl, Katie, to a party where everyone was going to get “shit face drunk” as he put it. His friend already had the booze.
“You should come too, Luke. I can take you.” I thought for a moment. I mean, it would be a new experience for me. But is it really something that I want to get into? My mind drifted to being at the party. I saw plastic red cups are all over the floor. I saw people all over the floor. I’d walk over them and try to head somewhere quiet just to see Brandon passed out on the stairs, his long hair looking like a wet mop plastered to his face. No, parties with Brandon are definitely out of the question. I shook my head of the thought.
“Some other time dude. I’m not feeling it tonight.” Or really any night, but I didn’t just want to flat out say no to him. I wouldn’t want to offend him or anything.
Brandon just shrugs.
“Just lemme know whenever dude, I got you.” A kid came running up to the counter.
“May I have a cookie please?” I guessed he was like 8 or so. I smiled and walked over.
“Sure thing big guy. Chocolate chip or sugar?” He thought about it for a moment.
“Uh, chocolate chip!” I nodded and opened a new package.
“Good choice, little man. Here you go, enjoy.” He scampered off. I headed back to Brandon, who took the package from my hand and grabbed another cookie.
“Dude, like, why are you so friendly to them?” He asked. I shrugged.
“I’m friendly to everyone. Just makes things go a lot more smoothly.
“He’s a kid though.”
“I mean, yeah. But still. I’m nice to everyone. It’s how I am.” Brandon laughed.
“No wonder you’re single.”
“Hey!” I tried to think of something clever to say. It’s hard to argue with the truth, though, so I pushed him.
“Niceness is a long term investment dude,” I said.
“Well maybe, but you’re too nice.” I’m often told that.
“Whatever you say man.” Brandon grinned. Suddenly his eyes widened and he hopped off the table.
“The manager is coming,” he said. I hopped off and headed over to the sink in the back wash my hands.
Joselyn walked in.
“Hey guys, how are things going?” I shouted a hey from the back and she started talking again.
“Doesn’t look like you guys have gotten much done.”
I started. “Yeah, well, you see we got distracted by customers.”
“Uh huh,” Joselyn walked around the room. She noticed the packages lying around.
“Umm, how is it that we have gone through 3 packages of cookies in 45 minutes? Have you guys been eating them?” I swallowed. Nothing went down, considering I downed about a dozen cookies. I glanced over at Brandon, who was holding himself up with a broom.
“There were a lot of kids today.” Joselyn raised an eyebrow.
“Is that right?” Brandon’s nonchalant expression never changed.
“Yep.” Joselyn grabbed a package and set it out.
“One more pack then, and that’s it for tonight. I don’t want any more fresh merchandise being given away.” She left. The second she was out of earshot we busted out laughing.
“Dude, you pulled that out of your ass!”
“Yeah, but she bought it.” Brandon grabbed another cookie from the package before heading back to work. I turned to him.
“Hey, do you think the little kids notice when the cookies are stale?” Brandon laughed.
“Oh, yeah. They definitely notice.” It seemed kind of messed up that the only free items we were allowed to give out were the week old sea-biscuits. And yet, the same ones kept running back to us, hands out and salivating. I felt bad giving them cookies like that, but they never complained. So I kept quiet, taking another chocolate chip for myself. Looking at the clock, I saw we still had a solid three hours left on the clock. There’d definitely be more breaks to come.
however he had held himself
he heralded hope
is humor hydrated hydrangeas
harvesting hybrid happiness
Eat'n Park was a stupid place to eat for two reasons. First, it was a cheap knock off of my own first and middle name, Ethan Parke, and my younger brother would always call me that with the ever so slightest hint of some stereotypical asian accent. Second, because why would you eat first, and then park? Unless you were eating food from some other place..
"We should eat there today," Lisa suggested. "I hear the salad bar is good." I roll my eyes and stare out of the window of our car.
"You can eat a salad at home, Lisa. We actually clean our lettuce."
"But I don't feel like making anything tonight. And besides, it's something new."
So we went to Eat'n Park. Got seated at a booth in the back by a window. Our waitress was a blonde girl. She said her name, but I forgot it as soon as she had said it, and I never bothered to look at her name tag. I ordered a like breakfast slam burger or something, it was called, because they put like an egg and hash browns on it or something, and an orange juice, since Lisa said "we already had had enough soda to drink for today." She took Marc's and Lisa's order, and then left.
"I'm so hungry." Marc said.
"Uh huh," I grabbed my straw and started peeling the wrapper off it, rolling it into little balls then playing a game of hockey with myself. "I have never had a burger with an egg on it. Or maybe I have once, at like Denny's."
"Ew," Lisa scrunched her face. "An egg on a burger? That's disgusting."
"You would eat an egg with pancakes, or one of those McDonald's Mcmuffins or whatever they're called. I don't see what's different here. Maybe fries I guess." She shrugged.
We sat for a bit more, then the lady returned with our meals. I was surprised that the food looked somewhat stomach-able. The kaiser bun was buttered, and the actual patty was flavorful, which came as a surprise to me, considering I was spoiled off of Five Guys.
"This thing is life changing." Marc, who got the same thing as me, had egg yolk dripping down his jaw.
"Wipe your face," I handed him a napkin.
"I can't accept that." He made a face.
"You need it though, nasty."
"Look at yourself! You need it more." I looked at my hand, which was also covered in sticky yolk. I hadn't even noticed.
"You should go wash them." I nodded and stood up.
Before I relay to you the events that followed, you need to understand a little bit about building layout. Now, I'm no architect, but I'm pretty sure it's a good idea to have some sort of buffer between the kitchen and the hallway, so that it's painfully apparent that food servers are constantly coming in and out with hot plates.
But of course, I didn't think about any of this until I saw the macaroni fly out of the waitresses hand and splatter all over the wall. The blonde waitress, whose name I forgot.
I didn't see her coming out. She appeared out of no where and then we were practically in embrace, the entire tray of food she's carrying for the family at the table 3 feet from us was now part of the art collection hanging on the wall. For the slightest second no one moved. My face burned and cold green beans slid off my pants.
"I am so sorry." I could only breathe out a syllable at a time. All around me was about 45 dollars of food wasted, plus tip. The family left, and I vowed to never set foot in an Eat'n Park ever again.