Hit the Space Bar and Call it a Song

Can you miss a hotel room?
Can it be home for a night? Two?
Like a bird that lands on a bough,
you sit and watch for a second,
give it a name, a personality,
call it Charley or something,
and then it flies away and you’re sad.
Because you and Charley hit it off.

I’ve written more poems in this room in 2 days
then I have all month back home.

Maybe the past two months…

The power of detachment. Feeling strange.
Being alone, and feeling it…. it’s what
writers do.

I’m up early again. Watching branches
drift around and swirl in the river.
I realize I don’t know the direction
this river flows because there’s so much
boat traffic the currents slosh both ways.

I went to a mall in the center of the city.
There were three separate events happening
with a lot of cheering and a lot of screaming,
but none of it seemed real, it all seemed like
they were actors who were hired for the cameras
or just for me.

Then I took a taxi ride through the wet streets.
People out in nothing but shorts; no shirt, no shoes,
laboring at difficult tasks: throwing tarps onto poles,
heaving boxes onto trucks, shoveling cement, shit like that.
And smiling all the while rain fell and the night dragged on.

I wondered what they would think of our memes…
the privileged millennial ennui of the Internet:
people wanting to die because their boss
asked them a question.

I’m from a different generation,
but I’m not so different. I easily shrivel
at the slightest harm, mostly emotional,
mostly my ego crushed by minor oversights.

Once I felt unwanted because my cat jumped
off the bed when I tried to pet him, but that’s
what cats do. I guess that’s what we do too.

My poems are just stories,
because I can’t write poems
and I can’t write stories.
I just talk about my thoughts
and hit the space bar when it
looks good…

And call it poetry.

Just
like
that.

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The Capital of Thailand is Bangkok

Woke up early in Bangkok after a thunderstorm sent me early to bed.
Watched a barge slowly float upriver while the sun rose from the east.
Poured instant coffee and waited for the thoughts to come.
I’m going to get breakfast soon. Call a cab.
Ashamedly speak to the driver in English.
Look out the window at a confusing city.
Take pictures. Play on my phone.
Myself pretty confused.

I’m going to pull on a string and see if a knot will come undone.
Picture by picture. Temple by temple. Self-flagellating thought by…
well, you get it. I’m going to see what kind of company I can be
if I stop listening to myself and start listening to the pounding,
humming, oscillating love of the universe. I’m going to be quiet.
For a change — for change.

Goodbye in Thai is bye-byeeeee… (this is somewhat true)

My instant coffee is pretty good, but maybe it’s the view of this
overwhelming city that makes it so. Something about hotel
rooms that make me feel smarter than I am. More important.
I could make a King of Siam joke but I won’t (You’re welcome).
I’m on day two and I feel like I’ve been gone an eon.
We get so accustomed to our little patterns, our tiny cages;
once you’re free of them it’s hard to recognize yourself.
I thought, since nobody knows me, I could be something different.
I was contemplating telling people I am an architect.
But then I know nothing about buildings.
I could say I was a writer, but I know nothing of the soul
except the alliterations and rhymes that come to mind
when I sit down and look for a soft spot to grind.

It’s seven in the morning and already hot, already humid,
already confusing, and I haven’t even left my hotel room.
I can’t figure out the correct emoji to use for this feeling:
Is it hilarious tears? Or weeping laughter?

What is the face for existential dread/midlife crisis/privileged whining?

The Buddha sat for years to discover enlightenment.
I bought a cheap ticket off google flights.
I’m not implying these are the same.
I’m just stating random facts.
The capital of Thailand is Bangkok.

It’s time to eat.

Melted Candles and Nestle Quik

There’s a frog in my heart dying to croak.
I eloped with an interloper to a ski slope.
Hope you steal all my money before I’m broke.
I got thirteen pennies and sixteen missing jokes.
If you steal one of my jokes I’m gonna go berserk.
I work hard at avoiding work it’s my greatest trait.
It’s half past eight and I’m late and the ghosts are gone.
Born forlorn. See and mourn. The world is just porn.
My girl is horny for some other guy’s pony.
Wake with the candles melted into the cake.

 

Take Your Shot, Shoot Me Down

Rambling wordsmith without a pen, then, when the walls crumble,
I’m the man with the shovel. Above it all, the Earth looks like a marble
somebody shot on a big black carpet, it ain’t far fetched to think I’m
the creator of this detonation. Blow it up. My ego and us, shards
of Woo, shards of You. Part of me needs a lobotomy, the other part
needs a tender hand to grip when I slip. I’m gone, ragged vagabond.
But I’m also here, peanut shells and flip flops and whiplash. Come over.
Call me. Kiss me. Punch me in my soft cheeks. Everything is confusing.
Everything is inspiration. Inspiration is everything. The roses in the trash
and the one blooming on your face when I whisper something sweet.
Though, I usually shout nothing sweet. These words carry their own micro-climate.
This weather buries my snow angel and melts my burning heart. My yearning
start to this life put me in an anxious, sickening tailspin, I type these words
in an airport bar…. again. I fly back home in a metal bird I know no science of.
I’m just a poet researching what it means to dance and cry and high-five the
passing sky. If there is one thing I leave you with, it’s that I hope you never lose
your hope, and I pray that a day comes when the anxiety goes away. And I’d love
to see you in love, even if it’s not with me.

I don’t edit. I don’t repeat. I will keep on truckin’,
even through all the fucking defeat.

Broken Bone Marrow

Spiraling little sparrow
Broken spare wing.
Choking on bone marrow.
Going home tomorrow.

Talking to yourself again…
In the bathroom with the
toothpaste stains.

Looking through my phone,
at old numbers that I’ve called.
And don’t remember calling.

Listening to Damien Jurado
over and over,
singing about leaving
Colorado.

I’m thinking of quitting,
but I know I can’t.
I’m thinking of you,
but I know I shouldn’t.

Put the pin in the map,
stick the needle in my arm,
watch my blood fill up
the vile. Vile little blood
droplets. I know these
claws and these jaws,
and it’s the only bite
I like.

Singing about leaving,
while stuck in this place,
it makes sense then that my
bark is worse than my bite,
if I have teeth at all.

“You’re at it again,” She says…
“Is it you?” I ask.

Chirp. Chirp. Chirp.

Like a Shot of Something Brown

If I was given a life raft the first thing I’d do is
look for a hole to pop in it. My heart is heavy,
but my head is buried, so all you get is the
cruddy leftovers. Could I ever, really ever,
be the man you need, when every little
shift in the breeze brings me to my knees?

Sometimes I wonder if I’m a tender little savage,
unable to not wreck everything with my mouth,
do you know what I’m talking about? and if so,
can you let me know because things are headed south.

I’m traveling alone, marrow and bone. Tomorrow is torn
from the flesh of the next person you’re going to disown.
Tonight we light the last effigy ablaze and wait for morning
to come and show us what ash we made.

Plunging necklines and cliffs, careful where you slip.

Throw out the tin you kept that photograph in.
But don’t throw out that feeling that it had meaning.
My brain is congested and possibly bleeding.
I saw you under a tree that was leaning,
and wanted to lean in.

When I think of my feelings, I think of the sky,
or I think of animals, when in reality we’re
probably just a clump of something in between.

This void doesn’t have a warning, there’s no sign
at the side of the road that says ‘don’t look this way’,
you only realize you’re fucked-up upside down when you
you spot your feet marks on the bottom of the clouds.

My heart is a dart you throw at the ground.

Get me drunk, kiss me on my cheek, spin me around.

Pick me and slam me down like a shot of something brown.

 

Asphyxiated

after they stop putting candles on the cake
and everybody stops singing for us
I’ll be there with a cupcake and a match
to make sure every birthday is happy.

the flowers I sent are still in a vase
and the card is still in the envelope
but I added water and cut the stems
and kept them fresh for you, anyway,
because one day you’ll notice.

It started as a day by the river
that turned into a poem that
became a tattoo on my shoulder
and now it’s a story I tell strangers
that ask what’s the one piece
of ink that means the most.

When everybody stops looking
and you feel like the spotlight has dimmed
and you wonder if you still sparkle
I’ll be there to shine that so bright
you feel asphyxiated by the glow.