My Ferrari the Dog

There is a shadow of a palm tree falling across my Ferrari,
but I have no Ferrari and the shadow is a street lamp, flickering,
burning out; illuminating a crackhead smoking a cigarette.
Or is it a blunt?

And what if I told you that I never want tonight to end?
Because if tomorrow began and you were not in it,
I might just decide to sleep in and not wait for
street lamps to do their 2-bit impressions of the sun.

I love a good run-on sentence… especially
when you’re lacking for something succinct.

The danger of putting yourself out there is once you’re out there,
you need somebody to throw a life preserver to bring you back.
Or maybe it’s not that, but just that once you’re out there, you
start to feel every bit of your skin stick to you and form a shape
that is foreign to how you feel inside, the silhouette of your soul.
And my soul is a Ferrari.

Hear it rev. Hear it roar. Hear me come around the corner
at 110 Kilometers an hour. Is that fast? Maybe 150 kilometers.
Maybe like light speed, I’ll be there. In Europe or North America,
I’ll be signaling for you. Pull me over. Arrest me. Tell me I’m wrong.
Maybe 200 kilometers an hour, I’m yours.

If you want to be scared for the future of humanity, just think about
how there are directions on bottles of soap.

I go out, hungry, alone, itching to blend in.

There is a chalkboard with the fish of the day. A lady on the phone
won’t look up. A list of names in front of her. Music plays overhead
that nobody in the restaurant knows who chooses it. And outside
are other people waiting, watching the diners eat their food. Everything
that is happening in this moment is made up, because I made it up.
Because life only exists if I make it up. Finally the lady puts down the phone
and looks at me, but does not smile, because I do not make her smile.

I could order Postmates instead.
I am home again.
I look out the window at the streetlamp.
The crackhead has gone somewhere.

My Ferrari is now a dog.

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The Ice is Cold

There are three truths circling us at all times:
There is beauty in letting go, but it’s frightening…
Clipped toenails are tiny shards of death…
Hotel rooms will always be better than home.

There is a small hum that is always in my ear.
It doesn’t have a voice but it talks to me. It speaks.
In the language of sorrow, and joy, and deafening ennui.

Watching the ice melt in my drink, listening to it too,
I see my truth, circling the glass, melting away.
It’s liquid and lovely and will kill you.

Every measurement of time is dependent upon a clock.
Each second is a heart beating on a wooden drum.
Ba-dum-duh-dum-duh-dum.

There is a spreading out of my universe.
Heading toward some event horizon.
Everything becoming further apart.

The ice rattles, my hum whispers,
“Time spills its stupid truth until
you’re dead.”

We are a galaxy of oscillating tics.
Vibrating until it hurts.
And hurts.

 

 

 

 

Paris is my Playlist

I want the world to stay big and strange.
I want to make a map of all the rooftops in Paris.
Translate the secret language of the residue on your cheek
when you meet an old friend and exchange kisses, platonic ones,
but full of love.
I want to bring back the feeling of seeing Notre Dame at night.
Every night.

Making a playlist of songs that move me,
in a way only great art can, or a beautiful woman.
Trying to avoid cliches, like the one above.

I mispronounce every word in French. Wee.
I want to learn how to communicate.
Not just here, everywhere. Not just with my mouth.
With everything.

I want the world to bend and wobble under its weight.
I want this glorious vertigo to never stabilize.
Keep me spinning like the stars. Keep me honest.
Let the beauty arrest me, embarrassingly so…
Like seeing her naked for the first time,
unable to truly see it, unable to speak.
Like that feeling when she leaves,
unable to breathe.

Listening to my Playlist with headphones on, on the train.
I’m distant from myself.
Heading to the airport, trying to absorb it one last time,
the feeling of the here and now, as I speed through both.
But my thoughts already drift toward tomorrow.
When I arrive home. All of this behind me,
just a photo on my Instagram feed.
Dirty old, plain America.

I’m always coming or going,
rarely there.
I’m a dissipating cloud in the breeze.
Taking shape, then losing it. Making a playlist.
Then another.
Stamping my passport.
Checking in, checking out.
I’m always wanting, acquiring, losing.

Paris at night is a magical thing, like all inspirations,
it demands more than words.

I think back on it now, looking for words, for inspiration, for a feeling.
I think back on how the lights looked unreal, like something I dreamed.
I think back on it… and find myself lost, reaching, dissipating.

I want to walk her streets again, touch her.
I want to lose myself in her lights.
Not just memories, not just ideals.
But a sweet voice I recognize as my own,
and also not mine, reminds me:
at least I have those.
Wee.

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The Ghost in Your Throat

I was a foolish boy, now I’m a foolish man
the only thing that’s changed is my time
on the can, and telling dumb jokes for my fans
if only I had some, dumb and handsome,
known more for the talent I held ransom
still if I’m walking through the fire I’m dancing

She made me feel like a wild goose chase
hanging on the edge of her lips like a dribble of spit
I had no idea what I was doing, not even a little bit
still I wanted to steal her eyes to makeup my own face.

I sip scotch and sigh, think about people I hate and why,
wishing upon stars that already died in a recurring sky,
blurring lines and scratching mirrors, toasting ghosts
and waiting for one of them to land inside my throat
croak out a name that’s been searching for a home.
Maybe mine. Maybe it’s time. Maybe I’m…
the ghost.

Sunday Serenade

self medicating
because life is
mad suffocating

I’m skating

on thin ice
due to sin and vice
gimme some advice
to make it through this life

rhymes a precise trajectory
straight mental telepathy
to hit you in your empathy
Come on — be a friend to me
tell me how to beat my enemies
you tell me they’re not enemies
they’re just friends yet to be

Ah, shit
word vomit
got me drunk
on my own bullshit
looking for a pulpit
or a culprit
something to worship

even a dirty ol’ hermit will do
even a radio wave will do
an Internet page will do
a Television stage will do

gimme something to look forward to
like a million dollars or a love to make me holler
Wanna be a baller like Steve Balmer
break shit up like an Oxford comma
creep up like an undercover in an Impala
life flies by then it’s time to see the embalmer

don’t tease me, yo
with the easy road
that’s a dead end
I’m heading
I need to keep it low
foot off the throttle
there’s no genie in a bottle
to be my bro
so just peep my flow
and let me continue on
until I hit oblivion
and my bones are gone

 

 

Woolly Lips

Nobody likes poets, especially other poets.
Nothing but hullabaloo or murmurs too soft and sad to hear.
The annoying pulling on your sleeve, saying ‘look at me’.

I read a short story about a boy named Matt and thought
that it could have been about me, but then remembered,
like a bird coming back to its nest, that I am not a boy,
nor have I ever done anything like the Matt in this story —
who was courageous and interesting and worth writing about.
When I write about myself it’s mostly just snide remarks; like,
I only drink socially but I’m quite the social person, or
my best days are ahead of me because I’m always moving backwards.

When the texts stop it’s time to look for another vice.
Carrying your phone to the bathroom, scrolling on the toilet,
the germs ride back on it like the space shuttle rides on that
custom built Boeing 747, yet we pay extra for bags over fifty pounds?
You ever wonder if the reason life is so hard is because at some point
some clever bastard discovered fine print, and then other clever bastards
followed suit and now you can’t buy a pen or a roll of paper towels
without also scrolling through riddles of legalese that trick you into paying
an extra $5 if you don’t stand on one leg and pat your head while reciting
God Bless the Brawny Man, or some shot like that, or am I just paranoid?
And mad?

Which reminds me of my 40th birthday to Nashville, staying in an Air BnB
meant for bachelorette parties (you could tell from the neon LIVE, LOVE, LAUGH sign),
the Uber driver reciting a comedy routine punctured with classic songs, getting dropped
off on Broadway and dancing in the street to My Posse’s On Broadway, before the boots
and whoops and extra-unnecessary shots sent my soul a-limbo-ing through loopholes.
I remember thinking that life was both worth and not worth all the fine print, but it’s
a better choice than darkness, so I danced and wailed and spent my dollars with glee.

I’m a fountain of good times and bad decisions, maybe not bad, just not good.
But it’s all flowing out of me like a stone child spitting water into the air.
I watch Netflix, starting with one episode, then fall asleep through the next three.
There’s no way to get them back. But in some ways maybe they’ve entered me.
I’ve dreamed an entire episode of Stranger Things. I’ve watched Anthony Bourdain
drink Sake in Osaka without even knowing. I’ve woken to black screens 100 hundred nights in a row. I’m the king of nothing. Child of the abyss. Wool of a lamb’s kiss.