I was a paragraph when the time called for a sentence. A simple declarative string of words: like, ask not what your country can do, or whatever. I bumbled out, vommited, yes, a blog of whiney, needy complaints until she was like, whatever, I’ll take the sunglasses off your bill — and here I was arguing at a mall kiosk when it hit me: I need to go to Easter Island.
I found love upside down while the movie projector scrambled hidden messages between the frames of the buildings blowing up and the cars flying off cliffs. She smelled of wheatgrass and expensive sheets. I was 33 and just as terrified then as I am now.
The tide was washing back out to sea and taking the soda cups and political speeches and cocaine lines with it. There was a plane trailing a banner that advertised laser surgery and I wondered who they thought was going to read it. My sunglasses blocked out the light that tried to blind me. I typed her number into my cell phone but remembered we don’t speak anymore so I went on Amazon and ordered another pair of sunglasses.
Don’t look at my eyes.
All the uncovered statues had very large stone eyes. The tour guide explained all about how they moved the statues into place using logs and that’s why there are barely any trees on the island, and that’s why all the people, most of them anyway, perished. First the trees then the soil then the food and then the people. It was very bright.
My sunglasses don’t come cheap.
When you add up all the atoms
and sweep up all the leaves
and the last guitar weeps
come look for me in the neighborhood
where I’m cooking with colloquial
I am a heart carved in some hipster
A t-shirt with the name of a summer camp
we’re all in a land of make believe
alive and dreaming of sequin serenades
and whispered secrets from a swan
I used to listen to Macy Gray
I used to walk in the rain
now it’s dirty jokes and overcoats
and life sentences that run on
when the atom bomb falls
I’ll leave one last rap
to combust in the ether
turn coward squirrels into
My sister is a tire wheel, she keeps rolling. I’m a kite string, I get cut when I get tangled up. Call me Mr. Woodpile, I burn slowly over the seasons, over the years. My car is parked out front with a blonde girl looking at her watch waiting in the driver’s seat. I’m upstairs with a glass of whiskey trying to figure out if I love her. If I love her. If I love her.
If I love.
My watch has a picture of a Russian submarine on it. On the news they’re talking about a Tweet some movie star sent while he was drunk in France and I’m shaking loose Froot Loops into a bowl of sugary milk. And I might be overly dramatic but I sometimes wish I was a bear and could hibernate for four months and come out and gorge on sun and salmon.
I wish I was the summer sun.
Beating down. Burning your skin.
There is a little cabin by a little creek in a pitched set of woods miles from the city. Inside the little cabin, a little man tries to speak. But he can’t say what he really feels, and he can’t put it on paper. He can’t undo time. And he can’t escape the feeling that the train can take him back to the city, but it can’t take him back to himself, to that other time. Because he is now the creek and the woods and the sky and the warm sensation he gets when soil drips through his fingertips. Her face in a photo by the fire. He throws it in the fire and watches the phantasmagorical colors shift through hypnotic hues until he’s submerged in a filibustering dream.
We are the words we form.
The shape of our lips when they emerge.
The ears they crush or arouse where they land.
I am a poet.
But I’m not that poetic.
I am alive but not that alive.
Burn my body when I’m gone.
I’m a motherfucking
on the Pantheon
–nuns with bad habits
crooked on their heads
I took a book to bed
and woke up in
Brooklyn where no trees
go let’s head home
to the tombstone
green eggs and ham
8 billion people
I’m on the lam
like a lion spying
on his neighbor’s girl
what a crazy world
–I dodged a bullet
but took a knife
to my side with nowhere
to hide I figured
I’d make truth from the lie
pastrami and rye
the Dhali Lama shot me down
drinking soup made of wine
in a suit made of crying
well designed by
alien I’m a sucker
for high heels
Barely holding on to a slippery railing,
these stairs go everywhere like
MC Escher with vertigo in a tilt-a-whirl
my life is this empty envelope
I tried to use to send you a love letter,
but you threw it away before ever opening it
and now without a breath or a move left
I skip stones on the smooth surface
of your callous indifference.
The ripples migrate to the shore,
leave me drowning in the middle
with my middle finger the only thing
you can see as I slip out of sight.
Don’t wake me up. I’m sleeping in.
I’m vulnerable and frail and with
only a clothespin for a tail I’m nowhere
near whole, just a donkey in a hole.
Load the gun. Put a book in my head.
We’re homespun mysterious little runts.
The moon and back
the sun and back
the end of time
you said my name
and I turned around
but you were talking
to somebody else
and I said
We rang bells
and churches tolled.
We walked barefoot
through the cold.
I sold the thing we had.
Not once but twice.
A lot of life
those loose lips
I staged a blitz
just trying to
get a kiss.
I’m listing my milestones
like a dial tone
like an off-Broadway show
battle the blight,
with my little Lite-Brite.
I’m buried in the snow
but I’m home.
To laugh as loud and strong as one can laugh is about the most heavenly thing I can think of. That day you knocked on my door in that clown nose and we took the bus to the beach and threw french fries to the sea gulls. Every cloud that drifted past reminded us of people we once knew, and so we talked about the good old days as these present bad days fluttered by like drunken butterflies. That feeling you get when you’ve had too much and everybody around you is talking too loudly, and you fantasize about being somewhere far away. But once you get there you realize it’s nothing like the brochure. I always skipped to the end of the book anyway. Pathways in your brain are like electrical highways are like long meandering trails, like a tail of a platypus. Like duck and other fowl. With the radio waves glistening. Surgical precision… how the magic dissects my heart. Top down, radio beating out country songs and despair. My pair of jeans still hanging out on the line. Her wine glass with the last sip gently pooled in it. I love you like a long ago thing. Walking tippy-toe and bumbling. Like a stumbling summer fling. A mannequin in a magazine. Dropped on the doorstep of a dormant doorman. Like the hole of a doughnut, a whole in time. Sprinkled lightly with nightly dreams. Cut it four ways and we can all have a quarter.