an argument

her face hit the granite countertop just like that

with the force of 14 porcelain bowls hitting the ground

and thus ended the argument

there is no arguing at that point

what is there to say?

I’m sorry but…

ruins an argument regardless how well formed

in spinning systems a world was bent backwards into something far more intangible than emotion–no room to move as socks stick to floors that won’t let loose–and it gets to be so close, the walls, the center, the drapery–and it will not let loose–and it refuses to leave–with no where to go

he walked back and took shelter in the wall

averting his eyes

aware of the nerves in his front teeth

and feeling sick down in the bottom of his being

decomposition

she rots from the inside out

invisible save the yellow in her sunken eyes

she knows more than I ever thought she could

of suffering 

of loss

and like a gnawing in my gut

the unmistakable stench of raw human 

bubbling to the surface

a fetid mess of spoiled hope

the decomposing children

the putrid flowers in a gaudy crystal vase

with glossy eyes

she grips at the double-stitched seam

the edges of her perishing world

casting into the pit

only to reel in rancor

then with bitterness and spite

she reaches into my throat

her bubbling skin

her gold plated wedding band

and she rips from its moorings 

a part of me

cold and clean

(that night I washed my hands with crude oil)

https://www.amusingplanet.com/2019/04/human-decomposition-in-japanese-artwork.html

Perspective

From my solemn post, alone on a sun baked cliff, 

I can see further than light.

As happenstance and hot horseflies circle,

I can feel those hills burst forth into mountains.

And I can hear the trees fall on deaf ears.

From my perch,

three or so feet glare at my toes.

A rigid sun hides shadows adeptly.

And the wind is coaxed by the birds.

Sure, perspective can be height. 

There is altitude to be gained.

But as he increases his distance from the ground, the gravel and grass where his body will land is obscured.

the sound of rain

in the foggy distance lies sheets coming loose from their moorings

stationed in a cloud

a battalion awaits above me

frogs in my ears

when i loosed the volley 

not gunshots did i hear

but rampant ringing and footsteps piercing through the air

and then through the violent undertow a message did come here

fast among the waking brittle now

in deft shoes i kept going

but as my heart begins to give out

i can’t help but slowing

and shaking i go down

doing nothing less than knowing 

that through the foolhardy sludge the river will keep flowing

so to the honor that will stay unsung

to the violent skies and the rains shall they come

with the silent fleeting screams a river will run dry

stuck skipping

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from somewhere i find myself
lost in the feel
in the feeling
somewhere between the self righteous feeling of being able to do what i want
and doing what i need to do
im trapped between wishing i could do stuff i can
and actually doing it
at twelve when i click links to feelings
to emotions
to things i don’t fully understand
my fingers twitch my head rolls
and wonderful splinters of crashing ideas come careening into my consciousness
but through some utter desire some distinctive and instinctive yearning
i shake my passion heavy head
and utter for those graces of life that so move me
oceanfuls of life
that pour into me
flooding my conscious with desire and hunger for whats next
for everything that i could do
but i seem to turn around with ever increasing brevity
to the next seemingly endless desire
and now more than the time before i wonder if this thing will stick
and will it?
will i ever do anything i want if i cant decide as to what i should do
maybe i should just run off and do what i cant
but that wouldn’t be me
and I couldn’t give myself up for what would be simply easy for me to do
i just run into these walls that shape just before i reach them
they are ever increasing in grandeur
and i have no idea if anything i do will amount to anything at all
but i feel like i have some innate desire and initiative to keep thinking about it all
and wondering if there will ever be anything for me

I guess I just like words

I think English words taste like pickles: crunchy on the outside with savory, meaty middles.

Image: goldbelly.imgix.net

Spanish is like a Frank Lloyd Wright stained glass window, its colorful geometry sliding into place like the children’s game Rush Hour.

Speaking Arabic is like putting on gilded silk robes that I don’t deserve.

Hebrew diffuses through my veins, and Yiddish sends me spiralling into my ancestors.

When I sat in French class, I was able to peer into a manicured francophone antique store that enthralls me.

And when I preach my dreams of universal Esperanto, I feel the international interdependency of the future colliding with the frilly beauty of antiquity. 

I was barely twelve when I sat on a train pouring words onto a page, words that sounded right, that fit right, that like singing nails resonated in my chest.

I was a silversmith working self-righteous metal into ornate rings around fingers black with mud.

stars in tyler’s toes

tyler died the other week 

and in his death I was forced to remember him

stuck uncomfortably askew into my otherwise sweetly lapsing childhood

the odd cold memory next to geraniums and my dads’ warm hands:

it hadn’t rained in weeks but it would tomorrow

tyler and his friends tore down the highway

the truck old 

the boys young 

and the night infinite

four teenagers careening through space

running out of time

(twinkling like stars, the holes in the bottom of his truck shone into the cab. Twinkling not like natural light, but like reflections from yellow road reflectors and moonshine)

then as Murphy knowingly frowned

the teenagers plunged abruptly into the darkness

two flew through the night and landed bloody on the highway

but he and his passenger tumbled endlessly into that indiscriminate abyss

and someone I hadn’t thought about in years came crashing back into my life

(and those stars that lined his bare calloused toes erupted into vivid supernovas)

credit: upload.wikimedia.org

tyler and I were friends when i was very young. he lived in Kauai and i would visit every so often. he was a terrible influence; he would steal stupid things, and i would watch. sometimes tyler took me fishing. he would torment the fishes by cutting off their fins and sending them back to the water to die bloody but breathing. and i would watch. he told me fish don’t feel pain, but i saw that he did. he grew up between houses, neither one was particularly welcoming. he grew up never believing he had a chance. one day he was watching his younger sister, and i remember sitting where the tide leaves sandy pools on the beach. she splashed and screamed while he delicately folded her clothes placing them carefully on a log. I watched him pull a shirt over her wet sandy head and I saw how precarious tyler’s life was. he couldn’t have been more than twelve.

it barely hurts to imagine him flying down the road drunkenly focused, it doesn’t pain me to imagine his dark brown eyes, and not even the dead teenagers trapped in a combusting coffin bring me to tears

but that little girl

Pillows

Why do you enjoy reading

people’s screams that live in

Pillows that arent yours?

Is your pillow empty? (it’s not)

Are there screams that are especially beautiful?

And for that matter is there a scale?

or do we just “like” some people’s pain more than other’s or even our own?

Pillows are meant to capture sound

but for me i empty mine out

fun sized pain

spilling on the hardwood floor

you read all that i’ve got

and you sort it however you see fit

and pick and choose

what gets traded

and what gets kept.

Better Down Feather Pillow | The Company Store
Credit: TheCompanyStore

why is it? you.

Credit:https://pixels.com/featured/aztec-sun-olga-ponomareva.html

a brick wall,

why is it that when I lean into you

like a brick wall you can support me

or cause my world to tumble down

brick by brick

like a brick wall

warm,

why is it that when I put my neck on your shoulder

it’s warm and comforting

even though

sometimes

it shouldn’t be

on a hot day.

why is it that on a hot day when it is dry and breathing is a chore

you make me so happy to just be there

to just enjoy

the

way

things are

and you’re there

why is it that when I see you

I know you’re there

when

even you don’t really know if that’s true

smiling.

why is it that when you smile

even when i scowl back at you

you still manage to make me happy

Itchy

I have a bad case of itchy foot

The itchy foot runs through my leg

When I itch the itch it numbs my toes

Through my foot it goes

And all the way into my calf

It feels like the beginning of poison oak

The sweltering alergic reaction

That has plagued me since days old

I feel the familiar itch

The friendly ooze

The glorious disgusting hot irritated mess that is poison oak

But not quite

It’s just one singular bulb

One little plague bubonic

A tiny little boil

A reminder of bare feet in mosquito territory

A reminder like a cracked phone screen

Or a scar on your arm

Something you see everyday

A reminder of something you forgot

Like her face in my camera roll

Like looking back at just how perfect it has been

Because so often I took photos when things were good

When I wasn’t staring at a blank google doc

An image stamped in my skull

When it was incredible

Or when it was supremely funny

Or when it hurt like a mountain insurmountable

And when I scroll back and see these myrtle memories

For an instant I feel that excitement that takes me back

That yearning for days old

But not for a million dollars

Not for an ounce of that love that I felt

Would I miss a second of the now

It’s weird

But I scratched the itch

And honestly it doesn’t itch anymore