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

The Breakfast Table

I got up early on Sunday, and went to the breakfast table.

We sing songs at the breakfast table: how your day has been, how my day has been, how everybody’s day has been… yes, even on a Sunday morning. 

It was one thing that I did, one tiny thing that I mentioned. But then it became all that defined me. I was no longer myself, but the ugly thing at the breakfast table. Imagine the horror of that—losing yourself at a breakfast table.

Jake, way to impress the breakfast table, I thought. Now I walk with a label. It’s going to expand with delicious rumors while my bones crumble and unravel.

In a way, it was a relief. The breakfast table only found out about this nasty side of me. Even when aristocrats at the table are disgusted by the sight of me, it’s ok. It’s alright because if my character is defined by a tiny mishap, they won’t discover the real fault of me. 

I left the breakfast table a long time ago, and aristocracy means nothing to me. But days like today I find my bright side wondering, did the breakfast kill me? My respect for the breakfast table has crumbled, but just like before, I’m still idle. Have you ever been to the breakfast table?

Picture Credit: GodUpdates.com

I wouldn’t say it’s a poem, but I would say it’s for you.

So many things I’ve felt, so many things I’m feeling: like

the lips, the teeth, my hands that go numb from time to time;

unwelcome visitors crawling across my arm, still not wanting to disturb them;

hoping to be an anarchist someday – not in a way so extreme as starting a revolution or in a way so dull as loving someone your family doesn’t approve of, but in a way that falls somewhere in between;

watching the words pour out of your mouth, pour out of your mouth and drip down the sides – they drip down the sides and spill all over me.

And I suppose if I’m still in the business of missing things, there are a few things I could miss:

I could miss the blue days, the warm days, but I don’t. I could miss the excitement that came along with summer, the uncertainty, perhaps, but I don’t.

Instead I miss your words.

NationalGeographic.com

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

a tandem bicycle hits the ground twice as hard

A heart

Is a pendulum

Passing time.

I’ll be fine.

My eyes tear bloody holes:

Holes in her face.

Holes in her heart.

Holes in all the wrong places.

For no fucking reason they do,

For no fucking reason do the superman-style lasers of

Feelings

Drip from these unfeeling sockets and soil the layered newspapers that line my skull.

And for someone that thinks they know everything

The frown on her face is a hole in my universe.

And for someone who wants her to be everything

When she is not

It tears down the walls.

These paper mache walls,

Like a pre-kindergarten volcano,

Stolen from the porch before the vinegar could ever hit the baking soda.

Who would take a volcano?

She took the volcano.

And I don’t know how or why, or what I could do about it, even if I knew

How?

Or Why?

But I do know that, 

For some reason,

I and She exist somehow in tandem,

Somehow in unison;

Like a two person bike,

I am falling fast towards the ground

Hoping that somehow by sheer force of will

I can overcome gravity for the two of us.

And I could right this bike.

Even as the rubber runs away from me,

As the sound shoots through my ears:

That great pendulum’s brawny swing stops the movement,

Stops the fall of our bike,

Stops the air that supports us.

And it leaves my heaving chest

Pounding in her dry cold breath

As the only thing that supports this bike

Stopped in space and time.

Photo via Amazon.com

where my eyes cease to look

If I may,

through ye rivers

through ye trees

it is you who have suffered

by the hand of me

with starlets faded

and trumpets drowned

ye murky streams

stood idle

held fast in winter sounds

– you’re a river –

ancient winnings left unsung

you’re my peer, my equal

yet you still leave me stung 

ye valley, ye hillside, ye marbled dismay

covered in oleander

onward ye May

ye gargling, ye moving, ye ponderous brook 

(struck through me!)

a center it took

“Tear me to pieces

cut out where my eyes cease to look”

and just then will they open to see

the face of summer laughing at me

with eyes open wide 

my love it did wander

for bitter I was

my heart it did squander:

ye forest, ye mountain, ye breeze

ye sunglass driving, ye proliferate bees.

Suppose I am the offspring of thine shepherd:

you are the hunt,

that which I am after.

and with the fall comes the rapid convergence:

mine sweet love’s resurgence

But once again the autumn leaves took

to a different stream or babbling brook

and forevermore I am wandering in a forest ever stranger

of perilous rot

and cavernous danger

All that which a summer could bring!

but once again I am searching for a longer sting

and what of the prospect? What this winter will bring!

while more I could say might strengthen the pressure 

I leave with you no words, no rhyme, no measure

that might contrast mine song of May

it tingles, it trickles, and just may delight

in telling a story of our precarious plight

with the sincerest intentions on an immeasurable scale,

all that you’re left with is a tacky email

and no words, no sermons, no divine light

could bring you back the way it would 

into my life.

minutes later you answer:

true love is true love’s killer

Credit: https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/1992.5112/