once again, here i come
in linear order. i once wrote the story of

the plague. and im gonna tell it exactly as i saw it.

 

January 1, 2020

 


I had woken up early having gone to bed early and I sat sketching in the margins, a tree with its leaves falling, kind of dancing around an otherwise prosaic phrase
sometimes things just go away
like missing pieces

 I had no plans the night before and I had no plans today. I know you can’t just sit and listen to a clock tick but here I was, passing hours, staring at a phrase. And it ticked like that,

sometimes things just go away

 

“But im the eternal night writing rhymes
about wind chimes & world peace
while even in my sleep im fighting wars
that grind the enamel off my teeth.
And i wake with my jaw clenched and
my body bent thinking,
‘how many dishes have i broken this week?”

 

-andrea gibson

it helps me to fall
into haze in these
moments
of adaptation or just
length, time that has
to pass and my
adjustment to fluctuations
in my general
circumstance or
mood is dependent
on the haze.
i like

fighting, I smile.
I have a few blocks to go
and every man is facing me
so I just step into the haze.

I remember this
one day where I met you
to get a Slurpee to
cool off for a while.
your face was most open
outside
drenched,
you tried to hug
me but I am

closed,
drenched in day old
bourbon sweat,
show up unshowered and
in a deep swallow;
a persisting contrition
coated in plum wine,
whatever else I just said,
Bourbon,
I wave my hands over the glass.
that was last night.

that was last night and it
was pretty bad.

but we sit side by side
like it’s something
non-contagious about me.
well except when you smile,
he said.
but I blush and I couldn’t
stand that so I
focus on my knees
remembering
what it felt like
under sheets
and I fell open.
then there’s my brother.
your hard edged smile
on the top of a frosted mug:
ubiquitous half smirk.

“I used to be in love,”
I say suddenly
and luckily,
the street is quiet,
empty.
I’m only two blocks
from home, frozen
on the sidewalk.
I wake up like that
sometimes
in the middle of Kensington.
“August pt 2.”

I can smell you
everywhere.

one block,
no headphones and
susurration of crickets somewhere
in a distance.

my stomach rushes.
it’s night,
in shorts and halter.
i’m nowhere near to
getting there
but it’s August
and I’m alone.
that’s a step,
I think.
being alone and
dropping the quarter
without notice
cuz I have a pocket full.

I think,
you have a pocket full
of quarters and you’re alone.
that’s really something
to have kept the townhome
also.

it’s August, 8:42 pm
and eighty one degrees
but dropping.

“August”

what does all of this
mean to you?
she waves her hand
to no one. 

you say it’s important,
ask me to tell it in
“linear order”
but how can I get away with
things telling stories like
that?
I have survived time
and cage and aged
in linear order.
my proof
    (I flex a ripped tricep)
is endless strength
and brimming veins
that have learned how to
whistle when your girl
walks by me.

now all you see at
night is a doe
gored in your forest
and
I got to eat the whole orchard
I asked for.
nearly choked,
quite frankly worth it.
are you lost
or just quiet? 
just hiding.
you know I’m dense,

ice cold, flush with
forked tongue ready to
puncture
someone,    i’m lush;
maintaining a sense of
dam and containment
even in my most berating
fits of temper or panic,
I manage to remain
frozen these days
like a cracking lake
you say I am
sharp and

bitter.
but underneath my skin,
that blue-lace casing,
a carnise river:
little tributaries to
the turning of the world
in linear delivery.
bitter.
and you say
full of rage     and I say
ok,

you and I are from
the same place
and I start to pace
the block once
more,
thoughts of swords
in my back
multiplying.
your fingers
on the handle,
but in my yard.
my steps are ever
silent and my
dry lips pursed
lightly, pucker
press the back of your neck
to taste your cologne
as I wrap my
pointy, my candy
apple colored nails
around your
throat.

and I just start humming.

“rage

in a constant state of transition
like wind,
a severity when charged
or something that merely
carries.

how I can be a mechanism
not always fit for ground.
when standing,
an unbearable pressure.
more reasonable in
flight, even in
vehemence, I begin.

I begin to weigh the scales:
what’s the probability
that illusion grows legs
or that imagination is laden
with foresight?
you see if I don’t begin to
think this way, I will
cross the bridge
and when my foot hits the
concrete, I want to
leap, arms spread.
it’s not about anyone coming
back. and to end the poem
graciously, i want you to 

feel the pins sticking out
of your eyes before you
taste the thumbtacks.
before you eat the cupcake,
I want you to sniff
the befouled wine.
before you get to
her house, I want
you to see the frog
and I want you to
remember to
(leap before you look)
pluck the nightshade.

consider me a drifting bubble;
felt in passing,
kind of gazed at,
sometimes solidifying
on an open palm
but mostly just
rising.
a pressure.
a violent
rotating
column and leaving
origami pigeons
full of acrimony
everywhere like I just
drip that.

“Saturn in Scorpio”

I do remember February,
always as the coldest month,
starts in January
with a little bird who keeps
following me begging to be
immortalized by signing
her full name with every
email she sent to me:
you’re a fucking whore and
you should kill yourself

but it really just continues
for two years.
I don’t know
what to tell you
like I am one to
waft, picking
daisies in a raincoat
or am I the one to
drop the deluge,
watch you stack
your mileage,
sue?
like men have not shivered
at my feet, ways I’ve kept
note of every tic.
I’m scorned like you,
witch but I didn’t send
you seven emails outlining
all my plans to ruin your
career with a link
to your business at the end.

they say revenge is a
dish served ice cold but it
can be hot too;
just sudden, blaring,
a surprise. I sign
every single one
“xxx”
like a curse or
a hex,
I can’t let go.

“resentment”

the way I woke up
already in slither
but a peacock,
so resplendent,
touch my fingertip along the
wall and shimmer.
they say I always have a motive
and I always have to be noticed,
like I’m just rocking
with plot.  funny,
I haven’t thought a thing
in years,
just touching things and
leaving notes everywhere
so carelessly really.

The first bird I left was gold. The paper was waxy and had a sheen to it.  That’s why I used it. The shiny paper was recycled; a wrap from the store when I purchased my newest stone, now jostled in my pocket as I roamed the neighborhood.  The stone itself more of a red sparkle than gold but very Hollywood which is what attracted me. Set amongst the other pebbles and all black anything (obsidian, onyx, Tibetan smoky quartz, they begin to blend like that) I was used to rubbing my fingers over, it called to me first.

“Goldstone,” I said out loud.

I have seen you before. Give me reciprocity: some shiny, shiny thing. I didn’t need the woman to wrap it but she offered thinking it a gift for someone else. As I left the store, I dropped the goldstone in my pocket next to the stolen tourmaline. I felt no remorse pocketing that one. As I plucked the roundest from the barrel, I thought it always fairest to buy one thing.  Today, my bird looks slick sitting and frozen in a perch leaning towards flight on the longest branch of the potted wicker succulent. Color on a chilly, gray day. Not brutal but I needed to wear a scarf which always told me how cold it really was outside. I always wore a hat, even today, even though I had a wig as extra protection. I was also wearing sunglasses even though it was overcast; overcast and drizzling.  I spent $5.13 on Earl Gray tea and a vegan lavender cookie. I got a free cup of water. I sat in the back with my headphones on and turned up. This one didn’t say anything; I just drew the triangle with my fingers over the gold paper, stuck it atop the center of the branches, where they all converged like a waiting basket, and walked away leaving my half drank tea on the table. My mouth was dry. I bit my tongue with my teeth to stop my jaw from bearing down on itself and began to count: five stones in my pocket, two pennies, eight straws, my keys, and seven more pieces of paper. Plus a receipt. 

The second one I left was a purple frog in a pot outdoors and inside it written neatly in pen, so neatly in fact it looked like someone else may have done it:

Leap before you look.

That was the very first one I made but the second one to go. When I began to plant the nightshade, I began to leave the origami animals with it so you would notice. Gaze at it first, then touch it. Gaze at it, then notice the white flowers and shrub. See the frog first and become overtaken as if synchronicity is real, then pluck it from its hiding spot and give it to your girl. And if I’m lucky as I am, as it’s proven to be, you’d lick her fingertips that night, ingest the final causticity in me. Not just the way I plant things, but how I always play the rose:

blood-red and innocent, a
beauteous form and
nothing more.

 “Sada”

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