11th - 18th Jan 2019
In the beginning, sometimes I left messages in the street.
― David Markson
* * *
Embellish my skin with the print of your lips.
I’m sweating gold in our bed
The moonlight coming through
Like tissue paper on top of
You on top of me on top of an
Innocent routine of sleep
Desire keeps / on interrupting
Sleeps to take the city and curl
a ready amber thing until lightness binds an evil,
where dermal stops, pushes simple blue together
lame tense your internal
glacial providence upended into hours spent wearing veins of SPIT
regret leashed bracken bright
OVER ALL A BLANKET BORN OF LIVERS
fat thorns striking white wrists, bleating outwards blush,
bomb tuned to channel quick lime.
Diesel braces fixed blunt on bruised petals,
stymied by traction, tight junk scratches
fallopian guesswork: noxious
predisposition wears down the teeth,
steel pump mixture ravishes under GREEN BULB,
raw brown feet and bites around
What is necessary
has become necessary
You looked like you might cry
but you looked more like
you might kill a hostage.
I gave you space.
To bury us read the schematic
I left you a long time ago
I left you to blink
on the rooftop
Or to say it my own way...
Non c'è nulla di più poetico
di due fette di salame
una di mozzarella
una fettina di cipolla
seguite da un cappuccino caldo
lanciate a 400km/h
mentre il resto del mondo dorme.
A new moon now lowering into the informal establishment crawl-speaking an absence
to wrench my fillings:
why do those of us awake
have no gravity at all
Smoke beads in my palms
And I sneeze in the sun, dreaming
A dream of my bed
I am riding a yak and following a man juggling flaming chainsaws while riding a unicycle. It's a medium-to-slow-speed chase through a sunny mountain village. The people all look like medium-to-large-sized owls. I am reading a fashion magazine on the back of my yak. I don't really seem to care about chasing down the clown on the unicycle. My yak's bell clangs. I like the clang. Clang. Clang. Clang. I light a cigarette and imagine my life is the glowing ember. The mountain village alleys lead to a roaring city grid. I have an overhead view. I see myself take a left on S. Lime and move to the edge of the city. Abandoning the chase. I see a mountain in the distance. There is a fire on the peak.
Something seems --
related. The sun, the smoke, the fire. I wonder --
was I on a yak? Or in my bed? Or --
Could I see it? The new moon. The shadow of it against the night, or is it smoke?
“Who are you?”
Disembodied lipstick coordinates form
“A Dog’s Life for Me”
I look at my dachshund with his black and tan fur, shimmering in the noon sun, run about the backyard in his typical devil-may-care fashion. He stops to sniff errant blades of grass with a sense of immediacy and earnestness that makes me feel like an underachiever…and I smile. Rolling over, he stretches his front paws, outward, swatting them in unison at something unseen. What does he see? With rejuvenated conviction he darts across the lawn and runs in circles four or five times. His long floppy ears swatting the air, as if it was a cunning fly on a kitchen wall. Spent, he drops to his soft tummy on the coolness of green grass, all four, stubby legs splayed out, flat, like misshapen pancake. I call him, but he doesn’t respond. Instead, he sniffs the air and squints his eyes, as the breeze wafts through his long, black whiskers, barking at the air—at God—just because.
It’s good to be a dog.
I pat myself on my head. I stick out my tongue. I roll around in the grass. I am a dog too. And you are a dog too. It's good to be a dog. It's good to have an Earth. It's good to have a death in the shade in the corner of the yard. It's good to be a bone.
Woof woof. Bow wow wow
How can I
I am still living
in the wake of
I black immediacy sense fashion. see? pancake. the air, run runs errant grass as grass, and in smile. air—at and long conviction about splayed good blades
I am anxious that I am not dog enough.
With dogs around me I sink.
I have chewed through the tar
Dog rawhide bones Bulk pack of 3 all natural rawhide protein treats knot bone chews Medium — $16.99
You are all contributing into the same stream.
Multiple alternatively spliced transcript variants that encode different isoforms have been reported.
Wanna cut our heads off?
We will let you keep our heads, if you save the liquid that falls from the holes
A cop watches. I wonder what his head weighs. It’s dark and it’s just us. He turns to smoke. Gone, and there’s no liquid at all. Clothing and a gun falls to the pavement. I pick up the gun. Maybe this is my chance to be somebody?
Clang. Clang. Clang.
Woof woof. Bow wow wow.
I'm thinking a lot about cop shows. The people who end up on cop shows. I might end up on a cop show, or a newscast. My neighbor's dog died last week and that never made the news. Death isn't enough to make the news. If you kill a cop, that's news. If the cop kills you, that isn't. Cops don't kill dogs. But I might. I might just to get on the news.
I decide to get on the news.
Yes, I think, Yes. I decide it, and it is decided.
Clang. Clang. Clang.
The ocean flows through the moon.
I can see the future. I call to him but he doesn’t respond.
There is a blinking red light on the horizon. And you are alone in the city tonight.
I do a bump. Pull my mask over my face.
I pat myself on the head.
Open the glovebox.
When they go. They don’t come back.
It feels good to be a skeleton.
I drive in circles for something like three days, jazz on the radio. Above the car there floats a woman's face, like a parade float, tied to the bumper. Her face drifts in and out of the mirrors. She is asleep.
Or rather not asleep but something else.
Or rather the vision that agentic coagulation hedges and I obey the fundamental principle.
What if, let's say, riding through the night a dozen tankards down the throat and the headlights ogling flash across a gang of devils dancing satanically beyond the dune. They don't see us at first, that face & me for we idle in the gulch & our weeping sounds not yet liberated from throat—& beetling rocky niches where the nothings gather among ancient roots.
Leather gauntlets fringed & matching beaded make hooks & handle horns of circling bulls—a choreography of rumbling orbit rises that dusty column which fans and dispenses beyond the perfect annulus ritually hollowed in desert sand. The gauntlets turn & engines scream.
You are all contributing to the same stream.
You and the things that dance beyond the edge.
Clang clang clang.
He calls from the future. His voice five-miles deep trembles the regolith, his voice a cathedral of crater. I just watch the tornado blow, bull-masked, the saxophonist swallowed into it scrambling along the pavement, bargaining. Turn rumbling wheel.
look at all of these birds;
how they danced upon your knuckles
when you let go of my hand.
the pavement is crumbling to quicksand.
Launched at 248mph
You tell me about quicksand, your story about quicksand, the one you always tell. You say it isn't quick, you always start there. It isn't quick, you say. You say it's slow, painfully slow, it pulls you down slow. You always stress this point, you always slow your speech, mirroring its pull, its depth, its unknown insides. You tell it slow, always. It pulls you down, a stickiness, like sweet molasses, like cold fructose. You sink in it and it holds you, slowly, slowly, it pulls you in, and when you step, you step even slower. That's how you frame it, always, you frame it as a battle of speed, of slowness. You step slowly, slowly, slower than its pull. That's the secret, you say. You pause, the words stuck, the words caught. It is so slow that it slows you down. And when it pulls you down, it pushes you in.
Then it crushes you.
Like thousands of pink balloons and birthday cakes.
Life can smother you like an excitable megaton puppy.
How slow can I actually move?
Clang. Clang. Clang.
I move through the flock of birds. They scatter. And they remind me of you, and this is why I make them scatter. The waft away into the sky above the park. And the park reminds me of you. All of it, all of it, all of it, I wish I could make it scatter, make it waft away.
Smoke in the breeze.
248mph. Incredible, insane. It sits in my head like a dull ache. Wonder. Wonder as to what it all adds up to.
When people ask about it, I won't know what to tell them. I won't know what would be accurate. I won't be able to describe it all. The smoke, the new moon.
I could sleep.
Slowly, slowly. It crushes you.
But the frantic pace amberlitness screams in and back and is a slingshot thing old kids used to throw up, gang sign, cocked hammer, potato peels a lush lubricant under those black black shoes. Kept them in the trunk, old grease, old muck. The whole street stank of it.
The moon wears a ski mask.
The skeletal buildings become dinosaurs.
I fell asleep behind the wheel again.
Force open the door. Empty bottles of cough syrup rattle the pavement, roll beneath. My impulse is to catch them, keep them together, but I’m an enormous bell clapper. A tower of bronze January stillness. Part of me thinks it would’ve been better had I not woken. My skull a split log, soft, forgotten. The way the morning light comes through the buildings—-it feels designed to colonize. I am formatted, an empty church. The street is for waiting. A place to light a candle, wait it out. That’s good. I have no idea where I belong.
I call out for someone to let loose the hounds. For someone to scatter the birds. For someone to call Hell, ask about the security deposit.
But instead a guy shows up, asks if I'm alright.
Put the car in neutral, push it back over the curb. Ask him who puts a graveyard this close to the road and he asks which road. Says we're in a parking lot.
Dogs in the distance. No moon tonight.
Wanna cut our heads off?
Thinking about the smoke beads, the rooftop. I forget which was what I wanted to remember, which I had only thought up later, which I had swapped out for something else. Or for the other.
Felt good to wonder.
No, feels good. Keep forgetting which it is. Kept remembering, too. Or made it up.
He blinks, I see it in thr street lamp amber. Scaredy-cat laugh.
He blinks again & his eyes turn to marbles.
The guy asks me if I want a cigarette. I say okay. We smoke like a couple of army recruits, strangers who can only remain strangers. He can’t relate. I can see it. When you’re haunted, who do you tell? You get used to it is all. Used to its awful machinery, what triggers it. You cease to be impressed with the footsteps, the swinging chandelier, the laughter in the walls, the way your home blows up to ten thousand chalk-white rooms. But you don’t tell anybody.
"Anyone you know here?" he asks. Points his cigarette at the headstones, the teeth in the grass.
I remember the woman’s face tied to the bunper. Glance back at the car. No face. Just a car.
I pretend that he mentions the flaming chainsaws. Maybe he mentions them anyway. Hard to remember. Trying to remember it in order but...
Maybe there is no order.
Smoke in the palm.
I think about you.
My head is made of stone.
I have no name. I am 66 different people.
Wanna cut our heads off?
We’ll be simple.
My dearest co-conspirator
let's break commandments and blow smoke
live the last of charmed childhood
runaways, let's rewrite history
give flight to our old clothes
and throw ourselves in a volcano
spinning like hot glass
through the canopies of lost time
I split open my past.
Dump out the guts.
Fill it with gas.
And light it on fire.
Somewhere, something placates a nervous mind, eats its anxiety, its disproportionate distraction. It peels back the vertigo and breathes out a mentholated mint mist. Somewhere.
It belongs. They both belong. Somewhen.
Is that anything?
Don't tell me you're moving on, that you're off to better somethings. My heart can't take it.
you answered, no
I can’t help you, I’m done
I have to go back to work now
At a red light wondering
When will it change
I’m always driving the wrong way down a one-way street.
I’m always driving 110 mph and jumping off bridges
I’m always flipping 15 times and landing it and skirting around corners outrunning police cars.
Always late for work
Thinking a lot about decomposition lately. Bugs and bacteria. Wind and rain. Dirt.
Thinking a lot about when it starts. Started, when it started.
I still call the number you left from time to time. It's always someone new who answers. Always someone else. I ask for help anyway. Anyway.
Back at the wheel, back on the road.
In the rear view.
Attention passengers, this is your captain speaking.
Thank you for joining us on this red eye flight.
We will soon be approaching your final destination.
We ask that in the mean time you proceed to keep your seats in their upright positions.
Where do we separate our dreams for reality.
When do we pull upon the roof in a flailing hunt for oxygen and when do we let go.
Descending into the Atlantic Ocean at unfathomable speeds.
Lost to the resonance of a broken world.
Lost in a broken wild.
Anyway at least a plane crash is something to do.
Sonebody tell a joke while we wait.
Are you still here? Still alive?
I swear I didn’t mean for any of this to happen.
You either don’t know what I’m talking about or you don’t believe me.
For some reason none of us have blood on our hands. My face in the screen of my cell phone, scratchless. An inventory of all of the things that somehow don’t hurt.
This could take forever.
All of this feels too convenient so I wait to blink and wake up somewhere stranded and burning.
(Tonight Show intro music plays)
Can someone out there kiss me more than one time in a row?
My eyes do that cartoon thing where they roll up and spin like a slot machine until they land one one cherry and one pair of lips.
I lose again.
I look at a ship pulling out of the harbor and think “that ship has sailed.”
I get the Rolling Stones lips tattooed over my lips.
Embellish my skin with the print of your lips
The person lying in bed beside you never gets it right.
(Sound of static)
Nobody ever gets it right.