Narcotic (audio)

Please turn down the daylight, please shut out the noise streaming through the blinds. A single lonely jet rolls by overhead in the sky which is obscured by heavy clouds, I hear it rumbling the glass of the window pane as I sit motionless. As the world stands still amid the tumult of crisis with voices mingled in between hospital beds.  And all of its lonely people sit motionless. Few things are more sinister than an entire population sunk in their sinking seats. Mouths pursed. Wide eyes protruding into a blackness which has no end, no beginning, no intent. It is a silence veiled over a scream which is featureless. My mother used to tell me I was boy crazy. My mother used to tell me I was rude. My mother did not like that I was shy. Or pretty. But secretly she did. I found out later, much later toward the end. That for her I was a beginning of something she never got to finish, she never got control over. Grabbing my keys from the bowl on the side table, I’ve no where to go and finally everything is in its place. For a long time now, maybe, set in its place, as the dust sifts in through stripes of evening light. I watch my reflection, decide it is the age of the woman and I will be everything a woman needs. Soft. Supple. Willing. Are you afraid and looking for something to do with your trembling hands? Give them to me now. Feel the warmth of the beating of my chest. This is what we have in the darkness of days which have lodged themselves in time like logs in a dam in a river. What we have in the hallways of the minds we sit reverently trying our best not to take leave of. I curl my body behind a curtain like a snake. There is a small corner of the room where I hide when I cannot stomach the day. There is the smell of old coffee in semi cold rings, the hope of a tiny flowering seed.  I keep track of the minutes as they tick around the face of the clock. I think of the man who liked to watch young girls at recess. I am reminded of the temptation I once was. And something inside me begins to ache.

// Chance of a Lifetime //

There have been chance moments within all of this, moments of madness and grace,
which I fear I will surely forget. But for now I am here with you and the twilight is sliding across your face. For now your eyes holding mine and the way our fingers become whispers become the lengthening of necks become flesh over the fragile bones of dreams come back to life, for now I will feel everything. I will shatter and I will expose and I will untie all the things about myself that I have kept bound in the dark halls of my petrified being for ages. So that when this moment has gone, when it has become part of the next, and these small things become smaller and smaller still as they walk the eternal distance of time, I will have been made into everything I could have become. Because I let it all in and I let it all go and this is the magnificence, and this is the miracle of the blood of the life we are invited to know, when life is allowed to open and to close and to flow.

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// Pieces of the Whole (In Me) //

I am learning to look back and see that every cycle, every phase of the things I have been through, they each needed the space and time and energy they needed. That is simply the truth.

There was nothing I could have rushed through and nothing I could have prevented because I was unfolding in two ways at once: in love and in fear of love. And these two streams were crisscrossing each other all the time exactly as they were set in motion. I made choices, of course, but each was made from that intersection of love and fear of love.

I can see that now, however briefly, however fleeting that clarity may be, I can see my life, my love and fear-of-love story, as whole. As complete in the way it met and did not meet my expectations of myself.

There is a place which is a way, which is a way of thinking about these things without judgment. It’s a center, a balance, we can seek out if we can trust ourselves enough that it exists. This place within is where we cut ourselves free, let ourselves off the hook for whatever we believe the past held for us. What it gave to us and what we gave in return can be what they are.

It is really tough to dwell within that clarity and it moves ever in and out of focus.  But through some kind of madness or miracle, it can be done.

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// A While On Sadness //

Maybe not everyone will like it but I wanted to write a while on sadness. I needed to.

Why? Because this is something we all live with, live within. It’s all around and underneath our fingernails, our tongues. Sadness is upon our shoulders, in the hand of our minds. I want to write from it, I want to become her lips and bones and match my heartbeat to hers.

I want to listen.

The only thing more crushing than sadness is sadness which is lonely.

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// Random Acts of Blindness //

The warm stained scent of wet city sidewalks and all the ways I struggle to say what I mean. I don’t know anymore if that is voluntary or medicinal but I’m often overwhelmed by the possibility that it might be either. Or both (I know it’s always both).

I flip through vacant magazines and pace the floors barefoot but all I can see are storm clouds closing in on me.  The second you walk out the door they move in. What happened to the way you used to make poetry out of flickering skylines? Whatever became of the sun setting behind my tender flesh and how it used to spark the bones we traded. If I had any words left I would give them all to you. I would sit underneath your shadow and pretend to be protected.

Did you ever want to run away with me? Search my eyes for the deep blue rivers of a time you had forgotten but still believe in? You come to me in dreams but so do so many others.

Heavy rain slides down the kitchen window. So many things that happen like lightening seem to last forever. I watch as raindrops make patterns of circular chaos in the cracks on the pavement and I know a journey into me is a journey straight into the center of the earth. I know I am not easy and the pressure gets inside your head. The way you look at me is your gray lungs getting weak.

You are orange slices and sticky fingers, so sweet, so goddamn inconvenient. The way you rip the names off of everything and throw my longing back at me in the words you so carelessly choose. We rehearse the end and then we welcome the mistakes in all over again, lighting cigarettes one after another in the dark for hundreds of thousands of years. Your terrible lips and your beautiful eyes, your pearl teeth in the moonlight glistening. Even through all this blindness I can still hear you smile.

I can still remember how my dimples curled themselves against your swollen need for satisfaction. I cannot find the words to tell you gently that I’m trying so hard not to be gone when I’m with you. So hard that I write about thorns tearing rose petals, that I have often secretly hated myself for being and not being with you.

When I was very small I learned that pink bleeding hearts are flowers, and once they tell you they never tell you again. You kiss the way nothing lasts forever. We make love the way civilization collapses apart without making a dent in the universe.

Do we touch or just open our mouths.  And are we talking past each other now.

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// On the Other Side of the Carnival Smoke //

I remember you, you despite everything else which has faded from my memory. Even when my light is dark and my skin is crumbling graystone, here you are, like the most beautiful shadow falling upon the hills and caverns of my shoulders. I remember we walked, we walked all night to smell the buds of the roses climbing the trees. Observed in quiet stillness the death of a carnival, rusted in the dew of cherry cigarette glow.

Passing by the water, you take hold of my hand and I come alive with ecstatic electricity. Why would you do that (how could you not)?  We have belonged among these shared ruins for quite some time, where even the darkest secrets choke and expire.

Romance is nothing compared to war. The bridges all on fire overhead. Some will not make it to the ones waiting for them on the other side. These are the ones you must look out for, you must learn better to recognize mourning. It will be odorless, it will come to you wrapped in a plastic smile. We write love letters to the universe, we write ransom notes by connecting the stars in the northern sky and grabbing love by the cords on her wrists.

We write because no one ever told us these things would happen.

We became wings as all feathers tend to do when they gather close enough and the sunlight over the ocean kisses them with just enough promise. I offer you my tongue and you remove the metal fences from my throat. Two small animals, soft, wet, unafraid. I undress as you separate my ribs and whisper your words like small mouths into my heart, in response she beats for another century (or more) only for you.

And all the tears that pour forth from my eyes which never dare to seek the sun, they will turn this trembling earth again green. All the colours of the wind are made of pigments I had never seen. Here is the tomb of the little unknowns, here is the way they walk the nighttime ceilings. Here is the way I kneel at the foot of the bed and listen to my own blood slamming in my chest.

It sounds like the dawn may return any day now. Amen amen amen, I carve myself upon these words made flesh. I hear the faintest sounds of stirring, like maybe this time we will all rise to greet you, but I have been wrong so many, many times before. My pain bears a panic you wouldn’t believe.

And sometimes the weight of this desire tugs so deep it splits me clean in two.

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// Self Reflected //

Maybe I should have spent more time worrying less about time. Maybe the things we waste sweaty nights and crying dawns raging about are just a handful of gory jokes offered up to the maniacal gods like mandarin sunsets that bleed from the open wounds of missing someone who has been taken away from you too soon. Maybe I write too much about loss and feeling left behind but what is more real than the cuts of separation, what is more beautiful than tracing the steps we should have taken in reverse.

Tears are the sickest sweetness. Hearts are the purplest greed.

I can taste spring on the lips of winter and in the face of the sky I can see the memories of the man in the moon, who grows tired alone. Planets and stars all burning out in soft lavender trails, no more hills, nothing left to climb.

What will become of the way we are, who will remember what we said in the fields. All these screams rising up from the tortured earth. Butterflies are messengers sent from another world. There must be someone up above, this is what they offer me like warm milk, and I sift in and out of believing. I breathe in hungrily and take this strange life for granted. I do it as I run the bath, I do it as I pour the drinks into crystal glasses of oblivion (take this cup away from me, take this chalice from my lips), I do it as you speak and I try but am unable to listen.

I love you and you are lovely and love is everywhere but I’m on the outside because I am the carrier of anger and I am a collection of ways to be torn apart, and my smile fell away from my bones a while back, and no one can see except these pages.

And so I give them everything. I come into the silence to bleed.

And all they ever give is the light reflected into the darkness.

All they ever give is myself back to me.

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// untitled //

are you okay
it seems like the corners of your eyes
have fallen
it seems like the way you hold onto my hand is
flowers dying on the cherry wooden table
next to a beautiful vase
by the window left
like curtains alone with the breeze.

up against the wall i thought i heard the sounds of time
footsteps coming down the hall
are you okay
when i’m in here they don’t tell me anything

the carpets are greensea and the dust
chokes the daylight.
i’m turning in my sleep
footsteps leaving down the back stairs.
screen your calls, you have no more to say but
i am waiting and the calls cannot get through
i’ve disconnected all the lines
not knowing is not better
(are you okay?)

but i’m afraid there will be no answer
so i keep the questions folded in small creases
inside my paperfoil heart.
i’m okay i’m okay i’m okay.

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// Beg //

You unlock your mouth in dreams
undone by my adoration,
my heart continues
to divide.

What may I offer you to feast upon?
This body is sacred, this body is sick.

I drip as you beg
at the plastic edges of my sweet disturbance,

cry for the softmilk of my blood.

The pallid grasp of chemical hands
drowning the streets in her venomous drink,
sing for the weakness of thy flesh,
how charming the scent of dark, ripe seed.

In the place where love has never lived,
the mourning of love grows here:
spread wide and sodden atop the fading gravestone hills,
a cold nightwind gives birth

to a dying winter sky

our pleasured anguish writhing
beautifully beneath her.

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// I Looked Up //

I looked up and I saw
you coming.
I saw the way you
have entered my life in footprints

I had mistaken for music.
The sky began spinning
golden spheres of watercolour globes
melting teardrops upon thick stems.

Life will be water. Life will bleed.

These were the endlessness of
fields wet with gray which unfolds forever.
I saw you raining up from the ocean
from clouds full of darkness.

I pulled your broken bones
from my throat
and we went again hungry.
They were affixing my lashes with feathers:

my eyes became heavy
my eyes became soft.

I saw you coming
and I saw you leave.

I wait for you
counting hymns in silence.
I watch the way sunlight
burns through the trees.

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For Andy