The Feeding

It’s 3:47am and your eyes blink wide as saucers pooling under the moon glaring in through your dirty bare window. With only the glass and the cold and the sweat trickling down along all of the places on your body where the skin creases against itself. Everything you feel disgusts and intrigues you. You are too high. Sensations much too erect for this time of morning which bears all resemblance to the bottomless panic of the night before.

When I write, I pull from all time and space. All of the things I have ever been through or read about or watched happen or experienced through or with others, my dreams, my fantasies, each is alive as a fluttered heart beat within me all the time. We live together in our own place and answer to no one.

What I mean to say is that it is today but it is not today. It is any day, any night, any season, past or present or future. I am here but I am not here. I am with you so close you could almost reach out and caress the heat of the fragile bones in my throat, but I am not there. I do not even exist.

Some people journal. Some people write exactly how it is, when it is. That doesn’t do it for me. It doesn’t matter. Not here. Anywhere else but here. In this sanctuary where I need to be seen and not seen. Touched and remain untouched. Do you get that? This is where I can be virgin, pristine, innocent, even as the violation occurs. Even as it is happening, the devirginization, the corrupting of the purity of the emotion, of the feeling which is not words. It is never – nor can it ever be experienced as – words.

The words are mine, of course. Everything here is mine. Even as you try to take it and make it your own. Of course you do. That’s why you’re here. You read me not for me but to find reflections, glimpses, of yourself. Your own sexuality, sensuality, your own beauty, your own filthy neediness. Perhaps the filth most of all because that is where the deepest truth resides. In your hidden desires, your most luscious and forbidden wants. All those needs that are clawing at you from within but you aren’t allowed to talk about. They don’t disappear, though, that’s the catch. They just get pushed down deeper and deeper until they become an entirely different kind of trouble, kind of torment.

You have been trying so hard for so long to discard them, to rid them of you. And so maybe, just maybe, if you find them here in me, they can be outside of you even just for a little while. And that is why I am here. And that is what I do because I can’t help it and I don’t want it any other way. I’m a masochist or a sadist or a nut job. But even so, maybe now you can finally sleep instead of watching the heavy blades of the fan in your bedroom as they whir and spin in the dark. And cut and slice at the empty air like the blades of a knife.

Some Unholy War

It won’t matter in the end, not as much as you think it will anyway. But what do I know, I’ve not yet been. All of these voices, all of these people, telling you what to do and how to be, what makes you trust them more than you trust yourself? How’d the bar get set so low for what matters and what doesn’t?

Or maybe it’s the opposite problem. Somewhere underneath the scuttled noise of your arrogance or theirs, the bar got set so impossibly, irretrievably high that even to reach it became nothing more than the failure to clear it all together. We fear the fall and we fear the fear to take the leap in any case. Maybe that’s why you trust them. At least then they can’t peg any of this on you.

When I light the cigarette I’m not myself. When I swallow the gin I am more magic than sin. When you speak at me like you think you’re gonna teach me something I don’t already know, I spit on the concrete sidewalk and twist my thick heel against the stones. You don’t take the time to think it through. You take half the time it takes to make any sense at all and I wish somehow inside I could separate my frustrations from the wild tentacles of your charm. I wish I could untangle your endless wandering words from the silence I so desperately want to drown into in my own deep dark soul.

For all the “man-made” advances we congratulate ourselves for making in technology or science or war, an erosion takes place little by little within us collectively. I feel it in the pit of my stomach and try to numb it with all the wrong things. Looking into your eyes, I see blue skies which never end and twisted feelings which somehow always do. I’m unsure if I want to pleasure you or tear you apart piece by piece. Perhaps a little bit of both because what good is one without the other.

You’ve seen it before, you’ve felt it in places you’d rather not admit to anyone. The sweet, sweet anguish of destruction in the palm of your very own trembling hands.

In a dream, she was soft as a feather as her bare breasts brushed against the open heat of my mouth. She gives me a tiny book of matches with a darkened navy washed image on the front. I cannot recall what it was exactly, a typewriter maybe or a peacock, some wild, exotic, beautiful thing. We blew clouds of smoke into the velvet drapery and plush carpeting. We slid our fragile hands all over each others’ smooth pale skin. When her eyes flashed like fire on water, mine did the same in response, I could feel it. No words only laughter, only touch. The liquid of the dream giving way to pure ocean glow like crystal in sunlight, the soft hazy burn of the salt of desire.

I could not tell you where my dreams come from and I cannot tell you where any of the folds of my mind begin or end. What they will expect of you are answers you cannot give. Don’t even try. What they will try to trick you into spilling are the secrets you were meant to keep all to yourself. How many kisses are apologies planted right square in your dying mouth? It gets complicated like that, but mostly because we set it up to be.

Everything Could Be Different

I never really spoke that much in grade school. I was never a storyteller, unless I was lying about something generally insignificant and then again when I had to confess my minor transgression to an old obese white man, wearing a black shirt with a tiny white square in the center of his neck, while we were both tightly suffocating in the oppressive heat of a small dark wooden box. I was too young then to make the connection between this small wooden box and a casket but in hindsight it’s pretty glaring, the nailing together of sin with eternal damnation.

I remember there were velvet drapes in there, a good bit of thick blood-red material hanging all around and the smell of incense which I wanted to be soothing but was more like the invocation of the sensation of the masking of a trembling kind of trepidation. The seedy scent of humanity: sweat, gingivitis, hair, teeth, fingernails.

Which is all simply to say that I was quiet when set out against the outside world. My mother would have said I was shy, in a way which more than suggested I should apologize for existing inside my own silence, but really I was just discerning as a scrawny timid kid who was taught that the universe (and maybe Jesus, but I never could quite get a handle on that) was trying to harm me at every turn. But in my journals I would tell stories through words, poetry, whatever. I guess it’s just inside you when you are born. A natural obsession with the way language works and how you can play with it. It all starts out as play pretty much.

All across the budding trees, the rain is coming down steady and heavy, creating a meditative atmosphere in my writing room. I have so many books that when I want to find any particular one I am just as likely to find it on a proper shelf as I am to find it cob-webbed and teetering in a corner stack of novels which are propping up a potted plant or a tiny lamp, or nothing at all – just teetering and helping the dust to settle.

I was looking for a certain collection of poetry for a friend the other day, one I have yet to read myself. I have had the thing for years but I am absolutely terrified to read it. I know it will be so cripplingly beautiful it will kill me. Can you imagine that? Afraid to read a thing for fear of how it will wreck my entire being, change it, cut it open and crush it until I can’t be put back together the same way ever again.

Writing is a wicked trick and impossible to unhook from your own veins once it’s been dug in. It all starts out as just messing around. You tell things on a slant and the slant becomes a distortion which feels so delicious and so right even though it’s wrong until it becomes a story which becomes an alternate world where it can become the truth. Even if only for a while, everything can be different. Even you.

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Photo by Emma Simpson

Has Mask Wearing Messed With Our Brains? Will We Miss Anything About Quarantine? New Podcast Episode!

What will it be like to emerge without masks one day? What has mask wearing done to our brains after all this time and how has it warped our impressions of each other? What is a naked mask nightmare and have you had one? Is there anything about quarantine that we will actually miss? How did this all feel at the beginning of the pandemic a year ago and how does it feel now that the vaccines are (slowly) rolling out?

My cousin co-host and fellow writer Mark and I answer all of these pressing questions on our latest Spacetrash episode which is now available on Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts! In 2021 we are doing short 30 minute *space nugget* episodes that drop every other Friday where we hang out and riff about the creative life and pop culture, and we laugh, which has kinda felt like literal survival during this past year. Cheers and thank you for giving us a listen!

 

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Photo by serjan midili

 

Train Wreck Fantasy

She equates randomness with fate and fate with her lack of inhibitions when she hits the bottle and breaks free of her mind.

In the back of her heart are the lucid dreams of the little girl she once was before the world took away every fantasy and held it hostage behind smoked glass ever since.

There are some skies you can’t touch, not because you can’t fly but because your wings have been clipped together and the singular beat just isn’t enough to get you off the ground.

She can’t understand what living is for if your heart’s not racing or your soul isn’t pulsing its infinite cosmic currents like lightning across the darkened night. What is enough for other people never feels like enough for her but she can’t explain why.

Maybe she’s a glutton for punishment. Maybe she’s a freak.

When he ties her hands behind her back she feels like an angel come to rescue him from his demons, and demons there are many. They want love just like anybody else but somehow it all got twisted. Pain morphed into pleasure and pleasure blossomed into an exquisite kind of euphoric suffering.

There is a plane on which they are not opposites and not the same. A space where the two become one orgasmic experience.

She feeds on his distortions. He strokes her where the aching won’t stop until her tears fall like a fire which baptizes them both.

Did you think there was such a thing as a sinner, or a saint? Did you think you could decide which was which? Did you think you weren’t the sinner and the sin?

Her mouth is not for kissing but for absolution. When he covers her eyes her body screams and comes alive. He toys with her senses. Makes her wait.

Did you want to talk about love? Did you want to find out how much more there could be to this life beyond your wildest imagination?

When he emerges from inside the darkness she is blind to everything but the feelings which hang suspended in the air around her like puppet strings, like the taut silent strings of a most elegant instrument. An intricate web of static sensation. Everything is a high so long as it is uncertain. Unattained.

He will circle until the heat nearly buckles her knees. He will manipulate until she gasps when she tries to breathe.

There are some skies only he can help her touch.

Sometimes only imprisonment can finally set you free.

 

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Photo by Andriyko Podilnyk

Dead Center

Flip a coin. Heads I win, tails you lose.

Or something like that.

At the center of each of my questions are even more questions which makes you crazy but secretly I hope it keeps you close. If I have more questions, how can you leave me unanswered?

Besides, I like your answers and the way you put so much thought into crafting them. You are arrogant, selfish, maddening. But there’s something about the way your voice simmers like an electric current vibrating across my chest that I crave with everything I’m made of.

It crackles and snaps me awake to a part of myself which for too long has lay lifeless at the bottom of a deep dark abyss. When I look into your beautiful eyes I can’t tell if I need you inside me or need you to walk away and never come back.

You like to start shit you don’t bother to finish. You talk a good game but when it’s time to put out you disappear like a mist that dissipates across the cool surface of a lake at dawn in the last rays of summer.

At the center of you there are no questions, only a myth. 

The illusion of permanence. The illusion of desire fulfilled. 

These things are not real. These things are not safe.

In your mind, you imagine me giving myself to you completely. You spit out the bones and drown in what delights you which is mostly the flesh. 

Only the flesh. 

People are savage inside, and dirty. Like animals. Affectionate, primal, hungry. But not as loyal. That’s the tricky part.

As you brush your hand against my hand but do not take it in yours, I catch your eye and my breath catches tight in my throat.

The dead cold dampness of the middle of the day hangs around me like a wet tee shirt, and makes me shiver from head to toe.

 

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Photo by Soroush Karimi

 
 
 

Before You Lose It All

Gun metal gray shadows slope along the snow covered roofs of the houses standing stark against the cold blue of the winter sky.  The entirety of the years gone by curls into a clear crystal ball and slides itself down into a frozen spike of sheer thick ice, slowly dripping from the slant of an old wooden doorway hidden away off the street.

Time melting into place before suddenly breaking off and shattering into a million pieces against the pavement. A million tiny globular tears glistening like jewels in the frigid white February sun.

He hates this time of year because the bitter cold keeps him from plunging into the ocean, but we still walk this beach anyway, all bundled like two Eskimos, sipping on this or that to keep warm.

I read somewhere that the warmth you feel from alcohol is deceiving and can get you killed in extreme cold. The alcohol draws the blood into your extremities and heats them up instead of protecting the vital organs which need the heat to keep you alive. Neither here nor there at the moment I guess, but if you ever find yourself facing down a case of hypothermia, ditch the bottle is what I’m telling you they would tell you.

Life can be cruel. It can scream and chase and gnaw at you despite all your best efforts to keep the hurt at bay. Life can push you to your limits and then stomp on your neck all the same with little care for even the slightest choke of your mortal struggle.

But for now at least, there is he and I and the endless ocean tides crashing against this thunderous, deserted beach. The sand, the water, our hearts and our shadows stretching out endlessly before us.

As I look up at the too bright sky, I can see the sun and the moon suspended there together which seems eerie and strange like they shouldn’t occupy the same sky even though they always do.  It occurs to me it’s kind of sweet and kind of stupid how we spend our whole lives trying to compartmentalize the universe – past, present, future, good, bad, beginning, end, middle – when the truth is it’s all there all the time, staring back at you all at once.

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Photo by Zulmaury Saavedra

Far Away From Here

Closing my eyes and sucking a drag of my cigarette, I take in the cold feel of the frigid night air against my skin. It’s been a day and I’m happy enough to swallow the end of it down with the wine and the smoke and the tiny pricks of sadness and loss which never seem to quite leave me no matter how good the good things get.

The thick wet trunks of a half dozen large maple trees encircle me at the back of the yard and if I look up and peer into the pitch darkness, I begin to see beyond the stretch of their bare branches, the stars pierce through the void, little twinkling rushes of dead light, each its own jagged race to burst and burn out in a flash, light years away from the blink of an eye.

Encircled by the blackness, I imagine the owl who used to spend nights and dawns in these trees swooping down and taking his place on a high perch. I used to love his cooing sounds, and would lie in bed holding my breath waiting for each little moan and hoot. There was something so warm and soothing in the hollowness of his presence, his majestic solitude, his solemn song sung monotonous into the empty night for reasons I did not need to understand.

Some people are like that, though they are few and so far between. Most are noise and excuses. But there are some who are creatures of quiet wisdom, with a fierce kind of late night elegance which haunts you as smoothly as it tears into your veins with its sharp curved claws.

Though I am alone in this moment, I imagine eyes all around. The eyes of the trees and the night and the shadows and the animals, all turned upward toward the midnight sky.

If only we could get away from here. If only our roots weren’t so mangled and tight the way they wrap around the frozen barren ground.

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Photo by engin akyurt

Fixations

He thinks I’m morbid but the truth is this is just how I am. I need to get a grip around my feelings and I like my feelings strong, vivid, unmistakable for anyone else’s but mine.

Some may call it intensity but for me it exists as heat, sensation, a presence which calls to me and cannot be denied, from which I cannot turn away, until I am able to map it out in all of its intricate intimacy.

Truth versus reality. A harshness of tone. All of this is textured in the patterns of my mind. I don’t know how to just be in this world. There is always a gnawing, a craving, a need. I read poetry to stroke my inner longing. A masturbation of the body of emotions.

You are only and always alone in the reading of poetry. The effects of the words on you, no matter how sinister, remain unseen by the outside world.

I am stalked by a dreadful feeling that these observations of mine will disappear before I may grasp them in full. That I will one day lose them even though they are, by definition, constantly leaving, repeatedly over, and there is nothing to be done about it because the nature of life is the steady destruction of everything.

Morbid is a matter of taste and inclination, not a matter of fact.

Snow is mixing in now with the freezing rain, the frozen drops soaring sideways just beyond the glass. The cruel sound of the wind lashes against my skin all over.

It’s not the big things that trouble me.

It’s the little things, the everyday terrors that grate underneath the surface of the hours. As the ice sprays like razors against my window, the silence in the house crawls upon my shoulders, pressing them in. I hate the hour from two to three o’clock in the afternoon. It is a mean hour indeed, like a glare, like a coldness caught out of the side of the eye.

It approaches and then there is something stubborn in the way it drags itself like nails down an empty wall.

In the dimming afternoon light, I trace the shadows in the corner with my tired almond eyes, following their eerie edges and wayward curves.

There is a shape in the heart which does not resemble the animal it is fitted within. Time ages the skin and whittles the bones, but the fire inside burns just as bright as it ever has.

The child, the shaken creature transported to earth from an alternate mysterious realm knows nothing about time, only eternity. Only forever.

Perhaps it’s the slowness of the ticking of the old clock on the desk that maddens me. Perhaps the way the lines on my hands resemble the waves of my hair or the smell of cold winter in the rings around my coffee mug.

The way mornings become afternoons without so much as a whisper.

The way the night slides in with its claws and its blood and its teeth.

Eyes fixed on me.

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Photo by Malicki M Beser

Dirty Plastic Hearts

The table is grubby white plastic much like her heart, propped up in the dead of winter and sprinkled with peppery flecks of cigarette ash as the wind blows cold around the side of the house.

She is supposed to be doing whatever it is she is supposed to be doing. Folding laundry. Vacuuming the last of the dry pine needles left behind from the remnants of a holiday spent indoors with more than a little bit of booze and sadness mixed in, too.

But instead, she is sat outside in the frigid air at the corner of the patio crunched into this rickety table which wobbles because one of its cheap legs is cracked and neither she nor he has bothered to invest in a new one.

The smoke tastes like fire and burns her lungs but it feels good to feel alive and as though if there has to be pain, at least she is in control of it. At least she’s doing it to herself.

Looking out across the fenced in yard, she exhales great plumes of white smoke and watches as the snow begins to flutter down and settle on the frozen ground.

In her mind, images of years ago when she was young and ripe and could have any boy she wanted with just the wink of her eye and the flick of her long auburn hair. It’s funny how the years go by without you noticing. How you can watch the seasons turn in the palm of your hand but you can’t see much past the end of your nose.

When the sky turns purple and the stars begin to bud high above the naked winter trees, she sips her wine and tugs her old coat around her tighter. There once was a guy whose touch made her weak. Whose voice was low and commanding. He left her for someone heavier, told her she was too thin. He liked a woman’s curves he could grab a hold of, something to squeeze.

Everyone was a body inside a body back then. She’s always been a mind, a heart, a soul as wide and expansive as the sea, but who has the time for that when there is money to be spent and suits to fit into and plans to be made.

Crushing out her cigarette into the little ceramic ashtray that she got at a road side flea market a while back, she catches a glimpse of the pretty house across the street. In each of its perfect tiny windows, a red heart decoration glistens with flashy glitter and lace.

Love. You can stab it all to hell but it always attempts a come back.

 

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Photo by Tiko Giorgadze