pounds of
salt water
pour through
my window

against the wooden
burrowing in like madness

golden child
on my frameless bed
light a cigarette
and breathe deep
every single sip
of my twenty seven years
of nonsense

i meditate
inhaling the apathy
exhaling the nicotine
this meditation
so american
so very concentrated
on the idea of my own self
like this poem

pushed past the door
the one
my landlord’s fist hits
on the fifteenth
of each month
i travel downstream
into the stomach
and the guts of my

i am no longer being chewed
i have been swallowed
and now
i am being digested
dissolved in the acids
of experience
i sleep blanketless
on the hardwood floors
of my brutal belly

and then
awoken to
a wind up bird
haunting the rafters
my attention deficit eyes
pierced to its movement
like a thumbtack
to a bulletin board

the most
beautiful bird
i had ever seen
in spite
of its winding
in spite
of its clear dedication
to exactly
as it was programmed
to do

i vomit
seven thousand poems
as i sleep
in my own stomach
i dream
murakami dreams
walks down hallways
following some strange black
following some suppressed urge
to not follow form

and at the ready
as if i’m holding a crossbow
sternly towards my own throat
i stand like a soldier
i breath like a buddhist
and i die
like a seed
being buried
in the ground



"This is Not a Picture Show" by Jana Van Meerveld. Oil on Linen. 2015.

“This is Not a Picture Show” by Jana Van Meerveld. Oil on Linen. 2015.

this is not a picture show

there are no opening credits
no haunting score of music
no rising dramatic plot

this rises and falls as it will
timelines blur
ideas are lost and sometimes

there is no scene of repentance

there is not always
a bombastic kiss
in lunar midnight
on new year’s eve
this is something
more romantic
than that

this is not a picture show

this is sparks
meandering currents
inside your lockbox skull
to present you
this chaotic rock opera

you strapped to a chair
not in the audience
but on stage
you strapped to a chair

feeling your finger nails
scratching its wooden arms
and your bloody wings burst forth
splayed across the rostrum

rows of empty seats
in the house

the sun is the closest thing
to spotlight

there is no audience
only the audience of memory
a pamphlet
dirtied by footsteps
folded in half
and tucked into the back pocket
of your hard drive

there is a fade to black
but there are no end credits
this does not always end
with a wedding
or a funeral
this does not always end

this rises and falls as it will

timelines blur

ideas are lost and sometimes
they are found again

this is not a picture show
it’s something much braver than that


This piece was inspired by the oil painting “This is Not a Picture Show” by Jana Van Meerveld, whose work I’ve recently discovered I have an affinity for. You can see more of her work on her website here.


To William Wordsworth

sick denver sleeps and dreams of sleeping more,
the long cathedral halls all trashed and bruised:
the afterglow of an angelic whore;
do not mistake this truth for unenthused;
in the flashlight glow of evening’s death
i feel my heart expand like lungs instead,
this heart of mine returning blood red breath
into the opened chambers of my head;
and so the city welcoming the sky,
and so the wind that prophesizes snow,
the vast exhale of fog that lingers high,
the statues wait to breath in down below.


Read “Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802” by William Wordsworth


see the homeless posted at every major crossroad
standing at the ready like soldiers but really they’re just vets.
see their cardboard signs in shivering hand standing in the neon light of another sign.
see the signs. so many signs. all the signs trying so hard to sing you to shipwreck.
see the american assembly line of incarceration. the rows of concrete buildings.
stacked side-by-side. industrial and sturdy on the outside but cancer within.
see the conjugal visit of capitalism and democracy.
see the mcwhopper junior baconator cheeseburger combo.
see the mccigarettes in their red little cradle.
see the forty-eight ounces. ice cold. ninety-nine cents.
delivered from the window in a brown paper bag in exchange for your cash.
see the legal drug deal in the lobby of the restaurant.
see the illegal drug deal in the parking lot.
see the rows and rows of second mortgage cars
transnational representations of delusional personalities.
see the signs. great american tarot cards. see what they say about you.
see what you need. see why you’re unhappy. see until it hurts to see.
see all of the things that you never knew that you wanted so badly.
see the black market big box store. see that sugar is cheaper than dirt.
see the impossible cost of a roof. see the white picket fence. see the shutters.
see the green grass front yard. see the sprinkler system.
see the community-approved paint and primer color glowing from the house.
see the blue front door. the great gold knocker. see the red wheelbarrow.
see the inside of the house. it’s empty.
see the beautiful communities with world-class schools, parks, autumns.
see the people who live in their graveyards. see the garbage mountains.
see the garbage hail storms. the garbage rain clouds raining down garbage.
see the hurricane waters rise an inch each day. sinking the titanic.
sinking first the third class. sinking second the second class.
see the first class polish the brass.
see the giant ball of yarn. see the giant rocking chair in the field.
see the giant orange bottle of horse pills. see the bill.
see the cost of the medication. but hey. it’s cheaper than therapy.
see the beautiful people. the manufactured celebrity. the scripted reality.
see the radiating crimson head of the news vociferously squawking.
see the bright light show. the warm blanket of electronica.
the giant chloroform rag. the sweet victory of football.
see peyton manning sell you insurance. see the rage of fandom.
see the super bowl if you get a chance. for the commercials.
see the black plague of poor management wash over us all.
see the rose that grows from the concrete. see the incredible way
that somewhere lost in a fossil fuel fog, an outdated identity,
a father figure who refuses to listen to his beautiful daughters.
somewhere in the hallways of the church inside the bank,
there is still a green light that glows.

there is still a radiant child born in the bomb shelter of brooklyn
who will die hanging his crown on the nail of the wild wall.



days like today i can just
see it

the sky cracks open
ominous and glowing
and we realize

that we all have just
been living
on the inside of an
enormous blue egg

the whites of the
blue oceans run loose
into a frying pan mixed
with the inner core yolk
and we are cooked
with butter
and spinach
ooh and mushrooms
maybe some feta cheese


we might be an omelette

i have some phone calls
to make



sports authority invesco
high budget investor money bags mcgee

mcdonalds corporation sponsorship daddy warbucks starbucks
super million dollar america killing
big downtown office buildings

brick and mortar investment opportunity
401k package super bowL
fantasy football new vegas quid pro quo
commercial vip section suites with champagne and
big medicine long fast side effect disclosure
eating grapes

on cloud
stroking yer beard
big breasted girls  fan
patrick bateman zeus
with giant leaves
mini trump
bail out baby
ownership is power

sports authority field at mile high stadium



so i went for a walk in the woods
to be alone with my thoughts in nature
colorado autumn crisp life dying around me
and there before me was a bear!
a mighty bear! he raised up on his hind legs
and growled a monstrous bear growl!
i raised my arms and made myself big
and the bear backed down and took a step away
and then the bear said to me,
what the fuck are you doing with your life?”
and i stood stunned.
arms raised high i made myself big
but i felt so fucking tiny.
“i’m doing things with my life!”
i said to the socially aggressive bear.
you’re a supervisor at a call center.
that’s not things.
you’re better than that.”
and then i asked the bear if he always
spoke with line breaks at the end of
his sentences.
you evasive fuck.”
said the bear.
he was right.
i was evading.
“i’m proud of what i’ve accomplished.”
i said to the bear
in the woods
where i went for a walk to get away
from it all.
“that’s great.
pride is great.
that’ll help you sleep at night.
but what are you doing with your life.”
i sat on a rock beside the bear.
“i’m writing a lot of poetry?”
i submitted for the bear’s approval.
“you always write a lot of poetry.
that’s more a sign of normalcy
than anything else.”
said the bear.
“well, i’m proud of that!”
i said
to the bear.
said the bear.
“pride is the crutch of the
said the bear
quoting someone, i’m sure.
“i’m sorry!”
i said.
“don’t apologize!”
said the bear.
“just go do shit.”
added the bear.
“i came out here
to think about things.”
i said to the bear.
“way to drag me back in.”
so i fought the bear.
“what are you doing?”
said the bear
as i threw an unsuccessful
punch to its gut.
it landed.
it just didn’t carry much force
behind it.
said the bear
but i continued.
i roundhouse kicked the bear
in the face
and with that one fell swoop
the bear tumbled to the ground

(he was okay
just disoriented.)

i wandered the trail
in the woods
to the top of the mountain
and when i arrived
i looked down on denver
like a single cell organism
under a microscope
and all i could hear
were the bear’s words
ringing through my ears.
so i took them out of
my rucksack
along with a blanket
with which i laid down a picnic
and i ate the peanut
and jelly
reality sandwich
filled with strange bear wisdom
and i enjoyed every single bite.
digested and i realized
i’m not doing shit
with my life
but i’ll start
because that bear
gets old quick.



the song i skip to on the mix tape
the day i sleep in with the sun
the word stuck in my head like gum
the kind eyes across the diner
the dollar in the pocket of the hoodie
the hoodie that i wait for winter to wear

the movie when it comes on t.v.
never planned but whenever you do
my pupils dilate like puddles in rain
and i storm lost in your story

the stray cat i take into my apartment
the guitar i find in the gutter
the candy tucked away in the back of the cabinet
the middle school note left on my desk
the applause that follows the silence

that coma sleep
that really good coma sleep
where you lose sight of your reality
your rapidly moving eyes dizzy and lost
in the kind of good dream that tattoos your skin
at least for a day or two

that is the supreme drug my dear
and to wake up sober from it
to wander the halls of this asylum apartment
to come home to cook yourself food for one
to realize how empty your hand is
it’s a terrible terrible world to turn
but sometimes you sneak outside
and the rays of daylight swim into your pores
you catch that you still have a shadow
and it’s not so bad
it’s not so bad



and like that she was gone
floated away through some wall
like a ghost
from any kind of collective consciousness
not a single note
no memory
no empty casket funeral
she was just gone
years and years of etching
on this giant lie detector test board
and they sucked her up into the skies
for her to never return
whatever the opposite of a haunting premonition
an unsuspected absence
a great hollow breath
she is no more
and we still go on
polished shoes clacking on blue tiles
to immaculate desks
a seventeen year collection of dust
entire histories thrown into paper shredders
or lost to the awkward halls of the internet
she was gone
her name i remember less each moment
each passing bus i do not board
and someday i too
every petroglyph unetched
every stuttered heartbeat stilled
like that i too will be gone
there is the moment
and there is the great death of the moment
which the next moment does not mourn
we just look forward
like a finger tapping the delete button endlessly
moving backward and forward through a history
distorted and dishonest
a pendulum absorbed in its own rust
like that she was gone
i can feel myself forgetting her name
and my name
and the name of the word i typed before
the word i typed before the word i typed
before the word i typed before



why still so hungry am i
why still so wrapped in ribbon in gauze
in ambulance
in fierce new awakening
in comedown to sugar sweet denver
and its egg crack center
why still so hungry am i
why beat the blood from the heart
banged against the brick wall
grated like cheese
why still so hungry am i
and where goes the escalators
the lack of gravity in the chamber
the people at the south pole standing upside down
and i am them
why still so hungry am i
why my boom not go boom
where my american dream
where my blonde blushing bride
my sit com wife
my day t.v. divorce court
why still so hungry am i
twenty seven
desperate afraid of white lighters
desperate afraid of basquiat cobain joplin
i escape the noose
or do i just ignore its hanging opportunity
a juicy hamburger
floating in the air
like a lightbulb swinging in a basement
why still so hungry am i
where go each branch of my plath tree
where die each planet i do not astronaut
the night sky black as the inside of my eyelids
why still so hungry am i
i go to sleep hungry now
to dream stomach acid dreams
to sleep in to wake up to move to go to die again
each night
craving the dirt of the earth i can’t unbury
why dear white fluffy cloud god
why still so hungry am i