and letters

and letters i do not have the letters that i wish
to have to letter you i do not know where to
begin i love you in a language that i do not
speak and i am so afraid and desperate and
desperately afraid that i will never have the
letters to build the ladder that i wish to build
to climb into your left lung and sail across the
air of you like waves i do not have the letters
and each day you are further away from me i
do not have the letters all i have is this poem
made only from these letters which i use so
very damned often i just wish to hold your
hand in a flea market and i wish to spend my
last days on this earth wandering aimlessly
to the local fruit stand missing you so very
immensely and it will be a hurt that i have
never felt but i don’t know how i will ever
climb into your left lung to have it because
i do not have the letters and so i write in
circles and predicted patterns like a paint
shaker hoping desperate for a crack in the
lid and when the whole colors of it all
splatter maybe i will see that i did not need
the letters because i had the colors i had the
colors inside of me and if it’s your love then
you will have it and that i like to believe i
like to believe i like to believe because i
close my eyes and you are not so sky distant
you are tangible and somewhere maybe
drowning in letters and desperate for color
and i know i will be your favorite color i
know i will if only i can find the letters or
the colors or the maybes tucked behind
bricks in the strange alleys that we’ve
both passed through in dreams

Stupid Flowers Promo

Sink

i see you
in places maybe i shouldn’t
i can’t help it
even in the shattered glass frame
of your dark night of the soul
you radiate like gamma ray bursts

so i see you

as you dance on ink
as you drown in bedsheets
as you dig at your shoulder blades
and you pray for wings

i see you

in halls without doors
in ballrooms without music
in basements without foundation
they just keep sinking
and you could fight back
but in some strange ballet
you sink with them

i realize you are communicating with them

that you will not be swallowed

you are unafraid of depths
and that is not to say
that you are immune to deaths
you feel them wholly
maybe more than all of us combined
but when the light is gone
you open your pupils as wide as they

an immortal child
shining like a bruised orange
continuously peeling and unpeeling
peeling and unpeeling
and i’m lucky i knew you

when i was the darkness that swallowed you
you became me

you were not afraid to sink with me

and when we came out the other side

you were gone
and looking out now on an endless lake
i see the ghost of a deer walking on the water

i see you

 

Stupid Flowers Promo

 

The Bravery

three months ago,
i left my job

three months ago,
i took the etch-a-sketch portrait i’d created
of myself
and i shook it fucking hard

i shook it hard
and watched
as every singular bead
like individual ounces of my security
disappeared

and when i looked in the mirror
i saw just that

an empty etch-a-sketch

but i decided not to sketch again
i decided
that spirit
couldn’t be contained in this way

that this time
there would be no filter
between me and the burning world

i threw the etch-a-sketch through the window
i defenestrated my ugly

and i walked sternly through my front door
naked and cold
out into a vast sea of somethings
that i had never experienced

three months ago,
i began this recreation
i, a self-aware mannequin
tearing any arm that grew from me
if it did not reach for the right things

tearing any leg from me
if it attempted to pace
at any speed
that any human being had before
attempted
to pace

and everyone told me to seek the road

but i quickly knew i did not want the road

i have spent my entire life
a set of four run down rubber wheels
thinking that there was something outside of me
that would save me

some joshua tree
in the middle of a desert
where i would fall to my knees
and know what i was

no.

i am the tree
and i denied myself
any shade
any water
any sense of safety
from the truth of it all
until i could say
that the way my branches splayed out
into the world was like a silent sermon

this way
is the way
i was born to stand

three months ago,
i was born
out of a mouth of secrets
into a wide open sky
that enveloped me
night after night
until i opened my mouth wide enough
to envelope it back

i did not swallow
i let it live there
i told its story

i fluffed the silly clouds
like pillows
and offered the house i carried with me
to whoever
and whenever

freedom is a bravery
one that says not that i am free
but nothing will stop me from being so

beauty is the acknowledgement
that something outside of yourself
is the same as you

truth is laughter

and i don’t know what love is

three months later,
i’m waking up from a dream
and it’s not easy
this
this now is the turn

this now is me
in the shadow of the wave of the dream
wondering do i sit still and hold my breath
or do i swim aimlessly

i’ve grown so far
and now i don’t know anything
maybe that’s the bravery

 

Stupid Flowers Promo

 

The Tilt

but one boy dared to go play in traffic
and despite what you might picture for him
the traffic learned to swerve around his magic
from the sidelines the other boys looked onward
and they saw nothing short of illusion

it wasn’t illusion
it was nothing short of a victory of the soul
stubborn thumping rebellion outweighing cold measured logic
the tilt in the axis of the earth

Stupid Flowers Promo

Blues #2

he mourns the death of being a manchild
he thinks to himself this is the end this is it
after tonight i will be a manchild no more
i will no longer have the distinct privilege
of not acknowledging so many specific realities
and he takes all his paint-spattered action figures
and he throws them down the garbage disposal
and he flips the switch like an old-timey frankenstein
movie and he hears them crushed and crushed hard
under the weight of a future that will certainly swallow
him whole like a giant black whale that flies in from the
coast and as he walks his unread books to the corner
bookstore the whale’s black eyes open wide and swallow
him into the vacuous truth of it all

and then there it is
the vacuous truth of it all
the pain is better
it was pain that made the mountains
and the city he grew tall in

Blues #1

my tired squid arms
my back arched too hard
like a great bridge
broken in half and sunken into some dead sea
the hyena laughter upstairs
the moans of strange women
through the cracks
in the walls
the refrigerator laughing and laughing
the paintings that i could never bother to hang
the rusted wheels of shopping carts
pressed onward through my migraine
the undaunted lights
shining down on me like an interrogation
the flat tires on my bicycle
the migraine channel
the pity party channel
the death too soon channel
the disney channel
and the moon is beautiful
the moon is god damn beautiful
the moon is so beautiful
please stay beautiful the moon
stay with me
stay here with me
i’ll be good to this one
i’ll make you breakfast every morning
and kiss you to sleep
i’ll love you like i should’ve loved yesterday
and we swing and we sway
and we swing and we sway
as the gods watch on
most likely in pure confusion

St. Peter

as the crow disappears into the black
as we walk drunk and pointless down the back alleys of cap hill
as we kiss the neon signs of this western town with whiskey breath
where are we really?

our names etched in no one’s skin
no street signs for us
no great buildings for us
no park bench

where are we really?

did we escape the cold confines of america
to find nothing for us on the fringes?

did we die
to be reborn in the image of our bad karma?

am i the resonating waves of my ancestors?

these questions are too much
as i fall into a warm coma
and fall in love
with the girl behind the piano
in a bar where you can still smell
the booze in the freight elevator

a city for the drunks
a grid system to keep them walking alright
chess pieces
queen annes and pawn shops

and us breaking glass down back alleys
if you’re always drunk, are you sober by right?
and us lost in the stabshoe inbetweens

no money
no wallets no time
no distraction no pleasure
no pain no disenchantment or anger
no bombastic dream of revolution seen to manifestation

the crow disappears into the black
another poet fingerpainting death
another poet fingerbanging their skull
chasing airplanes on foot
swimming through brick walls
drowning in empty bottles
counting time in ounces
playing yesterday’s lottery
renting rooms in ghost towns
watching television with the power off

leaving the back door open for the murderer
that couldn’t be bothered to come

and st. peter
smug as fuck
looking you in your dead eyes and asking
was it worth it?

Junk Mail

for four days straight the godless mailbox was nothing but junk mail
for four days straight i opened the god damn door on it just to slam it shut
no letters, no christmas cards, no wedding announcements, not even bills
just four days in a row of the terrorists hitting me with the junk mail

four days straight of politicos too busy social climbing to plant a tree
four days straight of how many clowns can we fit in this car
this parade of monsters dressed like catholic school girls
the unending blaring horn of bigotry, the unending call to the streets

the television, the radio, the internet, the bus stop, milk’s up fifty three cents
folding my resume up like a paper plane and watching it dive bomb the void
strutting quietly past the corner fast food, pretending it’s not whispering at me
the call of the beer, the call to sit dizzy and not be chokeholded into thinking

the ice cream headache of commercials in the middle of youtube videos
the chronic back pain from digging through sixteen tons of news sources
stuck in the elevator for four years with the worst elevator pitch ever elected
clawing at the walls like a junkie, like a madman, like a lab rat forced to break down

and so i write. to whom it may concern. i hereby request. that you cease. and desist. from further shitting in my mailbox your bullshit ink machine manifesto. grapes. ninety-nine cents a pound. buy one get one free apples. milk is up fifty three cents. printed on the carcasses of dead trees. and i. forced to reconcile your bad decision. throw it in the trash. into the dumpster fire. that you created. piece by piece. with every photographic decision you made in the dark room of your heart as the working class began to eat at their own arms as they broke down and wept in the streets for food for shelter for basic common human decency that has somehow become foreign that has somehow become too expensive that has somehow become at best your attempts to throw a bone. a newspaper ad, no coupons, but just to let you know hey. milk is up fifty three cents. and next to the ad for boxed cereal a giant middle finger. in suit and tie. please. just fucking stop. with the junk mail.

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rent is due on park avenue

rent is due on park avenue
rent is due on park avenue

time to pull it all together
time to kick away the doldrums
and sit down
to shake out a solid plan
for food this week
rent is due on park avenue

time. moving flawlessly onward
two tiny steps at a time
floating off
time floating off into the vast ocean of black space
ten million tiny alarms ringing in your head
rent is due on park avenue

come to think of it
i am not as happy as i could be
i could use so much more happy
where can i find so much more happy?
rent is due on park avenue

ten million wound-up tin soldiers
perfectly aligned
guns at the ready

sprawled out across the warehouse floor
perfectly aligned
perfectly ready
because rent is coming due on park avenue

and i

still vigilantly optimistic still

and i
wound-up tin poet
with a golden key twisted up in my spine
i sit and write poems

i document the continuing story that we wrote a long time ago
in the vast empire buried beneath our birdsong

and i pretend it’ll fit in the words
this empty sort of hollow where roses grow on the perimeter
all over the ribs and they bloom for space in the hollow
and they die for wars that no one knows who won

and i still vigilantly optimistic still

 

and i
still vigilantly optimistic

still.

Punch Drunk Press

Hey guys,

I guess I never really announced that I started a publishing company, Punch Drunk Press. Currently, we are not accepting manuscripts but we are accepting a wide variety of media for the online site. Please submit and take a minute to check it out! There’s a lot of great stuff up on the site already.

PUNCH DRUNK PRESS

SUBMISSIONS PAGE