Dusty, where there used to be smoke but now it’s just flustered hope banging against windows, fighting it out under street lights, awnings pulled tight like arms around me at midnight. Wandering through roads and flash mobs of dance and postcards a-go, but here’s what I think: dead people don’t drink nearly this much and I wish I was buried under the ground so I could shut up shut up shut up i’ve said too much, in the way I always do, in the way I try and tell the truth to you, but it always ends up pouring out, run my mouth, keep the tongue well soused and make my mind liquefy, take my time.
that kind of boy, he irons his shirts, his jeans, his socks, his underwear. Everything’s white. Folded like envelopes in wooden drawers. that kind of boy, he spends a lot of time on his hair and it’s hard to the touch.
they go two ways, those kinds of boys. unkempt, blunt guts spattered on the dirty carpet like sawdust, safety pins and ink. too much time on their hair, hard to the touch.
Or cleaner, whiter, bleached out to cover up.
that kind of boy, he chooses too slowly, he picks the easy target. either way, clean or dirty. it’s the same number of stones, stoned, dethroned, flowerless rooms with just two things on the dresser and shoes with stretchers; it’s like a hospital in there.
that kind of boy, he stays in one place. he can’t move, glued to the spot where he first came out, with his shirts lined up up on identical hangers, shut away in a closet, next to the window, with the curtains drawn, all the movies spine out; alphabetical.
the other kind throws it around, it hangs out of drawers, piles up on the floor, drapes over door frames and seeps under carpets. he is liquid as a cat.
that kind of boy makes his bed, with precise corners, scrubs his car, and all his clothes are known. that kind of boy dives in head first. that kind of boy doesn’t smile, he shows his teeth.
when mr. rabbit heart walks into the room we all stop breathing
and I didn’t I didn’t I didn’t I don’t
want to tell you just what I’ve been thinking
pretty boys with their pretty lies
had enough camera time to last a life
all chipped pink polish and pieces of bitten off nail flicked through the gap in your front teeth over greasy meat and this is maybe not all its cracked up to be. checkered pants and wedding vows and liars who say they had to eat the bear cos sometimes it eats you and i think: hey ho west virginia, you’ve got some shit to sell me up the river and into the sweet home mountains of another man’s lyrics.
my little rockstar, yeah you sit at the mixing board and i think of all the times there were french maids and mike and ikes and oops, another cat out of the bag and onto the carpet. and this is maybe not all it’s cracked up to be. i can find you on thursday, i can fly out and see but i think maybe this time
i’m going it alone, without teeth, skin, hair, nails, any remembrance of any of them and they call it scared runnin’ but you have to move out to the desert just to turn it up for awhile and i’m sorry that it was none of them and i’m sorry it was none of you and
we’re gonna need new passports before this is all done and we have to get out now before our lungs freeze up with the way they do with ice cold oceans floating in our bloodstreams. and am I your rabbit and am I your rabbit and am I your bunny and am I your mermaid, flip flopping, hip hopping floundering in the meadows
cos this is the way that you always said it would be drowning swamp Ophelia, all river reeds stretched through her finger tips, treading slow moving water and painting those canvases with saxaphones and trombones and she said there’s the baby, so smash it up and kill it, sweet sophia, never had another, won’t have another and you tell the widows there’s been an overdose in the woods
and those curls used to hold my hand while we laid in the sheets and he made me laugh, which was better than purring, better than slamming, but not as good as bats fluttering against skin because that was love, for the win.
you’re right, it’s a fucked up love song thrown out to the mountains, all the make believe fashioned from certain lyrics that he made up when he slammed the hammer through the door and scratched the poems into the walls with bloody nails, but it’s not just that, cos it’s not just one and at this point,
the stories are interchangeable.
and in the spring the water warms up and begins to cut through the air with the knife and you hold me so tight that I just can’t breathe
They are all rocks, un-movable feasts, like Frank in his bowl, glugging aimlessly through bubbles that are simply his own filth sucked through and repeated outwith with great force. You are not in flight, you do not have feathered wings with which you flap through night time skies to come and see me, no you are a rock, a burnt piece of tree, turned into a fossil with a mosquito in me.
all weighted down, sprinkled across country, across sea, across cities and town, and I move through the streets, no map in hand, and I move through the streets cos man, no he don’t love me, no man he don’t love me. but you do. sit sit sit down and think about all the times we have spent, great gushing gaping wounds and all the lyrics that we meant. and everyone gets a poem, everyone gets a line, so let’s jerk each other off one sentence at a time. and that’s what this is, ego stroking across the pen tip, the nib, the nip down to the corner store to buy forties and kid, this is the best thing, the only thing they say,
but they are not reading, they don’t know my name,
they do not know that it’s floating around up in the air, hands up to grab and you can’t catch it here, no you can’t catch it where you are laying down and you can’t see it all it’s just a spark and they can’t see that yes,
I would sit down with you. I would tie myself up, like a junkie’s broken arm, let you tap at the veins with those teeth and those charms, let it absorbed me, your rock star stance, crushing my bones with a violent slam dance, but they know that it’s wrong and they tell me it’s so:
i only love the slamming vibrations of your words against mine and your body can be traded for another down the line, your face is angles and planes that can be shifted and replaced with new, but your poems are what draws me back to you.
You better take my picture, it’s like poetry when you do. The sky is great heaving seas falling over pavement at 4 am, waiting for the sun to rise and come back and scorch us like in movies, like with you when you sing. Do you still sing?
Sling your camera around your neck and pretend I say pretty things, it’s only in your head, I never did have very many ways around this place. I can hear the cars tripping by through puddles and the sounds they make, like buzzing or is that just cos I left the window open and now it is a buzzing, struggling to get out.
And they say stories get told every minute of the day, well I ask you what do you want to say this time? Do you want to say you wrote poetry and then let it die? Do you want to say that you get postcards and never replied? Pen to hand, you just take the train on down the line, while I got tickets to scrape into your mouth and I know NYC is on a grid, on a fucking grid, it’s four streets to the left and one to the right and one to the right and I go over again and go one to the right.
And they say sweet home ____. And they say take me home, _____. and they name places, they name mountains, they name rivers, and trees. it’s not really you is it? so take my picture again, it’s like poetry, with the words sliding out between your fingers,from the way my eyes tilt at you across sheets and my lips curl up, words are spilling like this open sky at 4 am and the torrents of water rush around feet and make sense of the wetness, the darkness, you’re blind. Snapping pictures up as I get on the plane,
close the train doors, trace a heart in the grime, and I say:
don’t break my heart this time.
i’m gonna cry on you and you can cry on me, flip shit and hair, push candy down the couch, and then getting closer and closer and bam, switch the turntable, here’s a new song, like a flicker of light, off on off on and you’re gone up to the couch over to the lamp and crouched behind the chair like one talented cat and I saw you
big headphones covering your ears. and I said, I’m gonna cry on you and you can cry on me and blue cars ride whip waves through cracked pavement through tree lined fields that hide the highway to the next town over with gasoline treads and broken bottle caps and bags of garbage as high as the whiskers and we slam dance we monsters we so filled with rage at burning mountains of candles and albums and she was and she was and she was there was always another girl in the road in my eye and then I said, I see what they’re doing to me. I can’t
write anymore about the twisted and the stupid and the tired and the used, want pretty words that shine and clink and then there are ten toes hopping on the piano and the way they swarm around you, jesus with the saints, saint sofia fell from me and saint sofia came outta me and I saw that new rain and you saw hot ashes bury flesh up with the ant hills and we say
knock me down mr. tambourine man, we say knock me down and back again and on the third day he’ll rise up from the ashes to begin again, and they say eggs paul newman, eggs on the side, they say 20 odd men and I say 20 odd right and wet whistles and french films and ghosts of libraries past and we never did kiss, but then we never did match.
flippers strike out against great plains of blue skies and fall down into the mountains of green grass and bright white flowers floating down like snow, all stripped in the heat to burnt remainders of your skin, stretched across planes
of her face.
they keep saying that the new faces that you’ll meet will break you, will shape you, will make you greater than those you have already seen and I leave behind me a trail so wide with the bodies of those that I have met that I am a slug who has squirmed, with great relish, into the annals of your history. but i go back again, back again, and he knocks me down and i put him back up on a pedestal, gleaming becaue he is so far away and he says I am the best with the words and I say that I am tongue tied, stutter stutter we all make mutters to hear ourselves think and I say that there will be no love from this stone and I say that there will be no love from this stone. and flippers and fins snake across oceans back to the salt, salt miners dig deeper dig deeper this time until we have found a word that rhymes with
and we sit on the meadows and we ask: what are we going to do when we run out of time and there is no answer but pop another pill and drink another drink and dance until the sun starts to rise and then we collapse and we think in ink stains on skin and we think in scratching our bodies apart and we think in minutes and seconds, not hours and days and we think
you don’t know how it feels.
I love you for two minutes. I love him for ten. I love this for one second and I’m over it again. Swooping down and I can tell you: I can make you feel like no one else has ever heard these words before, but I say them to everyone. but that doesn’t mean they aren’t true when I say them to you and I’ll say it again. and again and again and I can lay next to you and I can lie next to you and you can call me out if only you actually had any sense of the truth. I don’t want what you have, I already got what I wanted, I already skipped town and took the first piece and I don’t want the rest of the fucking pie: it isn’t