thoroughfares and time thieves worshipped an artful image hung on the body who has time for that? misunderstood artifice not part of life but part of edificios and fashion shows and then it expresses itself in many forms unformed holding a lion’s nap in my lap and never moving beyond the bubble – it makes crazy angles and constellations spinning and spinning and curlicues
outside the immediate ringaroundtherosy a bell rings, ding, you’re demanded by that buzz, that vibration, that call out shout of someone urging you to pick it up and holler HI! here i am, i mean you love, no harm. but what if the now is sucking in, you can’t handle being immediate, transported to someone else’s realm, they got your number on speed dial, it’s a trick it’s a text it’s a trial, no voice, i can’t hear the voice, i’ll break down, i’ll shrug and shudder… i’m not into telefonos, they make me feel long distance
1. chased into the next realm it’s the limits of the edges of the hump of the hill you throw yourself down. every time you see a clown tweak his nose a bicyclist’s shoelace gets twirled round his pedal during rush hour traffic after church gets out. the screen beckoned you off buses and into internet cafes where you unwrapped a box of bidis and giggled with yourself and the digits and alphanumerics on a screen, nonsense and just learning. words linked to phrases linked to brains linked to faces crushing in and out of crunchy lettered black on white.
and is it right when the warm air twists round yr ankles and a cough on the street passes below yr window, a car creaks slowly by, a cricket chirps for yr ears only? do you resent being pulled out of this now around you, besides, to the periphery, outside stimuli, behind, below? away from the world NOT in these words NOT in the keys NOT in your extra-sense level of thought, NOT the sixth sense NOT the intellect. i’m talking real living sensations. not words not words not these flimsy things before you that you can’t even touch, maybe could say but i wouldn’t hear you anyway, the vapors floating in front of your eyes just as easy to turn off as it is to put down a book, or easier. you can banish it from sight there.
there. turn off the light turn off the monitor isn’t that better now. darkness and you scramble about in the messy cobwebbery of cyber, trying to make a stain on that universe. or a glittery streak? the growl creaks and i cannot be not here.
think of the floating place that tv child is in when he’s in willy wonka’s teletransporter, his big boy body getting chopped up into ninety gazillion dozen million particles and he’s zipped zapped warped back together in a tiny screen-size version. a bite-size version. how many bytes do you got in ya. crunch munch yr pocket full of punchy binaries and oneonezero one one one. one one zero one one one.
eleven i’m in heaven crawling among crisp clouds they goof on me and wear shrouds because we’re in the fix-it-up spot, giving all we got to challenge the ghosts who greet us with toasts and holyrollers chant about cants and cants but. under the river of electricity, lingers a life force. feel the blood flow, rios as tainted as they were neverbefore, this is the moment of ultimate toxicity, the closest to death you have ever been, dig it. lungs bulge for air and it’s as though you’ve never breathed before, or blinked, it’s different every time you do it.
but then you remember when. when it was a little piece of then. the first time, the gleam in the eye, the perfect high, that sweet little rush of a true once in a lifetime. the first time you saw the pacific ocean, wave of emotional lotion and someone so dear, once so near now as far as he could get until hitting puget sound in snow, we rode. i corrode as he’s the rising glamour statue in freedom square, i’m standing there gaping and rolling eyes. one never knows unless one tries. and we jester them on through, smirking and trudging through our judging. it’s a bum job, but NO ONE’S GOT TO DO IT! unless it’s an evaluation of l.o.v.e. and if it won’t get love, i vote none of the above.
i’m sitting cross legged, friend. i’m sitting cross legged. unpegged. not ready to think about any tomorrows, just waiting and seeing and not deciding, waiting and seeing and dreaming of the peeling, of the shedding, of the fresh start, getting on with the cycle, writing chapter two or forty-six or every chapter now that is coming on fast, gripping the past and letting it make you laugh, and those laughs are always probably the easiest to relive and give in to, you present the fiction to yourself cuz that’s how you lived it devil, that’s how it was created in the brain and in you, it was no other way. others may use other words to describe it but you have the right, the ability to frame it in whatever way you need it, your right as human woman man dan or joann, just grope.
and cope with the scope of your frayed yellow rope.
if nothing was allowed to be rented on accident we’d get all our minutes back until we were born alone I see you in the distance running after something in the distance it’s waving goodbye at you you’ll never be happy until the mountain is in your lap and it fellates poems for you we’ll still imagine we see our names written in the cracks of the dirt it is possible for a boy and a girl to pass bubbles by the tongue – an exchange of fluids with less risk than being struck by lightning in the foot magic dreams in another language one of them dreams can’t stop making up words or having one word on repeat, like tokens you whisper it at candles to blow them out
a picture of a bell that rings telling the facts to move remember when your dad peeled an orange for you? she cut off all grown hair and pressed against a mirror it was her experiment in examining emotional depth and a desire to prove her worth out of a tradition-based society so free it was almost good the female version of “women are to be looked at” she crossed it out and wrote “women are to be assigned destructivity” only vast can solve sad only reaching to scream without an inhale to draw from
it’s an important part of forgetting… We were on the edge of something to break off from Someday somebody is going to call us out The hand-through-window stand-still It wasn’t a terrible waste of time Favorite colors overlapping a finite game within a theoretical map The unintended ending spent regenerating an independent sense of a pensive intuition The first position given a permanent mention of mimic
limitless existence metafixed tricksters in trees torching horizons with films up in flames and all the red-walled armistices fell down around me, crumbled like the dirt on the shoes that flapped in the gravity pull on feet, bleeding, but stubborn and stuck in a step you cant stop, centrifugal force and self taught brought a mostly thawed chunk of gurge, wants to be purged despite sunshine and smiling laughing, someone reflects and is distressed, what a mess.
did the cake make itself or was it conceived in minddreams then was mindifested accidentally on purpose? the door was a door that opened both ways on hinges, you could push through it and go back and forth and there were no locks, this created issues in that the room got really crowded because the smells from inside were so good, the light was so warm and the sounds were so friendly …
ester ester ester ester ester, a halicomb glowing helix.
strength on hillside. found weakness and world caved on corner. covered in slush, heavy-handed, the one fingered fists raised up. Seventy percent of fresh water lay in refuge. lucigen lucifers saddled every satellite, saying fuck you…
Then I think of you in bed, your tongue half chocolate, half ocean, of the houses that you swing into, of the steel wool hair on your head, of your persistent hands and then how we gnaw at the barrier because we are two.
How you come and take my blood cup and link me together and take my brine. We are bare. We are stripped to the bone and we swim in tandem and go up and up the river, the identical river called Mine and we enter together. No one’s alone.
She followed my lead and stripped like she was my reflecting pool. I lay down on the bed next to her body, skin touching like seven hundred sensitive silkworms slithering slanted or my surface melting point or puddles of rainbows dripping down the wall.
It was amazing.
We touched for hours. Or clock hands going around clockwise several times on the melting clocks I saw. And then, finally, my brain cleared up a bit and I said to myself or out loud, “If this is this, then imagine a kiss.” I kissed her neck. I sucked. I bit. I loved. Sounds came from her or the bed of goose feathers beneath her flesh like pleasure or pain or experience or false, but I’d started and I wasn’t stopping until this was over.
Excerpt from 'The Microwave Burrito Incident' by Mike Bahl
His voice wasn’t a squawking joke of a transition. It was already chiseled in adulthood, waiting for the rest of his body to catch up. He was stuck in an extremely vulnerable time. Everything that touched him was going to leave a lasting mark, like fingers on an oil painting. Each motion he made was interpreted by his peers for popularity, his parents for potential and his psychoanalyst for problems.
Knowing you’re getting laid, regardless of with whom, always helps relieve party angst. I was on the dance floor. I don’t dance. I recognize how uncoordinated I am and how painful my dancing is for those within a five-mile radius. I was dancing and it felt great, though I had to take an occasional break on the outskirts of the floor in my usual wallflower stance, hands in my back pockets, to gain my bearings, sense of self and breath.
While on one of these breaks, a bikini top landed on my shoulder. Immediately I looked to see where it came from, but unfortunately saw no exposed breasts. With no owner to return the bikini to, I figured I’d just throw it on the ground with the rest of the party garbage—empty plastic cups, used napkins, a couple unmatched shoes—but then I looked at it and saw its American flag print.
I love patriotic apparel. I cannot help it. It’s not quite mockery, but it’s not exactly serious either. Maybe it’s a desire for the tacky in the life I live otherwise frivolously. I do not fully understand this compulsion. I own four actual American flags, an American flag-design tie, a belt buckle that prominently portrays my patriotism, a pair of suspenders with bald eagles blazing and a 2003 George W. Bush calendar I’ve taken apart and retaped together so all the pictures form one blanket across my kitchen wall. Whenever I see a flag flying in an interesting place I take its picture; I have an entire photo album devoted to these shots.
I tore off my hoody and T-shirt and draped the bikini over my shoulders. I could not figure out how to tie the straps, so it hung loosely off my sunken chest. I dive-bombed the dance floor and cleared out a three-foot radius for my exuberant moves.
i is right next to u on my keyboard where the wound was sound it out, stiff harness, cut the taglines short and sweeter than the world could deserve what will emit, weep and bleed, silence, the haemorrhage of happiness horrorscope drumline, the harvest of proxy and the spring begun in a soil-filled basket soaked overnight, dreams made new rules old numbers on a new phone mystery of whatchamacallit, the way we are encircled the way the old bind ties, when memory holds cold steel to the wrists of betterment what if we had gone to nyc for publishing and nonprofits, what if we met the men who went for power and money would we have snorted our futures up our nose and found ourselves in the dumpster of an american psycho? or would your limousine driver end up couriering our writeoffs on sunday to the fedex jet while your bagman steams up my doubleshower?
you came looking for me, dear now tell me what you’re doing here
i was not expecting to be spun pinwheel style on top of a fencepost viewing downtown lights flickering just minding my bird’s nest, lining it with feathers when you came to grab my hand hold my ear nibble my heart with fanged phrases made of loverock
for god so informed the world that he seemed to be hanging tight to the edge of a leaf like a drop of water about to drip, slip trip over fringe into absolute blackout mode, guilt animal offscreen, destiny sucking past life guessing seconds off kilter scenes the sun has seen distribute masses matasticized but even the outlaws and ecstatic extremists were at loss, i saw you invisible womyn in pictures
how far you get in opium haze craving sharp desire hunger to fill yin, coupled hand outstretched waiting to be holding swollen ocean pleasurable ones, intense emotions characterized by years of plutonic always, purity as soon, relief moment dissolved to remember accurate without romantic skinscape, protoplasm hands shake,
did you fall down the bend of a well? hoping open fear to steer and you’re so melted you could fry
open your mind to visions pertaining to or involving intense stupefied heat deep in earth fuck thought just the room turning into a southern motel pluto underworld stupefy geology internal heat features, like you were the desert, going puddle to puddle, sucking mirages from memory’s moisture
not a figure in the, he is the landscape of the full moon’s importance.
tides refresh themselves in days measured exactly, adapting into the environment. one cog wheel clicks into another and grooves. spiral of zygotes, in tissue and letters. stained embrace on her brain. while ten measuring spoons clatter against the kitchen floor, jazz music designed to erase the whine from the day. generous gentle breath in energypockets. independent of this datacentre, geometry arrests us in our dna and the alhambra. a jigsaw of faculties make man creative. conscious planning, organization and language.
like they are singing. and no one else is listening. smooth voice of every boy i have ever known. and that one, the drunk campfire boy. too sweet for this mouth felt taste driving to an oat field and that afternoon bicycle ride to that place under the sky with big white clouds bluest sky i’ve ever known the reeds blew past a gravel house in the middle of nowhere, we got under the tree and nobody’s asleep, everyone is just watching their back, watch the person walking behind you, she wants to call you when you are ready to listen.
the sidewalk’s too narrow i always wrote the answers to the bottom of your shoes and then we were walking in the park in the summer once again analyzing the afterlife of a cigarette butt the arms go over and around a foreign voice subtracts this longing for intimacy and passion the last repeated in a house in the old neighborhood we walked around the block and sat on the swings and you thought i was desperate when i slid down the slide and i can’t get past the beeps and go away from the pay phone it’s my old ladyfriend and he’s got the last word with a strum of guitar that is stinging. if it hurts cover it up with a gauze patch and watch the blood seep through slowly like a long distance relationship. and i want to come home and see you making spaghetti sauce.
are we driving west, can we know more of a foreign continent than of our own backyards? are we prolonging things that are just going to the landfill, or are we further consummating a lusty fit? it’s nearing a religion. sitting in a dirt pile looking at nonexistent sunflowers or goblins and slapping mosquitoes, sitting on the creaky porch swing, arguing about the existence of a little dipper … you were never wrong but the hazy sky and lights from the airport make me think i was spinning around and around, in the grass, falling and then your leg was a pillow.
cutting the lawn and the mower died and i didn’t even notice, cuz i picked up a blue feather for you. what is with our items in common the real red table that is formica and a disturbing droopy eyed encounter with a semi sickening show, we watched the moon rise and long quack grass scratched our bare ankles. the moon reflects off his clear brown eyes and he opens them real wide, as if waking from a long nap. as if seeing for the first time. and our arms were gone and the only thing left was a simultaneous beating heart.
sometimes music is so intimate, personal, it’s almost embarrassing. the whipped cream came in cans. and no one was eating the peanuts and i drifted when the cops got up and talked. why can’t men get mad cows disease? because they’re all pigs i i i i i ahh … i don’t know. navy blue skirts and dancing with pinecones and grass and old broken down fences, fort hideout under the pine tree. the boys got the pine tree, the girls got the ballerina bar. a bike ride through the cemetery. i was going to be harvard smart and wear ripped jeans because i did not care. i was so close so close to hating you for making me love you. flower daisyday then the mountains melt and weep for you. laying in that field gently all always outside. a balcony over the field. looking toward the airport. eight, maybe six hours away i’d drive fast, miss every dandelion word of a perfect friend asking if i am okay but only after i am. no one is coming home to me except this song, i would cover the peephole and submerge the darkness over this room it’s that blanket i stare at to sleep all the words are melting together and an old relative calls and the voice is surprisingly sad but it reminds you of all the miracles you forgot.
looking for something beautiful we drifted off into the steam, a slow fog lifts over the island a castle you are standing on a tower looking down with a violin in one hand resting against your chin you are looking down a bow dangling from your fingers next to your side, your mouth is closed in a distant smile and yr eyes are shining and i am walking underneath and setting down a basket of flowers. the butterflies come and you play a song. this is the song you play. we remember every time the phone rang ten times twelve times. and it’s only been never so long. make plans to play chinese checkers in the dark shade under the small thick elm trees next door; set up a tent and lay out a fuzzy blue blanket, drink strawberry hill and examine patterns in the leaves. talk about when we did that and when we are going to taste the moon and live in a star we burn slowly, inside to out and it comes and it comes but it doesn’t rush. nothing is slow enough savor this red anticipation. and then you are the star. nothing beautiful ever hurries. i showed you this slow poetry and you said thank you for being someone.
numbers narrow & i know a lot of people but i don’t love a lot of people. some things are making me want to get into religion again. i see this same light every night when i try to remember you because there is window seat time solitude and the music swells and it breaks like a wave in the sea over me where sun sears the minds of two kids walking in the water with their clothes on on a windy night on a sleeping bag. it was your birthday and we made love and we made love again and argued about the existence of the little dipper for the first time, a lighthouse flickered behind the foggy darkness a tear dripped down my cheek because you asked me not to break your heart.
someone started things that i never thought i’d see until my next life. someone follows you from life to life you may only briefly pass on the street, you may fall in love or you may never meet at all but that person is there somewhere. how is it i was so lucky how is it i was so so lucky. we ran and tumbled down the hill, you let your pet bat go in the woods. we korean wrestled, then we did the merry go round. i almost fell off but you caught me and we got off and spun in the grass and fell on our backs to laugh and laugh and laugh and kiss. i always hiccough softly after i cry.
frozen earth is stiff with the solidified hydrogen oxygen which will warm and melt soon, setting the stage for the seeds’ potentials. remember warming, heart rising, the runner’s high, the pinch in the lungs teased the way your whole chest can open into a rhythm, like the happiness burst, beaming light from root chakra to crown, past the lake to the sunshine heart center and wondering universe. what next choice you will put into or release from your mouth is a truth convergence toward self-enunciation realizations.