Category: writing

Love/Hate

Love/Hate

“How can you hate what I love?” she asked
draped over the sofa, ellipses stuck in her throat…

“Because I hate everything,” he answered
and deposited a lifetime of trust in an off-shore
account that the instantly forgot existed.

She thought about his words, and then she
thought about her relationship to the words,
so she took a powder and disappeared somewhere

up north, and he collected fall-out shelters
and moved among them like a wanted man.

Benefit for the Self-Obsessed

I absorbed the style of your night,
your courage like a good-sized cocker
spaniel, crouched and hackles raised,
ready to protect you at a moment’s notice.

But you don’t need protecting, do you,
with your prodigious smile and thick
intentions, hogging all the finger sandwiches
at the Banquet of Forlorn and Spurned Lovers?

My, how you haven’t grown, remarked
the 135-year old woman, frail and blue.
It was true enough, though you rejected
her words like you rejected me year ago.

You moved with the the speed of paper
cut, small but fast, redolent with outsized
pain while the rest of us redrew our maps,
marking off the places deemed too dangerous.

A Blue Affair

It was such a blue affair,
irrelevant, really…or

irrelephant, you said as
you traipsed off into the wild

green of the surrounding hills
and called to those mighty

bastions and memory and deep
sadness, keepers of burial

grounds which sprout stones
like pale, strong flowers, like tusks,

like the very bones of redemption…
or so you said, one unforgivable

morning when nothing was right
with the world but you still loved me.

Advice to Myself at the Onset of a Panic Attack

Try breathing on the moon–
it’s been known to cause death
which will stop a panic attack.
If you don’t want something that
extreme, there’s always lopping
off a hand or a finger–focusing on
the pain will at least shift the panic
to something more real, not the fake
crises you’re always yammering on
about: the fate of the Neanderthals,
what to make for dinner, the price
of a restaurant meal, your place in
the vast, unfeeling, cold cosmos.
Okay, the last one makes sense,
but the rest are just fucking bonkers.

Dinner Date

By the time your mother invited me over
and baked her famous blood casserole,
I had already invented the art of recycled
pain, jettisoning any hope that we would
have a normal love or even a normal day,

so it wasn’t weird when your mother–
a member of the Guilt of the Month Club,
standing there with oven-mitted hands,
offering us her family history baked into
savory strangeness, some relative of hers

gasping out culinary horror– spooned
giant heaps of the stuff onto our silvery plates,
and we ate dutifully, aware of the darkness
clotting our throats, making it hard to breath,
let alone swallow the years of agony in each bite.

At Last, Lunch With You

There is a teeny bit
of mayonaise left for
your intestine sandwich.
Holy crow, that’s some
good stuff, especially

from the bellies of stupid,
fat, and juicy people.
“Ewww!” you scream.
“That’s gross! What
the hell’s wrong with you?”

“The underside of naked
mole rats in heat,” I reply,
“is gross, as in the inside
of a mongoose’s eyeball.
It’s pasty and not at all fragrant.”

For that, you relegate me
to the Hinterlands of Ill-Omens
and I… I take the suicide less
contemplated, and that will
make none of the headlines.

My Brain on a Polaroid

I can’t see because the ocean
is covering my eyes again as I
try drowning for the tenth time–
the other nine were abject failures,
and I shot to the surface, breaking
the water with my moony face
upturned and desperate for air
instead of welcoming in the water.

I have learned since then, and as
I open my mouth this time, I see
an image…a Polaroid picture of my
brain, and I remember standing in
the backyard of my grandmother’s
house, waving that little square of
paper, waiting for the picture to appear.

Me and the Beard

“I’ll kill you in the moonlight
in front of the heavenly host,
you wretched thing,” I say.
Yes, go deeper, tell me more,
the beard tells me, so I do:

“I’ll sacrifice your face to the
wind and dice your soul until
the cows come home. Not
just ordinary cows, mind you.
Expensive, good looking ones.”

That will take a looong time.
“‘’sokay,” I reply, lighting a
match with my teeth. “I got time.”
And we sit across from each other,
man and beard, patiently toiling.

Need

Let me drain you of whispers
and replace them with silence,
my black flower, my midnight one.
Press your lips to the ground
and taste my imminent arrival.

When we meet, time will become
like a mother you once loved.
Let God hide in his skies and the
devil laugh in his restless, hot earth.
Cling to me and let all else die.

Inhuman

Inhuman

How is that humanly possible?
she asks me as I contort myself
in all manner of ways to fit her
expectations and make sure she’s
well-pleased with my performance.

I think about reminding her that
I’m not human and never have been,
and that was what first drew her to
me, but too many reminders make
her cry and long for someone else.