Sunday, April 29, 2007

Do You Dream at All?

Title from Tilly and the Wall (MySpace)



We discussed my future over a meal.

Fries slathered in American cheese,

of all disgusting things,

and a slimy, greasy Monte Cristo burned black

and as satisfying as Chateau d'If.



I metered out methodical measures

of plans, likelihoods, and in-any-cases

in between big, throaty gulps of cool, black coffee.

And after all the lines in my speech

were dumped out on the table,

laying on sticky surfaces between the ceramics and silverware,

you pinched them up and examined them,

marveling at how down-to-earth I was:

shocked that I was such a realist.



And your voice couldn't hide that

you felt like you'd given me the wrong bus schedule,

or that you'd taught me to make a kite

but forgot the lesson on how to fly one,

when you asked, "Do you dream at all?"

Monday, April 23, 2007

I Am Trying to Break Your Heart

Title from Wilco (MySpace)



On the first day we met, she said, "I'm damaged."

I was a little dog-eared, with frayed edges and tenderly ripped pages.

Everyone was, right?

Turns out she has been ripped right down the spine and stapled back together.

Her cover drooped off and her words were gray ghosts on yellow pages.



It was a book I couldn't read.

There were pages I couldn't finish,

paragraphs I just skimmed,

and more than a couple chapters I tore out myself,

grinning with malice and a vicious frustration.



And once I'd flipped to half-way through,

once I'd dumped the loose pages out on the floor

and bent that weak spine back further than it ever should've gone,

I dropped that book into a donation bin

hoping someone would treat it more tenderly than I ever could.

Friday, April 20, 2007

A Poetic Retelling of an Unfortunate Seduction

Sorry for the late update. My internet was down yesterday and most of today.



Title from Bright Eyes (MySpace)



In the aftermath of our long afternoon

I drifted into unconsciousness and dreamed the future into now.

My hands were wrapped around a rust-red can, and I had

golden light and baby blue thread spilling from between pursed lips

on a swollen face, flushed and burning, hot like the air in Pompeii.



When I woke up, I got a chill, like when you come out of a warm lake on a windy day,

or like when you realize that, despite all the dusty, brown miles and

sullen, quiet years you'd driven between yourself and her,

you'd turned out exactly like your mother.

Or, at least, I had.



But when I lurched to wakefulness, you recognized the motion as an escape from some distant nightmare,

and so you tied our naked limbs together at the knees and elbows,

hugging me so hard and with so much of yourself that for a moment I thought we'd be one person,

and the force of it turned my smile to silly-putty, picking up your newsprint-ink comfort,

but the chill didn't let up

and I saw my nightmare peeking its head over the distant horizon.

Monday, April 16, 2007

I Wish That I Could See You Soon

Title from Herman D√ľne (MySpace)



Thirty-nine cents and Lady Liberty mark the corner of every day:

Another stamp, another lick, another seal and send.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Where There's a Will There's a Whalebone

Title from Islands (MySpace)



April the 3rd, 1987:

A whale washes up in the yard out back.

He's large and dead, but I name him Kevin.

I swear to eat him whole, add "that's a fact!"



Then it is March the 5th, 2002:

I have made it up to Kevin's sternum,

but I start to think it's wrong to do.

My conscience bites, but I chomp and hurt him.



So I plow through all my problems and eat

with my bloated belly and sore, slack jaw.

Though I abhor every scrap of whale meat,

I still shove it into my weary maw.



Finished, I find my girth too wide, and I

roll over in grass, spread out my arms, and die.

Monday, April 9, 2007

100,000 Fireflies

Title from the Magnetic Fields

(In an exciting haiku narrative series!)



Glowing with white light

and sparkling like teeth in

those Crest commercials.



The field held my youth

in blinking Morse-code patterns

tapped out in silence.



I caught them in jars,

forgetting to punch air holes.

Morning depressed me.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Bestfriend Envy

Title from the Brunettes (MySpace)



Figuring this out is like

solving a Rubik's Cube blind-folded,

or trying to figure out how Narcissus didn't know he was looking

at his own reflection,

or looking for my pen twenty seconds after I had put it down

somewhere
to operate the microwave.



How is it that we can sit in the food court on our lunch break,

looking like we'd just rolled out of bed at the crack of eleven,

talking about why Captain America's untimely demise

(which is actually very timely considering he was,

like, 80 and still fought crime)

was a dumb thing for the news to go nuts about,

and why John Constantine's eventual demise

should have more cultural relevance,

and eating enough cheese fries to make the fat kid from high school,

Johnny Haywood,

say, "Ew! That's way too many cheese fries!"

and yet you still have cute Amanda with the auburn hair

and the glasses walk up to our table,

screech a metal chair across the stone tile flooring,

sit down next to you with an expression like a

first grader at story time,

and ask for your phone number?

Monday, April 2, 2007

They Ate Themselves

Title from the Robot Ate Me. (MySpace)



The sun came through the kitchen window

exactly how good ch'i doesn't through our home.

It was bright and loud and hurt like a bitch,

or like you smacking me with open palms and asking,

"What happened to the God damn cashews?"

You quivered with the rage of some ancient, merciless deity

when I stared blankly and declared,

"They ate themselves."