no.98

a friend of mine can go for days without seeing or speaking to anyone and
it’s not avoidance, it’s not depression
it’s an independence only told in stories
of near-death experiences and religious awakenings

and I could never muster the courage to subject myself to anything like that
every waking day needs to be concentrated with the knowledge that other breathing, writhing creatures
are somehow aware of my own breathing, writhing existence
because the last time I heard the world around me go quiet
the rabbit hole was deeper than I thought

I left school and watched my classmates take candids and write checks and drink stale beer in some mock celebration
while I sat and scrawled letters to everyone who’d made noise in my ears
peculiar sounds that reverberated through my body and carved notes in my skin
manic, rushed, drunk-minded sober-tongued sentences strung together like a poorly displayed children’s craft
only to hear back from one
and feel the burn slowly smolder

I have no other method of expression other than through written means
the need is tiring, wringing myself dry over bare ground is tiring
but I’m alive and well and yet to see the face of god
so continuance will remain my strong suit.

no.97

if we’d all been born six billion years from today well
it wouldn’t happen, any and all life on earth would’ve been obliterated & consumed by the ever-growing sun
so how lucky are we to be here now,
not lucky like lottery lucky but lucky like
I have a pretty good chance of waking up tomorrow
but I guess not everyone can say that

so even with this knowledge I can’t seem to grasp how the continually absurd world ironies don’t bother me,
the exhausted ‘running from the rain but sitting in tubs full of water’; alanis’s ‘meeting the man of her dreams and then meeting his wife’;
so many insisting they’re god incarnate, really a speck of dust on the face of the universe like the rest of us
like shelling out two million to fund a commercial
to beg for money for the starving

and although the world’s a rat race careening towards the sun
the most ironic part is
I’ve never really wanted it to speed up.

  • friend: you speak french?
  • me: yeah
  • friend: say something in french!
  • me: je suis venu ici pour passer un bon moment et je suis honnêtement sentir si attaqué dès maintenant

no.96

I imagine the daybreak taste of cigarettes and coffee must be pretty satisfying
I could do without the lung cancer or addiction aspects but somehow
I need to get the raw relief everyone’s talking about

I don’t have brothers and I don’t have sisters and I can guarantee no matter what level of noise you think daylight brings, or how quiet your walls are at night
you’ve yet to sleep where I sleep
so I’m not sure why I think I need any sort of early morning mercy

the first fear I had as a little girl was hearing someone’s full first name
when before I’d only recognized them by the blunter, more honest version of themselves
& I thought I still believed in this
until I realized my own name
had little abbreviation.

no.95

sit back, consciously watch the depth of the rise and fall of your own chest
even when each seam stitching it together seems as though it’s already
stretched to widest girth

on days like today I am nothing but trapped inside my own body
I can’t help but believe there is something more feral, more agitated
prowling back and forth behind skeletal bars only to back away in the midst
of direct eye contact

yet as of late little rattles the exterior cage
and anything to swipe across the beams makes more of a musical resonance that settles inward
rather than any profound disturbance

but everything is temporary—almost intangible
in the upcoming months I expect to lose more fragments of my life than I can fill the growing void with
be it writing, sleeping, alcohol,
sitting on the floor of the bathroom trying to dial your phone number

and I’ll work to recall my demeanor of recent days, stretch the skin around me
so whatever’s lingering beneath can breathe more easy.

no.94

it’s been a long time since I’ve listened to headphone music without simultaneously filling the void with some mundane task

I don’t know what comprises my mind,
I don’t know what insists that the void be filled
I can’t adjust to change like I can’t take comfort in remaining still

the small hours of the morning used to consist of shallow existence
I whisper things to arouse an unwanted answer
only for you to tell me you’re nervous
when before you’d had me convinced nothing could rupture your calm

I never want to be that kind of youth
today is wasted on the young looking down at tomorrow
and tomorrow is soon to be today

no.93

this is number ninety three
probably ninety-two, fairly certain I miscounted way back when
I thought I was a real writer up until I read about the beauty in loss and the pain in beauty
I didn’t believe in much but I believed in the part of us that didn’t mind torrential rain on the fourth of july
and here we aren’t

I never fit into the mold of this town
it’s probably because of that that I can say it hasn’t kicked me around much but it was always on the various and particular streets I lived in
that I’ve watched it pummel the others to the dirt and there wasn’t much I could do to stop that
and all I can say is my perception has changed

in less than two months every person I stood in front of and behind in a unified line of polyester gowns
will disperse across the coast in the damp alleys of the city and the artificially manicured lawns of the country to make the age-old attempt to either ease their parents’ ability to smile
or ease the development of that line in their foreheads

and this town will remain as it always has, the only change being
our perspective of the place
and the new taste of dirt we’ll inevitably hit.

no.92

(I don’t know what we’re about)
I can’t get doris’s fourth track out of my goddamned head, it’s running over and over like the way you run around your neighborhood and insist with the blood in your veins and your pulse in your ears that you have something to run from

(what good is west coast weather, if you’re bipolar)
I didn’t have to see the track marks on your arms to believe they were there at the time, they puckered angrily whenever you slammed the door of your room or chased after boys without fathers

(I could get high every day, but I’d be sleepy, OCD and paranoid, so)
you tried to talk and I kept eating whatever was in front of me
and I doubt you hid from anyone, the first eyes that set themselves on your feigned calm hook you like bait, kiss the puncture wound through your cheek
twirl yourself in the wire before they think to reel in

(loving you’s a little different, I don’t like you a lot)
you see, you see
I’ve never had to paint purple but feel red, I’ve never had to paint purple but work to extract the blue and he’s good to me, I’ve never written without proofreading, I’ve never wasted so many hours inside

(I know it’s coming in droves—you’ll only miss when it goes)

no.91

she’s not going anywhere
and sooner than later, you’ll expect me to hate her but that bullseye’s
on its mark, she’ll miss and take
off like the time you wiped blood from
my shirt and now you can’t wait to get hurt when there’s so much to be done
but how anal will I be when I’m left aiming the gun, drowning in my frank ocean, time interwoven and how’d your eyes sink that low
did you think of her below him
or smoke a few names to feel the corrosion
what good is the sunshine state if the weeds need rain but thank god I’m laughing—
forgot you like when it’s rough,
I’ll be even more graphic
with you on your escapist run
and flash a smile in that moment,
if I can hold it

no.90

life is a cyclical vacuum of familiarity
everything and anything traipsing across my line of sight and the nerve endings in my stomach
is no stranger to the area

I don’t even smile at the irony of my phone screen shattering in the precise spot where your name would be and the precise button I would press to escape from its beckoning
I don’t bother titling anything because I don’t bother assuming I know enough to do so

I only think of the immense loneliness that comes from the urge to plunge to the floor of my pool when no longer is anyone around and twilight has broken the sky and the sudden temperature change would shock my bones still and crack them in its wake and I’m hoping the pieces that remain would somehow spell out an apology in the language we were forced to create in the mess

but I see nothing wrong with twice asking for the keys to the hotel room upstairs during the wedding reception
so I could collapse on the bed in my hair and my dress and miss the first dance for a rerun of regular show
just because the constant applause made me think
a huge mistake had been made

everyone’s been telling me my
roommate will make me run for the begotten hills with my bags in my arms and my faith in humanity between my teeth
but I’m tired of being convinced
there is inherent evil in the world

especially when I’m capable of falling asleep unyieldingly on the couch around your family while the tv flashes
and your sister still positions herself to drape my legs over her lap
and your mother tries her best to express to me her love for all of you
and you still want to walk me to the beach to see the sky
and it’s all too easy to convince myself there’s someone much more deserving