EXCORIATION

what the fuck is wrong with you?
you tear it from your flesh.
does anyone have tobacco
for a cigarette?
clip it out, grab the
end with tweezers and
make sure to get the
white part of the root
what the fuck is wrong with
you? the scabs are starting
to itch again
wash your hands. keep
breathing. deep breaths.
does anyone have
any tobacco for a cigarette?
i quit eating sugar,
i can’t stop once
i start.
fingernails have always worked
best. without the root it is
pointless so don’t just pull
hard, pull right.
take your pill. don’t forget
even though it doesn’t
help much. does anyone
have any tobacco for a
cigarette? keep breathing
remember this you is you
too just as much as the
other one. i remember
i used to pull them out
one by one but now i just
tear it in clumps just
remember without the root
they are worthless.
told you fingers
are the best. what the fuck
is wrong with you? you know
exactly what it’s the same
as it’s always been and the
only one that suffers is
you. hey does anyone
have any tobacco for
a cigarette?

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SZABADSÁG SQUARE

Toddlers playing, a paper airplane. Shrubs uncomfortably pruned. Old fella passes, rounded spine and balding head in a striped polo. A kid falls off his bike. Couple on a bench, her head in his lap. Tricycles on the pavement. Youths in matching shirts. Enthusiastic Hungarian chanting from somewhere over yonder. Older guy with long silver hair walks in strides and carries a half-sized pizza box. Wears glasses. Definitely an intellectual. Does walking in a city make a person more intellectual?

Bike kid’s gettin cocky with his stunts. Wealthier folks are probably at the gondola-lookin restaurant in the park’s center. Seated chicly in appropriate white outdoor chairs. Sipping on Cold Drinks With Ice, as Fancy People are wont to do. I hate them all.

A small broken log all alone on a patch of dirt. A german shepherd that has never been allowed to run free in its entire lifetime. The shepherd has given up on feeling bitter and simply allows itself to enjoy the freedom to eat whatever human food it begs its masters for.

Greasy-lookin hip kid eats a sandwich as he walks. Four hippies gathered in a corner. Fifty percent of them are wearing those enormous hammer pants that seem to magically sprout on hippies. Skinny man in pink shirt and khaki shorts reads the Bible on a bench with his chihuaua.

Mom took the kid’s bike away and now he’s pissed as fuck, screaminng, crocodile tears, arms folded round his chest. Still wants cuds from mama doh, even though mama is the one to blame.

A girl on the bench with long black hair. She looks like me, but clean and proper, taking in the sun. Standing, slowly meanders towards me. Kneels down, meets my eyes and licks her lips. Pushes me onto my back and undoes my shorts, pulls my leggings down, kisses me over my underwear. Nobody around us notices. I’m fine with that.

Lola, trae la pelota. Lola. Lola. Lola, trae. Trae la pelota Lola. Trae. Lola is a small, shiny black girl with floppy ears and a real perky tail. Her companion is more of a setter/street mutt mix, light brown, huntin dog size, too excited to control itself, barking like a maniac. Owner cries out Coco!
Never trust anyone who names their dog Coco.

BINGE

written august 2017
ibiza, spain

thin: emerging hip bones
fat: leftover tofu pad thai, not cold nor re-heated, found in purse at 4 in the morning and eaten in bed without clothes.

times were fat and so was i, the miserable erroneous life form that was like the others yet different, living on a so-called island (which did cling to the rest of the world with speedy little metal missiles carrying passengers and pirates to and from distant lands)

it was said the island either wanted you, or didn’t: if it did, it kept you. if it didn’t, it kicked you out.

it didn’t want me, and i knew it. but i was stubborn.
my binge-eating habits erupted there, the stress of constant, daily rejection, the sense of not-belonging so great and powerful that it bled me dry at times of the very will to live
each night i sat
taking nervous sips and sweating bites and chewing as if chewing on my problems,
which, i suppose, i was.

sometimes i made myself laugh about it, “twenty-four: the age of hot chocolate at 6 am still awake for no good reason” (other than chronic sleeplessness.) halfway living off garbanzo beans and sticks of imitation crab, spinach and cream cheese and “pan payés” and generic corner-store gazpacho from the carton, never, ever, ever in a cup. every dirty cup and plate was a ridiculous burden on my anxious mind, for this house of mine had very strict rules and there was no room for untidiness
but keeping tidy inside a hurricane mind is not at all an easy task.

BIRDLIKE

written october 2016
granada, spain

he makes me thirsty, desperate for growth. all I want is to be there beside him.

but he told me once he loves tiny women, small like birds, with delicate bones and fingers — the things I find beautiful, the things I will never be. I was born into a trap: a cage of flesh built a bad way, crooked and thick, short, wide, soft. a human sausage, a turkey leg, a flank steak with extra flanks. mm, meaty. this one bleeds. built backwards, everything fragile went inside. the big tough parts moved out. protect and serve. a body to beat back a life that attacks head-on, would take me in cold blood if it could. I am war-torn, scarred, uneven. I am no little bird, though I see them and I love their feathers and their feet and their songs, and I envy so their ability to fly.

AGOSTO

written august 2017
ibiza, spain

it is august and the air is thick with dust and sweat of all the neighbors packed like sardines in their salt and oils, the workers’ anguish, backs bent and throbbing, tourists’ money and cocaine in their pumps and their cocktails and their jewelry. august and my skin is full of holes and i have itches i can’t name and i sleep on a bare mattress in the corner of a two-bed room beside an argentinian dancer who’s gotten tendinitis in both hands from serving too many bevies at the disco. she’s not allowed vacation and could in theory provoke permanent tendon damage or lose small motor control in her hands thanks to working too much and being too sober and possibly due to not fucking enough (an argentine theory.) sometimes as she sleeps a perfect boob slips out from the sheets and stares me in the face and i am forced to consider for the trillionth time the magnitude of my mediocrity. i go to the gym and i train in the flood of moisture that is my own and everyone else’s and i step outside and the air’s even wetter. it’s become a fight to reach the oxygen.

juan said in june the island is “shiny” and fresh and clean and beautiful but august is the month that she begins to rumble like some angry dancing goddess bleeding down her thighs ready to shake the clinging bodies off of hers,

only the desperately stubborn hang on

musings: capitalism, student debt and sacred corporate fellatio

Been hearing a lot lately from Europeans grateful as hell they don’t live in the US — talk of bigwigs like Boris Johnson renouncing his U.S. citizenship over tax bills from the states, in spite of never having lived there; gaffs at incredible student debt, astronomical medical charges and the general way the United States milks its citizens as cash cows as soon as they reach proverbial adulthood (though, like a patronizing, overprotective parent, won’t trust them with a drink til three years later.)

My distaste, as a citizen, has only grown since I left four years ago. Though not ungrateful for the luxury my citizenship has afforded me — ease of travel with my passport, for instance, or the ease of obtaining a new iPhone every two years under my family’s costly mobile contract, or the high-quality education that ironically led me to escape the holy land of capitalism in the first place — I still feel more emburdened by the things that define Americanness, the debt intended to enslave me, the brute sense of entitlement that follows like a stray dog until you learn to strangle it off, the intuitive affront at things deemed less civilized, that which is dirty, that which is poor; the social obligation to pretend to be nice until you’ve gotten what you want out of someone, to bend over backwards for the customer who, under sacred capitalist doctrine, is always right.

Capitalism has founded a culture based on for-profit falsities, people taught to swindle as a means to an end — a pasted-on smile and a high-pitched “How are you today?!” that, as we all know, is never intended to invite an honest answer. Like most of my friends without affluent parents, I’ve spent years sucking sacred customer dick in the service industry, tolerating patronizing verbal abuses of all those Good Christians who, you never know, might just be having a bad day — so don’t take it personal (if you do, you’ll be fired or worse — sued for inflicting emotional distress.) It pains me to envision forcing myself back into that industry; never again could I felate a customer for the sake of my job unless I go into literal prostitution, which pays better anyway. Fire me for self-defense or a refusal to bullshit, if you must. I’ll find another shit job, there are millions like it out there. That life is a mere mirage of living.

Then there’s the debt. My humble 22 grand used to be enough to keep me awake at night, until I decided it was a social tool to oppress and subdue me (which it is.)

Consider Noam Chomsky’s take:

“Students who acquire large debts putting themselves through school are unlikely to think about changing society. When you trap people in a system of debt, they can’t afford the time to think. Tuition fee increases are a “disciplinary technique,” and, by the time students graduate, they are not only loaded with debt, but have also internalized the “disciplinarian culture.” This makes them efficient components of the consumer economy.”

I sought an education and was charged an inhuman amount as punishment. I do not, have never agreed with this system but have had no choice but to consent — rape at gunpoint is still rape. Seeking education is not a crime; a society which values its citizens and its future must encourage education and install incentives to seek it out, not punitive consequences. The USA has made its priorities quite clear, and they do not coincide with my own. At the risk of sounding like a cocky piece of shit, nothing is more valuable to me than my time, my youth, my vivacity — I refuse to devote the years of my 20’s, all this vigor and passion and potential, slaving away on the corporate ladder, or behind the sales counter deep-throating spoiled white people just to pay down my interest fees. They can tack the debt on me, but they don’t own my hide. Hit me with the consequences, USA. Threaten me with total financial ruin — the way I see it, with all this debt I’m already there. My years are mine. If I am so free, as a citizen of this Great Nation, then free I shall be and far I shall roam, unburdened by chains, financial or otherwise. The debt’s not going anywhere, so I’ll worry about it later on. Right now, I’ve got other priorities (marrying a charming, wealthy Canadian is relatively high on the list. Canada HMU.)

BAD BONES

written march 2017
granada, spain

bad bad bones,
abandoned in the
sand and
choked white on
blistered dry
heat and yellowbrown
land below
our cracking spackled
feet thank
god agave
is given to grow
here sprawling
like the splatters
of spleens and
splooge all
spliffed up splied
out sick and sad
severed fingers on
the floor pointing
south and north and
west and
west and
east and
southeast and
east and
north
again