chasing one little baby tick of unblackened weed around the rim of the pipe, warm in my bone-cold fingers: cold white light and me here on this dingy old velvet couch listening to the boys in AIDS’s bedroom pretending it’s a real gym. they listen to eminem a little too much, but i won’t givem shit for it.
genezareth and hannah are considering busking on a corner on weekends; seabass was turned down for a resto job due to his lack of a work visa; bethany was selling Christmas cards for a euro apiece; i was considering selling knit caps, AIDS and I have discussed becoming regional camgirls.
we are sort of brutally poor, but we do our bestish. combat creeping depression with routines and rituals: open the shutters every morning and close them up every night, go for hikes, go for runs, do pullups and pushups and abs, chat together in the sparsely-furnished kitchen all squattin on buckets and low stools on the ground. we are all in balls deep for bernie sanders.
written fall-winter 2015. entry 1 of a series.
he was at once somehow equally handsome and perverse, with a bit of a hunch from habitually lowering his height to interact with those around him. a life full of forced bowing as if bound to some socially obligatory servitude.
yet this servitude to others, it touches us all — forms a grid, a matrix to which we attach ourselves and from those fixed points create an extended reality. we have shaped it upon the play ground which was provided by mother nature. she threw down the backdrop and now is watching the scene unfold. the grand comedy. cheers Ma.
this net above us is held in place by our own hands and those of our neighbors. in public we expect things of people, and we reaffirm these expectations by accepting that things should be expected of us in the first place as a natural reality. we reinforce that reality by engaging actively in it regardless of our stance(i.e. being “anti-capitalist” but continuing to purchase new items)
peer pressure is the weight of the collective stare of a given population as it turns and questions everything about you in an instant. it is heavy. it is painful. It is a weight that serves to keep us in our places by allowing us to force manipulated behaviors onto others: with narrowed eyes we say, “because you are different, i doubt you.” that type of prohibitive garbage.
who knows. cosmic crap. remember to keep in close contact with friends and not be an asshole.
only REAL MEN please
a REAL men:
-UniversidAd De La kAlLe
-into “butt stuff”
-can survive on pussy alone
-30min underwater breath-hold minimum
-can ask questions
-NOT allergic to shellfish
-SOMETIMES wears thongs
-ability to pivot right AND left
-does NOT use a pillow
-allergic to yogurt OK
A bus ride in Spain is just a bus ride. It’s not one of those hard throttling things barely keeping tires to the tracks through some muggy snake-infested jungle. You’re not fearing for your life every second. You know how the other worries tend to slip away when you’re afraid for your life? I find that soothing. Let’s do more of that.
Because a bus ride in Spain rolls from prim little pueblo to industrial complex-lookin little pueblo past little dump camp to same little pueblo again — and you’re panicked because you must have missed your stop and stayed on the bus all the way through its route but then you realize oh, no,
these towns are just one and the same.
The same baked brown and mucusy white like sins of the internal body smeared out on burning pavement. The whole place is a goddamn effigy in creamy neutrals, you can taste the virgin blood in the air but you musn’t speak of it. The grizzled little brown man that hangs out in the park speaks of it, y con ese no se habla.
Vaya, España: so much sun like a torch up my asshole. Searing. Such brutal and determined gazing: the blunt-eyed glare of a true and thorough Spaniard. The look of the town might once have been lovely but the dictator snuck in and graffitied the place with his budget cuts. you know what they say, no peace beneath the pomegranates.
Spain is the place the tourists come to hack off their jeans and undo their shirts another button. Spain is the last place you will ever be late. Spain is the sun when you really don’t want it though the natives are all walking round in scarves and jackets. Spain is dry sugar cane stock and agave and olive trees. The raw olives bleed red like cherries. Do not eat raw.
then the city oranges — at best those are naranjas pa’zumo, at worst they’re solid blocks of dry rancid sour mesh, thickly diseased. we no eat that. learned the hard way, as children and outsiders do.
rather eat the prickly pears. the kakis (a ripe kaki is like a swollen alien breast, savor the meat.) got lots o’ juniper, you like gin? well let’s make some. that’s why I’m here, anyway. a proper guiri is always wasted, and just look at me wasting away.
Erizo was what you might call sencillo if you were a Spaniard. He had a somewhat tormented spirit layered like sponge cake under a thick slice of calm. The calm was as real as the torment and either all of it or nothing showed in his eyes, given away in splinters of olive green or sandy yellow. The colors changed frequently, perhaps depending on his mood, perhaps on my perception. I wasn’t sure and it didn’t matter.
I loved him very easily. There was little to think about. He slipped his arm around me and it had always been there. I was safe and would have human projects to tinker with over the summer — break this wall down, extend this conviction, sharpen that ability. Train him to eat perfect pussy. Help him figure out what he wanted from life and rile him up to get it — then release him out to sea like a bottle with something inside it. Not a message (frankly a terrible method of communication) but something better. Something helpful. Something good.
Though of course the good came with the package. The good WAS the package and man, he was a package. He was a local boy. a pueblo boy. Small-town country upbringing just like mine. Everyone knew everyone, he once got to fuck the neighbor girl — just like me, the neighbor girl. He wore unpretending clothes, brandless shirts and glasses that didn’t flatter him. Went bald at 25 and had greys in his beard. His hands were not beautiful, but his arms were thick and wrought like iron and felt like the island around my shoulders (everyone knows paradise is just a good warm set of arms.)
He told me many things that made me laugh. He had a disdain and a bitterness for the destruction of his homeland and though I was little but a product of that destruction he did sometimes look at me as if I was a precious creature, like he had stumbled upon me in some grove and couldn’t believe what he was seeing. The times that he looked at me like this were not those involving nudity or sex; they were times I was dancing or giggling to myself, times I was playing with children. Perhaps he didn’t think I was beautiful, but to him i don’t believe that it mattered. That said a lot about him.
Yet something in there was unwell, something shriveled and very small. He once told me laughing that once as a child he raped a sow pinned in a crate with a pole in the ass and I cried but he said he didn’t feel anything then or now. He said there had been blood.
He said there were girls he had loved but he had lost them all, said he had regrets and a heart leathered up from repeated beatings and breaks. Said he more than once dated people who didn’t love him, stayed with them for years. Said he wasn’t attractive and meant what he said. I listened to everything because the sound of his voice made me wet and weak in the knees. I wanted him to feel better but I also just wanted his cum in my mouth. Sometimes my emotions don’t run cut and dry.
Maybe he was an event more than a person, a season walking on human legs and a nonexistent male ass. I looked at him as I looked at my surroundings because he WAS my surroundings, just like the sea and the buttery flowers and the palm bushes and the pines. I looked at him and I said to myself, “Do it right this time.” In the end I think I did. I left him and I told him that I loved him as I did so, kissed him as I shook my head and smiled. Love enough and lose enough and it becomes a skill. Do not love without ability to accept loss. Test frequently. Be prepared.
I knew the moment I saw the pillow that it would be an ace buy. just the look of the thing: the way it sat fatly atop a pile of its brothers, that stretchy-silk elastofabric bulging in the form of a heart, the faint shape of the beans inside pressing at it like little limbless fetuses captured in a space net. it was a relic of the fluorescent future, the most sickly shade of sugar-sweet lab-developed pink I’d seen for at least days (it was February.) the thing was surely one of the stupidest objects ere produced by living humans, marketed en masse to the European world. I saw it, hated it, carried it blushing to the counter and purchased it immediately. six bucks, stitched by wee little hands someplace in Thailand, without a doubt worth every cent.
it is supposedly a travel pillow.
I still have the one I had as a kid, back in storage at my mom’s place. sounds like an odd thing to keep just for the purpose of sentimentality, doesn’t it? here, let me make it more perplexing — that thing was terribly ugly, I mean just a downright displeasing thing to behold in every sense of the word. I do not mean that it became ugly over time — though it did contract a stain or two over the years — but that it began ugly, was designed ugly, born ugly. it had that same silky elasticane fabric stretched over a mountain of tiny styrofoam balls (just occurred to me how bad those things must be for the planet — also, real question: are they just old broken-down styrofoam that we couldn’t get rid of in its smallest possible form?) the pillow had this ugly, nondescript shape like a poorly executed image stretch, a useless thing to even try and describe. it was light brown, to make things worse, with pastel-pink polkadots, and a black elastic strap on the back for affixing it to a headrest in a car or on an airplane, intended for one of those living dildo-knackers who actually purchase styrofoam-stuffed luxury squish travel pillows and USE THEM IN PUBLIC.
I know what you’re thinking, and you are correct: I have two.
but let me just tell you this much: mine are never used in public.
(update: this is still unfinished so check back)
in the summer you said you didn’t want to be
another one of my guys that I write about
so let me keep this brief:
you have a horse mouth (neigh!)
and horrendous taste in music
you are small
yet the biggest coward I have ever known.
I could mention your pecs (I admit
they were nice)
or the way your half-assed chimney beard just
didn’t sit right on that horsey face (though
sitting on it was just fine)
or that awful tattoo you got when you gave up
all your dignity as a person (I guess)
but all that just makes for shit poetry.
just in general
you as a man, you make for shit poetry
not because you’re short or weird-looking or because you think it’s hot to shave
your entire body
“para que se ven mejor los músculos”
but because you’re boring and you just kind of
speaking of sucking ass:
you fucking gave me hemorroids with your mouth before I left
(one last gift, he said —
I will remember you always
especially for that
picture it: this inconveniently-placed manhole
in an alleyway crisscrossed with
stringings of laundry. it’s an okay city
with good folks and bad folks,
old men grunting, old women
slinging wet clothes, kind of bored, but
their gripes are more barks than complaints.
the young ones are out
uncertain and strutting, fumbling with
their phones and their unanswered
garbage and urine and
stray cats here and there
and stray people. in the end you see
it’s all the same.
the earth beneath your fe et, the very soil
of your shit and your blood and your
ancestors’ bones ground to mea l
food for maggots worms and vermin
crawling infesting your floorboards, your fingernails, your eye sockets
workplace, the schools of your chi ldren
little joyful bundl es infeste d
finger pads no two the same making everything dirty
un-polished un-white, the filth
you see their dark stains
black flecks blotched where neutral beige would be nice r,
got them trained
so small already hate all that they see
each fleck a flaw, loss of wor th
not light, not pure, not whi te enough
take a k nife to it and slice it off
a vacuum hose to suck it out
p urge the blackness
diego is a high-school social studies teacher
cleans up, works out, keeps his shit good and organized
sent me an e-mail on Day One, said
he was thinking of me (sup d)
said he’ll never forget the phrase ‘glass ceiling’,
the way i explained it in class, then in clinton’s
speech on the radio that morning
said he will remember me every time he hears it
spain’s got this public-access tv show
host comes on with a trump puppet,
hideous thing — bulbous and creamy orange
with bulging eyes
like some sickly perverted cartoon blowfish
nudgin up on kids with their little backs turned
the trump fish bobbles along blathering tonterías
quotes that viewers have texted in
some are trump quotes, some are hitler quotes, some are
enrique iglesias lyrics
the game is to guess