they say we spend
looking at the faces of our friends
than we do our own, and
in the millennial era
that’s a massive pile
of raw bullshit
but if “friends” were changed
to “enemies” perhaps
it might be true.
like the last replacement girl
is the second time)
thinner than I was and
and way cooler hair.
i assumed you are also more
creative, more cunning,
better at cooking and
better in bed.
joke’s on him though, now
i’m a human spider haunting
his high corners, shaved
part of my hair and
on its own.
i trained my eyes
to see through
and when you
can see your
prey but your prey
cannot see you then
it means you are
as for the things i assumed
i suppose as logic dictates
i was correct
on every point:
made an ass of him and me
but not of you, so
guess you win this round
I put my hands on my body to check that I’m here, that I have not been stolen by dreams, by smiling dogs or children laughing
i saw my guts strung out in the trees like a christmas garland, heart and liver and lungs like baubles, something finally broke me down
yet this body under my fingers feels smooth and solid, another in a swamp of sweating beings pressed together like worms in a can, live bait for nightmares
I tear open holes in the flesh to which I’m bound, let some air in on this thing inside me, though perhaps i should just let it drown
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
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
written march 2017
bad bad bones,
abandoned in the
choked white on
heat and yellowbrown
our cracking spackled
is given to grow
like the splatters
of spleens and
spliffed up splied
out sick and sad
severed fingers on
the floor pointing
south and north and
written february 2017
crashing through the bedroom “door” in typical grunting fashion, fighting back the plastic laminate and lifting the blanket pinned to the frame behind it, I stumble into the little hovel i’ve fashioned into a solitary living space — curtain, window, desk and chest of drawers, radiator broiling bitter oil and threatening to set the place aflame. These items stand stoic round the single bed shoved in the corner, positioned as if guarding sentry against the devious nothingness that steals in every night and hogs the tattered blankets: the only thing that enters here other than myself.
imagine my surprise, then, as I toss my keys onto the table and unshoulder my pack looking up just in time to see you there, stretched out on that tiny plank of a bed. though the dreams i’ve had of you have often kept me warm and helped me pass the winter nights, never did i have so clear a vision of you here — lounging somewhat comically, one leg extended fully to the edge of the bed, perhaps a little over — your head propped up on one hand, the other resting on your hip, sumptuous as a curvy mistress posing stacked in lingerie, clutching a can of whipped cream cooing “welcome home, honey buns.” But it’s you, just you, in your sweater and your jeans, glint in your eye and your gaze on the doorway, waiting to surprise me. flew all this way just to find me, hunted down my address, broke into my house… that’s fine, that’s all just fine with me.
but again, the shock. i draw a sharp breath as my head jerks back to get a better look at you — just in time, as I said, for in that flash of time you’ve vanished. again i’m left alone — certain but shaken, gazing blankly at the imprint your body left pressed into my shoddy bedding.
my boy, my lad, stop haunting me.
only three times in my life have i experienced these visions, if that’s what you want to call them — unearthly flashes almost too vivid to possibly be a product of the mind, the conjurings of shining eyes and wet lips parting to murmur all the half-truths I want so madly to hear. perhaps it’s some sort of miracle: to love a person with such delirium that the heart, mind and eyes set to collaborating, constructing human forms from dust and longing and poor lighting. i like to think it’s not a symptom of a broken mind but I know I shouldn’t jump to conclusions; when a mind is born broken, so are each of its careful creations.
there was one time on the subway in Berlin late at night, my brain full of fumes in the flickering jaundiced glare. i was the only person on the night line — then looked up and bam, there he was, clear as day though so clearly not, gazing hard at me with those sparkling blue eyes, transmitting everything he never said that night when I left him. I dared not to blink as I knew he would vanish so I sat there, swaying in my seat in that hurtling yellow tube, waiting for his dimpled smile to slowly lift his cheeks, and I could not move or breathe as I watched him — that’s the rule, see. twitch and you break the cosmic balance. reality comes busting in and sets the scene to neutral. everything you ever loved will vanish in an instant. remember, remember: remember not to blink.
All Hail the Old Gods, for it is They who
set aflame the hearts unfeeling;
It is They who wrench the body through
with searing Life instead of Death, which
the White God brings shrouded as a
gift in shimmering golden ribbons;
Drink not from the well of the White God for
its nourishment is False; He is the father
of eternal servitude and wasted blood;
For He provides Death and calls it Life; and
in Death rejoice his loyal followers who even
in Life are cold as stone in the ground; chained
forever in the Tomb of the Slain;
Partake not from the body nor the blood of
the White God; For they who partake of Him
must be then cleansed of deadly venin
which sets outright to erode the Mind and
isolate the Spirit;
They who partake of Him are damned to dwell
within the Sepulchre of Servitude Eternal:
For He the White God casts them into chains
and seals closed the book of their Fate;
Their cold blood becomes Him and their eyes
cease to see the light of the Morning nor
the Fires of Truth; their soul is condemned and
chained to Fear, who masquerades as Salvation.
Heed not the word of the White God, for it is Fear’s
Glory to the Old Gods for it is They who
burn the high white altar in reverence to
Life; it is They who keep alight the Fires of
Truth; it is They who are unafraid of Fear;
it is They who laugh at Fear and stamp it out.
we built our home on a lone dirt track that the map said not to follow
and when you went hunting rabbits I was huddled in the dawn
a darkened mass of wool and bone and bowls all lying empty
squatting like a child in the dirt to search for stones
answers hidden in the hardened prints of hooves and clawmarks
left by better beings as they watched us keeping warm
but the frosted earth tore back my nails and pulled my lungs to pieces
and I couldn’t find you anything of worth
so I trapped a little bird and watched her struggle with her noose
and pretending I was elsewhere broke her neck
for freedom loses meaning when the blood is running cold,
the only thing important is the silence
I’ll light a fire with what I’ve got and pray that you will find me
one clawed foot, one iron needle, the burning pitch of an evergreen
my shaking fingers stretch her wings and
nail her above our door with little hope you’ll find her
she’ll call to you,
I can no longer scream
march 7, 2017. jrw