Tag Archives: life

In Defiance of Everything

My cat just lies there
as the mice run free and wild
copulating all over the lawn
as the birds fly into the windows
and throughout all the rooms
with an air of casual ease
and the dogs knock down the fences
shit on the deck
and light cigars.

My cat just lies there
as the pool pump is broken
the finances are in ruins
the shed is on fire
and the vacuum salesman is back.

My cat just lies there
as the rich eat the poor
as machines eat the planet
as the forests burn
from Asia to LA
and democracies crumble
like wet sand through hungry fingers.

My cat just lies there
as I grapple with
the five year plan
the taxman
the diet
the front door
-the weight of
being human

Now
my cat and I
are both lying there
on the floor
on our backs
on a sunlit patch of linoleum
together
in defiance of everything.

My cat Knowing that the
secret to existence
and endurance
is a fine meal
and some good rest.

And perhaps
forgetting everything else
for a little while.

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Sitting Here Beside You

I struggle internally
With things of no real importance.

Take, for instance
That tonight the moon
Is important
The fire before us
Is important
The music, yes, the music
Is always important
The wine the wine the wine
Might be of some importance
Our friends
So important

And you beside me
Well,
That’s most important of all

And I want to be here
Right now
In every way

Because one day
I won’t be here
You won’t be here
The fire will be gone

Funny that I think of
such sad things
Funny that I steal time
from myself away
from where I should be
funny that I do that
at times like these

funny I can’t help it.

Abandoned Factory on Shade Street

Broken glass
fragmented as
a childhood memory
mingles with weeds,
catching light;

little lost stars strewn
across cracked pavement.

Inside crumbled walls
dormant boilers resemble
the tombs of future pharaohs.

Among them,
webbed machines corroded
beyond motion
make for silent sentinels.

I see the child I once was
playing
a ghostly riddle
a translucent shape
in my peripheral.

Such places and I
are no strangers
to the end.

Teeming with
abandoned wonder
buried under
decades of paperwork
this still air stirs the
little dreamer
and here the dreamer dances.

I let out a breath.
I can feel what is lost
what is gained
through time.

The largest skeletons
you can find
are of metal in distant fields.

Both harrowing and peaceful
-a past that stands in light.

Forgotten and
vacant
like last night’s dream.

When I Pass

When I pass
I don’t want flowers
or a sermon
or tears.

I want the shade of a tree,
a gentle breeze
and a bird song.

I want to be that bird
and that tree
and perhaps a snail.

I would still want to live
and I will.

It may be dark
for a little while
until there is light again

but it will come
as sure as the next sunrise
the next song
the next rain.

So don’t mourn for me
because I’m not there.

I’m in the trees
in the grass
in the air.

I’m everywhere
but in the box.

I’m already on my way
to something else.

Take this moment instead.
Take a deep breath.
Take a good look around and

don’t cry for angels
that won’t cry for you.

Lost and Found and Lost Again

Poetry like
a fierce violin or
a gunshot and then silence.

Poetry like
an atomic bomb
inside of the skull
-blinding,
incinerating.

Poetry that
like a night river
takes you with it
wherever it may go.

Poetry that
after you let it in
never leaves.

Poetry
that will make you abandon God
leave your wife and kids at the airport
steal.

Poetry that will make you
rich
with madness.

Where is it?
Where is it?

It’s definitely not in this salad.

It’s not down the fire escape or
under the sink.

It’s not in your flatulent rhetoric.

No, no, no…

It’s in a child’s pencil.
It’s in her laughter at the station.
It’s in the myriad shapes
of the breaking waves at dawn.
It’s in the lilies and the lawnmowers.

It’s in the way we always
fall apart after the miracle
of coming together.

It’s in the defeated posture of
a torn curbside recliner.

It’s nowhere
but everywhere.

I never tire of finding it.
I’m always looking.

Lost and found and
lost again.

Like me.

Are You My Angel?

It was late.
It was just me and this dark-haired girl
on the platform at the subway station
and she was crying.

She kept looking over,
and I kind of felt bad
despite everything.

“Hey….hi! Are you okay? Listen, it can’t be that bad.”
She laughed without humour. “This coming from you.”
“What?” I asked, taken aback.
“I’m not crying for me.” She lifted her head up. “I’m crying for you.”
“Wait…” I said, “what do you mean?”
She handed me a slip of paper. I, almost unconsciously, slipped it into my pocket.

“Hold up,” I said. “I don’t get this. What’s…”
The train came roaring into the station. I backed away confused and instinctively moved through its doors as they opened. I didn’t understand what was going on and I didn’t like that at all. The small-statured beauty was still crying on the platform as the train left. I should have felt nothing because that’s what I was used to. But I did.

How strange life was.

At home, I pulled the gun out of the bag and placed it gently on the coffee table, threw the Ziploc bag stuffed with sleeping pills I got from Eddie beside it, then did a fat rail of cocaine that he also got me with the rest of my money.

I sat down on the torn couch and looked around my shitty apartment. I broke tonight down into three stages. Let’s start with stage two: Dose myself with the sleeping pills. All of them. Down it with vodka seven. This way it was a guaranteed back up to stage three: blow my fucking brains out. And if I chickened out then stage two was there to take care of me anyway. It all sounded like a great plan but maybe it wasn’t. I mean, I wasn’t a trained professional in these matters but really…who was?

Let’s back up to stage one, the fun stage: get fucked on blow and enjoy the last hours a worthless piece of shit like me had on this earth. Yes, I was going to go all the way up before I came all the way down, permanently. This wasn’t sad. It wasn’t. Life was sad.

I was once a wealthy businessman. I had a wife and three kids (once). A house with a nice garden that the afternoon sun struck with a luminous intensity that reminded me of my childhood. Life seemed to just give and all I did was gain. And that is what it was for a time. But in the end, we all know that it eventually becomes a process of losing –regardless of how slow or how fast– everything that we had once accomplished, everything that we once held dear.

It may be good for you now. Yes, it just might be. In fact, it may be all golden roses on a silver platter –but you just give it time because that’s all you need. That’s all. See, we all fall. We all fail. We’re all fucked. And that’s when you start to miss things that aren’t there anymore. You miss them so much that you become a ghost yourself.

I am a ghost. That coke hit me faster than usual.

I would like to say that my habits were built from heartbreak but that was only partly true. Now they were all that I had left. I was a loser junkie with a bad heart and nothing was going to get better for me. Nothing. I guess I wasn’t as strong as I thought I was or maybe it was just age. Didn’t matter. It was time to get off the train.

But the girl…why? Why care? I didn’t get it, and it rapidly started to gnaw at me. I took the slip of paper out and looked at the several digits and dashes. A phone number. What the shit? Okay…

I was so unnerved by the situation at the time –knocked out of my determination for my own death and the timetable that I had constructed around it– that it completely took me off guard. I was always like that though to some extent: lost, wandering in thought and not really paying any attention to what was going on around me, like every time I went the grocery store.

“Fuck,” I said and took the gun and the pills and tossed them under the sink. Took my phone out and called the number half-expecting a hotline. But it was the girl, tears in her voice.

“Hello?”
“You don’t have to cry anymore,” I said.
The girl laughed in a really sad, relieved way. “I’m Mary.”
“Alex.” I returned, wondering who the, what the, how the fuck.

I guess some things were worth finding out. Really, what the Hell was I doing anyway? I guess that life can surprise you, even when you think that it was already over.

“Are you my angel?” I asked as I eyed the bag of coke.

How strange life was.

HER LOVE IS WAR

Her love is a
crowbar into
the stomach.

It’s a gun fight
in a closet.

It’s a black hole
in a paper cup.

Her love is a
grenade in a
gumball machine.

An electric chair
in a summer dress.

It’s a Third Reich parade.

Now i drive fast
with my eyes closed.

Scream into bottles
of Chardonnay.

Pick fights with
ghosts in long ago
basements

while looking
for reasons
in a cereal box
and empty parking lots.

I SAW GOD IN HER LAUGHTER ON A GODLESS NIGHT

Standing outside the warehouse
3:30 a.m.
on a Monday night
buzzed as fuck because
my life was
completely out of
control but
the world was always ending
anyway.

I was waiting for the
whatever man:
the Space man
the Big man
Blast man
–fucking Spider-man.

And I was there to pick up
whatever it was called
this time:
Blue God, Ice
Cloud Dream
Dark Light
-Elvis’s Last Shit.

We label things and
name ourselves
to make it all seem
so much more than
it really is and
have been doing this
since we swam up
on shore
and started walking.

It’s just drugs, man.
Just fucking drugs.
It makes people so crazy
but so does booze
romance
religion
children’s birthday parties
being around other people
and being alone.

A silhouette approached
almost melding with the dark
and I almost didn’t see it,

but her voice was
both exhilarating
and frightening and
alien.

“You’re here for Magic Man?”

“Either that or I’m really fucking lost,”
I said.

She laughed like
wind chimes
breaking a long silence

like glass shattering
every fragile illusion

like the rarest escape of
perfect harmony
in a world full
of mediocrity
of spiritual poverty
of holes under carpets
of monsters under beds
of floating garbage
and drowning people
of empty spaces
between empty spaces
of broken bottles in
endless alleys
of fools and ghosts
and miles of pain.

I knew that she was
beautiful
and I couldn’t even
see her face.

And just like that
I had to know
everything about her
but I just quietly followed
her
from darkness
into light
towards magic
man.

THE LIFE COACH

You’re terrified of death because you don’t really know what it is, what it’s like, what comes after. You’ve spent your whole life building things up but all that will be gone in an instant and you are deeply troubled by the idea that there is nothing afterwards; that you just extinguish like a light, forever. Most people cannot bear the thought of it. That’s why we have drowned ourselves in religion for thousands of years.

“Talk dirty to me.”

The universe is apathetic to your condition. Throughout the centuries humanity is made to suffer; built to sing, to bleed, to create vast landscapes of art, music and poetry based on all that experience and in the end will receive nothing in return because even with our sentient intelligence, resilience, cultural and technological advancements –your life has no more value than that of an insects. That you thought it would be any different is nothing short of comedic.

“You’re a nasty piece of work. I like it.”

You all want to think that you’ll go to Heaven, that you’ll get some kind of reward for living or that you’ll return again somehow in someway, but you won’t and there is nothing after. You will die and your energy will return to the cosmos. It will most likely be distributed between a number of various elements such as comet dust, fungi on Mars, running water or part fucking dog fart.

“You’re gonna get it sideways.”

But I can tell you that nobody ever makes it off this planet. Not a chance. We are too greedy, selfish and weak to ever unite and conquer our own environment, never mind outer space, so all of these great inventions and discoveries are fuck all and nothing is worth a shit. We will perish with no understanding of the universe and with not having met any other intergalactic species that is how pathetic and insignificant we all are. In the end life is nothing more than senseless detritus wasting away on a floating cemetery filled with a bunch of fucking nobodies.”

“I gotta go. You’re getting it next time for sure.”

 

LATER, TALKING TO HARRY…

“Hey, how’s dating your life coach going?”

“Same. Think she knows everything. We all die. Nothing’s after. No point of anything. I’m a dog-fart.”

“Shit, doesn’t it get to you? I mean, this is all just so weird, Man. And you’re weird. I know she’s fucking weird….”

“Sure. Well, we can have these great in-depth discussions but honestly sometimes I feel like we’re just so disconnected. I mean, I keep trying to get with her but all I get back is that we’re all a bunch of losers that are going to die for nothing. It’s frustrating. Maybe it’s my approach but I don’t really get why it’s not working.”

“You gonna move on?”

“Nah. She’s still…interesting…and besides, my previous life coach makes her seem like a fucking optimist.”

“Well then, what can I say? Keep going. Sometimes you have to eat shit in order to see the sunlight.”