Tag Archives: love

Dream Phone

“I know it’s been a couple years since lockdown…but I heard and I’m so sorry about Beth, Man. I really am.”
“Yeah, so am I.”
“You still think about her?”
“Every single minute, Martin. Things like that don’t just go away.”
“Fuck cancer.”
“Yeah, fuck cancer,” I said without conviction, staring down at the table. Still the same Martin then. I never quite understood how someone as empathetic could be so socially tone-deaf. And why was I here? What did he want?

But really, what was I doing other than sitting in a room with the drapes drawn staring at a television that wasn’t turned on?

Someone at the other end of the coffee shop coughed. I looked over to see an old man in a checkered shirt frowning at me.
“Oh, check this out.” Martin reached inside his jacket. “Got this phone on Amazon. It lets you take pictures of your dreams.”
“Bullshit.”
“No, seriously. All you have to do is make a clicking motion with your finger –like this, and it’ll take a photo of what you’re doing right inside your dream. But you have to remember while you’re dreaming to do this. Harder than it sounds. Took me a while to get the hang of it.”

I drummed my fingers on the table.
“Bullshit,” I said again. I mean, believe this guy?

Martin laughed, “Okay, I get it. But tech these days? And this phone? I got it a week ago and you should see some of the shit that it can do. Unreal. I don’t know who made it, and I even looked.” Martin then leaned forward and whispered as though what he was telling me was a grave secret: “Listen, this is so much more than just a phone. It’s like a line to the other side of the universe; a bridge to beyond and back. Something happened soon after I got it…so…I had to show you it.”

“Okay, Martin,” I clasped my hands together and looked over at the old man again. He was still frowning at me. “First off, what the fuck? Why me? And what do you mean ‘other side?’” This was when I started to feel something begin to crawl around the inside of my stomach, something cold and unfriendly.

“Alright, alright…” Martin smiled. He has always been a decent enough guy, but this conversation made a quick right turn and went a little too far down the yellow brick road. Maybe Martin was a few gumdrops short of a gingerbread house. Who knows? Either way, I didn’t like where this was going.

“Don’t freak out. Okay? Promise?” Martin didn’t wait for an answer. He slid the phone over and I found myself staring at a pic.

It was me and Martin leaning back against a beach bar with Chinese lanterns filling the sky behind us. Somewhere tropical. Sailboats and gulls. Even though I was never there, it did look like an actual photo. But the only thing that I really saw was Beth, my dearly beloved and departed, standing on the other side of me in a white flowing dress with her arm around my waist.

“What?” Was all I could muster to say, and I could hear my own voice begin to choke. I didn’t know what I was looking at, at first. But it hit me, hard. My vision began to blur. I wasn’t expecting to see her today. It changed things. Memories came flooding back: watching her live, watching her die.

“You fucking photoshop this?” My hand started to shake, so did the phone. I felt tears begin. Fuck, I thought that I was getting better for a while, but obviously I wasn’t.

“Whoa, Man.” Martin looked around. “Let’s just chill for a sec. You’re not seeing the whole picture.”

I actually began to laugh, “I’m not…whew!” I wiped my eyes with my sleeve and looked at the pic again; brought it closer to my face.

Martin shifted uncomfortably in his seat. “You need to listen to me, I…”

“You Sick Fuck, you think this is funny?” I said it softly, my voice quivering. I could barely make out Martin sitting across from me. My face felt hot. Holding the phone anymore was no good so I lay it down on the table, gently.

Martin’s eyes widened. “Easy, Man, just give me one second to explain.” He seemed just as unnerved as I was. Maybe he wasn’t a complete asshole, just hopelessly misguided. But by now he had certainly realized that this was a mistake.

That’s when the phone lit up with an incoming call and I stared at it in disbelief.

Back in college, when we were starting off, Beth and I had made a pact. We made it because deep down inside we knew that we were meant to be together. We would always be in love; there was no question. And we would always find each other no matter what. That was the pact. There was a song that was part of that pact. It was playing when we made it. It was forever, just like us. We adopted it. Sang it to each other. Stupid shit. It was a silly, young romantic gesture. One that I had almost forgotten until now.

It was a collection of flat eight-bit tones, but the ringtone the phone was playing –it was mine and Beth’s song.

Nobody else knew that. When the song then began to play over the radio in the coffee shop it felt like somebody had just tapped me on the back in an empty, locked room. It brought back the nights I lay alone in our bed after she was gone, having conversations with her in my head, wishing to God that I could have went as well and not be left here, like this, grown-ass man crying in the dark like a lost little child. What I would have gave to speak to her again, if only for a minute.

What I would have gave.

Martin put both his hands up like he was under arrest –only to show me that he was non-threatening. He then slowly reached over and answered the phone.

“Hey. Yeah. Thank you. Here he is.” Martin handed it over across the table. As though in slow motion and like in a dream itself, I slowly reached out, grabbed the phone, and brought it to my ear.

“Hello?” I said.

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.

Ice Cream Truck Goes To Mars

When you’re high
or drunk
or both
it fucks up your piss
you think you’re done
or don’t
are you?
You’re not sure
but how long are you going to
just stand there
with your dick hanging out
waiting to be seen
maybe you want to be seen
you dirty fuck
so on that
you put it away
and walk a half block
further into darkness
only to have to piss again
and the dance continues
but it’s not a dance
perhaps people throughout
the centuries have struggled
with this maddeningly human
scenario of
pulling it out
only to put it away again and…

Do you hate me?
Do you love me?
Am I feeble
livid
reckless?

What am I after all
but just another
mad animal
rampaging through
the technology driven
wilderness?

And you consider
how you never calculate
into your day
the pisses
the shits
the eats
you never have as much time
as you think
ever
because you eat too much
you’re far too comfortable
without predators
you shit too much piss
way too much
and you don’t fuck at all
anymore
you might as well
be quarantined.

You’re a lost cause
aren’t you?

I really don’t know…
fuck it.

Ice cream truck goes to Mars.

MAN IN A HOTEL ROOM WITH A GUN

Taking it all in
one long moment

sitting there
on the edge of the bed
with a gun in your hand
blood on the sheets
a brunette laying across them

naked
pale
stiff
like a mannequin

you don’t recognize the gun
the room
her
your clothes

You don’t know how you got there
at all

so you lie back
upon the bed
your head close
to her hip

taking it all in
one long moment

staring at the ceiling fan
spinning
a quiet shadow
across everything

before you close
your eyes

and try to wake up.

THE PARTY DRUG

Tom lost his fiancé at a party. He didn’t like being without her in an apartment crowded with people. He didn’t like people. He didn’t know what to say to them. Stacy was the only one he could talk to. And now she was gone.

That’s when he saw the boy standing in the living room with an open Ziploc bag handing out pills like it was Halloween candy. He looked so nicely cooked that you just wanted to be him.

“This is Eddie’s shit, Man. Best in town. Y’all know Eddie, right? We’re just around the corner so hit us up. Nice chill buzz. It’ll get your girl in the mood. Spread the word that I’ve got free samples cause I’m only here ‘til it’s gone. Only got fragments left, Man, fragments.”

Largest reason why Tom didn’t like being around people was that he easily saw into them and mostly didn’t like what he saw. The boy with the bag didn’t add up at all. Beneath his entrepreneurial bravado he looked scared. Of what? It was a party, Man, not even a particularly exciting one.

People were snatching pills up as word circulated around the apartment. When the boy gave out the last one and noticed that Tom was watching him he took the empty sandwich bag in both of his hands, blew into it and then popped it with his fist. He mouthed a word slowly to Tom and made for the door, fumbling the knob on the way out. Tom couldn’t make out what he had said but he barely tried.

Fuck, where was Stacy? She knew better than this. Tom didn’t want to seem desperate enough to go looking for her either. It was one of those situations that exemplified exactly why he was dragged here by his balls and Tom was just going to sit there and wait a few more minutes like a good dog.

That’s when the laughter in the kitchen started.

Everybody was laughing in there. What a riot. Good times. They kept on and on. They didn’t stop. After a while Tom could tell by the way that people in the living room had stopped talking with eyes nervously darting back and forth that it scared them too. A couple of them started laughing themselves. It was catching on, whatever it was. Something was happening.

The laughter became louder until it was all anyone could hear and it wasn’t only coming from the kitchen now. People were bent over here and there having a fit. It didn’t look fun; it looked forced. Tom realized that he was gripping the sofa he sat on with white knuckles.

Tom wasn’t sure what was going on but it was strange enough to potentially send him over the ledge and all the way down. His short bursts of breath were signaling a coming panic attack and Tom wasn’t about to have one here because there was nowhere to hide. Stacy would be disappointed, even if she didn’t show it.

A skinny blonde girl stumbled out of the kitchen cackling like a rabid hyena. The people that weren’t laughing started screaming –her face; her fucking face. Tom sprang from the sofa and sped to the back of the apartment calling Stacy’s name and going into every room until he found her.

“We’ve got to go, now!” Stacy saw enough to not protest and held Tom close as they made their way back down the hall towards the front door. Stacy looked into the next room they passed and screamed as Tom pulled her away.

Uncontrollable laughter was only a symptom of becoming something far worse. What they saw now were no longer people. Their faces and bodies had disfigured into some morbid curiosity. It made you sick to look at them but you didn’t want to look away as everything was happening so fast.

Tom knew that it wouldn’t stop there and that this was the beginning of an event that was beyond his comprehension. What he did comprehend was that they weren’t going to make it past the living room. Not with what he saw happening up ahead. Nothing should make a person look like that and do those things. Rage wouldn’t describe it.

Passing by the bathroom Tom saw that it was empty, pulled Stacy inside and locked the door. Not satisfied, he held the doorknob with both hands. Tom now felt shut in and trapped but at least he didn’t have to see what was going on out there. Screams filled the apartment. Screams and laughter. It was pandemonium. It was a living Hell.

It was only then that Tom thought back to what the boy had said to him and realized it was, ‘I’m sorry.’ If it didn’t make much sense then it was much clearer now. But what in God’s name had he done?

“Call 911!” Tom shouted, but Stacy wasn’t moving, until she lifted up her face. Her mouth had already frozen into an sickening grin that almost met her yellow bulbous eyes trapped in a blank mad stare that was both haunted and haunting. It was a face that would have been comic had it not been terrifyingly so.

“Oh no, Baby. NO BABY! No no no no…not you too…” Tom reached for her and began to cry.

Stacy began to laugh.

Part 2 of 2. Catch part 1 here: THE DEALER

Dusty Trumpets

Let me love you
furiously
like death loves the young and
fire loves a tree.

Let me take your hand
and put it on the trigger.

Let’s turn everything
into just plain murder.

Let’s give them all Hell
for having birthed us.

Let’s scream off the agony of being
and beat down the cages just to
bully the hungry lions.

Let’s rage against the day
against the night
against the vast indifferent sky.

Let’s shake the sleep out of the angels,
step on the toes of giants and
embrace the writhing Leviathan.

Let’s burn into forever.

Let’s awaken the dusty trumpets.

Everything Becomes Nothing

We abate
softly
into nothingness
into finality
into the darkness
beneath a great empty canvas
and so on this certain passing
I felt almost touched
and almost
momentarily elated
if you will
from the brooding vacuous maelstrom
that has become most days
it was somewhat like catching
the whisper of an echo
in a backroom
or hearing the flight
of a hummingbird
at the other end
of the garden,
catching a ghost
at the edge
of a photograph,
reaching out and
touching dust
floating in sunlight,
absorbing the strain
of a single violin
in a blazing symphony
or feeling the breeze
that barely bends the meadow.

As fleeting as fireflies
we become to each other.

Just give it a little time
and everything
becomes nothing.