you know

people make me so tired.


by kerry giangrande yes that's right hi caves hello, kerry welcome back, kerry your blood is so warm, kerry why is your blood so warm? i am a cannibal , caves the sins. when i was little i'd keep my thumb on the circle on your wrist that you can feel your heart beat through for a very long time and i'd wait and wait for something to happen for the piano to come in gently or hard, if it wanted with guitars and a snare drum and a whispering high hat and a little feeling, a little more feeling. c'mon, feelings. we're tired, they say we're sleepy. & i don't even know what time it is even though i am looking at the clock and my blood feels so warm and i always forget that blood is hot but when you know, you know. being in my brain is like a thousand phones ringing, all at once how do you pick up? a thousand hands. that deafening sound, so alarming and urgent. being there felt like, trying to remember the words to a song, the streets are always there, they never disappear but me? i'm gone. The phrase Dog Days or "the dog days of summer", Latin: Caniculae, Caniculares dies, refers to the hottest, most sultry days of summer. In the northern hemisphere they usually fall between early July and early September. In the Southern hemisphere they are usually between January and early March. The actual dates vary greatly from region to region, depending on latitude and climate. Dog Days can also define a time period or event that is very hot or stagnant, or marked by dull lack of progress. The term "Dog Days" was used by the Greeks (see, e.g., Aristotle's Physics, 199a2), as well as the ancient Romans (who called these days caniculares dies (days of the dogs)) after Sirius (the "Dog Star", in Latin Canicula), the brightest star in the heavens besides the Sun. The dog days of summer are also called canicular days. The Dog Days originally were the days when Sirius, the Dog Star, rose just before or at the same time as sunrise (heliacal rising), which is no longer true, owing to precession of the equinoxes. The Romans sacrificed a brown dog at the beginning of the Dog Days to appease the rage of Sirius, believing that the star was the cause of the hot, sultry weather. Dog Days were popularly believed to be an evil time "when the seas boiled, wine turned sour, dogs grew mad, and all creatures became languid, causing to man burning fevers, hysterics, and phrensies" according to Brady’s Clavis Calendarium, 1813.

that's okay

hi bravery what color are you? the colors of you i need to put you on . girls taking shirts off, what a song the fabric, the arm lifting it up, the skin, the air. you can't breathe when she does it i am always breathing but begging you to steal quiet guitars are paralyzing me with their strings, tying up my veins roping me in, and i let them, you know, i let them. i'll let you, no self control it was snowing this morning so i sat and watched it and pondered the process of rain to ice reminding me how a brain could change, and work, becoming clear , maybe cold, maybe puddles or skies. i remember the worms would crawl out of the cracks in the sidewalks in the city when it rained and when the sun came out it would dry them up. the brown curled up hooks, empty of life, those fools. where is the tired? the heart beats, in the sea you find it, with fins and gills, and scientific names. i am looking for a sign i am looking for an exit.

not about love

my plan of attack is sleeping with it's thumb in it's mouth. i wrote you letters in my head last night but you never wrote back, so they just sat there, like a stuffed mailbox owned by a woman who died a month ago but no one knows yet. well here we are again, the train stations in my dreams, always. i have heard that you cannot dream of someone's face you have never seen before but this worries me because then who are all these monsters? in my reality, who are they? i want to be in love & i want to die. you tell me the difference. the beginning and when it gets fast, the tears feel like little plants that are growing out of water my hands are shaking like the leaves on them and maybe that's all i am , this is all a lie, don't believe a word of it, you never trust a writer, in love with words, unrequited, i beg, i swallow, i breathe, the song is giving birth to me, again, i find.

make me,

Things fly through my brain like a heavy flock of birds, the wings so loud, a flutter of sound and color, of feeling --- until there is nothing, an abrupt silence; a place with no shadows. This is the silence that breaks your heart. And what about this heart? A vascular organ that does more than pump blood, what of it? Itching to get down to the nitty gritty, the heart feels measureless, a limitless cavity of child hood homes and millions of years in the future. Because there are things behind your feelings, behind and inside. There are things your love is in love with that you cannot articulate, leave you winded but breathing. Peace however, tranquility reigns because we can show you how, the words and I. We work together, kerchiefed pirates of reality. Yes, we kidnap your faces and your hands and credit-card-exchanges and stuffed up garbage cans and the weather and your loneliness and we fit them together in steady lines and bumpy sentences without a second thought. Or with many thoughts perhaps, thirds and fourths and hundredth thoughts. Regardless, your ours. It is a simple equation: billboarded emotions and subway advertisements people ignore but really, they don't. Really, the things seep in. But, don't worry you. The pretty seeps in too, if you let it. If you lift off, if you suck it in hard enough that it hurts. The hurt is important, the hurt is the vitality -- the punch, followed by the steady dash dash dashes of detachment. The dial tone numbing. The views are side-winding, little pebbles of fake light, little instruments. The people are concerned, and my feet are not touching the ground.


things are happening oh god, things are happening there are things moving and murmuring and humming and buzzing like machines at night when the workers go home. we don't care about the workers, we care about us & we care about how night has sunshine too, it's just a different color. things are happening. the two-headed birds and your hands. i didn't cry when we kissed because i didn't need to and that's something isn't it? yes. it's something. cowboy boots and converse sneakers and walking and your eyes were big and lit up fireworks when you spoke and fireworks were always frightening to me as a child but i could just eat yours up. and your hands. just missing the sunrise on the crisp of the sunrise but, on the subway stuck under water, quietly. and your hands. because i know you were there and i know i was too, somehow and your hands and some stumbles but not from drugs or drinking but maybe for love and it was a beat up hotel in brooklyn with an elevator like a horror movie scene and florescent lights like warnings, but there were your hands. and when the heart fell where did it land? who picked it up? i'd say your hands but this poem is tired of them, but me, I'm not, I'm just not. and whose to say this is a poem? whose to say you aren't ? i say you are, and i kiss you are. and there are monumental moments and there are people who say "& i just knew" and i always hated them for saying but i found myself just knowing, and i should have been more afraid but your mouth tasted like how it feels to know someone for a lifetime and to love every inch of them, and your hands were helping my skin to light up and my limbs to stay intact and well, i just knew, just like that. and if the sky could talk, if the new york city sky could talk it'd say gosh, you're pretty, the pair of you, it would sing us a song, it did sing us a song, we hummed along, and if there was ever such a thing as home, i'd live inside you, with my mouth on yours and your hands. it's 3:00 in the morning and i love you.


the snow and grass were scraggly like a childs hair when they just wake up, the mother struggling to brush through the knots. milk bubbles when you're blowing in your straw, stuck in the sky i drove your car into a lake, a snowy lake and i'm so sorry, still .

last night.

we are happy people.
we can dance whenever we want to.
i am writing a story.
it will be about my life.
my life will be about the story, too, somehow, it will fill in all the creaks and cracks, this is the way it should be, as always. shut the door! i'll say. this is serious business. to the ones that are capable of touching bones and the things and parts inside of me despite the blood, and guts and ugliness, i will let in and hold close and play songs for. you will be there, maybe, but i never make promises. that is a lie. i make promises, and lies too. in bed at night i started my story. in bed every night i start my story, when i wake up it is gone. when i wake up i'm in a cold sweat with a hot neck and face, empty handed.

you are a good writer. words come with ease.
they drip out, blood like. who said i was looking to kiss you?
i was only trying to whistle.
i am a fever and an open novel, dog-eared and highlighted up, like something out of an old bright eyes song the fever and a necklace, he sang it to me in one of the rooms. in one of the rooms that will be in the story.

maybe the beginning is not the beginning and the ends are not the ends, everything is the middle, i wrote this somewhere, what middle?! where? no concept, no time, i am in need of a wooden floor and dead silence, dead sound. the story will take place in the city. the story will take place in the woods. we will find ourselves somewhere, hopefully, somewhere shady and cool, with people that love us and cold water with four ice cubes and songs.


"look at her hands" the child says. "they're so small." we walk aimlessly around a large dining room, the velvet on the couches so crisp you could taste it in your mouth. the older you stated, concerned; "and since when does the cold make one feel so good?" "well what about when you would chew on that ice?" "oh yes, that's right, the crunching cold rocks, like breaking music on your teeth, and turning it into water." everyone turned to look at you then, but nobody said a word, their eyes did all of the talking and none of it was cordial, none of it was where you were. we used to kiss in the school class rooms on the weekend, they became some kind of museum then, not during school hours, i'd creak open my desk to see on the inside, what did i think i'd find? something wonderful, something new that would start the heart back up again. it might pick the wind up and the smell was dark and criminal, the air definitely letting you know you were breaking rules, i ate this up, every ounce of it. i'd enter each room and find a candy to unwrap and put in my mouth, no one would know, it was our little secret. our as in mine with me, yours with you, the best kind.


my heart is as big as a boat. sails flapping like animal sounds, opening their mouths and swallowing all of the air. the anchor somehow floating, land and soil just vague afterthoughts, just oh yeses, maybe somedays. the seagulls cull and there is that pull of the water, the suck, those ocean sized waves. there are things to be said of love that no one is saying. a toothed hollow, gone and leaving spaces, distractedly tonguing the hole. how do you forget something that's missing? you don't. it's true. until i was thirteen I'd ask to the go to the bathroom during class so i could sit with my knees tucked up and suck my thumb for a little while. the cold tiles and staring out of the murky windows, an empty parking lot trying it's best to be a play ground. we sang that song, the bluebird, bluebird, through my window . bluebird, bluebird through my window. the "oh, johnny I'm so tired."

it's true

Saturday night at work I had a table, three people, a man and a woman on the comfy bench side and a single, uncannily tall man in the wooden chair across from them. I was reciting our specials, the words finding their way out of my mouth like some miracle, the single man looking like a writer, somehow, a dark grey tweed jacket and his legs crossed like someone who knows things, he interrupts me and asks me my name, i tell him that my name is kerry. he spells it out loud: k e r r y. i nod, yes, that is how it is spelled, his eyes light up like a match just lit and he says "fan-tas-tic" in a slow syrupy way, a way that allowed the word to live and die through it's length, i smiled, and all night my teeth knew to show, a cheshire cat grin from the inside because it was like him and i knew some secret about the world, and every single thing inside of it.

from decembers

it's times like this i'll wonder if my head is even attached to the rest of me, the sky looks like its crying and the wind is too loud, it plays tag with the things coming out of my brain. while driving home i think maybe the car will just crash, maybe we'll explode, the both of us, two machines. the smoke , the rubble, the whole shebang, this will be it, the end and the beginning. the lights outside are shaking and my house has a heartbeat that I'm stuck inside. cartoon humans, everybody. i am trying to find a way through to you, through to anyone, through to the veins, through past the feel and movement of your haagen dazs vanilla bean skin and teeth. like you'll ask me who you're talking to kerry or the song and in my mind i think, kerry is the song. i'll think, this is what they meant by break of dawn, the crashing of light, this is where we had to put our names and date on the looseleaf lined paper in high school, the beauty dispersed but mismatched. no one understanding the electronics of sadness & thoughts with their own brains. you text me "are you there?" and i think, so glad you put it that way. when am i ever? all of the "it's times like this" and the "listens" , no one taking the time to whisper. everything is moving, the oceans made of sand and i think, baby is such a good word for lovers. pretty brain, in my wet sunshine-orange head making up pet names at the end of the world. this, this is something fused, something there all along. it's no solid or tangible emotion, no webster dictionary definition. it finds itself so intense insisting on the mixing up of all the emotions, too many, like getting past ten when counting on your fingers. which is how it really is, anyway, everything touches you know, everything melting and molding, there's never just one, you have it all wrong. and who here cares if it's not the right kind of brave? no one, get up and wash your knees. why can't it just be pretty ends up the nucleus of questions, the center life force beating in the background, and the first time you ask it, is when it all ends, it's all downhill from here. but since we're on our way down, to tell you the truth, in the end, i just want it to sound good, i just want the words to be a song your lover hums from the kitchen, the steam of the tea, the mouths.i just want to make you remember.


what they skipped over is that cement has a taste even though your mouth has never touched it that you heart feels like jumping over the parts of the sidewalk that jut up, on your bicycle. and that if you put your hands over your face, you'll feel better: fingerbones over eyes closed: babydoll skeletons.

4a.m. compilation of thirty-nine verygood things:

  1. big, big eyes or cat-eyes or eyes that smile a little kids' smile without knowing they can
  2. train station glances even when they're not in train stations like when they're on park benches or in libraries or in a crowded bar or even in big beds (&big white cloud blankets)
  3. iced teas
  4. cozy tshirts
  5. songs that get really fast
  6. songs like snow or too hot days
  7. songs that clap for you or make love look like a melody, make love look true or maybe false (maybe)
  8. songs that ball room dance with lovers in your brains
  9. charms & wit
  10. lemons
  11. tilty smiles / mouths too (two?)
  12. teeth & collarbones
  13. & finding you.
  14. evergreens & candles (& evergreen candles)
  15. "pretty rhymes and perfect crimes"
  16. color sounds and fast air and words that happen really fast out of who knows where so you put them down because of course they've got to be down, or up like when we face out, talking to the sky and there's breath coming out of our mouths like driving through fog in the dark.
  17. shoulders & collarbones & hip bones & hands(ours?)
  18. suriousdelirium / pirates / the mia wallace dancys (mostly everything dancy) / wavy hips&hands
  19. girl legs and black tights and worn out denim
  20. books in beds and their page smells and new notebooks
  21. books anywhere, rather;lying on floors or in cars or trains or in bathtubs fullyclothed
  22. winters and falls
  23. big glasses / hats / boots / tea & honey
  24. joints outside of windows
  25. bruises & freckles
  26. legs around.
  27. "you're prettys"
  28. cities / buildings like teeth / orange street lights
  29. many ice cubes in the drinks
  30. hi you's & la-dee-la's & mmmm's & yesokay's.
  31. printed handwriting
  32. rain (the sound, the smell,the soft song or the thunder touch)
  33. a beer buzz
  34. deer / doe eyes / antlers
  35. jack daniels
  36. constant word play, in brains or on papers or napkins or the backs of books you're currently reading or on hands in drippy ink
  37. how late i can stay up making this list / closing the notebook and the lights tossing and turning and remembering something else too pretty not to remember again or to tell you about, yes you
  38. yes. you.
  39. & not drowning.


all of us.
everyone outside.
i stand in front of the mirror
i look.
i look.
i look again,some more
"kids are so adaptable" he says
she makes a joke about lap tops, all they need, she says, or something . i think of the garbage bags, all of the things in the garbage bags, i think of basements, of the days alone the nights alone . i think of the people, all of the brains inside their heads, all of the things in their houses, their paintings and what's inside of their refrigerators, the smells on their pillows and sheets. i think of three hundred and nine yellow birds, nowhere, or everywhere, to each his own. i beg the keys to click click---to thunder storm, the phones to stop ringing, the sky to open up and sing, i want the hottest day in august & we'll be heading for the sea, the water high up, past my ankles in the shower, i'm spinning and singing it, twirls and all, this sounds like crying while kissing, both at the same time, tasting your tears, it sounds like water , & i want it & i want it & i want it some more. this is like falling in a hole and hitting different parts of rock and dirt and on the way down each time you do you think of something marvelous, like dolphin skin and how it feels to be honey, how it feels to be stirred in tea.
now don't lose your place, here, darling, don't run off course, this is a straight line we're walking, we have places to go and all of the people to see, all of the people with their eye balls and big jackets in the winter time, all of the red wines and the french onion soups. i look at him from upside down while i'm sitting on the couch, the song on pause, the world on pause, three cups of coffee down and my head is still pounding. i go up the stairs, the wooden sky, i'm out of some movie, the kind you've never heard of but god damn, you should, i get in bed, i sigh, i roll around. my eyes fill up with little water lilies, the pond we had on sixth street with the frogs, a pond in a brooklyn brownstone? i should have known , what a day dream. i call you, you don't answer, picking up the phone would be the first step - the connection, the humans speaking into the machines, i never call anyone, i call you again. the thing in my head stirring and baking, making pies for the end of the world bake sale. i reprimand it for never being on time, for never telling the right story the right way, for not having a book under it's belt, a thick one with soft pages, i scold it for never doing anything but lying around hearing songs and recycling water bottles.

i want to be fancy and live in those brownstones with their dark creases and creamy stories and spend all the days in my underwear and a shirt or black tights if it's cold and drink coffee and write poems and drink beers and make tea and read books and take walks and smoke joints or bowls i'll have a fancy bowl, a colorful one, and i'll eat lots of fruits like green apples and play my music really loud all the time, and the different kinds of songs that you'd hear all day would blow your mind and i'll get dancy or get sad, sometimes, inevitably, and make forts with lights inside and favorite books and we can read each other, we being you and i, you being this faceless dream boat, words on a silky page, we can read each other our favorite parts. pointing to them with chewed up fingernails, you'll love my bruised up legs.

just a second

don't think about it, just do it, just go. but the truth of the matter is that instead of sleeping in my bed i'd like it if you could sleep inside my head, disregard the fact that bed and head rhyme, disregard the fact that it's impossible. this is what i want, need, desire, pray for. where does that leave me? come on, i'll tuck you in, sing you lullabies.