unnecessary


my heart is itchy and i can't get in there to scratch it
like when they stick wire hangers inside their casts.
having to cry real quiet
real quietly crying.
but if they read it
what's the difference?
i'll tell you.
it's easier.
obstructing the views of, with letters in the alphabet.
or swaying with a guitar - kite-like,
pretending the words don't electrocute you,

that you can pay attention to the words you're saying
and the chords you're playing at the same time as this thunder.
i have said things to you that deserve to be written down 

and you have said things back that the sky might have whispered to you
but i didn't know because i couldn't hear it at the time
because i had too much to drink or my head was in a book or a song
are we happy now?
you've got to close your eyes
you've got to fucking close your eyes
and if you don't
it's your own fault
if you don't
they'll get so tired
that spiderwebs will grow where your eyelashes were
and the spider will be you.

non-fictionary; bringing it all down

i found a note in my pocket 
there were three words on it
islands,

boats,
and dreams.
i think maybe

because i wanted to tell you 
but instead i 
put it on a small piece of paper and tucked it into
the back pocket of the pants that i wear to work

that never feel like they fit right.
before the touches and hands
i'll say eyes
you'll say, it sounds okay
but you're wrong
i think.
dirty fingers like a ,
hands like a truck driver like a
drugged up guitar player.
hands like a railroad track smell.
i said, i smiled
you looked inside, or i thought
i thought i could
please can i?
i don't know who you are
 & i like it.
because there's never ever a time when
i don't look at you and my heartstrings don't react
there's never a time i don't want to put
my hands on your mouth
my soft ones , writing and writing and writing and
 then the dirt underneath your fingernails.
// because this is a new song that i relearn when i hear it again after all of the times i played the other ones to forget it and it's a terrible song, really, but god damn it's pretty, like too many violins in one room, just inside your heart, and down. down.  i have to write this out on you, i feel silly, i feel small, but i know how big it could be, how monumentally this could cascade, watersfalling & landing at the bottom of your sigh - kissing is just like it, if you don't know i can show you, if you don't know, just read it because i was born to listen carefully and i do it well,  the writing hand stays clean and pretty, ready and able, words are freckles and i never cover them up. i want you to dream of me and i of you and we will meet somewhere in the middle with warm hands and cold teeth and breaths that are more like invisible clouds that let the sky know it is not alone.

2:39a.m.


we used to play this game in acting class. 
we used to play this game in acting class and it involved two people and improvisation. "improv" we'd call it, entitled to the abbreviation somehow. this game, it involved a building that i would rollerblade to and from, light skies and dark skies , along prospect park west and there were wooden lines on the floor i would stare at in the room we'd perform in, if my brain asked me to, because i always listen to my brain, i have to. we would be put on the spot, on the wooden floor, all of us together, every tuesday, and we would be  given a scenario and we would jump right into it, that's exactly how it would go: JUMP. jump. no hello, no my name is -- just, this is who we are now and that is how it goes. just, you are a dying girl, and in your hand is a book, you are a flower and in your eyes is the night time, you are stuck in a room full of a thousand people and the handles on the doors have turned to water. run with it. i didn't mind the sharp spotlight -  it was easy to get cozy inside and i didn't mind the quiet audience and just my voice out loud but also in my head or the hot feeling in your brain and ears and hands, i didn't mind any of it. i was very good at all of it, in fact. people on the streets of brooklyn would stop me and say, hey, i know you. you were in that play and god you're fantastic and what did i think of it? who knows. probably i lit up like a god damn night light you stare at when you're calling out to your mom or dad for a glass of water or milk, when you are supposed to be sleeping. probably.
tomorrow is valentine's day and i have a few things to say. tomorrow is valentine's day and if you ask me an important question i'll probably just smile and walk away from you, a quick turn and i'll probably sing a song when i do it.
is it possible that it's funny how many times i have said the words "i don't think it works that way" in the past three days? i don't think so. i don't think it's funny. i don't think most things are funny, but i'll laugh anyway, because i get paid to and i know it makes you feel good.
i think my heart is cracking open,  i can hear it, i can feel it, coconut style, i am falling off of the trees. is that why you wrote that poem? you asked, i thought, it must be, god knows why else i wrote it. and we say god but what do we mean? what do i mean. you've said this before and you've said that before too, but fuck it, no one knows.
fucking words, they will eat you alive, truly.  i watch them all the time, i put them on the plate and we all gobble them up like the mornings of your death row sentencing,. that's exactly what this sounds like and you know it, you know it and that's why you eat them just like you do, with the closing of your eyes and the sounds out of your mouth, i know it, i can see you but i lie. so don't ask me questions because i am not in a very honest mood, at present, or very often, as a matter of fact, but mostly right now because i am in a "i won't give you a straight answer because this is how i feel safe mood" or a "how could anyone give a straight answer ever there whole lives mood?" and what about the crookeds and the loops? or the swirls and circles, i will tell you what about them, they are something you hold in your hand that you want to throw out but you keep it balled in your fist because you are in a very uncomfortable conversation with someone you don't necessarily enjoy talking to and you need some thing to hold on to, to absorb your sweaty palms. throw it out then, when you're done but don't look at me like you've lost something, don't look at me like you know. we pretend the most important feeling in the whole world isn't when you are right about to go on stage and you may or may not have been practicing vowel sounds or your lines from a scene in a room that echoes well and is very darkly lit compared to the lights when your feet hit the stage and the eyeballs are there but not important but very necessary, but it is. it is.

above the flatline


when i said in that poem that i could still smell the marble floors and hallways i wasn't lying. you know what i mean,  don't you? you must. how many marble floors have walked around on our brains and how many of our brains have walked on marble floors? too many. too many. i don't blame you for being tired. so many classrooms and work places and kids birthday parties with those paper hats when you didn't have all your teeth and your knees were dirtied up, too many lovers basements and math tutors living rooms with their baby sons on the floor, all of the entrances, door bells to buzz & stairs leading up. too many different places you called home, too many feelings. but this isn't really about marble floors or baby sons or dirty knees (most likely). this is a story and it starts at the beginning.

i suppose


the problem comes when you close the notebook and put the pen down. everything you say is beautiful, so just cry, and keep crying, scratch it out, into the walls, the conversations with yourself. when we were in high school we'd open whatever we used on our computers to play our mp3 daydream songs and we'd close our eyes and scroll with our finger on one button and we'd ask it a question like those magic eight balls that never had the right answer, when we felt ready we'd press enter and let the song tell us. somehow we're still here looking for the right answers.
this will not be in my story.
what will be in the story is that time, when we were driving at night and i had too much to drink, probably, usually this is the case & i was thinking of beauty or the lack of it , i might have been babbling or rather , i was staying very quiet, and we were smoking from that pipe , and the inhale was bewitching the exhale into believing in peace and copper colored thoughts and the smell of the sea and while we drove in silence, i found in the distance a deer. the deer  was standing in the center of the road,  being held there by darkness and the color that evergreen trees turn in the pitch black and it was looking right at me and i thought about permanence and needles and ink and words, always words and i thought of that doctor, and the lyme disease and the de-personalization and of antlers, hands & fingers, and the touch-and-go method of this creature and the night i wrote in that basement with the blankets over my head and sleeping baby cousins in the bed with me, their quiet snoring. as we drove really fast and closer and closer to the animal the universe changed it's mind and it was not a deer, at all, instead i found myself hazily face to face with a much older woman, wearing some kind of robe, too much like those light blue hospital robes for me to believe it was one, bent over  completely, without grace, exposing things that felt similar to a frenetic fire behind my eyelids, hot and bright. realizing that this person was doing this for a reason, there was purpose here,  my mind ran around to the places she has been and the things she has seen and what she wanted out of the world and what it meant to feel a rush and i began to cry. the tears were inexplicable and you questioned them, but me, i had nothing to say, just the things in my heart and  only the tears, and the half breaths, the hands over my face and the knowledge that, the knowledge that the world will turn around and take whats yours, take whats beautiful and it will turn it into the darkest things your brains can create, people will live in this world and they will want to do things to other people and to you and to love and to hope and we will let them,  we have no choice but to let them. i cried myself to sleep that night, curled up like a lowercase c, what did i dream? what didn't i dream. i will put this in my story.

yes


do you think that if there happens to be a spider on your stand-up showers ceiling for your morning cleansing that you begin to throw water at but change your mind and instead let it sit there and spin it's web that it knows you have spared her? that maybe it ponders the reasons why? and when at midnight you get home from work & it is still on your ceiling pirouetting
it's web and you show it your fingertips and how capable you are of murder but instead whisper "hi" and tell her it's okay to spin and spin do you think she can understand you? when you fill your mouth up with the water and spit it back and kiss the drops and dance in circles while you watch all of it's hands or legs sewing the invisible thread in the air gracefully while you talk out loud to it about your childhood do you think it knows the damage you can do? but won't? does it know pretty? can it cry? are all spiders female? like charlotte? may i call you charlotte? may i call you dove? 
do you think there are people in the world whose eyes can tell a whole story? a whole worlds worth of stories? 
the taller boy said to me, "why are you eavesdropping?"
and i said, "i listen. that's what i do, i just always listen" 

and he says nothing.
he has nothing to say.
i think of the spider.
there are mice, in the ceiling, i tell the spider. 

there are white mice in the ceiling.
this could be a story, if i wrote it, but i won't and the lazy world nods it's head in agreement and the people say okay, fine, though we're not okay without you and i think,  i am okay without me and it's cold outside but i can't feel it, or rather, i don't mind.
i told the spider i knew about spinning webs and i knew about her stories and she stopped moving so i knew she heard me.
i knew she heard me. right ?

nostalgia

i am in bed & it is late, i have a fever, i am pressing a cold washcloth to the back of my neck and i am thinking about what it must be like to be the sun, or to have the sun stuck somewhere in your body, like your lower back or your wrists or behind your eyes.
i remember my grandmother taking me to see "the secret garden"one distinctly lazy day in a childhood summer leftover in the attic of my brains.  i remember the daylight & i remember the snacks she made at home because the theater candy was far too expensive, far too expensive & besides, i liked how the brownies and popcorn would make her house smell and how she'd pack them up in ziploc bags & put them in her purse and how we'd go, the pair of us, we'd walk there, the air congratulating us on our tasty accomplishments and the darkness of the theater would remind us how light the sun can get when we'd walk outside afterword and our eyes got squinty. i remember walking home like some crystal in somebodys hand or pocket, that's exactly how i felt, like something cherished, like everything was something to be cherished. this particular day i  specifically recall passing a brownstone with an arched vine of twigs, intertwining like lovers legs and wrapping around the dark black gate of it's entrance,  right in the middle of brooklyn, in the middle of new york, in the middle of the world, on this rock of a planet, hanging in space like some second graders dangling loose tooth. it was one of those things you keep your eye on, even after you passed it. one of those. i thought it was rather appropriate, then, at ten years old, i thought, what a garden of secrets we find ourselves being, what a tiny, crushed up world of big secrets just for me.