Sanders.

i've got to go, i've got an idea i've got an idea i've got an idea i've got an idea i lost it . i have no ideas.
when i was small my father was the architect for an old movie theater in brooklyn that was to be restored and
extravagantly redesigned and re-opened. during the renovations from time to time he'd take me inside, while the construction workers pounded and sawed in thick clothes and boots i'd walk past, holding his hand. i was distinguished - the architects daughter. i became a pioneer. i felt like a cat. i would walk slow and take every single thing in carefully as to not miss a drop or sound or second. the main room was massive, with gigantic unfinished cathedral windows so the sounds outside drifted musically into the theater, the dusty black gate of the upper balcony romantically twisting. layers of fresh unlacquered wood laid around like sleeping lions, the dust of the wood dancy in the sunlight -- dandelion parachute seeds. i remember the new, clean construction smells. maybe you know them, the smell of trees sliced right open and breathing. 
it was built in the 20's as a vaudeville theater looking out onto the park and most of its archaic fixtures and pieces were still there, dusty and sleeping, waiting. a grand sooty vintage chandelier was still there among them, laid gracelessly sideways in the middle of the room, its body tilted. i didn't like it there like that, defiled like that. my father took a misplaced dangling crystal prism from that chandelier, it was bigger than my palm and hung like a long earring. he brought it home and kept it in a drawer. i looked at it a lot to remember the way sunlight holds onto dust but still lets it dance around inside it. i looked at it a lot to remember i was a pioneer. sometimes in the admiration i would feel for a second like maybe life was treasure, my little hands would touch it and i'd pray wildly that life was treasure. maybe. its not around anymore, the bit of chandelier, my father loses everything, even himself, but god damn i still think of its dripping jewels, how we had to dust it off and shine it. i should have swiped the thing. i should have hid it in my underwear drawer or inside a sock. i should have swallowed it. 

but naturally, of course, it's a little too late for that and this wasn't even my initial idea in the first place. i lost that one. this one flared in with the blink of the 6:09 on the digital clock, with the stiff-suited good looking men and women en-route to day jobs, how many cups of coffee in they are by now, no clue. it's not my idea. and i swear i'd sleep if my head didn't go off and do the wild rumpus or the run-around or catch things in its mouth to then spit out, like playing with water in the shower. and now it's 7a.m. which means i won't wake up until about three in the afternoon, which is not okay - by normal standards and probably means i should fix something, see a doctor, or another one, i should say. maybe i will find one that looks me in the eyes and has pretty hands and even stays up all night lying in a fort on the floor writing about childhood and chandeliers. that is my plan. i don't know much about tangible treasure anymore but sometimes things illuminate other things like the prism of that crystal would, and i know its not enough but it still makes me stop and move slower, still a pioneer, still the cat, and i've even got ideas. i've still got those, those i swallowed.

i was afraid i'd eat your brains.


a boy i used to know bought me this pen for no reason. you have to twist the green bottom of it fully around to use it. growing up i was taught to always say thank you, no matter what, and i do. there is a tinny metallic taste in my mouth, like silver or permanent marker or the aftermath of a poisonous gas raid. it suits the scenery and the writer. my grandmother gave me socks for christmas and pajama pants with "i heart boys" printed in glitter on the butt. they are very hideous and misleading but not completely inaccurate.
i am chewing sunflower seeds. i put the whole thing in my mouth, shell still on, and i suck and i chew it up and then i spit the whole thing out. i don't really give a fuck. this is how i do it.  i feel off. it must be the poisonous gas raid.


the truth is though that i have not been naked in a year. even with my clothes off and even in the shower.   i'm never naked, not really. i miss it. i miss it so bad.  taking everything off would take forever. a lifetime. that's all life is, probably,  a never-ending process of removing the layers. but i know i've been there before, uncovered, raw, flying. what i really miss is not just peeking over the cliffs of my brain but jumping right the fuck off them. i am not allowed to jump off the cliffs anymore.
 instead, its like this. bones with a headache, a coughing snow fall. i am now an eclipse. i hide what is me someplace not even i know how to get to. dead ends. stifled. my skin called, my lungs rang, oh ps, my hands were trying to reach you, my wrists called, my voice dialed your number, my thighs left a message. they said:  i can't breathe. they said, you can't see or touch or share my sadnesses and i am a dictionary of them. i mean, was. past tenses. now the pages are empty, empty but never naked and always hungry. never flawless or elegant. do with them what you please. i only vaguely remember. 


instead i clean things. i clean everything. i don't mind.
i don't sleep. my brain chatters like teeth. a constant far off cry in my head about things i used to love, breathlessly, with all the hands in my heart. i can remember hitting the gas hard to get there with my head. nude, naked, both hands on the wheel, thighs whispering to the leather seats, eyes closed. fuck it.
i am drifting off course, i lost the point. 
the point, these days i use up all my might, my vitality, to keep hidden anything cliff-like or too high-up in my head. no more air on bare skin or lessons on what comes after. gorgeous mid-air melancholies, lost, in dreams i am sucked out instead of in. you couldn't see so i couldn't show it, now i can't find anything. i can't see me anymore. 

instead i smoke a cigarette. i spit out a sunflower seed and pretend i'm in a movie.  please pass me a cigarette.  i was taught that no matter what to always say thank you. a song is playing loudly, he sings he was afraid he'd eat your brains. i light a match, "shhh" it says. thank you.

sleep on floors


"it's a cleansing sort of thing" she explains to me, her hands moving as if she were maybe gracefully buttering bread. her eyes were wise and gigantic. they scared me a little. "when people say they can't stand themselves i wonder how hard they mean it, like, i can't stand up and still be myself, sort of thing. but i,  can't be around any of you without really hating things about me. i move around a lot, or i just sit very still and i won't look at any of you. hiding the fears is like finally settling in a hiding spot in hide-and-seek and having to hold it when you've really got to pee. not daring to move any muscles except your lips to whisper things to yourself in case they happen to make you stronger, that at the time, come out as nonsense. and i mean real nonsense, i mean prayers to saints that aren't born yet and listing names you wish you were called, names of boys that kissed you but not in this universe or place in time, ever."
she is on a roll, the room is her drum set, her eyes the cymbals crashing,
i watch her go and go and go.
"in order to move my bones at all i need all the nearby air to call out to me that okay, there is nothing here to see you happen, there is nothing to name you ugly except yourself, and if you put on the right song and pray to your unborn saints, maybe dance, if its extra quiet, then you can step outside, one foot in front of the other, and eventually let them look you in the eyes and call you by the name you were given. this air cannot be tainted with evidence of human life, or worry, or time, not deadlines or possible losses of loves. i can't breathe. dear silence: recharge me. i can't breathe. let me watch my mirror image move, get on my knees for beauty, beg, let me cry a little out loud only as long as i know its okay to. let me talk to the mouth of the showers silver spout and listen to the water on my reborn skins. there is nothing left. no dust, no sweat, no dirt, no tears, no grease or grime, it's a sparkling cleanliness, it's me, ten years old forever scrubbing invisible dirt from my knees. it's a perfect clean that i can only just barely stand the day with, i can stand in the place that my arms and eyes and legs happen to be and be halfway okay with it when you see it all, when you see me.  its happening again. "
i am sleeping in her nightmare singing about good dreams and i think she maybe hates it.  
"i need all the things i've been slowly forgetting." she says.

dig deep to every gasp of air

you know it's fucking astounding how often i still mispell 'saviour' after eighteen years of writing it over and over again on the tops of  a thousand  sheets of looseleaf paper in catholic school.
"kerry, you are deceiving your audience."
i won't. 

you win.
i am smoking this cigarette because i think its romantic.
yes, i'm smoking this cigarette because i'm forever unsure of what the fuck to do with my hands when they're not pressing hard into the taut skin on your upper arms and shoulders.  i cried today in the pharmacy and no one noticed so i stole a nail polish,  it was named 'bare bones' and its title did it justice.  it doesn't matter, it's not important.
just everybody fuck off with your needs and your slow shaking heads. look me in the eyes. because all the people i used to know are all having babies and i just write poem after poem after poem about dead ones. today driving on route 212, this song came on that i knew, for sure, i had not heard for two whole years, two years ago, laying on a surgical bed covered in paper. 

i was going faster than 55 miles per hour and the speed limit was 40.
i knew there was no god, lying there on that surgical bed, god would never speak this loudly. through how many realms of reality did that specific song have to pass through to find me there then? right there with the doctors hands all over me and the crackling paper.
i know what i wrote, when i wrote about it but the truth is i kept playing that song after it came on, i kept hitting backwards so it would go again, circles around to where it was before, so i hope to see you soon in some other form.
passing every road sign in the car today my throat was filled with hummingbirds that know to never stop moving, or else. "or else,"  they say to me. cop cars  passed me by but never pulled me over.