Happy New Fear

Happy New Fear

I saw you but you didn’t see me
You were painted into the backdrop
Supporting the subject as expected
Why bother to reject the rejected
The street lights shut off but the sun didn’t rise
And the darkness doused the people and places
A frigid subterranean chokehold
Castrated race horse, squandered ambition,
Strangled voice
I never saw this coming, neither did he
From east to west and back again
From start to end and begin again
Arrivals and departures
I’ve been watching, waiting, turning, pacing
For your life to fall apart
I spent a year in the killing streets
I still think we deserve what we desire
When the smoke clears, I’m still here
Wobbling upright, trading keys,
Impervious to the march of time
I lived, I’ll carry you
When things fall apart we’ll come together
The world is ending and people are
Taking pictures.

Sunday

Sunday

It wasn’t an emergency, but you couldn’t even pretend
For my sake
I saw the film spin off the reel
The room rotate before my eyes
I tried crawling to the edge
But it kept slipping out of reach
At least I tried, at least I climbed.
It’s only insurmountable in your mind
Your catalogue of callous thoughts
And could have beens and selfish wants
You know it’s desire
That propels the human drive
You know it’s the trying
That distinguishes the better times
And we believe them, glowing from the laughter
Basking in the warmth
Sharing in the manufactured revelry
Like the feeling can be bought and boxed
And gifted
Another commodity
Another bargain chipping away at your integrity
What’s dignified about having to smile
All the time?
You once told me you wanted this
You once said you wanted me
But there’s a shadow in your shallow eyes
Deaf tone in your deadpan voice
You can hold my hand
But I don’t believe you.

Slavic Eyes

Slavic Eyes

My ideas wake me, all of them
Especially the ones about you, snaking through my fibers, folding into my memories,
Like chapters in an ongoing narrative
Won’t this end?
Won’t this ever end?
The smell of sober cigarettes and summer sweat lingers
Stuck in a Sunday afternoon, this unbridled union, this false church,
I worshipped you once
I could fall to my knees again
I am a storm. I am a storyteller.
I am a liar and I sleep deeply every night.
My father said “Consuming alcohol prevents stress”
As we watched the alternative police cars
Red, white, and pale blue,
Circle our Southside neighborhood
Line our streets, hover our lives,
Like an All American bastion between good and evil
I’ve always been more interested in the latter
Drawn to darkness, magnetic madness,
Desperate despair.
When I get caught, consumed, buried in this moment with you
The misery becomes ecstacy
Only a year but it feels nostalgic
It rained all night last night
You must have heard it too

Obsolescence

Obsolescence

I know you did a bunch of bad things
To a bunch of bad people
I’m not sure if that makes you good
I always wanted to get far away
From the place where I was found
To regress to that simple state
Of contentedness and governance
I won’t give up so easy
You’re affordable and complacent
I don’t care, I don’t contribute,
I’m here to take it all away
Uproot your planted dreams
Did you know that no one cares?
And I don’t remember what color the kitchen is
Or whether or not the wood floor is real
Or the significance of heading this homestead
Detached from conflict and convenance
It’s just as now
No one is watching
Let’s pretend I never came
I still go crazy on the leave behind day
Are criminals born or are we bred?

En Masse

You ditched that wrecked car and it rusted
The junk piled up where you parked
A monument to the messes we make
And never ever clean up
Commercialized like it’s not worse every time
Loaded arsenals of misguided rampage
Like thoughts and prayers aren’t just segment bumpers
And we’re not chasing the tally while the news cycles
Through diatribes and monologues
Our problems, their policy
You’re right and you’ll actually change
The deviled mind with religion and peace
What tolerance what shining example
Such martyrdom to trample the cause
Slanted trunks bear the weight
Of fatal mistakes
Empty sentiment forced empathy
Unconnected designs, beguiled minds
Cave under the chaos
Stalled in the silent breaks
On those bad days
Action called – answer
Live coverage will resume in a moment.

Crickets

Crickets

Don’t put this all on me
I asked, I didn’t beg, I didn’t
Barter, bargain, trade
This isn’t an even exchange
You were there and now you’re in this
I’m so far out but you’re still haunting me
In shadowed corners, window reflections,
Disdainful messages
I’ll show him what you said
I’ll tell them what you did
You can’t claim innocence
The people who commit the crimes
Are rarely leaving fingerprints
If I were you I’d keep running
I’m staying but I’m not waiting
At night, in my cavern, I play back the recordings,
I scroll through the archives,
I remember the way you looked, head thrown back
Avoiding eye contact, always skulking in the peripheral
Patrolling the perimeter
You will not cage me
You can’t make me confess
My secrets are plaque in my veins
She warned me I would lose
If I played

Soundtrack

Soundtrack

Saturn’s back in orbit
So why would you say there’s 365 per rotation?
We build these shrines
We stage photographs we follow the blueprints or we draw the lines
And we chase what we want to remember
And we dispose of what to forget
Like it’s not all still there
Resisting the antidote
Metastasized regret, I will never forget
I burned your jacket, I shredded the sim card
I bombed my own brain
But they knew what we did
They told everyone
Producing nothing, destroying everything
Copying down arbitrary sentences
We thought would tell the story
With chapters and story arcs and epilogue
We weren’t fighting, it was dialogue
Forge the act, construct dynamic,
This is all made up
Reality is collusion
Forcing mortality on immortal beings

A Memoir

I used to lie about it, construct an alternate backstory
Where it all made some sort of sense
But there’s no fireflies in Florida and
What they did was wrong
And you don’t get to atone your wrongs
With a new scene
A shorter sentence
Relieve you of penance
Like this is all okay
It’s not. It’s gotten worse
I’m getting older
Closer to lines drawn and signatures
You have to give it up
I don’t forgive you.
I don’t have to.
We can coexist, in separate dimensions
Away from that night
And that other one
And all those things we used to do
That didn’t seem so bad at the time
When everyone’s still left
Is it worse to survive this? Advocate it?
Pledge allegiance? Endorse?
I never wanted to go through with it
I liked to watch
The way I was raised, you could take a little,
As long as you didn’t take a lot.

Ammunition

It looks great but it’s joyless
A superficial show, compatible harmony
I can’t believe he fell for it
I can’t believe she hasn’t stopped
Like it can be controlled, voted on,
Declared, elected, like someone’s really out there enforcing it
Spellbinding the sides of the universe into a perimeter
Patrol the grounds, build the barriers
Act like you can make me unexist
Unhear my words, undo that thing
We often think about but never mention.
You weren’t there, you couldn’t be,
I was the one who told you to leave
Blame conditions, blame society
Trite expressions, bitter sympathy,
It wasn’t supposed to happen to me.
I forgot one time
Now I’ll never let it go
Through the attack, between the bullets,
Underground, out of bounds
Chase me, I won’t be waiting
There is no end to this
No one survives, no one’s left,
Just old ladies and communists.

Christmas

Christmas

I have always been like this
I wish I could tell you there was a
Particular person, a specific event,
That drove me off course, triggered the force
To unfurl this spiral down which
I descend
I wish I could lay blame
Reclaim what I was like
When I was the girl I could have been
Maybe it was a little because of you
Maybe it was because of that thing
That happened in front of Francesca’s on Taylor Street
You shook the glass for no reason
Rattled the building the window wavered
But it did not break
And I wondered if you were getting worse
Or if we were just starting to notice
The layered despair, this unavoidable catastrophe
Guys like you always seem to father daughters.