We’ve got eyes in the backs of our heads and we shut them with both hands, our backs filling the impressions on this queen mattress on your bedroom floor. You get up and I watch you fix your make-up, you mutter how you hate doing make-up. But I do make-up too, I try to fancy ways this story could be more beautiful than it actually is, and it really is — more beautiful than when we laze around to celebrate the chance to do nothing. Firecrackers in the daytime, a minefield of colored smoke. Trash me now, the floor may as well be the bin, and I’m already on it, and I’m lazing here trying to get the paint daubs on the ceiling to move. Ten years ago you could get away with just believing in yourself, ten years ago a street rat was a diamond and the cartoon was flat and unreal. Now there’s boxes that hold more boxes than your brain, programs programming programs, now the trial’s your success story, the error’s not being born communicable to one. Summer’s a steam bin. Breaths cut shorter than a sentence. Love stories are like whatever, but we are obligated to one another and I say this to you like a noble challenge, but you want the love story, tell me which of these yarns will weave one. Eye of the summer, the year’s up to its waist. It’s so chaotic this time of year, everybody in a car is off to hit another car. I remember screaming in slow traffic down I-10, lazy river, no current, no flow, just red brake lights blinking in a row like stoned cyborg eyes at the backs of all these heads, lanes split at one end like the red sea around firetrucks and this burnt algae sedan wrinkled like a prune with the driver side door sawed out. In Manhattan, years ago, my friend pulled me behind an upright queen mattress that was leaning against a streetlamp as we heard the firecracker noises of gunfire coming out of a white mini-van. When I looked I saw a club bouncer lying on his back, the night like a lowering ceiling to come press peace upon him, and a bus stops and the driver borrows my phone, and he tells his boss some other driver has got to get through, he can’t finish his route with that in the way. We’ve all been here before, all we wanna do is finish what it is that we have to say. We like the child locks on our doors, to nix the chance to get out. You’re a trouble-maker under house arrest. I’m a spoiled brat tied at the balls. You want a love story, not dragons to fight. You want the genuine effort with charms. I give you solar flares and jackhammers. You bear and you bear it and still flex your arms wider, and I’m just going on and on, and I’m still going
I’ve got cinderella (shoutout baybay) but where’s MY glass slipper? I wanna golden ticket that fits me like a glove. I wanna toss at the vicinity, or at least the globe, a card from the deck of my own velocity and make thunderclaps. I wanna maybe know if you noticed the mark, a big burn mark like an asterisk. I wanna make marks, I wanna make pen marks and grade A marks and point the Mark III and get all Mach 5 outta this bar. I’ve got football pads and a stout box of ply. I’ve lost my silhouette to this stout box and in it I do a massive job of sitting and you skate by and you leave yr mark on me like it’s nothing, and it may be nothing. Here I am on the in-side, marking marks on the in-side, talking about marking up the in-sides of my box of armor full of secret graffiti and cave hands I’m a crazy hermetic architect marking fingerprint/blueprints, and I may not be designed for this box, buddy, but it sure was designed for me.
they say that hell is crowded, yet,
when you’re in hell,
you always seem to be alone.
& you can’t tell anyone when you’re in hell
or they’ll think you’re crazy
& being crazy is being in hell
& being sane is hellish too.
those who escape hell, however,
never talk about it
& nothing much bothers them after that.
I mean, things like missing a meal,
going to jail, wrecking your car,
or even the idea of death itself.
when you ask them,
"how are things?"
they’ll always answer, “fine, just fine…”
once you’ve been to hell and back,
it’s the greatest satisfaction known to man.
once you’ve been to hell and back,
you don’t look behind you when the floor creaks
and the sun is always up at midnight
and things like the eyes of mice
or an abandoned tire in a vacant lot
can make you smile
once you’ve been to hell and back.
~ from Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame
If you ask my mother why this random shit is happening to you and seems to happen only to you she will tell you to play the lottery — the universe has singled you out, the luck you come upon is neither good nor bad but out of the ordinary. Use it. Be thankful. Spin no dramatizations, but rather, like the river that flows through you, flow through.
"I think a lot of art is trying to make someone love you."