For your white dress, I need a pink slip. because winter has turned into summer and spring into fall. because it no longer crackles like fireworks but sits soggy in the cavity of my mouth. I'm expired milk.
a black man told a black boy
that the police kill black kids
all the time
just like him
you know that, right?
no, the child said
the man told him
the police kill black boys
the child looked scared
no, he shook his head
yes, they kill black boys like you
who don't listen their to their parents
and the police come
and kill them
and the white girl passed by quietly
not sure the child was old enough
for this truth
the way the sky looks at certain moments during earlyish afternoons in late winter makes me wish I could push through the glass of my bedroom's window and fly, floating. I would hover peacefully above the already dingy accumulations of precipitation.
-what should my last poem be about?
-a ball of lint.
-really? what about it? oh, you put it here on my old laptop? should i write about how it looks? speculate as to what article of clothing's fibers it's from? muse on how you like how i pronounce it "lent" in my vaguely texan accent? or are we both just poemed out after a month of more or less daily poeming? is this ball of lint plopped on my keyboard the death rattle of 31 days of forced creativity? there is one ball of lint here. i wrote maybe four serviceable poems. not a bad ratio. thanks for the memories, lint.
the other roommates have gathered around the makeshift kitchen table
as they are wont to do from time to time when mutually convenience and loneliness align,
and the conversation sounds spirited, with each chiming in animatedly on their particular
area of expertise:
-dispatches from the art world and assertions of pieces being of superlative performance
-a dissertation on the human brain and how it handles complete sensory deprivation
-stump speeches covering socioeconomic landscapes of greater St. Louis suburbs
-interjections on architecture littered with questions of where to play tennis
and I'm holed up in here too afraid to walk past to go piss because I don't have an area of expertise
and I'm sleepy for no reason and don't really feel like nodding.
I spent two summers in Seattle
but they were non-consecutive,
so I didn't get pruney.
The sun set at like, 11pm -
so late that sometimes businesses would
already be closed.
It was fucking weird to go to get a sandwich
in broad daylight, only to be turned away
by a "SORRY WE'RE CLOSED" sign.
Grey & beige blew the bloody doors off.
Looking down at the garden from the office window,
the bramble scrape of the summer before,
and the dried cow shit knocked out of the
cracks in my Dunlops,
and the dog nose in the ground circling round something,
baseball bat giddy,
and my skin, wondering where my tan went,
I'm welcomed to a new age of knowing
I'll never know business.
The spreadsheet starts,
I know now keys solid and clicking and the engineering
of a family;
computer literate or illiterate.
"i'm not really into camping"
I watched her fill her canteen
at the spring
just feet from where i urinated moments ago
then why would you attempt to hike 2,000 miles?
i wondered to myself
i hope you like piss water
more than you like camping.
when you're done hydrating
do us all a favor
please go home.
Noel thinks my shovelling is a bargaining chip,
he offers me a deal on the space I rent from him,
I can't be there anymore,
I scratched someone's car with my shovel.
I don't fancy my wipers bent,
I don't fancy the sad descent into tit for tat,
yes a historic fall, but I was out there for three hours,
pushing it around like food I'm being forced to eat
pushing and pushing,
and eventually it isn't even food or snow,
it looks like it's just something to do,
no-one will care where it goes,
everything that must be set up
in order to abscond.
Nice conversation with Adams. He said some lovely things to me, how it must be New York City, which is why I'm not settled down already, pretty girl like me. Compliments me on my glasses, says, "Yeah, must be new on you. You look nice." He says that he looks at people, watches them on the subway. No one wears rings. 20's, 30's, 40's, even 50's. It's not like that in Burlington. Not in rural areas, everyone wears a ring. He keeps a BMW, a Corvette, a Hummer, and a Japanese motorcycle, a brand I forgot to catch. Last weekend, a car show just happened to be in town. He asked if he could drive his Corvette right up next to the others. They said, "Sure." Keeps a clean engine underneath the hood, everything is custom. Not something you'd just buy off the lot. They gave him first place. Always hustling, can't sit still. Goes to bed by 11:30, wakes up at 4:30, even on the weekends. Drives the Eagles in one of those big buses during training time. Real nice guys. Sometimes for fun, he will Uber his Hummer for a few extra bucks. The way he met his wife, he was working the forklift at BJ's, part-time before he got the bus gig. She was on line, buying a rotisserie chicken. His friends knew what he was up to. He asked her, "You like the chicken?" She said, "Yeah, I do." He asked, "You like ice-cream too?" She said, "Yeah, actually I do." They went to Friendly's after his shift, a few months later, they got hitched. For their recent anniversary, he bought $200 wheels and rims for her BMW, originally $5000. He shows me a picture off his Galaxy phone. The guy selling it was down on his luck.
I can't wait, the blip that makes anxiety latent
which stays as such
so long as the refresh rate continues to hold up
and there's something to refresh.
Can't wait, obliterated by comfort,
and then anxiety realises its boundless potential,
demanding your dream of being kicked out of
a car, in some backwater with a bag on your head,
any dream you can have of being reset,
so you can think outside of where the quandary of your comfort lies:
an anodyne coddle where your irradiating force
sucks towards you all the throws and cushions
from elsewhere in the house
and your lounge becomes a high watermark
for the packing industry.
That or comfort really is what you couldn't wait for
and it's crazy that we continually toe the line
where decision making is hemmed in
by the double resentment of having to wait
or knowing that now everything is typically religion
to the ascetic.
with the storm of the century comes the slush of at least the decade.
one hundred thousand park slope toddlers descended on Prospect Park
and their two hundred thousand tiny rubber boots stamped the fluff into hard packed stuff.
similar aggression took place on the sidewalks and streets
(although nowhere near as dramatically).
but the result was the same.
a secondary sidewalk of ice coats the regular sidewalk,
and as the temperature flirts with the other side of 32
that secondary sidewalk begins to relent.
the main issue here is that
THIS CITY DOESN'T DRAIN.
the sewers are too jam packed full of human waste and human talent and human failure
(not to even mention the waste/talent/failure of animals and plants)
to accommodate such an influx of meltwater.
so what happens?
slush happens, baby.
at every intersection a baby pool of slush waits to squelch over the tops of your shoes
and soak your socks and dampen your already surly mood.
snowbanks render these pools - the only navigable way to cross the street, i'm afraid -
impassable by more than one person at a time.
[rule 1:] the right-of-way is never clear, so it's safe to assume you never have it.
as commuters storm through the gap and splash cold water on you as you stand to the side
allowing them to pass
they scowl and grimace and trudge toward their trains - which...
HEY BUDDY IT'S GONNA BE DELAYED ANYWAY WHAT'S THE RUSH WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE ANYWAY SO WHO THE HECK CARES IF YOU'RE 10 MINUTES LATE TO WORK...
while you stand out of the way and let the whole neighborhood pass
and your socks are soaked and it doesn't matter that you don't have anywhere to go
because you still feel your time is valuable and your feet are best served dry
and you start to get that twisted feeling in your gut because you feel like a scrooge
for hating all of humanity in that moment,
and this only worsens until the four-hundredth and final person walks past you,
splashes in the puddle
turns to see you
cold and wet and dejected and miffed by your own passivity
and says "sorry!"as they keep marching toward wherever.
and in that moment everything is okay.
because somebody in this god forsaken place understands slush etiquette.