Habits

I’m in a habit of singing praises
Especially in front of your faces

The truth is daily I pick my heart up off the ground 

Heaving it, heavy, down the sidewalk


I'm in a habit of seeing a vision

It often happens mid-conversation

Of my strung out father on our yellow leather couch

And later his breathless body in a hotel room downtown


I get a feeling 

You, too, have habits

And I want to be gentle with

The reasons you have them


Whether we meet on a mattress, half-made of week-old navy blue blankets

Where the madness and magic poured into separate bodies show up

And as the four become one, in all weakness and strength

I realize my power — and both of our habits


Whether we meet down the block where the concrete’s cracked

Where the ivy wildfires up the brick and the crime light exposes it

We could meet there for various reasons, of one I’m quick to think

I realize the weight of my power — and both of our habits


I’m in the habit of wearing a habit

When truly I'm battered -- nearly always by forces I don't remember

Blows I can't trace

Waning towards waxes two hundred times faster 

Than the moon and its phases

Begging my heart to maintain its lacquer

For the masquerade my ego threw

Instead I watch its orbit fall loose

It's got habits too

Chromatic Manhattan

Perfect, Bulleit Rye. Up. 

I'm privy to a coupe. (It's Chris's fault.)

Don't bother poaching the cherry. Chris would just toss it in and let it sink to the bottom.

*I'm watching not-Chris stir and strain. Hoping he either knows how to execute perfect, or Chris is hopped up inside him for the moment*

And I'm 6 feet closer to the Earth than I feel I am: floating, thinking of Lynnfield, Massachusetts. I'd sit there, sip there. By the time that little Luxardo cherry rolled out of the glass onto my tongue, and after I'd smash it in my teeth 5 or 6 times, I'd be ready to bid adieu to Chris and the burning Gaslight without an agenda.

A quiet line of trees near a porcelain lake. Me and the manhattan in my gut.

You can take me out of Manhattan but you can't take Manhattan out of me. Unless you've got a stomach pump.

Manhattan was always inside me. That's why my first time in New York felt like coming into myself. And every time since. 

 

On the tight knit surface of this manhattan I see me with my hair done up: young & flowerishly scented, in front of a mirror, making eye contact with a gray woman with fine hair pulled back into a studded clip. Pearls around her neck with some kind of knowledge I don't yet have the cogs to process but that bathes me in nostalgia. It is a flavor that puts my 23 year old palette in its place, like the ink on this page, stained to a dimension, gathering letters into phonetic: back to her. What does she want to say to me? "Pressure in unexpected places and the entrances of rhythm in spectrums that challenge the ones already established." What do you want to say to me? "Prepare for climax and keep exercising those smile muscles so your face turns out with wrinkles where you want them."

Its not poetry

His irises are two sapphire roses in June Gloom, as if roses could naturally occur in blue. 

I dream a part of me once knew a part of him. They meet in the 1600s as native people on the outskirts of the Pacific Northwestern woods. In the foothills of the Cascade mountains, they're pressed up against each other under the moon’s pressure, ears tuned to the howling of wolves. 

Who would have we been when modern instruments and careers were embryos of society?

One thing I find endearing is who he is during the phase in which his day is either igniting or reduced to ashes: whereas in the bulk of his day he wears contacts, at this time he lays naked, in bed with wine or coffee and an iPad, wearing glasses.

Mixing & Mastering

Pan my body right and my spirit left

Serve me up in stereo and see which earbud people leave in

To deal in pennies

Why thank you for the 93¢

Sir, not that it would have made

My life any easier 

If you had 7¢ worth of forgiveness

 

To deal in pennies

In 2018

I must be in Missouri 

I must be in a shack that serves pizza

With a battered AC unit

At least they have 

Warm olives,

Sweaty banana peppers

Ready

By the power vested 

In polycarbonate tongs

 

We’re near enough to 4/50ths 

Of a dollar

Over a dollar 

I believe that extra 7¢ of coffee

Hit my empty gut

The combination of it

And the oven that is August

Has a charming way of 

Bending me over 

To vomit

And my body

Has an adorable way

Of denying me my due ejection 

So I dry heave my way home

With a stomach unleavened

Fall-ing

The plummet is certainly disorienting to the part of me that's covered in velcro. 

Then there's the part of me that fancies the cool side of the pillow and the ghostly brush of fallen leaves as they swirl up around my ankles when I turn down Waverly in October. My jeans hang an inch too long. Part of me weasels through a synchronistic nostalgia as their hem mashes between the brick and my shoe's rubber soul. That part of me lives next to the part of me that keeps the windows ajar and finds it oddly charming to be woken by the trash truck's strut-like barrel, smiling at the display of affinity as it hugs the sidewalk. The dawning brightness lasers to the floorboards with brilliance that makes noon seem dark. Of course, if noon is anything like the part of me that could dive into a bowl of miso soup fully clothed, it surely enjoys addiction to the mercy, wallows in the vulnerability, of watching a stylus catch the first groove of Pink Floyd's The Wall in a low-lit room, alone. 

As far as velcro goes, that part of me is covered in the soft side and it seems useless unless I find something prickly to marry.

Ego

Who is my ego and What did it tell me to do???

What is my ego and Who did it tell me to do?

I found this in an old notebook

And I don't remember writing it

You remind me of someone I love, but on the outside, loved. Your beard grows like his and I'm not sure if I can look again at your face. Your boots beat me like a path taken too often. Now I know I will miss you and want to take you like a kid wants to walk on forbidden grass.

In the end I was left with all I started: my bones and my breath. The facade that I had acquired more left me believing I had less. I am scared of what to lose even though I have not yet lost anything.

How can I look defeat in the face when its from the defeat I wish and ache to be saved.

How can I look loss in the face when its by the losing I believe I am chased.

How do I look life in the face if I have not accepted that from its slate I will be erased? Perhaps, I never made a mark.

Dragonflies

And that's when I realized things were passing by me like dragonflies past my ear: all the moments I thought I held captive. Like seeing him for the first time and feeling my body draw to him like a magnet. It’s no longer there. He was no longer standing in the doorway I now stare at, darkened. And that was when I realized things were passing through me like layer cake through my intestines. What once appeared mouth-wateringly organized by color, was now chemically altered, several hundred feet below where I stand swimming in public works water. 

Why do my eyes strain to see him there again, standing? Why am I even allowed access to the electric memory? Perhaps it is not I that holds it captive, but it that pad-locked me behind rusted bars whereas I think I am standing against the 1919 wood-paneled wall of the sunken 55 bar, I am actually butted up against sweaty rock where I fester in a dampness consisting of the stone's perspiration, my tears and my urine. Like a cigarette, half smoked, half exposed, in a puddle on Christopher Street

Chicago (New York)

Even in June car sleeping gets cold when migrating through the mountains. Though it’s still nothing like being in a snow storm, broke, parked somewhere downtown Boston. *Car on, sleep, wake, car off, sleep, wake, car on, sleep, wake, wrapped up in a mink coat*

Before I became a seed of the Apple I’d drive to the village just to be in the village. I’d park my Accord on Thompson Street. When night folded I’d fold down the back seat, fold up a towel, fold up my legs in its queen sized trunk. With sunrise I'd stumble over to Stumptown on W 8th and have morning coffee. 

Anyway at this minute I’m in Chicago with a sweaty glass and the last watery sip of an old fashioned. My names not Rick, this bar's not in Astoria, and its sure as hell not in Harlem. 

First time I came to Chicago I got to know it in my cousins pearl-colored Cadillac. A city at my fingertips... Philly, Phoenix, Baltimore, Miami, Vegas (Las and Nash)

But none can even begin to know me like New York. And I wish it didnt have that power to push my buttons. But this comes with access to its ladder. Someday it’ll repay me with a key to Gramercy Park and whole floor of the Flatiron.

Painless Headache

A painless headache

It’s feet in my stomach

It’s treading water

 

Waiting for an answer

The mailbox is empty

I’m expecting a delivery

And left the door cracked

 

Eight states border Missouri

My house, today slated with misery

Where is the shipment of citrate from Avalon

To line my parapet?

 

Spent the day making love to a watch

To the pace of the grandfather clock

My reflection in the tock 

of its brazenly arched pendulum — 

revealing my concave awareness

 

All the while... where’s my answer?

Where’s peace to grasp?

Just when I nearly accepted that I was abandoned

I remembered I forgot to ask

Visceral

I got home and my heart sank to my gut  

How did the streets get to the sky

I covered my body and folded my arms

And remembered how I let my hair cover my eyes

 

So Carter couldn’t see their visceral springs

And the jarring ebb and flow

Of the jelly-like energy that spins round a wire

Extending from my pupils, out into the world like a laser

Southwest Thoughts

Aftermath of a day, long division of a year. My eyes shut like the date... onto the next number. We're really making headway, aren't we?

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