we were creatures, cretins and crooks,
we were wide-eyed kids with dreams of larger things than would ever be seen by any of us.
Before we were creatures, cretins and crooks,
we were lost and rambling and never got found like everybody else,
so we kept going, turning, changing.
knowing recycled deaths, living recycled lives
and crying recycled tears that had all been cried before.
we would forever stay lost and rambling dreamers,
but never again kids with widened-eyes,
just hollow, sallow faces, gaunt. weary.
growing into creatures, cretins and crooks.
you are canadian, but i didn’t know then. your nationality wasn’t what i saw, though i knew from the moment we met from whence you had come. the blue in your eyes seemed to be an ancient portrait, hues fading into the bloodshot ocean of desperation. a bead of sweat dropped from your brow and i saw you stand and give that stare into nothingness so characteristic of the working class, hollowed eyes looking toward something no one else could see- looking toward the moment the skies would open and a miracle would fall with the snow that might lift the world from your shoulder. i saw you stare into the peeling wallpaper as if it were paris and you were hemingway, as if the browning edges of that wall were the bits of land you could see on the horizon as you sailed toward a real life, the one he promised you when you weren’t so jaded and accustomed to a faltering image of escape fading into non-existence.
i watched as you broke your gaze into Possibility, saw that slight shake of your head as you came to and recognized the horrors of reality you’d nearly pushed away during that brief glimpse into a falsified future. i saw a drop form in the corner of your eye and fall into the endless sea of splotches that splashed, breaking, upon your apron. i felt the throbbing pain in your lower back that you had come to know so well as you walked from that moment in time, never again to be filled with an optimism that so cruelly taunted you with its impalpability.
i watched- in that dimly-lit diner, on an early december morning, the winds outside ripping humanity from the skin of their victims- as you died a death you’d known a thousand times before.
i watched the hope fade from your eye,
and a pain stabbed my heart as i recalled
when it happened to me.
as i recalled,
what was still to come for you.
and i wept silently over my coffee, shouting internally a prayer for your soul.
putting on my coat, i walked from the table and out the door, into the winds of despair.
and with a final look over my shoulder, i thought i saw a smile fade from your lips,
but, perhaps, it was a trick of the eye…
There is a box below my bed, under a small sheet of which none have ever seen the contents.
i keep watch over this box, its secrecy my sole devotion.
i am Keeper of The Box that No One Knows, a secret task of which i have given myself title.
those who know that the box even exists are Dead or Me or Both.
Some nights i think of it often.
and some nights seldom.
i’m not sure which i prefer, but it matters not, as both will exist and occur, with my approval or without.
The contents scrape the resined walls of my heart,
set fire to them as a pyre to Him.
That Beautiful, Godforsaken Box.
we were children of the stars, wayward, rambling things surfing through oceans of constellations on the ravenous wave of Night, into the bleak unwanted rise of the sun, surprised by the light when it hit, surprised by the fight we made against the lowering of the shade for the hypnotizing privacy of Shadows at Dawn.
Rolling, Babbling, Racing, Tracing Lips,
Dry, aching mouths, Dry, aching hearts, Dry, aching, Dry Aching.
Dehydrated by the illuminated glow of Speed and still goin’ goingoing
until we dropped, no wax left on a candle burning both ways for so long no one remembers what we used to light it.
Morning came and, terrified, we retreated into the confines of our confidence, confident in the confines of one another, confidants on a sweat-soaked mattress with everything left to say hanging in the enthrallment of chemical bliss from the night before or the night before that, the mornings ran together so fluidly, the memory of the Sun fading vaguely on the Horizon of our minds.
we never slept, but i’ve never known rest like i found in that Rage,
the ever-turning night taking us in like a pirate’s harbor in the East,
we fell against the wall of West, and wrapped our bodies in its skies, living without stop, talking without end, believing what we spoke,
Broad, thick lines of paint and poetry standing emblazoned on the timeline of my memory (bittersweet, i think, or maybe just one or the other)
Drunken moons and hallucinating suns turn to one another for relief from their great Shift in the skies.
each turns to each and the world turns for such (or possibly the other way around, and they switch as a result of the world’s turning, who knows, who knows?)
Great little Beats, Deadened, Sallow caricatures of cliches they saw on television screens that looked fast enough for the decision to be made toward mimicry and plagiarism,
little lost souls and gone souls and no souls and, the greatest of the pained existences, Too Much Souls.
These kids are running and running and running, dying to be Alive, and, if not, Dead.
But some of ‘em ain’t burnin’ for nothin’,
just murderin’ Ideas for the sake of stolen fashion.
lost kids turnin’ to junkies when they realize that sly, beat cat’s really just a square in a hepcat’s coat, cause he thought it looked most interesting,
and Hell, if you ain’t interesting, you may as well look it,
cause half the world won’t hear half what you’re sayin’ and maybe less than that if you don’t got heels that you walk like flats, so slap on some paint and cover up your poetry, cause ain’t a body around wants to hear what you’re sayin’,
they just want a pretty face that looks like Revolution to tell all their ideas.
so they can feel like Milk or MLK or MlkmX.
Don’t nobody but a few want a real Movement of Dissidence,
so much as they wanna look it, look real mean and Dissident, on the streets to the ones they think are square ‘cause of the labels on their jeans, but lemme tell ya kid, didn’t nobody really mean it when they screamed WhoneedsRebellionwhenyouveGotFashion,
we were just keedin’ in a silly bonkers way,
but it seems like the motto of these cats today,
comin’ up in a big crowd of Wow with nothin’ Real to say,
just a silly line of clothes and a path without a way.
Barefoot, Silent meditations of Old teahead origin.
Simple, smiling barefoot holiness of blameless impurities,
impurities long since forgiven.
impurities long since purged and returned and purged and returned, like the water drop’s endless journey through sky, sea, body and ground and everywhere in between.
Secret, silent barefoot meditations, Golden, Holy hummingbirds
a constant flutter of wings,
so rapid it seems to the human eyes that it’s one great movement of fluid Air bent to motion bent to water,
and it all comes back again.
an dno one knows if it’s just them or me or neither or both,
but somebody somewheres is doin’ somethin’ to cause all This and i’m thankful.
there is a Natural Magic of The Universe in the air from the moment you take your first step West. you taste the copper in the air, the electricity palpable. it is from here that you make your Stand- here that you derive the power of your Great Adventure. for this moment is where you will derive all of your power. Do not worry about the sad hearts and sunken eyes, take them in, but do not let it engulf you. you were not made for the plastic box American Dream. your mind is far too majestic to be contained by the limitations of a white-picket-fence. your bones need ramblin’ and your eyes need blues and greens they just can’t capture in a picture to plaster on your television screen while you and a hundred thousand viewers take a fifteen minute glimpse into what reality once meant, deciding afterward to plan a trip that you’ll forget existed as a possibility by the next commercial break.
sometimes you gotta rip yourself from that place you hold at your job, just waiting to be filled by an identical haircut&suit the moment you make a mistake. That everyday work you do for The Man to live and breathe and get sick and die in his world and pay for it all with the wages he is giving you while he recycles his workers and damns families to tortured filth and criminal welfare.
in fact, i don’t think you should rip yourself from this Sometimes, but Often. As Often As Possible. Live off the grid and breathe the clean air of our ancestors among their trees and read from the lines of the Universal Scroll written upon them. Dig the World and rip yourself from the Capitalistic Overlords in a Consumer Society of Death.
we painted our minds with the poetry of the Heavens, laughing wholeheartedly. fully. laughing as we did when you and i were children. Hell-bent on The Night, we surfed the constellations of neon signs tracing the towns, coursing through the beer-soaked air into taverns and honkey-tonks and gin joints and booze rooms. mirrored walls behind bourbon-lined shelves reflected the bliss in your eyes when that Southern Cross shown across our outstretched arms as we hung in a moment, frozen in our everlasting Youth, before the bass brought the reality of our jungled lives to motion once more, and you spiraled as a fluid Siren of the South into my embrace. i slid my hands across the oceans of your spine and felt, each night, the rhythms of The Universe inside of you.
i never killed you, no matter how many times i tried- and i tried a fucking lot. and i didn’t move on, no matter what i said or did. i never even budged. it hurt less to embrace it, sometimes. most of the time, though, the route of action i took was for the best. i had to at least pretend. i was bringing everyone else down. so, i took a lover. i stopped crying when we fucked, eventually. i still see you sometimes, when the moonlight crosses her face the wrong way. it doesn’t make me cry, though. not always.
i never killed you, no matter how long it took me to realize that. and it wasn’t my fault, despite what i said to myself through crimson lines on snow-laden planes, planes no one else could see. i never got drunk enough to forget your face, not that i expected to. i etched your name across my chest and called it a night. not that i needed to, but it was symbolic at the time, and i needed that. it’s been seven years and i can still see the scars, some days, when the lighting is right. i remember your scars, too, and the tattoo you said you’d get to cover them. no need now. no need for anything now.
i’m sorry i failed you both. you were the ones i never meant to let down.
i’m sorry for who i am, for putting this to pen on a page neither of you will ever read.
you are ghosts, both of you, that have followed me for so long i fear i may have forgotten life before such. your whispers fill my ears, strong above the others, each night as my head rests upon a sweat-stained pillow in the dark. i cannot escape them. i’m not sure i would if it were possible. i’m not sure i would run from them. not anymore.
But, i suppose it’s too late to make decisions like that, whether to run or not.
i’m no mad scientist with hopes at resurrection, just a boy maddened by an absence of possibility at recompense.
i’ve no hope of seeing you again,
so i play with your ghosts, and pretend it’s us three: you, he, and me.
i pretend we’re all together, at our best.
before any of us died.
before any of us were dead.
before we died.
before we died.
Do you remember that? That time and place of bliss?
When each of Us was Alive?
no. no, neither do i.