Lies perk in my kitchen.
I know I have to move.
I don’t want to.

Hot liquids and conspiracy theories
don’t bother me anymore.
This is what you wanted.
This is what I wanted.

In Staten Island I watch television.
I secretly hate the tube.
I watch it with fine wine.

A hot cup of lies
really gets me going in the morning.
But only to head to work
as a small man
selling myself.

My laugh sounds different every day.
I don’t swing on swing sets.
I drink coffee.

I don’t want to get up.
This is what you wanted.

I ate the news today.
It tasted of lies
and coffee.

In Staten Island I take the train
to the ferry
to the train
to work.

I spend money on metro cards,
donuts,
steaming hot lies
with sugar and milk.

When my supervisor is home
I slack off.

When my coffee is ready
I wake up.

My eyes are crusty because
I’m sleeping.

If you’re melodramatic and you know it clap your hands.

My Pet Snail

June 26, 2013

I wonder what he is running from.
When slimy liquid drags behind
 I wonder if he resents himself.

I can’t get very far because
I was born small and with slime trails.
I know him and we are small.

I don’t have legs.
I slide on my belly and my insides jiggle.
I wonder if my insides have guts.
His insides are slime.

We leave sticky trails.

Nothing/Everything

June 24, 2013

Inside that cloud over there, to the left, a dream the shape of your finger scratches the inside of my nose and I cough. You always make me cough.

Little boy looks up at the finger. He points his hand in the air and his finger matches that in the sky. The little boy is you and you’re curious. You are cute when you’re curious but your finger in the sky makes me cough.

You are the farmer’s son and you run in green fields at night with imaginary friends and you are not afraid except for that cloud that points down at you and fits your mold.

I am your imaginary friend. I have blue hair.

You are lamb and you never knew any other way but to baaah. You baaah and you baaah and you wonder why the other animals do not answer you. You don’t know if you’re baaahing out loud or in your head. You don’t know because the other animals won’t answer you.

I am the other animals. I don’t have a voice box.

Lamb cries in the middle of the night. Farmer wipes lamb’s tears away. “We are nothing but a passing thought.”

I am not the farmer but I wish, I wish I was your Mother Lamb. I would tell you farmer is right. I would tell you to please stop itching my nose with your dreams. I would tell you it’s rude, and I’ve taught you manners!

You are little boy and you go to school in a red one-room schoolhouse. You are inside a coloring book. I colored your hair green.  My cough left sprinkles of spit on your shorts.

Lamb names himself DOOM. He will be killed and eaten. This is the way life works. You are the lamb.

You look to the finger in the sky. I’ve painted it grey and I’ve drawn two eyes, a nose, and a mouth inside in black marker. I meant to give the cloud a grin, but my hand slipped on the spit on your shorts.

You are the farmer. You dream of something bigger. Everyone dreams of something bigger. That was one of your thoughts. You send your son to the red one-room schoolhouse. The lamb is slaughtered.

You love them both.

Your scratch made me cough.

You are the finger in the cloud.

You are the coloring book.

Cats In Space

June 20, 2013

Last July my cat went to space.
It went like this:
Every cat had to write his or her name on a piece of paper
and send it in a sealed envelope to Washington DC.
I had named my cat Doctor.
In the White House, every cat in the whole country
(who hadn’t run away to Canada)
had their name on a small piece of paper
in a large container.

On national television, our president shook the jar.
It really wasn’t very fair because
the papers in the jar didn’t move much when he shook it.
But nobody complained,
and he called 100 names.
Doctor was 99.

I was excited for Doctor.
The next day I went shopping for him.
We bought him a small cat helmet and a cape
just in case.
That night, the neighbors threw a party for Doctor
and a few of the other neighborhood cats who were chosen.
Doctor was very quiet.
During the party, adults tried to discuss the physics of cats in space.
Doctor just purred.

You see, space had a mice infestation
after a disgraced astronaut was caught
nursing a mouse farm on the moon
(he was strange but I liked him.)

On July 4th,
the United States was the declared first country in the world
to shoot 100 cats into space.
Each cat wore a blazing red helmet
and matching cape.
Doctor held his bagged lunch
And purred.

“Doctor,” I said. “Don’t eat too much.”
“You’ll need to be hungry to eat all those mice.”
Doctor purred.

That night I watched the shadows on the moon.
I thought I saw Doctor wave to me.
The president says all the cats are fine
And they’ll be coming home soon.
Doctor is fat with dead mice.
I am lonely.

Part I: A short story.

In the middle of nowhere there is a fine art gallery. From the outside, fine art galleries look like every other building. Buildings here are short and brown and usually display a company logo in large brown letters across the top. I laugh and step out of a car, later to go up in flames (but not right now and I wasn’t there for that, anyway). I feel like a film noir star. I blow cigarette smoke toward passing cars. Have any of them gone to this short brown “FINE ART GALLERY”? Raindrops beat down on an over-sized umbrella. I twirl.

Part II: A short poem

In the middle of nowhere there is a fine art gallery
curated by a balding man
whose skin matches the ugly brown lettering
displayed on his brown FINE ART GALLERY.
The grey room is his past, the white room is a dream.
He sometimes sleeps on a cot in the white room,
furnished with track lighting.
It is important for the white room to stay illuminated.
He does not enter the grey room, but wonders what it is made of.
He watches as his customers exit.
They look frightened except the strange ones
who spray graffiti on the walls.

Part III: A shorter poem.

In the middle of nowhere
there is a fine art gallery
filled with dreams
curated by animals
who dream of running away
and displaying abstract art.

A man’s voice sounds like god, repeating the same sentence I cannot make out. Around me, angry ocean waves scream with open mouths full of sharp razor teeth but they always crash and so I feel safe. In purgatory, emotions hang like damp towels stuck to glaciers. I draw a question mark on my arm with my finger. It doesn’t leave a mark but I know it’s there. 

If god is a fish at the bottom of the ocean than
Silence is heavenly and
Up is down and
Even goggles can’t see
Through his holy gates
Whose gates may be golden but
How should I know?

If god is a fish at the bottom of the ocean than
Truth lies under our feet and
Everything ugly is beautiful and
It’s so easy to drown in his arms and
The sky is just a red herring.

Camping in your Brain

June 7, 2013

I packed my bags with basics and hitchhiked up your insides.
I passed three-headed travelers
who didn’t move like zombies
so I tried not to worry.

They looked at me with words written all over their faces.
I didn’t get a good look, but one word was STRANGE
so I felt self-conscious
and I put my head down.

The Doctor is dying and can’t translate alien languages.
A barrier forms.
You’ll like me until you can’t understand me.

The wind coming through your ears gave me chills.
I tried making a fire by rubbing together two sticks
which had appeared moments earlier
when I was searching for my soul
and found two sticks instead.

I never learned to make a fire with sticks
so I tried until my hands bled
and went to bed.

A ticking rabbit pulled my leg the next morning.
Awakening to an iridescent jungle can be overwhelming
so I followed the rabbit
until he jumped down your throat.

You know I’ve always been a sucker for dreams
so it’s no surprise I ate the mushrooms
growing in that patch of grass near the purple peach tree.

A booming black sun hid the trees
with colors that reminded me of Easter.
But Easter here is only a parade of spiders
and I hoped I’d not have to participate.

We sang love songs.
I took off my clothes and ran up mountains
made of pixies
whispering giggles
and feeding me raspberries.

Waking up next to two sticks,
the black sun went down and
a pink moon shined ice onto my back.
I can remember the day before.
But what had happened the day before that?

I walked back down your insides
passing the three-headed travelers
who looked lost.
At least, that’s what was written on their faces
when I passed by.

I put my head down
and kept walking.

I woke up thinking about you. All of you, a dozen mouths chatting in my ear and then silent. I think of comforting half-truths. If memories are based on perception and perception is constantly changing, memories are irrelevant. I tuck you in a cloth. I set you down in the right corner of my brain. I imagine it to be the right corner. You’re just a dream. We pulled smoke into our lungs. No one can blame us for playing god.