Sometimes I dissect the
meaning of things; forget
the blushing cheeks of the
letter S, that charming sing-
song voice of C.

I do not think you know
what you are talking about.

Can’t count the distance be-
tween two charging thoughts
like high school football players
running towards each other
with a vague sense of
RESPONSIBILITY and
without reason.

evolution //
revolution //
the constitution //

We tie words together
SIDE-BY-SIDE in a string of
handsome lullabies.

I do not think you know
what you are talking about.

Only the nuance of dancing
syllables
and referenced equality –
better that than anything else

though discrimination sounds
mighty pleasant to the ears
wish it meant something
entirely different.

I don’t think I know
what I’m talking about.

Only write so that my fingers
dance, not much to say only want
to feel muscles move, hear the
sweet tune of crushing ailments
cursing what-ifs.

That terrific acting performance
done by each insecurity slipping
off of the tongue, down to my long
thin fingers with a bouquet of flowers
at the end.

I do not know what this poem
is about.

Only know what I meant to say //
but got carried away //
in the poetry play. //

Not a complaint, oh surely
this is a nod to the dreamers
who wish on the brightest star
scream nothing much into a
blank sheet of paper just to
send it off in a red dress —

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He said success is not a straight
line. I crabwalk my way through the
dark alleys of the night littered with dirty
secrets each whispering, whimpering to
look this way, that way.

I could not make your party and I’m
sorry but the day had gotten so very long
and well, you know how my brain works,
don’t you?

The meeting was nice, a circle of us addicts
and me the youngest, telling my story in five
minutes or less and the people with their lips
pursed, not from objection but from a sort of
sympathy that only comes from those with the
worst inside of them.

I have not seen my therapist in three weeks. He
calls me every Tuesday and I tell him I cannot
come in, sorry, prior obligations. I am a flake.

A snowflake. A special fucking cupcake. I am
sugary sweet, so good to eat I am the demons in
the back of my head. The cats feel bad energy in
my bed and it comes from the back of my head.

Holy water, holy mother of god, holy ham sandwich
what would Bukowski do? Drink a few beers and then
a few more and be done with it. Hemingway would
wage a bet on a sturdy horse. Sylvia dances round in
circles stepping on her toes.

I cannot wake up in the morning anymore. I used to
enjoy the mornings but I am sleepy now and would
you please let me be? I am just sad and you cannot
fault a sad person, it’s just that our brains work too
quickly and I get overwhelmed.

Write a story about a house, a brownstone house in
Brooklyn where the tree lined streets are in close
proximity to Manhattan itself, oh what a fucking
day. I write poetry to stay awake.

Here’s to friendships which only ever partly end and
here’s to a job with a computer to write poetry and here’s
to skipping my therapy for worse things to do and here’s
to the meetings and the demons and the truth.

Seamas Meets Lisa

August 3, 2013

It seemed as if nobody understood Seamas. A travelling beat poet, he set up shop in all corners of the States with nowhere to call home. “He must be homeless!” “He doesn’t think like us.”  “He must be mad!” they would say. Seamas listened to the wind and the birds and the people, occasionally jotting down kind words to put in a poem. He slept in streets owned by local houseless teens and was often kicked around by their cruel loyalty to private property….after all, these were their streets. But Seamas managed to get by spitting words at men in suits who would drop a dime, quarter – sometimes a dollar! – into his hat. It’s a pity to be misunderstood, he thought.

It was a summer afternoon and Seamas wandered around the small but busy Washington Square Park. He had just arrived in New York City off a bus from Virginia with six dollars in his pocket and a pack of rolled cigarettes, looking for college kids with trust funds (he needed the cash, after all.) There were an exceptional amount of students and tourists this day as the sun beat down on dead grass and fountain water spit from tall spouts. Seamas walked over to a woman reading The Sirens of Titan and dressed in a long green muumuu. He had been unsure of her interest in poetry but having neared her noticed a handmade hemp necklace and thought she would like to hear his words after all. Standing in front of her now, he made a deep coughing noise to rouse her from a half-sleep, and she looked up at him with big blue eyes. “Hi, I’m a travelling beat poet selling copies of my newest book. I would like to recite you a poem.” She agreed and he was surprised by her enthusiasm at the dark language coming from his lips. Afterwards, she stood up and clapped. “How about a drink?” she asked. They walked to the liquor store for a bottle of wine and sat under a tree in the shade.

Jazz bands were a common find in the park, and Seamas danced with Lisa in the grass. They took off their shoes and ran in circles around trees, stopping only to drink wine from Styrofoam cups given to them by a nearby ice cream truck. “Where are you from?” she asked, and so he went on to tell her about his unconventional life. “I’m from California, currently living everywhere. I’ve got friends in Boston, Philly, Vermont, you name it!” “So you live nowhere?” she asked. Seamas knew that Lisa didn’t quite understand him, but her acceptance took him by surprise and made him feel warm. “I like your smile,” he said.

That day they took Manhattan by storm. Lisa from Staten Island and Seamas from nowhere and everywhere skipped down Broadway, Astor Place, St. Mark’s – the entire village! With red wine-stained lips they laughed at passersby. Seamas occasionally read his poetry to a willing listener and made enough money for a pack of cigarettes. “Where will you go tonight?” Lisa asked. “I’m heading back to Boston if I make enough money for the bus. Buddy of mine has a room to offer me for a few days.” “When will I see you again?” “I don’t know.” It was getting late and Seamas had to find the cash to make his way north.

When the sun was long gone Seamas found himself alone again. What a day, he thought, and what a girl! On his way to the bus he passed a million strangers, but not one of them wore a hemp necklace. He sang happy words to shallow suits and made just enough money to board the packed and tired bus.  The trip was long but Seamas didn’t notice. He was dreaming of dancing in Washington Square Park.

Marco listened for the sound of those cheesy chirping birds. He had made his way to Paris, city of lovers, to a town which looked more Italian than French. Having just recently discovered rue de Ravioli he was delighted to find, with a hungry belly, the town to in fact be completely made of raviolis. And so, it was with a light heart and an old cheese grater, he set out to do what the locals had called blasphemy for as far back as the 17th century. “To think I am half-dead with starvation and this street is salvation!” But Marco was fully-alive and had just eaten a hearty breakfast of ham and toast earlier that day. Still, he thought, my stomach is grumbling.

Hopping a small bubblegum-colored fence with a white sign reading Keep Out in gold loopy letters, Marco landed on a dirt path almost killing a green frog on the way (and Marco thought he must be made of spinach). “This is where I will build my cabin” he stated to the air and perhaps to the bugs, but the bugs were not listening. When no response came he sighed and continued, “I shall build my cabin here and I shall never go hungry. Ragged children will crawl to my doorstep and I will feed them tomato-sauced bluebirds as gifts and then I will toss them back to the street, for they might eat all of my insects, and then what would I eat?” His thoughts had gotten the better of him and he found himself absent-mindedly sitting atop an ant hill, which more closely resembled a miniature volcano erupting with hot orange lava cheese. “Hello ants, can you hear me?” Marco felt a sudden chill of loneliness and wished the crawling pastas would speak.

“Do you really want your food to talk back to you?” A cat, a talking grey alley cat with black lips and two different colored eyes spoke to the hungry man. Marco thought it might have been of the Chesire breed but it was neither floating nor purple and he had not jumped down a rabbit hole after all. This cat was oozing with white parmesan cheese. “You’re right, but then why do you speak?” “I am not your food” the angry-looking feline spat back. “And now, I am not your friend.” The Chesire-like cat walked slowly into the distance as if waiting for Marco to beckon it back. “Boy, cats sure are sensitive. Even on rue de Ravioli.”

As the day went on Marco searched the forest for the perfect land on which to build his one-man cabin. The woods spanned at least a dozen acres and brimmed with 60-feet high pink ravioli trees. Every day, when the sun was just about to set, light would shine a certain way so that the raviolis sparkled with gold tints and softened fillings. This was the best time to taste the trees.

Mr. Cat (as Marco later found to be the name of that Chesire feline) walked past him a few more times as if begging for attention, but Marco had had enough of cats, and so he found himself talking to the moon instead, and the stars, and the bugs that crawled up his arms and into his mouth. “The big ones are the tastiest” he said to the sun one afternoon, after having finally assembled his cabin on a small patch of grass under a particularly tall 100-foot pink ravioli tree. It would provide him with shade at least for now, and every week it would rain ravioli so as to make room for the new. Marco had found paradise on a small street in Paris.