Archive for April, 2014

The Sad Truth


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Lester Bangs

“I know. It sounds great, but these people are not your friends.”

(Almost Famous, 2000)

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Sometimes I go back to Canada
when I remember you,
or want to be cold.

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Still chasing your ghost.

This dust. This bloom born
of the blood we made, stirred
into existence. Still kissing
you by night-flight. Still
invoking your name in empty
hallways. Still afraid of bath
tubs. Still kiss your photo
each morning. Each morning,
when I imagine your hand
cupped gently on my shoulder.

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Dancing is easiest
in the realm of
the spirits.

Our fleet steps
moving only in this,
the specter of ideas.

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Cut up
into the pieces
5, 10, 15
that make up me.

Re-organized for
preference, want,
disorganized body
always wanting.

Piece for you
vivisect these
eyes, on your mouth
and between thin knees.

Wanted only for pieces
cut up and ugly
a good body is only
pieces stitched together.

This body is half-stitched
mostly sore. It walks funny,
imitates human voice. Sees
everything with blurry eyes.

It will perform very well.
Very well, this cutting.
So well, this bleed.
It even hugs in the morning.
It even breaks down some
times, it even asks you
your name. It remembers
your size, it can’t perform
anything on its own. It is
dependent, the way it was
constructed. It keeps itself
in check. It knows submission.
It knows your name. It pretends
to play dumb. It gets caught
all the time. This body is
a failure most days. This
body plays the role of playing.
It asks for forgiveness. Its
words are not loud. Its hearing
is imperfect. It has not been
chopped to pieces yet. It is
not in a landfill yet. Except
when this world is a landfill
and more often, when the searing
pain of being here means the
stitching falls apart. Look,
the eye fell out. There, the arm
is too weak, too sagging. This
is how they made me, look, the
robot with too much flesh. This
is I how I perform disabled, look
this body pretends how to dance.
These are the gears chopped out
of me, hung around my neck like
medals. Look, this is barely
human. Just as they wanted me.
Just as they told me to be.
Just enough to stand in the
doorway. Never enough to take
a seat.

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Goodbye, Gabriel

To be one of your characters,
and laughed about in the mouths
of the whores of Colombia.

You died on the day a red parrot
drowned, we laughed at the sunrise
knowing only the voices of our dead.

I kissed her mouth. She, the fourth
woman in three weeks to tell me I
was just like my father. We laughed.

I hope I get as old as you so I can
fuck and fight and joke, most of all
just joke about the mistakes of youth.

You taught me more than any other living
thing about how magic works here, how we
can choose to laugh at the sadness of here.

I hope I die in bed with someone who loves me
at least a little, and then she can say something
droll about the women who wanted me gone. That, at

least would make for a good ending to the story.
Yours was long, I know, and so filled with the
dust of this earth. Our earthly cry. Crying forever.

– In memoriam of Gabriel José de la Concordia García Márquez (1927-2014), father to us all

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