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Archive for September, 2014

Ohio St. Poem, 4:48 PM

And sometimes I
stand beneath the
awning on 10th street
and imagine what it
would be like if I
could drive by in
a 2003 Honda.

And sometimes the
homeless man on
Washington tells
me we’re kin
because of his
glaucoma.

And sometimes I
watch pigeons
crawl in the
street and think
“those are my
brothers” because
nobody wants them
here either.

And sometimes the
whole aisle stares
at my cane and I
know the man in
the raincoat won’t
let me into the
disabled and
elderly seats.

And sometimes a
man with the body
of a woman places
her hand on my
shoulder and offers
to help me up
the bus step.

And sometimes the
bus is 45 minutes
late and I stand
there leaning on
my cane and stare
at the concrete
which is covered
in soda pop and
begin crying
softly amongst
the crowd of
bicycles spinning
like planets and
the shooting by
the bus stop
going to the
west side and
I cry to myself
because I fear
my life will
always be like
this, a body
waiting to be
carried away
and so sad I
could not be
born into this
world, this
quiet earth
full of right,
any other way
than damaged.

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Fwd: creation permit

I can read the cremation
ticket myself. It is
in black and white,
black and white was
the world on the day
you left it forever.

I sign you out of
existence, a month
after the birthday I
know you spent alone
in the bedroom.

Three boxes on the
ground. Five checks
nobody can cash because
the money gets burnt
up with your bones.

I’m signing the
cremation ticket in
the library when I
find out about 4:46
in the afternoon.

How long that morning
did you re-arrange the
furniture to make
everything lived in?

Did you leave those
CDs for me? Why were
the watches on your
bed, Tom?

I sit in the library,
anonymous, at the table
when two young girls
walk laughing about
their cancelled class.

The world is two dim
yellow lights, to me the
color of your bones before
they reach the incinerator.

The world is the bathroom
mirror I try to smash my hand
against while your cousins
throw away your potted plants.

The world is a box of photographs
and in it I am three and five
and ten and eighteen again and
again and then single digit.

Nobody knows this story but
after sending the cremation ticket
to the Greater South Side Crematory
Company I cry on the basement stair
annex of the library.

I kiss your photograph in the bathroom
and try not to imagine the reality that
you are in a crematory caravan being carried
hundreds of miles to be deposited across
the earth, mobile as accident.

Your crematory ticket does not say accident.
It is black and white but you are gray now,
gray as the hair I only know in photograph.
Gray as the thing you have made for me as
father, the man I only know as exhaust.

I breathe you in every chance I get,
try to remember that your life story
is a thin-shelled walnut and I have
so many winters to last. So many
winters until I reach 57 and forever.

While I am signing a cremation ticket
you are waiting to become dust, for
the autopsy of parenthood to pass.
I sign you into ash. To the gray
area of today, tomorrow, these days.

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Mr. Twin Sister / Blush [2014]

“Or am I just a series of nights?”

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You
I could not even tell
you
have a disability
that’s how well
you perform at
this job at
matching at
making jokes at
talking to her parents at
walking without the cane at
listening to the teacher at
apologizing for needing help at
hearing people talk behind your back at
being too able for the disabled community at
being too disabled to function normally at
surviving blue days so rough
so sky so ocean
even bosses say
hey
you
you’re almost like one of us
over there
you
nod as though you can see that far

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Blue
color of body
at birth
narrow birth
canal
long cord stretched
round neck means
side cut
from side born
outside the
body upside
down

Blue
color of eyes
which reflect
sunlight and notice
nothing less
nothing more
father
just like his
and yours he
slid out of
the side without
warning and without
necessary skills
for life

Blue
is the color
of defective
or the ring of
discarded or the
home of degenerating
body, eyes, bones
beneath skin

Blue
is the mood
of the morning
of the leaking
depression which
is our genes
I think my
body is the by
product blue
a smeared tidal
wave of anxiety
and discontent

Blue
says the doctor
ten years later
pointing to a
chart which will
dictate the next
decade

Blue
is the morning
is the night-time
is the mocking bird
is her hair
is his forehead
is her mouth
is the sundown
is the tulip
is the TV screen
is her bra-strap
is his mouthwash
is the cat-tail
is the note-pad
is the prescription bottle
is the beer can
is the arm bruise
is the razor blade
is her finger-nail
is his hand-print
was my birth
was my mother
was the bedroom
was her womb
is the world
when I blink
when I wake

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The REAL QUESTION is: How does Drake find his way into so many music videos?

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Months after you
die I learn about
Yokohama’s blue light
special.
It is 10 PM again,
the hour they found
you after an alleged
half day of dangling.
The report suggests
the blue light could
save the nearly 58
people a year who
jump in front of
speeding trains
at this one specific
station.

The only set of cones
I have is blue.
Meaning that if you
and I stood beneath
the lights after 6 PM
on any given day in
Yokohama I could
hug you one last
time before you
jumped. I could
see a world all in
blue and see what
you saw for one
incendiary mo –

the flickering light
bulb in your bathroom
is yellow. I attempt
to figure out whether
you hanged yourself from the top
of the closet or the bathroom.
I will never see yellow or eye
to eye with you lifeless.

The watch you left me is gray.
I keep it tuned to 8:43, the
hour you jumped out in front
of the train we called manic
depression. The day, February 11th,
where the world became endless
sky pearl opal blue.

In the flickering lights of
the Yokohama line at 10 PM
I hold your hand as you are
running towards the station
and, in this fiction, I am
strong enough to pull your
arm back and I hold you
beneath the awning while
the rain falls while
the drunks vomit while
the girls lift their skirts
while an old man asks us for cigarettes
I know the world is so wrenching but
please, please, please the world was
never meant to be so blue.

Color cannot save this life, this life
cleaved from me in so many shards of light.
I am stuck here in the blue without you.
I am stuck here waiting for the 8:43 AM
Yokohama morning train and watching
the tracks, the shrinking distance
between my heart, dad, and yours.

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