poetry

#16 Rocket Woman

It’s lonely up here
in Lala Land,
forgotten what it’s like for touchdown to begin,
these stars burned and etched right into my skin.

I drink blood, I dance in Mars,
nothing in here fazes me,
I wouldn’t suggest raising your kids here,
Herein lives the loathing and the fear.

It’s my full-time job, Monday to Friday,
Surviving the hours, carving the minutes,
It’s going to be a long time before I come down,
There’s absolutely zero in the things I’ve found.

I miss everyone,
I just want to come home.
It’s about time.
Can someone give me a hand?

Because it’s lonely up here,
in Lala land.

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Day to Day Poetry, Day to Day Writing, poetry, Short Fiction

#15

My new therapist is an ex-tv producer
who used to hold business meetings with reality show directors
and actors, and marketing geniuses
only to curl herself in the washroom and cry.

She would take walks,
a cup of coffee in each trembling hand,
just to get away.

She doesn’t mean to tell me this,
she always asks, “What about you?”
But I’m an expert at misdirection,
this is how I know

how my other therapist loved musicals,
but her husband hated it, so she went alone,
how she pored over two volumes of Persepolis in one night,
because it reminder her of me,
how she fretted over which rug to put in her new office,
how she felt overwhelmed by having a new office,
how she thought the panhandler outside sang too loud
and disturbed her clients,
how she thought the retirement home she brought her mom to
was sad,
how she killed herself shortly after
we stopped seeing each other.

Both of them said I’m always on time with payment.
I don’t want you to listen to me for nothing.

She loves asking me ,”Why,”
And I want her to know,
That it’s not the external that matters –
not the job you can’t have, not the money you don’t have,
not the relationships that broke you.

That’s the easy part.

It’s the living with yourself.
It’s the waking up in the morning and forcing,
with all of your strength,
to get out of bed,
to sludge on to the tasteless coffee,
to slither inside clothes you know doesn’t define you,
to look at the person in the mirror you no longer recognize,
the growing older, the years wasted
trading your soul for the practicality of adulthood,
if you work too much, you get too sick,
if you play too much, you go insane.

In this routine, interpersonal world of
commutes, and plastering smiles while out for drinks with friends,
and sideways glances that tell of wishing I am not here,
it’s the mind, my dear,

it’s the dead, unbeating heart that
performs the final act,
that delivers us to the gods.

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Day to Day Poetry, Day to Day Writing, poetry

#14

I will wait for you, darling
For the crinkle on the sides of your eyes to rise
along with those cheeks and lips
smiling at me,

as if there was still hope
left in our world.

Until then I am all verb, no adjective
passing through time
counting down to the second
until you let me in

again.

I will wait for you, love,
give you the space and distance
the size of a galaxy
that you need,

if it’s my non-existence you want,
you’ve got it babe,
I’ll stop existing for you

what I’ll do for you is limitless,
there are no absolutes in this heart of mine
if forever is what you want,
I’ll give it –

I will wait for you,
even if it doesn’t end,
even if I am forever pounding clenched fists
against an unbreakable wall,
this is my sacrifice,
my overall meaning

fighting for nothing,
waiting for nothing,
hope is the communion I take
for the madness of my sins.

This sadness is the only thing I feel,
my only purity,
the last
of my  humanity.

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Day to Day Poetry, poetry

#13

Boundless energy
I want to suck it out of her
in sporadic doses of drunken hickeys and forgotten mornings,
comb my fingers through those soft, pure curls of hair
and grab handfuls of it in between my hard, worn fingers
clenched unflinchingly into fists
tearing at her virginal skin,
and scratching with putrid nails
digging out innocence I’ve lost out of her,
dancing with anxiety, the monster I feed
under my bed –
you can have him –
don’t stay with me, darling,
I’ll only drown you
in my intrepid
mistakes.

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Character Portraits

#10 Mary Sue

Here he sits, the sunlight reflecting off the blonde strands of his hair. He is sipping coffee (very black). He talk, talk, talk, sips, and then talks. He is sitting with a brunette: she is thin and proper. Her lips are red, her legs doesn’t end. He tells her about how a gram of cocaine in Panama will set you back 2 bucks. 2 measly fucking bucks. Can you believe it? About the war in Palestine, missiles in Russia. Hackers called Anonymous. Snowden.

She nods and she listens.

She has very clean fingernails, cut to the proper lengths, they are not chipped nor they are stained. Her legs are crossed, and she doesn’t wear heels. She’s wearing shorts and a white v-cut top: she is showing just enough skin to keep him at the edge of his seat–please note:

She isn’t me, but I imagine her quite well.

On her back is a tattoo of a swan, about to take flight, its wings stretched to the edges of her shoulder blades – if you look close enough, the black ink against her skin can be substituted for her wings.

This tattoo is complete. It’s elegant and well-thought out, not rushed, nor typical. Everyone who sees it stare in bewilderment, and doesn’t use it as an excuse to touch her body. It also goes well with the edelweiss tattoo on his shoulder. On lazy days, they like to lay together in bed and watch each other’s tattoo rise and fall with the rhythm of their breathing.

Her back is straight, her eyes strong: she is listening to every word he is saying, she completely understands, she doesn’t ask questions. She doesn’t know anything about heroin, or cocaine, but she knows a lot about marijuana. She probably likes hash. She probably only smokes purple cush. She can recite all the countries at war in alphabetical order. She has monitored every move Trump has made after winning the election. She participates in rallies and is the head of an anonymous anarchist group. Her favourite band, above all, is Portishead. But she can tolerate The Smashing Pumpkins on a really good day.

She drives. She’s lived in one place her whole life but she can dream about going to Cuba from time to time. Probably to volunteer. She replies to every text he sends, to emails within a day. SHE IS RELIABLE.

She has her own magazine. It’s online and independent but it’s a start. She is on the editorial team of two magazines, a financial journalist for some investor’s blog and an occasional contributor to the Toronto Star. He can call her and she knows the rights words to make him happy – because she believes in every word he says. That’s key, I think. She also tells lies: it keeps him entertained. It keeps them together for four years. It is what she tells him, what he tells her, on nights when they smoke joints on the roof of their university. It is what brings him to her after a shift at Second Cup, his heart boiling with unhappiness and distaste for his co-workers: it is what she sees on his face when he showed up at her door bruised and broken, having just spent a night in jail for sitting in Queen Street with a backpack full of European maps, protesting G20. It is what keeps him hard when he fucks her, it is what gets her to moan and clench a fistful of his skin from his thighs—

It is what’s in the letters, passed back and forth, from Berlin to Toronto: marked by dates and clumsily drawn hearts and I love you’s and I miss you’s and when are you coming back to me?

She isn’t me.

And she sits, her back straight, calm and serene. She sits, confident and aloof, hands on top of her lap.

She sits, and she is still, and she does not doubt.

She sits, and she smiles.

She sits, and does not weep.

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