(for an epitaph)

My brain is a lonely wish in the night.

This coming year, everything will be different...


(false elipses)

My brain is a slow bridge crumbling over the arctic winds and into forgiving snow.

I have had the strange pleasure of spending my life surrounding by great beauty and that has always broken my heart because i lack the purity to reflect it in the ruddy words and blurred photographs i have to share with the world.

But i try. ever day of my goddamn life.

I try to echo the sublime nature of being alive in a time when there is so much that is precious. so much love and kindness burning through the haze of this city's lights.

Friends and lovers. the sun coming up over the high rises that dot the east river and my view of the world. her face smiling through smoke and glass. the weight of a woman's spine.

The night.

Alone and shaking off the morning where i know my head will fade into the dull factions of the day. where i will play the part against my grain.

Because some nights i understand perfection.

I see just what keeps me alive.


(lone star grimace)

My brain is a beauty queen fading from her skin.

There are only so many vices a man can swallow before he comes to terms with the fact that his life just isn't right. i have my cigarettes. my smut and booze. cocaine on the rare occassion.

And the longer i imbibe. the further i grow into my patterns of indulgent repetition the more distant i become from who i really am or, at least, who i really want to be.

I know i tout the rock and roll killing machine as if it's something i can cast out for acclaim, but it isn't. not now. i am not the debauched vision of perfect excess. i am not the slut of the city, the madman burning up the streets.

I'm just a kid.

Which is pretty fucking sad for someone my age. not that there isn't room for young antics or even for naivete.

But i've crossed the age when i'm drifting towards thirty and where i am is nowhere near where i should be and i have no fucking plan. no fucking idea. a loose notion on the rare occassion that sobriety deems my head clear enough to think towards the future.

It's not enough.

I have to make a change. i have to be a man for fuck's sake.

If my dream is to write for a living i have to let it consume every fiber of my being. it has to torment my working days and ignite my lonely nights. it has to be the core of my person, the thing that fuels me. propels me into the place where i can be happy.

I owe myself that much.

A fucking chance.

Before it's too late.


(off the skim)

My brain is a wish for wings that work. nothing special. just a pair strong enough to carry me off into the night for a while and forget my little place in the world. over the slumbering windows of new york city and out to the aching sea.

Tonight the snow is falling, finally.

Tonight i allowed myself to cry.

Tonight the spirit of this season has finally broken through my terrified exterior and filled me with hope that the future will bring us all joy. smiles. songs that ring in our hearts until the day we fucking die.

And i just want to give. offer myself to the world as i am and as i can be.

A misfit. a romantic. a peon. a poet (in theory, at least). a friend. a skrap. a rock and roll killing machine.

What i am proud to be...


(crack in the tourniquet)

My brain is a map of my father's right hand. a cracked line along gray skin, stained from the soot of toiling under another man's success while family faded and the future slimmed into a glimpse of what could have been had there only been a moment before it all disappeared when he knew what it took to make him the fire igniting his blood to this day.

I understand more now than i ever have about where i come from and just how that makes me who i am.

For years i had admonished a certain element of my past (if not the whole fucking thing, which i do believe is still subject to debate depending on just where in my bloodline you start up your queries). i hated my father. i admonished his kin. i wrote them off like i did the place i'd spent growing up and learning what it meant to be afraid.

Fucking los angeles.

And though i still loathe the place (for stunted reasons, i admit) there's a growing part of me that wants to go back.

Hell, that's where i'm from and that fact sticks to my bones no matter how much of this concrete i try and dye into my skin. it's where he was from too. it's where they fell in love. married. and did their goddamn best to raise me.

Fucking los angeles.

The first time i was drunk was on it's streets. the first time i found a gun pressed cold in my face. my first innocent kiss. my butterflies. the obtuse life that's made me who i am in spite of years in the cold.

I am the incessant sunlight. i am the filthy shores. i am the vacuous nature of a love in the hills. i am a frantic miscreant.

But i'm here now and i doubt i'll ever return. that cultures lost, for the most part, in me but the lunacy still burns. the metaphysics. the manic depression. the loose commitment to the passage of time when there's so much more to be considering.

Like love.

It always comes back to that, doesn't it? the nature of love in the rote tumult of my life.

I am in love now. i have been as long as i can remember. it's embedded in my person. and though the derivations from person to person vary wildly the earnestness is there. the whimsy. the passion. the yearning.

And i love her perfectly.

Just like he did her.

But unlike his folly (for which i have forgiven him in ways i doubt i'll ever echo clearly) i will never let my love slip away. i'll keep it with me, so deep sometimes i forget how it inspires me until days and hours later when i'm lonely and the cigarette burns too close to my fingers. when the wines all done and the songs gone on too fucking long.

I will remember.

Because my love defines me.

It's the one glory i can be.


(blur the ups)

My brain is a punk rock broke open by a diamond and left for the kids to scour and relish as remnants of just what the could have been, had the year been right.

Is mine?

The problem with with a morning fraut with inspiration is that the damn thing invariably leads to confusion - muddled as fuck by the breaking of the day, the decline of the evening and the end of the night.

There's just so much to fucking do. there's the appraisal of my love (goddamn, do i dare say my life?). the plans for escape. there's christmas looming overhead about as welcome as a small mexican family defecating on my face.

Not that i particularly loathe the holidays. lord knows i love the giving (honestly). but this year i've lost a certain notion of the festivities. i was planning on the new job. working on ideas (for the first fucking time in so long it kept me with a hard on for so long i should be ashamed...but my regrets come more grandiose than that). imagining the midwest winter, the suburban dream i never had as a city rat from here to the city of angels.

Now the focus is shifted. what would have come from the inspired down into the benevolent (projects to presents - often one and the same) is gone.

I'm just a man and i don't know how to handle that.

Some part still wants to crawl in the hole. but the rest of me (and the wine) wants me to go out and tear down the red paint from the walls of this town and mete it out to the ones i love.

I only wish i knew how.


(a claim for kilroy)

My brain is a thousand miles from home, unnoticed and wrapped in the simple heroics of waking up every morning. getting through every day. making it to the end of this movie where a last face can fade from memory and finally smile again.

Perhaps i need a great escape.

Take some time to run away and disappear in the ranks of unfamiliar settings where not a damn soul knows my name. where i can invent myself again without the weight of family or friends.

I wouldn't have to think about my mentor dying or my grandmother. her husband's alzheimers. my mother's invariable and conspicuous wasting away. there wouldn't be a chasm forming among those i've earned the trust of, who i've obliged myself to with the best of intentions only to see this passionless play.

There wouldn't be this wealth of debt, growing larging every fucking day. nor this dead air i call a workaday - spent enduring more than learning, more than maturing. assuring myself a life of subservience to the moneyed and inauspiciously privileged.

I would only have me and my conflagration of dreams.

But is that really the right decision? is it right to run away? would i be better served without these acres of concrete, these fucking patsies and heartache?

The slings and arrows of this city's fortune are wearing on me these days. the fate of the states has taken me screaming for recognition, trying to save the fucking world somehow and rooted me in the bemused.

I feel like i might just be living.

I need to feel alive.

Is that possible in such a negative space? can i invent my hero in the confines of a place where the word is bandied about with such poor insolence? do i become an expatriate?

Do i fight?

And if i do, where do i wage my war? where do i raise my fist? where can i fly my flag of mutiny, of freedom, of madness and liberty and the warm fractured fabric that makes us all just perfect human beings?


I know this time should be frustrating. i know i need to ask myself these questions along with the bevy that have come before. but they're driving me crazy. they're making me moody. dark in the mornings and desperate at night. i'm smoking too much. i'm drinking even more and half my days i just want drive my fist through the stained glass windows of st. patrick's cathedral to demand an audience in the house of god.

I want to smear my blood across his floor and leave my mark in heaven.

(on with the convolute)

My brain is a cry from the back of the crowd. a desperate noise. a lost cause if it weren't for the swell of reckless urgency tearing out my lungs. burning my throat. my tongue. my words as if there were nothing left to prove. as if this were my swan song.

But it won't be.

I feel too goddamn strong.

Whether i am or not is a different question entirely. whether i can achieve a fucking glorious thing before i end my living tenure is a mystery i don't aim to ever fully resolve. i just think that i may. i believe it, more importantly.

Because i do have the passion i imagine. i have dreams i have to realize. i have a love inside me so powerful, it would crack the gates of hell and raise a vision of hope so beautiful, so pure it could crush us both in a kiss.

If only...

If only i knew more. if only it was clearer what the world (what she) needed of me.

I know it'll come to me. i know with enough time (tick tick ticking now faster and more painfully than ever) we'll know what the fuck it is we're doing and maybe then my hour will rise.


(break in the sway)

My brain is holden's last regret. the body that fell through the rye into nothing. out of sight. out of mind. out of line with the american epics that defined so many generations of young men determined to find their madness and make it beautiful.

If only for a season...

I am determined, tonight, to hold onto the notion of triumph. to the radical successes and sublime fucking failures of living a life with only overt complacency (i don't mean it. i don't need it. but i'll maintain whatever facade is necessary to ensure that this snarling scrap will, one time, seize his day).

Because if my coming years are spent living the idea that everything is just fine. if i can sleep every night comfortably. if i can rest through the daylight assured of the fact that everything will be the goddamn fucking same i might as well surrend my heart right now.

And, yeah, i forget sometimes. and i love my safety.

But my love should trascend the comforts of my living. my love should fucking steal me. it should burn my burn my travels clean.

It should, above all else, inspire me.

Hence, my pic.

All i can hope is that, in some way, she'll realize she feels the same.


(through dust)

My brain is a bloodstain on the back of her dress. faded remains from a dubious past. a mark that left no scar.

And in the morning i wish i was gone. run away from the life i was living. from the friends. from the family. from the memories - now a question of inference and fucking interpretation that i, blithely, had assumed would shine (if not necessarily golden) bright in my mind for a long long time (i've learned that forever is a false pretense that only ever leads to unspeakable pain).

But i haven't, of course.

I'm right fucking here. my throat hurts. my head hurts. my heart hurts worse than i thought it could (or would with a partner in crime that i imagined would irrevocably complete my life).

I'm alone today.

I'm lonely already.

And days without here next to me seem bleak and weary, hollow as my twisted gut. the nights ahead seem trite and lost.

I don't know what happened. i don't know where love went awry. all i do know is that the songs don't sound the same now. the triumph is gone from the moment i opened my eyes imagining, somehow, that everything would be better. that she would have changed her mind.

Maybe she will. maybe we'll ride of into autumn years together as i'd planned.

But i'm afraid to think like that.

I'm afraid to face this day.

(pricing chemistry)

My brain is a rickety bridge over the dark days that lay ahead of the hopeful revelry they called the first date when the notion of loving didn't sound so goddamn quaint.

Words lost on the whiskey dropouts...

Tomorrow morning i may wake up broken-hearted. i could be elated. i could be dead (though that dramatic take on the situations seems unlikely at this moot stage of the game). anyway i'll be confused.

Tonight's events should bear repeating. they should echo the broken halls of my memory. i should recount them tear for kiss in an effort to make sense of what's happening to me and my pic but i can't. i won't perhaps. suffice it to say that things have grown strange and in becoming i've been reminded that sometimes love isn't everything.

Sometimes it doesn't mean shit.

That's fucking awful. i know. i know. but right now i don't know how to express myself in anything but bitter epithets. i've swallowed emotion. i've tried to cry openly (gagging, more often, instead). i've held my true love in my arms and tried to understand.

But i couldn't.

I can't.

And as the next days pass. as i drink and drink and smoke myself into a soporophic state where dreams take me somewhere i become that fucking hero and nightmares fuel my stringent ego. i'll know whether the new year will hold a familiar kiss or a strange conflagration of drunks in the nonsensical orgy of renewal.


I can already feel her touch slipping away.


(stet asset)

My brain is a long draw off the lost weekend escaping the bats crawled out, fully formed and bloodthirsty, from the cracks of my sunday best (even though they'll be there screaming murder well after i am gone).

I am twenty-six and have been for six days.

That doesn't seem to mean anything to me today. didn't yesterday. and wednesday was just a reason to see my friends together drinking for me and my slayer cake (god bless that fucking pic).

I don't mean to sound down about it. in fact, on my birthday i was elated (a little nervous, perhaps, but nothing evident) and since then the only down i've felt aside from the pressing exhaustion of living life with liquor and smoke guiding me as much as anything sensible was the invariable woe of the anticlimax of a morning when you wonder if you blacked out or just gave up too many conversations.

I'm leaning towards the latter, though i'm shit sure i'm grey on certain things. a little fuzzy.

Hell, i might have just been full-on fucking absent.

But as it is with most years, i feel very much the same. still strangling ambition. still missing my requisite sleep. wondering when i'll ever leap out of this cave and into the world of inconsolable debt. in love and yearning for the sweet smell of her skin against me.

All right then.

I'm pretty goddamn all right. but i can always be better and i will be. this time i feel it. there's too much there looming on the horizon (as if it hasn't been before...sunsabitches all). i've grown too weary of the triumphant failures that could await me in the future.

I want to be somebody, for fuck's sake. and i don't want to be discovered too late.