(detroit half life)

My brain is the absurdist drawing his outline in the dust.

Listening to the rain fall a quarter mile away (i'm guessing. i've never much been one for distance or rating time) wishing i was sitting on the old short couches sluggin my sixth cold beer on a fridate with two of my best and the tv. a crumpled pack of cigarettes.

Tonight i'm watching streamers dry.

Its the worst way to pass a night, that's true. i could be broke and sick of five shots trying to convince myself i've scored a deal while punk rock plays the punk rock daze and i ape the pose of giving a shit beyond the second band just to be a part of those kids i don't nearly spend enough of my stupor alongside even though they took me in. learned my name. gave me a reason to keep up with old g.g. and defend the world of wrestling entertainment.

Actually, that doesn't sound so fucking tragic by comparison though i've killed the love of shots right quick (except for those rare instances when some lady friend decides its time to fucking go for it in which case i'd make a foolish argument by pretending i wasn't ready) after...well i can't remember when.

In fact, it sounds rather nice.

But there are pinatal obligations that have called me home tonight. there are burgers in the freezer and plenty of time before another living human being (still debating the rations of ghosts) walks themselves through my front door.

Might as well aim to make something of it.


(beneath old doors)

My brain is a familiar angel walking home in sheltered snow.

I only wish she'd known...

(charming sure)

My brain is a blue midnight swoon calling out the ghosts, the ghouls, the goblins that lurk in the idle shadows of the daylight for a slow dance at the car crash for the next in the longest line of last times.

But who am i kidding?

These times should only ever end suddenly. no tragic spiral. no pointed denouement. just a burst and then a silence and the next morning (or afternoon as certain sundays often see) we meet again and smile remembering just how ridiculous a life can be when its as rich with drink and company.


(pass in waste)

My brain is the blur still telling us the dream's alive and will be until the day we finally lean into the river for that last kiss, the sweet caress that carries us back into the breast of darkness to wait our time to roar fires again.

But those days are years off. false threats from the edge of fate tempting us to be everything we hated. daring us to die small and insignificant in the arms of the last love we claimed as a matter of fact and not a testament to the passioniate airs that saved us from ending it all.

Too young and too fucking stupid.

Too terrified to stand tall.


(tempered sails)

My brain is the ink staining her loose fingertips.

And once more i crave new definition. new lust. new energy. new fucking time to smear my plastic phrases across the universe (no i don't feel like being realistic. i rarely do. only when i'm stuck in those ruts i've dug out long ago for myself do i really dwell in the right kind of headspace to stop and thinking about things as they really are [usually obtusely with a self-denigrating end] or, at least, how a half-drunk drowsy mind ever gets a chance to see them...so fuck it for the time being).

I don't know how or why or when this fucking hit me. perhaps when i licked the envelope and sealed my first sanskrit in damn near a year. perhaps when i stole a few minutes of sleep and beer.

But i think its high time i fucking realized that it doesn't matter worth a damn where i am or what the fuck i'm doing to keep the money rolling right in to pay the debt i must be sinking in so long as i keep my heart clean and these ham hands busy with the rat-a-tap-tapping.


(blown subterfuge)

My brain is our time fading over the bridge.


(fulsome prism)

My brain is the magic that killed kennedy.


(box cuts)

My brain is the place we should have been years ago. before we met. before we kissed. before any of this nonsense came and fucked us up this time.

Some place strange and far away. a dance floor maybe. a party. a place neither one of us belonged but stayed long enough to look across the crowd of smiling drunks having the best time of their young lives again and catch a glimpse that stole our breath and made us shy away from destiny.

A place where we were happy just to watch a wallflower shake mustering conversation and fumbling for a cigarette. doing his best to look cool with a style outdated as hemingway's rickshaw gait. just trying to impress her. just trying to make his way across the crowd to say something as clever as hello wihtout knowing that she'd be waiting no matter how long it took him to get there just hear him say fucking something so she could grab him and kiss him in front of these strangers she could give a damn about when she measured them against the life of desire she'd always craved in her tiny town, curtained in virtue and the families deftly made to keep hearts safe from breaking on the stolen road to something great as some boy's breath growing familiar by the hour. by the day. by the time they walked out the back door together without so much as a wave.

Just to be forgotten.

(static dials)

My brain is the trail of forgotten lips trembling in the dark.

Her name was erica and behind this old copper sign, in what used to be the one place i imagined i could fucking shine as a persona much larger than my own life, i kissed her.

It was my first time.

I don't think about her much anymore but every five years for the rest of my life i will stop by this sign and try to peer inside, remembering what it was like to sit there with her small hand in mine.

(snarls in wait)

My brain is a balm for the sense of self satisfaction that sometimes drives me over to the dark ends of reason where i sit for hours in the half-light of another a.m. wondering just what the hell it is i've done with my life and why.

Why i shout. why i smoke. why i drink. why i fight. why i play the same words over and over again. why i stretch out my regrets. why i can't let go of certain kisses. why i came here in the first place when i could have just as easily disappeared into the catterwaul of los angeles.

I knew the right miscreants. they had the better drugs. the faster cars. the connections and the women to make me a man in a matter of years...or dead as marcos turned up one day before he found his cat legs and came east twelve years later.

But then, as reason might intercede, i wouldn't fucking be me.

Would that really be so bad though? not the death, of course (we passed that option over a long fucking time ago as a coward's route we weren't so fucking ready to ascribe to) but just...i don't know...a difference.

Not that i find my life a barely functional exercise in futility. i kind of like me (at least, i'm used to the skin most days). but after three days drink to drink with my contemporaries from that haven for raging masculinity (change over now to a veritable country club with endowments for the arts of all fucking things leaving me with a bitterness that doesn't bear repeating until morning) i have to wonder if i'm doing the right thing.

Those fuckers are married, home-owning, six-figure-pulling (several times over, some) sunmabitches and i wouldn't hasten to say any of them had a goddamn thing going for them beyond fiscal opportunity (read, privilege).

They seem happy. they have money. their wives are pretty and their homes are clean. they have futures as bright as these cinders.

I sleep in chaos in queens next to a stuffed racoon.

Right now, though, to be honest, there isn't another place i'd rather be.

Maybe i just wish i had another place to go in the morning.

Which, i guess, makes this weekend's perspective shit.

Goddamn sra. leis.


(waxing plain)

My brain is the last star burning out familiar skies and all i have to do is stand tall and watch them die.

Ten years ago i made my way out of the annals of avon old farms school with the cocksure smirk of a half-drunk sunmabitch goddamn sure that everything he could ever dream would come to him in blinding waves of joy and rapture the likes of which none of his contemporaries would ever imagine in their turgid worlds of inherent success, physical and financial prowess.

I had a beautiful woman right there on my arm. i had friends and family shouting my name. rumor has it i gave the headmaster a hug when i received my diploma (but that might just be some of my old bullshit invention i keep on saying because there's no one around me to refute it) but at least my hair was long. my sunglasses were on and the cigar i tugged was as delicious as penelope's kiss in last night's dream.

Life was mine and ours for the ravaging.

Since then, of course, college came and went like a bad business day. i've been unemployed. worked with damaged kids and less stable adults. woke up half dead. been high than life with drag queens, strippers and a rock and roll band. i've fucked up worse than i ever thought possible. other days i've pulled off some of my absolute fucking best.

Sure i have no career to speak of. i have nothing in print. i don't have a girlfriend. a wife or any children to speak of (with a coy and needless grin as i'm inclined towards the protection no matter how drunk and tawdry the event). i live in a tattered home in a corner of queens no one enjoys but me, the boys and melissa.

Well, my mom and leigh dig it too. megan and dave.

Hell, that's enough.

But, really, if you wanted to toss my life on one end of the ontological plum line you might not have to stack that much against it. but i'm happy. for the most part.

Fuck i may even feel, at times, pretty fucking extraordinary.

And isn't that all we wanted to be when we grew up?


(stone charms)

My brain is a mute on the back of the bus counting his blessings down with every stop.

Still out of it. still shaky as shit. but much less worse for wear than i have been throughout the day. perhaps its the chinese food laying waste to my contorted belly. perhaps its the bourbon. the night shot of dayquil or the fact that i haven't opened my goddamn mouth in an hour.

I'd like to think its the silence.

We'll see how long the liquor lets it last.

(holed in degree)

My brain is a bucktooth mantra gnawing quietly at the back of my skull every time the night finds a corner to call a grave.

I think i may be feverish. in fact, i'm fairly sure. my shoulders are twitching and my neck is locked into the lowly shakes that come when the days are finally done catching up with me.

I can't make sense of anything. i'm half-naked and fucking filthy from an attempt to make something of the day.

I want to vomit. i want to sleep. i want to forget everything i've ever done and slip into tomorrow, blameless and clean.

I suppose i can satisfy at least one of those things but i'm afraid i lack the strenth.


(if crazed)

My brain is the whirlwind by her settling face.


(littering pearls)

My brain is the slaughterhouse din where we shake and wait for the inalienable right to end this time, this night, this life with the anonymous dignity befitting our fucking anti kind.

I'm feeling fucking sad right now.

Genuinely so.

Not sucked in the sorrow you can paint in blood on your bedsheets to remind that life is made of untimely suffering you reinvent anytime you need to suit some end (though a little gash here and there might be a polite way to forge ahead for the time being...too bad those are bygone days at best, my little coquettes) manner of cheap sadness that's left me ribboned as i am today.

That's fucking kid stuff. childhood revelry.

Right now there are no excuses for how i'm feeling. no quip. no misfit. no fucking mistake.

This is the weight of the realization that, soon enough, i have to let life just go on and be different than i might have imagined. i have to let lovers pass. i have to let my friends die. i have to acknowledge the fact that some of my best friends are liars and, as it turns out, i am the punchline.

I have to kiss her goodbye.

Because i can't afford the time. i can't sit by and wait with a swollen heart and bated breath as she makes up her fucking mind.

By now her decision must be, already, made and all i can do is learn how to hear it.

No matter the shame.


(grab sullen gasps)

My brain is the dizzying line that keeps us larger than this life (whose words were left back on the soot stained party floor to let our ghosts sleep sound without bodies between us and that wish we left carved upon the tree miles from here and years before we realized there'd never be a time when we could see forever in the languid look of a lover's eyes [no matter how prophetic]).

And i'm just glad to have it.

Even if i can't read it this late in the night.


(finding tides)

My brain is a gunslinger's twitch.

And i'm blank.

The morning guilt of a night's gross excess that spiralled into a self-imposed rage of cocaine, cocktails and a cab ride half a mile from home (never, i think, directed any particular individual but whoever happened to be the one at that moment when i just needed five minutes the fuck alone to think over a cigarette and a perfectly timed superchunk song...but i could be wrong, fuzzy as the evening wore on) has finally melted into the warmth of knowing that i am never the monster i fear in me.

Which means i can finally sleep.

Even if i don't know anything more. where my heart should rest or my future resides. how the fuck i'm going to make it to a point in my life when i don't have to question the simple tenets of everything i do and say and hear and see.

Perhaps i'll always be wondering.

But, at least, i'll always have friends to keep me.