Thursday, July 15, 2010

Bad at promise keeping

A lot of change. I don't know what I'm doing with myself but I know that I'm doing it. I'm going to gamble. I've got that in me and I'm ready to do it. Some people call it poor decision making, or lack of thinking, but I can guarantee I've thought every last detail through. I'm obsessive. My mind never shuts off, never shuts up, so what on the surface may seem like an impulse decision has been turned every which way before it was spit out.

I haven't been able to turn out so much as a decent line of lyric lately, but I have been writing articles for www.upchicago.com . Check them out.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Tell Me Again What a Flower Was and How it Stole From the Sun

I poked my head out of the window yesterday, careful,
like a mouse who doesn’t trust a cheese.
Everything was the same as always,
the dirt was grainy and brown and the roaches tickled
on the side of the house like there was nothing
better to do, like there was no place else
to go.

I thought of how sometimes when momma’s not around
you tell me stories about things like butterfleas
or the way the moonlight snaked across
the lake on night’s that were made for lovers.
I don’t think I wanna be a lover, but I do wanna
meet a butterflea. Do you think I ever will?
Momma says your stories are just that, stories,
and that they’re nothing to trouble my head about,
but can you keep a secret? I think about them
all the time.

My favorite one is the one about the flower,
the green wormy thing that looks like little
girl’s hair at the end, but with wild colors
that don’t exist anymore. If they really were like
tiny trees, but soft, how did they not get stepped on
all the time? And why would people muck up the Earth so bad
that flowers couldn’t come around anymore, that
they couldn’t poke up at the sun?
And why would bugs crawl in them
when bugs are ugly and flowers
were the prettiest things in the world?

Trees seem kinda nice. Even if only a little light
gets past the dust clouds, couldn’t the trees share it?
Why does there have to be not enough? Do you
think the flowers know we miss them? Momma says
you can’t miss something you never met, but I think
I miss them anyway.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Graham Cracker Crucifix

The little wooden desk creaks
like floorboards on the Ark, the
wood straining beneath Triceratops
feet. I imagine Noah settling disputes
between polar bears and Tyrannosaurs
and naked mole rats.

At snack time I eat graham
crackers with honey and think
that this is what they ought to serve
during communion instead of
those little flying saucers. Mother
says in Mexico they eat similar
wafers with cajeta, gets upset
when I tell her that there were
never any Mexicans in the Bible.

I raise my hand during class, trying
to put two and two together, like
Legos or Lincoln Logs, or any
of the other things I’d rather be doing.
I paint Adam and Eve as cavemen, as
Ringo Starr and Shelley Long,
Atouk and Tala. Creating fire, covering
themselves in loin-cloths of sabertooth
instead of leaves and branches.

I end up have to say a bunch
of prayers that I can’t remember.
I don’t even ask about unicorns
or minotaurs. I watch rain splatter
against the window of the
principal’s office. I see Pegasus
split the sky like a sheet.
I imagine the coffee in the principal’s
cup jumping, rippling, warning.
Impact tremors… I learned that
from Jurassic Park.

I look up at the ceiling, ignoring
the scolding, waiting for something
to break through.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

No, I didn't abandon you Blog. Not completely.

Ok, so it's been forever. Been writing a lot, but filling notebooks instead of ominous white cyberspace. Working on a chapbook about Uptown, because, you know, everyone wants to read about that poverty, depravity and amoral lunacy. Well, I want to write about it anyway. There's more Chicago there than anywhere else it seems, and I'm intrigued. Please stay with me here Blog, and I'll get you some food asap.

Love,

Me.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A good day to listen to Lou and Antony sing 'Candy Says'

Writing a lot the last few days. Later today (read: hopefully tomorrow) some of that will make its way up here. The weather is perfect, a cool breeze, everything glistening wet.

Excited for this on Friday.
http://www.cimmfest.org/

You, whoever you are, ought to come.

Until then-

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Aluminum Pillow Talk

Teacups for eyes, hair a mess of Viking
bravado. She thanked me for reading
her spilled guts. They
sparkled like cosmic ashtrays- littered,
smoldering.
Inhale and think instead of Russia, dreams,
giant iron eagles hunched over
a rusted water purification plant.
The air is damp like an old rag,
the bullshit of the sleeping mind,
the alarm clock a blink away.
If you can finger past the cogs
there might be something worth feeling.

Recipe for Fertilizer

A corset pulled tight across
the camera eye. Memories
submerged in red water,
mustard gas, pocket lint.

A car rolling aimlessly
down Western avenue towards nowhere
in particular with a rotting
corpse in the trunk- soft
like stale popcorn, like asparagus-
leaking gold satin sheets
and sambuca from Evanston
to 66th.

When a flower breaks down,
petals pink-slipped,
stem evicted, bees bumbling
elsewhere, pluck it, stuff it
in your mouth,
chew.

Recession Proof

Uptown is slapstick poverty, drunk, misshapen, whirling towards
infinite jest, stench, crumbs in hands, coins in hands jingling like
sad maracas, shaking to the beat of the streets, shaking as penance
for unspecified offenses- for being born in the wrong place, the wrong time,
for drinking the wrong juice, the nectar sweet, enchanting, glorious
in its comfort, its understanding.

Uptown is rotgut. The fermentation of old hopes dripping down the el tracks,
slowly, almost oozing, secreting from the wood and steel, stinking like dried urine,
one hundred proof, enough to drown in the smell, to surrender, to lay back
in the alley and look up, squint, the sunlight laughing, sweat building up,
everything exposed, laughing, to lay back in the alley and give in, strong
enough to make you turn and sleep, dream with only the hope that this sun
is the last sun.

What keeps them here, the fallen angels? Worshipping under torn plastic shopping bags,
on their knees in the alleys, curled up on couches soaked in disappointment, in dirty
rain and apologies. Is it communion? A community taking communion daily,
one brown paper bag at a time. The hard stuff is candy compared to mirrors,
reflecting everything clearly, clearly broken, black teeth, missing teeth, beaten eyes,
Why Uptown? Why this death, this darkness, this hell?

Stop. Paint this picture, snap this shot, hang it up, take it in. Tell me again
about recession, the “recent economic crisis”, about bailouts, about loss, 401ks,
bankruptcy, mistakes, pain, all of it. Lecture me with this backdrop, the sun still
laughing, the smell of warm grease-traps swirling, look me in the face and say it’s new,
that this is only tangible now, that before we were strong, above the crumbled paper,
above shifting in the corner like a dog, ears drawn back, tail tucked down. If you’re
worried, if you’re desperate for something concrete, begging for stability, look
to Uptown. Always broken, always filthy, sturdy as a cardboard box, sturdy as a
dumpster, sturdy as a home.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Bowling 101

Kathoom
Rushing forward with the determination of a rattlesnake
Nothing frivolous, no wasted motion, a means to an end
Smack! A-plawk plawk plawk
The pins are swept back into the pit and I take another drag of my cigarette.
The machine resets- se-tunk!
New pins drop down like teeth- grinning, vicious, empty in their whiteness
Umphf
“The pins are off spot, on lane twelve.”
I look up at my father’s round head, harsh, resolute
He squints towards the pins in question
Kathoom
Smack! A-plawk plawk plawk
My hands race across the keyboard
“I don’t think so. I just checked the specs on the computer. The pins are fine.”
Se-tunk!
“Nope. They’re off. Listen.”
Umphf
“Listen to what? They sound like pins- pins that are on spot, according to the computer.”
Kathoom
Another ball down the lane, unmerciful, bending towards the pins
Smack! A-plawk plawk plawk
They fall like tired soldiers, out-armed, out-classed
The sweeper drops down
Pulls the pins into the pit
Se-tunk!
My father’s eyes turn towards me, squinting, searching
Umpf
I stub my cigarette out in the ash tray, slowly twisting the butt.
His eyes are focused, like a hawk’s eyes before the kill swoop
Kathoom
But he must think better of it, he hesitates
This one rolls in the gutter dum, pum pum pum
“You see that? He dropped his shoulder.”
I blink and glace at the bowler on twelve
“That’s the best way to learn, watch other people’s mistakes.”

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Periodic Advice for Little Miriam

In the event that you get your first period
one day at school when you’re not expecting it,
which as I understand it (can I really understand, being
of the guilty male party that never has to go through it
himself?) is the one of the great horrors of a young
girl’s life, more terrifying than Steven King’s It
or your chunky, snot-dripping older brother who pulls your
hair and maliciously rips the heads off of your dolls
while you’re at piano lessons, and a little red spot
becomes an incriminating red blotch, swollen and sticky
on your jeans causing you to spring
up from your desk like a toad on fire and break
out of the classroom past a muted collage of finger-pointing
and laughter from the boys who always shoot you with
spitballs during homeroom, down the graveyard hallway abandoned
except by the slapping of your shoes against the cold floor,
towards the bathroom where you will cry for twenty minutes before someone
comes looking for you, feel free to return
with a pocket knife and slice off the tips
of their unused penises.

See if they find it as funny when they’re the ones
running gasping screaming bleeding towards the door.
The shock on their faces and the gargled shrieks that wobble
from their lips will make almost as perfect a memory photograph
as the smiles that hung on their mouths when it was you
that was confused and lost and dripping.
As the room empties and your teacher looks on in horror (perhaps
a little less horror if your teacher happens to be a she) stand proudly
with your hands on your child-bearing hips and let the small
stain of “you are here” show that you have arrived.
Also, pray that the judge is a woman too.