19 December 2007


i am listening to music from a simpler time—the days of fire and indian sunsets—and i remember that it didn't always have to be this heavy. the day will come when the lonesome train will lurch underfoot again, when the sunshines hot and the stars are hazy with midaugust delirium, when my tongue takes to an unfamiliar language and everything passing in front of me is bright in its simple undiscovered state.
none of this old tired opulence of the northeast, no: a whitewashed room will do, a crucifix, a subjunctive form not found in english. the sky will be mercilessly blue and i will feel the rush of wild horses again. i cant never lose myself in academia nor a man nor my foolish overfull dreams for the future: none of them have the equivalent simple reverence of this moment
amongst the cactus blooming in dead rivers while the rockies blot out the stars, leaving us to guess where their silhouette actually rests.

09 December 2007


the news sinks in and everything dissolves of color.I am in a rage so red i can’t see the door in front of me-- but i stumble through it, drunk and sobbing with my first victim,who is already as good as dead: the television has been asking to be thrown off the roof for some time. it explodes as i scream at the top of my lungs. next a vacuum cleaner; the fucking thing never gets used in this shithole anyway. the toaster oven sails flamingly through the late gray afternoon to join the graveyard of broken machinery below. i wish to god i had a bat. my friends hold me back. i am screaming, beating the ice with my bare fists until my knuckles bear blood, but nothing answers my echo except my own voice. the sun fades on the vista of broken vacuum tubes and mangled wires.

it is always only a simple matter of time until it turns dark; the universe is woven with laws of inevitability. the arc of the projectile predicts it must return to earth no matter how many poems we write, no matter how hard we cry, no matter how much we suspend belief to reject the relentless pull of gravity.

wolf like me

dreamt this morning:
the sheep were standing huddled together under the starlight until one of them cried out. it started to come apart, its face splitting grotesquely in half, until the wolf’s undercurrent became visible.
he woke up wet from the flesh surrounding him and was electrified by the smell of the skin of his own brethren; he fell upon them greedily until all the snow beneath their soft bellies was stained with steaming muscle and entrails. he worked his teeth through windpipes and thighs till none remained whole and silence returned.

alone and satiated, he raised his bloody muzzle over their ruined corpses and howled his true nature until it echoed off the very face of the waning moon itself.

06 December 2007


The midnight oil always burns off just before the sunbeams begin to show above the ground. today their first hints refract through all of the ice on the sidewalks and trees, momentarily turning this emptiest of hours into an unreal glass sculpture.
i stand on the roof of my building above this beautiful, horrifying domain, face-to-face with my heartless adversary, whose relentless whispers tempt me to abandon all of this and taunt me with visions of peaceful sleep if only i would just drop my burdens.
our showdown at dawn would be more becoming of the wild-west roots of my native city than the quiet, pastoral hills of new england: i imagine a tumbleweed rolling by, set to a desolate harmonica. dust whips the eyes of the frightened passerby, children hide in the skirts of the women. a man frowns from the creaking doors of the saloon.
the pistols are heavy on my hips; my hands float above their holsters. then the first light of day touches my boot, and i DRAW

04 December 2007

the waves

i get called to the scene, nothing specific except ‘she’s hurt’. i walk up the stairs already pulling gloves onto my hands.
i size her up.
she is young, a freshman, with flawless skin and dangerous curves but a face that betrays her continuing ignorance of these powers. her eyes are burning wide with horror so that she looks precisely like a deer in headlights. she doesnt want to tell me what happened, exactly, or who was involved, but i come to understand that yet another vodka-breathed boy has succumbed to his inner violence.
i check her vitals, make small talk, but as her eyes well up with tears,
all i want to do is touch her cheek and say
oh honey, you wont never be as weak as him, you won’t never be as flawed as that moment when his morality finally failed him. fuck, i am so sorry that your introduction to their nature had to come as quick and and brutal as the atlantic ocean flooding the mouth of an overboard passenger. aint much to do now but gather up your body and lower your expectations: the world's cold blue horizons don't care much. oftentimes people forget,
and then they drown on account of their own foolish chains, made of iron and stretching for miles through the dark water.

03 December 2007

if these wings should fail me, lord won't you meet me with another pair

I wake up with a start and a sheen of sweat from one bad dream or another. the morning has come and I don’t even remember falling asleep. something even worse than the quiet dread of watching another faint arc of the sun over purgatory settles in my gut. something feels wrong. I pull out the cheap plastic earplug I shoved in my ear the previous evening to silence the house party in the apartment below mine and a wave of pain washes through me. I hear fluid dripping and with it goes my hearing until just static and a muffled approximation of reality remains. my stomach heaves but I’m late for a meeting so I ignore it.

my advisor listens silently to my tales of academic woe over the last semester and tells me that I’m not cut out for this, I am not distinguishing myself, and maybe I’m just wasting the school’s resources; she adds with a note of kindness that perhaps giving up would be wise to spare myself more pain. I make no effort to explain myself. I say nothing of the crippling death and other blood losses that 2007 has dealt me, nor do I discuss how the resultant anemia has rendered me so that I can only stare numbly at the organic chemistry textbook without absorbing a single molecule.

I turn the now-deaf ear towards her and look out at the desolate library lawn, grimacing because these days, hope shining thin as the december light. she’s angry. she’s still talking: I’m sliding into fuck-up territory.

but I don’t tell her that it’s too late and I am too far gone to turn back now. life is too short and too cruel to be faced sitting down, even if my bones feel as brittle as the ever-multiplying empty bottles on my desk and I fear a fatal misstep at any moment.
she concludes and I take my leave with my head bowed.

I am walking outside watching the clouds gather. it is silent; there is not another human in sight. I light a cigarette, shivering through my 3 wool sweaters, and softly curse the foreboding massachusetts sky. upon the sound of the words exiting my lips, sleet begins to fall in sheets, coating the long road before me with black ice. the skeleton trees stir as the wind picks up.

25 November 2007

can't fight the tide

No country for old men left me reeling in the street with my
compatriots, smoking silently while being gutted with the distinctive
sharpness of a cold wind that has been meticulously carved by pavement and steel. and since one can only pause for so long during this late november manhattan wind, we soon ducked down the nearest MTA stop.
I was the first one to enter and didn't realize the others had been
held up at the gate because my gaze was drawn across the tracks where
a bum was struggling with a woman on the edge of the platform as she
tried repeatedly to jump. She went over and he grabbed her by the
seat of the pants and dragged her back up and off the bright yellow
traction bumps.
Seconds later a train laden with garbage roared through the station. by the time it was gone, police were swarming up the stairs. She resisted them all, screaming inconsolably. In the course of her struggle, her pants were twisted down and she was trapped on her stomach, still alive but nearly naked and sobbing.
spectators on the other platform pointed and laughed as she was bent over and cuffed.As their hyena-esque cackles echoed and boomed off the tiles, overwhelming her pleas to be freed, my train came.
And as the station's lights blinked out of sight, I realized just how
dead-on the Cohens were: vanity tells us we could stop these evil things, but there will always be another train and a million more spectators mercilessly trailing the scent of human agony.

16 October 2007

"bambi learns chaos"

Tonight I will stand in a room, telling a bunch of idealistic students how to rinse the tear gas from their large doe eyes when it's time. I'll teach them triage techniques, but I don't want to discuss the probable winner in a collision between a machine and a human being.. besides, i'd probably say that physics never did account for the wooden clog held in the man's hand, anyway.
if only throwing a sabot could actually break the Riotman's rabid desire to dominate from behind the helm of the gears. or perhaps he'd hear out my pleas, if only to spare these kids?
i'm afraid that notion is vain. in reality, those huge masked officers and me regard eachother across an ocean that's a meter wide but a generation deep: we're so violently committed to our respective refrains that we will never know reason, only rage. and so the doe eyes will cry and the policeman will get his pavlovian high as the rib of a young revolutionary cracks beneath his Federally-shod feet.
and our angry tide will persist for at least a little while under the teargas skies, marching on one vile figurehead or another till they fire again: and doe eyes will cry, whether they win or retreat. rinse. repeat.

01 August 2007


the hours drain me, the thick august limbs pullin me down,
   whiskey kicking me past hope till my knees bloody from atonement upon the rough boards outside the front door.
i finally fall dizzy toward sleep but cant find peace in the face of grotesque dream steps through the rotting innards of this house. his arms dont give me comfort
   and alone in the dark the deafening silence of my heart wont mute the bones cracking between the cricket chirps, the first cool nights before taking the leaves,again, time aging mercilessly.

21 March 2007

instant recollection of last night's dream

The first bomb hit Boston in the late afternoon of a chilly and overcast day—very much like yesterday, in fact. The malignant, brilliant scarlet of the erupting mushroom cloud illuminated the slate gray sidewalks like a flashbulb on a tired woman's face. For one second the city reached a stunning and beautiful crescendo as each lonely soul was brought finally to glorious light. Then the inevitable fade into dust and entombment among commuter briefcases.

A little further west, we were calm, collected, the usual: an adderall and some taurine, chewing through integrals and masturbatory dissertations, gnawing on our pencils, grinding our teeth, when the first foreboding reports started to emanate from the public safety office downstairs. The rentacops were the only ones who paid attention to CNN in our neck of the woods, and they always turned the volume up to MAX. So it was with perfect sonic clarity that Newscaster Barbie conveyed the news to us with as much emotion as her botox would comfortably allow; I imagined her halo of scrolling stock reports and advertisements continuing their soothing march in the face of total meltdown.

Her composure finally cracked and the air was suddenly thick with prayers and cardiac arrhythmia. Jen and I slammed our books with a tangible air of finality and rushed out of the Harold F. Johnson library, whose initially haphazard construction had never looked more tenuous than today. Even the strong earth under our feet trembled with a dawning uncertainty as the mushroom cloud billowed for miles through the sky.

A strange-smelling rain began to fall, warm—too warm—and Jen lit a cigarette, looking towards the new sunset.

10 February 2007

17 Street Liquors

Tai holds his face like a poker hand behind the steel bars and bullet proof glass that crown the walk up-window of his corner liquor store.

His carefully cultivated expression greets all customers equally: from the young student who comes in to buy 8$ bottles of wine almost every night on his credit card, muttering excuses and apologies, to the disheveled woman who arrives in the early afternoon and pays for her Maddog with crumpled dollars from a shaking hand. Though he has the obligatory bud-lite/tits posters, worn linoleum floors, and buzzing neon signs, Tai runs a tighter ship than most: his haircut and mannerisms are as tidy as the sidewalk outside the storefront.

Tai always smiles energetically and small-talks effortlessly, but his eyes remain cool and his lips are often tinged with an uneasy tightness. He knows us on a first name basis and he knows our vices. Our usual is almost always sitting there by the register in a brown paper bag by the time we make a full circuit of the shelves, looking for sales.

He takes 20$ from a fat man in sweat pants, in exchange for two bottles of shitty rum. That's when you notice that Tai's face only slips once his hand touches the money--and then a flicker of embarrassment, or maybe horror, crosses his eyes as he briefly computes the ridiculous profit of feeding our addictions. Indeed, Tai's business is is doing well: he has recently expanded to cigarettes and blunt wraps to appease the under-21-set who hang in the coffee shop next door; the high school punk kids in all their desperate rebellion prove to be reliable Camel purchasers. And by sundown on friday, Tai's store will be crowded with laborers who just got off their shifts and are desperate to escape from their tired bones and squalling children, cashed paychecks in hand.

Tai is a long way from Cambodia, doing better than he ever could have dreamed (he recently purchased a GMC Yukon), but he's starting to have trouble sleeping. He smiles again, with that tiny hint of pain, as he pushes the box of liquor across the worn countertop and takes a wad of cash out of my hand. He half-bows over the tops of the bottles, as if to apologize for all of this, and tells me to be careful! it icy outside!