and other stories

–a collection of poems and flash fiction composed between 2011-2013


The sun flickers behind the clouds.

I pretend it’s an omen

for the end of the world.

Hong likely never cared,

at least not for his fridge,

now resting upon another

dusty square in my bedroom attic.

I use his fancy umbrella in the rain.

It expands like a peacock’s plume

–to think Hong affords such things.

I mistook his dehumidifier…

for a postmodern water-cooler.

I placed it atop the mini-fridge

while asking his memory:

was Ohio air humid?

Have I mistaken your humanity

for a constant smile.

The air was less humid in soul.

I knew you most

as a closed door, a laughing phone

conversation in the room’s white shell.

His memory is the ghost in the empty

fridge, once behind the door.

Hong likely never cared,

so his ghost doesn’t linger like a kind spirit,

drooping over, protecting us

like his umbrella in the rain.

And I stop myself in the road

to laugh:

I’ve mistaken South Korea

for heaven.

Bradbury and the Speck of Dust

Astronaut dust particle

You may have been a spaceship

But I imagined you had been

Launched from your craft

Lost and now hoping for a wind

To send you home, into orbit

Around something not the sun

You’re small to me, but I can see

You’re thin as web when caught

In light, and I wave goodbye

The Last Ever Demon to Feel Love

There is no one in my world

But there is a way out

There is no one in this word

There is no way in my world

To say there is one

Are you a lone wolf? Do you find solace

In suffering alone, though


I find peace in the door of your suffering

I am an empty room

I am the only window in a room

Without doors

I am bored and evil so let me hold your hand

Alejandro Go To Heaven 2

I want to sleep forever

And I think in horror

Tomorrow will be a morning

Where I’ll appear at the bathroom

Mirror to brush my teeth

I’ll make all necessary movements

I’ll push my hand to that way

And this way, until I’m tired

Until I want to sleep forever

And things go dark again and

I wonder what the point was of

That in-between place, where I’d been tasked

For no apparent reason to wash and rewash

And know and recall

Every little part of myself

I must be suburban dog

And slumber is stick

And devil owner

And his will forbade

dog from ever holding on

I Let Go

My cough has the smell of a wet dog behind it

my carpet is my laundry, my moment is

the threshold of sleep. Trilothon window

of my empire crevice, these are words

for their sounds and something

like a harp in a tired thought

The Narcissist Who Loved Me

I have nothing but my own angst to offer the world I’m the petty narcissist that loves you I’ve only just remembered I have a mother for I’ve been drawn close to how pretty Your face would look Right next to mine, my Complimentary color, I love the way I look at you, I love The way you look at me Look at me Me me me.

The War On Time

I am a bitter old man. I write about the tree in front of me So that I know there is Such a tree And days or years pass and I May have forgotten it had been There waiting, and I’d forget How long it really takes for A whole star to go up and fall If I hadn’t written that I spoke to a person and about what Then this day would have vanished Like all the others, but now this page is A tunnel to the past. I see people in the grass. Wind Cold for a sweater. Bukowski Book to my side And now this moment is real, a Brazilian samba in my ear, now I’ll remember This line means that time passing is Real, that it doesn’t just become Remembered, I am here For all time. I am the self abandoned by the whole That changes, that moves in time And space, I am in a dimension Of non-dimensional surface Now that I’m here, I’ll make a list Of all the evil in the world Starting with the stupid.

The Pages Will Keep Me

Succinct Realization

I’ve drifted too far from my journal

The pages will keep me stable

The page is space for water flow

For rain to run on, flattened

feelings to plateau

So that I may see

The secrets hidden

In everything.

Misses Neruda

I’ve forgotten Neruda

and about beautiful things.

I’ve not seen much—of the beauty,

the Real Beauty. Sunshine and

trees and shit. Where is the sunshine hiding.

A fucking bird landed on a fucking branch.

And it went a motherfucking

Chirp chirp chirp

Something about my lover,

Dreams, clouds, birds

Fly through clouds

Wings, my lover, goes

chirp chirp chirp, my god.

I’ve married a pigeon!

Picture Pablo Neruda

Fucking some pigeon.

The lines he’d write, about

The feathery, squawking

Mouse-trapping climax.

He’d basically kill it. Then,

as poets often do,

he’d smear the stringy

remains, the ripped bladder-

torn stomach, the cookies

and cream shit playfully

dripping down the dry-river

of his trembling, Chilean

eye lid.

The guts marinating

O’er his erect proboscis, I mean

his nose, but—yes, also his penis.

The vile passion of Corinth

perched on the heretic pulse

of his Babeling Tower:


The man behind:

the politics

the poetry

the mystery

the pigeon


Signs of Life And other stories

Signs of Life

And other stories

Protagonist walks to park, horrified

to find someone more interesting

Than he!

A park-benched protastronaut doing

nothing, successfully, and so

Not-So-Protagonist prods and ooh-

awes the cubist gleam of noon

on the dark visor, asks,

“inquiringly”: I’m writing a novel

about life, called “About life,

A novel”

—but there is no response,

as the space suit is, in fact,


“Tell me what you’ve seen.

Have the down trodden faces

of brown people utterly


your missions-trip-soul?

Have you fallen in love with travel.

Have you lost one too many members

early on, and has the divinity

of ninny-suffering obliged

the erection of bridges

from thought to thought.

Or was it the other kids?

—The kids at school called me names,

and so I began a scorched-earth

retreat into narcissism, hence

there’s no point or plot to pain

without being the absolute


But angels visit my absent night,

and they’ve said there is no center

in an abstraction, no “point” in an

infininnity, and that I

am really just another douche bag,

and that in the lofty

direction of heavenly logic,

my pain is punishment

for how I respond to my pain.

I’m not sure what’s worthy

or large enough to force

in the pages of books.

Or what calls on all idling

Addl-escents to write the same

“I-came-of-age”novel over

and over, since all my life amounts,

not to the numbered miles

of newborns longing at last

to be heard, but to

the contents of a single sign:

‘I surrender’”

I dreamt a man on the moon’s base. A rocketeer on a mission to new worlds, saying to his love, I will be right back, I just need to get something from this spaceship,

but he got preoccupied with re-sewing a rug at the rocket’s door,

because he’s action driven, and over-thought prevents most from living,

and he spends the rest of his life making it look nicer, until at last, he suffocates of old age and so does she, and she stood there waiting and watching for him to finish. He never began his voyage to new worlds. Another Greek Myth.

I look at the ceiling, I say to mission control:

I’m going in deep,

Deep space, I’m so far down

Into the ether of thought, mission control can hardly believe

I’m still able to communicate, but that’s why I’m the best.

If you ever want to know who you are,

Fall to sleep

I accidentally took the tweezers from my sister’s bathroom a few days ago, as they are identical to the one’s I brought from my apartme

nt. I put hers back behind the mirror, and afterward, while eating peanutbutter breakfast cookies made for me by my sister’s maternal roommate, was confronted in my deep imaginings by the official tweezer-tribunal, who presented—or rather charged me—with a most meaningless Catch-22: When I brought her tweezers to the bathroom, which were far cleaner than mine, I casually allowed myself to use them on my overgrown-Argentinean eye-brows, as it was more convenient than to also bring my own tweezers, which I’d then have to repack in my backpack-pack. The tribunal charged that by returning the cleaner tweezers, which were of course my sister’s, I took advantage of the opportunity to use them, thus dirtying them, and that conversely, if I would have returned my already dirty tweezers to her bathroom mirror, and then used those to pluck my eye brows—I would still be in violation of the tribunal’s laws, as I would have stolen my sister’s actual tweezers, as opposed to just dirtying them.

In response to all these shenanigans, I cried out, “Who the hell even cares about a pair of tweezers?”—because at the time when I said this, I had mistakenly thought that the officials, with their white robes and pope-like hats, represented a higher ranking, and therefore more intelligent members of the “Interior Spaces and Materials” governmental bureaucracy of my sister’s apartment.

But I then realized that a third party had changed the symbols of the tweezer-tribunal’s tall helms with those of the other, wiser rank! No wonder they were so cross and indiscernible with me and my situation. I immediately shifted my rhetoric:

“—Oh, em, my apologies, I can think of nothing more important than tweezers—of which, of course, indubitably so, my sister’s is of optimal value and prestige, perhaps I could honor this most reasonable tribunal with a peanut butter cookie—“and they immediately frowned, so I recalibrated, “—or I mean, honor with a selection of shining tokens of my many hygienic utensils? Precision tweezers? Multi-purpose toenail clippers?”

Let me specify, that these officials had no other or higher purpose or passion than the maintenance and glorification of tweezers and all in that range. I basically committed a kind of unforgivable blasphemy in their eyes. Is that tautology? Is blasphemy inherently unforgivable? That’s also my first time using the word tautology. I’ve only heard smart people say that. Am I smart yet? Where am I.

The eldest of their oracles eased up, his gray beard sank a tad lower, his staff no longer a threatening spear. I used my cunning language to palliate the tense situation, but now I had to find out who was really behind all this—who had switched the hats of the tweezer tribunal? And what on earth did they want from me?

Something tells me this is huge.



I don’t know how people hold on

To the surface of the earth

In violent spin

I just can’t feel

This “gravity” that everyone

Is on about. I can’t feel a thing.

I cling to the grass at the side

Walk’s edge for dear life

For I can feel the depths

Of uncertain space pulling

Me away, and the earth

Rioting in a silent orbit

Like it’s whispering in my ear

To let go.

The Magical Life of Tombert the Bear


One upon a time, there,

Was a forest,

Was a socio-economic-nothingness, there was teddy bear, his name was Tombert, and Tombert believed in magic, magic was real in his mind, and consciousness was only just brief moments of psychosis. Language and metaphor was controlled schizophrenia, caused by his brain growing too large in the smallness of his skull, over millions of years. He tried talking about it with the Frog Princess, but she did not understand. And Tombert was sad because he loved the Frog Princess, and so he considered suicide. He had boner-dreams about the Frog Princess. But she only paid attention to Kevin Chameleon, because he could assimilate into the appearances of the external, superficial world. Kevin could be anything, and he was going places, perhaps to New York. And so Tombert continued considering suicide.

“I need to get out of here” said Tombert the Bear. “Why do I exist, why do I exist when I cannot be close to anyone, when I am not free to love and to feel loved?”

“I hate consciousness,” pouted Tombert the Bear.

Frog Princess so beautiful, said Tombert, her eyes so big, the reptilian contours of her face, how her eyes recede, magic-like into the wringed wells of her oozing sockets, and then bulge outward again, glass orbs, hollow and filled by iridescent lakes with golden centers, how he wanted to see them closer. Frog Princess was so beautiful, but she was kind of a bitch, but it only made Tombert like her more. Tombert Longed for more money. With more money, Tombert could impress the Frog Princess, and if he could have money to dress up as nice as Kevin Chameleon, perhaps she would grow to love him. But Tombert could not find work, because he did not look nice enough to succeed in the world. Tombert’s brain continued to press against the boundary of his skull, and voices came to him in the pervasive night. There’s always a way out, they said. The dark texture of being will never leave you. No one will ever touch you. Who you are in the inside does not matter to anyone. What we feel gathers like dust in the rotting corners of the bear-bedroom. Open the only door, there is always a way out. The world is hungry for your fear. The womb of being is lined with magical acid, is a stomach, so hungry for poor Tombert. As he falls to sleep, he tries hard to think that he is following a light, and that perhaps the lights have come from the eyes of his distant Frog Princess, and he believes in it enough that it becomes real to him, and he is no longer afraid to let go of the cruel world.

The end.

Tuesday: Happiness is Over


It wasn’t a season for happiness.

I couldn’t remember the last time I saw a bird, and observed its quiet movements in the small keep of twigs and leaves. I cannot remember the last time I stood still, but maybe this isn’t the season for standing still. But maybe all that kind of peace is over. Maybe happiness is over. It’s like the memories have mummified, and my skin’s unraveling from my gnawing gargoyled hands, as though happiness were over—and so am I. I look back to the blue walls of my bedroom, where all my little airships would hang, and the walls like a secret, pretend sky–how they absorbed layers of sunlight and music, and in dark moods I could press my ear against the little pores and hear the lost sounds and feel the warmth of captive light.

But those walls have been painted over. Some Indian man has become my mother’s tenant, and as I once did, he locks himself away. I look back, a bit closer, to the drunk, pounding beat, and my slow anticipation, walking forward as my hands part the straggling people, the excess fragments of party lights. I remember. I remember walking into the dark rooms, the smoke and lost people. Some retreat into the corners of ownerless bedrooms, slouched to the floor, everyone admits how much they really love everyone. And the smoke weaves between the moving legs, the atmosphere becomes infinite, and all those doubtful and aimless students are like ghosts in a ceremony, resurrected to drink from the inebriated temple. The living room lasts forever, with its chairs pushed to the wall, the night is an endless world, memories are eternal for as long as they are happening.

But life is not an endless coming of age revelation. You’ll never be this happy again, you’ll never feel this connected. But then people go missing, and you get the sense that as they go home or pass out, or graduate, that they’ve completed the ceremony, and their spirits have been released from the curse, leaving you behind in the purgatory of unhealthy attachment.

Until you get to the front door, and walk out into the cold, and trace the footsteps through the snow, but the slush makes its way into your worn sole anyways, And you wonder how a single door could be the only barrier between that memory and the rest of your life. I’ve opened so many. I had no idea, I had no idea what I was doing, every new room I’ve wandered into, every other I’ve left behind, like light bouncing in space, like an exhale making its way from the small cracks of a cave. Everything is so far away. I am so far away. I cannot stay here, all rooms and times, like dreams, must end. And here now, I’m looking for another do

Friday: We can start by staring at my shoe,

at least that’s where I reminded myself to start after a shot of makers mark. I was bent over, retying it in order to brace myself for a brief yet satisfying show off session on the dance floor, where talented black people had begun to make noise. But I was drunk. I’d had more than a shot, and some flaming cunt making completely boring moves at a pool table bumped his ass into my face as I knelt down. I took way too long tying the leather laces of my hipster boating shoes

But I suppose this day begins earlier, again with my shoes, or rather, my right shoe. The sole had come lose at the toe, flopping like a helpless amphibian, and every time I would lift my right foot in my gate, he’d gasp for air and for help, but I’d crush him immediately to the floor. By this time, I’d strung myself out on caffeine, as I’d spent the previous night writing an insane and frivolous midterm paper on early modern painters. The Friday before spring break, in the fifteen minute limbo before class, and I’m pacing around with an animal I cannot tame, so I begin sliding both my feet like a child against the smooth cement floor, because the crunch I feel when I step down, of the grooves of the soul and shoe refitting into each other, is too aggravating. I imagine myself as an ice skater. Or maybe I did not. I’ve learned that memory can’t be trusted. Sometimes when writing you remember things just for the sound of them, for the idea that it was there. I think in narratives because I’m a sad twisted human being. I got drunk and felt sad thoughts one night, many nights, and so in those times I marvel at the sadness of myself, and I think that if I could only belt out the true vibrations of my being, I could be happy. I immediately dismiss it as petty narcissism, because if I don’t , I will hate myself for being so narcissistic. If I don’t hate myself, I cannot love myself. But really, all I want to do is sing.

I want to be like one of those large black ladies. Not large in terms of fat, I swear, but in terms of soul. Sometime in this night, this most depressing and meaningless night, we went to Carabar. (It began in a deserted campus, listening to my peers say nothing of any real value to each other in the studio hall way. And I suddenly regret ever making friends. You’re all worthless and never forget it.)

If I could sing, If I could play the saxophone, then I could release my soul, I could be happy

I keep getting drunk and thinking the cleverest most beautiful things, I need to hold on, I need to remember

I need it, I have nothing else, I’m so alone, I think my sculpture teacher is a goddess

I think that our projected personalities are coping mechanisms for who we really are in the inside.

If I were writing poetry, I’d have called my shoe an amphibian

Right from the start.

And then I’d say how I drenched the open flap outside of kinney hall

with a tube of “ultimate” glue I’d just purchased from the supply store for five dollars. And then I’d mention how I stuck my foot in it and quickly applied several strips of duct tape, thus securing my handy-work and then for sure I’d have gone into detail, in the most brief and eloquent way, of how a short while later, while tossing and turning in the seat of my early modern art lecture, I would realize that the layers of leather in my shoe were quite thin. And that I’d super glued my foot to the soul of my shoe. Dr Knotts went into passionate detail about how the frail lines of Matisse’s “Red Room” was a satire of the illusory depiction of space. And I think, this man really feels it—and so must I, because just then I wrestled my foot from the dry glue with my other foot. I felt how deeply it had crusted into the fibers of my sock, and I bent my toes forward, completely aware that I’d super-glued my sock to my foot as well, and that it would not release as easily.

This is called “Thursday”

This must be a hundred times,

I don’t need paper for this, as I’ve known it

For so long like I know the color of my hair,

And the smell of lotion

But I can’t tell you the title of this poem

Or what it’s about, until after you’ve heard it

There’s a brief lag when I close the in-cognito

Firefox window, and the audio

Of moaning internet dolls will linger

Like waking from dreams

of falling to my bed

And in this wretched buffer, I ask

What the fuck am I doing with my life,

As I force the grooves of a ziplock

Closed, and place the mess in even

Another sandwich bag—as many

Layers of plastic as it takes to distance

Myself from the excess of semen

And when I throw it into the cylinder

Under my screen, the contents begin

To beg to rot. We’re rotting, alejandro

We’re rotting and we smell and you’re broken

No one can ever come here,

And I’m suddenly aware, as I often am in the thick

of dramatic, sad poems, that I am alone,

And that none of my unrealistic crushes,

Currently flashing before my eyes

Have ever worked out in any way.

Thank the heavens no one is here

To see who I really am, thank god

No one’s here to count the number

Of wrinkling Kroger bags in my trash–

Except the sound ends, and I behold

The indefinite glow of the rectangle

And the soft scape of grass and blue

Sky As I’ve not bothered to change

The default windows xp back ground.

And I tread left footed steps

Into this field

And its like I’m a new born

Just naked, covered in peculiar goo

An amnesiac who


Innocently into

Elysium, except its not

At all

And I feel the swivel of the chair

And the dirty laundry, and I detect

The forms of all small objects piled

On the unmatching furniture

I awaken from the spell

Without any feeling or recollection

Of who I was before, or where I am going, a second morning

but from this sudden amnesia

I know what day it is, and I know

This is called “Thursday

Mondayne Phun

Mondayne Phun


I can’t sit still in the class room. Faces glow—and this portion of the text has disappeared from all reality, as I trailed off the pager of the journal and on to the back of some other loose scrap that I cannot find.

But I continue…I’m a poet, and so there is something burning inside of me.


It’s Thai food.

And the teacher’s voice becomes an abstract texture of verbal hieroglyphs, which aren’t meant to be abstract. I really can’t begin to describe how she sounded. Like a broken house wife? Not even close. Like her throat was receding, and she didn’t really feel like she was talking to anyone, more like reading the thoughts in her head out loud. Do I have the free will, can I wake from the lecture and walk away. I don’t often punctuate questions, because most questions are fabricated, just there for rhetorical purposes. Answers are far too scary and precise. These words cannot approach the anxiety I felt, and the feeling has gone.

But I remember the mantras in the bathroom sta;;. I’m in the right place. Everything’s going to be okay. And I could hear another person waltz in like a phantom, and they filled the stall beside mine like a gaseous entity, an essence of grunts and buckling. I told myself that we were like brothers, soldiers in the struggle against struggle public restrooms and the uncomfortable, in-class squirm.

I look at the metal slide lock. The lock is locked, I try to look at solid things, This lock won’t unlock until I’m ready, I’m safe in here. This is where I should be. In here, I am most human. I could feel a weight leave me. I knew there was more, yet I returned to class like a lemming. I call myself an artist, but I’m not free enough to poop when I need to. I get up from the stall and its like fire ants were burrowing into me. Clinging to the walls, because their instincts told them that more was to come.



What are these trivial words

Filler bullshit

By the time I walk back, maybe my asshole will feel better. Maybe it won’t hurt to sit down like any other person. Maybe a lot of things. Maybe grandma didn’t have to die. But no such like. It’s gonna hurt. It’s gonna hurt a long time. And I waddle like a penguin into purgatory and I have to sit back down on my tail bone, so I’m sinking into my chair at the angle of yaw.

My head locking upward, like a dentist chair. I cannot move, the projector lamp invades my slightly gaped mouth. The light and dust will find a way inside of me.

My body is full of holes, the outside

Gets in, and the inside gets out

I feel the gentle weight of recycled curry

Like loose play-do, just hovering

Before my secret passage

If I sit on my spine, I won’t sandwich

My pants between my ass and the chair

Sitting straight would stain my pants,




I have to get out of here. Take control

Must take control.


(insert monologue about penguins and New York)


This is my life. And the room’s light becomes a mirage of blue, all those monitors, All these moments, all these moments, I disappear into the cut-out prism of the door, my hands in front, my hands to the side,

then forward, walking is consciousness

Walking is a rocking gallop

From whence I cannot return

I cannot return

To the same restroom. I dare not close that wooden door

of the stall behind me again

I have to believe that the nightmare of that moment

Is behind me, so I walk down the stairs,

Letting the people I pass Be accessories

to seats along the wall.




I can’t stop smiling,

No, I mean, I can’t stop, I really can’t

they’ll kill me if I stop


I’m not trying to sound self absorbed


It just all comes out of me

Ever since I started drinking coffee

My days have been one long

Enema after another


This is real life, this is mine.

And though it smells, and though

It is so eager to escape me

I love it

I love my shit.

Is this how poets rationalize their inner sadness?

With words.


I haven’t been gaining any weight. I keep gorging food

But it’s like I’m pooping it all out.

My ribs show in the mirror

And my hips have sunken in, as if my waste

Had been literally stored in my waist, and the more I poop

The more I take on a disturbing, hour glass figure

If this continues, I could be a model. I could go to New York.

That’s what it takes, that’s how you make it.

Somebody help me, I don’t want to die

Someone take me to the poop doctor.


On the toilet Is the only time

of the day that I’m still

Or alone enough to

calm down,

Without being fed some irrelevant snap

Of information. I go there now, not just

To relieve myself of fluids

But to flush away all the broken



On the right side of the sink

On the floor, the tiny corpse of a spider

Has been on his back, mummified

By the Clorox I sprayed on him

Several weeks ago. He’d grown too

Large for sympathy, just as I have.

I recite the first half of Hamlet’s soliloquy

Into the mirror, To be or not to be,

Though I have no answer, I imagine

That weeks from now, I’ll have it all memorized

And when I stand up before my thesis preachers

For my final presentation

That is all I will say to them,

And with tears in their eyes, they’ll understand

At long last, what I’ve been feeling.

What I’ve longed to feel,


Let’s make art that’s grounded in the world

Stay informed and make art that’s relevant

Refresh the page of the New York times

And also, look outside the window, and blink a lot

And close the curtains, and then open them again

To check if anything’s changed

Has the sun gone down any

Have the street lights turned on

Maybe a bird’s landed on a power line

Maybe there’s a dog being walked

Maybe it’s a puppy, and if it is

You get to run outside and ask

The owner if you can play with it

And they say yes, because owner so lonely

That’s why he got the puppy in the first place.

Do you know what’s happening in the world

I don’t know, have you heard what’s happening

On Neptune

They found traces of water on mars

They found traces of ammonia on Neptune

In fact that’s all they found

Let’s go to Neptune, because

Everyone there is probably dead


They found traces of life in New York

Only traces, but there is still hope

There’s a theory that California is really

Just a black hole, or that the coast really starts

At Nevada, and that all those people, who go

To California are just walking out into the waves

Like enlightened cows, stoic, brave,

Slow And full of faith.

And California has been a code word for death

This whole time. No one in California

Ever leaves. A small child might ask,

When is mommy coming home.

Mommy went to California, sweetie, she’s never coming back

And someday, when we’re rich enough, we can go to California, too

And see mommy. In a better place..

I can see the bodies standing up right, dotting

The simmering waves, like navy blue dots in the sun

and they continue, in a caravan

Upright even past the horizon, where the sea floor

Must be miles deep, how enchanted, how cult like

Now, any time someone mentions California,

I can feel the divine aura. “I’m planning on moving out west,

To California. I hear San Diego is beautiful this time of year.

The people out there are just so kind.”

so matter-of-factly

I place my hand on your shoulder,

If only I had such courage.

Saturday: Coffee Bird


Please I am Drinking

Coffee Bird flaps by my ear

I miss being beaten tired

I miss feeling wide awake

My tooth keeps inching backward

And I press it with my tongue

The light refracts though the plastic pen

Making little worlds

Glow in the whaling shadow

Of my hand, I find

Beauty in small dying moments

Harvested like unicorn blood

Helps me stay young

And alive forever

I’m not sure where to go or what to do

I don’t think I can be happy anywhere

I bought coffee and I wanted to scream,

How does my mouth feel, how does my hand

Flick the pack of sugar, and how gracefully can I

Tear off the corner and let it drain into the cup

We inherit these motions.

But it’s hot, they’ve run out of sleeves, my neck

Stiffens to my body. I’ve got a spine of blocks

And an absent voice box.

What if I scream, what if I make a scene

What if I knock food from the shelves

What does organic mean anymore

The doors open automatically,

And I become:

me outside.”

I walk to the topiary park

And remember that the old and homeless people

Who sleep on the benches, don’t deserve

To be old and homeless, yet it’s sunny, and maybe

They’ve learned a lot, like Epicurus

But maybe I could help, say hello

I can help someone in my tangible tangency

With simple conversation

Silence is a fragile plateau

A tour guide explains to a Latino family

That the shrubs, trimmed in the form

Of human creatures, depict the

Famous scene of Seurat’s painting

Maybe it makes me a bastard, but I feel sorry for these people, and yet I envy them, for appreciating what has long since bored me. I live right across the street from this park. I could come here and watch the ducks any morning. I could carry myself away into so many places and unseen times. I could become a duck scientist. I could put paper hats on all the humanoid bushes. If I knew Spanish better, I could talk to that family, currently having their picture taken, I might go to Miami to learn, to learn to drive, to work for my father, for many things.

The tour guide walked away. The park is dotted with random, separate people. I think someone called my name, but there is no one there. Two girls from my school are playing Frisbee. Make a scene. I feel the wind on my neck. The bushes haven’t fully grown to the forms and some metal, green framework of the lady’s umbrella is exposed.

–I keep hearing someone say “Alejandro”. I turn my head to look from the slightly elevated bench where I’m sitting, but there is still no one nearby.

I just want to be heard, like everyone else. Everyone wants to know if their world is in orbit, or if the whole thing just spins without us, the grass in the park slipping under our feet. A young father throws a ball to his son. Ducks quack. Wind blows. The universe continues to augment in infinite horror. It’s billions of many things, and who even has a clue. But I still feel it pulling, in the inside.

The ducks burrow their heads into their feathery bodies to sleep. They look like mounds of fungus on the grass by the pond’s edge, like stromatolites on the shore of life.

–there you go, says the father, his son hits the black bat to the ball, sending it quickly to the ground

What is this place. What are the lines of my notebook.

There’s an old school for the deaf on the other side of the park

–nice hit, he says

–nice hit, he repeats

Birds chirp

All birds are just sounds, like light stubbles of paint in the corners of landscapes. My hair tickles my nose. Writing helps calm down, keeps me still. The slanted roof of the haunting school has little rectangular windows, aligned strangely, like spider’s eyes. The windows of the brick building are like eyes and teeth. The bush people are like unsuspecting prey.

I’m lost now. The sky is blue

The sky is wide

Birds are chirping,

This is the earth

In all my reflection, my one unresolved pain

Is whether or not I should be bored

Or fascinated with everything

If the universe is fascinating

Then how can life be so boring.

I’m going to leave the park now.

And now, it’s time to put my notebook into my backpack, and then I will walk home

And I am just relieved to have this short-lived

but concrete sense of direction, \

and soon, in the room,

when alone, I’ll exhale.

Found Nirvana


These are not thoughts

These are not thoughts

These are not thoughts

These are not thoughts

These are learned motions

Hollowed repetitions,

Inherited by the

porcelain gape of our

Of our dishwashed mouths, these are not


If I found nirvana, then why

would I ever leave

What if it stumbled into being

Just as I keyed the front door,

Would we be one, for all time,

Half way through the frame

Neither in nor out, with skin

Like canvas of a painting

In four dimensions, I have found

Nirvana, and I will never leave


Place me on the carousel

Put me, put me in the microwave

place me

In your mouth,

place me

In circles of delight. Everyone dizzy,

And listen to the buzzing hum

Of the all knowing machine, place me

On the stove top, listen how I sing

I’m a little tea pot, and when I get sad

And tin-can-loud, pour me into the cups

Of society. I remember at most a few

Years ago, how green the floor was

Outside, and how no one had moved away

And all we recall—and we all recall

Is springtime. Friends sat down, with palms

Outstretched like the legs

Of trebuchets into the grass, you just don’t

See this kind of weather anymore, Where

Do people go, when moments move on.

I’m a little a tea pot, and tea pots cannot talk

These are not thoughts, These are not,

I’ve written it all down, albeit

Mere speculation, before the magic

Of this metamorphosis

Having learned all there is to know

About human toiling, let me fill

A different part of you.

The Horror


I was sitting in a coffee shop at an open mic, listening to people expose their inner tragedy in the same “poet’s” voice, like they’re barely able to speak, just croaking on the purity of their feelings, and the earnestness of what they mean to say. “Someone I love is dead, someone I love is dead”

–a hundred poets in a line, all ready to declare

That somebody I love is dead

In our chairs, we share the same

Downcast head, we either don’t know

Enough, or know too well to care



You’re not alone—my sadness is also trivial.


Hello world,

pass through me

I am a raging lunatic, I am

A pretender among

Pretenders, I am

An animal, Let me remind you

I fuck my hands

My own two hands,

I man a diving bell through the horrors

Of alien flesh, in dark space with a thickness

Like honey and quick sand, like a wonder

That keeps dragging.

Last night in a cloth sack, in a sweating

Wintery fever, a few limbs and I

heard about the damp layers

They hold, its hot, and its cold, and I

Sit on a tall metal chair. Without any sense

Of time passing.

Every new space fills the light

Of my brain’s tunnel,

The self is an empty room

I am the light in this space

I am the only window, my arms

Like hinges to a door, my lids

Like panes by the glass

Lashes like shutters that comb

Light for microbial dust

Did you hear about what the truth is?

I am mostly water

I am mostly bacteria

I am mostly empty space

I am mostly the DNA

Of a garden potato

I want to sprout, and spew,

At least, a single grounded thought

I am the artist, so I will decide what goes

Where, and when, let me arbit the orbits

More about my center.

Dearest smoking hot sculpture professor,

When you called my work

Typical, I cried myself to sleep,

And I assured myself

That my emotional influx

Was extraordinary, and I spent it

Waiting, half-working in

The ant-hilled ruble of my studio

Waiting for you to pass by and see

How serious an artist I was,

Before telling me

That I was doing a good job

–because I am a raging lunatic,

tracing the dark textures

of being, the beadlike-mounds

of building walls, alone in the room

of all the other people who

secretly also think of these things.

I’d will your reptile eyes be placed in orbit

With all the other beautiful planets,

Gosh they’re big

But then without them, how would you see

How great I am, and yet

I don’t believe in individuals, because I’ve never seen one.

We are connected, and so I see a room

As a single being, breathing and blinking,

A classroom is a monster with many eyes,

And when they draw upon me

My soul awakens the little

Inward terror of all childhood battles

And it’s like the whole world matters

And I’d then burry my small forehead into the back

Of my mother’s leg, to soak her dress with my

Infantile tears.




(Every line is like a new person,

And maybe we’ve lost me

just a few diatribes back

After a while, I just make it up.)


Writing does not hold me to the world,

Only to the paper, and against

The bed-sheets, I cling

In the desperation of all

My childhood nightmares,

And together, we drift off to sea.

The tides grow tall, dearest white rectangle

Dear paper friend, I am afraid

We neither know what the world is

I don’t know how to sail

The world has many eyes

Each eye owns a leg, each leg

A jarring joint. I am a

Horrifying creature, and five fingers of flesh

Around bone, bend from my bulging base

I can feel the machines at work,

Broken inside as they pump and whistle

Over chewing my sandwich bread

In a bleeding motion, inside I am

All oozing and cavernous.

But I’m at the crow’s nest now.

Sailing away—it’s a sinus head ache

Nothing I think matters

Nothing ever thought makes it

Out of my head, all will always wash out

In the convoluted torrent

Of human narrative.

So what happens to all the thoughts I think.

All the feelings I’ve felt, and people

I have been.

Where do they disappear.

Where in the white noise have they sank.

Where is the bottom of the self?

Someone tell me where I dispose.

Somebody point to my bottom,

Somebody touch me

Who Am I?



I wake in the morning to God’s Laughter


Which Opens up to more

The floor ends at the door

The table on the floor

The paper on the table

The pen is on the paper

The hand upon the pen

The mind commands the hand

But then who am I?

Still dissecting tinker toy words

Looks cautious to right, then to left–

Said the first time poet,

Small words are whispers

I poop. I fantasize about murder.

I am too lazy to throw out

Days old bags of semen.

When I was four, I day dreamed

About pooping on supermodels

I pretend to have autism

So that people will love me


And give me wiggle room outside social conduct

One time my mother accidentally broke the backs

Of two puppies out of nowhere with her Honda civic

We were going to steaknshake,

But just stopped for a while in the parking lot

Staring into each other’s souls.

Now, while she drives me to therapy appointments

We talk about how worthless and fat and dead

All the Fat Americans are. We rejoice

In our hatred of this piece of shit money driven country

And the worthless fat dead people in it.

She turns to me and says “I’m not fat

Like them, am I?” No mother,

Not at all, I reassure.

(Again, I fantasize about more doors to peek

Into, more dormant ants to squash,

There is no such thing as mini-murder

Because what is too small to see cannot be,

And thus I can’t be constabullied

For its abrupt and metaphysical decomposition.)


I called my therapist a faceless simpleton.

I pity the hippy poetry preacher.

If what’s good is God, and God is truth,


What’s most beautiful in this world

Is what’s ugliest to say.


One day in the third grade I peed

All over my sister’s pillow, and waited

For her to smell my prepubescent urine and waited

In tectonic angst for her to burst into my bedroom—

And I waited

For an entire week before I decided to just wash it myself.


The dread! I learned that day, never do evil

For the shock of it. Let the act

Of harming others speak. Let what

Evil become real, lead poisoned letter

Writing placates the “catharctic” tundra

Washing completely over me. This eager, charging glacier

Will be the end of me, stretching miles across the horizon

And for many years, the birds circle

Me as I helplessly moan the monotone:

“Oh noooooooooo!”

Legend of the Dark Parallel


My mother always told me

Money is the only thing that matters

In this world. My mother

Says, to this day

Never speak your mind

Or the government will take you




When I was young, I saw Forrest Gump

And I remember hearing him say

I am not a smart man.


There’s a magic way of living

When I was young, the world had done

Its marginal best to impede me


I remember telling my speech therapist

That I was allergic to her, how she made me feel sick.

I was only four, but

it was the longing for it

That was my voice

In my first attempt at the first grade

I could not spell a single word

And instead, I cried

and pissed my pants in front of everyone

So I became a writer,

And it was the longing that gave me words to speak,

The weakness that gave me longing

I could not befriend any people, or make sense

Of what I could say

So I decided to befriend the universe

And at night, I would speak, and listen

To the vast and unnamable sinking whole



Now, with this monitor in front of me, and the comforts

Of life, the morning coffees, and nightly beers,

The influx of factoids, and small greetings,


the inflated

Gratified Mind,

—this I cannot overcome.


At night, these days, I imagine myself as rowing

In a one man boat down a lost river

Underground with a single paddle,

I know what it means it feel ready,

And when I reach the river’s end

, I’ll find the light that’s woven

Through the columns and rusted pipes.

I see the turning machine, lined with its buckling doors

And as the panels crack open, the metal arms poke through,

It turns and turns, there’s a thousand hands hanging

Aiming at me from the abrupt wall, the shadow

Of the ceiling, and they open like snap-dragons,

But they linger like sea urchins, and I follow the forearms

To their dark middles, everything turning

From the center, and the light goes on again

This time brighter, from blue to white

I am ready for these fractals,

To slow down, and may the hands

Rearrange me into dirt, I am ready,

I’ve been this way since birth,

The light is roaring, and calling me

There is only one thing I want to share

With the world, I want to harness the light

And tear it open, I can build nirvana

I want I want I want,

Let me dig the underground river,

I will brick each unseen arch,

I’ll wire every finger tip,

Carve the geared latches, the indents

Of every door. I will lead the people

Down the tunnel, down the dark parallel

Of this pervasive texture.

The bed is a machine, and at night

And at night, and at night

Everything turns, the arms prod,

Everything goes around

Like an alien has possessed me,

In the bathroom mirror,

I see the other

Odyssey Syndrome


Whether my arms, heavy or numb.

Whither how light folds against the couch.

Sometimes, my mother reminds me

That I’ve put her in debt

Because I want to be an artist.

And this cause has indebted her, because

Banks have monopolized what it means

To be an artist, and the thought

Makes me want to die.


Sometimes my mother reminds me

That her twenty five year waste of a marriage

Took her far from Colombia, and her family

Who are slowly being killed off by cancer

And age As we speak


And the sun shifts a polaroid

wash over the unliving room.

We are caught in the white walls of home.

Someone says be happy, be thankful. Be kind.

The still furniture holds

The still plants in their pots,

Like my thoughts, caked in dirt

The roots suckling at the dry pours of clay.

My body drained into the leather,

while mother reminded me

not to dwell on the past, to be kind.

It would appear the world had ceased

to move, as though my growth had been

Her last remaining center–

Since, once I left, Mother went one

even colder, and an ice age quietly fell upon the house.

And then, on my return she stood by

to describe how all small things were big

Look, she said, remember the pool net?

Yes, yes, I half nodded, half

Wandered off, while she recounted the tale

of somehow fixing a pool net with part of a broken fan

because it’s the little things, she says,

but the other fan shook its head in slow agony No,

No no, for the rest of time, I

measured the passing in the interval of its calm bite.

The little home-maker-victories

Lift her just to the surface.

Then, she must have spoken,

sort of passively chimed in from another world:


Cancer had not killed her mother,

that she had actually committed suicide

a month after my untimely birth-

Though mother never learned how,

and would never seek out the horror.

–Grandma studied philosophy, like you,

Mother reminds me, and then I wonder

if the life unexamined was worth living

after all, if thought is the flesh

of skeletal misery.

I imagine her alone and lit by candles,

looking lost over a desk of disheveled paper,

unable to find, nor place her own body in the world,

Her wonder and cries echoing in

the small vestige of her photograph on the fridge.

After people die, they crawl into small boxes called words.

And Heaven is a gentle curve on the page

From the muddled cloud

of the dining room, more wind disturbed her.

–your grandfather wanted to be an artist,

but then came the Depression in the thirties

Then came the depression in his soul,

We still have some of his drawings, somewhere

But he had to give up

To become a banker, and in his mystery,

In his noble way of living, and his

Shoulder to shoulder suit, he drank

The entire marriage. He smoked

His whole lung, as if the suicide that no one spoke of

Had left him gasping for air.

I emerge beside a broken fan,

the culmination of their sleeping visions

A prophecy, an answer. Some one

hand me a broad sword, a horse and crown,

call me the second coming. Anything at all.

Box of words,

soil of my soul.

It was all very sad, I thought, but at least

Now I’ve left the manure of my boredom

I’m a different kind

Of sick, newly uprooted and reminded

That civilization makes harvest of the people

Who cannot see, who cannot see

That death is the pursuit

Of safety, and I imagine

That I’ve taken the long way home,

That I am already dead, as though

My grandmother’s death had been

My own, and though my mother

Has wandered far from home,

And I farther still, something wakes

Inside, and the reason it seems a constant

pain to be alive, is that grandmother knew

quite wisely, to dismember me from fire:

So that my every gesture might

maim another angel. May I feel the unspoken tons

of civil-dunce-hood, May I fail in life so brightly

and inflamed that I see through the dark

end of the world, to the shattering edge

of form itself,

As we have no vessel for happiness, to hold us, to call our names,

To anchor our weightless thoughts in the shower

On walks to work and school,

We cannot be filled, We cannot return

To small, tactile joys that still dot

the false urgency of living. Yesterday I assimilated

and discarded more energy from the universe

and it was boring.

Wasteland maybe, but hollow, no

We cannot be filled, because we do not begin,

We do not fear the repetitive passing of the days

because we do not end,

but carry on this mystery of learning

to let go while still holding on.

Kitchen Nightmares And other stories

Kitchen Nightmares

And other stories


It’s time to make it real.

I got nothing. Cut the hoola hoops in half

While the hoopers are a hooling

Well timed dry humps to the sky

Cut the hoola hoops in half, I have

A vision, for the awakening

Of a true artist, perhaps a pair

Because they’d need to feed

From each other’s chi, as well

As from the air,

I’m a fan

Of bumble-bees. They’d begin the kitchen

Hammering through dry wall, burrowing into the insulated world of pipes and chickenwire,

Homeless spiders huddling in the corners under silk blankets

Life is different after college and coffee. They say it’s worse

But I know better. I can become nobody

And fill the sidewalks with wonder, but

I’d have to kill my parents so they stop bothering me

With institutional worry, things I could conquer if only

They let me love the world

Cut the chicken nets with your teeth, do not make

Become, learn to play chess while widdling pawns

From the walls, adhese their bottoms

To the ceiling, where kitchen utensil-catapults

Have jettisoned various sandwich condiments

In a well calibrated pattern of checks.

Ketchup mustard, ketchup mayonnaise, check

And it all took hours and seconds,

Just to play the game upside down

How we get the rooks and kings to stick

Is another mystery

Various experiments in Velcro

Quantum occurrences of suspended

Animation, a sudden and inexplicable loss

Of gravitational force, all science we’d studied

On the morning’s whim,

Columns of spiral bound notebooks

All filled with idea-webs and formulas

That only half work

Knight to me too

Night of me and you

And we turn to the kitchen window, where the pain’s rotting away

Peeling white paint, lined in dirt, leaves that disregard the insect-chewed screen, leaves made like beds for stink-bug carcasses—we arrange the leaves and dirt into huts and battlements, a network of trenches that might take generations of bug-slavery to construct—where the mummified crawl and gamble their cosmic bets. We can break this army here. Why don’t we invent a new way to eat eggs while the war simmers down? I undo the sharp, untied ends of the chicken wire and tighten them around my arms. I weave the wire under my skin, and it’s sort of magical, like snakes under the sand, eels tunneling the sea, And the wire pokes up in a wave, dives back into me, the metal spirals around, becomes part of me, I cut the string of the window curtains by letting them drag on the sheer’s open mouth. The blinds fall to the table, and in the brief rattle, I recognize that all color, form, sound—all sensation, have been mistakenly separated. Dear sound of broken blockers of the sun, may you sing to me once more, I ask. So I grab them from the table and toss them about the room, to hear all potential versions of my new musical measure. I strap a ladle to my shirt’s collar, I tie a string in the middle of its arm, and the other end to my hair, so that the ladle hangs behind me at an agreeable angle, so that while I continue my remaining kitchen discoveries, I may jolt my head back at an unseen surface and behold in complete surprise whatever vibration the universe wills into being. With the metal already protruding, I stitch the blinds to my fingers. It’s as though I’d begun a metamorphosis with my angelic tapering pincers, they begin to drip blood all over the skillet, and I can feel the slight increase in weight as I lift my hand to the ceiling, where I gently nudge a pawn forward. A drop of blood that had previously run down my glorious pincer fingers has suddenly lost its grip to the plastic and landed below my left eye. Pawn to before. I can barely hold the spatula, gotta cook these eggs, gotta transform these eggs into a new world. Opened flame, speaketh from a frequency of its blue core, melt me to your wrist, I prayed to the powers at the center of the earth, to show me all that could become, and all that could be felt. Form is function, and form is infinite, all things become infinite through me. We let the egg whites run flat, arrange the yolk in geometric patterns, triangles, four triangles spread them in four corners, and repeat, stab them with tooth picks and build additional columns that reference the glory of ancient Greece, but perhaps reminiscent of the paperback columns we’d built earlier—so upon each layer of egg yolk I lay down a small square of paper, on which I inscribe a series of mathematical instruction about the egg’s construction, and the historical context,

Chapter four, article three, reads:       “…it was rare for these times that not one but two architects be hired to work in collaboration—or in this instance, as is often said, in collusion—not against another third party but against each other, for, while the insect war waged onward, these visionaries, both of noble families, differed on the methods and aesthetics of the proposed, “egg-yolk monument” that would at last rescue the economy of the kitchen, and finally restore its image, symbolically and superficially, as a super power among the other rooms [of my apartment.]”


We modeled the structure after the layout of a cathedral, destroyed in the last world war—no, build the Louvre, paste strawberries to its scaffolding, and after months, the yolk’s dried to perfection, the spatula’s infected on my fingers, that balloon at the ends in a blue not unlike the gas fire. But when I nudge them at all, they send these pulsing messages back through the rest of my body. Glue a tooth pick to your nose, and use its point to carve the hieroglyphic myths of our kitchen’s history into the surface of the egg yolk art museum. Study the chemical transactions of the ants who come to eat the corpses of the stink bugs, study close, take notes on the skin of our chests, upside down and backwards—like Da Vinci. Read them back in the mirror, upside down from the ceiling, where we, like the chess pieces of long ago, have learned to float and stick without explanation—wait wait, we say. And we stop everything.

Because there is so much left unseen and unknown in the world, so much to explore, to be felt,

For the infinity of my blood to manifest. Let the gas run, we say, let the sweet, dull edge of this aroma fill all rooms of our utopia, for visionaries have no more time for rooms or the small-time combinations they allow.