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coverphotobykarlkendrickkellawanthethird

wardrobelightingmakeupbythecatwhosenameisgus
morgandroletandshawnsullivan
wehaventnamedourpublishingcompanyyet
soundsbetterifwesaythisiscopyrighted.serioussounding

Amiddleagedwomanina
Pantsuit
Maryaccordingtothesign
Infrontofaflowershop
Herarmgingerlyoutstretched
Tryingtostayupwind
Turnsspraypaintsilvertheclippedfronds
Offsomegreentropicalbehemoth
Lookinlikepancakedreptilepaws
Alldressedupfortheholidays

AyounghomelessArabinwornsocks
lyingontheground
howlingclapping
Shakingsnakesofoilblackhair
Saturatedsucking
Sweat
Cheeksexplodingimploding
It'sanambitiousLouisArmstrongimpersonation
Hummingaciddaydreams
Thepolicemanstandingaboveclapsontheoffbeats
Themutedthwackofhispolypropylenegloves
Saturated
Babyblue
Theshuttersingbladesofskyabovehisface

becauseofmyemotions
beinglikeweather
ifindthemostcomfortinclearandwarmdays

losangeles
idheardofits72andsunnybeforeiarrived
withthekindagoalinme
avintagedreamthatihopeendures

tointernalizelosangeles
including,neonfromnights
sincenightsilikemostanyway

thisisasecrettomywritingthatishouldkeeptomyself:

ipacearoundlikeamaniacthinkingabouthowiwanttowrite
whatitfeelsliketowanttowrite
whatitfeelsliketobefeeling

ibecomelostfromthetopicofwhatiwaswriting
wastetimeonmyself,wonderaboutmyself
workonmyself,workonmyadultreputation
whennecessary,indeedialso
performworkthatimprovesmyadultreputation
thenirememberagainhowiwanttowrite
andithinkaboutwhatiwanttowrite

thenirealizeimhungrysoigoeataburrito
idrinkcaffeineiwalktothe3rdstreetcvs
buyacandybar,ieatthecandybar
whilespinningblocksbacktomyapartment

4pmChristmasEve
Downtownthestreetsarewarmandblankasamap
Thesceneisreminiscentofthoseearlymornings
WanderingthroughthemedVegascasinos
Theirindoorscalebuildingsandpaintedsky's
Soundlesssavethedistantwhirofamotoraroundsomecorner
Ikeepputtingoffthegrocerystoreanditsinterminablelines
WhereIwanttobuyasteakfordinnerandleftoverbreakfast
Beautifulmenandwomenwillraindownonshimmeringparties
tonight
Drinkingandlaughingoncredit
Whichwillbecollectedinthemorning
Tonight
TransvestiteswillpainttheirfaceswithHollidayglow
Thatmayleakoffbysunrise
InhollywoodthebumsintheirSantahats
Redastheirfacesandjustasbruised
WillclangbottlesandsmoketheirChristmastreesdowntoyellowfingertips
AndIstand
Lookingouttheturretwindowofmycornerapartment
Wonderingwheretogofromhere

apoemthatsaquietroom

withnoworriesaboutaclock
and

allthoseroarsoutsidetheroom
areimaginary,theydontexisthere

totrulybeaquietroom
illtrytobequiettomyselfbecause
iscreamatmyselfregularly

sooften
lateriwillagain
whenireadthis.illthinktomyself
whydidothis??
whichisthemantraofmylifesreflections

[omittedsectionthatsaid,forexample:
thispoemisbeingwrittenpastmidnight
christmaseve
brettisvisitingfamilyinsandiego
iminaquietroomtowritemyquietpoem]

Hislifewaslikethrowingoutcanvassstartingpleasedwiththeprogressionso
pleasedhefoundithardtocontinueafterapointForfearofruiningwhathadgone
sosmoothlyThenpushingforwardintoasnagTryingeverywaytoposhthrough
Beforediscardingtheworkandstartinganew
Shethoughtaboutherlifeasapictureofagalaxy
Lookingthinandsplatters
Easilyblownawayable
Takenfromamillionmilesaway
Throughatelescope
Again
Thinandsmallbyscale
Buthugewhenyougotrightuptoit
Ufathomableandunattainable
Fullofwanderingvesselsshecouldn'tdream
Fullandhuge
Endlessfromtheinside
Untiltheknowledgeofitsedgesbecamereality

thispoemhappens:

whenimprocessingallthethings
ivedoneinaday,andpeopleiveseen

andwhatididandwhoiwas
andwhatthatmeans,andichewmyerrors

thethingitrytorememberis
icantregretwhathasnthappened
andtheworstpartwouldbe
notmakinganythinghappenatall

Shefiddledwithherphone
Theotherhandmethodical
Unlacingtherowsoftightlypackedbraids
Massagingthescalp
Beginningonanotherbraid
Themassagingmusthavefelt
Thewayitdoes
Runningahandthroughbrittle
Mattedhairthat'sbeen
Crushedmotionlessbyanalldayhat
Everysooften
Atabruptinterval
Thewomanbehindwouldlapseintoamurmuroftears

Oldmanjugglingabikelookingthroughawondersoftheworldcalendar
Gettingtotheendandstartingagain
Thesame12
Maybe13picturesoverandover
He'splaninghispastinexpiredboxes
Headlinedwithlushordesolateexpanses
Meanwhilejustbehindhim
Youngandblackbutbalding
Withapickedoutfroatopaneverlengtheningforehead
He'sgotaredbackpackandaboxofhazelnutcreamer
LefthandclutchingaSpanishonion
Thetailoftheonionbeginstoshake
It'salizard
Openingthebox
Reptiliannecksbegintocrane
Bulgingeyes
Heshovestheonetimeonionnelizard
Nohesetsitdelicately
Intothedarkoftheboxwithitscomrades
Inoticenow
Forthefirsttimetheone
Onhisbackpack
Nearlyglowinggreenleviathan
Judiciouslytakinginthecalendarthrills
Fromhisperchbehindthecyclistsshoulder
Andme
Aflyonthewall

mostofmyhappiness
doesntcomefromtheworld
becausetheworld
doesntoperateonmyhappiness

arecurringflawofmine
isactinglikeanemotionalvictim

There'sthebiblethenthere'sme
I'mthefourthGod
shutupdevilshutupwhenI'mtalking
Tellthetruthsaysthedevil
tellmeaboutthenumberseven
TellmeabouttheDevilsyouknow
TheDevilsyou'vegotinsideyou
ShutupdevilshutupwhenI'mpreachin
Thebusslowedtoahalt
Onepassengershouted
Callthepolice
Thenanother
Thenthesamewomanagain
Thedriveraskedforquietoverthemicrophone
Godandthedevilweresilent
Thebusbegantohititsstrideoncemore
Undulating
humminghotwiththebreathofbodies
Godscreamedoverhisradio
Intohisradio
Getyourbuttouttamyface
Don'tstandsoclosetome
Thedevilsmiledandbitanapple
Tellmefourthgod
He'schewingnow
aboutthenumberseven
Godscreamedandrocketedfromhisseat
HisOxbloodjacketshookwithrage
Eyeslookedstrangledandframedwithpain
Crackedblackhands
Clenchsplayclench
Thedevilstood
Yankingtheyellowrope
asthebuscametostop
MerryChristmashesays

nooneisdying
Andthedevilexitsthebus
MerryChristmassaidGodno.4
Iloveyouguys
AndGodwassilent

thisisanentirefuckinggoddamntrilogyaboutworkingatabookstorethe
daybeforechristmaseve:

a
thewomanwaitingforsomeonetofinishmakingherdrink
iseehercrying
ihavenoideawhyshescrying
shesjustcrying
withoutmakingaspectacle

ifeellikeicanrelatetoherwaitingforherdrinkwithtears
shesasymbolofmyfeelingsaboutlife

b
aredhoodieandblackrimmedglassesand
mascaraaroundhereyesandblackhairand
iseeapartofmyselfin
thepersonalityofhereyes
somethingdarkandvicious
browneyes
anyway

shescometomeandsaid
shehasalistofbooksshewantsmetofind
ilookatherphoneandseedalecarnegies
howtowinfriends&influencepeople,whichisaclassic
intheselfimprovementarea,aclassic

withoutevenscanningtherestofherlist
imsnottywithher
aboutlookingupherfiveorsobooks
iaskherifsheneedsmetolookallofthemup

shesaysyes
shedlikemetolookuptheentirelist

igiveherapenandpaperandtellhertowritedownthetitles
itellherillbeback
iheadintoasectionandputsomebooksaway
itakeaminute

icomebackandsheswrittenacoupletitles
atthetopofthepage
inblueink
sheswrittenhowtowinfriends&influencepeople
ohhhhkisay,realsnotty
andweheadouttogetherintotheselfimprovementarea

howtowinfriends&influencepeopleisntthereinpaperback
theresahardcover,imentiontheresusuallyapaperback
imentionpaperbookascheaper
ilookatherforamoment
shesstandingthere
wegothroughthelistandacouplebooksarentinstock
oneihavetolookforitinadifferentsection

iapologizetoherforwheniwasbeingrude
orannoyedorirritatedor,whatever
isayit
isayiappreciatehowmellowsheis

shestayedmellow
sowebothbecamemellow
shewasabitofherotome

c
hesakindacrotchety25yearold
tendstocomplainaboutthings
hatesdoingthings
worksafullweekofhours
worksinallthestorersdepartments

worksalotandhatesitandkeepsgoing

hecomesfromthirdfloorandgivesmeapaper
wechatforasecondashedescendstofirstfloor
thenilookatthepaper
withcuriosity

onhiswaythroughmyfloortothethird,iaskhim
whathegavemethepaperfor
hesaysamanagertoldhimtogiveittosecondfloor
andishouldgetthebookandcalltheperson

ifindthebookandwonderabout
theprocedureforphonepayment
ibringthebookupstairs
icanttalktoamanager
becausetheresamanagermeeting
inoticetheguyfromearlier,idlychattingwithanothercoworker

iholdthepaperouttohimandtellhimtotakeit
helaughs,helooksatourcoworker
thecoworkermakesafaceandturnsaway
iremindhimhebroughtmethepaper

heshakeshisheadandlaughs
itellhimihatehowyourelaughingatme
theothercoworkerleaves

isayillrememberthiswhileholdingoutthepaper
thepaperinhishand,hesaysibetyouwill
andisayohiwillwhilewalkingaway

iheadtosecondfloorimshelvingbooks
fromacarthedbeenworkingonearlier
hecomesdownandwechat,normalchat

thenheheadstofirstfloor

butthebigmomentcomeslater
aboutanhourlater,whenhesonhiswayupstairs
andasksmeifidbeenupsetearlier

istickmyhandouttohim
hesayssomethingelse
imentionmyhand
heshakeshishead
heshakesmyhand

hesayssomethinglikebecauseimsorryifearlier
iconfesstohimialsothinkitsoddidgottenupset
icallmyselffragiletoday
hemakesanididntknowifcomment
itellhimivealreadyforgivenhim

anywaysecretlyiwasgladhedbeenstuckwiththe
papersituation

thingis,poetryhasabitofapersonalproblem
abadreputation
poetryisatotalrockabillynogoodgreaser

androckabillyisakeywordforasearchengine
inthedaysofthetechworld

thepastisadumpster
ivealwaysfounddumpsterdiversfascinating


Irodeintothecity
Arcingupandoverthemoatsurrounding
Itseemedtobeagangway
Boardingmeontoagreatsteelvessel
Anchoredontheblackeningsea
Thegreyskybrushedbreadcrumbsofrainfromitstable
Thestreetsraged
Withwaitressesandstockbrokersandjewelersandcopsandtransient
acousticminstrels
Inthealleys
And
Down
Thesteelstreetswiththeirmastsofglassmonolithicchambers
Thedustandsmokeblossoms
Thecity'sbreathsingspast
LiketheMistralthroughthewindowsofthechateaud'lf

itseasyformetofindanotherdepressiveconversationalist
becausemanysociopaths
carryabizarrelongingtobelistenedto
andtodebatewhocurrentlyhasthemostrighttobeupset
oragreeonallthereasonstobeupset

readytobe
upsetanyday,anymoment
readytotalkaboutit
readytooverexplain,overstory,overapologize

anonconversationalisthears
blahblahblah
doesntwannahearanyoneelsesstoryatall
doesntwannatelltheirown

thoughithinkeveryonesgotabigolconversation
goingonwithinthemselves

nonconversationalistshavethegoodideaofbeingquietabouteverything
theyputtheirproblemsonmute
theydontspeakuntilspokento
thentheysaymaybetheredoesntneedtobesomuchspeaking

ilikequiettimeswithquietpeople
ilikeloudmomentswithloudpeople
andithinkthateitherway
werealljusttryingourbest

downpeoplebattlinglongtimeblues
wannaknow
whosgotthebestsass

inanultimatesense
thebestsassisthesameasthebestofanything
thebestlastforever

inadailysense
itsthesoundofthesass
hardsassontherightperson,intherightmoment
whenthepersonwasmakingthewrongthinghappen
thatssofuckingchill

youvemaybereadanotherpoemofmine
orseensomethingofminefromcameras
orexaminedmytinderorinstragram
textedme,maybe
listenedtomyfavoritesongs
theyreyourfavoritesongstoo
wesharethesamefavoritefood!
youthinkyougotthejistofme

butwhenyoumeetme
facetoface
onadaynotconnectedwithanotherday
youllalwaysbeonestorybehind

becausethethingsthatmakemefeelbetterarentalwaysthere
+thethingsthathurtmecomefromwhereverwhenevertheywant

imamanofemotionsandimpulses
withmistakesfrommyemotionsandimpulses
whichlater,whenirealizethemistakes,ifido,willmakemeemotional
andillprobablydosomethingimpulsive
tomakeupformypreviousimpulse
icanhereandtheremakeagooddecision
but,forreasonsicantexplain
effectsofthegoodtendtolingerforlesstimethanthebad

sowhatliftsmeupcanonlyliftmeforsolong
andwhatcrushesmecrushesme

knowingthetotalme,therealme
requiresknowingmedaybyday

mightnotbeworthit,tbh
itslikewanderingthebeachwithametaldetector
atrueanalogy,forsure,becausethatshowifeelaboutmyself

andimsearchingfor,like,alonglostww2submarine
eventhoughww2didnthappenhere
eventhebeachiscrowdedwithotherpeople
eventhoughmyplanisterribleandunfactual
mybuttonedupshirthasatackyparrottheme
myshirtdoesntblendwithmypastelshorts
itlookslikeihaveawickerbasketonmyhead

I'mslowlystirringKraftItaliandressingintoabowlofmicrowavedfrozencorn
Thereisanemptycartonofeggsbeing
Usedasapaperweight
Onastackofripeningbills
Weare$783.44latetoEdison
Imicrowavedthecorntoolongandtheskinhasshriveledlikeanutsack
Someonehasusedthewaterbilltolightacandle
Themismatchedlampshadesthrowbentshadows
mimickingwinkingeye
Havingeatenandsmokedajoint
Isettleinto
Shit
Iforgotmycoffee
Hereweare
Ilightacigaretteandsettle
Intothissinkingcouch
Withitsfabricpatternsofbusseatreplicadesign
Andcrackthespine
Shit
Wheresthatfuckingashtray?
Ah
AndcrackthespineonAnnaSeghers
Thesmokeclingingtothewallsconces
Echoingthemistaroundthemoon

annerice,stephenking
themmostofall
becauseithinkh.p.lovecraftandedgarallenpoearebetterwriters

soimtalkingabouttheoneswhopeoplegetnastyabout
thosewhoarentdoingtheirartright
accordingtothosewhowannabeintheknow

youdontevenrealizewhatyouredoing,doyou,criticalcrowd
youremakingthembetter,truer
byremindingthereadersthatdarknesswillalwaysbearound

Wewatchedpapilloninthecouchandsmokedajoint
Wefuckedinmybed
Andafter
Ilaynexttoyouthinking
"Heyyoubastards,I'mstillhere"
WeateoatmealcookiesmymomhadsentforChristmas
Thebandbleedingtheirbasementfarmhousefervorallaroundusthroughthe
stereo
Idrankcoffeefromaredcup
Gildedpeacocksanddragonsperchedonhotcloudsintheenamel
Youdranktea
Throatrawfromthedrycoldofthepastcoupleweeks
Wewalkedthroughtherooms
Ofmysmallapartment
Ourheavyheelswhompingthefloorboards
Iwrappedyourmothersgiftwithbrownpaperlunchbags
Thewaywedidinschool
Wekissedgoodnight
Yougoingbacktoyourmominthevalley
Megoingbacktoabook

Ilookedatapictureofyouasachild
Blondhairwithdarkroots
EvenasI'veseenit
Withyoursmileposedinfrontofawhitepicketfence
Iwonderwhat'sinthatsmile
Whathappenedtoyouthatday
Wasyourmoms
Offtothesideofthecamera
Watching
Thesmilelooksrealenough
Youlooklikeahappykid
ButIknowtimesweretough
Backthen
Backwhenyourdadleft
Whenthatpainwasstillraw

Eachdaymusthavebeenconfusingashell
Maybeallyouractionsstillowethemselvestothosewounds
Idon'tliketoaskyouaboutit
AndIforgetsometimes
AndI'malittleafraid
AndsometimesIfeelaquietsadness
Liketoday
WhenIlookedatthatpicture
Andwonderedaboutyoubackthen

thebookalreadyended,upthere

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