The Blue haze of a Morning STill To

WriTingS BY JaSon MiChael SKiano

The Blue Haze of a Morning Still to Come

by JASON MICHAEL SKIANO
Compiled by Greg Skiano

8 MY SeCreT 12 STudio aparTMenT in long BeaCh 14 SCaTologY 28 SoMe diSTraCTed lineS CoMpoSed in Café Solar 30 The pied piper of el MonTe 34 handling love 36 a CloSe Call 42 Safe-ShaMe 44 There aren’T anY deSerT iSlandS anYMore

55 MiSfire

72 i gueSS, To Be fair 76 The BroTherS griMM 80 raMBling refleCTionS

My Secret

8

I jacked daddy’s Zippo right off his nightstand while he slept. My flashlight ran out of batteries and I was up to my belly-button in this chapter. They commanded I dream sweetly, but who could with so much at stake? Nancy’s about to find the ghost! I burned my hand holding it under the blanket. I rolled up a page from the book and lit it, a harsh first cigarette. He got mad when he couldn’t find it in the morning. Interrogated me and my brothers. I lied. His eyes are still glued to me, hoping for a glimmer of guilt. But it’s mine now and he can’t have it back.
10 11

12

13

The distant rumble of super-subwoofers,

Studio Apartment in Long Beach

someone else’s laughter creeping through my window, or my neighbor’s passionate squeals always remind me that I am alone. hearing sounds of other people living, I am a dirty plate, long forgotten by a busboy whose mouth fumbles around the neck of a red-haired waitress out back against the dumpster. The restaurant bustles around me. Bored Couples search desperately for anything to distract themselves from how they can’t stand their partner’s throat-chuckle. younger couples eye each other. Hormones convince them that the other is matched perfectly. They flirt away, blissfully ignorant that they are months away from morphing into first kind of couple. Families celebrate good times and enjoy their company with jokes drenched in red wine to forget their past tensions. In the midst of this noisy, messy activity, all, I lie on a table, abandoned by with tiny bits of missed sauce cementing to my surface: the remnants of good times past. For now, I just occupy space, waiting to be taken from here, till I rejoin the others. Until then I am a waste.

14

15

SCaTologY

16

17

From my hole of a seat, the world shrinks smaller and smaller with each passing contraction. My stomach hasn’t quite sat right all night and I knew this had been coming. Memories of all I’ve taken in burst out in painful, disgusting jolts. I try to get my mind off my aching abdomen and the inevitable red horseshoe-imprint I’ll find on my ass, but my brain-strolls are comfortless.
When did we get rid of all the good rooms?

Why do we choose to live inside boring words filled with boring letters?

When did we give up parlors for home-offices?

Why did we put entertainment centers where jam-closets and armoires used to be?

Why do we choose to live in a world without poetry?

18

19

God damnit. My ass is sore. All my muscles confuse relaxation and contraction. My face boils bubblier than it has since Vanessa Mott slept with her ex the night I planned to ask her out. I’m glad I can’t see the mirror. Sweat slowly spreads over all my skin. The seat will be moist.
Why do we choose to live in a world without poetry?

No one writes sonnets: wiki-kids shit out silly

blogs now any time they’ve got something firing

up their neurons—Most wired-neurons

are on vacation from comprehending all but

the latest episode of some high-budget MTV reality

show. It all smells like bullshit to me.

20

21

Oh god, my bathroom-agony has lasted like five minutes now and the puddle of shit below rapes my nose hairs. I hope the baskets of clean laundry won’t sponge up the stench. Can cotton do that?
People have always soaked up their poetry;

it begs to be absorbed like moisture-beads

dispersed on the windshield of a dirty car.

We’re sponge-dry in the poetry-void. So digital

kids munch on Mp3 megabite-beats with lyrics

mashed together by punks who think

language-love can be satisfied by rhymedictionaryporn.

22

23

My bowels erupt for five seconds and keep leaking longer than I thought possible. Am I head-tied, or is my digestive system lost? I have another organ for liquid waste. I try to be patient while my body works this out. I’m lucky everyone’s asleep while it does. I don’t want them hearing my toilet-troubles. Now, my bowels build up another blast.
Explosions and over-done special effects

fill screens. Forty feet tall, a tyrannosaurus-rex

breaks front-row necks who’ve paid ten or twelve

dollars to enter the Cineplex. They sit, blinded by

cellular-stars, sending misspelled texts to brainless

friends a seat over, ignoring and forming

the spectacle of cultural triple-X.

24

25

I should’ve brought something to read, or at least turned off my DVD. I hear muffled dialogue through the door. My body is hollow. I would assume I’m close to the end, but the stomach-pressure crunches down strong as ever. I am hollow and it hurts. I want to cry or scream or just be done with this disgusting thing, but relief refuses to visit my sick system.
And while we’re distracted with iPods and special

phones straight from some sci-fi movie that distracted

uncles and brothers a decade or so older than us, what is left

when we find ourselves drained without sestinas

to search for beauty, without well-crafted villanelles

to describe obsessions and fixations we never had, without

the word-songs of blank verse to get stuck in our heads, without

clever limericks to make us chuckle? We have to use emoticons

to communicate feeling-ghosts in our emails.

26

27

I wrap myself a good toilet paper glove, wipe myself slowly, picking up more sweat than anything else, and try to flush this filth-pool underground. I don’t care what it pollutes, I just want to get rid of this sense-dominatrix. I flush once, but the water remains brown. So I flush again—it takes two or three more tries to swirl it all down. I try to wash the skin of my hands off. I envy the snake, wishing I could shed my skin, leaving the hollow, dead shell behind and having new, sterile skin again. Instead, I try to wash. Then, I turn out the lights, put on an old episode of Knight Rider and fall asleep bathed in flickering TV light.

28

29

Some distracted lines composed in Café Solar
I live café to café Trying desperately to make boredom attractive. Stevia-coated banter and Panini small talk among red brick walls and frustrated dreams. Laptop-blind, eyes permanently squinted as if the perused pages warrant their hours. Hours I know I’d rather spend on you and your crooked grin and your thoughtful pause and your stories about skeleton keys in Florence and fools we once knew, and your fears and your fearlessness. You’ve hurt, you’ve loved, you’ve journeyed, you’ve lived. I wonder what part I play in your story, as if you’re auditioning me like some bespeckled failed actress in a stripmall in Burbank, or a bearded man in an empty theater, trying to find the perfect space, given that it’s open of course. I haven’t prepared a monologue, I don’t have a head shot, I don’t really know how to read the pages you hand me, I only know that I need sleep until you’re around and I suck every last drop of consciousness, your delicious presence is sweeter than the strawberries I stole from that one fancy bakery the night I watched Marilyn’s white flowing white dress over the subway, itching to have you next to me.

He gave us cervezas and cigarettes after middle school got out for the day. Mom’s working, so we hung out at his trailer of aluminum with a bathtub he never used. His stories of heroic hermanos slain by dragons before they could grow kept us glued to the dusty couch until dinner time, sometime after nine. We saved milk money for a week to get some of his bathtub candy. We saw our first Eva Angelina
30 The Pied Piper of El Monte

videos on his computer, her glasses were hotter than his hotplate I burned my hand on. Here’s the scar. He collected measuring cups and anti-freeze and had two blenders, one for protein drinks, the other wasn’t for food. His living room was a coffee filter-garden stained pink and red. When the cops took him away, Mama hoped he’d move to hell. All I know is the candy made me feel like superman—I’ll never be that strong again. I hope he’s telling his stories and selling his candy to other kids.
32 33

34

35

Love handles are the cruelest joke on a body. Maybe Venus, with her Olympian curves

Handling love

and Cupid sidekick could pull them off, but the rest of us must carry them, like holsters that set off bullets to feet. No one cries into this fatty tissue atop a waist, and grasping them for control while meeting someone carnally is impractical as an acrobat with greasy hands. Even if a lover were to try to handle the rolls, it’s more of a squeeze than a grasp. Like a full pimple waiting to pop, my side-fat painfully presses outward, a bloated sign for all to read. Love handles? Handles of love? Who has a handle on love anyway? Will anyone want to manhandle my handles? Nope. They won’t.

Shut up. Just listen.

I can’t believe you would do this to me Again. Today, of all days, you had to be A dirty, tight, disgusting asshole like You always are. Thirty goddamned minutes:
A Close Call

That’s how long I’ve been here, sitting at this Table, feeling like the center of the dirty World. People have been watching me Like a lost, one legged dog whose owner Was so lazy and selfish that he abandoned Her in the street to hunt for critters of the littered
37

Streets. It should give me comfort, knowing they All hate you more than I do for this, but today?
Don’t talk, I am not finished.

I own. And don’t try to tell me I always look Great, I know when I am sexy, and I look Sexy tonight, at least I did. Now my armpits Are wet only the way men’s should ever be. But I looked good. Both those guys have been Peering over their wives’ boney shoulders at me All night. And they got here on time. I can’t Be waiting around on you forever.
Hold on one second and I’ll be done.

You sit there with Don Draper’s* smug Smile, oozing in the audacity to be half an hour Late, like I should feel fortunate you would Be here at all. You’re not that special You know. I wanted to give you a chance. I worked hard to look hot for you, and I do: I look fucking hot. I broke a stiletto Trying to fit into the highest heels
38

You aren’t that great, you know that right? I could Find entire rugby teams of men who
39

Make you look like a dumbass. I could find Offices of software engineers with better looks Than you. I could have my pick among frat Houses with more sophisticated humor Than yours. I’m done. I am leaving. Don’t worry I know you won’t be lonely long.
What are you doing?

Get up off your knee you ass. Oh my god. Of course, of course I will. *
The womanizing main character of the AMC television series Mad Men. A man who thinks what women want is “any excuse to get closer.”

40

41

42

43

Safe-Shame
Shifting between my feet, first left, then right standing in Sav-on a block down the street, my eyes will scan the latex cock-glove shelf loaded with Trojans, Durexes and more, vanilla flavored and strawberry, made for your pleasure or her pleasure, or both, with worn-out metaphors for sizes, like magnum. Do cheaper ones easily break? because immaculate pregnancies aren’t my thing. I buy the most expensive ones. The chick behind the counter looks me up and down, assessing fuck-ability. Like two bright interrogation lights, her eyes slowly read my zipper-buldge, passing the verdict in her drooping, blood-shot eyes. Should I really feel guilty, getting laid?

44

There aren’a There anY deSerT anY de iSlandS iSland anYMore anYMo
45

There aren’T anY deSerT iSlandS anYMore (They blew them all up testing bombs)

i.

I bumped in to Jack & Jill

on their way from divorce court.

Apparently, the fall left his brain

like damaged. Not the nimble man

Jill married; no beanstalks to scale, giants to slay; gooses, nor golden eggs—just drool to wipe.

After they eloped, the spoon and

the fork feel crowded in the drawer. Newlyweds need privacy, their told,

but who can afford privacy on a spoon’s salary and a fork’s lost pension plan? Plan B: ten kids and a reality show.

(TheY BleW TheM (TheY BleW TheM all u all up TeSTing BoMBS

46

plan B: B: plan Ten Ten KidS KidS andand a a realiTY realiTY
47

The FBI sent a task force

to investigate Rumplestiltzkin’s

arboreal abode. They found a candy stash, Disney Channel DVDs

enough Jesus Juice to wrench loose lips, nerves, and half-formed minds.

Hades kidnaps Persephone, the Beast abducts Belle,

the Grinch steals Christmas, Satan robs the Garden

Lucifer destroys ignorance.

Mona Lisa is like a postage

stamp in person. Behind three inches of glass. Her smile isn’t twisted with intrigue, when she’s cold

imprisoned in the name of preservation.

48

49

ii.

Christine Skiano smoked three packs a day into her eighties, betting the aortal abscess to burst, fear biopsied by circumstance. Never soft-spoken, any thought would seep full speed from her sailor mouth. She died

in silence—the single room she carved for herself in Reno. Married once. Divorced

fear fear BiopSied BY BiopSied
once. Baptized Catholic, like all Depression-era Italian girls. Swore off Y-chromosomes, gambled the rest of her days. Lived for baby brother… Franklin. The only wordsmith dangling from my Family Tree. Wrote photoplays and stage plays, pages I’ve never seen, leaves that remain unturned, wilting and dying without light. Dangled himself with a belt from the bar where clothes hang. Two days before anyone smelled his decomposition. Two damn weeks before anyone told us about Chris.

50

51

iii.

Eliot birthed Prufrock with two fewer years than I have. Are my best days behind? I watch kids break history at televised games while I scratch away at a yellow legal pad in stained sweatpants.

Baseball junkies so cynical that record-breaking sluggers juice without fear of fanatic rage or real punishment.

d BY

Young men writing old men, a dangerous dare, drunk on verse, and prognosticating against their future. But are they really predicting it?

52

everYThing everYTh looKSlooKS Big Bigger, & MoreM & CoMpliCaTed CoMpliC
53

Did peaches ever bring Eliot anxiety?

Shakespeare ever find himself uttering to thy ownself, be true?

Did Fitzgerald ever find himself

perusing a hollow cardboard library? now that I’ve used him in my poem

am I doomed to be my father’s uncle?

iv.

I asked Pluto that very question over coffee and sponge cakes:

The fuck should I know?

I was a planet just a few

months back.

Dude, they changed that like three years ago

Maybe three Earth years,

but years last a little

longer on the Solar

System boondocks.

So we strolled through the asteroid belt, arguing whether or not

celestial bodies seemed father apart these days. I try to tell

The CloSer You geT CloSer You geT The
No man, everything looks bigger, & more complicated the closer you get. v.
Ulysses sleeps on the couch tonight. For the record, coming home late should be nothing new.

him the universe is expanding:

hing gger More aTed

55

MiSfire
A Nihilist Fairytale

56

57

CaST
MarTY ChuCK neWS anChor

A spiritual man. A reader. A practical man. An observer. voice of reality, only on the radio

SeTTing
Chuck’s cabin in the woods north of Bedlam

TiMe
noTeS: There is a corpse in the scene. The corpse should have a black hood over his head, and the actor playing the corpse will also be performing the News Anchor’s lines.

Anytime.

The characters may be listed as men, but they could be played as women, the only thing that matters is that all three are the same gender.

58

59

Two shots fire, very close to one another. RISE on an empty space with a table and a door upstage center.

ChuCK bursts through the door carrying two rifles. He puts them down and heads off stage quickly.

MarTY

You talk me into shit like this every time, Chuck. Mom always said… …you could talk a bird into taking swimming lessons. And not like a swimming bird, like a penguin…ChuCK rips the bag open clumsily and spreads it across the table.…or a puffin, or a pelican, but one that would drown his poor little ass—
OFF STAGE: ChuCK re-enters with a trash bag.

ChuCK Shut up! MarTY ChuCK
OFF STAGE:

I’m not letting go of this. I wanted no part—

I know, I know, I know. ChuCK leaves the door open. OFF STAGE: Ok, lift on one… two…
heading out the door ChuCK and MarTY shuffle in quickly carrying a DEAD BODY… MarTY drops an un-marked book as they make their way to the table and drop the body on top of the table. They take a breather.

ChuCK goes to turn on the radio. He searches around the dial through static until he reaches a news report.

neWS anChor …and these are the headlines: War may be imminent, says a top
general this week. It is vital to the security of the nation to defend the homeland…

MarTY You think the radio’ll know before it’s too late? neWS anChor …from threats of the Babuian extremists. Today in science… ChuCK I suppose you can tell me how much time we have then? Maybe it’ll be in your little book.
MarTY picks up his book from the floor. Then, he tries to delicately wrap the plastic around the body. A strange preparation ceremony.

neWS anChor …Funding for Dr. Barhnhaffer’s study of Dark Matter has been cut
off after producing no conclusions for several decades. Other renowned astrophysicists claim that this was a sad day in the field of experimental sciences. In local news…

ChuCK Marty cut it out for a second, I need to hear this…
MarTY stops

60

61

neWS anChor …Plans for the Bedlam Hog festival came to a halt today— ChuCK
snaps off the radio

What do we do about him?

MarTY I don’t know. Shit man, you got us into this, you better come up with something smart to get us out of it. ChuCK I couldn’t have gotten us into shit if your little book hadn’t told us exactly where to go. MarTY Don’t blame my book. The book didn’t murder anyone. ChuCK And I did? MarTY Sure wasn’t me. ChuCK Look shitbrain, you shot too. Either one of us could’ve hit him. And for the record, you and Mom have it wrong. MarTY What? ChuCK About the birds. If a bird needs to swim, it learns to swim. MarTY If it’s not supposed to swim, it’ll never need to. How do you develop a need out of something that isn’t possible? ChuCK Well, we have a carcass on our hands now, we gotta learn to get rid of it. New need. New skill. MarTY Where’s your shovel? ChuCK You want to bury him? MarTY I don’t want to do anything. I don’t. I wish he was just like not dead. I wish we weren’t having this conversation. I wish he was still here. ChuCK He’s not. One of us put a bullet in his fucking skull— MarTY He can’t be dead. ChuCK He’s doing a good job faking it then. MarTY You were the one who told me to show him to you. ChuCK I told you to show me evidence.

62

63

MarTY I did better. I took you to him. ChuCK Yeah, then you shot him. MarTY I shot because I thought you were shooting at me. ChuCK I thought you were shooting at me.

MarTY

“…to control the stench of death, which would otherwise reek from gutter gratings. Do everything to control odors. Plug in an ionizer, burn candles, leave bowls of baking soda everywhere. Keep the body under a plastic sheet.”

ChuCK This all sounds rather involved, maybe we should just bury— MarTY MarTY Can’t we pretend this never happened? ChuCK My thoughts exactly. PULLING OUT HIS PHONE, OFF MARTY’s LOOK I’m googling what to do with a dead body. MarTY You can do that with your phone? ChuCK Fucking thing. There’s no signal up here. MarTY Hey, look at this. ChuCK Not with the book again. I don’t need any of your mythology to—
MarTY throws the book across the room.

“If you want to bury, it is recommended that you divide the body into pieces, and bury them separately. It’s easier to dig a deep enough hole for a head than for an entire body…”

ChuCK At least we don’t have to deal with the head. MarTY I don’t think I can do this. ChuCK Your book is telling us that’s what we need to do. MarTY This isn’t my book. This is a different thing. I’ve never seen this page before. I just can’t believe it. It’s like a checklist. A checklist for like fucking murder.

MarTY No look, the page changed. ChuCK The fuck you talking about, the page changed? MarTY It changed. It said one thing, now it says another. ChuCK Bullshit. MarTY Bullshit this: “First, be ChuCK You don’t want anyone knowing he’s dead, do you? We need to drain his fluids and chop him up. MarTY We can’t do that to him. ChuCK What, do you want to save his fluids? You wanna drink them or something? MarTY Don’t be disgusting. ChuCK It wasn’t my idea. MarTY He just deserves better. ChuCK You can’t think like that. It’s a body. A body we don’t want around. It might as well be fertilizer. Ashes to ashes. MarTY And shit to shit? ChuCK Stop doing this to yourself. You gotta— MarTY You’re right. ChuCK I am?

smart. Pulverize all teeth, burn off fingerprints, disfigure face. Assuming you have it inside a tub…”

ChuCK Which we could… MarTY

“… where you can work on it a bit, drain the fluids. It will be easier to cut up, and slow decomposition. The best way is to perforate the body with a pointed knife, perform CPR. Slit the femoral arteries. Pump the chest. Plug the drain, mingle bleach with bodily fluids before draining…”

ChuCK I’ll get something to burn his fingerprints off… we can’t have someone ID-ing this body.

64

65

MarTY Yeah. I mean what if like his people find out? ChuCK Hey, that’s not going to happen. Look at me. Look at me, Marty, Marty. Look at me in the eyes. That will not happen. You sit here. You breathe. I’ll get the tub ready. gets up and crosses, stops at the radio. Here, listen to some music, you like music, don’t you?
ChuCK turns on the radio and goes offstage to prepare the bathroom. Slow, tragic piano comes over the airwaves. MarTY can only take so much. He crawls over to the radio and changes the dial, first to angry rock, then to boring jazz, then to exciting and overly catchy pop… MarTY considers dancing for a moment, but doesn’t… he lands on a station with a folky acoustic thing. He lies down, trying to forget everything. He opens his eyes, sees the book lying next to him. He opens the book.

MarTY

“Keep listening”?
God has gone missing somewhere in the hills north of Bedlam. Thousands have flocked to the area to aid in the search, now focused on a small cabin in the woods.

neWS anChor This special bulletin just in: Authorities have reported that

MarTY Chuck! Chuck! ChuCK
OFF STAGE:

Marty, calm down man.

MarTY Chuck this is serious. They know where we are. snapping off radio They know everything. They know. They’re coming.
ChuCK runs in with yellow rubber gloves.

ChuCK Then we need to hurry. MarTY Chuck, they know. They know who he is. They know. They fucking know. ChuCK They don’t know shit. We can handle this. We will handle it. We’ll get him in the tub and and— MarTY And what? We’re not hitmen Charlie, we’re not. We’re just two brothers. It was a stupid mistake Chuck, we’re just stupid— ChuCK Marty. Marty, stop crying Marty. Stop it. Marty. ChuCK gives up. Marty keeps balling. We’ll run away. MarTY Run away, run away where Charlie? Where can we hide? ChuCK I don’t know. There must be somewhere they can’t find us.

66

67

MarTY Even if there were, it’s too late. There are thousands of the faithful. Looking. For him. They’ll know you murdered— ChuCK I didn’t fucking murder him. MarTY Yes, yes you did. That’s what you always wanted. You didn’t want to see him, you wanted him dead. You wanted me to have nothing left. Well look at me Chuck. Look at me now. Do you like what you see? So I look better without him? Am I enlightened now? It didn’t kill me. Am I stronger? Fuck you. You just wanted to tear me down and make me so fucking serious and bleak, and like an asshole like you. ChuCK You don’t even see it do you? You’re free now. MarTY Free from what? ChuCK From him and his bullshit rules, and his conditional acceptance, and his— MarTY Maybe the rules exist so we don’t shoot each other in the fucking heads! ChuCK You’ll never understand. MarTY I won’t. I won’t understand. But it doesn’t matter. I’ll be dead when the mob gets here. I’m a marked man. ChuCK Would you really just shoot people without the rules? Your life just comes down to this corpse on my cabin table? MarTY I’ll never find out, will I? ChuCK Don’t be dramatic. I’ll reason with them. They’ll see. They should be thanking me, instead of following this hillbilly witchdoctor.
Torchlight from offstage flickers.

MarTY They’re here Chuck. Go and tell ‘em. ChuCK I will. I will. Just let me get my thoughts straight. I want to have the right words. Friends. Fellow truth-seekers. Today a blow has been struck for philosophical independence… no that can’t be right… MarTY grabs his book. Anymore answers for me now? MarTY The pages are blank. There are no more answers.

68

69

ChuCK That’s fine. It’s time I found my own answers. MarTY grabs a gun behind ChuCK’s back. Today will be a day in history when we will be remembered for shaking off the chains… no, the tyranny… MarTY aims at ChuCKS back, shaking. They tyranny of theocracy, theology, monotheism, polytheism, and pantheism. We stand now, purified from all. Free—
MarTY shoots. ChuCK falls, slowly gasping for air until he dies.

MarTY fires one more shot into the ceiling. He wipes his rifle down, slowly, carefully, and puts the gun into the hands of the corpse.

MarTY strips his own shirt off and trades it with the jacket on the corpse. It takes time. It’s clumsy. He prepares himself. He turns to the oncoming mob, open arms wide.

MarTY Dear followers! I have survived this brutal kidnapping thanks to your prayer and support. Thank you for your continued devotion. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

Fade to black.

70

71

e S T

eaT ShiT TaX
72

73

i gueSS, To Be fair
Eat shit tax man. Down Grey-Goose shots, Forget a moment, you’re having an affair with Mrs. Pacman. The Mr. would gobble your flashing blue ass in a second. So drink with me tonight, melt away the headaches. The tossing turns around that skull of mine. Peanuts laden in black top-hats have class, you, Mr. Service of Internal Revenue could learn a bit of tact, or how to fake a modicum of feeling. Sorry, as a target you’re rather wide. I know it’s not your fault everything’s measured in profits and sense. I’m tired of reasonable people with their reasonable Hondas, and their reasonable 401Ks, and their reasonable Beatles memorabilia collections, and most of all, their reasonable investment banking aspirations. Sometimes, I feel like a water-bottle, that insists on posting nutritional information full of zeros. Proud of nothingness, content to hydrate and cleanse, because that’s the only reasonable thing I’ve ever wanted to do, so I guess it’s the goal I should pursue.

n

o or

no SodiuM or faT or CarBS or proTein r CalorieS
74

75

It doesn’t seem fair, does it, that we must be reasonable. The world isn’t nearly so courteous. Volcanoes bubble and blow to devastate for fun; rivers spill out and binge on property and flesh; rain plays coy for months on end. Maybe she does have reason, not the two car garage kind, but something that makes the random mess a well-crafted picture of perfection. For now, I’ll just tell everyone that I have no sodium, or fat, or carbs, or protein, or calories of any kind. Let’s take another shot and feel bad for ourselves and the IRS.

The Brothers Grimm

76

78

79

There, I said with my ghost tongue, my ghost throat, and vocal chords, there, inside that box of bankrupt bullets and explosive sugar. You grope the contents, Smell the gunpowder, Try to make sense from the scribbled sentences I left. My breadcrumbs.

We always loved when dad read the fucked up fairytales, his many voices and twisted chuckle never helped us sleep. That Mickey Mouse shit didn’t have the flash of Rumplestiltskin ripping himself in half. Is the red Rorschach splatter as enchanting as we imagined? Sorry about the mess, I know how you hate to clean.

78

79

80

81

Incense burns your smile back

Rambling Reflections

on my brain. Open wounds salted with lies that helped the sex-foisted feelings last. You laughed and sucked the Hershey’s syrup off your finger-tips. maybe mine. We’d blaze the fragrance like suburban gypsies mourning fallen metaphors.

Summer twilights, when your sweat moustache glistened, unfashionable lip-hat, Smokey sunsets led to hot nights. Kisses of salt only made me thirsty For the drink which he now sips. Smart to savor. The need’s impossible to quench.

My tongue dries out as the smoke invades nostrils, whose vigilance weakens with aged wind. But that smell of sweet mustard seed, tiger lilies, and baby feet brings back every stick we lit. The ember burns through too soon and after the odor dissipates, all that remains is ash. Your naked body flows in and out of focus except for the physical foibles that intoxicate details. Your asymmetrical nipples or the scar on the your back-valley, that birthmark trying to cross the border between your ass and your leg.

Now some wanna-be hippie with his department store rasta beanie burns our sticks to mask his pot and vomit stench. The Marley poster, pasty skin, and bloodshot eyes give him away every time. In his defense, he’s ignorant, shitting all over you.

84

CoMpiled BY gregorY SKiano

T h M S

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful