Feb 2, 2009
1) There is no credit for any credit due-- I am a past balance, a remainder, a reminder, a rejoinder, a mating call to no one in particular. Hold particles together to charge them, give them fruit to charge them, carry them like children to charge them, throw them high off of backboards to charge them. It is 2004 and I am fed. It is 1998 and I am in bed early. It is the morning of my graduation and am gradating hues in the sun. Point directly at the spots on your shoulders-- the cancer beginnings-- and hum quietly to charge them. Cat-call the rocks that landed on your lawn to charge them. Promise them to charge them. Slide calculators under their doors and smile ear to ear to charge them. The creek rose, the corn soaked, the creases along the blankets smoothed-- all to charge them. It is 1987, 1964, 1875, and backwards we charged to charge them.
2) Pussy-ass landlord came by, I told him we ain't got it and now the notices are coming. Believe it, buster. We got a few days in paradise, tops and then gone baby gone, our time, she's up. I'm planning to leave tomorrow to scam some cash for the move. Used to be easier. Birds everywhere, car covered in shit, lights finicky, flickering off and on, but easier to be sure. Yeah to be sure, that would be nice, no? I'm gonna run my hands over the car's hood to make sure she ain't overheated. Temperature gauge is broken and the game's on in an hour.
3) I'm audibly sighing, hear? Hear that? Of course not. Made a scene two years ago and since then, there's nobody listening. Counted some chickens before they hatched and now, nobody's letting me near the eggs. You'll get yours, you fuckers. I'm going to hang you bastards out to dry. Buncha towels and shirts on a line, flapping until their ain't no more cloth. No more teeth, no more skin, no more nothing, I'm taking it all back. Mark these words, now. Use a nice ball-point pen and mark 'em. Then, we gotta get blow this joint.
4) Elegant, that is what I would call her. Lotsa long black dresses and permanent smiles, never too wide. Ballroom dancing skills to beat the band. Never coy or forward-- speaks when she is needed to do so. Cordial and cunning simultaneously. She knows her way around the parties and keeps her distance from the drama-- keeps her hands to herself and the stains off of her clothes, if you understand. You understand, right? Right? Just stay back and watch. Otherwise, you might not walk outta here with any dignity intact.
5) HOLY SH
6) Clocks. Ticking fucking clocks. My wife collects 'em and they are the death of me. Every room, her bathroom included, ticking and clicking and clanging and cooing and binging and bonging and clacking and banging and tocking and pinging and all the onomatopeias you can fucking ask for, believe you me. I decided to take the ones outta the guest bathroom and that is where I get my peace. Pictures of frogs all over the goddamned wall, but it works. I stashed a coupla old girlie mags about and this is where I go. Solace. A man, sometimes, when pushed to the edge, must annex his solace. Otherwise, he is not alive. Nope, not at all.
7) Can't you see it? It's right there. Please tell me you see it. Please. I'd give you anything-- mind, money, body, my antique rugs. You just gotta see it like I do. It's right in here in front of us. I can't make it any clearer. Nothing good can come of you not seeing this. I need this to make sense. For once. I don't know why you are here. I don't know why I brought you here. I don't know at all. Not if you can't see it right in front of you like I do. In this room, here, is the end of me. I can see it so clearly that I can't see you at all anymore. Where did you go, how did you get in?
8) Boy oh boy, this is getting nasty. They're fighting in the next room, Been at it for hours. She's yelling about respect, he's yelling about how he hates her condescension. Smart folks. They're professors-- she teaches philosophy, him language. No one ever wins. Then they fuck for hours. There is a rhythm to their arguments. His calm demeanor peaks at the beginning and end-- she wrestles with her ideals throughout. I can tell she is beautiful. I see her in long black skirts, eyeliner just past the eyes, wonderful thighs, tights. I see her in red shirts, off-yellow shirts, manic shirts while she paints. Oh, she paints. I see her in utilitarian forms, Indonesian hotels, permissive contexts, the Waldorf Astoria. I've never actually seen her; heard her yell is all. I see her in dreams, her face pouty and expectant, glorious in wait. I see her gait, I see her face lopsided in old age and still beautiful. I never, ever see her. Not once ever. It's probably best. I never see anyone anymore, to tell you the honest truth. Not today either.
9) I am not capable of love. Let's take math, for instance. Take my wrath, please. Point me in the right direction for the urinal cake specimens. What a specifically awesome catch he made there. Catch me in a cherry red quesedilla. Pardon my Frenchtastic. Consider the following things off-limits: term-life, term-limits, life-terms, terms of endearment, terms. Tip well, always, always, always. The butter of life is seldom on the bread. Culture is cut directly into the skin of the mango. Skin him alive to teach him his lesson. The mark of a champion is seldom far into his marrow. Man the ramparts, it's gonna be gray for awhile. What hath god wrought? Barbecue, that is what he hath wrought. Man alive, the way we move-- it's always almost despicable. Sort it out, then sleep. Goddamn it, sleep. All of this will make sense in the morning. If not, fuck it. The cold, like all things, will catch. Just ward it off as long as you can. Sonofabitch. Hold on, I got another call.
10) Just past the conduit to another universe, there is a sign. It is round and red on a short wooden post and it says something nearly indecipherable. Hard to read, really, because it has been weathered due to years of sun and wind and travelers tossing milkshakes at its facade. Its. It's. It is. It is hard to understand why certain objects are not replaced, but this one stands. It stands to reason that it should mean something, but it is a roadpost. The sign is probably a marker for folks knowing they have only a few more miles until they can rest after work, after shopping, after seeing your sister and Lord knows she is a handful, Lord knows. I like to imagine the sign said "If you were here by now, you'd know the way the warmth enlivens you." Sometimes, I have this dull ache over my body-- the full-scale weight of loneliness bearing over me until my arms collapse to my sides and I am motionless. The weight, it never really leaves, it is just lesser now and when I move. I am always moving, moving toward and away from this illegible sign; centralized by the pointless. God, the dull ache. Oh, the dull ache. I imagine the sign read, "It won't make a lick of difference whether the cat goes outside or is trapped in the house, if it wants to escape, the problem exists. That's all there is to it." Really, the sign says, "idge ut" almost (bridge out) and since there is no bridge anymore, it is a piece of forgotten lore. Are not we all? Are we not all? I never know how to say anything. I never know how to end anything. Or start anything. Outside my parameters, out of my system, near the orchard, cowards come back, point at the constellation, make sense. Just make some fucking sense, and then we can figure it all out, you know? We can figure this out; make sense of signs long rusted.