Thursday, August 9, 2012

Bday wishes

Philips went onto Facebook and looked at his friends list. Looked for a name he could say something like, “I will fuck your brains and eat your ass” to. He thought about how anyone might react. Anyone would either be offended or joke about it in a semi-trashy way, or just think something was wrong with him. He decided to masturbate to status updates. He was proud of himself for not messaging someone and offending them. He wanted to be less weird in his own eyes. He came to the status update, “Thanks for the bday wishes”.

Real Life

Scene I
Have you heard of Tsai Loo?
He’s like, really big somewhere.
An author?
Well, yea.
Have you read him?
No. I’ve just read about him online. He’s big into like, gimmicks and stuff.
What kinds?
Well he did a reading in Brooklyn last week and he read the same sentence like 1,000 times. 
Which sentence?
It was that thing that the chimpanzee says in “The Lion King” when he holds Simba up after being born, or whatever. It’s in like Swahili or something.
Ahhhhh sabenya, baba hee bee abow?
Yea, that one.
Interesting. What else does he do?
He hired like two hundred people to follow him around one Friday night to go from restaurant to restaurant saying ‘table for two hundred’ and just get rejected over and over again. That ended up in like a tabloid or something. He’s pretty good at getting his name out there. It’s weird you haven’t heard of him.
You seem to forget my policy: I only read dead authors; live authors are glib, mundane, and have nothing of consequence to say—after all, what could there be to say in this sea of vapidity? This world is awash with tweets and blurbs and…whatever. Why would I pay attention to today’s literati?
Want to get another cappuccino? I’m falling asleep. Maybe an espresso.
You know, I drank so much espresso in Europe that I simply can’t stomach American coffee anymore. When I got into JFK from Dusseldorf I ordered a Starbucks grande, black, and nearly vomited all over my Versace. It’s just…Guatemala flavored water.  
Roarke (stifling a yawn):
How was Europe anyway? I saw you Checked In at a restaurant in Prague last month and felt jealous. Or something.
Oh, you know. Europe.
Quite. Let’s?

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Elevator man

The elevator man says every job has its ups and downs.  He looks ahead, he sees through the buttons on the metal, his blazer holds flat against his body.


            I walked into my room today and thought, "Is this my room?" Smells like something I read about once.  Maybe Burroughs. Is this my room? I walked over to the bed and sat. The bed sits lows, and creaks slightly sometimes. It didn’t creak, but instead I got to listen to the churning of the fan, and wondered what its velocity was. Is it a high velocity, is it not so high, unimpressive even? Am I thinking about an unimpressive fan? I sat on the bed, and my stomach hurt, then my foot hurt, and then most of my body was in extreme pain. I thought, “Am I not supposed to think about the fan?” and the pain persisted until I was crying, and I thought about those people with Irukandji disease, those poor goddamn people. They are in such great pain, such excruciating, unbearable pain, but then the pain isn’t so bad, and the disease makes them think that they should die. That the only way to get rid of the ominous pain that will come back, just when they’re least expecting it, is to die. Intensely suicidal. 
              People keep knives away from them.  I didn’t have people with me, and I did have a knife next to my bed. I really had no one there. No one there to push the sharp objects out of reach as I writhed in pain. My eyes were closed and I couldn’t see, but it felt like I was Cyclops and my vision was red and I thought I could see the dresser and the drawer with the knife in it. I grabbed the knife and didn’t look at it; it was red. It shook in my hand, and I thought, I have Irukandji disease. Was I stung by a jellyfish? Have I been stung by a jellyfish under my bed? Maybe my roommates are playing another trick on me, waiting to come out from under the bed with jellyfish, saying, “Aha! Surprise! We got you. Happy half birthday.” I always forget when my half birthday is, and my arms have blood on them now, but the pain has begun to subside. My body was playing the trick. There is no one under the bed. My body has been trying to surprise me. Why did you do that body, I think. I don't have Irukandji disease. I think I'm just fine, actually. My body doesn't answer "why did you do that," instead there's just blood on my sheets, and no more coins to do laundry. I sighed, deep sigh, long sigh, quiet crying sigh, and walked to the door. Is this my room? 

Saturday, June 30, 2012

In the air

I’m broke again
Could you send me a buck or two?
How about 50?
Okay, send it along.
Yes ma, I know
I know you’ve told me
That your fingers are crackling
At school

And your third job is laying off.

You there?
Stop crying.
I gotta live,
I’ve got a girlfriend now,
Some dreams,
A job I hate.
I hate it so much
It makes my liver burn every night.
Don’t worry, I don’t mind the burn, ma.

You there?
Why don’t you return my calls more often?
I felt a breeze the other day
And I just knew I had to leave
Had to glide on it.
I’ve got to cut through mom,
To foreign lands.
Don’t you realize?
Stop crying.
I got a good deal on a cargo ship,
My friends are all in Berlin,
I gotta go.
Why are you whispering?
What’s that sound?
Your boss should let you speak;
I’m your son.
I’m a man.
You’re a woman, mama.

They treat you like cake,
And treat you to cake sometimes,
So they can treat you like cake always
Eating you up.
I know, I know,
You hate to hear that talk.
You should meet my girl, mama.
She doesn’t like the burn,
But I give it to her,
And it slides down her throat,
And sometimes when the fire is lit
she wants to glide too.
Didn’t you glide once?
Stop crying.

I read once,
“Let’s go, come on  let’s go,
Empty our pockets and disappear,
Missing all our appointments
And turning up unshaven years later.”
Did you read that too?
Are you there?
Have you dissolved?
Stop crying,
Come on let’s go,
I need cash tonight.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Jaime with no apostrophe

End of the flowers
            In bed, with Jaime beside me, when I let my head drift, there is one image that recurs and berates: the casket not yet lowered, with gold trim, and the smoothest wood, masked to look like the smoothest wood, no lines twirling on it; the top, an image uniform throughout. I think on then. Then, there were flowers on the top, many flowers. Many flowers lay waiting to be lowered and sitting in patience as they remained still. The casket, I think, and nothing else comes to mind.
            I lie in bed. Jaime is at my side. I tell her three times as she falters in and out of sleep that I love her. “Je t’aime, Jaime, je t’aime, je t’aime.” I feel her arm and hand in the darkness that always looks like it’s sprinkled with salt to me, or something ready to change form right as my eyes settle. I come upon one of those jagged parts of her hand. It feels like soft rock from the cuts that are scarring. Je t’aime, Jaime.  I could ponder the rivers of blood that she summons from those veins, but I don’t. I think and let the pools in my mind slip through the fragile formations of Je t’aime. The words crackle into sand.
            Ten days before I saw the casket for the first time, in life for the only time, the guy frozen inside the huddle of mourners said “Love, love, love!” so excitedly that tonight it still makes me afraid of my sacrilege.
            My yo-yo eyes prance between moist lids and brittle air in rapid dance and I want to yell, but instead I whisper the refrain “Je t’aime,” and she whimpers once, twice, and I lie still, until I am better.
            She asks me to stay with her and nuzzles her nose into my chest. The salt moves a bit as usual, and I find myself wondering what the grains have displaced this time. I can’t even tell. She starts a sentence “Do you,—” and stops as usual, so I let my head drift, and it knocks back into the casket. I can feel it a bit. It’s cold. Jaime feels along my arm and comes to a spot filled with raised tissue. She continues to lie in her silence. No movement, no reaction to my cutter’s wrist. “I was drunk,” I say. “I did it because I was drunk.” She doesn’t respond. My fingers feel so cold and hers so warm. I can almost feel them burning. My toes are so cold; I think I may have an iron deficiency. They feel ready to come off, toes, fingers, nose, ears—ready to go. But they stay, and I think about the casket. I see it underground, but I don’t see it all, just the inside. It looks very warm. It looks very nice. Even a dead person needs a sense of luxury, you see. The face underneath has little pieces of my fingers sprinkled around. That face once told me, “See man, this is what you need: you need a girlfriend. No problems anymore. Like that, gone. Boom, fizzle, pop, man.” Jazzy language. I make jazzy fingers with my hand that is free, but when I look at them they seem transparent and slow.
            Quicksand hands, I think, and Jaime asks for water, so I tell her “Je t’aime.” Her head has been on my arm for some time now and my arm no longer has any feeling in it. The casket no longer has any feeling in it. Jaime has fallen asleep and I think it’s been quite some time now. What is this feeling? And I think about saying, loud enough to hear, you see, “Maybe we should be friends.” But I stumble, and by the end of the first syllable the casket is back.  


Wander lustful kids
around the city,
down the river,
onward, onward,
and our feet peel and ache,
so we sway, sway--
a sway that runs lazy
through bloody meat muscles--
when we talk our game and
into Indonesian, Persian, Parisian hearts.
We sway;
we, lustful kids wander.