Good Boy

Was headed back from the coffee shop last night.

Passed this car pulled over to the side on Mulholland Drive.

It’s a windy street. Goes up through the hills where celebrities live.

Not a good place to park.

 

Despite myself I walked over to see if everything was ok.

It looked like no one was there.

But sitting in the driver’s seat was a little brown dog.

I said Hey Boy. What’s Wrong?

The dog said, “Hey.”

 

Except it wasn’t the dog.

There was a man tied up in the back.

 

I turn around to see the man bound by the wrists and legs.

I thought I smelled blood.

“I’m not the dog,” the man said.

“I’m a man and I’m tied up in the back.”

 

I said Holy Crap.

The dog started barking.

The man said, “Good boy.”

I tried calling the cops.

But there was no signal.

We were all alone.

 

I said Whose car is this?

Where are the keys?

Where is the man who tied you up?

I looked out in the darkness. Cold fear paralyzed me as I imagined how the driver might even now be preparing to leap from his hidden place to strike again.

I saw the keys were still in the ignition.

 

I hopped in and started the car.

I shut the door. It locked behind me.

I reached up trembling to the button for OnStar’s 4G Roadside Assistance.

 

“Welcome to OnStar How can we Assist?” The woman said.

I glanced back to the man, but the man was gone.

I realized the man was never there.

“Hello?” The woman said. “I can’t hear you.”

“Bark Bark,” I said.

 

I was trying to be the driver, but there was never a driver.

There was never a dog.

I was the dog.

 

I was the good boy.

Enough

We buy books to fight against our insignificance.

Even if you don’t agree with these words, it won’t stop the incessant turning for millions at the grind, trying to stop the years.

Turning…Turning…Turning…The person I was four years ago did not have this inside him. But the man I see in the mirror is not who I am at all. He is not who I will become tomorrow.

 

We all die. We must. Why is this truth of sociology, biology, theology, a wounding blight?

When will we arrive?

 

Come take my hand and build towers. Be who you want, with your desired hair, cash, and person to lie with in bed. I’ll give you everything you want and open the gate to eternity—your want to have more wants you don’t know. Are you twenty-two? Make it forty. Six O. A hundred years old with a statue next to your three grandkids’ estate and movie deal.

Would that be enough? When we define ourselves, it is peril–like sinking mud in a forest of sweet smells. It is just as brash as allowing definition by another. I prefer sturdier ground when my soul is at stake.

 

(September 27, 2015)

Jessica Jones 2k16

‘Twas the night before election

And all through the states

People pondered results

While Garth kicked back in LA

 

The early ballots were cast

Nestled tight with their votes

And I curled on my couch

Watching Jessica Jones.

 

That pierce eyed beauty

With soot-blackened hair

Prowling each corner

In case Kilgrave were there

 

Neo-Noir voiceover? Lesbians?

Of course–

Don’t piss her off

Or she’ll throw your ass through the door.

 

Alcoholism and PTSD,

Sexual assault and breaches of security,

What better way to forget these election woes

than curling up with an episode of Jessica Jones?

 

When up from my bed there arose such a clatter

I swore to my friends that a protest vote mattered

And my choice with no chance to save his life

His campaign’s deader than Luke Cage’s wife.

 

No idea if anyone will read my absentee

Jeri Hogarth will always be Trinity

Play those four notes up the black and white keys

Binge watching faster than Malcolm gets weed

 

Someone’s having incest down the hall

She’s skipping support group and ignoring her calls

Doin it doggy with a guy she barely knows

What a wholesome program is Jessica Jones.

 

While the rest of the country rattles its final bones

I go to sleep peaceful

In my four-man, one semester only, deluxe food rotting in the fridge, washer dryer but no outlets in the bathroom Mid-Hollywood apartment

Under the nimble hawk gaze of Jessica Jones.

Painted Goodbyes

I heard music again

Walking through the patchwork after dawn

It was a song I used to know

And there was a child on the piano

 

I’m not looking to be understood

Don’t look for codes inside my words

You’d only say I’m being sore and I could

But that scene would have to be earned

 

So I think it’s finally time

To take down my painted good-byes

I’ll try to swallow my pride

Until the moment has died

I’m at the break of a door

And I don’t fear anymore

So I think it’s finally time

To take down my painted good-byes

 

I wrote a song for them

That they will never hear

That they will never know

And now I don’t have to pretend

We’ve reached The End.

 

(Circa October 2015)

To Another Girl

(I wrote this a while ago. Precise dating withdrawn to protect the innocent…)

 

I.

I love you like the brush of a prickled cat’s paw on a glass window pane. You are the canvas on which I paint.

 

Your words are the tearing tip of a blade in the wind of a wild hurricane.

 

We relate like the play of fish swimming in a circle of tails. All the flit of a hummingbird’s dance but no romance.

 

We are the sea and the tide. You’re the thorn in my side.

 

You are full of magic. The type of rare beast that can only love and be loved by their missing piece. And honey, you deserve everything.

 

You and me have all the convenience of dating but mostly just waiting, waiting, waiting.

 

II.

From the moment we met I thought of kissing you, and it was mischievous. Our tongues dueled side over side. Your energy combined with mine to create something truly fleeting.

 

I am the cheddar and you are the slice. A cold cut trap of my own device.

Yet though I speak of prime confection, I believe we shared no true connection.

 

Instead, I turned into Santa Clause

You: the dependent funnel for my affection.

 

I told myself it was only a sham.

I watched another man touch you, and missed my chance.

 

I was filled with responsibility, Suddenly,

the bother of a brother.

I watched over you. But you were never a sister to me.

 

And for the first time at the start you knew everything.

You were the place I trusted my store of secrets.

A complicating feature.

Fearless, You do everything flatly.

But your water runs deep, with billows and leagues

And you shut the door on all your feelings.

 

I won’t claim to know what it’s like for you.

I admire your wit too much to assume

That one day, you’d fall in love with me

But I might take advantage of your naivete.

Or worse, be forced to admit I don’t feel the same.

 

I care for you,

But I care nothing about you.

 

We talk but never pray.

Sometimes I turn focus from your lips and force myself to listen.

What I find is empty dismay.

 

It is so uncommon to look in someone’s eyes and say, “You are like me” and not hate them. But I fear we would grow so bored of each other.

 

If this is my second love end it quick.

But if you’re my endgame, play on, play on.

We would gladly steer our course into the typhoon

For the sake of brief pleasure

A monument to our own narcissisms we built together

And ruin my life for you.

 

III.

This is no pure love.

In truth, we are only friends.

 

And yet…

When you called me just to say goodnight.

Dressed for bed and trust

I can’t stop smiling.

 

I see nothing wrong with you.

My heart fills with that particular joy of choice and value

And my mind fills with “love.”

 

I am in a strange hell, spurned on but knowing our love could never last.

You knew it too, and ended us fast.

And now we walk among the rushes.

That’s the trouble with having lots of crushes.

Diamonds

Stars

Are like fireworks. In a way…

And like poetry…

Because when I see them,

I am reminded of the time

I once watched a fireworks show from my front porch (on the Fourth of July)

I could say it was pretty,

but I wont. I don’t know if that’s true.

I will say I felt so many emotions well from within

that I had to write a poem

Describing it as colored diamonds, lighting the darkness, bursting forth and then crumbling back

or some shit.

Before I decided those emotions were too girly to be printed

And I threw my poetry in the trash.

That is why when I look at the stars now,

they are like fireworks.

Except stars do not go away.

The Place

Have you ever been hiking

and wished you could return to a place

you had found before, and rested at—

A Place of peace—a nice place;

Perhaps a gentle green with or without a trickling brook, cold to the touch

Or Perhaps a Place with butterflies and buzzing insect life, where you sat among them (at first disturbed by the bites but soon immersed, the wild accepting your stink.),

Or maybe a place with trees?

Only to find when you returned you could not recall the way

And if you could, would it be the same,

For now, since you’ve come so far and seen the rest

Once you’re further down the trail,

It might not hold that place within your heart

As when you saw it first—it is that new and jolting stillness you wish to find again.

When Kate walked in the wood she thought of that place she found, years ago, where she could close her eyes—for there was no one there to watch her—and she no longer had to be Kate. She no longer had to be anyone. She could just be.

Maybe she had passed it, Kate thought. Someone might have landscaped it years ago, leaving only a memory.

That was okay, she thought. It might be worth it, maybe not.

But she wished she could remember the way.