Those isles are like pictures, each dotted with ink
To prescribe meaning and value for every object.
Let’s just work on nothing for nothing’s sake.
That’s just what they’ve done in this store.
Those blue lights told us that there was a promise.
Emergency like, we soared over even the eldest drones.
A deal is a deal is a deal is ideal in this sweltering space
And we never say thank you. Because it’s past that.
There is thunder in the market. Lights that see you
Before you’ve even seen yourself. You’re too tangible
To remember something like that. Those windows are
Mirrors that reflect the time and state of mind. Kindling.
There is pasta, there is soda, there is everything you don’t
Have and tell yourself you don’t need or want to have. There
Is embarrassment in the basement, you are told by the signs of
Restriction. Nothing for you here, everything’s out there. Welcome!
The tiles are made of broken shell, and only one lane is open.
In your hands are freshly slain fruits which you will devour as a win.
On a whim, stop. Some things have words. Menus with delicate
Shapes long for your choosing. I am your product.
So much has been had already. There is no need
Anymore. Symphonies of non-specifics holler for
You to take charge, with your charge card, and step
Out of line. These moments are a calling you somewhere.
There are those who love you, with you. Holding your hand
And praying with each breath that the decision to do so is
Right. Languid as you may be, you just may pray the same.
There is no more music, though there is plenty of sound.
It might have been something once. Now, just a smile. Just
A smile and a wave from the other side of the glass. Signs
Outside say to come again, and thanks, but it all falls
On deaf eyes. Like a wolf at a parade of kids, you survey.
Each and every lane of traffic spills out the same, but each
Feels different. Behind the handicapped your mouth gets dry;
You think of not driving and almost lose control of machine
And mind; behind the window your face condenses.
All you need is medicine. All you need is rest. All your needs
Are all you need. All of everything is eternally internal. It is
Summertime and you’re freezing. Let it all play out and fall,
For fall will bring respite. There’s a razor on the bedside table.
For ever and ever, she said, and that was the way of things.
Like the holy hand of belief sweeps across the desert of denial,
We came to the place not knowing the price of admission.
All of these stars were once wishes are now just burning cold.
Looking at screens, always at screens makes the mind cold.
Like paying to go see life on screen, and spending days inside.
Inside is always where you’re entertained; it’s remedial and
Lacks any tinge of flavor. It’s not ice, it’s sand, and it wont…
We’ll do away with favors one day. And then we’ll be truly
Broke and in need of something more. It’s all about needing.
You can run away, and I can stay and stay; as long as the plants
Get watered. It’s of no consequence to our flora or fawning.
You did leave. It’s ok. I’ll stay. Just as I knew I would have to.
You do need time, as do I; but yes, I’ll look after the dog.
I know it was implied. Maybe he can join the circus.
We can all run off and pretend that nothing happened.
This blister is getting old, but I still wouldn’t call it
A callous affair. There’s still work to be done.
It might rip off and become a petal; made and
Remade again as a giant fleck of dust unborn.
Agitation makes for little reasoning to be had.
Problems are gone over once more, and there
Is still no resolve. Just keep waiting for the door
To fly open and hit you in the teeth. I know.
Who’s on the staircase tonight? Trying to sleep
Past a crooked spine and twinning legs, desperate
For more reasonable cushions, and aching to
Meditate. Not me, not you, but parts of us.
Her name was Madeline. She was quite sweet.
Saccharine even. We never touched, and for this
I do not regret. If you ever met her you’d know.
There might still be questions, and the answers are yes.
This suit is becoming restrictive. More so than before.
The dog is whining again, this time, conversationally.
“Where are my vittles?” How does he know that word?
He just does, and he wants them. We both want more.
I’d take a pet on the head as encouragement
Any day. It’d get the rain off my shoulders.
Or maybe just the dandruff in my soup.
Those aren’t crackers, they’re troubles.
Don’t even try. Don’t command. Don’t breathe.
Bellow through the un-breathed declensions.
You made it and broke it; time to deal with it.
Get in the floor. Get in the floor. You say. You say.
One time it was a joke, as we are jokers beyond words.
But that’s really all we have left. Save for autographs
From people we’ve never really met. Mine was Didion.
Yours was one or other of the Millers; too scratchy.
I’ll never read anything again. Just keep feeding me hops.
I’m too old for water, but that’s all there is. I want to cry
But that’s water too. Yet, water from me is better than water
For me. She said she’d never do this; she wasn’t like that.
One night on the bridge another Christian told me the same.
She was warm and we were experiencing the cold together.
I was not warm. I was evil, past the pheromones. We pretended
That everything was more than fine, so good.
Youth is but a stupid forest. We dig and plant seeds
And come back to see our trees. Sometimes, they suck.
Not too tall, not very berry laden, just bristly and un-Homeric.
There are seldom politics involved. More, polemics abounding.
Natural is the state which nurtures the debate.
“I cannot stand to live this way,” rings true.
Doubtless, calls are sent into the day and confusion
Contuses my brain. This is just how it works now and then.
We called them bumblebees. Those who sting and die.
In the end they are harmless. Not like all of those hornets
At the bar. Those girls spread poison, and lies. The hardest
Part is that they too keep their stingers. It’s lifelong.
Let’s not be so obvious. So, throw me a veil.
I will not triumph here. But nor will I fail.
It’s a poison which takes poise to inflict.
It’s a porno on repeat. It’s maddening sick.
What are we going to do with this information?
We’ve made diner of it, and had dreams about it.
Already, we’re showing our ageist roots.
This is not a movement, just a distraction.
We started reading books together,
Before you got robbed, and robbed again.
Those were kind of good times. I still have your
Twain, and you my Minis. I want it back.
Here’s a picture: it is grey out, and there is no sky.
She is holding him, and I’m nowhere to be found.
Her parents are happy, and no one knows why
Though they show and tell the world about the past.
Let’s network. Let’s sit at tables together and do it
Online from devices. We can use them to call
Each other when we’re done networking, socially.
It’s the cold cold future baby, and we’re living well.
Don’t ask about certain things. As vague as that may be,
Just listen to that one request. You aren’t going to know
Which ‘things’ they are, or who they’re about. Just know
That some things are holy in this home called a head.
What table have we been drunk under? I thought this
Was a boat. Apparently we have been lied to again.
It’s nothing more than a field afloat on broken
Shores. It is the shore, but I’m still swimming.
The need for everything to be clean is exhausting.
There’s dirt in every pore and ants on every pole.
Grime does not discriminate. It multiplies with
Every facet; every decision gone awry.
That air is pretty dry. Too dry almost.
You said after finishing your cigarette
That smoke is too dense, and I can’t do rings.
You said upon the porch; your hair up in a tail.
Let’s just swing today. All day, on the swing,
Bring the dog. No, I don’t care if he comes.
Anything to stop the howling. He’s probably
Got vertigo up there. We’re all too little.
Such huge ideas; too hip even for us.
I wrote ‘statement’ across my blanket.
It looked ugly and I had to scrub it in the sun.
It was like burning a barn I’d just won
At auction, where we lost our minds,
I’d asked for something un-ironic
To be played. No games. No rhetoric.
No music. Just a dollar-store prompt.
Surely that’s enough to go on. A tome
Of treats is what’s asked for, and a bag
Of dirt is what’s given. It’ll still go to use.
The crops are ready I think. But how to pull out?
Why’s it so dry inside? There’s no seeds?
I could’ve sworn there shoulda’ been seeds.
Perhaps this is losing your shit. It certainly
Ain’t not that. Maybe I’ll go swim it off a bit.
Estrus, oh Estrus, accompany me down by
The pond. You are in need of washing,
I fear I may have stained you. So, just come
And let us bathe. Yours forever, Detritus.
Limits can’t be forgotten, it’s too sunny
For that to ever happen. At least this month;
I’ll just let the swelter take from my swagger
Take a fake walk and sniff a few lawns for answers.
Yes, answers. Delicious as they may seem.
Are the very conclusions drawn from
That very same dry air. Not one movement
But many to tie to in these unholy aisles.
Swill and strain, sleep and repeat, never
Remember to stretch. Pants rolled high
On able shins, ready to bolt into the blazing
Acidic burning that is well-being. Being well.
Having once been an animal, it is a temptation
That continues to inch into periphery. With eyes
Like a flounder the whole image is often missed,
Even though a new one, the only one, is seen.
Animal objectivity is “give me, it’s mine,
I need it, why can’t you appease?” mostly
Said in screaming. Rationality is above this
Stance. Swill and strain, just drown it away.
It’s always a holiday when those lights get
Left on. Always a party, the life of which
Can never be attained. All that can be done
To satisfy the itch is a ruffling of the fur.
Animal family gets lost in separate woods
The headline should read. With large spreads,
Bearing photos of midnight beasts seen from
Afar, with silly little captions scrawled under each.
Boy bitten by fate, bewildered.
Girl stuck in the shadow of aspirations.
Man forever fleeing acrimonious deed.
Woman resting by the stream in wait.
There’s no more party once that hits
The hands of the interested, not really
So interested after all. Anyway it’s just
News. Not even the truth. Heat trumps all.
It’s all anyone can talk about or tell about.
Common knowledge born of empathy,
Packing the air conditioned aisles, causing
The price of milk to soar to new heights.
The blood of life. The blood of Christ, were
He an animal we would not know. Just put a
Pill in it; let it sink to the bottom and curse
Everything you ever wanted. Still shopping
There is only what can be gained.
Thank you for that, however. Thank
You, is there more to be had? Past
Every disposition, is there more?
Very little. Check yourself out, but
Do as your told or don’t participate.
This place is cold and its patrons hungry.
It is lavish like a gulag with an open door.