A Wild Poet Appeared

I’ll be performing at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe tonight¬†Monday, August 5th 2019.

Seats tend to fly pretty fast, so it’s recommended you book your tickets in advance here.

If you see me, feel free to not say hi.

53-og

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When I Said I’d Never Forget You, I Meant It As A Threat

Pain is the strangest of all human phenomena. A shapeless enigma with no definitive form or figure; vague and endless as the psyche that houses such a gray and wounded monster. There are times when people hold on tightly to their personal tortures, for the sake of vanity or some basic inability to let the past rest and remain unfinished. Modern day grave robbers digging down Facebooks and Instagrams until their thumb strikes that cold and empty coffin, crowbar it open, and find nothing but photos they don’t belong in and that empty feeling they started out with.

And other times pain is a beast prowling on the hunt, an ambush camouflaged in the most innocuous disguises. Like hairpins and people wearing ripped jeans, or the smell of grass and concrete the day after it rains. A predator that feeds primarily on the supposedly forgetful, makes prey of the most stoic or hardened person. And when it leaps from out of nowhere like a wildcat in the tall-grass, there are no fangs or screams, no death or desperate fight or flight. Just silence, and the bloody aftermath of someone who remembers.

Pain is the strangest of all human phenomena, my favorite thing to bottle and stick under a microscope. I like to collect them, like pets or dangerous diseases. To see what makes them tick, if they are a family or genome I can label and self-identify. Put them strangely on display in silly dresses, prose and names. Lay them on a coffee table and see how harmless they are in public. And in my quiet walks back home from nowhere in particular, no baggage to call my own, when the grass shifts a certain way and I know that pain is coming- I brace myself for whats to come, welcome what beast might let tears and taring sear me to the bone. Yet these days nothing leaps out any more, and I stroll home empty handed and disappointed.

But my little jar is ready.

Your Mother Survived Food Poisoning So I Know What That Mouth Do (aka Punch Death In The Face)

So many feelings come trumpeting
when I delude myself to
thinking what I do is best for everyone.
I am guilty of being terrible
at myself. What are the nouns?

Noble,
Caring,
Answers text messages,
Thoughtful &
Always Likes Your Selfies,
Empathetic,
Helpful,People Minded,
Caring and
Answers text messages and

I run out of synonyms and chances
to make matters better because
I am a small time monster

Devouring

the little chances I get
to prove otherwise.

Endings Remind You Of Beginnings Because They Are The Same Damn Thing (aka When God Closes A Window, He Barricades The Door)

My favorite color is orange and I look terrible in it.

I like the brightly colored type ones, so when I walk in public I get mistaken for a convict or traffic cone.¬†They laugh, with or at me, which to be honest is the same thing. There’s only a six degree difference between what I believe and what everyone else has thought of me. Mistaken daemons I try desperately to ghost and live up to.

Tis the season- summer makes me hunger for what I like to eat. Great Gatsby and summer novel novelties, a couple glasses of wine stained status updates and I’m suddenly a habit. Called between the off hours of 10 and 12, not quite late enough to be desperate, not nearly early enough to take serious.

I let my phone ring like the jingle of my car keys. Riding hot like that chick with red riding hood, only my basket is full of opiodes and hashtags and I haven’t spoken to my grandma since they shot Tupac. Not so hot of a topic. Don’t lie like that t-shirt doesn’t make a real thing like self sacrifice seem awesome when it’s pleated. Making an ass of martyr’s, but damn, it looks good.

Che Guevera would have hated us, but I like the way you look terrible in it.

I Told A Witch Doctor I Was In Love With You. And Then The Witch Doctor, He Told Me What To Do, He Said {get over it}

Tonight I’ve got an appetite for applying love songs to someone it doesn’t belong.

I’m only Marlboro Red-ing when I’m heavy into missing you at 2 in the morning. People are disposable, and I overlook them like songs I used to love and skip without a thought when they come up on a playlist.Contingent on the inevitable, when I can tell something is close to its ending I can’t help looking elsewhere. Skimming to the back page of a boring book, always opening another beer before I’ve even finished the last one. It isn’t wasteful, but a muscle memory that makes me tentative of what’s ahead. Admitting an early defeat and preparing for the next one. Head full of grays and a heart full of yesterday. The feelings that live inside me are cannibals, constantly feeding off of one another.

Trying to decipher them is an exercise in futility, like second marriages, or microwaving French fries. You’re just setting yourself up for disappointment.

But I go through the motions. Hop on a midnight train to South Houston on nothing but a buzz and Metrocard. On a road to nowhere and baby I’m in a rush, to Coralines, to the bar you kind of liked and where I wander into when the mood of you strikes and hits too hard to stay home. Sometimes I haunt where we had a life like a specter, and the way I see it, you can take your goddamn love, but I’m keeping the memories (and the dog.)

I need someone to blame it on anyway.

I love this place now, Coralines, even if the music is shit and the drinks are watered down. The walls are crumbling and the floor is always dingy, but I love this place, because it’s where I loved you, once. I love this place and all the personal secrets it holds. The stool you slipped and fell off of when we first met, the ash trays graffitied in ashes and name-tags we swore we would add our names to but never did. The corner table where we held each other as if it were the only thing keeping us from falling into the crowd or sky. Where we fell so deep into each other. Each half emptied beer can and wilted counter flower is a display case in my own personal museum of one of the happiest moments in my life.

And don’t get me wrong: this is not some all or nothing confession/attempt to win you back. There is no recovering from where we’ve been, no going back since what we’ve done to each other. But I like having somewhere so loud with joy, somewhere I can come to forget the now and slip into yesterday without needing the bottle. You always said I drank too much, not to forget, but to remember.

I can have this and not want to have you back, can’t I?

Omaha Hold ’em (While You Still Can) aka V-Day Reveries

Bed covers don’t cover much besides
cold feet and the secrets two lover share,
immaterial particulars wondered out of window sills,
hiding in plain sight from a stranger or husbands eye.
No heat or warmth in this dire night,
only bodies and bed pillows tainted in the thin
perspiring evidence of gentle sin. Wrinkled
like my grandmother’s hands
before she died and used to show me
how to play Casino and read a tarot.

On the nightstand by the record player
are a deck of cards, red, already shuffled,
predestined. The queen of diamonds lays across
the jack of spades while the king rest against
his back and heart. Two fools frolic in his castle,
but for how long? Soon another hand must come
to be claimed a victor, another game will be played,
and all the characters take on another role.

Jacks low, deuces wild,
aces high, aces high.

Tonight might be anything short
of a gambling addiction, only,
it’s not the high or numbers I’m chasing, but
a feeling. The egg timer clicking, a timer,
a wet shade of grey inching across our shared living.
Room quiet like a gasp, and the alarm clocks ring
will be the sigh. Sunrise. Yawns. Brushed teeth
and breakfast as the roulette wheel of responsibility
begins to spin again. My heart winces at the thought,
wondering, unable to determine where I will fall
among the kings and queens of 52. Universe 25
at 9:00AM waving undecided as the flowered blinds
bordered up against the strain of morning sky.

But the day is coming, no matter
how hard I fight. Time is a cruel dealer
and our winning streaks come to an end.
Another hand, another round of betting.
The fools laugh, the king reigns, diamond
and spade slide across table as strangers,
tainted, but quiet, and forced to look the other way.

Jacks low, deuces wild.
Aces high, aces high.