You, Who Are An Argument For Not Being Alone
The man who works upstairs from the shop where i chronicle the end of civil discourse tells me that i am the nicest person who works in this building . The woman who hosts the poetry reading where i bartend tells the audience that i am an asshole . winks without using her eyes . that she only likes one of the two of us tending bar . In a year i will remember only one of these events
Three of my exes . men who love men . men without jobs . men without jobs who love men with jobs . post classist memes in support of politicians who hate them for four different dehumanizing reasons . only one is envy . I wonder . does someone have to be stupid to love me . or just lack self awareness
When my closest friends moved away . i stopped drinking alone . stopped enjoying the company of those who drank alone with me . lost other bartenders’ phone numbers . stopped drinking with other bartenders . stopped exploiting free drinks . stopped going to parties with my alcoholic friends . All my friends are alcoholics . some in recovery . most not yet or ever
When my closest alcoholics moved away . i stopped drinking alone . i stopped mostly drinking . i did not stop being alone
I do not miss drinking . or you . very much . when i am not alone . I do not miss the awareness of my body . the not tripping over sidewalks or tongues or you or your friends or myself or stairs or the light fantastic or whatever obstacles i placed in my own path and blamed someone else for . I do not miss listening to dull strangers in poorly lit rooms . I do not miss my friends being strangers
You tell me about your loneliness . how it tastes the same no matter which continent you land on . how it waves goodbye when your new strangers invite you out for drinks . but then . there it is waiting for you at the bar . already tipsy and calling your name
Oh god . am i your loneliness
Sometimes . when i am home and everyone else is away . i call your name without touching any part of myself . but usually i forget that you exist
Maybe we are each other’s . loneliness
My worst ex . wrecking ball . pluto . defective tube in a neon sign . fictional land i once believed home . keeps finding work and lovers like they are pennies . and he lives in a fountain at the center of a naive village
I wish he were lonelier than us
Ugh . lonely . Destitute of companionship . isolated . even when surrounded by people . society . a raft of hands . Lonely . The condition of self-exile . The song on everyone’s lips when the lights go out unexpectedly . The most common word in a realist’s vocabulary . A drink with no recipe . You when we met . Me when we met . Us when we were together . A nuptial ponzi scheme . A rent to own lifestyle
How were we ever any of this without each other
The woman who lives across the street . invites me to dinner with her terrible nephew . tells me we have a lot in common .
You call while i am inventing a reason to stay home . you do not say anything memorable . do not give me a reason to do anything but stay same as i ever am . do not offer company or conversation . just a steady stream of how awful the world is without . each other
17 Rebeccas Crossing The Street Against The Light
The cappuccino wasn’t foamy enough and
had to be sent back
The cheese had not been melted properly on the panini
and so they were not going to pay full price thank you
The cars were approaching at a reasonable speed and
they were nowhere near a crosswalk but
sometimes you can’t wait
There are clothes to return and
servers who don’t smile enough and
why would anyone even wear those shoes out of the
I know, right
Where is the fleet of pink Cadillacs with box plows
to clean this refuse from the street?
Where are the ancestors of the coyotes killed for their trendy winter parkas
blood hungry and beautiful?
the plucked geese
(who, themselves, are entitled assholes)
hissing and cold so their coats could be warm?
Where are their parents who still pay their bills
because the twenty-first century is too expensive for anyone under fifty
whose parents are still alive?
Where is my humanity in all of this?
Has it refused to pay the full price of respect for someone else’s individuality
because a few of their behaviors haven’t set properly?
Is it wearing a parka made of teeth with bleach blonde trim?
Is it running into traffic to tell the world how important it is?
Alarm (noun): a warning sound, a signal for attention
The sound morning makes to steal you from dreams . Surprise . Every day the same surprise . A buzzing in your pocket . A howl in a forest when you do not live near a forest . A howl in a city that once was a forest . A nagging reminder that the day requires movement. A thing to snooze . A raised voice before you touch something hot . But everything's burning these days . keep your hands to yourself . A red switch in a school for avoiding homework . To cause fear . sometimes when no danger is present . A bipartisan political ploy . An unethical journalism tactic . Tabloid sales booster . How can there always be a state of emergency . There is a state of emergency . moreso than the last time there was a state of emergency . The boy who cried wolf was actually being chased by wolves . but the old wolves were slow and elderly and we assumed they wouldn't catch him . they caught him . but he lived. Now there are bigger wolves . Now the boy . injured in the last attack . is slower . The bells have been clanging for so long . it's difficult to remember to hear them
(I'm compiling the Terrible Poets' Thesaurus by reading poems by unfamiliar writers and jotting down unusual word choices. Once I find a term three times, I attempt to define it by deconstructing it as it appears to me in the context of the poems in which they're used, which are unlikely to be the way the authors intended them. Alternately, I look at my own poems and find words that I overuse and attempt to imagine how others might interpret them.)
What Is This All About?
This page is where the content from previous poetry blogs have been condensed. It's not on the menu, since most of these projects are over, or on hiatus, but the posts are still here to peruse.