The road must’ve been clear
when you lifted your hands for release,
when you courted the devil with indifference.
For a moment you were the prodigal son:
giddy with love, half-drunk and missing work.
It was a sad, sick violation of time out here.
Out here where words are objects.
Out here where drinks are obligations
and smoke scrapes the Muse and
elitists ditch humanity for the theory of the week.
You choked on claims without results.
You saw progress through hatred.
You gave motor control to a stolen bag of something.
You stay in bed when the sun won’t show
and say it’s always the wrong day to write.
The road must’ve been clear
The Typist spent a great deal of time wandering through the catacombs. It may have been two days since he had felt metropolitan daylight on his face, or it may have been two years. In any case, he chose to avoid thinking of time and its pressures. He designated himself to an unspoken form of discovery instead.
He walked down a very ruinous passageway running parallel to a hall he had explored for a number of hours. The area was ill-lit, with torches that lined the walls at intervals. When his eyes adjusted, he was able to discern the shapes of desiccated human bodies. Frightened by the sight, he ascended a tenuous ramp rather hurriedly and found that it led him to a decayed tapestry.
There was an inscription on it which denoted the purpose of the catacombs. Although the inscription specified fundamentally traditional use, the Typist was in search of an alternate explanation. He looked to his feet and saw the vestiges of a man: corroding gray bones littered beside a skull. He turned his attention back to the tapestry and saw that it was gone. In its place was a great aperture, about seven feet in height and five feet in width. Without hesitance or consideration, he proceeded into obscurity–
–twelve years old and he’s already been nearly choked to death, purple-faced clawing at his father’s forearms while whimpering and cursing sputters on kitchen linoleum. He’s resolute when he explodes from the screen door, clattering down the cul-de-sac trailing blood, patriarchal roars hammering his thoughts. He’s nonresponsive to the older kids surrounding him. A hockey stick arcs upward and swoops down to cleave his shin in half. He tightens his lips and retaliates with a smirk. His bone gleams in July sunlight while he limps to the dollar store to buy himself a comic book and candy
twenty years old and he’s scuffling behind a pickup truck with a still-burning cigarette teetering between the cracks of his fingerless glove. Two guys stand beside him, faceless guys who are untrustworthy but unafraid. They hiss insolence, pop mescaline, flick switchblades, slug foamy beer down razor-burned throats. The impostors find them and there’s a lot of bone-on-bone thudding. The familiar sound of punctured skin crunches through the din. Someone spews vomit or blood all over his arm. It extinguishes his cigarette; he can feel it soak through his glove and trickle down his palm
thirty-seven years old and the woman he just fucked is swatting at him with clumsily sweeping motions, screaming feverish nightmare delusions across the motel room. His face is craggy, the muscle in his arms has melted into colorless flab, shapeless folds push through his undershirt. He holds a glass of rye above his head, away from the assault. He waits for her rage to relent while welts rise on his neck and back; he watches her naked collapse before propositioning semi-conscious sex on crusty carpet–
The tapestry was a device like any other, with functions that served the narrative. The Typist descended the ramp very slowly and returned to the catacombs. There was much more of the area that he desired to explore.
When you first see him
he surveys you through
eyelids made of ennui
and slops words through
holes chewed into cuticles.
He has poetic license
(so say the chemicals bubbling
between chafed lips).
He drools apocalyptic between
cautionary tirades, clutching at
strands of consciousness
that sprout haywire from his scalp.
He tugs them free;
they drift to your feet in bleeding clumps.
He sucks down the dregs of a mouthwash daydream,
offers you the plastic bottle then sizzles out
into iced wind and violent prophecy.
He leaves the room unnoticed,
where echoes of unfiltered
sobs mark a return to form.
He’s on the verge of slitting
his way to a breakthrough,
but he’s defended by the
brotherhood of the emotionally stunted.
A percussion of liquor begins
to tint space, blackening his
sense of time.
He straightens his back to
forge celebration, leaving a
wreckage of questions behind.
To those who are able, he promises
staged tranquility in exchange
He conserves fate for another weekend.
He went somewhere that night. Half-woken mornings brought out his insides while lime wedges graced cheekbones. His eyes slanted into insomniac stories. He leaned on the bar and tilted his head to listeners. He concentrated on the colour of hands. He was dusty hair, week-long stubble and badly fitted clothing. He went somewhere that night. He spewed anecdotes in a toilet bowl and clung to a broken soap dispenser. He popped an eardrum in a bleeding encounter. He found an exit in the crowd. He went somewhere. It was probably that night, hurtling down some exit lane with red retinas and flecks in his corneas. If you listened closely enough, you could probably hear a dying outro through all the droning commotion.
A shapeless man rustles on the mud-painted train platform, swaying in a nylon jacket. Euphoric sanity throbs on a gray face full of decades waiting. He is a servant to sepia memory, pivotal lines in a dining room that relented to ashtrays. He knew the name of every bottle aligning his stovetop; heavy almond drops on birthday cards, business cards glowing with powder. He once identified his flaws in a bargain bin and scrawled an obituary for misplaced family members to read. He cascaded down the staircase, stood, and left scars there with acidic pride. Now he embodies clarity. He submits himself to a C train, drops down with quiet intent and disappears under rumbling sparks.
He’s been in this room
from the moment he was born.
Wallpaper alternates, bile rises.
After terse self-remarks
he wards sickness away,
somewhere near the bookshelf.
He paces three
meters by four meters.
The space says
something to him but
he averts his attention.
A lurch puts him down
by the heat register again.
Minutes of gasping…
he’s back up.
A wide drawer with a
conspicuous weapon puts
emphasis on his nausea;
there’s time to consider.
– the gun? – consideration,
then directionless paces,
then reflections on love:
succubus tapestries of
lightning-fast sex by dark light.
He’ll always fuck once or twice,
acceptance for an hour.
He castrates events with
fits in the corner,
then comforts himself with
a cyclical march.
He remembers unease by
the parking meter,
holding her hand.
He remembers doctor’s appointments
loading him with pills:
They deadened his obsessions in a
bedtime tussle, fixation
on the wide drawer and
He paces again,
burns on the heat register,
mutates motivation with a pen.
The cabbie who slapped his wife lost gas money in a bar. He resents smiles and considers a second round. Microscope religion eases him. Sidecar defendants clutch their purses while he babbles back-to-back guidance from above; taglines, Scriptures, and a flash of sadist tension. He hides stories in the rear view, douses them with shots of fuel and fourteen D.U.I.’s. He merges into a sideways glare, hangovers crusted on faulty ignition. His smoked eyes recollect pavement into a millisecond. He’s got a record of assault and a passage in the glove; two months saw him grinding his teeth at the gear shift, exposure put him in the driver’s seat. He has no drywall to rupture now, no quaking women. He’s a lucid mortician; he believes in destiny, but a phone call is not his fault. Descent into mistakes, a bone was jammed in the wrong socket; a gruesome, popping crunch. He stings from incision of speeding tickets, flashlights cleansing his pock-marks, rivulets of blood in the throat. He fumbles for a wallet and it bursts to reveal its contents: stagnant credit cards, condoms, frightened clients in skirts. His fist opens to show a finger; watch it glow Biblical at the stop lights, then lower to make rhythm with the road. His shaded face tells passengers to hear the crackle of radio fuzz and hear God inside the static. Hear an echo of mischief in the back seat; dried splatters, a palm full of tooth fragments. Hear the deliberation in his words: he fucked up, the police aren’t fair. Listen to taxi sermons permeate upholstery; rude, rowdy rum reminiscence turns into conscious strobe light gestures. Peer into glove compartments, see a Ziploc burn on the girl’s thigh. She has a lighter and a bobby pin, apologetic blowjobs that pivot into stop signs, destination lost, mutilation intact. She’s got the shakes from a boy with addiction to knowledge. Limitless mileage brings union for a moment; she recalls blood on her gums and dysfunctional traffic lights. They illuminate her scorch marks, glow into a threatening instant. Her translucent glasses mirror a failed breathalyser test, lopsided visions of violent pints. Prescribed hormones balance her temptation; danger broods behind the steering wheel and she feels it. She translates highways, perceives the possibilities of distance. He holds the evening hostage, the pilot of a graphic idea.
all the pub faces said the same thing,
said it while swilling contempt.
I said no, I’ve washed my bed sheets,
but the pub faces said I’m lying,
said it’s right to be angry.
they dropped their spare change
into a glass and changed topic,
but another night brought
pub faces to dictate again.
this is where I come from
with a broken cellphone falling
this is where I come from
pacing at a crosswalk
groping dark for messages
thirsty for more gray drinks
this is where I came from
educated by antisocialism
this is where I’m going,
tracking my idol’s roads