The One About Time Travel

six shots of espresso and a pint of whiskey.
a cloudy grey sky and a hole in the sole of my shoe.
rotting teeth and a shiny new iphone.
nice to meet you. nice to see you.
how have you been?

it’s been past my bedtime for three weeks.
i’ve missed every meal.
i miss one thing in particular.
friday morning, friday night,
saturday, sunday.

how are you? where are you going? can i come?
write a grocery list and spend all of your money on beer and cigarettes.
pet the cat. wake up without falling asleep.

look at the food behind the sneeze-guard glass.
smile at the barista. buy coffee.
the weight of an old notebook and a pint of whisky on your back.

a pint of whisky and six shots of espresso.
grey sky and the hole in your shoe.
rotting teeth and your shiny phone.

how have you been?

The One About Bad Timing

the trunks of these trees form columns the color of fresh brick.
through blank, glittering ice and snow clinging thickly to them,
i see black-green needles hanging limp under the weight.

the earth wearing through on the slope,
rubbed raw by the bootsoles of heavy foot-traffic,
shows the color of georgia clay.
this place is cold, but would surely be beautiful in summer.

broad expanses of frozen mountain foothillsides
flash in the early afternoon sunlight.
they seem closer, smaller and more easily conquered
in the young, bleaching glare.

we climb a steepslick path smoothed to sheet ice
from powdersnow by continuous friction.
later we will ski back down on our sneakers.
there is nothing for us here or anywhere.

The One With the Frog

a frog lying weightlessly upon her soft back
on a lily pad floating down a river
raises her left foot and spreads her toes wide.

lifting her leg still higher,
she eclipses the moon with the taut skin
stretched between her long bony metatarsals.

cold reflected light filters through the thin flesh,
lighting it with a pink internal glow
and silhouetting the delicate arteries that cross it.

she idly traces the pulsing arteries using
the sensitive tip of her long outstretched tongue.
feels the blood pumped through them
with each squeeze of her amphibious heart.

satisfied that she still lives,
she wraps her powerful tongue
around her own ankle

and with a single sharp tug
swallows herself whole,
disappearing without a sound.

The One at the Swimming Pool

the sun came up today – out today.
it is beautiful and brightblinding.
it is sweater warm and then pan hot.

i buy two packs of cigarettes
and walk home from the corner store.

on the way, in the complex of apartments that i live in,
i pass the pool.
it is shallow,
and the tiles laid around it direct you not to dive.

when i first moved here,
the pool was a deeply sick, cloudy green.

today, the sun’s light refracts off the contours
of its crystal rippling ugly-smooth surface.

my toes peek out of the holes of my old shoes
at the lower frame of my vision.
one of them is bleeding.

as i stare into the patterns that appear,
and play with each other,
across a halfway dense collection of H2O molecules
(gathered here for the entertainment of a small
population of lower-middle-class to poverty line
living human beings)
i begin to think and feel tired.

i crash my body onto a white plastic chaise lounge,
a number of which are arranged around the pool.

the surface under my ass,
made up of many parallel crossbars,
is broken wholely down the center.

as i fall through the flexing pinchers it creates
i catch and raise myself back up.

upon lifting and replacing myself gently,
i am light enough
(after the initial impact of the sleepy, sunny dropping
of my body)
to rest on the unsupported dry white plastic,
and so i rest here.

the sun warms and then burns the dry white plastic bones
beneath my thin flesh.
my eyes droop in the hot morning light.

it has been raining for a week.
it has been stuffed grey for over a week.
but the sun is out this morning.

The One From the Future

five hundred thousand million years from now
in new york or london or beijing or somewhere else:

people are shoulder to shoulder,
shuffling under neon-dark lights.

with cloth wrapped across their faces
to keep the death out of their lungs,
they attempt to rebuild on old foundations.

or else there is no one left at all
to cough and choke in the ruined world.

The One About Total Ego Death

my arms extend from my body at every conceivable angle, simutaneously –
infinitely repeated and overlapping pinwheel blades.

as i twirl through a blinding void of silent cacophony
a million million fingers stretch,
with straining joints, to their very limits:
their tips grazing along the silken fabric of (nothing/everything)

like gyroscope needles sliding across a thousand billion pages,
each page spinning independently along its individual axis –
they cut bright lines across the space;
creating a gracefully curving intersecting latticework of light.

i die a hundred trillion deaths,
and experience every one of a coinciding number of births –
each full and resplendent with the fear and joy
and anguish and pain due to it.

like a flower endlessly blooming fresh petals
outward from its bright and heatless center
and shedding them from its outer edge.

the petals fall away and dissipate into the void,
only to coalesce anew and be drawn once more upward
to bloom fresh from the center of creation.

to stretch upward and reach outward
as they travel across its surface
to the outermost edge
where they reenact their withering death.

it is all one endless motion.

The One With M.C. Escher

there is a macabre fascination in seeing a dead bird
lying on the pavement.
the same fascination felt when seeing a dead fish
floating on the surface of a body of water.

these creatures live nearly all of their meaningful lives
above and below us, while we exist in the dividing line.

our imaginations are entrapped by both forms of creature
because we can never experience
the things they must consider commonplace.

a famous M.C. Escher drawing –
in which bird and fish tesselate against
and in between one another. –
perhaps is meant to illustrate this spherical plane
in which we live our lives.

we live in the realm where they come to rest.
they stress effortlessly against forces that we can never hope to fight,
and when they die they fall upwardly or downwardly
to the inbetween place that we call home.

The One About Entropy

rain crashes on the tables and chairs
outside this shiny little bar downtown.
we shelter inside under the weight of the clouds.
we cling to drink or work or food or conversation.

we expertly convince ourselves and each other
that our surroundings are not falling apart;
endlessly breaking down into their component parts.

water falls across the glass in sheets as we peer through it
at an unfamiliar, distorted, and entirely changed setting.

barely perceptible erosion disassembles
the environment that we percieve as permanent.
pavement is a little less each day, after every storm.
rain smashes and wind whips away the detritus.

warm, electric light and music keeps us all safe,
and contained, inside of a twenty-four hour period.

everything shifts and rearranges around us.
what was yesterday is something else today.
something is gone. some things are new.