In one of my poems, I promised to knit you a stupid pet;
I’m not quite sure what I meant, but I think I intended
to give you something heartless and warm that you
could fill with words. There’s no shame in admitting
that the voice hidden under your tongue still whimpers
for table scraps. I have my own stuffed water buffalo
that gives me bad advice—once, it even swore to me
that our threadbare love needed nothing but knitting.
Inventing the new alchemy is all about learning to turn
nothing into something. Nothingness is omnipresence,
like complaints of Starbucks’ omnipresence. Whenever
you complain, I anagram you into finding my fingernails
irresistible. It’s not like life has to always make sense,
right? When I wave my hand toward the TV, it turns on.
When I hold your hand, both our brains go static, black.
One night, in a bar, a woman came up to me and handed me her business card. She asked me if I had ever considered a career in acting. I was flattered and offended all at once, but I pretended to be unaffected; my audition had undoubtedly begun. I told her that I wasn’t a smart man, but I knew what love was. She said, “I’m married.” I said, “I’m sorry—I’m not that kind of actor.”
The flight was overbooked, so they gave us free passes to the zoo. We dragged our luggage down the path, past the gorillas and the giraffes. The place smelled nothing like a plane. We were all thinking of home, how simple it was to adjust the thermostat, to get a glass of milk from the fridge. Without speaking, we had all agreed that we wanted no part of the skies, no matter how friendly. It made sense at the time—walking around and around the zoo until it turned into our lives
The doctor says he needs to take a culture,
as if, from my throat, some remote tribe
will be captured, their language murdered, their magic
a tragic casualty of my continued insignificant existence.
To them, I dedicate my return to perfect health,
my imperfect new accent.
Even in death, Billy Mays
wants me to be
driving a scratch-free vehicle
down an empty freeway
or gliding both hands, both palms,
across an impossible lawn
or listening to the silence
that sings from icy bathroom tile.
Late at night, he still speaks to me,
tells me my poetry is
Nothing I write is fit to survive me,
so he gives me the secret
to decomposing gracefully,
teaches me to speak with my hands
or teeth or whatever remains.
How To Use Photoshop As A Tool For Introspection
Control-C. Control-V. Repeat.
Transpose all of your photos
and you’ll see the great party of your life.
Look at your own eyes in that moment—
so lucky, dumbstruck, troubled.
Happy birthday. Welcome home. Bon voyage.