04.12.19

the auditorium seating is never comfortable

there is never enough leg room and the 

angle of the seat back isn’t quite right

but I left the cafeteria dance to come

see you sing and felt VIP and ditched

my new boyfriend to see you sing and 

I was so proud so proud I was so proud 

you were busy so you didn’t see how proud

but I was so proud and max could wait because 

he already lived in my bio a digital headstone that

allows me to summarize his entire life in order to pee

on him and everywhere around him so no one thinks to 

go near him I left max in a circle of pee and I came to you 

because I wanted to see you sing and figured that the tactic

was secure enough that I would go back afterwards and there

max would be in the circle waiting for me to return because when

you’re in someone’s bio you may as while slit your palms and press 

them to each other because this is real true love we’re talking about

people the truest love the truest exhibition of love that anyone who

wants to can confirm in writing I left to see you play and couldn’t

even drive yet but it mattered that much to me it mattered a lot 

and then later I taught you to ink screens and the motions too

that would cover people in cotton as they sway in the grass

and mud by the dog park or the napping hill the gravel lot

you were late but I love you and love for tardy is as real 

as my love for max was I think because tardy sucks

and people who are tardy suck ass I put aside all

the time I could even without it I was supposed

to be learning I’m not sure you even would’ve

known where I was if I had not told you so 

but I put aside the time because i want 

you to see how proud of you I am I am

so proud of you I’ll leave whoever to

see you sing and I’ll forgive you for

leading me into thorn bushes that

take months to get to I will wait 

for you to swallow that big frog

that moved into your throat and

probably died and maybe when it

died and started to degrade to bits 

room forms to shake our hands again

and for a minute it was like leaving the

cinderblocks and laminate tiles where a

gap between bodies was mandated by a 

man who lost part of his finger and a man 

who called me baby it was like saying bye to

max surrounded by urine and hearing the song

all over again that’s what it was like even when

you knocked on the door and you were saying a

sorry for a dig that dug it was still a time to dance

then I’m alone on the sidewalk again but this time I 

don’t cry or yell I just walk away and down the stairs

and over the bridge and I find a place to eat a burrito

outside and pretend you never came back at all and I

pretend that I never left max or the bathroom where a

woman was asking mom if I could have max and I pretend 

i was never VIP and pretend there weren’t a lot of moments 

spent excited about the work and I pretend that the three of 

us are standing in order on a dock waiting for a fish show

04.05.19

 

Bryant Road Guard Rail

 

we loved the chance to 

exercise the heist.

we loved to be somewhere 

for an hour by demand,

and be elsewhere 

to throw rocks into the creek.

to pretend a farmer appears after

we hold our breaths over the bump.

to scratch a bat-mobile and blame it

on a high school parking lot punk.

we loved to loop in behaved

to the heist way of life

and get ice cream and convert.

i wonder if they ever knew, 

from the dirt on our jeans or

faces after insurance.

I wonder if they ever knew

and just let us

exercise 

03.29.19

As long as I don’t die in an IHOP

 

paper walls that toes go through

And Julian Casablancas

Get you a clean cup 

Cuz you seem like a clean pup

Sit on the bench 

To catch your breath and 

jawless dogs will calm you down when

Hedge fund guy is guessin’ your town

Doin’ your charts on the way 

to the chart reader

multiple inks to suggest time

Look down if there’s congrats

wishing compliments were dead

There’s an energy today

You can see it in shirt patterns

you can feel it in your dry mouth

you can smell the cinnamon 

And withstand the tingle

dry can come from busy

stop telling all the stories

when the mole pops up

You don’t have to whack it

Fancy matches make fancy fire
but a couch is a fancy thing

No matter the couch

Because of how we can

utilize teamwork 

and be on it

02.26.19

 

When Buck wakes up there isn't a second that goes by before Buck is in neutral.

Eyes crunchy, moving like those goats who get spooked into stiffness and tumble, but Buck doesn't fall he knows this journey like he knows when the microwave hits the right ding ding.

 

He touches walls and dresser, passes hand over lamp thick with dust and a sneeze with spit strings in wind, he, Buck, he is sensitive to dust and he doesn't mix toothpaste for cortisol when he brushes and doesn't miss bowl when he pees and even leaves the seat down for Meredith, what skill!

Buck can feel the shirt color and remains very stylish and knows the inches from the bedroom to top step as well as he knows the volume on the remote control for his stereo system that he wired up to a preamp all eyes crunched, less for the sound quality and more so that he can say preamp in the retellings, but what really worries Meredith is that Buck gets behind the wheel.

 

She, Meredith, reminds him of windshields. She, Meredith, talks about camels in sandstorms. But none of Meredith's points, her points, land with Buck and it's proving to put a strain on their relationship, Buck and Meredith's relationship. Buck is good at what Buck believes he should do and he gets to work every day at 9 on the dot he can hear the second hand reach the 12 like he can tell if it's a roach or a spider's footsteps and he has never been pulled over by a cop and even works as a driving test giver at the DMV as his career and he did all of this walking like goats and feeling with hands and maybe also nose that his shoes are a set. 

02.12.19

if rewind rewound right now

i’d be a happy cat,

but the tape is stuck 

in the player in the minivan 

that will later be totaled 

by a deer with no will

to carry on the life of a deer.

and rafiki hits a guy over 

and over and over again with a stick

it doesn’t mattuh - it’s in dee past

but it isn’t if the past has beverages

and decides to use fingers

in ways far less pleasurable

than the fingers that could 

be utilized far more pleasurably.

if hitting a pal over the head with a stick

was an okay way to make the point

i’d do it over and over and over again

but not to a pal, just to the special cats

that think they can hang

when actually, if they are there,

it becomes apparent to me why

deer might jump in front of minivans.

but maybe deer have it better 

without any fingers that can do

any harm after beverages tell them to.

but how much do beverages 

really enforce anything?

the watering hole doesn’t get anyone

spouting out thoughts that they shouldn’t,

it just quenches the thirst.

why can’t beverages just

quench the thirst and that be the end of it,

and the tape can keep playing and not 

be stuck reminding viewers that 

things in the past can make deer

jump in front of minivans?

if we take the tape out now 

the spool might bend and rip.

then we won’t ever be able to see

from the beginning credits again.

04.05.19

 

what's good?

 

welcome back to the world,

beautiful boy, we missed you while you slept.

welcome back to the world, beautiful boy, 

the time spent without you tracked sand

into the car and I'm sorry for it.

I didn't plug the vacuum back in

after last time so it's not charged.

so we will have to wait 30 minutes. 

I hope this does not upset you,

beautiful boy. 

I hope next time you'll join us

at the box. 

03.29.19

 

pressured into proofread

 

most of the stuff is made up

urgency especially 

my urgency and her urgency and their urgency and his urgency

don’t spend time shooting hoops at the same courts 

I had food poisoning last week and

Ordered pedialyte and crackers 

Because anything can be ordered

And all the orders are urgent

I had food poisoning last week and 

I ordered pedialyte and crackers

But the guy only brought the pedialyte

And campaigned for a tip on the app

Sometimes bed is the one to shoot hoops with for days 

especially when depending on electrolytes to neutralize 

there were days I wanted to feel like this

Prayed for it like mom tells me to pray

Pray away the vomit

Pray away the hate and away the thoughts she won’t hear

medicine’s unnecessary when you can kneel bedside

close your eyes and talk up to the stars

or look at a random page of the bible

and read it over and over again 

like she suggested

til you understand

Or think about the government and how they’re involved

Maybe the government can reverse the poisoning

We made it through, we took a shower and carried forward and got the crackers ourselves

And then when someone tells you that they have food poisoning, 

and that they are so sad and alone, you know what not to do 

You won't tell them to pray

you won't tell them they're not alone

Because they and you are and were alone

so alone that you're emptying yourself

you’re even less alone with yourself than usual 

there’s probably less of you 

Whatever the end of the day is to anyone

pedialyte bed might do the trick

11.29.18

jump and touch the beam in the parking garage

to show how tall you are on graduation day,

jump and touch the sign for the train to show

how tall you are and maybe put a friend on your

shoulders for better access

to peel down their finding.

jump and touch the clock in the hall in the school to show how tall you are and how you own the hands or to scold the hands for owning you or to show the hands that you can shatter or snap weak digits.

jump and touch the ledge down the stairs to show how tall you are and feel the jolt at the front of a great fall and what it might be like to swing and miss but you'd never miss cuz your fingers are long enough.

you got snot on my cheek and your socks didn't match and i didn't care and i cried about rabbits or maybe pencils i wept in my head and i noted i jumped so tall i've run out of liquids to fund the next jump and the next jump and the jump after that and that's probably less desirable than obvious wetness because it seems like a lie.

a toothbrush is so tender especially between long fingers a toothbrush is something anyone can jump for no matter the height or the length because it probably wouldn't be stored all that high there'd be no reason.

01.29.19

pillows shouldn’t be under cars

I watched fingers set traps with

sharp teeth and didn’t stop them

and pretended not to see them 

on my walk later in the cold

and I saw a pillow under a car

and wondered who might 

find comfort beneath metal guts

above asphalt derm

feet shouldn’t step in traps when

eyes see ‘em get put in their place

under multiple trees

meeting someone on an

empty stomach and 

being offered too much water

because of misdirected assistance

from a man who must’ve known best 

and may have been a way out 

if he hadn’t felt such a need to hydrate me

and I kept drinking it to avert my eyes

and feel the burning in the privacy

of the counter surface

Waiting at the Pharmacy, a poem for Jon Frier
Full poem:

I’m s’posed to know

All there is to know

About dyin’ cuz

Look at me

All bones showin’

S’posed to be knowin’

How many days passin’

Before the maggots

Start harassin’

I look like i am

S’posed to know

They tell me, they say,

They tell me, hey! You!

Tell me the best

Way we should lay!

I think about books I read

That might have told me

Explicity how to be dead

I know i had shelves, many shelves,

There were planks and brackets

And they held up weight

But no matter how hard I squint

I can’t seem to regain any fine print

What a waste to have spent

All that time with those books

If i can’t use the info

To verify my looks

The best way to lay

In the grave could be

On your back

Face to sky

Hoping planes

Might fly by

I hope that’s enough

Just a guess i am sayin’

But to my credit

It’s much more than just layin’

© Kelly Garrett 2020