SIT AND CLICK AND SCROLL

SQUEEZE GOO OUT OF FACE

WALK A DOG THAT STANDS STILL

DO IT ALL AGAIN

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zen gardens have always been kind of perplexing to me

the walls are so low that it’s really easy for the sand to fall out

getting sand everywhere doesn’t make me feel very zen

all the little grains are so tiny
but when they’re scattered where I don’t want them to be
they feel much bigger

all the little grains are displaced at the same time
and it makes looking at the part of the garden that is beautiful
feel impossible

the new doctor told me it sounds like
some people have high expectations of me
and it sounds like I have low expectations of me

i looked at little grains of sand outside of where they’re supposed to be
and thought about the sunrise through my dog’s ears

i looked at little grains of sand outside of where they’re supposed to be
and thought about the walk around the city at a quieter hour,
about sidewalks I’ve known long that don’t feel familiar anymore

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buffering

today I curled up in a ball on the floor
and cried in the glow of multiple laptops
while my neighbor buried his dog outside.
I didn’t care that cat litter was under me,
I didn’t care that email was over me.

my parents told me i was real quiet as a kid,

and that my teachers would put me between the loud kids on purpose.

I never had a say in being a buffer.

I wonder about whether I’d be in the same spot now

had I been sitting elsewhere then.

 

my other neighbor has had many jobs and asks me to go to karaoke 3-4 times a week. I always say yes and put off going. today he was on molly and asked me to find the end of his packing tape. he said he was feeling weird so he took molly. I think it’s because his wife left. I was just trying to move the car for alternate side parking. He has a new roommate that isn’t his wife, and I have not seen his kids in a while. His kids are loud and quiet and I wonder where they sit at school. he decided to turn his garage into an airbnb, that’s why he needed to find the end of the packing tape. I found it and walked away and he followed me and kept talking.

 

buffers can probably be spotted and placed from a young age.

they listen and try to provide the right answer

to keep things calm within a certain mile radius.

 

how many buffers get stuck playing the same role

for long stints with the people that choose them.

the people that claim them

they may not realize they just love what a buffer does for them.

 

how many buffers wonder if the love they’re getting is for them,
or if the love is for what they do for the lover

 

how many buffers feel certain about what they’re interested in,
or able to focus when they have a moment to themselves.

how many buffers know what to do if not currently buffering.

 

my neighbor with the dead dog is an old guy now, but was probably a loud kid in class. we hugged today about his dog and I thought about how he has never expected anything from me. I think if he ever was placed by a buffer in school he probably didn’t mold them to his life. I think if he ever was placed by a buffer in school he listened to them.

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bad night

 

tonight is a bad night
you can tell by the stack of snotty toilet paper on the coffee table
i got this coffee table off craigslist from a family
the dad had big earrings and him and his daughter
laid all the tiles out on it together at some point
the mom was really cool and came out to talk to me

for more minutes than she had to, she seemed really busy
they were making a better table

so they were giving this one away
i thought this one was perfect and was happy to have it
i wonder what the better one looks like
they invited me to stay for dinner and i know they meant it
i said thank you and left instead
the dad helped me put the coffee table in the car
i wondered how i’d take it out by myself
somehow i did but i don’t remember how
i just know i was alone
it definitely happened though

because now here i am putting tissues on it
i chatted a suicide hotline tonight
i’ve done that a couple times before
you don’t have to be about to kill yourself to chat a suicide hotline
you just have to be sad
that’s one of the only things i know i qualify for

which feels self indulgent to say
writing all this out also feels self indulgent
but here we are, me, this coffee table, and all of my snot
i like the chats because then i don’t have to talk on the phone
i never fully got the hang of talking on the phone
this chat i for sure wouldn’t return to
because reese told me not to swear

and that felt fucking inauthentic
reese also said that I am very empathetic
i’m not sure if he meant it because it was in writing,

but i’m tired of hearing that
one time a guy stopped kissing me in the middle of kissing me
because he said the way that I kiss is too empathetic
then he tried to give me his cat before he fled to england
i didn’t take his cat because i didn’t understand the gesture at all
i met someone really good not too long after that
then said bye to them right away

and probably logged onto a suicide chat
i have to move the car but at this point i look totally insane
i do not want to smile and wave to any neighbor

or any familiar face
all i do is smile and wave like the penguins in Madagascar
chris rock was the zebra and also he got slapped later in life
i think i might benefit from a slap,

or from shoving my face into a pile of snow
or to see if anything really happens when i don’t move the car
but it is june, and it is just me here

SLUGS

MAYBE WE ARE ALL INSIDE A SLUG,
LIKE HOW THE WORLD IS IN A MARBLE
AT THE END OF MEN IN BLACK.
MAYBE THE SLUG MOVES SLOW ON PURPOSE
TO KEEP US UPRIGHT,
AND IF SALT IS POURED,
WE SWEAT AND CRY OUT
FOR AIR, FOR WATER, FOR SHADE.
AND IF THERE'S AN EARTHQUAKE,
A CHILD MAY HAVE TOOK US FOR A WALK,
AND MAYBE THE SALT

THAT FALLS OFF OUR BODIES
MELTS ICEBERGS, AND THAT EXTRA WATER
MAKES THE SLUG BLOAT—PAST ITS CAPACITY.
TOO MUCH PRESSURE HAPPENS.
WE DON'T KNOW WHERE TO START.
THE SLUG COULD BURST
WITH ANY WRONG MOVE.

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WET BACKPACK

backpack is wet

unprotected by umbrella

lack of marsupial storage

but always carrying stuff carrying stuff

in our backpacks

our sometimes wet backpacks

i saved a salad in there

the box dented

the dent provided opportunity for leak

the rain and the leak agreed and later 

when I turned on my light it burnt out

it burnt out when i touched the switch

i didn't even press the switch

my backpack is soggy for multiple reasons

i couldn't comfortably fix the leak

handling outside food at a function is frowned upon

i fixed it int he bathroom and it was frowned upon

like that man frowned upon his wife

do you have to take that call right now

maybe they aren't married

there was plenty of rain

the patio collected water

like the basketball court on south lexington

malfunctioning drain kinda gave us a swimming pool

if you consider 5 inches enough for a dip

cabbage garden in the corner and sunburnt scalps

prepared gardeners wear hats but dad's in a rush

wet backpack because plant sprouts need transported

in paper towels heavied with nourishment

can you pick up some paper towels on your way home

they aren't good for the environment

but the cats and dogs keep vomiting

why can't they hold onto their insides better

slow down and you won't get sick

calm down and you won't get excited

be down and you won't be too up

if your backpack is wet it can't get wet

SECONDHAND DOGS

it seems prudent to note that one way to benefit

our environment is to choose thrift clothes

one way to benefit our environment

is to wear what someone didn't want

to cover in disregard the price is right

always remember to spay and neuter the pets
man in a suit certainly not thrifted reminded us

the pets you spay them you neuter them

so they don't become more than they are

maybe in another life they have kids

maybe in that life there aren't angry mobs

baby savers and baby killers

who might not note separate collections of equally angry people

choose thrifted clothes and save our earth

or if that doesn't spark interest wear leather and fur

better to wear a secondhand animal though

i know people who kick their dogs

even in their fresh kicks

i remember the man who left puppies on the grill in the park

i think about the people who found the hot dogs

i wonder if they have dogs of their own

it seems prudent to note that one way to benefit our environment

might be checking a dog out from a shelter

like a book from a library

or any other book-lending structure

but the thing about a dog is it doesn't look bad to return a book

and it does look bad to return a dog

looks bad to return a dog to the pound

there isn't anything fresh at the pound

especially a third or fourth hand dog

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NIGHT MODE FISH TANK

IN THE QUIET ROOM THERE IS A FISH TANK

THE BIGGEST FISH ALWAYS HOVERS TOP RIGHT

THIS RULE IS UNSPOKEN

THE OTHERS CRAWL ALONG THE FLOOR

THEY CLEAN UP MESSES

DOWNT HE HALL IS THE PLAN ROOM

FURTHER AROUND THE BEND IS THE WELLNESS ROOM

THERE IS ONLY THE ONE FISH TANK IN THE ONE ROOM

IN THE QUIET ROOM THE LIGHTS STAY OFF

BECAUSE THAT IS HOW TO IMPLEMENT QUIET

TODAY I DID MY ROUNDS

PAST THE QUIET, SHOWER, PLAN, WELLNESS, PHONE ROOMS

INTO THE EATING ROOM

I MADE ALL MY ROUNDS PAST ALL THE ROOMS

FILLED THE ROOM IN MY STOMACH WITH COFFEE

A WOMAN WHO THOUGHT SHE KNEW ME

ASKED ME IF I HAD GOTTEN MY HAIRCUT

I HAD BUT SHE WOULD NOT HAVE KNOWN THAT

I TOLD HER YES BECAUSE IT WAS THE TRUTH

I SPLIT AN ALMOND DOWN THE CENTER

AND RUBBED MY TONGUE AGAINST SMOOTH MEAT

COLD LIKE FIRST SECONDS OF PILLOW CASE

I STOPPED IN THE QUIET ROOM ON MY WAY BACK

TO CHECK ON MY FISH KING, FLOATING IN POSITION

HE FLOATED THERE WIH PURPOSE

THE KIND THAT PROVES HE FACILITATES QUIET

ALMONDS ARE PROBABLY FROWNED UPON IN THIS KIND OF ROOM

THE LIGHTS IN THE TANK WERE NOT DAYLIGHT LIGHTS

THE FISH ARE FORCED TO BELIEVE THE DAY IS NIGHT

THE FISH ARE FORCED TO BELIEVE I NEED THEM FOR QUIET

THE FISH DON'T HAVE ANY SAY IN THEIR CAREER PATHS

I DECIDE IT IS OKAY TO LET THE ALMOND SPEAK

THE FISH KING REACTS TO THE CRACK

BRIEFLY MAKING THE THRONE VULNERABLE

NO ONE TAKES IT THOUGH

WITHOUT HIS GAZE THE QUIET ROOM MAY INCREASE VOLUME

MACHO

maybe all we need

is to search on sidewalks for tables the right height

and maybe when anything is just the right height

other stuff can feel cool

the ceilings in the apartment increase the market value

because when you raise your fingertips

they aren't sliced by whipped cream texture and also they're tall

but the real market value comes

with fans letting air fall across warm bellies

oxygen increases market value

but can't be accurately counted

maybe all we need is to dance to damn sexy funk songs

with our arms and our legs

i fed strawberries that i dropped on the ground to strangers

and i've never gotten over it

i had sex dreams about nathan for you

and look back on them fondly

does truth increase the market value

what if truth fills the rooms to the ceilings that our fingers are safe from

what if lies leave space for more oxygen

more oxygen to be felt on the navels 

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WAKING UP IN SWEAT THINKING YOU PEED YOURSELF

yes we do all we can

for the ungrateful rugrats

yes i agree

we must do all we can

for the ungrateful rugrats

i saw a dog the other day

i saw a dog or maybe it was

a bear or a flying squirrel

whatever i saw couldn't hurt me

couldn't hurt anyone if i stayed looking at it

whatever i saw couldn't hurt anything

if i kept it under my nose

i think about sweat and how it

becomes gauge of proximity

i don't care that it's happening 

so the home isn't compromised

i see that it must be okay

keep an adversary in your line of sight

to make sure they avoid attacking a dog you also see

that dog has cataracts and cannot see great

other people in your life might have cataracts too

which wouldn't protect them as good from adversaries

especially those that can't move with eyes on them

the ungrateful rugrats are protected from this one

we will protect anything that can't see as long as we do

ZEBRAS

LOOK FOR ZEBRAS BEFORE CROSSING THE STREET

AND JUMP OVER ESCALATORS OR BECOME STRING CHEESE

THEY TOLD US EARLY ABOUT THINGS WE MIGHT NEED TO AVOID

AND EXACTLY THE BEST WAY TO DO SO

I LOOK FOR ZEBRAS EVERY TIME CUZ IT'S LAW

I WAS TRAINED TO LOOK

I STEP FAR OVER THE ENDS OF ESCALATORS

AND I STAY IN ONE PIECE

I DO ALL THESE THINGS BECAUSE

OF DEMONSTRATIONS THAT I STILL PULL APART

JUST LIKE WHAT THE ESCALATOR COULD DO TO ME

I LOOK FOR ZEBRAS

BUT THEY DIDN'T STRESS AS MUCH

ABOUT THE ZEBRAS LOOKING FOR ME

IF THEY'RE NOT LOOKIN' THEY MIGHT NOT SEE

IT BRINGS TO LIGHT THAT I REALLY DID LISTEN

AND I REALLY DID REMEMBER TO LOOK

BUT SOMETIMES THAT DOESN'T WORK

MOXIE + HEROES

I'll walk further to admire toxic water

and to locate a trash can for some minutes

just to be the last one there

I'll sit on a bench and pet Moxie

who will ignore peanut butter remnants
served for her on concrete

like when the people leave their pizza on top of the trash cans

 

don't go too far Moxie, Moxie's leash is dragging

and Moxie's eyes aren't suggesting that Moxie will go far

so maybe don't insult her with a flaccid rope

or paw print on the Christmas card. She might be Jewish.

were you drinking a beer in the park 

it's peach fuzz I can do what I want that's what the park's all about

I tell them how it is, how the park is

If I call ahead and rush there, can I reserve the park for my heroes?

in the park we'll drink peach fuzz, me 'n my heroes, in the park!

in the park we'll stretch out all our toes to rid them of the prickles,

no room for prickles in the park.

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VISUHBBLE PANTEES

the wheels are just for decoration

it's an antique, doesn't roll

drawers are known to cause repetitive bouts of fury

because you should know better than to think

that you deserve a smooth opening

or direct path to your selection

for how you'll be seen in the day

you should know better to assume worthy

of a quiet drag and swift cotton sliding over areas

you have to cover at your desk

the high rise is all that you could scramble for

through that crevice that you pried from that jam

think about how other drawers might glide

the clean pants are low rise but just gonna go with it

i wanted my garments under but my garments are out

if i walk like this, maybe you'll believe i did it on purpose

if i walk like that, maybe you'll even do it too

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OINTMENTS

NOT A SOUNDING BOARD TO OTHER FACES

I LOVE THE NAME THERE BUT NOT ANYWHERE OUTSIDE OF THERE

TASTE ALL AROUND TONGUE MAP SECTORS

GUESSING WHICH ONE WILL IT TRIGGER, IS IT BITTER?

IT'S LIKE CAVIAR YOU'VE NEVER BUT YOU TALK ABOUT LIKE YOU ALWAYS

ANSWERING TO DEMONSTRATE REHEARSED PEACE

THAT MIGHT KEEP MOM FROM SENDING YOU PRAYERS

WE GET BURNED AND GOTTA SMEAR THAT CLEAR GOOP

THAT NEVER DRIES AND THEN ENDS UP ON YOUR PANTS,

AND ENDS UP ON YOUR SHEETS

IT NEVER DRIES, BUT YOU FORGET THAT IT'S WET EVERY TIME

BOX

CRADLE RECTANGLE

LIZARD BRAINS FIT INSIDE MEETING CORNERS

HAD A SCREWDRIVER SO I UNSCREWED EVERYTHING

HOME IMPROVEMENT, TIM ALLEN

PAID TO WAIT FOR HOWEVER SO IN THE MEANTIME LAUGH

ABOUT EXITING THE WIZARD

OR ABOUT NOISES SEPARATED BY LOW WALLS

THAT DON'T BLOCK FACES IF YOU STAND UP

GROWING CONSCIENCE PILE

SUPERVISED SPACES MAKE RULES

TO ENVELOPE A GRIND

AND YOUR EXPERIENCE AND MINE MIGHT BE GENERIC

YOU GET ONE, YOU GET ONE, YOU GET ONE TOO,

EVERYONE LOOK UNDER YOUR CHAIR

YOU GOT ONE! YOU ALL GOT THE SAME ONE.

ISN'T THAT SO NICE AND FAIR

LIZARD BRAIN PRODUCERS

MUST HAVE ADEQUATE FOLLOWING
OUR PROMOTIONAL GIFT SCORE

THEN WE WILL GO BAFCK AND THINK

WHAT A WASH

AND HANG OUR OUTERS ON PLASTIC TRIANGLES

BOWED WHERE PANTS MAY REST

UNTIL TOMORROW WHEN THE PLASTIC MAY REST TOO

HOW CRAZY WE BUILD LITTLE ROOMS FOR OUR COATS,

AND CRACK SEALS THAT SMACK US WITH FROOT LOOP BREEZE

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COFFEE, DRINKS & LIGHT BITES COMPLEMENT THE PASTRIES
OFFERED AT THIS CASUAL CAFE

dad prefers think soup over thick soup

says no every time you offer him butternut squash

is it still polite to offer someone squash

when you know someone doesn't want squash

mom got a haircut

she asked the lady how to do it exactly how the lady did it last time

she wanted the lady to remember what she remembered

the lady allegedly didn't remember accurately

dad prefers thin soup and mom doesn't like her haircut

i think thick soup is okay and that mom's hair looks fine

dad likes to wait out front for short term events to start happen and end

mom has to pee and wants honey in her hot green tea

it waits at the counter as her entrance fee

i stare at the green sponge cake

it looked inoffensive when i tried to make him eat something

to calm him down to cool him down

the day he wasn't calm or cool

he thought you add 2 degrees to get the right measurement

but thermometers are honest most times

and he didn't have a fever

powdered sugar in a mustache that sits on a frown is silly

no matter the circumstance

a soft green square for soft green eyes

looked like how that man sister saved on the train might have looked

when she pulled him back from sayin' bye to everyone

throw a leg over a chain between rolling boxes

she pulled him back and said no don't do it despite time spent in bed

her lips are numb, she can't feel powdered sugar

it just stays hanging uninvited

only recent did she connect that powdered sugar

might have something to do with enjoying other lips

something not so nice to do with that

no one has green eyes to match their cake

dad is across the street knocking on things

determining construction solidity

mom forgot to grab a lid

FLAKES​

i hate it when

my skin flakes and peels

right above my left eyelid

right beneath my left eyebrow

i hate it when

skin flecks fall down 

onto the table

as i talk to a dude

or anyone

they fall down from my face

onto the table

like when i put fish flakes

onto the surface

of fish water

i hate it when

my skin flecks are

just the same weight

as the fish flakes

the fish might not even

know the difference

but they are so elated

to see those flakes

i hate it when fish

get left on the sidewalk

in prego jars

full of water and not prego

not at room temp

i hate it when people did that

to these fish that i feed flakes

i tell the dude about the fish

i tell him on wednesday with my thumbs

as the flecks fall i'm relieved he doesn't see

or that if he could he'd just associate

the flecks with the flakes

i tell the dude 4 times

i tell him i like my new fish

later in a bed i say i like my new fish

and he asks what i'm talking about

and there are probably flakes

on my pillowcase

REVIEW

notice a while

little contact

feet make to ground

still holding up bodies and cargo

maybe they can do it

if the contents of a stomach are listed

maybe they can do it

if they feel a book in their pockets

that they need to write their transgressions in

stolen minutes of child behavior in adult rooms

peanut butter spoons

or cinnamon coffee with the cubicle news

type real big to those who never said

they wanted to read it

let drafts stack

wish it was money

sleep early just to make sure

the next day isn't foggy

but today was foggy and last night was early

apple a day for a year

all my husbands are dead now

they hang around on apple cracks in quiet rooms

while i look too much in mirrors that eat days

eat an apple with me in the park

mom and dad will hear the cracks

and know not to call us in before dark

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NO ONE WILL BUY THIS ROOMBA

sorry i bled on your boxers and we didn't talk about it

when we were watching the top of the train,

i was really only looking at freckles on opal or pearl

i never knew my gem stones

and always wanted to know my gemstones

i like rocks, to hold rocks, to pick 'em outta piles

know mine is peridot

don't know if it's pair-uh-dough or pair-ih-dot

i like to choose which rocks don't get piled

mom wants to know

if i was too afraid to go home on the train

could ask what she wants to know but she doesn't

that would shatter blue glass birds

feet would bleed on mopped floors and new rugs

rugs with new lumps underneath them

and bandaid papers would skitter just out of reach

because of ceiling fans in adjacent rooms

 

DONNA'S CHRISTMAS COOKIES ON THE WHITE COUCH

FRAMES OFF OF THE WALL 

LAID OUT ON THE WHITE COUCH

IN THE WEIRD EVERYTHING ROOM

LINEN UPHOLSTERY WITH THE WHITE ON WHITE FLORAL

SLICED MY THIGH OPEN JUST FOR WALKING BY

ALL THE BROKEN GLASS ON THE FLOOR

AFTER STUFF GOT ANGRY

I THOUGHT ABOUT HOW SATISFYING TO BREAK

IT MUST HAVE BEEN

BUT THEN HOW HORRIBLE

TO PULL GLASS BITS OUT OF THE CARPET

SO THAT SMALL TOES WON'T FIND THEM FIRST

HE SAID ON THE PHONE TO STICK MY FACE IN THE WIND

DESPITE FEARING I MIGHT GET SOME DEBRIS IN MY EYE

OR LOSE MY FAVORITE HAT

I'VE YELLED AT THE WIND

 

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EMPANADAS

I like to eat bread with someone who

will just eat the outside and be satisfied

so i can have all the insides and then

the crust won't scrape my face

and leave an unusual mark

that can't go unexplained to askers

and as for the empanadas

D said we're doing them the old fashioned way,

against P's wishes,

we're doing them the old fashioned way,

full patty cooked and chopped not ground beef,

patties in the skillet have circumference,

not the unnamed shapes P wanted

I regularly do this,

forget about the scratch and then it'll sting,

as for the empanadas,

they are to be eaten, and due to hot sauces,

scratches may burn.

we eat them by the lizard tank while the lizards also eat

their meals that squeal,

but we can still laugh and eat

the chopped beef and admire the view.

the lizard tank is too small

for the amount of lizards it houses

my fingers sting when the sauce drips down them

and into the scratches

my face stings when my napkin 

pushes sauces into the ones too

P wishes her empanada was different

than the way her empanada is

a lizard wishes that they did not have to ration

their spot under the heat lamp

and notes they are amidst a few other species

including but not limited to a frog

they might not all get along on one rock in the wild

and as for the empanadas

the patties are cheaper than the pound of the ground

she wants to see if they'll fight

she wants to place one empanada central

into the tank too crowded

to discern which lizard might be the leader

it wouldn't be a waste because

they aren't the way she likes them anyway,

with ground beef

like that time with the wolf spider in a plastic box

with that green lid and that orange cricket

by the well in the cul-de-sac under a pine tree

near where that twerp threw gravel that

landed precise on a vein in M's hand

it stung and it swelled while the spider stung the cricket

and the cricket was stung and the cricket had swelled

it might be useful not to exploit limited space in this way,

filling plastic with combat

if the spider stays in the garage

and the cricket in the forget-me-nots

while the cow elsewhere is becoming patties

that are purchased over the ground beef

that the cow is also becoming

because today's specials were circular,

there could be pause

we do this the old fashioned way,

today like any other regular day,

we will cook patties first and then dismember them

and when it's time we will feed the lizards too,

and any bread too sharp will cut our fingers

and any bread too sharp will cut our cheeks around our lips

and these cuts may lead to a stinging sensation