Friday, April 27, 2012

34

you’re gone, your goneness
fills me, even though I don’t understand it

I have consented to a hypothetical understanding, but the understanding won’t come.
my brain twists towards a working interpretation of your goneness,
but the interpretation devolves into surrealism,
and your goneness takes the shape of a non-sequitur,
and I will try again tomorrow, try again the next day
and I will keep trying until the surrealism becomes the understanding

it is three in the morning and there are infrequent sounds issuing from route nine,
the cars like sparse waves crashing and their lights lay quick shadows on my walls,
and the shadows fall onto me and the shadows are with me here and I am lying awake

crafting your permanent memory with a thoroughness I rarely achieve,
your hot pink backpack and your boots on your Physical Body

I wish we were still working at the dining commons together, eating at a dirty round table,
covered in other people’s discarded food and listening to the Pixies blare from the dishroom radio.
I lay awake and watch my brain attempt to trick itself into flawed but comforting
belief systems and modes of thinking
and I wish it would succeed 

I ask myself over and over “if the modes are comforting, then why should I care if they are flawed”
“what is the incentive to privilege logical belief systems over comforting ones,
if logical ones make me miserable”



dan I have a confession, I am a lousy atheist when I remember you

tonight I sat in my car in the rain in downtown Amherst eating pizza at midnight.
I drove around for over an hour.
I played my music at a high volume and I stopped at a red light
and then a street light in front of me turned on. my first thought was “it’s you”

my brain is inventing a grace period for you, a grace period during which the remnants of you are so strong that they are permitted to yield a temporary spirit that can communicate with me,
can watch me cry as i struggle to remember what food we brought on our picnic at the pond last summer. these small details seem so necessary right now and when I finally remember
your bread and fruit I feel enormous relief, like I have fought hard to win back that moment
when you opened your hot pink backpack and said “I have bread and fruit,”
and now that I think of it there was beer too

and now that I think of it we went swimming as the sun sank
and now that I think of it it was cold but we never said so

and now that I reread these letters you wrote to me in the summer of 2010
my eyes grow heavy with a novel exhaustion, and the return address on one letter is
“unnamed dirt road in California” and on another “gas station/domino’s in Wyoming”

and I nod off to your cross-country musings on the best moments of your life
and your admission in one letter that you’re bad at transitions.

can I admit to you now that I am also bad at transitions,
that your return addresses make me laugh

that I’m asleep beneath your letters, remembering your smile
in pond water and on the modest shore,
asleep beneath the quick shadow of you



[this is for my friend dan haley who was hit by a drunk driver two weeks ago. read at the rao's reading on 4-27. no title]

Saturday, April 7, 2012

33

I am the mascot of the internet generation (read at the amherst rao's reading on 3-30)

I am online reading the news.

kid rock is endorsing mitt romney and this is all I will ever need to know about mitt romney.

I am incredibly lazy but the good thing about the internet is that it has legitimized laziness as the nation’s most awesome pastime.

I may be responsible for eating the entire bag of cookies that I myself labeled “communal cookies,”
but my twitter followers can laugh at this admission, and retweet it until at least one person somewhere is laughing out loud, and then I have actually accomplished something while I sit on my bed in my underwear , which is more than I was doing five years ago in a pre-twitter world

things are better than they were five years ago, in general.
for instance I no longer have papa gino’s on speed dial.

I must be the mascot of the internet generation.

I am thinking that my generation seems uniquely horny for a nostalgia that doesn’t exist,
or at least can only be justified through extreme and perhaps unwarranted idealization of the past

I am thinking that I want to console my generation.

I am on youtube searching for videos containing the phrase “very talkative parrot.”

a talkative parrot is the best kind of parrot and anybody with a youtube account knows it.

the next time one of my relatives asks me what I’m doing with my bachelor’s degree I will respond that I am consumed by videos of very talkative parrots.

I am eating a nondairy frozen desert that is called “cookie avalanche,” and yet I have to dig for the cookies. I hate this sort of false, hyperbolic advertising.

shouldn’t the cookies be finding me, violently.

I am sobbing at the scene in castaway where tom hanks loses wilson, his best friend that is a soccer ball. wilson is floating away into a vast terrible ocean and this scene makes me sob about ten times harder than a frozen leonardo dicaprio sinking away from an almost-frozen kate winslet, because this scene is more symbolic of the losses I have endured

I am talking to my housemate.
she is standing in my doorway and I am on my bed on my laptop.
she is telling me about her day. she says, “ok, I’ll let you get back to what you’re doing.”

she has no idea I’m watching a video called “Big spider attacks Daddy”

32 (29 expanded/revised)

until you see it isn’t there (read at the amherst rao's reading on 3-30)

wow, I’m turning 25 in may
the years go fast in my opinion

there’s a picture of me in front of a birthday cake on a flammable table cloth
for every birthday up until maybe 10 years old

I look so happy about the impending cake
I look so happy to be descending deeper into life,
and my family too appears pleased about my descent

(we’re all wearing pointy cardboard hats to indicate the intrinsic goodness of life)

after that I was 11 through 24 and we couldn’t afford flammable table cloths anymore.

we used to park at the sea wall and watch the wall keep the waves from washing us away.
I would eat candy on the vinyl seat and earn cavities the delicious/hard way

the waves loitered behind and up against the wall,
and there was bird poop and graffiti on the wall

I used to think “I want to do graffiti, I want to be older”

“I want to be old enough to shake a can and spray a message”

in general the years go fast in my opinion.
I like that you’ve referenced my upcoming birthday twice.

there is something I really like about you; I won’t fuck you over.
I want to take you to the beach and
kiss my graffiti into you. I want to lay on the beach with you and
kiss you in a dying wave. I want to
kiss you in the new waves too. I want to
wrap around you like a lazy starfish,
pin you down on some wet terrycloth, and I want there to be sand

when we were parked at the sea wall my mom used to say “look, there’s a mermaid!”
and she would point to some anonymous molecules, tessellating in the distance.

I would look hard and long and never see the mermaid, always frustrated
with her elusiveness, always taking it personally

(and then, the silent and gradual realization that there was no mermaid)

seems like this is the definitive model of the tragedy of childhood
seems like the model matures and the mermaid evolves into other things that you stare at

until you see it isn’t there

there’s a picture of me at maybe nine years old, in front of a birthday cake
I’m wearing a shirt with a screen print of a photograph of a pig on it
my face is very puffy because I’m on steroids because my kidneys aren’t working well

I look very sad
I look like I want to peel off my body like a dumb snowsuit
I can’t look at this picture anymore
this was not a good birthday

anyways

I want to recite my kiss into your warm mouth,
enlist new mermaids for anonymous waves.
you remind me that the past does not exist anymore,
not in any real or consequential way.
when I am kissing you I am just kissing you.
you are asleep in my bed, you are laughing at my jokes and
we are not wearing any clothes.
you are beautiful in the face and my birthday is coming up.
you are beautiful in the face and behind the face and you have no idea.

31

love letter to rush limbaugh (read at the amherst rao's reading on 3-30)

rush limbaugh, allow me.
to boil your blood and give it back to you, slowly.
to explain to you how birth control actually works.

as president of NASA I nominate rush limbaugh to do some revolutionary space experiment that will ultimately result in the loneliest space death imaginable.
if only rush limbaugh had been mistaken for laika. we should invest in the technology that would allow us to go back in time and mistake rush limbaugh for laika. rush limbaugh should have been the poor unsuspecting dog, shooting into space, falling victim to an intense pressure that literally sucks away at the misogyny that is-evidently-the glue of his seedy unfortunate brain.

rush limbaugh should dedicate his wildly offensive body to Science!

should we study his misogyny in labs NAY- we should give him the number one radio show in America. good job America.

on rush limbaugh’s website there is a picture of him smoking a cigar, and wearing an expensive watch and polo shirt, blowing smoke out of his mouth like a fat dumb dragon and looking like he truly does not give a shit, truly embodying the American dream aesthetic as understood by millions of frat boys across the country, and I imagine somebody looking at this picture, ready to purchase a rush limbaugh coffee mug from the convenient online gift shop, and thinking to themselves, “godddamn, this guy really gets me.”

my relationship with my father is entirely contingent on my denial of his love of the rush limbaugh show, and my denial of limbaugh’s book on his shelf, called “the way things ought to be.”

honestly who writes a book called “the way things ought to be”; why not just jerk off to your own reflection and call it a new york times bestseller

if I had the audacity to write a book called “the way things ought to be,” it would be about how a book with that title ought to never exist, but lo and behold there it is, on my dad’s bookshelf, limbaugh’s greasy hellish face gracing the jacket of this shitty artifact of best-selling 90’s literature, his almighty bullshit parading in small font under the guise of profound wisdom

rush limbaugh, allow me.
to be a woman in America, a woman in the world.
I am the femi-nazi that you love to lament. I have wild and ambitious dreams for women everywhere.

for instance I want my children to grow up in a world where a brunette woman can be on Fox news (and it is not assumed that she is a lesbian)

I want my children to grow up in a world where there isn’t a news network that might as well literally be a continuous program of white men in suits vomiting on expensive desks,
or at least in a world where such a network does not exclusively claim the slogan of “fair and balanced”

let’s call it what it is; vomit on desks

Monday, April 2, 2012

30

Conjugation is a mating process during which a unidirectional transfer of genetic material occurs at physical contact between two sexually differentiated cell types.
Received: Sun Apr 1, 8:25pm

Are you hitting on me?
Sent: Sun Apr 1, 8:48pm

Is it working?
Received: Sun Apr 1, 8:48pm