The college square has no strife, early morning in clear light, students passing in quiet voices spoken to friends. This – the soporific morning hum of students abiding schedules, making their ways to class – scene comforted by the recentness of sleep and waking dreams. Students texting, drifting by on long-boards, I sit here on this bench at this particular moment watching. The breeze is cold, breaking up warmth from a low sun. The sunlight has the quality of light passing through ice, a white that shimmers gently. There is a small rack of religious pamphlets, Christian I think, two volunteers sitting near and they are quiet. Low sound of traffic sporadically passing by down the street, on the other side of the student center. The trees are bare, spindly branches; squirrels perch gnawing nuts. There is nothing in this air but the ease of passing time, keeping an eye on the train schedule as it guides us through life. This moment of stillness, isolated from the direness of political papers, the fears of the sensible and the pains of the restless. Just here, for a moment on this bench, to pass this time with a gentleness freed of stress – now there are no bills, no debts, no deadlines or reasons to fret. Sitting here in isolation of all other moments, the stillness, this fragment of time, holds no regrets, no reasons to dread – now it has no future; now it has no past. This moment removed from the fingers of time: now isolated by eternal oblivion; now forever heedless of our watches; now it is forever and now will never die.
America, I no longer wish to heal your wounds. I see your wounded nursing bruises from swift kicks received on the Fourth of July, and Thanksgiving, and Christmas, and a few times every Valentines’. I would like you to know I do not approve. But you see I might have to go to work tomorrow, I might just have to attend my class, my crying baby might wake me earlier than noon – you see, America, I have much to do. As much as I’d love to help, the butchers won’t stop purchasing luxury SUV’s to chauffeur their Ivy Leagues back and forth from Princeton to Livingston, and I’ll never live to meet the rubble grousers when they quit collecting scattered pounds of flesh from dusty villages seen from the sky. America, it isn’t that I’m bored so much as relieved that I already have a roof and as far as I can see the pantry will always be at least filled partially. America you see as much as I fume and burst the odd incredulous fuse staring at war memorials mostly used for the good patriotic fervor that bids me to consume grocery apps and live-stream TV for my bedroom, America you see I eagerly anticipate the release of BioShock3 and the alternate realities I disappear into for days. America don’t get me wrong, I am Cure for Cancer strong, but my cock is daily slammed up in my laptop in a silencing embrace of willful castration. You see America, as much as I rage it wears me out it wears me thin I’m over it plenty swift. Suffice to say, America, I can no longer give you a fuck. What I have here is warm and placental as long as I work my mandatory sentence I’ll be fine and remain encased in my womb of creature comforts.
America, most days I let my rage dissipate into a vapor I can vaguely recognize as sane. But that’s just it – America suicidal, I’ve embraced this ineffectual malaise.
She sleeps a turmoil in a tangle of sheets, respite from a 60-hour kitchen week; beside her I lie and I cannot blink, let alone sleep. I twisted the bed sheets and swallowed the knots and there they sit deep in the pit of my rotting gut. I have rolled through the muck and masturbated with the grease, leaving stains all over the bedsheets, black tar adulterations ‘cross the pillowcases. I breathe the smell of vomit. I wallow in the self-induced sickness burrowed in mid-day blankets on the couch. The method is to contribute, to share the load, to make yourself by what makes the love you share love that works. And there is the duty I’ve spared myself of – this, the black pit in my stomach, gut rot, disease, the responsibility I promised yet laid down with the cake smeared the cum on my face in mid-afternoons dry with dust: why not? several hours till she’s home from work, lay myself down with the cake instead of her, her whom I love yet forever let down.
The mothers again have taken to baking their babies into walls around their Gucci gardens, and the fathers are found soliciting sex dolls to drive their careers far from town. The zeppelin overhead shines the face of democracy, and the bureaucrats have barred my door with towers of papers to be filed. Skeletons stalk the streets looking for doctors to eat, and the alley behind Burger King is where the Velez family sleeps on cardboard pads from the dumpsters. Read More
The foyer is empty before anyone is out, early-morning campus. The floor tiles smell dusty, in a custodial, public school way underscoring the surreality of this normally bustling foyer that is right now empty and hollow. Empty and hollow and echoes reverberate from maybe down the hall or from the second floor, but the foyer here is big and bright and wide and completely empty, but there’s a table along the far wall (trophy case memorabilia behind it) with two black coffee cambros on them. The table here isolated along the sweeping rear wall, it comes to dominate the view of this barren landscape – like panning the New Mexico desert and the camera stops and zooms in on this house, suburban 3 bedroom with green grass, white picket fence in desolate expanse – here is this table, out of place and isolated along the wall of this empty, unused foyer. I am standing in front of the table, holding a cup in one hand, other hand in my coat pocket. There is another person here, a lizard that has crept across my peripheral to stand beside me, reaching for a Styrofoam cup. Read More
The store is harsh white bright lights with splashes of green the brand color, peach square floor tiles and faux-mahogany wood, and the person behind the register with hands squarely planted on the counter shoulders up, What Can I Do For You? in a tone done repeating himself. I have come to the wrong place. Are you the new hire? he asks. Yes, yes I’m here to…, I haven’t spoken a word to a person all day it’s maybe 9pm. Who hired you? Read More
I have to be out of the house by eight because the meeting is at nine it’s at nine it’s at nine. This can’t wait I have to meet him today, this morning, in 7 hours, I need to go to bed. But I haven’t written anything. I need to blog and I have homework and I need to set up other interviews and I still haven’t signed up for next semester. There’s a hold on my record because I never had a physical I can’t afford the fifty bucks for the physical; I am currently not attending school in January. I am sitting at a table smeared with food my kid is a two-year-old disaster, behind me the sink experiences periodic avalanches of dishes and there are leaves in the house. It is Fall and there are leaves in the house but the vacuum’s busted and it’s added to the list of things I have to take care of to get somewhere in life. Where is my wife? She’s working 60 hours to feed me and our kid. Where is my head? forehead planted in crusted mashed potatoes on the kitchen table in the digital glow of my laptop I am trying to work. I am exhausted I am drunk I am getting nothing nowhere. Read More