Dearest

I have been to the beach again, I’m afraid.
I have been to the beach again.
I have been to the nude beach with strangers again
and I haven’t told you until now.

Nor did I tell about the party last week,
you were invited but I didn’t tell.
They asked where you were and I told them that you
were having surgery on your heart.

I’ve been speaking to my exes, too, I’m afraid,
about books that you haven’t read.
I’ve been waking up early and taking the train
to cities that you’ve never been.

I’ve been sitting on park benches thinking of ways
to tell you how I will not change,
all the maddening kicks of resistance to combat
all the ways I feel myself change.

I have never felt guilty, never owed anyone
an explanation, never gave myself up,
never felt such a pull to keep my beaches and trains
as though they were slipping away.

Dearest, I have been to the beach again,
and I haven’t told you until now.
I’ve been keeping my secrets and my safety,
but Dearest, I have told you now.

Anabelle Bluebird

I am a man of yes’s and no’s
I am a man of x’s and o’s
I’m a man who can fly the whole world
If Anabelle Bluebird flies with me

She’s the peach without speech
She’s the dream of the cream
We can play every city all night
If my Anabelle Bluebird flies with me

I am a man of bigs and bigger
I am a man who pulls the trigger
I’m a man who’d have all his T’s crossed
If Anabelle Bluebird would fly with me

But Anabelle wants a pony
Little Miss Bluebird wants a parade
I’m gonna let her think she’s winnin’
Leavin’ me

‘Cause I am a man of straight lines
And I am a man who wastes no time
I’m a man who could search the whole world
‘Til Anabelle Bluebird dies with me

Apocalypse

At the end of the world, Pink Floyd is playing. They planned it this way, the creatures who pity us and are finally doing us the greatest kindness. It’s a lovely shade of pink, our last sky, and getting deeper into mauve so thick you could scoop it like the berry sundaes we spent our whole lives dreaming about. There are cherry-flowers bursting with fire throughout the heavens, raining the smoke of some last-ditch resistance from those who no doubt believe they have something to lose, and even that is beautiful at this moment. I think they put something in our water.

We are an anthill faced with the knowledge that the Queen is dead, and some of us appear to be really worried about that. I know that screaming through the streets is pointless. A group of us has assembled a huddle of lawn chairs, hammocks, and couches on the grassy hill outside the post office. I am sitting on one of those battery-operated Barbie cars like my sister Amy asked for every Christmas until she was 11 but never got. When she was 12 she was dead. I would’ve liked to give her the one I’ve taken custody of now but I know she would’ve wanted it for more than just a seat from which to watch the government try to blow up the moon.

I’m only assuming that’s what’s happening, of course, because they wiped out the internet and cut out all the news feeds from tv. I’m not sure why they think Full House reruns would be necessarily calming to anybody while the world is ending, but that’s all they left us to watch. I’ll find out later about their unfathomably complex algorithm which calculated the average preferences of every human and animal mind in the world and came up with a pink sky, Full House reruns, a Pink Floyd album, and bananas as the most universally perfect end-of-the-world setting. Freakin’ bananas everywhere, they just appeared in boxes all over.

Sandy doesn’t like bananas, she never has. I think of her now and wonder where the hell she thought she was going after she figured out what was happening, after she spit a panicked, “I can’t spend my last moments with you” in my face and ran off. Later I’ll find out that she tried to call her parents in Nebraska but after discovering the cell reception was gone she settled to ride out the end cuddled up with her ex-boyfriend. Later I’ll find out a lot of things.

Later me and Amy and a few of the people from the post office lawn are going to replant some of the trees that got ripped into the sky when gravity reversed. That part of it wasn’t exactly necessary but it made for an exciting finish. Sandy and her ex-boyfriend will be gone along with the government bomb-cannons, but I don’t know that right now. Right now I just know that I am an ant, and everything around me is beautiful, and I’m going to die along with everything else while Pink Floyd plays in the background.

“And everything under the sun is in tune, but the sun is eclipsed by the moon…”

Thoughts On Spaghetti

Spaghetti is, in essence, the poor man’s hallelujah. It’s the Helm’s Deep of “Don’t tell me how to feed my family, Gwyneth Paltrow.” Yes it is cultured, don’t let anybody tell you it’s not. When your sweetie makes you some spaghetti for dinner, especially during those times when it’s dear, make sure to share some with the dog. When you’re standing in the grocery store aisle thinking, “God why does a thing of parmesan cheese cost so much more than I have?” remember that there is some fancy word for what you’re about to make for your kids, in your last-ditch strength as a parent before you fall dead asleep exhausted, and some ridiculous aristocrat is ordering whatever it’s called. Who cares if they get the parmesan and plus like truffles or something. Nobody has won anything over on you yet. When you scuffle your way into a train car on the check from Grandma’s birthday card, pick your eyes up and notice the people walking or laying on the sidewalk. And hey, when you’re maybe a big-shot one day and they say, “Congrats, Ferguson, let’s go out and celebrate” you better the hell not wince when AJ says he has to get home to his wife who’s pregnant and craving spaghetti. Don’t you be the one that spoils everything with truffles. Spaghetti is the poor man’s hallelujah and nobody asked you to rise above it.

Blood Tide

You open your mouth
and the blood tide rolls your heart
out over the kitchen tiles,
a rubber mockery of all those shameful times
you’ve done this before.

You hoped this time
that someone would bring a bucket,
you can’t be trusted with this,
the horrors you unleash, you splash on linoleum,
bowl full of innocent fruit.

You stare, cough uncontrollably,
melt in a heap for less than a minute,
apologize frantically,
look what a mess you’ve made, what a terror you’ve brought
but you’re up

on your knees all hours of the night,
breathing haze from your bottle of bleach.

Find It In Sunnyside

If you think you can,
go find it in Sunnyside.

If you think your apples
won’t look like potatoes anymore,
think the scenery
will keep you evergreen,

if you think that’s any kind of home
where you’ll be safe,
you probably will.

If you can find it in Sunnyside,
please do.

And when you find it,
drop me a letter,
tell me all about those skies-

I’ll forward all my mail to Sunnyside,
where I won’t ever find it.

Ghosts

Heavy as fruit on the branch,
pulled downward,
a soul can fade, poisoned with ghosts.

Helpless as sea grass afloat,
tossed about,
a soul can waste, menaced by ghosts.

Who is so strong to resist
that longing
for what we have never seen?

What is the seed, planted deep,
that ever insists
on a thing we must need?

Who is the arbiter
granting ghosts form,
and when,
and why is he sleeping for me?

For if I were born without a head
I should not miss it like this.

Desire, be gentle with me who admires
but dares not to hope anymore.

Desire, be gentle with me who only aspires
to love no ghost anymore.