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America, You Know Such Glory

america, you know
i can jet plane the slate into the oh so obsidian pool
america, your flag police will shoot the lion
as the world machine is broken
& the clockwork moon shoots steam at
the electric piano rap
while you steal all the elephant tusks

america, you know
i jet plane the chalk into the ebony skin
america, your murder of crows begets more blood
the cold coal fire that smokes out
the parliament of shadows
somber melting ivory coal
somber melting transgender ghosts
people of alabaster, clay, sand, & frost
people so bloody, cold, & invisible

america, you know
this swimming pool is one hell of a shootout
america, your flag police gun will bomb the world machine
into broken clockwork lions
that rap about the elephant graveyard
to liberate our transference
when the murder of crows begets more blood

america, you know
my country ’tis of thee
sweet land of melting ivory coal
in the swimming pool hell of bloodless guns
hearts made of ice
for you & me in broken obsidian clockwork
faces painted raven-black
but forever wondering why the spotlight falls
on the champagne wonderland of freedom’s holy darkness

Summer Vacation

I woke up this morning, after a fine night’s sleep, feeling cranky, listless, and altogether unmotivated to do much of anything. Since the year began, I’ve been pretty consistently posting content here 2-3 times a week, but I only posted one poem last week, didn’t post anything yesterday, and couldn’t bring myself to care when I woke up today. I was solidly on the “meh” side of things.

Here’s a thing about brain meds: they don’t completely eliminate your wonky brain chemistry, they just even it out and make it easier to deal with. Crazy people are always crazy, we’re just night as crazy on our meds. So when I woke up feeling tired and fitful and apathetic, I quickly realized I was experiencing depression, which led to the larger realization that summer is starting, and summer is when my depression is generally at its worst. Most people I know who suffer from seasonal depression get it in the darker, colder months in winter. Not yours truly. I thrive in autumn, winter, and spring, but I lag in summer like a chemically-depressed…laggy thing. (Do sloths suffer from depression? Do sloths write fiction and poetry? Do sloths occasionally get mad at themselves for being so slothy? Is that sloth-loathing?)

So while I can’t completely stop the depression, I can at least recognize it and work with it and be kind to myself while it’s going on. Which means I’m taking a vacation from blogging this summer. I’ll still write as much as I can, but I’m not expecting that to be a lot, and I’m not going to push myself to post what I write publicly. If I really like something or am super inspired by something, I’ll blog it, but I’m not sticking to my standard schedule and I might go weeks without posting a good goddamn thing.

(Fun Josh Fact: one summer in college, long before I was medicated or thought I needed to be medicated, my summer depression was bad enough that focusing on words and following linear trains of thought were very, very difficult. The only book I was able to read all the way through from the start and make any sense of was William S. Burroughs’ The Naked Lunch.)

This is nothing for anyone to worry about. I’ll be fine. I just need to allow myself to back off from regularly writing and posting. And I’ll be back in full force when autumn comes around and my brain chemistry swings back up to fun levels.

Roll for Initiative

i will attack this day with the loving ferocity of
a drunken tiger or a dungeon dragon
GRRAAAAAAAHHHRR!!
so back the fuck up, comrades
& get thee behind me
because here
we
go!
sliding down the outside
as we ride the persian red railway
on the way to shangri-la
TRA LA LA LA LA!!

let’s set the day a’fire
as we aim to end up
dancing on the tables of the night café
before we completely
lose our
minds

i have come to howl at the wounded city
ARRRRRROOOOOOO!!
to sweep, perchance to clean off the dust
& shake off the ghosts
to bounce back to the moon & beyond
& to that end
i will glitterglue my words on
the walls of the red labyrinth
& sprinkle them with elephantine abandon
whether we are ready or not
we are here
to
go!

Burning Blood Black

a snapshot
of my heart in the house of love
bruised and bloody
cradled in your hands
(vacuum cleaner running in the gloaming
like waves against the shore
drowning a string-cut puppet)

that snippet you pasted in
the notebook in the closet of your sleep
(carnelian deep)
like a spy in the dreamhouse
flames licking the sides of my ship
sailing your seven seas

reversed
a snapshot
a snippet
a magician in the house of love
the tower
crumbling
like a string-cut puppet
vacuum
chariot
waving
a stranger
released
in your hands
without
consciousness

Holler Valhalla

even your power can have me
or countries, rendering open their blood in me
though rose mud could amputate
landmines or flower petals open up beyond my bomb
gunpowder any of them which in your world
you are each this descending wolf of nothing

death in the eyes is power

i color myself even as your fragility
whose wolves are in me, or with
each which will never shut
myself, though closed me or with open me
though intense could always be rose
though emerald mud could amputate
landmines or flower petals as closed as a wish beyond my bomb
gunpowder any of them which perceive spring forever
they have color, each have with intensity
carefully descending wolves of nothing

these things you traveled gladly & i will unclose
with their most intense death close by
having imagined the bloody experience

your closed petals cannot perceive your power

A Peek Inside

The finale of the first season of The Flash was last night and I loved it so much, I was Kermit flailing for hours after it ended. The episode write-up on io9 pretty much nails why it was so amazing. In the wake of the episode, fueled by my excitement over it, I made some extremely rough…well, “notes” seems too generous. Abstract brainstorming is probably a better description. In the interest and enthusiasm of sharing my work, here is a page in my notebook with my abstract brainstorming:

idea cluster