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Mass-Produced Profundity


Intent

My goal is to make myself (and now potentially others) as uncomfortable as possible through my writing. Mental illness, anxiety, alienation, loneliness, time, and existential dread are some of the recurring themes I explore in my work. I mainly write about things I don't understand, and occasionally I'll receive a flash or two of insight which broadens my perspective. Perhaps those who read my work will have a similar experience.

“hell is other people”

                                       -JP Sartre

 

           I


BrahmarākShasa 

hanging from the Peepal

chanting—


sarvangasana,

a Hard G 

stuck, matted

against the drywall,

clearing a clog

in my sacral chakra.


A few frantic,

futile pumps of

abreactional attrition;


an undignified

droop;


blood sinks

to gray matter

gutter.


     

           II


Dual black clots

of keratin

leak from my ears,

follicles

hardening to

obsidian orbs

with cobalt flecks

saccading,

peering past

despondency,

seclusion—


into my Clandestine;

hole-in-the-corner.


Siberian snowblind 

contour masks

thin,

pale amaranth

lips.


With a squint,

love-lies-bleeding

blooms into language—

characters foreign

yet familiar—

beckoning.


A soft,

Cyrillic kiss;

cinnamon,

a hint of nicotine;

a broken 

cypher—



Озвиена / Ozwiena


(oh i see and you so do you do you see me oh it is this this is it all of it all us and no you or me or one but both no not both all is it all i need to know if i can die now)



         III


I am awake.

The drywall ignites.

Fetid,

frenzied,

a rusalka rides my face,

hissing Slavic obscenities.

Her clit melts like acid

on my tongue,

scabrous labia

oozing

waves of napalm

down my esophagus.


She is trying to suck her out.

Blood rises again,

currents of molten spit 

snake along my torso,

carving scars that swell—

memento mori 

bas relief.


I come,

and all’s gone.

Surging perdition,

lapping up the

nacreous drops

of my own apathy,

face glazed in 

dead sea 

malaise.

the notion of no more me

a
worn,
dislocated bone
is
sucked
by the surrounding filth.


bare strips
of marrow
bathe
in the muddy texture
of separation,
congealing
into clumps
of milky dirt.


phantom tendons
hum like stricken tines;
the pitch of wispy sinew
lures away lucidity,
inducing muscle memory
to immerse itself
in the intimacy
of isolation.



except...


an errant spasm
in a strand of protein
betrays a figure,
bivouacked
between the helix,
trying
but failing
to muster the solipsism
for suicide.


a limb cracks;
cartilage snaps-


reversion to estrangement.

Carrion Confession

no dread

of the murder-

only her beak.


she preens-


quill to vellum,

perched in black alb,


watching the spirits

spill by,


new moon exhalations,

demons unflasked.


a lonely jumble of strings-

taut, willing

rigor mortis,


peers through the lattice partition

of the solar panel-


[i have been savagely ravaged

by twenty-six;

and there was more warmth

in those dark angles

than i have ever known

there to be

sifting through innards

of the most sensual

human soul.] 

[because we can't see the wrinkles form]

I


My room is a gut.

Ill yellow dim eats me.

Melted wax air

coats my throat;

beads of back sweat

coaxed out by the acid

atmosphere pool

into a puddle-

dripping nanoseconds

now nothing more

than unelapsed stains

on the sheet.



II


Time is

sewn into my skin.

All the drugs

do is try to keep me from

unweaving the fabric.


The only way to know

is to dissect; but

synthetic fiber

is no substitute

for organic tissue.



III


Years from now I was

shaving thin slivers of

seconds from my life

lines with my razor.


Palms red,

sooth said,


               "save your skin

                for the schism..."


somewhere

various parallels offset;

time is divorced

from space:

negated-

divided by zero.



IV


There she is!

My smuggler-

a meandering mosquito

playing Sisyphus against

the despotic oscillation

of my fan.


O nihilistic indigent

bereft of essence,

siphon eons from my scars

and spit them out among the stars.


But what's that black speck

nestled neatly between your lazy legs?


A mosquito with a monthly planner-

she feeds on one hand without noticing

the shadow of the other

hovering above her.




Ode to Dissociation

A plasma anchorman watches me,
recumbent,
fingering myself
and trying to think
non-linearly.

Somewhere there is an affable mass of carbon
orating about politics, unaware of the woman on her bed
sliding in and out of poesy and sophistry, writhing
under the onerous weight of detachment.

 
    We are two distinct entities:
 
    a double negative;
 
    a divided dash.

The furtive blank paper between the blots
of ink is what I can't understand, or dismiss,
because somewhere in the nullity
is the fountainhead of my isolation.
So I fiddle around in there,
slipping into the slit
with no protection,
feeling around for context.

 
    Why is it always flesh with you?
 
    Perniciously lewd;
 
    facetiously crude.

I was being dishonest when I told you I felt ill.

I did.

But I was speaking in terms of a permanent state of being
or an inherent character flaw,
not a temporary affliction.
So then I made up that bit
about my Circadian rhythm
being out of whack.

Your lack and my lack
combined
was off-putting,

so I lied
and left
to lie
here,

manic and morose
like a lycanthropic ghost:
a ghost with nothing to do,
who never could be bothered
with having any business
to finish.

The moon is enshrouded by a cloud,
the sky
and
the stars
and
everything else around it
a cheap cardboard backdrop.

I'm safe in the anonymity of my tub,
bathing
in the blood
of those
who

Live.
            Laugh.
                            Love.

 
                                          How does    
something
 
                            that has always been
something
 
                                            dissolve
into garbled jamais vu?
 
                                  And what if that
something
 
                                    were someone?
Or everyone?
 
                                        Everything?

A teacher felt she could confide in me once
as a precocious youth. She asked me if I had ever repeated
a word so many times that it lost all of its meaning.

I nodded,
and with a profound sadness
too disinterested to be marred by tears,
she told me that
every day
every person
she

was the same word.

Atrophy

plexor
pressures

knocking
on my knee.

zeitgeist
measures my
reflex

but time
is
relative

so I wait
for my moment

to kick.

Offal

I

The spectre is warped,
an inverted white shadow smeared
flat against the wall
of my unlit bedroom

(a distorted mural,
magnified through the glass and liquor
lens of the bottle on my nightstand).

Concavity spars with convexity,
ultimately yielding
as the form emerges from the wall
to try the third dimension on
like a wedding dress it can't afford.

It's a bedsheet ghost,
floating with two opaque cutout eyes.
The compulsion to stick a body part in them
makes me ache.

I tongue the two slits;
the ectoplasm coats my buds,
smacking them with an aftertaste
of spoiled milk.

The wraith fades,
shrugging off space and time,
but the flavor lingers
and intensifies.

Retching,
not yet
having had my fill of spirits,
I grab the bottle and chug,
infusing vodka and bile
in an enzyme cocktail,
crafted to be expelled
not ingested.

The toilet swallows the vomit,
but you still pollute my palate.


II

No one should see this...
the submission in the kitchen.

I unscrew the only bulb
so not even the nosiest ray
can escape to steal a glance
and refract through the window
to gossip with the stars.

No. What happens here...
(the driving out of the loiterer in my mouth)
is to be absorbed,
smothered,
forgotten
in the dark womb of ante-meridiem.

A brief glimmer is permitted
(to snatch the head out of the refrigerator)
then snuffed.

Now it is fingernails
peeling skin,
old skin,
tissue paper
flaking off like a scab.

Little bits
tumble out onto the counter.
My fingers roam and probe
until they have the hilt.

It feels profane
to turn a knife sideways,
like flipping a cross upside down.
Yet the blasphemous blade hovers
then descends,
smashing one of the morsels
and splitting its thin shell.

Popped like a blister,
the fresh skin underneath
is slick and sticky.

I slip it into my mouth and chew.
Acrid, bitter waves roll over the rot.
Swallowing,
the sharpness spreads,
and I think I've won.

My euphoria blinds me
to the laws of Nature
and the inevitable ebb
of every tide.

The foul rot,
eroded but still standing,
pushes back;
the taste of the garlic
recedes and washes away.

A fiery paroxysm of ire
bursts loose,
singes sense and reason.
The conflagration forces
my burning fingers
around the cool blade of the knife.

Both hands slam
the heel to the counter
(over and over)
crushing the cloves between.

The harsh, raw garlic
is iron infused,
bloody crescents
pulverized and masticated.

Instead of overpowering
the rancid aftertaste,
the three elements synthesize
and metastasize

leaving me terminal.


III

My life was saved by a sprig of mint.

In the desperation of dawn,
I munched on some leaves.

The pain abated.

Calmly,
lying in a hot bath
with what was left
of the sprig,

I rubbed the cancer into remission.

Hair of the Dog

The black and white horizon flips and spins,
my right cheek snow and left cheek moonless sky.
Semi-conscious I can feel his shadow.
(Line and pour me half a dozen shots...)
Warmth pours from his skin into my stomach,
but my fingers and my toes are still black.
A piteous kiss would reverse the bite.
(...one for every month he hasn't touched me)
Instead it's revulsion that snuffs the heat.
He leaves me naked, rotting in the cold.
(He lacks the balls to fuck away my ennui...)
Some stars appear in the black of the left,
a white, puffy clustered constellation.
(...but has the balls to ask why I seem restive)
Now they form teeth and legs, tails and white fur.
The bigger brighter canine blankets me
while the smaller one licks at my burnt ends.
(Please forgive me, drinking turns me tasteless)
I am revived but the two curs linger...

(Thank you for your kindness and attention,
now would you be so kind as to point me
in the direction of Orion’s belt?)

COMPLICATIONS

Which one of you is the guardian?
The child raises her arm in her sleep.

Ah!

You!

You've been demoted...holy decree.
I squeeze the cherub's plush bottom,
pluck off his wings
and toss him to Hades.

-----

I imagined clay;
or wet cement;
even a grapefruit.

It was harder,
but only at first.
Like pushing through thin ice,
except the water below is warm and thick.

Her eyes never opened,
but there was a coo.
And shit in her diaper.

The tip of my Sharpie disappeared
as I scrawled the despicable noun into her belly.
Too gently.
I barely stifled a snicker
at the thought of tickling her.

-----

...past 4am now
The message is next to mommy
on the bed.

For three and a half months
I have been glued to my mirrors,
trying to hoodwink one of them
into casting an honest reflection.

Liars.

When she wakes up,
I'll see my facsimile;
and
(if she remains conscious for long enough)
she will see a grotesque silhouetted doppelgänger
sitting on the windowsill,
wearing her white coat
and a pair
of bloody latex gloves.

Thoughts? Comments? Let me know what you think!