Gradually

I’m still sitting there in the classroom,
waiting to be released.
I’m tipping my chair back, rocking, looking around,
listening to Ms. Hafner choke up
over some of Dr. Seuss’ finest.
“Oh, the places you’ll go,” she concurs.
We didn’t care; we knew where we were going.
We were headed to the church that evening –
me in my navy blue press, silver tie chain, early acne.

I snap out of it, my eyes refocus
on the time. I’m 24.
I try to go back, quickly, but the moment
for closure has passed. Where is the bridge,
what was the bridge?
We just walked out into the summer
and now,
I’m here?
I hate daydreams, they’re torturous classrooms;
everyone is in on the lesson plan
but me,
who’s left holding my hand in the air
of a suddenly dark building.

– Los Angeles, CA

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Taken in Santa Monica, CA

Parking Lot

Forget bills and cars
and love and family.
Forget the sad climax,
fuck adulthood.
The truth persists,
We are all naked and surrounded
by each other.
But we look to our backup:
a canned thought of an open road
or a postcard from last year’s vacation.
A poem about escapism.
I rely on knowing I can still leave
whenever I want.

– Los Angeles, CA

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Taken in Los Angeles, CA

Exit Here for Blue Line South

I need a diagnosis,
which is just another word we share in our room.
Words and compounds used to name our actions
built on emotions based on reactions
and around we go against the axis
I II and III.
Exit here for Pico.
Exit here so we can keep the line running
into our blood running
into conversations we’ve had before
and maybe not with each other.
You kill lovers and I love hating
the world turning upon its axis;
axes falling at random
on the young old and infatuated.
Exit here for Florence.
Exit here to start my heart pumping again.
Sarcasm makes liars of us all,
schizotypal nightmares on one way tracks
toward a sour rotting dissonance
and you wonder why we need medication.

– Culver City, CA

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Taken in North Hollywood, CA

Existentialism

How much closer
can we approach the fringe
I’ve gotten older
but I still pretend
your younger than me
closer to essence
I’m closer to death
preceding existence
and all the girls have seen
me fuck the world
to make one person bleed.

– Los Angeles, CA

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Taken in San Bernardino, CA

Jar of Flies and Grunge in General

The boy read Golding,
and Dickinson,
and Sartre
and wanted to see the flies up close.
So he was lucky to find the dog –
black fur in mud
a smile and eyes –
among the weeds and flies.

He came back with a jar

and under an orange sky,
under the shadow tree
limbs, trapped the insects
inside the invisible
one by one
and watched.

– Columbus, OH

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Taken in Seattle, WA