Interdimensional

button

In the middle of my subatomic collider
I uncovered a hole between realities
a fault between dimensions
and so I climbed into
the crawlspace under the universe
the air conditioning duct over space
and huddled into little boy shapes

and then fell out and found myself
lying on a sidewalk
bound up by dirty, smelly clothes
all my decades-old belongings
bundled in a stolen shopping cart

powerful young men drove by
in powerful young sports cars
and showed me obscene gestures
while thin pretty women, model-waifs
held their noses and gagged
walking over me

but in my pocket I found
something that came with me
out of the interdimensional rip
it was my piece of gold
with a covered button on top
that when pressed would destroy
the entire universe
my reality-ending treasure

I took it out
and looked at it
and smiled
and rubbed the cover over the button
and decided not to open it
and decided not to press it

I climbed back in
to the hollow between worlds
dodged the sewage of black holes
the drainage pipes of reality
crawled again, for just a little way
hoping and hoping to come out
somewhere other than earth

I felt a weak spot and
poked my finger through
and then fell into
a little girl’s body
pressed down by a heavy weight
a big bag of alcohol breath and slurry threats
to keep quiet and never tell
and to pretend I was giving
what he was taking
and no one would believe me
and it hurt it hurt it hurt
in my body and in my soul

and when he was done
he stumbled away back to my mom’s room
and I cried little seven year old
girl’s tears, but felt
in my pocket
another piece of gold

a second treasure, another button
that could end the universe
and all I had to do was
open the cover
press the button
and end everything

and now I had two of them

I took both of them out
and looked at them
and smiled
and rubbed the covers
admired the color of the buttons
and decided not to press them

back into the rift I climbed
the hidden wallspace
between one universe and the next
felt along the sides
like a rat
astride all the stars

I slid, I slid, I hoped, I hoped
that when next I stepped through
it would be some kind of heaven
an ether field
loved ones and dead relatives
all there and forever living
in a place so unlike my world
I would marvel and wonder
and be innocent again

so when I felt the heat
of a tiny little hole
I pushed through again
and came out into

a 7000 dollar suit
surrounded by a mansion
all modern and clean and pure edges
and no soul, any many people
not servants in name
but all seeking my favor
as I radiated power
like a giant sun
eating up the inner orbits
of all fools who got too near

and I was full
and I had never known hunger
and I had one talent
that was to count the money
that I earned by being born

but in my pocket was one more thing
one more piece of treasure
a THIRD piece of gold
there it was, I pulled it out
of my expensive silk pocket
and looked, and rubbed the cover
over yet another button
that could destroy all creation

and so I pulled
the other two out
three buttons
enough to uncreate creation
three times over

and I smiled
and rubbed the covers

and opened them

and I pushed all three.
and I pushed all three.
and I pushed all three.


Old car

I am covered in rust like red ice
forgotten in my faithless and fateless state
full of broken parts
superseded by the newer the faster
but in my dreams I am
a shiny cruiser burning the freeway
I would weep were I not a frozen
monument to the broken and the still


Torture

There’s no torture worse than knowing you were once innocent.


Non-assisted sleep

sleepless

Somewhere in my music memory Stanley Clarke bends a single bass note up, and then back down like a comic sound effect that is utterly bereft of comedy. My car is aimed at Sleep Beach, and I can feel it driving, driving, driving, moving, moving, moving, swift and sure, smooth and sexy, gliding along toward the shore where I’ll drive right on in to the water and find blessed sleep at last. But the second my car hits the sand, it suddenly jumps, in an instant like it was being teleported, across the entire ocean to land on a whole other continent, where it will drive inland for a hundred miles, then turn back around and try again and again and again.

Each time I dip my toe in the pool, and gently begin to ease the rest of my body into the water, it spits me back out again. And again and again and again.

There is no such thing as non-assisted sleep.

So I give in to despair and open my eyes in the dark, hearing every single sound in the whole world, all piped into my ever-shrieking ears on a fatline. I know I’m looking at the ceiling but I can’t see anything but ink, so I move my eyes down toward the door and can just barely, at the edge of perception, make out a tiny green pinpoint that is the light from the smoke detector which is waiting patiently for disaster to strike.

Two sleeping pills in and nothing.

I feel the edge dull just the slightest bit, and I think if I try one more time, just one more time, I can slip off into a few minutes of unconsciousness before my brain realizes I’m trying to sleep and JERKS ME AWAKE AGAIN. Right on the edge of sleep this time, I suddenly hear the sound of some crazy person in the park next to my apartment building. He’s laughing. No, not laughing, a single laugh, just enough to wake up me again. Then silence, a dog barks, then another single laugh, HA! he says. HA! Silence. HA! Silence. About every 60 seconds.

Maybe there’s not a man out there at all. Maybe it’s one of those demons, that pack of demons hiding behind my bedroom walls at night, and they have one job to do, and that’s to make sure I don’t fall asleep before they have the chance to ask me where I’ve hidden the plans to the Death Star.

Then a chorus of demented and tormented souls begins to cry out, all shrieking, all screaming, I AM NEVER GOING TO SLEEP AGAIN I AM NEVER GOING TO SLEEP AGAIN IT WILL ALWAYS BE THIS WAY IT WILL ALWAYS BE THIS WAY THIS IS NOT GOING TO END UNTIL I’M DEAD.

HA! from outside again. And then, a minute later, a cry of rage from this unknown man out there, “Damn toast!” he yells, all his rage at all his life spilled out in two nonsensical words.

And that’s when I decide to speak out loud, “You have got to be kidding me.” And now I’m as awake as a college student on four cans of Red Bull. I’ve been lying in bed since 11 p.m. It’s now 3 a.m. I’ve got to be up at 5:30 a.m., and this isn’t going to end until I’m dead.

And what if I don’t die? What if this keeps going?

There is, after all, no such thing as non-assisted sleep.

(to be continued)


Into the dig

Sometimes you hear something about someone that changes everything. About someone you love – a mother, a brother, a husband, a grandmother. Something that changes your entire life’s perception of that person, and it’s all the harder the longer you’ve known them. And it doesn’t always change all it once, and sometimes it’s not a big thing. Sometimes it’s a little thing, something someone tells you they said, something that begins to subtly echo in your brain with all the other little things you knew about that person, all the little unuttered things about them that rambled around in your brain, little pieces of poison about that person you refused to swallow; but this new thing echoes with them, and droplets coagulate and make a wave, and the wave washes over you, and suddenly you feel hate begin inside. You don’t want to hate that person, but the weight of all that evidence overwhelms you, pummels you, crushes your right hand so that you can never use it again, and all at once the person you knew all your life, the person you loved and depended on, is suddenly hated with a white hot heat of a thousand burning suns, and you are never the same again, especially if the object of that hate has been dead a decade or more. You want to dig them up and scream at them, HOW COULD I HAVE BEEN SO STUPID FOR SO LONG?

(to be continued)


Marks

Your soul is not elastic
everything that happens leaves a mark
sometimes the worst comes from the inside
Everyone who gets close mars it somehow
some kick angry holes in it
some tag it with graffiti
and an occasional few paint Sistine ceilings

So watch and note
who’s got a paintbrush
who’s got a spray can
and who’s got heavy boots and mad feet
and from time to time take a look
at what’s in your own hand
and your own angry dancing footwear


Good Night – an epitaph

Night falls and cars
open their headlight eyes
brake lights telegraphing signals
down lines at stop signs

Darkness lights lightly on
the city and tiny suns
come to life lining highways
unnatural alarm clocks for nature

One day this will all be gone
tucked under blankets of
mushroom clouds or wormwood or
maybe just hate and ignorance

or rabid unthinking brutality
and cheering sociopaths
spitting and enraged voyeurs
with bloody hands fat on couches

But the trash heaps
will be glorious.

- RGA, 1985 & 2014


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