His favorite pastime was throwing up roadblocks to the people who loved him, forcing them continually to redraw their maps to his heart. And when he was dead, all of them led to foreign countries that were nowhere near his secret home.

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Regret redux

Regret comes in quiet
it goes by slow degrees
it gently takes your heart
and drowns it in the sea.

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Words would only mar
Planets would eclipse the star
Like steam the dream loses shape
Moments after eyes open
The ineffable
Must continue to sleep
Your soul to keep
And trap what you feel
Before the name came
To allow escape
It died when defined
Boxed up and maligned
The smoke laughs
From afar.


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High school

We were a small circle of friends. Sometimes there were three of us, sometimes two. Sometimes and too often it was just me. My sacred text was Star Trek, and in that I was alone. We had our religion, though, and our hymns were Stairway to Heaven and Starship Trooper. We had our black light posters and our incense. We had our Bible studies and told our dirty jokes after. We halfway believed there were demons in our rock albums but that Jesus would save us from them anyway. Anything bad for us we could sleep off. We nodded at the sermons and dipped our toes in nihilism, but we were just posing for effect. We asked all the wrong questions. We never once wondered how quickly those days would pass.


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Sometimes I’m only spinning plates
and sometimes I realize the audience has left
Sometimes I realize I’m only dreaming
and just twirling air, all past lives
just broken bodies in a mass grave
next to the supermarket parking lot.

spinning plates

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When endless nights drag by
leaving your brain puffed with poison
no sleep no sleep no sleep
and your home suddenly has
unknown smells and your
pets don’t know you anymore
and the lamps all move and replaced
things shock and stop
working and everyone you thought
loved you you can see in their
eyes they don’t anymore they
whisper into their phones and
you overhear your name but then
it’s not your name anymore
they smile and tell you everything’s
okay just calm down just relax
just close your eyes no one’s
going to hurt you but then you hear
the knives come out no sleep
no sleep no sleep you find yourself
actually wanting the knives to open
you up so all the poison can
finally leak out


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They wheeled her in,
skin as thin as onion skin,
wasted away to squinting bones,

to view her daughter’s body.
“Just throw a rag over her,” she said,
a lifetime of grievance exhaled.

So sorry, grandmother, to exhume you so,
but you are a lump of coal
and my furnace is cold.

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