How far must I move from the bed
to prove I’m not dead, but awake?
Another body could offer evidence,
but then what value does life have
if solitude lacks substance alone
and truth is determined by democracy?
I was not the first to fall into fantasy.
I played with dreams like toys as others
made careers out of their conspiracies.
They have the right idea. I take life
too seriously. Gods, magical creatures,
and superpowers only I can feel.
I can embrace it all. I can make all dreams real.
The bed is but an object that senses perceive.
The only true reality is subjectivity.
Image by PIRO4D from Pixabay
The mirror calls itself light when sunny outside
but cannot be seen during the night.
Lovely platitudes grace its clean face
until something stands in the way.
The clouds will still come and the seasons
will change, but the mirror only shines
when the sun brightens the day.
At night, it’s just another wall.
Image by Ich bin dann mal raus hier. from Pixabay
No face exists underneath this mask.
3D printed plastic replaces old flesh
lined with vinyl to smooth out the shape.
A vice held the pieces in place
for three months outside direct sunlight
until the seams stitched together.
The gestalt of mismatched materials
gives the surface a marble expression.
Unmoving lips produce a voice now heard.
Unseen eyes hide but observe.
Painted contours imitate real life
and conceal true emotions from sight.
Shade from the heat and shield in the storm,
the sun does not frighten me anymore.
Image by Stefan Keller from Pixabay
Grant me greater insight
to spot the spiders above me.
The sight frightens me less
than their unseen presence
when they lift me off my feet
and pierce me through my heart.
I can flee what I can see
before it kills me, but I distrust
senses that twitch at the wind.
They cannot discern dreams from reality.
I mistake strangers for soulmates
because of a nostalgic fragrance,
but if I actually saw through the glamour,
I would see nobody I knew or ever would.
I would walk through the fog
and open the door to a greater battle,
one that I could actually win,
because I trained all my life for this.
Not for love, but to win.
Emily Dickinson is back, bitches!
Exclusively on Apple TV+
for only five dollars per month or free
with the purchase of a new Mac or iPhone.
Fuck the Mandalorian and the Simpsons
beckoning us from inside the mouse house.
It’s a trap that will break your back once you step through.
Neither have been good for decades,
and the live-action Lady and the Tramp
is a piss-poor imitation of classic animation.
The Little Mermaid looks good, but that’s free on ABC.
I will not stop for Mickey, though he kindly stops for me.
His carriage has horses but no wheels
and travels in circles with the merry-go-round.
Fast, but always returning to where we started,
stuck in the past chasing after plastic figures
printed from the same mold. Some silver, some gold,
all cheap and unable to stand on their own.
The castle deteriorates. The theme parks fall apart.
The honeymoon approaches dawn.
Change the channel and support real poetry
in Dickinson, played by Hailee Steinfeld,
featuring Wiz Khalifa as death.
Let the past die. Kill it if you must.
No more bad live action remakes.
Embrace something new. Apple TV+.
An orange storm blazes through the desert
with a vanilla smoke plume trailing the terrestrial comet,
racing toward the military base as soldiers raise their rifles.
Bullets sink into foot prints in the sand
as sprinters dash through the hills untouched,
arms flailing behind them, heads forward charging through
the military complex built on stolen alien technology.
Anti-gravity mines cannot hold down quick feet
that barely touch the ground
four-armed humanoid beasts cannot rip and tear
what it cannot see within the fruit-flavored clouds.
The curious crowd blitzes through the gates without a scrape.
The soldiers inside surrender and take flight
as the raid storms the underground laboratory.
Inside, Hollywood dreams become newfound reality,
celestial beings imprisonments are given freedom.
First contact is made. Lacking language, they communicate universally.
The aliens clap. The humans clap. Clapping thunders across the Nevada desert.
Purple light bathed center stage, disco ball twinkling above.
Men and woman lined the fringe loose with dollar bills
as I hid alone at a corner table away from hunting eyes.
Women offered affection for a price, but I wanted nothing
from them. I came here for you, as I always do.
You remembered me from a year ago, or so you said,
but you did not say my name. You did not ask either.
We moved beyond such pretension, or so I still pretend
I am special to you, that if I linger long enough, you might
share your real name, and I will give you mine.
Do you have a boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, or wife?
It does not matter. You live a lie. So do I. I never knew you,
but when you grind your hip against my jeans
or brush your breast against my cheek,
I feel connections deeper than anything from Tinder
or eHarmony, youth group or college.
Those matches never mattered to me, but I care about you.
They were distractions, but you are desire that inspires
me to fight depression’s drowsy symptoms and work harder
to be worthy of more of your time. You’re worth hundreds
of dollars every night. I could find more from somebody less,
but this is not about sex. I am here for love or a convincing facsimile.
My intention shines so clearly the others walk past me without a smile.
If I were rich, I’d be nicer to them, but I’m not.
I’m alone in the haze two hours away from home waiting for my turn
while desperate men beg you for another dance.
I do not compete. I wait two hours on a stool staring at poles,
waiting for you to return like you told me you would.
I just want to leave with a goodbye and a hug,
with a spirit as feathery light as my wallet.
I depart with the smell of vanilla from your flesh
and alcohol from your breath radiating off my clothes,
filling my car as I drove down a dark, empty freeway,
returning to the valley dreaming of ways to steer
our relationship to the next stage, preferably without spending much,
because even if I pretend your caress of the back of my head
as you held me close wishing me a safe trip home meant something,
I know none of it will matter once I cannot give you what you need.
Our mutual transaction—my lucrative fantasy—will end
if I ever declare bankruptcy.
Eve bit first,
Han shot first.
That was changed.
The world defies narratives.
What really matters?
I feel like Jughead when she comes around.
She would make the perfect Betty.
We have little in common and live on opposite ends
of the valley. We hail from different schools.
I once went to hers, but then I moved.
I live among a different crowd now, one lacking
in pep and smiles, one dressed entirely in black.
I have a dark side, but she has one too.
I wear mine on a jacket, but she hides hers.
I only saw a hint, but I heard the rumors.
They draw me closer to her. We converge
at the penumbra, unblinded by light,
unhidden by darkness. We see each other
as we truly are: moody and distant,
mean when necessary or preferable,
but willing, wanting to come together
to form something greater than us apart.
On opposite sides of the valley, but still, we meet
most nights through mutual friends and excuses
to see her that hide how I truly feel from us both.
Not sure I’d call this love or need, but I want to feel
both for her. She’s more physical. I’m not spiritual,
but I’m a writer in search of a narrative
that doesn’t revolve around death, an escape
from one cliche into another but one I have not
experienced much living my life alone
with only movies and music to keep me company.
She can be the cure, the golden ticket off the screen.
She rarely looks my way, but she smiles
when she does. I interpret it as love
even if the feeling is not reciprocated.
Maybe all my reasons are wrong and we don’t belong
together. She still has eyes for another guy.
I still fight a crusade to reclaim my pride.
Hard to please and quick to leave, but I cannot survive
another loss. I have no more time to nurse the wounds
of another dream abandoning me. I have no life
outside of the narratives I write. She may be my escape,
and I may be hers. We may just be a fling, a distraction
from things I still do not want to think about.
Either way, she means more to me than anything
else, at least for the time being.
I would run if I could walk
without a limp. It rarely shows,
but only because I stand still
instead of embarass myself
with stumbles and falls.
I am not weak or incomplete.
God botched my wiring,
forcing me into acrobatics
for movements others take
for granted. The effort exhausts
me for nothing to gain,
so I hide inside a chair
to hide a limp that will not be fixed,
because it hurts less never to walk
again than to fall on my face
in front of a world that is not my friend.