1. You probably won’t find me back here any time soon.
    It’s been a hard couple of days to try to
    make dates, my dance card is full up to
    its neck in dust and other people’s talk and
    you serious? and we does only deal with
    folks who serious and lots of longing, too.
    I thought I saw you out of the corner of my eye
    walk down Ariapita Avenue late last evening
    but it was just some spry little girl in a green skirt
    on her way to whatever was hip and saccharine in the city
    on a Wednesday evening. What even would that be?
    I wanted to ask you, but I figured you’d be busy.
    I wanted to say how tired I am of the idea of work
    but I figured you’d be busy from taking that theory
    into practice, from planning, from showing me up
    with regard to the performance of adulthood -
    you’re a natural, doll, a real natural,
    I could learn a couple of things from you.
    I want to be wherever you are
    because you are always far away from whatever
    I have to do and dread doing. Do you see
    the hilarity of that? We’d never see each other
    again if that affect is true, I think.
    So I’ll go first. I’ll leave through the kitchen door
    with neither note nor nimble foot;
    I’ll give no past or prior warning,
    because I don’t think I’ve ever had a moment
    thinking you would if the time came,
    and the time can only come,
    that’s what time does, inch toward you,
    so I won’t wait for the time when you change
    your name to Busy and your age to Tired,
    when your watch runs dry for me.
    Maybe that’s what I’m supposed to learn from you?
    The thing that makes children into adults?
    The fear, like dust in the lungs, that one day
    no one will think you worthy of their eyes or ears?
    The fear that none of your cooing will make
    strangers swoon, that you are not baby-lovely any more?
    Loneliness? Is that what age gives me?
    That’s what time does, inch toward you.
    I’ll close the door on my way out, I promise you that.
    I don’t think I could trust you to do the same,
    so don’t complain.

  2. I’ve been hating you real easy lately; 
    your voice still lingers in my dreams sometimes 
    and I can see the indentations your shadow makes 
    on mall food court chairs to make me sick. 
    Every day is another random memento 
    fit for the flames of Gehenna, and I don’t 
    know if I revel or revere finding those cursed things 
    yet. I grow fond of dancing to forget, 
    and I found a whole new me you’ll never get to 
    love or loathe or tear apart 
    in my waist, I love that part most of all, 
    that this is not something you have scarred 
    or scared off. I hate the you that took the rest, 
    and the you that pretends that they weren’t gone; 
    I hate the you that drove fists in me 
    and answered me in screams; 
    I hate the you that put my passions in the sea 
    and said saving them from drowning meant deserting you. 
    I hate most of all the you 
    that made me wait so long to see the me I could have loved 
    all this time instead. I hate the you that wouldn’t leave my head. 
    All the keys you bought to break into me are melted down 
    into an effigy around my neck 
    and I will wear that one til I fall down. 
    I’ll dance on the loose pages of 
    all the doubts I had to lay in bed beside, I’ll sing salacious 
    strength in their ears til they scream to you that I’ve been cruel 
    to them. I’ll love better than your fists can bruise, 
    and I’ll make you watch. This is how badly I hate you. 
    Maybe one day I won’t. I am really hoping one day I stop. 
    But hating you has come far too simply as of late.

  3. I strain for the right register 
    to hum the song of the witch 
    and I live beneath the hands of 
    sculptors, the needle 
    of designers, the lead of artists 
    I is a weed 
    look at all de t’ings I does drink 
    one day I go get big like you 
    just you wait and see. 

    Hanging out with thrillingbird yesterday and it dawns on me that community is not forced; movement is not something you have to teach nature, it is a thing nature is good at. This has been a month of Movement as Going With The Flow. 

    Snippet from an incomplete poem. Soon come.

  4. All you are, 
    more likely than not, 
    is the collected strivings of all the times 
    you thought you’d be a more interesting person to someone else 
      if you just read more Martin Carter, 
      if you just read more Borges, 
      if you just read more Rainbow Rowell, 
      if you just read more Junot Diaz, 
      if you just listened to more jazz, 
      if you just listened to more Shabazz Palaces, 
      if you just listened to more hip-hop, 
      if you just listened to more obscure synthpop 
    with the treble making trouble on the walls 
    and leaving neon stains that won’t come out 
    no matter how hard you pray, 
      if you just ate less meat, 
      if you just drank a flavour of coffee you can’t pronounce, 
      if you just drank vodka martinis extra dirty shaken not stirred, 
      if you just drank vodka on the rocks through 
    a straw you couldn’t strain your hope through, 
      if you just drank, 
      if you just smoked a joint 
    and joined us in ignoring the days we fear,
      if you just loc’d your hair, 
      if you just relaxed your hair, 
      if you just paid me a compliment 
    every once in a while, 
      if you just were worth 
      if you just kept up with me,
      if you just knew the words to a musical by heart, 
      if you just kissed on the first date 
    all black leather jacket and lipstick that perfect shade of red 
    or pink 
    or lime green because 
        you just didn’t look like you were one of those folks on TV, 
      if you just looked as good as those folks on TV, 
      if you just leaned in all tempting in a selfie 
    so we could see just the parts we were looking at, 
      if you just didn’t sound so smart all the time, 
      if you just watched more anime, 
      if you just read more comic books, 
      if you just knew who we were so in love with from the movies 
    so when we swoon you don’t do what you do 
    broodingly over the window balcony 
    like we’re boring you, 
      if you just didn’t feel so down all the time, 
      if you just helped me not feel so down all the time, 
      if you just cried once in a while 
    so I could know what we’re all better than you about, 
          if you just 
          stopped staring so blankly at our intentions 
          feeling something more than empty and listless 
          because god, does that frighten us, 
          feeling lifted or some shit, 
          transcendent, greater than our mess, 
          not fearful, worshipful,
          lonely, screwed-up, dependent,  
          but seeing the crack in the wall 

          and wanting to punch it 
          with all your fear.

    If you just left the plugs of our hollow hearts alone
    and be what we need to love
    to feel loved,
    we could have kept you around, you know.

  5. And so it begins, 
    the long mental pursuit of romance, 
    that which leaves me strung out and dreaming, 
    your name on my lips like incantation, 
    your face behind my eyes like the hope of treasure; 
    everything about you glistens in the abstract, 
    and all my memories are wide, well-inked tales 
    of a princess beside my poverty 
    and still gleaming, 
    gleaming like goddess-smile, 
    gleaming like gold, 
    still gleaming 
    as if I have something I can give you. 
    This is how daily glowing entries in diaries begin. 
    This is how the weekly factory of romantic poetry begins. 
    This is how my gasps and shyness begins. 
    This is how the trials of knights’ swords and 
    the hard dreaming of their hands begin. 
    If I could call your name without a fear 
    of closed balcony windows or blushing goodbyes, I would, 
    but that is not how my heart was built. 
    I leave this to rest upon the wings 
    of those angel-things that flutter about 
    and make such a racket in my head 
    when I could not be thinking about you instead. 
    So it begins.

  6. I imagine what one 
    must do when the enemy, red-eyed 
    and bellowing, advances to the door 
    is that they must bare the neck unrepentantly, 
    that if they meet your apology with wide screams 
    you must paint your neck red, 
    that if they must be cruel 
    you must sauté your neck, 
    that if they presume your intentions 
    because their story of you sounds better 
    than what is written in the truth, 
    then you should take a marker 
    and run it through the truth 
    and draw a picture of yourself with 
    buck teeth and cross-eyes and 
    a slit throat with 
    blood all about your neck. 

    The other day I told my mother 
    that if she tells those who love her that they’re worthless 
    they may just believe it. 
    She called me a blasphemer 
    and slammed the door. 
    Well, gosh, sorry, 
    I’ll keep my two-plus-twos and 
    Newton’s apples to myself, then. 
    I don’t know how armistice works. 
    Does it work like surrender? 
    Or is it something broader 
    and less susceptible to bleeding out, 
    a thing more bulletproof? 
    I’ve long since meant no harm, 
    but I suppose if it were so easy for 
    wars to end, we wouldn’t have this problem. 
    I thought if they knew 
    my white flag was what I wore 
    to bed at night to ease their pain 
    we’d all be done, 
    but for some, if you’re already on the wrong side, 
    you may as well win the battle as consolation, right?

  7. Just in case you never knew, 
    lemme help yuh get it straight: 
    God only hates folks who tell folks who God hates… 

    In which my brother tells the truth. 

  8. Now tell me:
    What if God was one of us?

    Yeah, I went there.
    My latest Free Speech Project video, One of Us, is up on YouTube now, after my own brother’s brilliant God Hates.
    Give it a watch, and share it around if you like it!

  9. how do I manage
    to become impressive

    to those by whom I am impressed
    when they would dare
    ask the question,

    'how do I manage
    to become impressive’?

    things you are - I
  10. potential losses make me stiff, 
    and the fear of some unhelpful rage 
    makes me feel this special kind of nervous 
    where I think the skin on my head 
    is pulling away from my skull in all directions, 
    trying to flee. 
    no metaphor, I feel 
    like I’m detaching with worry. 
    why crawl 
    when you can run, right? 
    I want to ask for directness, because 
    if I can’t, then I’ll always be worried 
    and clutching. I do that. 
    so here’s it - 
    polish your brashness and brandish it, 
    run me through, rev up the hilt 
    each time til it tears me down, 
    because every refused moment 
    just makes the thing hurt more on all sides. 
    it will never have been the first time 
    that anyone’s fears have knocked 
    dropping by unannounced for dinner 
    and dinning at the table and 
    dinning into them 
    that worthlessness is an integer 
    they’ll always equal. 
    I’ll be stiff, I’ll have to be, 
    the death will come like it must, 
    you can’t be afraid of the death for me, 
    or else I kill you instead. 
    do it, or dispel it, 
    the thing’s already upon me, 
    compassion is not putting off the stab, 
    it’s committing, 
    it’s coming from the face, 
    it’s leaving the blade in 
    so I can count a few more moments 
    and a few less fears. 

  11. I’m not trying to be guilty. 
    I’m just trying to understand what it means 
    when I’m walking down my path to home 
    at ten in the night 
    past flickering or long-dead street lamps 
    and seeing hurried strides 
    from school uniform skirts ahead of me. 

    I know I’m no 
    monster, but can that ever 
    What’s more useful, 
    dull knives that tell the once-bitten 
    'but I'm not sharp!', or 
    dull knives that tell the sharp 
    to put up their dukes? 

    Because the frightened 
    have been told all the wrong things 
    about monsters - 
    that there are none 
    under the bed, that they’re only 
    in the closets of bad girls, are you 
    bad, are you lowly? 
    Not where the garlic is, 
    not where they can get a stake. 
    And I? Look at me, 
    I glisten with wickedness, 
    it’s written in the veins of my eyes, 
    and sometimes even I slip into its full-moon snare; 
    just put the blood of a woman 
    before me once and I will whimper 
    and whatever grim will in my chest 
    that spins alongside the gears of the world 
    will clatter against my bones 
    and I’ll have to howl even louder in protest 
    than in pride just to not 
    tear something apart - 

    I am a monster
    I know I’m no 
    monster, but I know what I am
    This is no sheer resemblance. 
    I am sired by it. 
    When it sings, 
    I do not even notice there is a song 
    so much as something sounds like an order. 
    And I know it’s wrong 
    like every other noble thing that bears the skin 
    of wicked spirits, 
    so I look at my cravings harder than most. 
    Even that doesn’t help. 
    What helps is 
    being aware that things avoid me in the dark, 
    and putting my sharp teeth 
    into the necks of things that look like me 
    when they growl and thirst for innocents. 

  12. To you all, 
    all of you who ask 
    for me to list my fears, 
    I say: 

    I am just afraid. 

    Everything I see of your constructions are 
    rules placed upon 
    the things that you can break of me or 
    the things that you would ask me to break 

    so I have been running 
    and hiding under gazette sheets 
    and drinking rainwater 
    and salting my bread with tears 
    and sharpening my broken bones 
    for when I may have to fight you. 

    For all you people’s 
    talk of living the life 
    of a man who’s been saved by sacrifice 
    you all feel so content to kill others with your tongue. 

    So I’d rather be sacrificed, 
    or be Jesus with his cat-o’-nine-tails 
    before Jesus with his blood, or - forbid - his nails, 

    than ever have a taste of you 
    upon my lips. 
    Saying so, I hear, 
    makes me pretentious. 
    Then I’d rather be cardboard in the vanguard 
    than real meat in the gutter - 

    I’d rather they frown 
    and cast me out 
    and I know I’d still stand up between 
    them and the guns you have made of your politics 

    than ever just 
    buy a uniform for you 
    and fall in. 

    I can’t. 
    It just isn’t in my size; 

    all the grotesque parts of me 
    have been cut off, 
    I am just too slim, 
    I cannot wear your ideas.

  13. "No, you don’t understand: 
    these words are my face…”

    Here’s my latest video for the Free Speech Project, ‘#Selfie’. I like it. Hopefully you will too.



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