G.T.S.

youth, 
that tiger knee,
    shatters the teeth
of anyone who claws
beyond it; sends mouthbones 
scurrying abt the floor pill-form 
in prescribed explosion.
            youth
grips the opponent, mounting
methodical twards offense,
    thinks only
of itself, its tattooed immortality 
nd not what it would do
       if it only had more time
        to ask for more time
because it’s squashed the gas 
pedal ever since it turned sixteen.
            youth
is too busy firemanning the world
nd slamming it with sweet nd swagger —
            
            ‘yes.
        i’ve heard of atlas
        but you can get maps
        on yr phone now, y’know.’

            youth
shoots pipebomb-screamingly into night
until its vocal chords gather 
infection nd purple on purpose
to cut off all airflow, save a hole
for ativan or atrophy thru asphyxiation.
            youth
        retires, tucks
            you in
        before leading its
            new life.

longliver

i have a friend who drinks 
me under the table every weekend
and while i'm down there
he shows me surgery scars
from his acute liver failure,
s t r e t c h marks from ascites
and a tattoo he got after seeing
himself in his dead mother.
    i can't read the scars
at least not outside the proper context
        or without consequence
but i manage to get meaning from the tattoo:
there are words wrapping a greek bird,
            wrapping a knee,
with all letters and flowers laid out
in the appropriately extinct
                and silent
                latin language. 
it brings new darkness
to the black ink and makes the phoenix
look like he got out of hand
trying to provide himself
new flights with new flames.
desperately flapping young and younger wings:
    playing icarus
with a homefield advantage but still coming out
    the burnt and burning underdog.
and while there are real problems in people
beyond greek gods and literature—
    i wouldn't know.
i'm white and have a penis and ample beer money
    and i suppose so too does he
but he's also got faulty guts
known to balloon after a few shots
    so i guess
my question is whether or not he sees
        the sisyphus
of us sucking back beers and watching 
fluids settle at the bottom of a glass
or whether or not anyone'll hear me
when i tell 'em there's a problem
down here on the barroom floor.

3 day poem

february 10

somewhere in the back of my head
a doorbell rings—penetrating
like an alarm i'd set
13 years ago and pretended
i'd forgot about.
   and holy dinah,
like her mother used to say,
it's as if she's here
glowing golden vibrance:
the mother of a thousand sons
or parvati or god
   who knows
but i'm glad she's here
so i'll open the door now
   i swear
i'll   open   the   door.


february 13

your father came to me
in a dream, screaming like
   the freight
he used to move 
through the night.
he was still bald,
still wearing overalls,
   and stood still
staring deeper into me
than he'd ever done before.
he tried to tell me 
   we're men now
but i don't have the hair
nor his total lack thereof,
so i didn't really believe him.
i never really believed him
save on those nights 
that he would scream
past on the rails
just to let his kids know
   he was around.


february 18

i have a hard time seeing you
as less a child than myself,
but there you are holding one
and it's yours and
   it's beautiful.
a lil annette like you
used to be and i wish you
were still but that's selfish
and immature so i guess i'm
   selfish and immature.
at least i know that catalogued
somewhere in my heart of hearts
there's a file, a prediction:
   i know i knew
you'd make a helluva mother.
it's just hard to take it all in
through the eyes of a child.