7AM

Sitting on the windowsill of a fourteenth floor apartment, hearing the sound of tired cars and tired souls beneath me, I notice the people below aren’t yet so distant that they look like ants to my eye. From here, I can still see a distorted aerial view of their figures. I can see what they’re wearing, if they’re hurried or if they appear to have no place in the world they need to be. But for all this, they’re still small enough to be vague and insignificant.
            Sometimes I romanticize them; based on everything I’m observing, I try to fathom their stories. Maybe I imagine that I’ll meet one of them some day soon. They’ll be that person we’ve all been conditioned to wait for, the one that will change me. They’ll alter the entire course of my life and I won’t be stuck sitting on a fourteenth floor apartment’s windowsill in the early morning.

Or….

Or instead I imagine myself leaning forward, only slightly, but enough to fall. And in this way, I’d be the one making an impact on not just the concrete, but their lives. While I can’t speak from experience, I imagine that witnessing a person expire so violently might do more to a commuter than just put them off their egg and bacon roll.

 Alas, in all of my affinity for the imagination, it has rendered me an uncanny ability to play any role but the active. So instead of getting in the elevator and going down fourteen floors and possibly meeting one of those distant, not-quite-ants people, instead of making an omelet of my insides before a handful of the city’s most monotonous early birds, I think I’ll go to bed. It’s 7am and the sunlight feels as though it’s staining my eyes. 

A few rhyming poems I wrote last year:

Birds

There are birds in my head
but I fear they are dead
because I haven’t heard from
them in a while

They stopped pecking
so I’m checking
but I can’t get them out

The birds haven’t been fed
maybe that’s why they’re dead!
And now they’ll decay in my mouth 

Funeral

There’s a funeral in my living room
and Satan whispers in my ear
He spills his wine upon my floor
The blood of Christ drips ever near

I wonder if he wants it back
But he’s not as he was before
Jesus is shooting up in the bathroom
and says he doesn’t need it anymore

There’s no designated driver
Absolved of responsibility
Lucifer looks me in the eye and says
“There’s something here you ought to see”

But Jesus stumbles down the stairs,
He is hammered once again
I ask him where his father is
He says he’s never been my friend

So it’s time to play the game of sinners
Where the rules cannot be defied
There’s a funeral in my living room
I just can’t remember who died 

Conscience

Tap tap tap
It asks, “Are you asleep?”
No not yet,
how could I be?
When splintered nails
keep poking me
“Remember what you did last night?”
Of course I do,
it wasn’t right
Whether my eyes are closed
Whether my mouth is open
no variations stop
my conscience flowing

Reminder! Reminder!
Set the clock!
Set the date!
This poking, prodding shadow
doesn’t care if it is late

“I noticed your breathing…
I noticed that it slowed
and I couldn’t help but to 
remind you
that I will always know”

 

End

Last night I had a dream
I dreamt that I slept
And while I was sleeping
the entire Earth wept
The seas drew from their beds
and collapsed with finality
And while everyone drowned
they had no time
to look for me
Volcanoes shuddered
and threw up their guts
and until everyone perished,
the Earth didn’t give up
Mountains, they crumbled
and fell at my feet
and all of the while
I still stayed asleep
I awoke all too late
and missed my own demise
I missed all of the blood,
burned flesh and the cries
I missed man’s last prayer,
last bargain, last lies
And my punishment now
is that I’m still alive. 

 

The Blank Page

The empty page: it’s a mixture of both the most beautiful opportunity and the most tiresome, bothersome reminder that you’ve. got. nothing. Eventually, given enough frustrated dedication, it may simply become the arbitrator of procrastination, the humiliating advocate of “turn off the computer and go to bed.” When your only profound realization is that you have no profound realizations, the blank page becomes more like sitting in church on a Sunday morning with a hangover, reeking of cheap beer and creeping inhibition. Though your vision is muddled, you see through its stain-glassed façade, discard all of its supposed possibilities and potential, and as you look down at your shoe and wonder if the stain on your toe is blood, booze or semen, it hits you: Jesus Christ, what the fuck am I doing here?

So give up. Accept that you’re, in this moment, a failure. Jesus is not coming and he doesn’t have any brilliant ideas for you to expand upon. No one is going to hold your hand and guide your fingers to your next astounding literary achievement. You decided you wanted to be a writer but you’re not writing. So, what’s your alternative? A drinker. You can drink, and you will, in the vain hope that this next glass is going to loosen the hinges on the floodgates of brilliance that lie within the depths of your prematurely shriveled mind.

But it doesn’t. All that it loosens is your idea of responsibility, and maybe your ability to keep anything in your stomach. You forgot to eat again and as such, find yourself sitting hunched over the toilet bowl, staring into the dark remnants of drink number god-knows-which. As you watch the acidic mixture float in the stagnant water before you, you wonder: is this my great masterpiece?

If you’re lucky, diligent and have any sort of notable talent, it is possible for this archaic process to be punctuated by eventual success. You can only drink your way to stupidity so many times before you eventually and accidentally stumble over a naked and vulnerable creature of inspiration—a fetal reflection of your lost potential. It is then your job to nurture and build this aborted mutation before near-sobriety jealously casts it away from your clutches. It is imperative that you not tell yourself “I’ll remember this in the morning,” because you will not.  Know that there is no greater deterrent of brilliance than a throbbing headache and the humiliating illumination of the rising sun. So go ahead, write it down. 

Suddenly, you’ll find, you’re no longer staring at a blank page.