The Sky is Made of Sky

All the seagulls on this beach are laughing at me today, and a man and his son jog along the boardwalk at walking pace. They are wearing matching outfits right down to their red running shoes. The father already exists, but the son doesn’t want to be anyone else.

All the water is made of water today, and the sky is made of sky. There’s a man with a kind face throwing a stick to a golden retriever, and I think he would still try to have sex with me if we became friends. He’d be nice about it, though, and we’d be okay afterward. I think I’d feel okay.

I think that these birds are hung on strings from the stars we cannot see when the sun is out. I think that the sun is made of sun and the sky is made of sky. I think that beautiful women are just women who happen to be beautiful, who lock themselves in bathrooms and cry sometimes about how small their hands are while seagulls laugh at them outside the window.The Sky is made of sky

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Feb. 20th – Montreal


Running through
the slushy streets
of Montreal,
your feet soaking wet
and frozen, drunk
on cheap wine
and everything
is magic but you,
only it doesn’t matter
because
you are alive
just like the rest
of these assholes.
Mascara
smudged
down
your
face
in the pouring rain.

All the Cats are Dying Tonight


On nights like this the cats cry
like babies and the breath in front
of your face is a white figure with a name
and a birthdate, six-hundred stamps
on its passport and a biopic
about its life coming out next fall.

Meanwhile, you are a paperclip.
The headlights make you colder and
there are still one million sidewalk stones
from here to home.

All the cats are dying tonight,
their souls blown away in the suffering
wind and pieces of yourself go with them,
childhood memories you haven’t remembered
in ages that you will never remember again,
sleepovers, birthday parties, learning to ride a bike.

You are faceless in this metal night
as the cold creeps into you. Ashes
in your mouth, the taste of sadness
and the past you will never get back.

Three Minutes

At work she sets a timer for three minutes and goes into the bathroom at the back where the soap is rarely refilled and the toilet paper is rarely refilled and where someone shoved three crates of baseball caps with the company’s old logo into the corner long before she worked there.

She pulls the crates to the window and stands to stare at the city stretching before her, people with shopping bags and big hats, and the way the rain paints pictures of flying saucers in the puddles.

And when she gets home, she eats alone watching television on mute and watching the extras in half-focus order coffee from named characters and carry on their imagined conversations.

She heard from her childhood best friend whose cousin was an extra
on Degrassi that all the background actors are told to say Peas and Carrots or else Strawberries over and over to make it look like they’re talking, and that’s what she looks for now, the secret code that people are told to whisper when their problems are too big for a television screen and can’t be solved in the space of a three-minute background scene.

Everyone is Coming to Arrest You

The park detective is
dressed as a child and coming
to arrest you for eating asparagus
with your hands and for calling it
Asperger’s at the store last week on purpose
just to see what the cashier would do.

There is a drug dealer
without a shirt on chugging
chocolate milk from a 2L carton,
and the secret police in dog
clothes are coming for him too.

There are microphones buried
beneath the trees and speakers
hidden in their branches.
They let out soothing bird chirps,
specially programed with subliminal messages
to trick you into believing
that everything is as it always was
and was how it is today.

New York

New York City, holes
for shoes, sleep-drunk
and stumbling through slush
up to your neck, and this
is the movie of your life,
and this is your life.

The glass is ice and the ice
is melting. Your boots
will never be mended.
This is the dream, and this
is your life. The clouds are full
of snow and needles,
but the train is coming,
and soon you will wake
in the warmth.

Buried


Amber had just gotten ink put under her skin,
And we were drunk on gin martinis in a bar in Brooklyn
And a man with a voice of tinfoil
Was telling us how the bar was haunted
They found bones in the basement
Buried beside a gold ring
And a statue of something unspeakable
What was the statue of? We wanted to know
But the man wouldn’t say

Amber showed him her new tattoo
Wrapped in plastic for protection
And we stared at the way the ink bled into her

What will our bodies look like after we die?
Will the ink we put into our skin still be on us?
Where will we go when we are no longer here?

But the man wouldn’t say
And our martinis were running low
Amber and me and the man
The bones under the floorboards
And the ink under our skin
The ring and the statue of something unspeakable
And everything else that was buried
And waiting to make itself known.

Staten Island Land of Dead Angels

Staten Island Land of Dead Angels

Staten Island land of dead angels and the post offices are always closed. I walked up streets and down street, and every cardboard box had a price tag, and every emerald house had a price tag, and all the price tags said one hundred billion dollars. Everything said one hundred billion dollars but an angel with his chest caved in and wings made out of paperclips and dirt. He spoke to me in a language I somehow knew although I’d never heard when I was awake, and when I woke, I was on the Staten Island ferry and the Statue of Liberty was staring at me like I’d never find a home.

Sudoku Days

Sudoku Days

It was the last Saturday of the summer,

t-shirt night, 4am, and everyone

we knew was there, and everyone

we didn’t know was also there

to witness a man on a fourteenth floor

condominium balcony rip off

each day of his Sudoku a Day calendar

and throw it into the evening,

July first, July second, July third,

all the way to August 31st.

What are you doing still awake?

What are you doing still awake?

Cars blasting bad rap music down streets

full of people we were about to meet

the woman in a gold gown and white sash

stumbling over the sewer cover, and you and me

and the 24 hour McDonalds

and I think I still have a beer at home,

and the Sudoku days folding to cranes

and flying away.

Nautical Priest


Nautical Priest
It’s the middle of August in this park,
and I’m eating
pierogies with my bare hands. I’m sitting
where dogs pee, and I’m dressed
like a nautical priest.

Our bodies are opening
in this late summer heat. We are not
like flowers but like eggs.
Our yellow centres are raw,
but maybe the pavement will change that.

We are nowhere near the ocean
and my nautical priest duties
are limited. There’s a man pretending
to tai-chi in this park, and no one
has noticed he’s doing
the Macarena very slowly.

God bless this water fountain
and that woman’s anchor tattoo,
and God bless these eggs,
opening like flowers
in the mid-August heat.