INTOX NONSENSE


NOT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION

WRITER, MODEL, GRAD STUDENT in STL

photos are of me or by me unless reblogged
all poetry and prose is original

  • Poem #99 (Jackal Ace) [rough-ish]

    She bends down to eat a dead rat,

    which seems appropriate. Anyway

    she looks quite beautiful, squatted low

    in sweat, and earlier tonight

    she drew the Jackal Ace

    when collecting her white hand.

    We both were scared. We are.

    We’re good at least at that,

    also knowing when to go

    to church and take the long way.

    Downtown in night projects a holy

    mirror-maze, the sidewalks hidden

    passageways [just very hidden].

    We could go our whole lives

    without knowing the streets

    we’ve been walking are actually missing.

    They might take us too, so she has

    her metal-blue nightstick tucked inside

    one boot. She can’t walk as fast as me,

    makes metal sounds. But we are safe.

    A mile past the rat and blocks away

    from the Methodist church, its reach,

    she gets hungry again. But there

    is nothing here that’s dead, I tell her,

    thoughshe’s already walking ahead.

    She pulls out her nightstick, whacks

    at a cricket, picks it upwith care.

    Its body sounds like bullet-casings

    in between her teeth. She smiles at me,

    a gritty crease. I want to sleep. Her hunger

    coats me, paralytic. What makes me glow?

    The jackal finish. I was there to see

    the first dead thing she ever ate:

    a little frog crushed for our eyes

    by a minivan she wasn’t driving.

    It was dusk. The frog had sunk

    into the road to our father’s lake house,

    puddle-like soft. She slurped it up.

    We stood for hours on that dirt,

    turned in place to open up our heads

    as if we had been caving in too quickly,

    were coiled tight and changing into diamonds.

    We’re heavier and still when coal,

    still as surrender, not as peace. Even now

    on jackal nights when she gets tired,

    piles her body on the ground, I must

    remind her: Lovely life, it’s always dusk.

    And nobody’s the one in the minivan, you know. 

  • Poem #98 (Manmade) [very rough]

    I want a beach house, a trailer

    with cabinets and canvas pull-down curtains.

     - 

    There’s room along the coast but this is gravel-land

    and I’m facing the direction of a middle.

     -

    If the surface could be desert, could be Santa Fe, I’d be

    halfway to the goal and very far away.

     -

    But the ground stays gravel. Loves my feet.

    There is too much or too many under me.

     -

    I don’t want to go anywhere. I think: Maybe I just want

    to want a beach house. But I keep moving. They say

     -

    there’s peacefulness in that, and I have trouble

    wanting. Like having trouble breathing in a pool.

     -

    I’m not built for peace like palm trees

    cannot grow in gravel but can grow in beach.

     -

    Somewhere there’s a coast I bet. Somewhere close

    and somewhere I can get. I forget why I’m walking.

     -

    Earth’s tiny stones are made by years

    of wear, except the ones we make. It takes

     -

    a couple hours. Grind the bone. [I think.]

     -

    I’ve never understood.

     -

    You know what? I don’t want the beach house.

     -

    I want the peace but it won’t grow in sand

    and it won’t grow in gravel though gravel is perfect.

     -

    Peace is our own thing, made up—peace like a glove,

    like a wide, indoor ice sheet or gambling,

     -

    peace as it rests on golf-courses and airstrips

    the peace of this life going up like a jet

     -

    doomed to come down, and come down again safely

    to our own signs made in the earth—a false earth,

     -

    coasts littered with beach houses. Wait—

     -

    there’s mine. It’s a trailer, I forgot. Just like I asked.

     -

    I did ask.

     -

    Who was ever thinking peace? It couldn’t have been me.

     -

    The pull-down curtains pulled, it shines

    in light like any tin-can might. I could die in it. It’s mine.

     -

     

  • new haircut
  • Proem #60 (Other People’s Friends) [very rough and I don’t know what else]

    In a makeshift room of cloth and leaning drywall, a young man is watching season three of Friends on VHS. An empty that consumes somebody else keeps calling him T, and will whisper Monica a few times in deaf ears while he’s sleep.

     - 

    This is ShantyCentral and the TV’s old, a monolith that pulls the ceiling and then more—every piece that builds the slum [though only in T’s vision]—to the still-slow magnet of the boxy black. The television set is loud and angry, daring this world to collapse [read: rest] on top of it.

     -

    It rings: There’s such a thing as suffocation, and we’ll like it. That’s true most especially as Television knows this plane’s projections.

     -

    T smokes a cigarette he rolled himself, sweaty-wet in patches from his palms. It’s 107 degrees—outside and in. There is no real in here, save for watching TV.

     -

    Rachel laughs but T can’t understand what it is Phoebe’s saying to cause all the riot. He’s cocooned in his exhales, smoky breaths communicating solely with the blonde of Phoebe’s hair. Where is he?

     -

    All around there’s such an air of Somewhere. Maybe because T is Nowhere, as in here and Psych-Ward-bound, Nowhereis the only place Mariska’s mind could be—there being the place T was born, where he came from. Her skin being the air that he breathes.

     -

    Mariska’s sat on hard plastic in the ward’s small kitchen, brightly-lit. In the background of the Reverend’s face in front of her, there is a slim TV hung on the wall inside a cage of plastic. The Christian channel’s on commercial break.

     -

    Screen light promises that jungles grow somewhere with people in them. You could help them, pay them. You could take them. It’s what got Mariska thinking ShantyTown, TV and T.

     -

    The Reverend’s paranoid and schizophrenic, not a Reverend but a man drenched wet with scripture, as intent on holding tight to God as the remote control. But he always talks over the sermons he puts on, tells Mariska family sent Them to find him. He likes saying Them.

     -

    Who They are, the Reverend surely knows. Mariska wouldn’t question.

     -

    They found him in a library, the Reverend says. How did They know he was there? They’re watching the cameras somewhere. There are black and shiny cameras. They’re everywhere. And there’s also a Somewhere like where T must be.

     -

    Sounds roll in and out: the jungles and the Reverend. Not all these shots are of the same jungle Mariska thinks. Look at the birds, the different trees! But it’s likely not true.

     -

    The Reverend murmurs he married once, not legally but in the holy sense. He means that they had sex—lay together [as it exits lips]. Mariska has trouble not listening, wants instead to listen to T. But she invented him in too foreign a language, too distant a country.

     -

    There are three sips of apple juice left in the styrofoam cup that Mariska won’t [won’ t won’t won’t] drop, and the Reverend says he had a frog as a pet and Mariska likes frogs so Mariska looks up.

     -

    The story starts with his family’s lake house, a croak coming up from a steep/rocky river/ravine in the yard. He imagined the frog was his own, heard it croak every day. Always the same sound, echoing from the same place.

     -

    Mariska asks if he ever saw the frog. She’s interested it this now and wants to know how things went down. He says he did but only once.

     -

    In the driveway at dusk, that familiar croak sounded out one last time from behind then beneath a blue minivan the Reverend wasn’t driving. He did see the frog though.

     -

    His mother left encased in blue without a pause and then came back with chocolate pudding.

     -

    He asks Mariska: Why do they have to serve us so much pudding?

     -

    Mariska wants to say: You’re making all this up. I’m done.

     -

    But he’s not and she’s not. It’s just each word he uses lands too perfectly in her small ears.

     -

    So instead she says: It’s always been dusk. And nobody’s the one in the minivan, you know.

     

  • Proem #59 (Anita) [very rough, don’t know what the point of it is yet]

    The name Anita makes me feel like I’m poor and it’s morning. So I don’t like Anita already when she walks in and I don’t like her shoes especially—red flats, very flat. This office party doesn’t call for heels, but I prefer them, that’s an easy way to show respect. Mine are white with tips of black. She’s the new director of HR, or so I’ll have to guess.

     -

    She immediately heads toward Carol, who recommended her a month ago. They’re talking about Carol’s imminent granddaughter; I can tell by the way Anita’s head leans back and Carol’s voice goes up in pitch so even I can hear it. I know all about Carol’s son, his first child. She told me the names they considered, and I told her which I preferred. I like conversations like that—they’re refreshing.  I rarely say anything.

     -

    Anita has a nametag on, which is how I know right then to hate her. It’s a cheap sticker one, her handwriting like anyone else’s in cursive. I can’t write by hand, not legibly. My fingers move too much all by themselves without my input. These fingers are skittery things, livewire like the rest of me.

     -

    I could start writing now. I have a paper and pen. Every few minutes I search the air like the pen has gone missing, is floating. But it never leaves my hand. Nobody comes and talks to me; I must look lost in thought—or something else.

     -

    I rarely write on the notepad but I always have it with me so the others will think I’m carefully documenting. People act much better when they think you’re looking, glitter when they think you’ll write them down. They tell you possibilities of granddaughters, whisper their futures in a clear language. They invite you into their unopened boxes.

     -

    It’s why the self I’ve built for now is memory keeper. Though like anyone else I’m most interested in the ways I can fail at this role—at this I’m doing quite well.

     -

    Anita is silently looking at me, no scrap of interest in either brown eye—and both eyes are different. Not in color or in shape but like they’re looking at two separate things. She isn’t cross-eyed [I wish she were cross-eyed]. Maybe one eye’s lazy and just good at hiding.  

     -

    Now I’m looking straight into Anita, seeds of interest opening her face. I don’t like it. I look down, my pen hits the notepad—quick/hard so she’ll think it’s about her. I write:

     -

    THE DOG GOES BACKWARDS UP THE STAIRS. I WATCH IT HAPPEN.

     -

    Later I will not remember this. I won’t even be able to read it except for the words STAIRS and WATCH, which will become an anthem in the nightlights.

     -

    To write illegibly is a delicious failure. I relish what words do jump out, how meaning leaks and I am master of the space that’s left. Who care’s what I meant? Only nonsense has ever been relevant, connections from nothing and so never set, always changing. I won’t be the same person Saturday night when I read it [or try]. I’ll certainly not be the same person three hours after.

     -

    Anita went into the bathroom while I was writing; she’s gone and the door is still swinging. Fifty seconds pass—I count them, then enter myself and go to the handicap stall. Squatting over the toilet, I lean my head down to look at the ankles and lurid red shoes of Anita-the-pigeon-toed.

     -

    Her shoes have roses on them, invisible unless looking carefully—dozens of tiny ones sewn in the fabric. It makes me like the shoes more but Anita less. Conflicting feelings make my arms a noodle restless. I shake them.

     -

    To see what happens, I bang my fist against the wall right next to me and wait. Anita says nothing out loud but I hear a whisper start and fall away as if she almost did. Or almost screamed.

     -

    I’m sure she didn’t almost scream but I like thinking it.

     -

    When she starts to pee again I realize the thump had made her stop. I’m proud—proud like my mother might be of her garden—that I managed this. I hear her wild the water, the soft sounds of clothes, a metal lock clicking. Anita is leaving.

     -

    Through a crack in the stall, I watch Anita’s face break ugly in the mirror. Anyone’s does in this light, light-flooded. Hers is wide and like the moon, a Titan moon, so distant.

     -

    She closes her eyes for six seconds then opens them. The moon resets. I want to try.

     -

    There’s something about her I cannot stop watching, but unlike the others I don’t want her knowing I’m here. From under the door a blue light bleeds in from the party, fills the corner where Anita moves to stand.

     -

    As her figure leans over the dryer, I get the sense Anita used to be a different person. Maybe she knows this, or nobody does, never noticed. I leave the stall and don’t flush.

     -

    There’s only a two-second overlap of our mirrored bodies before Anita starts to leave the bathroom. I open my mouth. I want to tell her. But how do I say it, and why?

     -

    She’d just feel a vague and nagging lost, like forgetting directions to a familiar place. And she’d never stop feeling that way. If you can put a finger on the part that’s gone, at least you can miss it. And missing is somewhere to be, an island country called Missing Anita.

     -

    Anita’s gone and my mouth is still closed. I can’t risk it. Who knows if this new Anita ever met the old one face to face? If she can’t find the island, her drifting in the ocean will be all my fault. I want to set her down someplace like a glass figurine on a map. I don’t want to throw her off.

     -

    Even though I turn the water on to hot I do not wash my hands. I try to close my eyes for a full six seconds but I’m scared.

     

  • Rambler #3 (very drunk notes on death from the notebook by my TV) [I’d say “rough” but it’s not really anything]

    I do not believe in heaven, but I do believe in peace.

     -

    Peace like a thrum, as in: being young,

     -

    or feeling that way again on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon in summer

    (which have a lovely alliterative connection),

    and hearing the dull sound of a TV turned to static in the bedroom,

    the hum of a radio, the hum of more than one,

    incessant rumbling of the distant concrete echoes—laughing, barking—

    the dull but roaring undertow of night bugs,

    the sound heat somehow makes all by itself at noon.

    There’s peace in this.

     -

    The word itself is a great success of language.

    We know, somewhere deep, what it means.

     -

    Peace is something only the body knows—

    it has spent its existence steadily moving away from and toward it.

     -

    The only true peace is in birth and death, in closure.

    There is a crystal clear ocean within us, and thoughts only trouble the water.

     -

    When death comes the mind will let go of the body.

    We find this terrifying.

    We think we have only known anything with out minds,

    that all will be suddenly lost.

     -

    But the truth is we’ve known everything with our bodies,

    thoughts are only the symptoms, our complex explanations

    for what these bodies already know, have always known and must.

     -

    Just as the womb sometimes miscarries naturally,

    life knows that it must leave, must end—and when.

    So it does, and despite all our thinking around it,

    it’s terribly happy to do so.

     -

    The mind has such a strong bite, grip so tight we never move beyond it in our living.

    Even now I write this down, a product of my country, education and upbringing.

    I have no way of speaking or knowing without my own misguided, biased thinking.

     -

    But death speaks volumes by itself.

    Death needs no languages—they rattle the mind.

    When it goes, the brain rejoins the bone, disintegrating into and then with the skull.

     -

    The body always knew.

    It’s satisfying to finally come down to this.

     -

    Not to never fight!

    to not fight valiant to the end!

     -

    But to appreciate that when it finally arrives,

    it cannot be so much a terror, a failure, too-heavy darkness as we think—

    but more of a release.

     -

    The body knows death, even if we can’t.

    The body knows, if anything, how to die—

    how to die spectacularly,

    how to fight and to surrender,

    how to accept release, to end the war.

     -

    The body knows how to create itself—

    how to be born, to give birth, and to die,

    death being integral to our creation.

     -

    All else we think we know, we have invented.

     -

    At the end of it, our bodies must be glad to do what they know best,

    now free from the torment of thinking, of rationalizations for everything.

     -

    The mind is a tool for wanting to live,

    despite knowing it couldn’t matter and no one survives.

     -

    The body’s a ship for moving into and out of existence,

    at both ends peaceful because we’re devoid

    of what made us aware we were ever alive in the first place. 

  • Poem #97 (Smoked Bison) [very rough, part of a project]

    Prepare a marinade to brine the bison

    -

    (Brining is the process of soaking meat in a salt-water mixture to retain moisture throughout the smoking process)

    -

    To create the brine marinade, mix spit and water smoked from your eyes in a pot and then drop in the bison

    -

    (Your bison should be completely submerged—you shouldn’t be able to see it)

    -

    You have to let buffalo brine for several hundred years

    -

                (Don’t watch it)

    -

    Light your charcoal smoker decades in advance and on another continent

    -

    (You will know that your charcoal is ready when all of the coals turn from black to a glowing white ash)

    -

    Go back to the kitchen and pull the animal out from the water

    -

    (Beware: returned tears dripping from the brine might burn your skin)

    -

    Put your bison roast on the grill fat side up

    -

    (Fat melts into the meat to keep it tender)

    -

    Roast your bison for ten thousand years

    -

    (During this time, feel free to turn on the TV)

    -

    You don’t want your bison to be fully cooked or it will turn out dry and tough

    -

    (Tenderness hides in the parts left alive)

    -

    Never cut into any meat straight off the grill while it is still hot

    -

    (Put a century between your body and the fire)

  • Proem #58 (Controlled Burn) [very rough, not sure I like it, part of a project]

    A basic premise of fire ecology is that wild land fire is neither innately destructive nor constructive: it simply causes change. Whether these changes are viewed as desirable or not depends upon their compatibility with one’s objectives. Regardless of man’s viewpoint, change is biologically necessary to maintain a healthy ecosystem.

     -

    There are three rumored origins in the naming of San Francisco’s tenderloin district. One compares the neighborhood to a cut of soft meat—the underbelly of the city. Another refers to the salary of the police—those working the district were so busy they could afford to truly eat. The last guess remembers the prostitutes—their inviting soft.

     -

    The use of fire in the forests of the United States has come full cycle. Early settlers found Indians using fire in virgin pine stands and adopted the practice themselves.

     -

    A woman’s body dating back 5,000 years was found in the tenderloin during excavation for a subway line. They did not put it back.

     -

    Annual burning to “freshen up” the range became a custom. This practice, plus destructive wildfires after logging, left millions of acres of forestland in the United States devoid of trees.

     -

    Most of the neighborhood was destroyed in the earthquake of 1906 and backfires set by firefighters to contain the devastation. Twenty years later, it became a haven for musicians.

    -

    A prescribed burn that consumes more dead fuel than it creates will reduce the fire hazard and, with few if any modifications, will improve wildlife habitat. Almost any prescribed burn improves access.

     -

    Immigrants flooded the district in the sixties. Cheap studio apartments were used to house entire families. These complexes were called “vertical villages” for their capacity. From the sidewalk, nobody inside could even be seen.

     -

    Prescribed fire does not benefit fish habitat, but it can have adverse effects. When shade is removed, water temperatures will increase.

     -

    Since 2009, the violent crime rate on the first block of Turk Street has been found to be 35 times higher than the citywide average. 

     -

    A buffer zone should always be left. If in doubt, a control line should be put in.

     -

    If you travel the city at night, imagine dark rivers run through Van Ness and Market, barrel down Geary and Mason. Only fish can cross it. Are you a fish?

    -

    -

    -

    *Note: text on controlled burns comes from the The South Jersey Resource Conservation and Development Council

  • i let katie do my nails
  • Poem #96 (At Dark I Put my Makeup On) [very rough, formatting looks odd]

    The 1-800 number at the bottom of the screen spells RE-AWAKE.

     -

    I keep the TV on all day.

     -

    Commercials let me know that something’s wrong,

    - - - and I have always liked to be afraid.

     -

     -

    If I must believe anything I want it to be everything I’ve heard on television.

     -

     -

    All afternoon I tape the shards of Maybelline biographies into a map,

    - - - their faces shot in popcorn pornographic:

     -

    - - - black-lacquered girls sat still in soft-lit bathrooms,

    - - - strewn across backyards,

     -

    - - - laid out on decks of glitter-boats and rooftops,

    - - - sharp heels loud on marble stairs and going down.

    This map plots the building of cities on top of my body’s

    - - - unlivable landscape.

     -

     -

    I didn’t even route the scarce roads running through my torso forest,

    - - - don’t know where they lead.

     -

     -

    So first I’ll build a sanctuary in the glow of laser-hair-removal ads

    - - - (first soft, then permanent),

     -

    cave out asylum in the clack of teeth snapped happily by lipstick queens.

     -

    Their secret:

    - - - faith is only unconditional when you believe in change and alteration.

     -

    The gospel of the infomercial cannot teach us being

    - - - but turning more beautiful—turn without end.

     -

     -

    Now it’s 5 pm, the brunette on the treadclimber loping a new meditation.

     -

     -

    Looking down at my body, the length of it lying across the blue couch,

    - - - I can see it’s an atlas.

    But one that’s far too fine and bare, a perfect planet shape.

     -

    A shape that any fool could learn as me, or recreate.

     -

     -

    The only way to truly alter is to change the gravity, the center.

     -

    But how do I find it?

     -

     -

    By dark I’m stood still in the bathroom, at the sink too close,

    ribs pressed hard to marble.

     -

    At the right angle, breath in a circle,

    I can hear the peaceful thrum of my skull’s crystal ocean.

     -

    Waves over bone sound that the water is empty.

     -

    I want to pollute it—

     -

    - - - shores littered in jungle-red glass,

    - - - foundations laid with concrete just my skin tone,

     -

    - - - cans and bottles cut to diamonds,

    - - - smoke wrapped silk-like through the breeze,

     -

    - - - oil tankers in matte split apart to turn the water dark,

    - - - an unknowable deep.

     -

    Even though nobody sees it,

    - - - not even I do when looking straight through my left iris.

     -

    The circle changes only in circumference,

    - - - flat pupil like a painted tunnel entrance.

     -

     -

    I can see where sight leaves, but not where it comes from.

     -

     -

    How could I not be suspicious, not face myself cautions and armed?

     -

    As with any foreign enemy, to invade you must start slowly

    - - - poison from the outside.

     -

    - - - Watch—

     -

    - - - here is the seamless bulb, the pale skin opening

    - - - -under a bright light, veins that run, run, run,

     -

    - - - a black pencil tip touching to white.

  • more katie
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