A dark night—the streets belong to the cats.
The cats and whatever small thing they find to kill—
The cats are fast like their ancestors in the hills
and hungry like their ancestors.
Hardly any moon. So the night’s cool—
no moon to heat it up. Summer’s on the way out
but for now there’s still plenty to hunt
though the mice are quiet, watchful like the cats.
Smell the air—a still night, a night for love.
And every once in a while a scream
rising from the street below
where the cat’s digging his teeth into the rat’s leg.
Once the rat screams, it’s dead. That scream is like a map:
it tells the cat where to find the throat. After that,
the scream’s coming from a corpse.
You’re lucky to be in love on nights like this,
still warm enough to lie naked on top of the sheets,
sweating, because it’s hard work, this love, no matter what anyone says.
The dead rats lie in the street, where the cat drops them.
Be glad you’re not on the street now,
before the street cleaners come to sweep them away. When the sun rises,
it won’t be disappointed with the world it finds,
the streets will be clean for the new day and the night that follows.
Just be glad you were in bed,
where the cries of love drown out the screams of the corpses.
Nobody seems to age quietly anymore. There are so many drugs in me at any given time my doctor is like Spread them all out, so I stretch my body across E’s California King while she lights a joint—some government shit she bought off a boy she never thought to meet before today. Her bedroom is all bed and record player. Her records are stacked higher than most girls I’ve kissed or even thought about kissing. I can’t remember the last time I wore a hat. The last time I wore socks I was engaged and that was bad. Breathing is easier when E uses her mouth as a shotgun. I can’t fuck the first one out of me, the one from when I was barely alive—years before Z—years before a bunch of girls who looked like Z, but I can smoke her out. I do: She leaves the knots in my shoulders, the parts of my cock she always touched the most. I get E off three times even though we stay mostly clothed. After, she isn’t even on my fingers. I never think about the gravity of a whisper. I don’t remember what happens after the second blunt, but in the morning E promises I didn’t say anything dumb. I take a piece of gum and nod. I sneak out the back door even though she’s not married or even touching anyone else.
Because I live in south Florida I store cans of black beans and gallons
of water in my closet in preparation for hurricane season.
I throw a hurricane party in January. You’re my only guest.
We play Marco Polo in bed. The sheets are wet like the roof caved in.
There’s a million of me in you. You try to count me as I taste the sweat
on the back of your neck. I call you Sexy Sexy, and we do everything twice.
After, still sweating, we drink Crystal Light out of plastic water bottles.
We discuss the pros and cons of vasectomies. It’s not invasive you say.
I wrap the bedsheet around my waist. Minor surgery you say.
You slur the word surgery, like it’s a garnish on a dish you just prepared.
I eat your hair until you agree to no longer talk about vasectomies.
We agree to have children someday, and that they will be beautiful even if they’re not.
As I watch your eyes grow heavy like soggy clothes, I tell you When I grow up
I’m going to be a famous writer. When I’m famous I’ll sign autographs
on Etch-A-Sketches. I’ll write poems about writing other poems,
so other poets will get me. You open your eyes long enough to tell me
that when you grow up, you’re going to be a steamboat operator.
Your pores can never be too clean you say.
I say I like your pores just fine. I say Your pores are tops.
I kiss you with my whole mouth, and you fall asleep next to my molars.
In the morning, we eat french toast with powdered sugar. I wear the sugar
like a mustache. You wear earmuffs and pretend we’re in a silent movie.
I mouth Olive juice, but I really do love you.
This is an awesome hurricane party you say, but it comes out as a yell
because you can’t gauge your own volume with the earmuffs on.
You yell I want to make something cute with you.
I say Let me kiss the insides of your arms.
You have no idea what I just said, but you like the way I smile.
you can accept just about anything
of life even your own mysteriousness
you think it is nice that a box
of matches is purple and brown and is called
La Petite and comes from Sweden
for they are words that you know and that
is all you know words not their feelings
or what they mean and you write because
you know them not because you understand them
because you don’t you are stupid and lazy
and will never be great but you do
what you know because what else is there? frank o’hara, as planned (via clownlike)
when i was five years old i saw an insect that had been eaten by ants and of which nothing remained except the shell. through the holes in its anatomy one could see the sky. every time i wish to attain purity I look at the sky through flesh. - Salvador Dali
Your next-door neighbor was always crying. One afternoon she stood in the grass cutting her hair, which vanished as it fell into the thick of green things. In case you’re wondering, I have a web cam. People pay me to have sex and then cry. She brewed herbal tea with leaves from her garden,mint so sharp it brought tears to your eyes.
“and when the event, the big change in your life, is simply an insight— isn’t that a strange thing? that absolutely nothing changes except that you see things differently and you’re less fearful and less anxious and generally stronger as a result: isn’t it amazing that a completely invisible thing in your head can feel realer than anything you’ve experienced before?”
― j. franzen
Chinese poet Li Po (701-762) is regarded as one of the two greatest poets in China’s literary history. He was well known for his love of liquor and often spouted his greatest poems while drunk.
One night, Li Po fell from his boat and drowned in the Yangtze River while trying to embrace the reflection of the moon in the water.