Anonymous asked you:
write me a poem about heartbreak?
Anonymous asked you:
write me a poem about heartbreak?
The way people write about writing is strange. If one man drinks and finds his way he’ll say the sober guy’s an idiot— and goddamn if sober people don’t love knocking drinkers down. The truth is that, if you’re actually writing to write and love it and need it, your work will be an inescapable extension of yourself. If you like to drink or smoke or sit at cafes or fuck or fight, you will write about it. If you like to be healthy or read or philosophize or meditate or pray, guess what?
For me, there aren’t so many things in the world that make me happy. Love makes me happy and working hard makes me happy, but I cannot always control those things. I cannot tell love to do whatever I want it to do; work does not always satisfy. At least with drinking, I know what I get. Neat, on ice, or mixed. Today I spent a couple hours making mint julep syrup. I boiled sugar and water, muddled it with fresh spearmint given to me by the chef at my day job. I filtered the mixture numerous times, poured it into a mason jar, added fresh mint at the end to steep. It was very… zen. I picked up a bottle of Old Grand Dad 114 and I believe I’ll be drinking well tomorrow night or so.
The point is, that’s something I can control. I can actually be the master of my own little piece of happiness. And you? What plot of land will you turn over soil for? Whatever it is, write about it, love and make it yours.
I was back home. Nearly a week went by before I saw Daniel, my father. He never wrote, never got on the phone when my mother and I spoke; when Xmas came, he didn’t even sign his own name on the card.
I walked up and knocked on the door. I hadn’t been there in almost a year. From outside, it looked abandoned. We lived at the top of a dead end hill. The grass was high, the bricks in the driveway were crooked and caved in. Weeds everywhere. Rotten crabapples lined the end of the road. This was my house.
My mother answered the door. “Fredrick, how are you?”
“Not too bad.”
She hugged me. I felt my clothes, several sizes too large now, fold and wrap around me.
“Daniel’s taking a crap, I think. Give ‘em a minute.”
“HEY DANIEL,” she shouted. “FREDRICK’S HERE.”
“Malight,” I heard him say, muffled through the bathroom door.
I waited. The living room had changed. It looked clean. Daniel had allowed himself to be laid off just before I went away; he’d probably learned how to tidy things up. With nothing else to do, alone in a dirty place, OCD can come on real strong. I knew how that was.
“We have pictures from our LA trip,” my mother said, “you wanna see?”
“You know, I really wish you could have went,” she paused. “I mean, we both did.”
“That’s fine, really. How did you win the trip, again?”
“Daniel called in to DVE and he won two tickets to Ozzfest. He’s not really into that kind of stuff, but y’know, he does love Ozzy. So after he won that, they told him that each of the winners of the Ozzfest tickets—because they did a drawing every day that week—they’d have a chance at winning a trip to see Ozzy at the Hard Rock in LA. It was a one-in-five shot, I guess. Daniel didn’t go the station to pick up his tickets for a while, and when he finally did, they told him he won the trip, too.”
My mother handed me the pictures. I looked them over. Fun.
“Yeah he always wins that stuff,” she continued with a laugh. “When he still worked, he’d just turn on the radio and call; they only let you win once a month, so sometimes he’d just call to see if he could win, then he’d hang up.”
“That’s a lot of effort,” I said.
My mother’s eyes shifted. She saw what I was getting at. “Well, everyone handles things differently.”
“Real fucking differently.”
I heard a flush. The door opened and I saw Daniel come out, wiping his hands on his jeans.
We scanned each other a while. He was fatter and I was thinner. He’d gotten a little older and I’d gotten much. Time was a sonofabitch.
He said, “Hey.”
“You walk here?”
“How’s your girl?”
“Find a job?”
What a fucking question, I thought. “No,” I said. “How about you?”
After a moment he said, “No. I worked long enough. Good time to take a break.”
“She show you the pictures?”
“Yes she did.”
“We had a good time. It was funny because it only lasted a day. We flew to LA, saw Ozzy—actually I don’t remember too much of the show; I got drunk and ended up fighting some fat fucker—and after that we came back. I’d see people, they’d say, ‘How was your weekend?’ and I’d be like, ‘Good, I flew to LA and saw Ozzy Osbourne.’ They’d tell me I was full of it and I’d just laugh. It was nice. It’s nice to get away from this fucking shitty world sometimes.”
I said, “Not all the time.”
“Look, I couldn’t do it,” he said. “I couldn’t see you like that. I just fucking couldn’t, okay? I wanted to, and a few times I told your mum to wait for me to meet her and we’d both visit you…but I never did. I couldn’t.”
I felt my eyes water; all that time I’d spent becoming hard and dead vanished briefly. I blinked fast. Daniel reached in and held me. He never quite said he was sorry, but it was more than I’d expected. He let go.
“Alright, I’m going to Braddock to drop off some cans. I don’t have any money.”
He walked out the door, leaving it open behind him.
Kirsten held her hair away from the flame as she lit a cigarette off the stove. She stood in the kitchen a while, taking long drags—breathing the smoke in deliberate, trying to slow down her mind—and finally she left. This time there was no note. She’d no plans on returning. Wasn’t any point in going anywhere but farther. Always farther.
The motel circuit in Missoula’d dried up. The owner of the last building was letting Kirsten stay with him, which wasn’t uncommon. She still paid for a room, but only worked it, didn’t live-in. This landlord was fairly kind, but annoying. Horndog. And after an entire day of it, the last thing Kirsten wanted at night was a fuck. That was why she was leaving this one. Usually she left notes, in case she ever needed to come back, but Missoula wasn’t much of a place to come back to.
Folks don’t mind regular girls, but usually a cut had to be given. Kirsten worked hard; she didn’t give cuts. It was easier to just greyhound to another city and start over. A few weeks later, once things got too cozy, do it all over. Again again again. Sometimes men would ask where she was from, and Kirsten would answer with whatever the last town’s name was. But in her head she’d sometimes have trouble remembering. That was good. She needed to go further. Always.
I look through my old records and feel embarrassed; I am getting rid of old shit to hock and trade for new shit. But at the end of the day, I’m still just giving away records to get new ones. Nobody changes so much. Now I wear chinos when once I wore ripped blue jeans. Then I had long hair and now I keep it slicked back under a hat. Once I wore dresses and makeup to school to shock people; and now I will be traveling to NYC, the most troubling city with the most whores.
That girl you made fun of back then, her body never became anything over than her own, it just filled out. That boy you bullied so often, his nerves didn’t get any stronger, but his bank account did. People are born a certain way and not a goddamn thing out there can alter its path.
Nothing ever really changes, it just moves on.
Hi, I’ve been following your blog and really enjoy your 6 word poems. I’d like to make a 6 word poem out of the sentence, “The mirror is a prophet and a liar.” I’m not happy with any of the variations I’ve come up with. Would you do one?
, like fortunetellers,
The door was half-open. I saw a figure through the crack, immediately knew it to be her. I could tell because she still had my fucking wallet in her hand. I reached my arm behind me and wrapped my fingers around the pistol.
“Hey, hey, she’s just a kid,” Harry said.
“Then she oughn’t have taken a man’s things.”
“You don’t think we could just come up behind her and knock ‘er out or something?”
“I already tried comin’ up behind her. She wanted to be clever. Alright, I’ll show her what that kind’a cleverness gets.”
Though my mind was made up, I did want to hear Harry’s final take before I did it. I never got to hear that, though. After a moment of silence I turned around and saw Harry being dragged away by two gorillas in sweatsuits. His mouth was covered, his eyes shut tight in agony; he must have been poked. I turned back toward the door, was met by a third man. I looked up at him, his fist lifted in the air, and I don’t remember much after that until pretty much just now.