11/30 [perfectionist-ism]

& eating the quiet,

I roll in splinters, kitchen desk scrapes on

my sister’s fingers like something brought home,

knuckles

dirt-filled and cavernous rapping  out Nirvana on

suburban tables, spoons of spilled milk dancing

on television–that movie Fantasia & songs’ hypnotic

writhing through hung & broken silence from bubbling

air conditioner ventilator,

swooning in the depths, & it is the first time he

shows us weak, shows us

imperfect & bedridden by a bee-sting-allergy

this is

metaphor of mistaken weakness sprouting through

perfection-ground crack

that has defined my childhood,

shown the covers & how

perfect smothers

perfect teaches and guides but forgets

to hold,

congratulate & clutch & fail

over

examples like plane and robot-arm pilots of brains

sinking in sky, sinking with clear air

pushing off through bike-race finish lines, sobbing from

pushing in

private school hallways & soccer grass

breathless & streaming through the hills,

stampeding spikes in churning cold mud & heels,

fake injuries & evading failure at

all costs,

shoving all in sugar-hungry mouths like old-fashioned sundae

rotting in heaves,

silent in classrooms

hollowed out &

still

afraid of mistakes

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[9/30] end (iii)

iii.

words like entrail nebulae–buying

time and waking in the sky–sputtering out the thoughts

and grips on the plane seat handle, bump-death & all

gyroscopic drops from earth-ceiling, upside below &

scared of eye, scared of mirror, scared to blink between

heart beat on tuesday, fear of machines, fear of gym workout too long

& heart rate & fear from passing out on a track

legs still sprawling, spinning forward & clogging

lanes with air in the hand-runner that picked you up

you could finally imagine it fully, a

trinket-fragile,

impermanent thing.

[end (ii)] 8/30

ii.

cavernous bones & chair-beat

tapping of feet against harsh-wood & harsh-words spitting

from the mouths & there is existence in elevator

ride next to wood grain, self-awareness lurking beneath a tongue

focus guarding from harm, focus on the strong and

the good syllables, singular-drip in singular, wire

in spine-fingers of wraiths

stone tables, thread, & spoken for

4/30

4/30

castle of sand & walkway spiral of saturn-rings

machine-firefly into dark evening sky, lost in aerial whine and

dipping wings aflutter like small & twisting fingers

this is in the cold, this hot and loud, this staring over shoulders in bar corners,

this hovering below the lamplight near strap-dress and spanish eye,

glasses and messy hair pours eyeballs into waterglasses, the blood

of tourists running in gothic streets, recolonization of the capitals as

the money moved overseas, left the countries without legs & ambition

bloated like it was karma,

this shouting from the walls, this from the roofs

this dangling from the beach umbrellas, swimming

in the warm quiet, hands

of broken skin

[3/30] Itadakimasu

[3/30] Itadakimasu

Art by wataboku

[itadakimasu]

orange stillness in the mountain gates, whispers in tongues

white covering the hillsides and streaming down from the clouds fond papers on the tables

I leave the augury to my hotel room, the self-demolition to find the closest thing to a tongue, to find lips that move like sounds, like wooden doors fit perfect into spaces unwarped by minutes,

forever a hearth, forever a paper-crane traveler

forever seated in unknown commissaries & finding no contact, walks with the mountains

instead

the world birthed this journey in saturday mornings and deep nights/ living art shipped into the mind-trunks & bundled across oceans, rubber boots on a hill, were they mine

or yours and did you take me here

who walks behind us in the snow

I have heard their guardians whisper at the peak so I hid inside the graves

walked again into a shop to offer fingernails and the rose of cheeks into plaques I could not read, though I  hear it is fortune, fortune of fools, of the lost & walking into graveyards full of fallen soldiers, dancing crows in the light rain & silent families on the taut side of the screens, sipping the steam, drinking mist, & I stand

watching their prayers melt

into stone

[2/30] run

[2/30] run

Art by Citlali Haro

[RUN]

crawl into the earth

live in bursting. I have breathless soaring on my mind

alone on gravel fields with steam on my chest & you

running in the air pitching outwards ahead of fishing line legs casting into deep grass & the churns of soil risen in the morning air

sprinting out of shoes, wheels falling off into dusts and lung pumps gushing forth in morning breeze of wild birds, alone

grains in my hair and sand, most mortal when I can forget I am mortal

feeling one with the rushing winds, as I was born to, wilderness of oxygen speaking in my ear

quiet words of grass & rock, of rusting animal lurking between my temples, alive, alive, alive & springing into early mist-fumes reaching out of primal forest beneath evergreen boughs in the distance, we will meet & dine on flesh in moonlight, I

will break from this skin; tectonic writhing from chrysalis-body & run again, like I used to, like legs unweighted by bones & age, like unweighted bones lacking the burden of veins, nothing to carry anymore & nothing the same but the beating steps, forward into dawn, forward into the outer-reaches of the life-woods, forward into forgotten lakes and nascent buds of future selves, forward until your hands shake and it all falls away in the side of your vision, forward as the tunnel closes, as the legs give way, as the feet wear to bone, and the voice-light itself just

[goes out]

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Photo via BerlinArtparasites by @nessikythian

[a name]

i was asked before and / could not speak it, the mouth struggling to name / the motor giving voice to gut-engines, to the tremble / in back of throat-muffler, machine-neck sanctum of flesh and blood, / guarding from the light in through the windows, the alabaster shield of blindness / in the temple, skins of water and the dying below my feet–/ name it / the loss, the defilement, the breakings into the sound of noon,/  the piercing cry–name it– I could not find / a place to call home anymore if asked on a map–name it–for the spaces / written into my mind and blue textbooks shouting ‘we, the people’–naming us ‘we’ and I was / a we but there are those who were not, sitting with me in the classrooms & reading stories like I did, internalizing self-doubt that weighed more than they did but we could not and the books did not name it / racism –the first time I could name it, the days still broke in my favor, I had nothing but the name on my tongue, the spit in my mouth and a desire to tan my skin on the weekends, to to extort and borrow something now interpreted as beauty–but when asked to name that–I still could not, whether I was just too slow or / just only one alone I couldn’t speak it, kept using Chappelle specials to smooth over the cracks in sophomoric biases, / smooth over with salves of humor, humor as justification for internalized & subtle hate and something like hate is / where laughter came from. that I can name–insecurity–the belief above all that I must be special–some kind of twisted creature / white supremacy–unnamed until almost 20, unravelled in classrooms and lunch tables and the bedroom of a biracial girl who somehow tolerated my incapacity for names, forgetting syllables that I should have known by then, / syllables ingrained into the names given by the ancestors, ancestors who crossed seas and looted countries, took possessions, killed everyone while I rooted for them in movies / as a child mostly, but who doesn’t want to name themselves as the john wayne, single-man defining destiny [manifest in his hands] and slaughtering all the bad guys, / returning from college to small midwestern cities and realizing you / are those enemies, / like something they cannot name, something different and revered by some who never escaped, hated by others, who could not name / you even if they learned it all by heart–learned to see where you were / and the people at the feet of their alabaster hallways, the blood-gold dripping from cloaked and breeched statues in town centers / the things we cannot name from the inside of our ice castles, the inside of our gut-engines, spilling out onto the floor, / lying next to porcelain android, blue-eye crystal like glassiness in the moonlight–watching movies about love between two men, I try to name / this feeling, but it escapes me.