the truth for those who refuse to fear it

song of fists and
song of flesh

savior w/ his yellow teeth filed
down to points and
who is it that offers you god and for
what exactly are you told to give thanks?

dead man chained to your ankle isn’t
the same thing as salvation,
you understand,
but i can’t be the only person
to have told you this

not every priest has his hand
down your son’s pants
but how many does it take
before you say enough?

how many years does your father
have to be dead before you
admit he ever really lived at all?

sounds like a question just
begging to be
answered with violence


or a movie with too many deaths,
                                         or a life

a song cut off
before you can name it

a dream where you
wake up too late

open your mouth to say
              good morning
but all that comes out is blood

picabia’s dada years

or the end of september and
the slow heat of late afternoon sunlight

white sky and the shadows of houses,
shadows of birds stuttering across overgrown lawns and
what if charlotte st exists and what if the myths we
never believed in are the ones that destroy
                                              us in the end?

you grow up and then
you grow old

maybe you die young

thought about mandy at 23 because that’s
where her story ended and then
thought about myself on the morning of my 26th birthday

tried to remember who was next to me in bed
then decided it was better just to leave

kid asleep on the living room couch,
cartoons on the tv with no volume and
                                     then i was gone

was 35 and then 40 and i was always fading
from the edges of blurred pictures

arrived here at the end of september with
de chirico’s shadows stretching down
tracy st to the cemetery and i believed in
whatever lies sounded better than my own

felt the days getting shorter and always
spinning just beyond my control

on starling ave

but everywhere is somewhere, and
all gods are just the ghosts
of abandoned dreams

put no faith in the fools who would
tell you that failure is not an option

learn to keep warm wrapped in
winding sheets of loss and fear

january first,
and then february

burst pipes and then house fires

this idea of a nation built on the bones
of young women dead from
botched abortions

blood on the walls of any
house we’ve ever called home

the tower lights flashing red above
the hills while my children sleep

let them keep their innocence
for just a little while longer

bluest sky

snow on the first day of spring and
then the next and
how fat will you get eating
nothing but dirt and sorrow?

or maybe it’s the space between love
and broken bones I’m talking about here

colleen laughing as she’s
pushed down the stairs or maybe this is
just the way she wanted it to be

do you remember her telling you that
everything was fine?

do you remember the cuts on one arm
and the bruises up the other?

regret is a tiring thing

stand there with your hands on fire,
the children in tears,
and consider all the reasons a man
might have for drinking himself to death

consider the absolute failure of
pollock’s last paintings

believe in the age of famine

lesser gods crawling through
the filth of lesser minds

side streets and abandoned factories and
the futility of building palaces
on graveyards


christ has no use for your suffering

phone rings and it’s your father saying
so long motherfucker just the
way it happens in your dreams and
hatred is easy so why not embrace it?

look at all the politicians
       all the holy men
who want you to understand that killing
the enemy is your only option

look at all the enemies they offer

it’s only inevitable to find yourself on
someone else’s list because
no matter who you are
you’re the wrong person

you grow fat on apathy and fear
because they taste so goddamn good

nineteen year old kid with a gun
kills a mother of four
and what we need now is a tv movie

what we need are arguments from
both sides that accomplish nothing

that sound good in campaign speeches
and spilling from the assholes of
media personalities and
then on the second day of spring i
wake up to bitter sunlight and
children’s toys stuck in the frozen mud

i wake up to dried blood and
empty apologies

every day of my life wasted thinking
the next one will be better