Fern fingers grazing shards of sun. 

A whisper of wind to quicken the pulse. 

You can love someone without inclination in limiting yourself to the smallness of their lives. As with joy, love can at times overrun containability.

 

She pauses scribble to fawn at lamplight spilling from

the pleated hems of a skirt repurposed a shade.

Cloaked in infrared glow and from the corner, a waterfall.

Imagination recalling the tongued entrance to the cervical tract, illuminated.

 

The propstylist’s bedchamber was a hubristic nest of self-delight. She did feel safest writing / wringing sap from bed.

You do your best writing while flame-fresh, struck match smarting from

anger or irk.

Nothing summons irk like unearthing return receipts for combusted intimacy. Launch mortar on an impassioned streak of incineration.

In a dangerously market-oriented habitat for art-making, I feel my idealism has been dealt a slight of hand. Wading through senile levels of self-deluding thickets, toe-stubbed by the stone before me:
 
“It toasts my heart to see you happy again. 
I have to blaze my own solitary path. Pen for a blade. Mishaps for kindling."
It pierced her in the hind of her throat, to lock onto the sheepish wideness of his grin. It echoed the exhilaration it used to elicit from her, being with him.
 
Closeness in a smarting glance, so penetrant to bite back the tongue and horseblind the gaze, averted. Desire, to come from comraderie, it felt gay as hell.
 
You always looked a bit embarrassed for your good looks, and I’m enraptured by it. You’re not compensatory. You’re free of aggression, all things I am not. Infinitely charismatic grin, more contagious than measles.
 
You have to stomach writing about them if you hope to rid your system of them. Expurgatory. Apologizing from the perch of hindsight helps me reconcile a past self more than any ineffectual else. In your orbit, I was reduced to inarticulable pedantry and pageantries of denial.
 
Some eggs take longer incubatory times than others. 
Overwhelmed intensity requires the guile of measured-ness in release and placation.
Cemented memories, carefully interred -- a geological record. I guarantee you don’t pore over crusts with ragged-tooth comb and sifting pry, agonizing for agony’s sake. What is the pathology of self-torture?
I feel each time, like gazing at a latent 
iteration of myself through cinnabon-swirl 
frosted storefront. Delectable 
seduction of rewritten memory, narcissus-scented; 
self-reflections deflect from deferred gratification unsated. 
The more times a memory is re-enacted, the more 
the sole conforms to the gait. A fit that clings for 
surrogate comfort.
 
I will work to endow myself with the clemency of patience. This tea is more bland than it is pond scum. 
Simmering dragon, aggression nestled into the dermis. First to prickle.

Libation recipes for a slow poisoning ;

````

She saw in him that he was a user. As good-for-nothing, as there was no shred of daylight chance that he could come to view her as a whole person, beyond a diversion. And in she dove anyway, arm-in-arm with overesteem to try on out society’s slipper of what male company should look like. They were alike at least in that way.
 
Surface dwellers evitably disappoint. Flagrantly, we choose them anyway. Somewhere in each heart, an embedded electromagnet arrests committed autonomy. An entropic compulsion for collision courses.
````

what do you even like about me, unrelated to tautness of my fleeting form?

 

You don’t see me.

It’s apparent your market is more casual fare.

My affections fester beneath prurient flesh.

Legs ajar, only in anticipation of you.

 

And when he finished, I hazarded in ask :

Was it worth it? the silence, to let my hurt desire brew into this full-spectrum experience of myself for you. Satisfactory?

 

Your denial of affection has turned me petulant, like an angry child.

come fuck your angry child until she’s mewling + crying out in helpless

infantile pleasure

aka bring me big erection

turgid w/ urgency to spill seed but not spawn.

 

I succumbed to the supreme sadness of trying to catch a dick out in the wild, in the digital age. In my resignation, frustration flipped to anger. When I came home dulled and thoroughly drunken, i finally texted ☐☐☐☐. Craven flesh.

the path of least resistance + proven relief.

Fell yourself, as the pines upon the moundful valley of unreturned souls and pleasures unrequited. 
*you never have nearly so vicious ideas as when you’re rollickingly hungover.

 

````

Finally of an age + flesh that i might swindle someone to mistake esoteric for elegance.
is sex not the first thought you wake w/, and the one that ferries you adrift to the mercy of slumber?
each morning, do you not pine for five minutes more swathed in groggy fantasy before being brusquely tossed out to meet the realm of men?
You obsess over, funnel your efforts to unpack the petty games of your biology.
Cast conditioned sense to the smouldering wind.
The rainforests are on fire. Earth’s expiration guaranteed.
I won’t deny myself my impractical desires any longer. Salvage what breath from this remnant brevity while able.
I’ve fully resigned myself to my serpentine ways. What’s leo season to a luciferous snake?
I’m as much as any man, regardless of what pronoun you toss my way.
A thorn by any other name is a thorn.
 
I’ve decided that to maintain a vague facade of goodness / well-intentioned disaffected-at-best is pointlessly uninteresting.
Every man is a mattress w/ no bedframe. 
--it all amounts to a fun bounce on the fly and no structured integrity to warrant longevity.
Visual output is mere sticking surface for vitriol.
Flesh is but this moment’s backdrop, my venom is my cultivating sustenance.
````
 
The neophyte was sighted again.
The one you and the other barman had exchanged fistbumps over. It had been a few years since, but you in the instant, became startled to the fact that you were now balding.
But of course, your father is bald. She remembers you told her so on the first date. With a faraway shrug across the mahogany end in candle flicker silence, you two try not to coincide glances.
 
Compass hands uneasy against the past’s magnetism, you, clearly on a double-date, switch seats with your wingmate.
She, a trembling creature cognizant of her paranoias, is glad you both have moved on. and tries hard not to rue her younger self for a time of thorough, haphazard confusion.
 
She, then freshly moved to NY for a first attempt, w/ all to her name parked along a strip of Throop & Myrtle avenues and compartmented in the backseat of her car-- silver, sleek, a little banged up. She moved w/ unusual self-assurance, her gaze never wavered, but she repressed to express herself. She has never felt enough in her life. The plastic, flat clack of fast fashion mules, swiftly on city pavement grit. 
Through the slough and mire of the early hours, she would embark on these long walks / collections of self, timed when she would encounter the least amount of urbanites
as if warding off interaction, as if shoring up in preparation for some combust.
Volatile, little Molotov.
 
She walked tall & treaded surefooted, w/ an offer of the wrists or crook of the neck, agile as the flick of a cat’s tail.
 
````
Viper, vine, and vitrine are my elements.
At the shelflife-for-effort of most showflora, i laugh.
A rose of Sharon blooms for 3 days.
Unfurled passiflora parts its petals to flicker vivacious for a single day.
So long as there peaks a ray of day to seize,
a surefooted, searching vine elevates above the undergrowth’s decay, fed by the seep of withered blooms and tree rot on its heady clamber skyward.
Tendrils multitude; why be limited by the rigor of upright.

````

There has to be a way out of this mental labyrinth that doesn’t involve self-medicating with escapism etherea.
 
I’m a climber. I’m a vine
I aim not to look laterally 
on my tunnel vision upward
 
The sky is a periwinkle ground, solid and cloudless, 
against which brickclad housing monoliths 
overshadow their mere mortal inhabitants.
 
Quotidian crises pale in comparison to omniscient fright of paradigm instability
Enemy. Our method to understand the self is to discern not-self, to discern Other. to marginalize, to survive.
 
misplaced respite.
If only i were to willow through this wind until limbless, unbound.
````
A trembling creature of impractical wants and for whom living is a loan.
It’s really important for me to make a home. --bc my parents were unstable + uncreative, preoccupied providing for me.
It’s essential that i invest in physical space in a way that asserts a reality of technical command over domicile.
Isn’t that why we compensate? -- to rewrite an otherwise dreary unextraordinary narrative?
 
I go to Trader Joe’s, shopping list brimmed w/ void-filler to
dull the din, that i couldn’t keep you.
 
I style sets for America’s aspirational homelife on Food Network, and it feels like one fat fucking satire of how I couldn’t keep you.
 
With criticisms, was I truly trying to punish you or myself? -- ‘pre-empt my own takeoff running’ with a self-righteous, farcical impenetrability.
Why am i rearing to make this so personal?-- sadomasochism.

You shouldn’t countenance the venom that drips from my fount.
The personal nature of my spew will sear like acid on the iris.
````
 
NY is such a revolving door. Things work out next-to-never, to take personally would be sadomasochistic. Giving yourself too much credit.
Willingness to love is seldom correlated with object-readiness to receive love. We wouldn’t have great literature otherwise.
````

a being of perpetual hunger,

satiation exists outside these realms

 

behold : the wonder of your sun-flecked

gently heaving shoulders

fingertips traverse the sloping unfamiliarity of this fleshly terroir

 

a gaze that holds.

respiratory constriction begets bated breathe

bronchus, fluid-filled and now 

with dazed and ginger ease, accommodates. 

 

in any event overtaken by significant 

enough sensation, the vessel is compelled to

conduct an expulsion in 

involuntary response.

sputum ejection elucidates.

what i was left w/ was

determined aspiration to display his wherewithal

 

i realize this is what we die for.

emerge out of body

the desire to experience the spoils of oneself

through another’s lens

released of corporeal confines. brevity, 

a boundlessness penetrated

depths momentarily divulged.

 

*the mechanical labors of my silicone friend

and decrepit imagination don’t hold a candle.

 

listening to Nina Simone,

embroiled in your own cerebellum.

shredding tartness between teeth and tongue

wrinkle-skinned flesh meat of Turkish dried apricots

 

tender, thoughtful to the brim

sweet saccharine

the one you spill your 

seed into

 

your gaze holds, unskipping

as i, with rhythm,

stroke myself along your length

 

in a quest for opposition,

negate and absolve me 

of my missteps and self-dug

graves.

Sex is valve release.

intimacy is haven 

and joy.

 

````

Reproduction’s tradeoff being death,

are its desire and urgency

counterproductive to one’s earthly occupations?

 

it feels something like omniscience 

imagining

another’s infatuation with one’s own 

corporeality

 

does this chase for obsession take away from

the terrestrial struggle to impart legacy the nonbiological way?

 

there is no denial of it

you want to be held by a figure of such physicality as his.

you want to give

him a brief feeling of possession and

take it away over and over

again

 

````

all afternoon

i observe larvae crack open their

chitinous confines,

fresh carapaces lucent 

readying to test their wings

the vast majority die in the sludge they were born in

subsumed, perpetuating a line indefinite 

so long as there remains sludge. 

the overanxious to meet their deaths elsewhere

take to the air, trading in genetic guarantee for some

indeterminable absolution

what sets these choices apart?

pure circumstance, randomized entropy

the imperfect experiment is inconclusive

i decide to give you some time before i 

tell you i want your touch again.

 

````

does your desire to be loved

triumph over your urge to carve a mark into the face

of this temporal hell

 

is there coexistence or compromise,

why such an absolutist?

adamant and presumptuous about the two

being mutually exclusive— 

it’s the balkers like i who end up alone,

masochist.

 

`````

Waow, i start seeing this so-far-so-great guy and all I can write about is reproduction’s tradeoff being death.

i want to show him the lines, as if i want to assign this thing a shelf life

to throw my chin in the air, vindicated

that i am unlovable

to make him run for the hills, to pre-empt my own inescapable takeoff running

 

````

every shelf has a shelf life.

the inevitability of being is ending.

to culminate

duration is more of a tossup, but

death is assured.

a neon lime 

Tyvek eyesore becomes

an architectural feat.

and i am already 

priming myself w/ phantom pain

an exit wound out of the chest

that doesn’t yet exist

 

with troubling immediacy, i

feel the impact of our tryst.

when i came,

it was elation, distilled.

 

happiness is within reach

you just won’t hazard to take it

on account of preferring agony.

````

dead silence, save
for the symphony of skin on skin.

 

Sharing your vicinity is an experience of compulsion

the disarming electricity,

Being in the presence of someone you can’t keep your hands off of,

trading simple conversation crackles sparks
setting us on a collision course

to entangled limbs.

 

i have fear for

how much i am attracted to you;

The ease with which your

Open, non-threatening, disarming nature
plies my trust

into a rare vulnerability,

is alarming.

 

I try to placate myself,

Warily: you have done this before.

—to condition unspecial-ness

in this latest connection

i will the exception out of.

 

Pathetically, i have become a poor soul

whom will wield fear to disallow

appreciation and acceptance of good things.

my flesh hungers for your friction.

 

i could implode.

 

i walk around w/ my nipples at bullet attention

the muscle memory of their rapture at the attentions of your mouth

Emblazoned in their rockhard responsiveness

 

i want to be a mess of limbs with you.

But be conscious of

It’s not “you”

It’s this entity,

An accumulation of muscle memory

of lost loves, of fevered affairs, multiple collisions

Shared intensity. A high-specificity frequency. A common wavelength

so rarely encountered, but reiteratively has asserted its existence.

Love isn’t something between two mere individuals;

It’s merely  idea,

theory that has been trialed reiteratively, cumulatively,

Until, by probability, the two piles of aggregates coincide enough in emotional readiness

from a lifetime of repeated cultivation.

 

This year of celibacy has functioned as a sensory deprivation chamber

so the revisit to the world of shared physical pleasures

are felt with ever more aplomb and appreciation

Recalling the intensities of past brushes with love.

 

You can be my nectar.

I’m less interested in substitute intoxicants.

Take these liquid tincture words

and distill them through your ear

 

Crevices, seeping
Fissures apulse

Cerebral concoction,

 

for you i crack open my carapace,

inner spoils in overflow

 

an excitatory abundance,
richness running down your chin

 

Scramble of curdles, their

fissures pulsating

in invite to probe its profundity.

Effuse unctuous on the tongue,
a soup of our own making.

 

Desire, you devolve me into puddling heat.

*u r my gluta-mate;) haha

// BREAKFAST for LOVERS.

 

baby bok choy for my babe, browned

in the rendered juices searing from

three strips bacon

threads of garlic, slivered jalapeno.

finished w/ a fine dust of sichuan pepper
A scatter of toasted sesame

 

on a supple bed of waffles,

melded with a drizzle,

maple syrup spiked

with cardamom

//

New Yorkers use people as bandaids,

as projection surface.

For you i feel genuinely

The undercurrent is palpably

an undiscovered electricity, for which vocabulary has yet to be generated

You are kind. You are patient. You are intelligent, thoughtful, talented. 

innocuous, full of promise.

i feel safe with you

sometimes, i feel unheard. absent reciprocity / i don’t feel considered equally.

i feel distant. chillingly, i feel the need to cauterize

“everything is ice.”

i am rigid as my erected walls

unforgiving in candor.

//

You’re not supposed to come this close, 

exclaims the fire-bellied newt, rearing.

stalactites and icicles ashake, in the 

glow-throated cavernous silence

// allegorically:

if everything in the 

house smelled of vetiver,

i’d be aroused all the time. Tirelessly.

Delight should come in doses.

(therefore) mundanity must 

predominate, so we may more readily distinguish delight.

 

he’s a gorgeous man, 

but how sustainable is this, before it excruciates?

flaxen locks float above his ear,

shards of sunlight catching in the spindles

 

ruddy puckers made for a mouthful

deep, nut-brown eyes

alternatingly cold, flat

distant— and warm, oozing

of honey

 

you are not the love of 

my life, I remind myself.

i am well-buzzed by now, the

nutmeg’s piquancy singing on my breath

(what cheer it brings to a whisky sour)

—breath i will not squander in your conch, comforted in slumber

 

as the clean egg white froth fizzles out on 

my tongue, i think of the trail my member left,

traversing your shaft length.

what little reaction it could illicit flashed

brief, across your eyes and then you

lidded them.

 

perhaps we need more nights 

in which you slumber and i labor, awake

perhaps we alternate circadia

//

tenderness rife w/ desperation

withdrawals of the bygone year,

withdrawals of this misbegotten relationship

i’d like to indulge the thought that the schism is purposeful, 

by plunging in to confront the darkness, we generate the 

propulsion to elevate out of it,

emerge anew, resilience prevailing.

 

//

our connection is intellectual and electrochemical

a meeting of passions + pursuits

catalyzed by a palpable physicality

 

but what happens when that

catalysis has no culmination’?

outlet thwarted,

 

is this why we feel at times like a chore?

 

//

an allegory to every heteronormative relationship i have experienced

you don’t love me as me, for all my ills and ails

you shallowly, misguidedly love your conceptualization of me

and the way i reflect back on you, as a novelty, as a reflective object for your own desperate light.

you don’t at all know who you are at the core, nor have the courage to risk

sanity and comforts in doing the work to find out.
me, my process is not yours to appropriate to add color to your vague, contrived narrative.

 

all my youth i have struggled to assert my own validity as protagonist of my own narrative

—not as pet to a parent, token sidekick to friend, nor as possession of lover.


i do not relish this combat that is being.

//

She was ghoulish, weird—in shape, in joy, in mischief—and all she made refracted some twistedness she’d been engulfed in.

He was hollow. And so she burrowed, gnawed to feel out the vessel’s boundaries.

Depths, or lack thereof, determined, she cast herself out. It’s what hermits do with shells.

 

//SELF-LOATHING IGNITION.

 

keys jangling in the self-loathing ignition.

sustainable partnership i want to believe in;

privately, i think—are we all, each of us, just

things for another to get bored with?

—disillusionment, the natural course of the human condition?
then, i don’t want to hold sanity so dear
(lest i end up its jilted old lover,
grasping at straws)

//

Cognitive Dissonance : mechanistic Rejection of App-Dating, DM pickups, and IRL smashing in the new millennium:.
 

i would rather not know another
the way i know you

 

rather not have counted the amber flecks

that encircle your iris as i gazed along the volcanic rim

thumping my fingertips against your sternum

 

rather not know you share your mother’s laugh
nor the forces that made you who you were,
rather not written of your unmatched tenacity on
a bodega postcard stuffed into a sleeve of chardonnay
mailed international express;
not wasted playfulness
tracing the curvature of your upper lip by lick
dents in the crook of an elbow
the creases behind your knees
soft tastes of you in the early hours

as we’d rest our bones together

skins unsheathed
I’d soak in your hollowness and feel bright and clean and at home

I’m no longer capable of that new sponge feel

There is not one i can countenance with stars-in-eyes

and sparkling naivete.

Probing youth
cultivates a bitter palate and

erects enclosures.
Bridge incinerator,

i lay bodies in my wake, a number of you’ll say

but consider

how many of my former selves i’ve put to bed

to stomach piling casualties.
***
If you try to look me in the eye again,
I must disappoint, I cannot resurrect the dead.

***

Given casualties,
Conscious of causality,
No casual sh*t.

//

 

After each combusted attempt at conditional-love

Unearth your return receipts!

 

````

you’re the first person i ever had sense to put pen to paper for

right up there w/ my mother.

somewhere in pocketed recesses

your smile still glints in my memory

sparkling sheepishness.

 

it’s a wonder to consider

someone of your stature, the sheer glory of your form— 

sheepishness almost apologetic of 

unpreparedness,

deference for those of us graced to behold;

i suppose it’s less of a wonder then

that tenants of a trophy case don’t know how to be

in the plebeian world of ours whom labor on earth.

lucky i didn’t soil you too bad. 

 

maybe it is more my own ooze that i cling to

you could illicit from me so much

with so little.

a paltry exchange i look back at

hand half over chuckle

a fair reference point to have.

 

````

functioning like we never knew each other.

i’m more traumatized by my own shortcomings than by anything you could’ve ever done.

 

in an effort to be the stronger person, the demonstrably forward-moving person, i ejected myself out of your life with a cold swiftness neither you nor I knew I was capable of. 

(spot-on accusation at 19: i sustained my runaway ways for quite some years afterward.)

 

what’s the use of apologies from the perch of hindsight.

i was one of your closest friends then. and i continue to repeat this play to this day.

 

how and when did i become the person who desires open kitchen shelving and you a person i think of next to never, sans this shit overcast day.

 

i guess you know it was love when it’s forever, however distantly and residual.

 

````

© XI 2020