Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Whatever Pulls You Towards Life

I say, you know,

I say if it

If it

If it pulls you towards life

Go


I don’t stop

When life pulls me


I don’t stop and ask why


I see life

And I see so many things

In the way of

In the way of life

And so I see people despair


So much

So much despair

Is what I see

And the despair--why?


Because of the things

In the way

In the way of life


So if life pulls you

And it will--


You see, this is why

I never despair

Because I know

That all it is about

Is standing still

Still enough so that when life

When it pulls you

You can go

You can

You can go along with it

Like the tide

Like the beautiful water

That wants to take you

Here and there

And not to death

Never to death

Because if you don’t fight the water

It will drop you far away

But it will not hurt you

It will never do that


I was in the airport

And someone handed me a ticket

I take the ticket

And I go to the terminal

I go to the terminal

And I get on the plane

And I go where I go


I get off the plane

And it’s warm

It’s hot and sunny

I get myself a lemonade

I sit down on a beach


Life took me here

It will keep me here

Or take me somewhere else


And my job?


My job is to go


So I go


But I don’t go for a long time

Because life doesn’t call me


Life has to go and pull others

To where they need to go


So I set up shop

I sell my wares

I make a living

I live

I have a living

I have children

I have a partner

Who loves me

And I love them


Years later, life comes calling again

And I have to close up shop

And kiss my children

And tell them I love them

And go where I need to go


Back to an airport

Back with a ticket

This time another terminal

Another location

And when I land

I am old

And I am pulled with much more force

Because I am heavier than I was

In my heart and my soul

For things I have seen

And people I have lost


Life does not have

Such an easier time

Pulling me to where

I must go


So it lets me rest

And when I rest

I can feel life

Hiding all around me


But I am happy

Because I knew

That I did not fight

And I did not despair


I let myself go

And look where I was


A full life

A good life

A life given to me

By life


How miraculous


What a miracle

It was

Monday, June 14, 2021

My Sister from Another Dimension

My sister is from

Another dimension


One day I woke up

And there she was


She was seven-years-old

But I had no memory

Of her being born

Or any of the seven years

She had (allegedly) been on the planet


I thought some girl

Who looked sort of like my mom and dad

Had wandered into our house

And I thought about locking her

In the bathroom

Until someone could come get her


‘What are you talking about,’ my parents asked me,

As the strange little girl was banging

On the bathroom door


‘That’s your sister!’


She was not my sister

I had no sister


Did my parents really think

I was so forgetful

I could have a sibling

And not even know it?


It wasn’t long before I figured out

That this person calling herself my sister

Was really just an alien

From another dimension


Aliens are known to zap out

The memories of adults

And put in new memories

Which is why parents

Didn’t remember not having

A daughter

Because they loved only having a son

And would never want to test their luck

By having any other children


I was forced to have breakfast

Across from my new alien sister

And even her behavior gave away

Her otherworldly origins


She poured orange juice

On her cereal
And when my mother asked her

How she likes her eggs

She said that she doesn’t like eggs


DOESN’T LIKE EGGS!!!


I searched the eyes of my parents

To see if they were alarmed

By this startling confession


But no, they shrugged it off

And continued getting ready

For the day


When my alien sister and I

Boarded the bus

I was sure some of my friends
Would remember

That just that previous Friday

I had no sister

But they greeted her

The same way they did with me


One even asked her

About a television show

It seems the two of them

Both enjoy

And this was almost too much for me


I considered hopping off the bus

Running to the nearest rocket launchpad

And sending myself into space

To find the happy alien home of my sister

So I could ruin her breakfast

And ride the bus with her friends


The school day passed without incident

But when I got home

My mother had made

What she believed to be

My sister’s ‘favorite meal’

Since she had won the spelling bee that day

Unbeknownst to me


I refused to eat anything

That an alien would enjoy

And so I was sent to bed early

With only a rutabaga to gnosh on

While I considered my actions


As the night wore on

And my parents knocked on my door

To let me know it was lights out

I burrowed under my blankets

To begin plotting

How I was going to send my sister

Back to her dimension

When I heard my bedroom door open


A second later

There was a scuffling

And there she was

Under the blankets with me


Before I could tell her

That I don’t allow aliens

In my scheming fort

She waved her hands in a circle

And soon my blankets

Were high in the air

Floating above me

With lights shining

All around


There was music

And visions of space

And planets I’d never seen before


The blankets flew around the room

For a minute or two

And then settled back down again

Over my sister and me


I took the show to mean

That my sister would like to stay

And despite my earlier objections

I remembered that we did have that spare room

Where my father kept his smelly gym shoes

And I did like having someone

To walk to the bus with

And the dinner my mother made that night

Did look rather delicious


And so I decided

To let my alien sister

From another dimension

Stay here in this dimension


That night, the world’s newest resident

Stayed in my room with me

Demonstrating how alien powers

Could be used to finish undone homework

And make ice cream appear

Out of thin air


Once I had my two scoops

Of vanilla-strawberry

I told my little sister

It was far past her bedtime

And she needed to go to sleep


It turns out

I’m a pretty great

Big brother

Sunday, June 13, 2021

If You Lived Here, We Would Do Absolutely Nothing and Never See Each Other

I think that you think

That if you lived here

We would do stuff

And we would see each other

And we would be, like, everyday friends?


And I just need to let you know

That if you lived here

That would not happen


If you lived here,

We would do absolutely nothing

And never see each other


Not because I wouldn’t want to see you

But because I don’t see anyone I like


I don’t have time

For people I like

And I’m in such a bad mood

All the time

That even if I could carve out space

For people I was fond of

I wouldn’t want to see them

Because they would be getting

The literal worst version of me possible


I don’t do things

I mean, yes, I do things

But I do them with people

I’m dating

On dates

Because I have to date

Because I don’t want to be living

In this wretched city by myself

Because if you’re dating someone

And living here

Living here becomes ever so slightly

Less horrific


I mean, ever so slightly

Like barely noticeable

But see then

You have to have a partner

Who you have to do things with

And you were kind of cool

With not doing anything

With anyone

Because of your bad mood

And your endless work schedule


So now you’re giving the worst of yourself

To this person who thinks they’re in love with you

But really they’re just equally unwilling

To go through this hell we call life

Without someone at their side

Witnessing the horror

Like how people need to write about war

So we don’t forget it was bad


While all this would be going on

You and I would be playing phone tag

And making promises

And making plans

And breaking plans

And you would be just as miserable as I was

Because you would be living here

And you’d be trying to date

And keep plans with me

And want to just stay home all the time

And get takeout from a place you can’t afford

And, spoiler alert, you can’t afford takeout from anywhere

Unless you stiff the delivery driver on the tip

Which you do

But you feel bad about it

So it doesn’t count

And you smile really big at the guy

When he hands you the food

Which is meaningless

But not nothing

But not anything

And the person you’re dating

Asks if you tipped

And you say--


You’re the one working

At Schwaab and Fuckerton, asshole

Why don’t you pay for the takeout next time?

You think just because I’m living in this apartment

That means I have money?

Two people died in this apartment

And at night, the woman above me

Lets loose on her snare drum

While I wonder why I didn’t just

Buy a farm in Auckland


So…


Yeah, I mean, if you want to move

To the city

I can help you find a place

I just want you to have

Reasonable expectations

For what living here would be

Which is--terrible


And I am here for you

I support you

But in no way

Should you think of me

As any kind of, like, support system

That you can count in

In pretty much any situation

Let alone a crisis

Never call me in a crisis

I will hang up the phone

And block your number


But I love you

But I essentially don’t exist

As a human being anymore


I am a ghost

And unless you want to move

Into my haunted apartment

We are never going to see each other

And never going to do anything

And if we’re lucky

Both of us will find people we can date

Who will want to love us

For the angry ghosts we are


Sorry, that was just my way

Of saying ‘You’ll never believe it

But I think my apartment is haunted


I don’t really know

How to start conversations anymore