Fix the sink

These are the strange hours, in the middle of the night like this. It’s like I’m holding my breath, hoping I’ll pass out, and when I wake up, I’ll find I’ve been transported. Some hope they’ll die in their sleep like that. Maybe I do, too. If I pass out and wake up in mid-January, how cool would that be…

The holidays are painful only because family is all about pain. Just setting foot on their premises, their words cause me to cringe, they’re so stupid. No other way of putting it. It’s as if being in their presence, or thinking about them, writing about them, you experience loss. Driving back home, I realize it’ll take some time to recover, and that it’s a good idea not to get back in touch with them for awhile. When they get ahold on you, the first thing they go after is your time. Wastage is what they’re all about.

Once out of bed, I want to write, watch words form one after the other, make discoveries. At this hour, it’s a series of questions springing up, a prodding of the soul—”Come on brother, say something, say something, won’t you.” A library, a sidewalk, a haiku anthology, a temperature drop, a mystery.

We want to be entertained. We want new entertainment, what we feel is new, but dabble in the past and what comforts us. We want companionship and the things that are forbidden. We want free living and not to be told we are less. If we happen to be gay, we are told by the front man, our president–Tough fucking luck. We won’t sanction your marriages. That’s the kind of control we have.

In Roanoke, the streets are blocked off because a tree is on tour. This very tree is hauled around in a truck, and when it decides it’s done fucking around, it’ll make its way up to DC and be lit in front of the White House. While casual Roanokers are honored, thrilled, elated, a friend and I joke that we should plant in it a timed ex-plo-sive.

Quiet as all hell. I should not be complaining. I read some more about the Spanish Civil War in George Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia, based on his experiences with an anarchist militia of the time. Now he is writing about the smells, the severe cold being the thing both sides were worried about. It was so cold, he dreamt about it, feared it. His side was so unprepared and unskilled and young. A boy of around sixteen came running to them, pouring blood from his head—his own gun malfunctioned and tore his scalp into ribbons. “This was our first casualty.”

My thoughts flip around inside this apartment that is a comedy. It’s hard even for one person to look after. The cats are not fond of housekeeping. My stack of books, they attack them, topple them, while I’m sleeping. After a certain point, I decide just to let it all be. Make peace with the fucking mess everyone else is so intent on. Besides, too much cleaning at once and my lungs go on strike.

he is new
to poetry
excited as hell
spends the
dull moments
reciting, memorizing
what he wrote
pulls notebook out
as he’s
walking to work
random lines
jotted down
soon he’ll
be ready
for the
well-lit stage

we talk
he asks me
advice
I say this
has been
my thing for
some 10 years now
off and on
and while I
say what I have
to say, you’re gonna
have to decide
whether any of it
is workable for
you or not
don’t take it
absolutely
I’m discovering
growing
myself

of course of
course

Elsewhere, a pathetic lot of people. I say that, but see in myself what is pathetic. Yet that is a strength. See whatever is there, work on it. Be less dependent on others. Learn, in fact, to renounce them. Yes, that’s one powerful thing I’ve learned in eastern philosophy—renounce as much as you can. Most things in this world sink you. The same can be true of people. And it might not be the people themselves. It might just be in the way that you come to depend on them. And so you sink.

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