When Writing Hurts

I never thought I’d have to revisit

The Amazon rainforest

And all the creepy things that happened there

Standing in a circle drinking vats of tobacco

So me and those other lost souls

Could lie down together vomiting

When just a couple weeks later

A girl died doing the same thing

Trying to cleanse herself

Through her organs

But I had to share the story

With someone, so I wrote it


The Infamous Shaira

Everyone in my life recognizes

That Shaira was a very special person in my life

Except Shaira, who has reduced my importance

To the occasional Facebook message

And wouldn’t make the trip for my funeral

Let alone my wedding

But everyone is dying to meet the infamous shaira who

When asked about my time in Korea

Was always the protagonist

Even her name now brings to mind

Four or five anecdotes

Worthy of a captive audience and a fair few chuckles

Poignant silences, groans

They say they’re curious to meet her

Dying to even, and that according to my stories

There’s no one in the world like her

That she’s very unique

But the stories come less and less easily to me

The Day’s Ending

We were slightly too old to play such a game
Ranging in age from twelve to seventeen
When my five pale white-headed cousins and I
decided to take a stance against the tide coming in
in a fruitless effort to resist the day’s ending
we were spread out like icecaps dotting the sea
except we kicked, grabbed handfuls of foam
threw them at one another and screamed

there were three leftover at the last funeral
there will be just two by the next wedding
Wilhelm, who told Deborah I was bitten by a shark
when our two eldest cousins carried me away
that day, after I scraped my knee on a rock
succumbed to a heroin addiction
almost ten years ago now
Sarah had kids and stopped talking to anyone
it’s almost the same as Jakob
except he felt the need to change continents
to get away from us and Chris
we never quite figured out
what happened to him
except that he’s possibly autistic
and last we heard, driving trucks

Tomorrow, I will play a game
for which I am slightly too young
I will fight the waves of sleep
brought on by my latest medication
and doze through my ending days
unless I kick and throw and scream
it will be as if I am bleeding out
after a shark has bitten me
and maybe, like that day at the sea
right after I was carted off
someone will take Wilhem’s place
and tell a ridiculous lie about it
until Deborah, still the youngest
will break down crying
and be afraid of the tides
forever after the false ending
was whispered into her small ear

but before the malicious lie of the shark bite
from that little boy, Wilhelm
our parents said something worse
when the tide comes in
we’ll have to go home
because there will be no place
for your sore old parents to sit
and it brings me joy to remember
how angry we were about the day’s ending 
each time I drift into sleep again
without meaning to do it

Hot stone treatments

This is the time when living alone

Starts to really sink in

Quiet and slow

And you remember 

That your therapist recommended

Talk radio and body pillows
But this is the time you mourn your losses

You take each out,

roll it in your hand, over your skin

Like a hot, well worn stone

Before placing it back in the secretest marrow 

Of your brittle, old bones


ive overdosed three times
only once was an accident
im no stranger to hospital gowns
and demerol drips
at least, i wasnt then
i kept my emergency contact

it was always him
i became his inpatient
but he still
brought home the bacon
and i got fat on it
or rather, skinny
we preferred coke
but we’d take anything

then the optometrist
doomed me to insanity
and i wondered
why i didnt just step
in front of a train
and get it over with
finish off
my half person
my leftovers
so people couldve just
gotten on with it

i still wonder why i didnt
i did the next best thing
i left

when i came back again
i didnt expect
the recognition

i wish theyd stop
remembering things

i was a terrible
waste of a person.