atmospheric tiramisu

that Friday had been particularly rough my science teacher Mrs. Thorndyke must’ve been on the rag or something i’m not even sure why i went to school that day i guess i just needed the routine life was unraveling all over me my folks money politics and a robust octopus demon had it’s addiction tentacles around by mind i felt heavy lost i wanted to make it all go away if i got a gold fish took out the trash make dad a clay ashtray maybe if i behaved but my check engine light had been flashing for almost two years now

i walked around downtown til i hit Main street i was too tired to go to the nickel besides i knew Taino wasn’t home i didn’t trust sitting in the lobby of the King Edward by myself i had a feeling i went up to the roof of the Cecil i was a runt back then no one knew i was alive the sky was baby blue like a Joe Jackson song and right where the mountain crests with the horizon an atmospheric tiramisu of different colored smogs

looking down at the sidewalk on Main i would count the people coming in and out of the lobby i remember thinking these must be really happy folks well mannered with nice houses and lawns and supper my mind began to wander my body relaxed i wasn’t comparing or analyzing anymore i was just of the moment alone face to face with my 17 years of invisibility of course i thought about jumping but that streak of rebel pomposity fed by my love of the Sex Pistols thought jumping off the roof would be utterly trite

thank goodness for my photographic memory finger tips without having to shift my eyes from the helicopters pigeons and flag poles i reached into my book bag and fished out the Ritalin pills that soothed me when i felt like curling up and sucking my thumb in about half hour or half day the lines blurred i was thinking about the news and the Contras Viet Nam vets and crack cocaine i thought about how many homeless people there were and the crips and the bloods and everyone in between

nowadays i often think of that Friday and i wonder what would have become of me if i had been a popular girl a girly girl a girl whose parents were proper closet alcoholic church goers conscious voters PTA joiners and i wore dresses and never took anything stronger than grape juice but we were not like that no one was ever like that in truth we were all just ragers in our own way

my daydreams about the world its wars and LA were just smoke and mirrors to hide from what would inevitably be an incredible ride into familiar unknowns of wanting to die and fly and vomit and binge and fuck and love and cry and laugh and feel whole

Dr. Spock forgot to mention

launch

painful

fists at me

i don’t care that

it leaves a blue mark

i’ll just put ice on it

besides skin gets tougher with

time and i’ve got lots of it to

have patience and learn from your mistakes

take it out on me whip the love i have

for you into hell i won’t need it much

just don’t tell me that i’m useless rot

your tongue has a way of killing

a wide eyed love i have for

myself and the Spirit

and it will only

cause my will to

chase demons

in the

dark

Zorya

there she is

bright bold with golden arms

the lady who comes to purify my blood

just 2 hours and 34 minutes in the past

did the he moon with his mariachi suit

cry with me because he is a gentleman

we had clinked tequila glasses

while he kissed my hands

but with each step Zorya takes toward my window

i’ve come to prefer the strong espresso roast

dark heavy smoldering like your heart

you prefer to sleep

after quaking and quivering through my mounds

and when your eyes come open wide your armor

will cover you again

as i remain the faithful wench

in the china cup where the gold has chipped off

filled with mud and some manipulative tears

my cigarette will drown in sorrow

so i walk into the bathroom

to wash your sheep’s odor

off my she wolf fur

not…alone

the pineapple stand is gone and three more tents sprouted last night she she she with two elders coughing i float above the tar but every now and again there in the crack on the corner near where the ancient fault line is grows a dandelion an astronomical seven inches tall i know he answers little girl you got a quarter you like the flower the rain gutter waters it see drip drip i see sir here is a bottle of water and a gift card to Quiznos all i can spare oh no i need money oh God bless you child anyway you too sir then the dream turns harsh cloudy i can’t get to my car and the wheelchair i’m trapped in gets hit by a truck the spine snaps i wake screaming my neck gets caught on a ring of Saturn i’ve grown accustomed to my good fortunes heart thumping i look at my hands in the dark no one’s there so i hug on tightly to the blessing in my dream

SoCS badge by Pamela, at https://achronicalofhope.com/

Figaro’s

he asked why do you keep her picture there in the drawer swallowing hard i realize that you were my mother more physically beautiful than any woman i’d ever seen no makeup no artificialness in any way i lied and i said oh i don’t know looking out the window at the bus stop i opened the drawer a few more times and there you remained stoic and frozen in your place as he gnawed at the steamy pepperoni pizza hot pocket and scratched his sack he yelled why don’t you put it in a frame and fear broke out in a sweat a slight vertigo took me and i rubbed my head looking for a hit he yelled again and saw what i was jonesing for he says nope not today lets go to the art store instead we dressed in American drag t-shirted leathered and jeaned he held my hand and missed my forehead kissing my aviators instead are you mad he asked i says no and think quickly about the flamingos at the zoo and the empty dark brown bottles of Kilkenny i left in the bus stop trash can two hours ago my feet feeling disconnected from my soul i says no i won’t go and he turns around to see me i can’t keep her in a frame it would be the ultimate betrayal she was Opa’s favorite until she met my Da and ran away with him imprisoned by her vanity and steadfast love for a man of misery determined to be his only queen on the backs of everybody she had to win but death did not agree what are you spewing about never mind i said i can’t keep her in a frame all her life she was held back by her thoughts expectations disappointments and aggressions even her people wandered the deserts and were rounded up in box cars as the evil ripped out their spirit and put them in cages i forgot he said but she’d like a frame she was always a refined lady as he smiled apologetically and the homeless guy with a grateful dead t-shirt on was handed a bologna sandwich by the salvation army guy as we detoured into Figaro’s Bistrot instead

after the Tropical

the fevers come alternately between the shivering cold silver icicles from the north in my heart and the crickets in stereo is all i hear on Thursdays at the meet this isn’t working i’m not working you’re not working when you’re passed out more than me i am screaming so dimly silently as to not disturb the expectations of those who haven’t lived haven’t hurt haven’t lost haven’t murdered their own soul as the blue gray spirit holds the last of the plasma in her hands weeping into the air of having felt good and bad together like when the gods cum and the fucking rock bottom has three secret layers underneath the circle with a broken line cannot protect me do you not see what i see it is beauty in the knife wound of his side that costs too much to stitch and Bacardi left a while ago and your horse faced phantom takes too long to boil i can’t wait 1 second it’s too long to feel too much the melodrama of my delusion you don’t deserve mouth to mouth but ask me as the ambulance struts by not our call tonight tomorrow neither

nolo contendere

some Sunday mornings early at the park the ducks would waddle toward him with shaky hung over arms he’d lift me above the quacking wonders the giggles floating up like bubbles some summer times long ago i’d get to stay at his home motorcycle parts in the bathroom and nightly a different ‘aunt’ to make me food some days after his brothers would roar out of his garage in the afternoon i’d make a dollar for every bottle i scavenged from his oily shop floor and i finally had enough to buy chutes and ladders there were certain times i didn’t trust him his glances were an empty page don’t act like your mother he’d say when i offered to do a chore just to strike up a conversation like Sammy and Ginger my neighbors next door did with their Da when it was their turn to water the lawn i guess he thought i wanted another board game as i grew older and farther away i saw no use of trying my hand at rewinding time with the old man being a Da wasn’t his suit and being parented is something i’ve always sucked at

private runt

another flame in the distance of a repetitious page

alarms my blood into a flow of fast thinking

she comes in the storm of her own pain

a slow thick fear the only match i have to counter

i now know not to longer linger by the crusted ashtrays

or lean on their solid walls of past injurious indiscretions

but rather crawl out of the darkness of the closet

a charming foxhole a Neverland of sorts with Barbies GI Joes

water colors and a one eyed teddy bear called Mike

after the storm lulls herself to sleep

and the lightening goes to some other town

to launch his cowardly thunder

we are all less than triumphant in dignity and resolution

and when all is calm the mirror under the storm

confirms that there is life yet

another successful recon mission

a blue awareness baptizes me

today i survived again

and am still breathing for a home

strikethrough

laced

sharp

clove smoke

in alley i

got what i came for

a ticket to peek inside God’s ear near

the heavens past the Milky Way from up there the world was beautiful

at the American Hotel full of sweaty nooks and crannies where the music was wild in its ferociousness and once infected

the brain floated amongst the red aura of the room while the riffs and the booms and the twangs and the truths were part of a generation dying to speak its aching lonely soul

from the cave with symbols and art from masters of no particular renown prophesies of the pioneers of future trillion sized debts and whose progeny would be prisoners within bars made of algorithms instead i was a rule breaker kid channeling Cassady before she knew how to write trickster of the night wild child who’d

never had to fight with an authoritative parent on account they were already at some of their own soirees as a little tax deduction i quickly learned that a woman’s place was not really where she had to stay and i followed suit because it was the only way my rebellious nature would be soothed and that’s how the old vagabonds took me to see the Clash when i was ten the coolest 6th grader ever summers in Bakersfield sandy hair wild like baby snakes shielded by the big

bad momma cobras picking grapes hearing the night thunder of God and machine never wondering what would happen to me at least not in the day time Al’s bar i miss your soul so many times i bled polka dotting your floors lost my mind but the angels of the green couches were there to call the taxi but no one knew the address rock and roll deep in thought colors floated steadily for me forming live connections to the guys that God called Us do pigeons count as doves i loved the one with stripped wings white neck and red beak hind and fore sight blended in my head pounding breaths waking up in the middle of the deck only to see the headlines im still here Hillel wild crazy as fuck child incomprehensible girl took the diagnostical sentence because you didn’t understand

old at 8

on auxiliary thought
it doesn’t seem
as if life can get
too heavy but
my bones no longer
care to witness
the simple matter
that is before me

time is lost but like
my bones it prefers
to be in limbo and
time, she knows distance
is for my own good

apart from some golden
days and some hours
made of lead i can stand
up and smile at Pluto
my fourth grade friend

on the yard where

riddles stood for rites of passage