Tag Archives: blood

Things We Don’t Talk About

That our blood tastes like pennies.
That we know what pennies taste like.
That last night’s corn is floating
in the toilet. That asparagus smell.
That I don’t love you.

The Beats Don’t Stop ‘Til Your Body Drops



another beat


hope for one more


deep in veins
to palpitate

in a beat

another beat

shaking hands
shaking feet

keep it steady
keep the beat



another beat

another beat



A Rose for Emily p2

Ah, yes. “Well, Shit.” I suppose an epigraph—or should that be an epitaph?—will suffice, emblazoned on the archway in golden majuscules. None of this sans-serif nonsense, only the most majestic and decorative lettering imaginable for to immortalize the very first words I spoke, excepting the standard marching orders given by an invading general mid-invasion, when I first stepped foot in this castle. Can you imagine if it were a marching order? Granted, it would be hilarious for a brief and fleeting moment but if ever there were a way to make a bad day worse, that would be it, and I believe it goes without saying that that day could not have possibly sunk any lower than it already had by the time I arrived. Only, it was then that I arrived, so perhaps I’m wrong on that.

If memory serves—and after the bottle of mead I drank this morning to work of the courage to write this in the first place, it could go either way—it happened in the old King’s private court, a room that we’ve since boarded up. I’d have allocated the funds at some point to preserve it as a memorial to the Old Guard, to honor the dead but, as we’ve well established, I’m a selfish prick, and therefore such a rational and sympathetic act is well beyond my capabilities. Of course, even if I weren’t such a prick as I am (but I am), the cost of repair and restoration would have been astronomical. Keep that in mind in case this gives you an big ideas (and also be sure to credit any big ideas to me. I’ll be watching).

When I first stepped foot in that room, I counted no more than six square feet of dry ground left unscathed by the tidal wave of blood that seemed to wash across the floor, seeping into the dirt between the tiles, as if the earth beneath them were a Sham-WOW. God, I had never seen so much blood and death concentrated in such a small space before. Everyone you had everyone known or loved—everyone they had ever known or loved, as far as I could tell—their fresh corpses littered the ground, fresh with the stench of dying. I remember all the shiny wounds, the wide open eyes that oozed blood and brain from the corners like cataracts from Hell. What I later learned was poison left a thin, shimmering layer on every blade, left all who felt its puncture choking in their own vomit and coughing up their withered, decaying organs. I’d dare say that even the deepest stab wounds and severed limbs went unnoticed by the victims as that potion took its toll. I remember a velvet curtain that adorned the King’s proscenium. The first thing that sprung to mind when I observed its rich majestic coloring would have been blood red, if I hadn’t noticed the rust brown stain of actual blood that dyed its skirt. I remember the cloud of dust that engulfed the room when that curtain finally collapsed from the weight of all the blood it had absorbed, and how it sifted through the air so unsettled.

Dig Yourself a Hole

I found him in the backyard, shovel in hand. He’s all tattooed arms and spitfire poetry. Razorblade scars and heroin-soaked lyricism. Perfectly unhinged; unchained dog mad with rabies. He burned patterns in my lawn. Bleached stained jeans. Tattered shirt and tie. Shattered glass bottles, thrown at trees; pockmarked cherry bomb testing grounds. Dirt stained everything.

He’s digging a hole.

He tells me, “One day, years from now, Africa with collide with Europe and close the Straights of Gibraltar. The Mediterranean will become a vast desert of salt.”

I stare blank. Unsure of what to say, I drink long slow sips. Burns like a lemondrop, hard swallowed.

“Don’t you get it? The Atlantic is spreading at a rate equivalent to that of human finger nail growth. The Atlantic is fucking spreading! Every second that passes we’re getting farther away from England. How do you handle that?”

I have nothing. I barely understand.

He puts it another way. “Right now the universe is expanding. Everything is moving away from everything else. We’re all drifting alone in the dark.”

His hole is getting deeper. I would really like to pull him up, but I don’t have the knowledge or the tools. He came out here with a mission. Hellbent and headstrong, he’s burning adrenaline like a grease fire. He’s a loaded gun. He’s loaded for sure, has been for days.

“She was mine once,” he said, “Not anymore though. I bled her out. Bled her dry. One too many leaches. Maybe one too few.”

I still don’t get it. Another long slow sip.

“She killed it for me. Knew I couldn’t deal. But that wasn’t it. That’s what she never got.”

A picture’s starting to form. Bleak and bloody, I think I’m getting it now. Rain falls silent on shirt collars. He’s all mud-splattered dress clothes. Real life American wasteland. The shit under your shoes.

“How I could bring it into a world that’s doomed. Birth is a death sentence. I see that now.”

And there it is.

He’s knee deep in slop, waist deep in a trench. He’s digging with a purpose now. His grip tight on the handle, a bear trap vice. Blood trickles from cracked knuckles. He’s broken bones healed crooked. He locks eyes with mine, searching for answers I can’t possibly give him.

Another long slow sip. I tell him it’s not all bad. We’ve got cable and high speed internet access. I am completely meaningless. He’s waterlogged and mechanical motion. Locked in; he’s on autopilot and coasting towards the end. I don’t think I could stop him if I wanted to. I don’t know that I want to.

He’s all rage and fear. Blood, piss, and tears. Mud splashed in fresh new wounds. He’s puncture marks and bleeding open heart. He wants me to be something I’m not. He wants me to be answers. He needs me to be strong comfort. I have to be everything’s alright. But I’m nothing like anything. I never have been.

He’s been digging all night. He’s been digging a hole.

“This one’s mine,” he says, “You have to dig your own.”

Disjunction Junction

I’d like to say that the picture surprised me, but that sentiment would get us off to a bad start. It would make me sound dishonest, and that lack of trust is hardly the kind of thing on which to build a healthy relationship (we’ve got to at least get past the introductions before I start lying to your face, and there’ll be plenty of time for that). No, the centerpiece of Carey’s opening was really more vapid than anything else. Sure, it was violent and surrealist, and this was all good and shocking at the exact moment that I laid eyes on the frame, but after that, it just felt stodgy. Mundane. I went from “Oh my God!” to “oh,” in less time than it took to blink. It was just the kind of thing you’d expect her to do.

“I really wanted to do something personal this time,” she explained at the gallery. “There’s such a disjunction between the artist and the art, and I wanted to find a way to bridge that gap.” Disjunction? Who says that? “Even with self-portraiture, there’s this like, disconnect, because you frame the shot, but the camera actually takes it—but it’s automated, ya know? It’s a machine—and then you have to develop the film, and I wanted to find some unity in the process, and explore what it means to be an artist in a post-analog society.”

She went on to explain that the whole idea came about when she accidentally cut herself in the dark room. She was struck by the idea of a photograph that literally bleeds, so after the film was developed, she decided to make it happen. From what I understand, she made a solution of epoxy and her own blood and applied it directly onto the finished photograph with a paint brush. She then sealed the picture in an airtight frame just as it begin to congeal; rather than allow the mixture to harden, she wanted to capture it while it was still fresh and alive and actively bleeding. Apparently, this now qualified her as a multimedia artist.

The picture, she said, was intended to illuminate the violent discordance between youth and adulthood at the onset of puberty. The childish subject of the photograph epoxy-bled from dozens of small holes on its back, while long green grass blades penetrated its rough, synthetic skin. This was supposed to be phallic in some way, something about nature and rape and nurturing matriarchal conceptions in an otherwise patriarchal something something. I don’t know.

I decided to ask the question that I think was on everybody’s mind: “So…why’d you take a picture of a Chia Pet?”

Afterward, I apologized, and told her that I’d had too much of that free champagne they were passing around so readily. This was a lie, of course; I didn’t have a single thing to drink the entire night. Mainly because I didn’t want to sleep with her again, but I lied about that part, too.