I’ve never felt so angry while listening to Morphine
It was supposed to calm me down
It doesn’t seem to be working
I’m not the one with the problem
(Well, maybe I am)
But you’re the one with the boyfriend
Mediocre, no doubt
I told you to hit me up when you break up
It wasn’t a joke
Until then you might as well forget it.
You wonder why I never visited
Well, then as now, if you want me, you’d better let me know
Send a dispatch
I don’t care if it’s a pigeon or a packet
I’m not particular
But I know there’s nobody quite like me
And I think you know that, too.
I know it because I feel so utterly alone
But not lonely, usually
Until about 4 hours ago.
I’ll buy your drinks again
Money is a hollow pleasure
Two weeks ago I dreamt of a slick little coupe
Now I’ll buy that fucker and get out of town
More to forget than to enjoy
But where’s the line, anyhow?
“No one has the attention span for a novel these days anyway”
I tell myself
To rationalize just writing little things like this instead
Today I saw a sheriff’s office attached to a dollar store
I saw a motel consisting of ten garden sheds, in two rows of five
I saw apartments built onto the back of a large chain grocery store
I thought about Snow Crash
And I thought about Player Piano
How many of these humble bumpkins will have their lives upended by forces that are totally beyond their understanding?
How many already have?
I am enamored with the idea of being an imposter
Living among these people and observing
And, surely, being observed.
Because no matter what car I drive, no matter how much honeyed drawl I stir in,
An ingroup is keen to spot the other.
What a novel I could write, among these people!
But nobody has the attention span for a novel these days anyway
It is 4am and I have spent the past three hours in bed watching car videos on my phone
Meanwhile in Norway, a man busily writes the umpteenth volume of his widely acclaimed autobiography
It is a muggy midsummer day
And I am in the living room of a very wealthy man I do not know
He is out of town, courting a tobacco baroness on a trip to Paris or Stockholm or some faraway place
So I am told.
My friend and I explore the deserted bedrooms where his children grew up,
Wander through the basement with the billiards and the Foosball table
Where I imagine it was often said,
“Yes, I’ll have another Coke”
Because money was no object and that is the American dream.
I envision this unseen man, this McMansion lord.
When handed the bowl of fruit he grabbed at them compulsively
Swallowing them core and all, scrambling to find the hidden treasure beneath,
The sweetest fruit of all —
But instead just found the bottom of the bowl
And the inscription,
“This is it”
I am eating a bowl of white rice doused with sriracha sauce
when the familiar thought comes over me
that I could die at any moment, and the vast majority of humankind would be unaware and unaffected
it strikes me as funny, in that moment, that this thought doesn’t visit me more often.
of course, it is not adaptive to think that way.
yesterday my mind was alight with nootropics
attuned both to my environment and the tasks at hand
rid of such meandering nihilistic diversions with nothing more than five hundred milligrams of a faintly citrus-smelling fluffy powder,
purchased legally on the internet,
taken twice daliy.
today I am more certain than ever that I should take the drugs as much as I can.
there is nothing sacred in defaults
there is nothing sacred in listlessness
and there is nothing sacred in evenings spent drinking bourbon in front of a computer screen.
I probably would not have written this were I in that artificially heightened state,
one might argue,
but there is nothing sacred about this poem
and there is nothing sacred about a fear of otherness, dressed in romanticist rags,
and to unpack this facile definition of “artifice” is exactly the kind of task my nootropized mind would do with pleasure.
I am a human being
sitting on a chair for hours every day
rid me of these idiot shackles of evolution
or else let’s burn it all down and go back to the plains
but man is a bridge, not an end
and we are buckling under our own weight.
And not a moment too soon,
For there comes a text
Bidding me, unspoken, to participate in a physical encounter
But also, even more unspoken, to participate in an instance of reality in disharmony with my own
It tugs at the fabric, like a massive object.
Typically it goes like so:
Clarity is restored
And though I’m back in the peaceful vacuum
My hull is singed, bits of trim yanked off by the foray into the atmosphere.
But not this time
Thanks in part (ironically) to this lurid hyperreal universe that exists within our own
As outrageous yet inevitable as blinking billboards on passing asteroids
Clarity is restored,
And now that I think about it,
Staying in is sounding better and better.
Doesn’t matter much if it’s a man or a woman
If it’s made out of straw, it’ll burn.
I only write poems when I’m romantically distressed
Well this is the one that is going to prove that wrong
So that if anyone reads these, they won’t think I’m a perpetually frustrated sod
Stroking himself to the sight of distant windmills.
It’s silly, I know, especially when practically nobody is going to read these
Least of all the subjects of my past frustrations.
If one of you is reading this, you’re proving me wrong
Or I’ve sent you a link and this is all an elaborate set-up.
Is that brilliant, or just painfully self-obsessed?
When it comes down to it, though, the fact that you are here is complete dumb chance
There’s very little quality control on the Internet
A fact which may be poised to change,
But not for the better.