“It’s a sad business.”

“It is that. Sixty three is no age.”

“You heard about how she passed didn’t you?”

“Yes. Heart attack, wasn’t it?”

“That’s what the official report said but her husband…”

“Widower.”

“Yes, her widower, Brian. He told my sister-in-law, Carol, that it wasn’t a heart attack that killed her. God rest her. He said Janet’s heart was fine. Nothing wrong with it. He said it was spiders that killed her.”

“Spiders?” (more…)

Shane is looking in a box. The box is full of light. There is a scene through the light where a rabbit carrion is picked apart by a magpie.

“Thank you,” he says, “I knew it would all work out.”

Shane smiles and closes the lid. The lid slams shut with a heavy bang, but the loud noise seems to come from behind him. Shane turns, shocked by the crash and sees an empty room, different from the room he was in a moment ago.

In the top right corner where the walls meet the ceiling, a shadow is slowly growing, spreading out. The darkness fills him. Horrified, Shane runs from the room.
(more…)

let’s talk about demise. you are my nuclear shadow. from the moment you intruded into my space
(                           EXISTENCE                          ) has swelled under your oppressive
breath

               it’s vile, the way you touch or think to touch
               your hands are smeared across my mind

               and on my memory of you

let’s talk about willingness. i am willing to visualize you as a burlesque abortion.
you’re an aftertaste i can’t mask with mint

              you are a hollow
              fizzling
              popping
(more…)

True, when we try to understand, we are leaping open armed into our own
ignorance. It’s impossible to put everything in order when we can’t even agree
where order begins. One strategy is to abandon any attempt, or risk going mad.

But at one time we possessed certainty: we saw the sky as a collection of companion
bonfires. In fact, one theory states these distant flames are the source of our own
alien origins, and yes, this is the reason I, as a child, would often press an ear up
against old trees—I hoped to hear the escape of some cosmic inertia. That rumble
which moves never ceasing into emptiness.

Once in a dream I thought I witnessed this indifferent conquest. I stood on the edge
of reality, watched everything expand into nothing, no steady movement, but
random, crystalline cracks, pregnant with possibility. What would you do?
(more…)

America Is a Desert of Drugs Where the Only Water Tastes Like Antifreeze

I’m plunked on an Adirondack Chair on my back deck and it’s Friday night
Three weeks sober
I hear that if you make it to 90 days then you’re onto something
I also hear airplanes in the sky speaking in tongues
It’s finally summer here
Or at least it feels like it

Carly’s inside lying on the couch watching House of Cards
Tom’s sitting across from me writing poetry on my laptop
There’s this half-dead tree staring at me
Half of it covered in leaves that blow when there’s coke in the air
The other half just branches with buds never smoked
I’m not too sure which is the better half

And those planes overhead
They’ll be dropping people off at airports I’ll probably never see
Lovers I’ll never taste, baggage I’ll never have
(more…)

Chalk

And I am still here: the house
holds up under warring clouds and sun.
My bedroom is square and white and the hall stairs
rasp and chirr. The cellar ghost cries in my woodpiles,
the sacks of grain. Maybe what it needs now
is some fat, some salt. Not my meager keening
or blood. But something from the pantry
perhaps. My cans of oily chilies,
my pearly mayonnaise. (more…)