Last Ten



He said she said it in Mexico City. He said they went to the dominoes hall on a Saturday night and she had a nosebleed on the way there because the pollution was just so bad, like a blanket of soft smog slowly killing us and she had nosebleeds and kept the balled-up tissues in her purse. I never said anything about the nosebleeds because I could tell she was embarrassed, he said, maybe that was my last act of kindness towards her. I think she liked the taste of the blood because I saw her tongue moving up across her mouth when a nosebleed started and she made this little moan, the same moan she made on the nights when I licked her, a kind of grateful satisfaction. He said he liked the taste of his ear wax, so he didn’t think it was gross or anything. We ordered french fries and beer at the dominoes hall and neither of us knew how to play dominoes but I said, there has to be a formula, he said, drinking a cup of coffee on a Monday morning in San Francisco, looking around at the other people sitting near us, keeping his voice down because of all the laptops, and I let him continue without interrupting, but she was sort of drunk and argumentative and insisted there was no formula you just knock shit over, and, anyway, it was a stupid place to have the conversation or maybe it was the perfect place because the cacophony of the dominoes and the men spitting Spanish felt like it sliced open my face when she told me about the violence, he said, lowering his coffee cup and staring at the table, like the fluorescent lights were a fitting nightmare for what she said after we finished the fries but where in this world would a place ever make sense to hear a thing like that, and he looked at me when he said this and I didn’t move my face I just sat there listening with the $3 coffee. I think she was mad at me for telling her I got my ass kicked by guys bigger than me in high school like that somehow made me weak or something, less of a man, although she would never admit it, so maybe that’s why it all came out or maybe it was the beer but she said there were seven of them, seven men on New Montgomery Street in some high-end loft with an original Jackson Pollack on the wall and one of the men was from Australia and one of them was from South Carolina and she couldn’t remember where the others were from, but not that it matters, she said that, she said, not that it matters, and he smiled a little bit, drinking more coffee, his eyes glazing over with the wash of memory, and what a fucking ridiculous thing to say, he said, not that it matters. Haha. So she tells me about the mountain of cocaine and the hog-tied position she was in for hours and the smell of her own shit in the room and the way the soft coke dicks squished in her mouth when she went down on some of them and how I was at home, asleep, and that’s when I stood up and said, We have to leave this place I will throw up if we stay here another minute, and we took a cab back to the Hotel Isabel and she’s the one who threw up in the cab and I called her a fucking gringa. He drank some more coffee and paused. His face grimaced in anticipation of crying so hard that I felt a surge of panic over how to handle this in a public situation, but he coughed and rubbed his jaw and continued. We went back to the hotel and I locked myself in the bathroom for an hour and there were these two cockroaches I caught with a glass and I actually put one in my mouth and I ate it, I ate the fucking thing which was difficult to do because it moved very fast even on my tongue and I had to chomp hard with my teeth to quiet it down and it tasted sour sort of acidic kind of like this underextracted coffee we’re drinking right now but its body went to mush on my tongue and then I swallowed it while I listened to her doing something outside the bathroom door and it was maybe three or four in the morning when I opened the door and she was asleep, naked, on the carpet. He said he took off his clothes and fell asleep next to her. I dreamt I saw our bodies from above, tiny and framed by the patterned carpet and our skin moved like a system with bugs walking the sharp borders of our muscles and I felt the fibers inside me aching with a freak infection that grew sicker and sicker until I became a harrowed leather body with not even enough sense to cut away my still beating heart. Did you order the burger or the salad? The salad, it’s too early for meat. And then what? We got on a bus to Teotihuacan. Two pyramids, one for the sun and one for the moon, built a hundred years before Christ. She didn’t say anything on that bus ride, sat there silent, both a worm and a God. He called her a worm again and then asked if I knew who he was, I said, yes, you’re my friend, and he said, what if I told you I wanted to kill her, like actually push her from the top of a pyramid and watch the dirt swallow her up, would you still know who I am? I watched a certain vein pulse from the temple of her forehead. They slaughtered animals and humans there, sacrificed them to the gods, hundreds of bones found inside the Pyramid of the Moon. This pasta sauce is really good. There was a Doomsday Celebration at Teotihuacan, it was like five days before the Mayan Apocalypse. He said the first words she said that day were in Spanish to a Mexican tour guide standing with a sign that said, Doomsday. He said he couldn’t understand what she said but she told him she asked if there were UFO sightings at the pyramids, and the tour guide said yes, and then she asked if there were more sightings because of the apocalypse and the guard smiled and said, there are more pregnant women here so yes. What? Pregnant women. I heard you, but why? She said he said there was a ritual, an offering of unborn children at the pyramids, and the aliens were in communication with the children. All I could think about were nipples. Here, have some pasta. I’m eating too many carbs lately, like a woman. Whatever. We watched hundreds of people in shorts and sandals wearing fanny packs climbing these giant peaks erected to poke sky like worshipping tits. Climbing up to look down and climbing down to look up. All those oiled expressions on pig faces as bloated as my hatred for her standing there in shorts and tennis shoes on the Avenue of the Dead. My core so jagged it was a dagger. We walked to the Pyramid of the Moon and I told her to lick it. You what? I said, grip it and lick it. She licked the pyramid? She licked the pyramid. And then I kicked her. You kicked her? Yes, in the back of the knee so she fell straight to the earth. She cried out but didn’t turn around, just hung her stinking black hole of a head as she sat knelt before the wall of this fixed thing. Do you hate me yet? Are you all finished here? Yes, thank you, it was delicious. You’re not a violent person. I know. That country that city those pyramids and her telling my neutered bitch dog face that she spread herself for heaving masses of hog blubber meating inside her as I slept not even a mile away and what was coming up from the ground from the mexican earth was this energy you see choking me up and out with waves of misogyny reaching up clutching for my self, cloistering all sex acts like a limpid liquid clamp cranked shut, oh here, let me help you with your bag, do you need to pee before we go? You have such a small bladder. You always say that. I stood up and walked with him to the bike rack where our bikes were locked together, and he looked at me in the daytime light and told me he wanted to pull him and her together asunder with all of their weight, butchering all sadnesses in buoyant blobs, I laughed when he said blobs, of putrid, coagulated sand between those two pyramids until God showed up in that moment of inspired hate-making and offered them a slice of light, or at least a lucid dream wherein she was just a high bird looking for seed. Anyway. The facts are bad enough. Yes. Shambles of apology. Forgiveness? You don’t get forgiveness in this life you get love. Thanks for lunch.

I have been known to never use question marks in writing. Because I think they’re tacky. Especially when asking a question. Like it seems unnecessary. But I’ve been using them recently to indicate that I’m uptalking. Because it’s a stylish choice?

Wow I’m really bad at interviews.

They were like, like why do you want to work for an environmental nonprofit, and I was like, well ever since I was a little kid probably since I was 4 Lisa Simpson was my hero, like she made me want to be a vegetarian and conserve water.

Have you hugged a false posi prophet today.

I told my therapist, I think I am Nancy Botwin and she was like, I’ve watched weeds and you are not Nancy Botwin. Feeling a little crushed tbh.

I say the word ‘douche’ when I’m talking about shitty people and I don’t think it’s a misogynist term. I don’t think it’s misogynist because a douche is an unnecessary thing the patriarchy wants me to put in my vagina, which is how I feel about most of the cis men I meet.

I just want to watch Body Double and Belly and State Property 2 and Ghost World and eat tuna melts and hang out with my cat and eat croissants and watch The Departed and get my back rubbed and my neck rubbed and my butt rubbed and basically be a cat who writes poetry and listens to KMEL.

Why is everyone in San Francisco a fucking ‘foodie’ or ‘world changer.’ Like, get a hobby.

I wanna be yr Shelley Duvall (not really)
Red rum on the hotel wall (not really)
Hatchet down my bathroom door (not really)
Always leave you wanting more

Rest Is An Obstructed Fall

in the weeks following his sudden absence,

you wake up every morning with dull pain

occupying strange places on your body

like the area between two nonexistent toes,

or the skin that separates your nose from your mouth

you begin to derive comfort from the fact that

everything in your life is potentially something

but you quickly discover there is nothing glamorous

about allowing someone new to think you are beautiful

about watching him perform vaguely reciprocated acts onto you

about facing away from his blind and motionless body

while you are kept awake by the knowledge that

your own life is distancing itself from you

Derive Comfort From Calculated Distance

in your presence i came to discover
that you don’t have to love yourself to love another person
you only have to acknowledge that both people are in pain

in my presence you learned
that you can’t rely on others for your own fulfillment

why would you allow someone else to disappoint you
when it’s so comfortable to disappoint yourself?

i could tell that you liked my company
you probably even loved me

so, during our last few nights together
we created an enormous empty space
and we filled it with the impossibility
of expressing all the things we claimed to express
through art, and through language
or, through language as art

i guess that space we created still exists, somewhere

because unlike you,
i never stopped reaching towards the hallow idea of us

hopefully one day i will find meaning
in struggling to remember a sudden shift in our power dynamic

for now, at least i am able to recognize that distance is created
when two people stop allowing thoughts to control their feelings

don’t worry, this poem will be over soon too

but first i want to say that i hope you remember my childhood bed
because i remember yours

and i hope you know that i want us to feel the same pain
as much as i want us to feel the same innocence

Pause like maize. This anonymous customer would be cuter if he were a real human being. Say words under your breath like a prayer. Chant to whatever makes the most sense. Sun box. Dead insects. Planetarium of night’s abandon. Feel this recklessness. I’d fuck anything dead and floating in front of me. He’s narrating the dead man’s biography. No not who I’d fuck.


The extent of your hyperbole’s ridiculous. No surprise, I’m craving sugar. Come in my mouth. This is all bullshit. “I don’t pray, I drink.” Hovering orbs in the sky. Everything I’ve already written about. Whatever mode of transport makes the most sense. Only some areas are covered with dirt. How to make a name in this game. The only other people in the room are silent, why can’t you be. I’m circling around the narrative forgetting to tell the story. It will be embedded somewhere. One could hope so. Who wants to tell me their birthday. No significant changes can occur under this moonlight. This emptiness. This desolation, solitude, but size.

Wreck my temporary wrists in the white of the sun
The sun says it is happiness but I get colder
And everything become a stairway to a hospital
And I from self to nature back to self
And dark is the dark of having to be a body
Daylife in the boneyard not my own
The cruel of the mind in the sack of the having to die
The sunlight laughing in my face because it knows
And everything goes tone deaf when it is born
Deaf to the howls of the other side
Blind to the sane of the dead and dying
Sand on the mirror from my last life
Go there honey go under the ground
I who never wished to be free
I see freedom and I am mourning
The shadows of boys in the sun
They are forever and I am melting
Maybe I can be here just this once
Maybe I can eat the part that is dying
Maybe I’ll shit out the minutes
I have been waiting to be split open
I wait for words from the other side
Wings should reveal themselves big and kind
Everyone is crying really hard

I ran a wad of toilet paper around the rim of a toilet in El Paso, Texas. I sat down,  looked at the Goat Weed dispenser and took out my iPhone. I looked at my iPhone and sensed a mass in my stomach. I stopped looking at my iPhone, put my head in my arms and pushed. I stared at tiny pools of liquid on the tile floor. I searched for things to distract me from the tiny pools of liquid on the tile floor. I pushed. I had thoughts like “life is consumption and waste” and questions like “Why did I eat fajitas?” I thought about how much low-level janitorial work I’ve done in my life. I imagined a white man from El Paso pissing all over the toilet, turning around and buying Goat Weed. I pushed. I imagined two words in 400pt helvetica bold: lodged and rotten. I pictured computer-animated bacteria in my intestines. I half-remembered a Radio Lab where someone put their hand through a giant hole in a cow’s stomach. I thought about a post buried in some feed or another about the correct way to use your rectal muscles. I remembered it said pushing too hard was bad.

The Nothing that is and the Nothing Beneath the Nothing that is…

One Nothing is impossible.Therefore
does the 2nd Nothing exist
to support the first.
In total there are 2 Nothings.
One cannot be subtracted from the other.
One is a stunning Cerulean blue.
But the other is like an opalescent gray.
The structure of reality
is deceptively simple.
Over the door hang 3 pheasants

shot by my own hand.
I intend to roast them
with potatoes and onions
in a sauce composed
of their own blood as the sun
sets on the structure
in which I live with my wife and child
amidst the wild calm.
My son’s name is Gabe.
I’m thinking of him now.

Doors Truly

Black holes or fuckups
Brain like a wet mop
Practice with numb chunks

Hologram date night
Message from dark side
Cursive with sleep-knife

Babble in scream-knots
Sleep ’til the dream clots
Empty machine thoughts

Alone in the cockpit
Huffing on teardrops
In love with my voidbox

Tick tock clock sift slop
Night after night stop
Yours truly, the Vortex

you enter the room with a violent magic
like the horse that entered the dining room
of my childhood vacation
i can only feed you apples
you horse

kicking your back legs up
i worry you will scratch the wood
but i hesitate to touch your soft
unsure if i will calm, repel, or excite

remembering illustrations from picture books
i have added sugar cubes
and carrots
to the list of things i can feed you
these things are ok for horses

i build walls around you
new and thicker every day
and in the shower
i find my body covered
in bites and bruises
from you and your flies

i eat sugar cubes with you by the pound
even though i am not a horse
and they make me sick
i tell you, this is the sweetest love

A sport by which our sins are lessened: forty of our nation’s moralists——hawks huddled neath the sodium-vapors; gentle yet rigorous decriers (now named Nestor, all) keeping warm by the bone-run fires——gather in a pit dug out within our largest stadium. The moralists are apportioned guns and one vote each, the exercise of which—–the votes——nullifying the need to begin the game at all. They, the moralists, must all agree——not leaving the pit which has been well-dug in the center of the otherwise immaculate field——upon a single issue, and then must agree upon a single formulation of said issue in the form of a simple (subject verb object) question. An example given to the moralists before their pre-game arrest and denouement: on the issue of climate change (once a tractable thing, like a diaper): “Is the production of new technology designed to combat climate change inimical to fundamentally combating climate change?” Nothing too difficult to at least frame. If a decision upon an issue and then the framing of the question which lives within that issue cannot be agreed upon by all forty moralists, a large gong is struck by an albino boy in Prada hidden entirely from the sights of the pit by an incensed veil, and the hollow thwong, once registered by the moralists huddled together in small clots beside fires lit by the sparkling marrow purchased by previous games——this isn’t the first; this will not be the last——is meant to require the moralists to raise their pistols and fire them into one another’s faces and heads. The first moralist to die is given to the albino boy for his practices; the second moralist to die is given to the distant umpire who lightly moderates comments on the games’s YouTube pages; the third moralist to die is eaten alive by a thresh of dogs; the fourth moralist to die must forgo any profession in order to play Dungeons & Dragons full-time; the fifth moralist to die both ends the game and signals the local electricians union to shut off the stadium’s lights which in turn, this darkness, signals the bulldozers and backhoes to drive into the stadium and straight to the pit to fill it. Of course it is winter. Days later, the echo of the game is intoned——by the albino gong boy, now nude——via a short and sententious half-time concerto played via wet fingers running over a table dressed with crystal flutes; this teary show inaugurates both the first game of the season and the buried premises by which traditional, ancient, and helmeted sports are allowed to thrive in our clambake economies of rusted auto parts and pilfered corn-bin credits. (Sheet cake is promised upon the panting finale of a deathless game, however unimaginable, and useless.)

poem about sex or dying

what if you just
do it again but
a little better?

poem for majora

i know you in the dark
by the sounds you make
while drinking water and
by your weight and candor
climbing into bed

poem for emily

you had me order a meatball
pizza which wasn’t great
but thanks for sharing