I’m crying on the drive home from the park.

Thinking in segments about our disappointments.

Many times I do not feel safe from myself.

Feel like pounding my head against the wheel.

While steering everywhere at everything.

Not in some act of nihilistic/existential dread.

But to feel like an act is taking place at all.

Like my hatred is finally doing well for itself.

Like it has a life to go home to in hell.



The vacuum, the space heater, the scratching

post, the two guitar cases, the playing stool,

the two amps, the cat carrier, the chair

seated with jackets and a box of paper,

a paper slicer, an illuminator, and a cord

hanging out, the litter box, the desk, the printer

making the desk sink, the rug, two couches,

leather, the coffee table, the bookcase, the other

bookcase inside the wall, the vacuum



th’ noos’, th’ cher, th’ hi’ seilin’: lyte

bryng’r wher’ er ye? ehm et th’ ’our ov dispair!

mey ye mek t’is noos’ ’trong, er f’rev’r grent

me lyfe! ye ev tekyn, deestroy’d! piss’d on!

Ye lerd in ye i’est h’rt, wye lerd? whell

ye nev’r ofer’d joy; whell ye wood ownley off’r

peyn! ye wood tek ryte bek wet ye hed giv’n!

en ye ev med me te see ye urth es un byg purgetory!

I, en te see th’ lyte et th’ ind es jus’ e lyte.



My feelings for M are vast. She whiffs

The side of the glass. I start reading aloud.

1 hour a day. Cut up and pigtied. Cut up. Pigtied.

I need to tell us something. I really care about us.

I don’t want us to go. There’s so much of us.

By the way M stands for music. M stands for monologue.

Masochist. It was a good joke. Independence is good.

Everyone is so independent. So wildly free and unattached.

Our feelings are vast for short amounts of time. Fierce even.


IV, ii

We feel like Beyoncé. She sniffs the side of the glass.

She cuts her stomach. Her wrists are a million hashtags.

I need suppressive fire. Needed. I quit smoking.

Start ignoring phonecalls. No one is good enough.

They’re all good enough. They weren’t. M is really a test of love.

Can we love all noises? Even the disgusting ones?

Can love transcend noise just once? Love is not important.

Only time. When things will end. To brace ourselves

Because we are all we have. Pride our only independence.



Intelligence! What a load of crap! As opposed to what?

Stupidity!? Humanity!? So now it is stupid to feel unified, wow.

Or maybe it is animalistic. Maybe it is too damn prideful to be nice.

To lay it all out on the table and say This is it! Are you happy?

Why can’t one just lay it out simply, like This is it, not much, but here,

Have it, I have more. Maybe that’s it. Maybe we don’t have more.

Well, in that case, make more. We people act like it’s so hard.

Like everyone is taking too much from us. No one is taking anything,

First of all. And second, even if they were, which they’re not, so what?



The reading just started. She asks me if I believe in God. I’m thinking

About my God spiel. How God is a concept and therefore exists

Good as any chair. God is purely functional and we all need it.

A little guilt goes a long way. I do not answer her question.

The reading just started. It is rude to talk over others.

We will sit here silently and listen, clap during transitions.

Even though we came here to be together. It’s never made sense.

Like going to a movie. We will enjoy the same images, watch the same screens.

Our simulacra will be in sync. We will never mention this though. Not to our faces.



We really shouldn’t attach price to things. It’s bad for us. We draw a line.

On this side, things with numbers. On this other side, not really a side at all,

Things without. We start to fear one side is derivative of the other.

I’ve seen this before, the half poet. Half of life spent in money. Half spent

Meeting people places. Always looking like a fucking fish out of water.

Almost inevitably we must buy. Every person is a god requiring supplication.

Matt told me this last night. Purchase is what I thought, then unthought.

He meant it in another way, as in, We’re all multitudinous, Whitmany.

Although he didn’t say that either. What did he say?



People keep getting murdered. Nobody blames the killer enough.

How could we without killing? The truth fluxes through the air like an invisible wave.

Poking some people harder than others. Some people it makes murder.

Some it makes feel murdered. The guilt is tragic to us. Tragedy

Is multitudinous. Mental illness is tragic but half of us aren’t crying.

What’s the use in crying? It’s always much cleaner to hedge the spirit.

Spirit’s best at a flatline. Not a dizziness of ups and downs. Cutting

Straight down the middle leaves both sides cold. We give them permission.

Gut us, cut us in half, blame us, spit on us, burn our corpses then destroy us again in the next life.



We’ve never been destroyed like this before. This time

It’s good. For the first time we realize the truth again.

That we are alone. We is really just me hiding.

I give it up, the act. I forget sometime I’m supposed

To take what I want. No more self-imposed Sisyphalacy.

There is no substitute for real action. Grabbing and fucking.

The most prevalent forms of communication involve no words.

Words are just pretty decorations. And they are. Truly. So what

Am I doing here? I should be back there, massaging your skeleton.



Perpetual sadness. The move forward. As if moving forward itself

Causes us to desire the next step to be into a human-sized blender.

That blender might be another human being. But it’s probably just a blender.

Kurt Cobain’s suicide note: “but since the age of seven, I’ve become hateful

Towards all humans in general…I’m too much of an erratic, moody baby!”

Followed by: “I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU!” That’s how I do not want to feel.

But I have this idea. Intrinsically both a thought and a feeling, so that it can’t be killed.

That I am that person, barreling towards a selfish but very imperative need. Sex

Or death. But not just one, a very complex formulation of both. Impossible to make.



I guess this is where we say goodbye, and don’t forget,

We’re saying it too. We’re both sick of reciprocation. We want someone

Else to do the work. To turn us on. It is really a test of love. And we both fail

To misunderstandings. Doesn’t everyone know we all want the same thing

In different ways? I wasn’t directed enough with mine. I petered around.

At this point “that’s just who I am” doesn’t cut it. I’m still waiting

To meet that one person who sets the bar as medium as me. As me as me.

Because for some reason until just now I didn’t think/feel I was being ambiguous.

But maybe that’s just what everyone thinks/feels.


Kalen Rowe runs Anklebiters Publishing, a DIY tiny press in Houston, TX providing the community with bled-over printed objects. He has been published in Gravel, Fractal, Gargoyle, and other magazines. Visit him at kalenrowe.com or anklebiterspublishing.co.

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