Saturday, August 12, 2017

The City I Love

Chicken and a 40 from the corner store
Glass pipes with a rose in it for my gal
Graffiti on the sidewalk from a Pentel
The smell of rotten food on a hot summer day

Homeboy playing Parliament in his 49ers gear
The pigeons all gather for a piece of my tortilla
The ocean so cold, the train is so warm
The dealers ask me "que pasa mammi"

Fog rolls over the hills
I'm nodding in my friends(?) car
Cotton fever givin me chills
Antibiotics and a Nestle quik chaser

I tried to call home but you didn't answer
I tried to fall in love but I have nothing to offer
I have this room and you have a clean outfit
Tap on my shoulder while I pick at my skin

I read a book by William S Burroughs.
I'm the authority on vices and sins.
Let's go record shopping while it's still ironic.
I'll be RIGHT back with your money. 3,2,1,...

A pack of Newports and a dream please
A Mountain Dew to swallow my lies
My blue eyes pinned to the wall behind me
An alcohol wipe to scrub you out of my life

The City I Love


RIP TO THE ONE AND ONLY STAK. 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Cassie

my wife loved blackberries.
i had never noticed how they grow everywhere here.
on the side of the road, under bridges, in the cracks in the sidewalk.
you can’t avoid them and i try not to.
they say it gets better. 
that the passage of time erases the loss.
i pray that that is not true. 
i can no longer remember her laugh, or the sound of it.
i can no longer remember the sound her chest made when she inhaled.
wrinkles around her eyes that grinned in unison when she was surprised
the feeling of cold sweat on her nervous palms when we hadn’t seen each other in a few days
her feet shuffling to the hallway in the morning and it’s perfect cadence are all also gone.
they say that everyday it hurts less but this pain in my chest
the feeling that i still can’t completely catch my breath
my terror that this may all be true and the horror that it is indeed
my empty rib cage where she fit so perfectly even on the most sleepless of nights 
are all but the very last reminders that she was real
here with me
not a school boys dream crush dreamt and shaped to perfection on the backs of eyelids
not the beautiful lead character in a story made up to impress my childhood friends
not the product of an overactive underfed tender little love starved ache that lived in my soul until the day that we met
she was real.
beautiful and kind.
slightly flawed in all the best ways.
she had never shot drugs when i met her and i was her first.
i didn’t fight it and she didn’t fight.
it seemed to make sense that she would be with me in that way.
like some weird ritualistic bloodletting wedding ceremony
the blood is the life
her parents say, still say that i killed her
and i agree.
i did kill Cassie.
i killed someones child,
i killed someones love,
i killed my future and i killed my happiness
they say it gets better
and i pray that that isn’t true.
   The writer's father 


This is a guest piece by my bff K Sabatini, seen here. 

Saturday, August 5, 2017

No Shelter From the Coming Storm

I can hear breath go in and out or is that the sound of a lost cause? I feel my lungs expand with the ever present doubt that they will fill to the brim with the oxygen I need to survive. I can hear the blood rushing through my ears. Pulsing like an electric shock through to my teeth. My heart beats inside my head like the faint tapping of the police at the door. Yes I can hear all that banging. I barely see the people walking by, gazing down at me. They provide me with a passing glance as they pour a handful of soil into my grave. Walking by, judging my position in life- six feet under, five bags deep.

I feel them slip the oxygen into my nose. Into? Out? I'm confused now. I feel the cold stainless steel against my air as the push me into the back of the ambulance. I see the scrubbed white walls as the wheel me down the hall. I try to reach up but I am shackled to the gurney. "We are taking you into surgery now. Count backwards from 10, 9, 8..."I feel the prick in my arm. I wake up to blood soaked bandages. I feel a tightness in my arm. "Can I call my mother?" I start to tremble from the anesthesia. 

I was laying on the ground, dreaming of him/her/them. Not the ground, like looking at the cloud on your grandmother's porch in the summertime. I was laying on the concrete, dreaming of the afternoon you pushed my hair gently behind my ear. You promised me everything was going to be okay as you squeezed my shoulders. I was sick that morning/day/night/decade. I didn't have the motion to go another step. You gestured that you would come back for me. Did you ever? I didn't leave that spot for hours upon hours, thinking I didn't want to miss you. Believing you would come back with my dope or my money. I believe you never did.

I was trying to find a vein. Here a poke, there a poke, everywhere a poke. Is it worse to have money and no way to get drugs or drugs and no way to find a vein? Blood trickles into my new socks. When I stand up, I see the future. No rest for the weary, no shelter from the coming storm. 

     I took my depression jammies off just for you. 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

The Encounter


The blonde hooker with the black eye reaches for her bear claw while the man in the piss stained clothes shuffles by, headed for the sugar. It's that period of the twenty four hours that make up a day when the brutal realities of life are hidden away from the pedestrians known by normal folk. The darkness veils the stark truth of life on the fringes of the city. The florescent lights of the donut shop are a magnifying glass, revealing what the naked eye generally avoids. As the man fills the coffee cup he pulled off one of the tables with what seems like an endless supply of sugar, I focus on my apple turnover.

"Dude," my friend yells as she tries to fan the smell away from his nose "how can a person live like that?" He takes a sip of his coffee, a watered down hazelnut blend. It is hot, steaming up his broken glasses. The arm no longer exists on the right side. His ego has given way to a utilitarian desire to see.

I point to the clock "that dude is waiting until the liquor store opens at six am. He probably passed out before he could hit the store before they stopped selling..." I try not to look at the man and his predicament. It can't avert my eyes from the wet stain on the back of his pants.

He continues "that dude...that dude is fucked..."

I chuckle to myself. THAT dude is fucked. We are sitting in this donut shop because neither one of us have a place to stay tonight. We are pooling our money to split a gram from the only connect who will come out this late. This mfer has an abscess so ripe, I can smell it across the table. I haven't had a period or a phone call to my family in over six months. Both of us are so sick, we can't finish a pastry, which would be the only thing we ate today if we could actually eat. I touched a dick for my money, he stole from a mom and pop store while they followed him out into the street screaming. Yeah. THAT dude is fucked. Not us.

As the old drunk walks past me to hit the door, we briefly lock eyes. How did he get to this place? How did I get to this place? "You got a cigarette?" he asks me. I honestly don't smoke. As he shuffles out, killing time, I push my food into another circle waiting for my own sweet relief to arrive.



    I am kind of a crazy cat lady. I have a dog too. She is great, just 13 1/2 so she sleeps all day.