Centipede creature roaming over a bathroom-tile empire.
Do you dream? Imagine? Now that the trial offer
is over, do you want to extend your sadness for another
six months for the low, low cost of your happiness?
We live our lives between driving lessons, bad hair-cuts.
Growing up, I was taught to be scared of Communism
and strangers, but then adolescence came, and I wanted
to bury the word helpless in my heart. I felt useless,
dispossessed of utility, and that was my super-power.
I walked my malaise to a high-school and back home
dreaming how my poems would fix the world when,
in reality, they couldn’t even fix me. In my twenties,
love found me, and broke me expertly in many places.
I began to mourn myself which was self-pity
traveling the Möebius strip of my brain’s neural network,
until it wore a groove into my head. Friends
became doctors, lawyers, while I got a D in penmanship
and cultural amnesia. I want to put all old things
into this box, into this moment, to stop time. Stretch
Armstrong, Simon Says, mickeys of lemon gin,
sex with room-mates, midnight movies, Blake’s Marriage
of Heaven and Hell, mortgages and car loans,
pet deaths and child births. Enough Molotov cocktails
and fun-house mirrors to go around. Even you
silverfish living behind the toilet, you deserve a measure
of praise. Even though you wish not to be seen.
The way you survive without music or magic tricks, without
orange juice or Baudelaire, without roses
or one night stands, preferring cold floors of darkness,
strangely never wishing to be anything else.
By Chris Banks