Monday, June 27, 2011


untitled by littlegirlblue

the whole day i haven't left my room. i just read. for no reason other than to keep distracted.


Diary of a Bad Year, JM Coetzee
Junky, William S Borroughs
Foe, JM Coetzee
Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall, Kazuo Ishiguro
My Sister Guard Your Veil, My Brother Guard Your Eyes: Uncensored Iranian Voices, Lila Azam Zangareh (ed)
On War, Carl von Clausewitz


i can't write though.


Friday, June 17, 2011

apennyfortheoldguy dresses like an old guy

untitled by shesaskeleton

- why are you wearing a tie?
- what do you mean?
- you're wearing a tie.
- yes.
- why?
- i'm going to a thing.
- is it tie-worthy?
- ...
- right, i get it, you wear a tie to everything.
- ...
- wait.
- ...
- i'm not wearing my glasses, what's the pattern on your tie?
- llamas.
- the pattern on your tie, it's__ llamas?
- yes.
- godhelpme. __ok. right. have a good night.
- thanks.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


when we were young today could not have existed.


we land where we fall.
sometimes too far; but most often, too close.

so try again.


if you don't repeat your mistakes often enough they're forgotten;
and you're left with all the right answers, and what will you do then?,
when you've used up all your nighttime?


the roof of my house yawns


the things that need to be said
are lost. get lost.
so. silence then,

medal tulips

moonface by missikovsky

tunnage: bug in a web by CALLmeKAT

the thing with this song is her voice. either that and/or the minimal instrumentation + arrangement. a couple notes here, some repeated chords there. a chick and two keyboards. simplicity works well for old men like me.


the medal sits in my room. on my desk, where i put it down when we got home in the evening. i haven't touched it since except to put some papers beneath it. there you go, it's a paper-weight. i'm uncomfortable with it i think. it's heavy. when i first saw it - from across the stage - it was bright it caught me off guard. when i held it it was heavy, the Chancellor must have seen the look on my face because she said now hold on there, let's get this right and she waited for me to adjust my hands around the half i was holding, then i looked at her and she smiled and waited for me to adjust my face. then she looked at the photographers who snapped their pictures. don't trip don't trip don't trip and i was off the stage. went and sat in my seat again.

i'm told by my friends that people clapped very enthusiastically and that i was composed and dignified. this may be true, i don't know. i just remember my thoughts (don't trip don't trip don't trip don't trip) and shininess and the weight and now hold on there, let's get this right and my seat again.


i think i need to do it in phases. get high on sugar, enough to lose myself enough to take a few too many pills, enough to take a few too many twirls around to dizzy me enough to make some dumb decisions and wake up empty pockets next to a dumpster somewhere with a cut on my cheek i don't remember getting.

___she laughs just promise you won't be an asshole to me so that i can never wear it again
___after you leave, and i look away uncomfortable with her tone

walk home from the Valley, used to take 4 hours. sometimes 5. remember Rich? call it a night at 1am and get home about 5. have breakfast and sleep to the birds' singing. that was the thing with that window, it'd open just to the leaves of this one tree, the light would flow into the room green, everything i had looked green. and loud. those damned birds, kept me up all the time. i'm sure that's what it was, just the birds. four walls all brick my head would bang against the wall - it'd hurt (in different ways) - on the phone to _ _ _ _ _ for hours thinking the whole time i've gotta get off the phone i've gotta run (which of course was the problem with that whole... thing). sometimes we'd stop for a snack midway; walk into the casino about 3am just to get out of the cold. we'd complain we couldn't afford the $20 for a cab but somewhere we'd find enough for large fries we'd pick at slowly watching the sad divorcees over-laugh with another glass of wine and 'the boys' order another round of drinks, all of us washed in the peculiar light of the casino. dip the last few in the ketchup and walk back out to kick rocks the rest of the way home thinking to myself the rest of my life would feel more or less the same way.

___don't trip don't trip don't trip i thought; but deeper than that, in a forgotten, violent dreams
___kind of place i was thinking about how many of my past lives were being buried that very minute,
___how many broken things were forgotten.

waiting for the damned bus, squinting because i couldn't read the numbers anymore so i'd miss it every other day and cold all winter and wet and would have a panic attack every third and have to walk away from the station breathing deeply and sit on the side of the road counting numbers and imagining myself playing the piano, scales over and over until i was calm, but by then so tired it hurt to walk back to the station and squint waiting for a metal mousetrap to take me home.

___distance from all that.


X: will you get a job here?
Q: [hesitates] no. no i don't think so.
X: far?
Y: you should get away for a while.
Q: ...
X: far?
Q: as far as i can get.
X: why so far?
Q: _i can't explain.


it feels like my birthday. isn't that odd? i don't really remember my birthday. i think i forgot it actually and GF reminded me. but i don't remember the day at all, if we did anything... or... i've lost it. another day amongst days.


i've been dreaming of the Special Court for Sierra Leone. of working through the day and finishing at 6 and taking a long walk around Freetown while people stare at me when i pass. it's not a good idea to take pictures so i promise myself not to forget anything i see. come home at 9 and sit behind my desk and start scribbling in notebooks. in my dream i've decided not to take my computer (just to be safe). everything gets written on paper. keepin it real, an old dude, a pen and a mind/world full of things to think about. time passes. i work with war crimes and write poems about time. and home. and love. and age. and women's lips which are sometimes worth fighting wars for.


maybe i should have been a photographer. women always seem to end up naked around photographers. i could just sit and stare at them, as though they were cats or daffodils, no one expecting anything. motion stalled and eventually, we forget about it, so used to just sitting and staring at each other motionless. the light changes. i notice it's that later time of the afternoon. darker now. i'd ask her if she can wait while i shower, i feel dirty. (i always feel dirty. although sometimes i think it's just i feel nervous. other times panicky. so i shower. what else can i do? i can't think of anything else). i return from the shower and she's half dressed. i finger a cup of tea and thank her for stopping by. when she leaves i sit by the window and look out. the day dips a little closer into darkness


the book still isn't finished. i've taken to carrying it around with me everywhere i go. at traffic lights i'm tempted to flip it open and read a paragraph or two. i try in the evenings but i fall asleep before i can read more than 2 pages. still i persist. it's heavy and bulky and doesn't fit naturally into the recess under my arm-pit. are you still reading that thing? my mom asks when i walk in with it. meanwhile a new pile has started to grow next to my stereo of newest things to read. i plan and re-plan what order i'll read them in instead of finishing the current beast. plan. re-plan. plan. re.


i'm not sure how to explain this new sadness.

i don't think i understand it.

___- anymore

- understand it anymore.
- what are you talking about?

she explains. i haven't been taking my pills. it's been long enough. maybe it's default-Q poking his head out.

i shrug.

- can you describe it?

i tap my teaspoon against the side of the cup.

- what are you doing?
- ___describing.


X: far?
Q: as far as i can get.
X: why so far?
Q: _i can't explain.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A --> oh! (thus: B

untitled by me
(ps if someone could explain to me how to upload my own photos without losing quality i'd be very appreciative)

i wasn't much concerned with my graduation. mom made such a big deal about it, GF too. then it occurred to me because of the medal there'd be photos for the faculty bulletin. i thought it might be appropriate to get a haircut. i finger a new tie. i run through all my ties in my head, they all have names: grandfather's funeral tie; med school interview tie; Jinab's tie Nos 1-6; grandfather's tie (the former is the one i wore to his funeral, the latter is his tie. but i feel it's important i have it, history, heritage.) i try out it's name: graduation tie. seems right. this is what i do. every occasion requires, every tragedy can be thwarted by a correctly chosen tie. it must be found, discovered, then, the worst excesses of misfortune can be avoided. no. not this time. i feel weird enough i actually care. i'm still uncertain about the big dinner and the... everything. it's all the wrong people anyway. i wish i could staple photos of you guys to their foreheads and listen to my ipod through dinner. i draw the line at the tie. i'll buy a tie when i have a job, that seems more fitting, at least then i could afford it.


dear special court for sierra leone,

you should give me an internship position with the Judge's Chambers because i know all about international humanitarian law [this is law-speak for the laws of war]. i also need to be far away right now, just for a little while. i need to be in a room reading important things, i feel like it is necessary that i do that. i am not scared of the dark, even though people keep telling me i should be. maybe you can teach me to be. i will not bring fancy suits or shoes. i will grow my hair for the whole 4-5months that i am there and will learn everything about everything and am happy to go get you milk for your tea.

thankyou for your time,

apennyfortheold guy


it's hard to write tonight, i don't know what the feeling is. it's hard to describe. it's like having your eyes closed and touching an object. it seems familiar enough but you can't say exactly what it is, that's how i feel. a little bit goodbye, a little bit i'm scared, a little bit onwards ho!, a little bit happy-to-be-alone, a little bit



dear amazing all powerfulgrace deliciousness:
if you put a coin in me i'll dance.

o Everything:
take a random letter from every word i've ever said to You it always spells


i'm half asleep in the morning, lying in bed staring at the ceiling trying to avoid wednesday (dear god why is it always wednesday?) she's cooking mushrooms and spinach. and turkish bread and hummus. she'll say see how kind i am?, i made you nice breakfast. i like that she uses the word 'kind'. not 'nice' or 'sweet'. kind.

the weather report says the sky is a little overcast because there is a cloud passing over us. it stretches from western australia to queensland. what? i think. i look at the television the cloud covers two-thirds of australia (the news reporter's moved on now). i tell a few people throughout the day but no one seems to care one way or the other about it. dude, that's a big effing cloud. they shrug. 'whatever. i wish the sun came out'.

i'm fascinated with this cloud.

what are you thinking about? she wants to know.
- the giant cloud.
- what giant cloud?
- did you hear the weather report?
- uhm, it said it'll be overcast right?
- yes. because of a big giant cloud that's covering the whole of australia.
- seems a bit big.
- it is.
- is this like your obsession with giant squid? am i going to be hearing about this for a while?
- it's a rreally big cloud.
- want more mushrooms? here, let me get you more dates, don't worry you can finish them i got them for you anyway.


i know what this post is about now. i know how these posts work. i've discovered them at last. it seems recently i can't 'write' (in the proper sense). so i tease at ideas until i discover what i'm actually writing about (or trying to write about) (or at least trying to avoid). today's post is a question, the question is:

is it time yet?

i don't know the answer to the question. or even the context. or what it means. i just know it feels like everyone around me is packing and cleaning and putting things in boxes and i'm sort of trying to keep up. that's how it feels anyway. i've packed myself into boxes so many times i won't bother with newspaper and folding stuff or anything like that. just throw it in.

but seriously:

is it time yet?

Friday, June 3, 2011

how i met this notapoem

note: against my better judgment i click play on conversation 16. everything that follows i attribute to this initial bad decision.

she waives at me from across the room.
oh god, not now ; i don't have time, i'm late.
she never cares.

it's sunshine outside,
i've been robbed my winter.
she undresses and slips into my pea coat.
sets the AC on low and gives me
grey-tinged sunglasses to wear.

what do you want to talk about today? she asks
but i didn't plan on speaking today.
she laughs and pats me on the shoulder,
i've been told whispering to people in comas sometimes works.

in white underwear i dance like a junkie-OD around the coffee table she's standing on -
laughing as she kicks over piles of paper and empty tea mugs
with her black heels and snake hips ;
my body rocks its bones, i think please, but can't decide if i want it to stop or continue.
she turns up the music, dancing , lies down on the table, her red hair
dripping onto the floor and closes her eyes in a delighted sigh.

she asks me to make a list of all the things i've lost or forgotten
but i can't remember most of them and still haven't realized the other half.
she starts burning my photographs and ripping my books,
see how nice i am i give you things to write down she says, playing
with my hair she occasionally pulls a few out and sprinkles them on my page
so i don't forget them.

i cough my tears into a tissue i've been using for a few days.
she waits impatiently.

did you lie to me? if you ever betray me i'll kill you.
i'm sorry... nono, i... don't think so. sometimes i can't tell truth from the other thing
the tears in her eyes retreat and she smiles like a child.
she's trained me to love her smiles.

she drinks it up,
asks casually about affairs it's too sharp to talk about and
failures i can't put into words yet.
speaks names that make my ears bleed and refuses to leave
until i show her the scars you gave me.
even then she's staring away ,

nice try she says.
not sure if it's what i'm looking for,
but i'll have it in mind.

when she leaves the room
i've pressed myself into a wall

a sleep with no dreams

untitled by nobutyes

this picture is a picture of a reoccurring dream i have. maybe i have the reoccurring dream because of this photo. i'm not sure if it makes a difference: i'm stuck with it now like a memory. only it's not a memory, i wish it were. i wish it was something that had happened to me. but then i remember all the things that have happened, and i get confused - was this one of them? or something similar enough. i think truth is this picture is a picture of how i remember the things that have happened , even though this picture never happened (or anything similar). this paragraph is not one of my favourite paragraphs. it might be deleted. i'll decide later.


i am not feeling super.duper. i'm not sad either. i feel like i'm waiting for godot. there's someone in this room with me. i can't write about him. if i write about it then he'll grow, he eats my thoughts. he's waiting. he has his tsunami coat on. couple of wrong thoughts, a bit of self-indulgence and some bad luck, a wretched day or three and i'm through. i'll wake up on a marooned beach too far from here and i'll have a beard and i won't know what my name is. it's messy. (might get some decent writing going though). (he eats my loneliness and writes poems about it. i find him to be a selfish, lazy bastard). (he's staring at nothing and asking me to repeat no aphrodisiac again. fine fine, i admit the piano part is brilliant)


i haven't dreamt for two years. (the pills you see) ,
and now , all evening i'm busy. i awake exhausted
and spend my days waiting for things to happen.
i watch the ants ,
___news headlines ,

when i'm brave i daydream.

i awake startled. distracted. ashamed.

if i had my way i'd swim in clouds (they feel like porcelain bathtubs full of frangipani) ,
i'd be clean and young , the skin on my face would stay put.
the cars would shine and everyday would slip into the next and we'd be dizzy from turning around too fast and when we fell down we'd laugh like the magic-producing dynamos we were.

this ant isn't busy today either.
i sip tea and click around on my computer.

an old-man of a cloud labours by, dropping bits and pieces of himself as he goes,
she goes to hold my hand but always stops short. __sometimes i want to too ,

___but am stopped by some gravity.
___i have no idea where i picked up this new hesitation.
______she's understanding, she nods and slips her arm around mine.
______we walk on ,

i leave the ant and shower. second or third? maybe after lunch i'll have another.

before i sleep i stretch. gather up my breaths. crack my knuckles.
move odds and ends away from the bed in case i kick.

the next morning i roll myself up from my supine position. stand up looking at the doorway.
what? she asks, but i don't answer.

______i wish i were farther.
______farther and farther and farther and farther still.

i walk into the kitchen and stand staring at the sink. my shoulder hurts. my lower back too.
want breakfast? i shake my head.

when they find me a few days later i'm contorted inside my laundry hamper, under the dirty clothes from the fourth shower.
they ask me what i'm doing.

isn't it obvious?

___i'm playing hide and seek with the ant.


maybe i should try those pills again.

it's just a 'transition time', it's normal.

maybe i should

it's just a



we come out from the birthday party and i've been pinching her in the elevator and she takes three quick strides to escape me. i run out in front of her in the lobby of the apartment, and she yelps and i jump and give her an awkward ha-ya! and kick my leg forward. she laughs in confusion what was _t h a t ?_ i stare at her dumbfounded. i just fly kicked you! she cracks up and i open the door for her to walk out. hey i say and when she turns i take her hands and lean back and start turning quickly with our arms stretched out. you're crazzzy! she screams with a perceptible doppler shift. she laughs but the more she tries to escape the more she leans and the faster we go. __time stops , like a polaroid, a last page or a happy death.





another psychic tells me it'll work out.

it makes me feel better.

maybe i'll start frequenting them the way other men frequent brothels.

sneak in late at night, with my savings from the week.

sit in a waiting room and select a lady who fits my preferences.

inside i'll ask her to take my hands and close her eyes and not look at me if i cry.

of course, it's her job to take me as i am and be discreet with it.

i'm just another car with a half-empty tire that veers to the right, and grunt in my cough to her.

she tells me it'll be alright in as many different ways as can fit into an hour.

sometimes we just sit in silence. at the end of the time she whispers it.

other occasions i need to hear it harder. furiously, i make her repeat it, over and over,

beg her to say it louder and harder ('scream it into my ear i don't want to forget your words').


the creature in my room is cutting into his third course. he's pleased with me he's got my liver on his plate. he wants to know what the problem really is. what's this all about?

and that's when i have a strange realisation.
for years the problem was that i felt a sense of homelessness. not just that, but that i had lost the meaning of the word home. misplaced the concept. was so distant from it that i couldn't even understand the memory of it. and it made me cry in my lungs and bones. places were people wouldn't see me doing it.

but that's not it anymore. home is irrelevant now, one way or another.


he nods.

i guess he doesn't care much as long as he has a new toy to play with.

i ask him to sow my arm back on but he won't.

(if i wait it out maybe he'll bury me under a nice tree and there'll be no more dreams)