TINNITUS AT 30
i had an appointment with an audiologist
but i canceled it because the receptionist
stared into my face and smiled,
glorifying my curly locks.
her smile was mine, and we glowed
like a twin star system more powerful
than serpents slithering up a staff,
bleaching away the darkness.
i came into life crying,
shaking fists at the bright lights,
clenched fright at the wild sounds
muffled no more but naked
as me, a carnival of flesh
and compassion and madness and
computer buzzing brains
thousands of miles, every direction
electric lines, signatures of destiny.
30 years old in a week, i will not go in
crying or violent or whining
because i am a man, deeply
flawed, fucked in the head, fantastic
in imagination, organs desensitized
to life, in love, laughing at even the worst
jokes and letting the tears flow at the most
mundanely divine, beautifully worthless
moments that drag by on slime.
i love things that are true,
BEFORE THE SUNDAY CONCERT
the gold rush in my glass
fizzes with loneliness, expensive
for a sunny day spent in the darkness
of dalva, a deserted old favorite
where i wait for my brother and sister.
navigating the wild seas of communication—
the first, seen w eyes wide and amazed,
another, familiar, new, energizing,
another, a punch cocktail blast of a typhoon,
another, a misty morning reflection,
another, double dutch rainbows in the sky,
another, just the expanse, breathing,
the last, blowing in the wind—
casts us into the most beautiful chaos.
there are times i’m furious
about my hair and just want it
away from me, piled like a shitty
a million miles in the sky. and then
other parts of me
and like salt
and like to let it all fall
into a tangled mess of seaweed.
my monarch butterfly woke me up, she
showed me the mourning doves, and
once we got back home she gave me
a simple ring for a simple love.
in the aisles, a revolving door of disappointed passengers paced restlessly, denied seats on the overbooked train. one of the lucky ones, i sat and listened to psychedelic rock as seascape views offered momentary glimpses into the spontaneous, ungraspable art of the universe.
i could’ve passed for a San Diego native in my faded t-shirt, trucker hat, and clear sense of careless style. sitting in front of me was a young Persian student holding half a dozen yellow roses in a glass jar between her thighs. her dark, timeless hair broke in lush waves upon her shoulders, draped in a knitted sweater of black and burgundy. third in a line of young women fortunate enough to win a seat, she had followed a petite blonde in blue jeans named Amanda—her necklace and emblazoned handbag made no mystery about it. she must’ve been the youngest of the line, her face caked in makeup, her phone bedazzled, and her laptop decorated with a hundred flowery stickers. before her, the oldest of the three, a confident young woman of Asian descent, took phone calls and clicked away on her laptop covered in ads for modern marijuana businesses.
the Surfliner kept few secrets about its riders. before the ladies, a young, awkward student had sat beside me and connected to the WiFi so he could write an essay making the case for his admittance into some research program. and before him i’d been joined by a fly as fuck half black guy donning zebra print shades, a black leather jacket, and loose grey sweat pants. a DJ from DC, he had just announced to 200 followers on Twitter that tonight would be his west coast debut. then he unwrapped and swallowed a few marijuana gummies.
the train pulled into Union Station, and the city’s sunny sorrow welcomed us.
there are monsters in the city
silently creeping in the open square
false spirits waiting to grapple your self away.
i’ve lived off California,
sandwiched between a lake and a pope.
i’ve lived off Ocean,
short slide into the organic corporation.
i’ve lived on the banks
of the Franklin River,
survived by creating a clamor in the rocks.