an arm.

every living thing comes
full circle, and stops to eat
out of our garbage

obsessed about the frame
around the window
we took out all the nails, a pillow
for a plate of glass just like an arm,
for underneath my neck at night

the open hole for gardening,
for watching and unlocking
words we never said

underneath the moon
he breaks a bottle on his foot

i continue digging,
preparing for the dawn

later published in in/words magazine 11.1 (winter 2012).

trouble.

i just had a terrible moment.

i would snap somebody’s neck for a cigarette.
realizing this was not the terrible moment.

and i had a bad walk. which is too bad, really, because i was kind of on a roll there for a little while. only incredible walks. i’ve been on a lot of walks lately. they’ve been really good for me. even if they weren’t i’d still think they were pretty fab. i’ve found myself dragging my feet at three in the morning just to make it over the bridge and back home again, night after night and i don’t mind. i’ve been taken to places that make me quiet and content, which i’m still just learning to value. i’ve been exhausted and lost but completely alert. i’ve been interested and silent and anxious and curious and afraid in the best ways and i haven’t actually noticed until tonight. space cadet.

when everything disappeared i expected something to appear out of nowhere for me, like an exchange. or an offer. in reality, i knew nothing was coming. that’s the only certainty i had. the nothing i expected showed up in the exact place i had expected it to never happen. it made me laugh out loud by myself. it happened on a long walk. i wasn’t alone but i wasn’t really not alone, either.

this is the kind of garbage i come up with in my head when i’m not smoking. which is why i had a bad walk and a terrible moment. i haven’t walked aimlessly like that, alone in the middle of the night, in unbearable pain, since may when everything was so different. i feel twitchy and neurotic absolutely and wonderful.

but at least i didn’t break a neck. and even better, i didn’t smoke a cigarette. i’m a bit of a troublemaker, but i’m not so bad.

baseball.

one of my fish pretends to be asleep in the front of the tank, he is only really sleeping when he is at the back with the other side by side facing in opposite directions and it’s a trick like how when i left my bedroom to walk around the block and smoke a cigarette and think about how alone i’d like to be later, much later, impossibly later, and now, but not right now, the pendulum had stopped swinging on the clock, the perfect clock, and i made a note to myself that i would remember it later but now that i’m home it is swinging again because it does that, it starts and stops at will and sometimes i think it is gunther or the things in the room, things i don’t know about because i’ve lost track of my mugs and my towels and things are just things, i don’t know what they are can’t define, there’s too much and i looked over, it’s stopped now, again, it knows, and this is why i forget so easily and miss your hands on my throat and my fingers in yours because this is what happens, i come home and everything is different, i look again and it’s back the way it was, there is no change, we are stable, everything is stability and it breathes and evolves and spawns algae and droplets of water, and yesterday i saw a man kick violently a fish into the canal and later a dead fish and there’s no correlation these things they just happen, and i wish it was march again, not waiting by the door again, he smelled like stale beer and garbage and sweat and that was okay, he was also refreshing, like i am disgusting and silent, and lonely, i feel like i can’t get away with it or with anything or with writing like this when the snow isn’t melting and i can’t get back and i want to like i used to want to open my eyes and i used to ask for things and i used to make bargains and now! now everything has fallen apart, but i have a baseball.

frame.

in a frame on my desk
you’re drinking
from a forty ounce
bottle of unrealistically bad
beer, you are the only one
(looking into the camera)
and the glass is heavy

her torn tradition built,
rebuilt itself two hours south
of tag-lined borders,
circling shores of lakes

in an alley in toronto in
the sprawling dusk
defense was
in each other only, a ship
derailed continues
sailing on