HOW ARE YOU?
been to any rocking festivals lately? played any lead guitar in your cult-favorite side project supergroup? played any rhythm guitar in your world-famous yet critically-disparaged pop-punk band? dropped any freestyle rhymes over the sick beats Diplo produced just for you? I hope so all I can offer up is domesticity: laundry, errands, dishwashing, microscopic particulates like breathing Beijing air, minus five years off my life force, minus ten years off my brain’s trending twitter feed, #shutupicantgettosleep all night tapping my touchscreen instead of the ass I should be tapping, the skinship I should be a follower of my followers wait for me to make contact in two hands they cradle their externalized mind, waiting for me their God, waiting for me their gossip, waiting for me their extra-marital affair, waiting for me, devil’s voice, to lullaby them to bed via angry tweets of insomnia and midnight refrigerator binges your sleep a carbonated speech, a transparent gaseous sphere when you wake in the morning do you first check gmail? f-book? pitchfork? kitchen window? do you pull on socks and boots and head out for the road or field, note the autumn calf prodding mother’s udder in the neighbor farmer’s barnyard, tweet how the mountains look naked under a thin inch of snow, how the ruts of the dirt road have deepened from fat-tired tractors hauling wagons of hay? do you squawk back at the geese winging a late V south, or stretch your legs against the slats of the fence that writes a musculature on the rolls and lumps of the overweight earth? I hope so musicians need to stay limber
RATHER THAN BUILD A TOWER OF BONES
let's wake before the rest of the house and when we go to feed the dog lock ourselves out on accident the porch thermometer reads thirty-three we are stocking-footed the dog is ecstatic my toes already tingling I start pounding on the door to rouse the sleepyheads inside but you laugh and wave me off and tuck your hands inside the pockets of your hoodie and ease into the porch swing lips like a tailpipe puffing exhaust fogging your lenses and you’re like, “I’m blind and freezing, I’m going to die!” and I’m like, “This is super stupid,” then sit on the swing next to you the sun rises like the howl of a desperate wolf a red-eyed monster with empty belly and tongue that slicks the moss on the shed roof with the easy orange saliva of the starving the birds are up and just as dumb as us I stand to check the door again the dog is running up and down the porch steps wagging at us like if only we would follow her she would show us the secret of a happy backyard existence the secret of how to be in this moment warm and content “I’m cold,” you say and stomp off down the stairs in just your socks I’m right behind you in my socks we slow step across the flagstone patio crunch into the stiff lawn that creaks and hisses behind us and you climb onto the wide round saucer that sits beneath the maple in the corner of the yard and I climb on after you and for a second we stand there just we bounce first straight up and straight down then in tribal ritual we begin to circle alternating our takeoffs and landings kicking heels into our butts scissoring and touching toes spread-eagled and touching toes twirling 360s around and around I follow you and you follow me and the dog is freaking out below us around and around our hearts circling hot blood into the very outer reaches of our selves until my fingertips tingle and my toes burn and your glasses have fled your face and time is caught in that space between the bead of sweat breaking from the skin and the air meeting and freezing it bounce till gasping we throw our hands above us as if to grasp the ledge at the top of the tower of pure exertion we reach high but our hands find no purchase no grip nothing to keep us from collapsing each into the other a hot heaving heap of elastic bone and giving limb
yesterday got duped into a round of some Euro-style board game, six men knee to knee about the round table should have known after forty-five minutes of rules I’d been suckered, that my night ust got offed in a hail of gang-related gunfire should have stood up and rapped should have waved my beer and stood on a chair and rapped the end of the world instead I lost a city to the marauding barbarians and built a new city nestled between mountain and forest on the far side of the island alone built a city built a fence, built a wall, and when the man with the red ponytail said in passing good fences make good neighbors I laughed out loud, an insane little laugh I left for dead, trapped beneath the rubble of the backing track composed in my head for my rap, the dubstep beats and loops and all-star producers and guest vocalists, the studio my chariot my spaceship littered with scraps of paper scribbled with my soon-to-be-famous raps, infamous raps riddled with references to conceptual landscapes and mathematical absolutes as they pertain to the female body, that body I missed more than anything as I razed the walls of my city, my dying, fuckless city
DAVID BRENNAN‘s poems and essays have recently appeared in Coldfront Magazine, Box of Jars, Fact-Simile, Strange Machine and elsewhere. He is the author of The White Visitation (2010) and The Family Flamboyant (2010), and writes about listening to music at 53lps.tumblr.com.
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