Sleep talk

That girl, I said you here, you look like my cousin. I said this as I drew her down on a piece of scrap she ripped out of a drawing book. She had a mole slanted down her nose and her upper lip was full, and when she smiled it didn’t curl but there you could see the incomplete set of teeth underneath. Some flipped and some lost, and beneath a full under lip the ends reaching all the way to her dimples. She barely had dimples anyway. The sides of the cheeks were smeared red by dryness, and above the eyes shimmered a bit like dark peas. Her eyelashes were not long but the brows tilted an arc softly not blackly a light express colour. You could just look at her and wonder how come her hair is held in a ponytail and a yellow hoop and the hair still flies around the forehead blocking the eyes and an arc of a brow. Then there were her ears, sticking out like I propped them this way. I just lined these onto the paper, and she smiled, and the dry smeared cheeks bobbed but the chin was still skinny and round, and then she remembered her teeth and stopped. When she stopped her shoulders looked small, and her neck looked too thin for her feet. When I went away she cried so I hugged her. And I and her shoulders were too small I had to fold my arms two folds around to get back to myself, and it got all twisted so they just lifted me up away with my arms left tangled. Then I went away to eat. When I finished eating she was there again with the boy with a bicycle who never listened who caught the first pair of red eyes today. That boy had long hair sticking like her ears like his ears too and his eyes were big glittery, with long eyelashes. He had a thin chin and his lips were kind of thin too growing inward I think so he looked like a monkey. The other kids were there. One other was a handsome one I liked, with a tuft of ragged hair draped halfway over his forehead and some freckles at the nose. With a bicycle, too. Now it got me all confused, and they said alright we take you way to fish crayfish.

We went to the pond. They dove into the grass and came back with palms clamped. The frogs tried to scare me and they tried to scare me, and they hit the frogs at the road and wrapped strings around their dead waists. Then wrapped strings around sticks, and put sticks down the pond. Then their palms were clamped again and the crayfish tried to scare me. So I took the train and left. When I left they came to see me but I was thinking already of the far off. I missed them before I left them, but when I left them I forgot about them. I thought of the frogs and mud and water mixed with rain with cow excrement in the middle of little occasional motors tanned eyes at the steps, me walking them swearing step by steps down and down and up. To where no flags flew and construction never ended. I yelled at the top of my voice but they didn’t hear. So I got sick and took the train home.

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Egon Schiele, Crescent of Houses

I tried sleeping but they kept dancing at my eyelids. My eyelashes drooped. I could see them at the tips bicycling on top of mud frogs jumping into grassy steps flowers. The flowers were yellow or white, thank god, and the music kept cutting at the wifi there is no  where the ponds flashed there were crayfish waiting to be frogged did you see did you see. I promised myself to write but the ponds were too loud, they kept crushing in. I said, leave me here with the peace where there is no peace there is only noise but company. I dreaded loneliness and craved to be alone, they said, here, in our palms there are  did it hurt the coming no it was the giving. If you could fight for a pen fight for a girl too, fight for her, she looked like   he was on his face he was all over his hands groping fisted for a pen he didn’t even like but oh he caught the first pair of red eyes   my cousin. The other girl I could never remember her name, something like a mosquito, with her hair flying black shooting like the radiance of sun. Her eyes a tilted seam smiling, like her lips curving up and down like slopes we encountered on the gradients of grass where frogs lurked for leaping, complete under teeth unpolished like her nails. Her cheeks and chin sharply round dark dry with rain not redness like a raisin. When she smiled the cheeks didn’t bob they lifted with chin left sticking round and sharp, just like hers. Only her ears didn’t stick and the hoop was too less of a hoop for a hoop. And she didn’t get slapped for trying to stop him when he tried to beat up that boy with a straight nose and slant eyes who tried to hit tease  he didn’t stop, he went raging, he swept down the chairs and the boy who looked like a kind bear, and he hit not for teasing. And his nose watered he caught the red eyes water or rain fringing the tips of brows with arms propped tangled, I said okay okay? he said no. No no no no no   lips clamped fists tight out he apologized no no no no   he caught the first pair of  no no he I refuse. He refused. The ring belled they flooded. The next day he was laughing off his chair and lost his heart of a pen.

The mirror reflects water molecules of air strangles me, I reach up and my fingertips don’t brush the glass, not penetrating the coldness seeps I can smell  through me fingertips the laughter, noise, the never complete black never alone but always lonely, the loud light and sleep can’t not allowed to sink. And time becomes what slips through the gaps between two sides of the mirror that face to face me. I am reminded of when I had no image of myself was more beautiful than I have ever been in not their eyes but my eyes, caught only damn the cameras. I did this for me, not you, you needn’t cry, but girl, damn you you look like my sister. Now get on your bicycle I’m returning to where I came from where the steel sprouts tall towers me buried not like me here towering above you looking down hugging you I don’t look there the tops too high to catch. The steel buries even the sun so it rises up late and eats at it early, so there is no lasting light as there is no complete dark.

Sisyphus

White dreams of Sisyphus we taste them at daybreak

we taste them like lubricants we gulp without tongue

we taste and we taste as his knuckles fall out.

Midday today he sleeps and he prays

he prays on all fours grey eyes to his knees

he drinks from greased cartridges his boulder is black.

 

White dreams of Sisyphus they drip a thin trail

they shrink and elongate sporting pagan mischief

we dream and we pray our feet are so blue.

Sisyphus breathes as he pulls out his tongue

his breath is full of ants his nostrils catch fire

he drinks from his bladder he rolls without eyes.

 

Black dreams of Sisyphus we taste them at night

we taste them near roses and we taste them near mountains

we taste and we taste

we taste them like partridges our tongues are so pure:

Up the mountain he dives he recognizes the stench of vertigo

he polishes his boulder it harbors ants it is vibrant

he prays and gathers syllables he writes for truth and heresy

he looks up at the sky and the stars are all dead.

 

John Dies

I should have learned to be more cautious of pyramids like this. The golden advancements of sand triangular reversed, a mere blurb to the camel industry we so admired. Because the red sand flying is but another autopilot, and in my dictionary there is no such word as “fall”. When rumbling sounds conveyed to us from a distance, we guessed it was an incidence of explosion somewhere deeper in the desert (Explosions have become a daily practice now, a sort of national indulgence, one of those burdensome but indispensable rituals we carry under our armpits). I mean, if you think about it the pyramids really aren’t the ones to blame. They too have been brainwashed. The rest of us lead lives of abstinence, shuttled to hives that store instead of host, that imprison in the name of protection. That’s when everything started to blur, even the chameleon that has been in my life longer than I have myself. He happened to be a pervert and had to undergo redemption before I would let him through the front of my house (I lived in houses then). He was something adsorbable, an entity addict who expressed contempt for heresy—although he himself was heretic, and often walked nude in his pyramid pilgrimages.

The chameleon they took from me. Exiled him, they said, but I wasn’t sure about his staying exiled. (They said they had to exile him annually, due to his timely arrival often disguised ((for he was a chameleon, a born disguiser)) amidst red and blue cargo.) They said also he didn’t have a heart. I knew it lingered between sad and sadistic.

In better days we would run up and down the pyramids, cruising through the cortex of not just them but an entire native Egypt. Nowadays Egypt doesn’t exist and instead we go shopping in a boutique of resolutions. Minute was the expression for timelessness and we lost track, trapped in the stagnancy of eternity. Eternity extended in a single file of linear relationship and ended up looping. Timelessness passed and the colors had never been so diametric.

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Time and Again

Time and again you flashed a blue smile. You were eaten by hunger. The coffee store around the corner filled you with apologies. You sat there with your hands cupping milk, a checkered scarf twisted around your summer neck.

It was an island of indecency. Department Head of Justice, a short elderly with receding ears, stopped by to order chocolate flavored oranges. He had wood-rimmed glasses and cherry lips that talked only of chipmunks and housing prices. He dissuaded you from paying.

The grocery girl next door passed by only once in two weeks. She wore dangling earrings and purple eyelashes. Her teeth smelled of enamel. Flaxen hair shaded pink fluttered to the wind, printing sunlight into your eyes. They reflected a bouquet into little Jamie’s translucent crystalloid, as she peered nervously through the semi-opaque backseat car window, her hands pressed onto the sides of a yellow schoolbag.

Then from across the street came the businessmen in polished shoes and moustache. Dark hair parted in the middle and combed back to shield their baldness, they came in swarms, never venturing an investigative look at you behind the coffee store window. Cologne forestalled the stench of leather briefcases. When car beeps ceased and the street turned clean, a late engineer trotted by with blueprints flying.

landscape-at-krumau-1916Two university students strode hand in hand, eyes adrift and unstopping by the traffic lights. The boy tossed a slack of brown hair back, dazzling you with closely-set teeth. Jamie capered with light feet and quivering eyelashes, yellow handbag dangling at her shoulder. The grocery lady hugged her with nails painted blue, pink hair faded into a loosely fastened knot.

Night descended and neon lights flashed green. The short-sighted elderly with cane in hand glanced at the coffee store without heeding you. Footsteps thundered, the pop star in sunglasses checked the window for reflection. Shiny coverall and explosive hair cleared the dull of your eyeballs, the guards clustered in black and ties. Midnight, traffic lights illuminated darkly veiled troopers carrying coffins for burial. Shadows crept to shield your eyes against the iron rimmed glasses shimmering blackness.

An old man in faded leather shoes and whiskers crouched at the steps. The lady with yellow bowler hat looked into the clouds, unmoving by broken traffic lights. From the grocery store came a capering boy, swift legs wrapped up in striped bib pants. He carried a basket of air, holding sunlight piercing into your eyes. You flashed a toothless grin, time and again.

 

Glory

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About the ashes we gather

eye-to-eye breathing, the nocturnal stained sheets

colorblind and strewn

messy as we marched, as in our dreams:

badge beneath tongue

summer sun drinking the shaded purple

of your beard.

It reminded us of

 

when your eyes were pierced, black hearts flaming

scared even the bullet as the confetti

sucked at your skin,

sucked your skin dry

Gravitated with greater than tectonic love

while

 

our minutes are roaring,

honey hands transmute

primeval horror of Freudian fourmis

Unleashed.

 

(the words dug like stars into you and

into you)

so we spend all night dancing, sipping

away dreams

black eyes bleached as we write

of Glory, as in

our dreams.

My Sister

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My sister with the voice of stone.

My sister with the heart of seasonal raging.

My sister with the forehead of a bald snow-kissed savanna

of alabastrine dust on top of alabastrine dreams. 

My sister with the voice of an elongated pipa string

With the face of the innocuous flesh of deer

Dripping original sin. 

My sister with lips of crooked saturated bacon strips over 

crooked teeth the color of ivory bread.

My sister with eyes of the ashes of rosewood. 

My sister with lashes of steel cutting, of

black rain of dry soot and bullet. 

My sister with the hair of a thousand eyes falling

With feet of scurrying mice and

breasts of a prehistoric vessel.

My sister with the heart of a monsoon cuffed to a tree. 

My sister with eyes of tallgrass of the unintentional poison of inarticulate executing. 

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My sister with hair the color of sun a shade of iron green more radiant than smile. 

My sister with the eyes of shotgun. 

My sister with the lips of twisted fire, of print upon print of leaves dead and reviving. 

My sister with the toes of scabs black and red dripping

My sister with invisible hands of invisible dreams

the other day I saw her they were hid behind sleeves the texture of her forbidden teeth. 

My sister with the face of denatured geometry

her eyes the color of triangles and 

her chin elephants white rising. 

That Evening Rain

That night you stole nail polish from the back of my mind,

Rain sucked us in

like a gigantic whirlpool of not-being

and we weaved.

 

Dust landmarked the root of your brows.

Some fourth-dimension force, a thread

to whose gravitation we are defenceless.

We danced to a song of nineteen eighty four.

 

Nutrition facts plastered your Instagram page full.

We drew circles around the edges of time

lest children should fall, playing some game

in a big field of rye.

 

August dumped clouds in a bucket of Fall.

You left us

listening to some songs of nineteen-eighty four.

Rain faded but never died.