1 — i admire and adore you very much, do not make me apologize for it. — 2 — “who was the last person you had sex with?” — “you.” — “oh. right.” — 3. — i look at you through the long shag of hair that now covers my face and you make drinking water look sexy. i suppose it just is a sexy thing to do. especially while holding eye contact like you do. are you like this with everyone? yes and no. yes because you try to hold the eye contact with everyone. no, because not everyone stares back and makes you look away first. i never lose. — 4. — the world is very big. the world is very small. the world ends between this street and that street. the world goes no further. the earth is flat. the earth is only as round as the curvature between here and there. the earth is still round. the earth is only part of the world. the world is very big. i wonder if fish fall in love. i wonder what it’s like in the depths of the ocean. i wonder what life is like with no sunlight. i wonder what it’s like down there with the lanternfish. i wonder what it’s like to have x-ray vision. i wonder what it’s like to see ultraviolet. i wonder how many hand prints you’d see on the wall around this bed.
How I Ended Up Working at COLLINS
- wrote a book
- dropped out of high school
- did first design / writing internship under David Self
- did another design job, freelance
- reached out to Collins
- flew to NYC once for informal interviews
- reached out more
- flew to NYC again unannounced and got real interviews
- got hired
- been there since june ’19
Recorded Jan. 4 2021, 11 PM, Brooklyn, New York.
Writer: back down.
No amount of poetry flirts with the woman who does not read.
No words seduce the woman who fetishizes silence.
In my world, the words,
“I love you.”
fly across the page when said. Those words dash from one mouth to the other and bites on the way out. The interlocutors interlock lips.
I shut my mouth and you filled the silence with a gaze I suspect kills most victims.
I thought reticence meant resistance. It meant: “Stop talking and start fucking. Then you will know.”
Grant me forgiveness — not for being late to notice, but for still having to put it in language, on paper, still having to consult my interpreter before loving.
I Watched a Man Die Today
At the Atlantic Ave/Barclays Center train stop, I walked into the atrium at the north door and wandered around waiting for T so we could hang out — meanwhile, others were waiting around too, staring down to the lower level.
If I hadn’t wandered over to the ledge and looked down, I wouldn’t have seen it:
White guy. Late-thirties. White t-shirt. Red blotch in the center of his chest. Sprawled out as if awaiting a white-chalk outline. Three police officers tending to him. He was still breathing, but barely conscious.
I looked down and back up ten times, pleading guilty to my own fascination. I watched his breathing slow.
And then it was gone.
The spot where I stood aligned so perfectly with the death below that his dying eyes appeared to meet mine and didn’t move until one of the officers shook the man’s face back and forth. (Why the officer did this, I have no idea.) Not even in someone’s sleep have I seen every muscle in the face so relaxed, every flap of skin and even his open mouth and tongue swing back and forth like a ragdoll.
I watched a man die today.
The crowd gathered. People stopped, people left. T showed up shortly after. We went on our walk. Went back to my apartment. She revealed affections without speech. In an unlikely turn of events, the most brilliant and aloof woman I have ever met is sleeping over tonight. She’s stroking my leg, watching me write, and half-hates herself for doing so.
Indulging in love — no matter how temporary, detached, or shallow — is the sort of thing one might not do if not pressured by the prospect of a great flood. Soon, the world ends. Your world ends. Her world ends.
And when that happens, our eyes may only meet in a one-way silence, as opposed to the two-way hush of acknowledgement while we hold each other close.
No matter how much we repeat —
remember that you will die
live every day like it’s your last
— the end comes like a great flood.
The waters rise and eyes fall back into ones skull.
The earth engulfs your casket with a few swings of a shovel.
The crowd surrounds the memorial and then the flood recedes.
A Theme for 2021
Rather than resolutions, a theme.
Recorded Jan. 1 2021, 3 AM, Brooklyn, New York.