i get this impulse to pop things. to pop the air out of a crisps packet. to pop balloons, bubble-wrap, soap bubbles- anything that is inflated and full of air, or some substance. physically speaking there is an immense satisfaction in the act of doing so- a tactile catharsis, of sorts, taking the air out of something; being the hand to let it free. and so in a psychological sense too there is a private satisfaction in deflating things- when you ‘pop’ or ‘break shell’, so to speak, things that previously seemed like a big deal, large things, become nothing- or at least marginally less than what it first appeared. consider the round, “full” balloon which snaps under pressure in an instant and becomes but a tiny scrap of rubber. it’s as though its form has completely disappeared, and finally it is seen as it really is- a small thing made out to be ‘full’ of something, ‘something’ which really is nothing but air! even if perhaps one might fill it up with water instead, the balloon as a container has no use when it is burst and can no longer ‘hold’ the liquid, which trickles everywhere, dries out, becomes absorbed, evaporates- irrecoverably- without the balloon-body in which to be contained. like this hypothetical balloon, concepts embody the illusion that defined boundaries, disciplines, and unified ideas contain a complex conglomerate of things. but really- things we can think, too, are just like balloons- ‘ideas’ have no meaning, ‘ideas’ are just balloons saturated with certain content (air/water), discriminated content, as to appear as though the Idea constitutes the things to which it refers. I think rather that whatever those ‘things’ are, the ‘things’ we perceive and think about, are neither here nor there- there is no ontological fidelity about them which might be extracted within a framework of theories- for reference to them are just aims, aims to explain. as yet, putting ‘things’ into balloons are just the temporary method, the intellectual blank-canvas which acts as a vessel for the things inside and outside ourselves which we convert to compatible water-colour inside of our ballooned-studio. ‘things’ are air/water, gauged not in-themselves but through these balloons into which they are entered and held. it is my goal to ‘pop’ these kinds of mental edifices (the philosophies and ideas which are ‘built-up’) which dare me to assume that they are stable and built upon a fundamental concrete. to everything, i ask ‘can we pop this? can we pop this like a bubble?’ i like seeing things deflate, presumptions and prejudices dissipating the way a fat balloon pops to its miniscule origin. things that seem excessively complicated, paradoxical, unceasingly esoteric, all must be popped with skepticism (which, pointy in shape, can act as the needle) before they become so full of nothing that they float up into the air, up into space, and somehow end in a grave of celestial myth, outside of our grasp and territory. pop it pop it pop
walnuts slap the roof
of an old barn, hollow gunshots,
got me kissing individual blades
of grass in the backyard,
it is october and we are setting
fire to all that we are or aren’t
and i am going up in flames,
screaming s.o.s. in
smokestacks, mixed signals
sent sailing through wired shut jaws.
Every time it snows, I take off my boots and walk around in it for as long as I can. There’s no feeling so brisk and bracing, so unnatural. It almost feels criminal, walking around barefoot in the snow. The heat of your soles against the cold crystals of the snow is the essence of disparity. It’s heat and cold, good and evil, life and death, all the fundamental opposites of reality, and they’re fucking. It’s just not meant to be, and that’s why I always do it.
I’m sorry, you should have seen the traffic.
I’m the sad kind of drunk. I can’t help it,
I was somewhere else. I’m just like that, I always
look at people’s mouths too much,
it’s supposed to mean I want to kiss them but
I just want to get your words right. I’m sorry,
you used my full name and I just broke.
It sounds so foreign, pulling switchblades in the
support group that is your mouth.
You used the past tense and I panicked,
I figured I didn’t know the right words.
I’m awful at lipreading. You were saying
help, it looks too much like open.
Mercury was in retrograde, you were
fucking celestial. It’s just that I’m a Gemini,
I hate being tied even to a star, you are so
damn planetary. You map orbits
when I’m planning the next of my supernovas.
I’m so sorry, all of it keeps spilling out
like this. I’m so sorry, all I wanted was to
write a poem about it, but it was so plain.
Is it still a poem if I can chalk it into your
driveway like a prom proposal? Is it still
a poem if I can say it out loud in the fifth row
of the city bus, in front of all of our neighbors,
is it alright for everyone southbound
to know the color of your soul and how I
can see it when you talk to me about
your gods, is it alright for everyone southbound
to know the names of all your gods?
I’m sorry, I figured it would be easier
if we just had a funeral, you look so good
I’m sorry, I didn’t know how to write about it
if I never had to say it at all. This is really
the best I can do right now, everything is piling
up. I’m getting headaches because I can’t
manage to put you into the right meter. How about,
it’s an October evening and the sky is neon
with snow and our bodies are heavy like baby
skulls and there is no support like the
group of my names in your mouth. I’m sorry,
I don’t look at your mouth enough, I’m
afraid I just want to kiss you. My airbags are all
broken, I slept through my alarm.
I’m sorry. I don’t sleep too much.
Sometimes I think all of this is a dream.
Last night I was followed home by the moon
I turned into the night and watched her watching me.
Loneliness is a feeling I know, she whispered through the wind.
But I’m not lonely, lied my eyes as I gazed into the sky.
Her light crept up my back and pushed through my hair
It was a moment of nothingness, of ear-shattering silence:
Her silence dissipated into stars, mouthing words from far away.
My silence reached into the streetlights, the closest light I had.
I found religion by the edge of a man-made lake
Less than a mile from the broken souls of suburbia.
The sun found me, it crawled through the trees and found me by the water
It pushed back my hair and asked the questions:
“Where is your home? Where is your god?”
I held in my hands an outdated electronic status symbol and rubbed it to my shirt
White cords went in one ear and out the other, taking my senses with them.
Nothing sounded like music and music sounded like nothing
I couldn’t stand to be so far away from my body, so I took my earbuds out.
I used to tell you, “My family is my home. God is with you.”
I know now it wouldn’t ask me if it knew: my god is not in the sky.
I looked up for answers, but the sky holds nothing but questions
Answers are around me. The trees are around me. Are the trees my answers?
Everywhere I go there are trees, so they must be home.
“There’s never really been a point where I believed in god. I just believed.”
The sun isn’t listening, it is long gone and only its light is left.
Its voice was always my own, anyway. I will be honest and ask my own questions.
“What did you believe in? Do you really think the trees are your home?”
I believed in fairies, and I believed in ghosts and fire and the stars
I believed in everything around me; myself and my family.
I believed in the trees, they were always there. But they were never a home.
And I believed in every god I found, but that’s not the same.
Because you are me, I know what you’ll say next: “So you have god?”
The Norse myths pulled me close and the Greek gods were as real as the pictures in books
And perhaps that’s why I never believed. They were all just stories.
One god was as real as the next, and the god was the same as those gods.
My religion was praying and knowing why, but not knowing to whom.
No. I never had god, but I always had a religion.
you leave your house because
you heard that sitting indoors all day
was bad for you
you drive to the grocery store
and you don’t have a panic attack
but while looking at the frozen food
you feel a sense of absence from the world
and you wonder what the point of
all existence is, and you settle on “nothing”
but you’re not having a panic attack
by no means are you having a panic attack
this is definitely not a panic attack
this is the result of you trying to be
your own life coach and your own flotation device
in a sea of people who seem to know
what they are doing or are at least able
to stop themselves from thinking about the fact
that they don’t know what they are doing
so you say “fuck it” and drive home
you stand outside in the sun
for two and half minutes
and call today a success
we are stapled to the outer edge of the moon, held in place by orbit & social circumstance. no one wants us to return from the beyond; they are scared that we will know more than they do. alternatively, they are scared we will never catch up. we listen to frank sinatra & his irradiated strains of…