Sunday, October 28, 2007

sunset indoors

His mouth is sicky red, cheeks flushed and riding high, skinny nipples twice dotting his chest. Sweaty curls crest his forehead above the fine fragile brow. He has fever.

I look at him detached. He was never my lover. There is a long ugly scar along his goosebumped hip from some internal external war now encased in past. There are streaks of pen on my hands from writing letters that do not mention his name. Outside the sun is gorgeous setting, colors I have no name for, fire-golden linings. I am in this chipped room with a stranger.

Burroughs's junkies were less than human. Is he? His veins punctured, teeth gritted against that overwhelming morphine need. Pale lines on his fingers where heavy rings once nestled. He'd punch the Man in the jaw with them, break teeth, until their opium worth trumped revolution. The family crest pawned.

One of his toes is a stump of infection, nailless and blind. Even his feet pitted with injection welts. I cat's-cradle my hands and look at the gray blanket he lumped off. I keep my eyes off his shoulder skin pulled tight.

Some tall innocent puts his tan hand on my back and I shudder. "You don't need to stay," he says, surfer-white teeth and gleaming generous muscles in his neck, the scent of outside gloam on his tailored wool coat. "You don't owe him anything."

I nod, not sure what I mean. We all owe him everything, this dying man-boy boy-man propelled and floating through delusion, his blood running fast to catch up, his heartbeat thrumming like a mouse's. A bubble stretching and popping in the corner of the thin red mouth.

"It's nothing to do with you," says the pumpkin-grinning outdoorsman.

I twist my fingers. I stand my ground.

Monday, October 22, 2007

the weather

It is late.

I cannot sleep.

I am thinking of my friends and the wildfires.

I am thinking of my friends in Southern California and the rage-roaring wildfires subsuming and exhuming their homes, the anti-flood, no salvation on a rooftop no more.

I am thinking of my friends' clocks and calendars and yellow high heels melting in blaze.

I am thinking of their acrylics and temperas and long handwritten pages sparking in puddles of oil and sprinkle-crumbs of char.

I am thinking of fleeing in a hot bright night gunning up the car quick and running.

I do not know fire.

I know the forgiving fog and blue everchanging water of the bay, but I do not know fire.

I do not know the right way to imagine it.

I imagine my fire like the fire in film, car explosions and Gone With the Wind.

I live by the bay but the air is hot and stagnant with eight-minute sun.

I live by the bay but today the air was hot and stagnant with eight-minute sun.

The smoke drifts up a little.

The sun through the magnifying glass that is our ozone layer.

In late October.

Winter can't make up its mind anymore.

Seasons are crossdressing and giggling in poison lipstick.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Cigarettes in the Refrigerator

My eyes are crusty. I close them. I open them. They are crusty and everything is a little freckled. My bare skin is freckled through my eyes. I am naked sitting on my couch and the maroon lines of the couch are pressing into my skin and the downy hairs on my skin. There is a line of dark stubbly hair traveling from my navel to my crotch. My navel is chafed. I look at my navel and at my hollowing stomach. I have not eaten in several days. I look at my legs. My thighs are covered in dark hairs that stand out against my pale skin.

There is stubble on my face and my jaw. I lick my lips and I extend my tongue to feel the sharp dark hairs cultivating on my upper lip. There is similar hair all down my jaw. I get up and walk and shake a little. Light shines. It is between morning and afternoon. I stand in front of my refrigerator and stare at my refrigerator. My refrigerator is not magnetic. It is a shitty kind of refrigerator that is not magnetic, and whenever I look at it a childhood memory is stabbed in the ass cheek. I am saving up for a magnetic refrigerator but I keep forgetting to save up. I accidentally spend my allowances on rent, recreation, and food.

Out of habit, I swing open the door of my non-magnetic refrigerator. I have been doing this every thirty minutes or so for the past few days. There is no food inside my refrigerator. There is a mostly-full bottle of mustard and there is a mostly-full jar of mayonnaise and there is an unbranded packet of cigarettes. They aren't mine. Ted smokes when he wants to get drunk. He thinks there is nothing classier than an alcoholic who smokes. Ted wants badly to be good at mixing drinks, but he is shitty at it.

I look at the mustard, mayonnaise, and cigarettes. I let the cold air blow onto my face and nipples. The refrigerator hums loudly. It sort of buzzes. My body is cold. I think about eating but that makes me want to throw up. I shut the bare refrigerator door. I open it again and take out the packet of cigarettes. I shake out one cigarette and put the rest back in the refrigerator and shut the refrigerator door again.

I look at the cigarette. I am dizzy and lethargic. I leave the cigarette on the counter and go to the pantry and get out a bottle of wine. It takes me a few tries to open it and I almost give up but I get it in time. I take a swig and the bottle is very heavy and I almost drop it but I don't. The taste of the white wine goes to my head immediately. I feel like a sheet of paper. I run my hand along my upper arm and my upper arm is the temperature of marble. My skin is soft and goose-pimply and covered with fine down. Ted's arms are covered with wiry rusty hair and he has a raspy rusty beard. He secretly thinks it makes him seem more
manly. Ted goes through phases of trying to hide his homosexuality. Right now he is convinced he is bisexual. He has gone on a cruise to meet women. Ted is secretly less aroused by women than I am. He thinks he can hide it, but he is wrong.

Thinking about Ted makes me feel feverish and I want to throw up again. Teaspoons of acrid bile slosh in my stomach. I feel like the bile is going to burn thruogh my stomach lining and up my esophagus and burn out my larynx and down into my lungs. The bile will explode in my lungs and splatter my lungs with acid and quickly burn through them. I need to soak up the bile in my stomach with white bread, but I have no white bread. I go to the drawer and get out a spoon and open the refrigerator door. I hold the jar of mayonnaise and unscrew the cap of the jar of mayonnaise and I scoop a spoonful of mayonnaise. I close the refrigerator door and then I eat the mayonnaise. The mustard is too acrid to eat.

Eating a spoonful of mayonnaise is like eating a liquefied tumor. The raw calories go to my head immediately and I feel them settle on top of the layer of white wine in my stomach. Jesus Christ. It is an infernal
swamp in there. I lurch and hit my knee against a chair and my knee throbs but does not bruise. I want white bread badly. I lurch to the bedroom where the telephone used to be. I know my cellular phone is somewhere but I don't know where it is. I sit on the stained mattress and I pull at the fine dark hairs on my legs.