And No Voice Strong Enough

Her chest was rising just as it was falling. The key, in her hand. The car, right there. Breath, hot on the back of her teeth. No license.

The brother, up on the porch, watching, his face relaxed beyond the register of emotion. One finger, then two into the yellow jar of goo he cradled in his arms. Slipped them into his mouth, lips folding out and she remembers sucking fingers, but it was only a stale memory.

A man walks by with his dog. It was a short leash. She wanted to scream at him, or at the brother or at someone because that’s what she had always been good at. She could make anyone cry, and if they cried she could smile. But not here. No license to speak.

She’d come, some words on her side and no voice strong enough to speak them. She’d come all for the hope that a man she had once loved had not changed. Though she had changed. Her hope had never gone away. But when she arrived he had not been waiting for her like he promised. His brother had been in his place.

At first she thought he has simply grown a beard, maybe let himself go in her absence. Their faces were so alike even after he spoke, and even after she surveyed the clothes he worse, and even after he led her to the car in silence, a bitter look on his lips, she felt a little unsure.

They drove in silence. She spoke a few words of greeting in his language. He said nothing in response. His beard was an old mans’. It was hiding something.

“Scott… going… country… all shit… I… you… fucking shit.”

She stared ahead, but didn’t like reading the signs. It made her head hurt. She looked down at her phone. No service. At least she could read the menus.

He pulled the car over at a drugstore with a green sign. He said nothing, sighed, and left the car.

She stared and waited. Her arms nestled closer to her chest. The sky was overcast and she felt it would rain. Then a drumming at the window.

Her tongue was dry. Her whole self was in her throat.

A man wrapped in chains was rapping his knuckles against the glass. His long gray hair covered his eyes, but not the volcanic landscape of his cheeks. He spit and then beat the window with his elbow. She held her breath.

“Lollipop! Lollipop!” he belted before stumbling away.

He fell to the ground at the brother’s feet. The brother was now carrying a small plastic bag. He stared at the man in chains and then put his hands together, fingers pointed up towards the sky. He smiled. A real smile. Like he’d just bought a new pair of shoes. He smiled all the way home.

She refused the food. It was green and wet. It reminded her of the countryside. The soup was purple, thick, lumpy. Bled warts. She’d watched him pour some yellow gue into it. Watched him lick his fingers. She sat in front of the food in silence while he forked the mulch into his mouth.

She felt an ache in her heart. The brother’s eyes were the very ones she’d fallen in love with. They were a crystalline green. They were unending. She’d fallen in long ago, and now she was staring at them again. Only how could she if she were still inside? Her eyes tickled with a burn. The forehead, the nose, it was all the same.

He grunted, cleared his throat violently like a cat and then rose. He picked up her fork and lifted a pile to her face. Around in circles. She looked to the side and a soft cry escaped her lips. She wanted her phone. She wanted to talk to her friends. She wished she could tell someone. She wished she could tell him. The brother laughed and walked away.

“Stupid,” he said.

He disappeared behind a door at the end of a long hallway. The old wooden clock above stopped ticking. Soon a low wailing could be heard from behind the door. The wooden floor, so modern, so polished, creaked.

She stood and the chair reluctantly slid away from her, groaning. She heard a pounding.

There was a knock on the door. She stayed low and approached the window above. It was a man with long curly hair, looking up at her expectantly with a piece of paper gripped in both hands. It read, “Is Scott home?”

Strangely there was a stack of paper and a marker next to the window. She carefully wrote, “No” and held it up to the window. They continued to stare at each other for a short time. He then jotted something down and held it up.

“Everything all right?”

She continued to hold up her paper. She knew she should hold her breath, but what was the point. He threw his thumb up and walked away.

She sat on the couch, thinking she had better wait. She talked to herself in the words she knew. It should have eased her heart, but there was no one to receive them. They even sounded strange here in this glossy home. The wailing stopped and the brother returned. He didn’t look at her. He faced away and kneeled on the floor. He whispered and bowed his head to the floor. He rocked back and forth on his head until finally he lifted himself off the floor and stood on his head, still whispering.

Then he came down and his face was red, and his eyes were puffy. He’d been crying. And she felt nothing. It was a mask.

“Go away,” she said, and she ran down the stairs to the door. She grabbed the keys and ran out to the car. “Where is Scott!”

And her chest was heaving. And she didn’t care that she had no license or that she knew nothing of the town. She wanted to go. But where she wanted to go no car could take her, and her breathing grew soggy and the lines of her face brittle.

And the brother stood up on the porch, watching her with a face no words in her tongue could describe, his beautiful eyes finding a gleam under the porch light’s glow.

And a man with a dog walked by, staring. His dog heaved against the leash, but the man just smiled. She looked up at the brother and his eyes latched onto her heart. She was sure they were the same as the brother’s, that they were only a mask. They had never been anything more. And now here she was.

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Where the Water Goes

If my feet are on the ground, am I grounded?

If I’m on a boat am I then flying?

These fish are flying which is why I won’t catch them. They laugh at me, but I couldn’t hurt a fish. They are too precious. They have a life as good as mine.

What makes a life good? Is it the air we breath, the blood that flows through our veins? The things we spend our time on? Those we spend our time with? Can those make a life bad? Or can only you do that?

I have to make a living somehow and I like seeing the fish, their smiling faces, so I work on this boat. I clean the halls, wash the dishes. At night I stand on the deck and watch for the fish. I can’t see them, but I think they are there. I sing to them because they need someone to keep them company through the long night. The others are asleep, not around to laugh. My flying voice meets these flying fish. And we rock through the night.

Every night it goes like this. I suffer through the day until the night comes and the fish feel safe. They know I won’t catch them. I can never see them, but I can hear them down below, churning the water. Why couldn’t fish dance the same as us?

I think about the land sometimes, but I have nowhere to go. No money, like I said. Besides I think the fish find comfort in me.

I’ve worked on the boat for many seasons, but tonight was the first night the boat touched ground. When I came out of my cabin the ocean was gone. We had soared all the way to the floor of the sea. I saw the fish and the seaweed and the corral, but there was no water. I sang like I always do.

A large fish flew to me and began to speak to me. He wondered if I didn’t want to join him where no one talked and everyone smiled. He said that I was the only one who ever cared for the fish. He opened his mouth for me to climb in. He was large, and I fit nicely. And the water came back, and the boat lifted up with the waves once again, only I was down below. From my new home I could sing all day. But there was no ground to stand on.

Poet Robot Review

The following is a completely serious review of the entirely serious upcoming collection Poet Robot by E. I. Wong. Check out his writing at https://notesfromanarcissist.wordpress.com/

28495754Hello, Reader

Good reviewers are completely objective.
They leave no trace of themselves in the review.
The only thing you should notice about a reviewer
is their name at the top of the thing.

A good reviewer would never rate a book higher
because it was signed personally to him or
sent to him as a review copy or
because the author “liked” things on the reviewer’s blog.

A good reviewer, of course, gets immediately to the point.
He does not write in a silly form to reference the material being reviewed.
He certainly doesn’t ramble on about other things
like the experience of waking up with an anime blow up doll
at five in the morning that seemed to take the shape of a certain poetic robot
and who promised sexual favors for…well… a good reviewer wouldn’t say what for, would he?
After all, he would never accept sexual favors.
Good reviewers are all virgins, of course.

A good reviewer certainly would point out some of the questionable font choices,
and take into account the fact that a good chunk of the material is available on the author’s blog,
but look at that robot’s eyes.
Don’t you just want to find that robot’s usb port and plug yourself in?
Look it’s saying “heart” already.
What could it hurt?

A good reviewer would mention the parts that made him
laugh,
made him
feel,
would admit that certain sections left him in awe of the, shall we say, Wong?
And would reiterate, even though already stated in the reviewers review of Tin Lion, that the story entitled
“To Describe Blow Jobs Artistically”
is one of the most astoundingly beautiful things arted.

A good reviewer knows lots of fancy terms to describe things.
Like arted. And pretty. And diegetic.
Yes, yes. So diegetic. Such control of “the craft”.
Such poetic chop suey.
These are all things a professional reviewer would say because they know.
What do they know?

That this book is good
and represents the views of San Francisco.

Why Would Anyone Read This

Earth Mother cried in the desolate gray space which had become her abode, and waited for her daughter to come back to her from the rave. The raven sang sourly that beauty had left the earth, the color had dried up, music had become one note and communication had been reduced to dull drags on cigarrillos.

Cut off my arm!

Somewhere in the universe George Lucas is having sex in a bed under red sheets and a polka dot comforter. His forehead is sweaty — hot like the inside of a taunton with all the smells this image conjures. His red lightsaber is fully extended. It’s meeting a squishy, warm fate, being compelled by a tractor beam as it were. His Kunda stones are warm. Underneath his pastel turtleneck sweater his nipples are chaffing. Hard.

“Oh!” yells George, in his passion. “Someone, cut off my arm!”

His lover, submissive, money in her eyes, at his command makes a sword swinging motion at his arm after a moment’s pause.

“No. Good. No, make the lightsaber sound.”

She did, and he squealed like an Ewok.

“Tell me you’re my father!” George screamed.

She did.

“Noooooo!” moaned Mr. Lucas as he climaxed.

Ye High

People who say about yea high are a certain kind of people. Ever noticed that? There are like 3 or 4 people you’ve known that say it, and I bet you can picture them exactly. They all played baseball for some reason.

Can’t you just see them squinting, with a poopy grin, raising and lowering their hand till they finally say, “About yea high.” Actually I think it works better when they don’t give any indication of the height they mean and just say, “Yea high.”

And when you produce an album about being a college dropout you gotta be about Ye high.

Try Out Hate Poems! I Love Hate Poems!

Hot damn, you feel the power in all consuming words.

Bet you aren’t even thinking,

you think like the light sequence in 2001,

you’re in such a hurry to cough the words out of the back of your throat like their some sort of infection,

BRO:

they aren’t gonna to bite ya,

just slow down and take, a, breath,

On your way through Candyland you always take all the Chutes and Ladders,

So suddenly this thing you call consciousness and we call uncertainty is everywhere and not a person on the pale speck can check it,

your eyes light up because the hare is more fun than the tortoise,

and when you reach the finish line without so much alerting the referee’s that their stopwatch fingers should be primed and their cocktail glasses lowered you confound with – “it was crazy.”

Do you realize that there is a tipping point?

If everything is crazy,

suddenly nothings crazy,

except (maybe) the teller.

Do you understand how words can lose their weight?

It’s not like working out,

when you use a word so to a degree that “it is crazy”, you can see the muscle drooping, quivering and fading away in atrophy,

and the inverse is true… don’t we all wish for a little balance?

I know you want to share that feeling that courses through the landmass of your skin,

I know you’re at most Times nothing less than a cardboard box full of jelly donuts and military grade explosives.

I can always see it in your eyes in how they dart about

life, and the way you stand up and play with your hair,

sometimes I want to tell you that all I see are the big O’s and tight lines and that I can’t understand a word, but I think you know that,

anyway you sometimes say you do.

It’s funny, almost

like you know that you’re going too fast, that these words will never get what you want across, maybe

and maybe that’s why you raise your voice to fill the room spouting “crazy” like a broken sprinkler, over and over,

could it be that the words are just filler,

and that the meaning is actually hidden behind the words in another world

we hardly even realize is spinning just because we can’t see it.

Are you some sort of warlock tapping into the energies of another plane,

or are you just

bad

at explaining things?

***

LOve poems? try out hate poems! I love hate poems.

I’m going to be the best hate poet ever. I’m going to write the sonnet 130 of hate poetry, you dirty fuckfaces.

The Will of Jeff

Alegro finds himself in a hallway. It twists and it’s lit by deep purple lamps that swing like there’s wind. Darkness ascends like heat, and there’s no roof to hold it. Rather, an anti roof. Alegro spends a few hours trying to wrap his head around it.

Alegro finds himself in front of a door. It seems familiar. There’s a soft sweet feeling as of beautiful words, but also an aching of the eyes. The door opens and there’s a short roman buttress holding up a mixed drink. It has a little folded-like-a-tent card in front of it that reads: Cowardice w/ a touch of chives. Alegro moves forwards and takes the drink. The door shuts behind him. The drink tastes about how he’d expect. Tastes green, with a bite.

A squad of curtains open around Alegro. Alegro tastes stage fright in the back of his throat. It’s not at all like he imagined being on stage would taste like. Tastes halfway between Banana Orange and Purple Mountain’s Majesty. There’s so many buttons and pleasantly smiling faces. It’s exactly like he imagined being on stage would be like: the bright light of the control tower where little bug men play with switches stops you from seeing anything. He’d had that streamed to him before.

There’s a laughter around him, and Alegro takes a smile. He looks down and sees that his pants are wet. Alegro crumples to the floor. A bald man in a light blue button up shirt steps on to the stage, right over Alegro’s form. He looks 51, well preserved. His belt buckle looks like a million bucks.

“You want this End?”

“Yes,” says Alegro.

“And where would you like that End shipped? You can sign in for one click shopping. Would you like free two day shipping with that? We can give you free two day shipping if you sign up with us.”

“What are you talking about.”

“You can also take forty dollars off your order right now, easy peasy, if you sign up for a credit card through us. You’re over 18, aren’t you.”

“Yeah.”

“Excellent!”

The bald man bends his torso down to lower his head down to Alegro while keeping his legs completely still. His head seems to float around in Alegro’s suffering vision.

“Excellent!” he repeated.

Alegro backs away on his hands and knees.

“No. I don’t want it.”

“If you could just put in your shipping address here…even if you don’t want it, it’s really best if you put in your shipping information here, just for ease of use later…”

“No!”

Someone cheers from the audience, and that’s when Alegro notices that they have stopped laughing.

The creature before him bends upright to his full height. Then he cocks his head to the side.

“Perhaps you want a tablet?”

Alegro stands and runs to the front of the stage, and it is there that he is captured by the magnificence of the world before him. He can’t see any of it, but somehow he can feel it in his stomach. Some emotion he doesn’t understand begins to rise in his gut and makes his liver sing a happy, jaunty tune. Increasingly his heart skips a beat which he thinks may be unhealthy. Lowering from the rough wooden parapets above, a few hooks latch into his shoulders, piercing right through the bone, and lift him up in transcendental ecstasy!

“I am a free man,” he says as he rises. “I need no river to bring me happiness. I need not mechanical wings to bring good tidings, for good tidings are here. Indeed I am the messenger. I am the angel. I do not need your credit card information or your shipping information. Everyone gets free two day shipping! I see the path before me.”

“Would you like another drink?” says the bald man below.

“I think it’s your turn to drink this time, Jeff.”

Then the hooks rip through Alegro’s body and he falls to the ground in a bloody heap. He is saved only by the quick response of a team of medical drones and the will of Jeff.

Blog Blocked

And now, apropos of nothing:

– Dude this guy totally cock blocked me the other day. I was totally like horning in on his sister so he stuck a fork in my penis. Cock blocked!

– Oh man…coach won’t let me play in the game man. Dude! He burned my jersey bro! It’s so fucking stupid. Jock Blocked!

– God damn, you know I was really looking forward to wearing my sneakers today, but i had to just slip on my flip flops cause I got Sock Blocked!

– WWE has gone wayyyy down hill. It’s fucking garbage now! Fucking garbage! It just hasn’t been good since it got The Rock Blocked.

– “Aren’t you going to ring the doorbell?

“No. What, trying to Knock Block me?”

– “Dude! Don’t point your gun at that poor bird!”

“Hey! Watch it. Don’t Hawk Block me, bro!”

“What ever! You Glock Blocker!”

– I almost got famous you know. I almost did it through the sick shredding of my guitar, man, but I got totally Rock Blocked by this dude in a mohawk so I took a you know, one of those electric razors and totally Mohawk Blocked that bitch.

– Fuck! Dinner was gonna be so good. I was gonna stir fry up some veggies… unfortunately mom had another schizo episode and sold a bunch of our stuff! Again! So, sorry kids, we got Wok Blocked.

– Dude I totally wanted to go to the cradle of Christianity, but some asshole bought the last seat on the flight and Antioch Blocked me!

– “Hey dude what’s up-“

I hold up my finger to his lips and press firmly so he knows who the fricker is his boss.

“What are you doing?” he says through pressed lips.

“What does it look like? I’m finally Talk Blocking you!”

– UGH, don’t you hate it when someone snags that ebay item when you had the highest bet like three seconds before the end! Fucking Shop Blockers!

– Interesting dress, but I wouldn’t wear it. FROCK BLOCKED!!!

– “Dude you’re mom is so fat-“

“Allen!”

“Dad! It was gonna be funny!”

“Allen!”

“Fine…”

“Ha! Mock Blocked!”

– Can you check the time?

Me? No, I got Clock Blocked

– I was just trying to get myself sexually aroused, but I got erotic blocked.

– No Graffiti you pint sized criminals! You kindergartners have been chalk blocked!

– Dude…Leonard Nimoy just died….Spock Blocked.

– “What do you think of this one?”

“It’s a bit…idk. A bit old looking. Where was it made?”

“China.”

“Oh yeah, you don’t want that. That’s shoddy.”

“Thanks friend!”

“What else are friends for other than Schlock Blocking?”

– I won’t let you watch that movie. The Blind Side is just a white guilt movie that doesn’t actually truthfully portray the issue of race in America. Fuckin Sandra Bullocked.

– A writer thought about how to work Crockpot Blocked into a story and couldn’t find a satisfactory way. But then he did! Writer’s Block Blocked!

– I swiped my card in front of the scanner and unlocked the door into Finley. I held the door open for Kari Flocker. What was she thinking? I hadn’t even made up an excuse like that we could work on Japanese together or anything. Why was she going along with it then? Whatever. Just keep your cool.

I swipe my card again and the other little thingy at the stairs.

“Where do you live again?”

“In um the new dorm, you know.”

“Oh Teebo?”

“Yeah,” she throws her arm forward like she’s pointing at something, but of course there is nothing there. “That one.”

We climbed the stairs in silence. I check my phone. He’s in position.

We walk down the halls and I said hi to Nathan AKA Beezlebud. Kari gives a little wave even though she’s never met him. I unlocked my door and let us in.

“Oh…yeah excuse how shitty this place is cause we really need to vacuum. I really need to vacuum my roommate isn’t going to do it…”

“Oh…it’s fine.”

I close Tim’s wide open closet doors and face her. I shrug my shoulders.

“Soooo…” she said.

“Uh yeah.” I got out my phone and sent the text. “Uh yeah, make yourself at home or whatever.”

“K. What are we doing?”

“Um.” Come on come on come on come on come on come on.

Tim bust through the door and yelled, “Whoops!” with a playful smile wrapped around his face. “Sorry! Didn’t mean to be a Flocker Blocker!”