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Jun. 23rd, 2013 | 02:13 am
location: US, California, Santa Cruz, Grant St, 179


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Feb. 23rd, 2013 | 10:52 pm
location: US, Oregon, Portland, Multnomah, NE 23rd Ave, 5242


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Jun. 26th, 2012 | 08:47 am

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.


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Jun. 20th, 2010 | 02:32 pm


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Mar. 1st, 2010 | 02:57 pm

But What I Really Want To Say Is
Mark Cayanan

I am showing you my life. It is afternoon
as I write: The summer has given up its sticky heat
in place of rain, premature but as gray

as ever. I cannot see far
or as deeply as where you are, but when I tell you
what I tell you, you must believe me.

I am showing you my mother, the way she rearranges
furniture you wouldn’t even think
the wood’s been eaten into. When I tell you forgive

her skittishness, I rely on what you know
of the term. Similarly, you must understand
that I choose not to speak of my father. Similarly,

you must understand when I tell you several stories
about my father, each annulling each.
I do not intend to be true,

only truthful. I am showing you how
I have loved: not enough, or too much, the result of both
being termination. But when I say

there were days when my cheek pressed against
someone’s sweaty back signified
forever, I mean for the moment

to be acknowledged, I mean there have been
a few, and they have all felt the same. I am being sentimental:
I know no way to speak of the self

without amplification. I am showing you what the bruise
on my thigh means. I am showing you
the implication of a sigh, behind a sneer, and what the proper

response should have been. I am showing you shame,
string it up and place it around your neck. Most of all,

I am telling you what I want is for you to tell me
It is mine, too. Not an epiphany, not a punch line,
but a mirror, but a kiss, but in the air, perfume, effluvium.

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Jan. 4th, 2010 | 02:46 pm


You saved my life he says I owe you everything.
You don’t, I say, you don’t owe me squat, let’s just get going, let’s just get gone, but he’s


keeps saying I owe you, says Your shoes are filling with your own damn blood,
you must want something, just tell me, and it’s yours.
But I can’t look at him, can hardly speak,

I took the bullet for all the wrong reasons, I’d just as soon kill you myself, I say.
You keep saying I owe you, I owe… but you say the same thing every time.
Let’s not talk about it, let’s just not talk.

Not because I don’t believe it, not because I want it any different, but I’m always saving
and you’re always owing and I’m tired of asking to settle the debt.

Don’t bother.

You never mean it anyway, not really, and it only makes me that much more ashamed.
There’s only one thing I want, don’t make me say it, just get me bandages, I’m bleeding,
I’m not just making conversation.

There’s smashed glass glittering everywhere like stars. It’s a Western, Henry,

it’s a downright shoot-em-up. We’ve made a graveyard out of the bone white afternoon.
It’s another wrong-man-dies scenario

and we keep doing it, Henry, keep saying until we get it right…
but we always win and we never quit, see, we’ve won again, here we are at the place
where I get to beg for it

where I get to say Please, for just one night, will you lay down next to me, we can leave our
clothes on, we can stay all buttoned up?
or will I say

Roll over and let me fuck you till you puke, Henry, you owe me this much, you can indulge me
this at least, can’t you? but we both know how it goes. I say I want you inside me

and you hold my head underwater, I say I want you inside me

and you split me open with a knife. I’m battling monsters, half-monkey, half-tarantula,
I’m pulling you out of the burning buildings and you say I’ll give you anything.
But you never come through.

Give me bullet power. Give me power over angels. Even when you’re standing up
you look like you’re lying down, but will you let me kiss your neck, baby? Do I have to
tie your arms down?

Do I have to stick my tongue in your mouth like the hand of a thief, like a burglary
like it’s just another petty theft? It makes me tired, Henry. Do you see what I mean?
Do you see what I’m getting at?

You swallowing matches and suddenly I’m yelling Strike me. Strike anywhere.
I swear, I end up feeling empty, like you’ve taken something out of me, and I have to search
my body for the scars, thinking

Did he find that one last tender place to sink his teeth in? I know you want me to say it, Henry,
it’s in the script, you want me to say Lie down on the bed, you’re all I ever wanted

and worth dying for too

but I think I’d rather keep the bullet this time. It’s mine, you can’t have it, see,
I’m not giving it up. This way you still owe me, and that’s
as good as anything.

You can’t get out of this one, Henry, you can’t get it out of me, and with this bullet

lodged in my chest, covered with your name, I will turn myself into a gun, because
it’s all I have,

because I’m hungry and hollow and just want something to call my own. I’ll be your
slaughterhouse, your killing floor, your morgue and final resting, walking around with this
bullet inside me

‘cause I couldn’t make you love me and I’m tired of pulling your teeth. Don’t you see, it’s like

I’ve swallowed your house keys, and it feels so natural, like the bullet was already there,
like it’s been waiting inside me the whole time.

Do you want it? Do you want anything I have? Will you throw me to the ground
like you mean it, reach inside and wrestle it out with your bare hands?
If you love me, Henry, you don’t love me in a way I understand.

Do you know how it ends? Do you feel lucky? Do you want to go home now?

There’s a bottle of whiskey in the trunk of the Chevy and a dead man at our feet
staring up at us like we’re something interesting.

This is where the evening splits in half, Henry, love or death. Grab an end, pull hard,
and make a wish.

Richard Siken


I am going to fail.
I'm going to fail cartilage and plastic, camera and arrow.
I'm going to fail binoculars and conjugations,
all the accompanying musics: I am failing,
I must fail, I can fail, I have failed
the way some women throw themselves
into lover's arms or out trains,
fingers crossed and skirts billowing
behind them. I'm going to fail
the way strawberry plants fail,
have dug down hard to fail, shooting
brown runners out into silt, into dry gray beds,
into tissue and rock. I'm going to fail
the way their several hundred hearts below surface
have failed, thick, soft stumps desiccating
to tumors; the way roots wizen in the cold
and cloud black, knotty as spark plugs, cystic
synapses. I'm going to fail light and stars and tears.
I'm going to fail the way cowards only wish they could fail,
the way the brave refuse to fail or the vain fear to,
believing that to stray even once from perfection
is to be permanently cast out, Wandering Jew
of failure, Adam of failure, Sita of failure; that's the way
I'm going to fail, bud and creosote and cloud.
I'm failing pet and parent. I'm failing the food
in strangers' stomachs, the slender inchoate rings
of distant planets. I'm going to fail these words
and the next and the next. I'm going to fail them,
I'm going to fail her-- trust me, I've already failed him--
and the possibility of a we is going to sink me
like a bad boat. I'm going to fail the way
this strawberry plant has failed, alive without bud,
without fruit, without tenderness, hugging itself
to privation and ridiculous want.
I'm going to fail simply by standing in front of you,
waving my arms in your face as if hailing a taxi:
I'm here, I'm here, please don't forget me,
though you already have, I smell it, even cloaked
with soil, sending out my slender fingers for you,
sending out all my hair and tongue and brain.
I'm going to fail you
just as you're going to fail me,
urging yourself further down to sediment
and the tiny, trickling filaments of damp;
thirsty, thirsty, desperate to drown
if even for a little while, if even for once:
to succumb, to be destroyed,
to die completely, to fail the way I've failed
in every particular sense of myself,
in every new and beautiful light.


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Jan. 20th, 2009 | 09:51 am

if you're reading this, gtfo my lj

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