I broke your nose
We learned
You broke my nose
We learned
I broke my back
We learned
You broke your back
We learned
The fine art of fracture
The fury of fresh calcium

I’d kill to feel
Your baby tooth
Lodged back inside my knuckle
I bet you’d fight god
To throw one last orange
From that cloud
To shred my other ACL

Long ago
We pondered the opposite of pain
Overlooking the asphalt
That skinned our elbows
And broke our collar bones
Not comfort
Nor happiness
Nor joy
Some say pleasure
Bullshit. Blasphemy.
Pain, the mortar and the brick
Pain, the mortar and the pestle
The opposite of pain is not pleasure
It’s weakness
The opposite of pleasure is not pain
It’s strength

I suffer the loss
Of our combat
Suffering, uncontrollable
The blood we spilled on blue carpet

But I refuse to mourn you
As a false idol
Of future bliss
Mourning, a choice
The cry for mother’s mercy we learned to silence

Fuck that, brother.

Yet, I have become what you felt when you lost your legs.
You would’ve loved him.
The further you fly
The harder it gets
To accept that this was your story
All of it
Around me
Like scalding steam
Mist from a pit of lava
Creeping through my clothes
Stopping on my pores to laugh
The people who get it will go away
The people that should’ve never will
I make silent references to you all the time
I start to say your name and bite holes in my tongue
Because no one wants to hear a story about your dead brother
I tell myself
And that’s where you are
My favorite story
Buried in too many emotions to count

You would’ve loved him.
I spent 18 years hanging
from rooftops in Provo, Utah

Sneaking in
Sneaking out
Sneaking tears
Then 18 years running away
from rooftops in Provo, Utah
I returned today
To take pictures
Catharsis or communion
Started out
Where the virgin grooms
Swarm erect
To watch the bride’s veil
Pour endlessly across her face
Downloading white torrents
Listening to
The fine art of original sin
Set off
Down the canyon
Past the trails
Where we’d spray paint
Red and blue yin-yangs
On disheveled concrete
Where I watched a cop
Put a bullet in a cougar’s head
Continued downward
To the foothills
Where my friends’ fathers
Swung scalpels
Cheap surgery
On each other’s wives’
Cheap surgery
Past the curbs we waxed
In all the stripped malls
Where feds continue to bust
Sex traffickers
Peddling massage therapy
And therapists continue to
Kill kids
Peddling pain relief
My insides became a bruise
And I almost retreated
But found myself
Out of body
Skateboarding the chemtrails
Of my childhood
From the sidewalk
Where the cop punched Danny
In the gut
To the old anarchist collective
No one could see me
As I stabbed my way
Through the ghosts
Of all-ages fights and fucks
All the while
The dead squaw stared down
From the peak
Above our foreclosed homes
Where the elders taught us
She lept to her death
Spurned by an ex-lover
Though she was no myth
The wife of Ute chief, Old Elk
Whose people were hunted
By Mormon militiamen
Through their sacred canyon
She did not jump
And she did not want to die
And years later
Young girls would recount
The sight of Old Elk’s head
From a rooftop in Provo, Utah

It’s hard to feel like
You’re checking all the boxes
When the list just keeps on growing
And you’re the only one keeping score
And that’s the rub
The friction in the marrow
How the red ink’s on your hands
And what came before will not create
Something more

You wake up in the basket
To the smell of coffee
And English muffins toasting
You hear her ask
For orange juice
The doorbell begins to ring
Laughter and the clatter
Of dishes making room
For more dishes
The screen doors slide
You smell the bay
Notes of the ocean
A few miles off
It takes a lifetime
The little girl finally
Runs to your basket
Grabs the balsa stick
Hot glued to the fishing wire
Stitched to the shoulders
Of the grey suit
Fastened tightly around
Your tiny bird chest
She swings you
Into the air
Your feet nearly collide
With the spinning ceiling fan
And before you know it
You’re both poolside
The BBQ is in full swing
She steps to the edge
Of the shallow end
And sinks your body
Into the chlorine blues
Then she’s off
Running the full perimeter
In circles
Watkin’s Glen
Fighting the friction
Built by your body’s drag
On the fishing line
Hot glued to the balsa
Lap after lap
Hour after hour
You know
This is the way
When your face
Breaks the surface
You see only the
Purple octopus
On her bathing suit
Above you
And her clapping yellow
Beside you
You say thank you
You’re sure
This is the way
Eventually the crowd thins
The glasses are empty
Along with the bottles
The fireflies begin to dance
Along the surface of the pool
With the mosquitos
A drop of blood
Is drawn from her leg
She screams
Lets go of the balsa
And you float
To the bottom
This is the way

U shared
That people
Drop hearts

On your social media posts
Then PM
“im worried about u”
With a period on the end
Like bro...
Pain mgmt
Is the posi mental rn
And my attitude is
If ur bleeding out
My hands are lost
In your intestines
Squeezing recklessly
And ur laughing
Like wtf are you doing
And I’m like... trying
And we’re singing
Mall screamo
Like you’re headwalking
Champagne glasses
Off that St. Marks karaoke bar
Heineken hands
And at least my hands are warm
In here
While cops keep murdering children
And children keep crying in cages alone
And we’re still trying
And that old friend is probably
Recording vocals
In 2021
Without crying uncontrollably
In the presence of strangers
And that’s some real
cause for alarm
All I’m saying is, im worried about u
fuck ‘em forever

My thoughts are mobs at war
Since Psycho Killer in mom’s Pontiac
Since Newsies
Since The Sign
Since Motownphilly
Since Sabotage
Since Smells Like Teen Spirit
Everything I should
Slaughtered by
Everything I do
For 315,360 hours now

4 hours and 37 minutes are buried
On a Spotify playlist
In the event of victory
But the streets run deep with blood
And I’m the king of New York

You’re such a cliche
Said such and such and
such and such so often
Their eyes melted
Spilled over their billion lips
Onto their billion
Outstretched tongues
Encasing their billion words
Like blood in amber
Wax stalactites
Down their billion
Empty throats
Words, nothing but air
I’ll be a cliche before I’m nothing
One billion times

Commotion, my first
Through the bannister
The edges of the memory blur
But I see my father’s back
Connect with the drywall
The marine vet on dad’s crew
Squeezes his hand back together
Then I’m sitting next to John
In a stranger’s home
In the dark
Ghostbusters on VHS
My parents are missing
And all I can think is
I want to go home
Over and over
Then I’m lying on my side
In my bed
At the top of the stairs
Where this began
Staring through the screen
As swarms devour swarms of insects
Drawn from the slate creek
To the warmth of our lone streetlight
Most nights, this carnage terrified me
Not that night

For years, I thought I was 5 years old. Later I learned I had just turned 3.
Apply pressure.

My blues
Turn the turquoise

Of the rocks in the repo man’s belt buckle
with each day
Shadows on glaciers
Sage in bloom
Sun between lashes
Shirts on sad golfers
Straps of worn bras
Sins of the father
true silver
fake gold
cheap leather
denim fold
His daughter died and they wrote bum checks in her name. He didn’t want that to happen to you.

It was always a rattlesnake
🙏 River Phoenix as Indiana Jones
🙏 Homesick tears in cold Utah dirt
🙏 A bootleg Pantera shirt seasoned in skunk weed
Swallowing itself
Cuz every strut sang death
And it yearned to be penetrated
By anything but premonition
10 years from today, I regret that I didn’t _____ for you 5 years from today. I’m 46. You’re 14.
20 years from today, I regret that I didn’t _____ for you 10 years from today. I’m 56. You’re 24.
40 years from today, I regret that I didn’t _____ for you 20 years from today. I’m 76. You’re 44.
Then Venom. Valium. Car accident. Waterfall.
It’s always a cute combined drug intoxication.

I wake up on a curb
Dressed in jumper cables
Place my hands on the bumper of a silver GMC Yukon
Glazed in months of my own blood
Taught not to pick scabs
But nothing heals
So I long for 7am summer swim lessons
Where chlorine turned
Playground gouges
Into seal skin
And red bathing suits were pure morphine
Today I pretend each snowflake
Is a switchblade
To make believe I'm as strong
As others presume
Someone teach me how to rest 5,490 pounds
On my back
In my sleep
I fear I'm faking it
But I reckon that's how scabs work

May the pain in my lungs
Save me from throwing my eyeballs
Into the sun
Or swallowing them whole like grapes
We used to freeze
On Comanche
To this day
The taste reminds me of
Blonde ponytails
Broken plastic chairs
Short sky denim
And hiding choking tears in strip malls pondering the 7 plagues

I spit into rabbit brush
While the boys eat rabbit eggs
With Peter Rabbit
In the Amazon
I prefer my god deconstructed
But remain agnostic
For the holidays
Atom’s ribcage
God’s tongue
In my cheek

My stomach’s full of foam fingers
And stale popcorn
But it hasn’t seen a cheap beer in a year
The blood around my heart
drenches your jersey
And still I find every way to rhyme my cheer
with all-star
When all you ever asked for was a promise, four words
I bet it’s cute how often I try to score
When you let me win the first time I heard
Welcome To Jamrock
As a flip phone ringtone
I remember watching you fall asleep that night
13 years on
It’s my clutch 3
I watch your eyes close
And let my fingers linger in the air screamin
“I ain’t goin nowhere”
at the top of my lungs

The fake cancer is gone
She removed the stitches
The snow left Memorial Hill
Last week Hudson taught me that Octopus tentacles grow back
I laughed and said, “wouldn’t that be nice?”
Haven’t run this route in 2 months
Nervous about talking to you
As always
Your voice sounds more like 50 Cent than Vinnie Paz now
Probably means you’re getting on with your life
As always
And we’ll stop talking for a while
As always
Until something needs to grow back

Winter snaps Fall’s limbs.
Spring throws acid in Winter’s eyes.
Summer nooses Spring atop its horse.
Fall waterboards Summer.
Friends lie
Lovers sigh
Brothers die
Teach your kids seasons
And you teach them that pain is power.

The trails are drying but tripwires of snow remain where broken bows protect the cold. I’d rather run on ice than mud. Decay recalls decay. I’ve been seeing you in inanimate objects. Today it was a pipe from 100 yards, light blue and distressed like your polo jeans with a spicket, the same dirt brown as that North Face jacket you accused me of stealing.

How no one knows nothin
Cows, pigs, war, witches
Guns, germs, steel, stiches
Simps, opps, subs, bitches
Likes, comms, subs, riches
Been 10,000 years
Since I let you build cribs
100 years
Since I let you build whips
What, 20 years?
Since I let you carry chips
Y’all can keep guessing
But I keep tight lips
To my 7.9 billionth daughter
Born today in a slum
Aint that somethin?
How no one knows nothin.
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