It had been a rough couple of years

The stock market was down. Job growth at a stand still. Cities felt glutted with a rank negativity.

It was the first time I’d felt failure so complete as to infiltrate the space between the tympanic bones of my ears- literally, as a chalky disturbance caused by the constant clench of my teeth.

I had lost both job and fiancé in the span of six months, and the security they’d brought, that I’d lavished in so thoughtlessly was gone too.

The final in a series of insults, the little wedge that drove between my soul and its casing, was the fact that Carla was with him now. The rest of it could be beared, but the thought of them together kept me awake, and, like any able bodied sad sack, sent me on long walks around the city. It was on one these slow, meandering walks, rounding the misty brown edge of Nieling Street that I saw a man standing alone, kicking at dirt.

"Krackle, krackle, crunch."

I’ve been living in cities since I was a teenager, and know the dead eyed look to affect to deflect unwanted attention. I did this now.

"Heath, HEATH."

He sounded the words harshly, enunciating them with the kicking of his toes into the ground. It was overcast, but I could see him well, young and finely clothed. Was he homeless? A kid on drugs?

"Buuuuutterfinger."

I saw him snatch a yellow wrapper from a gape in the ground, and then he turned and looked at me directly, pleading into my eyes.

"I am your guardian angel. I’ve been away for a while. I know, it’s terrible, but you’re no angel yourself. You haven’t made it easy for me with your smoking."

He gestured toward his back which was entirely unremarkable save for how expensive his jacket looked.

"My wings are black and crusted with tar from your habit, but they’ve survived. I am here. I am ready to go back to work."

With this, he flourished the Butterfinger wrapper in the air with a quick snap, and strode toward me. I couldn’t move and did not want to.

He took my hand and closed it over the dirty piece of paper. His eyes were hazel and angry looking, and he looked purposeful as he leaned in to kiss me, a kiss I accepted, and returned.

"Look out for Kit Kats," he said, and disappeared into the night.

My truest passions

all things with a gummy or creamy texture, both edible and inedible;
FONDANT
Stale marshmallows
Powdered coffee creamer
Unfettered nougat
The hardest types of icing, primarily meant for decoration.

Pork crackling, gravies, broths, the savory bits left in the pan of a roasted animal.

Any strenuous activity that will justify and sweeten allowing my mind to shut off and my body to recline underneath a down puff.

There was a short period of time

after my family moved from Germany to the U.S., that I began screaming in my sleep. This didn’t happen often, or for very long, but it was disconcerting enough for all of us that my parents sat me down and asked me about it. I remember fragments of that conversation as strongly as small sensory details of the time; the half-hearted shagginess of the rugs in our rented house, malted eggs of an Easter not long after. I also remember bits of the dreams that accompanied the screaming. They were similar to when you suddenly wake up from shallow sleep, consciousness jerked out of the pool like it felt a fish. I think that I’m bodiless in a lot of my dreams, and in these dreams, I had an awareness of my own mass. It felt like knowing I was a collection of something, and having that something being tipped out of one vessel into various others, density and volume being played with in ways that weren’t scary, but uncomfortable, like having an Orthdontist shave your tooth.

Why do I keep seeing Captain Jack Sparrow

costumed guys all over my facebook, when all I want to throw, be invited to, be forever immersed in is a Bill and Ted’s Excellent theme party. The hosts are Bill and Ted and the guests are encouraged to dress as historical figures, or if they’re feeling really inventive, and a little bit dangerous ala Ted’s sleeker 90’s hair cut, anyone from Heaven, Hell, Purgatory, or the future.

A life-of-the-party, attention and approval seeking friend should dress as Rufus, and dispense wit, wisdom, and guitar riffs. Food will be snacks from the Circle K, Ghengis Khan chicken legs, and Piggy Wiggy ice cream. Everyone can fight over who gets to dress as Joan of Arc.

Alex Vincent is the coolest, weirdest, most undervalued artist of the ‘90’s, and Keanu Reeves will forever ever ever be dreamy.

Do you save yourself

With shadows and light?
Or a tender bridge of words.
A stiff, blindingly-sweet bridge of sugar.

A dip in a pool
A touch of the mane
A tightly coiled round of plastic
sentenced to the hell of popping open at inconvenient times.

Childhood is foreign language,
Things misunderstood, if not mumbled.
And still, the always understanding
Of being ridden away with In a car.

Surge and retreat

The last 2 months I’ve been sleeping so deeply, my brain wakes up mended and confused as to what it’s supposed to do with the remembered connections. Water’s been added, compulsions stubbed out. The pound of stability sounds its promise somewhere. Imposing order on my body has always been like imposing order on a marshmallow with a vindictive side. The pendulum’s swinging right now. I’m on my way.

Ever will yourself

into a passive state?
Legs in the air
Bored as he gets bored.

The solace is in seeing
Her get bored before you.
What is documented can be controlled.

Our lives are nests

Piled on the meeting of places,
I try to reconcile every sleep.
Dreams sit at the edge,
more real than cords we drag around.
Hacking yields nothing,
but the slow wheeze of yellow stuff.

What a way to develop

as a cuff around a thing

growing as grains

chains of sand castles on your chest.

I wasn’t prepared for

the hands that poked through the slats,

harder and more real

than any monument to cruelty.

I don’t know where I got the idea

that time is forward flowing.

It’s not, it lives in heaps, lumps, and burbling layers,

important scabs and greedy punctures

that demand visitation time and time again.