I skip through the passing sorrows of each day like flipbook frames; little losses:
I leave in the morning when the dawn has just happened; the silence from our
last night ends; the bird on the path is there because it’s dying. It dies in front of
us—color and maybe blood and a broken line, maybe the wing broken, the
abstraction of air and flight made once again animal, mortal.
There’s no such thing as a passing sorrow, though; they muck up, trap together,
clot. Each one imprints a trace upon a greater whole, carves a bit of a groove
out again from my ordered thoughts. Sorrow is sorrow because it cannot fix
itself into my world, into something I can make sense of: How should a bird die?
How should a love end?
Maybe I’d like a fine sorrow, a worthy sorrow, a sorrow with a trust fund, legacy
educated in conspicuously privileged, prestigious institutions. Or maybe, I’d
want a rough sorrow, one who forces my grip tight just before he guns the
chopper and flings us down the freeway, one who can down whiskey straight all
night and still keep his dick up. Maybe my sorrow will come to me in tie-dyed
cottons smelling of patchouli and offering a joint; we can sit and commune with
my grief at the midnight drum circle, as the waves of the Pacific sigh their
Of course, when I’m a bit older, I’ll want a sorrow who can offer something
more substantial. Maybe he’ll drive a near-luxury sedan between his banking
job and downtown walk-up; he texts me each disappointment from his LTE-
connected tablet, and live-streams all my pain in rich full-spectrum 4K video.
Maybe, next though, I’d want a down-to-Earth sorrow, with a hybrid or a mini-
SUV, a bit hipster, who insists that we document my tears on film because the
glisten and the shiver only come through on Kodachrome.
Really, though, I’ll end up with the boy-next-door-all-grown sorrow, with a
sensible engineering job, who still plays Dungeons and Dragons on weekends,
still practices his bass guitar in the garage; he’ll write the most beautiful song on
his lunch breaks, singing out every word I’ve ever regretted not saying; he
named his World of Warcraft guild “Brian’s Winter” in my honor, and they
reenact doomed battles on their server every Friday night.
You, love, of course are the worst of them all, the one sorrow I couldn’t live
with, couldn’t even curl up and cum with during an afternoon’s stand; I couldn’t
even get your dick pic off Grindr. And yet with this new message you’ve just
texted me on Facebook, I maybe just now realize…
…I can be someone’s sorrow, too, some burly poet house husband, who every
weekend fires up the grill and serves, on uranium-glazed Fiesta dinnerware, the
most exquisite emptiness—rarer than pure white jade from China—found only
in the suburban valleys of Southern California.
So “Keep On Rockin'” got published at Upender today! They put my reading up on their SoundCloud, too. I wasn’t sure if I was going to submit to Upender again so soon—they just published Kyle 1979 a few weeks ago, after all; they’re already familiar with my work, though, and being online-only gives them the flexibility to publish things quickly. And this poem is about as current-events as I get. The “chorus” of my poem is:
To be American means
You survive in spite of America
Also, FUCK DONALD TRUMP
I’ll put up the details once it’s actually published; plus, I have to record a “reading” for SoundCloud now 😉