This is me barfing all over your feed.

Hot steel is a steep contrast against the chilly spring sunset. Breaking speed laws helped me get out of the city in less than twenty minutes but it also overheated the capabilities of my 250cc engine. The dealership told me I wouldn’t hit a hundred so I’m always trying to prove them wrong. It’s a sore spot, I guess. People telling me I can’t do something. People or, whatever, myself I guess.

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I pull off the road and kill the engine. The trailhead is a mile up this stretch of desert but I’m not going to risk my tires on these jagged rocks. I lock my helmet under my seat, retrieve my girlfriend’s camera, and shoulder my backpack before heading out. (I spent about ten minutes considering that oxford comma).

A trip like this isn’t for the hike. It isn’t for the instagram filters or the soul searching. A trip like this is because your gut is in knots and you’ve got frustration burning the skin off the tips of your fingers. A trip like this is spent hunched over like Golum with a notepad and pencil in your hand consuming blank spaces like you’re getting paid for it.

But you’re not. Well, I don’t know if you are; I’m not. And fuck me for trying.

I don’t fit in here. Hikers pass me by in neon things. Shorts, jackets, shoes. Bright things. I wade between them like a fly among flowers. Buzzing along in a leather jacket and jeans and the kind of haircut that looks less like a haircut and more like a mistake.

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The terrain is dead. Twisted branches gnarled into arthritic fists clenched at the heavens for their fate. Is the desert a reflection of my insides or my insides a reflection of the desert?

Because I’m fucking lost. I’m the little monkey on your child’s mobile running in circles. What do I do – write? Writing like this and hoping it’s going to turn into something of a life? I can’t. What then? College? I should’ve gone. I should’ve bent at the knees and let societal standards fuck me in the ass for four years so I could get a piece of paper that could get me a better job. What job though? Every notch on this retail ladder I’ve climbed has only bored me more. Mechanic, maybe. Work on bikes only. I could do that. Grease stains and loud music. Just enough money to live but not enough to ever quit. But the words – the fucking words.

In my head. In my chest. In my fingers, throbbing, wringing, aching, stinging, breaking, bringing frustrating rhythms to my brain and spilling flame like gasoline’s in them, words filled to the brim with the will to just give in and type, or write till the pencil tip splits and resigns or till I’m reminded of my drive to survive, why I’m designed to comply to the lines in my mind every lie, every sigh, every moment in life that I’ve questioned these words they’ve come back twice as bright, twice as mighty but twice as likely to deny my plight, well I’m pleading tonight with my knees to my eyes will the need to write finally cease or realize that a life full of words is still meaningless… right?

Stop. Clear my mind. I’ve reached the peak of the trail and the sun’s dropping behind the mountains. Those ageless giants. Up here silence is so fruitful it becomes company.

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On my way back down a woman says something to me. I look up and see a group of people (I don’t remember how many – at least four) led by a blond woman with a bob-cut and wearing neon sneakers.

“What?” I ask her.

“There’s deer.” She’s pointing to a hill adjacent to the trail. She must’ve seen my camera and thought I cared.

“Oh,” I say. “Thank you.”

I guess I did care because I crossed over the desert and took a couple of pictures (I’m not going to post them here because in black and white deer just look like more rocks and dead plants) and when I left I didn’t mention the deer to anybody else I ran into. A silent cheer of victory. Senseless pride jacking off to the notion that I saw something other people wouldn’t. That miniscule rise of joy grown from independence and discovery that, ironically, I wouldn’t have discovered without someone else.

I want things but I don’t know what they are. Travel. Writing. Riding. Nail-biting adrenaline or hiding under tents and finding undiscovered lands with my girlfriend in the stands cheering me on or holding my hand. I just get stuck in the rhythms and the words are easy ways to navigate through them. I feel the empty space and I just want to fill it up with sentences and paragraphs. But I lose focus. I need that – focus. A place to pinpoint all this energy.

All I want to do is ride into new places with my laptop and a camera and make art. The fuck kind of abstract idea is that? I don’t know. I guess I’ll go write about it.

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Heal Me

[PROLOGUE]
(So what are you supposed to do when these words keep on choking you and the only thing that feels like breathing is a hopeless view into the future where you’re a homeless dude charging dollars for the poems you wrote a moment before you stowed the things you owned into a shopping cart and you’re zoned out because you chose the high of writing over the road oft traveled: college grad; family man; suits and ties and wedding bands, pressing matters for a writer endowed with addiction but not enough talent.)

But there’s a break in the pattern. There’s a breath of fresh air. There’s a moment, no a fraction, where there’s no mention of despair.

It’s in the black of her eye, in the length of her skirts, it’s in the tremble of music she puts under my words.

She’s the waves under my boat

and if she stays

I remain

afloat

and if she wails

she’ll drown my sails

with her nails

at my throat.

We’ll be undersea, a slash of passion sets us free to ride the currents underneath, under sheets our lungs can’t breathe but her tongue does fine between my teeth, sweaty thighs and awkward knees, struggling to keep the speed, exhausted like we’re fucking to compete, gold medalists, we’re so competitive during these fucking sprees, the fun defines what life can be, what rum and beer have tried desperately to match, where drugs have failed to help me pass, when not a moment under clear blue skies could make me laugh, this girl has been my nicotine patch.

The only breath of fresh air. The only escape from my brain. The only flash of real life to keep me from going insane.

If I can only write one more thing,
let it be her happy ending.

(Pun intended).

Art By Leonid Afremov

Donald Trump

If his words are a prologue to his actions then we’re asking for disaster, we’re distracted ‘cause we’re laughing at his lack of tact but that’s just what he’s after, he’s mastered and crafted this personality of fascist charisma, apparently desired and insisted on by the average white American, he’s a terror and hysterically irrational, a national symbol of the unfair persistence against a system of equality, his standpoints are extreme, like his hair, and he doesn’t seem to care that he stares right in the faces of other races and raises them to hate him, he’s oblivious to the statements every news anchor has made about the stupid revelations we have created for other nations, we cannot sit this one back while we parade a mascot for America who’s racist and berates other places whose names he probably can’t even say, these are mistakes we’ve made with Sarah Palin, all I’m saying is that we deserve a president who can go one day without alienating an entire country and calling them rapists.

To summarize: there’s just some guys you can’t trust to drive the change we need right now in our lives.

Monster

Missing fiction. Here’s a piece for the Conceited Crusade based on the prompt “Recollection”.

Conceited Crusade

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Gio woke up in an empty piano bar but the sounds of Gaspard de la nuit still rang in his ears alongside the horrible aftermath of a pleasant buzz. He groaned and leaned forward over the table with his right hand over his forehead.

The room was black. Lines of sunlight peeked past the thick, velvet, red curtains draped across eight rounded windows, each large like the arches of a church. Little café tables littered the room until they stopped at a stage where a quiet black Grand piano watched over like the statue of an old Chinese tiānzǐ. In the corner of the room, a man in a penguin suit stood equally still, his eyes the loudest thing about him.

From across the way, a chair scooted back and the sound echoed like gravel against the melodies that ghosted the place. Gio had stood up, although he still…

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