I was throwing shade at cishet stain on florid
waxing, dressing deeply like a coastal shelf—
troubling, pulling dark strings, plucking
they surrender the notes of dogs this month.
I was melancholy. It was morning. It was formed-you-fucking-
asshole in the fanny pack—the base of the glans,
the whole thing was pretty formative for me. It was a perfect
shitty instance of itself being formed, and being staining,
the simulation sprawling further into my life, exactly as it did. Still does.
Life demands an iron rule, so I give it. I was noshing
chi with Wen saying firstly how her sister oughtn’t wed in Marfa,
always marry near an ocean. You plan and plan but it’ll fall apart.
Not the ocean. That’ll stay. Everyone feels alift toward all that water.
Then you’ve got the wedding you can send the lift right down
into that. Harness the pleasure chill, you small prowler. In Marfa what
is there. There is nothing there in Marfa. So you have to
lift a lift itself from all that earth. It doesn’t make itself out there.
I’m made in here where Milo (dressed as Mr. Jokes) insists my liking
derives from the desirous object’s similarity to a protracted death sequence,
a sequence I am, a death I’m wanting, a relief in stapling whatever
to a practiced absurd, now allowably academic, now spoken aloud.
Like I’m waiting patiently to be likened. Like I inferred a deadpan
paler maleness from the anime Marxists before twitter
inculcated them into the flow, back when I was Shankill, crouching
on a white-lined chair which looked as though it had borne waves
of semen crawling up from every leghole. But it was only epsom salts,
a tidal slop over the edge of the cauldron used to hold the mixture, held
to treat my chronic wound I had a decade along a few seams in my foot.
I was bleeding the whole way through my aughties, it exited
the bottom of my body, far below the split. Not semen. The Master
too fastidious for that, the alcoholic desperately dusting while
Adult Swim sank coyote yelps in a glaze of humor meant for strangers.
The latter-day straight-edge insistently posting guarantees the fuelmeister
behind the persona will never be a mayor, but that was chickenscratched
a couple years before, when Hattie said the one unattainable was a government
position. On account of I’m too feminine, the populace would never bite.
So instead I wound the paler this in privacy, paddling backchannels where
strangers, internet, catalyzed by my confession of a relaxed participation
either beg my counsel or swear, with perfect grammar, that they’ll kill me,
then abrade my thighs. They threaten what I do. They know they do so, I am sure.
They’re sure they’re saying what I’ve done. They’re sure to do so. I swell up
my new blue tag until it bulges over into scheduling, so soon I’m emailing
would-be bosses like a flirty fuckboi, swinging key parties for the fences, flying
without clearance. It goes on. Like soon I’ll just be traipsing through the dunes
exactly as I feared, swearing limesalt’s boutique thirst;
fun at parties; swishing partly ‘cause it’s trill; slaloming
nothing; swaddling nowhere; seeing if I work when dragged.
Eventually, once I’ve gibbering resolved, you can come
and find me there. Put some wet lips on my brow, dude,
please touch every section that strikes you as weird,
and with my variations sufficiently reviewed I’ll be
back in just a mo, optimized for her enjoyment. Then
we can begin.
COLDLIGHT ORACLE (after Erica)
Cool, leave me here. Last june
there was a torrent in Poughkeepsie,
prebandaged wrist lays force to
the skinned surface, oiled mud,
a slick of purples concentrics, lazy shape.
This spring my body lengthens,
another snake of roiled clay
crying soups for friends whose arcs
around the gutter hemorrhage
momentum. I bleed faith, an SAT prompt
of responses apropos
in their calculation of thermal laws.
This june my body seizes and contracts,
a remarkable force potentiates in a rewound
band. No less a lengthening.
Heat and leave me here.
I say it because you’re going to
another pizza place on
Cerrillos. Another vinyl booth. Another
story. Know me with the same pieces
I’ve been known before.
Say you know me differently.
Let’s say you know.
Like the orpheatic Boo, my medallions
of personal response come fanged
when I engage with any other.
I’ve only one direction,
I can’t parcel out my firm feelings to everyone. To Henry.
Hen. Mom evolved my turn if I’d kiss you
on the forehead. Remember? There was no
escaping your skin, its talcum salinity
humbled curved flavor like a lactose palate,
retreating follicles left alone—
a longer pubescent display, but I did so
I imagined my canines imprinting your temples
the beginnings of a crush?
That moment a Bloom slammed
the door open to rebound against
the rubber stopper, emerged holding
a blossom of the network, novel
system (we) like electricity distribution
from inner orbit, long
constituted of lights webbing Pitch Dark trucking unions,
now expanded to points
of greater salient darkness,
not just as negation.
From the other side it’s how
the paper towels darken
except pale spots persisting
reveal a crust, a powder,
or elevation the eye hadn’t thought to detect.
Then darknesses gel differently
the sugar distribution, clotting,
hemoglobins of buzzbird
lightning bugs shuttering the trough
in aspens show
your different fontanelles
my different tongues
Fuck your pithy plotholes shared and tittered
like Rose herself hadn’t thought
the door was big enough for two as Jack
receded baroque flutter
of perfect dye-job into the later film, A.I.,
where he came on an angel.
Came as an angel. Can I when
Bey’s a cappella one & one breaks me
beastly boy I’m completely ruined.
I’m Steve Reich’s architecture
a Weimar sense of sense, vying for control
a populist frisson to carry
one arc through to its decay where
it’ll hail better as an olden calf sans G.
Sylvanas, beg: “What are we if not slaves to this torment?
What joy is there in this curse?”
The object of the answer is the product
of the same process as begat the answer itself:
Scrimshaw, burnished by caresses
like a paperweight.
The object a sadness carved to approximate
the answer a form sculptor saw hidden
in a block of fecklessness,
or even if he didn’t, he made one.
I held one. I hung me. I’m here.
I’m humming our song (whatever that will be),
Facelessing sisters for sating,
cousins for arguments about the pride.
I’ve become the shape I thought
my satellite was carving—
a simple circle
sexless, chill. Abide, abaddon,
drop the ocean, please come back.
GIL LAWSON is from Santa Fe, NM. His writing has been published by (or is forthcoming from) n+1, Triple Canopy, Metazen,Hypocrite Reader, theNewerYork, and others. He received the Bard College Written Arts Prize in May of 2013, and currently works as a travel editor at TripExpert.