MAHBOD'S REPETITION

 

Money has such an insane rhythmic consistency that I really don't believe it is human,

and value is just the power contained in the fantasy of my distance from zero.

Mahbod compares me to Bitcoin and I get lost in the hologram of its flux.

Desire is currency, refracted back as every word of its own definition,

doubled over like duct tape on duct tape. Bitcoin is up 10% today,

which in the analogy means my value was boosted by the crowd,

stretching the space between Mahbod and my zero.

It gets lost to the average human’s perception of depth,

and defaults to the safety of its illegibility, eliminating risk of contact

or what is run by the average human’s approach. Mahbod’s repetition

is itself a fantasy that grafts over the myth of a house turned inside out,

a surface folded into the cavity it defines, so that depth is an irrelevant metric.

It actually isn’t, but the curtain draws back in broken patterns like a slot machine,

in which Mahbod’s repetition is the fable of three symbols that align.

 

These are three symbols that don’t:

Mahbod asks me to write a poem about his dick,

Mahbod forwards me an email exchange in which he invites a girl to LA just for sex,

Mahbod says that the only relevant voices in American literature are Lotterman and the white noise app on my phone.

 

There are two things confined to gchat, one is “I love you” and the other is “Wen.”

In a totally perfect metonym—more The Real than A Part—my first dick-snap expires before I am able to keep it forever. I get, instead, a screen cap taken by another recipient, sent back to Mahbod, forwarded to me, revealing a pubslic I didn't know I was A Part of.

 

But really, should @baby_d move to LA and become Mahbod’s kept woman,

since the farce of their romance intercepts

as a permanent buffer to the contact of her zero?

I lost that cushion when I got desirous in March, after LA.

 

Money has such an insane arrhythmic inconsistency that it is definitely partially human.

Mahbod’s zero wavers differently than mine does:

mine, on the angle of instantaneous slope,

his, on the house as a decoy for its rooms.

Or:

His value is contingent on vacancy.

and mine is contingent on being booked the fuck up.

So there’s this incentive to make it look like I’m everywhere,

for the sake of an affection that is tethered to the one I earn from others.

 

This would be my LIBOR,

if only I understood what that meant,

or how Worth is a crowded agreement.

This poem isn’t about Mahbod’s dick,

though if it were it might sink my zero to the depths of a territory

in which its non-value becomes so illegible that it beckons the investor to buy forever.

 

In a weird allegiance to caution I underestimate my cardinal position,

walk in timid increments toward a poverty I’d like to touch, but don’t.

Instead I’m Sisyphus, or a yoyo, suspended in the space between two zeros,

maxed out in the shade of a riddle I continue to buy into.

 

 

 

 

 

BLACK PEARL

 

Glory is classic. Not enough error around the edges to feel like a real 

human was behind this one, but I sit there tinkering at the dashboard just to 

make it so. I switched rooms inside the same apartment inside the same 

building inside the same disrepair. I am in it, clutching neatly onto clues that 

produce me. Ezra is in Oakland, and I know exactly where, inside the 

kitchen where I towered and then shrunk according to instructions I never 

grew up with. This is the hidden immunity idol, the one I didn't know I 

wielded but worked wonders as the others watched my pockets. It's a 

metaphor; all I brought to this island was nothing, not a pouch on my body 

to stash the token of absolute weeks to come. Outwit, outlast, outplay. I got 

close to zero and agreed to trade up. My iPhone found my friend. I watched 

Ezra move from San Francisco to San Francisco to Berkeley and now to 

Oakland, where I had so much fun, splashing losses I forgot back in 

kindergarten. This room is summoned into a cucumber, which I slice with a 

delicacy that leaves you undone. There was a whole piece that went 

missing in hunger, now too gone to speak to the nature of how it got there, 

dumbstruck like Avonte who got lost on the fourth. I go passive in the 

adage because he can't say one way or the other which way he went. I 

shrink, according to this new light in the room where I wait for the invasion 

of an invitation I just extended. This is the stairwell, round two. The publicity 

of original sex losing nothing in the privacy of this room, like an archetype 

that greets me as maitre d. I wait to give it up. I sit down at the end of the 

rope and ask Gil if he has ever canceled in a similar circumstance. I did 

groom for this, I did get groomed, from kindergarten, for this; I did clear the 

garage for the un-diminishing returns that came when I said come and 

forgot I'd said come. Ezra lost his black pearl and now throbs in violet on a 

map. He is cooking something delicious and loving it, that's just the way it 

is. I read the misprint in the sub-letter's affirmation, missing letters that 

affirm I am gone. The Post-it on the doorframe says "breath"—nominal and 

awful for what it lacks of the capacity to shrink and inflate. Non-verbal. Just 

as passive and unforthcoming as Avonte, who got lost on the fourth, who 

won't be coming, because he never said come, because he cannot say 

come, or become anything in the adage that has not been said for him, 

having no invitations to extend because every one of his letters went 

missing, because, autistic, he cannot speak. I sit down at the end of the 

rope and get produced in the attitude that had me ask for this night in the 

first place. I get so killed, I mean fucked in the newness of this room. I don't 

understand the light, summoning New Year’s into the fortress of a fluke. I 

do not know where Ezra is, though I know exactly the kitchen in which I still 

shrink as I wait for my invitation to arrive at the door. Dumb, I diminish in 

the inability to say no. I can't come tonight, taking old solace in the double-

determination of the word, but I mean them both. I can't come tonight.

 

 

 

HOW A POPULAR TWO-LETTER WORD IS UNDERMINING YOUR CREDIBILITY

 

“SO” INSULTS YOUR AUDIENCE

“SO” UNDERMINES YOUR CREDIBILITY

“SO” DEMONSTRATES THAT YOU’RE NOT 100% COMFORTABLE WITH WHAT YOU’RE SAYING.

 

“So, we’re building a multi-channel platform that leverages…”

“So, I’m the global brand director for our portfolio of…”

“So, I recently exited my startup when we sold to…”

      

 IT’S ACTUALLY A DAMAGING TENDENCY

What you’re about to say
is different than what you’ve been talking about up until this point.

 

Wait,
So Wendy, is this November?
So Wendy, are you willing to change your name to Lotter-mane like Gucci Mane?
So Wendy, what do you know bout dat #traplife?
So Wendy, what are the memes?
So Wendy, be honest you never blaze before work?
So Wendy, do you like pure sexual relationships?
So Wendy, WOULD you be down to str8 up move to LA and we get married?
So Wendy, when I come back do you think we could fuck day-of?
So Wendy, YOU don't want to fuck?

 

Wendy,
omission is an action.

 

Wendy,
our sex was like nuts and dried fruit at the airport,
the kind of thing you eat when you're 23.

 

My dream in life
is for you to make a tumblr of stuff I say on gchat and texts and everywhere.
In a sense, I am always auditioning for you.

 

Wendy,
I’m all about universal death.
A bird and a fish might say I love you on gchat...but where would they build a home?
We can't raise our children on gchat, Wendy,
and I'm not moving to Dobbs Ferry.

 

 

 


WENDY LOTTERMAN lives in Brooklyn. Her writing can be found in The Claudius AppAtlas ReviewBOMBConjunctionsH_NGM_N and Hypocrite Reader