Homelessness in Four Micro Stories | Flash that Sucks

I saw someone’s guts today.

By that I mean the gaping hole in his belly was so large that, when he pulled the brownish-yellow iodine and blood soaked gauze away from it, I could see the pink, lumpy tubing of his lower digestive tract, slick with hot, red blood.

He and my kid brother share a name – a name once made famous by Alan Ladd in the 1950’s. Both of them are tall and whip thin; only one of them has a Southern accent – the other has all of his teeth.

He had run away from the hospital after two months of doctors cutting away his flesh. Finally he decided that going back to the streets was the better option.

“They said I got cancer. Maybe I should go back south. My grand baby was born yesterday, and I’d sure like to see him before I die.”

***

In his father’s tongue his name means “the heart,” a name so apt that I wondered if his parents had some notion of the kind of man he’d become. He looked like a child to me; wide dark almond eyes, and wild curly hair that sprung from his scalp like a lion’s mane, as soft as sheep’s wool. Even his hands looked like a child; tiny and chubby, decorated with delicate fingernails.

I learned he was gay, HIV+ and suffered from a rapidly deteriorating mental illness that closely resembled schizophrenia. When I first came to the shelter I would find him outside, lounging in the sun. He gave huge smiles, tight hugs, told excellent jokes, and held my hand. But as the summer began to die, I watched my friend start to fade.

The days became shorter and his catatonic episodes increased. He’d isolated himself entirely – that is until crashing and screaming was heard from his room. He emerged, drenched in in blood and disappeared into the underbelly of the local hospital.

“Why would I talk to someone who doesn’t give a fuck about me?”

***

His right index finger was jabbed against the corner of his mouth giving him a deeply pensive look as he described the conditions at another shelter in a soft, deep voice. The very same side held a deep indentation at the temple, as if someone had gently pinched his head like a ball of dough. In the middle of his forehead was a deep, jagged scar.

The bullet was still in there, he told me while pointing to his temple, and another in his chest. He’d been cornered by a man with a gun, trying to roll him for what little money he had. It was fight or flight situation – he fought.

“The last thing I remember thinking was that I had to make it home to my kids.”

***

He was the first friend I made at the shelter. A sort, stocky white guy with sleeve tattoos, a graying beard, icy blue eyes and no teeth. We played cards while he told me about he’d been arrested for selling crack in the early 2000’s, and the abandoned garage and lumber yard he slept in at night.

He told me about his current struggles with crack; how he’d crawl out of that filthy abandoned garage, smoke crack and cry about how he’d lost his way so terribly. He’d ask me to hold his money so he couldn’t score, but he’d come back and retrieve it from me the next day.

Then one day he disappeared. Eventually I found him in jail for violation of probation. Now, months later, he’s been released and I cannot find him. Earlier this week a man matching his description was killed by a freight train….the identity still hasn’t been released.

“I hate this. I fucking hate myself! I don’t want to do this shit… but i just can’t stop.”

***Italicized quotes are actual words from the guests’ mouths.***

A Love Poem Told in Hair | Poems that Suck

I want you to find
 my hair in your bed;
  a rainbow of reds, pinks,
   browns, blues, greens, blonde 
     and maybe even a little bit of gray.

I want you to find
 it wrapped around the
  base of your cock when
   you take a shower, and

between your ass cheeks, in
 your mouth when you eat lunch,
  scattered across your favorite 
   clothes and clinging to your cat's tail,

plastered on your shower 
 curtain, and in thin, curling 
  esses around the drain of your bathtub. 

To Swallow the Summer | Book Announcement

Hey Ya’ll, 

Just wanted to give you guys a heads up — my second collection of poetry just dropped over at Budget Press yesterday! Can you fucking believe that shit?? I know I keeps saying it, but I cannot tell how you god damn WEIRD it is to have two books published — like, this shit was a dream of mine since I was 5 years old. And now it’s happened. Just… surreal, man. 

lj coverReally, all this shit is because of you guys — all of you who follow, like and sometimes comment on my shit. The love is overwhelming, and I am so incredible grateful for all of you (about 100 or so here, and 300 over on the asshole of the internet [twitter]) If I could give you all a happy ending, I totally would — but I just don’t have that many frequent flyer miles, hands or time, really. Just know I really, really appreciate you all. 

Anywho — on to the book. This is a very different collection than Fuck It – much softer and it’s a cohesive collection, meaning it’s telling a story that just happens to be written in poems.  Johnnie B. Baker over at Budget press was a peach to work with — he’s the one that chose the title and the cover art, so this is as much his baby as it is mine.  And check this shit out — it’s only $4 USD! 

Also!!! I recorded a podcast with Johnnie earlier this summer in prep for the release — and I think that’s coming out on Monday. I’ll make sure to post the link so you can hear it — it’s very short, and has about 5 poems from this collection in it. You’ll actually be able to hear my voice. 🙂 

So, yeah, you can buy it here

And if you do, please make sure to rate / review it over at GoodReads

xoxox

L

A Traumatized Mind in Relationship | Poems the Suck

He hadn’t reached out in 3 days.
Who does that?
Isn’t that a deal breaker?
Why am I the one always initiating anyway?
Of course he hasn’t reached out, I’m not important.
I’m not important because I’m jusy a sideline in his life.
He’s distancing himself from me.
The last time he did this we broke up.
Are we breaking up?
Fine. Whatever. I’ll deal with it.
It’s gonna suck tho.
It’s no wonder he’s dumping me. I’m a fucking mess.
Who could love me?
Who would wanna deal with this shit all the time.
Yeah he says he loves me but it’s probably to get into my pants.
He doesn’t love me. He’d call if he did.
Send a text. Something.
This is why you don’t love people.
This is why you don’t  let your armor down.
You just get hurt.
Why do you do it?
Because you’re stupid. You keep thinking your someone who can be loved rather than someone fucked up.

Exhaustion | Updates that Suck

It’s four weeks into the semester.  No, five.

Right? Five?

Yeah, five…. and I am exhausted.

Bone weary.

Wrung out.

The only way I’m able to propel myself upward and forward every day is due to a heavily reliance on RedBull and espresso. My piss is literally orange.

Which is great.

I always wanted that for myself.

I forgot how much of a toll it is on my body and brain having to travel to the city each week. I also remember a time when I used to love being there – but now, the more time I spend there the more I fucking hate it. Everything is more complicated than it needs to be. Everything is an hour train ride (at least) away – and the trains are always packed shoulder to shoulder with barely any sitting room, let alone a place to sit. It take so much extra effort to just move in this god damn place – forget rest.

I’m tired of being packed in like a sardine. I’m tired of smelling stale piss everywhere I go. I’m tired of this high density population which robs people from seeing the humanity in others because you HAVE TO MOVE QUICKLY, NOW, NOW, NOW.

The only thing keeping me sane is the woman that I’m staying with out in Queens. She’s incredible, amazing, and I adore her and her family. I’m so happy to spend time with her. She’s got one of the best hearts I’ve ever encountered.

On top of all of this I decided to take a job… mainly because unemployment was cut off and I had sucked through all of my savings. I got bills to pay ya’ll and we all know poetry don’t pay shit.

So I decided to do package delivery with an not-to-be-named mega corporation. The job is easy, and extremely physical. Which is good for me; I got a few covid pounds I gotta lose…and being inside my head all day at school…. being in my body gives my brain a break. It’s easy. It’s a check. It’s whatever.

I just started my PhD application, too, and I’m wondering what the fuck I’m thinking. But hell… why not, right?

Anyway, I’m sorry I haven’t be around much. You know the drill if you’ve been here awhile. I generally don’t have much time to post until December when the semester ends…. but I’m still here, bumbling around.

x

L

Welcome Home | Poems that Suck

"Welcome home,"
  and by 'home' I 
    meant my pussy as
      you slid deeply inside of me.

'Home' because
  you fit perfectly,
   your cock anchoring me
     to the ground of your being

where our
  spirits mingle with each other
   in the full embodiment of co-creation.