and keep a
to set the
it will all
and keep a
to set the
it will all
Baby, pour over, tell me, are we concrete?
What would you do without
My perfect company to your undressed spine?
And I can hear you drag behind my car by your broken legs
(Swallowing stitches in her sleep as she)
Stole my only view, may I never blink…
i am your bare bones
and the words that can fracture it
a faked death, disappearance
in the lonely asphalt ash
so undress my bad memories
take off that pretty, pretty, pink dress
and show me the lacerations
the lingering bruises on my spine
of your decayed entertainment
modern anxiety at its brutality finest
and tell me again how bad
all of my imminent injuries were
until i can feel enough
until i am enough
don’t hesitate on backburners
simply make me believe
that the chemicals in my open veins
serotonin, endorphins, tryptophan—
are not just a lie you made up…
like the raised welts on
my broken, praying wrists
nor the unrecoverable night i came to you,
sobbing and begging for gravity
to come drag me under
because i was desperate for it to be over
but we crashed in abstract strokes
only one pair of lungs breathed again;
a sordid altercation.
you’re a lucid dreamer, love
and i have an eidetic memory
and this damn world has selective hearing
over gasoline and sunshine
and the difference that it makes
when you light the aphotic city on fire
like a paradox under my skin.
this is my mass hysteria
although i’m calm at the altar veneer
and absent blank, my mind is an
and i’m the sole survivor.
so surround my lavender hands
and black out the soft sodium streetlights
and patch up these obscene bones
and simply say the words
to make me forget.
Listen, I’m the one who made you
I’ll be the one who brings you down
But this will be the last time…
make me rewind
the words that i said
as retreating tides
crashed in my head
the coastlines swear
the salt breeze screams
this maelstrom deemed
but all that’s left
after the angry storm
is a calm darkness
and i drenched in scorn.
From beneath the vale where ghouls adore
What lay beyond euphonious sounds of terror
The skins that writhe, the pestilence feeds
Yet a place so mythic, souls dare not bleed
Might thine fearful mind be born and torn?
Might these hands exist only to pray?
Might thine fearful mind be born and shorn?
Might this heart pulsate only today?
From beneath the vale where sinners sleep
What lay beyond such calm rather deep
The skins that writhe, the persistence needs
In a place so mythic, souls dare not bleed
Might thine fearful eyes seek only the truth?
And yet the blindness be overcome?
Might thine fearful lips speak only the truth?
And yet bitter falsehood be undergone?
From beneath the vale where I may scale
What lay beyond deathly silence pale
The skins that writhe, my persephone heeds
Thee to that place so mythic, souls dare not bleed.
Hold on, don’t look back
You know we’re better, we’re better than that
Lost and thrown away
You know we’re better, we’re better than that
We are the strays…
lips twisted in
orange sour and
stories under the
brink of clearwater stars
sweet as frosting and
dripping in sap as
these strange stories
no one would
dare to listen to.
the moon might not
come out tonight,
but tongues open fire
and in that
of calming darkness—
comes to light.
I brought a knife to a gunfight
I brought my words to a fistfight
I brought my hell to you
And now the boys are back
The boys are sad…
Let’s talk it it out and let’s talk too loud
And spare our breakdowns for the times it’s not allowed
Deprived of oxygen and choked off to sleep
But I’ll stay awake with you, I guess it’s what we need
‘Cause I may not be the best company but I know a thing or two
About being selfish and pretending to be a happy blue
The clever words and rhetorics make us laugh half to death
Drowning our worries in coffee until it’s dangerous to our health
Because it’s times like these when bitter tastes best
And the yonder moonlight is too delicate to get any deeper rest
But I’ll draw some stars and you can paint them in embers
With what’s left of the sky, we’ll write about what we can remember
We’ll scream about our addictions like loose patients in an asylum
Of the southern boys and houston beats until we’re both tired and dumb
I’ll sing a song out of tune, and your echoes fade to shadows
This is the art of somniphobia, we’re good as we are not tomorrow
Tonight we’ll starve the nighthawks and dehydrate the nadirs of melancholy
Until the petulant sunrise glowers at us for being too damn noisy
We were never meant to stay high in a world that’s not designed for the broken
But let calming music glow in your bones, we’ll be entertained until then.
You’re so cold
I’ve got to know what made you so
Scared to be alone?
I’ve got to know who chilled your bones
That wasn’t me…
pastel laughter, petals of umber
lip-gloss stains and sweet december
brick wall steps, stepping stones
withering glares, i contemplate alone
seven mysteries i don’t dare speak
magicians fleet in magic tricks
intervals lead to cyanide infinity
trapped in a loop of tangible vanity
tasting alcohol and numbing smiles
maybe i’ll stay here for a while
midnight calm and oceans deep
i’ll keep my thoughts in the morning
and talk in my sleep.
Maybe I could swim into your thoughts like your drugs do
Paralyze your body, sick and tired of waking up too
Burning eyes and cigarettes, I’m falling through the couch like
A suicide mission tonight, my god, here comes the downside…
The fumes I breathed in
Are as delicate as my polluted lungs
As frail as my state of mind
I look for a way into the dark
And step on cigarette ashes
Unaware of the inferno I might find
Crushing acetylene with two fingers
And heating the water a hundred degrees
To boil away this senseless rut
Inhaling, exhaling, once…twice…thrice…
And one more drag for the long run
Calm until the first punch hits my guts
My throbbing heart goes a’creeping
Into my trembling hands comes a’knocking
Painting butterfly psychedelia
I’m waiting at the foot of my deathbed
Staring at my lethargic lucid corpse
Tasting a million shades of phantasmic deliria
Anesthesised until I no longer feel myself
I no longer feel my broken bones
I no longer feel the pain like the ashes
Blowflies turned to pretty birds
Concrete floor turned to rainbows and raindrops
Until paradise wears off and slowly passes
But despite the exclamation points
Scribbled all over the blank walls, I won’t
No no no no no, I won’t ever ever panic
The blood and oxygen flow
Falling and reversing until my system
Is senescent retrograde and manic
And I’m hanging upside-down
On a cross, crucified by my lighter
Flesh pinned with syringes
Scourged and castigated
By angels and roman hallucinations
For my sins and perpetual binges
But I won’t die tonight, no I won’t
I won’t die yet…die yet, I think
And I’ll exalt those whorls of smoke
Submerged in a tempestuous sea of euphoria
Until I sink deeper and deeper into the hazy currents
And I begin to choke.
Trigger my nightmare once again!
And it’s fucking loaded in hand!
And we’ll let the fire rage
The smoke and the drowning flames
My bedroom computer light is the only
Menace to my new faux wooden blinds…
And you can’t fight the tears that ain’t coming
Or the moment of truth in your lies
When everything feels like the movies
Yeah you bleed just to know you’re alive…
It’s rather strange and desensitisingly nerve-wracking, standing up there with shivering knees, under the judgment of glaring spotlights and hanging magenta lamps, and past the scrutinising pupils of a million watching stars. I do not feel like my own concrete entity, merely a disheveled apparition trapped in a foreign body. The amp screeches—jeeringly, it seems. I momentarily blanch. What the hell am I doing?
Perspiring profusely, trembling hands holding the gibberish lyrics to an unfamiliar forgotten song and an impatient crackling microphone, the beginning intro of the acoustic guitar sounds like a banshee’s scream that’s prompting my knotted larynx to begin making even an inkling of a noise. Quivering, quivering, quivering; dreadful hesitation and a near-death anxiety that wrings the delirious butterflies out of my stomach in an icy-cold freeze. An infinitesimal moment of silence. A skip of a heartbeat. A suffocating breath held until it coagulates. A spill of acherontic reluctance spilled down catatonic spines before one jolts and realises in shock that, surprise surprise, my parched mouth is actually producing sound!
Thus the song proceeds, with or without me. It’s up to me to chase after it’s vivacious footsteps. My voice is no longer my own, simply a phantom illusion; I barely feel it rising up and down, strumming the musical bars to the best of its abilities. Everything tastes like stereo static; clapping and cheering amid guitar and tambourine amid the anxious symphonies I relayed. The quaint scenario tangibly intensifies into a steady culmination, vertical horizons alighting into spontaneous combustion. Steadfast certainty underhandedly replaces the oscillating nervousness within me, pastel assurance slowly seeping in my ticking aegan-washed bones and strengthening every fibre of my abandoned sensibilities.
I find myself closing my eyes and loosening my grip, my driftwood soul getting pulled in the undertows of the euphoric moment. I can barely hear my own voice anymore, and I do not hear the crowd at all. Soprano, baritone, octaves, trebles, notes and rhythms and senselessness and song, they’re all that envelops me right now, my solitary company in this madness of a world. Raging fire burns in my emotions, thawing the glaciated blood in my veins, warming up the frostbitten angels barely holding my terse heartstrings together, bringing oxygen back to my perforating pulmonary flow; and nothing else matters anymore, only me and the music, the music and I.
The interlude swells into a deafening crescendo, and my frizzling neurons go off like fourth of July fireworks, showering the sky with brilliant sparks. It’s infinity on repeat, infinity in my teeth, infinity rushing low, infinity on an all-time high. This feels fucking amazing. What was there to be afraid of? Why had I been terrified all this time of such a ludicrous notion? Perhaps if I had steeled myself sooner, my brillo-pad songs would be less abrasive, and the ticking clock would’ve been on my side. But no matter, for I shall not dwell on the resentment of the past that keeps me embrangled within incarcerating doubt and merciless agony. Rather, I will focus on the now. This is me, doing what I never dared to do, doing what I’ve always wanted to do. I’m doing this for them, my beautiful divine motivations, though more importantly, I’m doing this for me, and for me alone.
The set comes to a slowing halt, the prospect tinging me with hints of sorrowful melancholy, and the audience bursts into polite applause, but the enraptured sensations linger still; and as I amble off the stage, I still find a soft lone melody humming whimsically at the back of my mellowing incandescent mind. It’s over, I sigh out to my palpitating lungs, to my shaky footing, to my disbelieving mind, attempting to calm my frantic pulse back into a metronome lullaby. But it will never be quite over, wouldn’t it? I ponder with a secret smile. I finally found my voice. I only hope I don’t lose it again. And I can only hope so hard it hurts that I don’t keep it to myself anymore.
And I don’t want the world to see me
‘Cause I don’t think that they’d understand
When everything’s meant to be broken
I just want you to know who I am…
“If you call me at all, don’t tell me that I’m ordinary, ’cause I won’t be passing you, please don’t leave…” serenades the familiar strains of a soothing voice, interlacing delicately with the quaint glassy chords of a softly-strummed guitar, and dissipating behind the skeletal mist of the hazy whorled coffee smoke. Spongy traces of a cold jelly roll melt and shiver in my tongue, leaving traces of a sweet sensation to tease these anticipating taste buds of mine. On my right side lays a Fantastic Beasts colouring book opened on a page of Newt Scamander’s luggage, abandoned coloured pencils scattered everywhere, and a half-finished unwritten postcard with vibrant pastel shades complimenting each other in mild, careful strokes; and on my left side a battered notebook overstuffed with scribbled papers and a slightly-chewed black pen, waiting patiently to bleed words into blank parchment.
“Turn off these lights, call my name. Don’t talk, just drive…“ Another potent vocal joins in with the tranquil music, rhythmic acoustic strains and deep baritone timbre sending quiet shivers pleasantly down my spinal column. The rain has come to a cradlesong refrain, and, time being, has ceased from thrumming a metronomic pitter-patter against the fogged-up windows. I pause, place a cat bookmark on page 12 of John Steinback’s Of Mice and Men, and take another sip of my tepid milky drink and huddle further underneath my delicate blue blanket, starry night socks rubbing against the creaky bed mattress as I do so. After partaking in such a short interlude, I indulge zealously in my awaiting literature once more, losing myself against the mollifying song and letting my imagination run away and be caught between George and Lennie’s frolicsome bickering and humbler conversations.
“Red and blue and green rabbits, Lennie. Millions of ’em.” George concluded drowsily as the chapter came to a finish, synchronously alongside Jonny Craig’s flourished crescendo of “And baby, honestly these teeth won’t let you go…”, and I thumbed down on the page and set down the book once again, lost in a silent reverie. This day seems to be nothing but a lucid woolgathering, and in a momentary splinter from reality, I am quite unsure which is a fact, and which is nothing more than a mere dream anymore. It left me slightly confused whether I had actually been chasing musicians through a cornfield full of bedraggled zombies in Southern California, or if my grandmother had actually been confined in the hospital after an unfortunate slip and needs three months of bed rest to recover, or whether any of those were even real, not just derogated fantasies of an inured mind in dire need of a proper rest. Perhaps I’m simply tired. I had, after all, been looking for my exuberant nephews for a good part of the afternoon. But this is a good tired, unlike the draining emptiness of a tired stress that I have been beleaguered with the entire week. And this time around, I’ll sleep not to forget the memories. Rather, I’ll sleep to remember them.
“If you call me at all, oh if you call me at all…” The mellisonant sincerity of his lilting assurances envelopes my weary and aching bones tangibly, as if the xanthous stars had personally touched down from the lavender-blotched sky and given me a synesthetic embrace from the gentle cosmos. The final coda of the song falters and fades against the distant monsoon, washing away every worry, every qualm, every cynical thought and nightmarish daydream of mine, washing me away under the horizon’s encore performance of dying sunshine and inchoate moonbeams alike. I breathe deeply and finally close my eyes, listening to the hymn of the rainy weather and halcyon weekend continue to play around me. I’ll be alright. For now, at least…I’m alright.