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aayoung

Poetry, Prose, Art, Photography, Curiosities

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poetry

Liturgy of the Hours

every night you were away

i sought you out

through blackberry bramble ether

from weeping constellations above dixmyth avenue

to jessamine county barns filled with horse hay

perpetually wrapping blue ribbon around my finger

whispering vespers

my plea to the particles of the universe

to hold you together

to bring you back from oblivion

as you had done for me

you are my chosen family

inextricably part

of my thunderous heart

to which you will always hold the latchkey

fainting goat

every day

with him

was the last day

pavlov’s monday

she got distracted mid-orgasm

thinking about a situation at work

and cursed, baffled

that’s fine, she thought

the spacious hierarchy

and building structure will allow for

never walking through

that department again

when it rains in springtime

most days i hate you

but when it rains in springtime

i miss you

nina simone crying that she gets along without you very well

i will never achieve indifference

but neither will you

so

we’re even

deep water

life screws with you

as you trudge through it

deep water can look

deceptively shallow to emboldened drivers

the waitstaff hates you

crises lead to off color jokes about

what shampoo the exploding astronaut used

yet they help us cope

cats can be unexpectedly attracted

by the hum of a vibrator

a soul weighs 21 grams

your father cheated but he loved your mother

human suffering is caused by other humans

wisdom is what you get

in exchange for all of it

 

 

 

sparks

love is an unsupervised child

with bad intentions

and a chemistry set

fertilizer

sprouting up
from pure shit
means
one may still
grow to be
a wondrous flower

The Secret of My Traveling Crystal Necklace

Back in 2012, when I had my first book release in Los Angeles, I had a crystal beaded necklace that pulled apart in my suitcase. It seemed wrong to rid myself of the estranged gems, and I harboured unlikely notions of restringing the beloved baubleĀ one day. As I was packing to leave, some of the beads accidentally rolled under my voluptuous bed in The Biltmore Hotel. I suspect they may still be there, as things seem not to change much there, except the sheets, and I liked the notion of leaving a part of myself behind in the City of Angels.

The beads remained in my suitcase as I drove and flew to poetry gigs all over the country for the next few years. In keeping with the precedent set in Los Angeles, I started purposefully dropping them in places I stayed. I would toss the pea-sized stones into locations they were unlikely to be found: down antique brassĀ filigree air vents in byzantine hotels, behind cabinetry permanently affixed, through imperfectly sawed holes cut for plumbing to climb and dive through plaster, beneath the loose floorboards of my friend’s apartment, into the chasms of airport elevator shafts. You get the idea.

There are pieces of my secret crystal beaded necklace hidden in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Redondo Beach, Berkeley, Venice Beach, San Francisco, Oakland, Salt Lake City, Chicago, Cleveland, New York City, Elyria, Canton, Nashville, Lexington, Dallas, Cincinnati, and even pitiful Little Rock, Arkansas, a place I didn’t care for at all. I consider them amulets to protect people and cities with whom I fell in love, and talismans to keep away those whom I didn’t. The faceted baubles keep me tethered, connected through minutiae, in the smallest of ways.

More beads remain in my suitcase to this day, an impossible amount hidden within the satin folds, certainly a greater number than my finite crystal necklace was ever originally composed of. It is as if the universe is telling me that I have more journeys to take, love to make, and fine people to meet. So, if you’re staying in a heat wilted hotel by the Pacific Ocean, enduring a vaulted matchbox overlooking the Hudson River, standing by a tuneless luggage carousel, or renting a beautiful two bedroom flat nestled near Lake Erie, and a magical crystal bead finds you, that’s just me…and I’ll be seeing you.

 

she takes a powder

a hard-boiled detective

would describe me all gum-shoe mickey spillane

as a serial passion killer

beneath a slow moving ceiling fan

swaying to a street corner saxophone

smoke unfurling through suspicious window shades

into a neon-lit city of perpetual night

feet propped on his overworked desk

waxing how this dish

she takes a powder

varies her modus operandi

jealousy mistrust stubborn convictions

yet what is unquestionably hers

are the exit wounds

she leaves on the guy

 

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