the sticker

I’m so glad
I never got around
to putting your sticker –
your very popular, instantly
recognizable, well known sticker –
on any of my instruments or
other possessions. after the
falling out we had – entirely
due to your reprehensible actions,
I might add – looking at it would
make me sick. you said
you did what you did
to me and not other people
because I would forgive you
right away, and other people might
hold a grudge. boy, you were wrong
about that. I will hold this grudge
till the end of the world
and beyond, just to prove
you wrong. fuck you, and fuck
your stupid sticker.

Spanish dancer

She sang along to a track
that sounded like a cross
between reggae and tropicalia.
her voice was not great:
too nasal, and her pitch
was iffy at best. but she
was human sized, and it
was obvious from her
thin cotton dress –
so artfully pulled
off the shoulders – that
she wasn’t wearing a bra.
I didn’t particularly care
for her act, but I know the
front row appreciated
the eye candy.

how I lost without even playing

that goddamn scorecard has been up
in the back room
for months on end now, if not
a full year. I fucking hate it.
every time I see it I am reminded
of how I didn’t go
to the games night and instead
went to a women producers meet up
because there I could share
my latest work, an outlet for
the other side of my art
that I can’t get out at
the open mics – and I remember
how when I finally arrived
when the game was almost over
and gave my wack excuse,
saying “it only happens
once a month”, the game creator
snapped back “this only happens
every six months!” and I was
duly chastened. I haven’t
been back to the women
producers meet up
since. and now this scorecard mocks
my pitiful excuses and
how I’m always trying
to have my cake
and eat it too.

the veil, lifted

I see it now: I was never
the one. she was always
the bright-eyed doll, the queen,
the evanescent moon around which
you orbited. I almost can’t
blame you. she’s blonde, she’s
pretty enough. she fills out
her clothes nicely. she plays
a mean guitar, and wields
her voice like a weapon.
no, it’s myself that I’m mad at
as usual, for daring to think
that your dark weirdness
was directed my way. I
could not know, but I
should have known.
it’s never me.

sacrificial rites of passage

I’m done
sacrificing myself on the altar
of those who never truly
loved me.

I cut out my heart with a knife
and gave it to you, and
you discarded it like
a dead bird you found
outside your window. okay,
I said, and turned myself down
a notch or ten.

then I crammed my hollow body
in a box and mailed it
C.O.D. to my mother,
who refused delivery.

so when it comes to
the old Aztec ways,
I’m over it. give me a
hot new death and a cool,
clean slate, maybe a
scalpel this time.
tell the gods they’ll get
their pound of flesh,
but the contents of
my skull will stay
a mystery.

solipsism

the world doesn’t really
revolve around me,
and mostly I’m glad.
that way lies madness,
something out of a sci-fi
movie when you turn on
the TV and the anchorperson
is saying your name, but only you
can hear it, and tinfoil hats,
and on the other end of that is
Kanye West.

all jokes aside,
he’s quite obnoxious and
if I were to be as egotistical
it would really be quite boring.
the world is actually far more
interesting when it’s not
all about me, I tell myself.

yes, there is a certain appeal
to the idea
of getting everyone else
to sing my praises so I can look
modest and outwardly deny
while inwardly urging them on.
the problem with that is
there are only really two ways
to make it happen: pay them,
or just become so undeniably
fabulous that they are compelled
to acknowledge my genius.
both seem like a hard row to hoe
with no guarantee of success.
I guess I’ll just carry on
being a tiny speck
in a vast uncaring universe.

what’s that? it’s not
all or nothing? I’m neither
God Empress of Dune, nor
a sandworm’s leavings?
well that doesn’t sound
nearly dramatic enough.
I’ll be both. just try
and stop me.

last wishes

you were having problems
and I said, “that can kill you,
please don’t die” and you began
to joke about dying, telling me
your last wishes. I rolled my
eyes and started upstairs.
you said, “you’re not even going
to kiss me. this could be
my last night on earth”
I turned around and said,
“my kiss does not
signify acceptance
of your death” and then
I kissed you four times
and then three more times, and then
I sniffed your mouth
like an animal does, like my cats do to me,
to see how close you were
to death. you smelled fine.
you made fun of me for it
and you’ll be sorry if that
was the last thing you
said to me before you died.
but you’ll be sorrier because
I will never forgive you for
dying on me like that, when
what ails you is so easily
remedied by modern medicine.