best friend

he says
you’re his best friend
and yet
he could not walk
ten feet to hear
your set. don’t
take it personally. it’s
not you, it’s him. he
cares about nothing
so much as his
unlovely, unloved self.

actually, that’s not fair.
I’m sure
his mother loves him.

On This Day

two years ago today
I was embroiled in a non-affair
that was going nowhere
fast. we were so coded, hidden
in plain sight, that there are
no pictures of us together,
there are no tags
for me to hide or remove,
no way for me to protect
myself from this invasion
of memory: just
a picture of myself
on the stage that you lit –
where I was singing a song
to an audience of ten people,
hoping you would get the secret
message in the lyrics – but still,
against my will, I remember.
I remember that outfit
I wore, and the obscene
comment you made about it,
trying to throw me
off balance, and I remember how
I didn’t answer.

how is it
that something so ephemeral
can be so unwarrantedly,
unwantedly real? you were
crazy, and you made me crazy
with you, and I don’t thank Facebook
for reminding me
of what happened
on this day.

false alarm

last night I was outside
the regular haunt,
in the doorway, smoking, when
I saw someone come around
the corner, see me,
and promptly turn around
to go back
from whence he came.
I didn’t see
his face, so I was
briefly confused, until
a minute later you
came back, breezed right
by me and went to talk to
some people who
have yet to learn
how much of a snake
you really are.

Continue reading false alarm

missed II

oh, you’re here. of course
you missed our set. I
don’t know whether to be
mad or relieved. hearing
your obnoxious bellowing
probably would have
distracted me. and the sight
of your ugly mug
has made me feel ill
for some time now.
so thanks for nothing,
I guess. why don’t you
throw yourself in the trash
where you belong?

things I didn’t say

last night I saw him,
for the first time
in months, and
I did not speak.

I saw his eyes on me
and turned away,
expressionless,
as if I didn’t even
notice. I felt
his thoughts and feelings,
his dark vibes
and creepy, lonely
emanations
from across the room.

twice I felt some
subterranean urge
rising inside myself
to talk to him, when
the situation gave rise
to an opportunity
to make a joke
or a comment
that he would uniquely
appreciate, but I stayed
resolute and
held my tongue.
no good could
come of it. we’ve
been down that path
before. plus
I didn’t want to give him
the satisfaction
of being the first
one to acknowledge
the other.

yes, it’s petty. I’m
petty around him.
that’s one of the many
reasons I refuse
to go back to the place
where I care
what he thinks.
I lived there for too long
and hated every
minute of it.

I successfully avoided him
until he left. good riddance
to bad rubbish. proof that
if you wait long enough,
the trash will
take itself out.

related

when I type “hate” into the tags
on my poetry site, the next tag
that wants to auto fill
is the code name
I use for you.

that’s not
indicative
of an unhealthy
obsession
or anything.

you don’t even care
enough to read all
the angry poems
I write about you.
why am I bothering?

presence/absence

he’s right, damn it.
your presence
shouldn’t be able
to ruin my night,
or even be noticed
as much as it
always is. you’re
a constant
thorn
in my side
and I wish
I could pull it out.

no, but
seriously
you have some nerve
continuing to exist
in my presence.
this whole thing
would be greatly improved
by your absence.

if I turn my head
and don’t look,
will you oblige me
by ceasing to exist?

tit for tat

I’m so fucking sick of
playing this game. I thought
we were finally somewhat
even. and then you went
and played your hidden
hand, the ace
up your sleeve; made
the same old boring,
stupid move. well,
you got my attention, just
enough to make me
make a play in sheer
self-defense.

here’s the thing:
even a beggar can play
chess with the queen.
but the queen
can have the beggar
thrown in jail
when she’s sick
of their game.
not because he’s won.
because she’s done
playing.

welp, have fun
in your self-imposed prison.
is death by taunting
your guards starting
to look at all attractive?

Nautilus

you were the one who taught me
how to answer a question
with silence
when the answer
on the tip of your tongue
would be too cruel
or too personally revealing,
and how to make that silence
speak volumes. yours
always did. at first
I didn’t understand them.
it took days
or weeks
or sometimes even months
of intense overthinking
to fully understand
what they meant.

Continue reading Nautilus