‘i won’t kill myself today’ -limited run chapbook

‘i won’t kill myself today’ a chapbook written, typed and japanese stab bound by me last night in my bedroom, limited run of 1, this is copy 1 of 1, so only one special person will receive this, yah OK.

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here is a poem because i am still up at 6 a.m. and the pictures on my wall are starting to move.

My roommate gave me one of his
drawings before he moved to California.
Two suited men with short haircuts
are holding a shirtless man over a pit.

I can see this drawing propped up
on the edge of my dresser,
encased in its black frame,
leaning against the brick wall behind it.

I lie in bed with my computer
on my stomach, the fan breathing heavily,
burning my stomach in a comfortable way,
the drawing just to the left of the screen.

While staring at the computer screen,
I see one of the men in suits move.
I stare at the drawing for a few seconds.
No movement, nothing happens.

Looking back at my computer,
I see the same suited man move again.
My eyes dart back to watch the
movement in full this time.

The man lets go of the lower half of the
shirtless man and creeps towards
the edge of the drawing, moving slowly
till he reaches the edge of the frame.

His two-dimensional body easily slides
between the glass pane and the metal
bindings, and his flimsy ink arms help lift
him into an upright position on my dresser.

He sees that I am watching. I am unafraid.
His eyes were never etched because
his back was facing the viewer’s perspective.
Still, he stares back, I swear I can tell.

He takes a step. Still, he stares.
He takes more weak steps,
supported by the remnants of
a felt tip pen from three years ago.

He stands at the edge of the dresser.
I cannot see his expression because
he is so small and I am still 8 feet away.
But I can feel his glare.

In one quick motion, he leaps.
I watch his legs disintegrate when
he is halfway to me, an arm detaches
and then his jaw drops off.

I am witnessing the death
of a cartoon, a man with no eyes
who is watching me regardless
as he dismembers and is caught in a scream.

The remainder of his head rolls onto my chest
before turning into a black smear on my skin.
The shirtless man in the drawing
falls into the pit.

poem for jv, 5 parts

i.
hearing birds chirp
before i’ve had the chance to reach my bed
is one of the most painful reoccurrences
in my life.

ii.
it only takes me one hour and forty seven minutes
to walk from one end of this city to the other.
i could walk farther,
but shit gets dark past a certain point
and i don’t think a familiar face
would be anywhere near those parts.

iii.
i fell asleep watching ‘how to train your dragon’
on dvd for the sixth night in a row.
i woke up to the menu looping over and over.
the same 15 second song played a hundred times.
i dreamt of teeth and black scarves and allergies.

iv.
walking backwards feels scary and cathartic.
i know these streets with my eyes closed
so i walked backwards downhill for three miles
before turning around and walking another
three miles backwards uphill to my front door.

v.
some days i don’t look for you at all.

how i feel while reading ‘the mill pond’ by xTx

Reading ‘The Mill Pond’ and I remember ‘I’m just sad when I think of you being alone.’ Overwhelming familiarity and sadness. You are a stranger now, sort of. I throw myself face first into my pillow. Breathe in really deeply. Breathe out less deeply. My face is hot. Carbon dioxide surrounds me and fills my pillow like a balloon.

I move my head so that I can breathe in fresh air. My cat sits down next to me. Her backside is to my face. Her tail brushes my cheek. My eyes begin to water as I think of you. My cat turns around and puts her nose very close to my right eye. A tear spills out and over the bridge of my nose and my cat flinches.

The tear falls into my left eye. I think, ‘tears are so real man. you can’t fake tears.’ I think you can though. But these aren’t faked. These tears are real and I think, ‘I am so sad.’ My cat turns back around. I stare at her backside.

Another tear switches eyeballs. Both tears pass through my hair and then disappear into my pillow, absorbed. I am sad. I take a deep breath. I am old news. These are old feelings. I feel better. Then I feel worse.

I sit up and write everything down. This isn’t everything. Everything makes me cry. I finish reading ‘The Mill Pond.’

‘On my way down I’d wonder if I would ever be found and how nice it would feel to be looked for.’

star tennis player

When I was 13, Momma and I drove to the high school down the street to play tennis.

She parked the minivan in the lot and we stepped out of the car.

She found $120 in twenty dollar bills outside of her car door.

I found $20 outside of mine.

Momma said she was donating her money to the Red Cross because of 9/11.

I said I wanted to keep my $20 and she said OK.

Sometimes I think about what my life would be like if I had donated my money too.

Star tennis player.

Raging philanthropist.

I played tennis in high school for 3 years and then quit.

God works in mysterious ways.