a man in new york is searching high and low to create an album of every photo he has ever inadvertently been involved in. he estimates that he has been the in the background of at least a billion photos, maybe more, and that he is likely to have been spread all across the globe. in his late 20’s he spent most of his time eating lunch, casually, outside of famous landmarks for this exact mission. and now he is all over the place, eating ham and cheese sandwiches, slurping noodles, and drinking bottles of vitamin water in thousands of family photo albums. he is in attics and picture frames and on the facebook pages of people he would hate to meet had he ever met them. but he is a part of their lives. when relatives visit from out of town to the houses of these strangers, they pick up the picture frame from the mantle, tilt them towards their thin-rimmed glasses, and, with a squint, they stare. they imagine themselves as a part of the landscape out on the observation deck of rockefeller tower. they imagine they can smell hot dogs, can see central park unfolding before them, can hear the benign conversations of people around them asking each other what they’d like to do and where they’d like to go next. and then there is a man there. and he doesn’t have a name, or a voice, or much else save for a slice of pizza and a bottle of water and two eyes that stare hungrily in to the camera lens. they put the picture down and pick up another, and maybe he’s there again. this time on ellis island. and then a different picture, he’s crossing the road near nbc studios. and, depending on the relative and the day, they make different conclusions. some don’t notice. some suspect the government. some propose that he’s a stalker. but most mark it up to coincidence. this man is one of life’s funny little mysteries to which they’ll never know the answer. they laugh and they are ok.
she melted the fog off the window with the light from her cellphone
and saw the bodies tangled up and the wax paper from sandwiches
crumpled up and the trees hung heavy with snow and the trees a few
months later were still leafless but they were exposed and even so
they still felt confident enough to rise their heads upwards and the
boy and the girl still felt confident enough to unbutton each others
jeans and at the end of the night even though they were walking away
from each other something about the headlights of the cars driving
towards or away from them made them feel like everything was not changing.
you stood in the field, spitting up clouds
as he stood watching you // eyes filled
with porcelain kitsch and the hum of the
radio in his grandmother’s living room
crawling through your memory and through
the body // the shadows bring out the
green in everything, the shadows bring out
the shadows // there is a buddha in a light
blue collared shirt sitting in the pew while
his wife kneels. he is reading a magazine
and she is reading scriptures. the walls
are washed and worn out // your jaw
pressed against my hip bone. i feel your
breath on my thigh when i think of you
and look at the glass in a window pane
and consider my reflection double exposed
onto the outline of the jacket that is hung
on a hook on the back of a door and i look
at the glass a second time without thinking
about me or the jacket // found comfort in
the concrete away from the overgrown
grass. we ditched our bikes and they
stood like soldiers dying or drunk or
vomiting // found a place where we
could be without ____________ // fake
vinyl couch and a real neon sign and
butterflies butterflies butterflies took
a loan out to feel empowered or to
just get by // an angel stands in a room
with shards of glass and flower petals
around her feet // a bookmark for every
bible and a postcard for every second
guess // lilacs and newspapers in the
waiting room and smoke in the air
with or without spectacle.
like an empty swimming pool on a cruise ship.
like finding new parts on the body where the pulse is prominent.
like waking up from a daydream into another daydream into another.
the milky way curdles and drops of honey leak from our noses and make their way around our lips and into our mouths as we watch the sky and try to convince our stomachs not to do the same. the atmosphere smells sour and our shoes are full of dirt from our friends’ gardens. i hope that there will be a swing set when we get there.
as you went by an open window, a violin
saw 26 ghosts last night.
let me gnaw the butt ends of their guns.
the weariness, the fever, and the fret-
the devil who crowned me with such pleasant poppies.
people aren’t going to stop at mcdonalds or a hotel
if they have to get off the interstate and
pay a toll then pay a toll to get back on.
what little town by river or seashore,
some tree on a slope, to be looked at day after day
Fires In Detroit Destroy An Artist’s Canvas: Vacant Houses
are asleep, a lovely light is singing to itself:
might i not then say “now i love you best.
it is night. you are asleep.
no, i am that i am
i love you and i am in love with you.”
Anonymous asked: Which is your favorite crayon?
they all taste the same to me
at that point, i couldn’t remember the last time i had stopped myself on a bike. i could remember riding them and i must have stopped to talk to my friends or to avoid traffic or to obey the law but i couldn’t remember stopping. i was at the top of the hill and the children playing street hockey below were ants and as they became human beings, i realized that i didn’t have control. i was shaking and i couldn’t find the brakes. i couldn’t get my fingers around the brakes. buzzwords popped into my head like “cancer” and “republicans” and i was scared shitless. i careened through an intersection and into a parking lot that hadn’t been used since before i was born but was still there. my helmet was a little too tight around my throat and my knees felt weak. marshall was sitting on the ground, drinking cheap vodka out of a water bottle. he said “hey man” and i grabbed the rusted fence with my calloused and cut open hands. i needed to feel gravity. i needed to. the sun was going down at this point but i didn’t notice it. the doctor had given me an antibiotic and had told me to eat oranges and that he wanted to see me again in about four weeks. marshall asked “it’s that simple?” and i told him yes. yes. it really is.