Comments Posted By absolutelynthng
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I like to pretend a poem is stable
and that the words are the building blocks
of life, or maybe they’re just thin, hollow
cardboard boxes, patterned with bricks–
the ones I used to play with outside
of the counselor’s office.
As a child, they let me stick my hand
in the bottom drawer. I pulled out a reward
each time, and they would praise me
for telling them all my feelings. I think maybe
this is how I learned to speak my feelings:
For a prize, for a toy that I ached for
and it probably helped me, the puzzles
we’re fun to do on the carpet of her office
and she hung my pictures up and maybe that’s
a kind of love; the kind I needed then.
» Posted By absolutelynthng On 05.08.2019 @ 9:02 pm
The ringing always made me cry. Sal never cried; and the babies didn’t, either. Just me. And the watchers always came to our doorway and stood in it when I did. They spoke emphatically over the noise; broke into the atmosphere with their mouths, opening and closing like mourning glories in a time lapse, a race, an archive of utterance.
For years the world collapsed into a time lapse of openings and closings.
» Posted By absolutelynthng On 03.24.2019 @ 8:26 am
She thought she could re-imagine the tumble into just the way it sounded, the softness of cashmere, weightless and spun into wrinkle-free perfection. How to re-shape the act’s harshness into smooth edges bringing refinement and not a violent dizziness and grass stains on her favorite Sunday dress.
» Posted By absolutelynthng On 03.18.2019 @ 7:30 pm
As if the tumble was everything we
had ever dreamed of–our falling like the confusion
of waking in the moonlight; our features,
shadows on the wall.
And I forced my hands into tools and forged
a new outline on the canvas, redefining you in silhouettes
of the deepest contrast. Ready-made statue,
you sat in stillness, awestruck.
Years passed and the moon, it never left us,
even for a moment. If you spoke before that night,
it never reached me, and even then, I only heard the words
as though a burnt out star, years and years into the future.
» Posted By absolutelynthng On 03.18.2019 @ 7:19 pm
His grandfather had lived near the seaside. He remembered visiting him during summer vacation with his family, before Greta had died, and before the seaside vacations became the grave side vacations. He said this, but he knew he was exaggerating it in his mind. He knew that they eventually became themselves again. His body could recall the the ache of walking up, towards the shore, in all its developmental stages.
And though he knew this, sometimes he forgot it, found the projector in his head stuck on Greta’s name etched in granite and his father weeping as if he were a child, too. Or the look on his mother’s face that told him not to ask for this. This. He could hardly think what This was. But he knew he had been ripped from it, made to play in the ant hills while the other kids smiled at each other and their parents smiled back at them.
On the other side of the country, he found himself aching again, walking up the grassy side of the embankment, the smell of the seaside in his nostrils. He thought it funny, how the seaside always felt location specific, not the side of the sea, but the sea side of the country–and certainty the seaside was the east side, not the west.
But he was coming over the crest now, and surely it was there–the sea. And he was on the side of it, soon to be entangled in it and, thinking this, he felt the phone in his pocket vibrate, breaking him as near as any wave would have done anyways. When he pulled it out of his pocket and saw the name, he laughed lightly. Above him, a seagull coasted on the air, calling to someone, or something, out of sight.
» Posted By absolutelynthng On 03.14.2019 @ 4:25 pm
It was the birth of a movement. It sprang forth from our own bodies, groping for sustenance and stumbling.
» Posted By absolutelynthng On 03.08.2019 @ 12:37 pm
I learned to sway in the dining room. My mother taught me how to move just so; she taught me to shift my weight in the most mesmerizing way. It was to the tune of Glenn Miller on the gramophone; my father stood in the doorway and called me a looker. I didn’t know then what he meant, but I do now. I do now.
When my mother said ‘sway,’ she always meant it doubly so. When my mother taught me how to sway, she taught me how to speak the language of persuasion. Every night I practiced in my room, my girlfriends reading magazines on the bed and laughing.
We learned to sway in the back room of the music hall. When we said ‘sway,’ we meant it triply so. When we said it, we saw the other’s hips our head, in circles, dizzying. When we said it, we implied the language of persuasion but knew we didn’t even need it. When we said it, we trembled with fear and touched our soft lips together behind the magazines.
» Posted By absolutelynthng On 03.07.2019 @ 9:18 am
When he turned the page, his finger brushed the mustard stain at the bottom edge. At least that’s what he thought it might be; hoped it might be. This is what he hated about library books. He’d read them all his life but still, he just couldn’t get used to it. The book was practically tainted now; he knew that he’d feel the reverb of it on every page successive page. It would seep into the story itself, become imbued with this crusty yellow aura.
» Posted By absolutelynthng On 02.22.2019 @ 6:29 am
The tree lacked all its branches. It was bare, except for a small leaf growing out of its trunk, about halfway up. The tree was the only one in the town and the people prayed to it.
The town lacked all its trees. It was bare, except for a small tree growing out it, about a mile from the town center. The town was the only one in the country and the government prayed to it.
The country lacked all its towns. It was bare, except a small town forming in it, just on the border. The country was the only one on the planet and the world bank prayed to it.
» Posted By absolutelynthng On 02.19.2019 @ 5:43 am
You harnessed the potential and you laid it out so beautifully. It’s hard to know how to get from here to there, she said. We all said something back. I don’t know what it was, though. Do you know what it was?
I think that if we just pick up the pieces, gather them up in our aprons, we could make something divine, something covered in dust but so spectacular. And the whole town would come to see it in our living room; we’d put out platters of vegetables and the glasses would be filled to the brim.
It would become so popular that the townspeople wouldn’t fit through the door; they would become huddled and sweaty, at first; then, in time, the crowd would push in on itself–implode into the center of the earth.
Our living room would be destroyed, then–the platters of vegetables would be uneatable, then.
What a shame.
» Posted By absolutelynthng On 02.18.2019 @ 5:41 pm
Steel plates shaped neatly around the every
softness of our bodies, and this is
how we do this.
This is how we do this, ossified
into structures too uncanny
even for the humanities.
» Posted By absolutelynthng On 02.12.2019 @ 8:47 pm
It’s my birthday and I wrote a whole long entry but it all got erased and I am far too lazy to re-write it. Basically–I have such kind and tender friends and I love them and they love me and that is so wonderful. And also, I spent the day doing homework and reading and it was peaceful–I’m reading Elizabeth Bishop’s letters and they are getting depressing and I feel v. bad for her. Anyway, g o o d b y e world.
» Posted By absolutelynthng On 01.23.2019 @ 8:59 pm
We look at ourselves in the mirror, our hands clasped tight, naked and swaying to Frankie Valli. We laugh and the sound scares the cat. We hug and the air almost lets us touch one another but then I’m twirling you out again, drawing you back. I watch you mouth the words until, again, you find my ear. The soft ‘it’s just to good to be’s’ before you pull away make me ache but I know you like the spins. I think, maybe, I can learn to like the orbit too.
» Posted By absolutelynthng On 01.16.2019 @ 6:48 pm
Everything seems so muddy now. I remember when it used to be clear, used to make sense, used to be so immediate that you always knew to run. And we (I) love a good dichotomy, love the smooth edges and the way they don’t catch going down your throat.
But this other stuff–the nuance, it just tastes like too much effort. Tastes like a mud pie made with broken bits of stick and jagged rocks, tastes exactly like it looks–disintegrates in your hand the harder you try to grasp it.
We (I) always loved to bite into the book of ethics, swallow the chunks whole and savor it. And Aristotle always loved to write that way too, regurgitate it flawlessly–clear as day.
I always loved to play house in the woods and come home to a dinner my mother made me, laid out on our checkered tablecloth.
Now I run through the trees, claw myself a ditch for defense, make my own mud pie feast with the dirt under my nails.
I (we) could learn to love the way it got caught going down, could learn to love the mud in our perfect proofs.
» Posted By absolutelynthng On 01.13.2019 @ 7:46 pm
Can I weave myself into you before you even notice? Can I burrow into the spaces between everything you think about until you think of me too? I called it weaving and it’s a great metaphor, sure, but that makes it sound so intentional. Makes it sounds like we weren’t already cut from the same cloth anyway, like this isn’t just perfecting the recall. More great metaphors–deceptive, and this /is/ pretty intentional, don’t you think? Can you weave something without all the pieces in sync? The thread of sharing / a poem; the loom / a silence between us, drawing out the interpretation? The weaving of meaning, collaborative but / how could I ever suggest the knowledge / of authorial intent?
» Posted By absolutelynthng On 01.02.2019 @ 4:46 pm
We latched on to it–the idea that we were never meant to be here. Drove ourselves out of the crowd, out of the studio; we knew this was the only way to live now.
I looked over at Luce–hands on the wheel, half of her face in shadow, the other half, not my half, shining from the streetlights. She reached over me, pulling wet wipes from the glove box and started wiping the make-up form her face.
» Posted By absolutelynthng On 12.31.2018 @ 8:51 pm
His chest was heaving hard and I was so scared, I didn’t know what to do. Mom was supposed to be home by now. But she wasn’t. Where was she?
Looking through the bars of the staircase, I could see the living room in full view: a circle of broken ornaments with my father at the center–talking to himself, sipping from his whiskey glass. Roxy edged out from underneath the couch, terrified, and he grabbed for her but missed–running towards the kitchen.
It wasn’t supposed to be like this anymore. Where did he even find that whiskey glass? We threw them all away before he came back from the hospital in June but–here he was. I couldn’t make sense of it. Mom promised me, said everything was okay now.
He pulled something out of his pocket–slowly, tenderly–starkly contrasted against the harshness of a few seconds before. He began untangling and reached up near the top of three and hung it there–a small bird ornament–yellow, faded, dangling from a pink ribbon.
He had stopped talking to himself by then and I watched him lower his body down to the hardwood floor. He crawled under the tree a little and lied down in the shape of a ‘c,’ hugging the tree stand. Using the white fluffy skirt as a pillow, he fell asleep right there–snoring, dead to the world and dead to us, too.
» Posted By absolutelynthng On 12.25.2018 @ 8:35 pm
She bent down and picked up the hood ornament. It was bent beyond repair. Hopeless. Just like the rest of the shit he left her. Just like her life: broken off, laying in a pile of pavement bits, frost heaved and hazardous.
She chucked it into the trees and heard it smack against a rock. After a few seconds, though, she felt so bad, she went looking for it. Trying not to slip on the snow, her leather heeled boots getting scuffed. Halfway down the embankment, her hands were freezing, scraped and bleeding from trying to ease her way to the bottom, getting cut with sticks and sharp rocks.
She just stopped there, then; sat down and finally, she cried.
» Posted By absolutelynthng On 12.25.2018 @ 8:07 pm
Streaks of gray peppered her hair. No, shooting stars–Elizabeth Bishop and Lota and The Shampoo and the tenderness of your fingers in someone’s soapy hair, like a child, almost. Different, though. The tenderness of graying hair, the tenderness of aging lovers. Sometimes I don’t know why people are so afraid of their aging. I think, maybe, I’m young and don’t know anything but even people my age feel like their lives are already over. I’ll be 26 in January and it makes no difference to me–I simultaneously have kind of always felt 10 years old, 33 years old, 50 years old. I just realized Elizabeth Bishop was an Aquarius too. I don’t really believe in astrology, though. Does that make me an unhip gay? So be it. “Unhip.” That word, too, is always connected to aging; again, aging–always a negative. Sometimes I think everyone is just afraid of death–or else uselessness, irrelevancy, obsolescence. My professor is always asking “So what?” when we give her a thesis; as if every word, every, statement, every question, every thing has to prove itself. Do we have to prove ourselves? Convince everyone we’re worth the resources? I honestly dislike it all very much. Everyone I like is old, everyone I like is an infant, a toddler, maybe–marveling at the universe and asking why the sky is blue, why people act these ways and do these things. I want to always be a literal fucking baby, I want to never know enough things, I want to always annoy people with my questions, with my incessant talking, I want my existence to dare people to tell me “Because I said so” in exhaustion, and I want to not accept that, make them take the energy to explain it. You can always find a metaphor to explain things to toddlers, I do it all the time, I love it. Explaining neurotoxins, shitty capitalist practices, the military industrial complex, entropy. It takes time but time is good, time is worth it. Time is the difference between knowing and the shame of wanting to know. Time is intentionality. I want to never know anything, including this paragraph.
» Posted By absolutelynthng On 12.21.2018 @ 6:41 am
Neal was banking on her finding him irresistible, but as soon as the waiter left, he could tell she was already bored with him. He couldn’t remember the last time he actually had to try. It was making him sweat. He kept picking up his glass of water, putting it down, picking it up. He almost knocked over her glass when he was going on about his trip to France. He thought that would snag her but she said she didn’t care for travel. She started making little paper airplanes out of napkins. Pulling them out of the table dispenser one by one and crafting them–just like that. When the check finally came, she folded that up, too. She was clearly insane but still… on the drive home it kept nagging at him. Why did he want to impress her so much?
» Posted By absolutelynthng On 12.19.2018 @ 6:38 pm
Sam’s hands had harmed so many people, too many. She thought about it when she drank her coffee in the morning, when she turned the key of her car. She tried to say all their names before she could see the bottom of the mug, before the windshield defrosted.
But they told her she couldn’t do that anymore. They told her to not let the past pull her down and so now she drank her coffee and pet her dog. She pet her dog with her hands–the ones that had harmed too many people. But she didn’t think about that.
They told her that thinking about all the people her hands had harmed was toxic. They said it was going to make her sick, they said they were making her sick. They said the people her hands had harmed were sick, toxic. They were no good and she didn’t need them–not if they were going to make her hands sick, not if they were going to harm her back.
She said that she had to imagine her hands were clean again, had never even touched those toxic, harmful people. She said she felt much better this way, with her dog and her perfect hands. She said that she waited for the windshield to defrost and her mind was crisp, clean, empty, unharmed.
» Posted By absolutelynthng On 12.18.2018 @ 5:38 pm
There are so many ways to harm. To move is to harm the molecules in the air, even. I don’t know. You can harm by not doing anything at all, the harm of inaction. Is there a way to exist without harming yourself or others? Could we trace all the harm back and back and back until we think we know how to avoid it?
I don’t know, but hey–let’s try. Let’s pull out the history books, our baby books; let’s pretend we could undo all of this harm if only this were different, if only that were different. If only the person did this thing, if only that sperm met the egg and not this one, if only the wind didn’t blow east, if only the parts of the atom didn’t work like that.
I don’t want to harm your chances of survival, so I won’t go there.
We won’t go there. We’ll stay right here, inside.
» Posted By absolutelynthng On 12.18.2018 @ 5:19 pm
You didn’t want to harm him. Everyone thinks you did, though. But really, it was an accident. Really, it happened too fast. You arm came up swinging, straight for his nose. And, in a way, you really meant to harm all of them–for laughing, for rubbing your face into the mud. But the fist hit him, Billy. But also, in a way, you only meant to harm yourself–for having such a puny body, small effeminate wrists. Thought if you could just show yourself what it meant to be a boy, a body, a buoy–afloat.
» Posted By absolutelynthng On 12.18.2018 @ 2:17 pm
I wasn’t jazzed about it–my dad dragging me to this Grateful Dead cover band–but I guess they’re okay. Even better, though, the women in their tie dye dresses, waving their arms around in slow motion. I filmed it. Put it on Snapchat. Then dad saw and told me to cut it out. I told him to chill out, go smoke some more of that weed I saw him stuff in his waistband earlier. Or better yet–hand it over.
It was a nice try, but no luck; he walked back into the crowd and it carried him away. They were all dancin’ in the streets now; and there was nothing I could do about it.
» Posted By absolutelynthng On 12.16.2018 @ 7:32 pm
He wanted the other one, but he didn’t say anything. He knew she would expect him to say something and there was no way he was going to let her have the satisfaction. So he ate it: taking huge bites to get it over with but gagging halfway through. Subtle, though–disguising the noise, the jerk of his head, as a cough.
“Beau, you okay? You need some water, buddy?”
» Posted By absolutelynthng On 12.15.2018 @ 4:38 pm
He said to think of ourselves as builders. layering bricks, foraging for twigs. magpies hoarding pieces of humanity.
» Posted By absolutelynthng On 12.08.2018 @ 6:35 am
I wonder if they can tell that we’re related? Can they see how our eyes are nearly the same tint of green? Hair, vastly different but still. The upturned nose, slight, but there? The familiarity of our communication, seamless and unspoken? Wonder if there isn’t some kid–that introverted one in the corner–was he studying us? Tracing the boundaries of our shoulders, biceps, putting the pieces of them back together? Was this kid the next Wegener, performing a reverse drift and seeing in us the Pangaea we once were? Can he put it together by the way my Alyssa grabs appetizers by the handful, dwarfs me with her shadow, is always so much more expansive and free? How I huddle inward? The kid–he’s writing in his notebook now. Alyssa–she’s throwing away the leftovers and never asking me if I’m hungry. Me–I am walking to the podium to the sound of applause, the thread connecting us thinning, thinning / and dust.
» Posted By absolutelynthng On 12.06.2018 @ 4:12 pm
“… It’s…. semi-related? Maybe?”
“Okay, so, let me get this straight. You’ve had this rash for… how long? Four months now? And you just now thought it might be related?”
“Well… I don’t know, sometimes I just get itchy for awhile but then it goes away, so I just thought…”
“Right. Well, Jimmy, I’m going to need you to lie back.”
l o l o l o l dialogue is HORRIBLE WHYYYYYYYY
» Posted By absolutelynthng On 12.06.2018 @ 3:52 pm
How is this possibly related to anything that I need to know? Seriously. We sit here and speak words back and forth, back and forth and I do not understand the point / the point from A to B, she tries to draw it out for me, on the wipeboard, with everyone looking at me now. Their eyes, burning into me, until she starts drawing a something intricate. What is this? Some kind of sick game of pictionary?
» Posted By absolutelynthng On 12.06.2018 @ 3:45 pm
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Fun. Out-to-the-bars-fun. Eating the free peanuts, swaying to the band. Leaned against the counter, her mouth moving, fast and shifting / with the moment–fun. Her idea of fun. My idea of fun–we fuck in the bathroom, whisper each others names in pleasure. Vomit up / all our feelings into each other’s hands. Follow a theory to its end, cracking open a cold / one–find the secrets of the universe inside of it until we’re dizzy–fun. Fun in her nail beds, pushing the edges of them back and back, revealing the undersides of our bodies, study the nourishment–how it branches through us to the very tips of our fingers. She thinks it’s fun to watch me stumble into a room, taken aback by the brightness of it; and I think it’s fun to hear her laugh through the wall. Tears-of-gratitude-fun. Brought to my knees in front of her expansiveness, smiling when she pauses, gathering the bulk of it in her throat and spilling / the words out between us. So fun that it aches / just a little.
» Posted By absolutelynthng On 12.05.2018 @ 5:36 am