The glass rises above her
A tsunami swell of hope
And a promise that motherhood
And Adam’s rib
Was - by far - his best piece
And it is unnecessary
To endeavor to find
The rib cage she belongs to.
But even modern girls
Fold in half easily.
I wish it were
and that I could burrow
where you couldn’t see me
and I couldn’t see you
until my heart stopped beating
and my stomach collapsed
and my brainstorm short/circuited
like number five
i am alive
i am alive
i am alive
and the sun will rise and i
I wanted to plant flowers and trees with you.
I longed to kiss your hands that would smell of soil and grasses and wild herbs.
I needed to drink the dark juice from the blackberries that would run down your wrist.
Instead I saw your thumbs torturing your keyboard and my blood running down my thighs, until it became less and less and less.
You left me laying fallow, here on these white hotel-bed sheets.
She peels an orange
With sticky fingers
And a heart that shrieks
In underground subways
And the shadows of skyscrapers
And the rubber stains of the freeway
Hoping the citrus will cure the plague
Of a world consumed by consumption
A people screaming that Life
Must be more than these things
Arbitrary divides of private property
Leaders taking shade from a Joshua tree
Children whose first word was “war”
A lost generation grumbles beneath
The asphalt with which we buried
we are all little boys and little girls
I had a discussion with a friend
who is one and who isn’t.
I said I didn’t know what
the big deal was.
People always say artists sold their souls to the devil at a crossroads
to get the talent they have,
whatever talent might be.
maybe they sold their souls to God
in the back alleys of their minds.
Because eventually the road ends,
and it’s either death or nothing.
People start to believe things they said they’d never believe.
People curl into themselves under sweat-soaked bedsheets.
People tousle the clouds under their feet as they walk upon high,
on rooftops so gilded,
they strip soles of humanity.
People smoke cigarettes and flick ash into the fire.
I have measured out my life with IM boxes.
I have cried onto my keyboard,
drawing myself into a cube with tears running a river through Qs, Rs and Ts.
I have confused names and old faces and
I have forgotten who I am.
I have imagined defenestration
and a different nation,
one run entirely by machines,
leaving people like me
to capacitate and then undo their demons,
all while in their pajamas
or maybe never getting dressed at all.
I am a Freemason.
You are a Freemason
And you and you and him
and his yellow dog too.
It’s one of those things
we can never disprove so it may as well be true.
God is a Freemason.
The fall is nearly as thrilling as the high,
and it’s a cheek turned to God.
Because eventually the road ends.
All the parts you thought made you
shut off at once.
The grinding halt reverberates off slick bricks,
the rooftop blown off.
You’re left barefoot and childless.
Loveless neon signs vibrate through whiskey glasses,
wooden stools steal your shirts,
people tell you things but you can’t remember.
You remember when you used to hope,
but the feeling is distant
like a city you read about in a book but never visited.
I think you’re crazy maybe,
but worse yet I think you’re dead.
Every day is a memory of the next.
I have seen you beg for your soul,
stirring it around in a bucket of shit,
over and over to the tune of a harp
that’s strung with the hairs of the people you loved
who didn’t love you back.
At the end of the road,
there’s a sign.
It is the same in all languages, at all times,
and it reads:
What do you live for?
What do you live for?
What do you live for?
I live for a newspaper pressed into seedy cement on the street in Harlem.
I live for nights spent with strangers on SoHo benches.
I live for my mother, who said you can always come home!
I live for saltwater seeping into my skin as I step onto the floor of silent seas.
I live for must, and do, and will, but never should.
I live for the guiding light of glow in the dark stars stuck to the ceilings of our skulls.
I live for muzzles butting mirrors and stretching to their ends.
I live for a saxophone in a subway station squealing syncopated sadness.
I live for reflections in rocking cars, breath beating upon bombs planted in our bellies.
I live for my disembodied spine dancing in the dark to an invisible drum.
I live for church organs and choirs and stained glass thrown across my chest, broken.
I live for visions and revisions and reversing my decisions.
I live for the smell of your incense, your insensitive hands throwing me against the wall.
I live for the fucking Freemasons.
And I live for myself,
The only person who will never leave me,
Because I won’t let her.
The law of their God is in their hearts.
The A-train leaves at noon on Tuesdays
From a walrus-shaped shadow
In the doldrums of a neighborhood
Decorated with cigarette butts
And bums who don’t bother to beg
Knowing no one has any money anyway.
The A-train leaves from a station
With graffiti grounded by old gum
And Abraham Lincolns to hold it in place
The President is always watching.
I take the A-train at noon on Tuesdays
So I can pretend I don’t care
Like everyone else does(n’t).
Meghan Blalock is a writer living in New York City. Her comparative piece for Gaga Stigmata on Lady Gaga's Grammy performance and Alvin Ailey's Revelations was recently cited in The Atlantic. She writes for Gotham magazine, and has also written pieces for the music blog Sound System NYC, The Rumpus, Southern Living, Woman's Day, and other publications. Her poetry has also been published in amphibi.us. Her work is viewable here and here.
Julia Knobloch (born 1973) is a German documentary filmmaker, journalist and writer. Her work centers around memory, identity and art. Her narrative non-fiction essays and reviews have been published in Germany, the US and Argentina, and her documentaries have aired on the National Geographic Channel, ABC, VOOM HD and German broadcasters. She lives and works in New York City. www.juliaknobloch.blogspot.com
E. J. Loera is an author of novels, poems, short stories, plays, and vegan recipes. When I am not writing, reading, or painting, I can generally be found hiking with my dogs or daydreaming about places to which I have yet to go. I have previously been published at Indigo Rising Magazine, 34th Parallel Magazine, the Mosaic Literary Journal, and more.
For a full listing of publications as well as more information, please visit my website: http://ejloera.weebly.com