cats are a great audience for poetry readings

the cat was utterly
uninterested
and downright
bored

with him reading
mediocre poems
by her side

"You don't like this one?" he asked
"It's about nature
and birds
flying and... and... How good does
it have to be for you
to like it? I'm only ten, I haven't
lived long enough to
write poems of grief
and depravity like my father. But you
know, I'm actually aiming to become
better than him. I aim to be
a more
respected poet. What, you don't think
I'll be able to?
You think I'm just another
deluded fool? I'll show you!"

The cat stood
and stretched raising her tail
"Calm down, kid. First of all,
your daddy was no
poet. Just some drunk who spoke of
demons as he passed out
in bars. And you, you're not ten, okay?
You're just ten days
clean of meds."

"You think I should
end myself?" he asked

The cat waved a paw
at that. "Nah, just go on with the
next poem. I'll be listening
but please don't expect any
praise. It's not in my nature to
offer it, okay?"

"But... you think I'll be a great
poet one day?"

The cat closed her
eyes and offered no reply


twist the blade

again
she grabs a stool
and places it into the corner
of the room,
climbs on it, assumes the lotus position
and closes her eyes
and covers her ears with headphones

She faces the corner

The voice that speaks into her
headphones starts a
countdown

Meanwhile
her father shakes his head as
he watches her
“You can’t be serious,” he says. “Are
you meditating again to ask God to make life
fair? Is that it? What happened?
Was your Uber late? Internet connection slow?
Heheh!”

She doesn’t hear him. The voice
in her headphones says, “And twist. Remember
to always twist. If you only stab
him it’s not enough. That’s just gonna do
a little damage that can be fixed with a quick visit
to the ER. You have to twist the blade. That’s
when the significant damage happens. Twist
as much as you can. Show no mercy.
Take advantage of
the fact that he will not expect this from you.”


thick glass

three weeks
and the shards were still there
still scattered on the tiles
of the kitchen floor

that was a thick glass
meant for classy strong drinks
like whiskey

Yeah, now that he thought about it
it was whiskey she
ordered. But he filled
the glass with milk and said,
“You know what the doctor said, mother.
No more alcohol for you. Here, try
this instead.”

And he would strongly
prefer not to remember what followed
after

The shards were still
on the kitchen floor

and the gash still on the side of
his neck. Stitched now
but painful nonetheless


a very happy neighborhood

At 22:00 she would come out looking
for him
Would call out his name
and eventually find him by the
sandbox or the slide
and would dust him off a bit
and take him home
and feed him

As she’d put him to bed
she’d kiss his face, sometimes
his mouth
and he’d ask, “Why did you do that?”

and she’d reply, “I don’t know.
But did you like it?”

And he’d either nod or say
yes, knowing that it’ll make her smile
and then she’d cuddle with him
until he’d fall asleep
and whisper in his ear that she always
wanted to have a little boy
just like him
and that he was making her unbelievably
happy just by existing in the same
room with her

She was the best neighbor he could
have dreamed of

She gave him all the attention
his mother gave to her bottles and
her guy friends

and everyone was very happy


king who would go down with honor

he had no shoes
and you could hardly call
his shirt a shirt
but he
sat between those two
trash cans like some king
on his throne
  
holding to a stick
like a scepter
  
He drank from an old
rusty can of
beans
but held it like some golden
goblet
  
Clearly he lost the
ability to
taste because in the can
he mixed all he could
find in the trash
  
Beer with vodka
with tequila with wine
and acetone
and rubbing alcohol
  
He had a fearsome guardian
about him
A white dog who constantly
licked his vomit from
the ground
  
It looked black
and spongy
like coffee grounds
  
Some passersby offered to help him
and he refused
  
This was a king who
would go down with honor
after he lost
his kingdom


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