once you said you were waiting for the right time to leave the gas on
i started sleeping over every night
hoping to wake up in the coffin next to yours
we wrote each other’s eulogies as a team-building exercise
you said you just wanted a drum solo
something funky enough to get everyone moving
and that you hoped you’d be reincarnated as a fish that choked to death on a cigarette
or the cigarette that choked the fish
Nobody wants to read your shit.
There’s a phenomenon in advertising called Client’s Disease. Every client is in love with his own product. The mistake he makes is believing that, because he loves it, everyone else will too.
They won’t. The market doesn’t know what you’re selling and doesn’t care. Your potential customers are so busy dealing with the rest of their lives, they haven’t got a spare second to give to your product/work of art/business, no matter how worthy or how much you love it. What’s your answer to that?
1) Reduce your message to its simplest, clearest, easiest-to-understand form.
2) Make it fun. Or sexy or interesting or informative.
3) Apply that to all forms of writing or art or commerce.
When you understand that nobody wants to read your shit, your mind becomes powerfully concentrated. You begin to understand that writing/reading is, above all, a transaction. The reader donates his time and attention, which are supremely valuable commodities. In return, you the writer, must give him something worthy of his gift to you.
hands like acid splash across my body. change one for another and i won’t even notice.
Here I am reading and discussing my poetry on my college radio station, along with two of my fellow campus literary magazine members. Check it out! (I’m Lauren, by the way).
In the winter, we will leave in a small pink railway carriage
With blue cushions. We will be comfortable.
A nest of mad kisses lies In each soft corner.
You will close your eyes, in order not to see, through the glass,
The evening shadows making faces.
Those snarling monstrosities, a populace
by Jeffrey McDaniel
If it’s any consolation, when your wife took me
in her mouth, I closed my eyes and pretended
I was a piece of wedding cake. I was the instigator,
bringing her flowers so often her co-workers
nicknamed me carnation hands. At night, I’d look
at the stars and slither my petals through her hair.
It was like we were on Mars—me staring over
her skull at one moon, her gazing at another.
What I’m really trying to say is I tumbled into her
arms like a thousand reluctant dominoes.
I mean, isn’t it odd—how you can buy a lap dance,
phone sex, or blowjob in a snap, but can’t
pay a person a dollar to just sit next to you
on a park bench and simply hold your hand?
Wait, for now.
Distrust everything, if you have to.
But trust the hours. Haven’t they
carried you everywhere, up to now?
Personal events will become interesting again.
Hair will become interesting.
Pain will become interesting.
Buds that open out of season will become lovely again.
Second-hand gloves will become lovely again,
their memories are what give them
the need for other hands. And the desolation
of lovers is the same: that enormous emptiness
carved out of such tiny beings as we are
asks to be filled; the need
for the new love is faithfulness to the old.
Don’t go too early.
You’re tired. But everyone’s tired.
But no one is tired enough.
Only wait a while and listen.
Music of hair,
Music of pain,
music of looms weaving all our loves again.
Be there to hear it, it will be the only time,
most of all to hear,
the flute of your whole existence,
rehearsed by the sorrows, play itself into total exhaustion.
i want all my love stories to begin in cars, with the music blaring.
our conversation, like smoke, is sucked through the open window,
so we travel miles in silence, squinting against the sun’s glaring
or speeding coolly under the unlocked shadow
of night. i pick lovers based on if they seem
like a good roadtrip companion, someone who, like me, feels at home
only when they aren’t, who shares my recurrent dreams
of wings and wheels, full gas tanks, the silvered gleam of chrome
and long nights, someone who understands the siren call
of uninterrupted asphalt. i want a co-pilot, passenger seat,
shotgun romance. someone who, if he loves me at all,
will think of me as a familiar, tree-lined street.
but mostly, someone who will know me better than to grieve
when eventually i have to turn the key and leave.