FOUR POEMS by THE KNIFE CITY BOY

It’s only because I dropped out

 

“we’re going into something on fire, and we do not have respirators. we do not know what water is. all we have is this scotch tape for where the seams are detached, and for whatever reason we believe scotch tape can’t melt.” – some valedictorian somewhere, I hope

 

 

 

it could have been Renee

 

there was this one time i drove a goth girl to the airport because we met at a gas station and she said something about walking there, but i said no. her friend Dougie had to come along, which was fine because Dougie sat in the back and really didn’t say any words. me and the goth girl talked like old pals about where we were from and the big dogwood trees in bloom out along the highways. though it was too early for them to be like this, we agreed to let our fear of climate change go because it was great to see the sun and these flowers in a moment like this. when i dropped her off she blew me a kiss and disappeared into a crowd, and i saw all of this like it was shot for some film. we never traded names, and this haunts me a bit because she was something to remember, but there’s still this thing to recall, and that’s something, but in exchange you live knowing this will not happen again in this way with this person, and you realize this is the price of life and memories and all good things.*

 

*this is pretty basic, but whatever.

 

 

 

slater in the wild

 

we’re young men who feel old. we launch a $750 Kickstarter to buy alcohol for one week, and we drive to 5 U.S. towns and see 5 local bands, and we get very drunk. you have to write about these bands and all else that happens in this week, and it’ll be my job to keep you on task. the series will be called Slater in the Wild. it’ll be a play on genre with a heartfelt ride of human effort in the face of shit. it’ll be starry. it’ll be that thing we regret and remember fondly, and no one else with get it or care. I’m not sure where it will be published. we may just email it to friends. if anything, it needs to start in St. Louis because it’s a place very appropriate for this. it’s a place where people end up when they need to be away and put on an act.

 

 

 

I dropped out for this

 

we’re shoveling trash out of ruined garage with nothing else around but a vacant field of waist-high grass. Ali sees a snake and says “fuck this man” and leaps out of the knee-high trash, and I do not judge because earlier I pulled our truck over screaming because a wasp came through the window and hit me in the face.

i think about how i’m a thousand-some miles away from all the people i know, and i think about how romantic and weird this is and how it’s something i’ve wanted for a while now. to know the pain of ghosts and of the thing right behind you which cannot be touched but is felt. it is different than an hour ago when i ran from the truck hitting myself in the head to kill a wasp, yelling “man i’m fucking sick of this,” and it’s different now because then pain was clearly something unwanted.

i now realize all i can hope for in this life is to be bit by this snake and die right here in this trash and that Ali carries me out and back home they tell the story of how i went and they say something like “he just didn’t know.” they would say this and crack cans open or go to their jobs or wash their clothes and move on, and i would become a thing mentioned at reunions or weddings or at the grocery store just in passing. a memory shared by some with a few good bits which stick and hold. known as someone who really missed the point.