“You’re not ready,” said Quang over the phone, from his 26th street Manhattan studio.
He’s sipping Dalmore whiskey, watching The Traveling Players.
“If you’re a writer, you don’t need money to write, just a pad and a pen.”
“What do you mean?” I said.
“And next time, don’t bring a cell phone. You can’t have this kind of shit and be a writer, every time you have trouble you call mommy and daddy.”
“I’m not calling mommy and daddy I’m calling you.”
“Yeah, on a fucking cell phone. May be you’re just not ready. Some people don’t start writing til later in life. Bukowski started at 35. Some of them didn’t start till they were in their 40’s or 50’s. I don’t think you’re ready.”
Electrical riptides reside in tapestry.
Repetition for safety, survival for majority,
short attention span for detail,
focus of longevity stumbling through crowded possibilities.
Rate this hermit cyclone status.
Grab the bat for bad kids.
You eat too much.
This anorexic touch got toys throwing up
I lost my direction in arrangement, comfortable complacence.
Find my treasure at the bottom of the tree like Santiago
The Alchemist, I say alchemy
Construct your construct
pulled the trigger, but you can’t make the bullet turn back.
I learned to fold distance, broke into Area 51 freed my people,
had to replace my veins with telephone wires.
These eyes keep turning inward taking intangible pictures.
Molest the coward.
Split his wig open with a rainbow reflecting off a prism.
My brain ain’t on drugs, but it’s that egg in a frying pan fits nicely.
If I could jump off the edges of my notebook I’d start raping apathy.
My beast is objectivity.
Spill the definition.
I communicate with the ape telepathically.
Became what I already am,
a galactic pinwheel swimming in black water mixed with floating pearls
background music claiming importance
a rookie homeless learning persistence
a cardboard cut out with a human heart stapled onto my chest
rest this digress on the table
one for dimensional
two for the past
three for Kane slaying Abel
Got a head full of bullets with butterfly wings
pocket full of mountains.
If beauty is within the eye of the beholder
I ain’t holding nobody
Spit on the ground my feet are planted on,
hope that saliva conjures flowers,
make those two extremes compliment each other
steadily stuck in a paradox
Father compacted hydrogen gases Holy haunt this art.
For Spirit be like, ‘yo Sun, that shit is hot.’
Check the equilateral triangle, contorted visuals
gravity pulling your shoulders toward the ground.
You walk horizontally.
Panoramic funk in motion taunting up rock ability
33 and something revolutions
reflecting the perfected reflection.
Can control by project hands,
messages left for the Doubting Thomas.
Our screams of s.o.s travel by train in silence
Stepping out of light and away from the mic, all I hear is the gaps of silence between claps. I’m at a poetry reading in San Francisco on Haight Street. The place is packed and it’s a Tuesday night. With my backpack stuffed with a suit and dress shoes for temp jobs, I developed a hustle performing at open mics to sell chapbooks and find a couch to sleep on. After my set I go outside to smoke a cigarette.
“That was cool man,” a guy said, standing behind me.
His long scraggily brown hair and full beard framed his blue eyes like a burka. Whenever he laughed, his thick eyebrows almost touched. A hemp bracelet laced with multi-colored beads wrapped around his neck. His forearm had a sprouting bouquet of twisted wires and circles. The tattoo looked like mechanical bugs crawling on his skin.
“My name is Chad, but my stage name is Cornbread,” he said.
“Tabias,” I said.
“Right on. Yeah dude, I really like that shit you kicked,” he said.
Cornbread was 23. He’s from Pottsville, Pennsylvania. His father killed a little girl backing out of a parking lot. While his father was in and out of jail, Cornbread lived with his mother and sister in a trailer park. With everything he owned he drove cross-country to San Diego and lived there for four years, working as a barista and pot dealer. To pay off credit card debt he slept in his truck for four months.
“I’m a drummer,” he said.
We walked around the block and smoked a ball.
“Well, you’re in luck, man, San Francisco is the perfect place to be homeless. Lots of people sleep in the woods, on the beach. If you sleep on the sidewalk make sure you have a sheet to cover your whole body. Nobody will fuck with you. Go sign up for food stamps so you don’t have to worry about food. All you got is your backpack?
“No, my clothes and shit is at my man’s house.”
“Why aren’t you staying with him?”
“He’s got a wife and two kids.”
“At least you got a place to stash your shit. Remember, don’t stay in hostels too long. It can be tempting, but they’re fucking crazy.”