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“Bed Bugs”

Free writing exercise

When I can’t find the words, I make them up.

I set a timer for 5 minutes, close my eyes, put my fingers on the keyboard, and just let go. I have no idea what will come out of the flow.

This was one of those exercises, on a day when I desperately wanted to write something, anything, but the words just wouldn’t come.

Looking back, there were several lines I rather liked. I used a few as inspiration for other poems. I don’t always like what comes out, but that’s beside the point. The point of any word-vomit exercise is to let the mind wander. Shake cobwebs from the corners; stretch the shoulders.

Writer’s block is like a creative hangover: Sometimes the best thing to do is make yourself throw up.

Love you, mean it.

— J.


Catching bear or blade by hand is not the way to keep your skin in shape. Neither is rambling on in grey winter by fire or torch, not if you want to scale the onyx mountain, so prophesied the Gypsy child:

“If you must make the climb, first practice in lighter climes. Use lemons or limes for opening the mind. Stars take oaths under the watchful eyes of conceited mirrors. They should not be trusted; their stories reflect only lies.”

In the event of my death, the world will move on. In the event of the (inevitable) heat death of the universe, the void will go on expanding, just without the bonds of invisible Father Time.

In passing, I’ll be crashing forward, soaring toward coral-corded swathes of streaking sand, the sands of Mother Memory. Reds and yellows, purples, the brightest blues you ever saw. Sworn by the kiss of a sword, forlorn and perfect. Plucked by grace from the great-ful lakes in the teary eyes of fallen saints.

Colors take their toll when you blend ocean, sky, and soul.

Keep uttering this phrase: Dammit, dammit, dammit. Otherwise the colors will run, tears will streak. You must become like the beaver, preserving, conserving. We mustn’t let the river loose. Dam up all the carrot juice.

Again, the ceaseless shambling turnips tap their toes against my windows. I shouldn’t complain. But I wonder, aloud:

How do vegans get any sleep?
The world gets louder the less you eat.

Gods only know from whence water flows. Add tallow and ash when you scrub your toes. Rinse and repeat. Put socks on wet feet. Repair ragged gills with glue when you make land. Pick up all the white-hot sand. Leave tracks, follow your nose! Toucans always know what’s best for breakfast. Avoid the countenance of cardinals, though.

Jackals night and day hunt pheasants for feasting, until wolves bring to bear the baying; and they, the Jackals, decreasing in size, wilting under the gazes of moon-born eyes, slink off into the silent unholy night, surrendering their prize. They know they cannot win this fight, not if they play fair.

You have to fight dirty to smite the bear.

Leaves dance until they have no tether. Trees are all at the mercy of the clouds.

Light and endless dark twirl in their immortal dance, the two of them prance like lightning on open ground, making glass in the sand. Crashing like the unabashed retching of oceans on the shore bringing up carcasses of whales and giants of the unknown.

This place we call “Home” is still largely unsettled to this very day. What does our Home call us?

Bed bugs. A tiny nuisance; wingless pests. Easily conquered by chemistry.

Now go: Eat. Feel. Frolic. Fuck. Squeeze. Peel. Bend. Cluck. Unhinge. Unwind. Descend. Climb.

Capture everything, every moment, you can and keep it for yourself. Liberate books from dust-ridden shelves. Steal their secrets. Share these captives with no one. Tell every lie you can.

The enemy is Fear. Give no quarter.

This is your first and only chance to burn like the galactic tempest that you are. Do NOT waste it. Don’t you even dare think for one second you will be the first to outshine the endless night that comes for us all.

In the end we break, but time bends. We are the tinder, time is the lens. You need a star to set the world a-cinder.

So go. Keep one eye on the shore. Go forth with love in your heart and maybe you won’t feel so lonely anymore.

12 May, 2020.
Lexington, KY.

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