Inconvenient Ketchup

INCONVENIENT KETCHUP
Full Chapbook 2013



-For Arex
I miss you tomato. Everything will be okay.

Contents:

Scene 1 Act 5

Perfectly Hopeless For You

I Used To Write Songs
For a Lady, Now all I
Hear is Sweet Goodbyes

Stuck on Repeat [With a Long Way to Go]

All the Way Home


PREFACE
Would you fight for great love, the love of your life, or would you leave it to fate?

It seems so many people I have met throughout the country would simply sit and do nothing. It’s a serious question, but answers I get are nowhere near the caliber of love I have. When you get to the end, will you still miss her/him? The fact is that just about everyone I have talked to, at home and on the road, even strangers, they all still think of that one with a distant pause. So few of us are that lucky to be with our soul’s mates, or at least the one we loved so unconditionally that no one else in the world compared. I’ll never give up on love, consciously; it makes me sad that so many do.

Though genuinely compunctious from a place of profound understanding, I am not weak, or blind, or naive, even unaware that love and happiness exists in many forms. I simply love someone like I read about and was conditioned to as a child, but deeper and with more clarity. I’m okay, and I imagine she is too, but I refuse to just be “OK” when I have seen life so bright and amazing.

I don’t know the future, but I am conscious of each step I take towards it, no matter the outcome. Take care of yourselves. Don’t forget that love is worth it; don’t take it for granted.

“The world enamored simply isn’t enough. Such energy and charisma in the face of both stressors and the grind of day to day is nothing short of inspirational. Very few of us ever experience this level of courage and focus and those who do should feel truly blessed. Hug your friends and kiss your lover.”

It may be your last chance.


SCENE 1 ACT 5

Cold is the season that weakens
my bones, the aches and pains
hereditary. Sick and tired No words in
edgewise soft spoken randomly the (just)
junk in my brain, balanced on
boisterous bullshit unfocused
is my mind Cluttered is my
love life, my energy comes from cans.
Train of thought sinks, leave room
for dirty dishes, mix in the shake
of spears, men disguised as women
married into money for envy was
taken. The love life that life
spat out, bitter bites of
backbones, bitch slapped by the wind.
The horizon is mine.
(IT’S YOU) Ad hoc, Mesmerizing, this Wolf

On stage yet again. . .


PERFECTLY HOPELESS FOR YOU

I’ve got this picture on my phone of you dancing back when your hair was short. I remember then being a fool for you and knowing I was no good. I kept my distance because I felt myself falling. Your ability to be perfect, everything I’ve daydreamed in future winds, breezes blown right past me, but that’s just like them, was perfect. And I’ve never told you. I’ve got this picture on my phone from when I would have broken your heart. Did I mention I was a fool? Back when I first heard you on stage. I remember our eyes connecting and this poem being only for me. I felt like no one was in the room, just you on stage, short hair to go with your short poem, and when it was over you sat close. You smiled at me. I wish this description was more poetic, but just the thought of you that day gives me what I can only think of as butterflies. I feel nervous as I’ve told you, middle school crush, smitten with each movement, years later. So I sit in this SAAB staring at a picture back from when I wanted to start the rest of my life with you, having never said it.

It’s the best part of my day
When I’ve wasted enough time
One foot in front of the other

When I call and we talk, you laugh
(whole poems will be written about that laugh)
And to think I was nervous, butterflies
& knots, the kind only read about
in poems such as these.    Written by boys like me.

I want to call this perfect
but this morning I woke from dream.
We lay on a bed, face to face, holding
hands, tangled legs, talking simply
existing with each other, and from time
to time enjoying the silence that
can be had when close. Where forethought and lust
take place, and an exploration with hungry eyes
is the only thing that keeps us from
intertwining, wrapped in emotion, holding each other
Aimlessly drifting
Amazing


I USED TO WRITE SONGS
FOR A LADY, NOW ALL I
HEAR IS SWEET GOODBYES

I AM TOMATO
It was only after you left that I found out
you never liked tomatoes, specifically the squishy
part on the inside, and I am a squishy tomato,
by that I mean I’m squishy. I’m in love
with my love, for you, by way of poetry and love,
definitely the love. All things you.
The way you left the counter full of crumbs
and used up all the spoons, the knotty galoshes,
blowing air kisses, and whoas from room to room.
And I wonder how I’ll go on. You’re shouting
to let you go, my friends say let you go
but my therapist hears NO, this is overwhelming,
but I owe it to myself because I am still a tomato.

I wanted to thank you for all the ways you made me beautiful,
how I became a cheap beer art party, and when I say
cheap beer I don’t mean that hipster shit
that tastes like someone has already puked
in it, I mean the kind of beer that comes
in fifteen packs, though they call it twelve,
three for free, and it’s from Canada, and there is
no known alcohol content and it’s $8,
and no one knows they’re drunk, and no one will
remember this shit in the morning, but the art will,
(and if you think I am going to name it, you have
missed the point) because I was a potluck
waiting to happen for the sake of deep conversations
about awkward topics, and to show you my sweet cooking
skills, until the fourth time around when you find
out I’ve run out of love, that’s all she taught me
to make, that’s all the love I have
because anything, especially survivor kitchen
tastes better when it’s made with love, and we
did it in love, and when we were in our underwear
and when you dance in between ingredients,
and stirring, I miss you.

I miss cuddling as hard as possible and
laughing even harder, laughing at each others
laughs until you snort and we laugh even harder
completely naked and wonderfully vulnerable
and all day long, and until it rains so we
excuse the missed productivity, and the
dirty dishes, and the stress of out there,
the place where you could hear love
in the silence, the sighs of goood lovin’ G-Love
played our song every morning, slowly
and with attention to detail, where I found out
I could die. I knew that if this was it
I was happy, and for the first time in my life. I miss
feeling home, I miss feeling loved, I miss
having a family, that I didn’t have to beg just
to show up, you showed up, even if it was just you,
me, and the cats, I miss mentioning your name
without the cats wailing in heartache, and I miss
being little spoon. I AM STILL A TOMATO

I’m a manipulative son of a bitch, but
I’ll apologize right after it happens, because
I don’t know I’m doing it, and I’m really good at it,
and that is not an excuse.
I’m a compulsive liar for the sake of storytelling
but never in my poetry and never to you.
I pick my nose a lot for the sake of breathing
and I did my best to never fart in front of you,
even though you could convince our bed hog
kitties to leave the room is disgust, in the middle of the night
sound asleep you were, I love you. I love you. I love
you for being an inconvenient tomato, the mixed CD
said ketchup. . .
so
Where did you go my love? Off to learn the world, in skin so
fragile, my words bruise even the thought of you. NO. From
missed connection returned to sender so A Better Invitation was
composed for your eyes and hands only. Dear U and I
Verse(universe), please.
__
This is a sad song most men are afraid to write.
I am afraid. I am scared of a world that left me to
sit and cry alone, no friends who hold me,
where no one believes me, this wolf cries, though you called me
bear. These tears are real, though all you saw was my last
efforts to keep a great wall from falling, with nothing but
stamps and love notes, I bought you SORRY,
the first game I was willing to play and
I meant it. Are we really through my love? Does it have
to be this way and will I ever write without these
tears smearing ink? Walls made of straw;
my love the match that set us ablaze. This is me.
This is who I am. The man you fell in love with
the heart that holds whole bodies in breath, where
I kept myself between your ribs, it was too much.
You lost your breath, breathed me back out
while all I wanted to do was hold you.
Like starlight to the sunset, I’m sorry. I miss you.
I miss your arms and legs structuring my no words
in edgewise, the way we held like no one else
the love that was never the issue, except for myself,
until you told me “I do not love you”, I broke.
I have nothing left to fight with. You win. We lost.
I am happy you are happy, that stories of your smile still
reach me, through dreams & Luna dogs. The last attempts at
holding on, the snow covered trees where we left
our sense of ever after, where the universe took you
back, where my foundation fell, left to mark the trail
so that you could find me one day. Forests of boxes, packed our
family inside then unpacked to take your half, so I locked
it all away, along with my longing. I’m scared
to open our home in a new house
without you. Where the cats will smell you
on slippers and welcome mats, I lost everything.
My hope is that I still hope.
That there’s a home that feels like home
where our love echoes in the little things
where this world sees me smile again, where
I don’t have to be so serious, where Nickel(as) does not
cry when word of you is spoke, because I speak of you
every night I tuck him in, where he
lights up as he only did with you, the way
we squished together and made tomato soup.

I STILL AM, and are you aware of what you left on the stove,
and can you still smell me in the water as it
pulls you out and blows you back. Sand beneath
your toes on a beach where perfect existed
in photographs(that weren’t so perfect) you exhaled
then dove into me.

Thank you Tomato, goodbye for now. The only promises I
know I can’t break is everything will be okay,
I will always love you.


STUCK ON REPEAT [WITH A LONG WAY TO GO]

I half expected you to be here. Then again it was us that caused this music to mean the tears that the rain hid so often. I wonder if my tears rolling down my face will cause me to run as if to create the attention you won’t give me. It causes this. This concert for the heartbroken, this art collapse of teachers fighting for their lives for a moment to breath, to drink, whether water or wine under the weather. It’s the mustache, my lips move but no one’s listening, no one can hear me.
I’m here. You’re hearing my heart through this muffled mountain and exposed pipes.
And it comes and it goes, your scrabble letters like clues, steer clear of alliteration, lightly losing my train of thought.

I want to tell her,
Nothing feels like home, except beside you.

He said,
Make the good things last.

(and I wanted to tell him I caused this.) That, “The sorrow I feel is directly related to the love that the monster within me was shown, for the first time, because I revealed the darkest areas of me in an attempt to heal the fracture in us, which led us out of control, and me to learn how to show love to the hurt within me, alone, and a hope that one day the love I have for myself will be bright enough to love again.”
Last night “I dreamt we sat across from one another, calm and collected. (As if to say we were ready, practiced, versed in communication) You said there were truths behind truths, a story within. I concurred, and we spoke of the wall you had to build where I could no longer be heard and you saw only the image you rendered, the one where my growth could not be seen. I had only asked for a moment, but you gave me more. Thank you. Distracted by the ruckus outside, in our dreams and real life, we paused in the presence of each other, a half smile and woke.” Miles apart.
I thought, “Change only happens with action, though only action with grace and love without expectations can create positive change. Furthermore you need to be without expectation that what you want to change will just because you took action, and be willing to accept that as part of positive change no matter the outcome.”

then he said, What does it mean to be a poet?

So I replied,
I used to write songs for a lady, now all I hear is sweet goodbye.


ALL THE WAY HOME

I don’t write like the lyrics of your favorite bands
but I still love you. Even after we said goodbye,
years after I knew I would break your heart,
then did, and if “sorry” was able to carry any of
the weight that my heart felt hung heavy with guilt, I
would chase down the light that the stars gave to
the sunset. My bones weak without you, without
the compassion you showed them when wrapping
your arms around me in slumber, after bad dreams
and thoughts of leaving me. Like the way
you knew you would one day, I filled
my head with all your favorite singers, hoping
they would tell me how to save us, how to
love you the write way, with words
and my hands(though you never really liked it that way).
Thoughts of future, to open windows in spring that
told your wings it was time to fly, time to
leave me for the breeze. Me, your
air sign to your inability to stay grounded,
you, blame the stubbornness on your mother,
but the mountain goat never let me get a word
in edgewise. It’s not fair, but here I am.
C-A-P-S-I-Z-E-D, missing you the way
you wanted it.




How do you ignite a flame underwater?
Please, forgive me.
I was drowning, not giving up.


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