Writer. Musician. Weird.
The gardens aren’t planted; they crawl out from the oceans in the shape of lions. Their enormous sundew manes drip ink and seed; bees follow the enormous paw print through tar and wet asphalt. The gardens roam.
1. A family of foxes covered themselves in white paint; they hide against your bedroom walls until the daylight fades and plant blackberry seeds beneath your pillow while you sleep.
2. The rat king has fourteen mouths. He sets off bottle rockets all night until your neighbors call the cops.
3. In a dream, you gave me an orange under the condition that I only eat the peel. You walked away, I didn’t eat anything.
4. It’s so strange how every thing reminds me of what we’ll never be. If it hurts, just say the word and to the roots I’ll return. I’ll misread the signs and pull away; there are some things I could never say.
5. Somebody rakes all the pine needles out from beneath the trees. I’d like to know them, I’d like to know where they go.
There’s a ghost that haunts the forest, he never sleeps but eats lies through his crustacean eyes. He lives in an orphaned church with a vine steeple and leads a procession of patchwork people. A wolf sleeps in the basement of the church, he howls through the confession booths. A priest is overdosed in the pews. A girl sleeps with her hair over her face. Her stockings are ripped at her toes. She dreams of French singers whose names she cannot pronounce. She calls them all Oiseau. The pianos all moved out to Budapest, she wants to kiss a girl from Iceland. I just want to sleep in the forest, feeding myself to the ghost.
My fingers were made for rattraps, extension chords are just belts that need plugged in and the ninja turtle neighbors won’t offer you blow. But you’ll wake up to the stuttering grandfather clock sidewalk soldier soon; So Fox Party, you’re Megaman X dashing through parking lot lanterns, you’re a wild beast made of broken circus tents, you’re a dizzy gospel singer hurling eggs at racist paintings, you’re a battle tank of fire hiding between the pages of a magazine, a VHS tape in a jean jacket, a synth line so fat that it makes my teeth buzz. So Fox Party, kiss with too much tongue. So Fox Party, be the joke that falls flat. So Fox Party, sleep outdoors in the rain. So fox Party, So Fox Party.
A grizzly bear swallowed a rain cloud; he grew extra paws with fragmented claws and burrowed beneath my bed. Now there are thunderstorms in my closet, now there are cadavers in my head. Amelia doesn’t like the way I speak about the sea; she wakes from daydreams about Jacques Cousteau with oceans in her jeans. When the closet floods, the bear drowns. My mattress grows into the forest that Amelia paints in the concrete suburbs to lure in and murder the birds. She’s got feathers beneath her fingernails; she lulls me to sleep with her daytime television teeth.
We bury our widowed organs in the backyard; she plays piano till there’s cactus thorns in my heart and my veins settle into their morning nap. We exchange our deflated lungs in rusted birdcages, she whispers against my lips her dreams of wolf packs roaming frozen village cemeteries and men in monster suits buried beneath the trees in her backyard. She tells me about the creature in her parents’ tool shed that begged her to kill her cat until she leaned on its neck and heard it crack. Her eyes shut to thoughts of splintered antlers that produce poison fruit and the night her uncle removed his face and showed her his real hands. To Amelia, my ocean is her swamp. It clots her blood stagnant with algae, and now there are angry alligators snapping in her belly.
I was caught sleeping beneath a tree of wild beasts. In dreams, I bury pieces of myself into paperback books, constructing agitation and inducing sickness for unsteady fever dream parties. And there, we were bank robbers with wounded throats scamming quiz shows, kissing between Osage diamonds.
I wake to my teeth tearing mutiny from bark, stretching fiberglass webs to stitch the constellations to our lips, building another town for every clumsy sentence fragment I collect from these ghosts that haunt our box spring.
I can’t accept all these dead letters dropped off broken and bleeding on my front porch by these phantom cats, I can’t keep painting you portraits of decaying trees, their stripped bark arms can’t tuck your hair back behind your ear, but I can. And I’ve still got the cuts on my knuckles from the zipper of your jeans, spending night after night falling in love with your mask that melts plastic on my lips. So I’m not sleeping in your back yard, not tonight. I’m wide-awake listening to the secrets you’ve tried to abandon as they call the fire department on your most peaceful dreams. I’m collecting your orphaned piano keys and burying them under my tongue to grow staccato note divisions, our push and pull.
I’m hoarding all of the sweetest things you say in my bedroom until I’m trapped, and I’ll have to chew holes into my wrist to escape into a bleeding orchard that we’ve grown from violin strings and broken dishes. I’ll have to wait for the sun to rise, for the dull tree line to wilt into silhouettes and I’ll say
“Just look at all those beasts girl, sitting up in that tree. With all that matted fur and silk feathers. Do you hear that song? It’s Yellowstone lake music, the Bristol hum, four knocks with tears in your eyes. And I can’t count all those claws and teeth on just two mangled hands.
That boy was dilapidation. He wasn’t born; he just collected himself on a spoiled beach from mangled shipwrecks and rusted submarines and arbitrarily pieced himself together. He fashioned organs out of woodworm dug out of the soft rotting wood with whalebone fingernails. He stitched hair out of rope saturated with seawater. He didn’t know his name, but he knew if he dug deep enough in the sand he could find a different sun that fit into the palm of his hands but didn’t burn, only softly buzzed like a hive of bees.
In the seaside town, he met Amelia and her swollen cheeks. She couldn’t stop chewing on the drowsy jellyfish tentacles that splayed out from her evicted wisdom teeth. She had a bumper sticker than said “Girls can be Megaman too, So Fox Party” but she didn’t own a car.
He loses his hands in her hair, touches his nose to hers. He says, “My sails are ripped and torn and the wind hasn’t blown for days. I’m so tired of wandering. I can’t wander anymore.”
He could taste blood in every other kiss. They spent their mornings picking each other out of themselves. He, removing fragments of stitching from his teeth and tongue and Her, the water logged splinters from her thighs and fingertips.
“Your body is an open cinema and I’m a director of lazy shorts tripping over broken armrests,” he says, his tongue fishing stitching from inside his lip.
He listens to the soft steps of her flats on the cold concrete, catches crosses in the dull buzzing of streetlights, and holds smoke in his lungs until his vision wobbles. “Yesterday morning I had to solve the most intricate fever dream puzzle,” he says. “and when I sweat that illness away, you sang me something soft and sweet and lulled me back to sleep.”
She falls back on the mattress, stretching her skinny legs across floral print, her hair spreads and blooms and reaches, wrapping live ivy vines around the wooden pillars of the headboard. Her nature overtakes the bed, and he returns himself to her.