Archive for the Jason Hardung Category
My cat is about to die and it’s raining again. The sky opens, I pet her cancer—xylophone keys, a bag of knuckles and a beautiful soul transmitting in there. I feel the wind of the desecration angels hovering above. I am terrified that the hat I became me in, will blow away. We always want just one more day. We plead to the wind, just one more day. We point to the sky and make deals, “I’ll quit smoking if you give me one more day. I’ll stop asking for anything, for one more day.” When everything but heroin gave up on me, my cat was still there. When I was too fucked up to even feed her and the other cat escaped out the window, she rested on my chest, positive she could still hear a heart in there even though it was faint—church bells ringing through a hurricane. Soon, I will fall through terra firma—a libertine dog-paddling through white noise. I am lost without satellites. Somewhere someone is climbing a mountain while I have nothing in common with youth anymore. I want to be celebrity enough to receive backlash for being politically incorrect but most of all I want my cat to put on weight and run through the sunflowers, one more day.
There’s a dead robin out here, on its back, one talon reaches towards the sun—like, “If there is a bird god, please help me.” But no one comes. There’s a constant threat of war out here and we all reach for something that’s not within our reach. I stare at my feet and wonder how far they could actually take me. There are lilacs out here, blooming over the sidewalk, I smell them and just like the two seconds during an orgasm the future reads like anything is possible. Hope is never a solid line. Hope rattles off in Morse code—a dot here, a dash there—radio silence and then we wait for the next pretty thing, the next two seconds to vault us through the next gate. Just one more time let me love something so much it kills me, from the nerve endings outward. There is a guy out here with a grey beard and a cardboard sign cut into an arrow; he says he was sent by god. Really this guy just loves to hear himself talk about god. When the arrow is pointing to the ground, that side reads, You deserve hell. When he flips it around it points to heaven. It reads, Repent now! Ask me how! I realize people with the most passion sometimes say the most useless shit. Just because you use a dictionary’s worth of words doesn’t mean you are saying anything. They conjure words from deep in the diaphragm because passion doesn’t derive from the mouth—bacteria does. Say it like you mean it and people believe you. There’s a woman out here that used to have short hair and smells like vanilla. She asked me if she could take me to dinner. “Sure, I like food. Why not,” is how I replied. She stood me up and I haven’t heard from her again. I wasn’t convincing enough. Just remember—you may smell good now but when we rot, we rot the same. I don’t want to run from war and I don’t want to be the mouthpiece for the creator. I want to create. There’s a need for art out here. An artist is a guy who takes photos of 101 different vaginas, frames them, hangs them on a white gallery wall and hands out wine to people that pretend they understand him. A pervert is a guy who takes photos of 101 different vaginas, drinks wine and hides the photos in a shoebox under his bed knowing nobody will ever understand him. I don’t need a Buzzfeed quiz to tell me who I really am. I am out here sniffing lilacs in stranger’s yards—over and over until I make it through.
THE WAY SHE MOVES
When I watch a woman dance
she becomes less human
and more real. Moved by
something greater than the strings
that pull us through our days.
She lets go,
the heavens open up,
the spotlight shines down-
she moves oblivious.
After the poetry reading
she introduces herself
and calls me “amazing.”
I wish I felt the same way.
She does not realize yet
I am not my poems
but only the scraps that are left-
the words never used.
SOMEBODY ELSE’S LIFE STORY
My veins have collapsed
although I live in paradise.
I forgot how music made us move
in the cab of my silver pick-up truck
out there in the barb wired fields
fucked over like flags in the wind.
We were method actors
in a shady B movie.
Background characters in somebody else’s life story.
We wore black and climbed the big tree in the park
out by I-80, as the whisp of tail lights, like kicked up dust,
were a constant reminder
that there were other places to go
other people to be.
Things we’ve only seen thumbing through
fashion magazines, stoned on your bedroom floor.
It was either Bob Dylan or punk rock back then.
It’s where I fell in love with words.
Poetry came to me after you made me read Wilderness and Tarantula.
I wrote it to impress you.
I still have all of the break up letters you sent
and the plastic farm animals from the Salvation Army
that you shipped when I went out on my own.
I sat them on the window sill in Omaha.
You showed me how to be lonely.
I didn’t know what to think
when I heard you drowned in the river.
Since you were the one that taught me to swim.
Taught me I wasn’t as ugly as I thought
and that I have no control over anything.
____________ Continue reading
Last year I nominated Jason Hardung for best of the web along with two legends in poetry. Although that kind of task is always tough, this video is an example of why I chose Jason.
The poem below appears in Jason Hardung’s upcoming new book The Names of Lost Things from Lummox Press.
The Names of Lost Things is pure Juice. A coming of age poetic journey outlines the making of a poet showing the passion and pain that is in all of us. On a deserted island—this would be the book.
The only bad thing about this new book is you can’t buy it now.
Publication date–late June/early July
DEAR MR. CARVER
I’m not blind
still I don’t know much
I do know the
spires twist like knives
into the guilty soul of man,
people in fancy clothes
begging for eternal life
while people out
on the streets
get on their knees
to make it through
one more day.
Its just past seven and the window
no longer frames the cold pink sun.
The trees are props bending
in a starry-eyed background.
Somewhere behind the lighted store front
the mountains rest well in all their dirty history.
I can’t see them but know they’re there-
I’ve got Colorado on my eyes
Los Angeles in my mind.
I had plans for you
you were supposed to become larger than life.
I pulled strings at your baptism, you laid back
to your ears in the mud of the L.A River
and those police helicopters
looked something like confused angels
lost in the sun.
Now you dance on tables in Little Armenia
those five inch heels no longer clicking together
in Judy Garland fashion
but your legs still look strong
almost like telephone poles.
And me, I’m frightened at what the postman brings
frightened another morning will break
without your insecurities keeping you around.
I found one of your hairs
and tied it to my wrist
I can’t remember why.
Sometimes comedies are the worst type of tragedy.
A mother’s intuition is never fleeting,
never like birds fleeing the shotgun echo,
nothing like a man with only four walls and a clock,
the only friend of a broken heart
burns going down and kills in the morning,
all a junkie shoots in the blood
are things he mistook for love,
the clown is only happy
until he finds a shoulder to cry on.
The window is all the way dark now
except for people standing under the street light
the cars, the movement, the hyperion glow.
the stations of the cross don’t play rock and roll and
I never said I was good for you-
I just said I was good.
HEART LIKE NAPOLEON, THE BEAT LIKE WATERLOO
My head lies
against the pillow at night, inside-
the wings of butterflies and black angels beat
against the walls of my skull
like dope fiend insects to halogen parties.
Voices of reason speak out of turn-
all the players and their causes.
Will I finish probation
and stay out of prison?
Will I make it to the promise land
where the cat and the bird will ever be fed,
where I can hear the tide
and the city lights never dim?
Will I keep the needle out my arms
and the warm flesh of her in?
And what about the Earth?
We’ve tapped those veins too.
My heart like Napoleon
the beat like Waterloo-
I watch from a safe distance
as the back of my head blows out
against the wall,
fireworks, red confetti and feathers
cradle each other in darkness
until they rest
in the unswept crevices of the room.
The maid never works on Sunday.
The maid never works
nothing ever fucking works.
When finally the light is flipped on
by whoever cleans my mess this time
it will be hard to tell the difference-
and one helluva party.
IF I HAD ONLY LISTENED
If there is one lesson I have learned
through mostly error
it would be
follow that voice you hear
the one deep inside you
some call it the heart
others call it God
the one that won’t prey upon innocence
the one that won’t speak up
but you can hear it there-
a forgotten memory
the image of an artist
the shy child.
Follow that voice
every time it points that way
every time you try to make somebody else happy
every time you second guess yourself
do not care what anybody else thinks
you will be king.