8 x 8 (In Neon)

21 Jul

8 x 8 (In Neon)


In Hinduism you aren’t allowed to the let the books touch the ground. All of them, any of them. The ones that mean something to you and even that cheap mystery chapbook you bought to help you sleep on an apollonian train ride across a gold, idyllic countryside where nothing is meant to remain but time. This literature is the one you can climb into like into a bottle, soak up the words like alcohol, so that even when you climb out it remains with you, seeped into your skin, a constant smell, a new shade for you to wear. Impassioned, bardolphian, prone to flame, a match-head between your index and thumb.


a neon freedom across 23rd
and a plastic fish
disproportionate, kitschy
sitting on the wall
angled down
mouth agape
we’re waiting for our drinks
and our seafood appetizers
scallops, clams and shrimp
they’ll keep it open
because it’s raining outside
and the waitress likes me
a silver necklace hanging amethyst
for those purpled crimes
she winks with a beer for me
on the house
a neon freedom across 23rd


My little messes, I love all of you, of the literary and non-literary sort – pity, pity, but you are all living history! It’s up to you whether you’re recalled or not. Whether you want to be. Or safely collect dust – like all those passing footsteps that we drugged ourselves past – or trinkets (a snow globe or that little red riding horse in the corner, painted by hands now departed through a hospital bed, I don’t even remember the location, nary a cross street ) retired from childhood.


Mine is a city of missing sons. My neighborhood a sinkhole. Everything gets erased. But sometimes it can feel like home. No matter how warm and inviting, there are ways to designate us as prisoners within it. Home or prison, your mother’s womb, nineteen-eighty-eight. Surely there was crying. We were all eight years before. We had a chance. We were all potential.


Two sparrows kissing at my feet
I wait
to ride
hungover to my job
it’s Saturday
but that no longer seems to matter
because there’s bills to be paid
and honesty to charge
I’ve seen this platform
much too often now
a bench positioned next to refuse
I sit
we sit
we wait
to ride
hungover to the job.
Two sparrows kissing at my feet.


She liked the writers that we apolitical. I liked the ones with some sass. Especially the French. Revolution, rebellion and death. I can smell the gun powder, like she could smell the lyricism that lay underneath the language like a thin layer of sweat underneath a tired summer top. Green in her eyes, green smoke, green breath, we dance outside the offices that pay both our rent and our regret. We are the last ones here. She suggests that we get some bourbon. I’d rather touch her, read on the subway on our way back home. And there’s this, at least this, and likely more to come.

We smile because this is our sentence. Our moment to become the world we want.


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Jack Tsoy Tumult

Morose Pontifications and Other Poetic Ramblings

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