Instructions For Choking on Your Own Tongue 

With something of nutritional value, or psychological dependency, in one hand,
use the jaw’s muscles to open mouth and use the other hand to keep the mouth open,
take the almond, or pumpkin seed, or small, blue (or white or pink or any other color) pill and place it in the open mouth,
if it’s an almond or pumpkin seed or genetically modified beef or anything else that falls under the category of Food, then chew. chew. chew. mash up into tiny fragments. swallow. (Don’t choke.)
if it’s some sort of prescription pill with someone else’s name on the bottle, swallow. (Don’t choke.)
For Food – let stomach acid digest and do nothing. Nine times out of ten it won’t be food.
For a pill – Wait anywhere from half an hour to an hour and feel high, the chemistry of the human body tells the brain it’s feeling pleasantly altered within (usually). If no fuzzy feeling rushes through the head or spine then: 1. someone got burned, or 2. one pill wasn’t enough. Take more, or, if burned, use violence.
Violence is either always or never the answer.
Open mouth again, high or not, and stick fist into it.
Snap jaw shut. In one scenario, the fist flies out of the mouth fearing for its safety – the tip of the tongue suffers the bite, blood vessels explode, tendons snap – “Fuck.” In another scenario, fist gets bit, bur nerves light up with pain and fist pulls out of mouth before serious damage is done. This time.
Scenario 1 ends like this…
Missing tip of tongue makes speaking next to impossible and so, with this new inability, there were no verbal missteps.
No confrontation,
No misinterpretation,
Safe and stripped of pertinent experiences for better, and for worse.
Lonesome, but free of enemies. Free of friends. Free to use a computer, free to order a black handgun, free to unload when all hope is lost.
A gushing hole in the head.
Scenario 2:
No lesson was learned, the point was completely missed:
“You’ve gotta learn to put your foot in your mouth sometimes,” this line came through the other end of the phone, a half-obsolete cell phone with practically no service, just unclear enough to morph “foot” into “fist.”
Sarcasm and satire are greatly underappreciated
also largely unnoticed.
With no damage to the tongue, speaking continues to go off without a hitch.
A dark bar finds a fist with teeth imprints high off some downer and holding a beer,
The game of pool that had been going for some eternity (picture five minutes painstakingly dragging by) finally ends.
The teeth-imprinted hand grabs a pool stick and tries to talk someone into joining, the charisma of talking, nobody wanted to play, egotistical, masculinity-belittling comment, angry stranger overreacts, he was an ex-con, flash of a pistol, loud blast, ears ring, body abruptly collapses to the ground, the jaw’s clenched so tightly then that the tongue is severed.


Bottomless Cup

Caught on to how everything is temporary, 

From conceited narcissist 

to humble and self-deprecating, 

There’s a place where doing nothing 

blends into overcompensation. 

The luxury of being stuck in the middle is

not being stuck at all, 

Getting out is as easy as saying, “Left or Right,”

“Yes or No,”

Giving Up or Deciding to Fight. 

Leaving the top is a painful comedown, 

and leaving the bottom is a challenge,

Dropping from the top is rarely intentional

and climbing from the bottom takes all this time and effort 

So I choose this deep in between

where I can determine on my own what everything means.  

Existential Anxiety

Catch up to get ahead

Lifestyle choices 

Life mislead 

Whatever else still lies ahead

Cow shit problems 

Roadways flooded

The Second Coming never came 

Cars sank into impassable roads 

Like babies dunked in the Holy Lake

I was baptized but I came back up 


More than a moron 


Less than a saint 

What’s covered with rust

gets covered with gold paint


Like clockwork

I pull up

the light turns red.

Decay is everywhere

We’re flinging our own shit at each other

No one can hear you from down there.

The tires are all flat

And no one has a spare.


“Hey before you get all caught up in the spiral,”

I was stuck in my head all the while

But I heard someone say,

“That girl is viral.

“I’d stay away if that were me.”

Word spreads like disease,

Not enough rest

and too much sleep.


“Work is hard,”

get in line,

Deal with it, everybody’s tired,

No more concern,

everything’s fine,

Toe on the edge of the Great Divide.

The grass on my side isn’t all that green,

Is it green over there,

or is it covered in weeds?

The only way to know is to go over and see.

Modern Day crash course

I start the shower water right after getting into the bathroom because it takes awhile to warm up. With my eyes, I check to see if I remembered to turn the lock. I did, I always did. I went over to the sink and the mirror that hung above it to take a look at myself. My hair was greasy, and I definitely looked tired, but I didn’t have giant black rings under my eyes yet. My skin was clear, but not that sort of impossibly clear models do everything short of (or even including) blowing their plastic surgeons for. I was thin, but mostly because I was tall. Not taller than Jeff though. For some reason the concept of dating someone shorter than me seemed unfathomable. The whole freedom of choice thing half-desecrated because I was 5’6″ and that’s with no shoes on, I’m not even sure of how tall I’d be with heels on if I ever needed to wear them.

By this point I was crushing up a Percocet on the corner of the sink I’d just cleaned off while my mind wandered. It was half of a 30mg one. A friend from work found some for me earlier in the week. I didn’t use to do this. It wasn’t until a little while after I’d started dating Jeff, when I was starting to get fed up with his spacing out and thinking about his ex. His dead ex. I do the line in one long sniff. I sit down on the toilet lid and tilt my head back and sniff real hard until I can taste the powder dripping down through my sinuses and into the back of my throat. I run my hands through my hair and stand back up to look at myself in the mirror again. I take a deep breath as I begin to feel better. Then I start thinking again. Sometimes I wonder if Jeff died in that accident too, or, at least some part of him – a part I’ll never know, that nobody will. And I can’t help but wonder if I’m wasting my time with him. Sometimes I imagine leaving the door unlocked and him catching me getting high. Or finding my hiding place for my weed and pipe and my pills. Just wishful thinking, I guess. I shake it off and reach over to feel if the water warmed up yet and it burns my arm. I must’ve been in here longer than I thought.

I pressed play on the CD player that was sitting on a shelf above the back of the toilet and Father John Misty’s I Love You, Honeybear started playing as I stepped into the shower. It felt especially thematically fitting; the album is a nontraditional love album. He romanticizes the good things about falling in love, but simultaneously undermines them. It’s an album about love that isn’t just flowers and sunshine and sex and beauty and agreeing all the time; and about the departure from the independence someone can feel on their own. It’s raw and honest and it shows the irrational things, the insecurities, and the changes people have to make for a relationship to work. It’s not a begrudging “I do,” but it’s a real love album where he admits to being jealous and so invested that he’s vulnerable. It makes me think about true love, how it means different things to different people, what people expect from love varies from person to person, and whether or not that’s what I have with Jeff. Mostly, I don’t think that it is. Things moved really slowly from the beginning – safely. Jeff hadn’t been in a relationship since the accident, so I was patient with him. But while safety can be a good quality, it can rob a relationship of passion at the same time. And with Jeff, there wasn’t this blind, maddening passion that I’d always thought true love was supposed to be about. Jeff was a good guy, though, and committing has never been easy for me so maybe I was only thinking about this because I didn’t want to commit. These thoughts poured through my mind like water from the shower head.

Jeff and I met from having a few mutual friends and ending up at a couple of the same get togethers. It was a little bit longer than a year and a half ago.


Reaching out for nothing at all, 
I come back empty-handed, 
but not disappointed, 
I learned not to expect much –
Not even a postcard,
Not even a phone call,
Not even common decency – 
and you damn sure can’t bank on miracles
Can’t bank on people either –
People burn you,
People move,
People die, but before they do they’ll lie to you
The circle of life is cruel 
It morphs into a wheel 
and damn can it roll, 
The more I let this life get to me
the closer I get to being swallowed whole
Like when you drive past a car crash 
and drive real slow, til you hear the phrase
“Nothin’ to see here, come on, let’s go folks,”
We only want to see until we get too close, 
The things you see and can’t un-see –
Track marks on your friend, 
Your ex telling you she was spending New Year’s Eve with someone else for the first time in four years, 
The funeral service for a friend you knew since you were thirteen –
And what I’ve figured out, most importantly,
The higher the expectations, the lower every letdown leaves you feeling.

Massive Atomic Confusion

Massive atomic confusion

I’m building up,

mounting tension,

I can’t break –

Bend the rules,

but play your part –

the missteps I have to take.

Who am I now

Who am I ever

Curled up in a ball,

sweat drowned me in a river.

Made up my mind,

I’m feeling fine,

never gold,

always silver.

Severe repression

of every issue

that keeps me up at night.

Rotting flesh,

the silent killer,

up all night

to work and die,

right here in the middle.