one of us - speed freaks and junkies


Shh.
Hold your fire.
Put that serotonin back where you found it!

We walk the medicine cabinet stumble.
You are all glass shelves, shattering in the sink,
stabbing the bottoms of my feet. Damn it man,
you’ve got a clumsy distribution system!

He shakes the bottle,
the old Venice mating call… 
and I am out on the tiles, embedded by splintered
shards of glass.

I’ve been begging someone
to remove this pain, pet me and make me human
again but everyone’s afraid of the thorn
in the lions paw.

Daniel, where did you go?

You could have tamed me but you
left me for dead, and, well,
that’s quite alright, I suppose.

How ‘bout it…
Move that rock Jesus,
we got places to go and it’s been three days,
time to get out of this dark cave, it's lookin' like a crack house.

They told me you were a junkie,
that you had nothing for me.

I thought I was at the circus
when I saw the monkeys
and short of a miracle,
nothing was going to save me.

I was part of the carnival,
the one wise to the grift,
staring out of the corner of my eye,
making them all nervous, (as their peanut shells shifted,
while they nickled and dimed the goldfish
tossing the ball into the basket)
they watched me back,
with sneers,
beady eyes as if I was a narc
or something.

I remained still
on the wire, I caught the trapeze
gliding elegantly through the air,
I yelled “Trust Fall!”
and when I let go and you were nowhere to be found.

It was a long search to sky before I hit the
ground, vertebrae, ribs and bones cracked,
it left me a bloody mess.

I crawled out from under the spotlight, 
elbows through dirt, 
trying to avoid the clowns, with their fucking pistol flowers,
enormous red shoes stepping on my fingers.
Those fuckers were pouring out by the dozens
and they came out of the tiniest car, like stereo-typed Bollywood Indians,
or Mexicans from an old Dodge Caravan at Santa Monica beach.

Savages, I tell you.
The whips, the lobster clawed poet,
the bearded lady who was so certain of herself, she became a musician,
the strong man was dropping weights and sending mercury up the
needle for a cuipie doll prize, the Siamese twins had spit personalities
that were always out to get me, while the crowd was laughing in the bleachers…
and there I human
canoeing my way to leave
a message at your tent. 

You were fast
asleep, 
woke up and told me not to trust
the weather maps and that we wouldn’t need
brake lights in the desert.  I nodded, limply.
“No one is there to see you, no one should follow
that close anyway...” I couldn’t help but agree.

Pulling back the curtain, the rounded lights
squared the mirror, framing your profile
while you nodded, out.

I could see now, from the bottom of your heels,
looking horizontally the dirt beneath your feet,
on the fringe of a Persian rug by the sweep of my debris,
paradoxical as it were that  
I was lower than the rest of the freaks.   

Was it the inability to bend my knees,
unable to stand up, face to face with you?
Was it the broken ribs, making my arms
stiff and stuck at my side, unable to block the
bricks, or the way I tilted, leaning to the floor,
unable to keep a straight lace or use my spine?

Or was it you, the hypnotist, the mimic artist,
the tattooed freak, or perhaps the idea of you
in tuxedo tails and a top hat?

Oh man,
my head rings, leaping and taking it to
the hoop, I have performed under threat,
to be left wayside at the tracks,
or showcased in the back, where only the
ventriloquist speaks, and while I cracked,
seams wide open, I was lucky,
to have been sewn up
and stitched for this occasion –
I’m ready to become one
of you – doubling by threes,
part of the broken down speed freaks and junkies,
chanting, “one of us, one of us”