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by DS Maolalai




Eileen Myles.


I hadn't read a book

in 21 weeks

more or less

but I'd skimmed

that Eileen Myles

Best Of that came out

and my girlfriend

had told me

if I didn't dust the bathroom

and clean out the shower

then soon enough we were going

to be through.


the sky was pale,


as a white ice-cube,

all white

north and east,

and the birds had stopped traveling,

started spending time in trees.


I leaned back

and looked at

what was stacked on my windowsill:

3 winebottles holding candles,

a box of pennies

and 8 books bought last week

in a quick fit

of literature.


my girlfriend

was away until monday.

plenty of time for cleaning;

I turned on the radio

and tried out Myles





a line, (a short blue one)



Cold mornings.


drunk again,

typing emails, girlfriend

in bed, blinking at 1

in the morning. the light

on the walls, cold

and uncharitable

as frost

on a suburb



fresh as waking

on cold

bright mornings.


as a cold





a line, (a short blue one)



Raw august apples.


at Joan.


she told me

when we were going through

charge documents

that she was still on

only 19k a year

after at least a decade

working. and every place

I end up

there's always someone

there like that. and it's an older lady,

(usually it's a lady),

unmarried, unmarriageable

and miserable,

without any strength

beyond the bullish power

to stay and the will to live

and live on through suffering –

but always determined

to make everyone

as miserable as they are. and I try –

I do try – my best

to be friends with them,

because nobody

asks to get stuck and uninteresting. I try

for less of this disdain; to see

past their bitterness

like raw autumn apples

and the opportunity

to share a pie. but god

help me; sometimes

it's difficult. not

the unpleasantness. no, I mean

the attempting to make the work

matter. a 19k job at 65

in a company

which doesn't see you

as anything but that

is not something

you should see

as anything






a line, (a short blue one)



Buildings and bridges.


the light

comes off buildings

and bridges

and flips


to wrinkle

the river.


the city,

one huge

and shining coin,

tossed in the air,


going over.




a line, (a short blue one)



Ronnie's Local


was just this bar,

you know? a place

of broken

doorways. pieces of city

dragged in

off the roadside; old seats

and parts of cars.


like a shape

on a beach somewhere

made out of crabshells. driftwood foraged

and dead dogs' bones.

I was there

one christmas – it was brilliant. after

I'd been

in canada

for 3 months, and still didn't have

many friends. and others,


just like that,

just looking

for someone to talk to. then

I went there a lot. it was

handy, and the beer

was good.


like a rock

sticking out of a river,

snagging at weeds

and tumbles

of scree.


a line, (a blue one)


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