the etymology of a nightmare

in my dream you were dying

i didn’t know yet that you are dead

in my dream you rested

i sat by you in an unfamiliar room

in my dreams i watch you die again

and again i experience the worst pain

i have ever experienced which wasn’t my pain

but bearing witness to the pain my mother felt

as she died and i dream again and again

every night again and again her death

in a different way all slow quiet nightmares

in my dream you were dying

and my body rested as the poison drained away

and i wake to google the etymology of nightmare

and stare at the results which say

Middle English (denoting a female evil spirit

thought to lie upon and suffocate sleepers):

from night + Old English mære ‘incubus.’

and i think of the words god and death

and again i experience the worst pain

then try to shut it out and my body rests

and your body rests and my sleep is suffocated

by your absence and i think of my unknown ancestors

and how i speak their conqueror’s language

and how many mothers of my ancestor’s have died

and how i do not speak to my mother’s mother who’s still alive

how i wish i could but she’s too old to communicate

how she believes she’s American and nothing else

in my dream all of my ancestors are dying

if i forget our languages

i have betrayed my languages

from modern to middle to old english

i cannot express how much pain there was in your breath

i can only convey your death through stating the inability to do so

in my dream you die

in my dream you are dying

in my dream you died

in my dream you have died

in my dream you were dying

the cycle continues

BREAKING NEWS

A BOMB GOES OFF AT A CONCERT

POLICE STATE BOMBER NAME

BOMBER IDENTIFIED AS MUSLIM MAN
POLICE STATE DON’T GO OUT AND KILL MUSLIMS
KILLING MUSLIMS AT HOME IS NOT LEGAL
YOU MUST SIGN UP IN THE ARMED FORCES
IN ORDER TO LEGALLY KILL MUSLIMS
POLICE STATE THAT THE ATTACKER WAS RADICALIZED AT HOME

POLICE STATE THAT THE ATTACKER WAS A LONE WOLF
POLICE STATE THAT NEVERMIND THE ATTACKER HAD CONTACT

THE ISLAMIC STATE STATES THAT THE ATTACKER WAS THEIR SOLDIER

PUNDIT ON TV STATES THAT ATTACKER AND ISIS HAD CONTACT
THAT THE CONTACT WAS THRU AN ENCRYPTED MOBILE PHONE APP

THE TALKING HEADS ARGUE WHETHER THERE SHOULD BE ENCRYPTED APPS

THE NEWS ANCHORS SPREAD THE NAME OF THE ATTACKER
THE PEOPLE ON THE TV SAY THE NAME OVER AND OVER

THE WHITE MAN STATES THAT HE WANTS THE MUSLIMS OUT

POLICE STATE A STATE OF EMERGENCY
POLITICIANS STATE REVENGE
THE MILITARY STATE BOMBS MUSLIM COUNTRIES

A BOMB GOES OFF AT A SPORTING EVENT

THE CYCLE CONTINUES

a hopeless song

maybe if i get high again

i could feel that senseless

emotion, that total immersion

 

maybe if i saw you again

i could catch that intangible

floating above us in our youth

 

maybe if i sat on my old bed

i could smell that hopelessness

seeping into the stained mattress

 

should i just take one hit

just a hit of dope

to reach

 

should i just take a drag

pull myself along

to breathe

 

if only we can capture

the goal that nostalgia

proffers beyond sobriety

 

if only this song were for you

i’d bury it in the sand

so we could only hear its muffled breaths

we won’t care

we won’t care

until glaciers haunt

our coastlines

we won’t care

until black monoliths

melt but move with impetus

we won’t care

until monstrosities block

NYC’s sunrise

we won’t care

until slush the color

of asphalt will wash up

we won’t care

until the evidence

chokes our trash infested beaches

we won’t care still

because we’ll all be dead

Feed the Piranhas

Curate This Philly has published my poem, “Feed the Piranhas.” The piece delves into the mind of a caricature artist on the boardwalk who has PTSD and his reaction to the crowds and fireworks.

Feed the Piranhas