Tuesday, August 30, 2016


Lights on eyes widen
brain contracts the check
is torn into pieces the numbers
run out of room on the sheet
of what she was saying
about high school and what
they should talk about
so she would feel a little bit
more confident in her reasons
her justifications for
why she doesn't belong
what they end up talking about
without her
on ahead they skip
skip over the part where she
they come back 
and make a meal of her
spitting up the bones of her expressions
drying out in the back

"So you're going to play the geometry teacher now?"
"Geometry teacher? What does my saying my ex-husband never took me seriously have to do with my playing a geometry teacher?"

"So you're going to play the master chef now?"
"Master chef? What does my describing how my boss twisted the letter opener after he inserted it into my stomach have to do with my playing a master chef?"

"So you're going to play the gastroenterologist now?"
"Gastroenterologist? What does my mentioning how he was all the time behind my never being able to escape that hellhole have to do with my playing a gastroenterologist?"

"So you're going to play the foodborne parasite now?"
"You're saying that because I forgot about the salad for a couple of weeks? Months?"
"I was referring to what you do to every relationship you've ever been in."
"Foodborne parasite? You're saying that because of all the greasy fast food I never finish or you're saying that because of the sound?"
"The sound?"
"The sound I make?"
"When you do what?"
"When I'm being a parasite?"
"Oh, I thought you meant the other thing."

- Max Stoltenberg

Wednesday, August 17, 2016


Egregious is a white board background
Destined for discomfort
Weaseling our way out unsuccessfully
Falling off the Earth's foreskin
Didn't know that was still there 
Swimming through something that makes us ill
Kept our mouths shut
Allowed to see the answers
Eyes bound open with duct tape
the blue circle smeared
by a shitty thumb
don't mind if you do or don't
doesn't matter to us
inserting double spaces
violating laws of motion
in front of the television
remote up his ass
erasers in his ears
Do you know what your number is?
won't be able to get there in time
Never could
Falling off the Earth's foreskin
Didn't know that was still there
Swimming through something that makes us ill
Kept our mouths shut
until we stick our necks out
Past the door-frame of the womb

- Max Stoltenberg

Tuesday, August 16, 2016


If it was that he looked in the mirror and saw nothing or that he saw something was a matter worth procrastinating or perseverating over very slowly until the next time the skeleton didn't sit down why should it point with all of its bones at the rest of everything at the conclusion of the party between the edge of the desert and the empty pool next to the overturned barbecue atop a vomited pile of dried charcoal it comes it comes to end sometimes and then it starts over unrecognizable at first and the next time until it's too late for the mirror and a part of nothing and a part of something was a matter worth was the matter with worth and value for pornographic dyads lubricated contractions slathered with a burning wind the wind that wraps the drooping shaft the posture mispronouncing gestures for no one for everybody and we leave it at until they bring up again tomorrow making thicker lenses and thinner solutions deciphering codes and destroying connections 

she had gotten her head stuck in the banister and rolled her eyes back and forth she whispered the words, "dishwasher staggering" as she looked down at the carpet and where it ended and the tile began remembering how it felt when she stepped there and her left foot took that sharp object objects sharper now then whatever she had almost forgotten her face her features her eyes the way she lifted her eyes and then the way she lowered them away from her until she had gotten her head stuck mistakes and useless progress and disasters had been made intentionally when she could walk around things before they disappeared swallowed by the beige blankness of what lingered beyond the fence harsh borders melting into the glass a mirror for avoidance the kind that never worked when pots and pans clamored for you attention at the bottom of your worth.

- Max Stoltenberg