Sunday, October 1, 2017

OFFLINE TENSION

Inside an eyeglass case the coffin for the day dark with diseases and tripping over cadavers honey on genitals mixed with wasted time staring at images of curves sliced into many moments lost an ass of our times making hollow promises and that is what makes them so inviting until the shit down below has made its way up to the third floor we are moving into the attic surrounded by bad ideas discarded and less uneventful passages that provided friction over more sensitive patches wired for silence hushed by driving into the sunlight when you and your car have truly confirmed being under a magnifying glass.

She said, "He came."
The other she said, "I didn't want to know that."
She said, "Crashing down."
The other she said, "And you were just going to keep this to yourself?"
She said, "Until you asked that question."
The other she said, "I think what you mean is the question you asked yourself."
She said, "Isn't this supposed to be about what I say it means to me?"
The other she said, "You dreamed about going to the desert because you went to the desert."
She said, "It was a swamp."
The other she said, "I thought it was a desert."
She said, "Then it dries out and becomes a desert."
The other she said, "Everything in your life dries out."
She said, "I mean it was a desert, but it still looked swamp-like. I don't know what I mean."

Time for picking up the backyard
what the dog left behind
the birds, the bugs 
and their shit
like out of place punctuation
not so out of place
hemming and neglecting
a life half-done
almost completely over
much more to go
balloon air escaping
much slower than expected
obligatory speech
the thoughts in your head
leaking out until 
the skull and the grave
catch up with each other


- Max Stoltenberg

Thursday, August 31, 2017

BUG ON THE LENS

It's cool I mean it's hot it's neat I mean it's dirty bathtub on the runway bloody feet pumping the brakes and tipping over the empty china closet that's what was back there awakened somewhat call it tomorrow the moment if it pleases you if it drops you down into a more natural tone of doubt spitting out crickets crossing the street slowly in the heat the kind that makes the top of your head itch a neurotic static like that and not like that more like the muttering of dislike under his tooth beneath his regret and right eye. 

"What would you prefer to kill me with?"
"You're putting me on the spot again."
"I have reason to believe you'll hit your mark."
"Or you."
"Or me."
"Do you imagine the same thing is taking place on the cellular level?"
"Two cracked and peeling doormats miniaturized and injected into some poor bastard's arm and wading up to their testicles through some mitochondrial jelly sent there by some administrative assistant whose name eludes me."
"Unfortunately, not enough words elude you."
"Unfortunate for you."
"Unfortunate for me. A wasted lamp wearing a head for a hat."
"Skirtless infiltrator that I am."
"Pass the stencil."
"All I have is my finger."
"You did shuffle along as you drew your line in the desert the other day."
"The other day."
"I wandered accompanied as a pest unhinged death-rolling about in a bed of twine."
"Here we go."
"You mean I mean here I go. Don't give me that here we go nonsense!"
"It's your nonsense. Have at it and flail to your cholesterol's overweaning fucking pride."
"Fucking pride. I attempted it in an alley once no twice maybe even a fifth occasion, but the emaciated thing felt like it was going to crack in half or even more invisible to the eye subdivisions. Crumbs if you will."
"I have no will. An imbalanced vat of soup scum. I remember when I was in school and had tried to eat a cup of soup my stepmother had put in my lunch. There was some mass I felt and choked it down to get it over with. That's how I've always been. Never one to spit anything out always swallow to get it over with. Not even a choking more like it's some manner of centipede propelling itself down the slimy dull red gullet. And then the waiting for the acids to simmer and burn as this mass grows demonic wire brushes abrading its way to my sphincter, but postponing its exit like mucus in the back of a nostril. A comparison that comes close would be the only one in my life I ever tried to kiss a year or two prior on the bus and our mouths failed about each other like orifices forced open beyond their capacity fissuring with the thwarted attempts at escape of our miserable parasites."

Love no drainage
from the amputated memories
our images just valves
blocked with blood clots
nurturing our darkness
chafing it under the blankets
stained with sweat and despair
coupled like conjoined roaches
brought together by a coercive faith
what cut you out from the beginning
somewhere along the way
the brittle lip of sarcasm
coalescing into beads of resentment
as the beginning stretches
across the insatiable chasm


-  Max Stoltenberg



Saturday, August 19, 2017

MAD ABOUT

Half-assed he looked for the fish food that should have been next to the jar empty from years of forgetting to refill the beans marbles jellybeans jolly-ranchers allergy medicine more like a sixteenth of an ass past tense he had pulled a muscle from avoiding exertion no pants fit right just to rub it in kneading the fleshy memories in his body of how often he fucked up his re-entry into any social group society of the Earth's atmosphere a turbid cloud adorning his sardonic baggage obscuring his confusion. The worst years of their lives scorched by proverbs combined with oracular ventings penetrating clouds of compact slipped discs scratched over mountains of salt rather small mountains with their faces shaved and bolted together pins using people of common interests an affinity of insecurities. 

"As a wise person once said, Make sure you leave it in park."
"Which reminds me of a quote I once heard."
"I don't want to hear it."
"How unlike you."
"You and your sarcasm can drive into a brick wall and then have your vehicle put in a car crusher."
"I wasn't being sarcastic. It struck me as uncharacteristic of you wanting to hear any quote not from your own dank cellar."
"I said I don't want to hear it."
"Your don't sounded like do."
"I'll wager that never worked on your mother."
"My father never appreciated my poor hearing."
"Until his own began to wither, eh?"
"It did work on my mother, though."

I wanted to be your book
So I could be in your hands
You push through being tired
Keeping your last light on for me
Until I see your red eyes
reading me
close me fold me
shut me down
turn out the last light
all the pushing you have done
exhaustion is the gravity of the void

"Are you dense?"
"I've put on quite a bit."
"And not in the way of knowledge."
"There has been some."
"An announcement a selfish meandering looking at the blinds and stopping her from opening them when she wants to see the lightning outside ignoring the flashes inside your sockets the madness the madness games."
"Just because it's alphabetical doesn't mean that's how I want to look for what I don't have or sit next to those who take what I thought was mine."

Repetition and the past will always be the most popular fads for going out of style like a ferris-wheel spinning off the dock into the ocean and the tide goes out. Talking to each other while applying hand-gel is singing extremely slowly to deny we are in a soap opera. Afraid of catching something while wading through this immense toilet swimming in each other's waste as fish in a tank a very dry tank putting on airs wrapped around a bulging globe of anxiety cellophaned in breathing exercises.


- Max Stoltenberg

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

ELEPHANT FURNITURE

Listening to the absence of rain
Ignoring the hot wind
Unsuccessful a middle name
shared by many
Potatoes muddy to the touch
Trying to apply so little pressure
to so much absurd vanity
do away with mirrors 
and then 
each other
another apocalypse come and gone
is that what that was
was it
put it down
to excessive time
for plans dented with human thought


- Max Stoltenberg

Saturday, July 8, 2017

WE THOUGHT YOU

And then it struck 14 was that the number the next number from the way her hair fell or shined not from the light but from the dark the dark things time and others had done snails stay in until it's wet again and we stay in until it's dry again when we know how much we need water tastes less bland when you get older or really close to death and then you wake the fuck up the next day with a dry mouth and a wet pillow. He went about his business under the auspices of someone else's chummy volunteering you to life's dead ends that make the back of your head collide with the foot of your eyes like the sound of a chair dragged across tile. Walking on eggshell white noise perhaps it was bound to re-emerge and the little thin man in the light brown shoes bringing persuasion into it again like it's some kind of way to grab one's attention one's side one's way of looking at things and finding a part of you was next door all along and coming back coming in between knees all caps has become your type of defense your method of argument now when auditioning for a more laid-back approach is something you can take off your list was it ever there to begin with with the wrong person you know the one inside of you go back go back to the corner and wait for the car with the windows rolled down and the faces and their big eyes that shout at you as you shake and twist yourself into a shape that acts like nothing startled you until when they want you to act like you weren't expecting anything lowered that bar many ages ago not that long, but you know or are very good at acting like you didn't know or just that kind of whatever leaving the front door far behind and the expanse of nothing the clutter from ear to ear.


- Max Stoltenberg

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

CONJUNCTION LAXATIVE

Making for the distraction almost there stuck to concentration on the dark spot on the carpet that time you watched the man put his foot in it the one wearing the blue dark blue shirt like the shirt you have you wore when it was you who stepped into it. The chase to get the bus before the light changes as the dark clouds break up and the Sun on her face those eyes blinking as she finds it harder for herself to breathe. The building is paying no attention even though he wants it to look at him and know about his reservations regarding missing dinner for as long as he was in the barren expanse that grew between work and the place where he was evicted no he just forgot where he lived and the time expected to clock in got a little longer that day.

to the tollbooth
close your mouth
the doubts still banging on the door
inside your head
close that as well
long time ago it was 
needle threaded and the street
is slanting towards my anxiety
over the limit
burning in my stomach
blankets sticking to human food
left over night
going bad
and still chewed on
sheltered by their intestines
passing through never passing
just passing through


- Max Stoltenberg

Sunday, June 25, 2017

DESERT CRACKERS

She held the crumpled up water bottle caked with dirt and other decay like the steering wheel of a car she might never have had who knew who asked who cared? Who bothered? Many bothered bothered her, but not about anything pertaining to her travels and her many imprisonments her pauses her stucknesses the reasoning of those who bothered her those who never bothered about anything else pertaining to her only to their appetite for appetites.

Where did she imagine she was going or doing or where she thought she was? A ruined village that was more underneath the Earth or elsewhere she was reaching somewhere the point where she wouldn't have to know if she was going again. Skin had its way for others to have theirs and with it being broken so many times you'd think it would reach that point but it always knows when the rest of it all slithers nearby around the cracked toilet of someone's mind.

"I think I'm going to be sick."
"I thought you've been sick for some time."
"I have just I'm going to be really sick."
"Then say really sick why don't you? I mean really."
"Do you? Really? Seeing to it that you overuse terms doesn't make you the measure of sincerity."
"Bend over."
"I was thinking about that not that vomiting."
"I was recommending it for both."
"I could turn around and throw up on you and watch if any industrial acid burns a crater into your crotch."
"Zombie fantasy #116?"
"#86. I'm still counting on my next diabetic seizure to take me out before I get into the triple digits, but with this heat, I think I'm too late for that."

Fracture and terse
menagerie of affairs
cognitive extinctions
within the enclosures of your skull
citations slice the tongue
taste is lost in a red sea
of forgetfulness and monotony
from study to anecdote
alternating opportunism
clothes become coffins
in the unpaved morgue


- Max Stoltenberg


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

FELLED IN ONE SWOOP

Abnormal neck pulsing between breaths all through the breath really surreally so informal taking your time and pissing it away not as how should we say it put it? not as streamlined as before along the lines of flaccid arcs dripping down into the holes spluttering against the plastic before leaking into the holes wandering to the edge in a stream of consciousness along the lines of flaccid arcs dripping down sweat burning a head one is beginning at the nearly finished to believe has never been clear a dream given up on broken promises disillusioned so that's what was in my eye all this pissed away time.

"You should do a better job of checking your sources."
"I'd say I'd keep that in mind, but that's all my brain's been clogged with."
"You'd think you'd learn by now, but you even make matters worse by deleting your posts."
"I'm getting it. I'm just deleting myself."
"Nothing to be spun."
"My spectacles are cleaner than I thought. There's a smear in the air."
"A proctologist and a fan walked into a bar."
"I've heard this one, no wait the proctologist walked in with a follower or the appliance?"
"They were wearing appliances."
"You sure it wasn't an orthodontist?"
"I'm certain. The fixtures were in their other hole."
"Walking arm in arm?"
"Brazen as the day is skid-marked."
"I've heard that one."
"Relentless bastard."
"A blender and a surgeon were riding one of those bicycles with the extra seats."
"Are you referring to spawning families with additional women or the fish?"
"Did you think I said sturgeon? Your ears must be filled after that last dust storm we had."
"A moment of weakness when that last one whirled through here. I considered asking for wishes. I forget how many one gets like it really matters. Weakness it was. Did look like quite a dervish escaping the desert although it just faded blended into this infernal nether just imagined what it might be like to see something anything escaping."
"We've discussed this imagining business."
"Business there was a lot of that getting stuck in my eye."

Two minds of two
associations on both sides
separated by an axis
a fence threaded with razors
chills and scorching
stumbling under the bright sun
clearing one's throat
and swallowing nonsense
chunks clumping 
into another illness
feel it coming on
the aches of thoughts
repeating like poison 
laced with spoon-fed phrases


- Max Stoltenberg

Friday, May 26, 2017

LEVEL DOWN

And after that overly long and unnecessary introduction more like preheating for the customary 6 or so minutes, you think that it might be strange or appropriate to mention or keep to oneself much in the manner of pushing your own face inside out recalling when you were little and would play with your socks and roll them into a fabric donut stop scratching my head making it burn feel like sharp bugs and their hypodermic legs strolling through the thoughts the contemplations that draw blood and try in vain to put it back dried out brush forcing itself upon a wall sucking up to indecision and retractions.

He went into the field where the field used to be to meet with the administrative assistant who was so good at alphabetizing and reversing the direction of time in regards to emails and still managed to get the edges of her nails catching on sweater sleeves fuck hate when that happens and seek absolution in watching slower and slower slow motion videos of water balloons colored liquid holding it together as membranes fail so quickly in the smallest spans returning from the room with the shredder before anyone notices the extra folders missing waited too long to put it down and now it's gone don't think much of it dehydrated conversation burning lips on windows that close doors on the field that used to be.

the sky has been dark
where did the day go
way up into the ass
of the universe
calling it that hasn't helped
where we end
trying to extend it
by some jerking it off
making whatever longer
where we end
is nothing
nothing but our carbon monoxide


- Max Stoltenberg

Saturday, May 13, 2017

FROM IT TO THIS

Distractions and unanswered questions
Asking crushed under the chin
of the lowering face of anger
Mesmerized by pupils
disengaged and slamming fists
upon reveries and investigating
Curiosity deflated 
bones to branches
muscles to weeds
the backyard of forgetfulness

She went to the sink as her phone rang and rang towards no response. Sneezing and peeing a little. Something fell down the stairs. She imagined what it might be as a voice mail kicked in. Not available after the beep a box of buttons that said something about providing everyone in the office with instructions involving fucking themselves. Applying pressure with her thumb looking at the drain and wondering about a world down there bereft of light not much darker than her own. Pushing apart a couple of slats in the window blinds coming back to this seeing the children being lined up in the desert under a sky filled with hot air balloons fragile substitutes for the spots on the glass.

"Are you done with that?"
"I've been done with it.
"Then why do you still have it?"
"It's got it's teeth in my wrist."
"So much for being conscious."
"Eyes open eyes closed it's a chore."
"You're just saying that."
"You said it."
"I just did."
"We are being annoying."
"What else is new?"
"What is banging around in the dryer?"
"Whatever was banging around before it was put in the wash."
"Too true."
"Too true is whatever we deny today that seeps back in tomorrow."
"Did you bury the cat?"
"Didn't find much left of it."
"There you go procrastinating again."
"Me? I'm the one remember who found a whisker."
"That's just an expression."
"Paw. I meant paw. Remember when I got dragged by the neighbors and their shopping cart?"
"They weren't neighbors. You said you didn't recognize any of them."
"I didn't, but I did say my memory could be on the fritz again."
"On the fritz."
"And I mentioned when they were done with me and dumped me in that storm drain that I spotted the paw? And the following day I asked you about the funeral? Do you recall what you said?"
"Something about more blood in my stools I imagine."
"There was that, yes, but I asked when we were going to dispose of bury the paw and you said you needed several weeks to work on a eulogy. It's been a tad beyond the several weeks."
"On the fritz, eh?"
"On the fritz."
"Are you done with that?"


- Max Stoltenberg

Thursday, April 27, 2017

DRIFT LODGER

Pencil prick
bleeding inferno and what not
yet
development imposition
a churning in the chest
right behind the nipple
the right nipple
wrong body
water pneumonia
testing for belonging
in the stuck position
here to stay
the bacon is off
something in the room
is dead
has been for a while
days weeks
nights of in and out 
of holes
falling back pulling muscles
bleeding inferno and what not
is shit out
into existence
to play
the role of an interruption


- Max Stoltenberg

Saturday, April 22, 2017

WHERE OFF

Do you think it's because of what you said what you said was the cause and it all stopped right there came to a halt nothing more to trickle out of the spigot hammered into the back of the head just above the where they asked if you wanted it cut square just above the horizon where disasters emerged from where promises delay until they are forgotten remember? what the fuck do you know? get out the chicken the pieces are small but who liked who wanted them that way

that way 

It's what it said on the phone and he messed with her ruined conversations drove them into walls cornered the expressions until they didn't want to turn around why should they? why should they take the stairs down and leave the roof alone when it could be the reason for faces that stare out at the windows darkened darkening the questions out of the dead eyes burned with endings changed for a lie where everyone lives and run into each other bump into each other step over each other interrupt each other punctuate the moments that got away from them hurt each other cut each other drop each other from ledges into the previously rewound.

Unnecessary turnarounds
reasoning drowned out
by screeching tires
looping into insomnia
dreams nightmares
stuck in classrooms
on the way to classrooms
unnecessary turnarounds
another test mentioned
in the same insecure breath
with being with someone
gone debated aging
and climbing out of dumpsters
lifted over your head 
dangling like aloneness
at the top of the ferris-wheel
seeking justice
as the buried
before and after the rotting
denies between blinks


- Max Stoltenberg

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

GROUNDED STORM CLOUD

Vestigial forearms crossed over a lap draped in inadequacy spending the rest of a life making a slowly deflating brain more comfortable before the top of his thoughts collapse and stick to the bottom and step away from that back wall you can let it fall in or out we could make a bet or see who else might be interested in making a bet kicking into a pool maybe if they think it will fall in or fall out kicking into a pool? what is the matter with you? I'll just keep my hand on this wall until one of the roaches crawls over it and tickles me in my sleep sleep? you're telling me you sleep standing up? a little bit a little bit? don't nod off for long triangles triangles? scalene mostly never an equilateral an isosceles once in a while scarcely clear abundantly opaque stop muttering I am not muttering that's what you were doing a third of a fraction of his former divided subject see my finger what am I looking at? my finger I know that what on your finger am I looking at the surface the surface really this cellophane raincoat that vainly covers the poisoned blood traveling through the tubes below tubes I suppose you get that from around the corner where they call them tubes caves is what we refer to them as on our side of desert tunnels I think is what you were going for I don't whip up much for going for anything these days despite all your confessions despite all your apologies despite all your redemptive actions you can't unchoke me.


- Max Stoltenberg

Friday, March 24, 2017

UNFULFILLED PUNCTUATION

The vibration went through the house through the walls doubling every anxious thought splitting them into more jagged contemplations underlined in red a dim red soup left out too long formed a film of a woman sitting in front of a clouded window forgetting what she was looking for on her side of the eyes in her sad head a sad head for figures slumping to the floor in exhaustion in resignation from the positions she held took before and might take again or be scolded into consolidating into a coffin that's a position the only position she'd be into after her mother's legs opened and crossed again into a brooding compliance.

"Decaying rooms go in and out of my memory."
"No matter what you say, you can't dissuade me from my upward spiral."
"You had to forego the elevator?"
"Their dragging things out has always rubbed off on me."
"Did that say 14th floor?"
"I don't know. Why don't you go back and check?"
"Would you prefer that? Besides not using the elevator?"
"And deny us some useless banter? Why would I want to miss out on that?"
"Exactly. This building has 19 floors right?"
"I never wanted to go all the way to the top. I thought I made that obvious."
"Then why go this far?"
"Overestimating myself. Is this my exit?"
"You're asking me?"
"You wanted to come along."
"I did."
"Stop pretending like I have more of one thing than the other like you know the real me or whatever the fuck it is."
"It's still hot out."
"It stays this hot all night."
"I know that. Just because I haven't been stranded out here as long as you."
"Now which side of the building to use?"
"While you think about that, I'll tell you about what pieces I've been working on."

3 Duets for Harp and Table Saw
10 Pieces for Toy Piano 6-Hand Dog and a Half
7 Fragments for Backgammon Dice, Hamster, and Water Balloon

Overcast overshadowed
Overtime overshot
Bending one's desire
in your hands
who's?
Mentioned at the end
Quarreling misunderstandings
Losing hair
What's left doesn't listen
to your comb
who's?
Overcast overshadowed
Overtime overshot
Puzzles in boxes in bookcases
Questions in silences in closets


- Max Stoltenberg


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

EVER TOLD YOU?

Has anyone conducted a note of alarm I have what the have nots have not had the conduct the plain bloody facing it my words not my words overdue to be returned and the zipper resealed over my mouth that would be better it has always been better I cannot brush it it will only go in one direction towards the end and this is running out of chunks of waste never desert always have that made a big fucking hole in the universe in my head and the desert is still there going in and going out and collecting collecting dust collecting for some cause some expired beauty that looks so stretched and tired holding its eyes open so wide enough for the vast emptiness to slide out onto the stage the edge of the stage and tumble into the darkness to be pissed on by the front row. Deserted airships floating inside that lump in the throat it is the lump pregnant with deserted airships colliding into nothing to say nothing to offer.

This life is running out was from the first moment you lifted your head from the blanket and looked at the light like urine streaming into a room people in stiff white clothes mumbling except for when they shouted I'll just put my head back down don't speak up putting it back down until my chin submerges into her menstrual revision of me circling the stairs of the apartments where I guess we thought we lived or was told moving my arms use these things that shake and are useless circling the stairs under all this water looking up into the sky filled with endless wave upon wave of flooding smothering me my world won't be breathing for much longer too long hold it hold it and death no circling the stairs shit stop it about the drown in my own overlooking my own underwhelming utterances I'll just put my head back down won't speak up putting it back down until my chin submerges into her menstrual revision of me thought we lived or was told moving my arms use these things useless things that shake and are circling the stairs under.

She will call and she will ask what I asked and I will go over it many times before she will call and she will ask what I asked what I repeated and angered the lot cast beneath and behind rear windshield between two excuses the same pattern of humiliation nothing new beneath and behind prescribed for mites replacing the secretions of hesitation. 

"Did you see that?"
"See what?"
"You looked up at the moment I noticed it."
"I don't know what you're talking about."
"You didn't see something fly like a dark bug into the blinds it's probably in there."
"I am not disturbing the blinds and have whatever it is or isn't fly into my mouth or into my body by some means."
"By some means?"
"I also hate bending or breaking the blinds."
"I hate the way my fat ass stomach just bunches up and folds my damn arteries like a bloody hose throbbing. Why can't stomachs be like pillows that lose their fluffiness and get flat?"
"Instead they're more like all kinds of fucked up shapes from my body derailing through some nightmare."
"You said you don't want something that isn't to fly into your mouth. How could it do that if it isn't?"
"Just an expression that fell out of my butthole."
"Tell me the one about the lawyer."
"The lawyer?"
"And what fell out his butthole."
"It was an accountant and the tube in his ear."
"You mean his eustachian tubes?"
"No someone jammed a tube in his ear over some tax audit that ensued from his filing and what came out."
"Brain leakage I reckon."
"This is the one with the thought balloon remember? You thought it was funny and asked me to retell it a while ago. When we still had water and electricity."
"And food."
"And food or that wasn't you it was the woman."
"In the glasses and the purple and black patterned blouse who went over the wheel."
"Over the wheel. Right. That's how they said she went. Over the wheel."
"When there was still a they."

We were flushed out
from the ocean
to the rim where the land
collects all the shit 
on the coast
yanking each other's chains
shoring up this waste
until it collapses back
into the stained pool
we were flushed out
from the ocean
to the rim where the land
eyes fooled by the sight of heat
we were flushed out 
from the ocean
the tank quiets
the Earth's crust has formed
memories of dried waste
what disillusionment smells like


- Max Stoltenberg

Sunday, February 26, 2017

DUNGBEETLE COFFEE

He lay in bed looking as if he might fall out spotted by no one but the thud laying there sweaty exhaling the dust into the legs of the nightstand stumpy dusty corner legs who doesn't have their headphones in? who is that? report them to me before they let their noise disrupt what half of my ass I have left to give to the day. Correction, report them to him I get carried away when it looks as though he's had an accident and won't be stirring about the pot not from the night before not too long before less than a couple of hours actually but stirring the pot with so much sticking to the sides we'll be headed for another collision sooner than we think suppose it'll get stuck in our throats and make us cough that way we did at one of those parties long ago when they asked us to leave not because of the cough mind you but all the other stuff that gets caught in one's throat and makes it difficult to carry on a conversation or face the scrutiny of those too impatient for the delayed ends of sentences.

"How is it?"
"It's OK I guess."
"Really?"
"No, not that good really more of a resemblance of all the other disappointments throughout this I guess you could call it what would you call it?"
"Life?"
"Is that what you'd call it?"
"More like when you try to get candy out of a box and someone has pushed the tab in."
"I feel as though I've been given a tremendous lack of opportunity to do what I do almost somewhat adequately."
"Are you going to try some more?"
"They used to always say before you go in to have a list."
"A To Do list?"
"More a list of questions to ask, but I never could think of any. Think of what to ask so few words from loud towering people. Guess that's why I would spend so much time looking up at tall abandoned buildings. Only then they could overshadow so few words and such long silences."
"Do you think art is what drops off the conveyor belt or what stays on it or both?"
"Whatever gets caught in the gears or none of the above."

Water that makes up
most of her
is evaporating
long hair returning
about to be cut
cashed in 
not as much this time
this time this wretch
before a break
from the disturbed sleep
turning on the fan
unplugged from the wall
the wall blocking out
replicas of your insecurities
turning on you


- Max Stoltenberg

Sunday, January 29, 2017

DEAD AIR MEASLY

Loading please wait loading a log of shit please wait logging a tremendous load of bullshit please wait or fuck the please just wait or don't be on your way don't need me to say it or anyone else or maybe that certain someone that certain high school face and it was never the same handling anything after that dropping something would never be a small matter just a glass bowl full of the reddest bloodiest fakest bloodiest fruit punch crashing to Earth and staining your spotlight in front of the group splitting and resplitting into thousands and millions and billions so rapidly your heart not yours for sleep in a lost peace as the pillow tears at your eye closed but like a garage door being forced open to waking moments of insomniac frustrations and deadlines and people who you are being convinced by yourself you are supposed to rip your brain in half to give a fuck about while they make up their minds glued together with deflections and rhetoric whipped on a rowing machine into shapes and sizes of thumbnails that make your eyes gloppy with mucus of isolation and just a side note behind the very turned banana peel licked by the cat a stain of something it finds reminiscent of the edible once found in the cuts made in the rotting land between locations for passing out after talking each other out of doing much else things taken off of other things or put next to something reminding someone of a boxed existence or part of one. 

"Mention his name go ahead I dare you."
"His name?"
"Yeah, go ahead I fucking dare you to and see what heap of gnarled shit-storm will come raining down on you."
"I don't think I could."
"You see you've probably filled your pants with a load of excrement in anticipation of the wrath of our own torment or maybe who knows maybe you might get lucky and be spared losing only one limb."
"No, I mean I think you're referring to her the woman who liked to wear all black well I don't want to assume she liked to wear or liked much of anything I think your feigned optimism struggled in all its strident echo chamber of hollow motivation in the face of her pushing back I don't want to read too much into it it might have just come naturally to her for all I know and that has always been a failing venture on the downside of vague too forlorn to be able to focus and keep my place when reading others I tend to find myself out in the hallway hit in the seat of my soiled pants by the impatience of those behind me in line at the checkout."
"You said her name once I think you got it wrong. It doesn't surprise me with your way or lack thereof."
"One thing I do recall is that book I lent you because you were obsessed with making small talk more microscopic and when asked for it back several months later you smirked and made some pun of the book's title and walked away. You shrugged and walked away."
"You keep insisting I did that."
"I don't insist. I bring it up whenever the noise dies down for a brief moment every few years or so. Not a frequent event. It could also be when I come across something like a lighter with not enough fluid to get past the spark."

Delving into nuisances
Bending back to the window
Heading for the disagreeable
U-turns into silence
Changing one's stale mind
Thoughts unbrushed with paste
She knew holding 
the last time one could
muster tears
or tear into muster
gone now
bellowing in a house
with knocks 
to bring one to a barren keyhole


- Max Stoltenberg

Saturday, January 21, 2017

MISALIGNED SIDING

Got the case mixed up upper or lower the beginning of each plane flying over the house the shower has run cold figures ran through the steps and can't simply add one would think one would run out of reasons for trying to hit print again except that you are expecting something else to happen for example for it to work and that would be asking a column not to fall on you look up and the color of your eyes might catch a hint of what used to come in through the window through my mind when I used to look up not like you no one could do that the way you could when I paid attention outside the folding information promises of better and worse flatten into each other when folded over into beds made by my deceased togetherness.

Trying to put an ear to the door that jiggles in the lock barely held and going nowhere hardly a purpose shut open and shut a strainer over a small child's face the metal cold eyes squint in a manner that between planets would conjure a recipe for emptiness die and make sure all evidence of your existence no longer makes you cough while you try to listen to another transferred call. And her glasses were broken she said was what she was trying to had said and that was it as the tub the drain clogged got the instrument next to the snake that shed its skin in the corner the forgotten part of the neighborhood texted a reminder to bring the letter sealed with tape didn't appreciate how envelopes didn't appreciate a tongue and she left with her picture framed of a ship with a framed relative on board the ship released too late to enjoy freedom having died within a weekend.

"Let me see."
"I have no control over that."
"You have very little control over anything you crack in the cement."
"I didn't think I could even manage that much."
"The stairs."
"It's impressive how they can go so long without blinking."
"No, the stairs. Where do they lead?"
"Lead? They stop after about 3 and a half floors, but it's your funeral."
"We'll see about that. I've fallen down a flight of stairs."
"Just another day for changing your mind?"
"About what has befallen me or what I'd like to befall me?"
"I hear a nibbling inside my head."
"A rodent or bad idea?"
"A rodent with a bad idea. It has a mind for sewers in the belfry of my skull."
"Turning over an old leaf?"
"You know me too well."
"Like an overcooked burger."
"Undercooked vegetable."

Trees for climbing and bleeding
Blood for dripping and signing
Chambers for gestures twisted
By bigger people cruel with disdain
Dark hallways stretched with failure
Mind is an accordion 
Thoughts unsuccessful 
in keeping the walls apart
defiance is measured by suffocation


- Max Stoltenberg

Saturday, January 7, 2017

UNFAMILIAR DEVICE

Been signed out for a long while since the dawn of the shroud mincing words with the weakened fortresses of sick and contagious anxiety chests at attention most of the time overtime so over it not over it into the night that deals its horrors in your dreams in your cranial furniture the cesspool of flawed blendings trying to spit out words spitting or drooling with punctuation or pauses or and or can he or she or it or and or this that common distinctions ending where I fall asleep almost and then startle with another segment of the worm that loops in my markings and grades never entered for anyone to remember or even or odd or and or terse knocking at the wall behind the picture of the child wearing a sheet over his whole dirty body no one to remind him to shower they just never leave their rooms they just never leave their rooms.

"There, I said it," she said.
"There, you said it," he said.
"It always sounds better when you say it," she said.
"But, I didn't say it. I just said that you said it," he said.
"You did," she said.
"About what you said," he said.
"You did make it sound better," she said.
"Who told you that?" he asked.
"I told me that," she said.
"No, I mean where did you get that idea from?" he asked.
"From myself," she said.
"Who else in your life said that other people take what you say and say it better?" he asked.
"The others, I guess," she said.
"What others?" he asked.
"Everyone else takes what I say and makes it sound better," she said.
"They don't exactly assume your raw materials or shitting pot you hang your lips over. It tends to be closer to a starting from scratch process," he said.
"Like that for example," she said.
"I am not they," he said. "Or perhaps I am no matter how much I'd like to refuse membership with everyone else," he added.
"No matter?" she asked.
"Like that for example?" he asked.

Shuddering vision
Diffused with closed eyes
Vulgar kissing sounds
Ushered in by your tired asshole
The distance is populated 
by the mean
Reading blank pages
curving into the everyday death
reawakened into coercion


- Max Stoltenberg