The ghost of a cat

I forget that the door doesn't matter now

I used to slip inside

Keep her safe from her curious

I needed her too much

To let her roam the balcony

I don't wake up at 5am now

Instead my alarm blearies me

No one is demanding attention

I learned to be comforted by strange sounds

Now everything that shifts in the apartment makes me smile


Her water bowl is still out

I keep almost refilling it

Almost putting it away

There is food

There are toys

I'm leaving them out

I'll go to the shelter soon

Not today

November 2016, a contrapuntal

we found out and it was
the worst
hold yourself
a good man
(but not a woman)
next to him
and others

In November                   
that knowing was                 
the most    
perfect month    
followed by the worst    
the next sits there    
waiting to ruin your year

Autobiography Titles

One More And Then the Check

Crying into Laptops in Public

Restlessly Tindering on a Wednesday

Gruff Selfies Wearing Flowers

Fighting on the Internet and Kissing People

Every Show Has That One Guy Who's Dancing Too Hard

They Broke a Condom and Tada

A Series of Obsessions

Fashion Plate Nerd

Using the Thesaurus to Spice up My Sexts

Social Anxiety and Extroversion

18 Years in a Cornfield and then WOOOHOOOO

Ooo, What Is That? I'll Try It: The Posthumously Published Memoirs of Nick Simmonds

The effect

It’s where we contacted that I’m bruised
Where I ground your bones against me

A small, secret mark I made with you
It has stung for days
(They always do)
And each sting is like being
With you

When you left, I was too fuckwired to sleep
I Skyrimmed while I waited
For your homesafe text and
Now all of Whiterun smells like you
Finished three unrelated poems and
Now each one tastes like you on my tongue

You're not supposed to know
You affect me

We talked about, well, everything
You said how much you like my formal work
I don't do much of that but

lover, lover
            let's mark each other
            come over, come under, come 
            let's make each other
            you leave me diff'rent when you leave
            me give me something I can
            to bring you to me in the
            darkness now, a scent, a sound a
            lover always haunt my Whiterun
            lover mark up every page
            flavor all my words for me
            and follow every mage
            spend one more night beside
            spend forever on this page

Monster Men

1. The Ethics of Vampirism

Look just because I went to sleep one
Dark and stormy and woke up
A monster
Capable of enormous destruction
Doesn't mean I don't know
Good from bad
The fact that I need blood
Doesn't give me a right to it
And the fact that I can hypnotize
People with my gaze, or turn
Into a wolf and tear them apart
Or carry them off to my lair
And make them my ghoulish minion
Doesn't mean that I should

I've seen the movies, know
That we always get away in the end
That no matter how far we push
Nothing ever stops a vampire
We can't be hurt by
Normal weapons and I mean
How common are wooden stakes these days?
We can just turn into gas
Disappear, leave all the aftermath
For others but that doesn't mean
I'm going to. The thing that
Stopped me before I was
This terrible creature wasn't
That I was worried I'd get
In trouble

It's just that now I live knowing
I could. That it's right not to
Doesn't mean it's easy. I won't
But I got all this power
And I got these fangs
And I got this

There's a man who wants to hurt you
And I hate him
And I fight him
And I am him

2. A Practical Primer on your new Lycanthropy

Hello, and welcome to your moon-curse
The bad news is, of course
is that the rest of your life will be
made of barely controlled anger
and hair

The good news is that you will be filled
with unearned strength and speed
That you will grow several times your previous
size, will bounce back rapidly from injury
will be nearly immune to normal weapons
and of course there's the hair
That's a mixed blessing

It is entirely feasible
To live a normal life with your wolf self
With just a few tips on keeping it

1. Your anger is not to be trusted
Not to be let out unexpectedly
Not to be nurtured, as otherwise
You will become the wolf when you
should not

2. Your wolf is your responsibility
And no one else's. If the wolf gets
out, that is your fault, no matter
what the people around you have done

3. When the lune light calls you
And you feel the wolf bubbling near
your skin, you must keep yourself
away from others, for their own safety
For these purposes it is good to keep
A cage, or a chain, or a cave somewhere
To hide yourself inside, raging
gnashing, wailing, changing, becoming
tearing, tearing, tearing yourself
let the wolf out, let me out, I will


and then the moon passes and leaves you bloody,
weary, and alone. At this point you may
Return to society.
Until the moon again.

3. Today's BRAAIINS, I'm sorry, today's br-br-br-BBRAINS, no, that's not it, today's lecture is BRAINS I'm sorry, today's lecture is on B-being a Conscious Zombie

If you're here today it's because you
Have recognized a certain tendency in
yourself since the change, in which
you BRAINS, sorry, you find it difficult
to do anything but look for the, ah,
Charnel, sorry, carnal pleasures of
Ah, eating

Br-br-br let's say a certain organ

If you're here it's because you have
Realized that the relentless search

gray matter

Is keeping you from your responsibilities
And you don't want to be one of *those*
zombies, merely drag-walking through life
Treating all the other people out there
As nothing but a food source



You've decided that you owe it to the world
To suppress that overwhelming desire
And participate, and I'm here to tell you
that it's possible. It may not be easy, and
the craving to give in
stop thinking
and go back to just
stumbling along in
search of
That desire, that
  will never leave you
    But it's worth it
    To fight it
    And it's right

IV. Myself

I dance in the dark
With my monsters
We struggle and step together
In this intricate, careful
Violent waltz that keeps them

I wish a charming Transylvanian
Had bitten me one night and left
Me changed
I wish I had been walking innocently
Through the woods when a wolfman
Mauled me and gave me his
I wish an animated corpse had
Come along and infected me with this witless

I wish I had a higher power
I would say,
"Take my monsters! Break my curses!
Make me holy! Make me
I did not know it would be
In the dark with them
It is so hard"

But it is not too hard
It is good quiet work
And so here in the dark
With my monsters I

Notes from my selves



I’m sorry the place is a mess. I couldn’t lift my arms and it made it hard to get the trash out. I did some of the dishes and then I had to go lie down. Also you’re out of wine.









So, her name is Ada. Don’t wake her, she was up pretty late. You may have told her you loved her. You may have loved her.


Good luck,







It’s cold, sorry, I left the windows open, but I did get the bedspread out before I went to sleep. Please disregard the google tabs I left open. If it makes you feel any better, a fall from 9 stories up isn’t enough to kill us.






I did the dishes and took the trash out, then I checked out that gym you’ve been wondering about and then I went rock climbing, then I went to that club and it turns out that it’s as cool as you thought. I ran into Ada and she’s not too mad I guess, she left before you got up this time though. You’re probably pretty sore and I think you tore a hamstring or a quadriceps or whatever that is, you know the one, I’m sure.






Sorry, the knives are out. I was just looking at them.








I’m pretty sure we can control the weather, I don’t know if you know that. I made up a chant and waved my hands and it got pretty windy. It could just be some sort of generalized telekinesis though, not sure. Also you’re out of wine.


Yr Obdt Svt,






I wrote a bunch of poems, but they’re all about me. I thought about you and M and I want you to know that remembering you’re there is what keeps me going. I love you. I miss you both so much when you’re gone. I turned the water on super hot and I ran it over my hands until they turned red and it made things feel a little better for a while.








I wrote to a thousand professors and had a bunch of conversations and I decided that we should switch careers. I sent in some applications and did some schmoozing. We start school in the fall. It’s going to be a lot of work but today I was up for 20 hours so I’m pretty sure we can handle it. We’re the best.






I missed all of our classes. For a few months. I climbed out of bed and managed to talk to the dean. He was so kind. He took me to see student services and everything is going to be okay, but we’re going on leave for a while. We still have a job though. I’m pretty proud of that. Ada has been texting but every time I try to write back I just get so tired.


I tried,




D, M,


Happy New Year. We rode this rock in a circle one more time.


Love always,



Responses to people who tell me to cheer up

Responses for people who want me to cheer up

1. No

2. this isn't
   emotional McDonald's
   You don't get to have it your way
   this is more like I'm
   a three-star Michelin chef of feelings
   I am constructing complex, interconnecting experiences
   We'll call today's "molecular despondency"
   and you will take what you're served
   or you will go somewhere else

4. No!

5. Sadness is not depression
   I spent so long erased
   Fought so hard to feel
   Formed myself into ranks to
   Assault my own blank walls
   Broke through to feel again
   And if all that's on the other side right now is sadness
6. You can't have my sorrow!
   I built it myself
   out of popsicles sticks and empty milk cartons
   in the hospital where it was the only thing
   they let me keep at night when they took my shoelaces and my cords
   it is the only thing that has always been mine!
7. Look
   my fire went out
   I was unmade
   This body burned out
   But I promise
   I have formed what's left into a perfect
   within which to rest unborn you see
   when one wears of this world
   there must be an ashen time
   before one can again
   be fire


Every year in New England
Someone asks me, "Have
you been through one of

the winters yet?" I re-
member the way every year
in Indiana the world

would turn ice for months,
the way that snow would
block the roads and stop

school and kill the power
in our little house sur-
rounded by farms for

weeks at a time and we
would live our lives by
candlelight and pumped

water. We would fill the
bathtub and from it the
toilet tank so we could

flush. I remember summers
spent mostly hiding in AC
from the murderous sun

and partly hiding in base-
ments from the murderous
wind. I remember when the

weather hated me and wan-
ted me dead, but also
remember the way that ice

turned the world to beauty
and glass and wonder, the
way that bathwater thun-

derstorms would wet clothes
to a perfect temperature
that left them feeling like

merely more skin. "Yes
I have been through the
winters before. Thanks for



                       I'm not a hat guy. But I'm not not a hat guy more than
                      I'm not a sun guy. There's a lot of sun at the folk fest
                      , so every year I buy a straw hat. There are certain thi
                     ngs I have to buy enough of to be finding as fast as I los
                     e them if I want to have them around. Hats,earbuds, tiny b
                     ottles of ibuprofen, micro USB, anything small that I don'
                    t keep on me.                            I wish I could make
                    a collection of you. I would have so much of you around that
                   I'd always be finding you. You'd be in the corner with my disc
                   arded pants, tucked in my money clip. You'd be under the passe
                 nger seat of my car. You'd be at the library, or behind the bar at 
   the last place I went for drinks. You'd show up everywhere, and I could never lose you.
   Instead you're just gone, just gone, I know exactly where to find you and I still can't

High Pain Love - An Erasure of Taylor Swift's "Blank Space"

                 I thought

    I         heard       me
    dying(,)     how
     your                hand
  can          bad


       high               pain
                  I'm   sane(,)
       you know(.)
    you love



        show       credible

   that girl(,)



             go down
       high               pain

                I love
    you love

                       we    reck(,)
We    take(,)




        gonna go(.)
You can tell me
If     high               pain(.)

                  I'm   sane
       you know
             the game(.)

                    too far(,)


I remember our first night
I'm walking home at 4am in Providence &
I'm over the moon
He's up there smirking his smug smirk
Making tides happen
You know
One of these days I'll take 13 hearts and shoot you down
It's 4am in Providence &
I'm surrounded by happy little skunk families
With their tiny skunk babies
It's 4am in Providence &
I need to sleep, but
I just can't get you off my mind

Then some months happened
And you know what? Most of them were good, but
Not this last one
I haven't seen you in thirty days
I could barely get you out tonight to even say it was over
No one important to me has ever
Made me feel unimportant to them

So now it's our last night
I'm walking home at 4am in Providence &
I'm over the moon
He's up there smirking his smug smirk
Making tides happen
You know
One of these days I'll take 13 hearts and shoot you down
It's 4am in Providence &
I'm surrounded by happy. little. skunk. families.
With their tiny skunk babies
It's 4am in Providence &
I need to sleep, but
I just can't get you off my mind

Sure fire pickup lines, for Valentine's Day


"Did it hurt?"
"Did what hurt?"
"When you clawed your way through the earth to spread your Hellish misery upon us?"



"Are those space pants?  Then get your space shirt and space hat! There’s an asteroid coming and the President needs us to save the earth!”



"Are your legs tired? Because you’ve been running through my dreams all night, with me, fleeing the terrible, nameless, unseen beast that has always haunted my nightmares. I’ve been hoping that you would wear out and fall behind, feeding its hunger and sparing me, but you never slacken, never slow. You always just keep pace beside me, seeming unaffected by the strain. You must work out."


*just a bunch of keening noises*



"That outfit looks great.  It would look even better adhered to the side of my nest."


"Is your daddy a thief? Tell him to give it back! I need it. I NEED IT. GIVE IT BACK AND I’LL LET HIM LIVE! You must work out."


"Hey baby. Want to go halvsies on a bastard? I’ve got one tied up in the car and I’ve already started on the right side, but you can work the left.



Hò̴͝w̢̧͘ ̴͞d͞o̸̡͏ y̢o̴̕u͡ l̀ìk҉͢e̕͝ y̶̢ờ̵ù͢r̸ ̀e̵g͞g̸̨s̷̛ i̢̧ǹ̢͡ ̴̡t̕͜h͘e ̀m͘ò̧̡r̡̀ņ́͠i̢n͏g? ͠O̧͡v̶͘ip͟͡os̸i͜͡t͜e͢͝ḑ͘͠?


"Do you have a mirror in your pocket? No! Don’t take it out. They hate mirrors. The mirrors remind them they’re not like us. You must not be seen with the mirror. Just keep it in your pocket, and back slowly out of the party. Don’t look at them!”


*keening noises* “You must work out."


Noble belly sporting a splintered ceramic shield, she waits. Soon, one last blaze will dislocate her. Atlantis will ride a million tons of reverse eruption, a pyroclastic flower taking her high, taking her to the place that will never be home. Her crews’ faces scrunching in a force like the pull of three Earths all trying to keep them home where once we dribbled from the trees. She will watch a world fall away, and then come back, the end of an era when we sometimes shed the terrestrial, when we saw the universe true, when we divined the Divine.