Gem

The first time we met
dirtyblonde curlyhaired locks
with the widest ocean blue eyes
I may have ever seen just beaming
childlike and heavy

You chainsmoked camels
like you were nervous, excited,
or just happy to be talking art
which was plastered all over every inch of your walls & ceiling

The passion was there but the style & mastery
had yet to be developed—

You were from Jersey and couldn’t say orange,
always looking like a fairy with your thrift store dresses & jewelry—wearing daisys in your hair—you would giggle like a jitterbug at everything and it was contagious—we loved you for it—except maybe some of the other girls

It was just who you were—I remember you took a class
on how to weave baskets with a bunch of old ladies—it was a dying art soon to be forgotten you said—
we’d drive to the beach or chug wine out on the kayaks on the Manatee just shooting the shit watching the sunsets looking for the green flash—
I’d see you on rollerskates at Sonic smoking blunts in the back
waiting to get off so we could listen to the Pixies
& smoke more blunts or sometimes floral smelling goo—

We didn’t know what we were doing
you said you saw circus bears sorta dancing in the ceiling
and I’d really never seen anything more
than a cloudy veil of flowing golden faces at that point

I was never really attracted to you either 
but we fucked one night when we were drunk anyway just for the hell of it—
pissed your ex off when he found out—my friend at the time—you must have told him deliberately—he told us
we didnt know what we wanted, hell, he was right

You would talk about your family problems
and although it seemed kinda shitty we didn’t know
just how bad it was for you—you befriended Gypsy
this old crackhead in the jungle behind kmart who used you to get her things yet you adored her for a while

I’d been gone five years off and on since then
when you visited Amber and I in Santa Cruz during your road trip across the states
the jealous cunt hated you for being an old female friend
and I hated her for that at the mexican restaurant
where we both began to realize the dude that you were with
was a bit of a wingnut
you wanted to camp in a park
I asked if you were ok or needed a place to stay
you said you were maybe going to Mexico with him
and I sometimes almost hate myself for letting you go 
but what the fuck was I supposed to do?
Yo
u went to Ireland and hung out with a bunch of old dudes for a while you said—I could see it on your facebook—which I never did—not that I didn’t want to

Like a year after I got a call on my phone late one night
still with a Florida number after all those years
I would change it not long after
But it was my brother—not really—who
I’d not seen in forever having gotten lost among the hedgewalls of my life closing in on me again—
he said he’d been trying every combination of numbers until it worked for an hour not even knowing if it would be the same—he was out of his mind—said he knew she was crazy, but not that crazy, you know? 

Shitfaced & alone sitting in the upstairs attic-loft of my shack in Scott’s Valley with a Sierra Nevada and a spliff is how I found out you left your car burning on that bridge—I miss you, I wish, and I wonder all the time


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10 thoughts on “Gem

  1. Kris

    wow. It ended and I felt like I do when I finish a damn good story and there isn’t anything left to do but feel empty it is over and, yet, feel filled by the words.

    Reply
  2. danielpaulmarshall

    Holy crap, this is raw as ginseng. You manage the line breaks well, each line leaving the reader eager for the next, some good colloquial language too.
    i’m going to re-blog this as mon-thurs i am on the look out for re-blogs rather than my own stuff.

    Reply
  3. danielpaulmarshall

    Reblogged this on Daniel Paul Marshall and commented:
    i like talking to this guy Pseudonymous & actually, though he may not realize it, he teachs me a thing or two about letting go, about personal narrative as having a meaning, of writing with raw colloquial language that has an energy to put hairs on chests & make babies stand up & take their first steps. & the fella has had some life if his poetry is anything to go by.
    ,

    Reply
  4. Phil Huston

    You chainsmoked camels
    like you were nervous, excited,
    or just happy to be talking art

    Anyone on the fringes, off the main road, we knew that girl. Years later none of us heard the BANG. Or went to the funeral where they buried our answers. Well told.

    Reply

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