from Thank You, Steel China
What are you working on right now?
I'm finishing Thank You, Steel China - a narrative piece about Thank You, inhabitant of an anthropomorphized town titled after the ricasso imprint of some knives. His life spans, childhood to senility, as the manuscript progresses, a whittling class structure backdrop barely of consequence because he let himself be vulnerable with another person, named I’m Sorry. She, like anybody else, isn’t sorry.
First law of sales: Block their door with your crutch
and hide somewhere upstairs. A tarp caught loogies.
Second law of sales: Scrounge who’s polite and order their remains.
Our team muscled the sleepy ghetto for spare change.
We were non-profit. They issued us a paragraph:
Sir or madam,
SupraGeese Inc. is an organization clapping for the earth.
We can trick out your bed bugs. We’re the pimp you call home.
Do you strip to industrial waste? This is the discretion you’re owed.
We’re the diabetes Uncle Sam loves about you.
Please value the kindling of friends. We’ll frame you in your crib.
We rolled through propagandas. Slumlords said hi.
They bossed our pitch. Hurled us down the old school elevator.
“Guarantee a bus, bitch. Then scurry under the rims if it rains.
Deal only what you repossess later. I never meet the livestock.
Dish out shelter you could lose a queen beside.
We’re all just asleep in the snow and it costs to lie down.”
A car crash interrupted our lesson.
The slumlords did a follow up with the blood.
We priced the wreck: nuh uh.
There was so much glass we beat our quota.
Pendants for Adulthood
The day I gave up, my hemorrhoids took over. Pendants for adulthood.
We hankered for a house roomier than anything we might pursue.
Poems were the morgue-bait slighted by allowance. We spiked our flowers.
The day our love became a peaceful arrangement, we needed creams.
We’d change what it meant to sell out by doing so on our own terms, by itching nonstop.
I had been worshipping I’m Sorry’s band-aids on reserve. They smoked who I was.
The grown didn’t worship, they hid beneath the concept that they had.
We auditioned a pot pie for several overly-dependent friends.
Hermitage never erased the assholes who put you there.
A Brussels sprout stench verified the rent. I’m Sorry was born without a sense of smell
or cuticles. Every day we skinned our knees slow as possible and called it affirmation.
She sported the spinally attached electrical squib pinching her thoughts,
scalp matted like an animal too corpulent to reach its hind quarters.
The circuitry produced a boy voice we could never quite perm.
She said sitting on my lap was condescending. I cried through our demo.
The few times I didn’t sob were as noteworthy and irrelevant as everything else.
I’m Sorry scheduled appointments until they’d ward us off on ‘For Sale’ signs:
Thank You and I’m Sorry – wrong enough to lynch for not boycotting the pretend.
They picture themselves above networking. Their tinnitus is just beginning.
Let’s clue them in: Don’t know folks already? Be prepared to suck who fires you.
We crippled our speech for financial gain. I befriended the corner.
They teased us with macaroni to improve our outlook.
I wished they had banned us from the privilege of a higher education.
“We’ll sell you this house when you’re more grateful for having thumbs!”
A Lot of Noise is the Answer
I spent the rest of my thirties on a couch, in the dark, waiting to go to work or working.
“No one should avoid noise for the length of their thoughts,” I thought.
I’m Sorry’s registered fidelity destroyed the petition.
Staying home substantiated us. I joined my deodorant.
Maturity meant acquiring something to put your back against.
We rang plumbers until we couldn’t afford going.
I sprained my cologne studying their manuals.
We did the puniest thing we could: we maintained.
I’m Sorry conversed with bubble baths, dangling a foot
out the window for the militia heads to snuggle.
She bullied me with awards shows.
Appliances we relied on consistently went unrepaired.
I punted our checkbook at the grocer.
Our mode was bare. Our trinkets lacked scarves.
Children refused to play doctor in our garage.
I’m Sorry stapled her eyes so they could twinkle again.
I resented still loving her because I knew anything.
What she initially barely returned had totally diminished.
She ignored my failure to ignore her.
We couldn’t be each other’s exception to the world:
we were so far behind it our comfort devalued us.
None possessed the merit to judge her.
That’s why the bong collection.
That’s why the commemorative plates.
Sean Kilpatrick is published or forthcoming in Tagvverk, Bomb, Juked, La Petite Zine, solar▲luxuriance, Hobart and Columbia Poetry Review. Gil the Nihilist is available from Lazy Fascist Press. Sucker June is a forthcoming novella.