December 29, 2016
Two Collage Ballads

I Walk to the Lake Without You

I walk to the lake without you,
The lake to the east and the north.
On the verge of so many emotions,
I walked to the lake by myself.

I walk to the lake without you.
Epiphanies fade before lunch.
I’m not sure these aren’t pajamas.
I walked to the lake by myself.

I walk to the lake without you.
Precautions cause many regrets.
Happiness has nothing stable.
I walked to the lake by myself.

I walk to the lake without you.
Leaves can face any direction.
I envy some people I hate.
I walked to the lake by myself.

I walk to the lake without you.
I PayPal the landlord the rent.
And who is not shamefully handled?
I walked to the lake by myself.

I walk to the lake without you.
I’m into whatever this means.
Only you make me feel inefficient.
I walked to the lake by myself.

I walk to the lake without you.
I bought all the solace they had.
I boasted I said I was sorry.
I walked to the lake by myself.

 

I Buy a Few Months
 
I buy a few months. I try to behave.
You’re my sister? I’d love to hear more.
I found many useful excuses
In a coworker’s featureless cube.
Of many things, some few I'll explain.

I found something our boss can talk to.
The spider stays in the dream when
You wake up and put on a sweater.
I have to say this in order
To be perfectly sure I don’t believe it.

Understanding delays. Coffee sits.
We are none of us spared from my dad
Nor from any other man
Who names his dog ‘Blowjob’.
The badder the habit the quicker it sticks.

If I knew better, it might not be better.
I used to give a damn,
I never gave a fuck.
Such a volatile day at the office
I should just throw my dick in the lake.

I’m jealous of the Koons dog you bled on.
Good boy, good inner resources.
You will travel, you will not travel,
Anchovies are never alive, they’re
Basically sensible about fiscal policy.

And the day’s laundry, ironing, dishes, and care.
Not brooking opposition
Nor bumbling like apostles
Nor redoing subroutines.
No one knows what another has in her heart.

Poems remind me of you. They think they’re worthless.
All progress sprang from laziness.
It could be unconscious on purpose.
I suppose I also am soothed 'cuz
We aren’t even free to give up.

Your poems have a lot of “I’m falling in love,”
And down and down and down
And down. Unattained but attainable.
“I’m a terrible liar,” is my cover.
Despair has no end, but it does have a bottom.

It leaves us in one another’s keeping.
There’s a fruit fly in here that thinks
That I am the rotten fruit.
How sweet is that?
Conflict is a shortcut to intimacy.

Intimacy is a shortcut to conflict.
Time is an ingredient.
I didn’t have the right
To sit with folded hands
Only because I had received no tasks.

Every time I open my window
I feel some type of way.
The last in a series of men
I dislike and can’t disown.
I went away sad, for I had many possessions.
About the Author

Brendan White lives in Oakland, California, and works in the Municipal Finance department of a large investment bank.


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