Starboard Apocalypse


I’m just doing what I can

To survive

To post pone the end

Immoral, bitter, dirty

Pull out your dictionary of insults

The price to keep this ship from sinking

I get so sick of patching

Splintered wood,

Leaking cracks

If screaming out to the

Pale men on shore

And getting no response.

I’d give anything to dock,

But grabbing the nose of my dingy

And pushing it away

I sail in search

Of a new shore.

A place I can rest, escape

the pangs of reality.

Stagnation in the center of the sea.

Hong Kong Shark

He was never my son. He was hers, and when she left, I, of course, got stuck with him. He never did understand. He wanted to save the whales, the turtles, the sharks, would save the devil if it was a living force oppressed on earth. It wouldn’t have happened if he wasn’t so soft. They call it a Hong Kong shark for a reason. They aren’t kind creatures. People need to eat, and this creature is large enough to feed a village for a week. I know what they’re getting at, but they’ve never been overboard with a Kong. They’ve never been waiting to be pulled back on deck, with those beasts circling around, like a child playing with its food. Finally finishing their prey in two or three generous bites.

He couldn’t do much, so I’d have him pull in the net, but this time something got caught. He leaned over the side of the ship, freeing the excess fish caught with the Kongs.
Sometimes I’d look at him. I’d look at those fish flailing like if they struggled enough they could earn their freedom. I have been struggling for the better part of my life.
He had other things on his mind. He thought it too cruel to leave these fish trapped with such a predator. Hell, I figured it made it easier to find the net. The blood; a single drop of food dye in a bucket of water, spreading, expanding, but otherwise dissipating. He didn’t ask for my help then, probably felt like he had something to prove. His body balanced on the edge of the ship.

“Be caref–!” And he fell in. “Dad!” he looked at me with cavernous eyes. His head jerked as he searched the uproarious waters. A grey, slick nose rubbed against the underside of his foot.
“Get me out of here!” Thrashing in the water. He stopped then. He must have remembered the way it would draw attention to seals, sea lions. They’d be left in pieces, too minuscule to salvage for sushi. He stopped, waiting. I couldn’t make out what swam around him, only movement. The sea beneath him looked like a wild orgy in a storage closet. I panicked. I grabbed one of the rods we used to hold down the fish that overwhelmed the deck.

He gripped it, sliding his hands up the pole, using the ledge of the ship as leverage, I leaned back.
It took all of the strength I had.
He screamed before the pole snapped.
“Dad,” His voice tremored. He looked pale, his skin the same hue as his widened eyes. The wriggling mass of life that was under him had become foggy and red. “I’m getting help.” I didn’t shout. I didn’t panic.
I didn’t know if it were true, but I knew he needed to believe it if he was getting out alive. I worked the control box, raising the net, but this only brought them closer together.
I watched as a second and third Kong eyed my son. There was a look in the face of these monsters. I had seen it few times before. Like they were solving a math problem, just before they’d speed towards the kill their face would contort into a smile, indicating they’d found the solution. There isn’t much I wouldn’t give to never see that face again. I pressed the button on the control box, the net dropped opening to the sea. That was the last time I ever saw him.

Burning down the Sea

I only wrote one yesterday.
Apathy like America
I try not to worry about a future in sand
Formed into a sand castle,
Hoping it’ll be able to hold my weight
But drugs, friends, family school
waves crashing into dwindling defenses
And I am the sand crab perched on the highest peak
Waiting for liquid sacrifice
It’s hard when you don’t know how to swim
And even Bob Dylan struggles
Through changing tides

For the water builds and destroys sea castles
Like day to dark
Like life to death
Like lynching to messiah
The last fraying strands of hope

Sometimes debris washes from the sea
Enough splintered wood, glass shards, empty plastic bottles
To make a raft
But now the water is crystal
Dancing up and down the shore
Salsa dancing my way to death
Like Bundy, like all
It likes to play with prey
Before the end comes.

An Ease of Suffering

The attraction to water is built between the lines of every childhood. Maybe it’s a need within everyone, a primitive desire to be continuous in body and soul. To be composed entirely of liquid with no boundaries or form.

As a child there was little in life that gave him more pleasure than swimming. He was intrigued by the ocean, but found it terrifying and exhilarating. The fear of the unknown and the power hidden between the sheets of waves being applied and reapplied to the ocean floor.

Chased him, nearly reaching out and grabbing him, swallowing him whole. The waves threw him off his feet and though he tried his best to claw and grab and fight his way out, he knew it was useless, in the end it only played with him.

The ocean’s raw power toyed like the perversion of stepfathers in the basements of the most tortured homes, until it filled his every orifice.

Now long after my innocence is gone, death on my doorstep and experience under my belt I still remember him. His nobility in committing such a profound sacrifice. I can remember being knocked off my feet, water consumes me. Underestimating the strength of Poseidon’s grip. I am lost

My parents were nowhere to be seen, doing what they could to save their failing marriage, not knowing how redefining this day would would be to their relationship.

By shutting out the outside world, trying so desperately to learn how to love one another, they sealed their fate to parents orphaned from the responsibility of nurturing their first child.

His lungs burst in his chest
Holding his pale body on the beach, that was the first time I had seen my father cry.

My brother was the one to suffer

for my mistake

He was more experienced than I.

He warned me, but I refused. If I knew he would be the one to face the consequences I might have reconsidered. I underestimated the power of my naivety. There were many nights after, that I stayed up until the early hours of the morning contemplating how different it could be if it were me instead of him.

Spending my time like a minimum wage paycheck spread too thin. Wondering if there was anyone as close to him as I was wishing the same. Wondering what it really is that I took from them. A brother of mine is a lover of another. I hid him away from the world. He lives in my wallet, creased, a coffee ring stains his forehead. He is the only one who knows how it feels, in my guilt and in his image I drown.

The head in creative writing

I’m told I have an appointment
To meet with the head of creative writing.
The only person who’s wasted more of their time
On fallen dreams
Out of the kids wafer cone
And melting on the street
Until their parents buy a much better
Frozen Dream

Isn’t that beautiful
All that a degree in words can make
All that a pretty sentence can change

Thank you

Hundreds of thousands of dollars
For teaching me how many times a pig can be stuck
And still be happily running back
To the trough.

Thank you for showing me
How everyone of us that drowns
Is just another drop in the sea

What makes me strong
What makes me pass through surface tension
And evaporate
To something better than?
To rise into the clouds
And walk on air?

But it is far too cold
And the ceilings frozen
And still I drown.
I could never crack the ceiling
While I’m feeding off the ocean floor.