trill by justin carter
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Reality Hands 2012
Cover design and layout by No Glykon
!e rights to the content in this book belong to the creators.
Barre BabyGold Tooth on a White Tooth
I Hope The Motion-Detecting Cameras Did Not See Our Faces
Paul Wall’s Chinese RestaurantSonnet
When Bun B Talks About 40sKurly the Klown
Jazz Club In HoustonThird WardFindings
I get lost in snowstorms, or I would if there were snowstorms. December in Texas. The coffeeshop plays that really sad Tim McGraw song for the third straight day. Things like to resist change. December in Texas is lukewarm coffee. Is Codeine Fiend on repeat. Is rain you never notice until it stops. The driveway is wet & you say did it rain. You realize your blood has stopped pumping. You realize clouds are made of vapor. You realize the cover for the Geto Boys’ We Can’t Be Stopped is really Bushwick Bill with a bullet hole in his eye. Life is fucking scary. I want to address this now. I want to undress this now. I want you to know something: my heart is like James Harden’s beard, wild in the winter.
Last week’s beach party turned deadlybut tonight we swim naked in the Gulf,
try not to think about guns. I wantto wrap you in seaweed, you say.
That seems weird, I say. Waves crashlike bullets. Salt & blood. Salt &
lime, silver Patron waitingin Dave’s kitchen. Touch me like
you want to touch me, like tomorrowis my Promethazine overdose.
You think I’m going to talk about the night I took shots of codeine in the restroom of the Greek place, & Dave found PH�RQ�WKH�ÁRRU�VLQJLQJ�%LJ�0RH���P\�KHDUW�ZDV�VFUHZHG�& a little chopped, going bump 3 second pause bump 3 second pause bump 3 second pause. Or about the night you said let’s move to California & learn to surf, & I was like nah, I’m too fucking clumsy, & grabbed your hand, said love you, my Barre Baby, my Barre Baby. Or the time we walked to Half Price: we looked WKURXJK�XVHG�YLQ\O��GLGQ·W�ÀQG�DQ\�VKLW�ZH�ZDQWHG���HQGHG�up listening to Purple Stuff all night. No, I’m talking about that morning you said let’s move to Maine. Let’s learn to love lobster, & I laughed, drank a can of Lone Star, said but I’m the M-O-E from the S-U-C, & you didn’t laugh.
Gold Tooth on a White Tooth
after Cesar Vallejo
I will die in Houston after a rainstorm on a day like today. I will die
in Houston on a Saturday. The night before: too many shots mixed with
too many pills, a lesson we should have learned when we lost Moe. When we lost
C. When we lost Screw. I will die in Houston on its Southside streets,
& Houston will look at me & say: He has died. The witnesses:
streets, pills, shots, silence.
We drew a penis on the mayor’s car & your hand kept shaking. Her dog was jumping at the fence. The porchlight ÁLSSHG�RQ��:H�UDQ�EDFN�WR�WKH�FDU��GURYH�DZD\�EHIRUH�VKH�PDGH�LW�RXWVLGH��7KH�QLJKW�GUDJJHG�DFURVV�XV�OLNH�D�ÁDWEHG�truck. We were the roadkill the buzzards turned their noses up at. We were lighters 26 & 27 on Lil Flip’s dresser. We were the kids our parents had warned us about: drinking 40s on the curb, staying up all night playing This Is The Way We Ball on the boombox in the garage. In the morning the Gulf rain washed away the evidence. The mayor posted on Facebook that she was laughing. In your bedroom the rain hit the roof & we fell asleep.
Paul Wall's Chinese Restaurant
There’s something deeply saddening,I say, as Lisa lights her crack pipe,about summer in Houston. It neverUDLQV��6PRNH�IURP�ZLOGÀUHV�PL[HVwith smog, mixes with the smokefrom our open window. The radiousually tells us how many elderly menpassed out Downtown today but nowit says Betty Ford is dead. Lisa putsKHU�SLSH�LQ�WKH�ÁRRUERDUG��Yeah,she says. Everything is so fucking sad,she says, looking out the car window.We’re in the parking lot of a Chinese placethat she insists Paul Wall owns. It’s okayto lie sometimes. The radio becomesstatic, then becomes silence.
Dave’s at a party with old friendsthat don’t understand metaphors:
your body is Z-Ro chopped or the endof civilization is a liquor store.
On a beer run he think of onethat reminds him of Laura’s dress,
lime-green, low-cut, the sunthrough evening smog, the crest
sinking in the distance. Saynothing. Buy a six-pack of wine
coolers. A metaphor she’ll get: todayis a heart inside a silver shrine,
but he says: I’m feeling these shots.She says: my face feels a little hot.
,�ÀQLVK�FKXJJLQJ�DQ�2OGH�(QJOLVK��GURS�LW�RQ�WKH�JDUDJH�ÁRRU���WKLV����\HDU�ROG�ER\�ZDONV�LQ�EDUHIRRW��VFUHDPLQJ�just did a goddamn 27 second keg stand bitches. Ten minutes later he’s crying on the couch, holding his foot. Blood all over the carpet & fuck my mom’s gonna kill me. In the garage everyone is dancing to Ass Ass Ass & singing Nicki’s part, taking drags of Camel Menthols. John’s like let’s play some beer pong, but they FDQ·W�ÀQG�D�WDEOH��'DYH�ULSV�D�ZRRGHQ�GRRU�RII �LWV�KLQJHV��& lays it across two trashcans. Problem solving, he says. The ���\HDU�ROG�LV�EDFN��VLQJLQJ�5HG�6ROR�&XS�DV�-RKQ�ÀOOV�Red Solo Cups with the remnants of the last 40. There’s a girl alone at the kitchen table. I sit by her. Hey, I say. Wanna hear a cool-ass poem. It’s called “When Dean Young Talks About Wine.” She’s drinking 80-proof Taaka, straight from the bottle. Write a poem called “When Bun B Talks About 40s,” she says, & maybe then I’ll care. She walks away. She walks out the door & starts to grind RQ�D�ER\�ZLWK�WKURDW�WDWWRRV��7KH����\HDU�ROG�VLWV�EHVLGH�PH��Shit sucks, he says. He gets on Youtube & searches for Yonkers, then starts to sing: I’m a fucking walking paradox.
Kurly the Klown
You’re drinking again it is 7 a.m. in Houston but the blinkingFORFN�UHDGV��������������VR�PD\EH�\RX�GRQ·W�NQRZ�WKH�UHDO�WLPH�����������RUmaybe you want to drink vodka to wake yourself up I’ve beenup an hour listening to Screw & thinking about death drinkinga Vitamin Water by 9:00 you are gone & I’m driving us to the gasstation buying Swisher Sweets & burritos playing Magic: TheGathering back at the apartment today is the day we go back homeWR�RXU�VPDOO�WRZQ�������RQO\����PLOHV�EXW�LW�VHHPV�������OLNH�IRUHYHU�������RK�WKH�IRUHERGLQJ�MRXUQH\�DKHDG������������������\RX�WDNH����EXFNV��VRPH���Vfrom your parents I encourage you to drink it makes peopleOLNH�XV�PRUH�������ZH�PHHW�XS�ZLWK�ROG�KLJK�VFKRRO�IULHQGV��������ÀQG�RXWthat weird dude is a clown now Kurly the Goddamn Klownain’t it grand someone says
Jazz Club In Houston
At a jazz club in Houston Horace Grigsbydrinks red wine, sings All of Me. I’m thinkingof that O’Hara poem: Billie Holiday whisperinga song while Frank leaned against the john door& everyone ran out of breath. All the detailsadding up to something. I’m thinking about work,six hours making sandwiches, thinking aboutthe Dean Young poem I read afterwards& the vague saxophone playing in the backgroundof Starbucks. Now: drinking whiskey in the dark,Horace plays songs I’ve never heard but feelvaguely acquainted with, & the room is alive.Dead musicians on the wall are dancing.A drunk couple at the bar is dancing. Details,DOO�WKH�GHWDLOV��/DWHU��GULYLQJ�KRPH��135�ZLOO�WDONabout Syria, & Greek bailouts, & maybe betweenprograms a jazz song will play. But for nowI’m in a windowless Third Ward bar, Horacecroons a song in front of the room, & a pictureof Billie Holiday looks on from the wall& everyone & I are still breathing, barely.
I’m on my way to the third party this week,hoping to avoid, again, the meltdown I feel coming.I’m your Three Mile Island, or rather, I will beonce the Summer fully begins but for now it is Spring & bluebirds sing in oak trees, feed worms in each other’s mouths.
Last night: too drunk, I satEHVLGH�D�FRPSXWHU��6WHHO�5HVHUYH�LQ�KDQG�VDQJ�=�5R�VRQJV�IRU�KRXUV�& I know Lisa wanted me to sit with her& I know I need to tell her I’m sorry but it’s just so hard.
I like to dream while I walk:SDVW�WKH�OLTXRU�VWRUH��EDVHEDOO�ÀHOGpast Cream Burger & the Baptist Church.
,�ZDQW�WR�FDOO�/LVD��ÀQDOO\�EXW�WKHUH·V�D�ÁDVKLQJ�VLJQabove the liquor store door& I have to turn around.
My own wastefulness is so fucking easy.Growing hope, then throwing itinto trash cans, listening to ithit empty bottles.
Scientists in Texas have developed a theory that links listening to UGK with the phenomenon known as riding dirty. (YHU\WKLQJ�LV�FRQQHFWHG�WR�HYHU\WKLQJ��VRPHKRZ��WKRXJK�WKH�links are sometimes tenuous. An example: drinking a mixture of alcohol & codeine known as Purple Drank has been linked to the theory of general relativity, though no scientist has thus far come out & said this is how it works. Maybe nothing works, another theory says. Fuck theories, a rapper in Houston says. I only want truth��5HVHDUFKHUV�ZDQW�WUXWK�WRR�EXW�KDYH�EHHQ�arguing about the meaning of truth. I want to know what truth is & how truth relates to love. Downtown smells like Black & Milds, David says. This is a thesis without a hypothesis. I call you on the phone & I say you make me feel chopped & screwed, & you call back that night & say we’ve conducted a lot of experiments & they suggest you’re lying about that. A lone doctor in the Midwest has been studying truth under a microscope. He SXEOLVKHG�KLV�ÀQGLQJV�LQ�D�VPDOO�MRXUQDO��I’ve been searching for it in the libraries, I say. I’ve been searching.