This is Alexander Ziperovich reading a heartrending piece at Wordplay 2014 in Seattle and is a written piece that was excerpted from his upcoming memoir, The Beautifullest, for the occasion.
This is Alexander Ziperovich reading a heartrending piece at Wordplay 2014 in Seattle and is a written piece that was excerpted from his upcoming memoir, The Beautifullest, for the occasion.
..we are lost..
Alex Ziperovich reading “My Poor, Poor Friend Jamie” at Da’daedal’s one year anniversary at The Josephine.
Alexander Michael Ziperovich
“How about this,” god and the devil had already signed a treaty some time prior as god was simply too brutal and calculating an opponent, a master in the conduct of war; satan really had no choice but to accept his plush exile and his secondary status in hell (which he felt resembled Vegas in the summer in any case). They were broaching the question of the image and subsequent creation of man again, bickering like children over plastic toys. “How about for every sixty or seventy kilos of meat in every man you create in your image, you let me throw in an ounce or so of my pure, unadulterated evil?” He paused grinning. “I mean you can’t totally handicap me here and make me completely reliant on some unwieldy army of bureaucrat demons to possess people! The overhead alone on that kind of operation would bankrup-” God interrupts, stroking his cottony white beard, “You want me to let you be a part of the image of man?” The reverberations from his soft chuckles creates most of Asia and reality television. “Listen. I have already decided that my being the sole entity from which the image of man should be derived is already going to be an important part of the book I’m going to ghostwrite so that man is righteous and divine and my PR people all completely agree on this.”
Satan sat patiently listening and replied when the rumbling of god’s voice began to dissipate, “Yeah, I know you’re going to create the religion thing and have some book confusing, self-contradictory narrative written so you can see who truly has ‘faith’ and find out who the ‘true believers’ are, despite my thought that it would seem much simpler and far kinder to just show yourself indisputably every once in awhile to prove your existence for the sake of not only man’s sanity but his eternal salvation. Look, I think it’s confusing enough with the whole race joke-” God clears his voice to be heard and the minivan comes into being. “Yes, that should prove delightful
entertainment insight into man.” The devil slowly continued, “God, you see, you have all the advantages! Throw me a bone here!” He timed this plea perfectly so that it was uttered at the very moment god was being draped in his brand new custom-tailored 20% cashmere 80% angel tongue robe and he was off guard. “Fine, satan, you can have the smallest bone in every man created to do with it what you will and it will be infinitesimal in size,” God lit up the heavens with a sly smile. “And I know you think big things come in small packages,” The devil sits in his rocking chair, one leg crossed over the other. A smug sophisticate. God continues. “But I said you could have that small part of man for yourself and my word is, well, it is the word of fucking god so the deal is done.” The devil sat dispassionately. “Now. Dear satan, do pass that mirror with that white stuff on it you plan on growing in South America with that rolled up dollar bill please.”
Sophia, my darling, has an indelible, magical voice; it’s as though everything disappears when she sings except for her unforgettable love and it moves through you like the wind leaving you new again.
By Alexander Michael Ziperovich
I climb back into the ketamine cave and into the fire, into the luminescent thrashing mind-rape of disassociation. I’m inside Annie’s condo and everything is spinning and shooting these beautiful, malevolent stars and nothing makes any kind of sense. Everything is a fucking mess in my head. Her disorder is on full blast tonight and she’s toying with me on the K, telling me I’m hurting her, she’s screaming at me playing these twisted back and forth games that I can’t even understand in my identity-challenged, ego-blurred condition. She is cannibalizing me as I try to numb or poison her voice out of me. I feel some dark masochistic crevasse inside of me, some tumorous cave within is actually enjoying all this pain. The screaming mixed with the ketamine like a storm, the K hurts me and I feel my brain liquefying but more for me is good, the K talks to me and it just says more and everything is simple that way.
Finally, she goes to “sleep” after circling, hovering around me like a vulture as I sit hunched over my pile of glistening powder like a praying priest. She was stomping her big legs down into the wooden floor, enraged, all around me screaming and screaming and I don’t understand why or about what, not that the K is responsible for that, I’ve never understood what she does or why. I stay up to snort more powder, of course. She’s upright in her bed just howling for hours days weeks years, she’s dying for me to come to bed, to come lay down next to her, a wounded shrieking beast. Even now on the unmoving K platform of cognitive paralysis I know somewhere deep inside that she is gone, that my lovely Angie, the Angie I thought I had or would have or would have had, that that Angie, she’s gone because she never existed. In that long and beautiful dream we shared, us both privy to those few perfect moments but all of it is lost forever, it was never really real. It was drug-induced chemistry like a beautiful nod after a perfect shot of good heroin. The worst moment doing smack isn’t when you’re all the way sober after a really exquisite shot and you feel filled with the anguish of loss. No, the worst part is when you’re just coming to and barely sober enough to realize you are going to be truly sober again. You think about time and how badly you want to just go back and stay there in that wondrous warmth forever. That’s what it’s like with her, I just want to go back to the way things used to be but Angie, the pretty ugly butterfly from the broken cocoon is now resigned in my mind to the equivalent of a dirty black splotch of residue on a burnt spoon after I woke up from our dream, wistful reminiscent, thinking about all that fleeting, impossible to hold on to beauty, wasted gone but I’m still chasing her because I think how, “You do this thing that makes me believe it’s still there and I can’t leave you, baby. I feel abandoned and wrong and scared and crazy, too.”
Let me go, fucking let me go, let me fucking die alone at the bottom of a dark hole. Just no more of these nights. No more pain. Please, no more.
I rise up from the chair I’ve been glued to with K and she’s screaming harder and louder as she hears me trying to slip on my shoes and jacket. I’m trying to be quiet so she doesn’t know I’m leaving or else she’ll stop me but I have no coordination and as I grab some cans of red paint I’m making noise bumping into walls and her door. I stagger out and down the stair well and I start crying as I walk into her lobby, numb and I feel something, some part of me is dying. I fall out of her building into the heaving rain and the black wet night takes me into its arms and I start painting these big sloppy hearts on every flat surface I see. It’s a kind of frenzied reverie for me and I do this when her apartment is filled with too much horror and when I do this I run and I paint and I sweat as I run and it feels invigorating, all the rain pouring down my face onto my chest with the sweat dripping down my face as I write and I write and I write, I LOVE YOU and LOVE and IF NO ONE LOVES YOU I DO and my red dripping hearts are everywhere after a few seconds. I spray on walls that look lonely and dark, like I’m painting hearts on myself. I’m looking up through tears back at the rain being tossed from the sky as if to argue with the sky as the clouds smash down into my face commingling with the sheen of tears and snot running out of my nose.
I call my mom, delirious. I’m in so much pain. She is trying to talk gently to me as I pace around painting walls in black drenched avenues using my phone and a lighter for light to write my little LOVE idioms. My mom keeps trying to figure out what the fuck is going on at 4:47 at fucking Angie’s place. My body is jerking these little sounds out of my mouth through my desperate crying to her and I look at some cars speeding up Madison and I think that it might be better to just walk into the paved street and lay down on the soft, gleaming concrete in a little puddle and wait for something to just take the pain out but something says no. “Mom, whaaat… the… fuuuuuuuuuuck?” But she doesn’t know why. None of us know, her family, mine, me, her. No one fucking cares.
I think about her as I push my body down the street with my phone and my can. This poor fucking girl, already in so much psychic and emotional pain that her pain is all there is now. I never wanted to hurt her; I wanted to save her so she was able to save herself. Maybe by witnessing me kill myself through drugs and I said to her without words, I said, “I’ll be the sacrificial lamb. I’ll die for you, I know you want me to. I’ll do it for you, baby.”
I’m talking to myself and my mom and Angie who sits inside my head as a screaming that echoes in my skull at the same time, walking, staring up at the black nothingness squinting trying to see something through the endless sheets of cold droplets.
Everything hurts and every time I spray a big stupid red heart on a wall and I watch it drip crawling down to the street I feel a little relief from this nightmare. I see some cold junkie walking alone through this same lonely rain in the same lonely pain seeing my dripping hearts. I hope he sees them and he feels better or warmer. I want someone to feel some relief from all this. I’m passing on love Angie keeps telling me I don’t even have to give but this aerosol paint on these broken concrete streets in a downpour creating these horribly broken totems for the hopeless and the damned makes me feel better.
I tell myself I give everything I have to give, but it isn’t that much anymore. I gave her everything. More.
Her and the drugs took most of me.
The drugs robbed me of so much. I work with what I have left, some streaky red graffiti that looks like sad, dripping ignored love notes smothered in darkness, running off of walls into gutters like the buildings are bleeding.
I’m walking down these empty streets with the sky smashing into my face clutching my single can of red paint spraying it until it’s dead and I throw it, sending it careening into the street and suddenly she appears at my neck, grabbing at my arms, hissing at me like knives.
I’ll always be alone and then I will die of prostate cancer.
I need to let off some steam, badly
I think I might do something shabby
shove something into a vein I don’t even have to feel happy,
disappear into the ether floating while slamming while passing water boiling so fancy stirred with a spoon so thin amongst my colleagues,
the faculty of sin, all moaning for happiness within as we grind our heads covered in shawls, my mind feeling like a third world bathroom stall with a gaseous mist seeping in choking on all the incessant judgment of Pluto the banks of Hades with his handsome boat as he casts me off to swim, beating my burnt angel wings just nubs in the current drowning in eternal subservience to a power no greater than the salivating that’s burning my throat as I swallow these grains of green, bitter little bits of hope coated noose lowered rope
so ugly it’s beautiful so hideous it will ruin you so horrid it’s true
as real and eternally infernal as children burned alive in an inferno made from candles and servitude
barbaric with an ax to grind metal sparks flying blinding men that are already blind burning their eyes until they can’t see even the black, all they can see is themselves dying over and over inside of their masks, I paint you a picture and you can fill in the lives and we can look at how disgusting our creation is, especially mine, and we can step back and have a smoke and watch the small embers crawling up into the sky, like a shadow in a gust of wind or a ghost that appears as a nun stuffed into a crib rising up out of it into the pitch as if you’re alive you’ll go up with the smoke away from us, our lungs expelling every single thing you ever wanted into a fine gray dust to be blown around the room of our god, this new soon to be exhumed funeral parlor where after we write brave men speak what they harbor and the thorns from roses are thrown at them until they bleed better spirits for the audience to experience in golden goblets they can really taste the pain in the faces of the poets drooling agony –
– one wrote his masterpiece for you and it was short beautiful truth but it burned and the flames that erupted out of the single page were small cruel and futile like the text never existed and the piece that made a master out of a man now made that man into sand with a stack of blank papers, a match and some gasoline in a can in a bathtub to lay in as he started to burn he began to remember verbatim the words of his poem as he sat like his poem he became ashes in his urn, he drowned in his fire and self-pity and genius but as he died he told the world his words but the earth didn’t hear him and the words he spit through the fire in his mouth were the words that made god so envious and evil and fiendish filled with so much doubt so he smiled in irony at such hostility given to him like wisdom – the things that poets conjure and die for to make you all feel pure and cried for – he died with a sneer on his face that was really a grin and he showed the sky his flaming face as he winked up at god’s ugly face and asked the earth to swallow him leaving no trace of his perfect works, leaving no face from which to know the man with the perfect words instead just a wisp of smoke from something that burned
it’s a dangerous autumn getting darker and the blackest crows line up to eat your eyes and I don’t even care if they start before or after I die as long as I can be the rain coming out of the sky flooding the streets in tides I want the rain to be the tears I cry the tears cascading out of my eyes so the world can feel my rage and pain as I scream lightening and fire in a ruthless hiss at humanity sitting atop Mt. Vesuvius
Alexander Michael Ziperovich
Tried to find my faith in bottles of pills, bags of powder for a time I saw heaven eclipsed, waiting around for the end of time, listening to the birds singing like angels, standing on a cliff looking down shameless waiting for the sun to produce me a cloud to float down into the valley before I’m forever bound to heartbreak’s razor taint, something you can’t paint, something you just break down like prison wall after prison wall to find out what’s outside it all until finally I see what the stars in my soul keep on twinkling about
Even without all the answers I thought I needed I’m collecting myself up into the man with the seedlings to plant to make trees to cut down and burn in bonfires in the blackness of night to shed light and send life throughout all that’s marvel and all the harmony so far like tomorrow, all the fights I never thought I would win but here I am at it again with some beauty and words trying to be alright but never all right, trying to sin as a saint, all I am is all I portray and all this is, just a self-inflicted wish to reduce all our pain and produce some more pretty flower arrangements that won’t ever decay
Like a rusty nail hanging from an abandoned factory alone I tap into me and it becomes a bliss factory erasing the bad shit and replacing it with sad shit and replacing that with happiness, the stages of a poet with a remarkably rose tainted madness I know it, forgive me not, the pedals fell in different spots and here’s a red rose for you and you and you so you forget me not
Maybe truths and forgetting my roots just an artist in pain with some pleasure sprinkled on top of my half-lived youth so I won’t forget all the times I didn’t want to die and I just wanted to live and live and live and live and fly and fly and fly and fly
Thrive until everyone around me saw me rise up into the sky, smiling like a prince as the sun enveloped me and gave me a kiss to which I responded with a poem and a wish and a promise to forever be kissing the sun, in love again smothered in the gems of a perfect romance that won’t ever end
This comes for you and yours, emerging from my tombs to heal our sores and wounds and erase the hate seething without breathing in its seductive fumes reaching to the tune I play my magical fiddle, coaxing fire on pages until they all burn brittle in the roasting urn and when I look at the stars knowing my life is better we share the same dilemma, is this all something you want or need to throw away before it sparkles and blinds you with your splendid beauty forever and ever
I give it away
For those that read this
And for those that need this
For everyone in need of a kiss, just use my words as lips
There’s a famine inside me, sanctions, blockades, they keep me starving, my hunger growing like days spent marching. Everything growling, my bodies contractions, emaciated in my tent in the desert laughing at the scrap metal raining through my mind like scattered assassins.
There’s a war in here and limbs are flying through my smoke and my pollution, burying me alive, already lost without absolution, venomous children collecting man-eating flowers walking at twilight to eat the smoke the funeral pyre is producing.
My head full of gruesome sadness and I can’t shut it off, a shot of heroin coupled with a neat glass of scotch but they do not suffice for my arrogant pain outweighs whatever you know about Christ’s suffering on the cross. Come kill me and make me pay, you’ve already taken the last of my dignity away, I’m slipping away into a void dark as death, marked by three red burning hot splashes of solvent to soften my flesh.
I won’t drink your mother’s milk, it’s tainted, I’ll drink in my own insanity like a mirage waterfall falling into my throat, bloating me until I no longer taste it and when I’m done and the torture is over and I told no secrets to the enemy go ahead and tell everyone I knew in this life I was a weak, pathetic, traitorous soldier, subversive – embracing the enemy, use my image for propaganda – ravish my memory, I shall be fighting a new war against heavenly serenity.
A coward, a sloth, a junkie, a drunk, my self-loathing I carry with me in a thousand pound trunk, dragging along the burning cinders, scraping the streets, my sense of who I am and who I should be slowly evaporating in the heat. Everyone smiling like they know anything, I keep my head down and my brain keeps on boiling.
I can’t run away from myself because whenever I try to go they stop me and tell me to go away, kept back to my four cornered room, I beg and I plead that It’s full of cobwebs and doom that scare me so they put me in a pink room and they lock the metal door and they forget about me because I’m not worth remembering, a beer you drank with a whore or an orphan playing in a mine underneath an abandoned town no one looked for.
Come find me God, please God come find me now and take me away with you somewhere where the flowers are still pretty, I want to see the heavens and the clouds, from your vantage point if it means I have to sever and feed you my kidneys, when I was a kid I was fooled into happiness, Disneyland and trees and animals, enraptured, my eyes glassy enamored, but now those things lay in a tomb that my mind cannot unfasten no matter how hard I pry until I break off my arms and an old woman walks by and whispers a little song and sends me far away- these ugly thoughts are not going away – not with a plethora of various medications, inpatient impatient psychiatric evaluation, not even with electro-schock treatment under a doctor’s observation.
Splash me with acid and rebuild me ground up.
Splash me with my own blood and forgive me. Slash me with me own bayonet and kill me. Flash lightening into my eyes and bill me for the nicest glasses you can buy.
A failure aging into oblivion, a poet blind to his own magnificence, a sailor caught in a storm fucking his woman ignoring the sea and his boat keeps tilting, thrashing until he climaxes and the captain uses his biblical sapling becoming its massive tree to calm the savage sea and the power of a woman ingesting some forbidden fruit one more time for this man in one more eternity.
Needs all connected ineffable, all fees uncollected not collectable, travails of another person borne to settle like dust from a savage storm inside yourself to make you feel your love re-reflected until you’ve had enough, but it’s not enough it never would be you keep staring back into the darkness until a light relaxes into your eyes and your pupils dilate increasing in size and your heart explodes in the good way into a million hearts and you feel something, anything, probably something better, probably something you could write about in a letter to someone important or someone that knows your soul bounces and flails about like an unfettered feather, although who needs fettered feathers when feathers fly and feathers flounce askance and feathers go anywhere they want anytime they want to dance?
For us our blessing, two hearts too thin and our blood an ocean opera rearing back for a massive wind and the wave that will carry us into the sun and perhaps to a happy place where, beyond it, we can see all our misery and pain and we can gather it all up, and they’ll wait for us with sturdy steel locks built for our fate, for us to bury our shame into a small steel box – it’s all smiles as we hear the click of the locks and we release all the fucking hate and we relearn how to walk because in the gardens bathed in perfect light streaming down from the canopy sometimes you bounce and sometimes you find you’re exactly happy and free
A tear slowly rolling – a rivulet shining inside the sun, the sun shining so hard it kills the numb, the sun is slowing rolling down your cheek, effervescent as it runs, bless it when you care to, never mess with it like a perfect hairdo and be proper and always make sure you tuck in your halo and the wings that carry you
Flowers upon flowers upon pedals upon pedals, metallic dream factory lollipop creation machine, we keep the floors gleaming serene watch the magic pop out like bubble fun from a child’s mouth, no more ouch, get a bandaid, I have several, here is one you might just need to use to bandage up your mental, or maybe it’s a blanket you can curl up into it and sleep one perfect dream after another in the perfect dream blanket, it’s basically up to you, let this poem represent your happiness and if I did it wrong I’m sorry I’m unaccustomed to writing things that are about happy shit – but I think it works, in fact I’ll make that a declarative because I said it did and god damn if happiness is anything but a poet writing poetry trying to give it away, trying to let love live…