You’re No Better (probably)

The Victor, a lion resting in my chest,
waiting to breed, to breathe,
waiting to feast on meat.

Bloodborne antonyms, can’t spell no no mo,
I got my little empty trinkets,
early onset, trying to forget,
all the things I remember, from so long ago.

Yes, the platinum in my eyes has dulled,
the dew on the web of the spider,
I sip into a lull, foregone conclusions,
doing things wrong, catching spiritual contusions.

Lord forgive me, all I am is the thinking thoughtless, a human being.

Claws for teeth and bullets for fingers,
gingerly testing for taste,
letting the brew simmer.

This road is long and filled with potholes that break axles,
taxidermies for friends, leaving no doubt,
about who is really the asshole,
unassailable vassal of things other than nice,
break myself off a crucible and go around pretending I’m Christ.

Rats into mice,
huge vicious bubonic rats from cute little, white mice.

I know nothing except the truth of pain,
spare me or sacrifice me, lacerate me,
just make up your fucking mind,
and have at me.

The Death Throes of Marionettes

The Death Throes of Marionettes

Books of sand written by a mathematician with an abacus made from broken hands,
watering broken plants that look away from the waning light of the sun scissored into a wavering, wilted strand inside of a styrofoam box inside of a rock that recoils and cracks whenever it’s touched and all blooming flowers renounced their blossoms and crawled back down into the dust, their innocence hacked away by the axe handles of love, a sunset that forever fell filled with dead stars scrawled in paint that never dries captive in a canvas carved out of the sky by dull, rusty, heartbroken knives spitting hot blood at your eyes but only concealing the lens’ of the glasses art wears when it’s blind, the moment before it quivers, withers and silently 
dies.

Happily Rabid

Happily Rabid

Alexander Ziperovich

*

There’s a sign on my forehead, enter bullet, preferably a .357 caliber. There’s a signature needed for all of you people, I’m passing around the bulletin board and your needles are just getting sharper and sharper.

*

There are clouds above the sun, yet the sun is burning through; I’ve been told once, twice, three, and four times what not to do.

*

There is somewhere for me to go, a vacant lot. I’ve been told truth and I have been told lies. I lie somewhere in the middle, smoking something hot.

*

Guns, diamonds, cocaine, and God. Capitalize things when thing’s are hard.

*

Fuck life. Fuck death. Permanent purgatory for a man with absolution solution’s left.

*

Killing’s and I just want to be at peace. Someone offered me an olive branch and I spit at their feet. They offered me syringes filled with cut dope, I offered my bulletin board before I realized it was all tore up and broke.

*

Coke. I turned away.

*

Specialty pharmaceuticals, do the tango down to the bay and sit on the dock and watch all the ghosts sway like the waves from a cave.

*

Hunger. Grave starvation, bullet’s in my bulletin board for me to suffer today.

*

Today, today, today and tomorrow I’ve borrowed and followed and eaten things that tasted like maggots dipped in the sorrow of someone else’s grief.

*

This place is eating me.

Consumption is my function & I grow tall like a hunchback jumping.

Now, to the luncheon.

What gumption!

California Avenue @ 12:15 AM

California Avenue @ 12:15 AM

The glowing ember from my cigarette floating through the dark like a torch and the exhalations blowing through the curling blue coil of rising smoke, a rickety red umbrella that you can never, ever open inside, my pack of smokes and my Betty Boop lighter, and a biting rain pecking at my face curling down my neck as I sit on some stairs and watch a dry patch of pavement below become pock-marked with falling droplets of rain until it all comes together and coalesces on the surface of the ground, dark and wet, the once dry patch annexed from above by the falling saliva of the sky, illuminated by a jaundiced, yellow light; the hard clicking sound of the contents of pregnant clouds land on and around me and beyond a drunk couple sings their way down the avenue tunelessly toward me in a slow, unintentionally wistful cadence.

Lighter Fluid

Ziperovich

Forty-four magnum pillows and art as weeping willows,
long strands of art falling like the hair of your beloved,
infested with almost-beauty so bad your soul catches fire,
faces with faces that cut razors with razors, throw fire on pages,

Blow smoke on the fever,
float down a river made from memory with oars made from ivory and ebony,
elephantine sense of smell for the cane that walks the blind to and from,
hell and hell and hell will rebel into the heart of all that you buy and sell,

Throw fire on pages and fill up your lighter,
get a sense of yourself and burn a writer,
ashes to smashed faces with glass in your eyes,
smokestacks so high you can’t reach but you try,

And the last thing you will need is lighter fluid,
cigarettes will suffice unlit and glasses empty of drink,
the cellar doors of your soul, closed and opened, pry them open,
find the blast furnace and throw fire on your pages before you burn them.

Painting Hearts Instead of Scoring Coke

heart

My blood is hot scotch desirous, animalistic unpredictability coursing and I can feel my pupils pounding, black holes swallowing the whites of my eyes. I’m right between euphoria and murder, the golden moment right before you rise into heaven or fall into hell.

I want need some cocaine. 

It’s always the same thing, the sweet burn of the luminous golden scotch mingling with my tongue, tickling the very depths of me with every swallow, the tinkling crystal tumbler raised and tilted at a glib angle as the scotch ripples through me like a stone thrown into a pond. I’m one smiling, laughing witticism after another two or three doubles deep. This is civilized, radiance pushing the dread from my center, a glowing amber ocean in a glass literally scorching the earth of my anxiety, every gulp like a whispering friend encouraging me to live, to be alive, giving me life, new life and new needs, new ways to fulfill those new needs for my new life writing these words, hell, I need a drink. 

I love that phrase, it’s the only honest protest we have left, “I need a drink,” implies isolation and frustration and a reprieve from it all into sexy danger and abundant power, the righteous murder of the maiming our minds do unto us, something everyone can understand. S/he needs a drink. X happened and now Y is Z. S/he deserves a drink.

Tara’s driving my car flying above the purring German engine, the power of it intoxicating, her eyes burning embers ready to catch flame and I see myself inside her eyes, little ellipses containing my deepest reflections. She says we’re siblings. I see it.  

I have her take me south to the lake near the place I got evicted from and I just missed my girl. I walk across the street to this shitty bar PIZZA, the other letters sizzling and popping on and off until the shuddering, crackling A finally explodes popping into the darkness shooting slivers of sparkles that shower down from it like a sparkler, leaving a single blinking Z. Everyone briefly looks outside at the little explosion and I look through the faces for someone familiar. Nothing. I light a Parliament with my head buried in my phone texting the people you text on nights like these nights. I look around like I’m lost, that’s how I feel, and my eyes lay upon a kid with a mad shine in his eyes sitting on a stump of green gun metal, the Seattle Weekly box, his legs dangling over the side. He starts talking to me in rapid fire and I notice his face has meth all over it, and he’s speeding through something about how it’s his first night in Seattle, “My fuckin’ girl got pregnant, maaan, so I hopped on this greyhound with no ticket dude and without saying shit and just got the fuck outta there but she has this uncle and—” Lovely. I think he thought we were friends because we both witnessed the A explode. I nod and return to Tara, letting him tell his stories to the wind. She’s sitting parked in my car waiting me out and anyone else would have infuriated me just for existing; I’m flustered and frustrated and hating drugs, hating the lack of drugs, hating that I hate the lack of drugs but Tara is like valium with a heartbeat and no matter what and no matter how badly I want coke I want Tara to be okay more. This is the first friendship I’ve ever had, I think. I don’t know if I’ve ever had a friend my whole life.

My wise voice, as Tara might say, is murmuring maybe screaming something about how this is actually serendipity, not loss and that’s true, cocaine turns me inside out into a hungry carnivorous violence I never even let myself believe could exist in me and without fail I end up at some ugly hour of the morning in my shower sobbing, blowing burning chunks of ammonia and ephedrine out of my scorched face hating everything most especially myself trying to wash the fury and hopelessness off of me, shoveling sedatives and beta blockers down my throat knowing they won’t fucking work because nothing fucking works because I’m on coke and coke doesn’t work.

Now we’re in the middle of Capitol Hill, 12th and Pike, one block from the succubus-girl and the condo we lived in where she almost murdered me and everyone is screaming and everything is drugs and pounding bass and kids in middle school and college running around like insane insects in a hive; the people are all game tonight the air electrified with cheap cologne and perfume, hormones and pheromones and the shit-coke I know is down in the grottos along the avenue waiting for me like that evil girl used to, sitting so gently on her bed looking bashful even timid when I would finally crawl back right until she leaped off my cock into the bathroom to vomit and scream, yes, the things I came here for are here. I watch some kid piss on a garbage can. I watch another kid piss on a street corner. This is a carnival of piss, colorfully terrifying, everything pressing into me from all sides like walls of skin crushing me from all directions and this place is a shining blood-red apple staring at me daring my teeth to sink into it like a vampire staring into a throbbing jugular, sticky blood and apple juice flowing down from my jaws onto my chin dribbling down impossible to stop until my hands are sticky and my fingers snap when I pull my hands apart from themselves because I am going to eat this city.

My face is a razor blade on a cokeless mirror, chopping at the clear glass, cutting at the sides— “Alex, you want to see the one that really fucked me up?” I’m in the car sweating venom and Tara will show more of her demons to me, she knows this shit so well. “This is Angela.” She shows me a video of Angela on my phone reading poetry written for Tara. I see a face made of old bone holding two small smoldering eye sockets and as Tara tells me about the Christmas they spent together where Angela pulled a knife on her in a fit of paranoid rage after smashing her boot through Tara’s fragile gifts I start to forget the coke. I don’t forget the coke. The craving becomes polluted with the better nature of my soul as I see Tara clutching at her face in pain as she watches this video and I see why Tara would love this girl made from bone metal— her face is devoid of love and Tara likes to let her heart get strangled. “I know!” I scream. We’ve watched two videos of this horrendous skeletal woman on a stage reading poetry about Tara and I’ve just come up with the best fucking idea.

“Let’s paint!” 

Now, some would say that doing graffiti in the middle of crowded streets full of people and cops is not the smartest thing, especially after having already pressed my luck and beaten a big graffiti charge a few years back. 

I disagree with those people. 

My trunk is stocked. For a moment I freak out, did all the caps go into the duffel bag that’s at the house? Nope, a big lime-green cap sits on top of a red can like a cherry on a sundae. I light it up and sure enough the cap is good (caps often jam with congealed paint and become unusable) tonight we’re having good fortune. Incidentally, we’re parked right in front of the place where I did one of my first pieces, a little monster guy that was up for some five years and has now disappeared. It’s this big sunken parking lot with this huge, huge wall covered entirely with graffiti and I am taking Tara for a ride. We stroll away, a red can and a black can clinking in her blue purse. We casually walk down some steps to a gangplank that leads down further to the lot and I survey it for cops and other undesirables. Nobody except a couple in the middle of either a break up or a make up, I can’t decide. We get down to the bottom and I look at the wall where my beautiful piece used to be. It’s covered in all new graffiti, much of it very, very good. This may sound fucked up, but I love to tag over good blaster-pieces. My rationale is two-fold: 1. Graffiti is all about fucking up other people’s walls and nobody owns shit no matter how pretty or how long they spent on it and 2. Painting over good art will force more good art onto the streets. 

I’m pretty certain there are a few people who disagree, would put a baseball bat to my head if they saw what I did. I don’t care. I ask Tara for the red can with the cap and she hands it to me and I see her in my periphery with her head on a swivel looking for oncoming cops as I just mangle these walls, red hearts everywhere in about two minutes the entire parking lot looks like Valentines day. We walk up the slanted drive past the couple who look and smile. Making up. Good. When we reach the street I notice that my trigger fingers are covered in red paint. Fuck. Oncoming sirens.

Go.

I start down the avenue the way it would make sense to go but quickly reverse course, Tara trailing a few yards and we go right back through the lot I just smothered with hearts because everything graffiti is counterintuitive, including getting busted— the cops rarely think to look at the spot that just got hit, why would the idiot taggers still be there, right? Right. We’re back on safety in my car. “Painting hearts with the cops after you is better than smack,” I tell her, my eyes virtually rolling back in my head. Both of us are huffing and puffing and grinning like idiots as we drive the fuck out of there. The craving for coke has not left me but the need for it has. Tara drives me back to her place and I bid her farewell before I drive myself home, by now sobered up from the scotch, where I sleep a most restful sleep, the clinking and spraying of paint cans and the tinkling of crystal tumblers an amalgamate of hissing and chiming softly in time like a strange lullaby keeping time with my cooling blood and my slowing heart all the way deep into my dreams.

Alex Reading “Relapse”

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.

PROPANE @ 1412

Alex Ziperovich reading for Move @ Gallery 1412

Writing

wrinkdpaper21.jpg

When I write I bleed onto the page, the pen like a syringe drawing up my soul and the paper like some kind of breathing, animate test tube being smothered with lives and pain and the angst of humanity; I am just some kind of medium for all these great, purging exhalations, this emancipation of lustration that I must give to whatever impetus that is screaming, calling for these words I scrawl and I scrawl and I scrawl and I scrawl.

i am not enough.

i am not enough.

God & Satan Discussing Evil

Image

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.” 

Alex Reading Prose @ The In on January 26

Alex Ziperovich reads an excerpt from his memoir, titled “Junkie Goes To Hospital”. Enjoy.

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