The Christmas atheist paid 7.99

for a bottle of off-brand whisky

declared he was a Kennedy,

and set fire

to an unassuming trash can.

The Christmas atheist said,

“It’s about time to call up Santa Claus.

Motherfucker owes me money,”

he slurred

at a broken lamp post.

The Christmas Atheist prayed

to baby Jesus.

“You should rent that bed

you used to call a manger

as an Air B&B.”

Said he knew a girl with Instagram.

Said the “B” stands for buisness.

The Christmas atheist got nervous

at the sight of flashing lights.

“No pictures please!”

he screamed as he stumbled

through the casalinghi

House of affordable global warming

and found himself a frail Chinese man

The Christmas atheist barked,

“Do you even have glue?”



I’m suing this place,”

and the Christmas atheist went outside.

To see about the fresh air.

A pineapple skin lay facedown on the pavement,
deteriorating in the soft December rain.
Wet trash populated the Friday morning streets,
morphing into mush – indistinguishable decay.
It was a peculiar day, the weather just fine
apart from the steady flow of water droplets
rhythmically plopping onto everything’s head.
I took steady drags of my cigarette,
hardly noticing the way my coat jacket was deepening
from an olive green
into a much darker shade
absorbing droplets into the fiber
as if they were being welcomed home.

Dear Mary,

Next month is your birthday month. The final days of your twenty-second year. I can’t remember the last time we saw each other on a birthday. I’m sorry, you know?
We used to say we would live next door. Grow our kids together and bake chocolate chip cookies while sippin’ sweet tea on some big front porch somewhere.
You were always better than me. At the cookie baking thing, I mean. And the loving people thing, I suppose. Mary the Mother, you know?
And I can’t say if our names drew fate or our circumstances did. But you are circumstantially strong, and I do admire it, even when I am far away.
There’s another anniversary nearby. 21 years since from November dreams we woke to find grandma and grandpa lurking in the hallway outside our bedroom.
We were stricken with excitement, but they answered with somber faces and said there had been an accident. Mom was in the hospital. This is my first memory, you know?
How rough was Christmas of ’96? And the next few after that? We got to keep mom but, we said goodbye to many things. Foolish childhood things.
We moved on, and put our baby dolls to sleep.
And stumbled down the path to the bus stop.
And practiced loopy-cursive letters.
And climbed up twisted back-yard trees.
And still got excited for the holidays.
And I love you, you know?

A Quarter of a Century.

A Quarter of a Century.

Birthday’s are the worst.
I wanted to blame Facebook,
But before there was Facebook,
there was a terrorist attack.
And before there was a terrorist attack,
there was a car accident.
And before there was a car accident,
There was me.

Born from dust.
Born from the cells of my ancestors.
Born as a new generation,
carrying the same chains.
The same skin disease.
The same hopeless desire for eternity.

Birthday’s are so boring.
An attempt to justify existence,
and locate yourself within spacetime.
But will spacetime remember me?
Cause I’ve been feeling like a speck-
Something less brilliant than a star.
And then I saw a good friend.
And she let me talk.
And I said stupid things.
And I laughed.
And I remembered all the good people.
And I remembered it’s okay.

Birthday’s are ruthless.
Ticking away the minutes,
Pushing you under the pressure,
to prove you are moving some direction.

When I am feeling lost,
I lick my finger.
And let the wind tell me,
which way to blow.

When I am feeling lost,
I look at where I was before,
And I thank something invisible,
for another year.

Greece is fading from me.

My tanned skin is peeling, revealing soft pink patches untouched by the bright August sun beams.

The licorice taste of Ouzo has evaporated from my lips – I lick them incredulously, my tongue searching for the salted stains of the turquoise sea.

I don’t know what moment you can call the place you’re living at a home, but I’ve returned to it. It’s different somehow, even without changing.

Anti-fascist graffiti still clings to the walls, men with dark eyes and dirty trousers leaned against them, taking deep drags of their cigarettes, waiting for the seasons to change.

Yesterday Flex told me there was electricity in the air – the humidity was disturbing his instruments at work. Molecules were acting out of sorts.

“There is magic, can you feel it?” he asked when I joined him on the mostly empty street.

I did.

It’s possible I did because I wanted to, but I was feeling awfully different these days, and the sunset had cast a strange orange glow, the kind you see before a violent thunderstorm. Somewhere in-between the darkness and the light, the buildings began to bend like holograms, and I wondered if they were ever there in the first place.

Greece is fading from me, like the remnants of a reverent dream. With each passing moment the details blend together, becoming more difficult to distinguish, disappearing like the final credits of a film, and suddenly I am thrown back again into reality, with the lingering feeling of hopeful melancholy.

I close my eyes and I see Kalamos of Anafi, the second largest monolith in Europe. A great presence protruding into the sky, a place that one time served as a haven.

I see the endless expanse of sea saturated in ultramarine and sapphire, somehow it was also teal and clear as crystalline. A mosaic of blue, expressing itself in every shade.

I see the sky so full of stars I wondered if they were watching us, if they could only see us when the lights were low, and we were burning out just like them, already dead in the contorted still frames of time.

I see the view from the mountain top, undisturbed by life. The great rocks stood without help, and they stood without the decay of time. And when I was with them, the silence was so strong it consumed me, and I became silent, too. There was nothing left to say.

Greece is fading from me, but Rome feels new again. In its chaos there is an exquisite beauty, the kind that makes you ache. It is the beauty of destruction, for even the great Roman columns will be destroyed one day, but maybe, they too, will become stars – the kind that children wish on.


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Kick the laundry pile.

Put the coffee on the stove.

Clean the loose tobacco off the desk.

Apply lotion.

The fan is not working?

Water plants.


~ sphssssh ~


The sound of hot coffee spilling on the stove top.

Brown stains.

Perfume steam.


Pour the coffee.

Roll a cigarette.

Hit play.


Google: How to fix a fan.






Stare at plants.

Blow a smoke ring.

Google: How to check computer storage.



84.1 GB storage.

What the fuck am I storing?

Google: How to clean storage space on computer.




I’ve head about these before.

Only delete the old ones!


Empty folders.

What does that mean?


My computer learns about me.

Tracks my location.

My passwords.

Website information.

My computer remembers things for me.

Things I don’t have effort to care about.


My computer tracks my searches.

Customizes advertisements.

Creates a digital history of my preferences.


My curiosities.

My secrets.

My medical history.

Web MD.

A long list of things I could have almost had.

Or maybe do have.



Free trials on language websites.

Searches for people.

People I want to know about.

People I never want to meet again.

People who make me sad when I remember them.

People who might be sad if they remembered me.


Moved items to trash.

Exchanging memories for space.


Empty trash.

* Files can’t be deleted!

They are “running.”



Avoiding me.

I don’t even know what they are.

But I’m lazy

So they won,

for today.


Until there comes a time,

when I’m forced to make some changes,

you can stay in the background,

collecting information,

about me.


My wrist is itching.

Just like the mint plant;

I am wilting in the heat


I am thinking

about all the things that I could do

to be productive.


I am thinking

how differently

time moves

when you finally keep some

and use it on yourself.


I am thinking

how differently

time moves

when the summer sun is so hot,

it lingers on into the night,

and gets trapped

in your bedsheets.

“Existence is futile!” a man shouted from the third floor window of a worn-out building. He was hanging on a curtain rod, a cigarette dangling out of the corner of his mouth.

He was a dirty man, maybe in his 40’s. I was never too good at guessing how many years a person’s been living for.

He saw me watching – a look of dignified delight spread across his dingy face, his hallowed eyes fixing on my little dress; his mouth slowly stretching into a gummy grin decorated with a few fossils of broken teeth.

“What’d you say?” I yelled back, my hand now parallel to my forehead, as if I were a solider reporting to her general. Really, I was just trying to shield my eyes from the hazy July sun.

“Viene qua, bellisima.” Now he was laughing all mad-like, clutching on to his ribcage, howlin’ and cracklin’ like a hyena.

“Where you come from?” yelled another man, maybe Moroccan, and before I knew it there were 10 of ‘em, all hootin’ and whistlin’ and still somehow suckin’ on their cigarettes.

I turned my attention to the empty street, lined with over-flowing trash bins and haphazardly parked cars. The sun was beating hard on the back of my shoulders, and I was trying to concentrate on a small dog up the hill, on the horizon of the piazza. He was dancing and skipping about, a little too care-free for the scene. His owner was taking a piss next to a trashcan, taking no measure to cover himself.

I took a sharp left onto a small side street, somewhere in between a via and a viccolo. Delivery items were being transferred from boxy trucks into dying businesses, the Chinese yelling in Italian, Italians yelling at the Chinese. I accidentally made eye contact with a homeless man lying dead in the center of the sidewalk. His mouth was slightly agape, and he slowly stretched his shaking arm in my direction, piercing me with his gray dull eyes.

“Existence is futile,” he whispered, and my over-heated July skin flushed with goose-bumps.

“What’d you say?” I sang back in a sad tune, like a reflex that a doctor checks to make sure you’re still feeling things.

He began to groan, and cough, and shake some more.

I marched on, past a Banglah and cellphone shop. I walked past Hallal fast food and empty stores with no names. I walked past children playing in the street, mothers humming as they hung their wet clothes out their apartment windows. I walked past hot trash begging to become fire, dirty birds sifting for something to eat. I walked past construction workers in their bright orange vests and long pants, past the crumbling buildings that once signified affluence and opportunity.

I walked, until I finally saw a bar. I opened the door, and that’s when I realized I was following my feet.

“Ciao, dimmi,” said an old man with a big mustache and watery blue eyes.

“vorrei un caffe,” I asserted, over annunciating.

The stainless-steel machine whizzed and steamed, a dark black liquid gently trickling into a small, white porcelain cup.

He placed it on the bar with a flourish, and I languidly began stirring in the contents of a sugar packet, my eyes fixed ahead on a mirror, watching the room behind me.

A business man in a well-tailored suit entered into the picture. He had a big watch with the wrong time and pearly white teeth that looked like maybe they had been sharpened.

“Un caffe,” he snapped, and the old bar man stepped into motion like a switch had been flipped on. He never looked away from the machine as the espresso found it’s way into another cup. A small, white cup. Porcelain.

The old man placed the coffee on the bar, and I felt the eyes of the business man on me. I kept looking in the mirror. Maybe I was waiting for something.

“Existence is futile,” he remarked, as he dropped a few coins on the counter and headed back out into the streets.

“What’d you say?” I asked myself, because no one else was around to hear me.

“Un euro,” the old man replied, with a warm smile and busy hands.

“Grazie,” I placed a coin on the counter, and followed my feet outside.