What Direction Now? Life at the intersection…

Who is the “you”?


Flip the bird and let it fly free so that I can finally see how vulgar these fragile temples actually are, so-called inviolate vestment hangers, going on and on about how violence is wrong, all the while chain smoking, drain licking, fever dream frenzy pills popping like steel bubbles bouncing off the brain, no more violence or pain, comes the chanted refrain even while we welcome the most virulent strains with every breath and bite, turn the knife against yourself with every swig and snort, exhort your fellow man to love—just love—but show yourself the true meaning of hate as tension and torture, tearing the self in two and two again and two more by storing up these toxic stockpiles and all the while still goading, daring you to fight to stay alive, alive only to punish, to dust off the whip and flog another go round, today, another day, today we flay the slowly sloughing skin from our tongues for good, swallow blood to fill the gut for God and country won’t tolerate spitting, deny yourself nothing but life, or don’t, who will care? who will stare back from behind a shattered mirror and escape the final cut? who will cut the final butt away from our lips when our lungs won’t pump no more? what’s in store for all the children I see who already, before ever living, only want to die? and who am I, fraught with naught but circling words and lofty dreams, to even ask.


Top off the truck, then leave it sleeping, hush, slowly rolling, shushing, toe forward on your brittle tips, nipping, slipping the gaps with scissorsnip precision, then indecision, skipping back and driving away, diving noseward in and having dove, falling simply, no longer stalling before the forthcoming semicolon end to all of this, wishing only for ellipses or perhaps nothing at all, fishing hope and floormats out of the rough sea, rocking, toughing out the sights of burnt out highbeams like sighing lighthouses no longer fighting mist and fog with this knowledge: they are alone, halos fading out, halos closing in, the now-tearing glaucomic tearing hair and sticks and stares from the stingy river bed, trying and crying to wipe the water from our windshield; as we rock and climb, all good dreams left behind in the silt, slowly rise to light, stalling now and then, as we’re towed back up out of sleep…and fuel, so
The blind leading the lied-to…

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What Direction Now? Life at the intersection…

About Andrew.

Andrew Cartwright grew up in Indianapolis, IN, but has lived over the years in such places as Denver, CO; Fairfax, VA; and Rivne, Ukraine. He is a former nonfiction editor for both Indiana Review and phoebe; he has also worked for the intersectional feminist journal, So To Speak, and the national literary magazine, Electric Literature. His work has appeared in The Normal School Online, Copper Nickel, Esquire Ukraine, Literary Hub, and Word Riot.

For more information about me and links to other writing, visit my author page at cartwriter.com

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A Day at a Time…

December 2019
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