When I was young my biggest fear was a mix between paralysis and possession. Yes I see through these eyes, but these limbs, I’m not so sure. Is the television talking to me or for me? The billboard says MASSAGE but I read ME$$AGE. The mess is on the carpet but the dog’s been outside all day. One time I walked to a lover’s house to the cracking of whips and broken gears. It scared me because I was hallucinating. It scared me because I definitely wasn’t.
In a coffee shop a friend asks me what the meaning of my life is. I tell him I reject the premise of the question: ice cubes never retain their shape for long. Inside the freezer it’s dark. The chicken can’t tell itself from the ham. The peas are stuck together but the liquor stays free. He takes a sip of coffee and looks unimpressed, looks uninspired, looks dizzy. I take a bite from my cookie and count the crumbs that I missed. There are four grains on the table and three on my lap. Seven has always been my favorite number, because July.
This poem is my oyster and I am the pearl. Do you see now? I can destroy what I want and still taste the salt. When I’m thirsty I drink. This should not have to be stated and yet—it was. I’m beginning to be fascinated by the idea of control: if I paint a poem in the middle of the street, whoever cleans it has little choice but to read. If I glue a photo of my palms to every stop sign, no accidents necessarily occur.
7/16/2015: I Am Not A Sideshow, I Am Not A Freak (Comment I Never Sent [This Status Was Deleted])
Joe Nicholas is an evolution of experiments and experiences. Their work can be found or is forthcoming in alien mouth, BOAAT, Found Poetry Review, Fruita Pulp, The Nervous Breakdown, and other wonderful publications. Their chapbook Street Monk is out with Bottlecap Press. They can be found at 8rainCh1ld.tk.