:: Article

neurotica & other poems

By Jax NTP.

neurotica xviii
collarbones and cognitive hazards

what do you know about productive misery?
si tu vois ma mère, you’ll know how to be nervous
in between a name and an alias, when the naked

knuckle of speech turns white. if that’s the case,
would you consider your insomnia counterproductive
misery? when wind is stuck to the throat of your words

there is another licorice song in your esophagus,
within that song, words are tactile until they exit
your mouth cannibalizing the milky nipples of space.

static imperatives fill the silence with constant chatter.
but even words you trust won’t stay where you send
them. you want to go home to paint, to find comfort

in that public privacy, then walk around naked singing
gloomy sunday, not billie holiday’s truffled number,
but the hungarian suicide version until you can

memorize the paralysis, what it means to be in a room,
with her, sitting next to you.

neurotica iv
emergency exit

what may
or may not
be the reception
of cowardice

rat droppings
and expired
orange juice

what happens
to waldo
when you
find him?

the safe
word is
not olallie

alarm will sound
faster, faster

then without

what keeps
on ― divides

the crickets
are salty
on her lips

the key,
what is

pain always produces logic, which is very bad for you
Frank O’Hara

especially when you drive with windows down
persisting friendship with the night. the thick
jawline of streetlights does not allow room

for monolithic pity in the ego-ridden sea nor
the clatter of change in the mint echo of small
spaces. why must the radio be broken?

no, it’s just your incandescent
heartbeat tambouring through
your bones like the exquisite

sadness of masturbation.
what remains of that friendship
saunters like the aftertaste of toothpaste,

unprecedented and buoyed by guilt
of not rinsing twice. what remains
shocks the moon’s jackal eyelids,

the sharpness of ice biting liquid,
the pleated accordion tucked
in the top corners of venn

diagrams. unlike the mortician’s
daughter and her childhood — full
of crepuscular weight, snowflake

and oyster spit, the effortlessness
of not breathing, savoring the solitude,
looking forward to having nothing to look

forward to — the only thing you need
sleeps in your trunk: a lonesome valise
teeming with the full lipped language,

remembering to forget how palpable
it is not to forgive.

Jax NTP is a second-year MFA poet and the Editor-in-Chief of RipRap Literary Journal at California State University, Long Beach. Her work has been featured in PEARL, Subliminal Interiors, The Mas Tequila Review, The Legendary, Bank Heavy Press, Moon Tide Press, and Silver Birch Press.

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Tuesday, July 30th, 2013.