Monk’s Parasite (January 13, 2020)

Midnight, January 13, 2020. Now playing is “Blue Monk” by Thelonious Monk.

This recent evening I watched Parasite for the second time and it made me sick. How long have the poor been seen as parasites? How long is it gonna take until we get our shit together and overcome the powers that be?

This atrocity has gone this long in the history of Earth, and I sometimes feel I have no reason to expect it to go any differently.

I feel the same about me. I have found a good rhythm. I have found an amazing person. But I feel my mental health dissolves what I love the most. How patient is this person going to be with the time alone I need to keep myself well?

This is one of many reasons why I feel I shouldn’t be close to people. Sometimes, I view myself as a parasite.

  1. Will they even see the world as I see it? How will they face the reality of despair when there is nowhere else to drain your brain?
  2. Will they still see me the same after they see me at my most vulnerable?

I am cold. I am constantly hurting. My lens is blue. And I don’t want to feel this anymore. Love or death. That is the only way out. So far I keep picking love.

Love,
Jazz Hands of Death

Speak to what you think (January 7, 2020)

He lies on his black, dusty futon as he feels the brisk wind brush against his body. On his porch at almost midnight this January evening, it only feels like the beginning of Fall. Thinking of the weather is too hard because it causes far too much anxiety.

“Stop eating meat,” he says.

“Recycle consistently,” he says.

“Save your money for the future,” he says.

“Fight for others because you will want them to fight for you,” he says.

“Actions speak louder than words,” he says.

Luckily, his willpower has allowed him to act as he speaks. However, does he speak to what he really thinks?

The light at the end of the tunnel is revolution. But that revolution will bring so much pain for millions of people in the process, including him. So what is he really preparing for? For the betterment of his society? Or for the wishful thinking that maybe a revolution isn’t necessary?

History says otherwise. Love while you can because you can’t love for much longer.

Love,
Jazz Hands of Death

No Longer Allowed (January 4, 2020)

I can’t find anything
What once was is no longer there
Toss and turn
Make me shake
What does it mean to be right here?

Read a book
Slapped a page
Went outside
Screamed out loud
Ignoring this phase is
no longer allowed.
Ignoring this phase is
no longer allowed.

All the black in the sea
My faith inside your arms is square
Up all night
There’s no bread
What once was is no longer there

Rode a bus
Held a hand
Stayed inside
I’m no man
Seeing your face is
no longer allowed.
Seeing your face is
no longer allowed.

Withering out, I’m far
In the heat of the night, you fly
Dig a dirt
Take a stand
What could feel can no longer hold

Once you cried
I knew why
Once I cried
I knew I lied
Avoiding this space is
no longer allowed.
Avoiding this space is
no longer allowed.

Your sad daze is
no longer allowed.
Your sad daze is
no longer allowed.

My strange face is
no longer allowed.
My strange face is
no longer allowed.

December 16, 2019

It was a great day today.

I felt something that was so beautiful I couldn’t handle the sensation. I almost puked on the corner of 12th and Grand.

I miss my friend Anna and I am cuddling with Muta while I wait to see my crush.

December 9, 2019

I am in bed with Muta and I am sick. I am also falling for the person I am seeing right now. Feeling connected with, and loved by, an amazing person can really make you feel stupid sometimes. I didn’t know I could feel genuinely interested and comfortable with someone like this. I guess I gotta keep learnin’.

“When this is over at least you know you had this, dude.”

Another less serious note, I have had her underwear in my backpack for days now. They are clean! I just keep forgetting to have my bag when I am with her.

Indoors

In the month of April, The Standing Desk will showcase four pieces under the “April Flowers” series from Liz James. This is the fourth and final installment of the four works.

indoors

Indoors

I can’t keep us alive inside
Stagnant air and artificial sun
Dancing with death in the dark

We never tried to be out
Always in
Defined by doors
That never opened

You withered
Shrinking smaller to accommodate
Losing water
Spilling soil
paler
more frail
Taken like a cancer
You never belonged where I kept you

You let me contain you
But you deserved the earth
You should have let the wind take you
Maybe the rain would never have come
At least you would have seen the sun

 

liz_james_poetry_kansasLiz James is a 23-year-old poet from Kansas. Their poetry revolves mostly around themes of self-discovery and plant life. They self-published a zine, ‘Rehab for Caffeine Addicts’ in 2015, and have been a featured reader for the Taproom Poetry Series and KU’s Undergraduate Reading Series, which they directed from 2015 until 2017. Liz’s favorite flowers are cornflowers and anemones.

Early Harvest

In the month of April, The Standing Desk will showcase four pieces under the “April Flowers” series from Liz James. This is the third installment of the four works. Look out for an interview with Liz James soon!

Liz_James_Poetry_Early_Harvest

Early Harvest

Ultraviolet undergarments
meant to attract
Mutual Benefit
Symbiotic favors returned
but the little white dress on top
is so appealing.

Plucked from the street
Flighted highway
Unimagined colors flash
like air traffic control
Lighted cones to signal
a landing strip
Uncharged & ready for contact.

You were [apprehended]
by groping hands.
Clumsy fingers extending
from eyes blind to your
intricate symbiosis

Potential partners buzz past
and watch
at a [thousand] frames per second
Following other lights.

 

liz_james_poetry_kansasLiz James is a 23-year-old poet from Kansas. Their poetry revolves mostly around themes of self-discovery and plant life. They self-published a zine, ‘Rehab for Caffeine Addicts’ in 2015, and have been a featured reader for the Taproom Poetry Series and KU’s Undergraduate Reading Series, which they directed from 2015 until 2017. Liz’s favorite flowers are cornflowers and anemones.

Helianthus

In the month of April, The Standing Desk will showcase four pieces under the “April Flowers” series from Liz James. This is the second installment of the four works.


Helianthus

Helianthus_Liz_James_poetry

I waited all winter for the yellow to return
for the sun and forsythia and dandelion.
The daffodils look nicer against the snow,
though I know they’re dying.
Seasons are not to be trusted despite grade school promise
of easy quarted timespans.
The yellow arrives to contend with grey,
but clouds will always obscure the sun first.
The daffodils bow to the ground like emus with their heads in the sand. Their heads curled inward and stamens embedded in snow rather than reaching toward the warmth.
My brother drives me around again
because I can’t get behind a wheel anymore.
I try to play upbeat music so he won’t know I’m so sad,
but the lyrics give me away,
and the air turns thick
like the wrinkled leather water of contaminated river under the bridge.
Suddenly I understand that nothing truly ends or disappears
Zero is an imaginary number and forgetting is a parlor trick where the memory steps out from the trap door after the audience has clapped and left their seats.

 

liz_james_poetry_kansasLiz James is a 23-year-old poet from Kansas. Their poetry revolves mostly around themes of self-discovery and plant life. They self-published a zine, ‘Rehab for Caffeine Addicts’ in 2015, and have been a featured reader for the Taproom Poetry Series and KU’s Undergraduate Reading Series, which they directed from 2015 until 2017. Liz’s favorite flowers are cornflowers and anemones.

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