1. European Union compliance message: This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

four thousand days since I wanted to be a poet

By Jess Kangas, May 5, 2017.

More work by Jess Kangas
  1. Jess Kangas

    Jess Kangas Well-Known Member

    day one: todasci

    it was a college of sciences
    the oak tree. solvay wastebeds: it felt like foam

    day 378:
    you’re a bad friend. after the woodsmen party, all men: on the steps of a stranger’s home, keystone. our voices dust-fiddling the night.

    day 392: I’m glad you didn’t rape me. A gentleman.

    day 467: my heart is racing. I’m dying. “No, no, it’s okay, give it a couple hours.” outside. concord. it was a beautiful home. the windows in the house to the left were gone, the sheets danced through them; a howl. I’m screaming. “Shut-up kids [mumbled] call the police.” inside. inside. Inside.

    day 803: your poetry is very sexual. lake ontario. seven months. 5th street. 5. the ice cream parlor.

    day 904: the door broke. we have to evaluate you. in the van, the yellow moon. Full. her husband left her. we call her the valium trophy wife. her pink polo. she talks to herself.
    "MIKE TYSON FUCKED ME UP THE ASS!" I don’t belong here. he liked my drawing.


    day 967: beverly. my real mother. I love you.

    day 1000: 500 dollars. it’s like a vacuum. it doesn’t hurt. you’ll bleed for 3 weeks.
    Dear Mom,
    I know you don’t want to hear from me but I’m sending you this e-mail because I can’t afford…

    day 1,236: the police are here. “I could press charges, you have to go back home.”

    day 1,237: penn station. no words.
    day 1, 238: simmering.
    day 1,256:  simmering.

    day 1,300: pop. all you care about is money. I’ll break this fucking macbook, and it will hurt you more than…
    I can still see him. teeth grit. spitting his words. (you spit on me too) red face. I knocked her over. it was an accident. outside. outside. a stranger found me.

    Day 1,301: you came. 3 minutes to the car. away. away. the clothes on my back.

    day 2,000: the answer. down dog. lotus pose. kundalini tantric fake smiles.

    day 2,700: no answer. I’m not the source of your depression. stop. please. stop.

    day 3,000: 30 days. the jungle. I saw you with her in my dreams.

    day 3,030: s e p a r a t e. I can’t help puking.

    day 3,125: the sun is in my hair. looking at me behind tree indentations, an incantation: “Could you ever love me

    day 3,150: “What kind of music do you like?” [only his music.]

    day 3,450: “You’ll never forgive me!.” sick. always sick. valium.

    Day 3,650: “I’m transitioning into a woman. I am a woman.”
    ‘’It’s because I resented you. I couldn’t be my true self. A woman. Like you.”
    I hate you

    day 3,999: “Can’t YOU see what SHE’S doing!” “This is transphobic!”
    “Just leave. It’s for the best.”
    “Why can’t SHE leave! Go back to New York City!”
    “TERFs. You’re all TERFs!”

    day 4,000: I’m not mindlessly curving around these walls. Like the long-lined snake my grandfather peeled from his apples. I remember you. every cliche-even the word. There is no poem for (u)s.

    day one: totace
  2. Tim J Brennan

    Tim J Brennan Well-Known Member

    If you get a chance, read Diary of a Mad Housewife. This reminds me of that so much, in a 2017 kind of way.

    Day 803 is wonderful.
    Jess Kangas likes this.
  3. Bethany Lim

    Bethany Lim not looking

    Well.  This is one to come back and reread to get the full effect.  The first time through I barely made it.  The emotions here are just only held to the page by the words.
  4. silent lotus

    silent lotus _-_== Loiterer ==_-_

    Jess Kangas likes this.
  5. Anna Ruiz

    Anna Ruiz I have the same religion as that tree over there.

    I will follow you.

    Literally and figuratively.
    Jess Kangas likes this.
  6. Jordan Trethewey

    Jordan Trethewey Fly on the wall

    What Eliot said. I'll be back like Bethany.
    Fantastic and searingly honest, Jess.
  7. silent lotus

    silent lotus _-_== Loiterer ==_-_


    My Friday

    Smoke upstairs

    in the bedroom

    with the black bed

    if you want

    She said

    to me


    three cocktails

    We walked upstairs


    My legs,

    they're woozy,



    Her apartment

    smells like




    I think



    Must be me


    for ya'

    Or my



    you know.

    She tugs

    on me,

    Always has,

    she thinks

    I could



    Her cunt

    is a



    nights like



    You're a


    Oh, Tom,

    (her sweet, childlike grin)

    But you



    ©2008 Jess Kangas

  8. Jess Kangas

    Jess Kangas Well-Known Member

  9. Jess Kangas

    Jess Kangas Well-Known Member

    thank you all. I was inspired by Mark Z. Danielewski's House of Leaves, and todasci/totace is a reference to the hypertext fiction "The Sonatas of Saint Francis"
    silent lotus likes this.
  10. Anna Ruiz

    Anna Ruiz I have the same religion as that tree over there.

  11. Anna Ruiz

    Anna Ruiz I have the same religion as that tree over there.

  12. Jess Kangas

    Jess Kangas Well-Known Member

    Anna Ruiz likes this.
  13. David Belcher

    David Belcher Don't forget to be Awesome

    I like the idea at the heart of this, the way the narrative unfolds, moving through the significant days. I did wonder if you could do away with the different coloured scripts, I found them distracting. I will have to come back and read this again. My interest does flag in places but that might be my state of mind.
    Jess Kangas likes this.
  14. Jay Dougherty

    Jay Dougherty Well Worn

  15. maggie flanagan-wilkie

    maggie flanagan-wilkie Well-Known Member

    You and your work are most definitely missed Jess!

    Facinating piece.  Maggie