all i do is kill time until i can eat again

do not talk about it;
no one wants to hear.

live on a boat;
understand there is
a difference
between 12v and
110v electrical
power. do not
understand what
that difference is.

live on an island;
recall what it felt like
to choke on panic
and remember what
it felt like to
feel your ribs
under atmospheric oceans
of despair and
don’t forget that
taking a drive can
sometimes be the best
medicine and uh-oh,
there isn’t much road
here and
you don’t have a

go into small-business
ownership; this is key
because, remember?
do not talk
about it, no
no no
one wants to hear?
people you don’t know
well will say,
in the form of
a question,
“how are
you doing?
i mean
are you
making money?
are you

look into a mirror;
ask you
if you
are surviving,
and that is
only asked to
people who are
people. see?
see you
there, looking
back? only
people look

start taking naps;
hahahaha, do you
have a dad?
i did, i did,
i had
a dad. later
in his life,
which was
still pretty
early in
his life
he died
young, late
in his life
he’d take
naps in the afternoon.
every afternoon.
home briefly
from another absolute
exploding toilet
of a job,
and me, barely
20 and already
crippled like a
plastic ocean,
yeah so
him, home
and afternoon and
napping. and
me, home and
afternoon and
looking at the clock,
the clock
telling me his nap
should be over
and still the bedroom
do you know
the grief
of waking from
a nap?
learn it.
do not talk
about it

it doesn’t matter
where. you
will still be
there, wherever
you go. go
to Omaha and
rent a basement
studio apartment
in a burnt orange part
of town. wash
dishes for 20
hours a week.
make just enough
money to pay for
studio apartment
and internet
and at a minimum
a 40 inch TV.
in a burnt rust
golden orange
part of town.
make sure
you’ve enough leftover
to buy bulgur
nutritional yeast.

ok, yeah,
big sigh, go
ahead and talk
about it;
do not expect
people to listen.
do not expect.
ok, sure,
yes. do you want
to hear about it?
that guy,
that guy,
back when you worked
in perpetual parking
lot, remember?
you said to him,
you said, “hey
man, how’s it goin”.
see that?
no question mark!
you did not say this
in the form of
a question!
this is America,
“how’s it goin”
is not a question,
it is not to be
treated as such.
ok ok ya, so
remember that?
and goddamn it
if that guy didn’t just
unload his shit all over you!
right there in the parking lot
—“my brother shot himself
and we were homeless
together and now
i am homeless alone
except i just got this
old volvo and so
i am living in that so
that is my home so
i guess i am not homeless,
right?” he said that
right there
to you and it was
both statement and
question. did you
want that??

do not talk
about it;
no one
wants to hear.

people will listen,
but their ears might come
in the form of
offered food.
do not talk
while you eat.
it is rude
and unsightly
and might be
dangerous. you
could choke.
you are choking.
just chew
and swallow
and then
take a breath.
don’t gulp at the air
like you’re choking.
is unsightly.

it’s ok to cry,
but do not
cry too much.
i don’t cry
too much
but sometimes
when i eat, i choke
back tears.
do not talk
while you eat
and also
do not cry!
if you choke
while you eat
you risk spewing
and spraying
half-chewed food
all over your
whos and whatevers
are close to you.
and they are giving
you food. and this
is a way they try
to listen.
do not
ruin it.

do not talk
about it; no
one wants
to hear.
do not ruin
it; no one
wants your ruin.
i’d like to
now say something
nice to you;
a lot of this
will never feel

it’s ok.

say that.
say that to
yourself and
say it to
your friends
and say it
to people who
ask you,
“are you

do not
hurt other
and especially
if they can’t
if you can,
if you can’t,
it’s ok.
we are

Published by Zak

an intertidal island in an ocean of impermanence.

2 thoughts on “all i do is kill time until i can eat again

  1. This struck me. I felt anxiousness all the way through and it was as though I was inside a very personally intimate place, seeing things I shouldn’t be privy to. Up until the end and that last stanza felt a little less anxious and summed it up with the survival of us all.
    That was a great job you have done with this


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