seven minutes in heaven

Yeah, there were those times
when he talked with
grandma about God
and she told him what a horrible place
hell is

"You suffer every day but can't die."

"Every day?"

"Every day. And can't die. Only
suffer!"

Grandma had four years of
schooling to her life
She didn't consider
the possibility of getting used to
the suffering
If it happens daily and you
don't die... well.

Hell therefore is not pain

It is monotony

Today he had 18 years of schooling
and 10 of working
a dead-end office job
He was accredited to define hell

Hell was monotony

Doing the same thing over
and over
and over again for the rest of
eternity

That was hell

And maybe grandma would've
agreed

maybe not

But there was one thing he remembered
about hell. Something he'd
heard from his mother back in the day
she'd quit chemotherapy to save the
money for his college
"The way out is
one smile away!" she'd said

Yeah. The way out.

He stood

left his cubicle
went into the bathroom
took out the razor blade from his pocket

and slashed from the corners
of his lips
all the way to the ears

deep

And again

There it was. An avalanche of feeling. So
much feeling!

He dipped his fingers into
the blood and
drew a smiling face on the
mirror

One smile away!

He shook with laughter and
adrenaline. There
was so much to feel! He laughed for
a full seven minutes.

And then returned to
his cubicle
and resumed work

The others were too deep in
hell to notice him
or the trail he left behind

she gives love, kindness, warmth, acceptance. And never judges

the woman smiled at him
and showed her
legs from beneath a
white coat

She was close to his face

Stretched on the label of
the rubbing alcohol bottle

70% alcohol

He liked this woman because her
smile never faded
and she was always inviting

"Oh, if you insist," he said
and made an
effort to push himself away from the
moldy pillow and stand

He grabbed the bottle
added some water
stirred
held his breath
and drank

The words "I love you," came from his mouth
enveloped in thick steam

and there was a brutal
growl in his guts

but none of that
mattered. The woman was still
smiling at him, still
lovely
Yep, I know I’ve the voice of a 96 year old man on his deathbed despite being in my 20s. Also my pronunciation’s all over the place due to lack of practice (English ain’t my 1st language). But behold I got drunk and silly one afternoon and told a few friends about my poetry blog. You know how these things end up. Here I am now recording my own voice — with intonation, mind you — reading my poem.

a very skilled assassin

The way she'd creep up on you
and just appear
from behind like some cat,
you'd think she
was some trained assassin or something

I felt her punch
my shoulder and then her
other hand falling on
my nape and squeezing
"Hey, lucky boy. You should be so damn
glad you ran into me."

In the fist that hit my shoulder
she held a bunch of
crumpled bills
and brought them before my eyes

"What's that?" I said

"Our tickets to the bar
down the street. And you've the honor
to accompany me there. Drinks
are on me today. But you do
owe me, don't think otherwise, okay?"

"Where'd you get that money?" I asked.
"Why's it so dirty?"

"I stole 'em from Ol' Horn Nose
while he was taking a shit."

"What?"
Ol' Horn Nose was the homeless guy
who roamed around the block, usually begging
in front of the supermarkets
and pharmacies

She brought the fist to her nose
and smelled the bills
and then shrugged

"You can't be serious," I said. Of course
I didn't believe her
but just then
the old man rounds the corner
and spots us
and points his crooked finger at us
and screams

Immediately two cops
round the corner
and approach us with big strides
but by the time they get to us
there's only me

The assassin girl
was gone

I haven't seen her since
but she does
cross my mind every now and then

Especially when I pay with
cash at the bar

value of time

his eyes looked fresh out of
a hardcore crying
session

I walked up to him
and asked what
was wrong

He showed me his phone and
what I saw were pictures of some
dismembered kitten,
head and legs and tail cut off

"The fuck?" I said

He shook his head. "My girlfriend. She
thought I gave my cat
almost as much attention as I
gave her. She couldn't
have that."

"Shit, man. I'm so sorry."

"My mother gave me that kitten
before she
left for Italy…"

"Gods… you… You reported your girlfriend,
right?"

Just then his phone rang
and he was quick to pick up. It was
an alarm. He looked at
the screen and took a few big steps away
from me. "Sorry bro, you took too
much of my time. I gotta get home now."

"Wait," I said, "Aren't we going for
some drinks?"

He ran away from me
as fast as he could. "Sorry, I can't give
you that much of my time. My
girlfriend's waiting for me. Bye."

Well, I went drinking
by myself. Unfortunately it did not
get the images out
of my head

lovely hands

there's been a collection of
rather
dark thoughts lately

and he was
studying it from the comfort
of his bed

The other day he found a good pillow
in the dumpster
and used it to cover the spot
on the mattress where the
rusty springs emerged
Now the bed was fine again

good enough for
daydreaming

After you've tried out all herbs
and powders
all that's left are the dreams

the daydreams
and the nightdreams
and the nightmares
and the daymares

On another day spent dumpster diving
he'd found a plastic bag
with about six severed hands
They were still cold

some mafia shit was going on
in the city

He took them home
and tried to cook them
hoping to obtain at least some bits of meat

He had no pan and of course no oil
so he impaled them with iron
rods at the writs
and placed them upright in a barrel
he lit up

He sat back watching them
smelling them

Higher on hunger than on the herbs
he'd smoked

And then he'd realized
that they were women's hands
and fantasized about
them springing to life and crawling over
him and doing things to him

It gave him a hard on
or perhaps the illusion of one

but regardless
that was a fun night

The closest he came to having females
over. Some who cooked and
fed him after the fun time

He'll remember that night
for the rest of
his life

a self-published book on how to quit smoking

That did it
He was tired of coming home from work
and finding
a fucking book on the table
instead of food

but the book was also on his
pillow when he went to bed

on the toilet tank

in the garage

in the shed behind the house

and on the dashboard of his goddamn car

He had enough of it

And one day he told her
he had enough of it and enough of her
It was time to break up
this wasn't going to work

He was not going to quit smoking
and she was not going to quit nagging him
to read her book on quitting smoking

"I won't marry you until you're 101 days clean,"
she'd said

He smoked a pack and a half a day

It was time to break up
and, gods, she didn't take it lightly

In that morning he left her alone to collect
all her stuff from his house and be gone
by the time he returned

She was indeed gone by the time he returned
and took nothing more than what belonged to
her and even left something behind
Her self-published book on how to quit smoking,
what else?

He sighed
picked it up from the coffee table
looked it over
sat on the couch
put a cigarette between his lips and
when he lit it the house blew up

Perhaps a big moral in the book was to
always check the gas after a
breakup

but it was too late now

nothing good on TV for 18 years

there's nothing good on TV
when you're in
a crap mood

"Shit," he thought. "Nothing's gonna be
good on TV for
the next 18 years. At least."

he sighed
and shifted his position on
the couch

four days till New Year's Eve
and he already
got the greatest
gift one could wish for. A positive
pregnancy test from
his girlfriend

Oh, he was over the
moon
and everybody knew

"Meh, I don't need TV. I'm
the best actor
I've seen..."

keeping that spark

he deliberately chose
the nastiest
sound for the alarm clock

Zeeeehhweeeehhchhh

and there it went
again
Every four hours. Announcing that he
had to start the
engine again lest he
froze to death

The phone had 17% battery left. He
would need to visit
the library again
for a recharge but it was becoming
increasingly
harder as the smell of homeless
was growing more
potent on him

He checked the time again
turned off the phone
turned on the engine
wiped the windshield with his gloved hand
watched his breath leave his mouth
fumbled around for a cigarette

no luck

He took out the lighter and
struck it
and all it produced were sparks

It's been quite a lot of
no luck
lately

At the library he took small
chapbooks
with him to a desk and pretended
to be studying them
while the phone charged besides
him
but not having anything
better to do he
read some of the poems in
those chapbooks. He didn't understand
poetry, didn't know
how to read it to
make sense. He was simply not
a man of writing and reading,
didn't understand why
the lines were so choppy
and didn't go all the way
to the right margin of the page. Why did it
have to look so
intentionally wrong? Also
why didn't it rhyme if
it was called poetry? He resigned himself
eventually. He'll never understand
this part of literature

but still, there was
something
he read in one of those deranged
verses with words all
over the page. One poem that
ended something like this:

"then something else in me said, no, save the tiniest
bit.
it needn’t be much, just a spark.
a spark can set a whole forest on
fire.
just a spark.
save it."

His English wasn't the
best but he
understood the message well enough

the spark was
there
still

employee of the month

You don't need the
employee of the month
badge to know
that you're it

He knew he was it

The other day he asked the girl
who called whether she
had any family

She said no
"And I don't want any. I don't want
to hurt them with
my going away. So it's better that
they don't exist." She
sounded so tired, so drowsy,

so helpless

He started tearing up
and told her. "If you do it... If you
do it then I'm gonna cry. I will
remember you. I will never
forget you. I will be the
family you're leaving behind if you
go. You will leave me in
great pain, I tell you that. In great pain! I
will cry every day and... and please don't
do it. Please let's talk about it. I'm
here for you. Let's talk. Please." He was
crying into
the receiver

And the response was
a loud bang
from the other side. It was over.
The caller was gone

He hung up
wiped his tears and
awaited the next caller

There was no win
or fail in this job
but still
he did a fine work

He smiled to himself

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