One Fruit Fly Means Many Fruit Flies

La da dee.
It’s time to clean.

La da dee.
I’m cleaning.

La da dee.
I’m in the kitchen
taking out the garbage.

A glance:

An edible-looking kiwi.
Why did I throw it away?
Its shell is intact
but if you press it,
you can feel
the mushy insides.
Imagine squeezing it.

A banana peel lays there,
its insides taken a while ago,
most likely by me, the culprit,
with black blots as if it were
a rotting corpse.

Ground coffee sprinkles
the top of the heap,
fallen this morning,
like snow on a mountain.

Somewhere else in the world,
you can look at the same thing
and zoom out to find
acres of a landfill.

La da dee.
I’m cleaning.

!
A fruit fly
hovers around.

I nearly dropped the garbage onto the floor
for a chance to clap my hands together
and flatten the pest in between.

I thought about the virus
going around in the world.
One sick person means
many sick persons.

Spring started two days ago.
One fruit fly means
many fruit flies.

Here to the hope that cleaning
will put a stop to the fruit flies.

La da dee.
Clean.

Life Behind Words

What is the meaning
behind these words?

Think.
Slow down

And think.

What is happening
behind these words?

Could it be late-night exhaustion struggling to stay awake?
Could it be a mindless stream of nonsensical consciousness?
Could it be an alternative haven from the feminine chatter
occurring in the vicinity of where I am supposed to sleep?

What about your words?
What about his words?

Are they moments of teaching? (Yeah, right.)
Are they instances of sharing to the world?
Are they pretentious and naive impulses?
The need to appear to the world
that he matters?

There is a life behind every word.
There is … life behind every word.
Lives that have…. built names for themselves.
They could even be
Lives that haven’t built names for themselves.
(That’s me.)

Me?
Who am I?

Think…

But not too hard.

It’s Been a While Since I’ve Been Young

My right forearm / wrist has had sharp pain
since work Wednesday morning
when I took out a garbage bag
filled with matcha pudding.

I missed work on Thursday
and I took care of my hand
using a homemade sling –
actually a resistance band.
I downed a gallon of chocolate milk
for the protein and calcium,
and what do you know…
I could’ve been a decent doctor.

When I returned to work on Saturday,
there was some hope that somebody would notice.

I told a colleague
about my boo boo.
And I reaggravated
my boo boo.

But nobody really cares about your problems.

There’s a sink at work that has stabbed
nine tiny holes on my other forearm
plus a long gash for good measure.
I feared looking like a heroin user,
but now I see a constellation.

I told a co-worker – she saw it happen –
and she said it doesn’t happen
to anyone else.
Only me
because I’m some kind of dummy.
Why me?

Who really cares?

For a couple of years now
the arch of my left foot
sometimes has sharp pain.
Maybe it’s because of the weight gain.
Maybe it’s because I jumped off
a twelve foot boardwalk
one day during my Dark Era
and an old foot injury says hello
from time to time
after all those years.

Sometimes, I walk like my father now
with his short, quick strides,
a slight limp,
and a pissed off look on his face.
I wanted to be my father in some ways,
but not in that way.

I should’ve cared about his problems.
It could be karma.

I don’t believe in karma.

Occasionally,
when I go out for a night of drinking,
I could feel the dull aches of my liver
trying to tell me
that it can’t take it
like it used to.

Nobody ever really cares about your problems.

But I hear you, body.
I feel you…

But…
I think I’m proud of these “scars”.

I used to be scared of growing old,
but there are some things that happen
that make me contemplate
if I really care.

So, body, who really cares?

Call Me Lawrence (Again)

It’s no longer Edward.
Edward is my father’s name.
He made a life out of it.
I didn’t.

My name has always been Lawrence.
Edward was just a phase.
It’s still my middle name,
my second name,
but everyone knows me as Lawrence.

To some of my family, I am Tatang
which means “old man” in Tagalog.
(I’m SLOWLY growing into it.)
To those assholes in high school,
if they still remember,
it was Bulldog, Potato Head, Scat,
or whatever else they came up with.
To my lady,
I am Lover,
or Daddy,
which I always thought was
a self-fulfilling prophecy.
When she’s angry,
she calls me Lawrence.

So, no more Edward.
It was only a phase.
My writer-looking-for-a-new-name phase.
My put-a-past-life-behind phase.
My my-enemies-know-me-as-Lawrence-so-I’ll-change-my-name-so-they-won’t-find-me phase.

But I’m so Lawrence
that I forgot to tell people in my new job
to call me Edward.

I guess I wasn’t dedicated to being Edward after all.

Also,
when I started to want to be called Edward,
I met a guy named Edward.
He’s cool.
He built a life out of that name.
I didn’t.
So, in our circle,
he’s the only one who deserves to be called Edward.

So, I’m Lawrence.
Call me Lawrence.

If you didn’t get the memo before
that I wanted to be called Edward,

Then disregard this.

I Am Not a Poet

I am not a poet.
I do not know how to speak with meaning,
and I do not know how to use words
nor do I know where they came from.

Babble, babble, babble.

Six years of college means nothing
if you don’t go to class
because of social anxiety
or whatever excuse there was that day,
like stressed-induced diarrhea,
or because the professor was crazy and you were scared,
or because you were craving that good halal food.

I picked up some words along the way,
but I still don’t know how to use them;
to shape them into poetry.

I’ve written lyrics.
Four years worth of them.
But the words didn’t come spontaneously.
For the most part.
They took years
with the help of rhyme sites,
and dictionaries.
And there were droughts.

But I’m still not a poet.

I feel as if you have to write poetry,
live poetry,
breathe poetry.
Every day.

If anything,
What I am is a writer.

But I’m not a poet.

What a relief.
I’m one more BABY step
to knowing who I really am.