If we were created in God’s image
then when God was a child
he smushed fire ants with his fingertips
and avoided tough questions.
There are ways around being the go-to person
even for ourselves
even when the answer is clear
clear like the holy water Gentiles would drink
before they realized
forgiveness is the release of all hope for a better past.

I thought those were chime shells in your pocket
so I chucked a quarter at it
hoping to hear some part of you respond on a high note.
You acted like I was hurling crowbirds at mockingbars
and abandoned me for not making sense.
Evidently, I don’t experience things as rationally as you do.

For example, I know mercy
when I have enough money for the jukebox.
You know mercy whenever someone shoves a stick of morphine
straight up into your heart.
It felt amazing
the days you were happy to see me

so I smashed a beehive against the ocean
to try and make our splash last longer.
Remember all the honey
had me lookin’ like a jellyfish ape
but you walked off the water in a porcupine of light
strands of gold
drizzled out to the tips of your wasps.
This is an apology letter to the both of us
for how long it took me to let things go.

It was not my intention to make such a
production of the emptiness between us
playing tuba on the tombstone of a soprano
to try and keep some dead singer’s perspective alive.
It’s just that I coulda swore you had sung me a love song back there
and that you meant it
but I guess sometimes people just chew with their mouth open

so I ate ear plugs alive with my throat
hoping they’d get lodged deep enough inside the empty spots
that I wouldn’t have to hear you leaving
so I wouldn’t have to listen to my heart keep saying
all my eggs were in a basket of red flags
all my eyes to a bucket of blindfolds
in the cupboard with the muzzles and the gauze
ya know I didn’t mean to speed so far out and off
trying to drive your nickels to the well
when you were happy to let them wishes drop

but I still show up for gentleman practice
in the company of lead dancers
hoping their grace will get stuck in my shoes.
Is that a handsome shadow on my breath, sweet woman
or is it a cattle call in a school of fish?
Still dance with me
less like a waltz for panic
more for the way we’d hoped to swing
the night we took off everything
and we were swingin for the fences

don’t hold it against
my love
you know I wanna breath deeper than this
I didn’t mean to look so serious
didn’t mean to act like a filthy floor
didn’t mean to turn us both into a cutting board
but there were knives sstuck
in the words where I came from
too much time in the back of my words.
I pulled knives from my back and my words.
I cut trombones from the moment you slipped away

and I know it left me lookin’ like a knife fight, lady
boy I know it left me feelin’ like a shotgun shell
you know I know I mighta gone and lost my breath
but I wanna show ya how I found my breath
to death
it was buried under all the wind instruments
hidden in your castanets
goddamn –
if you ever wanna know how it felt when ya left –
if ya ever wanna come inside –

just knock on the spot
where I finally pressed STOP

playing musical chairs with your exit signs.

I’m gonna cause you a miracle
when you see the way I kept God’s image alive.

Forgiveness
is for anyone who needs safe passage through my mind.

If I really was created in God’s image
then when God was a boy
he wanted to grow up to be a man
a good man
and when God was a man
a good man
He started telling the truth in order to get honest responses.
He’d say,
“I know.
I really shoulda wore my cross
again
but I don’t wanna scare the gentiles off.”



Would you like a food?

Yes.


Have you ever been old?

Once, when I was 34.


Do you have sex with me?

Yes.


Are you sure?

Yes.


What questions do you have?

What’s your angle?


I want to ask about your favorites. May I ask about your favorites?

A lot of things are 100% to my mindbrain. 100% is my favorite.


Examples?

Vipassana meditation, large organic markets, Where the Wild Things Are, cooled quilts, naps, Greenlake (Seattle), Muppets, when babies/puppies laugh, The Shawshank Redemption, waterslides, go-karts, harvesting, mixed martial arts, trading jokes, recliners, restraint, moderation, cultivating joy, absorbing grounding, lifting up.


Which is more fun: practicing or knowing?

When I want tragedy, I know. When I want joy, I practice.


How do you feel about…

You mean like if it’s dark in the room?


No, I wasn’t finished with the question. How do you feel about your fashionable unoriginality?

You don’t like my hat.


You’re not wearing a hat…?

Exactly.


May I have word with your roommate?

Sure… SETH!


Why don’t you girl salvation?

(Seth): I’m afraid of shaving.


May I stop speaking to you?

(Seth): BUDDY!


Wakefield isn’t the name you were born with. What was it?

Kenneth Zane Beasley III.


That’s not the name you had before Buddy Wakefield. What was that name?

Buddy Marshall Stevens.


Where do you love to be?

On a porch stoop in Oakland with my producer and Joe.


Tell me something I don’t remember sometimes.

I accept you for who you are.