something else unless means
they said not all who wander are lost,
but i'm lost, and you're lost.
the sidewalk cracks,
the moths at the lamps, and the scraps
of old showposter buried in the phonepole,
and if i never did say i love you,
i just forgot which one of us i was.
maybe we could make a bonfire tonight,
watch the shapes of our problems twist
like tv channels in the smoke.
i could meet you somewhere,
i could meet you
if you're not here now.
that firepit we found under the trestle
with claystone slabs pushed all together,
cupping the heat til the edges glow
like sleepy incense cones.
you dropped empty cans in the embers
and they curled like onionskin,
golds and rusty blues dispersing
to chalk mandalas through
carved in the slabside
like a cat's halfdisintegrated bones.
that firepit in the abandoned fieldlot
with a rotted backhoe tilted half
into the earth,
the way crumpled
papers never catch,
there's so much dew,
so you just sit there in your trampled wheat,
sit round a broken-banded headlamp
while ufo ghosts flick at the horizon
like dusty ocarina notes.
it's the way
old shroom trips remember themselves
inside your blood, in the negative space
between your nerves.
where the mist touches your skin.
sitting lost with the tall ferns
curling away from their colours in the dark,
and the way i wish we were real.
and that firepit sawn
from a old iron drum
in centennial square parkade.
you roast smokies on a radio antenna,
the red sirens tooling up the parkade ramp
never get any closer.
ochered on the concrete wall, older
burning stopsigns and chainlink,
backpacks that walk on raccoon feet,
kids with knotted twine for eyes,
and that one word UNLESS,
like a joke.
and you just look over your shoulder,
every car window's blown out,
and flowers of rye soughing
from the rusty frames.
if you'd just look over your shoulder,
if we’d find the creekbank
from two green deckchairs
bikelocked on an oak,
and pallets off the bridge.
you’ve got to dig out last time's ashes,
plant a sixpack upside down
for the kids under the creekbank
who patch their jeans with fishingline
the old six sideways,
full of mud. and
did we even meet each other
how you'd always turn
from the fire, pretend to warm
your skinny hands on the sky.
turn from the distant campflames
starring the flat concrete dark,
the latticed charcoal
planks, like someone’s
ribs left behind.
and i heard you
just keep turning
left in a maze.
follow the wall with one hand,
go left every turn.
it won’t matter
how you're lost.
unless there's no walls
in the way,
or we're both
unless i said
meet me somewhere.
Noah Wareness makes fiction and poetry by hand with scratchy black pens. He does a lot of live storytelling at DIY shows, but Meatheads is his first novel. It first circulated in the folk punk and speculative fiction communities as a handmade zine with wheatpasted cardboard covers and speaker wire for binding. He went to school for writing on the west coast, and now he lives in Toronto with some friends.
The Ekphrastic Review
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