Price of Paradise

Listen to gulls popping and fishermen snoring on the pier.

Lie shirtless in a bed under a tall window with long curtains

and roll lazy cigarettes. Listen to the radio as the sea breeze rolls in

and stuffs salts and fish gut stink deep into burnt, red nostrils.

Sit up when suddenly the afternoon whispers die and the sands shuffle.

Look. See the crowd round the washed, bulbous white-yellow belly

that grinds the beach with each wave as hermit crabs run up her bloated legs.

Watch the sea cough your trash right back up to you.

Lay back down, slowly, and reach between the mattress and the wall.

Feel the cold comfort of that glass bottle, that saved Spanish brandy.

Open it. Take a big swig--burns good, doesn't it? Now light up.

Yeah, paradise always hurts someone a little bit.


I'm innocent,

but not when the "victim" is pretty.

And they'll crucify me

because it makes them look progressive.

Progress is putting a new face

on old hate,

a moral make over.

Progress is accusing

those whose retaliations

are but sighs on bricks.

No matter the outcome,

they're giving the pretty one "justice",

even if there was none to give.

Operating System

Operate for me, operating system.

I know how you juggle your processes--

mutex and wait and signal and fork--

and I want that to work for me.

I want to be able to stop a feeling and say

"wait your turn in the back store"

while I dutifully execute my tasks,

removing the obligations and resources

until I am ready and able to complete them,

and they starve out while the

garbage collector returns their allocated spots to emptiness.

I know how you manage your memory--

dynamic loading, dynamic linking, overlays, or paging.

My memory is similar, but it isn't exactly like that.

When I draw an old feeling from my past,

I don't store it in local RAM; it goes behind my eyes

so that the regret application can access it at 20 nanoseconds

cycling every detail of that data in a single blink,

so that it can be available when I accidentally think even for a moment

and am crushed with every other missed opportunity and mistake.

I know that you have ways to stop an executing thread

from entering into the critical section

from sifting through unsorted heaps of corrupted data

fragmented along my life's physical memory.

Give me a synchronization monitor to #killall -9.

I want to know structure like you do:

trading pointers and addresses to threads efficiently,

designed specifically so as not to miss a beat.

I want to be engineered to not say the wrong thing

and to not lose track of myself when everything depends on me

and to not deadlock--to not enter a cycle

while I wait for her

and she waits for him

and he waits for me

and we all keep waiting.

Stuck without preemption,

without an interrupt to break the circle.

But, truly,

I don't want a system that doesn't make mistakes,

like you are,

I want an algorithm that lets me live with them.

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