Souled Out

Bus Ride, Why?

The bus arrived and we squeezed on swiping our bus cards for the driver. It was afternoon and when it is afternoon in Chengdu there are never any spacious buses. We were pressed against each other, on all sides of us dark hair and staring eyes crushing us together.

        “Please do not carry any explosives, combustibles, or flammables…” the Chinese recording requested over the bus speakers.
        “Why do you think they have to announce that?” she said. It was humid and we were sweating each other’s sweat.
        “Not sure” I said peering over the sea of dark heads out the window to another sea of dark heads on the pavement, waiting for our stop.
        We stopped and more people got on while none exited the bus. We were closer now. She looking up at me, my eyes out the front windshield of the jerking bus watching the driver play chicken with other buses. She wrapped her arms around my back when she noticed a Chinese girl in a black skirt that went up to her knees and a light blue blouse pushing her backside against mine.
        “how much longer?” she asked
        “the last bus stop was three before ours”
        “How long then? You know I haven’t been here long enough to figure that out.”
        “Oh, hmm, it is rush hour so add another hour to the original 30 minute ride.”
        “Please do not carry any explosives, combustibles, or flammables…” the speakers spoke again.
        “You know what I think?” she asked.
        “What about?”
        “That Chinese recording”
        “What?” I almost yelled to be heard over the din of the bus ride.
        “I think that there was an accident or something.”
        “Not a terrorist then?”
        “No, look at all the people! No one wants to bother or be bothered. It is an ocean of people that makes it easy to live alone in your head.”
        “ Hmm..”
        “I think that there was an accident. A bus with 3 people, one carrying explosives, one carrying combustibles, and one carrying flammables. There probably a lot of people on the bus, like this one. It probably started with the combustible somehow exploding up front in the bus because it was dropped or there was a wreck or something. But anyway, it causes the passenger holding flammables to drop and spill it and at the same time a guy smoking a cigarette drops it. He lights the place up. And low and behold some construction guy passenger on his way to work, demolition specialist, is carrying the explosives and WHAM! A lovely recording for us to listen to every time we take the bus.”
        “Isn’t that pretty? Hah, anyone survive?”
        “Nope. Not one. The whole bus of black and white turned to salt and pepper ash. Not even the young couple on the sidewalk next to it. The boy was carrying her purse and she was carrying his hand when it happened. Poof!”
        The bus stopped again. People spilled out and fewer came in as we came to the last stop before ours. She was looking at me, and then out the window at a young woman standing alone at the bus stop. The girl had straight black hair with long bangs brushed behind her ears. She was wearing high heels, had on black mascara, and a puffy skirt like the ones ballerinas wear. She was staring at her phone and pursing her lips.
        “Please do not carry any explosives, combustibles, or flammables…” it came on again.
        She sighed, “why?”
        “Why what?” I said
        “Why must they always have to announce that when it departs?”
        “Let’s walk, come on” I urged to get off before the bus took off.
        “No use, we’re there next stop,” she said looking away.
        “It is because they want to warn you. Remind you it’s a risk.”
        “We should’ve walked. It would’ve been faster.”

this is the best

I spend most of my time masturbating and smoking spliffs. Walking through my room, my head hitting the tin-arms that I’ve hung up above me. These are to remind me to chin up , cause I always walk scraping lips across the floor.

Yesterday I hard-boiled so many cartons of eggs it could fill a toilet up to the brim of the lid you sit on and read about black widowers.

“Did you know black widows float in hot air balloons?” I ask. 

“I wonder what that would be like…” you say with your nose, “that would be the best.”

“Did you know the hatchlings eat their brothers and their sisters? They need the nourishment to survive,” say my eyebrows shadowing my eyes. 

“that would be better” you say.

I smoke and blow It into your face sometimes, asking: “did you know black widows only need to mate once to lay all the eggs they ever will In their lives?”

But you just shit on a heaping toilet bowl of hardboiled eggs.

To the Star of the East

So many crosses trying to hang me

                        upside down

            trying to drain

            the blood through tear ducts

so many tear ducts draining their oil over me

            trying to go dry like my desert

                        my cross

            of sage and juniper wood

            burning in an all around way

                        my aroma

            cleanses their souls

when they partake in my poetry

            roll up my bones

            and tap the ash into their wine bowls

            bake their bread

            with my rising carcass’s yeast

            a communion of my nakedness

            to clothe them in crosses,

oh please please please

this do, in remembrance of me.


My religion

is that of bright eyes

of hands in my pockets with my chin up and head higher

my lips where they belong on those of my lover’s

my religion is the wind past my ears

is watery eyes

tears from thorns through clouds like a crown

my religion is sunbeams

mistaken for fishermen’s’ romantic baited nettings

when they saw the sun for 2 days

dead in the horizon

and on the third


and mesmerize them

my religion is that of lies

that of which is known to not be

which is to say


yes my religion is blue

it is that which is above me

that clouds swim through

and that which is below me

that the ships sail and

perhaps that is why there is blue within me

blue in my song and blue in my feet

as I slap the strings and hum to the blue beat

my religion is is

am am

are were will

my religion is existence

in a black and blue thrill

of the empty sun and

dying and birthing

igniting and smoldering

blue moon

is of candles in the black fire

flickering for funerals and wax falling from the breathes of all those that


my religion is blind

without the sun there is no night

without the night I have no red eyes

of unraveling thread

of prayer flags into sky burials

by the four winds of

earth’s shamanic breathe

through a prism into            

solar storms that water life from

boiling brothy lakes into

cells that grow from mud into

leaves falling from trees and back to

the mud

into blue blood

my religion is mud

of veins pumping a sacrificial flood

drowning every dead thing red red and blue

blue is the first breath stirring

my religious primordial stew.



January gave me my eyes
dry lips and chimney breath
green leaves of my iris
bitten brown and burned naked
but all I see is white
through my autumn eyes
and the leaves of my lashes
still frozen to my branches
like the day I came into this world
carrying an urn of hazel ash
sprinkled from the cloudy whites
the barricades (laughing at the night: light is ours to conceal!)
the cycles of the constellations
numbers one through twenty-three
crashing on the twenty-fifth
Yes, January gave me my breath
punched off bottle caps and friendship cigarettes
leaky pens and singed eyebrows
from a pouch of black acid in my back pocket
wishing it was green-glory
rolled up with the glue of my tongue
to blow into the gorge
of leaping tigers and expat love
when Mary was as young as Jane
as cheap as burning burley
and as soothing as our green bottles of beer
emptied over a two week long
running of the wild-eyed dogs
into the glass lake
that swallowed our skipping stones
that two week long caravan
that hangs in my eyes
the ripples of January’s
hazel moon.

-Jordan Boise 2013

Chimney Sweep

I think that red hair looks lost on you

like the strands split over your opening eyes

            deep shafts of lonely gold mines

            and I am the yellow bird feeling light headed

for some reason I can concentrate

straight-faced like your pictures of leafless trees

            like the waxy river

            too cold to light up the wicks of your hair

            too cold for old jackets

and too old to sew anything

even the buttons I’ve collected in tin coffee cups

but they sing a beautiful song

as I flick them down old gold mines

and imagine a yellow bird with wings held together by buttons

flying out to perch on the lips with me

to help me use concentration

            and trip into my chimney.

“In my younger days when I was a nihilist, I could never get past the thought that we are all essentially born to die. Life, to me, was not worth living. Realizing that I could ultimately leave no lasting impression with my existence, I became enveloped in depression. This was before I realized that in my illusion of apparent singularity, I am actually the natural evolution of all existence perceiving itself. My legacy will remain in this eternal life force, the legacy that has never been mine alone. I will remain in whatever manner of existence should take my place. Death is merely a part of the natural cycle of sustaining existence collectively. We pay our mound of flesh to sustain collective conscious existence, which we have come to understand is through consuming the physical. Life feeds on itself endlessly, evolving and transcending. There is no difference between life and death necessarily, they are merely varying degrees of existence. In this understanding, way may claim that we are immortal.”

Paul John Moscatello (via liberatingreality)

(Source: liberatingreality)


Returning home is wanting to leave home

to hostel freedoms

and meetings with foreign strangers

It is a cyclical history of humans

being there, missing sage

blinded by busses and trains

with no windows only beers to keep you sane

but beer is only what you have and

what you wait to appear in crystal necklaces

autumn is here

and memories fall

reminding me of home

and to make plans to go.

the transit of venus

The wind choos in the trees

and I mistake If for

midnight revving gasoline machines

hunting for my head

like when Venus skimmed the sun

and I was in a train in transit

to cicadas and dripping giants’’ teeth

all green from seed planting feet

there was no sun, and no sign of Venus

and now there is a lost train and no sign of Venus

steaming its way through crumbling karsts

and mammoth monoliths

to my dry desert ears

that are calling for dewdrops

Into green seeping tea cups from

the tea girl in high heels

that are calling for yellow fevers

clawing on fading Buddhas and BodhIsattvas

cut into cookies the size of Venus

cooked by the sun

and fed to me

while I get lost In Venus

                                    In transit

            I get a train

Lost            on a train. 

people dont look

People don’t look up

I stare at their

            skinning   knees

then they

            plop on a couch

and enjoy

                        their aroma

                        on their asphalts

I skip

            then plop on my shingles

                        In a pile in my


and enjoy a


people don’t look up at


I stare at my


dead leaf tumbles

A dead gingko leaf tumbles across

asphalt that is freshly fragrant from

rain that is lost

like the punch line

I’ve been turning over

dead gingko leaves over for in the end of alleys

my fingernails look like

sun killed shingles

crusty chapped lips

waiting for the delivery of a fist

of relevance

a palm of crumbled gingko leaves

rolled up to lungs and matches

and blessed by the flame

to smolder out old jokes and

holy sweaters losing the scent of

tobacco smoke in draInless ventless bathrooms

or outhouses inside

but under the roof that

I sit on and get some fresh smoke

to exhale through my nose

a vision of perfume on bus rides

and dark eyes that

peer out of busses and back to

my shrinking smile

like the shrinking


                        beneath me.

desire leaves the scabs

Desire leaves the scabs picked away from

scaffolding and shingles in skeletons

I was always a nickname that you called:

            a glass house that barely

balances upright and suspends for

centuries to undress back into

mannequins and hanging trap doors

each without doorknobs or the skin

of a lazy flock of shed feathers

has it ever been back to visit

ancient spinal fluids that dried up

was this ever a brick?

to wrap a ransom round and scream:

            Its brittle bones are shaking!

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