from by New Orleans Swim Team

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I hate you for listening, I hate me for thinking
that there would ever be a time to write about these demons.
When no amount of drinking can
put to sleep this empty head,
nonetheless buzzing with fuzzy thoughts of writing when--

I hate the fact I feel things to spit out as apologies, I mean, I know my life is fine, and I have many happy memories. But who am I alone when the slightest sigh is blown across the wick, my candlestick, the light that glowed is gone, it shone along the cracks like the Earth has, between the backbones I have to cast shadows like weeds in water. I remember the coastline with my father, every piece of driftwood dragged along the bottom of the foggy ripples would be followed by the need to be a better person just like him, but when you're kids, it always seems to pull itself together. "I am loved no matter what". In the summer picking feathers and dandelion weeds to braid tight into a weave for my grandmother to see. And my best friend would be laughing as our legs shot out like branches, and our hands knotted like roots, we started pulling out our pockets for change like the last hanging tooth, we stocked up every closet with the memories we lost and breathed so deep at three AM through sneaking windows to city streets and spoke so hard of love as if it would never come to us, but then our beards were growing. Slowly, fat pulled back to showing we're not as much the pasts that mask, but our parents lesser halves.

But how to prove that youth meets anything but truthful heartbeats? I don't know what I'm feelings, and no one told me what that means, if anything. I'm twenty now and scared of living life like swapping air, for what its worth I breathed you, now I'll leave you less than when I addressed the parts of me and art a year ago that said to chart the sparking voices from my heart and now I'm scared to find that start because like Greeks and wisdom suffering, I'm just a kid whose bargaining.

To swap the places with the kind of face I had before the stuttering charge of inspiration and neglect started to occupy my bed. What does it mean to end? What makes greatness? What makes greatness in great men? Could I understand it if a single person handed me the truth in writing, cursive slightly wrinkled at the edges, could I even feel the purpose said then? Or stubbornly pretend that in another twenty years I'll have grown more more sets of years and like magic, I'll be happy, married, wife and kids, and family. Or will my swimming misery form some team with other guilty beings? Prosecuted every night with the thought of love or Christ or time being separate of one. Where we sit dictates the sun to be a difference of degrees and simply a lot on the horizon, not a hundred thousand times the size of all the land we never saw because we sat right through it all. To hold your hand, it scares me. It tears me from running my family, or the thought of flight and traveling a glove to wake up another day alone debating the many meanings of a smile faint or fleeting. What are happiness and misery in the context of everything? What good is your forgiveness if I still live by my stiffness?


from Walls, released June 29, 2015



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New Orleans Swim Team Edmonton, Alberta

Words by Jacob Ulickij.

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