Mea Culpa // 11.26.2018

In college the salient question was ever only, "Where are we drinking tonight?" There were three or four places we drank—most often my place, back when we had the dorm and everyone was still around. Sometimes it was "The Sackhouse," as we affectionately called the off-campus apartment out in Brownsville, on Sackman. Or, an apartment that had been passed around between guys at the college for years, I don't know who was the first or last of the line of King's folks who lived there.

This apartment was fairly large, the top floor of a walk-up, with a nice roof that was always available. My favorite feature of the apartment was the fire escape out the kitchen window. On occasion, to escape the rigamarole of Leaving The Party, I would excuse myself to the kitchen, take two tallboys from the fridge into the interior pockets of my denim jacket and escape out to the fire escape. From there I'd climb up to the roof, take the building's stairs all the down, out the door, and off I'd go home.

Eventually I'd get a text, "Where are you?" I was home, watching Netflix and drinking my stolen beers. Which is how I liked it.

I did this again, this past year, I quit my job, I packed my things into an army surplus duffle bag and got on a bus. Now I am in Florida, I work two jobs, I am home quietly. I have not written here or elsewhere in months.

I get messages and emails, however, from people that I have duped, asking me to read a thing of theirs, which I lazily ignore, telling myself I will get to it. They believed me when I said I was a writer, when really I am a recluse. Mark Burger, even, my friend, a man I love, sent me early work from his The Red Beast, and I never got back to him in any way that mattered. He credited me online as someone who helped, but reader, do not be fooled. I was in no way helpful, and Mark Burger's great success in producing his book-of-poems in no way reflects on me. I wish it did, it is a lovely book. It does not.

My writing anymore is scant (hyperbole, it does not exist) and everything I had out for submission has been politely declined. What I do have is a book of poems, the last of which I finished around the time I arrived in Florida. It has just been sitting around, but I know that the illusion is fading, and if I do not present you soon with evidence to the contrary, the unexception that is my entire person will be evident to you. So, dearest, here is a book of poems, I wrote for you again: