pissing in a river

poetry and visual art by Rex Leonowicz


however cliché, i like to do
what my therapist suggested and imagine
every past thought taking off
atop a leaf along the river, any river, look
at it, acknowledge it—hello! awful
thought set off on water
watch it go & let it   BYE BYE FOREVER
or at least right now   you are
just following a progression
of time anyway & if you get stuck
to only one moment you (may)
miss all the life around us, & there is    

so much LIFE     around us:

my life     our life     real life

shelf life     love life     battery life

half life     sex life & after life

it’s easy   living aglow with
better homes and gardens
if you can swing it, you should
do it, take what you can & forget
the rest

in september

the crystals of our tender rose
quartz communion of irregular
particles started to shatter, one
by one, slivers chipped & fell
to the ground til singular
& alone     you shatter
the crystals into powder
with the belly of a spoon two years ago
on this same day in july we were
all so alive with each other
on a dying stretch of lawn
so gone over  each other & drugs
i’d never tried before our meeting
though like a kid trying to keep cool
i lied and said i did

by the water you can’t pretend
every instance of friendship
held less meaning than you’ll let it
now, if not then but who can say
for sure if our memory’s
versions are contested, as
they tend to be. nothing is certain,
this movie is mine, so only my lines
highlighted on my brain’s pages, but

i have the gift of looking past windows
into the eyes of your experiences & 
feeling their presence wrapped around
me, squeezing a knowledge of your future
out of my heart if things keep up at this
dire rate,

some call it clairvoyance, 
i call it extra-sensory

perception of repeating patterns
that have logical conclusions if left
unchanged, meaning also i can’t stay
to see it go down that way. 

somehow i rationalize that the walking-away pain
feels more manageable than
the staying-the-same pain, family, i would’ve
explained it, but ESP told me
you wouldn’t get it, so    i didn’t, maybe i regret
it, but. know this tho:

if i lost anything  
it was
everything
we ever had    together
for a couple seconds
in space time, not even
close to a minute in the intricate
cosmic scheme of shit spilling out
into nothingness forever,  thinking of it
this way makes it better, though terrible
to confirm the inevitable conclusion
that everything is fleeting, that loss
repeats itself in various packages
over and over no matter what
you thought you overcame previously
with another person whose name
replaces itself with the prefix ex-whatever-
role-they-may-have-filled-at-the-time,
no matter what we said
to each other  3am in yr bedroom
or mine, on the dance-floor, or
walking blissed out in the sun
how many times, we said feeling connected, feeling
like there was a mirror reflecting
the light of our love into
other dimensions, transcendent, making past
decisions relevant so long as
it got us here & now to know each other,
to hold our childhoods upward
in the cups of our palms and hand them
to each other, i wonder 

if you remember
our friendship,  our life togetherness, mornings
after reckless nights cooking breakfast and laughter
makeup and disarrayed glitter splayed on our face
i wonder how you could rewrite it,
our time, into ugly lies   you have to
tell yourself so you can sleep
soundly inside the comfort
of your own dreamscape— 
pieces of reality spliced, grafted,
edited, cut and pasted to make
the perfect dis track, the hate song—but remember

i’m a performer, too, i know the rules, i know
what we do  just to upkeep fantasy because
it’s easier than a total re-vamp of our personality
& imperfect systems of coping with a hurtful world, but just
cuz it sounds good, looks good,  feels good & the public approves,
doesn’t make it good, or
the truth.