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Unhinged, Dec ‘11 - Mar ‘12 By justin Jager


Hesitation Wounds She was just sitting there, in plain sight, her eyes ran with tears, with a dedicated look; a look that left no room for failure. Cars were honking but she paid no attention. The wind was cold. Her hair danced in it, like a dying campfire. I was there for a while but it must have been ages before she noticed me. When she looked at me, she looked through me. Looked right into the core of me, seemed to peer at the ugly that sat there. I had to look away, shameful. She noticed and scoffed at me. I haven't felt more like a coward. I’ll never forget how all I did was hold my breath. She looked so pretty sitting on the concrete. She stood up and took a bow. Her lips were pressed tight. She asked me to say something. All I could think of was the obvious, what she already knew. I told her how beautiful she looked. How if the sun were out, her eyes would match the water -a brilliant still blue, aching with a reticent, reserved aggression. I’m still not really sure what I meant by that. Maybe I was trying to impress her. She smiled at me. It was a pitying smile, but a smile none the less. When the police interviewed me, I was still trying to put everything together. Her radiance was sobering. I was calm. The police saw this as a sign of indifference. They wanted to know if I cared, If I tried to get her to stop. Did I talk to her? I just lied and told them I held my breath. And you know what, when she swan dived off that bridge so majestically, you would have sworn she didn’t break all her bones when she hit the water. Maybe she went to the deepest part of the lake and wept, her tears the lifeblood for deep sea nothings. Maybe she turned to granite, remained stoic and lifeless -future treasure for future people. An Idol to be worshiped. I’d like to think that. Maybe I could have saved her. Maybe I could have told her something that would stop her. All I did was hold my breath while she jumped, and you know, I’m kind of glad...


...It was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.

Part 1 Sick “Your

joy is your sorrow unmasked. And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears. And how else can it be? The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain. Is not the cup that hold your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven? And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives? “ -Kahlil Ghibran


6am, sometime in December… I have a direction, but I feel directionless. My body is starting to move on its own, pulled by the strings of need. Twisted, cracked, and tied in knots, it wraps its self around my spine and brain, reminding me of how much I miss her touch. I made a mistake of not staying at the shelter and now I’m paying for it. I descend a parking garage, heated, and with each floor I can’t help but be reminded of Dante’s Inferno; my own personal hell. Wrapping myself in an emergency blanket, made of thin Mylar foil, it blankets me; my vision now blinded sickly silver with the weight of the universe on my chest. My cheeks icy with winter’s kiss, and a heavy heart, I think of her again, of how good she makes me feel, how much easier this cold inside me would be if I just had her in my veins, in my soul. Oh! How I could be so fine, so very, very fine. Need wraps itself around my spine and my brain again, it’s vice grip chokes the reason out of me; I need this as bad as I need to breathe. She is a serpent; she let me taste the fruit. I rip the blanket off of me, my heart beat thumping in my throat, in my head, and in my stomach; the salty taste of need too powerful to ignore now…


I want to take a break from my story. I imagine it must get boring reading about my dreams and heroin use and I'm sure you are expecting to read more dear reader (you will). So I thought I would throw in the stuff you leave for the back pages in the middle. My thanks, I call it the dedication piece, is, like most of my work, cynical. On either side I have a poem. The first poem is about a friend who is dear to me. I hope he gets better. The second poem is about a girl I knew and something she went through but its also about how I processed it. Process is big with me. I hope you enjoy them because they both just about broke me.


The prototype I stood and watched as you stomped and Let out your war-cries, Rain dancing. So Little I could do I could show you some love but What use am I? That poison has you thinking you’re the messiah. Id almost be inclined. Who hooked you into the web Of lies and truths? Was it a strange beast who stole your dance? You’re such a beautiful mess One of gods forgotten children Too lovely for hell and too broken for heaven. You told me that nothing feels real, That you love too much and are at odds Your kind come in prototypes, Defective and doomed To carry strange burdens On your thousand year old shoulders. Who nailed you to your cross? Who swam between your ears And poisoned your laugh? I won’t shed tears And I won’t call to god. He dies when you do. I may come off callous and I know it seems wrong But how can I cry, brother when you’ve been dead for so long? * * * He walks through woods at night Talking to Luna hoping that She might share some of her But she is still And he is but a god’s mistake and No use to her.

secrets


Unhinged Zine Sample