some means to an end - Alex van Buskirk


Frantically scribbling bad ideas in the passive voice, outside it’s raining cold. Inspiration comes in the saving grace of a slap to the face; reality stings. Light disrupts. Being is just aggravating.

Years might unfurl like measuring tape in maturity, but if learning to love yourself is all I can expect at twenty-eight I’d rather just remain cold—frozen and struggling in order to write the wintriest of psalms, Genesis to my Gender. I’d rather break teeth over a gravelly drunken cadence, murmuring nonsense rants at select crowds—“How poetic,” they decide, as I throw up onstage into a wastebasket that’s an all-too easy metaphor for my profound life. Either that or an old-timey pirate, the few remaining noble professions.

Perhaps my trajectory will rotate just enough in a drunken orbit to align with the rest of my run-away mind, and Real Life will turn slightly less insufferably. I save up funds for a solid American car—or maybe an intimidating Harley—and set my digital compass westward. Perhaps even invent a few sentences on the way. Meet likeminded delusionals with big ambition and imaginary work ethic—my kind of deviants. Travel in packs in search of only more pavement to tread, more stories to share, more strangers to forget, more cities to burn. Trail blazers, aesthetically speaking.

Domesticity lurks above like ornery vultures deeply scanning the arroyo, and I can feel the heat of a naked sun urging me to quit. The trail blazers I came here with long gone, scattered to all corners by the selfish wind—they have sealed their manifest destinies, cooled their arrogant white flames. I’m about running on empty in absolutely every sense of the word. Are there multiple senses? I’m too fatigued and wired. Does anything make sense? Is sense sensible?

I tread again, this time along the crossrivers of an old miner’s town, asking for sense. With the small gains I’ve finagled, I buy a one-trip ticket home, but the driver tells me I’ve never actually left. He reminds me of an authority figure, his stern frown comforts me. I simply ask him to keep to the course, and we spend Eternity driving in circles and circles and circles and circles and circles and circles.