It’s December and I haven’t been in the ocean once this year— I mean, like, I’ve been to the ocean this year, (and that’s only because I live on the edge of a fucking continent and it’s kind of hard to avoid) but not in it.
This is exceptionally shitty because I’ve been to enough rehab facilities, therapists, and group sessions to know that nature is, like, what you need, or whatever.
Give yourself thirty minutes— tops— in any rehabilitation facility in any metropolitan area, and I can guarantee that someone will tell you that what you really need is nature. Some asshole with a degree from God-knows-where will look you in the face and tell you that the root of all your problems is a lack of fucking foliage— that if you spent more time around trees and waterfalls and shit, you’d finally be able to put the crack-pipe down. I think it has a lot to do with God, or something— like being closer to him and stuff.
And in retrospect, that explains a lot. I’m like, the least spiritual person there is. I’m basically the living, breathing equivalent of a wet cigarette— and nine times out of ten, I smell like one too.
Here’s to a new year, though— the year of swimming in open water. I’m getting a book published, which is kind of cool in the “wow, people are paying me money to complain about my life” sort of way.
Maybe I’ll take this opportunity to step off of the beach and out into the open ocean— really let it take over me, and shit. I’ll let go of the years before, letting each of them wash over me upon the tide’s request. I’ll bathe in the hunger and the heartbreak, the ego and the pretense. I’ll cry for the first time in a long time, and maybe I’ll even forgive myself.
I’ll swim so far out that my feet won’t touch the sand. Floating in the big, blue open, (who am I kidding? Dull grey, this is Los Angeles, after all) I’ll let go. I’ll let go of every tear-stained carpet in every therapist’s office, every fluorescent-white cafeteria in every treatment center.
I’ll let go, and I’ll float. Frail and vulnerable, with my ego stripped and my skin bare… I’ll get over it.
You know, I’ve spent all of my time living on the edge of this shitty continent, crying about my life and feeling trapped when the exit route was right there all along. And hey, maybe that’s what they’ve been bitching about all these years— nature and stuff. Ready to cure you whenever you’re ready.
You’ve just gotta get out there.
"I Can’t Feel My Face" Excerpt 5/6: "Ko Phi Phi"
Kris Kidd by Ari Abramcyzk
"I Can’t Feel My Face" Excerpt 4/6: "Fruit Roll-Ups"
"I Can’t Feel My Face" Excerpt 3/6: "The Meat Market"
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"I Can’t Feel My Face" Excerpt 2/6: "I Get It Now"
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"I Can’t Feel My Face" Excerpt 1/6: "Between Seasons"
“You probably shouldn’t use that essay. It’s a little racist.”
“That’s the point.”
“Maybe don’t touch on the whole molestation thing. It doesn’t feel sincere.”
“But I want to.”
There was a lot of thought that went in to writing I Can’t Feel My Face. This has been the first venture in my writing in which I have not hidden behind a makeshift veil of abstract imagery. I used to use poetic devices to get my point across without giving too much of myself away. In writing these essays, I felt it was time to truly come clean.
I can beat around the bush all I want to, but a pretty poem about amphetamine clarity will never depict the hellish morning after. I can glamorize it with photos of my ribcage and assorted magazine tears, but the truth is that I spent the better half of my teenage years with my head in a toilet. Writing about the sound of fireworks will never express the feeling of hearing a hollow gunshot in late July just moments after telling my father to kill himself.
I Can’t Feel My Face is my apology. Sort of. At the very least, it’s the best I can do for now— an unflinching description of what went down. It’s my relationship with my father. It’s late night cocaine and cheap champagne. It’s Klonopin to ease my nerves.
In the weeks before ordering the pre-release copies of the book, I was overcome with a foreign sense of sadness— guilt, I guess it’s called. I thought immediately of my family— a distant, hazy figure in the back of my mind that I still manage to recognize as a reality to this day. I thought of what this book would do to them, with its vulgar and apathetic depiction of my father’s death and its halfhearted approach to self-realization.
But, with all due sincerity, this book is not for them. It is for everyone else. Anyone who has ever felt the highest when sinking low. Anyone who has ever felt the strongest when breaking down. Anyone who has ever felt the most alive when dying.
This book is an ode to losing it all. This book is a goodbye to my father. A see-you-later to all of my late-night friends. This book is a farewell.
A farewell to self respect, or whatever.
Just ordered the finalized copies of “I Can’t Feel My Face” by our first featured writer, @kriskidd. Come out and celebrate the book’s release with us on January 9th! While you’re waiting, though, continue submitting your original poetry for Volume III before the December 20th deadline! (at www.thealtarcollective.com)
"All alone at seventeen.
Skinny little bones
and methadrine dreams.”
Photo by Mario Kroes
Seriously - Continuing to try and figure this app out! http://cameo.tv/c/VP1aq3aN
Bad Trails - Trying this whole #cameo thing out! Being a mess with Luna! http://cameo.tv/c/zzjuvUx6