Stapled Shut

I am stapled shut in this apartment, like my twenty page essay handed in this morning—after 2 nights blinded out with coffee, caffeine pills, and cheese-slopped pizza with California rolls doused in soy sauce, and 3-hour whiskey binges in between. The coaxing of my fingertips back to the keys of my finely tuned laptop is agony.

I’m out all day and most of the night, and yet I still have to walk past those gooey letters stuck to the inside of my window: the words hell hole and a ghost with a moaning mouth.

Sometimes when I bring someone with me into the hell hole, her mouth opens like that ghost. She shakes over top of me and I look at the gaping mouth in the dark, and I think it could swallow me up.

I smoke a cigarette and watch the kids walk past from America. Their brains are all mushy like mine is becoming, from essays and lectures. I see them presenting in front of their hotel.

“Where did the name for the Crumlin Kangaroos come from?”

I think the air would be cleaner out of the streets of Belfast, but my hell hole sucks me in, and then spits me out again with pretty papers stapled in my fingertips.


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