cooper callinan

Operating Systems

don’t ever expect to be justified.
you will be shut down.
you will be

we are all in our own experience.
and there’s no way
around it.

it’s just each to his own
in this for this
about this

and while D.F.W. already said
it in eloquence, I can’t help
but break a piece down:

the system you run on is
the one you wish you could trade.
too tired of the default when
everyone is an individual

operating system.

get to to know your own.
hack your own. preference your own.
make it so fucking marvelous it looks
like you run on nuts leeched in a diaper
of exactly. just do your cunt a favor
and make everything your own.

that doesn’t mean label.
it could mean experience.

but it means transitioning from tunnel
to outside of yourself. and it’s not
possible everyday. it never is.

what’s possible are reminders.
there’s a reason I keep kickin’.
I’m good at notes. I know how

to tell myself the right things
when I need to. I’ve been where
nobody needs to. you never wanna

be where I’ve been. you never wanna be
where you’re nearly dead by you’re own hands.

and you don’t wanna stay in a facility. facilities.
hospitals. detoxes. rehabs. wards. anything. you don’t

want it. and to think back then it was asylums. I’m in grief
just thinking about it. but that was then. this is now.

you wanna do proper work and have an output coz I’m not sure
what else there is aside from our others.

so run your operating system, no matter how shitty it is, if it runs
in fucking MS-DOS 1982 it’s got everything it needs.

pull up anything that allows to enter text.
enter these words here:

I am.

if you’ve got no computer, find a typewriter.
if you’ve not got that, resort to paper and pen.

print and carry on you at all times.

you’d be surprised what you can do with those two words.

Empty Bottles & Alcoholism

Sick of the self-inflicted.

Can’t even cry.
                 Supposed to

not give a shit;
be a man;
stomach it all.

Throwing up gives me fashion.
Panic, attack, I’ve

                                      no way
to handle you.

Proper drugs do.

With a gimlet we find our hells.
With a gimlet

feel too much; self-ruin;
necessary reals.

Editors Don't Actually Talk to Me

The wrong word.
They prefer another.
But what I say is
what I say. And it’s
often how I talk.
If they’d let me talk.
I like the word.

Its brevity.
Its clarity.
Its punch.

Not a flowery guy.
But if you wanna
pull your romance
on a piece about
everything we’re
shit at as a species.

Rejection’s just
another form of
being myself.

Coming Off a Binge

it starts with a decision. and
I’ve done this countless times.

sleep for two, maybe three days.
sweat, jerk, piss, water it out.

show myself I sleep on a mattress
of flowers and rip off the bedding.

wash that, all my clothes, clean,
tidy, and empty the room of redundancy.

then take to myself some more. forty
minute shower after a full girl makeover:

empty myself out, clip it out, wash it out; everything.
and drain my contempt for myself one more time.

fuck, maybe shave. when the shakes aren’t a bother.
better, change the haircut. buddy, you’re a new man.

by now towels and a bathing room are destroyed.
clean that. scrub it shitless. shit, we forgot teeth.

the grin I despise, coz it’s fucked from abuse.
brush ‘em thrice, rinse twice, but floss in between.

clean clothes; cleaner than pissed gin.
look in the mirror. not so bloodshot now. worse.

every empty should be in its place and outta the house.
any of the pills left I’ll do my best not to; for harder times.

considering I’m in stroke mode, water and gatorades in intervals,
and any food loaded with thiamine. red meat, pork, beans, peas, etc.

Ativan if I need it. the existential panic comes in waves.
I said I didn’t need it. I fucking think too much about maybe I need it.

sleep on that, if I can hold it down. I better. I don’t sleep. so stay up
all night playing a distracting video game or watching light cinema.

but stand-up comedy is the best. if I can laugh at least I know I’m living.
word to the alt scene for providing some kinda laughter into hell.

maybe things are getting stabilized. treat myself. do it oldschool. do it best.
pizza and 7-Up coz we can’t handle caffeine. carbs: nature’s antidepressants.

a way to sleep, and when I wake, read something pure and poetic and free.
nearly a man again, and not junk; shit doing shit coz he thinks he can.

read. write. fuck some guitar up.
maybe melancholy ain’t so bad.

there. maybe stay a while longer.
yeah, fucking stay.

and still feel gross, alienated, and incongruent,
human. but honest about it.

Eternity in a Dress

let’s be typewriters and hit the keys until we find heaven.
let’s be silver screens and say the lines that create one.
let’s be favorite songs and feel again we’re to let it in.

and I wanna be a tireless man.
and I wanna be forever in bed.
and I wanna be alive to dream.

you, endless autumn.
you, summered winter.
you, entirely spring.

all haloes.
all however.
all halcyon.


people gimme a look.
it’s a certain one.
and I know what it is.
they wanna tell me
things, some things;
how a life might mean
to mine, and how it
looks apart from eyes.
and I say, stranger,
it takes a feeler
to feel one.
your intuition’s
in all the right
places. so I’ll hear
you out. a free story
is my kinda love
affair. and it’s always
when I begin to walk
away, when I think
it’s over, eh, you
swing some more
end to the
human condition.
and I think, damn,
you are, in this moment
in time, the pinpoint
persuasion – sayin’ it.
say on, coz I haven’t
had dinner but I wanna
talk it out in winter
weather on your
cigarette break.
let’s be hungry.
we’re only one
bite in.
tell me, stranger.
tell me hopes
and dreams.
we get along
out of that look
in our eyes.
I walk away
and it’s always
thanks. but
don’t bother.
my direction has
been narrowed down.
I know we’ll
figure out the angles.
sitting up all night
after a shift, after
an outburst, after
a warm meal.
we’ll figure it out.
see you
see you.

Letters in the Sky

I’m not a poet, man. I’m a creator.
I find god in myself and immerse.
don’t think otherwise.
don’t think.

call me one of those
that was once of
so much use
and today
is worth


shit on my words. they are yours.
shit on yourself then.
it’s all free.

you like to shit.
you like to be free.
you, like me, are troubled

by it all.

literature is a cope.
so is goodbye.
and we can mope

or we can create.

write off time
like bust ass in wind.

hammer it down.

the keys might stick.
you won’t.

make it.
make yourself.

I am saccharine

I am an eclipse
gone sour.

I am an orbit
for us.

I am an alphabet
of stars.

J. R. R.

let them talk.
forever, disaster, disgust.
they equate the same to me.
and should I ask you out
in such a world?
all I need is a line to kill it.
you’re not that type.
no, you are the line.
and when I think of disaster
it better be what we talk of.
now, disastrous, but always.
that’s what equates to us.
bad poetry subsides beneath.
the earth and sun are fucked.
we don’t give. shit. a fucking one.
fuck me. that’s given. so is pain.
say goodbye to me one more time.

that’s how I like you. see you again.
say goodbye. standing on now.
it’s just this and you will.
forever rains. our forever

Friends That Rose from Low Places

some of the best people I’ve met have come
from making the wrong decisions –
mine to meet them, theirs to be great.
they inspire and encourage and if I choose
to go missing or into hiding, they care or
accept me back. and I do the same for them.
and while doing the shit thing isn’t admirable,
it doesn’t make it wrong. it still leads
to promise. it can still carry its own.
those who act like it doesn’t haven’t lived.
it’s not failure, it’s fucking up. it’s getting
fucked up and getting out there and finding
something holy in a land where nothing quite
is. I’ve been places and I can tell when
hobo wisdom means something and it’s
not just drunken despair. I can tell when
the drugs are ready, in their face, or selling
out their lives. and I’ll tell them. they’ll tell me.
and I have a sense about people that do not
live up to the gold rush they think they are.
and I go on about people that do not matter.
they do not matter to me. they were my bad
decisions. they are important, important to
somebody, thankfully, now. coz I can only
give one at a time. and I’m fallen for so many.
the worst mistake to make is not to make any.
the worst mistake, forgetting where people grow.

Including Your Teeth

I told this girl at the bar how she smelled good
and she kept talking and my eyes were on
the white that was her teeth and the skin
around them being white and you bought
this shot for me and me being me has
gotta ask why but she keeps talking
and I guess we could go to your place
but I’ll stick around and kill whatever
money is in my pocket coz the bartender’s
gotta work and I gotta feel fine to the worst.