November 14, 2013

Excerpts From Heiko Julien’s I Am Ready To Die A Violent Death: “I Do It”

My debut collection of poetry and prose, I Am Ready to Die a Violent Death is now available. The following are excerpts from the final chapter “I Do It.”

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I Forgive You in the Forest

With the woods and the trees.

It takes a lot out of me.

I rub a leaf on my sweaty forehead.

“We should be very sympathetic to teenagers because they are just starting to realize how terrible everything is and if I remember correctly it is very painful,” I say at your face.

“I want to be downsized from my middle management job at a reputable company during a thunderstorm in 20 years,” is the sort of noise you make in my direction.

“I am insanely jealous of you, like so super jealous,” we say at each other at the same time and it’s true.

And things orbit around.

Continents move.

Radioactive materials decay.

When people are heavy, sit with them.

When entropy increases, order me around.

Tax my energy over time like everything else.

I will chaperone you to a relevant outdoor music festival and you can push me around in a bassinet once we get there.

Shoot me with a gun in the United States of America.

I’m an American and my
truck was built by
God.


I am mad at the ocean


I resent its relentless force.

I am kicking the water and punching the waves.

Feel less guilty.

Did my part. 



I get mad at the beach.

I kick sand at a palm tree or whatever they’re called.


I see a couple laying out and sigh and throw my shoes into the sea. 



When I was a teenage referee of tween soccer games the tweens used to say a lot of one-liners.


For instance, they’d steal the ball and say ‘I’ll Take That.’



When I was a teenage referee of tween baseball games I once called a tween out at first base and his mom got mad.

She ran up to the chain linked face and screamed at me and called me a ‘faggot.’



Everyone wants you to change.

Everyone is controlling.

It’s fine.



Every night I die in my dreams.

Every morning I am reborn.

It’s exhausting.


Run Your Business Like A Family Run Your Family Like A Business


I was pushing my son on a riverside swing.
Pushed too hard, he flew off and landed on a crocodiles back in the river.
It was real chill about it but it still ate my damn son.



Things have gotten harder for me since.



The only place I can relax and be myself these days is parked in bank parking lots after dark.
I just like knowing the money is safe inside.



“Maybe you are never too old to join a gang,” I tell myself as I drive through the only Subway drive-thru in the world.
I’m being so selfish I cannot even appreciate this rare drive-thru.
Yesterday I jogged through a snow storm and was unaware of how beautiful it was because I was too busy thinking about myself.



“Start your own tribe,” I was thinking.

“I am always starting over,” I thought.



Once, when I was a child, a dog chased my dad up a tree.
Mom brought home a new dad eventually but sometimes I wonder if Old Dad is still up there.

Things have been getting better lately.

I met a woman who makes slightly less money than me.
Together, we watch shows.

We are both explaining the plot to this Rom-com to each other at the same time so loudly that we can’t hear or concentrate on the film. 


Dad jeans. Cargo shorts. Plaid cargo shorts. We got em all. Come by my house I’ll sell you my dad’s pants while he’s at work who cares.


When You Are Ashamed, You Can Take Your Shame and Fold It Into an Origami Swan

Put it on your shelf and when you feel that way again, we can both look at it together and laugh.

Guilt is a useless emotion and you can feed me through a straw if you want.

You can shave my neck tonight; I can’t see it in the mirror.



Vietnam is a dope word and I hope you become a mom or dad at exactly the moment that you want to be one. 



I want to write a story where everyone is a good person and is nice to each other but they die at the end and my mom reads it and says its nice but why did they have to die at the end.



I want to live a life where I am not so much achieving goals and having success but scratching out dull urges like little itches as quickly as they come and I can’t control it and don’t want to.


Everything takes forever and I think that’s great.

I want to take forever too.


Want to Raise You by Wolves by Myself

I ask my co-worker, “Ballin’ hard or hardly ballin’?”

He gets so into it.

Truth be told, I love motherfuckers when they haul ass. 

It’s a love thang.

Just drop the whitest milk.

The tightest milk. 

I drive my car all night and it feels so right.

Finally, a car for me.

Martin Luther King had a car.

I am a car.



2 fast.
2 scared.
4 ever.


Rock me softly in the most normal way possible

If we were standing at the top of a tall building I would tell you I am afraid of heights.
If we were at your mom’s house I would tell you I am afraid of your mom.
If we were on drugs I would tell you I am afraid of ‘on drugs’ and that maybe if we worry about the future enough together maybe we can stop it from coming.



Give me a mole test: a pop mole quiz.
Do not give me time to prepare, just touch me on different parts of my body and ask me if I have a mole there or not.
Chances are I wont know where most of my own moles are.



Sit hard on my face until it becomes a shiny little diamond.
Kiss me tongue-wise on my slippery mineral lips.
You are making a profit.
I lose myself and find myself in you all the time and if you would like to be further disappointed I will link you to an article that shows that 1/4 of the species on earth are beetles.



I come in waves.
I’m sorry but I am like the waves.
Catch me when I’m cresting and just leave me at the beach.
I’ll be there when you get back.

I have
a lot of thoughts
I’m not sharing
with you.


We are otters now


I could tell you were excited.

I could see it in your eyelids.

You show yourself off.

Give yourself up.

And away.


Now you are still here.



We are otters.

Floating down the river in your bed.

Hand held like paws.

So we don’t float apart.



People are being born and dying.

Ripping each other off and to shreds.

Loving each other to pieces and to death.


We don’t care.


We are otters now.
 TC mark

Heiko Julien

Heiko Julien is a writer living in Chicago. His debut collection of poetry and stories, I Am Ready to Die a Violent …