Thursday, December 22, 2011
Friday, October 28, 2011
He watches the docks.
He breathes. He turns off the engine.
Take solace in the real. He glides his hand over the leather, over the glass. Real.
His dark mind filled with the faces of those who judge him, those he hurt. Imaginary.
Take solace in the real.
It's not that the crows live in their own world, so to speak, that bothers him.
They have their own conversations out there, sure.
They don't include him.
They fly up and land again, in the order that they land there is a posturing. The man watches. One crow asserts himself and then another. Friendships are formed, vengeances are exacted. Grieving hearts are eased. Their own little world.
It's not that they don't include him that bothers him, it's that they don't listen.
He opens the glove compartment. The gun just lays there.
He lights his cigarette, he smokes in the presence of the gun.
Memories of his childhood, what guns were to him as a child. Frivolous.
He looks at the gun now, he places his hand on it. It steals the heat from his hand. Real. Very real.
He places it on his lap.
What will make them listen, he laughs.
Dance my fingers into her crotch.
He looks at himself in the mirror. He holds a tumbler of scotch, not the flask.
He steers with his knee to light a cigarette. He takes the corners in a way that makes you think he is on the edge of crashing. He is drunk and on the edge. You would like to think he is in control. That in his stupor he is secretly in control.
Veer off the cliff.
He considers it for a second. He closes his eyes, takes a drag. He laughs.
His wife laying there half asleep. He dances his fingers on her thigh, he walks them up her silky. She opens an eye at him. What the hell? No. She covers up.
How did it get to this point, that she rejects him.
He gets under the sheet. Her warmth. He reaches over for her hand. Look at how tenderly I hold you. So tenderly. He takes her hand again, softer, he squeezes it very slowly. He closes his eyes and breathes her in. True intimacy.
She puts her hand under the pillow.
The feeling in his stomach.
The events that lead to her insolence. Her innocence when he met her. Her disappointments, her thorough disillusionment with him. With men. She is grown up now. She is grown up and power hungry, now. It was the kid. The kid listens to her and not to him. His little kid arrogance, his damn toys. An array of toys of varying types and sizes. His command over the toys, his greed.
The look on the faces of the family in the oncoming car that interrupts his daydreaming and, unable to retake the road after swerving out of his way, goes down the side of the cliff.
Right in front of his eyes. Right then and there.
He smokes the cigarette.
There is a certainty now.
There is a certainty that he will drive to find a phone. That his hands will shake on the steering wheel. That this time of driving around will be torture. When he arrives at the store he will take a second before coming out. He will vomit three steps out of the car.
There was a second when he thought the car would not go over. When the right front and rear wheels
He is in the parking lot now. The cashier girl has no idea what just happened. She sits there in the window, bored. He submits to the certainty. He breathes in the certainty of things. He opens the door. He counts his steps.
Three. He releases the vomit.
Okay, he says. He walks. He sees the phone. The girl just stares at him. The dumb look on her face. She hands him the phone. She doesn't know but she knows.
No dancing his fingers into her crotch. No judging the kid. No kid.
You know they are dead?
They are dead.
How do you know?
They are all dead.
How many people were in the car.
Four, maybe five.
Four or five. Oh my God.
My God. My God.
He sits in his car. He waits.
The fantasy of the family man. He knows men who are like that, men who are about their family. Kids who play baseball. Discipline. Trips. It all stemmed from some fantasy those men had of themselves before they had a family. Some people had thought of him that way.
The sunset in the mirror there. He adjusted it so he could see it better. Be honest, John, he said. Those were never your fantasies, anyway. They were other people's.
He spent the night in a hotel instead of heading home from the police station.
Something great about hotel rooms. You reach into your pocket and put money on the table and pick a room. That's perfect. Hotels are a perfect thing. They'll never go away. No wonder some people live in them. The way the light makes a hotel room look in the morning. It's like no other feeling.
He stopped a block away from his house. The street never felt right.
She stood there and waited for him to look at her. The premise was that the look on his wife's face was important to him. What she's thinking. There was a time when he did come home and anticipated what she would be thinking. Idiot, he said. I should have never met you. That's what should have happened. He turned to her. She was looking at the gun on the bed. There's no fucking food, is there, he said. He turned back to the window. Never anything to fucking eat in this house. She walked down the hall and down the stares.
There is a certainty now.
He drives. Slowly. His hands shake in the certainty of things.
The rubber crawls on the road, pulls the road under him.
The sound of pebbles and sand.
He will find a phone. In the parking lot he will pause to appreciate the certainty of things. Three steps out of the car, he will vomit. He cleans his shoes with his hanky.
The girl at the counter watches him.
The girl real. Her pretty face, her hair.
There is a certainty now. He will drive to find a phone.
His hands shake in the certainty of things. That's all right.
When he finds the store, he will sit there. He breathes.
There is a certainty. There is a certainty he will drive to a phone. His hands shake in the certainty. His stomach turns in the certainty of things.
When the car was going over there was a second where he thought it might not. When the front and back left tires were over the cliff and the belly of the car was sliding in the dirt, there was a second when he thought might stop. But it went over.
That fucking second.
When he steps out of the car he will vomit.
He looks at the girl there in the window. She's staring out the window, bored. She stares at him.
He steps out of the car. One, two, three. Okay. He releases the vomit between his shoes.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
A gallows set up in the street. It was built for six but there were only two. A tall man nearest to the boy. A woman between two older men standing arm in arm. Three young men on horses near the gallows. The boy tugged on the man’s shirt. He asked the man if he had anything to spare. It’s the man’s sons with the rope around their necks and he watched them closely. His shoulders were wide and so was his stance, his long legs braced hard against the ground behind him as if prepared to bare a heavy load. His face bespoke a career of meanness. A fat man in a fur-collared coat and a bow tie had read aloud their crimes and now asked if the boys had any last words to speak. They declined to do so. The fat man took his time to adjust the rope and put black sacks over their heads. He did one and then the other stopped him. He could be seen to breathe heavily. The man paused beside the boy with the sack in his hand. The other boy fidgeted in the already tightening noose and the stuffy burlap sack and the man tried again and the boy didn’t object this time. The executioner made his way to the far left end of the platform and the man closed his eyes and dropped his chin against his chest. The sound of the trap doors in the gallows falling open and the ropes snapping and the counterweights hitting the ground. The wooden frame straining under the sudden weight.
The man stayed like this for a long time. He didn’t heed or see the boy who was tugging at his coat. He opened his eyes and lifted his head and turned to walk back to the hotel like a statue come to life to the boy, like an all-powerful God compelled to awaken from a great slumber. He walked with a long gait. He did not change his course to accommodate others in the street. They watched his pale figure through the falling snow- something wicked, something that was not like them. Their fear made them think foolish things as they scurried out of his way.
In a back room of the hotel a young woman in labor. Her screams were horrific. Her bare legs writhed in the stained sheets in a way that excited the doctor. Sweat dripping from his beard, his tired eyes. The nurses circled about them working in shifts. They covered her breasts when they shown through her torn blouse and gave her water to drink. They moved about her like diligent workers accustomed to scenes of horror and agony. Their unflinching eyes set upon the ground or on their task at hand, on you the horrified observer. In the thick of it the doctor and his dainty fingers doing his grotesque and necessary duty. She was unreachable in her agony. Inconsolable to the world as if possessed, as if put in a trance by the black magic of an old world shaman. The young woman’s voice became hoarse and it was a relief to stop screaming. She was in labor from the morning of the day before to just before sunrise. It was a long time before they let her see the baby. She knew something was wrong with it. The doctor presented it laying stiffly in a blanket in his arms. The infant’s color was a deep red unlike the color of a newborn. Two prominent ridges above its brow. A tail could be seen between its legs struggling to point upward like an earthworm in the sun. His mother was hysterical. She rejected him outright and wept hoarsely into the pillow.
The doctor stole away with the baby. The man passed the doctor in the lobby. His face did not reveal his intentions or the extent of his knowledge. He went to his horse to the bag of provisions behind the saddle with coffee in hand. He put a foot in the stirrup and drank the coffee and watched the doctor step into his carriage parked directly in front of the hotel. It was just light enough to ride. He could make out the driver’s silhouette stretching and yawning himself awake. He reached into a pocket on his saddle and took out the revolver and checked the cylinder and placed it in his belt and walked over to the carriage.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Monday, September 5, 2011
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Power plays in a cabin faintly aglow with orange light in the snow. Intrigue and politics of an animal called human, murder as the snow melts, new generations born, on their way in the ecstasy of youth, and dead again under the eye of the sun rising and falling. You may come across a man who inhabits the cabin in your journeys. He may be out there on the perimeter of the property to gather wood for the fire, and by chance you two may lock eyes. Know that whatever notion you have of his existence is false. Know that you should be glad not to be a part of his world, and that there is no way of relating to him anyway. When your back is turned and you walk away, the way you leave the cabin, so will the cabin remain for hundreds of years hence. You may come back again in three centuries and find a very similar looking man, or perhaps a completely different man, but a man none the less, the wretched stench of humans will never leave that damned cabin.
Sunday, August 7, 2011
I see you, girl who shows up at parties alone dressed like a doll.
You are well on your way, you hone your fashion sense, and now the girls you want to be look at you as one of them.
You get a tattoo on your shoulder.
You let the love of the women you imitate in.
You let yourself contemplate what kind of boyfriend you would like to have.
The choice is obvious, the kind with a beard and little tattoos here and there. Bad skin. You put off getting one for now.
You consider the love of other types of men, little do you know how much the love of a man can change you.
You come before me now with your wealth of knowledge, you have forgotten that you which wandered the streets like the echo of a lone trumpet in the night, you hate that you. You have divorced yourself of her.
You let my gaze in like you will let my tongue in.
The way you move, which is really a dance, the way you talk which is a song - it is all good and well.
Now present your neck for consideration.
Saturday, June 25, 2011
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Sunday, May 8, 2011
Saturday, May 7, 2011
I walked as an old man out of the woods to sell
Those things He placed in my way of living, in the woods
I do not look for things to sell, they look for me
And find me in my forest nook of carven trees.
I walk back home with pockets full of treats
That in their useless charm remind me of a woman's touch.
The touch of a woman was something rare. And bought -
Oh, to only have to give dollars in return for love -
It was something I wouldn't get caught up in.
And now, in times of two lovers (bear with me now)
Gazing into each others eyes and demanding to be loved back,
In these times of her dancing in the pleasure of belonging to me
And in her sleeping with the comfort of owning me, I dream
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Saturday, April 23, 2011
A girl has many layers.
There is the layer of outer clothing. It repels cold and other outside forces. It is what she thinks you see when you look at her. It is the image that she perpetuates.
Manage to strip away this and there are her undergarments. Very pretty but very utilitarian. They provide a silky smooth layer between her delicate skin and her outer clothing and they keep her parts together.
Standing there in her bra and panties, she looks quite vulnerable. It's arresting, really. But there is a thread of pretense running through it all in the squeezing and pushing properties of her bra and in the lasie cloth of her underwear.
Unfasten the simple mechanism of her bra. Do not dally if it does not immediately come loose, some force may be applied, it is not as delicate as it looks. Taking off her underwear is simply a matter of pulling them down, but the elastic band may be tight, and if you have to tear them, so be it.
Look at the uglyness.
She may not be able to look you in the eye. She must be reminded of why she arches her back now, the real reason she was born with a tongue. It doesn't take much, but remember that the story of her outer layer is over now and that of her true self is beginning.
There is only the matter of her skin now, its saltiness and the taste and smell of certain regens. It doesn't all taste like it should. The acquired taste for women's flesh is the difference between a boy and his father.
You may get used to walking down the street with that bravado that playing a part in her story allows you. You may not remember being any other type of man except the kind that she fantasizes about peeling back her layers. Do not let yourself get used to it. Your trusted partner in depravity may suddenly turn to you, and with tears in her eyes, insist that you stop also loving Denise. In return to your cool response, she may strike your face. She may growl like a beast. She will hate you in that moment. Who knew that when you made love, you were really cultivatig hate?
Do not waste any time.
At the next red light, let her out of the car.
Take solace in the construction worker's steady hammer. See his muscular fore arms, see his simple ambition to avoid the sun.
Take solace in the clergy toiling in the church. Their funny habits. Their earnest prayers.
A girl has many layers.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
My new car sparkling in the street. The essence of German engineering shining there in your window. The feeling of taking a corner in my new car. Makes me say yes. My license plate was made by hard criminals in prison. Their lives out of jail filled with the sonofabitch regrets of a Johnny Cash man. The unforgivabilities on their face that informed their art, evidence of the spoils of my profession.
This atheist heart of mine. Oh, I don't suppose I'll ever be forgiven. The cherubs at my feet speak the truth. Their poor old souls boiling with the same old frustration. Their high whiny voices belie the timeless feminine truth. Do you think when I die the Earth accepts my body like the body of any other? What will it think as it holds my heart in the instruments of its will? My license plate was made by hard criminals in prison.
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Saturday, March 26, 2011
And grace can be found where you least expect it.
An animal ready to flee. See its eyes, its bent back.
See its ambition to get away. It will appeal for sympathy,
Don't let it fool you.
And for God's sake don't let it out of its corner.
Or It will leap through the woods with a grace that confounds you.
Its supple bones, its wonderful muscles that flex and stretch
And navigate it through the woods, in loving step with the woods.
Watch it disappear into a bush without dislodging a leaf.
But if it gives you chase, be a brute about it. Be clumsy
Then bring it to me on a well garnished plate, because
One thing we don't like around here is a speck of grace.
Saturday, March 19, 2011
A miner sifting and crouching down
At a pan as a miner should,
His mind between the gold and dirt.
“Such a morning – fine –
That I should be finding you along
My path, as I have found many men,
All equally gold-absorbed.”
He said into the pan “I am a mining man –
To keep the thing that I may find,”
And pointed to the sign that said
In withered letters, “Miners mine.”
“To see a miner so enthralled
Makes wishing to take gold from the Estate of Earth
To put it on a selling shelf among the Estate of Man a chore –
Never should I find a worthy gold.”
“Mining is the procuring game – I mine
As one may give away an elfin foot
To in return receive an eagle’s eye -
I mine to give, and get mine, too.”
“I once knew a judge - he mined the Estate of Man
For the guilty few to keep for show
Then gave as dirt back to the Earth
To purify the many others – gold.”
“I once knew a thief – he mined
The gold of others in the Estate of Man,
And gave for more, to and from
The Estate of Man – now he is in the soil”
“Men are to me but miners – infinitely –
Wind but for the gold they mine,
As a twister is something feared,
But bereft of the Earth it pulls – disappears”
The miner finally looked up from gold
To see the face of the voice that so truly spoke,
And saw but a lonely tree, and laughed
At again entertaining a sylvan guest,
And turned homeward with two ounce gold
With which to make his old house new,
And miles to go before he wakes,
And miles to go before he wakes
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
He finds the woman's home.
The knives displayed on a cloth on the table. He used simple scissors to sharpen them - both sides at once. The boy watched him from behind his mother's leg. Her rugged face, her crisp beauty. She reheats meat and potatoes for him on the stove. She sent the boy off to bed. The Tajik put down the knife and scissors and came up behind the woman. He placed his hands on her hips. He inhaled the back of her neck. No, she said. He went back to the knives.
When he finished sharpening her knives she watched him eat. His graying beard. His dark mongoloid face. How silney he must be to carry around all those tools, she thought.
He finished his food and nodded at her. He sat with his hands on his knees. He waits for her to come near. She does not want to look him in the eyes, but when she does it is the same feeling as last year. He brings her closer. He lifts her shirt and presses his face against her belly. He remembered how she likes to be screwed.
The next morning he is on his way to the town center where the people expect him. They have laid out their knives in preparation for the Tajik who comes once a year to sharpen every knife in the village. He smiles at seeing the old faces though they speak a different language. He and the woman fought in the morning. She claimed that the food and board was payment enough and she owed him not a cent for the blade work. How can I argue, he thought looking at her face. It reminded him that although men have always done as he told them, women are a different story. But why are they a different story. He kicks at the dirt and says to himself, you hated them once, you know.
He stops just short of the village.
The travails of his life. All the times he was robbed before he took to robbing travelers in order to break even. The face of the young man who died at his hands. The boy's earnestness, his eyes which were not quite cold. The Tajik kneeled at his grave for the rest of that day and made camp nearby when the sun set. He owed the boy no eulogy but he contemplated at his grave a while. When it came to him to keep on going he left the grave of the boy who made such a convincing impression of a killer. A body can't know what hunger will make it do.
The Tajik stands there at a point between where he came from and where he's going. He looks up at the sun that will berate the desert after he is long dead, to which his life's journey holds no significance, his life itself being a series of trips across mountains and deserts and valleys to reach people who have something to trade for his one useful skill. The moments of what he allows himself to call love that after all dot his life's journey. If his death will come at his own hand or the hand of another's. It can not be any other way. It must be at your own hand. You never know when the mood will catch you.
Sunday, March 6, 2011
She sat in history class and dragged her pencil oh so slowly across her lips. Her eyes closed, her breath held, she is lost in the imagined embrace of that boy or this boy. When the bell rang she looked around nervously. She did it again in math class.
She did not know anything until the lights went out and her sister's boyfriend pulled her to him and put his lips on hers. When the candles came out it was long over and they both pretended like nothing happened.
The beautiful girl riding her bicycle fast, her eyes closed and her face open to the embrace of the wind. She steals away with their secret. She lets the bike fall and lays in the grass. She finds herself. Her sister's little smirk makes sense now. She understands her mother's happiness some mornings. She remembers the day of the bloody bedsheet differently, now.
She decides to leave her bike there and tell her parents it was stolen.
She masters the strange art of makeup.
She cultivates her beauty.
She grows into her imagined self.
Love her God now, love her only thought.
Things like college a place for meeting men. Work, a place to practice endearing herself to others.
Oh, a girl's sacred right to grow up to be an adulteress.
She sits in the park. She catches the eyes of men. She can't help it, her curiosity is too strong.
She catches my eye.
I make believe I don't have to be home at the usual hour today. I change my course.
I sit next to her on the bench.
We look out at the evening crowd. These two pirates of the heart set apart from the crowd by our love's ambition. We sit there with racing hearts and enjoy it. It drives every other thought away.
We watch everyone go home. Our stillness. The bench an anchor, we've escaped the pull of the crowd but time persists. We travel in time together, as it were.
The wind begins to pick up. It strained the roots of the trees, it pushed the branches all to one side. Soon the leaves were stripped and the trees bare. The naked trees like wicked hands come up from the Earth with a will to secure something floating on the wind.
The wind stopped like we knew it would and it all settled on the ground. Finally the sun has set.
Our faults, our misdeeds hidden in the dark of the night. We no longer have to make amends.
We turn to each other.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
She sits there, one arm draped across the back of the bench seat, and leers out the window at the street.
She is austere about simple things like food and fashion. She demands simplicity. She demands craftsmanship.
She has what you would call emotional ambition.
The only thing that matters to her is what happens when she is naked with a man in a bedroom. You could say it is what she lives for.
She has a man. He is her coworker on week days in another place.
He comes and gets her when her shift is over. She does not greet him with a kiss. She walks him back to his apartment.
He watches her remarkably still, arched back as she walks. He watches her buttocks sway and bulge. Her legs. Her feet wrapped tightly in leather thongs.
She touches you in that way. She brings attention to the motherly bulge of her stomach that distinguishes her from the inconsequential girly women of your past. She lies there naked in your bed and, without speaking, demands that you bring her to new heights of sexual depravity.
Friday, February 11, 2011
Friday, January 21, 2011
Thursday, January 20, 2011
The poor Indian who lives in the shanty house
Who loves a drink during the day, but is a pleasant drunk
Lives like an animal whose hunting methods can not be surmised.
Who is assumed to live off the sun.
Skimming some margin of substance from the vastness
That we can’t see a living to be made off of.
He comes from a time when two legged creatures crowded under the sun.
They put their inside lives into things such as wagons.
And they lived as if inside outside, against the outside.
Danger to them was from everywhere.
They were always filthy and they all sang the blues all their lives.
Gods of nature watched them from the hills
Like the sun, and they felt like the sun.
What is it in these indefatigable creatures
That made them want to win against us - and let them win.
This narrow wagon train in the valley, this ant line creeping
That belies eastern armies will spread and toil in the West
In slow agony. In filthy poverty.
To make something out of nothing to make nothing out of us.
Something that was once beautiful. Something
That was glorious by every definition of the word.
Something such as that which cannot exist.
That walked through the plains radiating masterfulness
Was not truly so to the force of nature that brought this great enemy upon us.
Was not truly so to this animal who cannot exist.
There is a particle of Myth contained in all our lives.