Saturday, October 31, 2009

All Hallows Eve

Batgirl & Batman

Skull & Pirate

Hope everyone had a safe and festive evening. The sugar high is wearing off and its a good thing we turn back the clocks tonight! See you tomorrow...

Friday, October 30, 2009

All the pretty maids

On a supermarket bench
in their Sunday best
crinkled eyes gaze
measuring each guest
all the pretty maids
lined in a row.

Times gentle kiss
on their painted lips
steals not desire
nor beauty eclipse
all the pretty maids
lined in a row.

My you are handsome
capturing his glance
drawing on innocence
curiosity en trance
all the pretty maids
lined in a row.

Soft fingers grace
a crease on their hand
pitter patting hearts,
returning hourglass' sand
all the pretty maids
lined in a row.

Notes scribbled on a receipt, as I watch my son with the ladies, waiting for the tram back to the retirement home.

I think they made each other's day.

Have a great weekend and see whose day you can make!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

55 - fifteen and life

at a street corner bar
under a red light shadow
she reminisces
dust from roads
so far from home
clouding eyes behind
Bangkok's neon glare
teaching her to
lay down
her body,
her dignity
for the tin roof
on her families hovel,
or food in their bellies.

fifteen and life
at twenty-four dollars
a night.

Tell a story in 55 words. Want to give it a try or just read more, go see g-man.

Want to know more about the battle to rescue women in Thailand from the slavery of prostitution, go here.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Theme Thursday: Halloween

Nobody comes to our house on Halloween.

Staring out the bay window, my shadow breaks the warm glow that pierces the inky black stain of night laying across the hill. In the distance, headlights swim the roads like a river, carrying souls, wrapped in masquerade, to haunt the houses down each lane. Splaying my hand, reaching for them, vibrations of long skeletal fingers on leafless limbs rake back against mine through the glass.

Nobody comes to our house on Halloween.

Moonlight shimmers off the gravel road winding up the hill, disappearing behind the murk of the family cemetery, where shadows deepen, sucking all the light into the black hole of lost souls. Two graves lay open, mouths waiting to be fed any who trespass. We found a boy there once, huddled against the cold breath of death at the bottom of the concrete sarcophagus, where he fell during my birthday party.

Nobody comes to our house on Halloween.

Woods surrounding the hill, erupt with the rattle of old bones, trees rubbing against each other, we lie to ourselves. Babies cries scream hard on the night wind, it must be cats, we try to believe. Hearts beat staccato, slow tongue of terror worming up the spine, as a figure passes between the solemn rows of names chiseled in stone, finding its home then winks out of sight.

Nobody comes to our house on Halloween.

Voices beckon from empty rooms, thumps against the closet door, footsteps running down the floor. All Hallows Eve, the one night when the ghosts don't seem real, comes and goes as the lights go out.

Nobody comes to our house on Halloween, but they are always there.



If you want to enjoy other takes on the theme check out all my friends at Theme Thursday.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Accidental Love and Meatloaf

After telling my buddy, sitting next to me on the couch, that I was going to marry my future wife the first time I saw her walk through the door, there came the task of figuring out if I actually loved her. Some people have those magical moments during a kiss on the beach as a meteor shower streaks through the heavens or in the midst of a dance, their bodies pressed so close that their heartbeats captured the same rhythm, blending into one. Me, I literally fell into love, and lived to tell about it.

Waterfalls have a way of working their own kind of amorous voodoo. Maybe it is the majestic power of thousands of gallons of water throwing itself off the ledge that makes them romantic. Or perhaps the loud roar drowns out anything you could say to mess up the moment. As a man, it provides a veritable playground of obstacles on which to prove your worthiness to win the heart of that special person, to the tune of "Hey ya'll! Watch this!"

Sitting on your keister in the middle of a frigid river after slipping on a wet stone, is the perfect time to strike a sexy pose with the mist of the falls in the background, though it probably won't help much with the bruises. And while they say size doesn't matter, when your ankle swells up to the size of a four square ball, leaving you to be helped down the 2.3 miles back to your car, it does give you opportunity to earn sympathy points. Just what any woman wants, a man who cries every time he tries to put his foot down.

How did I know I was in love? She made meatloaf. I love meatloaf, though I imagine they could have been a bit more creative with the name to make it sound a bit more palatable. Must have been a whole lot more practical with names in those days. Glorious meat and other goodness loaf is a bit of a mouth full.

There I was propped on the couch, foot elevated, developing frostbite under the ice pack and a steaming plate of meatloaf. With mashed potatoes. And she did not laugh at me, at least not to my face, maybe when she returned to her dorm room. In that moment, I knew the score of love is kept not by how many, but how much you cherish the one.

And good meatloaf.

F word

feet
forgo
foundation
finding
freedom's
flight
in the multicolor explosion
of the bounce house.

fluttering
festive
flow,
flounce
falling
flat
against the soft air cushion
of the bounce house.

ferocious
foul
flap,
failure
fool
f**k up
air whistles in a scream, out
of the bounce house.

feast,
famine,
fail,
flourish
found
forsaken
laying on the floor
of the bounce house?

Numb, their words slid right down her back in a cold snear, no matter the new names they thought to give her. You need lessons in creatively cutting me down to your level...you should try listening to my parents, thoughts leak slowly in a hiss of scars across her arms. When she wins they take all the credit, when she fails, she's all alone, except their words. Carving her heart like a jack-o-lantern.

Family is an F word, that should only have four letters, if you let it start with L.

Monday, October 26, 2009

For today

Harmony skips along the cobblestone stone path, laughing and playing on the breeze, ducking behind the hedge rows in a game of hide and seek. Melody leads a merry chase, beckoning the sun through the stain glass accoutrement of the trees; red, orange, yellow, green.

Hey my friend
It seems your eyes are troubled
Care to share your time with me
Would you say you're feeling low and so
A good idea would be to get it off your mind


Faded flannel shirts and dirty blue jeans, toes curl around edge of the wooden bench where they perch upon the back. Tangling hair whips like a white flag of surrender, eyes pinch tight, softly in concentration as their cracked lips sing and fingers dance along frets creating their dreams.

See you and me
Have a better time than most can dream
Have it better than the best
So we can pull on through
Whatever tears at us
Whatever holds us down
And if nothing can be done
We'll make the best of what's around


Lost in the sway of their reverie, for a minute I forget the open guitar case, with shiny dimes and nickels against the nappy grey lining, scarred and scratched from times its used as a pillow. Homeless, not hopeless, and still they sing...

Turns out not where but who you're with
That really matters
And hurts not much when you're around
And if you hold on tight
To what you think is your thing
You may find you're missing all the rest


(lyrics taken from Best of What's Around by Dave Matthews Band. perhaps they won't mind.)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

10DOM: The time in between

There is that brief time between boy and man, where feet are firmly planted in each world. Like two desks slowly sliding across the tile floor, dragging you into a split, it beckons a choice about who you will become. Because you can not stay in both.

His fingers slide across the rough textured cardboard of the box sitting in the small patch of sunlight leaking into his room through the blinds of his window. Staring into the shadows of brown emptiness, minutes roll by as his mind wanders among memories.

Little army men peak above the rim of their container in the closet, reconnoitering the situation through plastic binoculars. Cars line up ready to race from under the edge of his bed, the gleam of their finish hidden under a thorough coat of dust. Posters of sports superstars, frozen in mid swing, wait for the roar of the crowd to overtake their momentum, propelling them around the bases. Each pleads their case, eventually finding their place in the box.

Each stair rings hollow, carrying him into the recesses of the basement to a corner all his own. One by one the boxes form a shrine to his former life, tucked away neatly for safe keeping and as he clicks off the light and pulls the door shut, his decision is made with the heaviest breath.

Returning to the room, the toe of his shoe finds the briefest resistance, sending a tanned leather orb spinning into the center of the room. Absently he traces the stitches on the old baseball, feeling the hits that go with each scuff, as hints of fresh cut grass nip at his nose. Placing it on the bed side table, his eyes cut to the EPT she left for him to find in his locker, a little pink cross of destiny winking back.

Some day they would play catch, and he would get to be a boy again.

Grabbing his backpack, he rushes out the door, off to school early to cram for the test, or he'll never get out of the ninth grade.

A little yellow post it note, floats on his wake, taking its turn in the sun, marred with black Sharpie scrawl of his girlfriend's handwriting: Now you can't leave. No one will find it, because they believe in giving him space, to work out the time in between.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

55 - vessel

your passion breathes
like slow fog across
the landscape of my skin,
leaving red trails of desire
stretching deep to my heart.

who do you see
behind your closed eyes
when we make love?

is it me?

or am i just a vessel
for your fantasies?

do you remember when
your eyes were once open?


Tell a story in 55 words. Want to give it a try or just read more, go see g-man.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Theme Thursday: Traffic

Exhaust pokes its finger into my mouth, like a dentist, smearing its metallic pate across taste buds deadened by overly hot coffee. Inch by inch, the caravan of steel and plastic winds its red light parade through green grass hills toward the haze of the city.

Everyone trying to get somewhere.

Tenuously, one hand digs into a shiny black attache searching for elusive notes among multi-colored charts and spreadsheets of numbers that read like hieroglyphics. Furrows form in the smooth grey steering wheel, as he grips for control, his attention drifting here and there. Meetings. Deadlines. Evaluations. Budgets. Promotions. Coffee sloshes from the cup between his legs unleashing a primal scream from deep within, sending an avalanche of reports into the floor board. His castles of sand all wash away as his sanity drips down his cheeks in tears.

Mommy, what's wrong with that man?

Can you please just sit down in your seat, hisses through teeth streaked pink with lipstick she applies in the rear view mirror. Her internal Outlook calendar scrolls across her mind...daycare, mom's meeting, doctors appointment, soccer practice, piano lessons, dinner party, Desperate Housewives, bed. A cascading domino of brake lights drags a lash of pink up her cheek, distorting her face into a gruesome smile. Mommy, you look like the Joker, echoes the way that she feels, as she looks for an exit ramp.

Sometimes, life can feel like traffic. Trying to get from one thing to the next, and everyone getting in your way, as they try to get from one thing to the next. There always seems to be one more thing to do. We make lists and check them off, marking progress toward the moment we can lay our heads on the pillow and lay awake, staring at the ceiling thinking about the next thing.

There has got to be a better way.

Finding a space in the parking garage, I pop the top from a red felt tip pen, scrawling Make room to truly live with the people you love, they will remember that more than the traffic across the top of my to-do list. Then add an exclamation point.

pumpkin patch


Even the clouds could not hold back the moment.
Smile.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Cleave

Jangling cow bells, jeers and cheers erupt, fists raise in the air, one finger extended...some for victory, other for shame. End over end, the brown leather ball streaks through the night, crashing into the arms of adolescent warriors, battling their lions on the coliseum floor. Crimson streaks join earth tone swaths, on the stretched white canvas of their padded uniforms.

Ave imperator, morituri te salutant...Hail emperor, those who are about to die salute you!

Jubilant cacophony overwhelms all, leaving only a quivering of attention against my thigh. Highlighted in blue, the numbers on my phone ring heavy with ominous portent.

Hello.

It is done.

Simple words, steeped with emotion, cut like a sword pulled slowly across my supplicant back, again and again.

What would it take for you to give up your child? To know that their life would be better with someone else?

You may imagine this in an impoverished country, where leaving will provide them with more resources, but not here. Not in your back yard.

This happens. And what hurts more is this feeling that it should, that I helped find the new home, picked out just for them, wondering how it ever got to the point I believe this is best. But right now, there is you and me...

How are you?

Crowds and conquest slip silently in the background, only our voices echo across the space between us, consoling and assuaging as we breathe hope for the moment. Clap, the sound of my cell phone closing, a resounding gong of finality, in the afterglow of sacrifice.

Little armored bodies run up and down the field of grass, victory ringing hollow, waiting on tomorrow.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

fairy tale

Tendrils of damp hair cling to his face as he looks up from the straw mat floor of his cell into the pale torchlight streaming through the lone barred window in the door. Sweat bathes his feverish skin, permeating the confining space with a sour musk. Visions dance before his eyes, transporting him to another place, where rat chewed rags become regal apparel.

He doesn't even know who he is.

Aye, but the king has pardoned all, for the night's royal ball. He'll be back soon enough.

Course hands grip his arms, dragging him against his protest, knees banging stone stairs in their wake. Eyes clench at the daylight, shrieking his body flies to land in a puddle, spraying refuse across his profile, matting his beard with the taste of earth. Scampering he flees into hustle and bustle of the town, caught in the fantasy of the evenings amusements.
_______

Perfumed and painted, the parade of upturned noses promenades past the disheveled fool begging by the entrance way, avoiding his wild eyes and intelligible pleas. Once through, the twinkling chandeliers and swirling vestments massage the accosting visage into witticisms at one who would present themselves so careless at the king's court.

Trumpets blare, signalling the entrance of the royal family and all eyes turn into their brilliance, as they descend from on high to join in the festivities. Minstrels fill the air with melody, the floors with dancing and smiles with joy, inviting all into their bewitching. The ball has begun.

His entrance goes unnoticed, a mere shadow under their sun.
_______

Her eyes, shimmering pools his heart drowns in, her hair like the sun as he orbits her beauty with his eyes, from the safety of the corner. Air leaves the room as the princess rises, sending hearts of young men galloping like colts, at the opportunity for a dance. Their sea of color parts, hope dashed to the rocks with each passing. Pale as the diamonds that grace them, her fingers beckon his crumpled form from the shadows, into the center of the parquet floor.

Disgust ripples through the throng, that she would stoop so lower in her choosing, even as his crusted hand takes her in the lead. Spinning and spinning, before their very eyes, a prince is reborn, washed in embrace of love's first kiss.

Is this a dream, he muttered.

No this is happily ever after, she whispered.
_______

Dad, did that really happen?

Well, something like that.

Mom was really a princess.

Doesn't she look like one?

Can you tell it again?

Sure...

Saturday, October 17, 2009

curb

little hands clench, tucked under my chin, supporting the weight of my thoughts, as i wait at the shore, where grass meets gravel road, staring into forever. my life is captured in the suitcase that i rest upon, the toes of my shoes push blades of green grass into nappy tangles to match my windswept hair.

what will i do with the rest of my life?

i have never ran away before, so i do not know what to expect, out here is the vastness of the real world. perhaps a car will come by soon and whisk me away to strange and new places, where i can join up with a band of ruthless pirates and sail the ocean blue in search of gold and booty. or catch a ride on a rocket ship, to colonize a distant planet where bulbous purple plants are hollowed out to make homes for round yellow aliens, with eyes on rubbery stalks.

i thought you might like something for the road.

teasing on the breeze, the tantalizing aroma of chocolate chip cookies perfumes the air, the white plate with floral print twining around the edges cool to the touch. their fresh out of the oven warmth spreads through me, reaching the tight little knot that has curled in my heart, slowly pulling strings that make it unravel. i can't even remember why i wanted to leave.

if i stay, can i have another cookie?

so we do.

home is a place we look to escape when we are young, only to spend our elder years trying to get back to. if you love them, sometimes you have to let them go, but keep the door open so they can catch the scent and find their way home. and perhaps that helped me come back, all those years later. for love, a knowing hug and a warm chocolate chip cookie.
__________

Today is my one year blogoversary. It's been a great trip, thanks to all the friends I met along the way. You have added to my life in ways you may never know. I look forward to many more adventures.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

55 - crunch

crunch...crunch...crunch...

silver spoon clinks
against the white breakfast bowl,
excess milk slurps
back into the pool
among the remnants of the cereal.

crunch...crunch...

sometimes we don't ask questions,
not because we fear the lies,
but because we are afraid
they will tell us the truth,
so we hide behind the newspaper.

crunch...

Tell a story in 55 words. Want to give it a try or just read more, go see g-man.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Theme Thursday: Climate Change

An inconvenient truth,
left wing alarmist
liberal
clap trap
pointing to
another silent eco
extinction by
right wing corporate
conservative
filibusters.

is it a political
or
moral question?
maybe spiritual.
surely economical,
too cha-ching,
to clean
up.

perhaps if it gets
enough checks
in front of these
columns
it will get some
attention,
more than
hollow rhetoric.

no matter
where you
sit
on the fence,
know your convictions,
own your role.

one last thing,
the world
does
not
need
is another
loud mouth
spectator
pointing fingers
to clog up
the machine,
afraid to
get them
dirty.

climate change

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Victim

Pink, white and blue wads of gum cling the black metal undercarriage of the bench seats of the school bus, collecting grit in the wrinkles and creases created as they were pushed into position. Modern art or an analogy of life, my cheek drains the comforting cool out of the rubber floorboard where I lay, watching feet dangle in a morbid dance, teaching myself to breath again.

Carelessly swinging down the aisle, Mike had inadvertently on purpose caught me with his foot in that particular place that 13 boys dread a collision, for fear it will stunt your growth. Dirt and dust bunnies console me with each ragged inhalation, until their words rob the rest of my breath.

Did you hear about Ted?

Before guns became popular school accessories, there was Ted, my biology lab partner. Quiet and quirky, skinny as a pole, lost in a sea of faces, unless you were looking to clean your shoe. And many did. Few ever saw the brilliant creativity that only reared it's head in a limited audience. Mostly, he just existed.

What is the point in telling if it only encourages them more? When the only answers given at home are 'you need to learn to fend for yourself, be a man'?

Dust rose in ominous mushroom clouds, blue lights bathing the yellow school buses in their glow, as the brown patrol cars flashed into the lot. Sirens squeal in the ears of faces smudged to the window glass as flashlights, in gun belts, bounce against thighs racing toward time that had already passed.

Jangling metallic clatter echoes down the hall of lockers, a scalpel slips into the crimson pool leaking from the face of a boy, who pushed Ted, one last time.

We didn't see Ted for a few years, and then one day he was there, sitting next to me in science, again. Always something to say, but no one to listen.

Just another victim, falling on deaf ears.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Sometimes bliss

Light sneaks quietly into their bedroom, from the the bathroom in the hall, painting his portrait in a soft glow amid the depth of the shadows. Damp bristles of hair twist and curl against the green cotton pillowcase, deep breathes whistle, the sounds of sleep. Smooth as polished marble, the feather soft skin of his cheeks give way as a smile creeps across his face, leaving one to wonder what is going on behind those gently closed eyes.

Little boy, little boy,
what do you see?
I see fairy tale dreams
my friend gives to me.

Tufts of brown nappy fur peek from the crook of an arm, wrapped tight in a warm snuggling embrace of comfort. Cats eye buttons glitter, wide with delight. A lone brown paw, escaped from beneath the dish cloth blanket the boy had carefully tucked him into, rises and falls in rhythm with the heartbeats of his dearest friend.

Teddy bear, Teddy bear,
what do you see?
I see a little boy,
cuddling with me.

A crickets lullaby floats through the window on the moon beams, as I stand in the doorway, shoulder resting on the hard wood frame, content to watch the waves of his peace lap at my feet.

Sleep well teddy bear,
Sleep well my son.
A new day comes
at the edge of your dreams.

Bliss clings like frost on the corners of the window, waiting to be discovered, when we choose to see.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Otin's Reprise

A couple weeks back my good friend, Otin, did a marvelous parody of my blog. It's pretty hard to sit down and try to copy someone's style, especially when it comes to someone that is the master at twisting a story in such a creative way. No one does it quite like Otin. If you don't believe me, go check it out at Wizard of Otin. I will say this, out of anyone in the blogosphere, I would want Otin at my back. Take time to get to know him and you will understand. Without further ado...

Otin's Reprise

The cock stood erect and crowed at the encroaching dawn, signaling Matthew's final day. The last several months he had thought long and hard about what this day would bring, what he would say to give solace to those he was leaving behind. Retirement will do that to people, he thought, running his fingers across his freshly shorn head.

Steak and eggs arrived on a steaming plate, placed before him by George, his constant companion.

"Today's the big day Mr. O." George greeted him.

"Thank you George." he dismissed him thoughtlessly.

His meal grew cold, barely touched. His attention drawn to the picture of Janice, as he rubbed his finger across her face. Most of the color was gone, wiped away with each caress. She would be there today, to hear his words, to see him bid farewell to this life that had consumed him. She had such plans for the freedom she would now enjoy.

When they came to help him dress, he placed the picture on his pillow. His special suit had been pressed, just the right jewelry had been selected to present the proper image. As they fussed over him making sure all was as it should be, he thought about the time he and Janice had spent at the lake. The strawberry scent of her hair, the saltiness of her skin, lingered like a ghost in his memory.

"It is time."

The processional wound through the halls, making their way to the stage. Arriving they made last minute adjustments. Flanked by his men, he stood stoic as they read his accomplishments to those assembled. All eyes turned to him for his closing remarks. A hushed silence, no ringing phones, he turned to the spot where he knew she would be and smiled.

The curtain closed and with a slam like that of a closing door, the trap door gave way, dropping him seven feet and seven inches. One quick firecracker snap, and his body slowly turned clockwise with the unlikely grace of a ballerina at the end of his hangman's noose. For a full three minutes, Janice watched, no tears to stream down the jagged scars he had left on her face, until they closed the lower curtain.

That evening under a beautiful sunset with a glass of wine, she sat down to her computer. She almost missed it in her Blogger Reader, buried three posts down, the title Happy Hour Friday. Hesitantly she clicked, and once loaded read...

In Emails with RxBambi, a great friend of mine, we decided to co host a Friday post called "Happy hour Friday". Actually it started out as Happy Friday, but Hit 40 threw in the Hour part, and made the little picture! Friday is the end of the work week, and a doorway to free time and hopefully fun. Just list some things that make you happy, and Have a fun weekend! BE SURE TO VISIT RX BAMBI and HIT 40! :)

Here are some things that make me happy...

Today I am at peace for the first time in years.

I will be seeing you very soon, Janice.


Well that's about the best I can do, for the real thing go to Wizard of Otin! And for the record, he's really not psychotic, he told me himself.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Diorama

At the end of the cul-de-sac the road widens into a big round circle, where driveways lead out between the leaves of trees to quiet little houses, like spokes on a bike tire. Around the edges of the turn around, little puddles of gravel confetti gather, torn from the road and tossed to the side as cars spin around seeking their house or cursing a wrong turn. Too small to be considered rocks, but too big to be dust, they just are, on the outskirts of the grey expanse.

Down the street, across a sea of grass, through a black shutter framed window, a boy and a man sit at the kitchen table, a little world laid out before them on a piece of foam board. Mountains push up in various shades of green, dotted with yellowing grass, an adobe house thrust from its side, while three little Indians sit around a match stick fire.

We are working on a diorama.

Diorama is one of those fun words, that when it falls off your tongue again and again it makes you smile. Then again, maybe its just me.

So we are working on this life like reproduction of life before cars and prefab construction, before asphalt criss-crossed the beautiful face of creation, like scars of convenience. Before wild was tame and caged in the boundaries of national parks to be visited once every couple years on long holiday weekends.

When he gets this idea, lets add a waterfall.

Everything on our diorama is natural, so adding a blue construction paper stripe just does not fit, nor the silver backed wrapping paper left over from birthday presents. My MacGyver skills are not so great that we can add a fountain of running water, but there are these little shards of discarded gravel down at the cul-de-sac, that no one wants.

We take a little walk in the afternoon sun, wax paper Solo cups in hand, to gather our treasure and transform them to something like water. What once was discarded becomes something new, gets a new name and purpose, bringing life giving water to our plastic people. Redeemed.

A diorama is like a small representation of life.

Diorama. Diorama. Diorama. Diorama.

See you can't help but smile.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

55-park

leaves fall,
a shower of rainbows,
blazing in the blue sky sun.

laughter floats,
a crisp gentle breeze,
singing against upraised arms of trees.

sorry sir, but you have to leave.

loves free,
an old solider's plee,
slinging his rucksack across his shoulder.

cardboard reads,
will work for food,
humming my country tis of thee.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Theme Thursday: Collection

I came to visit you today, laying my head against the crunch of the grass, stretched out, superimposing my body over your memory. Some traditions say if you bind the mouth of the dead, it keeps the spirit from wandering, yet my fingers have pry loose those lacy shackles of ribbon. Drifting shut, my last glimpse the name etched neatly in the course stone, my own. We walk together again.

Old postcards and fading Polaroids flitter by like a flip book, pantomiming life. Memories best forgotten, taken out and examined, through the prism of my warm tears. The smells return dancing on the breeze, the bitter cold embrace of the old ways, of days with no return. Sweet nectar turns bitter, rolling across my tongue, wine from old skins, intoxication clouding the present making old paths glitter alluringly.

We had such good times, the seductress whispers, her breath upon my ear.

Loose soil falls from my fingers, feverishly digging until I wrap on the the solid confines of your sarcophagus. Nails screech against the force of my pry bar, relinquishing their grip, moaning against my desire. Stale air breathes from beyond, cobwebs clinging merciless to me, in symbiotic embrace. There you lay as I left you last, my collection of shame, still bound in the crimson ribbon like steel coins of payment.

Go back, this is not for you any more, live up to what you have already attained, leaks from your pale, cracked lips, though they are not your words.

Bringing you up out of your grave is pointless, oh ash of yesterday.

I am not who I once was.

So with strength, not my own, I cover you again.

Such sweet paradox, in death we find life.

Our lives take on the stories we choose to collect.

Collection.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

10DOM: Trapped

Pop....Sizzle...Pop...Pop...Sizzle...background noise echoing in the murky netherworld of her mind, dragging her back to consciousness. Earth, the gritty taste sours her swollen tongue as it makes its way around her mouth, pressing teeth for tenderness. Wincing, she sets off a wheezing cough, breath squeezing into her lungs, like flat balloons under the oppressive weight pushing down on her from all sides. Pushing her eyelids open, she is rewarded with further darkness. Only her fingers felt the stinging freedom in the open air against the sticky nubs were nails used to reside. Clawing furrows in the soil through the pain, she does all she knows to do....SCREAM!

Sunlight plays against the rainbow of leaves clinging to twisted branches, an artist playground framing the winding asphalt leading to home. Layers of voices, various conversations blend into a cacophony of noise competing with the songs pushing out of the radio speakers. The weekend was refreshing, among friends, a nice retreat from the daily treadmill of work. It would be nice to get home and fall into the crisp comfort of cold sheets.

Cresting the hill, black snakes of rubber create erratic waves in the asphalt, black smoke rising in a haze over the twisted metal of an overturned car. Time slows, warping to surreal as the screams pierce the silence that has fallen over our camaraderie as we pull to the side. Our soles tromp in rhythm, barking orders...call 911...stop traffic...first aid kit...someone trapped under the car...a lone bloody hand splayed, reaching for hope.

We are here, you are not alone. We are going to help.

Red rags litter the side of the road, where she lay staring at the fading blue sky, each breath taking her one step away from the bondage she narrowly escaped. Driving back to school, I looked down for one instance and...shock riddles her coherence. A long sirens wail heralds the arrival of the professionals, come to save the day. Returning to our van an eerie calm settles over us, reminding us of times we felt trapped.

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Accepting help has not always been easy for me, you can blame it on manhood, as evidenced by our lack of stopping to ask for directions, but I imagine we all struggle with it. Its so much easier to be the hero. Its a trap in and of itself, playing the self sufficient lummox. Really its about pride...showing you have what it takes or feeling you have to prove who you are.

There is an angel out there tonight that brought a tear to my eye when I opened an unexpected package in the mail and found a laptop. Thank you, I am humbled in my joy, no longer trapped by the one hour of time online at the library.

We all need help, sometimes we just have to learn to accept it.

Monday, October 5, 2009

bithday dreams

you are more like me
than your brother,
choosing to live in your fantasy world,
between your ears,
dancing through the living room,
the last action hero,
cape trailing in your wake,
battling the forces of evil
that lurk behind every chair.

you are more like me
than your brother,
content to live between the pages
of books, drawn deep
into their stories
only to find yourself
clinging tight to the rail of a ship,
skipping across the starlit sky,
en route to Neverland.

you are more like me
than your brother,
at that age,
seven.

Yesterday, Logan turned seven and brought to a close our mad cap dash through 10 days of birthdays. He is definitely our artist and dreamer. He has an amazing heart as well. Just the other day he came home with a note from the teacher that he was talking too much in class.

But they were asking for my help! Why do I get in trouble for helping people?

I didn't know if I needed to send him to his room, or fix him a bowl of ice cream.

Happy birthday buddy!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Mining

young love,
the space
between us,
pressed flat
to fill the gap,
reserved for
shimmering pools of
afterglow, after
the gentle whisper,
your skin
against mine,
dry kindling smoke
to consuming fire.

searching lips,
a cooling drink,
leaves thirst
for more, upon
my cheek,
our love
in the making,
turning round again
to fill the gap
of things left unsaid
secrets unshared,
forbidden to
bring up
leaving us
exhausted and
empty, even in
our most
intimate moments.

two people,
one bed,
worlds apart.

We have several friends that recently separated from their spouses. The similarity in their stories is scary...We just stopped. We were seldom physically intimate, but even before that we were disconnected, always running in different directions and then I was at work and...you can fill in the gap. Secretary. Client. Friend. Follower on Facebook. It's not like they jumped right in bed with the other person. It started because someone took an interest in them and they were not getting that at home.

They stopped being naked well before they stopped having sex.

Intimacy is about connection. Its about knowing and being known, about exploring the infinite depths of the other person; one conversation, one experience at a time. Its in realising that the only way you'll ever reach the bottom, is if you give up trying.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Lump

Before anyone walks in the room, there is clay. Lumps, torn for a greater whole, placed on brown paper towels, the kind you find in restroom dispensers at school. One sits in front of each chair, waiting under the lights, in the humming silence of anticipation.

Buzzing bees, people amble through the door in packs, filling the moments between breathes with boisterous accolades of acquisitions, conquests of portfolio performance, romantic escapades or last nights television shows they live through vicariously with vacant eyes. A few even rattle off tales of kids soccer games or this years vacation from three months ago.

Styrofoam squeaks, drooling brown java into rings around its base, absently one hunk of blue clay rolls to the center of the room, it's previous resting place now used to clean up the mess. A well intentioned shiny leather shoe finds it, dragging it into the carpet in a great smearing arc, until a throat clears like a bull horn squelch, bringing the room to order...

Use your clay to make something that represents you.

All the pretty words that once floated on the breeze vanish into the vacuum of air leaving the room. Every idea becomes crumpled paper balls cast at the waste basket of expectation. What do they want me to make? What will they think? What is the right answer?

Even the crickets have gone quiet, then one black suit, harrumphing in frustration rises to the occasion, belching under his breath of better things to do as he pushes through the door, escaping to a sterile world of spreadsheets and emails, where he does not have to think about who he is.

Because in the midst of everything else,
he has forgotten.

What will you make with your clay?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

neighbor

why are we taking food to her house?

well she needs help.

why does she need help?

she is sick and can't get out to get food for herself.

what about her husband?

he died a few years ago.

so she is alone?

streaming through the window, a sun beam illuminates the dancing particles of dust, that once would have caused her angst to clean, but now keeps her company in the barren silence. fingers trace the pattern on the olive blanket, just to experience the feeling of another against her parchment skin. tired eyes turn to birds on the wire, an audience to her days, what may be left before she sees him again. running a whitening tongue across her course lips, she reaches for the solitary glass of water, standing sentry on her bedside table, a refreshing break in the day.

do we know her?

not really, just someone that needs someone.

hmmm...