Thursday, December 31, 2009
a crumpled receipt,
meager few coins
on the bedside table,
nor sparkling diamonds,
a castle humble
no promise of tomorrow
not mine to give,
all i have
to lay at your feet
but you don't
ask for more,
tell a story in 55 words. give it a try or just read more, go see g-man.
i hope you all have an amazing new year. thanks for making this last one incredible.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Blue fuzzy pajamas slip slide on the glossy finished wood kitchen chairs, as I wiggle in the uncomfortable light of morning. My aunts house feels strange, being here so early for breakfast with my cousins. King Vitamin reigns from the middle of the table, amusing us with the stickers once hidden under the kernels of cereal, now adorning the box like graffiti. This is the day a grandparent dies, yet I am too young to really understand the cold touch of those skeletal fingers.
Death forgoes its equine friend, when next we meet, choosing instead a shiny red firetruck.
Crisp uniforms stand at attention, lining asphalt roads, holding traffic at bay as we parade passed crowded intersections. I watch them watch me through the window of the car, in my new suit. It never felt so tight, constraining each breath that is lost with each hand raised in honor. This is the day another grandparents dies, and the touch still sends shiver every time I meet a fireman, and remember.
Clip, clop, clip, clop...I hear him come so many a time, taking mothers, children, friends...leaving only history in his wake.
Try as we may, we can not keep his hand away, only keep him from strangling the life out of those left living. Choosing to live on in memory, rather than walking dead in his shadow.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
looking at him, you would think he was quite normal, at least as normal as any of us, but when he opens his mouth to sing, well that's a different story.
if he hits a note somewhere in the same zip code as the band, its a good day. but even on the bad days, his smile could light up Times Square on New Year's Eve, as he draws out the last few notes into those precious moments of silent reflection after the instruments have quieted.
is he intentionally drawing the spotlight to himself, slapping the face of those that imagine they have talent, or is he just trying to make legs twitch as his high notes reverberate, like box cars coming to rest after a train wreck, across ear drums?
he doesn't notice the starched shirt stares, behind eyelids drawn closed. lost in the intimacy of the moment, his adoration bellows across his cracked lips, as he sways to an unheard beat, singing songs without words to an audience of one.
perhaps its his passion that disturbs them the most, shattering their solemn status quo.
his voice sounds like ball bearings gargled in a steel trash can.
a joyful noise.
Monday, December 28, 2009
and bronze, presented
to a small child on a birthday,
now tarnished, collecting
dust, behind silken
to the wall, unable to make
change for the two
has to give.
the weight of his
diagnosis, and cookie cutter
with each false
prophet who visits
her village, to tell stories
of hope by the one
well, shared by
way, as another
new year slips into the sun
without a resolution,
once found, now
lost at the
dish, on everyone's
bedside table, waiting for
someone to get
of them. find
your penny, enrich
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Dead air still makes a sound...
Silence screams from the black eye of the television in front of me, the same empty silence that leaks from our phones, computers, nearly all the communication we had come to depend on prior to the event. Nothing worked afterward. Cars sit by the side of the road, slowly succumbing to rust to be blown on the wind, few dare to walk among them out of fear for their lives.
Memories of my eldest boy drip down my tired cheeks, he can't be dead...
Nomads fleeing across the country in search of food or shelter carry news of a smooth walled miles -long crater where Washington, DC once stood. We don't allow them to stick around long, only offering scant food, lest they turn on us, taking what little remains of the meager garden we were able to grow this last year.
Five years, three months, fifteen days...and I still leave the television on, fearing if I turn it off will signal the end of my hope...
Tight weave upholstery gnaws my backside, nerve endings becoming comfortably numb in my sitting, waiting...until a bright light blossoms, spreading across the television showing the face of a gaunt man, I might once have known...
Greetings, this is Paul Maloney, former President of the United States. Over five years ago, all world leaders and their respective capitals were torn from the very Earth, and transported to a patchwork planet made up of that which had been taken. We were given one directive, 'when there is only one, you will be returned.' Today 198 of us return, out of the nearly one million people...our folly was great in thinking the only way to accomplish that goal was through aggression. Too late we learned it could be achieved by coming together. Today marks a bold new direction in World history...
How do you think they will feel when they find the depths of depravity and degradation the world they left behind has sunk to?, sneers a voice from the door frame, spoiling the room with sour tobacco breath.
There is always hope, my mind clings by fingertips to the notion my boy is still alive and the world can be different.
Says the man duct taped to his recliner...to the man about to take his very life. We have loaded up all the food we could find and will be on our way soon.
Where is my family?
Your wife is coming with us, your boy was no longer needed...just like you, he smiles, bringing his gun level to my face, the abyss of the barrel sucking my will to continue...
Somewhere west of the Blue Ridge mountains, a television drones deep into the night...
...World Congress allocated undisclosed funds for the War for Peace...world leaders vowed to eradicate all opposition, chasing them to the ends of the earth...in other news, the New York Yankees opened the gates today for the first baseball season in nearly six years...
Dad, when we returned...when I found those men here...it was never supposed to turn out this way. We had such hope for peace. I thought it would be so different after what we went through...
I know Tom, patting his hand, my eyes trace across the front yard, passed the white markers where my wife and youngest son are buried, to the mountains beyond, but there is always hope...somewhere just over the horizon.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
drag through the
stirring black flakes
of used to be
rising in the breeze
shiny gold, and
green, red, blue
slip from the tree,
with used to be
until next season
as if the season
became the reason,
bringing all good things
to an end,
with a sigh of relief;
in the shadows
of the basement.
It always amazes me how quickly things return to the way the used to be as soon as the holidays are done. It is a choice.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Hey, stop that lady...a crowd of eyes cut a quick glance before faces turn, enough of their own business to tend to in the rush to collapse exhausted when the holiday finally arrives. Auburn hair flows in her wake like the train of a dress, caught in a warm breeze.
Excuse me, excuse me...anxiousness intoxicates his movements, making them clumsy as his efforts to part the sea of humanity only leaving him further and further behind. Questions taunt his thoughts with possibilities if he fails to reach her.
Hey...a window opens, adrenaline fuels his flight, a lone fingernail drawing a slight touch upon the elbow of her black coat.
What...stress hisses through each syllable, her eyes rake the entirety of his person like sand, finding naught and reflect that back upon him in an unseen wave.
You dropped this...soft textured leather of the wallet, a sharp contrast to the rough pads of his hand. Stark silence sits between them, oxygen snuffed from her lungs, as she wraps her well manicured fingers around the lost, now found.
Happy Holidays...his whisper fills the void, a twinkle escaping the corner of his eye. A softening smile accompanies the quick turn on her heal as she heads to the door once again, leaving the man in his wheelchair in the aisle, a rock in the stream of people caught up in the chaos of Christmas.
Merry Christmas...our eyes meet as I slip from the clothes racks, an unspoken understanding passing between us, that joy comes not in how they respond but in the simple act of giving. I swear I hear a Ho, Ho, Ho, as he wheels out of sight.
I hope all of you have a magical holiday season. A year ago, I never would have believed where this blog has gone in the last year and all the wonderful friends I would make. You give me smiles each day with your comments, emails and the occasional phone call. Knowing you is one gift that won't fit under my tree. Thank you. ~Brian
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
and amber fur
eyes wide, in shock
stare into blue sky,
gasping lungs fill
with frigid air
each heartbeat paints
the white blanket of snow
a brilliant crimson
paws soiled brown
scramble for freedom
from the cold steel teeth
gnawing at his leg
slow grey fog creeps
from the edge of sight
offering warm release
do i free you
from the trap
or let you sleep?
are you more afraid
of dying or being freed
and the pain
it would take to heal?
fear in shattered color.
Monday, December 21, 2009
with grey and white stripes,
perfect projectiles of
frozen white crystal.
into wailing screams,
as a shovel
full of snow
passed his knit scarf
its way underneath
his warm layers.
throwing snow is
so much fun
until you take
a hit yourself;
Sunday, December 20, 2009
her whisper rides the shivers
it creates down my neck.
pulling her close,
I breathe heavily me too
hands slide to her pillows
what can you say in 160 characters? Go see Monkey Man.
Note: Snow ended somewhere around 16-18 inches, with some drifts up to two and a half feet. We are dug out, if the snow plow would just stop refilling the drive way. Its amazing how much a little shoveling, snow ball fighting and castle building will take out of you. Sleep well.
Saturday, December 19, 2009
If you are reading this then it has happened...
precariously made my way home, fearing capture less than the thought of what could be worse...
already communications have been cut off...
no Internet until we can reach the outside world again...
forces are amassing for a final reckoning...
Cryptologist Analysis: received 14 inches of snow in the last 15 hours. Supposed to snow the rest of the day. No Internet at house, so will catch up when we dig out. Snowball fight to ensue.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
burns the tips
of his fingers,
as they play
at the corners
of the folded
paper, in the
pocket of his
she lay, asleep
in her beauty,
tears drop like
hot coals to
her already cooling
i love you...
nothing haunts us
like things left
Tell a story in 55 words. Give it a try or read more, go see g-man.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
A great barrier stands before us, separating what we knew was on the other side, before its erection, and the current ramblings of our vivid imaginations. Seemingly over night we had been cut off from what was beyond, as if it slipped into existence on the same magical trail as the snow, that now paints the landscape in pristine white.
On tip toe, our fingers trace the ragged edge of the fresh cut boards forming the curtain at the edge of our awareness. Why did they put this up? Are they keeping us out or keeping something in? Our minds waltz in ever greater circles of mystery.
Fingers stiffen as our gloves saturate from packing snow, forming a ramp between the base of the hill and the peak of the fence. Orange plastic sleds waiting at attention for their moment of glory to arrive. More snow...more snow...we bellow to young cousins and siblings now turned into indentured servitude to our cause.
Wind pricks pink cheeks as we race down the track toward toward what lies beyond, hearts thudding out drumbeats of anticipation to the moment we take flight...we will breach the veil together, one right after another.
In that moment of weightlessness, after leaving the ramp my life flashes before my eyes in fast forward...
a needle rising quickly on a speedometer...
a hand slipping past the waistband...
a gurgling inhalation in a smoke filled room...
a lie told innocently to save face...
to history written by the decisions we make, the boundaries we cross without thinking what lies on the other side...
Until you land in a heap of bodies at the base of the fence, that is deeper than where you came, and the only one that notices is the rather big dog that raises his head curiously...and seems to smile.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
You can make something if you would like...
Cardboard shushes across the carpet, as Cole pushes the box of wrapping paper and bows down the hall to our room. Lips curl into a grin, as he peeks through the crack in the door before closing it, lock snicking into place.
Thirty minutes slip silently off the hands of the clock...
Without fanfare, he walks, arms laden with bright colored packages to the tree. Arranging the odd shaped presents to fill in the gaps, each one adorned with names scrawled in Sharpie, barely legible. His vibrant smile makes the tree lights seem pale, in comparison.
Now you have something to open on Christmas...
All the books on my bedside table are gone. I guess I will finish them after Christmas.
But that's alright with me.
I already received the greatest gift...his heart.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Pealing back warmth of furry blankets, my toe slips to the floor, testing for tattle tale creaks from the floorboards. This will be the year that I actually sneak into the living room seeing what Santa brought before anyone wakes...
Silent as a stirring shadow, I creep to the door, peering into the hall that stretches like an inky river passed my parents room to the front of the house. Sliding my feet along the baseboards, where nails hold the floor firmly in place, ensuring no clatter would arise to wake ma' in her kerchief or pa in his cap, stealth becomes my accomplice.
Boom. Boom. Boom. Every move echoes inside my head, in deference to the silent night. Inch by inch, my eyes never leave the mounds created by my parents under the covers of their bed, until I slide beyond their door. Relief spills across my trembling limbs as the rest of the hall is traversed furtively.
As I turn the corner to the living room, my dreams of hours of blissful play are interrupted by the glowing apparition staring deep into my soul. Pride leaks down the leg of my pajamas, my skin shivering under his gaze. What passes for a mouth gapes in a horrible snarl, fetid breath washing my face in its warm embrace.
Subtlety shatters like a dropped tea cup, my foot falls pound hasty retreat, leaving my screams to trail behind, waking the entire house from its long winter's nap...
In the bright morning sun, my brother snickers as he punches his new glow-in-the-dark inflatable Hulk punching bag...leaving me to the ghosts of my folly.
Ho. Ho. Ahem.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
snuggles in blankets,
tiny hands clench
to grab the world
in their embrace
down the hall
open finally taking
nothing with them.
What can you say in 160 characters? Go see Monkey Man.
Thoughts after being in the hospital all weekend with my mom. She is being released this afternoon. Thanks again to all the love and support.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
I mean my first kiss in high school, and it leaves me black and blue. She smells exotic like, ripe fruit left on the street corner in the sun. Intoxication leaves me wide open, for the stiletto to slip between my ribs. Then she uses it to pick me from between the treads of her shoe.
I barter my first kiss in college for road trips on a streetcar, whimsical one night dances beneath a somber moon. Love is free, so why shouldn't it be me? No strings or fine print hidden in the margins, yet while lips are full, each heartbeat echoes in the emptiness.
I give my last kiss in a shower of pure driven snow, and it ruins me from ever seeking another. She smells like a breeze, blowing across waving fields of wheat under blue skies. Each day we relive that moment, one more kiss...as if its our last.
(On a completely different note...update on my mom: She came through surgery nicely. They put a plate and four screws into her leg, along with some wire. Wrapped it all up in a cast for Christmas...or it will look like Christmas when the grandkids are done with the markers and paint. She starts PT tomorrow...and the road to recovery begins. Thanks for all the warm thoughts, prayers and wishes yesterday. I felt the love.)
Friday, December 11, 2009
moms face down advancing hordes of bullies to save their kids.
moms wade into battles, dodging sticks and stones, to pull their kids out of the woods before they get hurt...by their ear.
moms go without sleep for days on end to watch over ailing children, never tiring in their vigil.
moms drive through a blizzard, in the middle of the night, to pick up their son from the hospital.
moms are always there when you need them.
moms...hurt sometimes...and as a son its hard to see.
mom and dad came to visit tonight and on the way down the stairs to go to bed, mom fell. for the first time, i had to use my first aid certification for something more than a band aid, on my mom. for the first time since having her last child, my mom is in the hospital.
i am pretty sure she broke her leg.
for now, we sit and wait in a white wall room, with a green and purple curtain, speckled linoleum tile floor...
and a mom that's hurt.
thoughts and prayers appreciated...
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
in their creation,
given chance to breathe
on mid-winters eve,
set to dance
on blustery breeze.
Each one unique
until we remake
in our own image,
with these two hands.
Snowflakes and lovers...
Well trimmed nails pick at the table top, passing the time as he waits. Turning his gaze with each jingle of the gold bells hanging on the door or the diner, wondering how to unshake the snow globe that has become his life. Silent prayers crowd his table for two, all for the chance at saying he is sorry.
Each tear feels like a snow flakes kiss upon his soul. Delicately her arm slips in the crook of his arm as they rise to leave, ready to face the long walk up redemption's hill together.
I can't help but sigh, as I flag down the waitress to freshen up my coffee, and hope my happy ending is the present they receive this Christmas.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Distant rumbling thrashes through the forest surrounding us, breaking our meditative journey. Dragging our kayaks onto a beach, we trace a tributary with our curiosity, hiking into the unknown. Rumbles becomes thunder,as we round the bend to the base of a majestic waterfall.
Scrambling for purchase, our hands and feet coalesce into an intricate dance bringing us closer to the mouth of the cave from which the water plunges. Stringy hair mats to our faces, muscles sting from exertion and the cold kiss of the cascading falls.
Exhausted we sit on the precipice, watching the water throw itself to the fates of gravity. Life leaks between us in so many words as we gape at the beauty of our surroundings, counting all our blessings, between friends.
I think we are going to start trying to have that baby we have been talking about...
For a while we just sit, silent in the warmth of his declaration, staring into tomorrow. There is no doubt that all is right in our worlds.
Two weeks from now, he will leave his wife for his ex-girlfriend and her lesbian lover. Walking through the threshold to a new life, he will never answer my calls or emails again, leaving me watching as all he had crashes into the hard stones at the base of the falls.
Forsaking all, he sought more...
These thoughts were brought back too me as I read the news recently of Tiger. His story makes the news because of who he is, but there are so many more left untold. It leaves me wondering if following your heart is really all that wise, at least without consulting your head...and maybe an honest friend or two.
Once you cross that threshold, its hard to go back...
Monday, December 7, 2009
This finger is me, the one revolving around it is the world. The quicker you realise this the easier it will be for us to work together.
Obscenities roll around my head like pin balls, as I rub my hand across my face to keep them from surfacing. My fingers work into the soft flesh around tired eyes, ending in a pinch at the bridge of my nose, feigning thought..
Why do I put up with this?, my subconscious pleads for an unspoken answer.
His eyes probe my feeble facade, a growing impatience bubbling behind them with teeth baring menace, to match the coy smile curling his tight lips, begging me to just say something...
You know, I've had enough..., vehemence trembles along the pitch of my voice.
Blood drains from the soft tissue of his cheeks, leaving the ghostly pallor of shock in its wake. His voice, the slow whine of a pierced balloon, follows me to the door...Come back here!
Not today, a hushed whisper to the man in the mirror, as I click off the light.
I had a boss once that did the finger trick mentioned here, I guess we can be a little less obvious, or honest with ourselves....at times.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
the sharp blade
of the well worn
releasing flakes of soap
at His ankles,
is inside: me,
not to scream.
What can you write with 160 characters? Go see Monkey Man.
Transformation is rarely painless.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
I saw my husband everywhere that first year. Running mad cap into our coffee shop after glimpsing him placing an order, he turned to my anxious voice, stealing my breath, only not to be him. I saw him at the bus stop, only he never rode the bus. The gym. Across the room at Christmas parties, just like the one at our house, the night the police came to tell me...
I finally gave up chasing ghosts, afraid I might find him, after so much time.
They never found his body after the plane went down, only so much twisted metal and molten plastic clinging to charred stumps of once regal trees. I often wonder where he went.Did some higher power whisk him away, sparing his pain, only to torment me? Is he really gone?
On a bad day, I still ask these questions.
I met Jon three years later through a well meaning friend. He was quiet and gentle and I needed a warm body to replace the corpse I slept with each night, in the hollow space where Ethan used to sleep. The boys needed a father, to teach them things men teach boys to make them strong. Jon never did that, he was only a body, a place holder in the equation of life, that led to division.
The day Jon leaves, I start driving and do not stop for days.
I find myself staring at the hard surf, wishing the ocean waves would carry me away or pummel me against the rocks. I don't know what town I ended up in, road signs were no longer important, as long as the asphalt led away. Coming to the end of roads, I parked behind a dumpster and stumbled my way across the sand to the sound of the waves.
I am still looking for Ethan...
...pathetic, I know.
Be sure to check out part two here.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
people in glass houses
if you try to shatter
then people would
see the one who
in the first
the walls of my broken house
were made of
then you would see...
Tell a story in 55 words. Give it a try or just read more, go see g-man.
This one is for all the kids that hide behind couches and need a friend to see...
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
in a shallow puddle;
make believe motorcycles
around the basement,
we fell exhausted
onto the couch,
pushing its texture
into our rosey cheeks,
denying our Nature,
the power of her tears.
my every day friend.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Which isn't all that bad, except I am naked.
The years between boy and man are tenuous, navigated like a class five rapid without a paddle, at times, caught between immature impulse and proving yourself worthy of the mantle born by your forefathers. Add a couple rowdy friends into the blender and you are left with a Molotov cocktail of foolishness, just waiting on the matchstick of pride to be struck on a best laid betcha won't and double dog dare ya'.
This is how I find myself running naked on Calhoun Street, a dark lit quiet road on the edge of town, most nights, except tonight it is my twentieth birthday, and I am just carrying on a tradition of attention craving thrill seekers.
Sometimes when you get what you are hoping for, it turns out nothing like you thought it would be.
Being naked is scary, particularly because of the reactions. Pointing and laughing does little for an already shrinking ego in the cool night air. Barely audible whispers by once thought friends, leave you wondering, and then an ambulance just happens to careen around the corner with lights flashing and siren wailing making sure the entire neighborhood is now staring out their windows at your display.
So, you run. And while bushes were great for Adam and Eve to hide behind, I imagine they were not running full speed when they attempted to dive into them. They are mildly more forgiving than if you would have tripped on the sidewalk, but both tend to leave a mark.
Don't get me wrong, there is a certain freedom to letting it all hang out, hiding nothing, just make sure you are doing it for the right reasons and with the right people...you never know who might be coming around the corner, catching you with your pants down.
It helps too if you really have nothing to hide...but that would require making wiser choices in the first place.
This would be such a great metaphor, if it wasn't so true...
Naked, I ran.