Tuesday, February 15, 2011

One Shot: Blind Man's Bluff

tap, tap, tap, tap

blind men and busy streets don't mix
but there he stands affixed, a statue the
flow breaks upon, each person nibbling
a little dignity with every jostle in the
hustle and bustle but he cant stand the
thought of receding once more through
the cell door his home, he searched every
square inch on finger tips until bored,
suffocatingly lonely, hearing only the
ear worms digging in his brain, driving
him in...

the worms crawl in, the worms crawl
out, the worms play peanuckle on
your snout---

shout that he can't, or shouldn't
go out, least not without someone
to guide, protect or keep him safe,
they try to keep him little but these
escapes make his fingers twitch, grabbing,
stuffing (fresh) air in his pockets
for when he needs it later---he wants
to cross the street, to see if he can and

the worms crawl in, the worms crawl
out, the worms play peanuckle on
your snout---

blind, but not born this way, aren't we
all, so he knows what he's missing,
each day he plays the same game inching
closer, his bluff called by roaring
lions, lincolns and buses, chasing him
home defeated and busted---does anyone
notice? does it even matter?---but not
today, white stick in hand, tap, tap,
tapping nervous beats, he waits, worms
wiggling louder - LOUDER, stepping off
the shoulder---

tap
tap
tap
honk, screECH, THUMP!

temptation's tension sated, he's lying,
sprawled and smiling, silencing con-
science, unconscious, dying----leaving
you only to wonder, which voices
you're listening to---

the worms crawl in the worms crawl
out, the worms...the worms...the worms...

Woohoo! It's another One Shot Wednesday, time to pull out your poet pen and begin...write something poetic, poem-like and come join us at One Stop...

104 comments:

Lena said...

The less said about the voices I have to listen to the better...!

Brian - magnifico! You played a blinder! That little rhyme will follow me about, now......

CM said...

You did it again...what a tale. Sad but so true.

My favorite line, "stuffing (fresh) air in his pockets". Now that is truly good writing!

anthonynorth said...

This was excellently tense and edgy.

secret agent woman said...

Yikes! That's a gruesome end! Poor guy.

*pinochle :-)

Timoteo said...

This wormed its way into my heart!

repressedsoul said...

Poor guy indeed :( Excellent story poem though Brian. Really enjoyed the read.

jen revved said...

i see much growth here in your diction and imagery, Brian-- I think the poem's more effective about his alienation and loneliness-- that in itself is the same or worse than being hit by a car-- that seems to me to maybe undercut poem's power a bit, but overall it's a fine effort...xxxj

Arts web show said...

Excellent writing here Brian
Rather epic in the way it was told

Arts web show said...

Excellent writing here Brian
Rather epic in the way it was told

Claudia said...

yes - definitely can see him..excellent write brian and i think the image i like most is when he's grabbing and stuffing fresh
air in his pockets..for when he needs it later...i found myself in this

David Allen Waters said...

another sad, truthful, brilliant tale...

rosaria said...

Ouch! His bluff was no bluff at all; a certain suicide, for sure. What made you think of this?

dustus said...

Morbid on the surface, brilliant, didactic...

"temptation's tension sated, he's lying,
sprawled and smiling, silencing con-
science, unconscious, dying"

The way lying branches off—very well played, and speaks to fears many of us have. Excellent mix of metaphors with descriptions.

Eva Gallant said...

wow! I love the way your mind works.

Carrie Burtt said...

I see it Brian....the lesson and the irony....you are brilliant indeed! Hope all is going well for your these days. :-)

Carys said...

Wow! You guys really are setting the bar high tonight. This is the fourth poem I've read on One Shot that's really blown me away. Such a relate-able tale, We are all standing on the sidewalk, waiting to take the leap into the traffic.

hedgewitch said...

Alright--I confess you *blind* sided me with this one, I was not expecting the dark to claim total victory here...or did it. Nice twisty ending.

Caribbean Fool said...

Fantastic poem. Your efforts at illustrating sensory deprivation through the POV of the blind added a strong sense of realism to the poem. Very much enjoyed reading your work.

crb.

signed...bkm said...

well the worms will be busy now...we can never truly rely on our senses even if we so called have them....the worms are always in wait of a mistake...bkm

Ami Mattison said...

I love this, Brian! Some really nice images, especially "stuffing (fresh) air in his pockets" and "his bluff called by roaring/lions, lincolns and buses, chasing him."

While I suppose one might say deaths of this sort are always tragic, the real tragedy here is his imprisonment and alienation. I like the ending in which he is "smiling, silencing conscience" Great story, imaginative write!

PS--The poem you posted yesterday inspired me to post an old performance piece for One Shot.

Dulce said...

just so as not to repeat what the others so well have reviewed on this other masterpiece of yours... I know blind men (or women) when not born as such after a while they DO forget what it was like when they could see... so i doubt they know what they are missing... and though this is true, it is also a metaphor so suitable to your own!
:)

Daniel said...

This one grew into a nice crescendo for me. Better to break out of the control of others even if by gaining our freedom we lose our lives.

TALON said...

The repetition of the worms - just lingers...and the image of the man taking his chances on living life on his own terms in his dark world - just amazing.

flaubert said...

Brian that was some twist at the
end. I thought he might make it
across. Excellent write.

Pamela

Me said...

Ready for it?

This is my new favourite. :)

(Sheesh...how many times have I said that?!?)

lori said...

You're such an amazing storyteller. You are.

"temptation's tension sated, he's lying,sprawled and smiling"

So many more lines I could love on, but I'll leave some for the others...

Great job again and again and again :)

River said...

You have covered a lot of ground in this poem from voices in ones head to a chorus they might be giants would sing. Actually your worm reminds me of theirs. great one shot!

liv2write2day said...

Masterful, Brian. The part that struck me most--the insight that we all are born with vision but become blind(ed). Lots to think about in this parable poem.

Lori said...

"leaving you only to wonder, which voices you're listening to"
...simply amazing my friend!

Big Sur Blogisphere said...

Sorry. I have a hard time writing about that kind of stuff and I have a hard time reading it, too. Maybe if it evoked compassion, or had a noble point to it (even if tragic), it would be redeeming for me. But I didn't feel that. So why are you a poet? What do you stand for? At my age, I see that life is short. What do you stand for?

Tiger Windwalker

Old Ollie said...

Nice - you alway blast out serious one shots!

Vicki Lane said...

I love the people you write about.

Thoughts Not Lost said...

Clever. Witty. And a write that will stay with me for awhile. Amazing job!

Tara Miller said...

Okay, so you're really challenging us with these last two poems. Taking chances, living outside of our safe, comfortable bubble. So many loud voices to be heard yet HIS is quiet and the one I want to follow.

There's so much said in this poem and a lot you leave for me to chew on. Great write love ;)

tattytiara said...

I'm so glad I'm a dog person. Mine's already kept me from getting run over, and my eyesight's fine! My attention span on the other hand...

Don't Want A Real Job said...

This is my favorite: "blind, but not born this way, aren't we
all"

Great work Brian, Cheers!

KB said...

Love the rhythme to this One Shot, Brian. Have a great night.

Sue said...

Cool, driving rhythm. I got swept up in that one.

=)

Diana Lee said...

I love the stories you tell, whether they be light or dark. No one's life is all happy light.

Brian Miller said...

big sur,

i may frame your comment, as i have said before i love crit...a bit about what his poem means to me...

you have a man who is uncomfortable in his life, he feels alone, he feels he is missing something, his desires call him to freedom, his thoughts try holding him back...now we all love our freedom...so instantly we think that is good adn the worms are evil...but is true freedom found in our ability to do what we want regardless of how other may feel or be impacted? change the context, the man is no longer blind, he just feels stuck in the relationship he is currently in...do you still cheer for him to follow his desires...change the context and it changes teh feelings evoked but still there remains the question...which voice do you listen to?

as far as writing dark...i used to always write happy...but i think in doing that we deny the reality...to question purpose or why i even write poetry...is a bit harsh because you are uncomfortable with the subject matter...but you made me think...which is ironically why i write...to make you think, to capture a moment...no matter what color of the rainbow it might be...

Glynn said...

Oh, those worms. (Shudder)

I like the repetitive use of the rhyme to punctuate the poem. Well done, Brian.

Carl said...

I felt as if I was there with the worms.

I believe poetry can expose us to raw truths, and this one really does this. It can tell us what it is like to be human, and again this one does this, so I am puzzled by Big Sur's comment - I don't understand it.

Brian Miller said...

just so you know...i spoke with big sur via email...and we have a good understanding of each other...

Asobime said...

Whoa. This is heavy, Brian.

Brilliant is the only word I have here.

Lady Nyo

Anonymous said...

Pray tell, what is "peanuckle"? Are you giving away "a's" now? ;)

I love you. I loved this. I love giving you grief because you give it back tenfold.

"blind, but not born this way, aren't we all,"

Brilliantly said. :) I dig.

- He who walks behind the D to the F. ;)

Magpie said...

This is my favorite line:
"each person nibbling
a little dignity with every jostle in the hustle and bustle".
I'm glad I read the interplay between you and big sur...very interesting. Open, honest discussion is always a good thing.

Bernie said...

Oh you are good, what a gift you have and I love how you use it and share it with us....:-)Hugs

Brian Miller said...

an just because i seem to like talking tonight...One Stop is a finalist for the Shorty Award for Art...so i am going to NY for the awards ceremony! yay! thanks to all who voted!!

Cinner said...

Congratulations on the award. I thought this was very thought provoking. lots of visuals, oh and those voices in our heads, well that is another story. you are a brilliant writer, I have thought that over and over.

Baino said...

Sorry no sympathy. I was blindsided by a blind guy with a cane on the metro. Literally brought me to my knees without so much as a 'sorry luv'. Actually my grandfather was blinded during the war. It has it's good side, I remember him feeling our faces every time we went over to 'see how we'd grown' rather tender moments.

Zuzana said...

Wow, very edgy today, very right there, hauntingly moving and the images you paint with your words are almost disturbing.
You really know how to make us think and feel, you are a painter - but you use words instead of brushes.
Have a splendid mid-week dear Brian,
xoxo

Mona said...

Better to open the 'can' and let the worms crawl 'out' than to let them gnaw you inside. I remember a story of how a sheep who preferred to break its pen to run free towards the mountains that echoed the sound of a wolf, than to remain captive in the pen.

Freedom comes with a price, but freedom is freedom...

But there are so many ppl who are so afraid of the ensuing responsibilities, that they choose to relinquish their freedom, for fear of the unknown, since the first step to freedom would require a leap in the dark, and the choice and thereby the responsibility will be yours.

marousia said...

Magnifique - I saw him, wanted to intervene but couldn't - this is so powerful

Valerie said...

Your insight is amazing, Brian, though I felt very sad as I read this.

the walking man said...

Time to walk off the curb if I ever get that full of fear. Oh yeah and have a good attorney ready to sue the shit out of someone so I have something to leave behind besides my fears.

Olivia said...

A rather dark one- but I guess very close to reality! Isn't this how the things often are?
This one reminds me how life goes on.. each person nibbling
a little dignity- very very familiar and ugly..

Great one here.. :)
Love xxx

budh.aaah said...

Short award for Art? Wow Brian and yayyyyy too. Congrats.
I loved this song and the dark longing for freedon in it..anywhich way...

sage said...

Wow, I was rooting for the guy to make it across the street, sensing the poem to be a metaphor for our need to get out and how we all can be blind, then the end... but it ends with a smile on his face and that's worth a lot

Jerry said...

fresh air in the pockets...sweet line. when I can visualize the person, the house, the busy streets, and particulars as I am reading ...it like a really good actor...I don't realized the actor is acting...I'm sucked into the story...this piece sucked me in.

kenny said...

Great words, wonderful read but, oh, how sad! How sad! Splat!

itslovelyannie.com said...

and enter "the Hearse Song" stage left...never expected that...the part you chose "the worms crawl in the worm crawl out" haunting...suffocating...the loneliness...

I love the pace of this piece and places where you choose rhyme...wonderful

BTW: I know that song by heart and can't stop singing it now
"don't you ever laugh as the hearse goes by..."
curse!

Happy one shot Brian...thanks for stopping in at the Tavern of Trnsformation

Lorraine said...

voices, unheard here, only suffocated because of people in know this story to tell, there are somany people
how brilliant again

Jill said...

Whoa! To be "trapped" like that..you really BUILT tension and I felt a bit claustrophobic reading...was it worth it? Taking the risk? To escape the worms?

Raven said...

*applause* Fantabulous! Love the little rhyme.

Birdie said...

hi Brian! I'm back right at time, what a poem and what a conversation it started ;-) Daniel's comment resonates with me ... I cannot wait to catch up all the rest of your art :-) have a wonderful day! and congratulation on going to NY!!! :-)

Rachel Hoyt said...

Fantastic! These lines gave me a good chuckle despite the very serious message:

the worms crawl in, the worms crawl
out, the worms play peanuckle on
your snout

Perhaps it's because I just woke up... perhaps its because (if it had existed) I think my grandpa would have sung it to me as a little girl... :)

Betsy said...

so good i read it twice! :)

Boom Boom Larew said...

It's a risk, stepping out into the abyss...

Kim Nelson said...

Compelling and then fufilling, Brian. Nice write.

Eric 'Bubba' Alder said...

(I see somebody already pointed out the proper spelling of "Pinochle")

Nobody would ever blame the man himself for the accident. Brilliant!

natalee said...

Ick.... but i started singing the worms go in.. everytime.. like i was in first grade..lol

budh.aaah said...

Oops 'Shorty' is what I meant :)

AmyLK said...

Oh wow! Poor man! A prisoner until the end

ModernMom said...

That little verse is going to be stuck in my head all day!!

Beachanny said...

A difficult read for me; well written and conveyed. I'm becoming so sensitive to disabilities. For some they become a prison and I want them to be free, have confidence, be brave but the backstory here is that he was in his own private prison and death comes to all. Excellent write.
Gay @beachanny

trisha said...

this was painful brian. really painful. :(

trisha

Just Be Real said...

Wonderfully written Brian. Blessings.

willowwishfree said...

well written and captivating... but the optimist in me cries. :/

ladyfi said...

Oh goodness - so sad and powerful!

ethelmaepotter! said...

My first comment was gone when I accidentally hit REFRESH instead of SPELL CHECK, but I'm glad it's gone, because it was a NOVEL.

Condensed version: What a great moving story of fear, loneliness, and the wish for freedom. For this man, it was something as simple as crossing a street that he couldn't see. But I know many 'blind' people - people who cannot, or will not see, and so, are prisoners in their own unhappiness. To say I've never been blind would be a lie.

Which voice, indeed?

This man chose the voice that encouraged him to find his freedom, to face his fear. Yes, it quickly lead to his death, but he tried. At least he died trying, and that, in the end, is what finally freed him.

Brilliant, Brian. Another of my favorites.

Jen said...

Someone get him a dog so he can get back out there! The isolation would be unbearable...

mama-face said...

This one will be my ear worm today. I'll try to stay home though.

TechnoBabe said...

There are so many good parts in this writing. I personally can picture so much in this because my father was blind. Your writing describes how someone like your character would want to try to cross the street.

allbtwnthelines said...

This? Was awesome. You painted a perfect picture of longing coupled with progressively losing touch with reality.

allbtwnthelines said...

This? Was awesome! Seriously. I felt like I was inside his head and I could feel his longing growing as he lost touch with reality.

Joanne said...

Brian. Indeed. A challenge to heart and mind, well formed and imaged. "Got me."

Jessica Kristie said...

You have a wonderful ability to tell a story. An excellent story I might add! ♥

Mama Zen said...

So sad.

Lynne H. said...

What can I possibly add that the other 88 folks have not already said..
I know, by far, hands down the best thing I've read all month.. Such an honest, sad, realistic, dark, wonderful piece.

Thank you and bravo!

Jannie Funster said...

Oh NO! Why didn't he have a dog?? A seeing-eye dog??

aMAZing poem, Brian.

xo

Steve Isaak said...

Sensory-rich, delectable work.

Kavita said...

I really got absorbed in this one, Brian... the rhymed refrain was just awesome!
The pace was well set, and the metaphor was simply splendid!
I think many of us saw a part of ourselves in that blind man on the road.. I wonder how long it will be before someone calls our bluff..

Great One Shot, my friend!

randallweiss said...

Nice work, Brian. I loved the image of him being "affixed." It's a beautiful pun, how we affix to ideas, objects (often visually).

The first time you mentioned the worms I was taken aback a bit, but the refrain then how it ended helped that make sense.

Betty said...

I like when you write 'dark.' Have a great trip to New York. Well done!

deb colarossi said...

You clearly know what makes people tick.
It's always an honour to read how you see.

Cheryl said...

Fantastic imagery here Brian. The tension was incredible.

kkrige said...

Now I have an old song by The Accused in my head.

the worms crawl in, the worms crawl out...

You are a dark man sometimes my friend.

Shashi said...

Hi Brian

Its rich... some times I wonder how to write words like you so close to the real life and flowing... how to make poetry out of real life things... day to day things... and common things.. you excel in this so much.. that you inspire me to write some of the stuff that you do... Thanks for sharing ... you shine so bright..

ॐ नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya
http://shadowdancingwithmind.blogspot.com/2011/02/whispers-night-along-sea.html
Twitter @VerseEveryDay

Shewriting said...

holy cow...awesome!!! the grabbing fresh air line was brilliant...your talent really shines through with this one, brian.

Terresa said...

An interesting take on a blind person's life, I like your command and control of language, admirable stuff!!

Syd said...

He escaped which was what he wanted to do. A good way to go.

Ténèbres à la lumière... said...

Hi! Brian...
While reading you poem so many words came to my mind such as...suffocating,exploring, wanting to function, to live, but being visually impaired being "held" back...I must admit that it's difficult for people who aren't visually impaired to function in this society. Yet along someone who is visually impaired.However, so many Of them do function in this society perfectly.

"blind men and busy streets don'teach person nibbling
a little dignity with every jostle in the
hustle and bustle..."


After reading this "stanza"...all I can think Of is two words...Rat Race!!!!
Thanks, for sharing!
DeeDee ;-(
[I truly hate that he had to die in order to be Free.]

Marla said...

I just saw T's comment. I love your wife. I truly do.

Marla said...

One last comment because I am a chatty girl tonight.

"change the context, the man is no longer blind, he just feels stuck in the relationship he is currently in...do you still cheer for him to follow his desires...change the context and it changes teh feelings evoked but still there remains the question...which voice do you listen to?"

When we feel stuck in relationships, in circumstances, in life, that is when we MOST need to be cheered on to look inward, to find the truth, to deal with the person inside. That is where real freedom and the true change we seek is hidden. That inner, still, small, voice is the only One worth listening to in the end. Following our desires is not always wrong it's just that they change with the wind. Truth never changes. It sets us free.

Thanks for letting me put my 2 cents in.

We love you, Brian.