23 December 2009

"Weak Hands" #Fridayflash

Sinew and bone will not show through gentle kid-gloves, nor will they express the sensibility of a brethren savior; the one that gripped tight enough to cling desperately to a shimmering thread of meaning something.

White knuckles clasped over a sweat-smeared steering wheel, clad in worn leather. To brush away the slick and bitter ice that has formed around the corners of life. To punch a proof of existence into surreality. To point out the mistakes borne by a misspoken word.

Weak hands can't hold on to what was not meant to be.

To embrace the child that never was.

To caress a cheek or a cup of coffee—low, fresh, and steaming between the fingers.

The bird.

A thumbs-up.

Certain polite applause to display approval of a despondent recital.

Pallid palms-up alongside the white stripe of a faded love.

Inspired by Chevelle's song,"Panic-Prone"

18 December 2009

"Ablaze" #Fridayflash

Daniel met me for lunch, after we were assigned desks. His eyebrow shot up as he scanned the titles of my CDs. I plugged in my little stereo under my desk, stood, and dusted off my hands.

'What kind of music do you like?” He said, “I'm trying to get into this younger generation of music.”

“What do you mean?” I asked, “You can't be a day over twenty-five.”

He chuckled gently. “Thank you for that,” he said and thumbed through the selection of music.

“Well if you're not twenty-five and happy with the compliment, I'd have to guess that you're older.”

“A bit yes,” he said and laughed again.

“Aussie or English?” I asked, curious.

“I'm more than peckish. You can ask me over sandwiches.”

There were others in the cafeteria, but no males aside from the two teen boys from Orientation. Daniel sat in his seat, radiating sunshine, and the women were drawn by it. I rolled my eyes and took a gaping bite out of my roast beef sandwich.

“Daniel, our team is having a meeting at ten,” one plump woman said as she waddled by. I watched her undress him with her piggish eyes. I sighed through my nose and she jerked her hawkish nose at me, narrowing her gaze to pinpoint lasers.

You're not on our team,” she growled and stalked off.

“That's right Claire, I was going to tell you, I was picked for the other Admin team.”

“Customer?” I mumbled around a full mouth. He nodded and laughed again. He laughed a lot.

“Ah,” I said with a shrug, “I think I'll prefer Client Admin anyway.”

He nodded quickly and folded his used plastic wrap into a square, to deposit it in the recycling bin. I watched this with interest. A man with manners. No wonder the women loved him.

I came to call his team of overly round, ugly, lonely women, his hens.

“Does that make me the cock?” he asked one afternoon as we stood outside the back doors. I smoked, he didn't. He stood there with his hands in his pockets and watched the teen boys walk around the narrow edge of the fountain, holding their arms out for balance.

“I remember being that young,” he said, and I studied him to determine just what was wrong with him. He had wild chestnut hair, those ice-blue eyes. Big hands. My artist's eye appreciated their astounding grace. His fingers were slender and exquisite, like a concert pianist's.

“So how old are you anyway?” I asked. It was abrupt of me but he merely shrugged.

“I'll be thirty-two in August,” he said, his eyes meeting mine. “And you?”

I snorted. “Just turned twenty-three. Looks like neither of us is exactly our age huh?”

We shared gentle laughter. I opened my purse and pulled out a square sleeve.

“Here, before I forget,” I said. I had to smuggle the damned thing out of the house to avoid Ed's questions. He always assumed that I was seeing someone, on top of his other nonsense.

“What's this?' Daniel asked, taking it from me and turning it over.

“You asked about recent music.”

“I asked you what you liked.”

“You asked both,” I said, scowling in exasperation. “I made you a disc.”

His eyebrows pulled together and he looked from the envelope to me. His face erupted in a brilliant smile. I was tempted to look away, it was that grateful.

“Yeah, you're welcome. But if you're wanting the kids' stuff, best to ask Tweedledee and Tweedledum,” I said jerking my head in the fountain's direction. One of the teens almost fell in, but got his pants leg wet. I could hear him cursing from where I stood.

“No, I believe I'll stick with your material first,” he said and shook his head at the explicit language filtering over to us through waves of evening breeze. The sun set in that moment, setting the sky ablaze in a kaleidescope of vibrant hues.

We stood there, marveling at the display in our own separate way, Daniel rubbing his chin, me just standing there slack-jawed. My boyfriend and I never did anything remotely as compatible. I smiled, in spite of myself. It was a small comfort, and I realized that Daniel and I had potential to be good friends.

16 December 2009

Featured poem, "For M"

I might continue this trend, of featuring brilliance as time allows. This poem is not by me, but I am so very proud of her I must share it. - CC

by Christina Vincent

You leave me at a loss for words, which,
for me,
is bad business. You see,
words are all I know. Words
are how I know you. Still,
the memory of fire and solid darkness
leaves me shaking. Shivering.
So cold. You burn
so very cold.
Glowing as gold in a vault underground,
buried deep,
deep below
our feet, where
the sun cannot shine, and
the wind cannot
touch. Movement,
still and resonating. Your movement is
the toll of a bell to call the gods, the
thrum of a dying heart as it bleeds
onto the parched grave dust beneath.
What sorts of trees grow in
blood-soaked graveyard soil? What sort of
fruit would those trees bear?
A pomegranate, so
thick and juicy red, the seeds to settle
in the pit of one’s stomach to anchor
to Persephone, and you can
never go back again. A muse,
a demon, a lover sweet and deadly, a monster
of such exquisite beauty, wrapped in
shimmering gilded robes of poetry and caresses.
One bite, one slit, one
and everything is blackness. Everything is stars,
and everything sinks into arms
like stone.
A precious, feral gift. A dreaming
of a time not of this world
spoken in a language long dead
with tongues that know dialects
we’ve never heard.
We used to throw ourselves on slabs of rock and beg
for a taste of your voice, for your sweetened
devil’s breath in our ear
with whispers,
soft whispers
that tempt madness from dark corners.
A precious thing
as thick as blood
and slick as ice
that burns and bites like hellfire swathed
in empty darkness where nightmares whisper.
A muse.
Fuel another fevered dream
and let these tiny shivering hands
offer up another piece
of that twisted silver dreamscape
that holds stories together.

11 December 2009

"Tidal" #Fridayflash

The war is over, yet there's an explosion in my head. It’s a deep resonance among the chop-chop-chop of helicopter blades, and shouts of the profane and the dead. I move a muscle—I’m toast. I must stay alive. I will lie here forever if that is what it takes to survive.

Low bended grasses and broken reeds anticipate the crash and clamor of the next land-mine. I crawl on a belly full of MRE and rough-roasted coffee, M16A2 my shield and savior. The war is through, and I want to sound-off the cadence of a lonely soldier, but my mouth has lost all flavor.

I stare through the patterned walls over to the Other Side, where gruesome guard dogs snap frothing jaws and wag ragged tails. A place where sinking ships form a trail of strewn carcasses, like crustacean skeletons at low tide. There’s a rule to not skip, just patter over the xylophone bones as fast as I can before the bottom falls through and the pit gapes wide.

There’s a slow beeping in my ear, and somewhere next to my arm, a cool wire constantly feeding me the ocean.

I stand blanched on the severed shore and shake my head in slow motion at a memory. A spark of reasoning, wedged somewhere between my first kiss in the park and the last cigarette before my flight.

I let go my tidal breath and manage a weak smile as the wave inside washes darker than night.

Inspired by Chevelle's song, "Bend the Bracket."

Photo credit: RAYWAL65 from morguefile.com