29 January 2010

"Of Rust and Dead Sound" #Poetry

I know
that there is space out there
seated well between the scent and shape
of air
a tender repletion
a constant competition
of simmer and sweat and the best
plot yet
'Tho they wrestle the blood to the ground
I've found that there's nothing quite like

Dead sound.

Rattle bones and sweep the streets
this dark does ring
although not quite as sweet
As a fresh beginning
Better than the ending and
in between
the scenes and sheen of a newborn friend
I found bells to ring heavy and
Rust in dust to bring
Me, simply.

28 January 2010

"Unwanted" #Fridayflash

A brief span of mockery
thus defined their outlaw ways
tempted by love and lust drained
through the hole at the bottom of their fading hearts.
They held hands together every moment; clasping
fingers sensitive to learn
that the body is hopeful,
but only the soul perseveres. - "Unwanted" Carrie Clevenger

It'd snowballed, this gigantic mass of chaos. A subtle hint as to their futures as human beings. Bones lengthened, strengthened, and became brittle. Sherry was an aborted mother, lost and hungry, and hobbling on crutches.

They started on the corners. They had to fight for one, because the really good corners were someone else's. Someone bigger and meaner. Benji'd take off his hat at every red light and make his solemn march down the middle strip of median that served as their personal island and hell. An oasis in a shivering mechanical tundra inhabited by grumbling motorists in shiny Cadillacs and Hondas. Sherry watched as the last person in her life to care gave up his dignity for a few wadded up bills, presumably out of an estranged dusty corner in some attorney's pocketbook.

Her hair was silky. Some guy in a Lexus stopped Benji, asked him how long his wife's hair was. She'd grown it since she was in High School. Pretty long, he said. An offer was made. Certificate passed from soft manicured hand to Benji's trembling fingers. Benji went back and relayed the message.

The 'earnings' for that day equaled less than thirteen dollars. If he skipped a drink, she could eat a decent dinner.

The man offered two thousand dollars. Enough to live on for two months, if they stayed outdoors. One if they found a place to stay. Maybe he could get a job then. Maybe she could get better then.

Cold hurt unmended bone.

The man was supposed to come back for them after the day was through, before the night dropped the temperature to freezing and vagrants were systematically shoved off their precious corners at dusk by the police.

Gales of unchecked wind swirled up around them, and snowflakes cut on diagonal pathways. Benji held Sherry close and thought of hot cocoa and peanut butter sandwiches. He thought of the warmth that enveloped him when he walked inside his old place.

“He's not coming back,” He said and stood. Sherry looked up at him and took his hand. Her crutches in one hand, Benji supported Sherry's weight as they walked into the path of the waiting headlights.

21 January 2010

"Head" #Fridayflash

They all said that it wouldn't work, burying that half-eaten head. The demons still was in it, and they’d continue to plague whoever had it in his possession. The witch down south told us to burn it and take the charred skull to a crossroads outside of town, as far as we could go. The intersection confused them, she said. The raised spirit of that cursed thing would stand for an eternity, just trying to figure out which way to go to get back to town. Them ghostly types ain't too smart after all.

Me and Jeremy took it down out back, doused it in lighter fluid and set it afire. The thing screamed like bloody murder. It had no eyes, but me and Jeremy could feel its cold stare. We wrapped it up in one of Ma’s kitchen towels, (the one with the tan mushroom print on it) and threw it in a sack with some turkey and cheese sandwiches and headed out of town. The closest intersection was out on Interstate 33, where it crossed over Farm Road 210.

"Where'd you get this anyway?" I asked, watching him swing the sack around. He chawed his gum like a cow chewing on cud.

"Out by the cemetery. Robert's Ma just died. We happened to be out there makin' out."


Jeremy blushed. "Me and my girlfriend."

“Gross, that thing is Robert's Ma?"

"Well, what came out of her grave anyway."

"this" #Poetry

I am
a box of paradox
so hard to be free
to be who I am
the lion eats the lamb
and I see
a peaceful eternity

I am not money
but power
in each and every
torturous hour
a simple inoculation
of revelation
into the center
of my gravity
It's hard to be
mean as me and yet
still have a heart.

I'll bet you never knew
that I could kill so very
and that those words
could tear apart your stolid beliefs
A definite electrocution
of pointed and repeated

A new disposition
on my limited edition
A snide remark played out between
the sheets of music and me
the worst drama queen

I know you've never seen
Someone as quite as contradictory
and extraordinary
as me.
an apparition bestowed upon
a grateful mind
A perfect find
to highlight an otherwise
grey-streaked day--

I don't come any other way.

14 January 2010

"The Missing Piece" #Fridayflash

(Entry #158 in the "Silhouette" contest over at The Clarity of Night, which is now closed, but hey reader's choice awards are open.)

They said that the first infection was a fluke, that the avian flu couldn't be spread to humans. We never believed them. We wore our masks and treated each doorknob as if it were radioactive glowing until the newscast came across the tube and relieved our fears. The war is over, they said. The economy's gone north, they said. And there is an epidemic of avian flu―in Japan.

Japan is far from here, full of imagination: pagodas and kimonos, koto players with painted faces, and Mahjong.

A special piece, painted with the Northern Wind, gusted to an antiquities market in Eastern New York City out for everyone to touch and admire.

A little man stops to admire the piece―it's been missing from his set for so very long. If he brings this home, he says to himself, his life will certainly change.

(I sincerely apologize for using an old piece, but we have illness in the house so little time for the mom to stop and dream.)

07 January 2010

"Omega Rising" #Fridayflash

The rain spit on steaming pavement in the blasting heat. The second sun hadn't risen just yet but Alpha Star did the warming, and the Omega prompted Citizens' Precautions.

Tesa stopped in the dusty street to raise her eyes to the red ball in the violet sky with one shielding hand. A quick bleat from a rickshaw driver behind her snapped her from her reverie. She hoisted the line of geese over a weary shoulder again. There was a tale, a fable of a place where clouds gathered and did more than trickle on the dead terrain. Streams of water flowed, and anyone could have water. Free water.

The geese would fetch at least one litera of water, which would get her a good price back on the street. Her lean frame strained under the weight of the dead birds, unplucked and hung by their necks on a rope. Since last spring when her son was born still and lifeless, she'd managed to drop the weight with a little help from the Slat. Slat was a slang term for some long technical term she no longer could remember. It did that to you, The Slat. Slat. She slithered a parched tongue over her lips in anticipation. Life was a fuzzy purple haze on slat. Branda was no problem on the slat. Killing birds wasn't hard on the slat. Branda should have had the boy, not her. A woman bearing a live child was becoming rare and stupid.

She hurried on, unmindful of the warning horns signaling Omega's ascension. Motion occurred at the edges of her vision. A woman fell to the ground behind her, pulling another man with her. Another victim of the The Ninety-Year Drought? Perhaps. Perhaps it was The Slat.

Tesa chewed her peeling lips and shoved through the crowd.

A tug snagged her attention. A small boy, fool that he was. Trying to steal her precious quarry. Geese were scarce these days. Tesa shuffled forward, planting a hand in the middle of the boy's forehead to push him away. The Slat. Had to get The Slat.

The day weighed down on the few ragged souls left pondering the dust at their feet as Omega came into play, far outshining its astral brother. The warning horn sounded again. A few hundred more steps. It could be done. The geese felt like five-hundred octa on her shoulder, and the rope ate through her ripped shirt.

“Lady, you better get out of the suns, Omega is out and you don't look so good.”

Tesa glared at the young man. What was he? Twenty? Less? She took a stifled breath.

“Mind your elders. Mind the sun. I've my suns-screen.”

The man curled his lip at her in distaste and presented her with both middle fingers. “Slathead.”

A woman behind the water counter eyed Tesa warily as the geese were weighed and the water was measured and poured. A half-galo! Tesa was beside herself. Surely she'd be in Slat-heava for the rest of the month, maybe more if she could tell Branda that she'd only gotten—

Omega bore down on her leathery skin and cracked the pavement. The newscast said something about this being the worst Omega day out of the usual four. She turned the corner, her eyes scanning the faceless structures for an open window. Terrible light seared down on her, burning her scalp and drying her tongue to the roof of her mouth. The water sloshed around in the container temptingly. Her throat cried out for it.

The Slat dealer was minding his kids in the breeze of an oscillating fan. Tesa held out the container of water and he frowned.

“You don't look so good Tesa, take the shit and get out of my housa. I don't need you passing out here again.”

Since he'd had his children, he wasn't no fun anymore, Tesa thought with a crooked smile. The Slat squished against her breast as she descended the stairs again.

“Drink Your Water!” Came the warning from rusted bullhorns posted at strategic points of the dirt-laden city, followed by the forecast for the remainder of the week. Dust mingled with the air, creating red torrents of steam, visible and above them all, their fearsome god-star, Omega.

Unable to wait until she'd gotten back to her housa,Tesa pulled out the Slat and unwrapped one to slip into her mouth. Instantly, green mint filled her senses and she closed her eyes. Blossoms and cloudbursts. The roaring of an eternal sea.

The ground rose up to meet her but she didn't see it, or the small brown boy still following her. He slipped the warm package from her twitching, gnarled hands and watched her give one more breath.

It'd only be a matter of time before the Shovela came.

01 January 2010

"2 AM" #Fridayflash

It's two am and I'm missing you. I've reached out every third Sunday and shivered at the expanse of white cotton that's greeted my searching fingers.

The ground's thawed out a little. The frost cleared for a few days, long enough for the blossoms to return to crisp demeanor. It was blue and rose, this last sort of handkerchief left fluttering, attached to an effigy in the untouched corners of your continuous haunt.

There are no chains strong enough to bind you to that pale horse and so I've been lost in thought, drifting alongside that dark highway, stumbling toe-to-heel, shoes dangling from a casual hand, but it'd be warmer if yours was near.

Listen to the moon sing silver and the clouds tumble haphazardly as I dig deep trenches around you because I can't stand to look at your face one last time.

I have to fool myself into thinking I never found you at all.

Your eyes are nothing but dust, yet I feel them stab between my shoulder blades, as sure as the sweat that slides between my breasts as if it's July, and not January morning.

I dug nails into the engraved edges of your name. Gold ink spilled in a little folded paper, just enough to make the first letter stand out.

Your bulk and your breath are sorely needed.