Thursday, November 25, 2010


There the two men sit, the older and the younger, though the generational gap between them seems bridged by the dimness of the room they smoke and murmur in.  She knows to bring coffee soon after midnight before excusing herself to bed.  She smiles and says almost nothing.  Later, She lays alone amongst cool sheets and the shiver of candlelight on polished wood and emits small, sharp curses into the bedroom like a nocturnal echolocator.

The fellows down the hall are unaware of the annoyance they cause.  They mean no harm in their recondite dealings and abstruse musings.  The younger man tries not to wrinkle his nose at the fragrance which was so apparent as She cut through the smoke in the den like a well built icebreaker, and which now struggles to dissipate into the room's foggy atmosphere.  She makes that perfume from patchouli oil and potpourri says the older man.  The younger man replies with a nod and a lifted brow and the corners of his mouth downturned as if to say imagine that.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

felo de se

here lies a woman who took it personally her widower never smiled. she died her hair white what was left atop her, nigh floating in the updrafts as a threadbare banner. the loom that did it worked without tending and it spun bolts of weft that some called progress and others ruin.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Pursued by Cholera

For a kid never used a gun, he took to it well enough when the time came.  Getting a hand for it among shadows in the depths of an abandoned garage with a snub .38 from an abject local pawn.  The pistol's bluing having been thumb rubbed to an oilslick rind through generations of proper use, and the grips made of an old, dark wood.  Better with a blade though, at least more experienced, and his hands seemed more natural with it.

Gathering no trinkets, only a few clothes and his two close tools in a leather knapsack one midnight, the boy stole away to the interstate westbound.  Before long a solemn trucker allowed the passenger aboard, he considering his own exhausted state and perceiving a sense of cautious cognizance in the hiker's eyes.  A state line or two later, words having seldom filled the humming cabin, the drum and plink of hail succeed the silence.  Laggards initially, night and the natural forces conspire yet. The great machine whimpers as the anemic husks of rubber which constitute its wheels crunch to a quietus in a frost shrouded asphalt lawn near a dying truck stop.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

the sleepy pen

the muse is fickle this autumn,
beseeching for tribute and homage,
burnt flesh and libation.
but a poet owns no livestock,
and a drunkard can spare no wine,
so the quill lies idle by.
the inkwell crusts,
congealed like blood
which pools but cannot dry.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


The young man with the old eyes.

He knows that the only real measure of man’s character in modern society is the level of self-control he exhibits over his vices and whimsical mental flourishes.

He doesn’t take pride in having seen the dark things he’s seen.  He has never taken the witness stand because he’s never been subpoenaed.  His lips are buttoned because he drools when he sleeps, and maybe there are other reasons.  Some don’t posses the patience or dexterity to fiddle with buttons and loops.  Seems like most, even, are just as happy to allow the wounds to remain loosely tucked in at the corners.

The young man with the old eyes was also guilty, of course.  Guilty of sealing off the black, among other things.  Landscaping over the landfill of his guts and mind with a close-cropped lawn.  Then proceeding to take girls on picnics on that lawn.  Playing guitar in the shade of trees in that park.  Allowing innocent civilians to populate a world he created atop a pit of pressurized gas. 

The internalized poisons increase exponentially in a fashion resembling cell division.  Rattlesnakes utilize a similar technique to maintain ready arsenals of quick venom.

If the cornerstone is itself merely a slow moving earthquake, it is inevitable that the entire structure will collapse.  Brilliant modernist architects and visionary post-modernist engineers could execute the most contemporary of clever postponements, yet nothing more than the delay of cataclysm is achievable.

Embedded somewhere within the outer layers of the young man’s knowledge-aged eyes was that layer of cool discipline, which could be mistaken for other things.  Behind his back, some of the man’s acquaintances had been inclined to attribute more intriguing characteristics to the eyes than were actually to be found there.  The colors and shapes themselves were normal enough.  The dirt-brown and the concave.  The difference was certainly in the extra layer, as if these eyes retained a more ancient interpretation of the scenes they brought in. 

Sometimes a shadow lumbered across the pupil like a fat, slow cloud.  Other times a barely visible nictitating membrane seemed to lash at the retinal windows, from the inside; like an icy tree branch from the Yggdrasil of his mind.

Greener pastures being ever sought, the sprawling rootball eventually grows unsettled in the universe of the infinite.  Engorged nerve-sprouts stretch into ever more slender veins of electro-chemical consciousness, eventually insisting upon entering the world of the limited, the domain of the rational.  The thing demands its own bloody froth, brought forth from spittle of forbidden fruit.

Attempts to crash through the ocular portal have long been in vain, and the tree has lost and regrown many limbs in an environment where the most supple and tender of vegetation grows to staggering lushness.  Yet, an incessant force, however slight, gains momentum eventually.  On an infinite timeline the kinetic energy could conceivably become incredibly high, in fact...