Monday, March 26, 2012

The Door

This place once told me a tale of two.

They were young, happy and very much in love. As with most natives of a city dwelling, they were cramped, but knew no better.

Each evening, they came home to a friendly doorman and quiet neighbors. Each night they filled their cozy accommodations, with laughter, witticisms and the cloying score of affection.

One night, the wife spoke of an unexpected promotion. After the squeals of delight and warm embraces, the husband reflected that it might have been time to grow their little family, and turn that closet into a nursery. A smile blushed across her lips, and she agreed thoughtfully, but. . . suggested that some practice would be most appropriate.

A bottle of wine, a brace of kisses, and they fall asleep in each other's arms.

* * *

"THUNK," bellowed the door. A wall of sound that crossed the bedroom from the closed door, a shot through the bed, their sleeping bodies, and left their window resonating like a loose drum.

He drew in a breath and a bad taste; turning his head he managed, "Wha. .what the hell?"

They both struggled to sit upright in bed. She fumbled blindly through the numbness of sleep. He slipped off the bed, and fixed his stare on the door. Her hand finally touched the small rotating switch of the small white lamp on her nightstand, and then there was light. She whispered, "What was that? Was that from the hallway?" She squinted, looking over at the clock, 2:55.

He shook his drooping head, and let out of a sigh as his eyes became accustomed to the little lamp. Trying to reassure her, he said as firmly as he could to the door, "Hello?"

There was no answer, but the wind lightly whistled outside, in the purplish yellow evening outside their window.

He noted to himself out loud, "There's no light from under the door, the hallway lights are off."

They looked at each other. "Did we turn off the lights?" she asked, honestly unable to collect the memory in her growing anxiety. She drew the blanket close to her eyes, and with nimble toes, curled the bottom of the blanket under her feet.

He armed himself with a candlestick.

Quietly, he approached the familiar door. . and turned on the lights. Looking back at her, his hand hesitated upon the knob.

Then, with a breath, he opened the door. . . He saw the stillness of a mocking darkness.

Unnoticed, the lights outside dimmed. Were they paying attention, they would have seen the stars retreat behind a blanket of clouds, the soft rosy glow of street lamps receded, and the lights in the windows of their faceless neighbors went out in unison.

He looked back, and whispered "I'll just have a quick look. Don't worry sweetie," and with a smile, he slipped into the darkness, pulling the door behind him. The door came to a near close, leaving a slick black strip.

She heard the soft of his footsteps moving away, drowning in the shadowy hall. She sat in the bed a moment, expecting to see the hallway light. . . but like his returning footfalls, it did not come.

She called his name; a voice gutted by fear, dried with uncertainty. She tried to shake off these childish fears, and with vain hope she chided, "This isn't funny!"

But then, again. . . there was nothing.

She slid off the bed, and shuttled over and pushed closed the old white door, and came back to stand by the bed.

The minutes curled up and died like centipedes stranded on hot tarmac. Her tears flowed freely, and silence filled with the soft murmurs of her crying.

She slid off the bed, over to the dresser and picked up the remaining candlestick. Unwillingly, throat soured by fear, and wet with only tears, she forced her legs to move her to the door. A plain white wooden door with four inset panels; a window on the heart of a cloud. The old glass knob with brass fittings stirred with dull reflections of yellowed lamplight. Four steps to the door, her eyes widened and she raised the candlestick.

Neither light nor sound came from the hallway.

Three steps to the door, but she could only inch forward on her quivering legs. Her head momentarily failed under the weight of tears and sobs.

With a wooden hand, she forced herself to touch the old glass knob, filling its gloom with the blooming aberrant shape of her hand. . or was it something else.

If ever a door, could be cruel. . . this one took it upon itself to take her by the throat, and squeezed with a long prickly silence until . . . "BOOM" it roared again. The echoing beyond was lost to some vastness that is more chasm, than her home.

She jumped back, and through her choked sobs, she blubbered out his name; an incomprehensible plea from a puddle of salty tears and mucous. The adrenaline that set her heart slamming about her rib cage like a wild sparrow thrown into a tiny airless box, could do nothing to prevent her knees from buckling.

Of course, the door stayed quiet.

And then, stars swirled overhead, streetlights again threatened to burn through the night sky, and several neighbors found their light switches.

The door innocently slid open of its own accord. . . but he simply wasn't there.

- 2007

I've wanted to write a story of short stories, told by a wanderer who traverses doors as portals to more than the next room, and who samples disjointed moments as the threads of his reality. There are hints of a old conflict underlying his travels; the reality of the very first story teller, and the tales in which we live; a floating citadel of flesh and mouths, endlessly telling tales into a void which they struggle to fill; and the endless revisions of an increasingly erratic story teller, whose perfected creations are tearing apart their realities. This is one such story.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Dreaming Days

Skinny little girl
Sittin' on her daddy's car
Dreamin' of the days
As they go drivin' far

Hey little lady
Chose her daddy's road
Cruisin' through the haze
what the future sold

Forget those summers
Lost in your photo book
Live down your life
outside the storybook

Dreamin' of the days
Dreams lived in her heart
As they go driving,
drivin' far

Skinny little girl
Sat on a dusty old car
Laughing to the wind
As they go drivin' far . . .

- 1993

This was written after seeing an old yellowed photo of a girl and her uncle. Also, I might've been listening to John Mellencamp. My mistaking the photo for her late father, caused this poem to be received in angry tears. Mea culpa; Such is life.

No Time

It is a damn odd thing, hitting the wall of realization that in life, there is nothing as cruel as time.

How strange an angel is time, that fuels our tiny limbs as we learn to walk. She lifts our bodies, and then our minds, as we play in the shadow of her wings.

And then one day, when we are sufficiently built, we are introduced to the heart beat. The first of our many time pieces, though perhaps the most honest.

My tiny fingers, perhaps still slight enough that sunlight could still light up my hands like a neon sunrise, would be placed flat on my mother's chest. A confused calm, as I don't understand, and then suddenly, under the tiny leaf of my palm, I feel something. . . something speaks.

It tells tales in movements; the quick assurance that it is indeed there, the booming promise that it will continue, and the dreadful silence as you wait for it to return.

To be fair, that silence isn't known to the little ones. But as patience or perhaps foreshadowing enters one's repertoire, it seems to lengthen, and somehow insinuates itself as far louder and longer than any other passage in the tale.

Some years later, we are taught the master's language, of time. Analogue or digital. . . seconds, hours, days, months, years, decades. . . and then? There is surely more, but to children, they do not go much beyond decades, as truly, will you need to know any more?

At some point, and I really cannot tell where . . . life falls completely into step with the beaten heart, with their clocks, the beating of wings. To the stars and the hills, you seem to sway a bit between your bed and your desk.

Then suddenly, you notice that you've started to collect invitations. They are to celebrations, to meetings that remind you that "you know me, and I know you," but they are quickly overcome by a few poignant wakes. The numbness makes counting fairly unreliable.

One evening . . . and it is always early and you are always wretched by rule. You will labor to breathe, to feed your traitorous heart. The air comes like a swell of the ocean, but you are a cracked mug. Teasingly it swirls about your lips, and then recedes . . . the wheezing of your lungs mimics the piping song of gulls.

You will start bargain - perhaps your devil has a name, perhaps he does not. Sadly, you will never be sure if he bothers to listen at all.

Maybe you are the noble sort. "Please, spare my wife's laughter, my friend's spirit, and anything that brought me a smile. . ."

Most likely you are simply yourself, "... save my body, my hair, my voice... "

". . spare them from being bloated with corruption, bled into the shadows, and buried . . . for all time."

A great many plead with their heart to bursting . . . their first and most honest time-piece.

And though, you are in a bed, in a city, guarded sleepily by millions. . . at that moment, you are in the desert, frozen in the moonlight, between stars and hills, and terribly alone.

- 2007

I think I was reading up on deals with the devil, working with sales people, and at the same time, equal parts intrigued and dissociated by talk of wrist watch collection -- are these not already analogous to the rotary phone?

Saturday, March 17, 2012


I feel as the ocean trapped in glass,
Watching you walk past, before me.
I crash with vain fury against smooth wall.
I attempt to seep through the barless cage.
Only to become tired, and tread on,
Hollow, and lifeless. Drowning. . .
In my own suffocating tides.

I seem to be a trespasser,
Beckoning to something within you.
Something that seeks my unheard call.
A drowning ocean trapped in a glass.

I seek to awaken a slumbering form.
The quiet woman who is asleep inside,
Down in the depths of your heart.

I only wish to make her stir,
To draw her out past ivory columns,
While holding soft, her manacled©arms.

I would melt through these chains.
With my fires, eternal and pure,
And then just hold her to me.
Letting her sleep within my heart.

- 1995!

Date corrected. I should explain that most things labelled 1996 are actually because that's the last good round of backups I got, after a rather unfortunate fire. There is certainly older stuff, but many lack dates, or have the generic 1996 date applied as they were retrieved from an online backup. =\

Friday, March 16, 2012


Bottom no more tears from you dear charm.
Sweet night's strange vespers steal
her lips as silken feathers spin

Sweet charm, let me kiss you a gentle one
too soft the flutter of a butterfly

Evensong, rising top-down on a plume of
mornings turned silverleaf air.

Sing charm, let once more a song
of kisses brush up your sleeping eyes

Wan compline finds evening's sand
beneath the eyes of even Angeles.

Strange charm to Angels i attribute you
candles and sandlewood matins betide
a wash of kisses over yours and charm.

- 1997

Thursday, March 15, 2012


One night, I found myself again. I was scouring spidery old crevices of bureaucracies for an outdated treasure. I longed for blue screens and frantic block cursors. . . the faithful scalpel of creaky clerks, who scuttle for shade in the belly of governmental dead-letter offices.

I was drawn to the early glimmerings of technology that stealthily, stubbornly persist to this day. Such things are heavily watermarked with sweaty familiarity, an in-bred allergy to progress, and long forgotten sacrifices upon an altar to genuine usefulness, made by long discarded grand-sires.

A writer of a decade ago would have sought an antique typewriter. Something spindly and frail in its architecture, but famously reliable by reputation. He would have accepted the various quirks of such a machine, like adopting an old hound that likes to circle and prowl after the stooped little old ladies walking home from market.

There are the vicious junk peddlers who pretend legal sensibilities when offering these expired baubles for their original list price. Certainly, amazing given that the moment you drive a car off the lot, its value crashes. And yet, software suited to monochrome caution orange, greys and greens. . . for this they ask a premium. No matter. I haven't yet cracked my skull enough times to corroborate the tweed day-dreams of software's used car-salesmen.

Then again, there are the delinquents, with their perpetually black places of business. They offer in a breath, the object of your desires, surely obligation free erotica, and a wholly unrelated set of undesirable infections to co-opt, corrupt and kaput your silicon consciousness. I often have trouble getting over the enormity of their hospitality.

But this is the preferable path, to tread among the spare razors of sharks and self-mutilators; that the right bloody trail will float by. . it seems inevitable.

- 2006
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