“Never again.” Slips out between a broken smile for the last time.
Anna and Aden were young when they met on campus in the fall of 76. Anna glances at Aden, seeing each other in the reflection of their eyes under a large oak tree. A meeting with a study group talking about observing the human capacity in which love can be understood. At the water tower outside of main street they would sit and look out on the endless wheat fields and wonder what life would look like if they built it together. They explored each others minds with long conversations of philosophy, death and the cosmos, lips filled with kisses as they sit at the theatre watching films of yesteryear. They would take seasonal classes down at the local dance hall, swinging to Glenn Miller and his Orchestra. They try for a baby, by the 5th time they give up. Years pass, the hours, the minutes, the moments becoming continuous. Unflattering voices echoing in the small flat; “Wash the dishes, clean up after your self, take a fucking bath you stink.” Every word becoming unbearable, there wasn’t a deep sorrowful pain because they remembered the course taken many years ago, understanding the capacity in which love remains with two people shifts and changes. Humans need to see themselves, people need a mirror with another. Suppose, love at first sight is a real thing, how could one go on not knowing what they look like? The two of them, like walking out from a film they have seen many times, enjoying the story, the characters, yet they don’t stay to finish because they know the myth of the theme in a love story is just that, its for the screen and not for their actual living lives.
Around the age of 23- Robert witnessed his lover jump from a high-rise apartment in Downtown San Francisco. Everyone blamed it on the weather. Robert, perpetually suicidal – pitifully bathes in his sorrow of loss, he tried everything, not be weak. Water from the faucet drips. Maybe John wasn’t weak at all. He knew the test results and took life into his own hands. Some would say that’s courageous. Now, Robert at 50, has an excessive drinking problem. Long nights of insomnia and jerking off to the screen in front of him becomes boring. Nothing brings happiness. Every Thursday he gathers with strangers at a meeting, all there for the same reason, addiction. It sinks in his veins and his pores breathe loneliness. He whispers to himself, “Never again.”
Anna steps on the elevator, door shuts behind her. Looking up at the floor numbers in those round circles; 6,5 her eyes blink twice, clean shoes, she stands on moldy 1960 something carpet flooring. The elevator lights up 4,3. Looking down at his thrift shop watch, the dial revolves and Robert is impatient. Grinding his baby like teeth, wipes away the moisture from his over sized brow, the night sweats still linger on his spoiled t-shirt, he watches the buttons for his floor. 3,2,1, the door opens – Anna steps off exchanges a hello with Robert as he steps in. Anna hesitates, as the elevator door shuts her hand firmly grabs and stalls the doors from closing. Robert doesn’t move his skinny milky frame of a body. Anna steps back in pushes the “close” button. They make their way up the high-rise. Silence as they stand next to each other in the smallest of elevators. The elevator stops on the 5th floor. “Going to the rooftop?” says Anna. Robert looks at Anna then quickly looks down with his despairing eyes, “Yes.” Anna still staring at him, “I’m making dinner Robert. Don’t go to the rooftop.” Robert with tears in his eyes, “Okay.”
Pornographic poetry of magical prose. Categorizing a cheap human moment. Comparing flesh to the stars and the God damn dynamo of constellations. Breathing and masturbation, ejaculation while crying inside over primal weak explosion. Living in the moment. Stoic,heroism, melting into humility, wanting admiration. The mind and heart work differently. Words said so vaguely, I look up popcorn ceilings don’t lie. They are dated and ugly and shouldn’t be applied. Social media mania, deception, gratifyingly controllable, not merciful, you must say the right words to get followers. Its just pornographic poetry.
As a kid I remember seeing imprints of leaves on cement streets. As an adult gum sticks on the sidewalk, outside dirty bars and playhouses cigarettes burn. The fickle camaraderie stare, you are there. Blonde hair. Horses mane, makeup pristine, you’re shining. Crowd surrounds, she smiles, looks down. You are no mystery at all, but clone copy of every other broad, that never liked to look at books, but magazines featuring lives of celebrities. Tell me you like Plath, Ginsberg, the clarinet of Benny Goodman and will you walk for miles with me and arrive no where? Seems its frightening to just be. Without reserve, I had the nerve to let go. The lives of silly girls; I explored it, got bored with it. Very important persons sitting, awaiting anything.
The Plague Doctor
Now I understand the downfall to having a fickle heart; perpetual searching, eyes wandering, looking beyond the lips you kiss, fake moans for a camera and a show. A world constantly threadbare, falling apart at the seams. You stand at the edge of a high-rise tower, black crow passing and I am the Plague Doctor. I wear a bird-like beak, black mask and a brimmed hat, incense and lavender shield the stench that swarms your aura. Even death for me would come too soon if one step closer to you. High in the haze you are, intently dazed and dense is your brain, to ever comprehend that insanity brings life to its death-bed. The slippery foot slips. Was the last jump good enough? Did your stomach shoot up? Unfortunately, you were never hesitant, you are my last patient.
Frankly, My Dear I Don’t Give a Damn
Glitz and glam, the damn rodeo, Showtime, the fine-print, butt smacks, you idiot. Lack luster, cross dressers and lovers, swept out with the Santa Ana winds. Bankrupt, bail out, crawl for home hipster. Funk, mind tunnels, kids that dance to Rock, that rolls through EDM. Sunflowers, the seeds between starving teeth. Love. “Give it up for fame”. Lyrics from industry pop artists, hashtag “Lame”. LA. I am, I am, I am. The nostalgia of it all.
I stir raw sugar into my Moroccan tea, pulling the string, the tea bag seeps. The man standing next to me wears a ragged baseball cap. Three days from a clean shave, brown stained fingernails, yet clean hands, pleasant smile and sincere face. I say hello. “How do you do Miss?” he seems intrigued. Myself feeling instantly engaged, I say ” Fine, thanks!” “I’m Joshua” he says with pride. Chiseled chin, saggy cheeks of happy. Tells me he wants to be taken seriously. I drop the tea bag in the trash bin and I listen. He wants to perform a one man show, based on his father’s life sometime long ago. For 28 years he claims to have faked being bi-polar resisted the doctors orders for medical attention, pills, therapy, hypnosis. Now at 58, he sits outside the coffee house, he knows the sound of coins hitting the floor missing the cup he holds shaking, knows precisely what the value is, kind of coin it is, knows how to say hello and get a hot cup of joe.
Cathedral in Another World
As I lie there by myself, a thought is provoked from the emptiness in the room,“When does my happiness come?” My hand drapes wearily. Is it my hand that’s tired or the fingers moving the pen? Or is it my wrist that’s connected to it? My body silently aches, my mind tries to negotiate, yet my grip slips-falls limp. As I lie there by myself, I’m obsessed with ideas that are figments of my irrational imagination. I make scenarios of realities in my brain which don’t belong to me. Like a thief with loot, I quickly toss them down the rubbish chute, trying to get out of my head. As I lie there by myself, not completely comfortable in my own bed, I could use a softer pillow and blanket. The heart inside my body, beats continuously like the clock on my white wall. The crows approach. As I lie there by myself, staring at the ceiling, waiting. As the medicine kicks in i’m thrown into a cathedral in another world that’s not my own. As I lie there by myself.
Silkworms Feed on Mulberry Leaves
So, we were sitting under the mulberry bush in October, golden green leaves falling on red brick warn the floor of any onlooker. Steps echo, temptress dresser, riveted ragged boots- I don’t dare look. Legs crossed and I suck a cigarette as if its my last breath. Soon, I need to quit. Writing in my Moleskin journal about my foes and follies, all which seem far in my past, never really relevant. I keep moving forward, like a steam train in 1820. She is following closely behind, catching my step in case I slip. She knows and holds my mind in high regard. Probably the first lover I respectively bow towards. 1.23.13
Letter to Laura
How did I manage it? I didn’t. I was that tall tower swaying downtown. When you spat off the roof my crystal clean windows ended up like grandpa’s bifocals. I too, needed a fellow to scale the walls wiping off yellow. His squeegee has done enough. In the morning. A notice on the door, the wrecking ball had been ordered. Unfortunately the ground was sinking. So the workers in their office cubicles; stapling, shredding, filing, adjusting to anything the boss, also tall- demanding neurotic tasks no employee could understand, let alone begin. I noticed a girl. You have these eyes that illuminate my mind. Interesting palate of blue that twinge green when clouds fill the sky. You laugh and your eye squints with happiness, Lips glisten. I swear, Id think God dripped honey on them. I met you before, in a past life I’m sure. But all this is a metaphor.
I’ll push, please shove, stroll on the beach front. Sun beams over wide waters. I write this letter and trap it in a glass bottle. In hopes it will find you, and if so you at this moment are reading this. My darling, the past is finished, irrelevant. Find me. Keep me. Love me tremendously.
The question, am I happy? Perpetuates everyone’s wondering world of whimsical fairy tales told to us as a child. Living in the moment and not rushing anything, no void for what will never be. The grass will remain green- trash can on the side of the road piling up recyclables, waiting, so it can regenerate into a different form. Hopefully better than the one chosen before. Manufactures. Not being disappointed, makes us inevitably happy. Or so, I seem to think. 10/29/12 8:00 pm
Propped on a wooden chair on the porch you implored you’d like your things back. Yellow envelope stamped closed. A letter inside,interesting shaped dots over ( i )s signed. Ink ran out, maybe you stopped, out of time. I can’t make out the end of it. How do I decipher this? Below is your name, clearly you’ve practiced. I handed your vinyl records back like trading cards kids fill their pockets with. When night falls I begin to shape-shift becoming a crow. Its obvious to me, everyone else has not actually seen how I dive from the sky. How at night, the tiniest of things I see. Dare I get too close? I perch on the chimney, I stare below awaiting mice as they scurry by avoiding. Pursuing I dive, swiping the rodent by his side. Black cats surround the house. Instead, this crow should orbit the city, observing coquettes and vivacious men lending their hand in marriage, or of a one night stand, a friendly encounter. Entertaining the idea that dawn transforms things, everyone becomes human again. 9/26/2012
A young mother holds her child in her lap and she places a ring of dandelions around his head. Curious, the kid crawls up the wall of her sun tanned back; the string of the red balloon pinched between his tiny fingers escapes, drifting high past the stage lights and Jefferson Airplane jamming on stage. Vanishing through the summer air, hot wind from the east pushes red balloon into the leaves of the willow tree. In August things grow, discover, and die all at the same time.
My hands wipe my face, cigarettes stale smell lingers on fingers. Crickets outside window screen echoing- sounds of freight trains miles away. The clock turned 1:15 and I’m sweating. Took you three days to reply to my text message. Somehow I’m satisfied..I reach for the glass, I gulp the bit of tea that’s left. J.M. Barrie wrote about a boy that wouldn’t grow up. Seems he’s captured me, “Second Star to the right and straight on ’till morning.” I reply,”I cant go out tonight. Peter, Wendy and Tink are waiting.”
In this life things happen. The good, bad, ugly, and amazingly beautiful moments all wrap up to make your life what it is. Embrace it, try to understand it as best you can. Mold in a way that changes you for the better. The bad/ugly can drag you down to a dark deep place. Experience it, humans need to feel sorrow and loss; but dont stay in it. Get out! I swear the word I love most and the idea that stays on my mind is HOPE. If you have this you win. Everything is in its right place. This is life. Seize it, make it amazing.
The wild is loud not noisy like the city, trees swing, bees sting, white water rushes gallantly down the river bed, and I sit in the middle of all of it. On this massive stone im compelled to let it all go. Sandy dirt in my hands, gold specs under my fingernails, shirt is thrown, nipples exposed and the sun beams. Nude bodies floating, aimlessly down stream. This moment, is probably the first time I’ve felt alive in a long while. She swims up to me, red hair vibrantly flowing, pale skin, naked and wet, I share my towel. Ill leave it at that.
Your legs wrapped around mine a tangle web weaved around our bodies. Vinyl spinning, its Bob Dylan sayin, “The times they are a changin.” Sweet morning dew, this may be the prelude. Warm and tight, the sun rises far east and im holding these memories, sweetly. I kiss your forehead, open your bright eyes. Underneath golden skin, perfectly placed features and gorgeous abdomen, your bones are brittle as the beams that hold the seams on your outwardly physique. Darling, hand me the needle and string. The sewing kit will give me tools to repair it.
Knees bleed over semen seeds, cumming attraction explosive reaction. Your daughter grew up to be a whore, and your son a vagabond drifter along the street screams loneliness. You sit in front of the T.V. not expecting anything, Obama on the screen assuring relentlessly hope.
The Hearts Crusade
What happens to the heart when it breaks multiple times? It beats slower it grows tired. I suppose it pumps faster to cause so much angst. I wanted to begin trying to assess my faults and follies. I am not sure where the anger came from. How the human heart can change so rapidly, and remain in the same place in its body. Communication strains between my heart and brain, Allows burdens to fill the veins. Blood is a powerful thing. It can carry disease which determines life or death, even on the swords of cavalry people have shed. It also supplies the ones that come out at night, the selfish seeking the selfless. They can be devoured in the city of steel. The circle you reside in, too much blood among bodies, can leave anyone wanting more. Childish innocence has vanished, quickly as night turns day. I have heard of a safe place, where hearts cannot be trampled and where fear and hatred are no longer. Have you seen it?
I have studied your face. The lines that have faintly cracked and replaced the surface between your brow. Carries worries. You hold the world my dear, it is too heavy for your shoulders to bear. Your eyes have shared too many stares. You wept. I saw you. Quickly the tear dropped into the tea cup and you sipped into oblivion. I have studied your mind. It has two sides. One I haven’t yet been able to define, I’ll leave that task for the next guy.
One Night Stand
Demanding thoughts stretch underneath cotton sheets. Touch me, fuck me, don’t say you love me-soft hand on my lower back. “Smack,” you’re dangerous. Spontaneously you caress me. This bed is a waiting game of chess. I’m the knight, you’re the queen, jump over my head. I say the right answers to everything you wonder. I don’t want you to understand me, never woo me. I only want your body. Long sun-kissed limbs wrap around my occipital lobe probe my intentions. Darling, you give me motivation, for ejaculation is the emancipation for self domination.