B-roll (or the road)

by the dim dashboard lights you can see

a backseat packed only with shit you don’t need.

and to the soundtrack of AM’s sad static, you leave;

having kicked this town like the bad habits it breeds.

yeah, you did.

at least you tried.

at least you tried.

 

the ghosts that stayed point the way: out northwest.

that’s where you said you would head when you left.

to Seattle, Denver, Portland, some mess

selling less expectations; more men to impress.

and none of them question a thing there, i bet

because of that bullshit cross that you wear on your neck.

no, they don’t.

and if they did,

you’d just lie.

you’d just lie.

 

did you even see the coast before turning back?

heading east in your own westbound tracks.

searching for novelty reprieve in banal tourist traps,

or some fleeting extreme from the facets i lack.

you sought peace in the eye of the maelstrom you attract,

siphoned pleasure from chaos, sifted treasure from trash.

yeah, you did.

what did you find?

what did you find?

 

it’s a coup that you drew up, to go

without having to speak on your own.

anything you’d have said, i’d have already known:

you’d list things left to kill in order that i grow.

well, i did.

they’ve all died.

you’ve died.

mine

she whipped in, running.

remembering my name and wearing

the panic of a drunken surgeon.

 

a twister, ripping

through me like Kansas.

 

she knows that they can wreck homes,

or they can carry them off to paradise

and in one fell swoop

crash-land – crushing the wretched bones of witches.

stealing their shoes.

 

[an aside:

someone wise once said to me:

“Take what ye need.”

(it was Chuck).]

[another:

i would rip the red shoes off of any crushed cadaver

just for you to know what it is like

to have somebody think that you deserve

something that sparkles.]

 

in the interest of not getting ahead of ourselves:

she hasn’t taken off yet.

she’s settled, now, across a crowded room.

sinking like a stone.

dead-weight dragging- giving up in the descent.

she is not an anchor.

i can see it inside her.

 

she went limp in acceptance, briefly.

flailed awake.

screaming, submerged – in bubbles –

bursting screeches at the surface.

i can hear them.

“mine.”

“mine,” they say.

 

these are the voices that hearts find to follow.

hers or mine.

rustling leaves like the wind she rode in on.

the hopeful hypocrite –

she’s storming.

it’s stormy.

mine storm.

 

she stands half-off the short sidewalk

like it’s the end of the world.

the look in her eye says that she’s been there before

or that she was born there, maybe.

admittedly: that’s a loose translation from the mouth of a notorious histrionic.

and i’m lost in love, lust or longing at the sight.

 

her-

moving like some moon

in cycle through the crowd –

somehow in the way of the sun.

arriving in frenzied fantasy,

in tow: a sky blushing fires as it fights the fall of night.

it can’t win; or can it?

i’m willing, here.

wanting.

 

i think:

these words were here long before us –

to describe our decided future

in the gold stones of streets we’ve yet to walk down.

freewheelin’ along.

 

it’s going to be so easy

when you’re

mine.

60-odd minutes (or kore)

It was time to set our clocks back;

I raised my voice, slammed some doors.

Everybody lost at least an hour,

But I lost so much more.

60-odd minutes gone,

With so much more reset in me,

I fell to my knees in worship or shame,

At the feet of some past Persephone.

 

Questioned worth of this rarified air,

Bought low and sold for a song or a sonnet.

There’s a long list existing of things that we aren’t,

And I’m unsure whether or not “right” is on it.

 

Closure’s a fleeting sentiment, dear.

I don’t require that you forgive me.

It’s a new trick.  An old dog,

And the hair of the bitch that bit me.

60-odd minutes removed,

In the vacuum left by displaced time,

Things do not so much happen,

Rather, they live and they die.

 

Questioned worth of this rarified air,

Bought low and sold for a song or a sonnet.

There’s a long list existing of things that we aren’t,

I don’t know that “right” isn’t on it.

 

Always barking up wrong trees,

It’s a wonder you still have your voice.

But you plugged your ears when they told you

That every moment is a choice.

Tonight the moon is waxing full.

It’s boiling BAC to a bloodlust.

There were times that we’d bay until it slept with the day,

But tonight, it howls at us.

Tonight, it howls at us.

could have been worse/could have worked out

*This is a song I wrote.  You can listen to it here, if you’d like:

WORDS:

Hey, say nothing at all.

It’s too high a fall.

He’ll break.

I’ll just lie. I won’t say a word.

It’s just too much hurt

To take.

 

You’d say that my mind is a curse,

And it’s nothing you care about now.

But, I guess it could have been worse;

It could have worked out.

 

So you drew a line in the sand,

Pretended it was planned.

Good call.

And I died, then rose from the dirt.

I realized what you’re worth:

Fuck all.

Because you threw your hands in the air

In a fit of despair,

And gave up.

But I’m fine. I’ve learned to let go.

I hope for your sake you don’t

Wake up.

 

‘Cause you’d say that my mind is a curse.

Or you’d shove shit around and you’d shout.

But, I guess it could have been worse:

It could have worked out.

 

Now I’m through with you. I couldn’t care less.

Sometimes things are the best

When they break.

I tried. You hid the whole time.

You’re just all the wrong kinds

Of cliché.

 

Because you’d say that my mind is a curse.

Or you’d shove shit around and you’d shout.

But, I guess it could have been worse:

We could have worked out.

cold talks over hot coffee

today, at the entrance of November, it was bitter cold.

the rain froze while falling.

i was always almost entirely wet.

 

my place was dank, as per protocol.

and in accordance with my being a creature of habit,

i trudged early; fought often.

 

i made a list of things that i didn’t think i’d have time to do.

i wrote you letters and then tore them up.

 

i knew you were coming.

i could feel the change in the air as you turned down my street.

or maybe i could just hear your exhaust subconsciously.

you’ve got to address nagging problems;

it’s the little things that eat you up over time, from the inside.

 

you brought coffee and didn’t take your coat off.

you spoke like a bad politician.

your body language was horrifying.

i burned my tongue or bit my cheek.

i can’t recall which.

 

i tugged at the threads of small talk,

like a child dipping his toe in a water-body he knows he’ll loathe swimming in.

you know i never know what to say.

and that i only ever have worthless answers for any question worth asking.

 

admittedly, i don’t remember what you said.

i’m not a very good listener; have a hard time focusing when it’s cold.

i can only take in so much at once, before drowning in introspection.

excuse my expression.

you always do.

 

my radiators hissed and coughed through it all.

the ambiance of an approaching winter.

the cold, old man.

foreshadowing.

 

i recalled your appearance at the top of the stairs,

announcing the impending arrival of the cold.

quoting a T.V. show we watched in some summer.

so at ease through a forced smile.

nice intro.

only you truly understand my affection for irony.

 

you’ll have to forgive my theatrics,

but this all smells like the end again.

i know it does.  and so do you.

the remnants of a given-up-on goal, or dream, if you’re inclined to hyperbole (you are),

dropped hard like a piano

to the tapping bottoms of my nervous legs

under a tired table

hosting a cold talk over hot coffee.

 

this all has the feeling of finality.

i sometimes learn from my experiences.

and in my estimation, nobody says, “this isn’t the end”

when it, in fact, isn’t the end.

 

see: i listen when you talk.

i listen when you talk.

 

today, at the entrance of November, it was bitter cold.

i could feel it from the inside.

i’m not yet ready for another winter.

but it’s still always coming.

always.

 

always.

acer rubrum

they murdered a tree in my neighbors’ backyard.

“Eureka!” they shrieked, “There’s water on Mars!”

but i still can’t even see the stars from my cavern.

i’m sure that they’re there,

but i can’t seem to care.

and they appear more random the longer i stare.

but chaos isn’t fair, so surely there must be a pattern.

 

those aren’t the eyes of god

that you’re seeing there, you know.

they’re just burning balls of gas

that died long ago.

 

so they ripped it down just to rip it up,

and mulch it to dust in the gut of their truck.

so?  so what if it was tall, and old, and strong?

they chopped it down in sections, then.

all bark-carved-4-evas, sticks and stems.

good job, my friend.  so far, so good.  so long.

 

but those aren’t the eyes of god

that you’re seeing there, you know.

they’re just burning balls of gas

that died long ago.

they’re just for show.