Today I come to the ends of my own unwinding. There is a lens piece around the corner on the docks. there are stair who don't relate to you. There is a truck with a window and a sign light up with a soft yellow spot light. As if to jump-launch straight out of the vehicle passing straight into space. In a world where you have perspective and see fit only to see today. There was a man I knew existed before who named out a name that I couldn't and nor would I ever have. There is a mad concrete haze stuck in our teeth! The downstairs gremlins drive semi trucks down the streets, they know the road are too narrow and the still go. Fat chance for that man who is with only himself on a bench, in the rain, by the truck, on the sand in some beech ignoring any demand of the world. So much has to be lost before defeat comes as a cold drink under the stars.
It was just a little test for myself
Sometimes I like to do that, throw little challenges here and there
I wanted to see if I could do what most girls fail at
I wondered if I could spend the night with the cutest guy in school and not get attached
A little drugs, a little drinking, the rest of the night together making memories he wouldn't remember
But I woke up in the morning and left, freaking out
I picked up my clothes and tried to put them on silently so I wouldn't wake him up
I didn't want him to be angry
He truly does have the most beautiful face I've ever seen
Before I snuck out the door left ajar,
I peeked back at him
I'd never seen his hair product-less and messy like that
I'd never seen his face so far away, thousands of miles in dreams and thoughts
This man who drank and swore and didn't seem to have any soul at all
Then looked to me like a beautiful, vulnerable child
I knew I had to get out before the feelings came so I ditched that room as fast as possible
I hopped over unconscious bodies still recovering from the haze of the previous night's party
I finally found an empty recliner
And dozed off
I woke up two hours later in a fright
I was in a room full of people I didn't even like
Why did I go to that party anyway
Those were not my people
Drugs and drinking were not my thing
Oh, now I remember
It was his birthday party
He who held me like a baby after a night of acts that would make any mother cringe
I knew this recliner was a bad idea and wondered if there was any way I could get back in bed with that beautiful boy
I knew I'd always regret it if I didn't
I opened the door as silently as possible
and crawled back under those thick white sheets
I tried to lay as far away as possible,
because people who don't have feelings for each other do not need to hold each other more than necessary
And he had none for me
And I could not have feelings for him
Just when I felt a hollow sadness strike
He reached out his foot and placed it adjacent to mine, a small gesture
I let his instep match mine and sighed inexorably with content
This little touch filled me with a happiness I'd never known
No feelings though, remember?
I chased that thought away and let my other foot get tangled up in his
My legs followed and soon we were cuddled up again
I peeked at him again and saw a trace of a smile on that (hungover and half-asleep, but beautiful) face
I wanted to kiss him but I wasn't sure if that was allowed
So I just pressed my smile against his arm
We laid there forever it seemed
Eventually though, he held me out at arms length and leaned away from me and began to cough
He coughed a few times and apologized,
then coughed just a few more
Then he went back to sleep
I can't explain the way I felt when those coughs hit him
I wanted to reach out and hold him
I know he smokes way too much
But I felt like it was my fault his lungs weren't perfect
I wanted to protect him from all things bad like coughing
All the signs were there before, now that I look back
But that's the exact moment when I knew feelings were going to be a problem
Dropped some purple haze with Jimi,
we created castles with polished beach glass,
then we fused with acid-laced clouds.
Kissed the sky
Jimi started bawling,
his torrential tears washed us down and out to sea.
Each drop of water became a pixel,
until reality morphed into a painting of musical notes,
and the music transformed back into a fresh reality.
There wasn't any more doubt
whether we were experienced now -- and how.
The tide washed us up into heavy crosstown traffic.
Jimi wandered down Hoodoo Blvd,
I became a voodoo child
gobbling up sugar cubes filled with liquid sunshine.
I watched the yellow cabs race by,
watched the heavy metal race by.
Jimi was jacked into electric ladyland,
his radiant smile hiding pain,
and covering other people's lies.
Even so, Jimi believed in his message,
sincerity set him apart from the crowd,
which is why he made sure
not to let his smile, wither and die.
But the more that his manager pushed,
the more that Jimi's pusher came....
Jimi was hypnotized by the flashbulbs of fame,
attempting to out-run a childhood filled with shame -
blowing out speaker stacks
with that twisted pedal magic,
vibrated from his guitar,
making love to the sky with rainbow hues
of acid rock-induced rolling blues.
Jimi simply wanted someone to love him back
even half as much as he could,
for Jimi's love was honest and hard,
with wings waiting to be released
into a world not yet ready to be free.
Kissed the sky.
Kiss the sky
Hanging on by a thread
A golden thin thread
Immortality the vision
But dying is the truth
Hanging by a thread
The words almost pouring
From my tight sealed lips
A thread holding me on to my sanity
Purple haze blurs the sight of you
Purple haze of my poisonous secrets
The blood in my veins vanished in yours
Now your in my blood and I'm in yours
Hanging by a thread my faith in humans
Bashing hating cursing ..
Hanging by a thread my own existence
as the confusion of my thoughts got me drifted
An ocean of threads hanging on to each other
waiting a blow to untie one another
Only fires burning bright,
will glimmer in the dim of night.
On the edge of the forest where the river is red,
where faith and reason both are dead.
In ecstasy the invalids run astray,
into the circles where the shadows play.
Of silhouettes dancing in the earthly mist,
raving naked with sanity dismissed.
Running wild in ceremonial haze,
with eyes made of opium and hearts of clay.
Their lonely fires burning bright,
cast smoke rings off into the night.
Whilst the ancient forest is oblivious to their undertakings.
And watches the smoke pass out of sight.
I won’t sink anymore
She was breathing in the drastic darkness
as it gulped us down.
I’m in a good place
Wandering the passenger seat for someone’s noisy sobs
before finding them in her own throat.
I’m so tired
So she flicked on the lighter
and drew it toward her eyes
until her face began to melt behind the flame’s watery haze.
I turned my head and
the cigarette I had seen tottering
between her teeth had become a rolled up
page of Silverstein with Where the Sidewalk Ends
curling slowly toward her lips.
Happiness is that single drag of warm poisonous air
I took from my uncle's last cigarette as it struggled to not fall apart
Into ashes and disappear into the sand below and become as I have--
A speck of dust in your photo album of memories and I am only waiting
Till you blow it away and get rid of me, forever
Happiness is that one day in October, when I awoke and felt absolutely nothing
No sadness and no pain, and maybe it was happiness or so I suppose
And it stayed like that, for the next three days
Till the music stopped and the haze cleared
Happiness was looking into your eyes and seeing anything
Other than just the ghost of you and feeling anything other than dread
Happiness was actually standing in front of you and not just
Thanking God for peripheral vision
Through a haze of gray the ocean foams,
Its thunder set against the sea,
Waves that play tag with the shore,
And then reach out to beckon me.
They raised me here, the sand, the sun.
How I loved the wind against my face.
It haunts this white and sandy shore,
Its clefts and crags, with curious grace.
A scent of cocoa butter in the breeze
Twists its way through willow trees,
That dot the boardwalk to the Bay,
And oh, so gently drifts away.
I can taste the salt within the air,
And hear the children playing there,
Tossing their Frisbee in the salty foam,
As starfish climb the mossy stone.
The crabs along the jetty sneak
Through stony clefts for one brief peek,
And hide again when we pass through,
The seaweed and green waters blue.
And this welcome wind, so warm and dry
Whistles soft against my gray-blue sky.
Reminding me of their golden glow,
Of treasured times so long ago
The gulls, like thieves, are never shy,
As they swoop, roll, dart, screech and cry,
And dive for scraps left on the dock,
By the fishermen now out on the jetty rock.
Oh, bring me back to my wild sea!
Fill my heart and soul and more
With all the wonders blessed to me.
I think this is what memories are for.
Copyright © 2004 Richard D. Remler
It was just one of those days
when the haze of summer had just started to lull the suburbs
into a sticky heat
of grills and lawn mowers
of air conditioning
(everyone pretended not to use it; windows! barked the mothers, windows!)
and the sweat stuck to the brows
of the life guards
napping in the sun
above an empty pool
the Dawson pool.
No one ever swam there
and the lifeguards knew it
those teenagers, sunning themselves lazily on hot days like this
(and the mothers! They complained about the tans. Cancer! the said.
In a way they were right,
The waters were clear but the fences were rusted
the diving boards were falling
throwing themselves off the deep end
those lazy days
and the mothers! the constant nagging of soccer moms
lulled around the pool
on the day
Her face was like shoe leather
tanned by no fewer than 98 summers spent on porch swings
like her feet were considering
this woman presented her 5 dollars to the girl at the gate
(some surprised lifeguard, because, you see, no one ever swam in Dawson pool)
and pushed inside.
Cassandra never left her porch.
and the mothers! how they scolded their children for teasing her
(even though they had done the same thing at that age.
That's how old Cassandra was).
Decades of the suburbs
and push mowers
and world wars
stayed like photograph around her face.
The lifeguards stared.
Cassandra kicked off her flip flops and shrugged off her mumu.
In a pink bathing suit she sank into the water.
The age melted off of her as she danced through the water
the strokes were slow and deliberate
and the lifeguards watched as she pulled herself from one end of the pool to another and back.
She made 16 rings
remembering her childhood
for her marriage
and then 60
before she stopped.
60 years old, the year her husband died.
The year she had stopped talking
aside from the hushed prayers in church
but she was talking to him; that didn't count.
And Cassandra just disappeared.
No one found the body
no one found anything
aside from flip flops and a mumu.
The lifeguards were nearly scandalized
for letting Cassandra drown
but soon she went from a news story to a ghost
and the mothers! sniped at their children
"Did you here about old Ms. Cassandra?
They say she found God."
she took an apprehensive step forward in the thick darkness.
hands shaking, heartbeat erratic, she steadily slid a foot forward. past the black haze she saw an image. she was appalled at the person she saw before her. it was truly of the most hideous things she had ever seen. she actually began to feel pity, despite the overwhelming disgust, towards the pathetic creature.
its face was contorted with an emotion she dubbed familiar. she shook her head in sorrow and halted in panic as it mimicked the action simultaneously.
she doubled over in what could only be described as a mixture of anguish and defeat. the emotion ran so deep as to strike tears into her eyes immediately as the familiarity turned into understanding. the creature was herself. her entire being shook violently with the emotion that came with her having given up. she was faced with the depth of this ringing truth about her reality and in that moment she had never felt so empty.