Breaking water, diving in with my body, head first.
Rippling seams and leaving stitches unfinished. I dive in to let the purity envelop me. Cleanse me and my pores,
return me to where I started from.
Release me from wars, unopened doors I wished I turned. Forget wounds of battle on my skin.
Open me.cut me open and leave me bleeding. Let my blood sink into the earth until there is nothing left, let me walk this earth for miles and miles, let me feel the pain in my lungs and my being escaping from my hoarse throat. Let me build a moat around my princess castle and then tear it down. Lightning strike me and rip my particles, rip the matter from me like guns on glass. Crack me and tear me. I will get up again. I will rise. Let me sing until my prayers are whispers. Forest water, reflecting green, serenity. I have dreams of black claws like raven glass closing in, scratching me bare. Howling and deep long nails and witchy eyes cackling like the darkness overlapping. I’m scared of the demons within closing in. I hide from the light, unaware of how I’m blocking out love from my life. Is it a dream or an old queen’s tale? My heart has seen so much and now I walk like wind or stones in snow. I trudge along trying to remain strong when the forces pull and tear the ramshackle down to the ground. Excuse me. I’ve been breathing and living seeing so many things and this compilation of stories warms my belly and tears my flesh. I am so close to the grave that I dug for myself but I must keep walking past that linear line that I set for myself. It is lines within circles. So many flows, I thought I chose the whole. Breathe. Pouring myself out into you. I wonder if I give and give it will fade into the soil and the canteen will empty. Melt like water. Feed you and leave me. Is it releasing or is it unhealthy for me to give myself away. I gave myself away. I have strewn pieces of myself into everything I have touched but I am afraid that one day there will be nothing left. Nothing left when finally I receive pieces of someone else. Will I take the pieces from them and have nothing left to share. Excuse me, it is not like me to be so dramatic and I am afraid to write things like this because it feels so cheesy except the process of seeking deeper is breaking that boundary and that un-comfortableness. Where did our love go? It existed between the skin and the bones. It was a facade or something else. I am not very sure. Not lust but colour, it was dewy green like steam from a coffee cup in the morning. Or the rain on the window pane while I slept in your arms and refrained from needing you too much, I cannot write about you without tears, write about your skin or your smile, and I am in a confined environment as I write this where such things are not very acceptable. I am hiding on the screen, escaping my heart. I cried this morning because it was all too perfect. I am cut open I suppose. Like that song “And it was your heart on the line / I really fucked it up this time / Didn't I, my dear?” Mumford and Sons even feels too perfectly imperfect that I laugh at myself and this funny hole I am in. I don’t like the swear word though, sometimes I laugh because it works. The “f” word in that song it just kind of fits. It is like the pathetic-ness and the hilarity, when we slip in mud and are covered in filth when we have nothing left but to cry and laugh because we are crying because nothing in this world really matters or it matters all too much. Because I don’t know where I’m going and I don’t think anybody does. We just muster our determination and passion and roll with it but still there is an element of unpredictability no matter how routine we have gotten. No matter how far we have fallen from our roots. Excuse me for crying this morning, don’t worry I laughed it off after. I laughed because of life and laughed because I cried, and I cried because I love you.
And now I walk like wind or stones in snow. I trudge on with all my strength. Wisping like whispers caught from the ears of children and passing through the world. Cold like ice on swing sets and little hands clasping them. Red fingers and red noses. Snot on mittens and sharp pain. Winter.
I Wisp like wind in water. I crack like stones of sand and rock. I break like waves on shores of life. I cry like the trees at night. Howling to the moon. I open when you call me. I close when I’m falling. I hide like children at night. I am under the streetlight, orange, alley cats in shadow homes and grey cement, dead rats, broken bones. My eyes are bare, sunken in the light. I suppose I should muster my might. Find peace beyond my fight. Escape distress. I wish you saw something more. I wish there was something else. Speeding on.
What's this aching in my bones
this pounding in my brain
this voice whispering in my ear
this awful burden I bare with strain
What's this torture in my soul
this burning in my veins
this relenting loneliness and pain
this confusion in my head
What's this trembling in my body
this vulnerability on my lips
this desperation I can't come to grips
these shaking hands and weak ass knees
What's this feeling inside of me
this hole I can't fill
this darkness I cannot peel
my mind is racing and my heart is too
this feels like depression that I am slipping into
What's this bitterness I feel towards men
how do I overcome this deli-ma I am in
how do i open up and let my feelings show
how am I suppose to love again with this heart that is not whole
What's this anger dwelling deep in me
how do I rid myself of this disease
what will it take to put the past behind
what must I do to just let you go this time
What's this sinking feeling deep in my gut
this burning sensation like being freshly cut
why must I continually gasp to breathe
it's like a tsunami wave crashing down upon me!
Copyright © 2013 by Ashley Rodden
In the Fall, when the temperature of the Bay would drop and the wind blew ice, frost would gather on the lawn near Henry Gondel's room. It was not a heavy frost, but one that just covered each blade of grass with a fine, white, almost dusty coat. Most mornings, he would stumble out of the garage where he slept and tip toe past the ice speckled patch of brown and green spotted grass, so to make his way inside to relieve himself. If he was in no hurry, he would stand on the four stepped stoop and look back at the dried, dead leaves hanging from the wiry branches of three trees lined up against the neighbors fence. The seen was reminiscent of old gallows. Henry Moore had been living this routine for 20 some odd years
He had moved to California with his mother, father, and three brothers 35 years ago. Henry's father, born and raised in Tijuana, Mexico, had traveled across the Meixcan border with his wife, Betria Gonzalez and the three kids. They were all mostly babies then and none of the brothers claimed to remember anything, except one, Leo, said there was "A lotta dust in the car." Santiago Gondel, San for short, had fought in World War II and died of cancer ten years later. Henry had never heard his father talk about fighting or the war. If he was lucky to hear anything, it would have been when San was dead drunk and not paying very much attention to anyone, anyway.
"San loved two things in this world," Henry would say, "Booze and Johnny Cash.
Betria Gonzalez grew up in Tijuana, Mexico as well. Santiago met her through a friend and after a couple of dates, they were married. There is some talk of a dispute among the two families, that they didn't agree to the marriage and that they were too young, which they probably were. But, Santiago being Santiago, chose not to listen to anybody and only to his heart. They were married in a small church outside of town overlooking the Pacific. Betria told the kids that the waves thundered and crashed against the rocks that day and the sea looked endless. There were no pictures taken and only three people were at the ceremony: Betria, San, and the priest.
Of course, the four boys went to elementary and high school, and, of course, none of them went to college. One brother moved down to LA and eventually started working for a law firm doing their books. Another got married at 20 years old and was in and out of the house until getting under the wing of the union, doing construction and electrical. The third followed suit. Henry Moore, after high school, stayed put. Nothing in school interested him. Henry only liked what he could get into after school. The people of the streets were his muse, leaving him with the tramps, the dealers, the struggling restaurant owners, the laundry mat lingerers, the cops, the addicts, the gang bangers, the bible humpers, window washers, the jesus freaks, the EMT's, the old ladies pushing salvation, the guy on the corner and the guy behind the black, grated fence, and the DOA's. Henry didn't have much time for anyone else after them.
Henry Gondel looked at himself in the mirror. The light was off and the room was dim, but sunlight streaked in through the blinds from outside, reflecting into the mirror and onto Henry's face. He was short, 5' 2'' or 5' 3'' at most with stubby, skinny legs, and a wide, barrel shpaed chest. Somehow, his pants were always one or two inches below his waistline, so the crack of his ass would constantly peek out. Henry's deep, chocolate colored hair was that of an ancient Native American, long and nearly touching the tip of his belt if he stood up straight. No one knew how long he had been growing it out for. No one knew him any other way. He would comb his hair incessantly: before and after a shower, walking around the house, watching television with Betria on the couch, talking to friends when they came by, and when he drove to work, when he had it.
Normal work, nine to five work, did not work for Henry. "I need to be my own boss," he'd say. With that fact in place, Henry turned to being a handy man, roofing, and construction. No one knew where he would get the jobs that he would get, he would just have them one day. And whenever he 'd finish a job, he'd complain about how much they'd shorted him, soon to move on to the next one. Henry never had to listen to anyone and, most of the time, he got free lunches out of it. It was a very strange routine, but it worked for him and Betria had no complaints as long as he was bringing some money in and keeping busy. After Santiago died, she became the head of the house, but really let her boys do whatever they wanted.
Henry took a quick shower and blow dried his hair, something he never did unless he was in a hurry. He had a job in the east bay at a sorority house near the Berkley campus. At the table, he ate three leftover chicken thighs, toast, and two over easy eggs. Betria was still in bed, awake and reading. Henry heard her two dogs barking and scratching on her bedroom door. He got up, combing his damp hair, tugging and straining to get each individual knot out. When he opened the door, the smaller, thinner one Boy Boy, shot under his legs and to the front door where his toy was. The fat, beige pig-like one waddled out beside Henry and went straight for its food bowl.
"Good morning," said Henry to Betria.
Betria looked at Henry over her glasses, "You eat already?"
"Yep," he announced, "Got to go to work."
"That's good. Dondé?" Betria looked back down at her spanish TV guide booklet.
"Berkley somewhere," Henry said, bringing the comb smoothly down through his hair.
"That's good, that's good."
"OK!" Henry sighed loudly, shutting the door behind him. He walked back to the dinner table and finished his meal. Then, Betria shouted something from her room that Henry couldn't hear.
"What?" asked Henry, yelling so she could hear him over the television. She shouted again, but Henry still couldn't hear her. Henry got up and went back to her room, dirty dish in hand. He opened her door and looked at her without saying anything.
"Take the dogs out to pee," Betria told him, "Out the back, not the front."
"Yeah," Henry said and shut the door.
"Come on you dogs," Henry mumbled, dropping his dish in the sink. Betria always did everyones dishes. She called it "her exercise."
Entangled within you're distorted chains
your pendulum swinging in reverse
as the spring of our love strains
from weights that made us disperse
As you're painfully inaccurate hands
tick vigorously through my life
I cry my last tear drop as it lands
upon uplifting hope, freedoms knife
Dauntlessly cutting wires to unravel
from a future that seems unstable
untangling to allow my heart to travel
faraway, free from you're love's fable
Reminiscing the times forever glassed
within you're soul, beneath eyes so bleak
I lock the door to my defective past
as I unwind the chime, of my beloved antique.
He can't hear the droplets
of my lonesome tears
the cracking in my voice
through faded ears
He can't envision my pain
this life of grim skies
when he chose to be blind
with faded eyes
He can't make me feel
when hands no longer clutch
our lips lost from one another
this faded touch
He can't disentangle our past
set free the memory of
what would always be
a faded love.
like shadows from sunlit roads
in decembers of no return
without us walking bravely,
only snow traces of ghosts.
and I wonder
why the sun died so fast
swept towards a deeper tundra
unraveling the boreal tempest
to mirror those who lose breath
behind iced window blinds
of monumental past.
Dig your teeth from out of the street.
Stumble back to your feet, boy, you aint finished yet.
The more we fall, the harder these callouses grow from crawling on all fours across coarse, crumbling asphalt; sprawled out like spider legs. Desperate to seem larger than life deemed fit. And we fall so hard. You can tell by the fine collection of scars forming constellations across our elbows and knees as if to say, "Look, we bleed so much like sky, why wouldn’t we believe that we could defy gravity?" Yet, come Sunday, we’re always convinced that flying will come naturally so, naturally, we fall again from the tops of tall buildings.
The harder we fall, the greater the impression we make upon the Earth. That’s the Looney Tunes lesson we are hellbent to learn as children from Saturday morning cartoons, and even here, with the wind rushing past our ears, we question how Wiley Coyote could ever be so fucking stubborn.
But these days a friend teaches me my grown-up, penny pinching lessons with wishing well thoughts about how I should slow down. He says, “you’re a snail with Nascar aspirations--obsessed with the novelty of speed, ignoring how your anatomy isn’t meant to move so quickly.” He says, “Everyone knows you’re a sucker for a pretty face and a sundress.” And I know I’m just being defensive, but his advice strikes me as off-putting as an Ed Hardy t-shirt when it dawns on me that he wears his knowledge like a bad fashion statement but did he ever even know what the rhythm in my pace meant? I’m not the kind to stand still and see where the train stops, I’m a freight-hopper without a destination. When excited, I speak faster like some love-child of candlestick and dynamite: Ignited. Spitting sparks from both burning ends. I know I’m primed for disaster, but I’d rather shatter and burst open than fracture and spend every morning after holding those cracks together; believing that a little glue is sufficient to convince the next bargain bin buyer to cradle me that I’m not broken.
Let me rather be particle matter. Let me be braille for the breeze. I have no doubt that day will come eventually. But not today. Today, I find Grace in reanimation, and if they say Grace is the face of God, then I’ll practice my best Christ impression and rise again from this human shaped crater like the world’s least intimidating zombie apocalypse. I’ll bless my eyes blind with crosses tilted off-kilter like dead cartoons do because on Saturday mornings they’re always reborn with epiphanies sprouted like angel wings and I imagine, come Sunday, they’ve somehow mastered the art of flying.
Sitting on the curb, I wait
the light within me quenched
to live or die, is what I debate
as rain falls, my body drenched
Unseen, by the people walking past
that are unaware of my intention
these strangers to whom I contrast
unknowing of my need, for intervention
Depressions rain, drips down my face
I search for happy thoughts
within my mind, the past I retrace
as I come up with blank lonely spots
No joy has ever touched upon me
a walk off the curb, digs my grave
gone from this world, an escapee
a depressed soul, you couldn't save.
cleansed to revive
a concave heart
convex in the mirrors
of a child's clown
playground of distortion
whisper my name
keep me in the frame
there's no way out
of this fixed full game
question her love
her guilt feeds my pain
never one to lose
why'd I ever enter
the labyrinth of lovers
hearts beating and folding
her on one end
me over the over
each step I smell her
her scent my guide
walls so high a secret
garden enclosed my soul.
© Sia Jane
"There was someone that I knew before
A heart from the past that I cannot forget
I let him take all my gold, and hurt me so bad
But now for you, I have nothing left of all my gold."
Bat For Lashes - All Your Gold
written words are life -
breath them alive it's your gift
shadows you'll leave behind
apathetic minds -
leave knowledge to others
they blindly follow behind
Hitler burned books while -
shrieking hypnotic decrees
ashes of truth fell behind
study history -
seek the wisdom of the past
leave your cherished words behind