I just wanted to know if Uncle's in the back room
He left the kids out playing razors in the bathroom
Knock hammers on the bedroom door
Hanging out with guts, that whore
The story's folklore,
I heard it in a high boat
At least eleven for me
tv tube eyes
the blind watchers
I come to a bulwark
of quiet flesh, beating
to a hum of worldly
duress. And cling, bare-handed,
to stiff ledges, bone tablets as steps.
And look upon irradiated, insular eyes,
bathing blue-bleached irises
in wasteful drowned drops,
and find light-toothed ducts
emitting serrated levitations
of a tender sort of might.
There are women who stride
along on spherical streets,
and men who talk
to a range of idle watchers
and lonely listeners in a
Spurred whistles flow through
lunar clipped doors, and curtains are
drawn closely to naked blades
and are grafted as reborn skin
and contort into a breathless maze.
And the blaze blows wispy ash plumes
that tremble down my legs.
And scald the rest, my bare, bare form, pressed
inward, into another,
into fast entwining, shaking hips.
To tongue-bound kisses from red tile lips.
Can you see past protocol?
Let yourself fall away from the watchers?
Stay with me
You’re safe within this moment
I’ld love to hear your heart sigh
Stay with me
Relive the defeat of temptation
Recall every moment of frustration
Entice with touch
Seal with soft embrace
Liberate your senses
You’ve no cause for fear
I’ll keep you
one of those fucking awful black days
When nothing is pleasing and everything that happens
Is an excuse for anger
An outlet for emotions stockpiled, an arsenal, an armour
These are the days when I hate the world
Hate the rich, hate the happy
Hate the complacent, the TV watchers
Beer drinkers, the satisfied ones
Because I know I can be all of those little hateful things
And then I hate myself for realizing that
There's no preventative, directive or safe approach for living
We each know our own fate
We know from our youth how to be treated
How we'll be received, how we shall end
These things don't change
You can change your clothes
Change your hairstyle, your friends, cities, continents
But sooner or later your own self will always catch up
Always it waits in the wings
The darkness wraps my hands in a hungry embrace that reminds me of the yearning that had once burned too deep in my heart. I smirk, somehow that fire still had embers, unlike the ashes in my pipe. I grab a pack of cigarettes and step out into the hallway. Walking down the stairs silently I surprise a tenant fumbling with her keys; she freezes (usually when someone is silent others fill that silence with their own fantasies but Death is so strong within me that there is no space for them to fill), I placate her uneasiness with a smile and keep walking. As I pass by her, I realize that her apartment is right beneath mine. I glance back and realize that she’s watching me too; I almost stop but the fluid molasses in my bones smoothes out the jerk of my heart and continues my path, unaltered.
Later, under the swollen clouds, I catch the last glimpse of sunlight before it yields to the crushing horizons of storm and sea. Standing in the lush green of the coast, I find it difficult to remember why I gave up. The grey fog rises up in me; I shake my head and plant my feet. Staring stoically into the horizon where that last beam had emanated from, I push my mind outwards, into the trees, into the soil, into the sea. I stand for ten minutes, reaching into the magnetic fields piercing us all, until my mind purifies into soul and I leave my body standing there. My consciousness dives deep into the sea, unknown channels of awareness feeding me information about the lives below. I freeze at the continental shelf. The whispered rumblings that lay beyond spoke of ancient souls possessing a knowledge that threatened to consume my existence; I fade back into myself. Another failure.
I forget the world around me as I walk back to the streets and humanity, diving into a different sea, a sea of memories. First, the image of a free-diver, poised confidently at the edge of that darkly blue abyss, spreading his arms and falling then swimming into the depths; a true warrior. Then comes the remembrance of a dream, a story of adventure.
I wake up to the sound of gulls screeching at each other, fighting over everything by the sound. I open my eyes; the sharp light of autumn comes through the leaves of trees that flank the path on both sides. I turn over and push myself to my feet. Dichotomies surround, to my right is the open sea, calm for now; on my left is an artificial lake bordered on the opposite side by a serene forest filled with yellows and oranges, light made solid. Behind me is an expanse of fog that stretches as far as I can see, its lack of motion is unnerving. Ahead, the path, seven meters wide, has no apparent end or juncture with the land. I consider crossing the lake but as I step to the edge of the gravel and place my foot on the first rock down, I see a dark shadow approach from beneath. A snake of enormous size glides past, the glint of his silver scales is accentuated by the ruby red stripes that lead to his eyes. An eye, almost the size of my fist, meets mine and I understand. He is the keeper of the water, he knows his place and he knows mine; I ask him for my place, he dismisses the question, it is for me to discover and not his to give.
I walk onward. For hours I walk beneath the soothing light of a loving sun and know no hunger or thirst. Time becomes meaningless in a place where only the sun and moon travel. Eternity embraces me.
Then, a shift.
Clouds form across the ocean, and suddenly my body reels in pain. Throat parched and belly pinched, I crawl to the edge of the lake to drink. I reach towards the water and suddenly it breaks apart as the spread jaws of the Snake rush towards me. I snatch my hand back and the fangs stop inches from my face. He lowers his head to look me evenly in the eyes. I stare into his soul and he contemplates mine. I see endless eternities wrapped up into a torus made of fire and water; their eternal conflict wrapping the ends of time into a seamless knot of light and darks. He says to me, “Face your trials.”
I stand up straight and say goodbye to him. Back on the path I keep walking, hunger and thirst eating away at my bones. In the failing light, I catch an unbelievable sight, the path veers at a right angle to the left, into the forest. Stunned, I almost stop walking, but my feet know their job too well. As I approach the end of the path I realize there is more to be known here. A choice to be made. The path does not entirely end, it becomes a pier that stretches thirty meters out into the black sea. More intriguing is the concrete structure that lies between the new path and the pier. It’s trapezoidal faces penetrate the sand to an unknown depth. I walk around, there is only one opening, a square window that faces out to sea. The steel shutter for the window is open and oddly unweathered. There is graffiti on the structure, most of it worn away by time and the sea. I look back at the shutter suspiciously then glance back at the faded letters. One message is still legible, it reads ‘The Way is silent’. Ominous. I step back and consider the structure. I decide to leave it. I notice suddenly how dark the sky has become, heavy clouds block out the sun. The possibility of a storm frightens me and I run towards the forest. A flash blinds me and a hot blast of air throws me against the structure. I lay there barely breathing, waiting for my sight to return, if it will return. Rain begins to fall and I remember His words. Face your trials. I open my eyes and see the shadowy outlines of the path; it’s too dark to tell if my eyes are damaged. I stand straight once more and climb through the window, and then… a shift.
I find myself standing in the rain, waiting for a light on a post to let me through the street. The dream always fades away there. That old black hole is tiptoed around until it violently reasserts its enduring presence. I get to the apartments and stay outside the door, an overhang shields me from the rain. I light up and watch the droplets splash against the world. There’s some sort of metaphor in that, I think as I take a large drag. Holding it in, I feel my nerves sink into the ground as the nicotine fills my body. As I let it out, peace washes over me. I stand there awhile longer to finish my cigarette until I notice a figure crossing the street towards me. My mild surprise dissipates as I remember where I’m standing, social awkwardness takes its place and I dissipate it by opening the door for the person. The light from inside spreads to the ground in front of them, and they look up. It’s the girl from below, her eyes were filled with some sort of hope but as recognition spread across her face, the hope faded away. Something stabbed at my heart and I smiled to cover it. She smiled back, a friendly smile, but there was another message in her eyes, something I couldn’t read. She thanked me and passed on. Utterly perplexed, I held the door open longer than necessary and let it go with a start. The last few drags were fitful and unpleasant; I stamped out the butt and threw it away.
I could’ve sworn I never saw her before today and yet she seemed so familiar. I walked upstairs angrily. I know I have a terrible social memory, but it can’t be that bad. I haven’t been to party in this town so it was very unlikely that I’ve ever met her before and forgot. I stopped at her hallway. The door was right there, I could just knock and talk to her, what was the harm in that? But no, what if I’m just imagining things? Maybe the correlation between her recognition and the fading of hope was accidental, she was just disappointed that I wasn’t who she expected. What if she does know me and expects me to be something other than I am? Paranoia. I shook my head and turned to the stairs.
I woke with the disgusting feel of sweat soaked into the sheets. I rose quickly and was surprised by the droplets running down my face. What the hell happened? I raced around the apartment. Nothing was out of place, all the locks were closed. That left the internal world as the cause. I sat down and tried to remember. There was nothing left but fire and that damned laughter.
you’re weak, boy
The fuck? I opened my eyes and looked around. Nothing. Thoroughly convinced that I was near the breaking point, I grabbed a hat and a coat and ran to the door. I took a deep breath, slowed my heart, reset my face to neutral and stepped out. A casual smile flickered across my lips as an overly friendly neighbor walked passed with his laundry.
“How’s it hangin’ bro?”
“Deep and blue.” I replied enigmatically with a smile that allowed him to accept it as humor.
He laughed and said, “Might want to get that checked out, most girls won’t appreciate that kind of snake.”
“Indeed.” I walked upstairs so I wouldn’t have to deal with him all the way down. After he passed to the second floor, I went back down. I stopped at her door again, but only to regard it as a curiosity, my decision had been made last night.
I nearly jumped as the knob turned. I froze and watched the sliver of light expand into a halo spread over her dark red hair. How did I notice her before? The luminous blue eyes in front of me had a questioning look. “Sorry, ma’am, you caught me by surprise.”
“I’s okay, you returned the favor. You look like a deer caught in headlights, though, so I guess you had it worse.”
“As long as you don’t run me over, I’ll be fine.” A genuine smile came to my lips.
“That depends on whether you want to be.” The tone in her voice changed dramatically. All playfulness was gone. I realized suddenly that her eyes hadn’t left mine, she wasn’t making a sexual overture at all, somehow she had glimpsed my will to Death.
Stunned, once again, I simply stared for a few moments and then murmured, “So the eyes really are the window to the soul.”
“Indeed.” Her eyes left mine and she walked downstairs without another word. I watched her as she descended, an elegant figure who flowed down the steps with a grace that reminded me of a willow bending in the wind. She stopped at the landing and looked at me once more. There was no revulsion in her eyes, either she did not mind being checked out or she knew that my gaze meant something more than the twisting of my loins. There was a certain steadiness in there that contained a familiar message. Face your trials. As I heard it in my mind, her gaze dropped and she continued on. I stood there with my hands on the rails awhile longer, contemplating. I suddenly wished that I had a friend, someone I could trust and who could confirm that this woman existed.
I looked down at my coat and decided it was unnecessary, I wasn’t going to be stumbling drunk through the city today. I went up to my apartment and changed into lighter fare, I even shaved. feeling better-looking, I opened my laptop and looked up events in the city. I found a photography exhibition that would open tonight, nothing formal, it was a local exhibition. More likely to be focused on the art instead of prestige, which made it very palatable to me. That a left a whole day to burn, correction, use. I paused. That was correction I hadn’t made in a long, long time. Come to think of it, how long has it been since I’ve used a day? She gets one smile out of me and suddenly I’m reborn? Bullshit, can’t be that easy. Either way, it’d be good to produce.
I grabbed a sketchpad and headed out to the park. I sat between three trees off the path, where I could be alone. Pencil in hand, I crafted the image of lightning descending from the sky with explosive force onto the crown of great dragon, one leg back bracing against the force of the storm. The electricity illuminated him from the inside and spread out through his wings, savagely striking through body into earth.
When it was done, my mind returned to the surface and I wondered at the lack of self in it, at least, the self I commanded. It made sense that the part of me which heeds no command or restraint would be the most eloquently creative. I laid back in the grass and watched the ghostlike traces of vapor in the sky above drift calmly past from one tree’s embrace to another’s. The tension in the grass beneath was comforting. They shall not falter. Comforted, I drifted away into the skies above.
I awoke at sunset and ventured back into the lives of others. I walked around the park for awhile until I found some teenagers whose awkward outbursts of expression told me of their lack of understanding. They did not know Death and so of course He would tempt them. I approached, silently as always.
“Which of you would like a genuine message from God?” I declared in a parody of frightful conviction.
They considered me with confused glances until one broke from her stupor, “You a priest?”
“Yes, and I follow the word of Art.” I smiled and raised the drawing. “2.99 is the exclusive offer for this prescient piece of work.”
“I’ll give you a dollar to leave us alone.” the one with muscles and tight pants said.
“Any other takers?”
“I’ll buy you food man, I won’t feed your drug habit.”
I laughed long and hard. “Don’t concern yourself with me! I am the very model of a modern major general, the ideal of a self-sufficient man. My request for trade is not for my benefit, it is solely to remove the guilt of the unearned from your hearts. Thus, I shall sell this to you for as much as your heart desires.”
“So if I gave you a hundred dollars would that burden you?” the girl asked. I noticed the perceptive light of her eyes.
“Not at all, dear madam, money is an idea and all ideas are open to those who are willing to work to understand them.” My grin turned revolutionarily dark.
“So what would burden you?”
“A kiss would break my back.” My grin faltered, how the fuck did that confession escape? Something’s wrong, or at the very least, changed. Their guarded expressions opened a little as my mask cracked. Slightly angry at my lack of control, I became dramatic. “In fact, I shall give to the Earth, for she has given me everything.” I dropped it at their feet and walked away. I was only a few steps away when I heard her say to her friends, “Don’t wait up.” I kept walking and smiled at the sound of her rushed steps to catch up with me. As she caught up I noticed a rolled piece of paper in her left hand. I almost smiled again but withheld it. “I guess rambling idiots don’t scare you.”
“You shouldn’t talk like that.”
“Oh, and why is that?”
“Lying about yourself is the same as hating yourself. It’s worse when you’re destroying something that could be good.” Two sentences and she’s already striking my heart. Why is it so easy for them?
“So you think you know me.”
She stopped walking. I almost keep walking but for once, I find myself stopping. I turn around and look her in the eyes. Dazzling green. Like jewels. I stop myself and begin reassembling my armor but she speaks too soon. “I know enough about the world to know that when a man approaches strangers as intensely as you just did, it means that he has a story to tell. And storytellers always respect truth, if they have any love left in them.”
“My stories are too dark to share, the world’s got enough problems without sharing mine.”
“If you can’t let go of your hatred, you won’t be able to find anything else.”
I lower my eyes, “Not even death?”
“If you wanted it, you’d have it.”
I raise my eyes to hers once again. “How do you people keep finding me?”
She pauses, confidence shaken. Her clear image of the man before her warped. “Are you a schizo?”
I consider saying yes in order to escape her but then I realize the grasping claws of pity would just trade places with her eyes. “I was talking about your soul. You and other Watchers keep finding me, pulling me back to my purpose but I don’t want it.” My voice has fallen to a harsh whisper. “My gaze is poison. Let me remove it!”
Somehow the denial reaffirms her suspicion but the different approach results in her becoming scared rather than piteous. She looks around and I realize there is no one in sight and the sun is gone. The unknown bears down on us and I have a vision of her on her knees, bound before me. She looks into my eyes and finds only darkness; she steps back.
“You see? Poison.” My voice cracks on the last syllable.
Fear fades from eyes but before she says anything more I step off the path into darkness where she won’t follow.
In a few hours I’m back on Mulberry, almost home, if anyplace can be considered my home. My hands feel clammy from the cigarette I’m smoking and I lose myself in the unclean fire at its tip. My reverie is broken by the awareness of someone sitting at the front of the door. She raises her eyes, a memory of a bright blue sky. A smile comes, unbidden. “Hey there, why are you sitting out in the cold?”
She laughs ashamedly, “I think I left my key in the apartment.”
“Couldn’t buzz anybody to let you in?”
A hardness enters her eyes, “I can’t stand speaking to people through a box.” I decide not to push the matter and open the door. We climb up the stairs silently, side by side. We stop on the second floor, her apartment door only a few steps away. She’s about to say something but I interject before the first sound is made. “I guess I’ll see you around. Have a good night!”
She doesn’t respond right away, apparently wondering whether to continue with this tract or return to hers. I suddenly wish I hadn’t blocked her, the familiar guilt of a missed opportunity courses through me and I turn away before she even has her hand on the doorknob.
Once upstairs I turn on the music to drown out any sounds from below. I grab the pipe and hotbox my bathroom. Thirty minutes later I’ve forgotten her as I guide my avatar through wartorn battlefields that mercifully require every fiber of my awareness to navigate. When it begins to wear off, I keep smoking until I pass out.
Eternities pass beneath a solemn moon, reflections of the wasted past and hopeless future spent in a netherworld where time and distance have no meaning. Eventually my soul drifts back to the brain and I find myself in front of the cement bunker once more. The storm is in full rage now, the waves smash against the rocks, slowly loosening their hold on each other. Lightning flashes across the sky and stinging rain slashes my skin. I look down at that frightening message once more, the concrete remains untouched by the force of the wind and sea. I climb through the black hole once more and drop down into the darkness. The way is silent. The steel cover falls behind me and cuts me off from all remnants of light and sound. Even the screaming winds have no power in this eternal place. I desperately attempt to lift it but the seam that should've existed between the steel and concrete simply did no exist, fused through some unknown process. Despair overtook me long ago and I'd learned to keep walking in spite of the lack of inner light but how much longer can I go on?
The ground is hard and cold, I try to lay down but it steals my heat with an unbearable hunger. I am forced to walk on. I grope with stuttering hands and steps, unable to discern any manner of form within that hollow blackness. I turn back and find the wall, I follow it on the right hand side starting from the square cut that borders the implacable steel. The wall turns soon but not nearly quick enough to make sense within the context of it's supposed dimensions. Suddenly I am aware that I am within a dream but for once, I do not awake instantly. Instead harsh vibrations begin to coarse through my body and I fall silently to the floor as hole opens in the roof above. The full moon mocks me from above, the storm has moved within. A magnetic force draws my hands into prayer over my chest and a sinister cloud of black dust rises out of my belly. Red eyes open within it and savage energies burn my nerves and rip my muscles. I stand slowly, silently screaming in fear and rage, but I cannot extend my spine. I roll around in tormentous pain, slamming my fists, my shoulders, my knees, my body against the stone floor. I taste death and a subtle, purple tinge grows within the dark cloud, resolving into the shape of a winged serpent. The black scales encase the glowing essence and its eyes become a deep purple, promising a fire that could consume me in total finality. Its maw opens wide and silver teeth bathe in demonic fire that reaches for my body, my soul. It never hits me. A golden dragon bursts from my heart and swallows the dark flames. Hope burns suddenly and fiercely in my heart but not for long. The dragons curl side by side and their teeth shine in the blue moonlight. It takes me a moment to realize that they are smiling at me. The golden one speaks, "Did you imagine it could ever be that easy?" His sinister grin quenches the fire within me and my shoulders go slack as I watch them vaporize and fade into the moonrays. The hole closes and darkness embraces me once more. Mercifully, I awake.
The sun still won't shine. A low mist pursues dark shadows between the buildings, rushing onward with a purpose. I laugh to myself, the weather has more direction than I. The smile on my lips disappears quickly. The neurochemical overcharge from the marijuana always leaves me feeling like an empty shell. No idea provides any pleasure so I take a shower and masturbate until it hurts. The guilt of idleness forces me to pace the small apartment until I rip the key off the wall and storm outside.
The open sky offers no respite from my own mind but it does help me breath a little easier.
Cold winds killing the breath of life;
Lands saturated with the bones of the dead.
Pondering the meaning of so much destruction;
Touching the spirits of mindful watchers
Gazing at the signs.
Thieves waiting for the house to empty.
Words buried beneath poignant sensations
Hidden from the living;
Wishing to resurrect sentiments to share
With the deceased.
Death promised the caterpillar its wings.
Sleep stolen in the midst of regrets;
Situations ferried by the unexplained
Within the fog of nightmares.
Remembering her spirit
Leaving without saying “goodbye”.
All manner of people can be found in train stations, there character
betrayed by attire too the more observational at least. The hard pressed city
worker, walking ever walking, phone at hand, ever scanning emails and ensuring
accessibility always, to control is too maintain is too succeed. Those who's steps seemingly shorter and more though out, are either here on some grand tour or some soire. As if silently noting surroundings, as the pass beneath the ornate decorations of their location. There care free folly the main indicator of intentions.From time to time a transport police officer shall pass, stern faced, seemingly compelled by some unknown mission. Others stand stationary a deterrent to would be criminals. From time to time the most beautiful facet of humanity is likely to appear, in the adoring stares of young lovers. It's this or the hold and don't let go grip, young lovers and train stations have long associated (In my mind at least) the point of departure is a grey area. Where displays of public affection normally reserved for movies and poems, reach the realm of social acceptability. Long deep kisses and well thought out speeches describing the grievances of an ever bleeding heart. There is one group I have failed to mention, who in there own way are entirely distinct from any of groups fore mentioned. They are the watchers, found normally at some quite looking coffee shop across the street, however this is not to imply they can not be any of the above. All of the above mix intermittently with interesting results, I shall for as long as I live never forget the passionate embrace of an on duty police officer and his wife. His eyes bright with surprise, at ease staring upon the one he so adores. I leave the station and head toward the embankment,
All manner of people pass me on their way to unknown offices, some holding hands and staring deeply. The rumble of unseen locomotive reassures me now of course I'm drawing closer, the winter winds once faint now felt. As the great leaves now all manner of colour pulled by unseen gusts. This city must surely be the greatest in the world, from the industrial chimneys distant to the rolling ocean. Dockers smoke cigarettes and exchange raucous tales whilst foreign sailors stare intently. I always try my hardest to listen to as much as I could manage of these half spoken speeches. Im rewarded instantly with an image far more detailed and planned than anything the most creative minds could conceive. The wild waves create orators, there thoughts distilled be evenings spent alone. I've always found myself drawn to transient people, I feel like I've spend forever dreaming of someplace else Greenland Egypt Canada, you name the place and I've seen it in my dreams at least. It took me a while longer than I care to admit to truly get a feel for the place, at first like some timid child I avoided it. From the age of thirteen I've been locked in a battle with wanderlust, my urge to leave it all is simply overwhelming. In all my darkest fantasies, I leave this place at some point on some old ocean liner to arrive at unknown port. Too share a meal with mountain air as my ashtray overflows. I warm myself with images of ancient explorers sailing distant oceans, guided by starlight. Some people just elude me. I'd call myself stubborn but certain people melt me, I the eternal romantic a victim of my own high hopes. I'd often find myself alone, staring across the river and wondering. I always sit upon the same old bench carved with all manner of messages declarations of undying love, names, dates all carved into immortality. The steady movement of approaching footsteps is eternal, beyond the customs house solitary North Star shines, as if admiring its provincial estate. An unknown entity now serving as a subtle voice of reason in the darkness, occasionally couples pass, as if to cement my my longing. The starlight illuminates breaking waves, as boats sway easy tied up to subtle quayside. Ever reminded of my obligations I should really leave and go to sleep. However the pull of the darkness is tangible, that was something! oh something! Suddenly a gentle calm smothers all thought, as lights glimmer distant. Light! Oh brother light, I the eternal castaway home bound at last. My expectations were entwined with food and wine, and the comfort of my own bed. This was victory!
Together we will bond in the darkness
As the light gathers beneath our feet
One will whisper we must be dreaming
Until the sun rises into the sky
We will stay in the cover of the shadows
While the day burns itself out
Night will set us free once again
Together without watchers
Safe to wonder and to wander
In our own little world.
The cordons of existence are constricting
For the keepers of the dream have let us down,
Who will buy tomorrow if performances are hollow
Causing all the global spectators to frown?
American has been the silk pyjamas
Since ’45 they’ve lead the world’s display
In health and wealth and brandishing the muscle
But in recent times it seems they’ve seen their day.
For since Clinton’s time the National debt has spiralled
They’ve departed brushfire wars in disarray,
Default now looms obscene with disharmony supreme
With Congressional leaders ranting in the fray.
The fiasco of a Government held to ransom
By a faction of extremist’s from the right,
Whilst the greenback in decline won’t change water into wine
The dire threat of fiscal chaos causes fright.
So global confidence is fading in the dollar
And the watchers shake their heads in blank despair,
For the willingness to follow is now a bitter pill to swallow
When the USA’s rock steadiness aint’ there.
So, what’s around the corner for tomorrow?
What aspirants are waiting in the wings?
With a fading USA perhaps it’s China’s turn to play
Though that’s going to mean adjustments made to things.
Of course we’re venturing into territory’s unchartered
And the crystal ball consulted, isn’t clear
But one thing I can assure, if this is what we must endure,
Is that our tomorrows will be something, now, to fear.
19 October 2013
FORTUNES READ the sign displayed
TRINKETS, CHARMS AND SPELLS
The store had not been here yesterday
shades of candles, books and bell
Drapes were hung from side to side
The windows all were dark
Where was this place a day ago?
Just yards from Salem Park
Gothic kids sat on the stoop
Waiting, hoping to get in
Were they wishing for an audience
Or to confess a mortal sin
The door was red, it's number black
The name of M. Laveau
Was etched into the window pane
It stood out like fresh, new snow
I thought "how kitsch", M. Laveau
New Orleans voodoo Queen
four hundred years since she had died
The best witch the world had seen
don't worry though, the address was
Not numbered 6 6 6
That would have been too hokey
Even my poems aren't that slick
My spider senses tingled
Just a line, not something real
But every now I get sensations
It's just something that I feel
I chose to pass the goth kids
pale, lethargic on the stoop
I figured something's coming
And I'm jumping through it's hoop
Something wicked this way comes
I thught as I went in
But, I was greeted by a little man
About four foot tall and thin
the bell rang loud behind me
As the door closed there behinda
and as the light diminishd
I was standing, slightly blind
The man just stood there staring
then he spoke, a tiny voice
"I know just why you've entered"
"Welcome, Billy Boyce"
I stood there, then I backstepped
How did this many know my name?
I knew it wasn't magic
It was just a parlour game
As my eyes became adjusted
I saw nothing in the room
Just this tiny little elfling
And some shelves, there in the gloom
I said, "I saw your sign, sir"
FORTUNES TOLD, and I'm intrigued
"Can you really tell my fortune?"
"Or are you playing on folks needs?"
"Not me sir, I'm just waitng"
"You see the mistress is not here"
"But, if some silver hits the counter"
"I am sure that she is near"
I thought again of M. Leveau
The Witch Queen, so long dead
But, the way he spoke about her
Seemed to fill me full of dread
I thought of charms and trinkets
But, the empty shelves displayed
Not a bell, a book, or candle
Just a scarf, just slightly frayed
"She can answer all your questions"
"Take the doubt away from life"
"She will open up your minds door"
"She will remove all of your strife"
He could see that I was pensive
I turned and saw something was wrong
Where I knew that I had entered
The front doorway, now was gone
He bade me sit, prepare my thoughts
The Mistress would soon show
I would not have to ask my questions
He said The Mistress, just would know
I thought, Ok, I'll play along
someone's gone to lots of work
But, there was no rooms or doorways
For the Voodoo Queen to lurk
He lit a candle on the counter
Not the window, like Elton John
He told me turn with eyes closed
And when I finished, he was gone
The man left just the candle
Some small match book and a key
Then the wind blew out the tiny flame
And I knew, I had to see
So, I funbled for the matchbook
Lit the candle once again
When the room was now alighted
I had that feeling once again
I knew I was not here alone
Someone else was here, but who
"would you like to take a seat dear sir?"
I just froze, what should I do?
I turned to face the speaker
A young lady, all alone
I just stood there, dumbstuck, staring
Like I had just been turned to stone
I sat as she requested,
In a chair, not there before
she said, "I'll tell your fortune"
"And if you want, I'll tell you more"
She said "you've many questions"
"I can read them in your mind"
"But, you must sit down and focus"
"This is going to take some time"
She spole to me of angels,
both the bad kind and the good
She told me of my watchers
Some who lingered closely in the woods
She told me things no one would know
Unless they'd seen them done
I felt like I'd been torn apart
Shot with a bullet from no gun
She said, "I am the one you think"
"Marie Laveau, the Voodoo Queen"
I said "I don't believe you"
She said "can you explain, what you have seen?"
I told her no, she had me there
But, why had she picked me
She said, "you have it backwards sir"
"It was your choice to see me"
Paul Prudhomme, New Orleans
The Saints and Dr. John
Katrina and a second line
All the people that were gone
She said "those thought have called me"
"You are someone who believes"
"You will bring life to my city"
"Before you make your choice to leave"
"through task and deed you will bring back"
"New Orleans from the dead"
"You will breath life to this wormy corpse"
"You will help her move ahead"
I told her "your'e mistaken"
"I believe you've got it wrong"
She said "I know of what I'm talking"
"You were singing my favorite song"
The Witch Queen of New Orleans
laughed and said I'd know just when
to start the resurrection
When to build this town again
The wind came up, the room went dark
I was alone in here once more
I again lit the old candle
Saw the thin man and the door
He said "you saw the mistress?"
I told him, she was here
He said " I always miss her"
I said "she'll be back I'm sure, no fear"
He said "you got your answers?"
I told him that I was not sure
She told me things about me
That I did not know before
I said she laid a challenge
To bring NOLA from the brink
She gave me more questions than just answers
And I needed time to think
He said "I know...she works that way"
And then he bade me well
And the front door slightly opened
And I heard a tiny bell
I walked to it and turned around
I was the only one inside
Had I really seen this little man?
Was the Witch Queen just a lie?
I left the store, the goth kid was gone
I was on the street alone
Was this my imagination?
Or just a story I had known?
I walked a bit and turned to look
Down the street back to the store
FORTUNES TOLD was out of sight
M. LAVEAU was gone once more
I don't know how I'd bring it back
Would the Saints come marching in?
I think it's just up to the people
To breath life in this town again
Blues and Louis Armstorng
The French Quarter, savoir faire
Laissez les bons temps rouler
Listen to Marie Laveau and enjoy all that is there.