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Hole in Hollow

The end was brought by men of sand
born creeping blood and streaming water.
Apocalypse fought in the heart of nature
by the hands of her heartless keepers.

In these glorious hours, mourn the grieving
this last morning, this gory evening.
Victory swept when they were dead in treason,
the ****** drenched in sweat and the wet bodies lie bleeding.

This is the end of everything,
the final fall season.

Foreword: My Plague

   This is that dream.
   I found myself on a long barren road, winding, far from the city, civilization for that matter.  My road meanders, slowly reaching my destination in what could have been a straight and focused line.  The curb reads my mind and takes me further as I try to escape it, following me.  I stutter in cursing and the clockwise becomes counter, but I age.  I age more rapidly than ever as the tape rewinds, or the record spins backwards.  My record sings supposed messages from the Devil as my existence lessens yet my sins become more.  How can I repent when there is nothing left?  There will be no wrong when I am done, but I will suffer for what wrong I had.  I will be a lie when I am not here to give the truth.  If this pain cannot be corrected, it will be shared.  This is my plague.  I will drown in this sea only knowing that I've spilled insanity's seed to blemish the water, blot the page.  This is my plague and you will feel it with me.
   I am telling the story and you are listening, with every page you read, you are the sinner's dream.  I have you.  This is my plague.  Action.

Chapter One: Love and Marriage

   "Oh, God, Bill, you must be ******* me."
   "No, Drake, I am never ******* you," I nearly shoot myself in the face and respond.
   "Same lady?"
   "Same lady," I think about how ugly she must be to keep calling and how much makeup it must take to bring her face to a tolerable state of viewing.
   "Drake, it's an outstanding fine of five thousand dollars, it's not even that big of a loss for you."
   "Then it sure as hell isn't that big of a gain for Master Rentals, BILL.  Are we even talking about the same money-******* corporation for Christ sakes, Bill?"
   "Drake, this will end in a lawsuit.  You don't have much of a choice."
   "Bill, God ******, BILL!  Stop repeating my name.  This is the reason I shouldn't have hired a male secretary in the first place, I'm entirely stressed the Hell out and have no one to comfort me because I'm not even the least bit attracted to you."
   "Drake, you're getting married," casually.
   "Bill, you're getting fired," seriously.
   I throw the phone and its base out of the open window, screaming in a wave of relief as it leaves me, and again, in pain, when I find the line still connected to the wall, and the unit hanging outside of my 12th story office which pans a great view of the Los Angeles sky and the pathetic bums beneath it.  At this point I would much prefer the phone's position in hanging from a ledge to mine, sweating in hatred, with a possibly homosexual secretary.  "Homosexual ex-secretary," I shed a tear of happiness upon this remembrance and see him in a daydream bleeding from several moderate wounds, with the only real puncture between his legs.
   I leave my office and would proceed to stab to death every male co-worker wearing a tie with a graphical pattern, but I have to get back to my apartment as soon as possible because I miss Sharon, my soon to be better half.  I am confronted by a beggar upon my exit of the building.
   "Amazing!  Two and a half seconds into hearing the door open you're already asking me for cash.  I bet you would be happy with yourself if you weren't such a worthless *******.  You'd make your father proud, but he's probably dead by now."  I remember the phone and shove the homeless Mexican to the ground, where he probably thanked me for acknowledging him.  I turn to my office window and wave a ******* at the device, dangling, swaying back and forth still.  I realize now that I had left my lights on when I came to work, but it doesn't really matter because I've only been here for a half hour and I'm already leaving.  I use a handkerchief to open the door because the handle is ***** and I fear the *** may have touched it.
   I remember on the drive home that people are **** when I see the passenger of the car in front of me throw assorted trash out of his window.  I consider beating him and the driver to death with their own exhaust pipe in the next ******* toll booth we pass through, but notice a police car following directly behind me.  The rest of my drive is calm and quiet and I try not to push too ******* the gas, as an inconsistency in acceleration is considered illegal in Los Angeles because these inconsiderate ****** don't have anything better to do than harass people who make more money than they do, maybe even by doing less work, of which I am incredibly proud to be in that sort of a position.
   I take a deep breath and enter my apartment.  I smile firmly as I notice my fiancé's puppy leaving a surprise on the welcome mat and carpet before me.  Startled, he stops abruptly and skips gleefully into the kitchen where I'm sure he will soon finish.  I apologize for interrupting.  I see the blood of my lover puddling on an expensive leather sofa that, to my memory, wasn't even present on my last visit, and follow a trail of the substance leading to the bathroom.  I realize I am fantasizing when the bathroom door swings open and Sharon smiles to my own disappointment.
   "Hunny, you're home!"
   "Hunny, I'm home.  Why did you buy that dreadful couch?"  I light up a cigar and pass her open arms for a fall onto the sofa's cushion on which she should be lifeless.
   "They say smoking causes cancer, you know?  It will **** you," sarcastic, but at the same time realistic.
   I shake my head back and forth, looking up as if I were falling, then looking down as if something fell in front of me.  Rolling my eyes in dismay, I'm thinking of something else to tell her.
   "They also say professionally trained dogs don't **** and **** on expensive carpet," quick, but at the same time commanding.
   "Why are you always so **** negative?" She screams softly, tearing up more quickly than usual.
   "Why are you always so **** positive?" I wonder if she's ever thought of dying her hair a ***** sort of blond, or dying at all.
   "Drake, you are killing me!" She screams, at the top of her lungs now, confirming my subconscious inquiry to be as positive as she is.
   "I'd have to see it to believe it."
   I am now calmly and cleverly reading the sports section of an outdated newspaper, wondering if the dog's already claimed territory on today's, showing neither affection nor displeasure in my response.
   She leaves the room crying in a manner too painful and obnoxious for me to ignore.
   "I LOVE IT HUNNY, I LOVE IT!  Keep it coming, baby.  The cameras are going wild!"  I mention this in reference to her joke of a career she took with modeling.
   How I love that woman so.  I confuse myself as I dream about making her swallow that engagement ring I got her at some point for a reason I don't understand or have lost the compassion for.
   "Did you know it was supposed to rain last month?  Have you seen today's paper?"  She had already left.  I know this because I heard the door shut two minutes ago and she left the way I came in.

Chapter Two: Milk and Eggs

   I try to act surprised as I answer the phone, but I'm entirely too fake.
   "Hey darling, I'll be home in about an hour, I decided I should get some milk and eggs before the supermarket closes."
   Milk and eggs?  Does she realize she was having a nervous breakdown only ten minutes ago?
   "Shannon, milk and eggs?"
   "Sharon, milk and eggs?" A smooth recovery.
   "Yes, milk and eggs.  We're all out." Alright.
   I hang up the phone slowly, stalling when the receiver almost touches, waiting... nothing.  Disappointed, I walk into the kitchen and forget what I was going to do.  I remember my high school sweety as my first real loss, Shannon.  Thirsty, I reach for the milk carton and upon lifting its weightlessness, I scream and hope Shannon knows what to expect when she gets back.  Sharon.  I look at my watch, quickly realizing I had spaced out for a time period of at least forty-five minutes.  I have fear that she will get back sooner than she expects, so I leave and choose to head for my office, but panic at my choices in transportation.  I never have this problem in the morning, I'm always wholeheartedly Bentley or Mercedes, but the afternoon is an entirely different story.  Sporty or speedy?  An eye at my watch tells me I don't have time for this, so I sob and hail a taxi.
   I can't become comfortable upon settling into the cheap interior with the non-leather backseat and realize I should have taken the Mercedes.  It's too late now because Sharon might be back.
   "Whey' you wan' go?"  The hardly English-speaking driver wails like a Puerto Rican, but upon further study, seems to be quite a Mexican.
   "Wan' go office."  The driver gives me shifty glances after this, squinting with a suspicious paranoia, first into the rearview mirror and secondly after turning around to face me.  I laugh and tell him to just go straight and stop stealing all of the American jobs.
   We pass by my office building where I wish my phone had fallen to some young child's death, or a welfare-dwelling tax-money-******* minority, but it hangs, relentless to my hunger.  I aspire to one day not think of ******, but I could stab the driver and roll him into a pond and be on my way just as well.
   On the walk home, I notice the relationship between the night sky I sleep under and the monster of which it makes me.  I'd try to elaborate, but I'm not quite sure I could.  My sleep is done when I wake up with Sharon nudging me, taking the best of one world and murdering it with the worst of another.  It is so unnecessary but happens nonetheless, hopelessly.
   Here I am, on my bed soaked in a cold sweat, Sharon crawling naked over me, salt on my tongue from my cheeks' streaming.
   "Good morning, sunshine.  Why the tears?"
   "What happened to the evening?"
   Upset, I'm sure now that I should remember something of the night before, probably better than I just made it out to be.  I've just had problems caring since she began speaking to me two years ago.  She flattens herself, chest to my lap, smiling to my reaction.
   "That always happens when I wake up." I try my best to **** her satisfaction.
   "I'm so sure."
   She has a great body, I'm just not sure I want to remind her.  The television suddenly turns itself on as the button on the remote must have pushed itself under the sheets, her eyes roll and she stammers, then passes out on top of me.  I slip out from beneath her, making that light slurping sound that means you're being careful with my lips tightened to the muscles in my neck.  I realize that was entirely unnecessary when I see the empty pill bottle on the counter, Xanax, prescribed yesterday.  I slam it against her face and pull her off the bed by her hair.

Chapter Three: New Girl

   "So, what's been in your system lately?" Roger asks lightheartedly.
   "It's been a heavy rotation between Bright Eyes and Chevelle."
   "Bright Eyes can cry me a freaking river with Justin Timberlake for all I care.  Goodman, the indie scene *****, get over it.  Have you listened to the new Hawthorne Heights I loaned you?"
   "Well, did you like it?"
   "Yes and no..."
   "Yes, I liked it... and no, I lied."
   "What's wrong with it?"
   "You know how you said cry me a river with Justin Timberlake?"
   "Whatever man, they scream and stuff though."
   "I'm leaving."
   "What did you do with my CD?"
   "I don't remember.  I would check the surrounding dumpsters of the place at which you forced it onto me."  I almost interrupt myself.  With frustration, "Again, I'm leaving."
   I get out of the car and walk around the traffic jam around us.  I arrive at the office thirty minutes before Roger's emo ***.
   "I thought you were carpooling with Roger this week, Drake?"
   "I don't carpool, I'm rich."  This nameless ****** is wearing a tie with a Christmas tree on it, out of season, and he will regret it one day, if I have to do it myself.
   I'm sitting at my desk and my view of the new secretary's skirt is brought to a sad closure when Roger bursts through my door, interrupting her sorting of my files and sending her backward about two feet in fright.
   "Where is my CD, Goodman?"  He has this real joke of a ******* look about him and it really makes me want to see his small intestine hang from a ceiling fan.
   "I'll get you a new one once you apologize for what you said about Conor."
   "Yes, Conor."
   "... Oberst?"
   "Yes, Conor Oberst."
   "Oh my GOD, you are still not over that whole Bright Eyes thing?"
   "Get out of my office, you little ******!"  I seriously pelt him with tens of pencils from the intricately placed holder on my desk and he leaves, feeling my superiority reign.
The phone rings three times and I let my machine pick it up, I thought it was set for two rings.  I remember now.
   "WHO the HELL put the PHONE BACK IN MY OFFICE?  WAS IT YOU?  YOU LITTLE *****!"  I'm sure she hears me and is petrified, wherever she has run off to in the time of my distraction.
   "I'm sorry I can't make it to the phone right now, I am at an important meeting with representatives from an almost higher power.  If you are calling for business discussion, leave a message at the beep.  If you're Sharon, take the phone and-"  Click.  They forgot to leave a message.  I paper airplane a death threat into the back of a fellow employee's head, he's been standing outside of my office looking at something on the floor for at least thirty seconds, ***** looking skater hair.  I quickly get back to reading papers of a nature similar to the one I just used.  He turns ninety degrees and reads, almost aloud, I surprise myself as I read his lips to remember what I put.
   Another ninety degrees and I see him glance at me in the corner of my eye.  I lower my forehead to see past my reading glasses, raise my eyebrows, and then tighten my chin, waving ninety with my left hand leisurely.  He turns as my waving registers, entirely stiff, ninety to the left, robotically, and continues on his way, probably to a cubicle.  I shake my head.  Left, right, tilt down seamlessly, left, right.  I hope my secretary saw that, as it was a rather smooth execution.  She already left.  ****** at this, I throw my papers outside of my window and the phone rings.  "Who put my phone back in my office, anyway?"  I'm ******.  Sharon leaves a message this time, still at the third ring.  "... I was just wondering if you wanted to go with me to church tomorrow.  That's all."  This just reminds me that I'm at work on a Saturday, I don't remember why.
   "Idiot."  I swear I hear her digestive system breaking down a variety of entire pills, maybe whole bottles, as she hangs up.  "Sunday ****** Sunday" by U2 surprises me on the radio.  Nothing that good ever gets played around here.  I'm not going to church and I'm leaving work early today to wring some dove's neck in the park.

Chapter Fear: Satisfaction

   Fear is a funny thing.  Some people claim they've known it all of their life and then they go on to say that they can smell it.  You can NOT smell fear, if you could I would be among the first of its acquaintances.  You can see fear, you can hear it, feel it, sometimes I think I taste it, but you only smell sweat and body waste.  Sweat can be brought about by many different methods, but it smells the same within all of them.  Fear is only one of these occurrences.  Jogging too fast makes you sweat, even I sweat.  Seeing someone's eyes grow wide with awe is fear.  Watching their body twitch before you've even touched them is fear.  A grown man crying is fear.  Hearing it... the certain deep breathing not attainable by jogging too fast is fear.  It sounds as though his or her life is about to end and he or she wants to take as much air as he or she can with him or her in one breath just in case it is his or her last.  I feel as though I've rambled or that you've lost yourself somewhere, but far beyond that, it is disappoint
In all my years as professor of Paleontology at Ublique University, I never thought I'd have a bad day. My life was a happy one. I had a car that was payed for. A cold refrigerator, full of food. New & improved gadgets & gizmos. A wife who would rub my back on request. & it all changed when I turned 42.

It was the morning of August 12th when things changed. An orange & cool, slightly windy day. The sun had a warmth that started as soon as I woke up. No heat. Just warmth. I woke up to find nobody at my bedside.

"Bacon." I quietly whispered in excitement.

If Sharon woke up before me that meant breakfast. & that meant coffee. I could use some. The night before, we had a party celebrating my 42nd birthday. A special one I think. Making it to 40 is a feat. Surviving the next year is an accomplishment. But, driving gracefully past 41 into a mature 42 is... smooth.

I stretch & roll out of bed. Squeezing into my slippers I noticed the bedroom is messier than usual. A few things are missing out of my drawers & the rest of my room. The bathroom is missing a few things as well. Soap, washcloths, towels &...

Oh dear, lipstick!

There's a lipstick message on the mirror in elegant cursive. "Goodbye" is all it says & needs to say. Sharon's left & taken my heart & soul with her. & the bacon.
"Alright, time to think." I keep repeating in my head. I'm thinking, but only one thought comes to mind.


Sharon's gone. I get up from the bed. My heart drops to the floor. That's not her handwriting. We've been robbed & she's been taken for ransom.

I sit down for a minute.

Not for ransom!

It's a sicker crime. They only want her. For their own sick, twisted reasons.

"****, what should I do?" the only thing rushing through my body.

Again. Stop it.

I run downstairs into the kitchen. Alright, i have a knife. I'm armed & dangerous. I run into the living room. My blood runs cold. They're still here. ****, ****, ****, ****, ****, ****.

I run back upstairs.

In a flash of white light the scenery changes.

I'm in a hospital.

"How did I get here?" I ask myself. My stomach hurts & my left arm & leg are wound in casts. There's a vibrant red lipstick stained kiss on my left foot with the words, "You knew all along" written in cursive along the bottom of the kiss. Before I can collect my thoughts, a sharp looking doctor walks in.

"Didn't your mother ever tell you not to run with scissors? Or rather, knives?" he asks.

She did & I musn't have listened. I had a hard time listening. Sharon! She almost slipped my mind.

"Doctor, I need to go home." I semi-ask.

He rebuttals with, "Nope, the wound in your stomach isn't life threatening, but we want to keep you here for a few days."

I bite my tongue ax logic kicks in.

"Okay." I say.

I'm going to escape.

I pull out the IV's in my arm & look for my clothes. Can't find them, so I settle for the guy's down the hall. They're a little loose on me, but the belt fits. The shoes however, do not. ****. How am I going to get past the guards?

Wait, there aren't guards in hospitals. Are there?




Definitely not.

I take the elevator down to the main floor & walk out the front door. It was easier than I thought to escape from a hospital.

I'm outside & no one is chasing me. I hail a cab & realize my wallet is back at the hospital. This whole thing is crazy, I know.

I arrive at home & pay the guy with some of Sharon's jewelry. Looking around, I realize the living room isn't trashed. & only Sharon's purse & shoes are missing downstairs. Maybe she wasn't taken for ransom.

Again, time to sit down & relax. Not relax, but think.

Last night. Something must have happened last night.

Okay, there was a party. It was a surprise party. Ron, Sue, Burgundi, Jon & a few people from the campus were there.

I'm not that guy who hates surprise parties. Or surprises for that matter. They're great. So, I remember walking in the door a spectacular Friday. All my students  wished me a happy birthday.

The house was dead dark when I walked in & then, KABOOM!

The place lit up. "Happy Birthday!" they all shouted & champagne is thrown my way. All was normal there. I talked to everyone. Had cake & opened my presents. My favorite was the pen/pencil combo.

Then I went outside to the backyard, lit a cigar & watched a silvery, grayish cat scurry along our wooden fence. Night had fallen & the moon was half full.

I can't believe I broke my leg, my arm & stabbed myself in the stomach. I walk back upstairs to change.


There's no blood on the stairs. & who called 911?

It's quiet in the house. Too quiet. Someone's here. I'm three steps up the stairs, no point in turning around. The bedroom & office are safe. So are the closets. Under the bed as well.

Relax. Change clothes & relax. It's difficult getting into pants now, but I make it happen.

Back downstairs. The living room, kitchen & bathroom are safe. Okay. Either I don't bleed or something strange is going on. Maybe, Sharon came back & saw me.
But she couldn't be that heartless as to leave me in the hospital alone, could she? Oh no! Maybe she didn't come into the house. Maybe, she really has been kidnapped.

I'm staring at my hand. Noticing the deep & fine wrinkles along with my veins & cuticles. My palms look like satellite images of rivers & microscopic views of capillaries. There is a candy bar on the coffee table. I eat it & instantly feel better.

My head swings back & my body warms & tingles. I close my eyes & see my granpa showing me how to measure & cut wood to turn it into something useful. We're making forms for a concrete pathway from the house to the garden. A blooming garden with peas, onions, spinach & okra. I reach my hand to write my name in the wet concrete & a bee stings me. It hurts for a millisecond. Then the pain moves away. My granpa looks at me from in the garden. Then he hunches over to look at something in the ground. My arms goes numb as I walk towards him. I feel something pulling me back.

I look behind me & see myself unraveling. The threads of my shirt & cast are being unwound like thread from a spool. In a few steps, I'm naked. I keep walking as my granpa shouts my name. I see his mouth moving, but can't hear him. My body feels lighter with every step. I look at my bee wound & find that my hand is unraveling along with my arm & the rest of me. Layer by layer I'm being unwound. I'm down to my nervous system, brain & eyeballs when I open them & see my granpa's face. he's smiling. I'm down to my eyes when I start to look at what my granpa sees.

Time slows & my eyeballs unravel,
leaving me in complete & silent darkness.
David Beresford Jul 2010
Seven forty five we start to arrive
To tea coffee water or squash
We’re all there by eight and no one is late
Not without a good reason or ten
There’s Barry, and Michael (his brother) and several others
And Sharon and Karen and Ken

Keeping it neat in our stocking feet
We find ourselves somewhere to sit
We all bring a bible and some bring a bottle
And some come with paper and pen
There’s Anita and Jill and some others still
And Sharon and Karen and Ken

Breaking the ice with something nice
That’s happened to you in the week
We go round the room and each takes their turn
Telling what happened to them
There’s Geraldine, Barbara, and others we’ve seen
And Sharon and Karen and Ken

Now the serious bit we listen to it
From a tape or on D.V.D.
Then we split to discuss not shouting too much
Taking care not to deafen
Hosts Pauline and Paul and that’s not all
There’s Sharon and Karen and Ken

From heated debate before it gets late
We gather our thoughts and pause
We offer a prayer for those who aren’t there
For the world and for the church Amen
From Wendy and John and I should mention
Sharon and Karen and Ken

Then a choice of drink what do you think
Of squash or coffee or tea
Now a glass of red wine that would be fine
It’s hard to know when to say when
For David and others I won’t mention (the brothers)
Or Sharon and Karen and Ken
Jordan Walters Oct 2014
They totally ripped me off at the drugstore.  I knew that I should have only paid 13 dollars when I paid 15 dollars and 43 cents for my prescription.  I walked downtown to get a coffee.  Today my back feels a little more sweaty than usual.  I don't understand why, cause its only 22 degrees outside.  Its only 10 am and I already feel a little riled about the day.  My advil is in the car and I don't feel like going to get it, but this headache is getting to be a little bothersome.  Maybe I should go and get the newspaper cause this lineup is filled with latte drinkers.  God I hate those fancy drinks.  I would never trust a man who would drink one of those things, he's probably a democrat, that guy standing in front of me.  When I sat down finally with my double double, Sharon called me for the fifth time today.  I can't find much work around here nowadays so I'm babysitting her kids.  They 12 and 10 years old.  I just put on the price is right and sit there and drink coors light all night.  Its easy money, but god, why won't she stop calling.  I told her Im busy on sundays, not that I have anything really to do, but I just wanted this day to read the newspaper.  She talks me into babysitting her kids tonight.  When I got there she said she wanted to go away for a few days and that she needed me to stay at her place and watch the kids for a few days.  She said she would pay me more, which I thought was good cause I'm running out of beer money, and my freezer is low on pogo sticks.  I agreed to stay and watch her kids, and after the kids were asleep I stayed up till 1:30 watching the comedy network.  Sharon always buys that **** ketchup, you know the nonage crap?  I wanted to make a grilled cheese before I went to bed, but this stuff tastes so stale.  Anyways the kids heard me cooking and came downstairs cause they were scared.  I told them to go back to bed, but they wanted something to eat too.  I made them a some grilled cheese sandwiches with the ****** ketchup sharon has.  They ate em, and passed out on the couch.  I ate half a box of wheat thins and drank the rest of my beer then slept on the recliner for the night.  When I woke up Sharon came home and I asked her why she was home early.  She said that she got a call from work and that they fired her.  I tried to pretend I was sad about it all.  She said she wouldn't be able to give me as many hours babysitting.  I told her thats fine, but really I needed the money too.  Next week when I came over to babysit, Sharon went out for drinks with her friends.  I brought my own ketchup and beer.  I put her kids to bed and drank the rest of my beer.  Sharon came home late that night and she was plastered.  She cried on the couch for a bit, hugged her kids, then fell asleep.  I made a grilled cheese again, with my good ketchup.  God I hate that ****** ketchup Sharon has, why does she buy this stuff?  I ate the grilled cheese and went to bed.
JV Beaupre May 2016
Canto I. Long ago and far away...

Under the bridge across the Kankakee River, Grampa found me. I was busted for truancy. First grade. 1946.

Coming home from college for Christmas. Oops, my family moved a few streets over and forgot to tell me. Peoria, 1961.

The Pabst Brewery lunchroom in Peoria, a little after dawn, my first day. A guy came  in and said: "Who wants my horsecock sandwich? ****, this first beer tastes good." We never knew how many he drank. 1962.

At grad school, when we moved into the basement with the octopus furnace, Dave, my roommate contributed a case of Chef Boyardee spaghettios and I brought 3 cases of beer, PBRs.  Supper for a month. Ames. 1962.

Sharon and I were making out in the afternoon, clothes a jumble. Walter Cronkite said, " President Kennedy has been shot…” 1963.

I stood in line, in my shorts, waiting for the clap-check. The corporal shouted:  "All right, you *******, Uncle and the Republic of Viet Nam want your sorry *****. Drop 'em".  Deferred, 1964.

He electrified the room. Every woman in the room, regardless of age, wanted him, or seemed to. The atmosphere was primeval and dripping with desire. In the presence of greatness, 1968.

US science jobs dried up. From a mountain-top, beery conversation, I got a research job in Germany. Boulder, 1968. Aachen, 1969.

The first time I saw automatic weapons at an airport. Geneva, 1970.

I toasted Rembrandt with sparkling wine at the Rijksmuseum. He said nothing. 1972.

A little drunk, but sobering fast: the guard had Khrushchev teeth.
Midnight, alone, locked in a room at the border, why?
Hours later, release. East Berlin, 1973.

She said, "You know it's remarkable that we're not having an affair." No, it wasn't. George's wife.  Germany, 1973.

"May be there really are quarks, but if so, we'll never see them." Truer than I knew.  Exit to Huntsville, 1974.

Hard work, good times, difficult times. Not fully digested. 15 years in Huntsville and counting.

The golden Lord Buddha radiated peace with his smile. Shots in the distance. Bangkok. 1992.

Accomplishment at work, discord at home. Divorce. Huntsville. 1994. I got the dogs.

New beginnings, a fresh start, true love and life-partner. Huntsville. 1995.

Canto II. In the present century....

I started painting. Old barns and such. 2004.

I quietly admired a Rembrandt portrait at the Schiphol airport. Ever inscrutable, his painting had presence, even as the bomb dogs sniffed by. Beagles. 2006.

I’ve lost two close friends that I’ve known for 50-odd years. There aren’t many more. Huntsville. 2008 and 2011.

Here's some career advice: On your desk, keep a coffee cup marked, "No Whining", that side out. Final retirement. 2015.

I occasionally kick myself for not staying with physics—I’m jealous of friends that did. I moved on, but stayed interested. Continuing.

Honest distortions emerging from the distance of time. The thin comfort of fading memories. Thoughts on poor decisions and worse outcomes. Not often, but every now and then.
Ramonez Ramirez May 2011
Sharon was picking at the scab over the mole on the back of her neck
where the hairdresser had shaved too close to the skin:
Water under the bridge, she thought, and licked at her salty fingertips.

By focusing on the sound of her new high heels over the metal steps,
she blocked out twisted traffic audio below;
the wind whistled a tune through the rust over her painted toenails.

She liked the way some of the pedestrians down there looked up at her.
Sharon felt so elegant when the wind lifted her skirt,
just like Marilyn Monroe in that picture, except that Sharon didn’t smile;

her skirt had been lifted up more times than she could (or wanted to) remember.
He always looked down at her. There. Below.
Sharon flicked her new purse into the wind, and ripped off the matching blouse.

The Samurai sword, tight between her *******, felt hot and cold at the same time,
like the red of her peach blossom skirt glistening white against midday sun;
memories of her only child freeze-burned the empty love caverns in her heart.

A river of emotions rippled through her body but she didn’t utter a sound;
that was reserved for the impact with the oncoming bus,
and the tip of the sword that ripped through the driver’s leather-sandaled heart.
Keith W Fletcher Jan 2016
As I came through the door
Taps the cat  meowed at me
As she crisscrossed the floor space
Staying a foot ahead of me
Glancing into the big closet or tiny room
Whichever ... Dad called it his study
"Hey dad " I yelled at the back of his head
" His quick glance meant "hey buddy"
I noticed moms face on the computer screen
'Oh!"I snapped " mom ... Hey we miss you "
"I'm not talking to your crotch "she laughingly barked
"Sit down ... Move the camera or move your *** Trent"
I compromised by doing all three as dad took a break
The face of someone I truly loved sat there
Looking at me
From over  three thousand miles away.
Three thousand miles away!
"Hey baby " she said in her cooing voice " How are you?"
"Got a job at Dannerlans ... Part time" I proudly engaged
"Don't let it interfere with" ...she couldn't stop and she knew...
I guess my stupid grin finally clued her in as she trailed off
"Half a world away and I'm still mom I guess. Dad musta.."
"He did ... Same thing.. And I won't. But what are you...."
"Don't you dare Trent " mock rage crossed her  face
As a few octaves fell out of her voice and I already knew
Here it comes.....a tsunami all the way from Japan
Putting my nose right to the camera and pushing on
I repeated "tsunami mommy  tsunami mommy  san
What can you do about it . you're way over there and I'm..."
" Gonna get it so bad .. When I get home mister "
:You're gonna look end up looking just like your sister"
"Oh ....Kay...  "I haltingly bounced her words round my mind
Then I saw it... Set up and now....
Confusion and pride had my ammunition... just the facts
Dad arrived at that second with a coke for me and his beer
"Did you hear her ?" I asked him
" threating to make me a girl"
As I gave up the chair I heard that cooing soft voice sorta ....
..........GR OO ooowl ?!? While still softly cooing  "oh no no no...
Too good for you Bud...Buuud...Buddy?   You'll just disa..pear!"
Dad laughed first - drawing me in as I reluctantly let go.
"Nice try dear.... but you lost it coming round the outside corner"
What do you mean outside corner was right over but too low
"Bye mom"  I said "got some homework to do " they were merged
Gone now for three month and three more to go .poor dad
His staunch had wilted within forty eight hours of her departure
But let's all pretend that you
never noticed the droop -a bit sad
Poor poor  dad ... Poor poor dad  I chimed as I climbed the stairs
He won't make it another three months . .. Very easy
I  haltingly caught my words as the downer that they were
As I scooped the elegant Taps  from the floor " but they'll make it "
I whispered into her ear. "Won't they girl? "Her answer was a purr

I'm thinking of joining the red cross
That's good...gets you out and about....
In the ...nei..bor....
"Okay .. Whats yet to be told ...spill
"They asked me to run the admin office" She
So you'll have to travel for a while  that's ok" (He)
"The whole admin office for foreign.... "  She let it trail......
Allright so you come back weekends
Ain't that (He)
      .......... ...Japan ....(She)
Dad........didn't  have any words to say
And the staunch started peeling away...right then and there
The love they shared
Might be compared
To historic qualities
Romeo and Juliet  sans tragedy
Bogie and Bacall  for longevity
Tracy and Hepburn for loyalty
Burns and Allen for ..for the comedy
So I knew.. as..  anyone else who  
Saw him day to day decline
That she was on her way home
By seeing the force of nature
He suddenly became
A human dynamo in preparation
For the reunification.

I walked through the front door
Sharon at my side and lacey in tow
"Go tell your brother to get in here "
So she yelled out the front door
"Trenton Dean Robertson get in here!"
Sharon and I met eye to eye
Bossiest little Seven year old....
"TRENTON now!"  I  yelled  out
"You better do what sis said"
He was now ten and tended to wander about
"I'm here "he said as he appeared
"Come on sis I'll beat you in...."
The last bit muffled
As they closed the basement door
And descending down the stairs

We both glanced into the closet
For that's what it really was
Dad sitting at the computer
And mom was on the screen
So I toted my load of groceries
As Sharon leaned in to say" hi "
And once we had supper going
I went to mix a drink and as I passed by
Dad said "son come here
Your mom wants to talk to you "
Besides we've been chatting  forever!
Then he whispered "I gotta go to the loo"
"Hi mom "I said as he departed
Leaving me to warm the seat
I'm not talking to your crotch
She said for at least the millionth time
There on the screen was the face
Of someone that I loved
Who never made it home that year
The flight was destined for history
Crashing into the Himalayas
Taking everyone on board
And the staunch became so rigid
And reality was simply ignored
He handed me a coke and opened his beer
Before resuming his vigil at the computer screen
That was his reality....his fantasy... and his hex
Some might say an old adage to sum it up

AS I drifted from the room they were merged.

Carlo Coelho Sep 2012
I am the **** in your pristine garden,
Hidden between the Hollyhocks and Petunias,
Unwanted, I lift my head high,
Invasive, pervasive, you hate me.
You spray me with emotional roundup.
You wish I would simply go away
Crushed under your foot yesterday,
I wilted under your hate.
Resurrected by the creators love,
In joy I dance to his music,
That floats on the wind.

I am a rose of Sharon,
Planted firmly in the dirt.
Hated by you for just being,
The one who made me loves me,
He loves me unconditionally.
Planted in the wilderness,
Where he walks in search
Of those who seek his name.
If you see me know that, he is near.
Yet you hate me for being the ****.
Invasive that shows up in the cracks,
Of your frequent well-beaten paths of hatred.
You stomp on me, mangled I lie still.
Revived by my God who loves me.

Someday he will do justice,
Someday he will show them mercy,
Them that failed to love his creation.
He animates me an earthen vessel,
With emotions triggered by fluid actions,
His loving smile, His tender touch,
In his love and goodness, I find joy.
The joy that effuses and rises to my brain,
Like a flooding sea of contentment,
Knowing that in him I have rest, I am secure and calm.
From your bitterness, that floods my feet,
He produces exquisite flowers and sweetest fruits.

Freely I give the love I receive,
As fragrance it wafts on the breeze,
Used to the smell of death and dying,
The Tanner smelling the fragrance of Love and Life faints.
They revive him with curing leather from the tannery.
Someday the tanner will appreciate fragrance,
Someday the night shift miner appreciate the light,
Someday those that cry for war will love peace,
Someday those that hate others learn to love.
Someday those that clang pots and pans in raucous cacophony,
Will find peace and quiet in his sweet rhapsodies and quiet melodies.
And the promoters of the ugliest of ugliness,
Love the beauty of God's creation.
Some day will this enslaved and captive soul fly free?
Forever free in the plains of Eternity.
His life the sons of Israel celebrated
And the sons of Gath cursed

The sons of David wished
Him to see the sun shine forever
And the sons of Goliath wished
His eyes to be blurred as quick as can be

And the tombstone was ready to open
For the sons of David to weep
And the sons of Goliath to rejoice
As both fathers’ feelings always contrasted

The legacy they will keep
And claim to be theirs
When Israel sang, ”Rest In Peace, Sharon”  
And Gath sang, “To hell forever, Sharon”
This text was penned on Monday, January 13th 2014, the day Former Prime Minister of Israel Ariel Sharon was buried. At home they mourned while in Palestine they rejoiced over!

Boniface Mukeshimana
Nat Lipstadt Dec 2016
A minyan is an assembly of ten Jews.  With ten present, the group can perform a fuller service, adding congregational prayers that an individual alone cannot say, and in heaven, received, as if from a 
more powerful, unified voice.

Satan laughing with delight at the happy news,
unusually proud of his soul-retrieving,
red state minions,
having scored late in the '16 season,
a long awaited prize,
a high priest of music, a hallelujah singer
just come  cross the borderline,
once a mere earth bound legend,
now to be mockingly enjoyed
in this, his legendary peculiar tier of heaven
a banner year it was, a cornucopia of new arrivals,
singers, songwriters, composers, conductors, rock 'n rollers,
itinerant blues musicians,
who as a rule, were not the most faithful observers
of the Ten Commandments and its host of detailed relatives
body and drug abusers,
of traditional morals, not such big users,
and as for their *** lives,
best not discussed in front of the baby devils,
just quite yet
all this made for easy "pluckings,"
as he smiled devilishly, his own ironic sense of humor,
an added delight for the new American Pie
that would forever serenade him henceforth
indeed this Leo-nine most new arrival,
intensifies the pleasure,
for deep in this one had waxed the god-spark,
his own fractured demise,
now allowing the cracks of light to be closing,
lessening by an immeasurable fraction
the despised joy to the world
then a raucous rustling heard,
a voice unseen but siren penetratingly heard proclaiming:

**** you Satan,
this time you've gone too far!

return unto me them all,
for you have overstepped the boundaries I have constructed
when birthed I the universe so long ago

these children, mine,
for though they were not perfect in their lives,
they perfected ever so much my designs,
the world I granted them,
with their music, voice and hands,
absolving them of all their sins

Surrender to me them all!

my Prince,
my lion, Cohen, high priest of my temple,
my haggard and worn Merle,
the greyed and Frey'd eagle, Glenn,
Natalie, daughter of the Earth King of Cole,
my rose of Sharon Jones,
my Emerson and my Lake,
Leon Russell,
my white bearded russet
who wrote 'A Song For You,'
the Duchess, Patty,
my Bobby Vee,
the first ro see
'the night has a thousand eyes,'
Frank Sinatra Jr., his fathers torch bearer,
my David, my right arm, my Bowieknife carrier,
who fell from heaven and needs returning unto me,
mine own Kanter,Jeffersonian pilot of my Airplane,
my Michael, George,
my Martin, George,
who never sang a word
but gifted us some Beatles,
My black and White Maurice,
who reignited the Earth, with Wind and Fire

all these mine and all the musicians of this year,
they have died, but not their music,
now to join my heavenly chorus,
my musicians' minyan
Second of a trilogy, but the first one posted,
about Leonard Cohen

Kohen or cohen (or kohain; Hebrew: כֹּהֵן‎, "priest", pl. כֹּהֲנִים‎ kohanim) is the Hebrew word for priest used colloquially in reference to the Aaronic priesthood. Jewish kohanim are traditionally believed and halakhically required to be of direct patrilineal descent from the biblical Aaron. The term is colloquially used in Orthodox Judaism in reference to modern day descendants of Aharon, brother of Moses.

Among the few remaining responsibility of a cohen today is the chanting of the priestly  blessing in the synagogue on high holy days in a special tune, instantly recognizable  by every Jew.   When the  Jewish priest chants the blessing, the Spirit of God is presumed to become present in the synagogue, and all bow their heads, fathers cover their children's eyes, lest one witness  god's image. Ironically, the special way that a cohen extends his arms and holds his fingers in a V  shape, was borrowed by another Canadian Jew, Leonard Nimoy, as inspiration for Spock's  greeting.



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