Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
Mike Essig Sep 2015
by Gary Snyder**

One afternoon the last week in April
Showing Kai how to throw a hatchet
One-half turn and it sticks in a stump.
He recalls the hatchet-head
Without a handle, in the shop
And go gets it, and wants it for his own.
A broken-off axe handle behind the door
Is long enough for a hatchet,
We cut it to length and take it
With the hatchet head
And working hatchet, to the wood block.
There I begin to shape the old handle
With the hatchet, and the phrase
First learned from Ezra Pound
Rings in my ears!
"When making an axe handle
            the pattern is not far off."
And I say this to Kai
"Look: We'll shape the handle
By checking the handle
Of the axe we cut with–"
And he sees. And I hear it again:
It's in Lu Ji's Wen Fu, fourth century
A.D. "Essay on Literature"–in the
Preface: "In making the handle
Of an axe
By cutting wood with an axe
The model is indeed near at hand."
My teacher Shih-hsiang Chen
Translated that and taught it years ago
And I see: Pound was an axe,
Chen was an axe, I am an axe
And my son a handle, soon
To be shaping again, model
And tool, craft of culture,
How we go on.
'BITE deep and wide, O Axe, the tree!
What doth thy bold voice promise me?'

'I promise thee all joyous things
That furnish forth the lives of kings;

'For every silver ringing blow
Cities and palaces shall grow.'

'Bite deep and wide, O Axe, the tree!
Tell wider prophecies to me.'

'When rust hath gnawed me deep and red.
A nation strong shall lift his head.

'His crown the very heavens shall smite,
Aeons shall build him in his might.'

'Bite deep and wide, O Axe, the tree!
Bright Seer, help on thy prophecy!'
They said he was known, to talk to his axe
As if it were the best comrade of his,
Amid the rumors about, he had a rich father
Must have fueled his rancor; the life he had missed.

So local horse slaughterer, became his career,
Ready day and night, with axe in his bag;
Sick and old cows, horses and mules,
Made short work with his axe, of the ailing Nag.

It was his work and he was quite good,
Most skillful with axe; and strong and fast.
With his constant friend, in it's home, the bag,
There's many an animal, breathed it's last.

His work left a smell, upon his person;
Some sick horses had the smell within,
And a small girl at play outside, could not miss
The man going by, with strange smell on him.

Under the radar, he plied his trade,
Coming and going, near invisibly;
Never suspected, if he was the one
Gave fatal blows their timely delivery.

Like a bad choice come back, from the past
To haunt the rich miser, in his worldly domain
Of such stern stuff, there's no doubt he'd refuse
To his fatal undoing, and terminal pain.
I read a book years ago, about an alternate theory of who murdered the Bordens of Fall River, Massachusetts in 1892. This many years later it seems impossible to prove anything as there is no longer the evidence available to investigate claims, with but the book intrigued so I wrote this poem.
Katelyn Arnold Feb 2016
October 11, 2013 -*
Chloe's POV
____________

“Wonderland looks like a ******* acid trip.” I mentioned, while Hayden silently dragged me along pressing his fingers so roughly into the skin of my arm that I could feel my pulse surge through my arm. “Come on, don't tell me you don't think the same.”

“Where is Alice?”

I pointed towards the cage, containing one of the seven princesses. “There.”

Hayden took off his hood, and stepped up to the podium to stare at Queen *****. Oops, I meant the Queen of Hearts. Her square face and extremely large lips coated in a ruby waxy color along with the bad contouring made her look like a drunk housewife who hates her kids. “Who are you? How dare you interfere with my court!”

“What if I find you the real culprit? Will you let Alice go?”

“That's hogwash. Find me proof, then we'll talk.” The Queen of Hearts yelled in her unnecessarily loud and booming voice, startling even Hayden's hardass personality.

The solitaire card guards stood at bay, wielding their weapons at their sides. One of the guards locked the gate, and threw the key up towards the queen who spun the key ring around her finger. Hayden stepped back, gripping my arm forcefully again. “Dude, can't you loosen up?”

Hayden huffed. “Shut the **** up. If you don't follow my orders –”

“You'll do what? **** me? I thought you needed my soul to enter the Final Keyhole.”

Hayden tensed up the muscles in his hands around my arm, literally dragging me along with him. The moment we entered the forest, he loosened his grip on me slightly as he walked forward mumbling something about wanting to have me on a leash.

“Yeah, because I'm literally a *****. Get it?”

Hayden threw me up against the wall, pressing his balled up fist beside my face. His nose was nearly touching mine as he gave me a humorless look. I could basically see the evil in his eyes. “You're not ******* funny. After we open up the Final Keyhole, I'll finally be able to ******* get rid of you. All you are to me is ******* trash. Do you understand that?”

I spit a loogie in his face. “Get off of me, *******.”

Before I could react, he took out his keyblade and slashed up my left arm drawing a lot of blood. With gritted teeth, I said, “You – You will never ******* open up the Final Keyhole. Not without me.”

My body started losing consciousness almost immediately, and I felt my body drop down onto the forest floor. If looks could ****, I would have been dead the moment Organization XIII captured me three weeks ago. Finally, the darkness swallowed me and I welcomed it's homely embrace.

“There's a legend behind those paopu fruit: If two people share one, their destinies become intertwined. They'll remain a part of each other's lives no matter what. I've always wanted to try it."  Max mentioned, putting her bare feet into the water.

“You know legends are basically myths passed down over generations?”

She looked over towards me with this soft gaze in her face, and I felt the air ****** out of me as the sun hit her azure blue eyes the right way. “I know it sounds stupid, but I want to do it sometime.”

“Grab me the axe out the shed, Max. We're gonna chop down one of these trees.”

“Are you kidding me?” Max had this worried look on her face, and I rolled my eyes.

“Yes. Come on, slowpoke. We're losing daylight here.”

A few minutes passed as I soaked my feet in the salt water, and I laid down in the sand whenever I was met with Max who held the axe above me. I flinched, and sat up quickly. “You scared me.”

“Give me the axe.” She handed it to me, and we raced each other to the top of the lighthouse. Of course, Max was faster since I was lugging around this dense axe. When we made it to the tree, I started swinging the axe into the tree. I got tired super quickly, since we basically raced each other. “This activity takes so much energy out of me. You and I shouldn't have raced up here.”

“It was fun. Let me try.” Max grabbed the axe from me, and swung with slightly more force than I did. After several of Max's swings, we watched the tree start leaning towards the water.

“You're doing it, Max!”

“Max the Axe Queen!” I shook my head grinning as the tree finally groaned, spintered, and collapsed off the top of the hill of the lighthouse crashing into the waters below. “Oh no...”

“I'll get it.” I nodded. “I'm a good swimmer.”

As I swam over towards the crash site, I noticed that the tree has gotten caught on the gap between one of the rocks so the leaves of the tree and some of the fruits were still showing. I was surprised that the stems of the paopu fruits stayed on. “I found the *****!”

“Chloe!”*

Immediately, I recall that Max never called for me. I swam back to shore, right? Her shrill voice rang in the air louder. Then it became deafeningly loud. That's when I felt fabric wrapped around my arm. My finger twitched as I started to realize that Max was screaming my name. “– And you don't understand anything. You're just a weak kid with a keyblade.”

“I may be weak, but my heart is strong.”

“Then show me that you're strong, because all I see is a hopeless girl saturated with optimism. Like you can do anything with those doormats you call your sidekicks.” I struggled to open my eyes, eventually peeking out. This was the first time I was looking at Max Caulfield in five years, and she looked ******* furious as she held the keyblade.

“Don't you dare talk about my friends like that!”

“Try and ******* stop me, you twig.”

Her eyes immediately flickered towards me, and I did the shushing motion with my lips when I weakly pointed up towards Hayden. She looked back at Hayden, positioning herself. With all of the strength in my body, I kicked Hayden in the back of his knees making him collapse over me. “What the hell?”

Quickly, I crawled out when he grabbed at my leg. “Get back here, *****!”

Max sprinted towards Hayden, her keyblade drawn and positioned to attack Hayden when he blocked Max with his own. This gave me enough time to crawl out of his grip. Two keyblades, something I've never seen before, came forth from Hayden's hands as I ran towards Max's side, throwing out my hand to manifest my sword. My heart was beating against my chest as I pressed my back up against Max's. “Good to see you again, Max.”

“Same here. Distract him, I'm going to heal you.”

Then it was my turn to fight Hayden, who looked furious. Max healed my wound in the background as I ran from Hayden. With Hayden equipped with two swords and knowing he is dexterous with both his left and right hand, defense was very difficult on my part. Eventually, he kept on throwing slashes over at me and that's all I could do. “Come on, Max. I'm basically blocking here.”

While Hayden was occupied by me, he noticed Max was building up a fire attack which he quickly darted towards the left as the flames hit a tree in the forest. The tree slowly started building up a fire as Max and I started clashing swords with Hayden. At one point, he swiped Max towards the ground and pinned me up against one of the burning trees. “You better back the ******* right now.”

“You're ******* scared, aren't you?” I yelled at Hayden's face, who pressed the keyblade against my neck. Everything started feeling uncomfortably hot, especially the sweat that ran down my face. My eyes glanced over towards Max, who quickly ran off towards the fruit upstairs.

“Where did that ***** Max go?”

Hayden spotted Max eating the fruit high in the tree, and his face went pale. Max slowly started growing in size, and that delay was enough time for me to run from Hayden. Once Max was at full size, she grabbed Hayden like a ******* teddy graham. “Leave my friends alone.”

She crushed him in her fingers, and his body shattered into billions of pieces. After checking that he was executed properly, she wiped her fingers on her shirt. “Woah, Max. That was ******* awesome.”

“Let me get down on your level first.” Max joked, grabbing the fruit out of the tree. Once Max shrank back to normal size, the blonde haired girl with wings had came over to heal my arm injuries with her keyblade. As Max approached me, I felt my heart jolt once I saw how big the smile was on her face.

****, she's ******* attractive now.

“Cards! Find whoever made this mess, and exterminate them. Off with their heads!” The familiar booming voice of Queen ***** interrupted my thoughts, and for once, I was thankful to hear such a nasally and unattractive voice.

"Oh ****!" Max whisper-screamed, grabbing my hand.

We ran towards the tea party set up yet abandoned by Alice and her friends, and hid under the table as we heard the Queen's voice, followed by the clapping footsteps of the Solitaire Cards.

“So are you going to introduce me to your friends?” I whispered to Max who was at my side, nudged her in her arm.

“Maybe later, when we're not stuck under a ******* table.” She gently grabbed my arm, and I noticed her touch greatly contrasted with Hayden's rough one. I excused that thought as soon as it ran through my head, silencing our breathing as the cards marched through the abandoned tea party. It must have been fifteen minutes of cards patrolling the area making sure it was clear before we crawled out.

I wiped the grass off my pants when Max threw her arms around me in the process. “Max, you're a ninja. That was some quick thinking. You're still smart.”

“I missed you.” Max buried her nose into my collar bones, curling her arms around me and pressing me close to her. I could feel her heart beating rapidly from the leftover adrenaline from the fight. Almost immediately, I returned the favor throwing my arms around her neck. Something about her smelled sweet, and I allowed myself a moment of peace and serenity with my best friend.

“I missed you too, Max.” Max tightened her grip on my shirt as I tried pulling back. “What?”

“Chloe, I've been looking for you for years now. I thought you were dead.” Max was crying, but from the way she was smiling, I could tell that it was tears of joy. Something in me blossomed as I pulled her into my chest again. “It's just...I'm so glad to see you.”

“Yeah. Same here.” Eventually, she let go, and I turned towards Max's friends. “Sorry for that. Looks like my best friend can't keep her hands off me. I'm Chloe Price.”

Warren and Kate both shook Chloe's eager hand. “Come on, Chloe. We have to leave before the cards find us and try to **** me.”

“Lead the way, Max.”
John F McCullagh Dec 2011
Grandfather John, my mother's dad,
remarried later on in life.
When he passed on his vast wealth
passed largely to this second wife.
Thus did her children benefit
from the bulk of his estate.
My mother and my Uncle John
relatively little, sad to state.
Sometime after the internment date
a piano was shipped to our home.
A piece Step- Grandma didn't want
She didn't play and lived alone.
When my mother was a child
living up in Marble Hill
She'd learned to play the instrument
that now she merely wished to ****.
In mortal rage she grabbed an axe
and like a batter swung away
It was a fair bit of exercise
(She had played baseball in her day.)
Such sounds that spinnet then produced
were likely never heard before.
such atonal melodies
as she ripped and smashed its core.

the Axe concerto was concluded
when only splinters still remained
She went and stored the axe away-
After than she never played
this is a true story. Every word.
cait-cait May 2018
i am holding an axe...

empty towers stand tall in snow
-
yet
still i climb ,
(each step) —

like
a toy upon a shelf
(i am freezing)/

when
you rip the stuffing out of
me
and try to sew me
shut ,

but the
wound is not healing
(it never will)

and
the walls get stained with nicotine::
(i miss when they were white)

when i come back to, i am lost -
scared
(because it is dark)
.

i
try to howl ,
gurgle instead:
and then
i start to weep-
(and my tears all freeze like little pearls) .
.

when i look for them again,
(those girls)

they have turned into
wolves
(i remember my axe)

and they look me in my eyes —
glimmering//

so
spit on me, again,
i say

i
dare you —
this time,
i am not afraid to bite.

(they do not come back for me)
.
the other title for this poem was “i look at you or maybe you look at me.” I let people on my instagram vote which one they liked better. This is about feeling alone in a battle against many different people you care about. I spent a long time working on it.
Tyler Jenne' Aug 2016
This is a story I started to write about 3 or 4 years ago and still working on it.

The Great Journey
By: Tyler Jenne'

Chapter 1: New heroes

    There once was a small town known as Nightville. It was one of many small towns that had been split up from one big city. The king of nightville was the ruler of all the land. He became one of the most fear rulers of the Ancient city. As he sat upon his throne while the execution of 3 criminals was about to commence. These 3 criminals were Tyler, Paul, and Aren they were being executed for committing treason against the town of nightville. Before the execution could get under way Tyler asked to speak with the king. As the guards escorted Tyler, Paul, and aren to the king they noticed a shinny spark outside of the castle walls. The guard said to the King that 3 prisoners wish to speak to him.

    My guards tell me that you 3 wish to make  a deal with me to lesson your charge of treason said the king. Yes if there is anything that we can do to lesson our charge feel free to ask answered Tyler. Now that you mention it there is one thing the 3 of you can do for me replied the king. I have a little problem that you might be able to help me with. Sure what is it replied Paul. This kingdom was once part of a Ancient City. And something of great value was taken quite some time ago answered the king. It's called the Ancient Artifact it is what give the ancient city life. I have a friend that will help guide you to your destination.

    How far do we have to travel before we meet your friend asked aren. He is in the Majestic forest of Tieranorith replied King Goldencrown. All I can say is that you must travel through the rigorous valley of lost souls, but beware of the treacherous orcs lieing within the brush of the valley. How do we know if we'll be going the right way asked Paul. Trust in yourself to guide you through the valley. There is only one way to go and no way you can get lost answered king goldencrown. You are no longer criminals you are 3 brave warriors under the command of King Goldencrown. Now off you go and may your inner spirit serve you well and guide you to the safe haven of the ancient city.

   So as the  3 friends rode off on their horses towards the majestic forest of tieranorith. The roads were rocky and rough as the friends traveled through brush and rubble of Old Nightville. It's nothing, but a wasteland said Tyler. Just remember if we do this our debt to society will be erased from the records of the justice court of nightville said aren. We must keep moving before it gets dark said Paul. The 3 friends found a cave to rest for the night so they could have enough energy to resume their journey. Little did the 3 friends know, but orcs were slowly creeping up on the 3 warriors. As the friends woke from their slumber they smelled something foul in the air. Oh god what is that awful stench asked Paul. It smells like something died or was killed in the night. Yeah I smell it too damm that stinks answered aren. I smell it too, but it doesn't smell like something that was killed in the night it smells like a grotesque creature that is hiding from the light replied Tyler.

   Above on the mountain top far away a shadow like figure watch the brave warriors continue their travels towards the dark valley of lost souls. He sent his minions out to get rid of the brave warriors. Knowing that there was already a pack of rabid orcs and wolves on their heels. Minions seek out the leader of the orcs and bring them to me shouted the shadow figure. As the minions set out to join the rabid group of orcs in ridding their land of the brave warriors. Meanwhile the braves warriors reached the valley of lost souls. It's so dark here said Tyler. Legend has it that there was a great battle waged in this valley replied aren. It used to be a grand arena where they had brave gladiators fight to the death. They must have been brutal battles here replied Paul. You can still see the blood stains in the sand. Whoa did you guys feel that? asked Tyler. I don't feel anything replied aren. Yeah me neither said Paul. I could have sworn I felt something had gently brushed me on the cheek said Tyler. Maybe the heat of this valley is getting to me.

   Halfway through the desert filled valley the brave warriors look at each other in awe at the amazement of carnage left from a ****** and brutal wars. Holy crap look shouted Aren. It looks like something is up ahead. Whoa that's weird replied Tyler. As the brave warriors looked ahead and kept moving forward they could see a bloodshed of dead bodies lieing in their way. Oh my goodness what happened here asked Paul. There are bodies everywhere answered Aren. The bodies were mangled and hanging off of tree limbs. We have to keep moving said Paul. The brave warriors climbed over the dead bodies thankfully they made it to the end of the valley of lost souls. As the sun began to fall the brave warriors stop into a dark forest. This is interesting said Tyler. Let's get some sleep and in the morning we'll explore this odd forest. The sky was dark and lurking in the darkness orcs were getting closer and closer to the brave warriors. As the wind began to blow the trees back and forth the orcs jumped to and from the trees with ease. The next morning as the sun rose from behind the great mountain.

    High above the great mountain was the shaman of the north. He had kept watch over the brave warriors since they made their way through the valley of lost souls. It shouldn't be much longer until they reach the majestic forest of of Tieranorith. I only hope vaiking hasn't sent his minions out after them said Matthew. As the brave warriors woke from their slumber they looked around at the forest. Wow those are huge trees said aren. I can see a giant mountain and at the top of it is what looks like a church of some sort replied Paul. Halt who has been tresspassing through my forest asked King Anthony. I'm Tyler and these are my friends Paul and Aren. What brings you into my forest? asked King Anthony. We are in search of an ancient artifact replied aren. Oh yes I remember a long time ago when the ancient artifact was used to power the ancient city, but again that was a long time ago replied King Anthony.  So the story of the ancient city is true? asked Tyler. Yes very much so answered King Anthony.

    Your forest is amazing said Paul. Thank you I come out here from my castle when something is troubling me replied Anthony. Does anyone know who would take the ancient artifact? asked aren. Many of the rulers throughout the ancient city believe it's vaiking who took the ancient artifact replied Anthony. You may not have realized it, but as you walked through the valley of lost souls you passed through a invisible portal that only can be seen when the artifact is back where it belongs. Do know of vaikings where about? asked Paul. No replied Anthony. He was once a member of the great council within the ancient city. When there was a disagreement between two parties. We would take it to the council for final deliberation.

    Is the great counsel still active? asked Tyler. No replied Anthony. After the artifact was taken the cousin siece to exist. There was no reason to keep the cousin in effect since the city is revolves around the artifact. Who do you think might know where the artifact would located at? asked Paul. The shaman of the north might know replied Anthony. He lives at the top of the great mountain.  You must know that the artifact isn't one specific thing, it was broken into six pieces. Without all the pieces the ancient city will stay in darkness. Ok got it get artifact bring it to the ancient city to restore the life of the great counsel and the city said aren. Before you leave take these horses for they will help you get to the top of the great mountain.

    As the brave warriors left the forest heading north towards the great mountain. Still unaware of what was following them orcs were leaping from tree to tree. Who's there? asked aren. Is someone out there? What's wrong aren? asked Paul. I thought I heard something moving through the trees replied aren. I'm sure it was just the wind blowing through them said Paul. Maybe your right replied aren. Let's keep moving we are almost them to the great mountain. The brave warriors rode towards the  mountain on the horses. Riding up the first giant hill of this mountain was taking its toll on the brave warriors. Higher and higher they scaled the mountain. How much longer till we reach the top asked Tyler. Another day or so replied aren. The heat of the sun was beaming down onto the brave warriors. Water  I need water gasped Paul. Here drink from my canteen said Tyler. Thanks man I needed that said Paul. Your welcome replied Tyler.

    To their surprise as the sun was beating down on them a white flake fell from the sky. What the hell is this asked aren. It looks like snow answered Tyler. It was indeed snow falling from the sky, but not because of the gods above. The shaman of the north had cast a spell causing the snow to fall. He did this to help the brave warriors keep distance from the orcs that were behind them. The orcs still followed the brave warriors from behind, but not on the ground. they continued to swing from the trees.

Only to their surprise they were dropping like flies and hitting the ground  with much velocity. The ground shook violently to the core leaving not a trace of the orc. Let's find some cover before this blizzard topples over us said Paul. In here replied aren.  Into a cave they went not know what they would come across in the process. Lets rest in here for the night said Tyler. I'll build a fire replied aren.

The snow fell continuously throughout the night. The weather was treacherous to the point of barricading the entrance to the cave that the brave warriors were in. Morning came and the brave warriors woke to total darkness. Holy Crap what happened to the light said Paul. It looks as if the snow came completely over the cave entrance and now we're trapped in  here replied aren. I'll light a torch for us. Let's go this way there has to be another way out of this cave. The brave warriors made their way through the dark and wet cave.

     How much longer until we see another way out of this cave asked aren.  I don't know replied Paul. Let's keep moving if we stop we'll lose momentum to get back on the trail towards  the great mountain. Time went on and the braves warriors felt as if they had been in this cave for months even a year. Dude we really need to find a way out of here said Tyler. It's going to be ok man just calm down replied aren. I think I see something sparking in the corner over here. The brave warriors had stumble across a shiny piece of metal. ******* it's the first piece of the artifact said Paul. Cool let me see replied Tyler. I think I see some light up ahead. As the brave warriors kept moving forward the light became brighter and brighter the closer they moved towards it. They reached the area of where the light was shinning from. The light was coming from a wall of some sort. When the brave warriors pushed on the mysterious wall it opened to a room of what looked like was once a part of a castle from the roman era. There in the middle of the room was a mysterious hooded figure. Your travels have finally brought you to me for more guidance said the mysterious figure. Who are you and what do you want from us asked Paul. It is not what I want from you, but want can I help you with replied the mysterious figure. Not knowing that it is Matthew the shaman of the north behind the hood.

      The brave warriors scratch their heads in curiosity they think to themselves The has to be some sort of reason for us being able to survive all the obstacles we've faced in our journey for the ancient artifact said aren. Yeah, but it's not like this guy is the reason for us surviving the weather answered Paul. If he was the reason we should asked him why he has helped us make it this far and also where are we right now. You may be wondering who I am and where you are said the hooded figure. Yeah we were just thinking that answered Paul. My name is Matthew and I am known as the shaman of the north.  It's nice to meet you I'm Paul and these are my friends Tyler and aren. I know I have watched over you from the time you left nightville replied Matthew. You have many question and I have many answers for you. I know you wish to know where you are.
We are standing in a castle that used to be one of the many kingdoms within the ancient city long ago. Also you wish to know the time period you are in. When king Anthony had told you that when you made it through the valley of souls you passed through a portal into his forest, well that forest is part of the roman era. So we are in the roman empire days asked Tyler. Yes replied Matthew. The days of the roman empire are far from the glory days.

I remember when the roman empire was at their highest of having soldiers up to 300 strong. Did they have many wars during their reign asked aren. They did more so against barbarians that had came from the north replied Matthew. At that time the roman empire didn't have 300 soldiers, but enough to defend their lands. Again it was a long time ago, but the sands will forever be stained with the blood of the brave roman soldiers that defended their land. Anthony told us about vaiking and how he was once a part of the great counsel is there anything more you can tell us about vaiking and his part within the counsel? asked Paul. Ah yes vaiking he was once a part of the great counsel replied Matthew. He was second in line to be head of  the counsel and when things didn't go his way in the election for head of the great counsel. After that vaiking became obsessed with gaining the power of which that position held. He swore on the lives of everyone children and families that we would all pay for our decisions. Well does anyone know what happen to vaiking after his breakdown over power asked Paul. Last we knew he was building an army of orcs and minions to destroy the great counsel answered Matthew.

      The council decided to evacuate everyone within the ancient city take them to an unknown location to keep everyone safe from harm Matthew continued. After vaiking broke down about not getting the top seat of the council he swore that he would bring pain and suffering upon all those who conspired against him. As vaiking walked into the darkness with nothing more to lose the sand storm that ran through here destroyed almost everything and everyone. Soon thereafter no one has heard from or knows where vaiking disappeared to.  Many say he was swallowed by the sand storm and he now hide within the darkness where he stays because of the shame he brought to nightville. That must of been awful for him to feel betrayed by people he thought he could trust replied aren. Maybe a part of him did feel betrayed, but nobody felt more betrayed then the ancient city did answered Matthew.

We must leave for we aren't safe here there are orcs following you. they've been following from the very start of your journey. The four friends set forth to continue their journey of finding the remaining pieces of the ancient artifact. Still the orcs and minions were hot on their trail. Some orcs were riding on wolves where the remaining orcs scaled through the trees. The lead orc was one of the most dangerous orcs ever to ride on a wolf. His name was drake and nobody could match his strength. With one fell swoop he could lay waste to an entire group of soldiers with his mighty axe. The axe blade was made from harden steel and the base of his axe was carved from the trees of the majestic forest of Tieranorith. Someone let  lord vaiking that we have the shaman of the north and the three brave warriors in our sight ordered Drake.  As his fellow orcs sent word to lord
It is a story about me and my closest friends.
Master of all voices
“There will come a time when you choose radiant over dire.
A moment when you don't feel the rage but choose to remember the spirit.
Look to those moments and be ready to defend your home ancient
For the world is not enough to get rid of enemy’s heat”
“Come Centaur! Crush them beneath your hooves!
I want you to put some weight on them
Because they don’t really care what are our moves
Kick every untrust worthy enemy creep”
“I can’t carry you all at times alone
Make them fear the hammer, Omniknight.
Don’t let them near me on fire
I don’t want to get fired up this early
So get ready to open up the sight”
“Motred! I want you to work hard
Let them get back to their ancient
With the fear of coup de grace
Until then you go your way”
“When did they start destroying our structures?
And our pursuit for peace lead to fight.
Our alliance leads to their battle rage
I look around and I see the Drow ranger crawling silently”
“Our Omni knight is busy preparing first aid
The agony is deafening .
Our battle is rumbling down.
It looks as if all going to clash”
“With our attacks swollen
I am desperately collecting rifles
The destruction is resuming
Awareness is lost”
“Yet even in all of that there is a glimmer of hope
The echoing strike of coup de grace
In Centuar’s smile
Or Windrunner’s silly laugh “
• It's the smells of battle that stay with you long after they've ended.
• In Stonehall it was blood and sulfur, smoke, and rot and fear...
• You won't win the war by dying for your Ancient.
• You'll win by making the other dumb, unfed ******* die for theirs!
“Redness of bloodshed of creeps
The colour of blood boiling enemy . The height of unreached cliff
And time of unfeared battle rages”
“Fake moves, helpless creeps Fell for the need to push Now the fluid flowing through the woods For they have started the attack.”
“Alleria! Get some air from the bottle
Shackle those ******* one or two
I bet Drow didn’t learn your power shot
So why stay still? Get them”
“Axe held his axe ready, standing very still at rune side,
The even minute ticked
He charged towards me,
I was taken by surprise by Rubbick.”
“He lifted me up in the dark vacuum.
then Axe ran to get me with his axe
As my weapon fell to the ground.
I yelled Omni! In a second he purified me”
“Axe and Rubbick backed off with bleeding heart
I pressed attack and drew first blood on Axe
Some general you turned out to be!”
“Nevermore saw pain in me, but I fleed to ancient
Motred and Centuar were hungrily covering Traxex and Void
Keep up Windrunner! Try to call off Blue ranger”
“As I went with the cry, the smell of hell clicked my instinct
I drew duel against demon, Shadow fiend…I challenge you
But he escaped… We weren't finished!....”
Starry Aug 2019
The guy looks like he is going
To climb Mt Everest
But that axe isn't for ice
It's for fighting off enimes
And saving the world
Swing he will
If you get in the way of
His goals.
Pagan Paul Nov 2018
.
The hypotenuse stretched
as far as the eye could see,
across a vast lateral plain
an horizon mathematically perfect.
And yet …
In the main square of the hypotenuse
the town crier bellowed out tidings.
The Triangle Triumvirate was unstable,
the discovery, nay re-discovery,
of the Mystery, the most horrific of Mysteries,
the Mystery of the missing
Fourth-Side.

Dweeb was a box standard barbarian.
Quick to anger, slow of wit.
Like last night at dinner.
He had Three potatoes, his sister had Four.
He shouted and thumped the table,
his angry voice expunging his ire.
Then his sister had explained,
to calm and reassure him.
Three was more than Four
because it had Five letters in it.
And Five is more than Four.
He thought about his axe,
then about his abacus,
and then he ate his spuds.

The Fourth-Side drifted in spacial isolation.
Of course now it wasn't a Side.
Being attached to nothing, it was just a line,
but it had some tricks.
It could coil and curl itself
to form rude words in joined up writing.
It floated on reminiscing,
about the **** angles it had made
with all its previous adjacent lovers.
The memory caused spasms
and it formed into a rude word
that should never ever be written down.

Teena, Dweeb's sister, vomited.
She had kissed a puppy,
and was being sick in the morning,
was she pregnant?
But, it was never a puppy, always a stork.
He mum had told her, warned her
'never kiss an errant stalk'.
Her mum died of the pox, whatever that is.
Something clicked in her head.
Oh! Stork and stalk!
Well they do sound the same,
especially in a harsh barbarian accent.
But the puppy had sneezed
as she had kissed it goodnight.
She thought about her axe.
And then she threw up again.


Equations to be solved #7
Vlad the Impaler was a Barbarian
+
Vlad the Impaler was a Libra
=
Dracula was a Librarian?



Right Angle was worried.
Duly so.
If the Fourth-Side Mystery was solved
he'd have three other Right Angles to deal with,
instead of a sixty and a thirty.
The Triangle Triumvirate would cease.
An intense Quadrilateral Mexican stand-off
would ruffle his perfect two-seventy external.
He had to divert attention away,
far, far away, from the Fourth-Side.
By Jove he had it! Bingo!
Let them try to solve
the Mystery of
The Back-Side.

Dweeb loved winding up his sister.
So he hid her puppy in a box.
But now he was worried.
Was the puppy still alive?
Or dead? Or both?
This may sound like a ****** stupid question
but where did that last thought come from?
Yes!
Yes what?
Yes, it was a ****** stupid question!

Teena though it very strange.
When she rang the dinner Triangle
the cat sat on the mat,
Salivating!
Curiouser and curiouser.
Conditioned response or learnt behaviour?
Teena dismissed the thought line,
she didn't ask ****** stupid questions.

It had no idea
about its status as a Mystery.
The Fourth-Side has issues.
Complicated issues.
It had somehow conspired
to tie itself in a knot.
And spacial isolation had become crowded.
Missing links everywhere, the sofa of time,
excommunicated integers, 1970's wallpaper,
it all floated about in spacial isolation.
Above all Fourth-Side was intensely agitated.
Couldn't anyone quieten that yapping puppy?




© Pagan Paul (06/11/18)
.
My psychedelic washing machine mind on spin cycle!

https://hellopoetry.com/collection/29495/strange-world/
.
Mikaila Sep 2018
The day you got your hair cut
I went to a lesbian bar after work.
It was 3
And I was tired
But I went straight there
Because I had to do something.
I knew it was a lost cause before I even got there.
The back of my neck was prickling with tension
With fear
Because I knew I was too late.
Somewhere in the depths of my soul
My free will was on a gurney,
Cold.
But I couldn’t help it-
I needed to feel like I had control,
So I went inside.
People were dancing.
None of them held themselves the way you do
Like a marble statue that has set down axe and shield and stepped off the plinth for a brief rest
(You will be returning to battle shortly-
After you fix your eyeliner.)

I did a shot
Because that’s what you do.
They were free- *** on the Beach.
I sat there,
Wondering why the fact that you named your cat Heathcliff as a child meant that I had to love you.

I decided that I needed something stronger in the way of alcohol.

A girl with soft brown eyes and long hair came up to me.
Her name was Tiffany.
She wasn’t clever like you
And her voice
Wasn’t low and rough like yours
But she told me I was pretty.
I already knew, but I thanked her.
I felt nothing.
She wasn’t interesting
Or funny
Or smart.
She was attractive- beautiful even, I suppose,
And maybe she was kind.
She bought me a drink,
And mistook my sadness for shyness.
As I answered her questions I was afraid your name would fall from my lips like a seed
Take root and grow up through the floorboards.
Nothing she said changed me, nothing I said back changed me,
And my thoughts kept snagging on you
Tearing and unraveling.
I needed you out of my head.
She was looking at me with big eyes
And I suppose they were compelling
But they weren’t yours-
Rimmed with black, hypnotic and stormy at times, sparkling with mischief at others,
Forever changing and forever captivating,
Windows to a soul I fiercely wish I knew-
They were just eyes, and maybe they were vulnerable
Or curious
Or sweet.
I kissed her so that I could stop looking into them
And not seeing you there.
Her lips tasted like nothing.
I closed my eyes and kissed her harder,
Hoping for a reason to forget you.

We were beautiful, I knew that.
I could feel eyes on us-
Two small, lovely women
Tangled on the dance floor under the lights
Fingers in each other’s hair-
We must have looked
Just like lovers.

I searched for a way out of my feelings for you.
I kissed her for a long time, until we were both gasping.
I found nothing.
In my frustration I pulled her head back,
Bit her lip
Pressed my fingers hard into the back of her neck
And I felt her lust
But not mine.
It was nice to be wanted
But not nice enough.
I wanted to hurt her for touching me
For not being you
So I pulled away
And kissed her cheek gently
My hands beneath her jaw.
“Wow,” she said.
I couldn’t look at her.
That tenderness wasn’t hers
But it didn’t matter.
I kissed her hands
In penance disguised as sweetness.
Suddenly all the anger was gone from me
And I felt desolate.

That night I walked home with my head buzzing.
I wasn’t drunk,
I was sober as hell
Head pounding with thoughts of you.
I hated it.
I hate it.
Somehow I fell into this feeling
And I’ve been fighting not to drown ever since.
When I look at you
I feel everything I wish I’d felt while I was kissing her
And more
That I sometimes wish I’d never feel again.
Sometimes I think you see it.
Sometimes I know I cover for it badly.
Sometimes, when you’re suddenly present
Like the sun has turned on just for me
And then distant later
Like the sea at night
I think you know I already love you.
Maybe you hate it like I hate it.
Maybe you worship it like I worship it.
Maybe you fear it
And I don’t blame you.
A storm presses out against my skin when I look at you
And I’m surprised no chaos seeps through.
My bones hum with it
My heartbeat reaching like thunder into my fingers.

I’ll probably never kiss you
And maybe that’s for the best
Because even being near you makes me feel like I’m falling from somewhere high up.
If I kissed you, I’d feel everything, I’m sure of it-
Everything there is to feel
And it would end me
And I would be grateful.

I wonder if you ever see that in my eyes.
That fear, that longing, that shame and joy.
A love and loathing so intense it scalds.
‘I can’t believe I’m here again,’
It pounds through my veins.
‘I can’t believe I love another person
Who is always looking elsewhere.’

Just know, if you ever discover how I feel
That I tried to **** it.
I looked at this beautiful feeling
A feeling you could pray before like an altar
A feeling you could whisper into like a temple- barefoot and cold with wonder- and hear your soul echo back,
I looked at the sacred piece of humanity that had suddenly risen in my heart like a hymn
And I tried to silence it-
I tried hard-
So that you would never have to fear it.

I failed. It lives.
It took root in me, and whenever I speak your name little harsh flowers push their way up through the concrete under my feet, sending cracks out like jagged spiderwebs.
They bloom like wounds.
They kiss the sky.
And, slowly,
They are crumbling this city to dust.
Title is a quote from Milton’s Paradise Lost, spoken by Lucifer.
Alexander Klein Oct 2013
I

In eras weird with old mythology,
As if asleep the fabled country lay:
Her wave-like hills and faerie forests dense,
Her thorny brambles budding curling claws,
And ivy circling all the woodsey way --
The far swan's cry came soft and woke them not.
Forlorn, that selfsame call upon the gates
Did break; those gates of Britain's long-lost keep.
She too slept fast, the weary weathered stones
Of fairest Caerleon. O pulsing stream,
Thou vein of life in woods a-slumber, Usk!
Alone are you in knowing castle's face,
From years of timeless burbling at her feet.
What tales are told by water over stone?
What lark or wren can sing of sadness come?
Aye, answers are the beach-wet sand, yet hark!
Rejoicings spilled, proud hails, from Caerleon:
They cheered the ****-frost's melting with the Spring;
The holy Gwyl Fair y Canhwyllau
Had come at last, in foliage of dawn.

Within, their goblets sailed, wassailed, and crashed
Like growling Jove, their boasts and toasts like wine --
They drank it spiced and over-strong. Indeed,
Some stretched exaggerations: 'twas Sir Bors,
That spotless sheet, who tried to contradict.
He quoted purifying texts and spurned
The wine that nature raised and crafted sweet.
Yet "Loosen up!" uproared the host to him.
"The time has come to celebrate," said Kay,
Beloved knight, step-brother to the King,
"Aloft thy wine, below thy gills! Drink! Laugh!
Your stomach is a falsehood-spewing fool,
It must be drowned for you to feel a lord.
I speak a sooth, you need wine's fleeting bliss!
Know thee that man's tomorrows bleed him dry:
A wade through death and depths as sure as pain
That shall tomorrow light your brow. Laugh! Drink!"
Bold cheering spread with Kay's advice, though yet
To no surprise Bors turned aside the drink,
Unblemished bore, so celebrates alone.
Weep not for him, for soon he'll find a cup
More suited to his strange of chaste and grace.
And none to waste: his share was drunk by all.

Engaged in feast Owain ap Urien,
Engaged in tale now Bedwyr and Kay,
And Lancelot made eyes at Gwenevere.
It was a feast of great success and joy
As fitting of the season's robust gleam,
Yet two there were with shallow-rooted smiles.
Prince Mordred one, though ever-somber he:
Accursed spawn with bone in place of heart
And dreaded incantations for his blood;
His brooding perched like crow on him. Alas:
The other joy-bled man had beard aflame,
A bear-skin drape, and crystal eyes, the Lord
He was of Caerleon and Mordred both.
'Twas not the gleam in lover's gaze that vexed
Though it was seen; he had no heart in him
To chain his Queen as if in dungeon steel,
For Arthur lived believing to be fair
Was paramount, to even paramour.
It wreaked its toll, yet caused small grief this day.
Not even serpent son gave cause to mourn
That greater was than missing nephew's spot
Among the feast. His chair was naked bare
Returned though he should be from faerie quest.
At Calan Gaeaf they expected him
When winter storms had racked their shoddy hall,
Yet since, the months had rolled to Gwyl Fair
The milder season come, but not his kin.
The image of his maiméd corpse did taunt
And haunt the agéd mind of Arthur, King,
His phantom nephew slain anon by knight
That of no flesh was made. In year that died
This green-mailed knight arrived a guest and called
Infernal challenge. Trick it seemed to them
And trick it was, for subsequent the blow,
This seaweed knight did lift his severed head
And from dead lips he cried "Well struck! Now come,
Fulfill me of my game. The year to come
Shall see thee in my home, and as agreed
My turn 'twil be to answer with my axe."

So rapt in recollecting, Arthur missed
The growing clamor that beset his hall.
His ******* cleared the grief from him with taunt,
To bring him into grief. "What say thee, Dad,"
Dripped venom from his mouth, "No love for us?
Your hail we called, but disapprove your eyes.
Methinks that far away thou seest a dream
That visits oft the elderly: a place
Thou knewst when in thy prime, with love
Now filled to burst. Yet fear us not, away!
To land of youth far more beloved than we
Whose happiness with thine own heart is twined."
"My fellow, soft!" the King began, distressed,
Yet Lancelot rose to his feet and spake
"Blackguard is he who mocks our Lord to face!
Thou palest hide, thou Mordred, sit thee down!
This sniveling craven knight should be replaced."
A sounding of the table met his speech,
Again was hailed his toast, and Arthur glad,
Though burdened to his breaking point, and sad.

"Blackguard is he who mocks our Lord to face,"
Had spake his bravest champion and friend
With no regard to Blackguard wrapped in stealth.
See how his roughspun fingers coil in hers
And how some sweetened whisper 'scapes her lips?
The beams of color-stainéd light slip down
To play upon their blissful sin almost
As if King Arthur's King approved on high.
Sovereignty is ruthless, Arthur thought,
Well-wishings of my God grow ever-faint.
I must believe in good though I am ill,
Just as I find my countrymen displeased
Though I did calculate my every breath
To see that it did stand with God's own will
To help my common people from their murk.
I fear I am not what I wished to be,
And now my only solace peaceful death.
If up to me, I'd wish it in my bed.

What horn's blare? Hark! King Arthur roused from thought.
Court gatekeeper Glewlwyd Gafaelfawr,
Dressed plain in brown, took down the horn from lips
And loud as elk called to the hall "Have cheer!
Sirs, drink another beer and wreath your brow
With springtime blooms, for lost knight fair is found!"
Old Arthur trusted not his feeble ears,
But came a hush and Lancelot confirmed:
"What **," he boomed, "our brother has returned!
'Tis grey Gawaine, aye, Gwalchmai! Drink his hail!"
The uproar was enourmous: "Gwalchmai! Cheers!"
Was like to wake the sleeping wilderness
That hung suspended in the myth and mist.

II

Astonishment had come like breaking wave
Upon the thirsty sands of monarch's face
So long consigned to reap the low-tide's grief.
When Arthur's ursine hand clenched round his cup
And hailed his nephew's presence with a roar
Long lost to hibernation's hoary spell,
The hearts that beat in armor under him
Did swell to find their lord with cheer at last;
The toast they drank so hearty as to give
Sweet Dionysus pause against excess.
Though only two there were who did not drink,
And one of these were Bors, a sadness fell
Once more as tangible as any wrong
That chose to haunt a hall. 'Twas Gwalchmai grey,
The conqueror now home from quest to rest
Who would not lift his eyes to meet the King's.

"Has cheer so fled from you? Your life remains!
What black has inked you in?" the King did ask,
And silence overtook the hall to hear.
How strongly then did Gwalchmai wish to leave,
To blend once more his form to root or branch
Or soaring river. Wind, the songbird's muse,
Had been his fast companion on the road,
For known to him were many things. He was,
They say, some god that stalked the minds of man
In young enchanted places of the world
Though all his magic helped him not at court:
His shyness was a leaf obscured by rain.
Yet even gods of silence know to speak
When words of pain encircle heavy hearts.
He let them fly, birds in the sky, he said
"I failed. My quest was long and arduous,
The seasons changed while I in heather lost,
The moon its phases shed as fen-frogs called,
I floated through the endless cloying mist
That flows, a ghostly sea wrapped round our isle.
The path had nearly drowned me when I found
The chapel green enough to spell my doom.
When entered I, methought "It cannot be!"
So kind and courteous a host met me
That would have been disgrace to call him green.
He feasted me, and warmed my wounded bones,
Yet I betrayed him in the end; I failed.
I stayed his guest, and friend, and swore to him
That for his hospitality I'd share
Each thing I won while underneath his roof.
And all was well -- I'd rest, he'd hunt -- until
His wife played hearts with me. I did refuse,
But by her final trick was tempted and --
So lost all knightly honor and renoun.
Her lusts I spurned three times, but on the third
She offered me that which my heart desired,
Instead of love she begged me take her boon:
A silken girdle sewn with charms, and green,
Deceit I should have seen. She said the spells
Would keep me safe from harm and spare my life...
When on my rugged journey all I'd feared
Was twisting face of death that loomed so near.
I could not help myself, it seemed so tame,
Yet when the time had come I could not share
That gift, or else expose the husband's wife.
Beneath my armor tied when left that place,
My secret wore me down upon the bog.
It seemed the mist grew thicker, wind grew swift,
I now know under spell was I, but then
It seemed some vengence coming to a head.
My tale grows long, and past the point am I.
The Green Knight and my host were one in fraud:
An airy insect's dream. His "wife," a witch,
Had formed him out of acrid moorland soil:
Homunculus to carry out her scheme.
The blow he owed me carried little force,
Though still this scratch is plain upon my nape.
And so you see my folly plain as oak:
For though I kept the life I feared to lose
My lie grows in me like a cancer bloom
That in the span of time shall **** me sure.
I failed; I'm gone; to revelry return."
The silence, vast again, gripped all the knights
And king too dry to cry, who drowned his heart.

III

"Is there some madness come to roost herein?
Thy folly is ridiculous," said Kay.
"I valued mine own life past honor's flame,
A sin of selfishness, and blame, and wrong.
What of the world, if all would act as such?"
A weeping noise he made, but choked it back
And turned to leave in shame, and might have done
Had not the stout Sir Kay gripped Gwalchmai's arm.
He raised it in the air and shouted thus:
"Percieve our stunning champion stands nigh!
Though of a frail ennobled heart, we know
Thou art absolved. This trinket given free
To aid in quest I wager was for thee.
And as for sacred broken vows, this man --
You said yourself -- was conjured from a bug.
You owe him no alleigance Gwalchmai, sit!
This serious you need to be for wine:
Come sit with brothers now! We drink to thee!"
"Dispel the failure all you can, it stays
As weighty on my brain. It was a sign
To signify the kind of soul I am,
To me it showed my grimy ills and plain
Did tell my shaping, shape, and shape-to-be."
King Arthur to this nephew spake: "My child,
Is there no antidote to questing's woes?
What has become of jousts and silver swords?"
The anguish in the old man's eyes so keen
To those who knew him. Gwalchmai did reply
"Your majesty, there's not a grief can ****
My bird-like love of questing through the trees,
For only questing can redeem my shape."
"Then let us have this quest!" cried Kay beside
Him at the table, deep in drink he swore.
"Come with me, brother-knight, to clear thy mood!
You do you wrong blaspheming at yourself."
The wine was quaffed by Gwalchmai, yet he said
"I first shall stay, I need to rest my ills."
"Your ills are that which keep you ill, good knight.
I bid you come and we shall quest as birds
Who savor springtime berries in the mist."
"I shall not go, I seek my quietude."
"In sunlight you and I must bask. Comply,
Or else I challenge you by burnished blade."
All eyes on Gwalchmai, under pressure cracked
Into a grin and downed his kykeon.
"In stubborness persisting, Kay, you've won,
A river such as I could not keep stead
Against a boulder. When shall we away?
When come the summer blossoms, fair and red?
Or else not til the saps have lost their leaves?
Departure yours to choose, my brother-knight."
Kay beat upon the table and their ears
When called triumphantly "This very day,
This very hour! To help those who need aid
On holy days shall surely fix your heart.
No time to wallow in the swamp that's gone,
We now away, to break our swords with day!"
"You mock me or you heard me not, Sir Kay,
I wish not to away, I wish to rest!"
The fairest Guenevere, like silver bells,
Chimed in "You must forgive your heart's despair,
Or emanations of its guilt will plague
Your mind. I have a lunar garden if
You wish to sit in soothing calm and think."
"My queen is holy," Gwalchmai spoke in grace,
But Kay had cut him off with "Hear her not!
She will ensorce your mind to not explore,
To sit and think and mold with lunacy;
Beneath the sun we'll tred. It's known on quests
I favor Bedwyr, 'tis true, yet you
My fairest Gwalchmai, keep your wits -- and arms --
Two things in need of we shall be.
I mean you no offense, dear Bedwyr,
But I and Gwalchmai share a severed soul
And shall succeed; two sides of selfsame coin.
So come my cousin grey, to right our wrongs
We must away, to break our swords and say
'My heart is glad I did not stay at home!'
Consume your drink! We go," he trumpet-called.
Thus Gwalchmai was convinced, and so was forced
To nod politely to his Queen and stand,
Declaring to the court "I shall away,
This gloomy mood is dried beneath the sun
Though dearly do I wish some lunar grace
To lose myself in mysteries anew.
To bear this flesh is weighty, yet I've found
The strain to be rewarding in its way.
Think nothing of my former woes, they've passed
Like summer storm or wisp of misty cloud."
The hall at large did drink his hail, and then
Did thrice more drink for quest to which they went.
And Mordred scowled and drank the foulest wine
For his monsoon and fog would last his life.

So summoned then Glewlwyd Gafaelfawr
To hearken unto birds, as was his gift.
He said to all, "I shall now call my friends
And see what worthy tales of quests they bring!"
"There may be naught on Gwyl Fair," said Bors,
"A holy day, all wove with peace. Nor Gods
Nor men would stir their strife this day of days."
"We all shall see," the gatekeeper replied.
Beside his King upon the dais came
And played a serenade upon his horn
That rang throughout the keep and lands beyond.
A time did pass with no response recieved --
Slain silent was the raptness of the court --
But then through open pain in stainéd glass
A thrush did bob and weave in melody,
On finger of the Queen he briefly perched
Before he flit away upon the air.
His song so sweet, but then - what fright! No more!
A hawk had entered, just the same, and swooped,
And now the thrush was silent in his claws.
The cabinet of augers all took note
And sketched their calculations into books,
Though none, in this, more wise than Gafaelfawr
To whom the hawk said "Hail, you man of rank
Who speaks the tongue of wing-in-air. Now hark!
'Twas not in hunger slew this thrush, but fear
That what I have to tell might go unheard.
My family, we roost near Cornwall's sea
And late, the noises off the coast grew strange
As if some evil kraken raged at love.
My chicks; my wife and I; we're simple hawks.
We eat and some of us are eaten, yet
Beware the thing that slouched from out the waves.
His shape is something like a boar, but huge,
He dwarfs his kin, and hill, and oak,
This hall is large, yet he'd be stuck inside.
He does not eat what he has killed, instead
He smears the bloodied flesh on stones and trees,
What man could face a fear that bears this face?
If you could hear the rutting squeals he makes!
I swear this sooth by wind and waving plumes:
You men who craft with metal, hark!
Destroy the beast!" And then he flew away
Still calling after him "Destroy the beast!"

The court at large had heard the warbling hawk
But did not know the tongue, so only watched
Glewlwyd's unease upon his face
Until with stiff and rasping voice relayed
The content of the predatory news.
Unease began to show among the knights,
For many there recalled a beast so shaped
And all the blood and guile he took to drown
The first time. Arthur, grim, forbade Sir Kay
And Gwalchmai face these perils by themselves,
But recommended regiment of steel
To bolster ranks against the fearsome boar.
"I know this foe from days of old," he said,
His years of rule etched rough across his face,
"And so do most of you, though many gone
And this monstrosity not even slain."
But Gwalchmai said "'Twas hard indeed to win
Those relics that he bore. Remember I
That Trwyth was the name he chose, and we
Shall best him fair. Though not for trinkets now,
But with the zeal of mother guarding young:
This foe, Twrch Trwyth shall not raze the land
Nor wage a war against some peaceful ilk
While rounded table can beco
guy scutellaro Oct 2019
The rain ****** through a darkening sky.

The man's eyes grow bright and he smiles. Softly, he whispers, " Man, you're the biggest, whitest, what hell are you anyway?"

The pup sits up and Jack Delleto caresses her neck, but much to the mutt's chagrin the man stands up and walks away.

Jack has his hand on the door about to go into the bar. The pup issues an interrogatory, "Woof?"

The rain turns to snow.

The man's eyes grow bright and he smiles, "My grandma used to say that when it snows the angels are sweeping heaven. I'll be back for you, Snowflake."

Jack shivers. His smile fading, the night jumps back into his eyes.

Snowflake chuffs once, twice.

The man is gone.



The room would have been a cold ,dark place except the bodies who sit on the barstools or stand on the ***** linoleum floor produce heat. The cigarette smoke burns his eyes. Jack Delleto looks down the length of the bar to the boarded shut fire place and although the faces are shadows, he knows them all.

The old man who always sits at the second barstool from the dart board is sitting at the second bar stool. His fist clenched tightly around the beer mug, he stares at his own reflection in the mirror.

The aging barmaid, who often weeps from her apartment window on a hot summer night or a cold winter evening, is coming on to a man half her age. She is going to slip her arm around his bicep at any moment.

"Yeah," Jack smiles, "there she goes."

Jack Delleto knows where the regulars sit night after night clutching the bar with desperation, the wood rail is worn smooth.

In the mirror that runs the length of the bar Jack Delleto sees himself with clarity. Brown hair and brown eyes. Just an ordinary 29 year old man.

"Old Fred is right," he thinks to himself, "If you stare at shadows long enough, they stare back." Jack smiles and the red head returns his smile crossing her long legs that protrude beneath a too short skirt.

The bartender recognizes the man smiling at the redhead.

"Well,  Jack Delleto, Dell, I heard you were dead. " The six foot, two hundred pound bartender tells him as Dell is walking over to the bar.

"Who told you that?"

"Crazy George, while he was swinging from the wagon wheel lamp." Bob O'Malley says as he points to the wagon wheel lamp hanging from the ceiling.

"George, I heard, HE was dead."

The bartender reaches over the bar resting the palms of his big hands on the edge of the bar and flashes a smile of white, uneven teeth. Bob extends his hand. "Where the hell have you been?"

They shake hands.

Dell looks up at the Irishman. "I ve been at Harry's Bar in Venice drinking ****** Marys with Elvis and Ernest."

Bob O'Malley grins, puts two shot glasses on the bar, and reaches under the bar to grab a bottle of bourbon. After filling the glasses with Wild Turkey, he hands one glass to Dell. They touch glasses and throw down the shots.

"Gobble, gobble," O Malley smiles.


The front door of the bar swings open and a cold wind drifts through the bar. Paul Keater takes off his Giants baseball cap and with the back of his hand wipes the snow off of his face.

"Keater," Bob O'Malley calls to the Blackman standing in the doorway.

Keater freezes, his eyes moving side to side in short, quick movements. He points a long slim finger at O'Malley, "I don't owe you any money," Paul Keater shouts.

The people sitting the barstools do not turn to look.

"You're always pulling that **** on me." Keater rushes to the bar, "I PPPAID YOU."

As Delleto watches Keater arguing with O'Malley, the anger grows into the loathing Dell feels for Keater. The sauve, sophisticated Paul Keater living in a room above the bar. The man is disgusting. His belly hangs pregnant over his belt. His jeans have fallen exposing the crack of his ***, and Keater just doesn't give a ****. And that ragged, faded, baseball cap, ****, he never takes it off.

When Keater glances down, he realizes he is standing next to Jack Delleto. Usually, Paul Keater would have at least considered punching Delleto in his face. "The **** wasn't any good," Paul feining anger tells O'Malley. "Everybody said it was, ****."

The bartender finishes rinsing a glass in the soapy sink water and then places it on a towel. "*******."

Keater slides the Giant baseball cap back and forth across his flat forehead. "**** it," he turns and storms out of the bar.

"Can I get a beer?" Dell asks but O"Malley is already reaching into the beer box. Twisting the cap off, he puts it on the bar. "It's not that Keater owes me a few bucks, "he tells Dell, "if I didn't cut him off he'd do the stuff until he died." Bob grabs a towel and dries his hands.

"But the smartest rats always get out of the maze first," Jack tells Bob.


Cigarette butts, candy wrappers, and losing lottery tickets litter the linoleum floor. Jack Delleto grabs the bottle of beer off the bar and crosses the specter of unfilled wishes.

In the adjacent room he sits at a table next to the pinball machine to watch a disfigured man with an anorexic women shoot pool. Sometimes he listens to them talk, whisper, laugh. Sometimes he just stares at the wall.

"We have a winner, "the pinball machine announces, "come ride the ferris wheel."



"I'm part Indian. "

Jack looks up from his beer. The Indian has straight black hair that hangs a few inches above her shoulders, a thin face, a cigarette dangling from her too red lips.

"My Mom was one third Souix, " the drunken women tells Jack Delleto.

The Indian exhales smoke from her petite nose waiting for a come on from the man with the sad face. And he just stares, stares at the wall.

Her bushy eyebrows come together forming a delicate frown.

Jack turns to watch a brunette shoot pool. The woman leans over the pool table about to shoot the nine ball into the side pocket. It is an easy shot.

The brunette looks across the pool table at Jack Delleto, "What the **** are you starin at?" She jams the pool stick and miscues. The cue ball runs along the rail and taps the eight ball into the corner pocket. "AH ****," she says.

And Jack smiles.

The Indian thinks Jack is smiling at her, so she sits down.

"In the shadows I couldn't see your eyes," he tells her, "but when you leaned forward to light that cigarette, you have the prettiest green eyes."

She smiles.

" I'm Kathleen," her eyes sparkling like broken glass in an alley.

Delleto tries to speak.

"I don't want to know your name," she tells Jack Delleto, the smile disappearing from her face. "I just want to talk for a few minutes like we're friends," she takes a drag off the cigarette, exhales the smoke across the room.

Jack recognizes the look on her face. Bad dreams.

"I'll be your friend," he tells her.

"We're not going to have ***." The Indian slowly grinds out the cigarette into the ashtray, looks up at the man with the sad face.

I met my older sister in Baltimore yesterday. Hadn't seen her since I was nine, since Mom died. I wanted to know why Dad put me in foster homes. Why? I had so many questions and you know what?
I didn't ask one."

Jack is finishing his beer.

"Maybe if you knew the reasons, now, it wouldn't matter anyway."

The man with the black eye just doesn't get it. She lived with them long enough. Long enough to love them.

She stands up, stares at Jack Delleto.

And walks away.


It's the fat blondes turn to shoot pool. She leans her great body ever so gently across the green felt of the pool table, shoots and misses. When she tries to raise herself up off the pool table, the tip of the pool cue hits the Miller Lite sign above the pool table sending the lamb rocking violently back and forth. In flashes of light like the frames from and old Chaplin movie the sad and grotesque appear and disappear.

"What the **** are you starin at?" The skinny brunette asks.

Jack pretends to think for a moment. "An unhappy childhood."

Suddenly, she stands up, looking like death wearing a Harley Davidson T-shirt.

"Dove sta amore," Jack Delleto asks.

Death is angry, steps closer.

"Must be that time of the month, huh," Jack grins.

With her two tiny fists clenched tightly at her side, the brunette stares down into Delleto's eyes. Suddenly, she punches Jack in the eye.

Jack stands up bringing his forearm up to protect his face. At the same time Death steps closer. His forearm catches her under the chin. The bony ***** goes down.

Women rush from the shadows. They pull Jack to the ***** floor, punch and kick him.

In the blinking of the Miller Light Jack Delleto exclaims," I'm being smother by fat lesbians in soft satin pants."  But then someone is pulling the women off of him.

The Miller Lite gently rocks and then it stops.

Jack stands up, shakes his head and smiles.

"Nice punch Dell," Bob O' Malley says, "I saw from the bar."

Jack hits the dust off of his pants, grabs the beer bottle off of the table, takes a swallow. Smiling, he says, "I box a little."

"I can tell by your black eye." O'Malley puts his hand on his friends shoulder. "Come on I'll buy you a shot. What caused this spontaneous expression of love?"

"They thought I was a ******."


2 a.m.

Jack Delleto walks out the door of the bar into the wind swept gloom. The gray desolation of boarded shut downtown is gone.

The rain has finally turn to snow.

His eyes follow the blue rope from the parking meter pole to its frayed end in the plowed hill of snow at the corner of Cookman Avenue.

The dog, Snowflake, dead, Jack thinks.


The snow covers everything. It covers the abandon cars and the abandon buildings, the sidewalk and its cracks. The city, Delleto imagines, is and adjectiveless word, a book of white pages. He steps off the curb into the gutter and the street is empty for as far as he can see. He starts walking.

Jack disappears into empty pages.


Chapter 2


Paul Keater has a room above Wagon Wheel Bar where the loud rock music shakes the rats in the walls til 2a.m. The vibrations travel through the concrete floor, up the bed posts, and into the matress.

Slowly Paul's eyes open. Who the hell is he fooling. Even without the loud music, he would not be able to sleep, anyway.

Soft red neon from the Wagon Wheel Bar sign blinks into his room.

Paul Keater sits up, sighs, resigns himself to another sleepless night, swings his legs off the bed. His x-wife. He thinks about her frequently. He went to a phycologist because he loved her.

Dump the *****, the doctor said.

"I paid him eighty bucks and all he had to say was dump the *****." He laughs, shakes his head.

Paul thinks about *******, looks around the tiny room, and spots a clear plastic case containing the baseball cards he had collected when he was a boy.

He walks to the dresser and puts on his Giant's baseball cap. Paul sits down on the wooden chair by the sink. Turns on the lamp. The card on top is ***** Mays. Holding it in his hand, it is perfect. The edges are not worn like the other cards.

It was his tenth birthday and his dad had taken to his first baseball game and his father had bought the card from a dealer.

Oblivious to the loud rock music filtering into his room, he stares at the card.

Fondly, he remembers.

Dad.


                                     *     

It arrives unobtrusively. His heart begins to race faster.
Jack Delleto rolls away from the cracked wall. He sits up and drops his legs off the bed.

Jack Delleto thinks about mountains.

When he cannot sleep he thinks about climbing up through the fog that makes the day obscure, passing where the stunted spruce and fir tees are twisted by the wind, into cold brilliant light. Once as he climbed through the fog he saw his shadow stretching a half a mile across a cloud and the world was small. Far down to the east laid cliffs and gullies, glaciated mountains and to the west were the plains and cities of everyday life.

The army coat is draped over the back of the chair. In the pocket is his notebook. Jack stands and takes the notebook from the pocket. When he sits in the wooden chair he opens the book and slides the pen from the binder.

When he finishes his story he makes the end into the beginning.



                                           Chapter 3


"I want a captain in a truck." The 10 year old boy with the brown hair tells his mom. "I want it NOW."

His blonde haired mom wearing the gold diamond bracelet nods her head at Jack Delleto. Jack looks up at the clock on the wall. It is only 9a.m. After four years of college Jack has a part time job at K.B. Toy store. "We're all out of them," he tells her for the second time.

"Honey," Blondie tells the boy, they're all out of them."

"YOU PROMISED."

"How about a sargeant in a jeep?

"OK, but I want a missile firing truck , too."

Delleto turns to the display case behind the counter. Briefly, he studies his black eye in the display case mirror and then begins searching the four shelves and twenty rows of 3 inch plastic toys. He finds the truck. His head is aching. He finds the truck and puts it on the counter in front of the boy.

"Sorry, we're all out of the sargeant," Jack tells the pretty lady. The aching in his head just won't go away.

"Mommy, mommy, I want an ATTACK HELIOCOPTER, MOMMMEEE, I WANTAH TTTAAANNNK..."

Jack Delleto leans over the counter resting his elbows on the glass top. The boy is staring at the man with the black eye, at his bruised unshaven face.

"Well, we haven't got any, GODDAMED TANKS. How about a , KICKINTHE ***."

Finally the boy and his mother are quiet.

"My husband will have you fired."

She grabs the boy by the hand. Turns to rush out of the store.

Jack mutters something.

"MMOOOMEEE,  what does..."

"Oh, shut the hell up," the pretty lady tells her son


                              
     

The assistant manager takes a deep drag on her cigarette, exhales, and crosses her arms to hold the cigarette in front of her. Susan looks down at Jack sitting on the stool behind the counter. He stands up. "Did you tell some lady to blow you?" She crushes the cigarette out in the ashtray on the shelf below the counter. "Maybe you don't need this job but I do."

"Sue, there's no smoking in the mall."

"Jack, you look tired," the cubby teenager tells him, "and your eye. Another black eye."

"I was attacked by five women."

'Oh, I see, in your dreams maybe. I see, it's one of those male fantasies I'm always reading about in Cosmo. You re not boxing again, are you Dell?" Sue likes to call him Dell.

"I go down to the gym to work out. Felix says I've got something."

"Yeah, a black eye." Susan laughs, opens the big vanilla envelope, and hands Jack his check.

She turns and takes a pair of sunglasses from the display stand. "You 're scaring the children, Dell ." Susan steps closer looks into Dell's brown eyes and the slips the sunglasses on his face. "Why don't you go to lunch."

                                        
     

It's noon and the mall is crowded at the food court area. Jack gets a 20oz cup of coffee, finds a table and sits down.

"Go over and talk to him. " Susan says. Jack turns his head , looks back, sees the Indian walking towards his table.

"Hello, Kathrine," says Jack Delleto.

"My names not Kathrine, it's Kathleen."

Jack pulls the chair away from the table, "Have a seat Kate."

Her eyebrows form that delicate frown. "My names Kathleen." As soon as she sits down she takes a cigarette from the pack sticking out of her pocketbook. "I had to leave. I told the baby sitter I'd only be gone an hour. Anyway you weren't much help."

"So why did you come over to talk to me?"

"You were alone, always alone."

"You've seen me there before?"

"Yeah, sitting by the pin ball machine staring at the wall, and sometimes, you'd take out your little blue note pad and write in it.
"What are you writing? Are you goin to write about me..."

"How many kids do you have?"

"Just one. A boy, and believe me one is enough. He'll be four in June," Kathleen smiles but then she remembers and abruptly the smile disappears from her face. "Sometimes I see Anthony's father in the mall and I ask him if he'd like to meet his son, but he doesn't.

Kathleen draws the cigarette smoke deep into her lungs, tilts her head back, and blows the smoke towards the skylight. Suddenly caught in the sunlight the smoke becomes a gray cloud. " I didn't want to marry him anyway, I don't know why he thought that."

She hears the scars as Delleto talks, something sad about the man, something like old newspapers blowing across a deserted street. She hears the scars and knows never, never ask where the scars came from.


                              
     

As Jack walks towards the bank to cash his check, he glances out the front entrance to the mall. It is a bright, cold day and the snowplows are finishing up the parking lot plowing the snow into big white hills. That is the fate of the big white pup plowed to the corner of Cookman and Main buried deep in ***** snow. At that street corner when the school is over the children will play on the hill never realizing what lay beneath there feet.

The snow must melt; spring is inevitable.

His pup will be back.



                                           Chapter 4


The 19 year old light heavyweight leans his muscular body forward to rest his gloved hands on the tope rope of the ring. He bows his head waiting to regain his breath as his lungs fight to force air deep into his chest. Bill Wain has finished boxing 4 rounds with Red.

Harry the trainer, gently pulls the untied boxing gloves from Red's hands. "Good fight, he says, patting Red on the back as the fighter climbs through the ropes and heads to the showers. Harry hands the sweat soaked gloves to Felix who puts one glove under his arm while he loosens the laces on the other 12ounce glove. He makes the sleeve wider.

"Do you want the head gear?" Felix asks.

Jack Delleto shakes his head and pushes his taped hand deep into the glove.

The old man takes the other glove from under his arm, pulls the laces out, and holds it open. Without turning his head to look at him, Felix tells Harry, "Make sure Bill doesn't cool down. Tell him to shadow box. Harry walks over to Bill and Bill starts shadow boxing.

Jack pushes his hand into the glove. "Make a fist." Jack does. Felix pulls the laces and ties it into a bow.

Felix looks intently into Delleto's eyes. "How does that feel?"

"About right."

"You look tired."

"I am a little."

"Are you sick or is it a woman."

"I'm not sick."

A big smile forms across the face of the former welterweight champion of Nevada. The face of the 68 year old Blackman is lined and cracked like the old boxing gloves that Jack is wearing but his tall body is youthful and athletic in appearance. Above Felix's eyebrows Jack sees the effect of 20 years as a professional fighter. He sees the thick scar tissue and the thin white lines where the old man's skin has been stitched and restitched many times. As he gives instructions to Jack, Felix's brown eyes seem to be staring at something distant and jack wonders if Felix has chased around the ring one time too often his dream.

"And get off first. Don't stop punching until he goes down. You've got it kid and not every fighter does."

Jack and Felix start walking over to the ring.

"What is it I've got?" Jack Deletto wonders.

"Felix puts his foot on the fourth strand of the rings rope and with his hand pulls up the top strand and as Jack steps into the ring, "You've got HEART."

In the opposite corner Bill Wain waits.

"Will he be alright?" Harry asks.

"Bill's tired, " Felix replies, then he tries to explain. "It's not about money. I'm almost 70 and I want to go out a winner." Felix pauses and the offers, he can hit hard with either hand."

"Yeah, but at best he's a small middleweight and he only moves in one direction, straight ahead."

"Harry, I love the guy," Felix puts his hand on Harry's shoulder, he's like Tyson at the end of his career. He'd fight you to the death but he's not fighting to win anymore."

Harry puts his hands in his pocket and stares at the floor. "Do you want me to tell him to go easy." Harry looks up at Felix waiting for an answer.

"I'm tired of sweeping dirt from behind the boxes of wax beans and tuna fish. I'm sick of collecting shopping carts in the rain. A half way decent white heavyweight can make a lot of money. It's stupid for a fighter to practice holding back. Bill's a winner. Jack'll be alright."

Felix hands the pocket watch to Harry so he can time the rounds.

Bill Wain comes out of his corner circling left.

Jack rushes straight ahead.

Felix winks at Jack Delleto and whispers, "The Jack of hearts."



                                           Chapter 5


The front door of the Wagon Wheel bar explodes open to Ziggy Pop's, "YOU'VE GOT A LUST FOR LIFE." Jack Delleto steps over the curb and vanishes into the dark doorway.

"HEY, JACK, JACK DELLETO," The lanky bartender shouts over the din.

Delleto makes his way through the crowd over to bar. How the hell have you been Snake?" Jack asks.

"Just great," says Snake. "You're lookin pretty ****** good for a dead man."

"Who told you that? Crazy George?"

The bartender points across the room to where a man in a pin stripe suit is swinging to and fro from a wagon wheel lamp attached to the ceiling.

"Yeah, I thought so. Haven't seen Crazy George in a year and he's been telling everyone I'm dead. I'm gonna have to have a long talk with that man."

Snake hands Jack a shot of tequila. The men touch glasses and throw down the shots.

How's the other George? Dell asks.

"AA."

"How's Tommy? You see him anymore?"

"Rehab."

"What about Robbie?"

Snake refills the glasses. "He's livin in a nudist colony in Florida, he has two wives and 6 children."


Jack looks across the room and sees Bob O'Malley trying to adjust the rose in the lapel of his tuxedo. Satisfied it won't fall out O'Malley looks up at the man swinging from the lamp. "Quick, name man's three greatest inventions."

"Alcohol, tobacco, and the wheel," Crazy George shoots back.

O'Malley smiles and then jumps up on the top of the bar and although he is over six feet and weighs two hundred pounds, he has the dexterity and grace of a ballerina as he pirouttes around and jumps over the shot glasses and beer bottles that litter the bar.

Wedding guests lean back in their chairs as strangers fearful of his gyrations ****** their drinks off the bar. Bob fakes a slip as he prances along but he is always in control and never falters. Forty three year old Bob O'Malley is Jim Brown who dodges danger to score the winning touch down.

When is reaches the end of the bar he jumps to the floor, pulls two aluminum lids from the beer box, and with one in each hand he smacks them together like cymbals.

Some guests clap. The bemused just stare.

In the back of the room sitting at the wedding table the father of the bride leans over, whispers into the ear of his crying wife, "If I had a gun I'd shoot Bob."

The bride raises a glass of champagne into the smoke filled air and Bob takes a bow but then heads towards the kitchen at the other end of the room.

" Hey, Bob," Jack Delleto shouts to the groom.

O'Malley stops under the wagon wheel lamp and turns as Delleto steps into the  circle of light cast onto the floor.

"Congratulations, I know Theresa and you are goin to be happy. I mean that." Delleto offers his hand and they shake hands.

"Thanks, Mr. Cool."

Jack takes off the sunglasses.

"TWO black eyes. Your nose is bleeding. What happened?"

Dell takes the handkerchief from his back pocket, wipes the blood dripping down his face. "It's broken."

"What happened?" O'Malley asks again.

"Bill Wain."

"He turned pro."

"Yeah, but he's nothing special. Hell, he couldn't even knock me down."

O'Malley shakes his head. "Put the sunglasses back on, you look like a friggin raccoon."

Dell smiles. The blood running down his lips."Thersa's beautiful, Bob, you're a lucky guy."

"Thanks Dell." O'Malley puts his hand on Dell's shoulder and sqeezes affectionately. Bob looks across the room at Teresa. "Yeah, she is beautiful." Theresa mother has stopped crying. Her father just stares at the wall.

O'Malley looks away from his bride and passed the archway that divides the poolroom from the bar and into the corner. With the lamp light above his head gleaming in his eyes Bob seems to see a ghost fleeting in the far distant, dark corner. Slowly, a peculiar half smile forms uneven, white, tombstone teeth.  A pensive smile.

Curious, Dell turns his head to look into the darkness of the poolroom, too.

At night in July the moths were everywhere. When Dell was a boy he would sit on his porch and try to count them. The moths appeared as faint splashes of whiteness scattered throughout the night, odd circles of white that moved haphazardly, forward and then sideways, sometimes up and down.

Sometimes the patches of moths flew higher and higher and Dell imagined the lights those creatures were seeking were the stars themselves; Orion, the Big Dipper and even the milky hue of the Milkyway.

One night as the moths pursued starlight he saw shadows dropping one by one from the tops of the trees. The swallows were soundless and when he caught a glimpse of sudden darkness, blacker than the night, the shadows erased the dreamer and its dream.

His imagination gave definition to form. There was a sound to the shadows of the swallows in his thoughts, the melody and the song played over and over. Perhaps he saw his reflection in the night. Perhaps there are shadows where nothing exists to cast them.

"Do you hear them, Bob?"

"Hear what?" Bob asks.

"All of them."

"All of what?"

"Nothin," Delleto tells his friend, "Nothin."

O'Malley doesn't understand but it does not matter. The two men have shared the same corner of darkness.

Bob calls to Paul Keater. Keater smiles broadly, slides the brim of his Giant baseball cap to the side of his forehead. The two men disappear through the swinging kitchen door.


                                          Chapter 6


"Hello Kate." Jack Delleto says and sits down. She has a blue bow in her hair and make up on.

"My names Kathleen."

She fondles the whiskey glass in her slim fingers. "Hello, Dell, Sue thinks Dell is such a **** name. Kathleen takes a last drag on her cigarette, rubs it out in the ashtray, looks up at him, "What should I call you?"

"How about, Darlin?"

"Hello, Jack, DARLIN," her soft, deep voice whispers. Kathleen crosses her legs and the black dress rides up to the middle of her thigh.

Jack glances at the milky white flesh between the blue ***** hose and the hem of her dress. Kate is drunk and Dell does not care. He leans closer, "Do you wanna dance?"

"But no one else is dancing."

"Well, we can go down to the beach, take a walk along the sand."

"It's twenty degrees out there."

"I'll keep you warm."

"All right, lets dance."

Jack stands up takes her by the hand. As Kathleen rises Jack draws her close to him. Her ******* flatten against his chest. He feels her heart thumping.

The Elvis impersonator that almost played Las Vegas; the hairdresser that wanted to be a race car driver; the insurance salesman with a Porche and a wife.  Her men talked about what they owned or what they could do.

Kathleen had never meant anyone quite like Dell.

She rests her head on his shoulder. "What do you what more than anything? What do you dream about at night?"

"Nothing."

"Come on," she says," what do you want more than anything? Tell me your dreams."

Jack smiles, "Just to make it through another day."  He smiles that sad smile that she saw the first time they met. "Tell me what you want."

Kate lifts her head off of his shoulder and looks into his eyes."I don't want to be on welfare the rest of my life and I want to be able to send my son to college." She rests her cheek against his, "I've lived in foster homes all my life and every time I knew one day I'd have to leave, what I want most is a home. Do you know the difference between a house and a home?"

"No."

Her voice is a roaring whisper in his ear, "LOVE."

The song comes to an end and they leave the circle of light and sit down. Kate takes a cigarette from the pack.

Dell strikes a match, "Maybe someday you'll have your home."

"Do you want me to?"

"Yeah."

Kate blows out the match.


                                  
     


"Can you take me home?" Kate asks slurring her words.

Kathleen and Jack walk over to where the bride and groom are standing near the big glass refrigerator door with Paul Keater. When Paul realizes he is standing next to Jack Delleto he rocks back and forth on the heals of his worn shoes, slides his Giants baseball cap back and forth  across his forehead and walks away.

O'Malley bends down and kisses Kathleen on the cheek and turns to shake hands with Dell. "Good luck," says Dell. Kathleen embraces the bride.

Outside the bar the sun is setting behind the boarded shut Delleto store.

"That was my Dad's store, " Jack tells Kate and then Jack whispers to to himself as he reads the graffiti spray painted on the front wall.
"TELL YOUR DREAMS TO ME, TELL ME YOU LOVE ME, IF YOU LOVE ME TELL ALL YOUR DREAMS TO ME."


                                         Chapter 7


An old man comes shuffling down the street, "Hello Mr. Martin, " Jack says, "How are you?"

"I'm an old man Jack, how could I be," and then he smiles, "ah, I can't complain. How are you?"

"Still alive and well."

"Who is this pretty young lady?"

"This Kate."

Joesph Martin takes Kathleen by the arm and  gently squeezes, "Hello Kate, such a pretty women, ah if I was only sixty," and the old man smiles.

Kathleen forces a smile.

The thick eyeglasses that Mr. Martin wears magnifys his eyes as he looks from Kathleen to Jack, "Have fun now because when you are dead you are going to be dead a long, long time."

"How long?  Delleto inquires.

The old man smirks and waves as he continues up the street to the door leading to the rooms above the bar. He turns to face the door. The small window is broken and the shards of glass catch the twilight.

Joesph Martin turns back looking at the man and young woman who are about to get into the car. He is not certain what he wants to say to them. Perhaps he wants to tell them that it ***** being an old man and the upstairs hallway always smells of ****.

Joesph Martin wants to tell someone that although Anna died seven years ago his love endures and he misses her everyday. Joesph recalls that Plato in Tamaeus believed that the soul is a stranger to the Earth and has fallen into matter because of sin.

A faint smile appears on the wrinkled face of the old man as he heeds the resignation he hears in his own thoughts.

Jack waves to Mr. Martin.  Joesph waves back. The mustang drives off.

Earth, O island Earth.


                                               Chapter 8


Joseph pushes open the door and goes into the hallway. The fragments of glass scattered across the foyer crunch and clink under his shoes. The cold wind blowing through the broken window touches his warm neck. He shivers and walks up the stairs. There is only enough light to see the wall and his own warm breathing. There is just enough light like when he has awaken from a  bad dream, enough to remember who he is and to separate the horror of what is real from the horror of what is dreamt.

The old man continues climbing the stairs following the familiar shadow of the wall cast onto the stairs. If he crosses the vague line of shadow and light he will disappear like a brown trout in the deepest hole in a creek.

By the time he reaches the second floor he is out of breath. Joseph pauses and with the handkerchief he has taken from his back pocket he wipes the fog from the lenses of his eyeglasses and the sweat from his forehead.

A couple of doors are standing open and the old man looks cautiously into each room as he hurries passed. One forty watt bulb hangs from a frayed wire in the center of the hallway. The wiring is old and the bulb in the white porcelain socket flickers like the blinking of an eye or the fearful beating of the heart of an old man.

When he opens the door to his room it sags on ruined hinges.

Joesph searches with his hand for the light switch.  Several seconds linger. Can't find it.

Finds it and quickly pushes the door shut. He sits down on the bed, doesn't take his coat off, reaches for the radio. It is gone

Joseph looks around the room. A small dresser, the sink with a mirror above it. He takes off his coat and above the mirror hangs the coat on the nail he has put there.

Hard soled boots echo hollowly off the hallway walls. The echoes are overlapping and he can not determine if the footsteps are leaving or approaching. Joseph grabs the crow bar he keeps under his pillow. Holds it until there is silence.

He lays back on the bed. Another night without sleep. Joseph rolls onto his side and faces the wall.

Earth, O island Earth.



                                           Chapter 9


Tangled in the tree tops a rising moon hangs above the roofs of identical Cape Cod houses.

Jack pulls the red mustang behind a station wagon. Kathleen is looking at Dell. His face is a faint shadow on the other side of the car. "Do you want to come up?" she asks.

Kathleen steps out of the car, breathes the cold air deep into her lungs. It is fresh and sweet. Jack comes around the side of the car just as she knew he would. He takes her into his arms and kisses her and they walk beneath the old oak tree and the roots have raised and crack the sidewalk and in the spring tiny blue flowers will bloom. The flowers remind Jack of the columbines that bloom in high mountain meadows above treeline heralding a brief season of sun and warmth.

"Did you win?" Kathleen asks as she fits the key into the upstairs apartment door. The door swings open into the kitchen.

Dell, standing in the doorway looking like the Jack of Hearts. "It doesn't matter."

"You lost?"

"Yeah."

Crossing the room she takes off her coat and places it on the back of the kitchen chair. When Kate leans across the kitchen table to turn on the radio the mini dress rides up her thigh, tugs tightly around her buttocks.

The radio plays softly.

Jack stands and as Kathleen turns he slips his arms around her waist and she is staring into his eyes like a cat into a fire. His body gently presses against the table and when he lifts her onto the table her legs wrap around his waist.

Kathleen sighs.

Jack kisses her. Her lips are cold like the rain. His hand reaches. There is a faint click. The room slips into darkness. It is Eddie Money on the radio, now, with Ronnie Spectre singing the back up vocals. Eddie belts out, "TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT, I WON"T LET YOU LEAVE TIL..."

When Jack withdraws from the kiss her eyes are shining like diamonds in moonlight.

The buttons of her dress are unfastened.  Her arms circle his neck and pull him to her *******. "Don't Jack. You mustn't. I just want a friend." His hands slide up her thighs. "I'll be your friend, " says Jack.

"*** always ruins every thing," Her voice is a roaring whisper in his ear. He pulls her to the edge of the table as Ronnie sings, "O DARLIN, O MY DARLIN, WON'T YOU BE MY LITTLE BAABBBY NOOWWW."


Now that they have gotten *** out of the way, maybe they can talk. Sliding her hands around his face she pulls him closer.

"Jack, what do you dream about? You know what I mean, tell your dreams to me."



                                             Chapter 10



All the windows in the apartment are open. The cool breeze flows through her brown hair. "You're getting too serious, Jack, and I don't want to need you."

"That's because I care for you." Jack Delleto sits down on the bed, caresses her shoulder and Kate pulls away. "I hate the rain. Come on, give me a smile."

"Well I don't need anyone."

"People need people."

There is silence, then, "I only care about my son and Father Anthony."

"What is it with you and the priest?" You named your son Anthony is that because he's the father."

"Your an *******. Get out of here. I don't love you." And then, "I've been hurt by people and you'll get over it."

The lingering silence. Jack gets up from the bed, stares at her dark form facing the wall. "Isn't this how it always ends for you?"

The room is quiet and grows hot. When the silence numbs his racing heart, he goes into the kitchen, opens the front door and walks down the steps into the cold rain.


"Anthony," Kathleen calls to her son to come to her from the other bedroom and he climbs into the bed and she holds him close. The ghost of relationships past haunt her and although they are all sad, she has she clings to them.


On the sidewalk below the apartment window Jack stops. He thinks he hears his name being called but whatever he has heard is carried off by the wind. He continues up the  dark street to his Harley.

High in reachless branches of the old oak tree a mockingbird is singing. The leaves twist in the wind and  the singing goes on and on.



                                            
     



The ringing phone.

"Who the hell is this?" The clock on the dresser says 5a.m.

"Jack, I'm scared."

"Kate?"

"Someone broke into my apartment."

"Is he still there?"

"No, He ran out the door when I screamed."

"I'll be right over."



                                         Chapter11


"How hot is it?" Kathleen asks.

The bar is empty except for O'Malley, Keater, a man and a woman.

"98.6,"Says jack The sweat rolls down his cheeks.

"Let's go to the boardwalk."

"When it's hot like this, it's hot all over."

"We could go on the rides."

"I've got the next pool game, then we'll go."

"It's my birthday."

"I bought you flowers."

"Yeah, carnations."

Laughing, Paul Keater slides the brim of his baseball cap back and forth across his forehead.

Jack starts for Keater, Katheen steps in front of Jack, puts her hands on his shoulders. She looks into his eyes.

"What is it with you , two? But as always you'll say nothing, nothing." As Jack tries to speak she walks over to the bar and sits on the barstool.

"It's my birthday," she tells O'Malley.

When Bob turns from the horse races on he T.V., he notices her long legs and the short skirt. "Hey, happy birthday, Kate, Jack Daniels?"

"Fine."

Filling the glasses O'Malley hands one to Kathleen, "You look great," he tells her.

"Jack doesn't think so. Thanks, at least someone thinks so."

"Hope Jack won't mind," and he leans over the bar and kisses her.

Kathleen looks over her shoulder at Delleto. Jack is playing pool with a woman wearing a black tight halter top. The woman comes over to Jack, stands close, smiles, and Jack smiles back.

The boyfriend stares angrily at Jack.

When Kathleen turns back O'Malley is filling her shot glass.

Jack wins that game, too.



                                                 Chapter 12



"Daddy,"the little girl her hands folded in her lap is looking up at her father. "When will the ride stop? I want to go on."

"Soon, Darling, "her father assures her.

"I don't think it will ever stop."

"The ride always stops, Sweetie." Daddy takes her by the hand, gently squeezes.


When the carousel begins to slow down but has not quite stopped Kathleen steps onto the platform , grabs the brass support pole. The momentum of the machine grabs her with a **** onto the ride, into a white horse with big blue eyes. Dropping her cigarette she takes hold of the pole that goes through the center of the horse. She struggles to put her foot in the stirrup, finds it, and throws her leg over the horse. The carousel music begins to play. With a tremble and a jolt, the ride starts.

Sitting on the pony has made her skirt ride well up her legs. The ticket man is staring at her but she is too drunk to care. She hands him the ticket, gives him the finger.

The ticket man goes over to the little girl and her father who are sitting in a golden chariot pulled by to black horses.

"Ooooh, Daddy, I love this."

"So do I," The father smiles and strokes his daughters hair.

The heat makes the dizziness grow and as the ride picks up speed she sees two of everything. There are two rows of pin ball machines, eight flashing signs, six prize machines. All the red, blue and green lights from the ride blend together like when a car drives at night down a rain soaked street.

Kathleen feels the impulse to *****.

"Can we go on again?" The little girl asks.

"But the ride isn't over, yet."


Kathleen concentrates on the rain soaked street and the dizziness and nausea lessens. She perceives the images as a montage like the elements that make up a painting or a life. She has become accustom to the machine and its movement. The circling ride creates a cooling breeze that becomes a tranquil, flowing waterfall.

The ponies in front are always becoming the ponies in the back and the ponies in back are becoming the ponies in the front. Around and around. All the ponies galloping. Settling back into the saddle she rides the pony into the ever present waterfall.

You can lose all sense of the clock staring into the waterfall of blue, red and green. Kathleen leans forward to embrace the ride for a long as it lasts.

Just as suddenly as it started, the ride starts slowy, the music stops playing.

Coming down off the pony she does not wait for the ride to stop, stumbles off the platform and out the  Casino amusement park door."****, *******," she yells careening into the railing almost falling into Wesley Lake.

She staggers a few steps, sits down on the grass by the curb, hears the carousel music playing and knows the ride is beginning again, and all the her dreams crawls into her like a dying animal from its hidden place.

And it all comes up from her throat taking her breath away. A distant yet familiar wind so she lies down on the grass facing the  street of broken buildings filled with broken people. From the empting lot of scattered thoughts the mockingbird is singing and the images shoot off into a darkening landscape, exploding, illuminating for a brief moment, only to grow dimmer, light and warmth fading into cold and darkness.




                                      
     

"Your girlfriend is flirting with me," Jack Delleto tells the man. "It's my game."

The man stands up, takes a pool stick from the rack, as he comes towards Jack Delleto the man turns the pool stick around holding the heavy part with two hands.

There is an explosion of light inside his head, Delleto sees two spinning lizards playing trumpets, 3 dwarfs with purple hair running to and fro, intuitively he knows he has to get up off the floor, and when he does he catches the bigger man with a left hook, throws the overhand right. The man stumbles back.

His girlfriend in the tight  black halter top is jumping up and down, screaming at, screaming at Jack Delleto to stop, but Jack does not. Stepping forward, a left hook to the midsection, hook to the head, spins right, throws the overhand right.

The man does down.

Jack wins.



                                                  CHAPTE­R 13

"It's too much," and Jack looks up from the two lines of white powder at Bob O'Malley. "I'll never be able to fall asleep and I hate not being able to sleep."

" Here," Bob takes a big white pill from his shirt pocket.

Jack drops the pill into his shirt pocket and says, "No more." He hands the rolled up dollar bill to Bob who bends over the powder.

"Tom sold the house so you're upstairs? O Malley asks, and like a magician the two lines of white powder disappear. Straightening up, he looks at Dell, "I know you 're hurting Dell , I'm sorry, I'm sad about Kate, too."

Jack becomes quiet, walks through the darkened room over to the bar. Leaning over the bar he grabs two shot glasses and a bottle of Wild Turkey, walks back into the poolroom. He puts the shot glasses on top of the pin ball machine. "We have a winner, "the pin ball machine announces. Dell fills the glasses.

"Felix came in the other day, he's taken it hard. Bill Wain knock down four times in the sixth round, lost consciousness in the dressing room, and died at the hospital."

"What's the longest you went without sleep? Jack asks.

"Oooohhh, five, six days, who knows, after awhile you loose all track of the clock."

They take the shots and throw them down.

"I wonder if animals dream," Jack wants to know. "I wonder if dogs dream."

"Sure they do, " O'Malley asures him, nodding his head up and down, "dogs, cats, squirrels, birds."

"Probably not insects."

"Why not? Sure they do, june bugs, fleas, even moths, it's all biochemical, dreams are biochemical, mix the right combination of certain chemicals, electric impulses, and you'll produce love and dreams."

                                          
     

Jack Delleto goes into the room, studies it. The light from the unshaded lamp on the night stand casts a huge shadow of him onto the adjacent wall. Not much to the room, a sink with a mirror above it next to a dresser, a bed against the wall, a wooden chair in front of a narrow window.

The rain pounds the roof.

The apprehension grows. The panic turns into anger. Jack rushes the white wall, meets his shadow, explodes with a left hook. He throws the right uppercut, the over hand right, three left hooks. He punches the wall and his knucles bleed. He punches and kicks the blood stained wall.

At last he is exhausted, collapses into the chair in front of the open window. Fist sized holes in the plaster revel the bones of the building. The room has been punched and kicked without mercy.

The austere room has won.

The yellow note pad, he needs the yellow note pad, finds it, takes the pencil from the binder but no words will come so he writes, "insomnia, the absence of dream." He reaches for the lamp on the night stand, finds it, and turns off the light. Red and blue, blue and red, the neon from the Wagon Wheel Bar sign blinks soft neon into his room. The sign seems to pulsate to the cadence of the rock music coming from the bar.

Taking the big white pill from his shirt pocket, he swallows it, leans back into the chair watching the shadows of rain bleed down the wall. The darkness intensifys. Jack slides into the night.



                                           Chapter 14


The rain turns to snow.

With each step he takes the pain throbs in his arm and shoulder socket. His raw throat aches from the drafts of cold air he is ******* through his gaping mouth and although his legs ache he does not turn to look back. Jack must keep punching holes with his ice axe, probing the snow to avoid a fall into an abyss.

The pole of the ice axe falls effortlessly into the snow, "**** it, another one."

Moonlight coats the glacier in an irridecent glow and the mountain looms over him. It is four in the mourning and Jack knows he needs to be high on the mountain before the  mourning sun softens the snow. He moves carefully, quietly, humbly to avoid a fall into a crevasse. When he reaches the top of the couloir the wind begins to howl.

"Da DA DUN, DA DA DUN, HEY PURPLE HAZE ALL AROUND  MY BRAIN..."

Jack thinks the song is in his head but the electric guitar notes float down through the huge blocks of ice that litter the glacier and there standing on the arête is Jimi, his long dexterous fingers flying over the guitar strings at 741 mph.

"Wait a minute, " Jack wonders, stopping dead in his tracks. The sun is hitting the distant wind blown peaks. "Ah, what the hell," and Jack jumps in strumming his ice axe like an air guitar, singing, shouting, "LATELY THINGS DON'T SEEM THE SAME, IS THIS A DREAM,  WHATEVER IT IS THAT GIRL PUT A SPELL ON MEEEE, PURRPPLLE HAZZEEE."


                                        
     


Slowly the door moans open.

"Jack, are you awake?" her voice startles him.

"Yeah, I'm awake."

"What's the matter, can't sleep?"

Jack sifts position on the chair. "Oh, I can sleep all right." He recognizes the voice of the shadow. "I want to climb to a high mountain through ice and snow and never be found."

"A heart that's empty hurts, I miss you Jack Delleto."

"I'm glad someone does, I miss you ,too."

There is silence for several minutes and the voice comes out of the darkness again.

"Jack, you forgot something that night."

"What?" The dark shape moves towards him. When it is in front of him, Jack stands, slips his arms around her waist.

"You didn't kiss me goodbye."

Her lips are soft and warm. Her arms tighten around his neck and the warmth of her body comes to him through the cold night.

"Jack, what's the matter?" She raises her head to look at him, "Why, you're crying."

"Yeah, I'm crying."

"Don't cry Darlin," her lips are soft against his ear. "I can't bare to see you unhappy, if you love me, tell me you love me."

"I love you, I do," he whispers softly.

"Hold me, Jack, hold me tighter."

"I'll never let you go." He tries to hug the shadow.


                                          
      *


The dread grows into an explosion of consciousness. Suddenly, he sits up ******* in the cold drafts of air coming into the room from the open window. Jack Delleto gets up off the chair and walks over to the sink. He turns on the cold water and bending forward splashes water onto his face. Water dripping, he leans against the sink, staring into the mirror, into his eyes that lately seem alien to him.



                                            Chapter 15


Someone approaches, Jacks turns, looks out the open door, sees Joesph Martin go shuffling by wearing a faded bathrobe and one red slipper. Jack hears Martin 's door slam shut and the for thirty seconds the old man screams, "AAHHH, AAAHHH, AAAHH."
Then the building is silent and Jack listens to his own labored breathing.

A glance at the clock. It is a few minutes to 7 a.m. Jack hurries from his room into the hallway.  They pass each other on the stairs. The big man is coming up the stairs and Jack is going down to see O'Malley.

Jack has committed a trespass.

When the big man reaches the top of the stairs, the red exit light flickers like a votive candle above his head. The man slides the brim of his Giants baseball cap back and forth across his forehead, he turns and looks down, "Hello, Jack, brother. Dad loved you, too, you know." An instant later the sound of a door closing echoes down the hallway steps.

Jack Delleto is standing in the doorway at the bottom of the steps looking out onto the wet, bright street.

"Hey, Jack, man it's good to see you, glad to see you're still alive."

Jack turns, looks over his shoulder, "Felix, how the hell are you."
The two men shake hands, then embrace momentarily.

"Ah, things don't get any better and they don't get any worse," shrugs the old man and then he smiles but his brown eyes are dull and Jack can smell the cheap wine on the breath of the old boxer. "When are comin back? Man, you've got something, Kid, and we're going places."

"Yeah, Felix, I'll be coming back."  Jack extends his hand. The old fighter smiles and they shake hands. Suddenly, Felix takes off down Main Street towards Foodtown as if he has some important place to go.

Jack is curious. He sees the rope when he starts walking towards the Wagon Wheel Bar. One end of the rope is tied around the parking meter pole. The rest of the rope extends across the sidewalk disappearing into the entrance to the bar. The rattling of a chain catches his attention and when the huge white head of the dog pops out of the doorway Jack is  startled. He stops dead in his tracks and as he spins around to run, he slips falling to the wet pavement.

The big, white mutt growls, woofs once and comes charging down the sidewalk at him. The rope is quickly growing shorter, stretches till it meets it end, tightens, and then snaps. Now, unimpeded by the tension of the rope the mutt comes charging down the sidewalk at Delleto. Jack's body grows tense anticipating the attack. He tries to stand up, makes it to his knees just as the dog bowls into him knocking him to the cement. The dog has him pinned down, goes for his face.

And begins licking him.

Jack Delleto struggles to his knees, hugs her tightly to him. Looking over her shoulder, across Main Street to the graffiti painted on the boarded shut Delleto Market...

                               FANTASY WILL SET YOU FREE

                                                 The End

To Tommy, Crazy George and Snake, we all enjoyed a little madness for awhile.
Lotus Nov 2012
Tree’s ravaged roots
By axes a thousand
Spilling the blood of forest barks and mosses
The trunk’s weeping screams
Enough to deafen the nearest fowl

Each branch sheds tears
Of liquefied organs and veins
That once hitting the ground
Flow in rushing meanders
Enough to drown soil housed insects

Every leaf that was born
Green and luscious under the sun’s beams
Now recoil and shiver
Into a rusted deathly brown
All the breath that once recycled
Back through its green body
Chased into a withered chasm

One by one
The axe takes a thousand lives in one
One by one
The world that nurtured humanity
Decays by humanity’s hands
One by one
The ruin of all
Will occur
By the axe
Of humanity
should I lay claim to the towers around me?
to programmed ghosts in the machine?
should I reap the gifts and ease of another man’s dreams?

is it not a paradox
to eat what flesh still has not
surrendered just to me?

I can pluck a cherry from a bush
for my life until I find
a small stone I can wield
as a weapon; as a knife
if the rock does not decay
and my aim be born with truth
and arm as strong as it should be
uncrushed by blanket blue
then I should eat what comes to me
what I can take by force
what in my lone punctuality
I can chase without a horse

if I can build a stone axe
then I can start a war
If I can gut a fish
I’m as rich as caviar
but here and now all diamonds
are brought up from the earth
and my coal-free pores are too un-mined
to understand such worth

can I lay claim to the towers around me?
If I can build them all
and if I am no god
then I’ll have no Taj Mahal
Picasso
you give us things
which
bulge:grunting lungs pumped full of sharp thick mind

you make us shrill
presents always
shut in the sumptuous screech of
simplicity

(out of the
black unbunged
Something gushes vaguely a squeak of planes
or

between squeals of
Nothing grabbed with circular shrieking tightness
solid screams whispers.)
Lumberman of the Distinct

your brain’s
axe only chops hugest inherent
Trees of Ego,from
whose living and biggest

bodies lopped
of every
prettiness

you hew form truly
Pick axe in hand
The ground laid out before me

There is no
”X”

Just a solid exterior that is beginning to erode
Some where below is the prize

I pick among visible lines
The obvious
Start where it is already coming undone

Grinding the dust into my hands
The smooth grain worn into a natural grip

A focused vision comes into view
Marking the ground with my sight

Lifting and straining against the weight of my tools
I have not yet begun
I feel myself dispersing into the ground below me

Patch verified axe rising like the new sun
Then quickly drawn down upon the soil

Solid even in the fissures
The vibration resonating
Pushing back at me

Swing Man! Swing!
Bring on the ultra violence

soon

Standing on a barren plane
Soft winds lapping at the gently rising dust
As small shards find new places to rest

Progress is slow & shallow

Stopping regularly
To clean and prime the site

This ritual promoting
Images and feelings of being prostrated

Before some long forgotten deity

Many hours gone progress is measured
I have not gotten far

This will be weeks
Not days or hours

I stop to consider the plan
Too late ultimately
I started here

No rhyme or reason why

Just here
This is the scar upon my psyche
That will give way

I say.
V. TO APHRODITE (293 lines)

(ll. 1-6) Muse, tell me the deeds of golden Aphrodite the
Cyprian, who stirs up sweet passion in the gods and subdues the
tribes of mortal men and birds that fly in air and all the many
creatures that the dry land rears, and all the sea: all these
love the deeds of rich-crowned Cytherea.

(ll. 7-32) Yet there are three hearts that she cannot bend nor
yet ensnare.  First is the daughter of Zeus who holds the aegis,
bright-eyed Athene; for she has no pleasure in the deeds of
golden Aphrodite, but delights in wars and in the work of Ares,
in strifes and battles and in preparing famous crafts.  She first
taught earthly craftsmen to make chariots of war and cars
variously wrought with bronze, and she, too, teaches tender
maidens in the house and puts knowledge of goodly arts in each
one's mind.  Nor does laughter-loving Aphrodite ever tame in love
Artemis, the huntress with shafts of gold; for she loves archery
and the slaying of wild beasts in the mountains, the lyre also
and dancing and thrilling cries and shady woods and the cities of
upright men.  Nor yet does the pure maiden Hestia love
Aphrodite's works.  She was the first-born child of wily Cronos
and youngest too (24), by will of Zeus who holds the aegis, -- a
queenly maid whom both Poseidon and Apollo sought to wed.  But
she was wholly unwilling, nay, stubbornly refused; and touching
the head of father Zeus who holds the aegis, she, that fair
goddess, sware a great oath which has in truth been fulfilled,
that she would be a maiden all her days.  So Zeus the Father gave
her an high honour instead of marriage, and she has her place in
the midst of the house and has the richest portion.  In all the
temples of the gods she has a share of honour, and among all
mortal men she is chief of the goddesses.

(ll. 33-44) Of these three Aphrodite cannot bend or ensnare the
hearts.  But of all others there is nothing among the blessed
gods or among mortal men that has escaped Aphrodite.  Even the
heart of Zeus, who delights in thunder, is led astray by her;
though he is greatest of all and has the lot of highest majesty,
she beguiles even his wise heart whensoever she pleases, and
mates him with mortal women, unknown to Hera, his sister and his
wife, the grandest far in beauty among the deathless goddesses --
most glorious is she whom wily Cronos with her mother Rhea did
beget: and Zeus, whose wisdom is everlasting, made her his chaste
and careful wife.

(ll. 45-52) But upon Aphrodite herself Zeus cast sweet desire to
be joined in love with a mortal man, to the end that, very soon,
not even she should be innocent of a mortal's love; lest
laughter-loving Aphrodite should one day softly smile and say
mockingly among all the gods that she had joined the gods in love
with mortal women who bare sons of death to the deathless gods,
and had mated the goddesses with mortal men.

(ll. 53-74) And so he put in her heart sweet desire for Anchises
who was tending cattle at that time among the steep hills of
many-fountained Ida, and in shape was like the immortal gods.
Therefore, when laughter-loving Aphrodite saw him, she loved him,
and terribly desire seized her in her heart.  She went to Cyprus,
to Paphos, where her precinct is and fragrant altar, and passed
into her sweet-smelling temple.  There she went in and put to the
glittering doors, and there the Graces bathed her with heavenly
oil such as blooms upon the bodies of the eternal gods -- oil
divinely sweet, which she had by her, filled with fragrance.  And
laughter-loving Aphrodite put on all her rich clothes, and when
she had decked herself with gold, she left sweet-smelling Cyprus
and went in haste towards Troy, swiftly travelling high up among
the clouds.  So she came to many-fountained Ida, the mother of
wild creatures and went straight to the homestead across the
mountains.  After her came grey wolves, fawning on her, and grim-
eyed lions, and bears, and fleet leopards, ravenous for deer: and
she was glad in heart to see them, and put desire in their
*******, so that they all mated, two together, about the shadowy
coombes.

(ll. 75-88) (25) But she herself came to the neat-built shelters,
and him she found left quite alone in the homestead -- the hero
Anchises who was comely as the gods.  All the others were
following the herds over the grassy pastures, and he, left quite
alone in the homestead, was roaming hither and thither and
playing thrillingly upon the lyre.  And Aphrodite, the daughter
of Zeus stood before him, being like a pure maiden in height and
mien, that he should not be frightened when he took heed of her
with his eyes.  Now when Anchises saw her, he marked her well and
wondered at her mien and height and shining garments.  For she
was clad in a robe out-shining the brightness of fire, a splendid
robe of gold, enriched with all manner of needlework, which
shimmered like the moon over her tender *******, a marvel to see.

Also she wore twisted brooches and shining earrings in the form
of flowers; and round her soft throat were lovely necklaces.

(ll. 91-105) And Anchises was seized with love, and said to her:
'Hail, lady, whoever of the blessed ones you are that are come to
this house, whether Artemis, or Leto, or golden Aphrodite, or
high-born Themis, or bright-eyed Athene.  Or, maybe, you are one
of the Graces come hither, who bear the gods company and are
called immortal, or else one of those who inhabit this lovely
mountain and the springs of rivers and grassy meads.  I will make
you an altar upon a high peak in a far seen place, and will
sacrifice rich offerings to you at all seasons.  And do you feel
kindly towards me and grant that I may become a man very eminent
among the Trojans, and give me strong offspring for the time to
come.  As for my own self, let me live long and happily, seeing
the light of the sun, and come to the threshold of old age, a man
prosperous among the people.'

(ll. 106-142) Thereupon Aphrodite the daughter of Zeus answered
him: 'Anchises, most glorious of all men born on earth, know that
I am no goddess: why do you liken me to the deathless ones?  Nay,
I am but a mortal, and a woman was the mother that bare me.
Otreus of famous name is my father, if so be you have heard of
him, and he reigns over all Phrygia rich in fortresses.  But I
know your speech well beside my own, for a Trojan nurse brought
me up at home: she took me from my dear mother and reared me
thenceforth when I was a little child.  So comes it, then, that I
well know you tongue also.  And now the Slayer of Argus with the
golden wand has caught me up from the dance of huntress Artemis,
her with the golden arrows.  For there were many of us, nymphs
and marriageable (26) maidens, playing together; and an
innumerable company encircled us: from these the Slayer of Argus
with the golden wand rapt me away.  He carried me over many
fields of mortal men and over much land untilled and unpossessed,
where savage wild-beasts roam through shady coombes, until I
thought never again to touch the life-giving earth with my feet.
And he said that I should be called the wedded wife of Anchises,
and should bear you goodly children.  But when he had told and
advised me, he, the strong Slayer of Argos, went back to the
families of the deathless gods, while I am now come to you: for
unbending necessity is upon me.  But I beseech you by Zeus and by
your noble parents -- for no base folk could get such a son as
you -- take me now, stainless and unproved in love, and show me
to your father and careful mother and to your brothers sprung
from the same stock.  I shall be no ill-liking daughter for them,
but a likely.  Moreover, send a messenger quickly to the swift-
horsed Phrygians, to tell my father and my sorrowing mother; and
they will send you gold in plenty and woven stuffs, many splendid
gifts; take these as bride-piece.  So do, and then prepare the
sweet marriage that is honourable in the eyes of men and
deathless gods.'

(ll. 143-144) When she had so spoken, the goddess put sweet
desire in his heart.  And Anchises was seized with love, so that
he opened his mouth and said:

(ll. 145-154) 'If you are a mortal and a woman was the mother who
bare you, and Otreus of famous name is your father as you say,
and if you are come here by the will of Hermes the immortal
Guide, and are to be called my wife always, then neither god nor
mortal man shall here restrain me till I have lain with you in
love right now; no, not even if far-shooting Apollo himself
should launch grievous shafts from his silver bow.  Willingly
would I go down into the house of Hades, O lady, beautiful as the
goddesses, once I had gone up to your bed.'

(ll. 155-167) So speaking, he caught her by the hand.  And
laughter-loving Aphrodite, with face turned away and lovely eyes
downcast, crept to the well-spread couch which was already laid
with soft coverings for the hero; and upon it lay skins of bears
and deep-roaring lions which he himself had slain in the high
mountains.  And when they had gone up upon the well-fitted bed,
first Anchises took off her bright jewelry of pins and twisted
brooches and earrings and necklaces, and loosed her girdle and
stripped off her bright garments and laid them down upon a
silver-studded seat.  Then by the will of the gods and destiny he
lay with her, a mortal man with an immortal goddess, not clearly
knowing what he did.

(ll. 168-176) But at the time when the herdsmen driver their oxen
and hardy sheep back to the fold from the flowery pastures, even
then Aphrodite poured soft sleep upon Anchises, but herself put
on her rich raiment.  And when the bright goddess had fully
clothed herself, she stood by the couch, and her head reached to
the well-hewn roof-tree; from her cheeks shone unearthly beauty
such as belongs to rich-crowned Cytherea.  Then she aroused him
from sleep and opened her mouth and said:

(ll. 177-179) 'Up, son of Dardanus! -- why sleep you so heavily?
-- and consider whether I look as I did when first you saw me
with your eyes.'

(ll. 180-184) So she spake.  And he awoke in a moment and obeyed
her.  But when he saw the neck and lovely eyes of Aphrodite, he
was afraid and turned his eyes aside another way, hiding his
comely face with his cloak.  Then he uttered winged words and
entreated her:

(ll. 185-190) 'So soon as ever I saw you with my eyes, goddess, I
knew that you were divine; but you did not tell me truly.  Yet by
Zeus who holds the aegis I beseech you, leave me not to lead a
palsied life among men, but have pity on me; for he who lies with
a deathless goddess is no hale man afterwards.'

(ll. 191-201) Then Aphrodite the daughter of Zeus answered him:
'Anchises, most glorious of mortal men, take courage and be not
too fearful in your heart.  You need fear no harm from me nor
from the other blessed ones, for you are dear to the gods: and
you shall have a dear son who shall reign among the Trojans, and
children's children after him, springing up continually.  His
name shall be Aeneas (27), because I felt awful grief in that I
laid me in the bed of mortal man: yet are those of your race
always the most like to gods of all mortal men in beauty and in
stature (28).

(ll. 202-217) 'Verily wise Zeus carried off golden-haired
Ganymedes because of his beauty, to be amongst the Deathless Ones
and pour drink for the gods in the house of Zeus -- a wonder to
see -- honoured by all the immortals as he draws the red nectar
from the golden bowl.  But grief that could not be soothed filled
the heart of Tros; for he knew not whither the heaven-sent
whirlwind had caught up his dear son, so that he mourned him
always, unceasingly, until Zeus pitied him and gave him high-
stepping horses such as carry the immortals as recompense for his
son.  These he gave him as a gift.  And at the command of Zeus,
the Guide, the slayer of Argus, told him all, and how his son
would be deathless and unageing, even as the gods.  So when Tros
heard these tidings from Zeus, he no longer kept mourning but
rejoiced in his heart and rode joyfully with his storm-footed
horses.

(ll. 218-238) 'So also golden-throned Eos rapt away Tithonus who
was of your race and like the deathless gods.  And she went to
ask the dark-clouded Son of Cronos that he should be deathless
and live eternally; and Zeus bowed his head to her prayer and
fulfilled her desire.  Too simply was queenly Eos: she thought
not in her heart to ask youth for him and to strip him of the
slough of deadly age.  So while he enjoyed the sweet flower of
life he lived rapturously with golden-throned Eos, the early-
born, by the streams of Ocean, at the ends of the earth; but when
the first grey hairs began to ripple from his comely head and
noble chin, queenly Eos kept away from his bed, though she
cherished him in her house and nourished him with food and
ambrosia and gave him rich clothing.  But when loathsome old age
pressed full upon him, and he could not move nor lift his limbs,
this seemed to her in her heart the best counsel: she laid him in
a room and put to the shining doors.  There he babbles endlessly,
and no more has strength at all, such as once he had in his
supple limbs.

(ll. 239-246) 'I would not have you be deathless among the
deathless gods and live continually after such sort.  Yet if you
could live on such as now you are in look and in form, and be
called my husband, sorrow would not then enfold my careful heart.

But, as it is, harsh (29) old age will soon enshroud you --
ruthless age which stands someday at the side of every man,
deadly, wearying, dreaded even by the gods.

(ll. 247-290) 'And now because of you I shall have great shame
among the deathless gods henceforth, continually.  For until now
they feared my jibes and the wiles by which, or soon or late, I
mated all the immortals with mortal women, making them all
subject to my will.  But now my mouth shall no more have this
power among the gods; for very great has been my madness, my
miserable and dreadful madness, and I went astray out of my mind
who have gotten a child beneath my girdle, mating with a mortal
man.  As for the child, as soon as he sees the light of the sun,
the deep-breasted mountain Nymphs who inhabit this great and holy
mountain shall bring him up.  They rank neither with mortals nor
with immortals: long indeed do they live, eating heavenly food
and treading the lovely dance among the immortals, and with them
the Sileni and the sharp-eyed Slayer of Argus mate in the depths
of pleasant caves; but at their birth pines or high-topped oaks
spring up with them upon the fruitful earth, beautiful,
flourishing trees, towering high upon the lofty mountains (and
men call them holy places of the immortals, and never mortal lops
them with the axe); but when the fate of death is near at hand,
first those lovely trees wither where they stand, and the bark
shrivels away about them, and the twigs fall down, and at last
the life of the Nymph and of the tree leave the light of the sun
together.  These Nymphs shall keep my son with them and rear him,
and as soon as he is come to lovely boyhood, the goddesses will
bring him here to you and show you your child.  But, that I may
tell you all that I have in mind, I will come here again towards
the fifth year and bring you my son.  So soon as ever you have
seen him -- a scion to delight the eyes -- you will rejoice in
beholding him; for he shall be most godlike: then bring him at
once to windy Ilion.  And if any mortal man ask you who got your
dear son beneath her girdle, remember to tell him as I bid you:
say he is the offspring of one of the flower-like Nymphs who
inhabit this forest-clad hill.  But if you tell all and foolishly
boast that you lay with ric
"Apple trees with broken branches still stand strong."
I believe this is true; please correct me, if I'm wrong.
Axe weildin man thinks it may bear fruit o' nutrition.
To let it grow to fruition- or not: t'is a grand decision.
With precision, man with an axe allows it to stand.
He thinks, "I mustn't be impatient- nor demand-
fruit from this tree. I must let it be. I must wait n' see
just exactly how much this ole' apple tree blesses me."
Thursday, December 1st, 2016.
There should be an apostrophe after "weildin" in line 2; I had to shorten some words and such to make it look nice on the mobile-friendly site.
r May 2014
As green as cenote water,
calm sacred well.
Jade, smoothed and polished
by Chac’s tears and sand
and one thousand year old maize
kernels from Tikal, grown
by the first father.
Straight blade edged by lightning
sings against the tree when I cut.
Grandfather will be pleased with me
when this jade axe I gift him.

r ~ 5/22/14
\•/\
   |
  / \
Mateuš Conrad May 2020
. h'america is as much an ideology as is... islam... this... the best... pig-farmed english you could somehow... not teach... not have mustered from a slav... a pseudo-russian... inconvenience ego... contender? satellite pawn: your... *****-slave yugoslav bourbon... excavations of: the lost flood of mongolian: tribe-folk... the pakistani with the surname: khan... your peoples... prior... no-guilt... island strapped... peruvian conquistadors... or... better strapped... less the cerveza folk... more... the belittled sort of: sorting folk... blah blah...

it's honestly hard to write anything -
when one is still... shell-shocked...
fromwhat could be cited as a devil's decade:
13 years...
                 from the age of 21
through to: aged 34...
            one of those relationship remainders...
we both got into smoking...
well... she was well ahead of me
in the cigarette domain...

       no... however i will attire the event...
whatever verbiage...
it doesn't allow a "justice" to trickle down...
it just so happens that i want
to listen to some depeche mode...
and not some tool / porcupine tree...

13 years of smoking... from the nadir of
40 a day... locotomotive breath...
iron on the tongue... phelgm pancakes
harked in the morning from
a tobacco "hangover"...

                  oscilating around 20 per day...
for some time...
and all it took was a week... 10 days...
and i'm still in possession of 3 cigarettes...
and those two i reserve for the end
of the day ritual...
    smoking the first is like:
finding oneself with a belly-full of
a child of gravity...
otherwise: gravity... unless falling...
to look up at the stars and the moon
and the sea: it's something you don't
exactly feel with two feet strapped
to the orb... no movement of
the tectonic plates...
sometimes with *******...
index and middle... of the left hand...
pushed under the right arm-pit...
to feel the pulse of the arteries...

i hardly think this is a call for celebration...
13 years can disappear like...
nothing even took place...
to substitute the habbit with...
reading... playing video games?
nibbling on carrots... nuts...
or just... waiting for the tide to recede...
and for a sea of patience to come
with tomorrow's tide...

all that... and none of it...
at the end of the day... the two cigarettes
are like a metaphor fo crack *******
or syringe strapping imitation
leech...
        clear thinking: or therefore none...
no spaghetti muddles...
at best: imitation of biting into ice...
or... stretching a rubber-band until...
well: you can't feel it about to snap...
since it snaps...

                 a second gravity...
                all concentrated in the stomach...
and esp. when the legs have not been
"properly" used up...
but remain tight-and-fidgety with goosebumps
when the ****** of tobacco lines the nerves...

i don't know why i can't celebrate this...
it's such a private event... such an exslusivity...
after all... in linear fashion:
to experience speed... a concentrated
exploration of space... within a hyper-dictum
of time...
        in a linear way...
but a second gravity: without falling?
but otherwise whirling in the stomach?

a devil's decade: 13 years...
              3 more... otherwise a dozen...
which is only 1 more...
the devil's dozen...
          simon peter, andrew, james, john, philip,
bartholomew, matthew, thomas,
james son of alphaeus, simon the zealot,
judas son of james and judas iscariot...
count hey-zeus out of the equation...
                                               there's paul...

and that's what eminem does...
when rapping... on white h'america?
changes the subject - a personal tirade over...
somehow i too link certain aspects...
13 years of...

this... oh so mediocre...
           because: clearly... i don't know what
to make of it...
                 thank god i retained those
two cigarettes at the end of the day...
than have been hooked on nicorette chewing
gum / patches...
                or the usual "a.a." support...
support: "support":
         help yourself: by every single
and no dead or alive guru...
            
                i really don't have anything
to write...
                 i'm walking away from
a 13 years of tobacco addiction...
   and what i'm really thinking about...
the first thirsts of cold-turkey are long gone...
it's been under a week...
over a week... whatever...

             what i'm really thinking about...
well...
   how would it feel like...
to farm animals...
                  how does it feel to... pet animals...
a completely different dynamic...
after all... a farmer would own...
petting-worth animals...
like a cat... for... catching mice...
or a dog... to... warden... sphynx...
cerberus... watch-over the property...
how some would make the dogs
so ferocious... that a chain would
sometimes not be withstanding
to the ferocity of the barking...

           eh... it's slightly off-putting...
to pet animals...
when you're being given a factory
edit of the original moo!
  or snorkling in knee-deep-**** and mud
and rotten potatoes of pork...
i don't mind... the end product
is what interests me...
the **** is silk? tapeworm ****?!
or there-abouts...
       but... it's so much different...
when you... farm animals...
     lucky for me... my... somewhat...
immediate family still owned a farm...
and chickens in the yard...
oh yeah... catching a chicken is one thing...
amnesia of the chicken shack...
catch one... sure thing...
then with axe onto the stump...
head sticks to the stump...
last traces of life while the eyes roll back
and the tongue protrudes from the beak...
while... all the other chickens gather...
and start drinking the blood...

a bit like the two tiers of people...
some people must feel inclined to become
these... sociopathic farmers...
there are the humans you herd...
there are the humans you pet...
the ones you pet will probably find about
you herding them...
and rebel... since... you're not...
some gargantuan: ****** obvious...
miracle of a god descent... crown, pomp...
circumstance... all that was borrowed
from god... in splendour... heavens!
lo! behold... versailles was built!

the future charles III of england...
started 8pm today... on classic.fm with his own show...
i tuned in for a minute or two to hear
his voice...
      i do hope that when ol' lizzie is dead...
he doesn't cower... he dons! he dons the title:
charles the third!
  i ****** well hope... he doesn't become...
no... he can't become: george VII...
formerly known as charles: the prince of wales!
he has to be! charles the third!
he has waited this long!
he has to retain his name!

but that's the beauty of the monarchy...
it's so ******* pompous and omnipresent...
it doesn't hide... in... secular... grey-matter
of deep-state... there are just too many tiers
of power... even though... there's only symbolism...
but a reverence for it: nonetheless!
grey-matter of shadow-people in grey suits!
blinking: for god's sake! blinking black-holes
of hush hush: what was once...
the aristocracy... that's too replaced with...
the burden of crazed-loon bureaucracy!

i've quit smoking... well... "quit"...
2 cigarettes from 20 a day... circa...
  is much better than a nicorette patch...
         or some: pepperspray tasting chewing gum...
it's not a cigar... if you were asking...

but the original idea...
    farming animals...
             petting animals...
                    dogs... the ideal pets...
i'm sorry... i can't put on a leash or a muzzle...
a chihuahua can bite like a piranha...
i don't see the excuses needed to comfort
people afraid of big dogs... alsatians...
dobermans... that's the freedom allowed with cats...
if you get a chance to build their characters...
they will tend to take a dump in your
neighbour's garden...
yes... me... following sherlock feline...
with a black plastic bag and *****...
permission to... be allowed entry into your garden?
or are you... going to trebuchet that ****
back onto my lawn?

dogs or "petting" tarantulas? serpents?
the idea of petting went out of the window...
when... people started to fathom the...
what adjective?! to pet a ******* tarantula...
yes... me... running to the shop that sells
tarantulas... with caption: free tow-twos...
how about you keep that freak-****
in the jungle with all those gimp-suit sexed-up
antics... and i... get to...
farm a chicken... i get to... farm a pig?

no... of course no... although...
who couldn't be teased with latex jill and her
spider annex: library of "misdeeds"
for the library of: hard-ons...

now that you mentioned it... sure... i have a...
pressing concern... how to not...
over-cook pork...
see... pork is a bit like pasta...
you can serve it undercooked like beef...
but... it's also like chicken...
and beef... combined... you don't want
to serve it... overcooked...
only barbarians are fond of well-done beef...
probably arab...
    they only stomach well-done steaks
or minced beef...
they have no palette for tartare steaks...
too much inbreeding with stinking lamb
does the trick...
whatever they might say of pork...
the aesthetic meat... leather too... shoes and belts...
lamb? for the slaughter?
eh... stinking puritanical meat worthy
of teacher 'ebrew and righteous son:
mecca ibn sudan.

because... ha ha... it's one thing being racist...
you know... detailing the physiognomy
differences between blacks and whites...
choccies and porky pies...
and the cinnamon people in between...
that's one thing...
it's like everyone was asleep...
the whites were racist...
the only people... ever...
but that's one thing...
   i find it harder to digest...
there's no name for it...
  kosher-ism... halal-ism?
         to be... more racist than racist...
almost a vegan / vegetarian taming...
   someone is being critical... of what you eat...
i imagine... malcom x being given a free
pass as a black totem in mecca...
shot dead... when converted... because...
still shuffled pork on the sly...

beside skin deep: please leavde your leather
shoes and belts... lace
beside the concept / concern for the mosque...
racism: morphed into an ideological
manifest...
for a while... let us leave thse
turban and tent dwelling folk
with their newly acquired riches
to the ***** of:
if i am to prepare lamb meat...
i treat it liky chilly...
the meat... stinks of something beside...
death... innocence prescribed...

           you are told... wrong...
when ingesting the fruit of eden... somewhat...
these nomads of quasi-sikh turbans
for the women: the niqab girdle-grooms...
their wetted-appetites:
unable to satiate gyrocentrism leftovers...
and... pass from the living...
toward the theatre of the would be alive...
less the circumcised mess: misantrophes...

it's one thing to be chockie...
another to be porky-pink'ish...
     but what you eat?
that's... somehow... off-putting?
    puritan with some crab-meat
in this numbed jaw?
no one the persians rebelled against
the camel-jockey prescription of:
words only... no images...
pasta squiggles of phonetic encoding...
arabic... tironian a posteriori notations...
then again: one could argue:
tironian a priori notations...

shrimp-**** and eyes that would
resemble... at best... squinting from too much
sun... and at worst... ******* on a lemon...
12" of **** and the twelve-pounder
juicing worth of ***...
her ***...
                for me to comment
on the mongol horde esque libido of
the fellow woman of my race...
no... the islamic idea of a heavenly harem...
mind you: it would satisfy her:
if she was to be crowned the juggling act
of three: at least one to compete with
the da vinci sodomites...

to be told you can't eat something...
i'm already a bad joke as:
"bweetish" as it comes...
tucked away with the afro-saxon...
the anglo-slav...
                 you just have those lips
that look like full-bloom best:
imitation: floral patterns of a ******...
best equipped for *******...
i swim: you sink...
you run... i start an arithmetic of catching
my breath...
the cinnamon people are...
if they are equipped with a polytheism
of the raj... and are saved with
culinary ambitions...
"we'd" call them the blue indians...
and that's also: to mind...
their elder: sanskrit...
              पअरउत
र - or how the englishman lost the trill:
rattle-snake R: for rolling...
when he... became: the nuanced... keeper...
vanguard... of the Raj...
perhaps... the anthropomorphic genesis
in africa: givenz zee apulus... apex: gorrilolulz...
but... the sribbles and *******?
india the basin... akapit: paragraph:
the tear of sri lanka...

i.e. so much for me succumbing to the anglican:
we'z all wo'z allz: ex afri-ka'ka'kazia...

oh sure... sure... we... the sensible:
secular post-christians of the protestant wealth
of the west...
happy to afford the dumbed-down
congregations of the newly conscripted...
believers of africa and south h'america...
carrot dangling: run donkey! run!
one of your own: a pope! a cardinal!
poland is still running on that...
remark of... the passing of power...
the first pope to be given status of... saint...
john paul II the saint of:
kissing airport tarmac...

             and then of course...
the hyped intricacy of the orthodox branch
of the bureau of hierogylphics and
synonymous litanies...
          the events of the baltic sea:
would never be...
the sort of ****-show...
that... the events of the mediterranean sea...
hell... the events of the black sea...
christianity isn't merely dumb...
it's just... over-hyped...
               the pork the pork... the pork!
who would require...
a criticism of pork and pig and ms. porky
to suit... alliance...
no matter... i'm on the cusp of quitting
smoking...

we can caricature our physiognomy...
but... how do you... caricature...
what you eat... your... sustenance?
you, black... have a pillow for a nose...
me, white... have a death's lack of...
           i don't have a nose...
i have... a death's clench sucker...
       i have a pinch nose...
        so much for over-inflated lips...
and... my missing... elongated...
myth elves: the protruding ears...
like: no body...

                 current / the currency of
the now h'america... and the immediacy
of nostalgia: as a history: moving forward /
anywhere but back...
nietzsche opened up a nostalgia for ancient
greece...
  h'americans... opening up... a nostalgia...
for 1950s h'america...
how can you write a future history...
from a stand-point / stand-off...
of nostalgia...
this... immediacy of nostalgia...
who's who and who isn't citing...
a richard brautigan... or... a frank o'hara?!
because: there's the sucker and no punch
for the next verse of...
****'s sake... walt whitman?!
o captain! my... john keating...
                 no... it's not about glorifying
the original intent... mr. president...
the english teacher...
mr.! thomas! bunce!

               how can any history be written...
when there's... a nostalgia: impediment...
the hsitory of an immediacy
lacklutered by a past...
the past: however framed...
before... the dead are allowed to
turn and grovel in their graves...
i have 'ere... my gobble-whick of...
pretending: no shadows will
ever exist... at noon...
scrathing... timidy bed-fellows...
loitering squat...

we are to grovel for the cousin
imps and apes of: first born:
english born... navajo...
     tortilla...
the old fling of england...
and the spanish...
             the conquistadors...
loose nouns dog **** flinging applause:
i fall asleep in a bed:
i welcome the new day...
most... egregious (archaic)...

  these western lands...
mmm... they're not very much akin
to our flavour...
that they dictate... refurbishment...
unless it's para-english...
alter- proto- welsh...
  kashubian... masovian...
silesian...
                    kres...
                    
ei hhynnal coch.. and it:
pronouns neutral: does... ****-wit...
gender-fluid-retardo: perfecto...

and i too wish i had...
themes of crusader songs...
but... i have none...
these that i marked...
teutonic knights of no order...
       barbarossa being pickled...
livonians... prussians...
lithuanians...
                    i'm sorry...
that i'm too far away from
you to return to europe
from your: hubris...
             in crafting... the...
                conscripts: shikhs...
ask the russians! ask the rush-******-whips!
agony of a tongue: beside their own!
the post-colonial powers
return!
the post-colonial powers! make a return!
so much for those of us...
not having... a colonial past!
are we to pay for... such...
benevolent gracing
of gratitude from the people
"made"... under... colonial... rule?!
from the perspective of the strong...
why... am i... expected to treat
these care-bears with...
the right: equipped
manchester shovel?

          you spike my drink
or am i... to... simply...
take the right, godly ****...
into all the urns...
the rest of you are to drink from?

i see my forehead glee: akin to my elbow...
and i call that phenomenon:
something benevolent of *****....
yep... not s'unni... but... shyte...
****.. persian: rebellion of camel-jockey...
****'ite... macron i...
dot's the worthy due: guillotine...
echo of the baltic sea...
we somehow: managed...
to lessen the romance...
unlike the english...
the romans conquered:
romanced the ******...
the vikings conquered...
romanced the ******...
the mongols never made it...
nor the huns..
so much for "brexit":
with your lineage of currency...
and your status as an island...

glory! vistory! ******* and all!
because: best felt!
in... places... akin to... devon!
a londoner will abhor someone...
with origins in the vicinity of bristol...
like... because...
there's no other?

n'ah... this night is pretty much worth
all the other nights...
it's worth sleeping...
it's not worth... whatever: leftover...
"worth" of...
this... this "apparent"...
yep... leftover... be...
something for the worth of yale
h'american... or...
dignitary president...
              officiated cul de sac executive orders...
it's... such an anglo-saxon fetish for...
*** beside the boudoir...
    dodo, lilac... gimp... latex...
      dickens...
                  liberty at:
i feign to allow myself to have... lapsed...
in what? good question...
even i... do not... attempt to baron
myself: over;
pithy... not pity... me...
you god-sucker...
******* ******* son's of eire...
me good-son...
    term me: years! under...
the tsarina! *******...
new yawn-ker...
       big mouth... no new bullseye...
the same old manchester...
the same ol'...
porky pies...
the same ol' chimneys and:
love's all... at cul de sac:
southend... porky pie munch:
luvvie: ol' guv.

yem: yup... ol' groove.. zzz-tizzle...
smart bruiser:
geezer with a sneeze pops up
at random places and jokes...
retards... lobotomy cruiser...
rhymes like... a cockey...
prior... to... tourettes... the lost...
the last... and what's:
the remains of...
the always... last...
and the worst... told... chalk of joke.
se relationship remainders...
we both got into smoking...
well... she was well ahead of me
in the cigarette domain...

       no... however i will attire the event...
whatever verbiage...
it doesn't allow a "justice" to trickle down...
it just so happens that i want
to listen to some depeche mode...
and not some tool / porcupine tree...

13 years of smoking... from the nadir of
40 a day... locotomotive breath...
iron on the tongue... phelgm pancakes
harked in the morning from
a tobacco "hangover"...

                  oscilating around 20 per day...
for some time...
and all it took was a week... 10 days...
and i'm still in possession of 3 cigarettes...
and those two i reserve for the end
of the day ritual...
    smoking the first is like:
finding oneself with a belly-full of
a child of gravity...
otherwise: gravity... unless falling...
to look up at the stars and the moon
and the sea: it's something you don't
exactly feel with two feet strapped
to the orb... no movement of
the tectonic plates...
sometimes with *******...
index and middle... of the left hand...
pushed under the right arm-pit...
to feel the pulse of the arteries...

i hardly think this is a call for celebration...
13 years can disappear like...
nothing even took place...
to substitute the habbit with...
reading... playing video games?
nibbling on carrots... nuts...
or just... waiting for the tide to recede...
and for a sea of patience to come
with tomorrow's tide...

all that... and none of it...
at the end of the day... the two cigarettes
are like a metaphor fo crack *******
or syringe strapping imitation
leech...
        clear thinking: or therefore none...
no spaghetti muddles...
at best: imitation of biting into ice...
or... stretching a rubber-band until...
well: you can't feel it about to snap...
since it snaps...

                 a second gravity...
                all concentrated in the stomach...
and esp. when the legs have not been
"properly" used up...
but remain tight-and-fidgety with goosebumps
when the ****** of tobacco lines the nerves...

i don't know why i can't celebrate this...
it's such a private event... such an exslusivity...
after all... in linear fashion:
to experience speed... a concentrated
exploration of space... within a hyper-dictum
of time...
        in a linear way...
but a second gravity: without falling?
but otherwise whirling in the stomach?

a devil's decade: 13 years...
              3 more... otherwise a dozen...
which is only 1 more...
the devil's dozen...
          simon peter, andrew, james, john, philip,
bartholomew, matthew, thomas,
james son of alphaeus, simon the zealot,
judas son of james and judas iscariot...
count hey-zeus out of the equation...
                                               there's paul...

and that's what eminem does...
when rapping... on white h'america?
changes the subject - a personal tirade over...
somehow i too link certain aspects...
13 years of...

this... oh so mediocre...
           because: clearly... i don't know what
to make of it...
                 thank god i retained those
two cigarettes at the end of the day...
than have been hooked on nicorette chewing
gum / patches...
                or the usual "a.a." support...
support: "support":
         help yourself: by every single
and no dead or alive guru...
            
                i really don't have anything
to write...
                 i'm walking away from
a 13 years of tobacco addiction...
   and what i'm really thinking about...
the first thirsts of cold-turkey are long gone...
it's been under a week...
over a week... whatever...

             what i'm really thinking about...
well...
   how would it feel like...
to farm animals...
                  how does it feel to... pet animals...
a completely different dynamic...
after all... a farmer would own...
petting-worth animals...
like a cat... for... catching mice...
or a dog... to... warden... sphynx...
cerberus... watch-over the property...
how some would make the dogs
so ferocious... that a chain would
sometimes not be withstanding
to the ferocity of the barking...

           eh... it's slightly off-putting...
to pet animals...
when you're being given a factory
edit of the original moo!
  or snorkling in knee-deep-**** and mud
and rotten potatoes of pork...
i don't mind... the end product
is what interests me...
the **** is silk? tapeworm ****?!
or there-abouts...
       but... it's so much different...
when you... farm animals...
     lucky for me... my... somewhat...
immediate family still owned a farm...
and chickens in the yard...
oh yeah... catching a chicken is one thing...
amnesia of the chicken shack...
catch one... sure thing...
then with axe onto the stump...
head sticks to the stump...
last traces of life while the eyes roll back
and the tongue protrudes from the beak...
while... all the other chickens gather...
and start drinking the blood...

a bit like the two tiers of people...
some people must feel inclined to become
these... sociopathic farmers...
there are the humans you herd...
there are the humans you pet...
the ones you pet will probably find about
you herding them...
and rebel... since... you're not...
some gargantuan: ****** obvious...
miracle of a god descent... crown, pomp...
circumstance... all that was borrowed
from god... in splendour... heavens!
lo! behold... versailles was built!

the future charles III of england...
started 8pm today... on classic.fm with his own show...
i tuned in for a minute or two to hear
his voice...
      i do hope that when ol' lizzie is dead...
he doesn't cower... he dons! he dons the title:
charles the third!
  i ****** well hope... he doesn't become...
no... he can't become: george VII...
formerly known as charles: the prince of wales!
he has to be! charles the third!
he has waited this long!
he has to retain his name!

but that's the beauty of the monarchy...
it's so ******* pompous and omnipresent...
it doesn't hide... in... secular... grey-matter
of deep-state... there are just too many tiers
of power... even though... there's only symbolism...
but a reverence for it: nonetheless!
grey-matter of shadow-people in grey suits!
blinking: for god's sake! blinking black-holes
of hush hush: what was once...
the aristocracy... that's too replaced with...
the burden of crazed-loon bureaucracy!

i've quit smoking... well... "quit"...
2 cigarettes from 20 a day... circa...
  is much better than a nicorette patch...
         or some: pepperspray tasting chewing gum...
it's not a cigar... if you were asking...

but the original idea...
    farming animals...
             petting animals...
                    dogs... the ideal pets...
i'm sorry... i can't put on a leash or a muzzle...
a chihuahua can bite like a piranha...
i don't see the excuses needed to comfort
people afraid of big dogs... alsatians...
dobermans... that's the freedom allowed with cats...
if you get a chance to build their characters...
they will tend to take a dump in your
neighbour's garden...
yes... me... following sherlock feline...
with a black plastic bag and *****...
permission to... be allowed entry into your garden?
or are you... going to trebuchet that ****
back onto my lawn?

dogs or "petting" tarantulas? serpents?
the idea of petting went out of the window...
when... people started to fathom the...
what adjective?! to pet a ******* tarantula...
yes... me... running to the shop that sells
tarantulas... with caption: free tow-twos...
how about you keep that freak-****
in the jungle with all those gimp-suit sexed-up
antics... and i... get to...
farm a chicken... i get to... farm a pig?

no... of course no... although...
who couldn't be teased with latex jill and her
spider annex: library of "misdeeds"
for the library of: hard-ons...

now that you mentioned it... sure... i have a...
pressing concern... how to not...
over-cook pork...
see... pork is a bit like pasta...
you can serve it undercooked like beef...
but... it's also like chicken...
and beef... combined... you don't want
to serve it... overcooked...
only barbarians are fond of well-done beef...
probably arab...
    they only stomach well-done steaks
or minced beef...
they have no palette for tartare steaks...
too much inbreeding with stinking lamb
does the trick...
whatever they might say of pork...
the aesthetic meat... leather too... shoes and belts...
lamb? for the slaughter?
eh... stinking puritanical meat worthy
of teacher 'ebrew and righteous son:
mecca ibn sudan.

because... ha ha... it's one thing being racist...
you know... detailing the physiognomy
differences between blacks and whites...
choccies and porky pies...
and the cinnamon people in between...
that's one thing...
it's like everyone was asleep...
the whites were racist...
the only people... ever...
but that's one thing...
   i find it harder to digest...
there's no name for it...
  kosher-ism... halal-ism?
         to be... more racist than racist...
almost a vegan / vegetarian taming...
   someone is being critical... of what you eat...
i imagine... malcom x being given a free
pass as a black totem in mecca...
shot dead... when converted... because...
still shuffled pork on the sly...

beside skin deep: please leavde your leather
shoes and belts... lace
beside the concept / concern for the mosque...
racism: morphed into an ideological
manifest...
for a while... let us leave thse
turban and tent dwelling folk
with their newly acquired riches
to the ***** of:
if i am to prepare lamb meat...
i treat it liky chilly...
the meat... stinks of something beside...
death... innocence prescribed...

           you are told... wrong...
when ingesting the fruit of eden... somewhat...
these nomads of quasi-sikh turbans
for the women: the niqab girdle-grooms...
their wetted-appetites:
unable to satiate gyrocentrism leftovers...
and... pass from the living...
toward the theatre of the would be alive...
less the circumcised mess: misantrophes...

it's one thing to be chockie...
another to be porky-pink'ish...
     but what you eat?
that's... somehow... off-putting?
    puritan with some crab-meat
in this numbed jaw?
no one the persians rebelled against
the camel-jockey prescription of:
words only... no images...
pasta squiggles of phonetic encoding...
arabic... tironian a posteriori notations...
then again: one could argue:
tironian a priori notations...

shrimp-**** and eyes that would
resemble... at best... squinting from too much
sun... and at worst... ******* on a lemon...
12" of **** and the twelve-pounder
juicing worth of ***...
her ***...
                for me to comment
on the mongol horde esque libido of
the fellow woman of my race...
no... the islamic idea of a heavenly harem...
mind you: it would satisfy her:
if she was to be crowned the juggling act
of three: at least one to compete with
the da vinci sodomites...

to be told you can't eat something...
i'm already a bad joke as:
"bweetish" as it comes...
tucked away with the afro-saxon...
the anglo-slav...
                 you just have those lips
that look like full-bloom best:
imitation: floral patterns of a ******...
best equipped for *******...
i swim: you sink...
you run... i start an arithmetic of catching
my breath...
the cinnamon people are...
if they are equipped with a polytheism
of the raj... and are saved with
culinary ambitions...
"we'd" call them the blue indians...
and that's also: to mind...
their elder: sanskrit...
              पअरउत
र - or how the englishman lost the trill:
rattle-snake R: for rolling...
when he... became: the nuanced... keeper...
vanguard... of the Raj...
perhaps... the anthropomorphic genesis
in africa: givenz zee apulus... apex: gorrilolulz...
but... the sribbles and *******?
india the basin... akapit: paragraph:
the tear of sri lanka...

i.e. so much for me succumbing to the anglican:
we'z all wo'z allz: ex afri-ka'ka'kazia...

oh sure... sure... we... the sensible:
secular post-christians of the protestant wealth
of the west...
happy to afford the dumbed-down
congregations of the newly conscripted...
believers of africa and south h'america...
carrot dangling: run donkey! run!
one of your own: a pope! a cardinal!
poland is still running on that...
remark of... the passing of power...
the first pope to be given status of... saint...
john paul II the saint of:
kissing airport tarmac...

             and then of course...
the hyped intricacy of the orthodox branch
of the bureau of hierogylphics and
synonymous litanies...
          the events of the baltic sea:
would never be...
the sort of ****-show...
that... the events of the mediterranean sea...
hell... the events of the black sea...
christianity isn't merely dumb...
it's just... over-hyped...
               the pork the pork... the pork!
who would require...
a criticism of pork and pig and ms. porky
to suit... alliance...
no matter... i'm on the cusp of quitting
smoking...

we can caricature our physiognomy...
but... how do you... caricature...
what you eat... your... sustenance?
you, black... have a pillow for a nose...
me, white... have a death's lack of...
           i don't have a nose...
i have... a death's clench sucker...
       i have a pinch nose...
        so much for over-inflated lips...
and... my missing... elongated...
myth elves: the protruding ears...
like: no body...

                 current / the currency of
the now h'america... and the immediacy
of nostalgia: as a history: moving forward /
anywhere but back...
nietzsche opened up a nostalgia for ancient
greece...
  h'americans... opening up... a nostalgia...
for 1950s h'america...
how can you write a future history...
from a stand-point / stand-off...
of nostalgia...
this... immediacy of nostalgia...
who's who and who isn't citing...
a richard brautigan... or... a frank o'hara?!
because: there's the sucker and no punch
for the next verse of...
****'s sake... walt whitman?!
o captain! my... john keating...
                 no... it's not about glorifying
the original intent... mr. president...
the english teacher...
mr.! thomas! bunce!

               how can any history be written...
when there's... a nostalgia: impediment...
the hsitory of an immediacy
lacklutered by a past...
the past: however framed...
before... the dead are allowed to
turn and grovel in their graves...
i have 'ere... my gobble-whick of...
pretending: no shadows will
ever exist... at noon...
scrathing... timidy bed-fellows...
loitering squat...

we are to grovel for the cousin
imps and apes of: first born:
english born... navajo...
     tortilla...
the old fling of england...
and the spanish...
             the conquistadors...
loose nouns dog **** flinging applause:
i fall asleep in a bed:
i welcome the new day...
most... egregious (archaic)...

  these western lands...
mmm... they're not very much akin
to our flavour...
that they dictate... refurbishment...
unless it's para-english...
alter- proto- welsh...
  kashubian... masovian...
silesian...
                    kres...
             ­       
ei hhynnal coch.. and it:
pronouns neutral: does... ****-wit...
gender-fluid-retardo: perfecto...

and i too wish i had...
themes of crusader songs...
but... i have none...
these that i marked...
teutonic knights of no order...
       barbarossa being pickled...
livonians... prussians...
lithuanians...
                    i'm sorry...
that i'm too far away from
you to return to europe
from your: hubris...
             in crafting... the...
                conscripts: shikhs...
ask the russians! ask the rush-******-whips!
agony of a tongue: beside their own!
the post-colonial powers
return!
the post-colonial powers! make a return!
so much for those of us...
not having... a colonial past!
are we to pay for... such...
benevolent gracing
of gratitude from the people
"made"... under... colonial... rule?!
from the perspective of the strong...
why... am i... expected to treat
these care-bears with...
the right: equipped
manchester shovel?

          you spike my drink
or am i... to... simply...
take the right, godly ****...
into all the urns...
the rest of you are to drink from?

i see my forehead glee: akin to my elbow...
and i call that phenomenon:
something benevolent of *****....
yep... not s'unni... but... shyte...
****.. persian: rebellion of camel-jockey...
****'ite... macron i...
dot's the worthy due: guillotine...
echo of the baltic sea...
we somehow: managed...
to lessen the romance...
unlike the english...
the romans conquered:
romanced the ******...
the vikings conquered...
romanced the ******...
the mongols never made it...
nor the huns..
so much for "brexit":
with your lineage of currency...
and your status as an island...

glory! vistory! ******* and all!
because: best felt!
in... places... akin to... devon!
a londoner will abhor someone...
with origins in the vicinity of bristol...
like... because...
there's no other?

n'ah... this night is pretty much worth
all the other nights...
it's worth sleeping...
it's not worth... whatever: leftover...
"worth" of...
this... this "apparent"...
yep... leftover... be...
something for the worth of yale
h'american... or...
dignitary president...
              officiated cul de sac executive orders...
it's... such an anglo-saxon fetish for...
*** beside the boudoir...
    dodo, lilac... gimp... latex...
      dickens...
                  liberty at:
i feign to allow myself to have... lapsed...
in what? good question...
even i... do not... attempt to baron
myself: over.
SG Holter Nov 2016
This axe was made from
Oak and
Anger.
Forged in the fires that
Shaped my cardiac
Armour.

I'll never surrender to a
Woman
Who sees love as war
Ever again.
It's been a long,
Lonely time.

But I've seen peace.
Still sacrifice to the gods,
Praying for brief, cold
Winters; for all other
Seasons to be neither.
They all have room for a

Woman between them,
But my hatred for ego
Is a burning beacon of warning
Even I myself shun.
I just want the silence.
That deep, deep silence,

Whose last word will never be:  
"Me,"
But:
"... ... ..."
That, I can love.

This axe was made from
Oak and
Anger.
It beats paper; scissors; stone.
Sees me armed. And still
Alone.
Scottie Green Jul 2013
The boy walking in front of me
With a slight limp on his left leg
A backwards astro hat
And dark skin underneath darker clothes
Smelled of coffee
And the humid breeze lifted axe from his neck
Backwards and up my nose

He smelled of trouble
Of seventh grade solitude
And looked as if  he walked out of my fifth grade memories

Still I thought of you

***** and dark
Dope across your tee shirt
Freckles spotting your smile that press into your dimples
Lifting the corners of my mouth

I'd like to lick cologne from your neck
Made of sweat and ****** solitude

You made none of my memories
Smelled and looked of nothing familiar
Only past daydreams

Maybe I'm just tired

I was up all night thinking of Ma
She has always smelled of Ck perfume
No matter how much money we had

She looks like all of my memories

Her short boy haircut
Her androgynous women's work suit
I remember her younger

Still loving women

Made of muscle, teaching me how to run
After soccer and before the gym

At night
She went out in slinky tank tops
Made of sparkles or silk, and sometimes both

Leaving, she'd kiss my forehead as she left me with father and my 101 Dalmatians sippy cup
I'd hug around her neck
And breathe in her Ck perfume
Äŧül Apr 2017
^_^
Angel?
In That Moonlit Night Standing In The Abaft,
Watching The Towed Flaccid Wooden Raft,
I Thought That I Saw An Angel Resting,
Lying Exhausted There In That Craft.

I Called The Girl Out Without Knowing Her Name,
"Hey Young Lady!" To Which She Didn't Much Respond,
She Looked Up Towards Me Once In Anguish & Collapsed,
I Thought I Saw Despair In Her Amber Eyes & Must Help Her.

The Crewmen Had Now Been Doing The Paddles After Resting,
I Called My Captain & Asked, "Do You See A Girl In That Raft?"
The Captain Just Replied Kindly, "Commodore, Get Married,"
I Looked Apprehensive And He Just Said, "There's No Girl."

True He Was As She Had Simply Disappeared,
I Started Thinking Of My Sleep Needs That Day,
Looked Around Again In A Hope To Find The Girl,
I Had Compromised My Routine As The Commodore.

Then I Immediately Realized It Was My Wild Phantasm,
Now This Was Just A Plain Illusion Of A Tired Sailor's Mind,
No Mermaids Could Have Ever Existed In Reality & Were Fake,
I Turned Towards The Deck To Go Back To My Bunk For Sleeping.

As I Enter My Room Down The Stairs Amazed & Confused,
She Floated There As She Waited By The Side Of My Bunk,
I Accepted That Delusion Of Hers And Start To Lie Down,
She Said, "I'm As Real As Your Thoughts, Don't Fear Me."

She & I-Me & Her, Had The Best Time That Night,
In The Morning She Was Gone & Was Just Gone,
Disappeared Into Thin Air While I Was Asleep,
Each Day I So Dearly Long For Her To Return.

7 Paragraphs of a Beautiful Open-Eyed Dream


Angel Again?

Now I reached the lands again,
Still dazzled and confused I was,
From the encounter with that Angel,
Oh, how she had filled my twilight,
Unable to forget her divinely touch.

Magical touch had enchanted me,
Able to recall it from the voyage,
I stumbled when disembarking,
Oh, it was the first time for me,
My thoughts would last along.

After so many days at the sea,
I planned of bathing properly,
Her illusion tricked me thereto,
Oh how her traces remained on,
Facing mirror, I stood perplexed.

Still unable to accept the reality,
I longed for that night to repeat,
My heart beats Angel in each beat,
Life staged a drama too crazy,
Unwilling to accept the reality.

My body carries the vestiges,
I turn crazier with each bath,
Her lips' traces keep appearing,
Driving me mad is her memory,
God! Bring her to life once more.

I had my powers as a commodore,
I sent for the captain of my ship,
"What bothers you, my commodore,"
And so he asked of me kindly,
Then I told him of her traces.

Smiling he told me yet again,
"I had told you to get married,"
I agreed this time and nodded,
"Alright, search for me a bride,"
Going outside, he smiled plainly.


Angel Surely?

Till Few Months Of Reaching Back,
I Kept Seeing Her Images All Over,
It Drove Me Crazy Her Presence...

Taking Time Out To Search Her Out,
I Went For The Mountainous Path,
It May Cease I Hope These Dreams.

The Horse Made Me Look A Knight,
I Set Out Solo For The Dark Creeks,
It Helped Me Realize My Solo Aim...

Then She Came Into My View Again,
I Prepared For Tackling My Illusion,
It Started Snowing Out Of Nowhere.

Took Me To A Safer Place She Then,
I Was Bewildered Again Once More,
It Was Clearing But She Vanished...

Then On My Way, I Stopped To Rest,
I Looked Around For A Place To Sit,
It Came To My View A Huge Tavern.

Tavern On A Mountain Was Weird,
I Still Went To It Hoping Some Rest,
It Had Appeared Out Of Nowhere...


Angel Illusion?

I Peered Out Of The Room Windows,
I Was In This Desolate Guesthouse,
It Was A Comfortable Rest House,
And Here I Was In Anticipation,
Angel Or Whosoever Was Awaited,
Will She Pop Into My Vision Here Too,
Was It Only A Seasick Mind's Illusion?

Was All That Really Just An Illusion,
Thinking This I Prepared For Bed,
Then I Felt A Flute Was Playing,
Looked Into Sound's Direction,
All I Saw Then Was Foggy Night,
My Own Reflection Was Also Visible,
Slightly If Not Entirely Can Be Seen.

I Recalled The First Night At The Sea,
She Did Appear On The Towed Raft,
A Beautiful Mermaid I Had Seen,
Now I Did Remember It Clearly,
My Face Was No Longer Mine,
Yes It Was The Beautiful face of hers,
She Wasn't Sad As I Did Remember.

She Was Smiling So Very Divinely,
Her Brown Eyes Stared So Cutely,
More Divine Felt She Was Really,
I Thought That It Was So Early,
My Pocket Watch Showed Three,
I Took My Eyes Off And Went To Bed,
Then & There She Was Lying For Me.

I Again Let My Mind Play Games,
Never Did Imagine Turning Mad,
Now I Was Not Feeling As Bad,
Neither I Wanted To Break It,
Nor It Felt Like One Anymore,
This Was The Dream I Loved To Live,
As If The Boon Was Presented To Me.

She Smiled As I Sat On The Bed,
I Asked Her, "Are You Real?"
"Yes, Just As Your Thoughts,"
I Then Just Stared At Her Lips,
She Then Touched Me Again,
Hands As Soft As That Night At Sea,
I Just Felt Like Opposing Her Touch.

I Blankly Smiled And Thought,
'My Thoughts Are Surely Real,'
Then I Just Let Her Guide Me,
The Moon Shone So Bright,
It Just Felt Really So Very Right,
Resigning I Just Let My Illusion Win,
It's Love We Were Sharing, Not A Sin.


Angel Not Again!!!

I recovered from the night again,
She had disappeared once more,
Was she using me as a ******???

I was frustrated & also saddened,
My self-control got strengthened,
For I was not a tissue to be used!!!

I have my feelings & my emotions,
Presence and absence torture me,
Ego I had tamed got hurt by now...

I won't let that elusive Angel come,
Questioning I must be her realities,
Illusions will end this time finally!!!

I'll establish an identity of my own,
Dependent I'll not be on the angel,
Was she only a dream & no more???

I had duly asked the aged captain,
To search for a lovely bride very soon,
Oh, so sure I am about afterwards...

I was tailed by the spirit-like angel,
So irritated by her dreary dreams,
On-off, came-gone, again & again!!!

I now would learn to catch angels,
With the plan, I went to the mage,
Should I now learn some spells???

I entered through a dark alleyway,
Was told to visit this strange place,
What comes across - I wondered...

I knocked on the door & she appeared,
Very young she seemed to me now,
Just the age of the angel of dreams!!!

I noticed that she wore a long robe,
So shiny it was silvery like her hair,
Just like the angel of dreams wore...

I rubbed my tired eyes in disbelief,
"Who're you?" I asked very loudly,
"Are you the mage's daughter???"

I wondered for long & she replied,
"Your guess is correct, kind Sailor,"
She beckoned me into the shack...

I set my foot on the wooden floor,
I looked for any sign of the mage,
I want to be set free of the cage!!!

I just thought & thought about it,
But the witch was not to be seen,
Curious I asked, "Where is she???"

"I am my mother," she said calmly,
Perplexed I couldn't say a thing,
My mouth opened once & shut...

I was now about to rise & go away,
But she stopped me with her arms,
"I must show you," so she did say!!!

I did not believe what my eyes saw,
How she changed into the old mage,
Then back into her own daughter???

O I had become confused a lot now,
Why would she transform like this,
I feared if it was actually the angel...


Angel Forever?

Seeing me anxious more than a lot,
The old witch relented a little,
She let me breathe freely,
Back transformed into her daughter,
She touched my forehead,
Then I realized it was sweaty,
Seeing her lovely care I smiled a bit.

So she now lit up a fragrant incense,
The incense seemed so soothing,
She then edged closer to me,
Transcendental wings were visible,
She came even closer to me,
Then the wings simply vanished,
So traceless as if never been there.

It must have been another illusion,
The very day I had set sail to sea,
It was probably carrying over,
Troubling me each non and then,
In my wild dreams, I had seen,
True she could not be & was not,
In my life, the torment was written.

Soon I was pleading to her teary-eyed,
"Please don't torment me, it hurts!"
She looked at me with affection,
And said, "But I truly love you, sailor,"
She advanced forwards further,
"Have you forgotten all those nights?
Did you even forget the night at sea?"

I first remembered that night at sea,
The night back at home came next,
I had been seduced by her magic,
This was the real picture every time,
I was weak but I still felt warmer,
The night ship feels like yesterday,
I was in confusion about what to do.

Her face was transitioning rapidly,
The old mother to her daughter,
Her daughter to that very angel,
And back to the old mother witch,
Her smile turned into laughter,
The witch laughing at my cries,
Her face here was contorted a lot.

She seemed to be struggling a lot,
As though fight ensued within,
Soon I figured it out by myself,
First I must **** the witch to help,
So I looked around & grabbed,
The axe that I did spot lying there,
Spot on I killed the witch right then.


Angel Ultimately?
The saga in her eyes converts into a constant downpour soon after she realized her freedom from the spell of the dark witch, the curse had turned her a prisoner in the evil witch's body.

"Kind sailor thank thee for freeing me."
Her words reverberating throughout,
What wind - what land - what sea,
Everywhere is her presence as I can see,
The wind whispers her name in my ear,
Since a long long time now all I wear,
Is her scent in my immortalized memory.

"Will you stay with me forever, or,
Will you go back to the heavens?"
Though I really wanted her to stay,
I love her and realize what she felt,
I offered her freedom and a choice,
I was not binding her to me in turn,
Everything was instinctive for me.

She seemed in a serious dilemma,
Struggling hard she was in herself,
I again offered & insisted this time,
"It's better you went back to your world,"
But I knew that she loved me a lot,
She tried hard controlling but said,
"I am in love with you for long."

So I am quite right that she loves me,
I am sure even she can forget me not,
Beading all our memories together,
I now know how I can gain salvation,
Not being another self-centric tantric,
"But you don't belong here dear,
So you shouldn't restrict yourself."

After this, she now looks comfortable & composed,
Ready for making a choice she wore a heart of stone,
Her lips slowly parted revealing a perfect smile,
Pearly smile again ensured me of permanent happiness,
Bright eyes and shiny eyelids of hers seemed so good,
"You can't make me stay away because you love me too,
I will keep coming in your dreams and entice your nights."

But I wanted her in my real-world now,
I prevented her from vanishing again,
I said, "Please stay, now do not go away,
Because I really can not bear that pain,"
She had almost vanished by then,
Listening to my words she chose to wait,
She said, "Even I want forever to stay."

Continuing with her divine dialogue she said,
"Say those golden words to make me stay,"
I immediately confessed, "I love you, Angel,"
"Say you love me too, oh my divine Angel,"
She didn't wait for anything more to say it,
"I love you too, oh my kind & loving sailor,"
Her powers soon left her in a flash of light.
On public demand, I clubbed The "Angel?" Series into one poem.
AJ Sep 2014
You look at me and you frown in jealousy.
Yeah, you secretly know I have swag.
Pants a little low, black and red shirt that says
“Sit down and learn from the Master,”
and a matching hat that states what you already know-
“FRESH”

You taste the bitterness of your words as you whisper lies to my back.
Yeah, you secretly know I don’t care.
Pants a little low, red and yellow shirt that says
“My swoosh is bigger than yours”
and a matching hat of who you think I resemble-
Superman

You hear the high pitched hissing that I’m doing well and hope that I fail.
Yeah, you secretly know I’ll succeed.
Pants a little low, black and blue shirt that says
“Just Did It”
and a matching hat that reminds you of what you need to do-
“OBEY”

You touch my strong shaped shoulders with yours and utter no apology.
Yeah, you’re secretly freaking out with excitement.
Pants a little low, blue and red shirt that says
“Don’t Bro Me If You Don’t Know Me”
and a matching hat with the best known bickering buddies-
Tom and Jerry

You smell my confidence in the aroma of chocolate axe and you pinch your nose.
Yeah, you’re secretly going to buy it later.
Pants a little low, black and white shirt that says
“Don’t sweat my swag”
and a matching hat that proclaims my feelings for you-
“I <3 Haters” and under the brim it says why-
“MOTIVATION”
Wrote this poem in my senior yr in HS when I finally accepted myself as a more masculine lesbian and felt comfortable being who I was despite people's criticisms. As you can see I was oozing with new confidence. Still one of my favs lol
Fountain, that springest on this grassy *****,
Thy quick cool murmur mingles pleasantly,
With the cool sound of breezes in the beach,
Above me in the noontide. Thou dost wear
No stain of thy dark birthplace; gushing up
From the red mould and slimy roots of earth,
Thou flashest in the sun. The mountain air,
In winter, is not clearer, nor the dew
That shines on mountain blossom. Thus doth God
Bring, from the dark and foul, the pure and bright.

  This tangled thicket on the bank above
Thy basin, how thy waters keep it green!
For thou dost feed the roots of the wild vine
That trails all over it, and to the twigs
Ties fast her clusters. There the spice-bush lifts
Her leafy lances; the viburnum there,
Paler of foliage, to the sun holds up
Her circlet of green berries. In and out
The chipping sparrow, in her coat of brown,
Steals silently, lest I should mark her nest.

  Not such thou wert of yore, ere yet the axe
Had smitten the old woods. Then hoary trunks
Of oak, and plane, and hickory, o'er thee held
A mighty canopy. When April winds
Grew soft, the maple burst into a flush
Of scarlet flowers. The tulip-tree, high up,
Opened, in airs of June, her multitude
Of golden chalices to humming-birds
And silken-winged insects of the sky.

  Frail wood-plants clustered round thy edge in Spring.
The liverleaf put forth her sister blooms
Of faintest blue. Here the quick-footed wolf,
Passing to lap thy waters, crushed the flower
Of sanguinaria, from whose brittle stem
The red drops fell like blood. The deer, too, left
Her delicate foot-print in the soft moist mould,
And on the fallen leaves. The slow-paced bear,
In such a sultry summer noon as this,
Stopped at thy stream, and drank, and leaped across.

  But thou hast histories that stir the heart
With deeper feeling; while I look on thee
They rise before me. I behold the scene
Hoary again with forests; I behold
The Indian warrior, whom a hand unseen
Has smitten with his death-wound in the woods,
Creep slowly to thy well-known rivulet,
And slake his death-thirst. Hark, that quick fierce cry
That rends the utter silence; 'tis the whoop
Of battle, and a throng of savage men
With naked arms and faces stained like blood,
Fill the green wilderness; the long bare arms
Are heaved aloft, bows twang and arrows stream;
Each makes a tree his shield, and every tree
Sends forth its arrow. Fierce the fight and short,
As is the whirlwind. Soon the conquerors
And conquered vanish, and the dead remain
Mangled by tomahawks. The mighty woods
Are still again, the frighted bird comes back
And plumes her wings; but thy sweet waters run
Crimson with blood. Then, as the sun goes down,
Amid the deepening twilight I descry
Figures of men that crouch and creep unheard,
And bear away the dead. The next day's shower
Shall wash the tokens of the fight away.

  I look again--a hunter's lodge is built,
With poles and boughs, beside thy crystal well,
While the meek autumn stains the woods with gold,
And sheds his golden sunshine. To the door
The red man slowly drags the enormous bear
Slain in the chestnut thicket, or flings down
The deer from his strong shoulders. Shaggy fells
Of wolf and cougar hang upon the walls,
And loud the black-eyed Indian maidens laugh,
That gather, from the rustling heaps of leaves,
The hickory's white nuts, and the dark fruit
That falls from the gray butternut's long boughs.

  So centuries passed by, and still the woods
Blossomed in spring, and reddened when the year
Grew chill, and glistened in the frozen rains
Of winter, till the white man swung the axe
Beside thee--signal of a mighty change.
Then all around was heard the crash of trees,
Trembling awhile and rushing to the ground,
The low of ox, and shouts of men who fired
The brushwood, or who tore the earth with ploughs.
The grain sprang thick and tall, and hid in green
The blackened hill-side; ranks of spiky maize
Rose like a host embattled; the buckwheat
Whitened broad acres, sweetening with its flowers
The August wind. White cottages were seen
With rose-trees at the windows; barns from which
Came loud and shrill the crowing of the ****;
Pastures where rolled and neighed the lordly horse,
And white flocks browsed and bleated. A rich turf
Of grasses brought from far o'ercrept thy bank,
Spotted with the white clover. Blue-eyed girls
Brought pails, and dipped them in thy crystal pool;
And children, ruddy-cheeked and flaxen-haired,
Gathered the glistening cowslip from thy edge.

  Since then, what steps have trod thy border! Here
On thy green bank, the woodmann of the swamp
Has laid his axe, the reaper of the hill
His sickle, as they stooped to taste thy stream.
The sportsman, tired with wandering in the still
September noon, has bathed his heated brow
In thy cool current. Shouting boys, let loose
For a wild holiday, have quaintly shaped
Into a cup the folded linden leaf,
And dipped thy sliding crystal. From the wars
Returning, the plumed soldier by thy side
Has sat, and mused how pleasant 'twere to dwell
In such a spot, and be as free as thou,
And move for no man's bidding more. At eve,
When thou wert crimson with the crimson sky,
Lovers have gazed upon thee, and have thought
Their mingled lives should flow as peacefully
And brightly as thy waters. Here the sage,
Gazing into thy self-replenished depth,
Has seen eternal order circumscribe
And bind the motions of eternal change,
And from the gushing of thy simple fount
Has reasoned to the mighty universe.

  Is there no other change for thee, that lurks
Among the future ages? Will not man
Seek out strange arts to wither and deform
The pleasant landscape which thou makest green?
Or shall the veins that feed thy constant stream
Be choked in middle earth, and flow no more
For ever, that the water-plants along
Thy channel perish, and the bird in vain
Alight to drink? Haply shall these green hills
Sink, with the lapse of years, into the gulf
Of ocean waters, and thy source be lost
Amidst the bitter brine? Or shall they rise,
Upheaved in broken cliffs and airy peaks,
Haunts of the eagle and the snake, and thou
Gush midway from the bare and barren steep?
db cooper Jan 2015
I stopped by for a cigarette and to hear a story
He always told the tale of one eyed molly
She lost her eye
In a fight with a dog
The moral of the story was
Never trust something
Just because it may look harmless,
Even act harmless
But this day he told me another tale
The one of old Lumberjack Dale*

He was large like an ogre
Chopped too many trees to know of

Was stupid according to my uncle
This gave me quite a chuckle

He left off, on a normal morning
Hiked up the mountain
To where the clear dirt’s mourning

Held his axe and began to swing
The trees didn't have a prayer
He thought he was king

One fell down
He yelled "TIMBER"
Another smacked the ground
He Yelled "TIMBER"
Then another
and
Another

Birds were scattering
Squirrels were flying
The sounds were of a madman grunting through fire

"TIMBER"
The fifth hit the ground
The lumberjack ogre
Had to sit down

He swung one too many times, on this here day
The mountain swung back with a black bear, ok?

Protecting her cubs she wrestled the big man
Teeth in his arm and his axe in his hand

He squinted his eyes and flung the weapon
Missing the giant bear standing about 6' 11"

The mountain whispered to the lumberjack
"Leave and never come back"
He had ****** his pants and ran for the shack

"TIMBER"

The old black bear followed
Protecting her land
And the ones she adored
Don't discriminate
Just don't do it
All it is, is hate
Hate is made out of other hate
and hate only fuels more hatred
You pour gasoline on a blaze of loathing
with every discriminatory comment you make
It doesn't matter
if they have done something you believe is wrong
because you have done many things that are wrong too
it is not for you to judge
so black white brown both or polka dotted for all I care
gay les straight bi or into adhesive sloths (we adhesified furry little sloths need a little love too)
man or woman or sloth
punk emo crazy nerdy weird loser REALLY weird bookworm or literal worm sloth or adhesive sloths (like me)
nature freak or homebody
axe murderer or a cereal killer or a cheerio killer
it does not matter who or what they are
they are all human too. or all sloths. that too.
Just don't discriminate
and share the slothified love of adhesiveness
accept everyone as they are
even if they hang from trees and move in slow motion all day like me
even if they are rocks
because rocks are great
in fact this one time, I found this rock and man, it was absolutely hilarious it should have been a stand up comedian
okay well not a STAND UP comedian, because I mean... rocks can't actually stand up... but like a really hard and Sedimentary roundish stone shaped sit down (well more like lay around like a rock all day) comedian
Wait, what was I talking about?
oh right, don't discriminate!! :)
against other humans or other sloths.
or adhesive sloths.

...I'm not crazy! my mother sloth had me tested!
yeah, I kind of need a life. I've lost a lot of brain cells falling out of my tree when I confuse my arm with a tree branch, grab it and almost fall to my death... anyway, hope the underlying message here gets across.
lots of love to the adhesive sloths out there! repost if you are an adhesive sloth lover!!!
Mike Bergeron Sep 2012
There was a house fire on my street last night …well… not exactly my street, but on a little, sketchy, dead-end strip of asphalt, sidewalks, weeds, and garbage that juts into my block two houses down. It was on that street. Rosewood Court, population: 12, adjusted population: 11, characterized by anonymity and boarded windows, peppered with the swift movements of fat street rats. I’ve never been that close to a real, high-energy, make-sure-to-spray-down-your-roof-with-a-hose-so-it-doesn’t-catch­ fire before. It was the least of my expectations for the evening, though I didn’t expect a crate of Peruvian bananas to fall off a cargo plane either, punching through the ceiling, littering the parking lot with damaged fruit and shingles, tearing paintings and shelves and studs from the third floor walls, and crashing into our kitchen, shattering dishes and cabinets and appliances. Since that never happened, and since neither the former nor the latter situation even crossed my mind, I’ll stick with “least of my expectations,” and bundle up with it inside that inadequate phrase whatever else may have happened that I wouldn’t have expected.



I had been reading in my living room, absently petting the long calico fur of my roommate’s cat Dory. She’s in heat, and does her best to make sure everyone knows it, parading around, *** in the air, an opera of low trilling and loud meows and deep purring. As a consequence of a steady tide of feline hormones, she’s been excessively good humored, showering me with affection, instead of her usual indifference, punctuated by occasional, self-serving shin rubs when she’s hungry. I saw the lights before I heard the trucks or the shouts of firemen or the panicked wail of sirens, spitting their warning into the night in A or A minor, but probably neither, I’m no musician. Besides, Congratulations was playing loud, flowing through the speakers in the corners of the room, connected to the record player via the receiver with the broken volume control, travelling as excited electrons down stretches of wire that are, realistically, too short, and always pull out. The song was filling the space between the speakers and the space between my ears with musings on Brian Eno, so the auditory signal that should have informed me of the trouble that was afoot was blocked out. I saw the lights, the alternating reds and whites that filled my living room, drawing shifting patterns on my walls, ceiling, floor, furniture, and shelves of books, dragging me towards the door leading outside, through the cluttered bike room, past the sleeping, black lump of oblivious fur that is usually my boisterous male kitten, and out into the bedlam I  had previously been ignorant to. I could see the smoke, it was white then gray then white, all the while lending an acrid taste to the air, but I couldn’t see where it was issuing from. The wind was blowing the smoke toward my apartment, away from Empire Mills. I tried to count the firetrucks, but there were so many. I counted six on Wilmarth Ave, one of which was the awkward-looking, heavy-duty special hazards truck. In my part of the city, the post-industrial third-wave ***** river valley, you never know if the grease fire that started with homefries in a frying pan in an old woman’s kitchen will escalate into a full-blown mill fire, the century-old wood floors so saturated with oil and kerosene and ****** and manufacturing chemicals and ghosts and god knows what other flammable **** that it lights up like a fifth of July leftover sparkler, burning and melting the hand of the community that fed it for so many decades, leaving scars that are displayed on the local news for a week and are forgotten in a few years’ time.



The night was windy, and the day had been dry, so precautions were abundant, and I counted two more trucks on Fones Ave. One had the biggest ladder I’ve ever seen. It was parked on the corner of Fones and Wilmarth, directly across from the entrance into the forgotten dead-end where the forgotten house was burning, and the ladder was lifting into the air. By now my two roommates had come outside too, to stand on our rickety, wooden staircase, and Jeff said he could see flames in the windows of one of the three abandoned houses on Rosewood, through the third floor holes where windows once were, where boards of plywood were deemed unnecessary.



“Ay! Daddy!”



My neighbor John called up to us. He serves as the eyes and ears and certainly the mouth of our block, always in everyone’s business, without being too intrusive, always aware of what’s going down and who’s involved. He proceeded to tell us the lowdown on the blaze as far as he knew it, that there were two more firetrucks and an ambulance down Rosewood, that the front and back doors to the house were blocked by something from inside, that those somethings were very heavy, that someone was screaming inside, that the fire was growing.



Val had gone inside to get his jacket, because despite the floodlights from the trucks imitating sunlight, the wind and the low temperature and the thought of a person burning alive made the night chilly. Val thought we should go around the block, to see if we could get a better view, to satisfy our congenital need to witness disaster, to see the passenger car flip over the Jersey barrier, to watch the videos of Jihadist beheadings, to stand in line to look at painted corpses in velvet, underlit parlors, and sit in silence while their family members cry. We walked down the stairs, into full floodlight, and there were first responders and police and fully equipped firefighters moving in all directions. We watched two firemen attempting to open an old, rusty fire hydrant, and it could’ve been inexperience, the stress of the situation, the condition of the hydrant, or just poor luck, but rather than opening as it was supposed to the hydrant burst open, sending the cap flying into the side of a firetruck, the water crashing into the younger of the two men’s face and torso, knocking him back on his ***. While he coughed out surprised air and water and a flood of expletives, his partner got the situation under control and got the hose attached. We turned and walked away from the fire, and as we approached the turn we’d take to cut through the rundown parking lot that would bring us to the other side of the block, two firemen hurried past, one leading the other, carrying between them a stretcher full of machines for monitoring and a shitload of wires and tubing. It was the stiff board-like kind, with handles on each end, the kind of stretcher you might expect to see circus clowns carry out, when it’s time to save their fallen, pie-faced cohort. I wondered why they were using this archaic form of patient transportation, and not one of the padded, electrical ones on wheels. We pushed past the crowd that had begun forming, walked past the Laundromat, the 7Eleven, the carwash, and took a left onto the street on the other side of the parking lot, parallel to Wilmarth. There were several older men standing on the sidewalk, facing the fire, hands either in pockets or bringing a cigarette to and from a frowning mouth. They were standing in the ideal place to witness the action, with an unobstructed view of the top two floors of the burning house, its upper windows glowing orange with internal light and vomiting putrid smoke.  We could taste the burning wires, the rugs, the insulation, the asbestos, the black mold, the trash, and the smell was so strong I had to cover my mouth with my shirt, though it provided little relief. We said hello, they grunted the same, and we all stood, watching, thinking about what we were seeing, not wanting to see what we were thinking.

Two firefighters were on the roof by this point, they were yelling to each other and to the others on the ground, but we couldn’t hear what they were saying because of the sirens from all the emergency vehicles that were arriving.  It seemed to me they sent every firetruck in the city, as well as more than a dozen police cars and a slew of ambulances, all of them arriving from every direction. I guess they expected the fire to get really out of hand, but we could already see the orange glow withdrawing into the dark of the house, steam and smoke rippling out of the stretched, wooden mouths of the rotted window frames. In a gruff, habitual smoker’s voice, we heard

                                      “Chopper called the fire depahtment

We was over at the vet’s home

                He says he saw flames in the windas

                                                                                                                                                We all thought he was shittin’ us

We couldn’t see nothin’.”

A man between fifty-five to sixty-five years old was speaking, no hair on his shiny, tanned head, old tattoos etched in bluish gray on his hands, arms, and neck, menthol smoke rising from between timeworn fingers. He brought the cigarette to his lips, drew a hearty chest full of smoke, and as he let it out he repeated

                                                “Yea, chopper called em’

Says he saw flames.”

The men on the roof were just silhouettes, backlit by the dazzling brightness of the lights on the other side.  The figure to the left of the roof pulled something large up into view, and we knew instantly by the cord pull and the sound that it was a chainsaw. He began cutting directly into the roof. I wasn’t sure what he was doing, wondered if he was scared of falling into the fire, assumed he probably was, but had at least done this before, tried to figure out if he was doing it to gain entry or release pressure or whatever. The man to the right was hacking away at the roof with an axe. It was surreal to watch, to see two men transformed from public servants into fingers of destruction, the pinkie and ring finger fighting the powerful thumb of the controlled chemical reaction eating the air below them, to watch the dark figures shrouded in ethereal light and smoke and sawdust and what must’ve been unbearable heat from below, to be viewing everything with my own home, my belongings, still visible, to know it could easily have gone up in flames as well.

I should’ve brought my jacket. I remember complaining about it, about how the wind was passing through my skin like a window screen, chilling my blood, in sharp contrast to the heat that was morphing and rippling the air above the house as it disappeared as smoke and gas up into the atmosphere from the inside out.

Ten minutes later, or maybe five, or maybe one, the men on the roof were still working diligently cutting and chopping, but we could no longer see any signs of flames, and there were figures moving around in the house, visible in the windows of the upper floors, despite the smoke. Figuring the action must be reaching its end, we decided to walk back to our apartment. We saw Ken’s brown pickup truck parked next to the Laundromat, unable to reach our parking lot due to all the emergency vehicles and people clogging our street. We came around the corner and saw the other two members of the Infamous Summers standing next to our building with the rest of the crowd that had gathered. Dosin told us the fire was out, and that they had pulled someone from inside the gutted house, but no ambulance had left yet, and his normally smiling face was flat and somber, and the beaten guitar case slung over his shoulder, and his messed up hair, and the red in his cheeks from the cold air, and the way he was moving rocks around with the toe of his shoe made him look like a lost child, chasing a dream far from home but finding a nightmare in its place, instead of the professional who never loses his cool or his direction.

The crowd all began talking at once, so I turned around, towards the dead end and the group of firefighters and EMTs that were emerging. Their faces were stoic, not a single expression on all but one of those faces, a young EMT, probably a Basic, or a Cardiac, or neither, but no older than twenty, who was silently weeping, the tears cutting tracks through the soot on his cheeks, his eyes empty of emotion, his lips drawn tight and still. Four of them were each holding a corner of the maroon stretcher that took two to carry when I first saw it, full of equipment. They did not rush, they did not appear to be tending to a person barely holding onto life, they were just carrying the weight. As they got close gasps and cries of horror or disgust or both issued from the crowd, some turned away, some expressions didn’t change, some eyes closed and others stayed fixed on what they came to see. One woman vomited, right there on the sidewalk, splashing the shoes of those near her with the partially digested remains of her EBT dinner. I felt my own stomach start to turn, but I didn’t look away. I couldn’t.

                                                                                It was like I was seven again,

                                in the alleyway running along the side of the junior high school I lived near and would eventually attend,

looking in silent horror at what three eighth graders from my neighborhood were doing.

It was about eight in the evening of a rainy,

late summer day,

and I was walking home with my older brother,

cutting through the alley like we always did.

The three older boys were standing over a small dog,

a terrier of some sort.

They had duct taped its mouth shut and its legs together,

but we could still hear its terrified whines through its clenched teeth.

One of the boys had cut off the dog’s tail.

He had it in one hand,

and was still holding the pocket knife in the other.

None of them were smiling,

or talking,

nor did they take notice of Andrew and I.

There was a garden bag standing up next to them that looked pretty full,

and there was a small pile of leaves on the ground next to it.

In slow motion I watched,

horrified,

as one of the boys,

Brian Jones-Hartlett,

picked up the shaking animal,

put it in the bag,

covered it with the leaves from the ground,

and with wide,

shining eyes,

set the bag

on fire

with a long-necked

candle

lighter.

It was too much for me then. I couldn’t control my nausea. I threw up and sat down while my head swam.

I couldn’t understand. I forgot my brother and the fact that he was older, that he should stop this,

Stop them,

There’s a dog in there,

You’re older, I’m sick,

Why can’t I stop them?

It was like
Asha Ryder Feb 2013
Thelonious Tree had so long been in slumber
that no one alive could remember the number
of years he'd been snoozing, and it became understood
that Thelonious Tree was asleep now for good.

On the first day of spring dawned a day calm and fair
when a horrible noise pierced the still morning air.
It rattled his roots, yes it shuddered his trunk
and dimly Thelonious heard the cathunk
that rustled his leaves where birds were at nest
till grim and confused, he was roused from his rest.

Ancient Thelonious opened one bleary eye
saw the soil caked with concrete, saw how smog choked the sky,
and worse still he saw that clamorous sound
belonged to a man far below on the ground
with an axe in his hand and the axe went cathunk
each time it was buried in the side of his trunk.
From a slumber so deep it had lasted an age,
Thelonious now woke to a terrible rage.

He shook of the very last traces of sleep
as he pulled out his roots from their place in the deep;
he reached down and with a sickening smack
threw that axeman so far he would never come back.
The man landed far off in the limbs of some trees
where he threw down his axe and he yelped out a "please!
that the trees were alive, why I never did know,
I'm done with my axe now; I'll just help things grow!"

Meanwhile Thelonious found that nothing was green,
there were but stumps in the earth where his friends once had been.
They were now houses and fences and tables and chairs
they were burning in chimneys and polluting the air.
Heavy with grief, he at last understood
that the humans cared nothing for trees; only wood.
Ottar Jun 2013
dead soldiers from the night before
stared up from their hiding spot still
in their brown uniforms
the snap of the sheath was lost in the
snap crackle and pop of the dying embers
the blade of the axe tested on a thumbnail
cut a satisfying line to proof the sharpness
you turned with precision and gravel crunched
beneath your feet, eyes searching for the
driest piece to feel the point of the heavy head
your whistling echoed from your lips as
trees dance to your tune in the not so gentle breeze

fleshy hands and oak handle embracing
log victim placed on the sacrificial stump
lined up your trial mark 'practice makes perfect'
the swift swinging arm motion followed by
sound from a sudden swing forced a new echo
through the trees landing with a solid thump
and silence
with more whistling eerily into the silence between
the splitting of each one after another, the red painted
axe head was gleaming with each chop while ready
to work again and again and...
a la Roethke?
She had been sent to the tower
Refused a kings advances and power
To await for what would be her fate
For the executioner she would wait

But the executioner was secretly in love with her
He would fight for her if they could be together
But he knew he did not want her to die
To save her, he was willing to try

She told him no, this was not the way
She would have to die when came that day
She gave a kiss to the executioner's cheek
Said, in Heaven, his love she would seek

On her last night he took her as his lover
Because she would never take another
The executioner did not want her to go
She said he would always have her soul

On the day she came, at last, to her fate
For to save her, it was far too late
In his mask, he cried, no one could tell
For him she loved, then the axe fell
You always read about it:
the plumber with twelve children
who wins the Irish Sweepstakes.
From toilets to riches.
That story.

Or the nursemaid,
some luscious sweet from Denmark
who captures the oldest son's heart.
From diapers to Dior.
That story.

Or a milkman who serves the wealthy,
eggs, cream, butter, yogurt, milk,
the white truck like an ambulance
who goes into real estate
and makes a pile.
From homogenized to martinis at lunch.

Or the charwoman
who is on the bus when it cracks up
and collects enough from the insurance.
From mops to Bonwit Teller.
That story.

Once
the wife of a rich man was on her deathbed
and she said to her daughter Cinderella:
Be devout. Be good. Then I will smile
down from heaven in the seam of a cloud.
The man took another wife who had
two daughters, pretty enough
but with hearts like blackjacks.
Cinderella was their maid.
She slept on the sooty hearth each night
and walked around looking like Al Jolson.
Her father brought presents home from town,
jewels and gowns for the other women
but the twig of a tree for Cinderella.
She planted that twig on her mother's grave
and it grew to a tree where a white dove sat.
Whenever she wished for anything the dove
would drop it like an egg upon the ground.
The bird is important, my dears, so heed him.

Next came the ball, as you all know.
It was a marriage market.
The prince was looking for a wife.
All but Cinderella were preparing
and gussying up for the big event.
Cinderella begged to go too.
Her stepmother threw a dish of lentils
into the cinders and said: Pick them
up in an hour and you shall go.
The white dove brought all his friends;
all the warm wings of the fatherland came,
and picked up the lentils in a jiffy.
No, Cinderella, said the stepmother,
you have no clothes and cannot dance.
That's the way with stepmothers.

Cinderella went to the tree at the grave
and cried forth like a gospel singer:
Mama! Mama! My turtledove,
send me to the prince's ball!
The bird dropped down a golden dress
and delicate little gold slippers.
Rather a large package for a simple bird.
So she went. Which is no surprise.
Her stepmother and sisters didn't
recognize her without her cinder face
and the prince took her hand on the spot
and danced with no other the whole day.

As nightfall came she thought she'd better
get home. The prince walked her home
and she disappeared into the pigeon house
and although the prince took an axe and broke
it open she was gone. Back to her cinders.
These events repeated themselves for three days.
However on the third day the prince
covered the palace steps with cobbler's wax
and Cinderella's gold shoe stuck upon it.
Now he would find whom the shoe fit
and find his strange dancing girl for keeps.
He went to their house and the two sisters
were delighted because they had lovely feet.
The eldest went into a room to try the slipper on
but her big toe got in the way so she simply
sliced it off and put on the slipper.
The prince rode away with her until the white dove
told him to look at the blood pouring forth.
That is the way with amputations.
The don't just heal up like a wish.
The other sister cut off her heel
but the blood told as blood will.
The prince was getting tired.
He began to feel like a shoe salesman.
But he gave it one last try.
This time Cinderella fit into the shoe
like a love letter into its envelope.

At the wedding ceremony
the two sisters came to curry favor
and the white dove pecked their eyes out.
Two hollow spots were left
like soup spoons.

Cinderella and the prince
lived, they say, happily ever after,
like two dolls in a museum case
never bothered by diapers or dust,
never arguing over the timing of an egg,
never telling the same story twice,
never getting a middle-aged spread,
their darling smiles pasted on for eternity.
Regular Bobbsey Twins.
That story.
Here is the girl's head like an exhumed gourd.
Oval-faced, prune-skinned, prune-stones for teeth.

They unswaddled the wet fern of her hair
And made an exhibition of its coil,
Let the air at her leathery beauty.
Pash of tallow, perishable treasure:
Her broken nose is dark as a turf clod,
Her eyeholes blank as pools in the old workings.
Diodorus Siculus confessed
His gradual ease with the likes of this:
Murdered, forgotten, nameless, terrible
Beheaded girl, outstaring axe
And beatification, outstaring
What had begun to feel like reverence.
Edward Coles Jul 2014
“You know the worst thing I ever saw?” He asked.

I sighed to myself, took another gulp of beer and fixed him with a look of half-interest. He was drunk. A complete ****-up and a bore when he's drunk. I don't know why I drink with him. That said, he probably thinks the same.

“What's that?”
“Bedsheets over the benches in the church yard.”
“Ye-what?”
“Bedsheets over the benches in the church yard. For the homeless.”
“The homeless. Right.”
“I'll get us another drink.” he says, “then I'll start where I left off.”
“Oh, good.”

He comes back with two bottles. We drink and we start talking about football. We're just about getting by before he raises his palm to his face.
“Aw, ****. I forgot, yeah. The worst thing I ever saw. I never told you.”
“You did. Bedsheets over the benches in the church yard. For the homeless.”
“Yeah yeah, but that doesn't really say much, does it? You're probably wondering to yourself why that would **** me off so much?”

Not really. He's the type of no-action, all-caring, bleeding heart that sits on his fattening **** every day, 'liking' rhetorical captions over pictures, and signing petitions to axe some ***** politician or other.
“I guess. Shoot.”

He shoots.
“I wanna burn down the churches. Seriously. Stupid ******* religious folk. I bet they go home and post pictures up of themselves, all busy in the soup kitchen, ladling minestrone into some poor *******'s styrofoam bowl.
“They'll never touch them. Always at arm's length. You don't wanna breathe in the pathogens of the anti-people...”
He slurred a little, went to carry on, but took another gulp of beer instead.
“What does that have to do with bedsheets over the benches in the church yard?” I took a gulp myself, this time watching him with a little more interest. Probably just because he looks like he could spew at any moment.
“You're not letting me finish...”
He finishes his beer, gets up, almost bumping into his piano-***-keyboard. He's off to the fridge again. I have a look around while he's out of the room. I can hear him ******* in the kitchen sink.

I've seen the place a million times before but it always has a whole bunch of new **** tacked up on the wall or else bundled in the corner. He's no hoarder, just gets bored and throws out all the stuff he bought the year before.
There's a framed picture of himself on the wall, cradling his Fender as if he's a master of the arts. It's signed, too.
I've seen him play. Probably will tonight. Wouldn't be surprised if he's written a protest song called: bedsheets over the benches in the church yard. The old **** can't even hit an F major with regularity.
He'd decided to put up his vinyl sleeves on the wall like a 17 year old would with an array of **** pop-punk band posters.
Blink and you might think he's the new John Peel or Phil Spector. Stare, and you'll realise he's twice as crazy, yet half as talented and half as interesting to listen to.
His room is like a CV to show to interesting, young indie women. Shame he's hitting forty now,and hasn't been to a club in about 3 months.
Last time we went he just sulked in the corner and got too drunk. He cried in the smoking area about his job before going round and asking attractive girls whether they think he's too old to be out. Most didn't even bother to give an answer. Probably best.

He comes back in with more beer.
“A-anyway...” He says, groaning a little like an old man as he settles back into the chair. “As I was saying...” he sloshes beer on the carpet, rubs it in with the heel of his shoe. He spits on the mark and then rubs again.
“What I was saying was that the church would be a whole lot more useful to the homeless if it was burned down. A condemned building is a whole lot more useful than being looked down on by holier-than-thou, middle-class, white Christians.
“They go home after an hour, bolt the church doors, and then watch TV in their brand new conservatories that they spend several thousands on. Just give the losers a place to shoot up and sleep in safety. That makes sense, right?”
“I guess so.”
I couldn't think of a change of conversation. So I just drank some more and pulled out a cigarette. It's nice to smoke inside for a change.

“It's a ****** ******* awful thing. If people were actually religious, they'd throw open their ******* doors for everyone. It's what Jesus would do, right?”
“Right.”
“He'd have all the **** in his bedsit, piled in like sardines, spreading TB like wildfire.”
“And that's a good thing?”
“Well, it can't be any worse, right? Sleep's important. I learned that the hard way.”

He didn't learn it the hard way. Not really. He's a self-motivated, self-harming insomniac. He spent his teenage years listening to bad music and staying up too late ******* over his French teacher. I should know, I mostly did the same.
He hit the **** pretty hard during college. Never really looked back until recently. ****** him up worse than you'd reckon. He couldn't sleep without the stuff. Man, if you'd have seen the poor guy whenever he couldn't get hold of some for the night. Eesh.

“...you know what I mean though? I'm sick of charity. Those fun-runs you get. A load of women in pink pretending that they care about breast cancer, before posting a million and one pictures up of them in ankle warmers and a kooky hat...”
“**** of the Earth.”
“Yup. Right up there with the women who have 'mummy' as their middle name on Facebook.”
“Yeah.”
“Honestly though, it's the laziest form of charity. Throwing a couple old, mouldy bedsheets out on some bird-**** bench made of wood and ancient farts...”
“It is pretty lazy.” I drank some more.

It was getting late. We swallowed three temazepams each, moved onto the cheap shiraz once we ran out of beer. We leant back in our chairs, barely talking and letting Tame Impala supply the conversation for us.

“You know what?” I ask, pretty much out of nowhere. His eyes have narrowed. He's not sleepy, just ****** on ***** and tranquillizers. He takes a moment.
“Huh?”
“From what you were saying earlier... you know, about the bedsheets over the benches in the church yard. For the homeless.”
“Yeah?”
“Well, why don't you?”
“Why don't I what?”
“Burn it down.”
“The church?”
“Well, you go on about being lazy and ****. Here's your chance. Help the homeless. Break the locks, pour the petrol, take out a few bottles of wine if you find any...”
“Now?”
“I guess so. Homeless folk are dying of pneumonia out there. Not a second can be wasted.”
“I dunno. I didn't mean I had to do it. I was just saying...”
“I guess they were just saying too.” I felt like I was being a ****, so I changed the subject to women I haven't laid.

I stumbled home leaning on my bicycle all the way. Daylight was just about visible off in the distance. I passed two homeless guys on the way back, gave one of them a fiver, the other one my big mac and the last of my cigarettes (well, leaving a couple for myself).
They said thanks, god bless you, etc, etc. I carried on walking.

I woke up the next afternoon with a mouthful of sand and in desperate need of a hangover ****. I hadn't shaved in about two weeks and there were dark circles under my eyes. I thought about going out to the diner for a full breakfast, but strange people were beyond me.
I ordered a pizza full of meat and grease and garlic sauce instead. I text him to see if he wanted to come over and nurse the hangover with a little ****. Watch a film. Get drunk again. He still smokes it on special occasions, and this ******* of a hangover was pretty **** special.
No reply, and I end up rolling up a joint for myself, smoking it by the window and watching the magpies peck around the grass. It's nice out.

The pizza guy comes. He's holding the pizza up like a map, calls out in a bored sort of voice: “Hello sir. I've got a large Palermo Pizza here, with a side of chicken strips and a can of Dandelion and Burdock?”
I say yes and he hands it over.

I tip him with the coins still left in my wallet from the night before, and he sheepishly says he picked up my post for me as well.
I look down at the pizza I'm holding, and there's a few envelopes that look suspiciously like bills, rival takeaway leaflets, and the local paper. I say thanks, give him the best sort of smile I could, and then close the door.
I turn on the TV. I forgot the England match was on. I turn over to something more interesting. There's nothing, so I switch back over. Before I open up the pizza, I take the paper. A small-town existence, nothing ever happens, but I could do with a new job.

The front page is on fire. A church has been burned down in the early morning. A forty-something man has been arrested and then taken to hospital for severe burns to the face. A load of children's art has been lost, along with countless Bibles, prayer cushions, and vaults of cash.
“****.”
I read through the article. The whole place was gutted. Nothing could be salvaged. Nothing could be redeemed. In the corner of the picture, through the red, green, and blue dots, I could just make out some bedsheets over the benches in the church yard. For the homeless.
I apologise profusely for posting up a short story instead of a poem. I wrote this in one go tonight and haven't proofread it. I had no plan, I just wrote until there was -something- there. I just wanted to try something different.

C
Marshal Gebbie Aug 2018
Calamitous collapse of structure forged
With steel and concrete built for time,
Since Roman times a formula endured
With engineers additional design.
Why, then, did this structure fail,
Did mortar crack, did reinforcing strong,
Shear and plummet in an instants time
To crush and doom this bridges song.

In teeming rain a  silence hung
Where watchers gaped in stunned awe,
A magnitude of devastation lay
Pulverized in valley floor.
Astonishing this expanse of space
Where seconds past, huge edifice,
Imbued with its’ charge of lives
Unknowingly to meet abyss.

Innocence has lost its’ life
Blame resounds around the room
Someone shall pay the price
For negligence in causing doom.
Truth be told it’s shared by all
For Italy has lagged behind
Cost cutting infrastructures’ purse
Because of economic bind.

Time to reassess the plan
Time to weep and bury dead,
Clear the rubble from the land
Rebuild well then forge ahead.
Blame not the engineer
Nor the man who drew design,
Blame not the hardhat
Who poured the concrete in the line.

Reassign the budget spend
To infrastructure, pay its share
For sentiment is running hot
To axe the fool who pares the fare.

M.
Storeman
Civil Infrastructure
Hamilton, NEW ZEALAND
This calamity is already impacting on construction projects and future design , cost and planning, worldwide. Risk is, very much, a major perilous factor in bidding and negotiation in the relationship between an infrastructure provider and buyer.

— The End —