Breanna Smith May 2012
Sweetly does the rain
Sing against my window,
As it stirs the lavender
That caresses my nose,
Growing beneath my window as
My mother planted it there to do.
Wary do I grow of counting the
Lines,
Groves,
And cracks in my ever changing ceiling.
I try making out images instead of counting, Lacking creativity all I can see is
White,
Frooved
Clouds.

Dusk is capturing the world now and
The rain has finished it’s melody,
The insects and frogs
Take the stage and
Somewhere in the distance
Is the cry of a lone hawk,
Maybe feeling left out of the insects and frogs Choirs as,
He cries 
His sad
Song.

Pondering as to what the
Hawk’s story is
And as I ponder
I begin to hum
A soft melody keeping time
With the frogs and insects,
Maybe I am feeling left
Out like the hawk?

A breeze joins in,
String up the glories
Smell of lavender again
And cooling my face as it
Comes through the open window
I slowly drift
Off
To
Sleep...
...zzz
m Oct 2017
i am haunted.
haunted by the ghost of the woman i was too afraid to become.
and i’m the one who killed her.

i smothered her.
left her gasping and screaming for air underneath the same white sheets that i rest upon every night.
you’ll see no blood.
you’ll see no evidence of a struggle.
her body rots between the cracks in my ribcage.
this is where i hold her prisoner.

there was no funeral.
no “goodbye”.
just my silent mourning.
i wear black in the bags under my eyes.
this haunting is personal.

you see, my hands are her hands
and maybe this is why everyone i touch
remains unmoved.
maybe this is why everything i write
becomes an elegy.

to her: i’m sorry. but you never had a chance.
to her: i’m sorry for letting you rot before you ever had the chance to bloom.
here lies she whose face haunts me everywhere i turn.
grace snoddy Mar 16
for so long,
i made one with the cracks in the road,
making sure i never stepped on one.
and i never cared to notice
how tired i was from doing it.

maybe it was because
the innocence
and easygoing youth
shielded my eyes
like the white linen curtains
that used to hang lazily on my window.

for so long,
the nine o’clock news
never bothered me
as much as it does now.
and the fact that everyone seems to drag their feet
at the same miserable pace
never struck my mind.
days keep growing faster
at an undetectable rate,
and i’m just starting to see that.

maybe it was because
reality tore the drapes down,
letting all of the light
shine on the things that were
left in the dark.
because growing older
was one of the things
that i chose
to leave in the corner.
a serpentine plume
of saharan dust

unveiled by radar
an ocean spanning

exhalation
of opaque

talcum haze
seeping into and onto

cracks metal glass
amid caustic

simmering
and listless

longing
for cicada drill

and aircondtioned din
to mute
At present Austin (my home) is choking on dust from the Sahara. World wide grime.
through the streets and column cracks
culture weaves and summer smacks
sacred figure, holy shrine
monastery in grand design

cathedrals, convents, heaven’s stars
god of neptune, god of mars
doge’s palace, alley way
gondolier on full display

winged lion on pastel breeze
cicada singing from the trees
pillar walk of saint mark's square
basilica in all its flare

crosses shade the carousel
bridge of sigh that leads to hell
golden stairs of placid ridge
arches of rialto bridge

torcello! murano! grigio!
the countess rides the river poe!
sins of seven, fiery hides
poplars bank the levee side

black plague, attila the hun
eden formed before the sun
paradise above the marsh
high alter, gothic arch

middle age, religious wars
celestial fountains, marble floors
sculpted peacock, catholic faith
all is true the great god saith
i melted off of you
like crystal clear water
as the snow changes form
you were the mountain i depended on
i had found home in your rubble
justified all of your cracks
when all along i knew
it wasn't me who
was falling
it was you

back then i was blind
but i thought i could see
how beautiful you + me could be
when my light peaked through
those broken parts in you

i guess that's what healers do
we attract the broken ones
knowing there is room to fill
but i have got to stop
and remember that no one
can understand my warmth
when they've only ever lived
in the cold corners of
my hopeful heart
when they only
loved me as
i looked
away

but that's
not romantic
it just left me frantic
yet all of that darkness
has made me a
mantic
The wall came first
then ivy grew.
Him wrought from stone,
her suckling dew
between the crevices and cracks
of broken brick and tattered slats.
All separated were their lives,
yet intertwined to hypnotize
all but a masons’ knowing eyes—
a wall of green, the best disguise.

A hundred years could pass and see
that verdant slab so beautifully.
Yet time ticks on;
reveals what’s true—
when he does crumble,
she will too.
Emily 2d
With every step she took there was a little hesitation,
Since self-doubt and second guessing were at the base of her foundation.
Her eyes didn't wander in fear of who'd she meet,
So her gaze fixed upon the cracks in the concrete.
But would the world ever see her potential on display,
With her voice barely a whisper and her opinions locked away?
Leon Zebrick Jul 2015
Hotrod
Verse I

Wrenches clanging, knuckles banging
A drop of blood the young man spilt
A new part here, and old part… there
A hotrod had been built!
A patchwork, mechanical, quilt

Feelings of excitement not unlike those of Christmas mornings long past paid visit to the young man, his head under a raised hood, hands occupied, the job nearing completion.  Did building that Lionel train-set so long ago form some type of pattern in his brain, now being so pleasurably served?  The good feelings would dissipate though, as quickly as they came, as he cursed himself for stripping a bolt, or cursed someone else for selling him the wrong part, or the engineer whose design goals obviously did not consider “remove and replace”.  He cursed the “gorilla” that never heard of a torque-wrench, the glowing particle of slag that popped on to the top of his head as he welded, the metal chip he flushed from his eye, and even himself for the burn he received by impatiently touching something too soon after grinding.  He, and his type, cursed a lot, but mostly to their selves as they battled-on with things oily, hot, bolted, welded, and rusty – in cramped spaces. One day it was choice words for an “easy-out” that broke off next to a broken drill bit that had broken off in a broken bolt, that was being drilled for an easy out.    Despite the swearing, the good and special feelings, feelings known only to those with a true capacity for this type of passion, would always return, generally of a magnitude that exceeded the physical pain and mental frustration of the day, by a large margin.   Certifiably obsessive, the young man continued to toil dutifully, soulfully, occasionally gleefully, sometimes even expertly, in his most loved and familiar place, his sanctuary, laboratory… the family garage.

And tomorrow would be the day.
Fire extinguisher? “ Right there”
Battery? “Charged and connected”
Neutral?  “yes”
Brake?  “Set”
And with hard learned, hard earned expertise and confidence, in this special small place, a supremely happy and excited young man commanded his creation to life.

Threw  a toggle, pressed a switch
Woke up the neighbors with that son of a bitch

The heart of his machine was a stroked Chevy engine that everyone had just grown sick hearing about.  Even the local machine shop to which the boy nervously entrusted his most prized possession had had enough.  “Sir, I don’t want to seem disrespectful, but from what I’ve read in Hot Rod Magazine, you might be suggesting a clearance too tight for forged pistons…” then it would be something else the next day.   One must always speak politely to the machinist, and even though he always had, the usual allotment of contradictions and arguments afforded to each customer had long run out – and although the shop owner took a special liking to the boy because, as he liked to say, “he reminds me of me”, well, that man was done too.  But in the end, the mill was dead-on.  Of course from the start, the shop knew it would be; that’s almost always the case; it’s how they stay in business - simply doing good work.  Bad shops fall out quickly, but this place had the look of times gone by.  Good times.  Old porcelain signs, here and there were to be found, all original to the shop and revered by the older workers in honored nostalgia.  The younger workers get it too; they can tell from the men they respect and learn from, there is something special about this past.  One sign advertises Carter Carburetors and the artwork depicts “three deuces”, model 97’s, sitting proudly atop a flathead engine, all speeding along in a red, open roadster.  Its occupants a blond haired boy with slight freckles (driver), and a brunette girl passenger, white blouse slightly unbuttoned,  both in the wind-blown cool, their excited expressions proclaim… "we are free!" (and all you need is a Carter, or three).

The seasoned old engine block the boy entrusted to the shop cost him $120-even from the bone yard.  Not a bad deal for a good block that had never had its first 0.030” overbore.  In the shop, it was cleaned, checked for cracks, measured and re-measured, inspected and re-inspected.  It was shaped and cut in a special way that would allow the stroker crankshaft, that was to be the special part of this build, to have all the clearance it would need.  The engine block was fitted with temporary stress plates that mimic the presence of cylinder heads,  then the cylinders were bored to “first oversize”,  providing fresh metal for new piston rings to work against.  New bearings were installed everywhere bearings are required.  Parts were smoothed here and there.  Some surfaces were roughened just so, to allow new parts to “work-into each other” when things are finally brought together.  All of this was done with a level of precision and attention far, far greater than the old “4- bolt” had ever received at the factory on its way to a life of labor in the ¾ ton work truck from which it came.  They called this painstaking dedication to precision measurement and fit, to hitting all specifications “on the mark”, “blueprinting”, and it would continue throughout the entire build of this engine.  The boy stayed  worried the whole time, but the shop had done it a million times.

After machining, the block was filled with new and strong parts that cost the young man everything he had.   Parts selected with the greatest of effort, decision, and debate.  “ You can compromise on paint”,” live with some rust”, he would say,  “wait for good tires”, “but never scrimp on the engine”.  Right on.  You get one shot at getting that right, and this proclamation demonstrated wisdom but also provided ample excuse for the rough and unfinished look of the rest of his machine.  But it was just a look, his car was, in fact, “right”.   And its power plant?  Well the machine shop had talked their customer into letting them do the final engine assembly - even cut their price to do it.  They were looking out for the boy.  The mill in its final form was the proper balance of performance and durability, and with its camshaft so carefully selected, the engine's “personality” was perfectly matched to the work at hand.   It would produce adequate torque in the low RPM range to get whole rig moving quickly, yet deliver enough horsepower at red-line to pile on the MPH, fast.  No longer a polite-natured workhorse, this engine, this engine is impatient now.  High compression, a rapid, choppy idle - it seems to be biting at the bit – to be released.  On command, it gulps its mixture and screams angrily, and often those standing around have a reflexive jump - the louder, the better - the more angry, the better.  If it hurts your ears, that’s a good feeling.  If its bark startles, that’s a good startle.  A cacophony?  No, the “music” of controlled explosions, capable of thrusting everything and everyone attached, forward, impolitely, on a rapid run to “red-line”, and it keeps pulling hard and delivering power while spinning fast because it is breathing right and proper and producing the power that thrills, and the only reason to shift gears is to preserve connecting rods, eager as the engine may be to rev further!

This is the addictive sound and feel that has appealed to a certain type of person since engines replaced horses, and why?  A surrogate voice for those who are otherwise quiet?  A visceral celebration of accomplishment?    Who cares.  Shift once, then again - speed quickly makes its appearance.  It appears as a loud, rushing wind and a visually striking, unnatural view of the surrounding scenery.  At some point, in the sane, it triggers a natural response - better slow down.    


He uncorked the headers, bought gasoline, dropped her in gear, tore off to the scene
Camaros and Mustangs, an old ‘55
Obediently lined-up, to get skinned alive!


Verse II (1st person)

I drove past the banner that said “Welcome race fans” took a new route, behind the grandstands
And through my chipped window, I thought I could see
Some of the racers were laughing at me

I guess rust and primer are not to their taste
But I put my bucks mister in the right place

I chugged/popped past cars that dealers had sold
Swung into a spot, next to something old

Emerging with interest from under his hood
My neighbor said two words, he said, “sounds good”

The ’55 I parked next to was “classic rodding” in its outward appearance.  The much overused “primer paint job” channeled “Two Lane Blacktop”.  The hood and front fenders a fiberglass clamshell, pinned affair.  Dice hanging from the mirror paid homage to days its driver never knew, but wished he had.  He removed them before he drove, always.

If you know how to peel the onion, secrets are revealed.  Wilwood brake calipers can be a dead giveaway. Someone needs serious stopping power - maybe.  Generally, owners who have sprung the bucks for this type gear let the calipers show off in bright red, to make a statement, and sometimes, these days, it’s just a fashion statement.  Now, expensive calipers, as eye candy, are all the rage.  What is true, however, is very few guys spend big money on brakes only to render them inglorious and seemingly common with a shot of silver paint from a rattle can, and the owner of this ’55 had done just that. 

Two things seem to be at play here.  One, he needs those heavy brakes because he’s fast, and two, hiding them fits his style.   Really, the message to be found in the silver paint, so cleverly applied to make your eyes simply slide across on their way to more interesting things, was “sleeper”.   And sleeper really means, he’s one of those guys with a score to settle - with everyone perhaps.   The list of “real parts” grew, if you knew where to look.  Something I had defacto permission to do since my rod was undergoing a similar scrutiny.  
“Stroked?”, I asked.  That’s something you can’t see from the outside. “ No”, the racer replied.  
“Hundred shot?”  (If engines have their language, so do the people who love them).   Despite the owner’s great efforts to conceal braided fuel and nitrous lines, electrical solenoids and switches, I spied his system.  The chunks of aluminum posing as ordinary spacers under his two carburetors were anything but.   “No”, was his one-word reply to my 100- shot question.  I tried again; “Your nitrous system, how much are you spraying?”  “Two hundred fifty” in two stages, he said.  That’s more like it, I thought, and I then figured, he too had budgeted well for the machine shop – if not, he was gambling in a game that if lost, would fly parts in all directions.   Based on the overall vibe of the scene, and the clean work on display, I believed his build was up to the punishment he planned.   I knew exactly what this tight-lipped guy was about, seeing someone very familiar in him as it were, and that made the “sounds good” complement I received upon my arrival all the more valuable.

The voice on the loudspeaker tells us we’re up.

Pre-staged, staged, then given the green
The line becomes blurred between man and machine

Bones become linkage
Muscle, spring
Fear, excitement

Time distorts ….
Color disappears …
Vision narrows…
Noise ---  becomes music
Speed, satisfaction

End
Damn when did waking up get so hard
I feel so dead I think I belong in a graveyard
Drowning in all of my own thoughts I need a lifeguard

I feel like nobody knows the struggle
Like trying to grab sleeping pills, ropes, and guns to juggle
These thoughts that I gotta smuggle

All until my smile cracks and crumbles
Until my very soul snaps and rumbles
Until my drunken body just   tumbles

Sitting on the edge of highways watching cars go by
Exhausted from always being the tough guy
Wondering which truck is gonna catch my eye

Don't wanna die but it's my only choice
So tired of screaming I'm losing my voice

Slitting wrists with promises bleeding
Is it just extra love I'm needing?

Maybe not then again I'm already dead
Make sure the note is read

I'm tired of being alone, by Tommrorow I'll be unknown


-Dominguez 2018
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