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Test Ting Won To Tree
By
Charles Fleischer







Rifleman decal water is to Tiny basket liners as Strained yo-yo string is to?
Dark wool glowing is to Oldest lost oddity as First genetic engine is to?
Black quail taint is to Nut curdled paint as Hemp biscuit dominoes are to?
Steam traced paper is to Lemon ash vapor as Digital ****** wig is to?
Eccentric brine mimes are to Electric silk slacks as Spark formed lava is to?
Sunchoked black hornets are to as Rescued orphan doves as Retold cat jokes are to?
Hand traced videos are to Braided rubber spines as Opal rain dancers are to?
Halogen anchor gong is to Annoying bread portraits as Soft bracelet lockers are to?
Old troll bios are to Select cherub echoes as Broken matchstick parasols are to?
Dome nine chariots are to Frayed lunar remnants as Fuming honey flasks are to?
Bluing assault operas is to Beading fluted flowers as Magnetic lawn tweezers are to?
Converted flea sponges are to Floating dog murals as Frozen Archie comics are to?
Molded road pads are to Crusty gumdrop thread as Straw ribbed pelicans are to?
Inflatable diamond vowel is to Single gender raffle as Groovy desert coffee is to?
Temporary solution radiation is to Idiotic witness mumble as Motorized marshmallow kit is to?
Panoramic utopian paranoia is to Aggravated **** silhouettes as Unhinged gun sellers are to?
Homesick ghost pajamas is to Virtuous fly fungus as Royal sandpaper gloves are to?
Gangster hayride tickets are to Deer milk Oreos as Turnip fairy maps are to?
Glue gun **** is to Nocturnal cabin mice as Cab fare corn is to?
Speckled fish nickels are to Under water bric-a-brac as Epic snakeskin paisley is to?
******* bungalow pranks are to Drowsy vapid oafs as Quantized cavern fish are to?
Raunchy snail kimono is to Coiled time dice as Smeared equator malt is to?
Metallic centaur franchise is to Transparent cheese chess as Spotted glacial remnants is to?
Sky fused pong is to Rustic mothers brattle as Granulated canister ointment is to?
Overgrown maze mule is to Mated smugglers hugging as Floating thesaurus exam is to?
Sliding coed sprinkler is to Soapy whitefish rebate as Precious lamb diaper is to?
Mushy acorn luster is to Lilac protein rings as Slapstick wrestler dialect is to?
Freaky plankton bells is to Rolling horse divorce as Morphing morphine lips are to?
Sticky razor sparkle is to Emerald muscle spasm as Glaring cat cipher is to?
Peppy unisex mustache is to Pelican fighter syndrome as Clumping night grumble is to?
Scanning paired pearls are to Ruby rubbed roaches as Satanic sailor flotsam  are to?
Glowing asteroid solder is to Ideal shark data as Failed frail doilies are to?
Numb nuts boredom is to Fantastic icy phantoms as Sporadic silk creations is to?
Crooks crow chow is to Loading spackled bonder as Gargled snowdrop blasters are to?
Outdid myself today is to Outside myself again as Outlived myself controls is to?
Venting shuttlecock upset is to Texting badminton kitten as Settler tested motels are to?
Prepare paired vents is to Prefer paid events as Pretender predicts fiction is to
Crunchy mental fender is to Catching mentor menace as Poorly seasoned lettuce is to?
Outside sidewalk inside is to Seaside outcast input as Sideways landslide victory is to?  
Compile fake password is to Compost world poo as Compose village anthem is to?
Crooked crotch blunder is to Loud crowd thunder as Divine vine finder is to?
Chucks’ wooden truck is to Bucks good luck as Sticky ducks tucked is to?  
Overhaul underway overseas is to Overturned downsized pickup as Underground onramp overloaded is to?
I’ll bite there is to Aisle byte their as Isle bight there is to?
Gnat gnawed wrist is to ***** show beans as See through putty is to?
Flapping floppy guppies are to Buzzing zipped dozers as Muddy ****** strippers are to?
Dark diagonal dialogue is to Diabolical dihedral die as Interesting circadian exposition is to?
Experimental flossing expectations are to Waxed dental traps as Permanent impermanence resolution is to?  
Outran ringside intrigue is to Sidetracked onboard boatload as Loaded firearm topside is to?
Phony ****** phone is to Chewy ego honey as Yogi Mama’s dada is to?
Nimble teardrop squiggle is to Humble cage curtains as Loyal truckstop morals are to?
Torching curled elastic is to Sonic neighbor clamor as Golden droplet integers are to?
Duplex pupil scanners are to Nacreous cloud clocks as Shrouded flute shops are to?
Lawn rocket tendrils are to Finding surreal borders as Sheep monarchs children is to?
Gloating ungloved squires are to Busting double doubters as Pushing woeful doctors are to?
Tricking snowbelt firedogs is to Panmixing blackened haywires as Unclothed shameful leaders are to?
Malicious ranch ritual is to Internal puppet bubble as Ornate underworld masquerade is to?
Rustic debonair Eskimos are to Mindless sassy elves as Gorgeous somber acrobats are to?
Learned earthy pimps are to Fearless sneaky Queens as Somber gentle vagrants are to?
Shocking horse wear is to Glossy sled fluid as Damaged chipmunk tongue is to?
Traditional agony chart is to Damp voodoo motel as Backwoods museum quote is to?
Magical cat cabin is to Dapper porpoise humor as Malicious graveyard foam is to?
Therapeutic gazelle cushion is to Stored alibi equipment as Stunning tempo light is to?
Fantastic rascal art is to Wasted prune dust as Jupiter’s ****** law is to?
Little nut razor is to Gigantic hyena shield as Hourglass pillow fever is to?
Coiled rain clouds are to Dizzy tycoon clowns as Lime eating cowards are to?
Possessive epicurean demonstrators are to Faded eavesdropping giants as Determined swanky drunks are to?
Aquatic preview pocket is to Soggy judicial topiary as Finicky hamster fabric is to?
Enlarged fruit cuff is to Obedient mumbling orchestra as Dark tenant tariff is to?
Recycled flash thermometer is to Botched temptation probe as Pet glider grid is to?
Seriously shy idols are to Costly driving perfumes as Ferryboat chapel wine is to?
Winged jalopy details are to Faithful spectral fathers as Sprinkled mint rainbows are to?
Spelling unneeded words is to Sprouting donut ***** as Blaming mellow mallrats are to?
Eroding loom keepsake is to Magnificent accordion canoe as ***** bongo fumes are to?
Souring violet ink is to Juvenile insult park as Periodic ferret envy is to?
Obedient boyfriend aroma is to Sanitized fat lozenges as Dramatic jailer garb is to?
Mysterious patrol group is to Dynamic maiden discharge as Captured hurricane ratio is to?
Lackadaisical bigot bingo is to Oblong care merchant as Expensive swamp shampoo is to?
Petite orifice worship is to Atomic barge pet as Plucked hair exhibit is to?
Elite officer wallop is to Automatic yard rake as Healing ****** glitter is to?
Needless swan costume is to Giant jungle goat as Organic picnic napkin is to?
Leaky jet steam is to Innovative fascist whistle as Enchanting idol evidence is to?
Plastic mascara seduction is to Greasy thermal ointment as Attractive muskrat crease is to?
Lucky camel pills are to White coral Torah as Eternal stage clutter is to?
Roasted oat **** is to Sloppy *** glue as Nylon table debt is to?
Steep nook catastrophe is to Empty dome damage as Pulsing breeze powder is to?
Empty sack power is to Hitched buck stroke as Red claw warning is to?
Ultra brief slogan is to Yummy lab mutant as Pathetic ball armor is to?
Nauseating fish splatter is to Obstinate ****** twitch as Strained ***** coffee is to?
Mezzanine intermission fossil is to Proven **** apathy as Golden duck shroud is to?
Civil tutors torment is to Thor’s posted theory as Yellow melon rain is to?
Immense olive raft is to Exploding kangaroo buffet as Ethereal witness index is to?  
Marching dark speeders are to Searing scribble fighters as **** tripping sinners are to?
Seeping viral angst is to Aged hermit tea as Murky bowl nibble is to?
Condensed blister guzzle is to Pink dorsal pie as Lavish speckled runt is to?
Needy insult poet is to Sedated acorn trader as Dry honey zoo is to?
Veiled trust flicker is to Deranged poser fashion as Flat sizzle tangent is to?
Purified diet spray is to Nebulous wishing target as Thrilling screen dope is to?
Majestic ribbon astronomy is to Bizarre formation sector as Rebel bell gimmick is to?
Sealed dart whisper is to Green silk draft as Cold vacuum varnish is to?
Clumsy raven power is to Insect island circus as Minted mink drapes are to?
Curved map ruler is to Tiny lethal radio as Blue fused metal is to?
Inverted laser invasion is to Damp sheep dump as Puffy gown smoke is to?
Saucy Channel blazer is to Leather goat filament as Starched locomotive hat is to?
Broken jumper leads are to Disgraced mini exorcists as Designer shamrock caulk is to?
Tweaked poachers smokes are to Assorted sulfur pathways as Collected bedlamp trickle is to?
******* bungalow pranks are to Drowsy vapid oafs as Quantized cavern fish are to?
Crawling battle worms are to Vibrating metal pedals as Mentholated matrix wax is to?
Missing meshed rafts are to Liquid rock pipes as Crinkled bean bikinis are to?
Tithing **** joggers are to Perforated buck fronds as Leather zither picks are to?
Fearing truthful cowards is to Rambling preachers mumble as Gazebo ambulance gasoline is to?
Shelving elder’s whiskers is to Poaching goalies pesto as Radical tricycle angst is to?
Mucky gunboat polymer is to Primeval maypole flameout as Cathedral greenhouse intercom is to?
Diaphanous safety prize is to Unleashed saucer lion as Dorky blonde ropewalker is to?
Tapered spring meter is to Silver silo mythology as Misguided judges medallions are to?
Alligator x-ray money is to Cherry unicorn water as Coyote cactus toy is to?
Cowardly dorm scrooge is to Atomized pewter script as Flattened spore smoothies are to?
Trash can yodel is to Flashing wired spam as Exploding chocolate pudding is to?
Sonar blasted bushings are to Threading ruined wheels as Forty shifting boxes are to?
Tiny balloon rebellion is to Softened square cleanser as Iconic soul sucker is to?
Harmony night light is to Spanish nitrogen desire as Squirrel cavern iodine is to?

Lazy winter secret is to Slow airport widget as Silly mustard binder is to?
Elephants raising raisins are to Microscopic lamb planet as Purple hay puppets are to?
Caribou venom vaccine is to Electronic lemonade choir as Demonic princess massage is to?
Beet coated bridge is to Fattened needle point as Mylar monkey spine is to?
Ashy ink dust is to Youngest rabbi planet as Orange cartoon geometry is to?
Cold green chalk is to Cobalt ladder farce as ***** river filters are to?
Sublime sheep master is to Sleeping past rapture as Subliminal bliss jelly is to?
Ocean crust slippers are to Twigged germ radar as Popping sharpie scope is to?
Zen wrapped beep is to Oak foamed code as Wicked flashing sizzle is to?
Dew eyed sleigh is to Say I do as Act as me is to?
Humpback on hammock is to Ham hocking hummer as Hunchback with knapsack is to?
Corned flag jelly is to Draped wing chewers as Tripping swan acid is to?
Futuristic Rembrandt chant is to Almond likened meadows as Asian timber blue is to?
Nap in sack is to Flap on Jack as Ducks dig crack is to?
Flowing flavored lava is to Gleaming optic layers as Enhanced goose gibberish is to?      
Flag tied pajamas are to Saline checker choir as Speed reading quotas is to?
Whipped spam spasms are to Misted shaman scripture as Testing pitched bells is to?
Cave aged eggs are to Crowded tiger cages as ****** wagon pegs are to?
Pigeon towed car is to a Man toad art as Wolf whisker wish is to?
Second hand clothes are to Minute hand gestures as Final hour prayer is to?
Slick wicked shavers are to Tricky watch boxes as Sprouting pine tattoos are to?
Waxed stick ravens are to Match stick foxes as Narrowed thermal towers are to?
Ice cave rice is to Laced face lice as Gourmet pet **** is to?
Diamond lane anniversary is to Space age appropriate as Time travel agency is to?
Lime bark violin is to Lemon twig guitar as Lunar sky waffles are to?
Fake rat **** is to Smart cake batter as Rugged fur tax is to?
Tarred raft fluff is to Flaked rafter dust as Lined liquor flask is to?
Flakes will fall is to Take Bills call as Broken maze compass is to?
First faked voter is to Entombed cartoon honey as Smallest aching smurf is to?
Fancy bared ******* are to Flaky fairy treats as Kings amp filter is to?
Bone window folio is to Whittled fake pillow as Little fitted jackets are to?
Nine nuts brittle is to Ate pear pie as Six packed poppers are to?
Incandescent playground pencil is to Elastic hand worm as Perfumed piano ink is to?
Opal shifting anode is to a Windup lion decoy as Pale paisley trolley is to?
Stacked black boxes are to Old packed tracks as a Throwing micron hammers is to?
Apricot bark furnace is to Merry Orchid Choir as an Ivory rinsing funnel is to?  
Narcotic honey nuts are to Slick flag toffees as Silk fig sugar is to?
Orange coin raisins are to Low note candies as Smelling balled roses is to?
Pocket packed monotints are to Tragic ladder hayracks as Ravishing speed traders are to?
Crayon spider resin is to Coral squirrel forceps as Wolf tumbled loaf is to?  
Silver wheat flies are to Width shifting wheels as Golden blister blankets are to?
Really tiny hippopotamus is to Masked fat podiatrist as a Sad sack psychiatrist is to?
Miniature Mesopotamian monuments are to Apple minted elephants as Raising wise ravens is to?
Lathered nymph nacre is to Sonic ion constellations as Concealed iron craft is to?  
Epic gene toy is to Ladies bubble sled as Jagged data bowl is to?
Bugged dagger bag is to Pop sliced meld as Atom bending moonlight to?  
Rural madam’s deed is to Dyed dew dipper as Eight sprayed dukes are to?
Jiffy grand puffer is to Floating altar myth as Vintage dark mirth is to?
Undercover overnight underwear is to Overpaid undertaker overdosing as Overheard understudy freebasing is to?

Black grape crackle is to Red cactus ruffle as Installing padded pets are to?
Snide snobs sniffing are to Sneaky snails snoring as Snared snipes sneezing are to?
Exploring explosive exits is to Explaining expansive exports as Expecting expert exchange is to?
Shrewd logic ledger is to Puppets dropping cupcakes as Placated topaz octopi are to?
Door roof tools are to Cool wool boots as Wood cooked root is to?
Bright fight light is to Night flight fright as Mites bite site is to?
Floor flood fluid is to Wooden door Druid as Nasty **** broom is to?
Accurate police photography is to Intelligent microbe geography as Condensed aerosol biography is to?
Cowardly cowboy grime is to Corpulent corporate crime as Bosnian dwarf necromancer is to?
Jell-O clearing shaker is to Brillo cleaning shiner as Cheerios bowling shields are to?
Mumbled mindless hokey is to Fumbled found money as Humming kinder bunny is to?
Daisy’s clock setter is to Lilly’s boxer toxin as Poodles rose paddle is to?
Watch Bozo Copernicus is to Hire Clarabelle Newton as Find ***-wee Einstein is to?
Amethyst thistle whistles is to Lapis pistol whip as Diamond bomb scar is to?
Dandelion seahorse rescue is to Crabapple dogwood farm as Faux foxglove lover is to?    
Optical poppy stopper is to Polar halo lens as Day-Glo rainbow sticker is to?
Savanna leopard spotted is to Eskimo lassos kisses as Alligator lemonade standard is to?
Bill of Rights is to Will of left as Thrill of night is to?
Baptize floozies quickly is to Useless outsized nozzles as Puzzled wizard wanders is to?        
Chaps wearing chaps are to Chaps contesting contests as Consoling concealed consoles is to?
Quiet squirming squirrels are to Aeon beauty queens as Queasy greasy luaus is to?
Knew new gnu is to Sense scents cents as We’ll wheal wheel is to?
Blazing zingers ringing are to Wheezing singers flinging as Freezing finger number are to?
Lamb tomb jogger is to Dumb numb **** as Thumbed crumb bug is to?

Blue accordion casket is to Jaded scholar ***** as German mushroom circus is to?
President George Flintstone is to Funny Fred Washington as Abraham Jetson’s dog is to?
Google Desmond Tutu is to Kalamazoo Zoo Park as Zodiac actors Guru is to?
Swamp cradled whisperer is to Cherished drawbridge cello as Bludgeoned prankster outlaws are to?
Dukes pink mittens are to Smeared nest carava
Jessica Hanna Jun 2020
These drapes are heavy built
The sunlight will happily bounce off of their light exterior
There is no need to look beyond the drapes
The drapes that prove to be fatal
Wrapped around each ignorant mind

Now bare we stand strong
Facing the sun we see nothing of what we thought

Hijabs fall to the floor
Kangas ripped
Rebozos torn and thrown

The blood spilt is red
Unable to distinguish the blood by race
Many know that pale skin is often stained red

The Drapes are a comfort
Some never want to seek further
Those who do find the truth

The ashes of the fallen stick to their feet
The rubble created by power hungry individuals
Are hot to the touch

“I am an American citizen.”
“I cant breathe.”
“I don’t have a gun. Stop shooting.”

The drapes are now being recognized and torn down
We stand together
Fighting for basic human rights

We will walk the movement
Even at our lowest point we will still stand tall
And never seek comfort in the drapes again
in the foyer of midnight
bleeding into the lucid gallery of dreams,
a cluster of curious voyeurs
wait impatiently for the floodgates to open

they shuffle in the misty air
swirling through the room
dimly lit
like a theater in session
feasting the hungry eyes of patrons
with gore du jour

blood red drapes ascend
as my guests are seated
in the dark still of night

a staccato drum roll shatters the silence
signaling the intro to...

scene I

a recurring theme of
the one-eyed carpenter
hammering a nail into my coffin

tap...
tap...
tap...

"It won't be much longer now, sir pablo," he snaps
between gaps of rotting yellow teeth

"I'll save the best nails for the house-warming...."

what a charmer.....I muse....hugging my pillow tighter

scene II

a gang of my favorite seafood - giant king ***** -
is chasing me
down flatbush avenue in brooklyn;
they are brandishing broken bottles, bricks and machetes,
chanting, "payback is a biyaaatch.......payback is a biyaaatch!"

my peeps in the streets do nothing
to save me from the crustacean beat down;
they stop and stare and clown
as the killer ***** corner me downtown
in a cul-de-sac...

with *****-f$#k!n friends like that....I cuss...
huffing and puffing between the sheets

scene III

the fat nurse with a cataract in her left eye
bangs on the door to my small private room
in the psych ward at byberry

"It's time for your meds pablo.....make sure you're decent now....
I'm coming in...."

I'm curled up naked like a fetus
in the far corner
teeth, hands and feet shaking
under the nervous spells
of mania and parkinson's

she jams a long needle into my back
and fills me up with anti-psychotic cocktail
my crack for the week

she leaves and locks the door

I roll on the floor
it's moving
shaking up and down
there is a quake in my head
It's a 9
the bed's coming to get me
I'm losing my mind
there's a fat lady sitting on my spine
I can't move
she has a gun
stuck between my eyes
It's loaded
a 357 magnum
she has a cataract in hers
It's cocked
mine gets bigger

she pulls  the trigger....

ringgggggggg!

my alarm goes off.....it's 6:00 am

I yawn.....stretch......roll out of bed

wiping the cold from my eye...


blood red drapes descend


~ the end ~

~ P
Akemi Oct 2013
Chapter 1

There was a woman. The cost to love her was your life. No other payment but a sending off, a revolver cocked to your temple’s side.
There was no spite in your death, just business.
Hell of a business to run.

I was protecting someone. Never been one to stick around, but this drag had carried for the past year. That gang-owned joint lay but two doors and a cold alley away. Popular place, maybe not the classiest but it had its patrons. Packed with your essentials: pool tables, dirt-licked walls and chairs, mean folk mixed in with the nice. Old fashioned joint with a history. You could almost feel it when you walked in. That small pressure when it’s about to rain? Felt like that had been building up for a decade there.
Some Madonna owned it. Names elude me, but she was just another front; as was the barkeep, the hired bouncers and those mean-eyed slingers that spoke loud in company, silent alone. Heh, almost like an old-fashioned saloon. Who the hell am I in this tale of cowboys and crooks?
I was holed up in that apartment block for the winter. Stiff drapes covering a stiff cold that seeped through the cracks anyway. Cold chills to wake to, and the whiskey don’t warm a **** thing. Maybe it was the ache of a past flame that led me to her. That old touch had languished and misted away in the night of some long dead memory, leaving an old kiss from a young lover on my shivering body. It grew faint with every year’s passing. I struggle to remember this keepsake.
Every night.
I was a no name protector protecting a no name ghost of a man. Yeah we knew each other. I’m no stranger to keep past talking terms . . . but, hell if I remember his name, how we got into this **** situation and why. Mind’s a little off. Been like that for years.

It was a stumble through the wrong door at the wrong time. Some spiteful voices in the back of the joint or the back of my mind telling me I’m headed for hell and ain’t coming back. See, every day is a crossroad, and I happened upon the worst one yet.
I remember that flaking paint; grime-covered white on a moulding door **** near off its hinges. That suited me, and I hated it. Maybe I grew sick of wandering the same way and turned my life on its spinning head. Spun me all the ways I couldn’t face. Saw a glimmer that fate had readied for me. Don’t think I’ve looked at anything with such eyes since; nor have they looked back at me.
The room was a cramped, dilapidated hellhole like every other room, but with her laying on that bed of hers . . . she was the only clean thing in the whole of this cursed city. Save, she wasn’t clean. No such thing exists; no such thing as clean since your adolescent innocence, and even that went up in flames. Hell, in a city like this I wouldn’t be surprised if the skeletons we kept so tightly locked in our closets outnumbered us ten to one.
Should have remembered that when I saw her, but my mind lay a blank canvas and I couldn’t help but fill it with all the details of this pretty bird. Even those that weren’t there.
No Name yanked me out quick. Never seen him so pale, ghosting further and further from a human being. He’d been running so long I don’t think he even knew what he was running from anymore. His past? Some cop chase from years back, ending with blood stains and shaky hands? A dead kid in the arms of a suicidal wife? Maybe he’s running from himself. Fear in the capacity we contain, and fear in the ways we unleash it around loved ones. I don’t blame him for running. If I was a worse man I’d run from him as well.
Now No Name has it all figured out, even if he won’t let on; and that bird in there ain’t part of the plan. Cash cash, first train out to some no name city for this no name man. In this together, he keeps repeating, like some broke down record player that only plays one song. Well I guess we share more similarities than I’d like to think so.

One night, about a month after settling in that old apartment, I hear raised voices. Not uncommon, but something about this still night woke some fear inside me. A fear I needed to meet with my eyes, a score to settle with myself. Sounded like some ******* outside was hoping to bring down the sky with volume alone. No type of gentleman, just a no ***** kid who doesn’t know the difference between command and screaming like a babe.
One gets you respect. Now, the other. . . .
I open those stiff drapes with stiffer fingers. Brush that layer of frozen breath and mist to find some mid-twenty good for nothing punk holding a struggling figure. The apartment ain’t exactly ground floor but even up here I can spot the difference between a gent and a sally. Some broad was in trouble.
Grab that six shooter, old man. The holster smooth from years of wear, small frays on the weathered jacket rubbing against goose-pricked skin. Comfort clothing that never really brings comfort. Not anymore. Guess I’m as bad as No Name. I’m just repeating routine.
Out the hall, no doors left in this apartment block. Stolen, broken, ain’t exactly your family fun lifestyle we’re living. No Name’s holed up in this fortress of upturned furniture and dresser-barred doorways. Lights flicker from between the cracks. The devil ain’t gonna bother with the door, I tell him. He doesn’t reply. Maybe he’s a religious man with one too many sins above his head.
There’s another yell and I feel my blood rise, hairs picking up static, a storm brewing inside that clenched stomach of mine. Take a tumble down the stairs in my haste. **** crooked balsa wood. Those stairs are gonna end me one day, I swear.
Ground floor. I slam that kitchen door and it cracks against the brick wall outside. ****. No Name’s gonna burst an artery. Call out for that ******* punk but he’s already eyeing me up. Only a few steps away and I can see the white in his eyes. No . . . those are his pupils. Wide, all cloud-like, he’s ******* dusted up. . . . Almost like looking into the past. Thrice-cursed ****. I’m in trouble.
This ain’t some lover’s quarrel, some twisted ****’s thought of a good way to end the night. This is a dusthead addict and I’m out of my league. His mid-snarl distorts and stretches past his cheeks and that devil grin sends an electric jolt from the wires of my brain to my heart.
This six shooter is as good as a pea gun against a Smiley.
He’s spouting some glossolalia drifts, layering it like an abominable duet. The coked-up boy in me yearns to understand again, but stiff joints and washed-out dreams have made me a cynic. Ain’t no beauty when you’re tearing things apart to see it. ******* Smiley’s on the edge and he’s ready to pounce right off. If that broad’s sobbing didn’t **** at those heart strings of mine I’d be running for my ******* life.
I lift that pea shooter and aim it straight at that devil smile.
He howls. Glass shatters from above. Some black monstrous thing comes speeding at me. I leap through that apartment doorway in time to see ******* Smiley consumed by it. All sharp, all solid that beast slams into Smiley, screaming loud enough to wake this dead city twice over. Smiley thrashes, he splays out to the ground, the beast’s seared flesh erupting in front of me. A piece slices past my cheek and I’m on the ground in tears. I hear No Name scream an incomprehensible curse above. I’m bawling now. Through my tears I spot that chunk of flesh. ******* balsa wood. Thrice-cursed balsa wood.
No Name had thrown a piano out that barricaded window of his. Tears of pure comedy, that’s what left my face. A Smiley taken out by No Name, I’ll never live this down. His mangled body lies under polished wood. Someone’s yearly worth gone in a second of frantic panic, reduced to twisted wires and cracked ivory. To see something so beautiful destroyed in seconds makes me wonder if the Smiley had gotten the better of us after all.
That broad’s in shock. Splinters covered every inch of ground save that around her; looked like a comet, trailing emptiness behind.  Should have noticed it then that something wasn’t right with that scene. Perfectly unscathed beauty sitting there with not a single scratch nor splinter on her, but I was too **** amazed I was alive. Knelt close to her and caught a whiff of some exotic scent on her skin. Some flower. Saw her face and it added another colour to that filling canvas of mine. This pretty bird from the joint. The one men died for. At least No Name had saved one life worth saving, funny it happened to be the one who could take yours in a night.
Names elude me, but the way I remember her . . . the way I remember her is Blossom, for when she came into my life she gave colours to my black and white memory, colours I didn’t know existed, and my black and white morals took a turn down some dawning grey-blurred alley.
So I’m a ******* gentleman and I walk Blossom home while No Name shifts furniture above us. Scrapes of hard wood against wood, filling that void in his once impenetrable bastion. I told you No Name’s got it all planned out already. Guess I’m just here for the ride.
Welcome to the paranormal neo-noir gangster world of Devil Smiles.
Poppy Taylor Jan 2014
I remember how as a child
we would draw the drapes
in respect of the person
who was being buried that day.

Playing in the street was forbidden
as in black overcoat we were forced
to dress her -
until all the mourners had prayed up their
pity - before
making their way back home again,
full of tea, and cheap shop bought, cake.

How still today
I fear the sight of those windows
with their drapes pulled and clinging
stealing the light, from my vision.
Probing into the recesses; of

of my lost, childhoods rejection.

Poppy January 2014 ~**~
Reflections on death from my childhood.
Yara Jul 2014
Dark drapes fall on both sides

Heavy with the drought of sleepless nights

When the moon shone but did not shine

Through the windows that are stained to this day

I'd try rubbing the grit away

But the grains of sand have found their home

As have the lead in my heavy heart.
The windows are eyes
The drapes are the lids.
Figure out the rest.
JP Mantler Dec 2013
Drapes of madness cover the sky
As fiends run and cower to hide
Nevertheless they prey on the young
As the young go to sleep

When the light breaks through the village womb
The delirium burrows to sleep
Oil paintings of bride and groom
Made for fiends to keep

Friends of fiends mope and mope
Lamenting in fear; they cope and cope
Hence their gentle persistence
To shy away their evil

Sky shifts from orange vigor to madness
The fangs of loved ones feed off one another
Fiends run and cower to their only Mistress
Deep within the sappy dark cypress

When their bodies frolic with need
The pale eyes of love dance and feed
Luminous they are in front of black cloth
Draping the beautiful sky
dj Mar 2012
With those acid wash jeans
With that full sleeve of twirling black ink
With the drapes of long hair
I thought that we could leave the xplosion-club
After the confection of colognes
After the South African red wine
After the pounding music all night
Something **** about
A statue that can move
It's eyes
Something **** about
A man that thinks
Openly

We took the subway back to my apartment
You picked up a pebble and tossed it
I was quieter now
Would I let him inside? I have to at this point it seems
A charming prince
is a charming prince

I open the door.
Nothing bad happens, as I expect
I am a little paranoid I don't know why
(The club flashes back)
The door closes without its usual creek,
And we're inside.
Me and the charmer; I wonder, was he once a frog?
I have a funny feeling that I think came from the wine
Am I trashed or
Does he have horns?
Slimy toadskin, red eyes, 1000 inches of claws
Suddenly
Are upon me, Oh my God!
I tell it to leave mE ALONE,
It doesn't listen to me.

Every time I try to slip out of it's grip
I slide into a claw
Gushing this stuff from the movies,
It covered the bed and then the floor,
It probably leaked out from under the apartment door.

My cellphone rings in my pants pocket
I can't reach it because by then this grendel thing had broken me
Into two legs, a torso, two arms
And a decapitated head
While it eats my right lung, my left hand tries to desperately crawl away
He pokes it with a great fork; no escaping crums
The awful amphibian finishes and leaves forever.
He's never coming back
A winner-and-loser kind of ***, I guess.
I know that Grendel is typically a monster imagined as a hairy beast. But I wanted to name my morphing amphibian Grendel.
B M Clark May 2014
Her skin is pale
A wash of gentle light
Her hair silver
Glittering with starlight
The girl born of moon and star

Her eyes piercing blue
As the blanket of sky
Her face upturned
All the relaxed beauty of night
The girl shimmering with light and dust

The moonlight drapes over her
Clothing her in shimmering silver light
She dances with glittering grace
As the the dust of stars trails behind
The moonlight girl born for night

When god created this creature
He used his most precious gifts
Glittering stars, shimmering moonlight
And all the dreams of a sleeping world
Bring forth the daughter of night

Nyx herself would envy this girl
God saw the hearts of men break
Just her sight shattered them
Sympathy moved the mighty God
The silvery girl of the stars

God talked to his daughter of night
She agreed to leave this world
Some nights tinkling laughter echoes
From the distant world in the sky
The world of Moonlight Girl.
01/04/2010
10th Grade
15 years old
Redshift Feb 2014
i wonder today
as i walk down the street
if someone
will yell at me.

something like
"does the carpet match the drapes?"
"want a ride?"
"nice ***"
"you're just my size"
"hey ginger"

red in the head
good in bed
they say

i am glad the pictures here are in black and white.
Terry O'Leary Jul 2015
The dawn unfolds beyond my fractured windowpane
and breezes tease while drapes, like serpents, slip aside
exposing worlds that race and run aground, insane,
displaying scenes obscene that savants strive to mask and hide.

Outside, the streets are stark (last night they seemed so cruel
when demons danced as lanterns 'lumed the lynching tree -
its shadow shuddered, lurking in my vestibule -
within the night, I sense these things I sometimes cannot see).

Perdu in darkened doorways (those which watch the ones that weep)
men hide their shame in crevices in search of cloaked relief.
The ladies of the evening leave (their time to sleep!)
the alleyways, retaining bitter tastes of untold grief.

Soon drifters (distraught dregs that stray from street to street)
abandon benches, squat on curbstones some call home,
appeal to strangers for a coin or simple bite to eat -
refused… gaze down… left empty-handed in the morning gloam.

Observe with me, beyond my fractured windowpane,
the boy with crooked smile - the one who's seen the  beast -
with tears, he stoops and clasps the cross while wiping off the stain -
the abbey door along the lane conceals a pious priest.

While at the mall, Mike sees some cigs, and stealth'ly steals a pack;
the Man, observing, thinks ‘Hey Boy, this caper calls for blood’,
takes aim, then shoots the fated stripling eight times in the back.
Come, mourn for Mike and brother Justice, facedown in the mud.

Fatigued and bored, some kids harass the alley now -
to pass the time, Joe smokes a joint and Lizzy snorts a line;
computer games (which quake with doom) can help somehow,
so Eric plays with Dylan on the road to Columbine.

The shanty towns have hunkered down as if in mortal sport
while broken bodies' shattered bones repose supine,
and mamas (now bereft of child) in anguished pain contort,
their eyes drip drops of wrath which wither on a twisted vine.

Now Mr Baxter, private bankster (cruising down the road,
pursuing profit pushers, waving magic mushroom wands),
adores addiction to the bailout (coffers overflowed)
and jests with all the junkies, while he's dealing with the bonds.

Marauders man the marketplace (with billions guaranteed)  
while kids with swollen bellies beg neath hollow sunken eyes,
and (cut to naught) the down-and-out (like trodden beet roots) bleed.
Life's carousel invites us all, though few can ring the prize.

A washerwoman, timeworn, totters from the tram -
she shuffles to her hovel on a lonesome distant hill,
despondent, shuts the shutters, downs her final dram -
a magpie quickly picks at crumbs forsaken on the sill.

Jihadist and Crusader warders faithfully guard the gates,
behead impious infidels, else burn them at the stake
(yes, God incites each side for good, the other side He hates),
with saintly satisfaction gained provoking pagan ache.

The watchers pry behind our fractured windowpanes
inspect us all, tear down the walls of privacy
controlling every point of view opinion entertains,
forbidding thoughts one mustn't think, with which they don’t agree.

Come, cast a furtive glance… there's something in the far…
from towns to dunes in deserts dry, the welkin belches sudden death
by dint of soulless drones that stalk beneath a straying star
erasing life in random ways in freedom’s final breath.

But closer lies an island, where the keepers keep the wards.
No sense, no charges nor defense - a verdict? Yes! … grotesque -
the guiltless gush confessions, born and bred on waterboards.
Impartial trials? A travesty instead, indeed quite Kafkaesque.

Now dusk draws near beyond my fractured windowpane
while mankind drowns like burnt-out suns in fading lurid light;
and scarlet clots of grim deceit and ebon beads of bane
flow, deified, within the rotting corpse of human night.
Tammy M Darby Mar 2014
I closed the scarlet drapes      
Of my black and blue life
Cloaked carefully
Invisible
From prying eyes
Barred the stain glass windows
Of a wandering soul lost
The bitterness of promise
Upon thin red lips

Glancing back into the past
Coaxing bruised memories from my mind
Watching them slide from my hands
Tiny globes of affection’s pain
Micro drops of burning sand
Of sadness timeless solitary face
Lonely kiss of the fates
Was of my cold breath comprised

On the splintered altar
Love was with acceptance
Sacrificed
Trembling broken heart
Disappearing into the night
For eternity entombed was my desire
I closed the scarlet drapes of my life



This poem is copyrighted and stored in author base. All material subject to Copyright Infringement laws
Section 512(c)(3) of the U.S. Copyright
Act, 17 U.S.C. S512(c)(3), Tammy M. Darby  March 27, 2014
A window flung open with drapes barging into the room,
The sun's smug shine tells my toes that the rest of the world is awake,
And so my eyes make their first journey into today's forever.
© 2012  J.J.W. Coyle
“I may be grown up but I’m only seventeen.”
The faded blue chairs were in rows, as could be expected. The building was old and the air was littered with dust; just like you would expect. The light shimmied through the draperies and tapestries and slithered across the floor in tiny slits that cut the room into pieces. The dark worn floors boasted years of scuffs and scratches. They were no longer mahogany for they were nearly black with age and dirt. The whole place was frozen in time. Even the air was reminiscent of years gone by. When you walked in you could expect to find memories nestled in corners or peeping out from one of the many books strewn around. The place breathed nostalgic fumes. Some might have called it “stale,” but many others would prefer to call it “alluring” or “curious.”

This was not her case. The door ****** the life out of the place as it slammed shut. The reverberations could be felt throughout the entire structure. Her anger fueled her along at a violent pace, sending chills up the drapes and swirling the dust into tornadoes of chaos. The floorboards rumbled and squealed in sheer terror under her feet. If you were here you would likely have tread softly and listened carefully just because you hoped the place was talking to you. But since this is her story and not yours, that is not the case.
She threw her body into the nearest chair and the force almost sent her backwards. The girl and the chair hung in time for a single moment, teetering on the edge of balance, but nothing happened. She kicked her feet up on to the chair in front of her out of utter disrespect.

Each breath that she blew carried venomous thought. Every air molecule expelled from her nose was laced with despise until it fell to the floor, devoid of life. You could feel the place shuddering with every breath. Or maybe she was shuddering. But it wasn’t important.
The girl let one lonesome anguished tear roll off her face, but since she was too strong for crying, she ****** her body out of the chair with every ounce of hatred she had inside. In one swift motion she swathed her face with her shirt to obscure and erase the tear. She stood there, filtering the air through her shirt, refusing to acknowledge everything the place had to offer. She dropped the weight of her head into her palms and bit her lip against the pain. She pulled her face back only to check the shirt. She knew it would be stained. She knew because every other time before it had been stained. She listened for a moment before she glided across the floor toward the nearest window.
When she finally came to a moment of rest, the place sighed in relief. The dust rested and the floorboards managed to quiet themselves. The drapes relaxed and everything paused again, settling back into a time of long ago. The place embraced her like the wind embraces a leaf. It helped her along gently as she was carried away.

Not wanting to be discovered, and not wanting to overstay her welcome, the girl carefully hid her soul behind the heaviest drape and emptily marched towards the door. She traced her finger along the scorch marks that marred the wood. The scars ran deep, evidencing a strong fire that had ravaged the place years before. The door oozed sympathy as the young girl shared her pain. Her heartbeat pounded out her sadness and resounded through the door and back to her. She clutched the **** in her hand and pushed it open. She slid through to the outside. She did not look over her shoulder. She did not carry a glimpse of hope within her. The flame in her heart was extinguished with the closing click of the door. She was outside. She watched as the place got smaller as she walked away.

His name was Devlin. “Dev” for short. It could’ve been “Devil.” It should have been “Devil.” He was the one who called the shots. This was his game; his rules. She was just a player who could be benched at any minute; suspended from the league in the blink of an eye. He knew the world. He had been learning it for years. As if the world was something that could be learned; that could be acquired. He missed the most important lesson for he never learned how to love. He had mastered affection and words spilled off his lips like honey. But love was not yet something he had come to possess.

Regardless of his material possessions, Dev knew he was missing something. He didn’t know what it was or how it could be acquired, or if it could be acquired. He only knew that the gaping black hole inside him was consuming him. There was no fulfilling this insatiable hunger. There seemed to be no solution. Only temporary fixes could easy the longing but with every dose the hole grew deeper.

           She too, knew that beneath his smile there was blackness. Not emptiness. Just blackness. There was no value, no gradation. No. There was nothing to hold on to, nothing to hope for. She would have enough black to cover the entire world if she had wanted to paint. But she was honestly looking to survive.


                Time had gone by, but only by the measure of light. Time had not elapsed to heal her wounds. She had covered miles on the feet of one thought. She had traversed only into one idea during her journey and yet she had already reached her destination. It was easy to fall to your subconscious when your body was tattered. When she stepped through the threshold she almost imagined the place. But she stopped herself because she didn’t want to take the chance of contaminating it.

                Her eyes were closing and the soft carpet looking appealing in all its graying and deterioration. The couch and bed looked inviting but that was suicide. She was fighting the urge. She had too. She had tried to purge her mind but one insignificant monstrous thought plagued her. “Don’t go to sleep until I get back.” Her eyes lingered closed for a moment. How beautiful and welcoming this blackness was. It was gentle and comforting. Her eyes jumped open. How long had they been closed? Surely no more than a few minutes. Fate laughed in her face once again. “I told you: Don’t get to sleep until I get back.”
                The first one was the most painful. Even though her eyes were blurred from pain she could still see the look in his eyes. She had to look. The simple thought of closing her eyes would earn her several more. She clutched the threadbare carpet with all the dignity she could muster and stood like a soldier before a firing squad. Every wince squeezed the tears in her eyes closer and closer to escape, but she held on through the miserable pain. It wasn’t even his hands that hurt anymore. No, it was the iron, or the bat, or even the brick that hurt. When it was his hands, he sympathized with the contortions of her body. He felt her pain. When it was some other object, there was distance between them. Six, five, four, three, two… She could time the blows. When he wasn’t so angry they came faster, just to put the girl in her place. When he was enraged, they came slower. Each hit was followed by an explanation or justification. “You have to learn the hard way.” or “How dare you get blood on your clothes?” The indignation in his voice made her sick. “Don’t look at me like that!” “I love you.” Over time she had learned to smile over time. To lessen the pain.

                …Her face was burning. Every fiber in her body wrenched with pain. Every breath brought tears to her eyes. The shaking was uncontrollable. She never should
have fallen asleep…

                You see on the inside he was just a child who never knew love. But that was her job. To love him. He was one of those “monsters,” or rather a vortex, something to be awed and feared. A display of powerful destruction. But that was the point. He was ******* up everything good while furthering his own self-destruction. He would eventually collapse in on himself. It was inevitable. It was not a matter of time. It was not some probability that fate would determine. It was not plausible to think, no matter what length of time you were thinking for, that time could, and would, heal all wounds. This was not something that would fade into the background and blend into a dull gray. This was not something that could be fixed by a miracle of God. There was no twelve step program with guaranteed results. The only thing that could happen was the elimination of time. If this happened, then there could be change.  


                She had figured it out some time ago. A long while back before she knew the place. The only answer was destruction. You might even call it ******. But since it involved no bloodshed or munitions or hatred, it seemed to be a good idea. Even the victim was ultimately willing to go through with it. The only factor stopping the girl was love. Her love for him. She did love him. She truly and justly loved him. She loved everything about him. She loved him for chaos and instability. The only solution was to destroy time. Without time, there is no way to measure. There is no structure. There are no rules. The only structure is what you make in your mind. That was the easiest way to escape, the easiest way to ignore the pain, to ignore the love.        


                  However much she thought about it, she never thought about it enough. The hours she spent on the floor in utter stillness were useless. When her breath was shallow enough, she nearly died. Her shirt was stained with blood. It was severed from her hip to her elbow. Her face was swollen purple and blue. Four of her ribs were shattered. Her left ankle was swollen. Her eyes were sealed shut by dried tears. Her lips were pale and chapped. She could not breathe out of her nose. It was filled with blood. Her pants were a rolled in a crumpled ****** mess several feet away from her. Her legs were patched with bruises. Her fingernails had blood under them.


This was love.


Eventually. Not relative to time. Not relative to the beating, but relative to her. She crawled over to her pants and began to restore her dignity until a foot crashed down upon her hand, jarring her body into a fetal position on the floor. She forced her eyes to stare at her hand turning from pink to white to purple. She hung her head in shame and hoped for mercy or forgiveness. The crushing weight of the foot began to ease the slightest bit. “You didn’t learn. You never do.” She stood perfectly still, waiting. The foot lifted. He pulled her to her feet and bestowed a kiss upon her forehead. “That’s why I am here: To teach you.” He took the crumpled pants from the floor and removed her bloodied shirt. Then with **** of his head he motioned to the floor. “You will learn the meaning of humble today.” She lay back down and tried to glean warmth from the carpet. She was cold. Desperately cold.
Cristin H Aug 2014
My lips were still parted

as I walked heavy hearted
dragging my feet
like darkness,
across a dimly lit street.

I stopped 4 times.

Four times
between the security gates
and the bed
your scent still slept in.

1
You turned to walk away.
I couldn't breathe,
like my lungs had learned
your leaving.

I begged you to turn around,
in whispers,
through heaving.

I wondered if they had run me through
the x ray machine,

the way they did the rest of your baggage,

would they have been able to see it break me.

The rungs of my ribs
collapsing
under each step we took apart.

my heart sinking in my chest,
like treasure.

My hands clenched around each other
if not out of loneliness,
than in prayer
for you,
for yours.

(Walk)

2
I didn't know where I was going
at first,
I thought my moving, madness.
See?
You wouldn't really go.


I didn't make it to the elevator.

Nothing about me in that moment,
could fit into a box
I couldn't be brought down any further
I couldn't watch the doors close
on the only forever I ever had.

Too much symbolism will get to you like that.

The way I see you in
clocks and calendars,
still clinging to a countdown
your watch would stop short of.

I can still hear mine tick.

The way I smell you in
cocoa butter and ocean mist,
our love belonged on a beach
but swam too far from shore.

The way I taste you in
red wine and cigarettes,
I was drunk on your stare,
But you know those things will **** you.

The way I feel you in
poetry and panic,
praying into my palms
until my body felt holy.

Sometimes I write to your God.

(Take the stairs)

3
I'm outside.
The air is lit like a cigarette.
My body,
frayed
like a fuse.

Im bursting at the seems
of a skin that has never quite fit me.
Pounding on the doors of a mind
who can't remember
why?

I recalled every moment
you held forever in your eyelids,
then blinked.
When suddenly it hit me,
what if this time you really meant
goodbye?

I was trapped in wide open space.
Like the ones between my fingers.
like the one growing in my stomach,
like the one on the other side of the bed.

I guess I should have mentioned,
It would **** me if you left.

(walk)

4
I didn't leave a note this time.

But I promise
I had a million words to say to you,

I typed them up,
I wrote them down.
Watching each one
rise at my fingertips
and fall at your feet.

The way I did.

You spoke like family.
You felt like the pages
of my favorite book
when I ran my fingers up your spine.

I kept every note I wrote,
this time.

I couldn't hide another word
in the soft folds of your suitcase.

Secrets never travel well.

(Shhh)

I touched the door you'd touched before me.

Empty rooms are like a boxing ring,
My back was against the ropes
while my eyes fell to the drapes
tracking take-offs like ticket sales.

We packed the house.
Our home.

As time huffed and puffed
and blew the whole thing
down.

I stopped four times.

Each time I'd turn back
but when I started,
I'd remember the last time you left
while I watched, heavy hearted.
My lips were still parted.

Our lips were still parted.
There's a candle burning nightly
In the window, on the right
The house has long been empty
But, the candle's there each night
The house in old and ancient
I'm sure it has tales it needs to tell
Like, why the candle's burning
And why the house won't sell

The candle shows up daily
As soon as dusk begins to fall
The drapes are drawn so closely
In each room along the hall
But, in that lonely window
Burns a candle all can see
It's been burning there each evening
Since nineteen forty three

They say the house is haunted
After all, the candle is a clue
Someone lights it nightly
The question asked is who?
The house has been abandoned
No one lives there any more
They say the last survivor
Left in nineteen forty four

The story is as follows
If I get my rumours straight
The house was built around
The year eighteen eighty eight
The family that did own it
When the candle came to light
Were wealthy, and reclusive
And they all kept out of sight

The story goes, their oldest son
Signed up and went to war
He was a pilot in the air force
He shot down 15 planes or more
He was shot down on a mission
But  his plane was never found
They never found the wreckage
Where it crashed into the ground

The candle started burning
The day the message came
It's always burning in the window
It's always lit, it's all the same
The candle shows when it is dusk
It goes out just past three
No one knows who lights it
There's no one there to see

Is the candle lit by spirits
Waiting for a missing son
Is it lit to help pass over
To make his journey done
No one knows the exact story
If the plane crashed and he died
But, even in the daylight
People don't pass by on this side

The house is an enigma
Is a ghost there waiting for
A son to come home to them
Marching through the old front door
All I know is that the candle
Has been lit for 60 years
And there's a ghost up there just waiting
Crying quiet , ghostly tears
Nigel Morgan Dec 2013
A Tale for the Mid-Winter Season after the Mural by Carl Larrson

On the shortest day I wake before our maids from the surrounding farms have converged on Sundborn. Greta lives with us so she will be asleep in that deep slumber only girls of her age seem to own. Her tiny room has barely more than a bed and a chest for her clothes. There is my first painting of her on the wall, little more a sketch, but she was entranced, at seeing herself so. To the household she is a maid who looks after me and my studio,  though she is a literate, intelligent girl, city-bred from Gamla Stan but from a poor home, a widowed mother, her late father a drunkard.  These were my roots, my beginning, exactly. But her eyes already see a world beyond Sundborn. She covets postcards from my distant friends: in Paris, London, Jean in South America, and will arrange them on my writing desk, sometimes take them to her room at night to dream in the candlelight. I think this summer I shall paint her, at my desk, reading my cards, or perhaps writing her own. The window will be open and a morning breeze will make the flowers on the desk tremble.

Karin sleeps too, a desperate sleep born of too much work and thought and interruption. These days before Christmas put a strain on her usually calm disposition. The responsibilities of our home, our life, the constant visitors, they weigh upon her, and dispel her private time. Time in her studio seems impossible. I often catch her poised to disappear from a family coming-together. She is here, and then gone, as if by magic. With the older children home from their distant schools, and Suzanne arrived from England just yesterday morning, they all cannot do without lengthy conferences. They know better than disturb me. Why do you think there is a window set into my studio door? So, if I am at my easel there should be no knock to disturb. There is another reason, but that is between Karin and I.

This was once a summer-only house, but over the years we have made it our whole-year home. There was much attention given to making it snug and warm. My architect replaced all the windows and all the doors and there is this straw insulation between the walls. Now, as I open the curtains around my bed, I can see my breath float out into the cool air. When, later, I descend to my studio, the stove, damped down against the night, when opened and raddled will soon warm the space. I shall draw back the heavy drapes and open the wooden shutters onto the dark land outside. Only then I will stand before my current painting: *Brita and the Sleigh
.

Current!? I have been working on this painting intermittently for five years, and Brita is no longer the Brita of this picture, though I remember her then as yesterday. It is a picture of a winter journey for a six-year-old, only that journey is just across the yard to the washhouse. Snow, frost, birds gathered in the leafless trees, a sun dog in the sky, Brita pushing her empty sledge, wearing fur boots, Lisbeth’s old coat, and that black knitted hat made by old Anna. It is the nearest I have come to suggesting the outer landscape of this place. I bring it out every year at this time so I can check the light and the shadows against what I see now, not what I remember seeing then. But there will be a more pressing concern for me today, this shortest day.

Since my first thoughts for the final mural in my cycle for the Nationalmuseum I have always put this day aside, whatever I might be doing, wherever I may be. I pull out my first sketches, that book of imaginary tableaux filled in a day and a night in my tiny garden studio in Grez, thinking of home, of snow, the mid-winter, feeling the extraordinary power and shake of Adam of Bremen’s description of 10th C pre-Christian Uppsala, written to describe how barbaric and immoral were the practices and religion of the pagans, to defend the fragile position of the Christian church in Sweden at the time. But as I gaze at these rough beginnings made during those strange winter days in my rooms at the Hotel Chevilon, I feel myself that twenty-five year old discovering my artistic vision, abandoning oils for the flow and smudge of watercolour, and then, of course, Karin. We were part of the Swedish colony at Grez-sur-Loing. Karin lived with the ladies in Pension Laurent, but was every minute beside me until we found our own place, to be alone and be together, in a cupboard of a house by the river, in Marlotte.

Everyone who painted en-plein-air, writers, composers, they all flocked to Grez just south of Fontainebleau, to visit, sometimes to stay. I recall Strindberg writing to Karin after his first visit: It was as if there were no pronounced shadows, no hard lines, the air with its violet complexion is almost always misty; and I painting constantly, and against the style and medium of the time. How the French scoffed at my watercolours, but my work sold immediately in Stockholm. . . and Karin, tall, slim, Karin, my muse, my lover, my model, her boy-like figure lying naked (but for a hat) in the long grass outside my studio. We learned each other there, the technique of bodies in intimate closeness, the way of no words, the sharing of silent thoughts, together on those soft, damp winter days when our thoughts were of home, of Karin’s childhood home at Sundborn. I had no childhood thoughts I wanted to return to, but Karin, yes. That is why we are here now.

In Grez-sur-Loing, on a sullen December day, mist lying on the river, our garden dead to winter, we received a visitor, a Swedish writer and journalist travelling with a very young Italian, Mariano Fortuny, a painter living in Paris, and his mentor the Spaniard Egusquiza. There was a woman too who Karin took away, a Parisienne seamstress I think, Fortuny’s lover. Bayreuth and Wagner, Wagner, Wagner was all they could talk about. Of course Sweden has its own Nordic Mythology I ventured. But where is it? What is it? they cried, and there was laughter and more mulled wine, and then talk again of Wagner.

When the party left I realized there was something deep in my soul that had been woken by talk of the grandeur and scale of Wagner’s cocktail of German and Scandinavian myths and folk tales. For a day and night I sketched relentlessly, ransacking my memory for those old tales, drawing strong men and stalwart, flaxen-haired women in Nordic dress and ornament. But as a new day presented itself I closed my sketch book and let the matter drop until, years later, in a Stockholm bookshop I chanced upon a volume in Latin by Adam of Bremen, his Gesta Hammaburgensis Ecclesiae Pontificum, the most famous source to pagan ritual practice in Sweden. That cold winter afternoon in Grez returned to me and I felt, as I had then, something stir within me, something missing from my comfortable world of images of home and farm, family and the country life.

Back in Sundborn this little volume printed in the 18th C lay on my desk like a question mark without a sentence. My Latin was only sufficient to get a gist, but the gist was enough. Here was the story of the palace of Uppsala, the great centre of the pre-Christian pagan cults that brought us Odin and Freyr. I sought out our village priest Dag Sandahl, a good Lutheran but who regularly tagged Latin in his sermons. Yes, he knew the book, and from his study bookshelf brought down an even earlier copy than my own. And there and then we sat down together and read. After an hour I was impatient to be back in my studio and draw, draw these extraordinary images this text brought to life unbidden in my imagination. But I did not leave until I had persuaded Pastor Sandahl to agree to translate the Uppsala section of the Adam of Bremen’s book, and just before Christmas that year, on the day before the Shortest Day, he delivered his translation to my studio. He would not stay, but said I should read the passages about King Domalde and his sacrifice at the Winter Solstice. And so, on the day of the Winter Solstice, I did.

This people have a widely renowned sanctuary called Uppsala.

By this temple is a very large tree with extending branches. It is always green, both in winter and in summer. No one knows what kind of tree this is. There is also a spring there, where the heathens usually perform their sacrificial rites. They throw a live human being into the spring. If he does not resurface, the wishes of the people will come true.

The Temple is girdled by a chain of gold that hangs above the roof of the building and shines from afar, so that people may see it from a distance when they approach there. The sanctuary itself is situated on a plain, surrounded by mountains, so that the form a theatre.

It is not far from the town of Sigtuna. This sanctuary is completely covered with golden ornaments. There, people worship the carved idols of three gods: Thor, the most powerful of them, has his throne in the middle of the hall, on either side of him, Odin and Freyr have their seats. They have these functions: “Thor,” they say, “rules the air, he rules thunder and lightning, wind and rain, good weather and harvests. The other, Odin, he who rages, he rules the war and give courage to people in their battle against enemies. The third is Freyr, he offers to mortals lust and peace and happiness.” And his image they make with a very large phallus. Odin they present armed, the way we usually present Mars, while Thor with the scepter seems to resemble Jupiter. As gods they also worship some that have earlier been human. They give them immortality for the sake of their great deeds, as we may read in Vita sancti Ansgarii that they did with King Eirik.

For all these gods have particular persons who are to bring forward the sacrificial gifts of the people. If plague and famine threatens, they offer to the image of Thor, if the matter is about war, they offer to Odin, but if a wedding is to be celebrated, they offer to Freyr. And every ninth year in Uppsala a great religious ceremony is held that is common to people from all parts of Sweden.”
Snorri also relates how human sacrifice began in Uppsala, with the sacrifice of a king.

Domalde took the heritage after his father Visbur, and ruled over the land. As in his time there was great famine and distress, the Swedes made great offerings of sacrifice at Upsal. The first autumn they sacrificed oxen, but the succeeding season was not improved thereby. The following autumn they sacrificed men, but the succeeding year was rather worse. The third autumn, when the offer of sacrifices should begin, a great multitude of Swedes came to Upsal; and now the chiefs held consultations with each other, and all agreed that the times of scarcity were on account of their king Domalde, and they resolved to offer him for good seasons, and to assault and **** him, and sprinkle the stall of the gods with his blood. And they did so.


There it was, at the end of Adam of Bremen’s description of Uppsala, this description of King Domalde upon which my mural would be based. It is not difficult to imagine, or rather the event itself can be richly embroidered, as I have over the years made my painting so. Karin and I have the books of William Morris on our shelves and I see little difference between his fixation on the legends of the Arthur and the Grail. We are on the cusp here between the pagan and the Christian.  What was Christ’s Crucifixion but a self sacrifice: as God in man he could have saved himself but chose to die for Redemption’s sake. His blood was not scattered to the fields as was Domalde’s, but his body and blood remains a continuing symbol in our right of Communion.

I unroll the latest watercolour cartoon of my mural. It is almost the length of this studio. Later I will ask Greta to collect the other easels we have in the house and barn and then I shall view it properly. But for now, as it unrolls, my drama of the Winter Solstice comes alive. It begins on from the right with body of warriors, bronze shields and helmets, long shafted spears, all set against the side of Uppsala Temple and more distant frost-hoared trees. Then we see the King himself, standing on a sled hauled by temple slaves. He is naked as he removes the furs in which he has travelled, a circuit of the temple to display himself to his starving people. In the centre, back to the viewer, a priest-like figure in a red cloak, a dagger held for us to see behind his back. Facing him, in druidic white, a high priest holds above his head a gold pagan monstrance. To his left there are white cloaked players of long, straight horns, blue cloaked players of the curled horns, and guiding the shaft of the sled a grizzled shaman dressed in the skins and furs of animals. The final quarter of my one- day-to-be-a-mural unfolds to show the women of temple and palace writhing in gestures of grief and hysteria whilst their queen kneels prostate on the ground, her head to the earth, her ladies ***** behind her. Above them all stands the forever-green tree whose origin no one knows.

Greta has entered the studio in her practiced, silent way carrying coffee and rolls from the kitchen. She has seen Midvinterblot many times, but I sense her gaze of fascination, yet again, at the figure of the naked king. She remembers the model, the sailor who came to stay at Kartbacken three summers ago. He was like the harpooner Queequeg in Moby ****. A tattooed man who was to be seen swimming in Toftan Lake and walking bare-chested in our woods. A tall, well-muscled, almost silent man, whom I patiently courted to be my model for King Dolmade. I have a book of sketches of him striding purposefully through the trees, the tattooed lines on his shoulders and chest like deep cuts into his body. This striding figure I hid from the children for some time, but from Greta that was impossible. She whispered to me once that when she could not have my substantial chest against her she would imagine the sailor’s, imagine touching and following his tattooed lines. This way, she said, helped her have respite from those stirrings she would so often feel for me. My painting, she knew, had stirred her fellow maids Clara and Solveig. Surely you know this, she had said, in her resolute and direct city manner. I have to remember she is the age of my eldest, who too must hold such thoughts and feelings. Karin dislikes my sailor king and wishes I would not hide the face of his distraught queen.

Today the sunrise is at 9.0, just a half hour away, and it will set before 3.0pm. So, after this coffee I will put on my boots and fur coat, be well scarfed and hatted (as my son Pontus would say) and walk out onto my estate. I will walk east across the fields towards Spardasvvägen. The sky is already waiting for the sun, but waits without colour, hardly even a tinge of red one might expect.

I have given Greta her orders to collect every easel she can find so we can take Midvinterblot off the floor and see it in all its vivid colour and form. In February I shall begin again to persuade the Nationalmuseum to accept this work. We have a moratorium just now. I will not accept their reasoning that there is no historical premise for such a subject, that such a scene has no place in a public gallery. A suggestion has been made that the Historiska museet might house it. But I shall not think of this today.

Karin is here, her face at the studio window beckons entry. My Darling, yes, it is midwinter’s day and I am dressing to greet the solstice. I will dress, she says, to see Edgar who will be here in half an hour to discuss my designs for this new furniture. We will be lunching at noon. Know you are welcome. Suzanne is talking constantly of England, England, and of course Oxford, this place of dreaming spires and good looking boys. We touch hands and kiss. I sense the perfume of sleep, of her bed.

Outside I must walk quickly to be quite alone, quite apart from the house, in the fields, alone. It is on its way: this light that will bathe the snowed-over land and will be my promise of the year’s turn towards new life.

As I walk the drama of Midvinterblot unfolds in a confusion of noise, the weeping of women, the physical exertions of the temple slaves, the priests’ incantations, the riot of horns, and then suddenly, as I stand in this frozen field, there is silence. The sun rises. It stagge
To see images of the world of Sundborn and Carl Larrson (including Mitvinterblot) see http://www.clg.se/encarl.aspx
Terry O'Leary Mar 2016
The typewriters tap,
with a rat-a-tat-tat,
like a fourth estate rap
to provide us the pap
(that serves as a snack with a rat-a-tat-tat)
in a newspaper scrap
crammed with meaningless crap
from the editor's yap
(spewing flimflamy flak, booming rat-a-tat-tat)
after gashing a gap
in the daily recap
with a snip in a snap-
sounding thundery clap
crackng rat-a-tat-tat and a rat-a-tat-tat.

And the talking heads speak
with a rat-a-tat-tat,
of the news of the week,
tweaking tongue in the cheek
(with a click and a clack like a rat-a-tat-tat),
thus ignoring critique
'cause they're mild and too meek
in the midst of the reek
to report of the wrack (except rat-a-tat-tat)
whilst the pundits (oblique
when protecting the chic
of the upper class clique
at the top of the peak)
chatter rat-a-tat-tat and a rat-a-tat-tat.

The NRA ghouls
plug a rat-a-tat-tat
while their blood money tools
fill the Hill’s vestibules
(where deceit behind drapes drips a rat-a-tat-tat),
spreading folly that fuels
frenzied hands of young fools
bringing guns into schools
(at the drop of a hat there's a rat-a-tat-tat
splashing blood in warm pools)
for now anarchy rules
(which the hype ridicules
'til the temperature cools)
hailing rat-a-tat-tat and a rat-a-tat-tat.

Lawless cops, cutting loose
with a rat-a-tat-tat
spraying bullets profuse
without any excuse
(just a split second splat with a rat-a-tat-tat),
splay a rattled recluse
like a Thanksgiving goose
gushing cranberry juice
from six slugs in the back (with a rat-a-tat-tat).
To redress such abuse,
bend the branch of a spruce
with a neck in a noose
while Death's drums beat diffuse’
rolling rat-a-tat-tat and a rat-a-tat-tat.

War brings freedom to all
with a rat-a-tat-tat
(well, excluding the thrall
with fear, facing the wall
[ often smacked with a bat, throbbing rat-a-tat-tat ],
until feeling the call
to creep out of the kraal
biting back with a gall
[ with a *** for a tat and a rat-a-tat-tat ],
or to mangle and maul
if still able to crawl
and be part of the brawl
in a freak free-for-all,
midst a rat-a-tat-tat and a rat-a-tat-tat).

Holy warmongers praise,
with a rat-a-tat-tat,
any soldier that slays
and all rockets that raze
(the drones zoom with a vroom and a rat-a-tat-tat)
leaving smoky arrays
of gray ghosts in the haze
cloaking mute cabarets
(hushed, the hip and the hop, by the rat-a-tat-tat)
while ol’ Cerberus bays
with mankind in his gaze,
so society prays  
as it rots and decays
(Satan's trumpets of doom blare a rat-a-tat-tat)
until one of these days
in a flash through the maze
mighty mushrooms will blaze
with invisible  rays,
fin’lly braising the craze
of the rat-a-tat-tat,
   and the
            rat-
                 a-
                    tat-
                          tat.
katie Jan 2016
The willow hangs,
drapes the ground,
dances to a tune
unheard in the hum
of cars and lorries,
in the commotion of
people passing in a
hurry, barely noticing
anything more than the
phones tapped with
fingers & thumbs.
But I notice,
I see it all,
the dance on display,
the symbol of sanity
I need today.
emma louise Feb 2015
I sleep on white bed sheets
with the windows open
so the breeze can brush my face
and the rain can fall on my lips.
I sleep in the gray half-light that
washes the color from my walls.

My skin is bare, fingers tangled in
the blankets, hair drying in the
same air that dries the dew
off of the leaves.

Get drunk on dreams
crumple the sheets
ice packs and underwear
poetry, bracelets, books.

I sleep with tearstained cheeks
swollen eyes and a runny nose
and bite marks in my mouth.
I sleep with a heavy heart
and fingertips on fire.

Dizzy, fuzzy eyesight
and fantastic scenarios
played out like film in my head.

I sleep in the warmest
and coldest room of my house.
I sleep under quilts and blankets
curled up against the cold,
and I sleep naked
with the air warm against my skin.

I always sleep with a book
at my bedside
and the drapes opened
so I can see the stars.

I sleep through sunsets and sunrises
and lightning that cracks open the sky.
I sleep through delicate snowstorms
and hazy summer smoke.

I sleep by myself
and I seize the quiet
as a moment of my own,
not shared
not secret.

I sleep for life and rebirth
and tranquility,
for peace and second chances.
I sleep for mornings.
Ryan Holden Jun 2017
You were the rays of
Light, that shined through cracks in my
half open curtains.
If my skin were a curtain
I'd pull back the drapes
at the corner of my clavicle.
the breathing, feeling organs
of my torso would reveal
what you never see.

the clenches in my stomach
when I catch your fleeting glance

the double-thump of my heart
relishing your bare shoulder

my lungs frozen--suffocating
under your cold, soft touch

shrinking with the biggest sigh
as I watch you walk away.

But I always wear my skin
two layers too thick
and hide my delightful shame
of delighting in shaming you.
Dani Simpson Apr 2015
There’s a copper covered floor
     swept in by father’s hand.

And a sweet scent dwelling in the thick air
     of mother’s sigh.

Streams leak into the sills
     upon my face.

And a blindfold
     drapes the *****.

A mesmerizing buzz
     echoes within.

And irrationality
     fills my presence.
Outside I find myself looking in
KM Hanslik Jun 2018
I pick up my pen again
I want these words to be everything
love letters
apologizes
confessions, daydreams
plans? Or roadmaps, new
contracts, to-do lists, like
"stop falling down," or
"try harder this time". I turn
you over but you don't give me what I'm looking for, I'm looking
for a place to dissolve this poison
I'm searching in the dark for halos that don't exist
I'm counting up nights of lost sleep,
calculating the probability of
our intertwined fingers as
remedies melt
off your tongue and run over
cracks in the pavement, oozing
sticky shower thoughts into our heads, like how
did we end up here?,& how
does the world end every night but go
on spinning the next morning?

I want this to be everything, the cure
our futures, soft plans,
collections of stitched together questions like how long
does forever taste on your breath
in the aftermath of all the anxiety you tend
to consume?

I want to pull the drapes on this thing and leave it to breathe in the
dark, leave it under
covers so these ailments don't seep
around my doorframe and pull
what is half-born into the light, let it be
let it live
let it cave in on itself and slowly
rebuild.
Chances come in
handfuls,  
let the sun forget to practice her
old game of never
letting anyone rest; my fingers are warm & numb now and they remind me a little of
how you look when you're half asleep
they remind me
why this is fragile, why this is broken
why this can never
last and I'm sitting
in the passenger seat wondering
how the soft things stretch out their wings in
my lungs without
killing me, but they're
leaving their marks now, clawing
up my throat;
I close my eyes and give
them to the open air.
 
You don't know all of this; your eyelids
are heavy and you're keeping track
of who I am in little
notepads & reminders,
keeping track
of the way we move and how likely
we are to remember this moment in 5 years,
because right now you want
to capture it and tame it like a living thing.  

We are becoming dust
molecules, we are
burning, we are becoming
quiet we don't leave footprints
we don't leave traces
we are heading toward the end of the world with our hands
tucked into our pockets, we are headed
toward the end of the world dissolving each others names on our tongues like sugar, we are headed
toward the end of the world and when we get there,

it starts again.
Alyssa Nov 2013
i wrote a poem. it wasnt about the leaves falling or growing back. it was about a boy that was too sad to
even look at himself in the mirror. sometimes he believed that if he looked in the mirror for too long he wasnt who he was supposed to be, sometimes if he looked in the mirror too long he became a monster and thats particularly the reason why he avoided the mirror at night because thats when monsters become real and he was tired of thinking of himself as a monster.
i wrote a poem but it wasnt about summertime or the way the sand feels between your toes or the cold rush of ocean water on a hot day. it was about the salty tears that he would cry because demons were haunting his room at night. and not the demons like ghosts but the demons from within. the kind of demons that you cant run away from.
i wrote a poem it wasnt about a bride blushing when the groom snuck a kiss when the priest wasn't looking it was about the funeral we gave you. it was about the hundreds of people who stood in line just to see your face one last time before youre put in the ground. it was about me staring at your chest from afar hoping that it would move that maybe this was one of your famous jokes and maybe your lungs would start working again along with your heart and your organs and your brain and maybe your eyes would open. perhaps itll scare someone whos standing right next to you but who cares bc youre alive. but you didnt. and now now youre in the ground.
i wrote a poem and it wasnt about me it was about finding the demons. i found the demons inside of you when you were put into the ground. i found the demons because as they lowered your casket into the 6 foot hole they dug for you i saw one slip out before they closed it. the demon was dancing on your casket and as they lowered you to the ground, i jumped. i didnt jump up i didnt jump back. i jumped in and i started hitting that demon as hard as i could because now that youre gone the demon had no place else to go. the demon knew he had won but even the best fall down sometimes and i made sure he fell as hard and as far as he could.
i wrote a poem but i couldnt save you from yourself. if i could have shrunken down and fought that demon before you left me i would have. but i couldnt. i had all these words left to say to you but they started in my chest and never made it to my throat and now im sitting here with all the words that couldnt have saved you anyway because the demons were trapped inside of you. the only way for you to be happy again is to cut yourself open & rip them out yourself, so you did. the demons were trapped & stuck inside you, and i know because i have demons stuck inside of me too. but sometimes i get so mad because if im still here then why arent you? if im still here fighting myself trying not to rip out my own demons, then why couldnt you have done the same? i needed you.
i wrote a poem. and it was about my demons being stuck inside of me and theyre crawling and theyre running around and sometimes they run to a dead end and they hit my fingertips and they bounce  back and run straight into my heart. they run through my veins, through my arteries. sometimes they break my ribs in the process but they heal so quickly that the doctors dont believe me and call me crazy but i promise them that theres a demon inside of me and hes breaking my ribs and hes breaking my soul and hes breaking my heart but i can still feel the demons running inside me. and i dont know how or why or when but i just want them to go away i dont know how im going to do that but i said some day i would. and i think thats the reason i cut myself open, to try and find a way to show the demons a way out but they run through my blood stream and i can feel them in my fingertips and i can feel them
in my forearms and i can feel them in my elbows and i can feel them in my shoulders and in my neck and i can feel them going down my throat. and i can feel it in my chest and i can feel it in my liver and i can feel it in my stomach and i can feel it in my pelvis. and i can feel it in my knees and i can feel it in my shins and i can feel it in my ankles and i can feel it all the way down to my toes and suddenly its like an electric current and it flows all the way back up to my head and shock the hair in its roots. it feels like i cant say anything fast enough or correctly.
i wrote a poem & it was about sometimes i believe that why i write & not speak is because i cant say the right words and maybe if i state at a blank piece of paper long enough the right words will come out but i know, i know they wont bc the demons are still stuck inside of me and i think thats why you wrote so beautifully that night and didnt ask for help. the demons knew that they were finally coming out and sometimes when the demons come out its the best time to say things.
i wrote a poem and it was about wanting peace. i just dont have peace but rather i have pieces of myself.
i will never have peace until my demons are gone. but im trying to find a way to get the demons to leave me alone without dying im not sure if i know the right way but im sure as hell trying. but the drugs dont work and the alcohol doesnt work and the cigarettes dont work and the blood doesnt work and the pills dont work. but i have to find a way to stop them before they eat me up inside and they tear me apart. in order to stop them ill have to tear myself apart and thats why i break things and thats why
i throw things because i have to find something to destroy other than myself and sometimes i pull my hair because i cant understand whats happening to me.
i wrote a poem and i started to see red for a bit but i stopped seeing red because the curtains are red and the walls are yellow. the candle on top of the cabinent is red brown and yellow and the book on the couch is  yellow and red the couch is yellow red tan green blue. the table is brown and the floor is brown but the carpet and the drapes are red.
i wrote a poem. maybe i should stop talking about them before they come back its like a taboo its like the  field of dreams and the saying"if you build it they will come" and i promise you that if i built a bridge from my heart to my brain the demons would make their way back & i would be consumed by them and im not sure if i can deal with that so ill cut the bridge in half before they start walking towards my brain.
i wrote a poem. and it was about me snapping that bridge in half and watching the demons fall down my throat and into the acid in my stomach, but that doesnt make any difference because once one does another one is born. so as long as the demons keep walking they will die with my secrets but the new ones will find  a new way to torture me, and maybe thats worse because if they need new ways to torture me then every thing will torture me. perhaps thats what happened to you.
i wrote a poem but im not sure what its about anymore. but i do know that its not good and im tired of speaking.
sorry this is long
Susan Hunt Jul 2012
CHAPTER ONE: THE DEMISE OF A YOUNG GIRL SEPTEMBER 1975


I had not seen my father in over two years when he showed up at my mom and step dad's condo. He had a slick knack of disappearing when laws were broken and he was wanted for questioning. He had an even better ability to re-enter when the heat was off.

My father owned three nightclubs in Oklahoma City. His first was the Silver Sword, and then he opened The Red Slipper. After he met his second wife, they together, opened the Jade Club.

All were successful, but the Red Slipper had a reputation. On a rare occasion, my dad would take me with him to open up the place. At first, it scared me. It was so dark in there. But as the lights came on behind the bar, I fell in love with the atmosphere.

Bobby Orr’s hockey stick hung on the wall, along with an endearing note from F. Lee Bailey. At six years old, all I knew was that they were the objects that made my dad beam.

I learned to play pool by standing on a phone book. I watched the colorful smacking ***** bounce around the most beautiful color of green I had ever seen. Chalking the stick was a chore, but after nearly poking my eye out once, I soon caught on.

It was a struggle to climb up on a barstool, but it was worth the effort. I sat at the bar and had lunch: popcorn, pretzels, peanuts and Pepsi.

As I grew older, I saw less and less of him, until he became a stranger, drifting in every once in awhile.  Every few weeks or so, I would come home from school, and see his car in the driveway.

This always shot fear and excitement through me. The air of unpredictability always made me want to ***. Unfortunately, most of the time, we were locked out of the house for a few hours, so I would have to *** in the back yard or at the neighbors. We waited on the stairs for the front door to open. And it always did, by my mom. She usually looked satisfied and serene but other times, I saw dread and sadness on her face.

Ever since I could remember, my dad had been a string of disappointments for me with a few indescribable moments of pure enjoyment mixed in between He could be kind, funny and like a real dad sometimes, that was the dad I missed. I tried to hold onto those experiences, even though he was such a mean ******* most of the time. But mostly, I just didn't know him.

Their divorce became final around the summer of 1972, but that didn't stop my mom from loving him. I don't know why, but she chased him frequently, going out to bars with her friends, trying to get a glimpse of him, and maybe more.

The last time I’d seen my father had not been pleasant. When I was thirteen, he broke down the door to our apartment and went straight to my mother’s bedroom. The noises were terrifying. The screaming, and punching sounds were followed by my mother’s whimpering, begging, groveling.

"How dare you do this to me, Patsy!? And behind my back! You could have at least told me!"

My dad had bailed himself out of jail that night. She promised him she would never seek alimony or child support again. Her lawyer was wrong. It wasn’t worth getting killed over.  

Shortly after, he had to leave the state. It had something to do with a low-level mob deal involving an insurance fraud. Too bad, it involved burning a building with someone in it. My dad became nothing but a memory, which faded away over time.

**

Alcohol and tobacco were constants in my family, so when my older brother, Tim, started smoking at ten years old, I don't remember much protest from anyone. I was seven and when my sister Abby, turned ten the next year, she also started smoking.  All the older kids were smoking cigarettes. I wanted to be cool, so I puked and coughed as I practiced. By the time I was ten, I too, was inhaling properly.  Around that time, I was introduced to *** by my sister's boyfriend. It did help my mood, somewhat, but it wasn't enough.

By 1974, I was using drugs from my sister’s boyfriend. John was a true drugstore cowboy. At first, he committed burglaries, which were easy at the time. There were no sophisticated electronics to stop someone from cutting a hole in the roof of a pharmacy. It took only minutes to pry open the safe that contained the narcotics. Then it took maybe another minute to fill a pillowcase full of every variety of amphetamines, barbiturates, valiums, etc.

It wasn’t long before I graduated to using morphine, ******* and then overdosed on Demerol. My stepfather sent me to a treatment facility in Tulsa Oklahoma, about one hundred miles away from Oklahoma City. The Dillon treatment center didn’t accept clients under age of sixteen but made an exception with me. I was a walking-talking disastrous miracle...or a miraculously saved disaster.

They figured that since I was fourteen, the sooner the better to start my road to recovery. Apparently, they didn’t condone sneaking *** and valiums in to the facility. I was kicked out of Dillon after about a month.

I came back home and laid low. I went back to Hefner Jr. High and enrolled back into the ninth grade. I quietly picked up where I left off, going back into business with John. My job was to sell the safe stuff; valiums, seconols, white bennies, ***, etc.


Summer came; I turned fifteen and had developed a tendency to over test my wares. I overdosed and nearly died in the hospital several times, which had led to my current predicament. Nobody knew what to do with me.

In August, I entered the tenth grade...for two weeks. I was expelled, (you guessed it) for dealing drugs. I was on homebound teaching twice a week with little supervision. My mother worked, my step-dad, **** ,worked, and I was home all day. However, I was not just sitting idly around. I was into enterprise.

**

In September, I overdosed again. I was quickly killing myself and my mother didn’t know what to do to stop it. That is why what happened was not my mother’s fault. But it wasn’t my fault either.

I never figured out how he knew where we lived. My mother moved over at least fourteen times in between the time I was six and twelve years old. Yet, here he was, at our front door, with his undeniable ‘ah shucks’ charm. His modesty was convincing. His timing was incredible. My mother stood frozen, her mouth agape. **** took the lead. He placed himself between my mother and father.

“You must be Gary Don, my name is ****; I’m Patsy’s husband." **** had never met my dad, but he'd heard enough about him to surmise who was standing at the door.

"Um, yeah, I'm Gary Don, it's nice to meet you ****", he said; as he offered a friendly hand shake to ****.

"I hope I'm not interrupting you, I was just in Duncan with my parents and they suggested I stop by and talk with you before heading back west. It's about Susie....

"Yes, Patsy said you called yesterday. We weren't expecting you this soon, but it's no problem. Why don't you come in and tell us what your plans are? Patsy, honey, would you mind putting on a *** of coffee?”

This unfroze my mother and she scurried to the kitchen. I was still in shock at seeing my dad’s face. I retreated to the staircase, but poked my head around and caught him glance at me. I flew up to the landing. I could easily escape up the rest of the stairs to my bedroom.
I was small enough to remain hidden on the landing, and heard the conversation between my mother, my dad and ****. **** was the classiest, most even-tempered adult I had ever encountered. I wished I could stop hurting him and my mother.  

My mother sat down two cups of coffee on the dining room table where my dad and **** sat. As she retreated a few steps back into the kitchen, **** politely probed my dad. My dad had the right answer for every question.

He swore he was a completely different person. He had changed. He had no hard feelings, instead he was back to help. He was remorseful for being an absent father and he wanted to make things right. He was back for a reason. He had heard that I was in trouble with drugs and school and he felt guilty for that. He had the answer to my problems. He was so convincing, so….humble, almost shy.

As I listened, I began freaking out with fear and excitement. I always wanted my dad. The last time I tried to live with him, it didn’t work out; he sent me back to my mother’s after a month. Now my dad wanted me! He wanted to save me, take care of me!

He lived by himself now. He was the manager of The Palace Restaurant/Hotel in the little town of Raton, New Mexico. It was a refurbished hotel, built over a century ago The ground floor was an elegant bar and restaurant. He was making very good money, he paid no rent and he had an extra room for me.

With a population of 6000, it was not a place to continue a lucrative drug business. Also, he would enroll me into the little high school and I could get my diploma. I could work in the restaurant in the evenings where he would keep his eye on me. Then, there was the horse. He would buy me a horse. And on and on and on.

The logic and sincerity of his argument was convincing. So there it was. An hour later, my bags were packed. I was going to live with my father in New Mexico.

That’s how in September 1975, my father whisked me away from my home in Oklahoma City, under the guise of saving me from my own demise. I was stolen and held captive in Raton, New Mexico for what seemed like forever.

My dog, Baron was coming with me, I refused to go anywhere without him. He was a tiny black and tan Dachshund. I got him free when I was fourteen, when I got back from Tulsa. To me, he was priceless. He was my best friend. He couldn’t have weighed more than ten pounds, but his heart was huge.

I talked to him about everything and he consoled me by nodding, and licking me on the cheek non-stop…or he would admonish me through his expressions and demeanor. I had lived with Dachshunds since I was seven, so understood their language pretty well. Baron understood humans better. We developed a rare communication that worked well for both of us.
Herman, our older dachshund had greeted my dad cordially. Baron couldn’t figure this out, he expressed his apprehension. He looked at me and conveyed,

“Well, if Herman isn’t worried, I guess it’ll be Okay, right? Right, Susan?”

I was sorry I didn’t have an honest answer. I did my best to settle him.

“Sure, this’ll be fun, a whole new adventure!”

As we drove West, toward the Texas panhandle, Baron kept the conversation going by his curious interest expressed by wide eyes and attentive ears. My dad amazed him with his knowledge of history, geography, geology, astronomy, world geo-politics, weather, music on the radio, literature, mechanics, religion and countless other topics. I knew he was faking his fascination with my dad. He knew he was doing me a favor.

There was not a dead moment in the air. An occasional “really?” expressed by me was enough to keep my dad’s mouth running. I was thankful for that. It kept my attention away from my jangle of emotions. As we drove through the night, I was conflicted, scared, excited, happy and worried. I didn’t know where I was going, or who was driving me there.

My dad’s jovial demeanor comforted me. He made The Palace sound like the perfect place for his little princess.

When we arrived, it was late, after 10pm., Baron was exhausted. I stood on the corner and looked up. I gulped. The three-story building was like an old gothic castle. It was a huge rectangle with the front corner cut back with a fifth wall about ten feet wide. This provided the entrance with two giant oak doors. Baron was less than enthused by its foreboding appearance. I had to agree.

Dad ignored my hesitation. “Come on, you’re going to love this place!”

He pulled open one of the oak doors, which had to weigh at least five hundred pounds. I was hesitant, but thirsty. Baron’s squirming had started to annoy me. I went forward filled with adrenalin.

The initial entrance was a small round foyer with a domed ceiling of cut glass. It was about six feet round. As I stared up at the beautiful little pieces of color, I heard my dad chuckle.

“See? I told you, there’s no place like this!”

Then I saw the true entry to the bar, a set of small bat winged doors that swung back and forth. He pulled one of the doors back, beckoning me forward. He looked down at me with a tender expression.

“Welcome home, honey, this is home now.”

As we entered the bar, I was dumbstruck. Baron was not. I stepped back in time, to 1896, into The Palace Hotel.

The bar took up half of the first floor of the hotel. It was the most captivating centerpiece of the establishment. The mirror behind the bar was the longest continuous piece of reflection glass in all the states, the brochure proclaimed. A brass foot rail extended the length of the long cherry oak bar A few feet behind was a waist high railing just like the saloons in old John Wayne movies.

The carpet was a deep royal red interlaced with black swirly patterns. Bright golden paper covered the walls. It was smooth and shiny with raised curly designs made out of felt or maybe even velour. God, I just wanted to reach over and run my fingers across it!  

The wall opposite the bar had windows that were quizzically narrow and impossibly tall. Lush maroon velvet drapes adorned them, parted in the center to provide a view of the quaint town just beyond the sidewalk.

I looked up at the ornate ceiling, which seemed a mile above me. It was covered with tiles of little angels that all looked the same, yet different. The angels danced across the entire ceiling until it curved and met the wall. I got dizzy looking at them.

“You can’t find ceiling tiles like that anywhere! My dad grinned. “They’re covered in pure gold leaf!”

I didn’t know what pure gold leaf was, but the word ‘gold’ impressed me very much.

He introduced me to the staff. I l blushed when he said; “This is Susie, my favorite little girl!” I had never heard that before. The whole crew greeted me warmly, all smiles and friendliness.  

I always paid attention when Baron got nervous but I chose to ignore him. I jostled him in my arms. My stern look at him stopped his squiggling, but his look back conveyed that I was clueless.

I, however thought, Okay, I have died and gone to Heaven! I was enchanted. My fascination with this magical setting made me feel happy; I was in the neatest place I had ever seen. I’m going to love it here!

On the first night, my dad led me around the ground floor. The restaurant was as elegant as the bar. To the rear of the restaurant, there was a large commercial kitchen. Off the rear of the kitchen, he showed, me a short hallway to the back exit. To the right, a huge staircase led to the two upper floors of dilapidated hotel rooms. A manager’s apartment had been converted from several hotel rooms connected together on the second floor, just above the entrance to the hotel.

We ended up back in the bar and sat at a table for two. Crystal, the head bartender stayed on for a little while longer after the rest of the staff were allowed to go home.

Sitting at the table, he ordered Harvey’s Bristol Cream Sherry. I had never had Cream Sherry before, but it tasted like candy with nuts and I had no problem going through numerous rounds in a very short time. I was hungry but I was too nervous to eat.

Baron, however, was ravenous. My dad fed him little pieces filet mignon and French bread with real butter. He played cute for my dad, sitting up and begging. He jumped up, putting his paws on my dad’s leg, wagging his tail like crazy.

I was a little befuddled until I caught his sideways glance that said, “I do not like this guy, but I gotta eat, I’m starving. You’re the one falling into his into his trap, not me.”

Ouch. “Baron, sometimes I wish you would shut the hell up.”

After having his fill, he settled into a wary sleep on top of my feet. I never worried about losing Baron. Where I went, he went, period.

I wasn’t aware when the bartender left. The bottle was on the table before I knew it; he kept my glass full. I was five feet tall and weighed 106 pounds. I had a lethal level of alcohol pulsing threw my entire body…and I had my daddy.

I was in a haze. Actually, it was more of a daze than a haze. My vision was
Onoma Jan 2017
If a soul must have its
night, which it must...
how dark it gather, how
thick it be...what's lived
will tell--to what end?
A directionless break of sound,
as if fled
from silence with a start--
the terrible nausea of having
been, and returning to what
now is, which will be...no
more apparent than the experience of itself, roundly met.
How might a personage bear
the scorn of what means to dissolve
what no longer serves it.
What of life that may be deemed
short, or long...as if never born--
or born to die to what's never been born.
Blind stead, whose dross drapes days in wait of gold.
*First of a series of poems.
zebra Nov 2018
her happiness is everything
her pathos; be kind with cruelty

blood and tears, a royal jelly
merciless kisses like blazing pyres
she cries through a night prayer

my push pin princess;
a crimson petal
nerves edge;
jutting ******* seeking cleavers kiss

to serve
to serve
to serve

smiling for a relish of wasps
she knows she is loved
a loved red faced surprise
**** mouth, red chirping sparrow
wax teeth melting
succubus, **** flower

gratefully crushed under foot
toes like musical notes
little pearl ruins  
grave stones
whipped cream butter cookie in chains
stipule corridor
**** plume
serrations gush, a singing Dahlia
ripped rose, thorned and curt
plush flames
her skull a throat

her liturgy
weeping, licking gods bulging colossus
wakes her inside
giving her religion
sacrificed on a crucifix of *****
**** of heaven
a burning church possessed

drooling supplications
lustrous saliva web drapes trembling downward thighs
a glutinous chandelier
melts like silk around ankles
crystal silt on scorched heels

to serve
to serve
to serve

her happiness is everything
her pathos; be kind with cruelty
I love pervy pixie
Terry O'Leary Nov 2013
Ah Consuela! Invoking vast vistas for visions of green Spanish eyes,
I discern them again where she left me back then,
                 as we kissed when she parted, my friend.
Through those ruins I tread towards the footlights, now dead,
                 where I’ll muse as her shadows ascend.

                  .
                          .
Ah Consuela! I’m watching, she teases the mirror with green Spanish eyes;
her serape entangles her brooches and bangles
                 like lace on the sorcerer’s looms,
and her cape of the night, she drapes tight to excite,
                 and her fan is embellished with plumes.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching as spectators savour her green Spanish eyes;
taming wild concertinas, the dark ballerina
                 performs on the music hall stage,
but she shies from the sound of ovation unbound
                 like a timorous bird in a cage.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching, she quickens the pit with her green Spanish eyes;
as the cymbals shake, clashing, the floodlights wake, flashing,
                 igniting the wild fireflies,
and the piccolo piper’s inviting the vipers
                 to coil neath the cold caldron skies.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching the shimmering shadows in green Spanish eyes
as I rise from my chair and proceed to the stair
                 with a hesitant sip of my wine.
Though she doesn’t deny me, she wanders right by me
                 with neither a look nor a sign.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching, she looks to the stage with her green Spanish eyes,
(for her senses scoff, scorning the biblical warning
                 of kisses of Judas that sting,
with her pierced ears defeating the echoes repeating)
                 and smiles at the magpie that sings.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching faint embers a’ stir in her green Spanish eyes,
for a soft spoken stranger enveloping danger
                 has captured the rhyme in the room
as he slips into sight through a crack in the night
                 midst the breath of her heavy perfume.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching, she gauges his guise through her green Spanish eyes
– from his gypsy-like mane, to his diamond stud cane,
                 to the raven engraved on his vest –
for a faraway form, a tempestuous storm,
                 lurks and heaves neath the cleav’e of her *******.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching the caravels cruising her green Spanish eyes;
with the castanets clacking like ancient masts cracking
                 he whips ’round his cloak with a ****
and without sacrificing, at mien so enticing,
                 she floats with her face facing his.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching the vertigo veiling her green Spanish eyes,
while the drumbeat pounds, droning, the rhythm sounds, moaning,
                 of jungles Jamaican entwined
in the valleys concealing the vineyards revealing
                 the vaults in the caves of her mind.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching life’s carnivals call to her green Spanish eyes,
and with paused palpitations the tom-tom temptations
                 come taunting her tremulous feet
with her toe tips a’ tingle while jute boxes jingle
                 for jesters that jive on the street.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching, she rides ocean tides in her green Spanish eyes,
and her silhouette’s travelling on ripples unravelling
                 and shaking the shipwracking shores,
as she strides from the light to the black cauldron night
                 through the candlelit cabaret doors.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching, she dances till dawn flashing green Spanish eyes,
with her movements adorning a trickle of morning
                 as sipped by the mouth of the moon,
while her tresses twirl, shaming the filaments flaming
                 that flow from the sun’s oval spoon.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching, she masks for a moment her green Spanish eyes.
Then the magpie that sings ceases preening her wings
                 and descends as a lean bird of prey –
as she flutters her ’lashes and laughs in broad splashes,
                 his narrowing eyes start to stray.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching fey carousels spin in her green Spanish eyes,
and the porcelain ponies and leprechaun cronies
                 race, reaching for gold and such things,
even being reminded that only the blinded
                 are fooled by the brass in the rings.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching, she shepherds the shadows with green Spanish eyes,
but as evening sinks, ebbing, the skyline climbs, webbing,
                 and weaves through the temples of stone,
while the nightingales sing of a kiss on the wing
                 in the depths of the dunes all alone.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching the music and magic in green Spanish eyes,
as she dances enchanted, while firmly implanted
                 in tugs of his turbulent arms,
till he cuts through the strings, tames the magpie that sings,
                 and seduces once more with his charms.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching, the citadel steams in her green Spanish eyes,
but behind the dark curtain the savants seem certain
                 that nothing and no one exists,
and though vapours look vacant, the vagabond vagrants
                 remain within mythical mists.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching as lightning at midnight in green Spanish eyes
kindles cracks within crystals like flashes from pistols
                 residing inside of the gloom
as it hovers above us betraying a dove as
                 she flees from the fountain of doom.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching, distilling despair in her green Spanish eyes,
and the bitterness stings like the snap of the strings
                 when a mystical  mandolin sighs
as the vampire shades **** the life from charades
                 neath the resinous residue skies.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching, she looks to the ledge with her green Spanish eyes,
for the terrace hangs high and she’s thinking to fly
                 and abandon fate’s merry-go-round.
At the edge I perceive her and rush to retrieve her –
                 she stumbles, falls far to the ground.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching the sparkles a’ spilling from green Spanish eyes.
As I peer from the railing, with evening exhaling,
                 I cry out a lover’s lament –
there she lies midst the crowd with her spirit unbowed,
                 but her body’s all broken and bent.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching, she beckons me hither with green Spanish eyes,
and I’m slightly amazed being snared in her gaze
                 and a’ swirl in a hurricane way,
but the seconds are slipping, my courage is dripping,
                 the moment is bleeding away.

Ah Consuela! I touch her - she weeps tender tears from her green Spanish eyes;
as the breezes cease blowing, her essence leaves, flowing,
                 in streams neath the ambient light,
and the droplets drip swarming, so silent, yet warming,
                 like rain in a midsummer night.

Ah Consuela! I hold her, am hushed by the hints in her green Spanish eyes,
while her whispers are breathing the breaths of the seething
                 electrical skeletal winds,
and the words paint the poems that rivers a’ slowin’
                 reveal where the waterfall ends.

Ah Consuela! I’m fading in fires a’ flicker in green Spanish eyes,
as she plays back the past, she abandons and casts
                 away matters that no longer mend.
           .
                  .
And she reached out instead, as she lifted her head,
                 and we kissed as she parted, my friend.
           .
                  .
                          .
Ah Consuela! I’m tangled, entombed, trapped in tales of your green Spanish eyes,
in forsaken cantinas beyond the arenas
                 where night-time illusions once flowed,
for the ash neath my shoulder still throbs as it smoulders
                 some place near the end of the road.
Epic Monkey Nov 2013
(To my sisters and brother)

I will always miss …


Our sunset ending quarrels

Our never-ending teases

Christmas’ shared carols

Warm hugs

Through sweet gazes

The sarcastic smiling faces

The growing-up races

Revenge taking chases

Greed over goodies to be hidden

In unpredictable places


And I will always miss …


Competitions and crazy bets

Singing hilarious duets

Of made-up songs in the shower

This innocence

Of our childish humor

Screamed from a room to another

That art of tricking eachother

To cleverly stay in control

Or wrestling over the remote control



And I will always miss …

Decades of shared history

Amplified joy and divided misery

Bursts of laughter on old tapes

Creatively imagined games

Of whirlpools in drapes

And goalkeeper leaps

Random costume parties

Daily role-play stories

Sega sagas from dusk to dawn

Alliances and conspiracies


Sisters, my lovely sisters

Wise, you have become

Loving wives, caring mothers

Soon, you will become

Make sure your kids relive

What we used to live

Their uncle will make you proud

Just like you fill him with pride


Brother, dear brother

I secretly looked up to you

As I grew older

I kept resembling you

It doesn’t matter

If you’re a little far

Brotherhood’s a matter

Of unbreakable bond


And I will always admire, respect, love and cherish …
Every single one of you
Written last month.
My brother lives in another country and my sisters will both get married next year
Susan Hunt Jul 2012
CHAPTER ONE: THE DEMISE OF A YOUNG GIRL SEPTEMBER 1975


I had not seen my father in over two years when he showed up at my mom and step dad's condo. He had a slick knack of disappearing when laws were broken and he was wanted for questioning. He had an even better ability to re-enter when the heat was off.

My father owned three nightclubs in Oklahoma City. His first was the Silver Sword, and then he opened The Red Slipper. After he met his second wife, they together, opened the Jade Club.

All were successful, but the Red Slipper had a reputation. On a rare occasion, my dad would take me with him to open up the place. At first, it scared me. It was so dark in there. But as the lights came on behind the bar, I fell in love with the atmosphere.

Bobby Orr’s hockey stick hung on the wall, along with an endearing note from F. Lee Bailey. At six years old, all I knew was that they were the objects that made my dad beam.

I learned to play pool by standing on a phone book. I watched the colorful smacking ***** bounce around the most beautiful color of green I had ever seen. Chalking the stick was a chore, but after nearly poking my eye out once, I soon caught on.

It was a struggle to climb up on a barstool, but it was worth the effort. I sat at the bar and had lunch: popcorn, pretzels, peanuts and Pepsi.

As I grew older, I saw less and less of him, until he became a stranger, drifting in every once in awhile.  Every few weeks or so, I would come home from school, and see his car in the driveway.

This always shot fear and excitement through me. The air of unpredictability always made me want to ***. Unfortunately, most of the time, we were locked out of the house for a few hours, so I would have to *** in the back yard or at the neighbors. We waited on the stairs for the front door to open. And it always did, by my mom. She usually looked satisfied and serene but other times, I saw dread and sadness on her face.

Ever since I could remember, my dad had been a string of disappointments for me with a few indescribable moments of pure enjoyment mixed in between He could be kind, funny and like a real dad sometimes, that was the dad I missed. I tried to hold onto those experiences, even though he was such a mean ******* most of the time. But mostly, I just didn't know him.

Their divorce became final around the summer of 1972, but that didn't stop my mom from loving him. I don't know why, but she chased him frequently, going out to bars with her friends, trying to get a glimpse of him, and maybe more.

The last time I’d seen my father had not been pleasant. When I was thirteen, he broke down the door to our apartment and went straight to my mother’s bedroom. The noises were terrifying. The screaming, and punching sounds were followed by my mother’s whimpering, begging, groveling.

"How dare you do this to me, Patsy!? And behind my back! You could have at least told me!"

My dad had bailed himself out of jail that night. She promised him she would never seek alimony or child support again. Her lawyer was wrong. It wasn’t worth getting killed over.  

Shortly after, he had to leave the state. It had something to do with a low-level mob deal involving an insurance fraud. Too bad, it involved burning a building with someone in it. My dad became nothing but a memory, which faded away over time.

**

Alcohol and tobacco were constants in my family, so when my older brother, Tim, started smoking at ten years old, I don't remember much protest from anyone. I was seven and when my sister Abby, turned ten the next year, she also started smoking.  All the older kids were smoking cigarettes. I wanted to be cool, so I puked and coughed as I practiced. By the time I was ten, I too, was inhaling properly.  Around that time, I was introduced to *** by my sister's boyfriend. It did help my mood, somewhat, but it wasn't enough.

By 1974, I was using drugs from my sister’s boyfriend. John was a true drugstore cowboy. At first, he committed burglaries, which were easy at the time. There were no sophisticated electronics to stop someone from cutting a hole in the roof of a pharmacy. It took only minutes to pry open the safe that contained the narcotics. Then it took maybe another minute to fill a pillowcase full of every variety of amphetamines, barbiturates, valiums, etc.

It wasn’t long before I graduated to using morphine, ******* and then overdosed on Demerol. My stepfather sent me to a treatment facility in Tulsa Oklahoma, about one hundred miles away from Oklahoma City. The Dillon treatment center didn’t accept clients under age of sixteen but made an exception with me. I was a walking-talking disastrous miracle...or a miraculously saved disaster.

They figured that since I was fourteen, the sooner the better to start my road to recovery. Apparently, they didn’t condone sneaking *** and valiums in to the facility. I was kicked out of Dillon after about a month.

I came back home and laid low. I went back to Hefner Jr. High and enrolled back into the ninth grade. I quietly picked up where I left off, going back into business with John. My job was to sell the safe stuff; valiums, seconols, white bennies, ***, etc.


Summer came; I turned fifteen and had developed a tendency to over test my wares. I overdosed and nearly died in the hospital several times, which had led to my current predicament. Nobody knew what to do with me.

In August, I entered the tenth grade...for two weeks. I was expelled, (you guessed it) for dealing drugs. I was on homebound teaching twice a week with little supervision. My mother worked, my step-dad, **** ,worked, and I was home all day. However, I was not just sitting idly around. I was into enterprise.

**

In September, I overdosed again. I was quickly killing myself and my mother didn’t know what to do to stop it. That is why what happened was not my mother’s fault. But it wasn’t my fault either.

I never figured out how he knew where we lived. My mother moved over at least fourteen times in between the time I was six and twelve years old. Yet, here he was, at our front door, with his undeniable ‘ah shucks’ charm. His modesty was convincing. His timing was incredible. My mother stood frozen, her mouth agape. **** took the lead. He placed himself between my mother and father.

“You must be Gary Don, my name is ****; I’m Patsy’s husband." **** had never met my dad, but he'd heard enough about him to surmise who was standing at the door.

"Um, yeah, I'm Gary Don, it's nice to meet you ****", he said; as he offered a friendly hand shake to ****.

"I hope I'm not interrupting you, I was just in Duncan with my parents and they suggested I stop by and talk with you before heading back west. It's about Susie....

"Yes, Patsy said you called yesterday. We weren't expecting you this soon, but it's no problem. Why don't you come in and tell us what your plans are? Patsy, honey, would you mind putting on a *** of coffee?”

This unfroze my mother and she scurried to the kitchen. I was still in shock at seeing my dad’s face. I retreated to the staircase, but poked my head around and caught him glance at me. I flew up to the landing. I could easily escape up the rest of the stairs to my bedroom.
I was small enough to remain hidden on the landing, and heard the conversation between my mother, my dad and ****. **** was the classiest, most even-tempered adult I had ever encountered. I wished I could stop hurting him and my mother.  

My mother sat down two cups of coffee on the dining room table where my dad and **** sat. As she retreated a few steps back into the kitchen, **** politely probed my dad. My dad had the right answer for every question.

He swore he was a completely different person. He had changed. He had no hard feelings, instead he was back to help. He was remorseful for being an absent father and he wanted to make things right. He was back for a reason. He had heard that I was in trouble with drugs and school and he felt guilty for that. He had the answer to my problems. He was so convincing, so….humble, almost shy.

As I listened, I began freaking out with fear and excitement. I always wanted my dad. The last time I tried to live with him, it didn’t work out; he sent me back to my mother’s after a month. Now my dad wanted me! He wanted to save me, take care of me!

He lived by himself now. He was the manager of The Palace Restaurant/Hotel in the little town of Raton, New Mexico. It was a refurbished hotel, built over a century ago The ground floor was an elegant bar and restaurant. He was making very good money, he paid no rent and he had an extra room for me.

With a population of 6000, it was not a place to continue a lucrative drug business. Also, he would enroll me into the little high school and I could get my diploma. I could work in the restaurant in the evenings where he would keep his eye on me. Then, there was the horse. He would buy me a horse. And on and on and on.

The logic and sincerity of his argument was convincing. So there it was. An hour later, my bags were packed. I was going to live with my father in New Mexico.

That’s how in September 1975, my father whisked me away from my home in Oklahoma City, under the guise of saving me from my own demise. I was stolen and held captive in Raton, New Mexico for what seemed like forever.

My dog, Baron was coming with me, I refused to go anywhere without him. He was a tiny black and tan Dachshund. I got him free when I was fourteen, when I got back from Tulsa. To me, he was priceless. He was my best friend. He couldn’t have weighed more than ten pounds, but his heart was huge.

I talked to him about everything and he consoled me by nodding, and licking me on the cheek non-stop…or he would admonish me through his expressions and demeanor. I had lived with Dachshunds since I was seven, so understood their language pretty well. Baron understood humans better. We developed a rare communication that worked well for both of us.
Herman, our older dachshund had greeted my dad cordially. Baron couldn’t figure this out, he expressed his apprehension. He looked at me and conveyed,

“Well, if Herman isn’t worried, I guess it’ll be Okay, right? Right, Susan?”

I was sorry I didn’t have an honest answer. I did my best to settle him.

“Sure, this’ll be fun, a whole new adventure!”

As we drove West, toward the Texas panhandle, Baron kept the conversation going by his curious interest expressed by wide eyes and attentive ears. My dad amazed him with his knowledge of history, geography, geology, astronomy, world geo-politics, weather, music on the radio, literature, mechanics, religion and countless other topics. I knew he was faking his fascination with my dad. He knew he was doing me a favor.

There was not a dead moment in the air. An occasional “really?” expressed by me was enough to keep my dad’s mouth running. I was thankful for that. It kept my attention away from my jangle of emotions. As we drove through the night, I was conflicted, scared, excited, happy and worried. I didn’t know where I was going, or who was driving me there.

My dad’s jovial demeanor comforted me. He made The Palace sound like the perfect place for his little princess.

When we arrived, it was late, after 10pm., Baron was exhausted. I stood on the corner and looked up. I gulped. The three-story building was like an old gothic castle. It was a huge rectangle with the front corner cut back with a fifth wall about ten feet wide. This provided the entrance with two giant oak doors. Baron was less than enthused by its foreboding appearance. I had to agree.

Dad ignored my hesitation. “Come on, you’re going to love this place!”

He pulled open one of the oak doors, which had to weigh at least five hundred pounds. I was hesitant, but thirsty. Baron’s squirming had started to annoy me. I went forward filled with adrenalin.

The initial entrance was a small round foyer with a domed ceiling of cut glass. It was about six feet round. As I stared up at the beautiful little pieces of color, I heard my dad chuckle.

“See? I told you, there’s no place like this!”

Then I saw the true entry to the bar, a set of small bat winged doors that swung back and forth. He pulled one of the doors back, beckoning me forward. He looked down at me with a tender expression.

“Welcome home, honey, this is home now.”

As we entered the bar, I was dumbstruck. Baron was not. I stepped back in time, to 1896, into The Palace Hotel.

The bar took up half of the first floor of the hotel. It was the most captivating centerpiece of the establishment. The mirror behind the bar was the longest continuous piece of reflection glass in all the states, the brochure proclaimed. A brass foot rail extended the length of the long cherry oak bar A few feet behind was a waist high railing just like the saloons in old John Wayne movies.

The carpet was a deep royal red interlaced with black swirly patterns. Bright golden paper covered the walls. It was smooth and shiny with raised curly designs made out of felt or maybe even velour. God, I just wanted to reach over and run my fingers across it!  

The wall opposite the bar had windows that were quizzically narrow and impossibly tall. Lush maroon velvet drapes adorned them, parted in the center to provide a view of the quaint town just beyond the sidewalk.

I looked up at the ornate ceiling, which seemed a mile above me. It was covered with tiles of little angels that all looked the same, yet different. The angels danced across the entire ceiling until it curved and met the wall. I got dizzy looking at them.

“You can’t find ceiling tiles like that anywhere! My dad grinned. “They’re covered in pure gold leaf!”

I didn’t know what pure gold leaf was, but the word ‘gold’ impressed me very much.

He introduced me to the staff. I l blushed when he said; “This is Susie, my favorite little girl!” I had never heard that before. The whole crew greeted me warmly, all smiles and friendliness.  

I always paid attention when Baron got nervous but I chose to ignore him. I jostled him in my arms. My stern look at him stopped his squiggling, but his look back conveyed that I was clueless.

I, however thought, Okay, I have died and gone to Heaven! I was enchanted. My fascination with this magical setting made me feel happy; I was in the neatest place I had ever seen. I’m going to love it here!

On the first night, my dad led me around the ground floor. The restaurant was as elegant as the bar. To the rear of the restaurant, there was a large commercial kitchen. Off the rear of the kitchen, he showed, me a short hallway to the back exit. To the right, a huge staircase led to the two upper floors of dilapidated hotel rooms. A manager’s apartment had been converted from several hotel rooms connected together on the second floor, just above the entrance to the hotel.

We ended up back in the bar and sat at a table for two. Crystal, the head bartender stayed on for a little while longer after the rest of the staff were allowed to go home.

Sitting at the table, he ordered Harvey’s Bristol Cream Sherry. I had never had Cream Sherry before, but it tasted like candy with nuts and I had no problem going through numerous rounds in a very short time. I was hungry but I was too nervous to eat.

Baron, however, was ravenous. My dad fed him little pieces filet mignon and French bread with real butter. He played cute for my dad, sitting up and begging. He jumped up, putting his paws on my dad’s leg, wagging his tail like crazy.

I was a little befuddled until I caught his sideways glance that said, “I do not like this guy, but I gotta eat, I’m starving. You’re the one falling into his into his trap, not me.”

Ouch. “Baron, sometimes I wish you would shut the hell up.”

After having his fill, he settled into a wary sleep on top of my feet. I never worried about losing Baron. Where I went, he went, period.

I wasn’t aware when the bartender left. The bottle was on the table before I knew it; he kept my glass full. I was five feet tall and weighed 106 pounds. I had a lethal level of alcohol pulsing threw my entire body…and I had my daddy.

I was in a haze. Actually, it was more of a daze than a haze. My vision was
Sharon Talbot Aug 2018
The frost is still there,
Throttling the rhododendron leaf,
And ice stalls the dissolve
Of the stone-like snow,
Yet I am happy.

The sun-rays are almost Etruscan,
Filtered low through lace and blind,
Like that ***** of sunset on Irene’s hair
Sad “couleur de feuille-morte”.
Yet it is sultry.

I can open a window
And breathe the warming air
Finches flock close, careless,
Now desperate for food
And pluck menescent fruit
Off an ice-bound branch.
In the distance, a cardinal sings.

Thick drapes are drawn aside
And geraniums strain toward the light.
In a nook outside the door,
An old cat basks on a corner of sun.
He yawns, seeing me, and strolls across the snow.

All nature seems to wait, but poised,
For the final unfettered token.
Will it be a sudden, favonian breeze?
Or the robin’s unrelenting noise?
Telling us, “Winter is broken”?
This is pretty obvious: it was one of those days in winter which seem so close to spring.
nadine shane Dec 2017
i am
a confusing person.

i may
love things
that i hate;

i may
hate things
that i love.

sometimes
i adore the sun setting
and i close my eyes
as the sun drapes itself
with dust and memories.

then
i despise the way
the sun rises
with false anticipation
for children chasing them,
desiring to touch
even a glint of gold
and sunlight.

but i try not to love
the way your crooked smile
makes everything look
endearing.

because
i am afraid
that i will soon learn
to hate it.
please do not make me adore you.
Nico Julleza Mar 2018
The seraph sky on ebony night,
A white marble of placid light.
Casting to the living glass,
Haunting, the feeling's elapse.

A time of gardenia drapes,
Hanging the mourning wall.
Scent of ambrosia fogging,
The pavement covered in moss.

Portraits of Celts amidst,
Drifting upon moonlight mist.
Eyes delving, ears opt to hear,
Voices whisper of ancient fear.

An oracle muses the unguided,
As trees speaks the truth.
Humanity strives to be the art,
Yet only remembers by a few.
#MoonBright #Humanity #Haunting #WeAreOne #Nature #LoveInOne

(NCJ)POETRYProductions. ©2018
After a tiny nap I woke up,
And gave the curtain drapes a push-up,
Just to witness how they were torn-up.

I had no clue on who did it,
I doubted my brother cutting it a bit
Thinking it is a chit!

Then I had to spare him,
Because he was at the gym.
And then I saw my window open to view,
And suspected the squirrel anew.

Thus came the huge conspirator,
The squrriel, the top operator
Who tore my curtain drapes
Thinking they were edibles!

And now, I here my mother call,
Who is going to enter my room, so tall,
I don't know how I am going to tell her all,
For the squirrel tore my curtain; though small
Now I need to manage the brawl.
Titanic-Lover Aug 2013
If you didn't know my story,but saw me in a book,
You'd read my name and wonder,then take a second look.
A shadow of my former beauty,I've been ruined by many years,
The things that have happened to me always bring on many tears.
I do not hide my sadness,for it is fresh and always there,
As I wait here so very lonely in my sunless Atlantic lair.
My poor,proud body is rotting away,there is nothing I can do,
Except hope maybe one day,equality will be given me too.
I recall a sadness filled day within my lonely dark,
When a plastic cup came floating down,and on my tomb left a mark.
That was one of many times I would give up and cry,
For human cruelness hurt me so,I got this rather than 'good-bye'.
I do not hardly recognize myself anymore,I say it not to be vain,
I say it with truth and exactness,to my heart welled up with pain.
Some people truly love me,for them I'm truly greatful,
Others regard me as a rusty ship with eyes that bespeak hateful.
I cannot help what happened to me,they just don't understand,
I once had a heart adventurous that would lead a career grand.
My hopeful life was ended in the year of 1912,
And my dreams,visions and pride-filled youth to the bottom delved.
I was told that youth and beauty would get me far in life,
And with these assets I proudly boasted,I knew nonesuch called 'strife'.
Throughout the tumble and crash of waves rode my lean body's length,
I reveled many times over in my satisfying,thrilling strength!
****
On the evening tide of the 14th,I saw the iceberg  true,
A handsome,glittering,ethreal prince,what was a lonely girl to do?
I rushed as fast as could be allowed to greet this glacier born one,
Eager to introduce myself and rid forlornness akin to a ton.
But when I came up closer,my heart he did stab,
With that glittering,icy spellbinding look,'twas my start of being sad.
He tore into my body,bringing unsurmountable pain,
What was the purpose of such cruelty,what could he possibly gain?
And on the night my life ended,I travelled my beloved sea no longer,
Death so young,in such a way,could life be any wronger?
I hoped so much I would not perish in a life that did just start,
Yet hopes were banished by the truths of a rapidly weakening heart.
I tried to wait as long as I could to save my passengers dear,
But the ending for so many of us was soon becoming near.
I didn't want to say farewell to the things I did love so,
And yet time was running short,and I wanted them to know:

Olympic,my lovely sister,I hope your life is a promise true,
Of many voyeurs across oceans wide,a charmer you are too.
Treasure the sun's bounty that warms the evening's chill,
And know throughout your entire life,my love is with you still.
Enjoy the satisfaction of your beauty and strength even when in dock you sit,
For a day may come anytime,and a single moment end it.
Show the Captain you are bold-bold,lovely and free,
But do not toss caution in the spray thrown off the sea.
I trust you not to be lonely in travels near and far,
For my ghost is always with you,just look up at a star.
When days come to you and a disconsolate thought you may think,
Remember the unconditioning love of a sister who'd "Never Sink".
Remember my love at morning,remember it at night,
Remember it these coming days I will no longer be in your sight.
I love you,Fair Olympic,in wordless,heartfelt ways,
Your memory I shall treasure in my saddened,sunless days.

I rest on a sandy sea bottom,amongst accoutrements of life,
From an unforgettable day when I learned the meaning of strife.
The earth has covered the stab the iceberg in my side did maim,
But despite that all,the hurt in my heart did stain.
I relive in over and over,wishing it were just a dream,
Yet awaken to the truths to know,my broken funnels have no more steam.
The way I landed in this grave,I look like I shall sail ahead,
But,that is all a fantasy,my once-strong body is dead.
It will not go anywhere,today or ever again,
I am helpless to the trash that falls upon me from heartless men.
The ship that sail above me hold people bright and gay,
Who do not know the sorrows that were on a 15th of April day.
They sail on to their destination,thinking nothing of me,
Who haunts the very waves they ride on my beloved Atlantic sea.
They dream of their days ahead,cheerful and free of plight,
Disregarding any notion of a nightmarish Hadean night.
They dance,they revel and throw trash over the side,
Where it floats down eventually onto the Ocean's Queen who has died.
They do not know of an iceberg with a sinister,laughing gaze,
And who pleasured in so knowing he ended my happy days.
They do not know of terror,of the ocean flooding ones' heart,
They do not know suffering for a ship breaking apart.
They do not know the agony of bading goodbye,
To the sunshine and a beloved sister who would never,ever lie.
They stand aboard a breezy bow,above the white waves foam,
Knowing soon,within a few days,they will be going home.
They seem to forget I belonged somewhere once too,
My home wasn't supposed to be an ocean floor,far from the sky's blue.
They do not know I've loved,they do not know I've cared,
They do not know the pain in my heart,that in scrapping,my sister wasn't spared.
They are the people who have this phrase float off their lips:
"Olympic and Titanic ,they are little more than ships!"
You humans claim you hold a bond to those you love so dear,
How different is it for me,I ask,with my sister built so near?
There is so much out there for those to remember me,
But my poor,sweet sister is forgotten,plunged into ocean history.
When you recall me,try to think of her too,
Bring her alive within your heart,I leave it up to you.
Years have passed,times have changed,though down here it's the same,
I am still the great Titanic,though my bow no longer says my name.
Some people who have discovered me have been respecting and kind,
I shall never give up my secrets,but their visits I don't mind.
Then,there are others,who ravage me to know,
They steal my finery,what is rightly mine;how can they hurt me so?
Although I do not mind some visits,I am now accustomed to the dark,
For the lights they shine upon me are so horribly bold and stark.
I am now part of this sea for one-hundred and one years strong,
All stemming from an April night when the most horrible went wrong.
The rust that drapes off me,some people say are like tears,
And,partially they are,my dearest friend,of the sorrows of many years.
The ocean floor is somber,the ocean floor is cold,
All the more unpleasant for a girl who's growing old.
My song it is of truth,to show that life is not a game,
But,treasure it every minute you can,all the very same.
It may be pleasant,it may be sorrow,
But,hold close the day you live in,think not heavily of a 'morrow.
I thought I'd have a tomorrow too,as I sit here in my grave,
I had a tomorrow,yes indeed,but not in a life-filled way.
I rest under these bitter waves,a melancholy heart is mine,
A shadow of my former beauty,a ghost of the White Star Line.
In the Aprils of today,on the dancing surf above,
My soul rises up to haunt the sea I love.
My soul is not marred by tears,fright and rust,
Whole and in perfection,before my death it's just.
At the latitude and longitude of that long ago day,
I have stopped many a vessel,so,remember me that may.
The scrapping of my sister,the sinking of me,
Life ended none too kind for both Queens of the Sea.
Remember us,gay vacationers,as you gaze up at a cloud,
For Titanic and Olympic,death 'twas not proud.....

I rest under these bitter waves,
A melancholy heart is mine,
We are remnants of our former beauty,
We are the ghosts of the
WHITE STAR LINE...
This poem is dedicated to my beloved Royal Mail Steamship 'Titanic',and her more forgotten,yet beautiful sister,Olympic. Never shall the sea be host to two finer ocean liners.
JAC Jul 2018
The rain drapes the windshield in sheets
and the radio doesn't reach any stations

cold integrity darkens the interior
of Alex's rusty crimson Camaro

it's never this quiet on the highway
sliding between light and lightning

laid bare by a flash across the sky
naked at the sound of thunder

what use is running away
if all you can do is drive.
Back to the Camaro reference, I guess? It seems to be some sort of vessel for nostalgiac feelings and a longing for memories that have never actually happened, which I don't mind.

— The End —