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samara lael Apr 2019
i laughed at all those jokes you made about falling
yet here i am feeling tears fall because i realise
i tripped at every sweet sentence you said
& now i can’t tie my shoe laces to stop myself.

my shoes were dancing with yours
to a song i associate with you now
& although i know someone kicked you before
& that you’re not ready to throw out those old sneakers,

my laces are getting ******* with yours.
you’re kneeling down to undo them,
& i want to do it, too, to protect myself,
but my heart laces are making me fall.

& then they wonder why kids take off their shoes.
oh, the irony; they don’t get hurt.
judy smith Feb 2016
On World Hijab Day, which was on February 1, you didn’t have to be a Muslim to wear one. The designated day was first announced in 2013. Founded by activist Nazma Khan, the story behind World Hijab Day is an emotional one which speaks of the bullying, prejudice, physical and racial abuse Khan endured as a young child who migrated to the US from Bangladesh. These unkind imputations were all because she wore a hijab.

Since launching an online store in 2010 to sell hijabs, Khan has received an outpouring of support from hijab-wearing women across the globe who have shared with her their own terrifying stories because of their headscarves.

Today, World Hijab Day is celebrated in 116 countries around the world. Although the declaration received negative criticisms from some who saw it as a “well-financed effort by conservative Muslims to dominate modern Muslim societies,” others respect the day. One such person was New York Assemblyman David Weprin, who in his feature address on World Hijab Day, said: “As the prime Assembly sponsor of the Religious Garb bill in New York State, A2049, I stand with all Americans of faith, regardless of their choice, to wear a hijab, kippah, turban, or cross. All Americans of all faiths should be allowed to freely exercise and display their religious choice without the fear of violence and bigotry.”

Here at home, women’s rights activist and model Naballah Chi has not been quiet about her love and honour for the true meaning of the hijab. In an interview with the T&T; Guardian, Chi explained the meaning of the hijab and why it’s worn.

“The literal meaning of hijab is to veil, to cover, or to screen. Islam is known as a religion concerned with community cohesion and moral boundaries, and therefore the hijab is a way of ensuring that the moral boundaries between unrelated men and women are respected,” said Chi.

She added, “In this sense, the term hijab encompasses more than a scarf and more than a dress code. It is a term that denotes modest dressing and modest behaviour. Wearing the hijab is a commandment from Allah. The majority of Muslim women wear hijab to obey God, and to be known as respectable women.

“The basic requirement of the hijab is that a Muslim woman should cover her head and ***** (chest) and her body. So in the last 30 years, hijab has emerged as a sign of Islamic consciousness and women’s assertion to obey their lord. A woman wearing hijab becomes a very visible sign of Islam.

“The aura of privacy created by hijab is indicative of the great value Islam places upon women. Therefore, hijab is not a symbol of oppression. The hijab does not prevent a woman from acquiring knowledge or from contributing to the betterment of human society. While those who seek to ban hijab refer to it as a symbol of gender-based repression, the women who choose to don a scarf, or to wear hijab, in the broadest sense of the word, view it as a right and not a burden,” she explained.

She said wearing the hijab has given her the freedom from constant attention to her physical self.

“My appearance is not subjected to scrutiny, my beauty, or perhaps lack of. Instead it has been removed from the realm of what can legitimately be discussed,” she said.

Chi comes from a world of beauty pageants where she once felt pressured to put down her hijab in exchange for a crown.

After understanding the true meaning behind the hijab, and why she wore a hijab as a Muslim woman, she decided to design a fashionable collection called Classic Woman—not the conventional headscarf, but rather, beautifully coloured pieces which bear intricate artwork. They can range from embroidery to sequins or even tie-dye. The sky is the limit when she puts her fashionable sense into motion.

Chi said the collection was inspired by both The Great Gatsby and the Renaissance eras of power dressing.

“My collection features designs showcasing the powerful but elegant and well-tailored woman.

Chi Collection’s trademark fabrics are soft, beautiful silks, chiffon, sequins, embroidery and bridal laces. Distinctive attributes are the colours scarlet red, white and black, in keeping with the classic fashion palette and to pay homage to my country as a Trinbagonian designer,” said Chi.

Her collection was launched in November 2015 at the Red Runway Fashion Gala held in Port-of-Spain. The collection will be available for purchase via Chi’s upcoming website.Read more at:www.marieaustralia.com/short-formal-dresses | www.marieaustralia.com/formal-dresses-2015
As I told you already that I was Graeme Thorne in the 1950s and apart from the fact I was him for just 8 years, I had a best friend named bobby Francis who was a very ***** fellow, well back then so was I
Bobby had a teenage crush on dody Stephens who sang pink shoe laces which was bobby's fave song and I, as Graeme Thorne thought yeah she is cute and bobby bought her album over to my house and you could hear his voice twanging with the words pink shoelaces and then in 1959 bobby bought pink shoelaces which caused a bit of shock for teachers at old scots college and Greame Thorne who was me said it looks weird that my mate is wearing pink shoe laces
But bobby couldn't give a flying **** about what people were saying about him
Just listen or try and get the memory of him singing
Tan shoes and pink shoelaces
A polka dot vest hey man oh man tan shoes with pink shoelaces and a big panamol
With a purple hat band and my friend bobby sang that with the same twang as dodi Stephens
Which could be the reason why
Bobby is having a tween crush on an older 13 year old singer
I as Graeme Thorne also had a crush on dodi and both me and bobby were dodi's dory but bobby's mum got really cranky with bobby for his voice because it could be a **** voice but bobby used bad language to tell his mum to get ****** and every time we went to the local shops in Bondi beach we bought our ice creams and sat on the beach singing the dodi Stephens hit
And then two gorgeous 12 year old girls sat near us and I said
How about a bit of sugar and bobby said for you maybe but I want dodi's pink shoelaces
And I told bobby to live in the realistic years and bobby said you can talk to these girls but I like dodi ok and bobby was ******* over dodi Stephens **** body while I as Graeme Thorne went over to the 12 year old girls and started to massage their backs and thighs saying to bobby these girls are a nice *** of sugar
For my spoon and as the girls left they kissed me as greame Thorne on the lips and left thinking my friend was a bit of a **** and when we got back to bobby's house bobby played pink shoe laces very loud as well as ******* thinking dodi is a 50s fox and I toild him that those girls on the beach were **** too and bobby said yeah I agree but I plan to finish school and marry dodi and then said he was Dooley and dodi is trying to keep me safe well in 1960 I was kidnapped and killed and bobby well I will never ever know if he got it together with dodi, probably not but in my current life at the age of 22 I heard bobby's twang singing pink shoe laces as I heard it on the radio and now I listen to pink shoe laces on YouTube
She is hot
guy scutellaro Oct 2019
The rain ****** through a darkening sky.

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

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

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

The rain turns to snow.

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

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

Snowflake chuffs once, twice.

The man is gone.



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The bartender recognizes the man smiling at the redhead.

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

"Who told you that?"

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

"George, I heard, HE was dead."

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

They shake hands.

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

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

"Gobble, gobble," O Malley smiles.


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

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

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

The people sitting the barstools do not turn to look.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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



"I'm part Indian. "

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

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

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

Her bushy eyebrows come together forming a delicate frown.

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

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

And Jack smiles.

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

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

She smiles.

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

Delleto tries to speak.

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

Jack recognizes the look on her face. Bad dreams.

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

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

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

Jack is finishing his beer.

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

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

She stands up, stares at Jack Delleto.

And walks away.


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

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

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

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

"Dove sta amore," Jack Delleto asks.

Death is angry, steps closer.

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

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

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

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

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

The Miller Lite gently rocks and then it stops.

Jack stands up, shakes his head and smiles.

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

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

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

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


2 a.m.

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

The rain has finally turn to snow.

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

The dog, Snowflake, dead, Jack thinks.


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

Jack disappears into empty pages.


Chapter 2


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fondly, he remembers.

Dad.


                                     *     

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

Jack Delleto thinks about mountains.

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

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

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



                                           Chapter 3


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

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

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

"YOU PROMISED."

"How about a sargeant in a jeep?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Finally the boy and his mother are quiet.

"My husband will have you fired."

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

Jack mutters something.

"MMOOOMEEE,  what does..."

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


                              
     

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

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

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

"I was attacked by five women."

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

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

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

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

                                        
     

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

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

"Hello, Kathrine," says Jack Delleto.

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

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

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

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

"You were alone, always alone."

"You've seen me there before?"

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

"How many kids do you have?"

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

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

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


                              
     

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

The snow must melt; spring is inevitable.

His pup will be back.



                                           Chapter 4


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"About right."

"You look tired."

"I am a little."

"Are you sick or is it a woman."

"I'm not sick."

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

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

Jack and Felix start walking over to the ring.

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

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

In the opposite corner Bill Wain waits.

"Will he be alright?" Harry asks.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bill Wain comes out of his corner circling left.

Jack rushes straight ahead.

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



                                           Chapter 5


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

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

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

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

"Who told you that? Crazy George?"

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

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

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

How's the other George? Dell asks.

"AA."

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

"Rehab."

"What about Robbie?"

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


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

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

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

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

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

Some guests clap. The bemused just stare.

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

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

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

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

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

"Thanks, Mr. Cool."

Jack takes off the sunglasses.

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

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

"What happened?" O'Malley asks again.

"Bill Wain."

"He turned pro."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Do you hear them, Bob?"

"Hear what?" Bob asks.

"All of them."

"All of what?"

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

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

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


                                          Chapter 6


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

"My names Kathleen."

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

"How about, Darlin?"

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

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

"But no one else is dancing."

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

"It's twenty degrees out there."

"I'll keep you warm."

"All right, lets dance."

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

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

Kathleen had never meant anyone quite like Dell.

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

"Nothing."

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

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

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

"No."

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

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

Dell strikes a match. The flame flickering in her eyes. "Maybe someday you'll have your home."

"Do you want me to?"

"Yeah."

Kate blows out the match.


                                  
     


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

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

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

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

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


                                         Chapter 7


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

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

"Still alive and well."

"Who is this pretty young lady?"

"This Kate."

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

Kathleen forces a smile.

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

"How long?  Delleto inquires.

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

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

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

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

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

Earth, O island Earth.


                                               Chapter 8


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Earth, O island Earth.



                                           Chapter 9


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

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

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

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

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

"You lost?"

"Yeah."

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

The radio plays softly.

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

Kathleen sighs.

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

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

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

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


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

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



                                             Chapter 10



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

"That's because I care for you."

The rain pounds the roof.

Jack Delleto sits down on the bed, caresses her shoulder. "I hate the rain. Come on, give me a smile. "Kathleen pulls away and faces the wall.

"Well I don't need anyone."

"People need people."

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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



                                            
     



The ringing phone.

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

"Jack, I'm scared."

"Kate?"

"Someone broke into my apartment."

"Is he still there?"

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

"I'll be right over."



                                         Chapter11


"How hot is it?" Kathleen asks.

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

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

"Let's go to the boardwalk."

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

"We could go on the rides."

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

"It's my birthday."

"I bought you flowers."

"Yeah, carnations."

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

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

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

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

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

"Fine."

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

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

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

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

The boyfriend stares angrily at Jack.

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

Jack wins that game, too.



                                                 Chapter 12



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

"Soon, Darling, "her father assures her.

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

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


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

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

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

"Ooooh, Daddy, I love this."

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

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

Kathleen feels the impulse to *****.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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




                                      
     

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

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

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

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

The man does down.

Jack wins.



                                                  CHAPTE­R 13

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

They take the shots and throw them down.

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

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

"Probably not insects."

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

                                          
     

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

The rain pounds the roof.

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

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

The austere room has won.

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

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



                                           Chapter 14


The rain turns to snow.

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

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

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

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

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

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


                                        
     


Slowly the door moans open.

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

"Yeah, I'm awake."

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

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

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

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

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

"Jack, you forgot something that night."

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

"You didn't kiss me goodbye."

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

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

"Yeah, I'm crying."

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

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

"Hold me, Jack, hold me tighter."

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


                                          
      *


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



                                            Chapter 15


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

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

Jack has committed a trespass.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And begins licking him.

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

                               FANTASY WILL SET YOU FREE

                                                 The End

To Tommy, Crazy George and Snake, we all enjoyed a little madness for awhile.


"Conversations With a Dead Dog..."
Kevin J Taylor Aug 2017
Raymond shifted his weight forward on the coffee
shop chair and leaned his cheekbone into the heel of
his palm. A childhood verse chided him in his
mother’s voice of over fifty years ago.

“Raymond, Raymond, if you’re able,
get your elbows off the table.
This is not a horse’s stable,
but your mother’s dining table.”


It didn’t immediately connect to any
pictures in his mind but he had heard it enough
to know it was real. An hour ago he had been
at his mother’s side in the palliative care ward.

She had appeared smaller than he liked to think of
her—had looked almost like he was seeing her at
a distance. She hadn’t greeted him, only closed
her eyes and said, “Feed the cats, will you.” It wasn’t

really a question. “Yes,” he answered, but the cats,
whoever they were, must have left or died years ago.
The only living thing she owned, he suspected,
was the small Christmas cactus someone had brought to

cheer her up. He looked at her again, waiting for
her eyes to open. They never did. Her jaw dropped
and that was that. Raymond hadn’t wanted to be
in the room when the nurses and orderly would

come to take her away. He stopped at the reception
desk to say that he’d be in the coffee shop
waiting for his brother and sister-in-law to
arrive. They were late and he was thankful to have

a few minutes to himself. From where he sat he
faced the open entrance of the café. There was
a couple sitting tiredly off to one side.
A man in a shapeless blue hospital gown and

slippers shuffled in pushing an IV pole ahead
of him. Raymond heard steps echo sharply down
the hallway. Here they are, he thought, hurrying
needlessly. Bill and Marijke had been fast asleep

at 2:30 am when Raymond’s first text message
came in. They never saw it until 5:00 when Bill
reached for his cell phone as he did every morning
right after Marijke turned off the alarm. “****,”

he said, “No time.” Bill, “William” on his realtor
business card, and Marijke, were used to demands
on their time from potential home buyers. But they
usually had early mornings to themselves—

breakfast, coffee, catch up on current events. Not
today. The text had said, “ASAP.” They hit the drive-
through at Starbucks on their way to the hospital.
“Hey Bill. Marijke,” Raymond said. Bill nodded. “Hey,”

he replied and paused to look at Raymond, to see
if he’d say something else, “Is she gone?” “Couple of
hours ago,” Raymond said. “Should we see her?” Bill asked.
“Can if you want, I suppose. Maybe later,"

Raymond said, "Did she have a cat? She mentioned cats.
I haven’t seen any for years. Did you take them?”
Mother might have mixed him up with Bill again.
Raymond looked at his brother who didn’t seem to

be listening and then at Marijke. "She used to
feed the neighborhood cats before she broke her hip,”
Marijke said. “That might be it.” It seemed odd that
Marijke knew more about his mother’s life than

her sons did. “Maybe you’re right,” Raymond said. “What’s next?”
“I’ll call her lawyer and get him on it,” Bill answered.
Raymond suddenly realized that his brother
had been listening. Marijke started to cry. 
 
Raymond pulled some napkins from their holder and pressed
them hard against his eyes. Bill looked down and away.
Over the next few days life seemed to stop. Nothing
more than daily routines and only as long as

they didn’t require much effort or attention.
Coffee, whatever was in the fridge—dishes sat in
the sink. Gradually he began to feel alive
again. It was as though he had been wrapped in blankets,

hearing distant, mostly muffled voices, glimpsing
unfamiliar rooms and spaces when he closed his
eyes to sleep. Marijke had startled him this morning
when she called and said to the answering machine that

Bill and she were coming over with something from
the lawyer and hoped he would be in. She didn’t
wait for him to pick up. She’d have known he was at
the kitchen table. They arrived mid-afternoon.

No knock at the door. Bill was the older of the
two and was the most like their dad. And Dad had not
been the knocking sort. Not with Raymond anyway.
Bill and Marijke each carried a bag of groceries

which they placed on the kitchen counter. “Thought you might
need some things,” Marijke said. “Nice to see you, Ray.”
She took a bag of groceries and made room in the
fridge for its contents: milk, BBQ chicken and

eggs. She placed the bananas in a wooden bowl.
“Saw the lawyer yesterday,” Bill started. “He has
the will but it doesn’t amount to much except
for the house,” he paused, “The equity has mostly

been ****** out of it. God knows what for. And there’s this…”
Bill dropped a large manila envelope in front
of Raymond. “I’ve already opened it. There’s an
envelope for each of us in there. Marijke

says we should open them together because we’re
all the family we have now.” He tipped the envelope
on its end and let the two smaller envelopes
slip out. One each for William and Raymond. Bill picked

his up and tore the corner of the flap destroying
most of the envelope in the process and
extracted what appeared to be several sheets of
neat handwriting. “It’s just a letter,” Bill said. He

put it into the inside breast pocket of his
suit jacket. Raymond waited a moment then picked
up the other envelope, turned it over and nodded
almost imperceptibly. He stood, walked to the

shelf between the window and the back door where he
had made room for the Christmas cactus instead of
leaving it behind. Not sure about the light, he
thought, and leaned the unopened letter against the

earthenware ***. “Not you, too?” Marijke shook her
head. “It’ll be like…” Raymond said, he paused, looking
at her, “It’ll be like not hanging up the phone.”
Marijke understood—he’d never open it.

“I get it,” she said in a softer tone. Bill looked
blankly at his brother. And Raymond smiled a little
for the first time in a while. By six the next
morning Raymond was already dressed and brewing

coffee. Usually he would head down to Timmy’s
Donut Shop for his caffeine fix. “Double trouble,”
he’d say, meaning “Double double,” as he always
did at Timmy’s. It amused him and often made

his favorite server smile. “Too much trouble, you mean,”
she’d say. Human contact. Raymond guessed that some of
the guys at the corner table would be wondering
how he was doing. They’d know what had happened, of

course, but they’d ask just the same. He poured his first cup
and walked out onto the back porch. Still a bit cool
out here, he thought as he leaned against the railing,
sipping his coffee as his eyes wandered around

the yard. He’d have another cup in a while but
first he had something he needed to do. Raymond
sat down on the porch steps and slipped his feet into
an old pair of shoes. He tied them and flicked the loops

with his finger to see how the laces fell, to
make sure he had not tied them backwards and would not
work their way loose. Someone had taught him that a long
time ago when they had seen his laces come undone.

He stood up and walked across the yard to the back
lane and the narrow picket fence, missing a picket
here and there and much of its original coat
of white paint. Some boys had probably pulled the missing

pickets off decades ago and with galvanized
garbage can lids for shields spent a Saturday
morning sword fighting. The gate was leaning and half
open, held there by uncut grass, weeds and neglect.

He stepped out and onto the lane that led between
the two rows of houses that backed onto it. Raymond
looked at each fence, each set of stairs and window as
he passed them by. A block later he turned and headed

home satisfied that he had seen at least one cat,
maybe two. Another cup of coffee in hand,
Raymond sat on the top step. On his way out of
the kitchen and onto the porch he had stopped to

turn the cactus in the morning light, stepped outside
placing a saucer of fresh milk by the porch door,
and sat down.

THE END
.
The many streets I've walked
the days that have passed
I never wanted to change my shoes.

Each step was like a small trophy
although the pavement would
steal a little bit of my soul.

Maybe I was bitter towards this fact,
but really it was giving my soul
character.

As the shoes grew weaker
the more misshapen I had become
in the best possible way.

One day it started to rain.
My shoes did nothing to protect me.
I resented them.

As I got home and took them off
to toss them in the corner of my room.
I held onto the tattered laces.

Tracing the weaved pattern I made
when I first laced them.
Remembering what I could of what they've seen.

A slight catharsis came over me.
I gently put them side by side
and slid them under my bed instead.

Tomorrow a new pair of shoes
with new laces
to start a new journey,

but never forget the tattered laces of past shoes.
Martin Narrod Jan 2017
Shoefly don't bother me
Shoefly don't bother me
Shoefly don't bother me
Or I'll begin to frighten thee

Laces on leather sneaks
Laces on leather sneaks
Laces on leather sneaks
Make a loop then round the tree.

Tall boots up to the knee
Tall boots up to the knee
Tall boots up to the knee
Come here and get in bed with me.
Prodigy Sep 2015
People have asked me how I feel. It’s not simple sadness - it’s far less real- but more a resigned sense of loss. I guess… I guess I’d say it’s like when your shoelaces come untied and you look down at them, you see the laces laying listlessly on the ground, but you don’t reach down, you don’t twist them back into a knot and rescue them from the dirt. It’s not that you don’t want to, it’s simply that something is lacking - the energy, the motivation, the care. And so you keep walking, and with every step you take, you see those laces snake around your feet. They tangle with each other, trampled by your shoes, but you don’t care. You don’t have the energy to lose. Instead, you let them drag in the dirt, in the wet, in the dust. You let them because you just don’t care. After all, it’s not as if your shoes have fallen off; the laces are still doing their job, just not as efficiently. They’ve been compromised; they’re acting differently. And that’s fine. But the worst is when people look at you, look down and say to you, “Oh, your shoe laces are untied,” realizing it anew. As if you’re not aware with every step you take that those tiny plastic nibs at the ends of a fraying string are slapping against the floor, raking across the ground. As if you can’t feel the looseness in your shoes, the vulnerability, and the sense that they no longer feel quite as snug and might fall off at the slightest tug. As if you can’t look down and see them dragging, twisting like snakes trailing  in your wake. Yes, you know your shoe laces are untied. It doesn’t matter what you’ve told yourself, it doesn’t matter if you’ve lied. You know. You know, but you’re not going to do anything about it because why? Why bother? You’ll have to untie them eventually; you saw it coming, that inevitability. Everything must break. Everything must come apart, every shoelace, every person, every work of art. Nothing can stay together in the long run. We might as well let it come undone.
“Shake your *****!”
you said
so I did
and you shook so much
the laces came undone
and the sole almost split
down the beauty of its middle

It's what I now know was a
wow there we are”
out of ***** experience
- Melanie Wotherspoon
Marieta Maglas Oct 2012
She entered and lied in a bed to sleep, but she was feeling as a bandit.
She was shaking being so cold, but she couldn't move under the blanket.
Drifting illusions rolled on her dreams to nothing else but a dying trance,
The breadth of her mind stopped for a second to wish any other chance.



In his vision, the prince saw her dancing so gracefully and being alone.
As angelic was the princess Snow White as the heaven was her home.
The next day, he seemingly heard her again singing in the early dawn,
Her reflection on the water he touched, but she was suddenly gone.



That house belonged to seven dwarfs working in a diamond mine.
Having some mine flowers inside, their home had a special shine.
She drank wine and ate vegetables from each glass and each plate,
The dwarfs returned home and lit their candles wanting to recreate.



They approached their candles to that bed to clearly see Snow-White.
'Good heaven! ', 'She is so beautiful! ' They loudly exclaimed in the night.
She told them about her story and her desperate search for a new home,
They asked her to clean their house, they told her to avoid the wood to roam.



The oldest dwarf was the Smiley, the one they could really smile back to...
The youngest dwarf was called the Lier, because he couldn't say any true...
She wanted to be brave in the face of what was fearful, fatidic and fateful,
She could play and dance with her friends and she was really grateful.



She asked the little Sleepy, ''Are you aware that you talk always in your sleep? ''
''Don't say that! ' He replied, 'You should know that your confidence I'll keep! '
She said and asked the Painter, ''Paint me the mine with your deep emotion! ''
The Singer composed for Snow White a sweet serenade to set her in motion.



‘'Mirror, on the wall, who in this land is fairest of all? '' Queen wanted to know.
‘'You, my queen, are fair; it is true, '' replied the bad mirror through its glow.
''But beyond the seven mountains, in the dwarfs' house, Little Snow-White
Is a thousand times fairer than you, moreover, her future is extremely bright! '

While the queen's dogs were howling into the broken night to throw away
The forces, the queen was preparing the poison for the Snow White's birthday.
The poison was melted into blood and dew by that queen with innocent eyes.
Her beggars jumped over the moon for a ritual dance of a princess, who dies.




Her crows were flying in the wind being so proud of what they have done,
Her dress could hide the truth so well, with her mask she enjoyed the fun.
''I'm having bodice laces for sale, '' she said knocking on the dwarfs' door.
Then, she pulled the laces so tight that Snow-White fell down on the floor.


The sun hid behind the sea of clouds not to see the Snow White's death,
The dwarfs came home and found her on the floor without having breath.
They cut the bodice laces in two and Snow White could come back to life,
''She will give you poison to drink in sips and you will die without any strife.''



‘'Mirror, on the wall, who in this land is fairest of all? '' Queen wanted to know.
‘'You, my queen, are fair; it is true, '' replied the bad mirror through its glow.
''But beyond the seven mountains, in the dwarfs' house, Little Snow-White
Is a thousand times fairer than you, moreover, her future is extremely bright! '



She poisoned a comb and went out to knock again on the Snow White's door,
When she stuck the comb into the girl's hair, the girl fell down on the floor.
When the seven dwarfs returned home, they drowned in their own despair,
But she opened her eyes, when Liar pulled the poisoned comb from her hair.



‘'Mirror, on the wall, who in this land is fairest of all? '' Queen wanted to know.
‘'You, my queen, are fair; it is true, '' replied the bad mirror through its glow.
''But beyond the seven mountains, in the dwarfs' house, Little Snow-White
Is a thousand times fairer than you, moreover, her future is extremely bright! '



Everything was grey, while the queen was saying her mystic words aloud,
Inside her dark castle's granite walls, even the signs of time were not allowed.
Only lonesome birds and souls were flying there above a big fragile shroud,
Only craggy faces and weary eyes could be seen there in a demonic crowd.
Terry Collett Jan 2014
He'd already
slit his wrists
and tried
to hang himself

in the crapper
from the water
pipe system
and now they kept him

in the locked ward
sans belt or laces
and kept him
in sight

of at least
one nurse's sharp eyes
but still he managed
to liberate laces

from some old guy's shoes
while he slept
and had just about
tied one end

of the tied laces
to the pipes
when a nurse
seeing him

through the curtains
raised the alarm
and banged
on the door

and raised
merry hell
but he just set about
his slow task

attempting to put
the narrow noose
about his head
when some big

male nurse
(ape build)
banged open
the door

and pulled him down
sans the laces
and pinned him
to the floor

Benedict smelt
body odour
and cheap aftershave
and still

the ape nurse
held him down
there was that
Beatles' song

on the radio
on the locked ward
HELP
I need somebody

the nurse joined in
the chorus line
Benedict caught sight
unwittingly

of the female nurse's
pale pink *******
as she moved
on over to help

and her perfume
was better
and has she
pressed down

nearer
to give aid
he closed his eyes
gentlemanly

so as not to view
the cleavage
coming his way
can’t have

too much excitement
(he mused darkly)
in one suicide
attempting day.
TheDaisyDancer Jun 2015
The shoes were red,
and stood at 7 inches high,
perfect to look sophisticated,
and to feel like she was touching the sky.

Everyone criticized her,
because they thought she wore them to get attention,
and co-workers would confront her,
to give her a ***** mention.

Only the people don't understand,
because she feels self conscious of her height,
and the heels are the only opportunity,
to make her feel alright.

              . . .

The shoes were brown,
covered with mud and dirt,
shoe laces tangled in a mess,
and didn't have any way to avert.

People overlooked him,
when he wanted something,
because they thought he didn't care,
but who are they to be judging!

The truth is,
in fact he did care,
but didn't have enough money,
to buy nice shoes to wear.

             . . .

The shoes were neon,
like the color of the sun,
they had bright shoes laces,
that he wears when he runs.

People thought they were ugly,
because they were off brand,
and they lacked the character,
that all the cool shoes had.

But really he was trying,
to just fit in,
but they would reject him,
every time he begins.

              . . .

Be kind,
for everyone is fighting a conflict,
that you know nothing about,
so don't judge nor depict.
This poem is based off  the book, "To **** a mockingbird" by Harper Lee. "You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view . . . until you climb into his skin and walk around in it."- Atticus Finch. Thank you!
Sarah Ellis Mar 2011
I slip my tender toes into your familiar bind,
your pink laces twist up my legs
and animate me.

En pointe, my toes are perched upon their boxes,
and your silken arms embrace my ankles
as if I walk on nothing.

Fuetes swing you around and I am a circus ride,
turned into painted porcelain,
a spinning doll.

I spend months with you, scuffing your soles, tearing your cloth,
burning your laces, stretching your lips.
We become old.

One day they will put us both in a tiny fabric box,
only to spin when it opens, only to dance
at the soft tinkling of a bell.
Ellen Joyce Jun 2013
Its my body, my money, its up to me what I do with it.
But everyone else is wearing it.
I cant help the way I feel.
Blonde
Red
Orange
Brown
Purple
DMs purple with pink laces
school skirt altered in the textile lab 3" shorter
hormones racing, zipping, vibrating, fizzing till the top pops
stairs made for stomping and storming
cackling laughter crackling down the telephone wire
clothes left on the bedroom floor abandoned for a girl crisis.

You cant read my mind
read my lips
read my body
read my journal sandwiched between the midriff covering cottons gran bought for Christmas and the skimpy lace thong I'd be grounded for buying

Mother's mattress sanitary towels tossed aside
for shamefully purchased tampons
instructions included

and time has passed
and masks have fallen
and I find you there in the muck and the mire
and dust you off
until

I see your face - all mothers lipstick and glittering pink eye shadow
and the smile that stores secrets in a treasure chest.
Your legs shake like Bambi's but you get to your feet
and nestle yourself into me warmly, strongly until you fall right into me
and you run and you run and you run and you run and you run
right through my veins
giggles throbbing through my pulse
pajama parties and homemade perfume radiating in my eyes
and there you are
and there I am.
This poem was inspired by and dedicated to Eve Ensler and her book 'I am an Emotional Creature' which expresses girlhood in relation to men and women as something which we are all encouraged to surpress.  This is a snippet of my girlishness - the girl I was, am and will always be.
Written 2011
Chance Nov 2014
I will share with you
My empire of dirt
If you should ever decide to cast me out
Through the heavens I'll fall
I do not blame you at all
For i have nothing to give
But im sure as hell going to try
To give you all that's left of me
Maybe we can build something new
We can take a walk in eachothers shoes
And make sure the laces stay tied
As the soles wear away i can learn to confide
If we ever trip or break our stride
Feel free to bind the strings and throw them over a telephone line
To come back to another time
They will not wither
They will not break
If they ever fall
The ground will shake
And let us know its time to come back home
No two souls are destined to be alone
Our spirits have bathed in one anothers glow
The scent is one they've grown to know
Held hands throughout the cold
And will surely hold fast as destruction surrounds the place we call home

I adore you and you alone
VickyEbes Nov 2013
It’s been a while
I forget how beginnings go
I’m so eager to start running that I forget to tie my shoe laces
Maybe that’s why I’ve never won a race
I couldn’t remember how to start and I didn’t bother taking the time to learn again
So once I skipped right to the middle, throwing in all the ingredients, trying to bake something without even bothering to look at the measurements
Too much contact, not enough connection
The ending came too quick
And i was left with a mess i’m still trying to clean up
I’ve found myself facing never ending beginnings
Where you’re left hanging onto anything because it’s just about to happen, like the tempt of a sneeze
But all you get is teary eyes and wasted tissues
I’m a collector of stories
And I’ve only ever found pieces and rough drafts
I’m not sure how beginnings go, or how the threads would unravel into a book
Because all i have is my patch work quilt of Once Up A Times and Middle Chapters
Maybe You’ve had a beginning, middle, and end before
But by the time you’ve reached the end and found yourself facing another beginning
You might forget how they go too
Maybe it’s been a while
So let’s paint a picture
There doesn’t have to be any rules or guidlines
We’ll paint ourselves a sunrise
A perfect beginning
Because as it comes up, even the Sun isn’t sure of what it’s about to face
And we can paint ourselves a river
With whirlpools and rocky edges
Stretching far and long
Because our middle will have power to split mountain ranges and the strength to make it through the roughest terrains
Let’s curl up under blankets with flashlights
Cause the world is a dark place and I’d much rather stay here and make forts out of sheets, where the only demons we’ll find are shadows cast from out flashlights
I’ll whisper you lullabies, just promise to keep holding me tight
Babe with you here, my universe doesn’t need to be anything bigger than this mattress
I’m a collector of stories
But i’m not quite sure how to write one
So let’s stay here and not think about endings
I’m not sure how they go
And i’m hoping i won’t have to know for a while
mikumiku Dec 2018
I met her on a narrow street of old Verona
Her beauty’s magical, her name was Lady Mona
She rolled a cigarette between her diva fingers
A little cherry smoke around her gently lingers

She had a long deep fire-coloured autumn hair
That with the wind dance as if out of very care
Her eyes are brighter, gayer then azure sapphires
Two little diamonds that can start unholy fires

Her ******* are full of life, the sweetest goddess milk
It taste like childhood memories wrapped up in silk
The skin – an undiscovered lands of sinful wild
It sends you on a trip so rough yet very mild

She was so picturesque, a genuine sugarbomb
Like rays of sun that dazzle through a naked palm
I pray thee, Jupiter, align the heaven stars
And let me be the one who strikes of her guitars

Wish I could walk to her and ask her dearly out
I feel so brave yet nervous, want to scream and shout
I want to spill it out, express my inner passion
But that’s not me behaving in such crazy fashion

Hell to the no! I go! I’ll spit my fire lines!
I am a blonde! I curse those stupid *** designs
I’ll offer things to her, I promise I’ll pushy
****, I am gonna offer her my cola *****

If men be ***** models, I shall be one too
I have one in my mouth – a nasty point of view
If men can flirt and conquer, so can ******* I
This Aphrodite’s taken, she is only mine

I walk to her, approach her like the mighty Taurus
Rehearse my lyrics, shuffle through my love thesaurus
I smell perfume – ambrosia, nectar, lemonade…
Formation, hold up, queen of… ******* Lemonade..?

“What is the name of thee, do tell me, pretty dear
Just like the beauty goddess you to me appear
By any chance you are one of the youthful Graces?
Be careful, darling, I can see your leather laces”
Mitchell Duran Dec 2012
She stood up against the wooden bar lit by a stale football field that shined florescent green and highlighted polyester blue like a muse of Van Gogh or Galileo. Her hair ran down the nape of her neck like a ****** waterfall and the light of the bar highlighted her sphinx like eyes as she turned and caught his eye. He stood at a small table away from the main bar with a couple of friends who were telling stories of their old college days and he, half-listening, quickly looked away, faking to scratch his eye, for he knew he had been caught looking at the back of her and she, with her women's intuition of being observed and knowing this, kept looking and he knowing the only way not to show he had been caught was to look away quickly and very obviously; like a bad actor caught dumb and silent, clueless of their next line. They blushed and shared the heat of embarrassment in their cheeks with the sounds of worn dollar bills slapping hard against the smooth wood of the bar, the bar man eyeing it angrily as cigarette smoke surrounded them and slowly drifted up like a lost soul toward the ceiling and the piano man, eyes tight shut played for everyone there when no-one cared to listen, all underneath the dim light of the bar as they strained to look away from one another, trying to find something they could put their focus upon, but, at the same time, wanting very much to look back and have their eyes meet by mistake all over again.

He focused on the design of the bathroom placards that were in the right corner of the tiny bar where you had to turn sideways and touch shoulder's with every soul inside just to get a drink. He feigned interest in the bronze design of the men's bathroom: a tiny boy looking down at his pecker as he ****** a 1/2 inch thick stream into what the man gathered to be a sunflower ***. The boy was thrusting his hips forward, both of his hands on his side, and he showed no smile, no grin of satisfaction or victory, just a stark, blank face, as if he were thinking "I am peeing in this ***. That is all." The women's bathroom sign was of a young girl with the same kind of *** the boy had been ******* in, but it was missing the sunflower and was replaced by the *** of the girl. She stared up into the sky and into the ceiling lights and was dramatically reaching for a butterfly or bird - he couldn't make out which - something with wings and made him think of a basic metaphor that this poor little girl just wants to get off the *** and be free like the birds and butterflies and clouds in the wide blue sky.

She focused on the man's shoes. She looked at the black shine and the pristine black shoe laces, all looking like everything had just been purchased that day. "There is not a single scuff on them and the way this man cuffs his pants only a single turn," she thought to herself, "Tells me he has something of a style on him". Not so run of the mill. Something special. Something of interest.* But then, she was annoyed by the cuff of the pants because she remembered that was what all the schoolboys in her prep school would do when the day was rainy or the boys rode their bikes home from school or they were nerds. The memory immediately turned her off of the man all together, but luckily, she put her gaze back on the jet-black, seemingly un-touched leather that told her success, class, and security.

The man heard a loud Cheer's!" from his table, abruptly bringing him out of his distraction. He was forced to turn and as he did, he made sure not to look up. He kept his eyes on the table and looked for the half-full beer with the worn Budweiser coaster underneath it. He could see from the his top periphery that she was still facing him but she was looking down at something toward the floor. He fumbled with his large hands for his glass and panned his eyes up slightly. The woman, seeing the movement at the table, looked up. She stared back to where she had first caught him looking at her and waited. The man felt her looking at him and in the same instant, saw the faded Budweiser coaster and reached for his beer. He picked the glass up and as the second Cheer! was yelled, he clashed his glass against all the others, all the while keeping his head not toward his friend's faces, but turned in the direction of the bar toward the girl. He smiled at her as he lowered his glass, not taking a drink. His friend slapped him on the back and told him," You gotta' drink after the cheers or its bad luck," and so he did, still staring dumbly at her as he did. She nodded at him with a self-conscious and embarrassed grin, raised her nearly gone low-ball glass of gin and tonic and tipped it toward him and turned around to face the bar.

"I"ll stand here and wait for him to come up to me," she thought, "And if he doesn't the man is a coward and a louse and not worth my time. I have looked twice now and there is some rule in some magazine that I read somewhere, that if you look twice at a man that it is sign, not a coincidence. No, it has a purpose and though I barely know what reason I want this man to look at me other then to get a drink out of him and maybe some conversation, I am certain I have looked twice, maybe even three times. Yes. I have looked at him and I have made my interest known and now I must wait for him to either come or stay with his drunken friends. They look like frat boys cheering like that. They look like drunken, silly frat boys that wouldn't know the first thing about chivalry. Hell, they probably couldn't even spell the ****** word." She laughed under her breath and smiled maliciously to herself and caught her own reflection in the mirror and, for an moment, wanted to quickly look away. Her face did not frighten her, for she was a beautiful woman, not her skin, which was milky white with the faintest and gentlest dash of rouge on each cheek, nor her chocolate colored curls that bounded like boulder's down a hillside. She turned away from a look upon her eye she had not seen or had recognized in a very long time. Her eyes were frightened.

"Frightened?" she wondered.

The man put his beer glass on the table on top of the coaster. The foam rested at the bottom of the cup like the thin layer of ice that blows over a frozen lake, barely there at all passing with the wind. He stared at her back and liked how she leaned on her right hip and put the toe of her left high-heel to the ground, rocking the nose of the shoe back and forth like she was thinking about something playfully frivolous. Behind him, the noise of his friends became a hollow echo, drowned out by the draw of this woman. She swung her left heel back and forth like a pendulum trying to hypnotize him. Someone touched his shoulder but he shrugged the hand away as in this echo chamber he could only hear the music change tracks on the juke box. The song had changed to an old Ottis Redding song and there was nothing else in the world that he wanted to listen to in that moment. As he watched her, leaning into the bar seemingly all alone, no boyfriend or girlfriend in sight, he saw her raise her glass to the barman and knew she had something by the gentle nod of the back of her head. He then saw her point with her left finger and tap the rim of the glass. Her drink was empty. She wanted another drink. He would buy her another drink.

"There is nothing in this world that a man is more responsible for than getting a woman like this a drink," he nodded, thinking to himself and trying to pick up his courage,"One that plays with my heart like a kitten would a spool of yarn, and yet also like a vulture who would peck out the eyes of a dead man in the desert. This is nothing more then that obligation. A rule passed down from man to man, from age to age, where chivalry was not for the base reason to lay with the woman, but to honor them, praise them lightly as the rain from a heavy mist and show them to the pedestal every woman, whether they wish to admit it or not, do wish for, sincerely do at least once in there life." He readjusted his belt and realigned his shirt that had gotten crooked after the celebratory cheer and thought some more,"I'm not going to do that here, this pedestal stuff. This is more like a step toward that pedestal. Yes. A step toward the shrine she wants to trust she deserves and will one day end up on. And this shrine is all cast and painted in the blurry french film noir of dream, is it not? Aren't dreams the only thing we hope to one day come true? How often - when and if they do come true - they can sometimes disappoint and eventually turn sour like a bad orange. I hope she is drinking and that wasn't just a tonic water. If this woman doesn't drink I don't think any of this will be worth anything at all."

She stood there serene and angelic, the hand that held her drink now resting on the base of the bar. Behind the man, he heard the chatter of his friends and the drone of football scores and player updates coming from the ten or more televisions that hung from the ceiling. Someone reached out to touch his shoulder but missed him as he left the table. His name then echoed behind him but soon the sound evaporated as dew does that rests on blades of grass in a summer morning to a summer afternoon. There was only her and her smell that had drifted to his table and shrouded him with the scent of white chocolate and smoke and her delicate, porcelain hand that had held up the drink shyly but not weakly, in passing demand without that demanding quality drunk people can get like at bars sometimes. He approached her, hovered behind her, but she did not turn, and then came up to the bar to lean into. He did not turn to look at her, though he wanted to very badly, but looked down at her low-ball glass with two half-melted ice cubes and a used lime. The smell of gin came from the glass and the man smiled to himself and put his hand up to signal the bartender.

"If this man orders his drink first and walks back to that table with all of his drunken friends, I am giving up men all together," the woman thought to herself," * Tonight and forever! If he can put his hand up and not even turn to look at me, as I was doing, I thought, to be very flirtatious but gentle, then I see no reason at all to keep going with men. They are barbarians that only want to eat, drink, sleep, and fornicate with women that are easy and provide no real challenge at all in their life. If he wants it easy, he can have it as easy as he wants, but not with me. No sir. Not with me ever. Not with me for a night, an hour, a minute, or even a second."

The bartender, a stout slightly overweight man that was a little over forty with streaks of grey in his thin, short-cut hair, looking very much like he should be home reading with a nice cup of tea by his side rather than in the bar serving drinks to stranger's, approached the man and asked him what he would like.

"Two gin and tonics please," the man said, "With a slice of lime and four ice-cubes in each."

"And what kind of gin, sir?"

The man turned to the woman, "What label do you drink?" he asked.

"Pardon me?" she stuttered startled, her eyebrows raised.

"Your drinking gin, aren't you?" He nodded his head toward the woman's empty glass. The tiny lines of transparent lime skin floated on top of the water that had gathered from the melting ice-cubes.

"Yes, I am. I was just about to order."

"I'll get this round and you'll get the next one."

"Any gin is fine."

The man turned to the bartender," Tanqueray, please bartender."

He nodded and went to make the drinks.

"Your very perceptive," the woman said as she turned to face him.

"I try."

"I saw you from across the bar, but was afraid to walk up to your table for fear of getting ambushed by all of your friends. Those are your friends, right?"

"Yes," he nodded as he looked over his shoulder at them, "Old college friends all with old stories of college that, truthfully, bring me little or no joy to even hear."

"Then why come at all?" she asked, "You seem smart enough to know that if you meet up with old anything, you'll be hearing about the old times all night."

"I was forced to come."

"Someone getting divorced?"

"No," he laughed, "The opposite. Married."

"Well, I hope it's not you or this would look very bad if your fiance walked in."

"And why's that?"

She clicked her tongue and turned to look at the shelves stocked with every kind of liquor. The bottles reflected the soft orange glow of the lights that circled the bar and the colors of the television screens. The man continued to look at the woman who had turned her back on him and caught their reflection in a bottle of Jack Daniel's. He waited for a response, but she stood there silent, knowing she was playing with him. Behind him, his friends were growing louder and a tray of shots had found its way to their table. The waitress who had brought the drinks, polite and with a smile, asked them to try and keep it down. They shouted "YES'S and screamed "YEAH'S" with moronic smiles on their faces, their heads nodding up and down like a dog playing fetch. The waitress giggled a thank and walked away shaking her head with disgust when she was out of sight.

"Well," she said,"You did just order two gin and tonics and I think if your fiance walked in with you chatting with me with the same drink in both of our hands, I think she would be a little upset. I know I would be."

"Perhaps we could act like we are old grammar school friends and just happened to run into one another?"

"Well, that would be a lie."

"Yes, that would be a lie."

"Which would mean we were hiding something from said wife."

"And what would that be?"

"That you approached me after I looked at you, perhaps the look from me wasn't flirtatious, maybe I thought you looked familiar, like I had seen you somewhere, and you came up to me and ordered me a drink and started a conversation with me, much like we are doing right now."

"What's wrong with conversation?" The bartender approached them and placed the two drinks in front of the man. The man took out his wallet without losing his gaze on the woman, took out a twenty and slid it toward the bartender. The bartender took the twenty, paused for a moment to see if the man wanted any change, but left when he saw he didn't want any by not moving.

"Conversation can lead to very dangerous things," the woman said playfully and wise.

"Your here by yourself and your not stupid; someone is going to come up to talk to you."

"And your that somebody?"

"I'm sure I'm not the first one tonight."

"Your sweet."

"I try," he said as he slid the drink over to here,"Your drink."

"What should we drink too?" She asked and raised her glass, the light above them reflecting in the ice-cubes and thick glass of the high-ball.

"Conversation," he said proudly and with a smile, "And the danger that it brings."

They clinked their glasses together, their eyes never leaving one another, and they both took a long drink.

"I'm not here with anybody and I'm not expecting anybody tonight either," the woman said.

"What's your name?"

"Why?"

"I want to be able to tell my friends I met a very interesting woman, but they won't believe me if I don't give them a name."

"I'm standing right here, silly. Go and tell them you met the most interesting woman in your entire life, look over at me when they ask you what my name is, then point over to me and I'll wave."

"You'll be here?"

"I'll be here."

"Promise?"

"Go, go, go," she repeated, pushing him back toward his table, "You bought me a drink, didn't you? The least I can do is wave to your drunken college friends."

The man walked back to his table, glancing quickly over his shoulder, trying to hide it, before he reached the table. He arrived to all of them drunk, beer spilt on the table and an ashtray full of punched out cigarettes and ground up cigars. Every one of them were rocking back and forth with each other, their arms sloppily hung around their neighbor's shoulders, their eyes blood shot with their mouth half-cracked open barely breathing in the smoky, beer smelling air. The man struggled to wedge his way into the circle, and when he did, he tried to get the groups attention by screaming an
Alan S Bailey Aug 2015
You put me in your hair,
twirl me with your fingers
the wind blows me here to there
so you put me on your sneakers.
I'm purple and pink, perfect punk'
upon your forest, atop tree trunk
I always am with you when you leave
and run around the school house trees.
We'll forever remember the rushing air
but we must have lost balance and crashed
the warmth and sun that glinted isn't there
*but still get up again, it's time for class!
Mark Goodwin Feb 2012
I am The Shoes of Shoes,
which are Solomon’s. Let him polish
me with the oil from his brow, for his gloss
is better than sunshine.

Because of the fragrance of thy ointment buffed
upon me, thy name
is Scent Shine, therefore do the ****** shoes
love thy feet. Stretch me,
with your Shoe-Tree, and I will run
& rejoice with thy feet through
gardens & woods, and across mountains alike.

I am leather, but comely, O ye Daughters
of Shoeshopingham, as The Pile Beneath
the Prophesised Viaduct, and as in the abundant
bottom of The Wardrobe of Solomon.

Look not upon me, because I am leather,
but put me upon thy feet for I
am thy soles.

I am the Rose of Shoe, and the Lilly of The Laces.

As the strong shoes among thorns, so
is my love among The Shod.
As the tongue that tightens to the fruit of the foot, so is
my beloved among The Shod.
His left foot is in my left purse, and his right
foot is my right, tight.
The Polish of My Beloved, behold, cometh
glinting off llyns, he cometh leaping upon
the mountains, with both of me tight on his feet.

Looketh fourth through The Round Window
of Wisdom, through The Lattice see
him shoeing himself with my flesh.

Take us the socked foxes, the little foxes that chew & spoil,
for our shodding is tender.
My Loved Shod’s feet are mine and my leather is his.
Until the day break, and the unshod shadows flee, turn
my Loved Shod, and be thou like the shoe young on the mountains.

Behold, thou art fair, my shoes, behold thou art shoes as fast
as a flock of goats over the Mountain of Shoedon.
Thy laces are like soft strands of moss, which have been spun
& woven in the Workshops of Acorns by The Grubs of Oak.
Thy eyelets are like the sweet slots in which nestle
the seeds of the pomegranate.
Thy tongues are like scarlet leaves fallen from speaking
trees, and thy squeak as I walk in thee is comely.
Thy heal is like the shield that should’ve been
fashioned for Achilles.
Thy two toe caps are as sleek & pert as the twin otters
that fish among the lilies.
How beautiful are thee, shoes for feet, O Goddess’s daughters,
the joints of thy soft foot-slot smooth as the gleam
of jewels, the work of the hands of a cunning cobbler.

O Solomon set me twin shoes as seals
upon thy feet, for Love is as strong
as The Road to Dead we must follow. O
my Loved Shod! for every one
of thy steps you make

in me is my bliss.
from 'Shod', by Mark Goodwin, published by Nine Arches Press

digitally produced audio poem version: http://soundcloud.com/kramawoodgin/song-of-shoes
Dante Nov 2011
You should all be running
There clocks are singing
There cracks are screaming
The horizon one hundred yards away, So
you should be running
Firing your energies, feel the cannon fodder, straight from the Howl
Down past the credence
Up & over indulgence
In the bright earnest face we all so fear
My mother's eyes show me
My father's will teaches
Because his words go
Up, down and up and down and straight & die
& through and ground
Reaching time reach the audience
Reach out for bleachers where watch
tictoc right American preachers
1,2,3,4,1,2,3,4
Me junction, the merger, our mental *******
Me ******, me scared
Me changing like canon fire
Right! To the ocean, deep deep depths
To think think future
TicTicTicTicTicTicTic
a clock there is singing
Showtunes for theme songs, church bells
Notify
Defcon 12 falling tanks off me shelf
See the mad red carnation
Shot at the pieces in eclipse of today
I keep going when I still have nothing to say
The drapery dying the godbirds still flying
I will never know what comes next
But I've got influence
& I'll need congruence
To empty a vault full of universal need
I want to be running
I'd wish you were running
The stitches, the fabric, sewn loving care
Like the landscaping, keep you warm
I've stolen from homeless
I've stolen from men
I break all the precepts
My breathing's from them
I steal all their oxygen
Whenever I breath Me harmony
Me stretching Me arm reach no peace
I see the world over
the oceans are strange
There's volcanic lightening
& men in white coats
I don't eat, I don’t sleep
I walk for them, should running
out there should running
We feel for the riches
We feel for the dying
Cancerous limp-ation, now windmill's orchestration
Shoes stuck in mud with laces together
Women see lightening when held through the weather
The war, land the peace is
The dynamic tension
The balance in pieces
With eyes up to heaven
Who cares if we're dying
We're all one
One what
I accuse you of calling the charlatan, ****
One bread piece obtuse cause
the sandwich is dying
Do you think that's normal?
Do you think that's abstract?
Boys crying because their teachers have fears
From the past make it last
What is wrong with your peers
Hold together mold together
Find out what's next
Feeling perplexed
Run run run you silly little girls
There's no sense in hiding the rest of the world
We've got one thing in common
And one thing is this
We've all got timing for HIGHER CONSCIOUSNESS
Hold together, mold together
Cry together scream
the bonding is no place
for a welcome machine
Then
What do we do
What do we do
What do we do
What do we do?
End swimming, out running
Over fencing, out running, Break walling, out running
Down clouding, out running
Fall like jumpers, run like dying
Out through planetary & temporary adrenal-line
Sleep when men in white coats
Them start walking
They march, they country
They apple of eden & run when the men
in white coats, they lay sleepin
The world is a mountain
the people they range
Look at these weirdos, make them say change
Educate the many use mindscreen no strife
The point of the riddle
Eternal solvation
We are confused with the mental *******
I'm ******* I'm sorry I'm scared
There's isolation in landscape
Something sounds like prepared
Listen to wordplay
try to find the right light
there's air in the landscape...
Cool to the touch
(a few beats)
1,2,3,4
Say ******* with metaphor
(a few beats)
I've got words, I've got wisdom
I watch movies
There's motion, just grab it
Keep going
You should be running
You should all be running
The world is going to start at any second
You should be running
L B Aug 2018
This woman I know
quite the old hippie
gave me this lovely gift

A softened silk and denim dress
Folded loosely
just handed to me, unwrapped
(We felt the same about the waste of paper)
“This is for you.”
Opening it, I saw its gentle gathers from the shoulders
almost elegant, its drape
and the rough
but soft and dark of it
Real indigo dye
with silk laces from bust to waist

...then the tiny stitching...
NO!
Not by machine!
Knew the labor was – intensive
Every edge
was finished, sewn
by her caring hand!

"Oh, lady of my dream

whom I do not know
I THANK YOU!
From my soul"
I would have made this in another life –
time
of hope and longing

And then I saw that seam!
along the side
that wasn't... really...
just those thicker threads
a silk macrame
of knotted net
so –  bold
to hold that one inch open
to hint at nothing –
and everything –
in between

“Oh hell! Oh ****!
Does it come with an occasion??!!”
She smiled
somewhere between shy and sly
You get them when I get them.  This from a month ago.
Marieta Maglas Apr 2012
While the queen's dogs were howling into the broken night to throw away
The forces, the queen was preparing the poison for the Snow White's birthday.
The poison was melted into blood and dew by that queen with innocent eyes.
Her beggars jumped over the moon for a ritual dance of a princess, who dies.




Her crows were flying in the wind being so proud of what they have done,
Her dress could hide the truth so well, with her mask she enjoyed the fun.
''I'm having bodice laces for sale, '' she said knocking on the dwarfs' door.
Then, she pulled the laces so tight that Snow-White fell down on the floor.


The sun hid behind the sea of clouds not to see the Snow White's death,
The dwarfs came home and found her on the floor without having breath.
They cut the bodice laces in two and Snow White could come back to life,
''She will give you poison to drink in sips and you will die without any strife.''



‘'Mirror, on the wall, who in this land is fairest of all? '' Queen wanted to know.
‘'You, my queen, are fair; it is true, '' replied the bad mirror through its glow.
''But beyond the seven mountains, in the dwarfs' house, Little Snow-White
Is a thousand times fairer than you, moreover, her future is extremely bright! '



She poisoned a comb and went out to knock again on the Snow White's door,
When she stuck the comb into the girl's hair, the girl fell down on the floor.
When the seven dwarfs returned home, they drowned in their own despair,
But she opened her eyes, when Liar pulled the poisoned comb from her hair.



‘'Mirror, on the wall, who in this land is fairest of all? '' Queen wanted to know.
‘'You, my queen, are fair; it is true, '' replied the bad mirror through its glow.
''But beyond the seven mountains, in the dwarfs' house, Little Snow-White
Is a thousand times fairer than you, moreover, her future is extremely bright! '



Everything was grey, while the queen was saying her mystic words aloud,
Inside her dark castle's granite walls, even the signs of time were not allowed.
Only lonesome birds and souls were flying there above a big fragile shroud,
Only craggy faces and weary eyes could be seen there in a demonic crowd.
The hazel in her eyes/matched the laces in her dress/I must confess/ that as I undid all the knots/ A thousand thoughts/ rushed through my head/ but i forgot/ how to speak/ so I let my hands speak to your hips/ and my neck adore your lips/ the only kiss/ I could miss/ on a day/ when you'd be away/ I'd beg to stay/ in your arms/ no harm/ would come to pay/ any attention/ to the way/ I hold my most prized possession/ rose red lips/ slender finger tips/ caress me/ the candles lit/ fire in the balcony/ smoke into the sky/ clouding light/ bringing night/ by your side/ I stay inside/ try to hide/ from snow and ice/ getting lost/ lost inside/ again, your hazel eyes.
Martin Narrod May 2014
while I may do you perfectly. the snow angels on gasoline st., did you
see them? All of the houses were dripping wet too, one girl with gold laces on her leopard shoes wore red plastic pants; totally soaked to the bone.

to train ourselves to brave the heat of each others' bodies as we awaken in  one small bed, one small blanket. the both of us yawn. it's so fun to make waffles but neither of us like to eat preference. I love you to death but prefer to brush my teeth alone- one tooth at a time.

embrace your new t-shirt, even though not everyone enjoys a good show of a flock of crows. hand drawn indie wicker-hipster prints. coffee by the pint. you crack me up like vitrifying glass sheens of the individual bubbles in a bubble bath or the ******, glazed eyes of the monsters' eye while a shark attacks.

creaky sounds of bodies mapped by fingers, tickled tummies rippled by listening to witch house singers. you crack me up, count chocula. It's Saturday, I love to laugh while laying down. everybody's funnier when they're laying on the ground. we toast to ghosts.

luminous lengths of birthday candles

lickedidddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd­ddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd­dddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd                                                            d 0  y0urself as best you can
Jack Oct 2013
~

Dusty leather laces
Knots of endless fraying
Caustic on the ribbons of a heart now in the shade

Promises are broken
Thin ice on the river
Postcards tossed into the trash so long ago displayed

Darkness finds the corner
Shadows hold the meaning
Does the world still spin when every other place is spared

Tight along the border
Guards embrace the fence line
Lost along the boundaries of love no longer shared

Knees are feeling weaker
Tears now find their falling
Puddles drench the wingtips neatly polished on the strand

There outside the window
Sunlight streams the valley
Teaching us the woman doesn’t always make the man

Sometimes she breaks the man…
Anonymous Nov 2013
I just want to tell you I love you a thousand times over and over,
hold you in my arms and
let my lips linger over your lips.

I want to softly stroke your face,
eyebrows to scarred cheek to chin,
and breathe you all in.

I want to memorize the way your limbs connect to one another;
the way your body seamlessly flows in order.

I want to feel your arms around me in the tightest of embraces,
hear the traces
of beautiful words as they melt into laces of hopes and dreams.

I want to imagine a future home
with love and
roam the world with our hands intertwined together,
stay by your side forever.

I love you.
HB Oct 2010
I am Temperance. I am Love.

I am the big, black, stomping boot
that crushes your glass heart
into one hundred thousand tiny broken pieces
beneath its sole.

This is me.

Your silver-winged Dovelet,
Your battle-wearied cooking pans,
Your thousand blood-kissed roses,
and diamonds cutting up your hand.

A butterfly flick-
           of lashes on your cheek.
A kiss-
        that is death.

That we may know despair.
That we may know anger.
Fearing our lusting, yet lusting still for fear.

The Puritanical Fury of being Unrequited--
Unnoticed--
Unloved.

Turned away. Told to accept our falls with grace and dignity.

I say **** it!
I say stand!

Raise your bolts of white-lightning fury and
Do a little heart stomping of your own!
Crush as you are crushed.
Devour those who would devour you!

We are one. Ill-matched, lace-broken, burned-fingers pair.

Upon each other we wreak and reap--
        Only natural weapons allowed: Misery, Condescension, and
                                                             ­           ***-Holery.
No K-Bars, surgical tubing, duck-tape or ****-******* false ***** available.

Do me right.
***** me right.
**** me over with that one hated word.

I have no temperance.
I will love.
Adult Angsty Poetry. Beware your eyes..
Jack Aug 2014
~

Dusty leather laces
Knots of endless fraying
Caustic on the ribbons of a heart now in the shade

Promises are broken
Thin ice on the river
Postcards tossed into the trash so long ago displayed

Darkness finds the corner
Shadows hold the meaning
Does the world still spin when every other place is spared

Tight along the border
Guards embrace the fence line
Lost along the boundaries of love no longer shared

Knees are feeling weaker
Tears now find their falling
Puddles drench the wingtips neatly polished on the strand

There outside the window
Sunlight streams the valley
Teaching us the woman doesn’t always make the man

Sometimes she breaks the man…
Before you jump to conclusions. This was written for a friend who was having some relationship problems.
Edward Laine Dec 2011
Chapter one:

  The strange entanglement of the sun, twisted in kooky bedlam with The Great King Moon in winter.

Have you ever looked down at yr feet on the long walk home & wondered if you’re really moving forward any more or if all your really doing is just moving the ground? Don’t answer that, its a rhetorical question. Of course you have. We all have. You think you’re moving in the right direction, following the north star or the compass in your brain or maybe just your nose or your thumb and fore finger. You  believe that you’re gonna make it somewhere, you have to believe. What else is there. The truth is, you’re going nowhere, we are all going nowhere, we just spin on the slanted axis & never really go anywhere. We have been conditioned to believe that this is the way the world works but I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t, you gotta buck up, **** up or ******* ‘*** let me tell you, yr ‘dreams’ mean nothing to anybody ‘*** living, real living is not connected to REM. That’s all just more ******* you’re gonna have to put up with people trying to sell you. Lick the boot, get over the barrel & bite down on your watch strap. That’s all there is to it. The mind is a magnet. If you find yourself staring in to the abyss: Jump right in. Swan dive. Hold your breath & wait. Everything will be OK. I promise you.

I’m writing, ah writing! Writing this worthless piece of *****// manuscript of means for you. For me, for the future, for love, for lust, for hatred of all things hating, for your mother & farther, for my friends, my beautiful angelic, clinically insane friends, for time, for the soles of my shoes with hundreds of miles under their laces, for your fat greedy pockets, for the moon, for the sun to spit on, for the wind to taunt, as he does like the great cowardly, perverted invisible fiend that he is, for nothing, for not quite everything, for your aching lovers, for your broken hearts, for the worlds water, may you always be clean & run free, for the great biblical liars, for the sorrowful wonder of the great homeless & may all their wants come to be wanted, for *******, for fumbling, for the vast oaken heavy doors on bars that keep us safe from the  horrors outside, for guilt, for sugar-blue smoke, for all the kids sitting in **** stained squat houses with half a horse embedded in their face, for my schools that gave up on a bored child, for warmth & fire & woollen clothing, for Paris where I can fulfil my great dream of becoming a sullen cliché, for the gravel-mounted marching marvel, may you never lose your way, for the Parthenon, for Aubergine, for The Firefly, the swan, bleeding,for growing up, for all the music makers,all people should play all instruments to any degree(rather than just, age & shrivel), for Howl for Carl Solomon, for every down & out that ever clawed his way up the street & through the yellow door, for all the animals that gave their lives to keep me fat & red faced, for Christ sake, for the invisible man in the sky, causing all war & so much death-thank you, for the wild west, for Bert & John, for the great literary mastodon to look down his reset nose at & ask me why. Why?

The way that old dial telephones look & feel. The questions that need no answers. Feeling down, down & out, upside down & inside out,upside in & downside out on the pavement at five am. Waking up in unknown beds & crawling down drain pipes. Getting lost in a place you have lived your whole life. Being in the woods simply to be in the woods. Drinking coffee even though you hate the taste. Never telling a stranger the truth. Living under a false name. Drinking yourself to death in the dark lonely-crowded corners of ***** stained wood floor warehouse floors. Feeling solid-sterling-gold for feeling so terribly horrifically half-corpse-like the only way you can really feel is completely statuesquely angelically magnificent and the only way is down(you really have no idea how far I fell that morning) , Only going out when it rains. Only going out in the dark. Staying up all night dreaming and sleeping all day. Remembering to forget, forgetting to remember to remember to be forgetful. Understanding that you and no one else understands nothing but eat-drink-sleep-****-death. Smoking until yr tongue bleeds and yr eyes burn like that fire in the sky in the fearful month of June. Wishing you knew how to tie a noose & writing ”suicide” on yr calender on a day you have no planned engagements. Shooting to the moon & back in the bee-bop-bo-bo-batter-batter-chitter-chatter like jazz on the neon streets of the earths mother. Crawling in to a stone cold bed after walking for six days & feeling bored & lonely again in ten minutes.

That’s why, I’m glad you asked. If I’m going out, then I’m out going with some steeze in a cloud of smoke, yr wife & I’m not taking you with me.

For all these things & more is the reason I write. To write for the sake of writing. For, some people write, just to write & they are truly the the lost meaning of it all.

Automatic travel rambles to plug up the holes in yr lonesome pockets. Blues.

Chapter two:  

Creeping moss-stick under-flowering the useless but grateful Tuesday poet, Jim Gravestone Sr.

The ghost of the monorail, living only in upturned memory sits slow & smooth/low against the Sunday evening rapture. You gotta know which way is down. Down. The dew on the grass & the creamy-green residue of the night before is just too close to a real drama. Absolute dahma. Down in the cold rising damp & the stain on your shirt.

He sits , sits like you, like me & like old Tom Mooney the prison king. If you ever saw such a sad sight as he, I do believe you would roll out your tongue on the pavement right there & then & wait for the road sweeper & all his secret, early morning charms & the great wolf man, pork chop sideburns (lupine dreams)to clean you up & clean you out. I do declare!

For he knows-for he has seen. Seen the sun rise from his pearly throne up on the dark side of the moon, the very face of Bowie, right there in the eye socket. He sees all. You can live your life, & you do, & you should, but he, O’ he, he has really been there & where & back again. You carry on with your sleepy routine of mule-back coffee office doom death jobs(you sleepy Bohemian, you)  & in you spare time trying to keep your nose from filling up with water & your private parts entwined with somebody else’s most private of parts, & on the side lines of you spare time you can deal with your family & all the friends that you’re sick of but hold on to, only for the fear of being left alone in the dark with nothing but all of the above. Then again you always have your studies(STDS)all of the ologies, of course.

Sleepology, cocaineology,rainolgy, sunology, lonleyology, depressionology, suicideology, talkology,empypocketsology, meaninglessology, masterbationology, coutntingyourmoneyinpintsology,walkology, onenightstandology, jumpthetaxiology, begology, borrowology, stealology,feelology, upallnightology, sleepalldayology, Xology, ologyology, etcology etc…ology etc.

Just find something you can care for ‘*** [insert atheist god/idol] knows that nobody is going to do your caring for you, even I they do in fact care for you.

I have been beginning to notice,that I(and I may not be alone)

always look at the past through a marigold monocle.

This, meaning nothing now ever seems to be joyous or gay or splendiferous until it is a past memory.

A cobweb. A rafter. A leaf on the ground. …I guess.

         Chapter three:

I know you know it but people that you don’t know, really are a funny, funny thing…

I stand outside the rain & watch the people passing by; really the most depressing experience of my ever increasing years. Un-jolly fat men with whiskey-nose & scuffle-feet stanzas of gibberish, talking gibberish & gibberish being their inner most self. Pre-war women with Arctic-blue hair, faces melting, everything pointing down, shuffle. Kids pushing prams full of ugly babies towards a house of who-gives-a-**** & ******* & I’m-gonna-die-here and what of it. Is there really no more to life. Listen to the top 40 on the radio, clueless, oblivious. Cogs. All cogs. Military troglodytes following them back in a dead eyed daze, dreaming of killing in the real and virtual. No you may not have a cigarette. Leave me alone, please. Let me listen to my watch ticking in peace & at least pretend that you don’t exist.

The human body is comprised of several ‘substances’

including..

Mercury,

hydrogen hydroxide,

fountain pens,

the lost dates of calenders,

various small woodland animals,

including…

Voles,

rabbits & field mice.

Other such things as…

Misplaced birthmarks(of the brain)

feelings of remorse and regret,

the stolen trinkets of past lovers,

and of course,

white blood cells,

pesticides,

and the second hand

from a 1956 ’Hamilton Rail road’ pocket watch.

E.L August 7th

           Chapter four:

Last night, last night was the last night it was the night last

Picasso raincoat. Imagelessness. Bottomlessness. I lost my umbrella & my Holden Caulfield head-wear, again. I was skipping on a rain cloud, corduroy boy and scarecrow girl, reunited in a soft entanglement sticky in the senses. Hoof! The only way is up when you walk down these stairs, snakes and blisters, but you’ll sweat it all out in babble cream conversation and love in your eyes. Tell me a story, tell me a story, tell me something to prop my chin up in this brown tunnel. Your name it is something I cant care to remember but of course I never really had a name of my own either, so we shall be the great wonder of the nameless masses, the ones born to no name and never wanted one anyway. A name is nothing but a label, a calling card, call me anything, call me king Charles II just as long as you do call me, the sound of a voice, your voice, any voice reeling off a comprised anagram of the alphabet is enough to get my short attentive ears to perk up and twist my noggin backwards towards the direction of my inbuilt gypsy sonar. So anyway, I was going to talk about something, something great… but now its gone and all I have is bloodshot eyes and sweaty liars palms to prove to the world that I had an idea once, I swear I did.

Here’s an idea for you to dig you heels into:

The world keeps making mistakes, everybody makes mistakes, its natural, nothing to fear, it happens all day every day. BUT, with every mistake we make, we then proceed to learn from that mistake, so.. stay with me here… Once the world, the whole world meaning everyone in it, has made every mistake they can make and of course and one would hope of course, that they have also learned from all of these mistakes; once this has happened, there will be no more mistakes to make, right? Therefore leaving the world perfect as a whole, no mistakes to make, learnt their lessons on every lesson and we can all go on with living a perfect existence, yes?…

No.

I’ve really thought long and hard about it -could never happen, people are not perfect, they never will be, if they were I wouldn’t want to know any of them, and the world, well the world is an imperfect place, and the same rule applies.

But let me hit you with another bit of knowledge to round things off and maybe put a positive spin on things. Hoist ye marrow-thumbs around this;

One of the many few early times that my legs forgot how to use them selves, I was sitting on the pavement, trying for one to reattach these two now useless appendages stuck like butter to my lower torso, but foremost trying to light a cigarette with my useless cold hands and equally useless matches, fearful of the sneaky clear coward, invisible old Mr wind, when a kindly stranger, half my size, red my hair, opposite my *** and now opposite my broken legs appeared like a person will appear when you mind is in other minds, a smile, a sympathetic look and two working hands to fire up the stick in my mouth. I said my thanks, babbled about babble and the generation of gibberish and im sure many other things inconceivable to the sober ear of a dame such as she, the bringer of flame and enlightenment, not of the smoke but of the simple mind, an idea is what she left with me and it never left. She stopped my rambling typewriter of a tongue and said ‘shush’ she held my head in her hands, looked at me straight,so I thought she might be death or god or that I was passing out,she all green eyed and like the woods, looked at my eyes like they were tethered together and dropped the bomb on me, she said ”if you are looking at the moon, then everything is alright” kissed my warm on frozen forehead and was gone into the night, never to be seen again.

That’s all the advice you will ever need, & so ll I will leave you with.

You never left a name, but I never wanted one anyway.

Midnight moment

beautiful rags

midnight joy.


Nevermind your little light,

set apart your golden dreams

that offen break,

& come to play.


Chapter five: There are things I want to write but I am not going to write them.

The End.

‘Stay gold, Pony Boy’
Kieran Mason Oct 2014
The Oak tree in the garden fasts
her luscious bodice skinned
Though dream we did that autumn last,
none could conquer cold coarse wind

Ethereal laces, red and gold
once cloaked her graceful form
As sun-warmed skin, turned white with cold
flesh falls like ladies’ laces torn

Light which drenched her leaves ’til soaked
has vanished long with autumn’s coat
Instead, bare arms, broken and *****
Fight November’s bitter, bleak demote

And then one day I check upon her
Has winter’s brutal beating claimed
vict’ry by that cruel crisp monster
gainst my garden’s fairest dame?

Alas, my prize has not been slain
her beauty ne’er been thieved
For in the night the winter came,
but dressed her as a queen!

Under folds of whitest silk she stands
draped in drops of diamond light
Defeated crude and forceful hands
bow down to such exquisite might

So once again she rises,
sleek and silver stands she now
Transformed by winter’s laces whitest
she shall remain my garden crown
Dennis McHale May 2017
She spent half of her life
wearing the same pair of shoes.

When she first saw them, they were dazzling…
full of promise (and promises!)
Tightly laced and polished,
glistening like diamonds upon her feet.

They were immediately comfortable, and comforting.

At first, she walked through dark night forests
and midnight-winding streets; breaking them in,
smiling at the melody of new leather creaking
in harmony with the violin-sawing of cricket wings,
with the ruffling of the night owls feathers.

She dared to share her dreams, and danced in her new shoes
with abandon and trust and hope.

The shoes spoke to her of wondrous things to come…
making promises shoes should not make
but new love demands –

of forever cradling her feet against sharpened stones;
of warming her toes through winter’s storms;
of lifting her heals in rapturous dance…

She fell in love with these shoes,
flooded with dreams of where they might carry her.
Each morning, she slipped them on with tenderness and love;
each night, un-laced, she fell asleep clutching them to her breast…

…whispering sweet hallelujahs
for all the miles they had shared,
and would in all their ahead days walk,
promising – until death do us part!

She loved her shoes with complete abandon
and imagined they would always be as comfortable
as the day she first placed them upon her trusting feet-

each day praying these shoes would always love her in return;
with tenderness, truth, and above all else, never hurting her.

But the years went by, and those beautiful shoes began to wear.
With time, they lost their gloss, and the leather cracked and hardened.
She noticed, one morning, a tiny droplet of blood upon her sock;
Later, a small cut upon her heel, a new pain within her heart.

Yet still, devoted, she continued to wear them
though at night she began setting them beside her bed.

In the final year, she wept looking at these shoes;
they were now ugly shoes, painful shoes.

“These shoes,” she tearfully whispered,
“will never carry me to where I need to go.”

She could tell in others eyes that they
were glad these were her shoes and not theirs.
They never talked about her shoes.
They looked away in embarrassed empathy.
To learn how awful her shoes were might make them
… uncomfortable.

To truly understand these shoes you must walk in them.
But, once you put them on, you can never take them off.

She began, for the first time, to hate her shoes;
with guilt at first, then with an increasing passion
until one day an awareness swept through her thoughts:

“I deserve a better pair of shoes.”

She looked around, and for the first time understood
that she was not the only one who wore those shoes.

“There are many pairs in this world,” she thought.
I can either learn how to walk in them, timidly,
so they don’t hurt quite as much…

“Or I can throw them away.”

And she began to plan.

“No woman deserves to wear these shoes,” she cried.
So for the final few months, she gathered her courage
…..to throw them away.

Ironically, it was these shoes
that had made her a stronger woman.
These shoes had given her the strength to face anything.

They helped make her who she now was.

One day, she slipped them on a final time
feeling the worn leather against her savaged foot;
then, flooded with the intensity of love one can only feel
knowing love is forever lost…she kissed the shoe goodbye.

When the time was right, she took her shoes to a secluded ravine
kissed them, and tossed them…like an old pair of shoes,
into an abyss.

The shoes lay there broken, tattered, worn and useless.
The shoes could not speak of the love they held for the woman
For its tongue was torn.
Left to decay with nothing but the scent of the woman’s
tender hands scenting its laces, slowly fading.

As soon as the shoes were disposed of
she went barefoot into tomorrow, pain-free
and dancing and singing:

“I will forever walk the bare feet
of a woman who has lost her shoes!”

But in exactly one year, she slipped on another pair,
happy and in love again, dancing and laughing once more...

hoping against hope, forgetting old shoes,
willing with all her heart for this shiny new pair to carry her home.
This was in response to the finalization of my divorce from the love of my life of 18 years, and more relevantly, to her announcement that she has met someone else.  Sometimes, what we can't process otherwise, we write.
Taru M Jan 2013
beyond Montana’s yellow lines
there is a field
~a field of painted soles
     and laces rubber tread
~a field of ****** curls
     and fallen headlights
where kaleidoscope lenses
look onto twisted frames          like origami halos
where teddy bears hug stop signs like pickets
     fringed in anger
          runaway childhoods sleep cautionary tales
  
beyond Montana’s blushing acne
there are red cup melodies
     blasting from blacked out tints
          weaving blues notes through Rock & Rap
distant cries are drowned by Bass
     or maybe Bud (light)
a haze of teenage eyes
they might as well be ghost riders
whip game copped from GTA
these pubescents are a Vice to their City
blooming sidewalk sloths
like flowerbeds

beyond Montana
is a country of bar stools
   where bar tenders play therapists
        and therapists play coroners
precedents are shots of whiskey - taken to the head
and reflected in flooded eyes

beyond Montana
is a country of MADD mothers and SADD students
beyond Montana
is a country of unexpecting pedestrians
beyond Montana
is a field
~a field of wing-clipped snow angels

That field is Mariah's home now
and she challenges you to change
   yourself
        your friends
             your country
she challenges you to
**STOP DRUNK DRIVING
Look up Leo McCarthy especially if you're in high school going to college. He was one of the 2012 CNN Heroes and this poem is dedicated to his daughter Mariah.

Also:
sloth = group of bears
MADD = Mothers Against Drunk Driving
SADD = Students Against Destructive Decisions
Lyn-Purcell Aug 2018
✿⊰✲⊱✿
At the sound of my name, I see the faces
turn and smiles of many friends;
Queen Sue of Ruikruya in her lilac silks,
Queen Sarita of Khaikar in orange silks,
Queen Deb of Daegeral in magenta,
Queen Kim of Geniael in creams,
Queen Robin of Naeneiana in periwinkles,
Queen Fawn of Yuamor in red-violets,
Queen Dawn of Khesian in dandelion-orange,
Queen Jugnu of Enuryn in jade-greens,
Queen Yidna of Puhan in indigos,
Queen Cne of Phelyra in turquoise,
Queen Xaela of Lonusea in peach,
Queen Ayumi of Wadia in tan-gold,
Queen Sheila of Naizzuzia in cornflower-blue,
Queen Stars of Yurithireatha in green-yellow

✿⊰✲⊱✿
King Edmund and his wife in matching
forest-greens attires,
King Omni of Khaniel in silvers,
King Emeka of Ghalali in white,
King Devon of Monait in blue-violets,
King Fugue of Thavia in blacks,
King Yacov of Igrador in olive-green,
King Joseph of Eaqellurene in bronze,
King Fredrick of Emirinait in mauve,
King Rob of Balan in sea-green,
King John of Khesian in melon-red,
King Aslam of Ikaesa in deep plum,
King Brandon of Huarean in ocher,
King Kikodinho of Izugalla in taupe,
King Jobira of Zavalon in orange-red
and many many more.

✿⊰✲⊱✿
And last but not least, King Paul of
Luciuscemi himself in emerald-and-gold.
He wears his favourite emerald green
jacket with ruby buttons, bright gold
embroidery of suns and lions; his sleeves
stitched with pearls and rubies to match
the red sash across his chest; his trousers
black as are his boots, but even they have
gold laces.
I received messages saying part 7 wasn't seen...
Come on, HP! I'll have to split this in half also.
Anyway, alot of names were dropped so please
enjoy!
To Rob and Yidna in particular,  thank you very much for your kind comments! They mean alot. Don't worry, I still have them - it's just made it private.
Thank you all so so much, truly!
I'm truly grateful.
Lyn ***

— The End —