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RAJ NANDY Sep 2018
Dear Poet Friends, Torin Galleshaw from Charlotte NC, a Member of this Site, had requested me to compose about the Rise of Third *****. Therefore, I have commenced with the causes for its Rise in my Part One posted below. Planning to compose Part Two with ******’s Blitzkrieg campaign of Poland later. It is unfortunate that I am unable to post related Maps & Photos for better appreciation of my Readers! Such options are not available for us here! However, I have managed to post a copy with maps & photos in the E-mail ID of my friend Torin!  Kindly give comments only after reading this researched work of mine, during your spare time.  Thanking you, - Raj, New Delhi.

            STORY OF SECOND WORLD WAR – PART ONE
                            RISE OF THE THIRD *****
                                       By Raj Nandy

                                  INTRODUCTION
In this part I shall mainly deal with the causes leading to the Second World War,
Which had also created favourable conditions for the rise of Third ***** under ******.
The word ‘*****’ derives from old German word ‘rihhi’ meaning ‘realm’;  
But is also used to designate a kingdom or an empire in a broader sense.
Historically, the First ***** was the Medieval Holy Roman Empire which lasted till the end of the 19th Century.
While the Second ***** was the First German Empire from 1871 to 1918, when dynamic Otto Von Bismark had united all of Germany,
Which ended with its defeat in World War One and birth of the Weimar Republic.
The Third ***** refers to the **** German Empire under ******, Which lasted from 1933 till 1945, for twelve traumatic eventful years!
Historians opine that the ending of a war is equally important as
its beginning;
Since the causes for the start of a war is often to be found embedded in its ending!
The First World War came to an end on 28th of June 1919 as we all know.
With the signing of the Treaty at Versailles by the German Foreign Minister Hermann Muller and the ‘Big Four’.  (Britain, France, America, & Italy)
Yet it is rather ironical, that this Peace Treaty of Versailles, considered as President Woodrow Wilson’s ‘brain child’,
Had sowed the seeds of discontent resulting in the outbreak of the Second World War, and Adolf ******’s dramatic rise!

Though several causes are attributed for the outbreak of the Second World War by our Military Historians.
Let me try to summarise those causes which are considered to be more relevant.
Commencing with the harsh Treaty of Versailles, the British and French Policy of Appeasement, followed by Hyperinflation and the Great Depression of 1929, and failure of The League of Nations to maintain peace;  
Are relevant factors which collectively combined resulting in the outbreak of the devastating Second World War, scarring human memories for all time!
But not forgetting ******’s forceful and persuasive eloquence which mesmerised the Germans to rise up as a powerful Nation once again.
Since ****** promised to avenge the humiliation faced by Germany following the Treaty of Versailles,
Which was drawn up with vengeance, and dictated by the victorious Allies!

THE  ARMISTICE  AND TREATY OF VERSAILLES:    
Armistice means a truce for cessation of hostilities, which provides a breathing space for negotiating a lasting peace.
Now the Armistice ceasing the First World War was signed inside the railway carriage of the Allied Supreme Commander Marshal Foch, in the Forest of Compiegne,
On the 11th of November 1919, sixty km north of Paris, between the victorious Allies and vanquished Germany.
But in the meantime naval blockade of Germany had continued, and the German Rhineland was evacuated and partly occupied by the combined Allied troops!
Release of Allied POWs interned civilians followed subsequently; And the Reparations Clause of monetary compensation was strictly imposed on Germany!
Now, following a wide spread German Sailor’s Revolt towards the end of October 1918, Emperor Kaiser Wilhelm-II had abdicated;
And on the 9th of November Friedrich Ebert, as the new Social Democrat President of Germany, authorised his representative to sign the Compiegne Armistice.
We should remember here that this Armistice seeking cessation of hostilities did not stipulate any unconditional surrender;
And the signing of the Armistice by the German Social Democrats, was considered as ‘a stab in the back of the German army’ by majority of the Germans!
These issues get repeatedly mentioned by Adolf ****** in his eloquent speeches subsequently,
To arouse the spirit of German Nationalism, and resurgence of the ‘Master Aryan Race’ of the Germans, - in Germany!

The Versailles Treaty was signed on 28th of June 1919, exactly five years after the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand which had sparked World War One.
Let me mention few aspects of this Treaty which was detested by the Germans!
Germany lost 13% of its land, 12% of its people, 48% of its iron resources, 15% of its agricultural production, and 10% of its coal, following its implementation!
German army was reduced to 100,000 men, its Navy reduced to 36 ships with no submarines, its Air Force banned, and its union with Austria forbidden.
Now to use a Shakespearean phrase the ‘unkindest cut of all’ came in the shape of Article 231,  the ‘War Guilt Clause’ of the Versailles Treaty,
Which provided the legal basis for the payment of war reparations by Germany.
The reparation amount of 132 billion gold marks (US $33 billion) to cover the civilian damage caused during the war, now had to be paid by Germany!
Thus the humiliation, resentment, and the virtual economic strangulation following the Versailles Treaty,
Was exploited by extremist groups such as ******’s **** Party.
And in the decades to follow, ******’s Nazis would take full control of Germany!

NOTES: Following Versailles Treaty, Alsace-Lorraine captured by Germany in 1870 was returned to France. The SAAR German coalfield region was give to France for 15 yrs. Poland became independent with a corridor to the sea dividing Germany into two. Danzing, a major port in East Prussia, became a free city under the League of Nation. Finland, Lithuania, Latvia, & Czechoslovakia became independent. Industrial area of German Rhineland, forming a buffer zone between Belgium &France,was
demilitarised.

WOODROW WILSON’S  14 - POINT PEACE INITIATIVE  & THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS:
American President Wilson was an idealist and a visionary, who in a speech to the US Congress on 8th Jan 1918,
Introduced a 14 Point Charter as a platform for building global peace, based on the principles of transparency, self-determination, and Democracy.
But for the first time in US history, the Republican-led US Senate rejected this Peace Treaty, and prevented America from joining the newly created League!
The US Senate wanted to retain its sovereignty without external entanglements;
Free from the League of Nation’s political dictates in its foreign commitments!
The Irish immigrants refused to support Wilson's Fourteen Points because Wilson was concerned about stopping WWI, rather than forcing the British to set Ireland free.
Many Jews also refused to back Wilson, since he was paying too much attention to the War, and not enough to the Balfour Declaration of 02 Nov 1917, -
Which promised an Independent Jewish State with a distinct Jewish identity.

The League of Nations had emerged from Wilson’s 14 Points on the 10th Jan 1920, with its HQs at Geneva, Switzerland, but it had no peacekeeping forces those days!
The League had failed to prevent invasion of Chinese Manchuria in 1932 by Japan;
Italy’s invasion of Ethiopia in 1935; annexation of Sudetenland and Austria by Germany!
The Axis countries Germany, Italy, and Japan, withdrew from the League subsequently.
Thus the League of Nations was disbanded in 1946 officially!
But President Wilson’s ceaseless efforts for global peace did not go unrecognised,
Since on the 10th of December 1920, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize!
While his disbanded League of Nations, as the first global humanitarian organisation,
Continued to survive in spirit with the establishment of United Nations Organisation on the 24th October, 1945.

ECONOMIC CAUSES - FOLLOWED BY THE GREAT DEPRESSION OF 1929 :
Germany emerged from the First World War with loss of 25,000 square miles of territory;
Loss of seven million inhabitants, and a staggering debt imposed by the Versailles Treaty!
The Wiemar Republic, after abdication of Emperor Kaiser Wilhelm-II  to Holland,
For the first time in German history, established a Democratic Constitution with Friedrich Ebert as its first President.
But The Republic first had to consolidate itself by squashing the Spartacist Revolt of January 1919 led by the extreme Leftists, and inspired by the Russian Bolshevik Communists!
The Freikorps, in March 1920, an Ex-Soldiers Rightist Group, tried to overthrow the Wiemar Republic with support of their Rightist allies and their own veteran troops!
This was soon followed by a Communist attempt to takeover of the Industrial Rhur;
But fortunately, all these uprisings against the Republic were effectively subdued!
But the 33 Billion Dollars of Reparations hung over the Wiemar Republic like the legendary ‘Sword of Damocles’, followed by the Great Depression of 1929;
Coupled with the ‘Policy of Appeasement’ practised by the British and the French;
Became the most important causes for ******’s expansionist ambition and his short- lived meteoric rise to fame!

GERMAN PAPER CURRENCY & HYPERINFLATION:
Gold Mark was the currency used by the German Empire from 1873 to 1914 only.
But to pay for the costs of the ongoing First World War, Germany suspended the gold standard, and decided to fund the war by Borrowings entirely,
Hoping to pay back the loans after Germany achieves Victory.
But having lost the war, and faced with a massive debt imposed by the Allies,
Exchange rate of the Mark against the US Dollar steadily devalued and declined!
Papiermark became the German currency from 04th August 1914 onward, when link between the Mark and gold reserve was abandoned,
In order to pay for the ongoing expenses of the First World War with paper marks, which was constantly being printed!
But later after the war, when the London Ultimatum of May 1921 demanded payment of war reparations in gold or in foreign currency only,
Even more paper marks got printed by the Republic to buy those foreign currency !
By December 1922 hyper-inflationary trends emerged, when the US Dollar became equivalent to 7,400 German Marks, with a 15-fold increase in the cost of living !
By the fall of 1922 when it became impossible for Germany to make further payments,
The French and Belgium armies occupied Germany’s Ruhr Valley area, its prime industrial region!
French and the Belgians hoped to extract payment in kind, but a strike by the workers of the Ruhr area their hopes belied!
The Wiemar Republic printed more paper notes to pay and support the workers of the Ruhr area,
When hyperinflation had peaked at 4,210,500,000,000 German Marks, to a US Dollar!
Paper currency having become worthless, some form of ancient barter system began to be used instead!

STABILISATION OF GERMAN ECONOMY WITH ONSET OF  THE GREAT DEPRESSION:
Following the hyperinflation Chancellor Josef Cuno’s cabinet resigned in August 1923,
When Gustav Stresemann became the new Chancellor of Germany.
Stresemann’s Government had introduced the Rentenmark as a new stable currency,
To end the hyperinflation which had plagued Wiemar Germany.  
Rentenmark was backed by real goods, agricultural land and business,
Since gold was not available in a beleaguered German economy those days!
When One Rentenmark was equivalent to One million, million, old German Mark;
While One US Dollar was equivalent to only 4.2 Rentenmarks.
Though Stresemann’s Government lasted for 100 days only, Stresemann continued to serve as the Foreign Minister in successive Coalition Governments of the Republic,
Till his death in the month of October 1929, but working for the betterment of Germany all the while!
His ‘Policy of Fulfilment’ stabilised German economy with a 200 Million Dollars loan from America under the Dawes Plan in 1924,
Which had also ensured the evacuation of France from the occupied Ruhr area, with their future reparations payments ensured.
Stresemann’s signing of the Locarno Pact in London on 1st Dec 1925 with France, Belgium, Great Britain, and Italy, was considered as his achievement and a feat!
Since it made Germany to enter the League of Nations ensuring stability and peace;
While the Noble Peace Prize was awarded to Stresemann for his efforts in 1926!
Later, the Young Plan of 1929 further reduced German reparations payment by 20%, while extending the time frame for the payments to 59 years!
But following a sudden Wall Street Stock Market Crash in late October of 1929,
The American Banks were forced to recall money from Europe and the Young Plan;.
Which created acute financial distress when unemployment soared to 33.7%  in Germany in 1931, and quickly rose to 40% during the following year!
Lausanne Conference was held in Switzerland in 1932 by Great Britain, Germany, and France, to further reduce the War Debts imposed by the Versailles Treaty.
But in Dec 1932, the US Congress had rejected this Allied War Debt Reduction Plan completely.
However, no further payments were made by Germany due to the Great Depression;
And by 1932, Germany had paid only 1/8 of the total sum required to be paid as per their pending wartime reparations!

NOTES: Rentenmark was issued on 15 October 1923 to stop the hyperinflation in Wiemeer Germany. Reichmark was the currency in Germany from 1924 to 20 June 1948 in West Germany , when it was replaced by the Deutsche Mark; but had continued in East Germany until 23 June when it was replaced by East German Mark.
During the Stresemann Years of Stability from 1924 to 1929, (prior to the onset of the Great Depression), with help of American financial aid, created more housing & production in Germany. Dada & Expressionist Art forms flourished, followed by modern architecture; also the Philosophy of Existentialism of Thomas Mann – influenced the Western culture. Paul Whiteman's Band for the first time brought in American Jazz to Germany, and Jazz signified the liberation of German youth and women folks of the younger generation generally. But the US Stock Market Crash had unfortunately ended this short lived euphoria, and as it soon became a global phenomena!                                


FAILURE OF THE WIEMAR REPUBLIC & THE GREAT DEPRESSION WHICH BENEFITED THE NAZIS:
Last Days of Wiemar Republic:
Ever since Otto Von Bismarck that ‘Man of iron and steel’, united Germany into a single Empire in the year Eighteen Hundred & Seventy One,
For the first time a Constitution for a Parliamentary Democracy was drawn up in August 1919, in the eastern German city of Wiemar.
Wiemar was the intellectual centre of Germany associated with musicians like Franz List, and writers like Goethe and Schiller.
The Wiemar Republic of Germany which had lasted from 1919 till 1933 had seen,
20 different Coalition Governments, with frequent elections and changing loyalties!
Due to a system of proportional representations, and the presence of very many political parties those days,  
No single party could obtain absolute sole majority in the Reichstag Parliament!
The longest Coalition Govt. was under Chancellor Bruning, which had lasted for only 2 years and 61 days!     (From 30 March 1930 to 30 May 1932)
Now, to understand the reasons for the failure to maintain a Democratic form of Government by the Wiemar Republic,
It becomes necessary to monitor its ‘dying gasps’ during its closing years so to speak!
Since faced with the economic depression Chancellor Bruning had worsened the unemployment situation by adopting stringent and unpopular measures!
Thereby having lost popular political support, Bruning with the approval of President Hindenburg, invoked emergency powers under Article 48, to survive his last few months and years!
During the years 1931 and 1932  it is seen, Bruning had used this Emergency Clause 44 and 66 times respectively!
Thus his so-called ‘Presidential form of Govt.’ had undermined Wiemar Democracy!
If Burning was the ‘Republic’s Undertaker’, now remains a debatable issue of History!
But Burning’s vigorous campaign made Hindenburg to get re-elected as the President;
Thereby he had removed the defeated Adolf ****** out of the Presidential race!
Therefore, later when ****** became the Chancellor on 30 Jan 1933, Bruning had very wisely fled from Germany!

Following Bruning’s resignation in May 1932 came Chancellor Papen’s ‘Cabinet of Barons’ consisting of individuals who were not members of the German Reichstag!
While in the election of July 1932 ******’s **** Party won 230 seats, making it the largest party in the Reichstag.
But ****** refused to form a coalition with Papen, because he wanted to become the Chancellor himself !
Now General von Schleicher advised President Hindenburg that the German Army,
Would not accept Papen’s use of Article 48 to remain as the Chancellor of Germany!
Therefore following Papen’s resignation, Schleicher took over on the 04th of December 1932 as the new German Chancellor.
Schleicher tried to restore a democratic form of government to get the Wiemar Republic back on its feet.
But in the ensuing political power struggle Papen wanted to take revenge on Schleicher for his removal from power and defeat.
So Papen persuaded Adolf ****** to become the Chancellor, and retain for himself the post of Vice-Chancellor.
In doing so, Papen mistakenly thought that he would be able to reign in the self-assertive Adolf ******!
Papen finally made President Hindenburg agree to his proposal, and on 30th of Jan 1933,
****** became the New Chancellor, with approval of the President!
A month later a sudden fire in the Reichstag made ****** invoke Article 48, in order to squash the suspected Left Wing Communists;
But while doing so, the Press was muzzled, and many Civil Rights of the German people were abolished, inclusive of their right of assembly and free speech!
****** acted swiftly, and by passing the Enabling Act on 23 March, 1933, armed himself  with dictatorial powers for enacting laws without the approval of the Reichstag whenever necessary!
Thereby ****** threw Democracy to History’s wasteland most unfortunately!
Following the death of Hindenburg on 29 June 1934, ****** combined the powers of the President and the Chancellor, and became known as the FUHRER!
Historians generally agree the Enabling Act of 1933, as the date for establishment of The German Third *****.

THE POLICY OF APPEASEMENT AND GERMAN AGGRESSION:
The horrors of trench warfare with the rattling of machine guns and bursting of poisonous nerve gas shells,
Even after 20 years remained fresh, in the minds of all World War One participants!
Therefore, it was natural for British and French Prime Ministers Neville Chamberlain and Edouard Daladier initially,
To grant political and material concessions to an aggressive Germany, for the sake of peace and stability.
Thus the diplomatic stance of Appeasement between 1935 and 1939 followed by the French and the British, was mainly to avoid another dangerous armed conflict!
But the trusting Mr. Chamberlain had underestimated ******, who had served in the German Army as a Corporal, winning the Iron Cross during the last Great War!
****** was not afraid of war, but wanted to avenge the Treaty of Versailles and its punitive dictated peace;
And also establish for the superior German Aryan race a lasting Third *****!
Therefore, having consolidated his power as the Fuhrer along with his trusted **** Party cronies, he withdrew from the League of Nations in October 1933.
Introduced conscription in March 1935 in Germany, and embarked on a mission to rebuild a new modernised German Army for combat on land, air, and sea!
In March 1936, in another open violation of the Versailles Treaty, ****** re-occupied the demilitarised Rhineland, followed by a Treaty of Alliance with Japan and Italy.
The much desired Anschluss (or merger) with Austria, the country of birth of ******,
Saw the German Army in March 1938, triumphantly and peacefully marching into Vienna!
Now with the Munich Conference of 19 September 1938, this Policy of Appeasement is said to have reached its climatic peak!
The Sudetenland area, consisted of 3 million Germans were made
to join Czechoslovakia when the frontiers were drawn in 1918-19,
Much against the wishes of the Germans!
When ****** wanted to annex this Sudetenland area, Britain, France, Germany and Italy, met at Munich to diffuse an explosive situation peacefully.
It was agreed at Munich that once Sudetenland joins Germany, ****** will not invade Czechoslovakia and honour the terms of peace.
But on 15th March 1939, in violation of the Munich Agreement, ******’s army invade and occupied Czechoslovakia, thereby openly flouting the Policy of Appeasement!

NOTES: ******’s desire for ‘LEBENSRAUM’ or ‘increase of living space’ for the Germans, commenced with his ‘Border Wars’, which soon turned into a Global War because of the ‘appeasement policy’ of the Allies. ****** had secured his Eastern Front with a treaty with the Stalin, since fighting on two fronts would have been very difficult for the Germans.

Now when ******’s army invaded Poland on 1st of September 1939, it became ‘the last straw on the camel’s back’ for the Western Allies!
Committed to the Anglo-Polish Defence Pact of 25 August, 1939, both Britain and France declared war on Germany,
Which I propose to narrate in Part Two of my Second World War Story.  
The Policy of Appeasement no doubt gave some time for Britain, to regain its depleted military strength,  but Adolf ****** had viewed it as a sign of weakness!
With Russia and America initially as non-participants, ****** became more confident and arrogant!
Thereby turning his border wars into a global conflagration lasting six long years.
When the use of advanced technology, resulted in greater loss and casualties;  
Which was followed by the holocaust and unprecedented human suffering!
I would like to conclude my present narration with a poem by English soldier-poet Seigfried Sassoon, who participated in the First World War on the Western Front.

DREAMERS  -  by Siegfried Sassoon
Soldiers are citizens of death's gray land,
Drawing no dividend from time's to-morrows.
In the great hour of destiny they stand,
Each with his feuds, and jealousies, and sorrows.
Soldiers are sworn to action; they must win
Some flaming, fatal ****** with their lives.
Soldiers are dreamers; when the guns begin
They think of firelit homes, clean beds, and wives.

I see them in foul dug-outs, gnawed by rats,
And in the ruined trenches, lashed with rain,
Dreaming of things they did with ***** and bats,
And mocked by hopeless longing to regain
Bank-holidays, and picture shows, and spats,
And going to the office in the train.
…………………………………………………………………………
Thanks for reading patiently, from Raj Nandy of New Delhi.
  *ALL COPYRIGHTS ARE WITH THE AUTHOR ONLY
1227

My Triumph lasted till the Drums
Had left the Dead alone
And then I dropped my Victory
And chastened stole along
To where the finished Faces
Conclusion turned on me
And then I hated Glory
And wished myself were They.

What is to be is best descried
When it has also been—
Could Prospect taste of Retrospect
The tyrannies of Men
Were Tenderer—diviner
The Transitive toward.
A Bayonet’s contrition
Is nothing to the Dead.
Raphael Cheong Aug 2015
1:11am:

in my lungs you breed a pale disease
you are even in the air I breathe

3:29am:

heart in half chasing electronic dreams in technicolour screams
your claws in my teeth as I drown out my whims

3:45am:

and all the nights I spent lying in the freezer
and all the little lies we wasted telling each other
and even as you left I had not come around
I was the reckless wrecking havoc on wicked ground

4:59am:

last night I was flying around
dazed and dazed and dazed all over
awaiting my jewelled crown
adorned with the prestige of an empire

even in a new cage I could not throw you out

5:27am:**

even as the sun rises surely troubles stay the same
even if you came back now I would gladly play your games
even after all this while all the daze you left me in

still you are imperial and my grailed heart it shakes like porcelain
We had wanted to leave our homes before six in the morning
but left late and lazy at ten or ten-thirty with hurried smirks
and heads turned to the road, West
driving out against the noonward horizon
and visions before us of the great up-and-over

and tired we were already of stiff-armed driving neurotics in Montreal
and monstrous foreheaded yellow bus drivers
ugly children with long middle fingers
and tired we were of breaking and being yelled at by beardless bums
but thought about the beards at home we loved
and gave a smile and a wave nonetheless

Who were sick and tired of driving by nine
but then had four more hours still
with half a tank
then a third of a tank
then a quarter of a tank
then no tank at all
except for the great artillery halt and discovery
of our tyre having only three quarters of its bolts

Saved by the local sobriety
and the mystic conscious kindness of the wise and the elderly
and the strangers: Autoshop Gale with her discount familiar kindness;
Hilda making ready supper and Ray like I’ve known you for years
that offered me tools whose functions I’ve never known
and a handshake goodbye

     and "yes we will say hello to your son in Alberta"
     and "yes we will continue safely"
     and "no you won’t see us in tomorrow’s paper"
     and tired I was of hearing about us in tomorrow’s paper

Who ended up on a road laughing deliverance
in Ralphton, a small town hunting lodge
full of flapjacks and a choir of chainsaws
with cheap tomato juice and eggs
but the four of us ended up paying for eight anyway

and these wooden alley cats were nothing but hounds
and the backwoods is where you’d find a cheap child's banjo
and cheap leather shoes and bear traps and rat traps
and the kinds of things you’d fall into face first

Who sauntered into a cafe in Massey
that just opened up two weeks previous
where the food was warm and made from home
and the owner who swore to high heaven
and piled her Sci-Fi collection to the ceiling
in forms of books and VHS

but Massey herself was drowned in a small town
where there was little history and heavy mist
and the museum was closed for renovations
and the stores were run by diplomats
or sleezebag no-cats
and there was one man who wouldn’t show us a room
because his baby sitter hadn’t come yet
but the babysitter showed up through the backdoor within seconds
though I hadn't seen another face

        and the room was a landfill
        and smelled of stale cat **** anyhow
        and the lobby stacked to the ceiling with empty beer box cans bottles
        and the taps ran cold yellow and hot black through spigots

but we would be staying down the street
at the inn of an East-Indian couple

who’s eyes were not dilated 
and the room smelled
lemon-scented

and kept on driving lovingly without a care in the world
but only one of us had his arms around a girl
and how lonely I felt driving with Jacob
in the fog of the Agawa pass;

following twin red eyes down a steep void mass
where the birch trees have no heads
and the marshes pool under the jagged foothills
that climb from the water above their necks

that form great behemoths
with great voices bellowing and faces chiselled hard looking down
and my own face turned upward toward the rain

Wheels turning on a black asphalt river running uphill around great Superior
that is the ocean that isn’t the ocean but is as big as the sea
and the cloud banks dig deep and terrible walls

and the sky ends five times before night truly falls
and the sun sets slower here than anywhere
but the sky was only two miles high and ten long anyway

The empty train tracks that seldom run
and some rails have been lifted out
with a handful of spikes that now lay dormant

and the hill sides start to resemble *******
or faces or the slow curving back of some great whale

-and those, who were finally stranded at four pumps
with none but the professional Jacob reading great biblical instructions at the nozzle
nowhere at midnight in a town surrounded

by moose roads
                             moose lanes
                                                     moose rivers
and everything mooses

ending up sleeping in the maw of a great white wolf inn
run by Julf or Wolf or John but was German nonetheless

and woke up with radios armed
and arms full
and coffee up to the teeth
with teeth chattering
and I swear to God I saw snowy peaks
but those came to me in waking dream:

"Mountains dressed in white canvas
gowns and me who placed
my hands upon their *******
that filled the sky"

Passing through a buffet of inns and motels
and spending our time unpacking and repacking
and talking about drinking and cheap sandwiches
but me not having a drink in eight days

and in one professional inn we received a professional scamming
and no we would not be staying here again
and what would a trip across the country be like
if there wasn’t one final royal scamming to be had

and dreams start to return to me from years of dreamless sleep:

and I dream of hers back home
and ribbons in a raven black lattice of hair
and Cassadaic exploits with soft but honest words

and being on time with the trains across the plains  
and the moon with a shower of prairie blonde
and one of my father with kind words
and my mother on a bicycle reassuring my every decision

Passing eventually through great plains of vast nothingness
but was disappointed in seeing that I could see
and that the rumours were false
and that nothingness really had a population
and that the great flat land has bumps and curves and etchings and textures too

beautiful bright golden yellow like sprawling fingers
white knuckled ablaze reaching up toward the sun
that in this world had only one sky that lasted a thousand years

and prairie driving lasts no more than a mountain peak
and points of ember that softly sigh with the one breath
of our cars windows that rushes by with gratitude for your smile

And who was caught up with the madness in the air
with big foaming cigarettes in mouths
who dragged and stuffed down those rolling fumes endlessly
while St. Jacob sang at the way stations and billboards and the radio
which was turned off

and me myself and I running our mouth like the coughing engine
chasing a highway babe known as the Lady Valkyrie out from Winnipeg
all the way to Saskatoon driving all day without ever slowing down
and eating up all our gas like pez and finally catching her;

      Valkyrie who taught me to drive fast
      and hovering 175 in slipstreams
      and flowing behind her like a great ghost Cassady ******* in dreamland Nebraska
      only 10 highway crossings counted from home.

Lady Valkyrie who took me West.
Lady Valkyrie who burst my wings into flame as I drew a close with the sun.
Lady Valkyrie who had me howl at slender moon;

     who formed as a snowflake
     in the light on the street
     and was gone by morning
     before I asked her name

and how are we?
and how many?

Even with old Tom devil singing stereo
and riding shotgun the entire trip from day one
singing about his pony, and his own personal flophouse circus,
and what was he building in there?

There is a fair amount of us here in these cars.
Finally at light’s end finding acquiescence in all things
and meeting with her eye one last time; flashed her a wink and there I was, gone.
Down the final highway crossing blowing wind and fancy and mouth puttering off
roaring laughter into the distance like some tremendous Phoenix.

Goodnight Lady Valkyrie.

The evening descends and turns into a sandwich hysteria
as we find ourselves riding between cities of transports
and that one mad man that passed us speeding crazy
and almost hit head-on with Him flowing East

and passed more and more until he was head of the line
but me driving mad lunacy followed his tail to the bumper
passing fifteen trucks total to find our other car
and felt the great turbine pull of acceleration that was not mine

mad-stacked behind two great beasts
and everyone thought us moon-crazy; Biblical Jake
and Mad Hair Me driving a thousand
eschewing great gusts of wind speed flying

Smashing into the great ephedrine sunset haze of Saskatoon
and hungry for food stuffed with the thoughts of bedsheets
off the highway immediately into the rotting liver of dark downtown
but was greeted by an open Hertz garage
with a five-piece fanfare brass barrage
William Tell and a Debussy Reverie
and found our way to bedsheets most comfortably

Driving out of Saskatoon feeling distance behind me.
Finding nothing but the dead and hollow corpses of roadside ventures;

more carcasses than cars
and one as big as a moose
and one as big as a bear
and no hairier

and driving out of sunshine plain reading comic book strip billboards
and trees start to build up momentum
and remembering our secret fungi in the glove compartment
that we drove three thousand kilometres without remembering

and we had a "Jesus Jacob, put it away brother"
and went screaming blinded by smoke and paranoia
and three swerves got us right
and we hugged the holy white line until twilight

And driving until the night again takes me foremast
and knows my secret fear in her *****
as the road turns into a lucid *** black and makes me dizzy
and every shadow is a moose and a wildcat and a billy goat
and some other car

and I find myself driving faster up this great slanderous waterfall until I meet eye
with another at a thousand feet horizontal

then two eyes

then a thousand wide-eyed peaks stretching faces upturned to the celestial black
with clouds laid flat as if some angel were sleeping ******* on a smokestack
and the mountains make themselves clear to me after waiting a lifetime for a glimpse
then they shy away behind some old lamppost and I don’t see them until tomorrow

and even tomorrow brings a greater distance with the sunlight dividing stone like 'The Ancient of Days'
and moving forward puts all into perspective

while false cabins give way
and the gas stations give way
and the last lamppost gives way
and its only distance now that will make you true
and make your peaks come alive

Like a bullrush, great grey slopes leap forth as if branded by fire
then the first peaks take me by surprise
and I’m told that these are nothing but children to their parents
and the roads curve into a gentle valley
and we’re in the feeding zone

behind the gates of some great geological zoo
watching these lumbering beasts
finishing up some great tribal *******
because tomorrow they will be shrunk
and tomorrow ever-after smaller

Nonetheless, breathless in turn I became
it began snowing and the pines took on a different shape
and the mountains became covered white
and great glaciers could be seen creeping
and tourists seen gawking at waterfalls and waterfowls
and fowl play between two stones a thousand miles high

climbing these Jasper slopes flying against wind and stone
and every creak lets out its gentle tone and soft moans
as these tyres rub flat against your back
your ancient skin your rock-hard bones

and this peak is that peak and it’s this one too
and that’s Temple, and that’s Whistler
and that’s Glasgow and that’s Whistler again
and those are the Three Sisters with ******* ablaze

and soft glowing haze your sun sets again among your peaks
and we wonder how all these caves formed
and marvelled at what the flood brought to your feet
as roads lay wasted by the roadside

in the epiphany of 3:00am realizing
that great Alta's straights and highway crossings
are formed in torturous mess from mines of 'Mt. Bleed'
and broken ribs and liver of crushed mountain passes
and the grey stones taxidermied and peeled off
and laid flat painted black and yellow;
the highways built from the insides
of the mountain shells

Who gave a “What now. New-Brunswick?”

and a “What now, Quebec, and Ontario, and Manitoba, and Saskatchewan";
**** fools clumsily dancing in the valleys; then the rolling hills; then the sea that was a lake
then the prairies and not yet the mountains;

running naked in formation with me at the lead
and running naked giving the finger to the moon
and the contrails, and every passing blur on the highway
dodging rocks, and sandbars
and the watchful eye of Mr. and Mrs. Law
and holes dug-up by prairie dogs
and watching with no music
as the family caravans drove on by

but drove off laughing every time until two got anxious for bed and slowed behind
while the rambling Jacob and I had to wait in the half-moon spectacle
of a black-tongue asphalt side-road hacking darts and watching for grizzlies
for the other two to finish up with their birthday *** exploits
though it was nobodies birthday

and then a timezone was between us
 and they were in the distant future
and nobodies birthday was in an hour from now

then everything was good
and everyone was satiated
then everything was a different time again
and I was running on no sleep or a lot of it
leaping backward in time every so often
like gaining a new day but losing space on the surface of your eye

but I stared up through curtains of starlight to mother moon
and wondered if you also stared
and was dumbfounded by the majesty of it all

and only one Caribou was seen the entire trip
and only one live animal, and some forsaken deer
and only a snake or a lonesome caterpillar could be seen crossing such highway straights
but the water more refreshing and brighter than steel
and glittered as if it were hiding some celestial gem
and great ravines and valleys flowed between everything
and I saw in my own eye prehistoric beasts roaming catastrophe upon these plains
but the peaks grew ever higher and I left the ground behind
Madisen Kuhn Jan 2015
it’s so frustrating because i know you wanted to be with me, on those days you drove almost an hour each way to see me and you kissed me so often and held me so tight and always pulled me closer and i could feel your eyes on me when i wasn’t looking, and we spent day after day like this, just being together and pretending that time could stand still, but at the same time, i feel like it was all just something for you to do while you were home, even though you deny it. i remember starting to tear up one afternoon with my head on your chest while you slept, because i knew it was just a matter of time till this was just a memory. i can’t picture you actually missing me, i can’t imagine you actually wishing i hadn’t said i was done with grey and in between. i feel like i’m so insignificant to you. like you have no feelings, like you couldn’t care less, this is just life, people come and go. and i know that, i know this is just life, and that people come and go, but it hurts that it’d never cross your mind to ask me to stay, that i was fun while i lasted, that you never wanted to make me yours. i’ll fade soon. i want to matter more to you. you’re a thinker, i’m a feeler, you hate that i’m so black and white. but i’m selfish and i want 3am texts that you can’t stop thinking about me and that you need to see me again soon. but that’s not who you are. and it’s unfair of me to want you to feel that way when you don’t. and it’s really okay, because if i extended my hand to you and you took it, i don’t think we would’ve gotten very far anyway. i loved being so close to you, but i’m excited to hold someone’s hand who doesn’t want to let go, to kiss someone who wants to kiss me forever, to not be anticipating an inevitable end, to be able to trust someone fully with my heart, to have someone that wants to hold it. and i don’t need that, i don’t need someone, i don’t need anyone. but if one day it’s what’s meant to be, i’ll let it be. i don’t want to be careless with my heart again. i don’t know why things happen the way they do, and i don’t regret you for a second, and i still think the world of you, but i’m too emotional and i fall too deep to give that much of myself again to someone who never asked for any of it in the first place.
Hae Sun Aug 2018
I could’ve woken you up in the morning and could’ve been the sun that rises even when we both live in a place where it never does.
I could’ve taken you to museums, at least 2 of where I’ve been to. The first one, we’ll have to take the bus because I’d tell you that I’m too lazy to drive but for the second one, I will tell you that I’ll drive you there.
My car would look at me as though it knows that there is another soul seating in the passenger seat – it was no longer some books, a box of pizza, or my dog.
I could’ve taken photos of you in that place, post them everywhere but subtly so that they can see that there are at least 2 forms of art in that photo — the one you’re looking at and the one I’m looking at.
I could’ve talked to you at night under the stars, in the same rooftop where I told you that I liked the cathartic experience of doing just what we could’ve done; the same rooftop where you talked about your life, at least some pieces of it.
I could’ve brought you to where I used to study. We could’ve walked the halls that stared at me for being too alone and too lonely only so I could tell them, “Hey, here he is, finally.” and they could’ve smiled at me because they know how long the longing lasted.
We could’ve taken a stroll in the shade of the trees or could’ve had a picnic there while watching the joggers and the sunset.
I could’ve introduced you to my friends – they’ve been meaning to meet you. They too know how long I’ve been stuck on an island by myself. They know who I was when I was eleven and when I was sixteen and I bet, if you gave them a chance, you could’ve heard the crazy things we did.
And maybe they could’ve liked you. They could’ve told me how lucky I was and probably would’ve warned me that if I hurt you, they’d stick with you instead of me.
I could’ve introduced you to my family — my mom liked you even then. I could’ve introduced you to my little brother who I would consider as the biggest and most important judge of character because I believe that children can sense goodness in people and he could’ve seen that in you.
I could’ve written you letters, could’ve left random little tokens I would've used for all the words I cannot muster to say.
I could’ve played the piano for you even if I just know, at most, 3 songs; even though I don’t really know how to read notes at all.
I could’ve introduced you to the artists I like and I could’ve known more of yours. I could’ve listened to them and I would have had to remember you every time.
I could’ve held your hand, could’ve eaten brunch with you, could’ve read you a poem.
I could’ve loved you — could have – if I was the given the chance.
But, I was and I could’ve used it but I didn’t.
my idea of an “us”
Lindee May 2015
IT RESONATES JUST AS MUCH


    
ON LIFE AND LOVE



Ever since I was small, smaller than I am now, I sought out the feeling of companionship and the mutual respect that comes with healthy friendships and relationships. Upon seeing the travesty that was my parents shattered marriage: the endless fights, the bruises on my mother's body I saw in elementary school, the anger, taunting jealousy, and tension that never ebbed. I vowed to find something that made all of that seem impossible to comprehend.

Seeing the tired strings that attach my mom and dad: their children, grandchild and 27 years of dysfunction I shudder at the thought of slipping on my mother shoes again, as I did as a child— prancing around wobbling from balance to stained carpet. It is the scariest thing I have ever done.


"Don't do this in front of the kids, Phil."
"You make me do this, Shannon."

I had an inner turmoil of wanting to be alone and be in the presence of others. My 12th birthday party, (probably the biggest I'll ever have) I had a total of ten girls from my grade stay over. A couple of them, I believe just came for the cake. We had huddled into my parent's expansive living room, painted our nails, braided each others hair, giggled at things 12-year-old girls giggle about, and watched movies. I do not talk to any of the girls from that party now, 6 years later. Not really. They all, one by one, faded in the picture we took the next morning before the storm rolled in. I remember standing in my driveway the following morning with the few laggers from the party, I spotted a few figures appeared in the distance and I had realized it was a few guy friends of mine. They were coming to say happy birthday. I had laughed to myself and felt warmer than the lingering girls. Watching them merge together, the boys and girls. The girls, twirling their hair, nervous. A familiar feeling.

The first boy's hand I ever held with the intent of affection was the year after. I was with a friend at a play put on at her father's church. Heaven and Hell: Melodramatic rendition of sins. The boy was lanky, with long, shaggy hair, tall. A few years older than I. I looked him in the eye, he smiled. My stomach dropped. His hand slipped in mine and we stayed like that for what seemed like the eternity they were talking about onstage. We eventually got in trouble. Scolded by the pastor because of my age. I cried the whole way home, scared of what my parents would say. His smell lingered on my clothes. Terrified my mother would hug me and smell him on my skin and then the secret was out.

"Mommy, I love you."
"I love you too sweetheart."

I eventually got out of hand holding, basic affection. My first kiss was a dare and that dare ignited a different feeling. The shaking of my hands, the flutter of my winged heart. A bird caged. The songs overheard on the radio about love held a different tone to me.


I ran back into the girl from the Heaven and Hell drama at the local skating rink by chance. Met a friend of hers. I watched him long before speaking to him. Quiet. long haired, skateboarding scars fractured his skin. Sitting together, I found myself drawn to him, leaning into a stranger. while others talked of gossip, we kept quiet. I didn't even know his name. I confessed at the end of the night that he was "cute" to my friends. word traveled. We exchanged information and so the experience of my first love began. The weeks after we talked for hours, giggling. Looking back, it was so elementary. Puppy love. The shyness. Timid, mousy girl tried too hard. Same story. Same ending.

My first real tragedy occurred that fall. When it happened, I felt unreal.

"I found your tapes, I'm leaving." Those brave words spoken quietly in a small kitchen.
Bags packed from weekend/week at Nana's, walking down the street, not even crying.

The phone call after, my mother in the background, keeping quiet, watching me clutch the phone, knuckles white:
"You're a beautiful girl, Lindee, I am so sorry. I didn't mean to hurt you." Ineffective apologies and quiet confessions of intentions.
"What, you didn't think I'd find them? You thought that this, what you did, was okay?"
"I wasn't thinking."
Silence
"...How could you do this?"

"You are not to see your grandfather anymore." She said after, holding my hand. her voice held the tone of a loved one passing, finality.
"Why would I want to?"
"You two were so close."

Repeated questions, mostly internalized, even now. Doubts.
"Maybe it was an accident? I don't know. Nana thinks so."
"These things do not happen by accident, Elizabeth."
"Oh."

Words were thrown across a long table with an attorney of video tapes, avoiding a house three doors down from my own, a registry he had to apply to, anxious knocks on doors, and other girls like me. My adulthood holding him captive. Guilt. Guilt. Guilt(y). Him, losing his job, me losing a father figure. Privacy invaded.

"Men do that. It's not uncommon."
My grandmother stayed with him.

"I'll leave."
"No, don't. Nana needs you."

"I love you. "
"I don't believe you. Goodbye."
A goodbye lasted 4 years. I wish they had burned my pictures. They didn't.

I ventured further into affection, losing my virginity at 16. High school exploration. I was fairly unimpressed with the hype of the teenage obsession of *** and "getting some". I liked it sure, but everyone said *** was meaningful; I didn't feel that meaningfulness. It just felt like everything else I did: strictly pleasure. Something to make me feel.

I remember my mother and father talking to each other late one night.
"You don't love me anymore."
I stayed up that whole night trying to figure out what that meant. Not only as a sentence by itself, but for my family, my mother, my father, my sister, and my brother. My world crashed down thanks to two "final" signatures on a paper. Stamped and dated.

I stayed out too late, they complained. I was absorbed with myself, skipping class most of my tenth grade year, smoking bad **** and cigarettes with my friends in abandoned gas stations on rainy Tuesday mornings. Running the streets of the dreary downtown, skies overcast. Stopping by the diner next to the high school my friends and I escaped from through alleyways. Drinking coffee at Benson's, eyes down low, paranoid that a teacher would walk in at lunch and question us. Glory Days. Our *** appeal never was quite what we had imagined, attracting flies.

I met a friend of a friend and we shortly began dating, sitting atop the ferris wheel, fireworks lighting up the summer sky. Everything was just as I had imagined a perfect relationship to be.He was older (a common trend so it seemed) but not by much, intelligent, witty, nice. He appeared as a direct mirror from myself. We were inseparable. The mirror broke though, and revealed cardboard behind it.

"You are worth ****., No wonder your grandfather did what he did. You probably enticed him."
Silence.
"I didn't mean that. No, you're my world. Look how you make me act. You. You. You."
Silence.

"I love you."
"I know I love you too, it's okay.I shouldn't have done that."
Guilt nonexistent. made-up. Fairytaled,

"I'll leave." He said one night.
"You can't. I can be better, I'll fix this. I'll be better, I am so sorry."
"Alright."


Cycling. We crashed from in love to betrayed (Him) and angry (Him)  and scared (me).  I had discovered the root my sexuality earlier than  and became ashamed of who I was before I had met Him. All the previous relationships were unimportant and to be ashamed of. I had no skin. The relationship, paternal and biting, lasted two years. My mother finally stepped in, after seeing the harm that was being done.  Seeing me slip into her own habits: excuses, dependence, and pursed lips saying, "You don't know Him." and said it was not healthy. The whole family had noticed my change in behavior. After several attempts, his threats on his life, I finally ended the relationship with help of family and friends. Told His parents He needed help, recommended the place I was then going to. It's end resembled a natural disaster. Debris scattering, mainly harsh words. Something I was used to by then.

"I love you." Him on the last night.
"No, no!  You don't. How could you? Have you ever ******* loved me, Michael?  If so, how could you do this. After all the **** I've been through. Look at me, ******. Look at me! Look how I am ******* acting. This isn't me. I don't do this. You're hurting me. What am I to you? The ground you walk on? *******. All of this is ******* *******. I am never okay. Stop, let go of me. Let. Go. I'm leaving."
The angriest I have ever gotten with Him.
I felt like screaming, shaking Him, pointing to all the roadsigns passing too fast screaming about the danger. I think I was more angry at myself though, at my shaking whispering voice and it's cracks. Deceit of ownership.  
"Don't. Please."
"I'll never do it if I don't now."
I never felt bad for slamming His parent's front door that day. Tired of the quiet of his house.

I still have repercussions. A constant doubt, lingering. Eyes always searching, straining, sometimes even creating sighs of disappointment, a slight shake of the head in disapproval. I picked out everything wrong about me and my past. I gave the specimens to the professionals to diagnose me with a disease. Showing them the wounds He made. Almost begging to be infected. The results came up negative and I was angry, told them they were wrong. Wanted Him to be right. They patted my head, lab rat, and sent me off to a behavioral hospital. Outpatient. there, I was supplied with a magic wand: intensive behavioral therapy to realign my thinking. To reconstruct myself.  Breathing exercises I could never grasp. Too many questions, long silences, ahem.

"Did He hit you?"
"No. I almost wish He did. I feel like that would have been a lot easier. We wouldn't have lasted as long if He had. "
"You'd turn out like your mother."
Silence. Fear.
" Well, at least you're coming to therapy. That's a big step. Admitting is always the hardest part."
Long pause, watching the grass sway in the window, wishing the clock would say I could leave. Scared of her questions.
"I don't think so. I feel like the hardest part of this is not knowing it was happening."
The healing process requires a sort of truth, not even torture can bring out. The truth you don't even know about until it slides out of your mouth into the air.

Constant reassurances were require. I bit back the urge to call my therapist my whole senior year, fighting through waves of panic attacks, wanted to tell her triggers were strung out in the hallways, reflected in the tile floor. Everyone looked at me and knew. Even the people I didn't know, somehow knew. I found myself rocking back and forth in the back-row seats of classes scared a bomb would drop into my lap, as it did before.

"What happened to you?" Teachers asked when my grades waltzed to no mans land.  
"I don't really know." I had said this flatly. Lying. Tired.  All my emotion had been siphoned out of me.

I remember sitting on the living room floor, phone in hand, hearing Him scream into the receiver; unable to open my mouth to tell Him to leave. That all the things He had said to me, I had carved into my skin and I hated it. Wanted it to stop. It was always my fault. Always. I then went back on the highest dose of anxiety medications and sleeping medications. Things to help me function. Things I would not and could not do otherwise, spoon-feeding me stability. Things I thought I would never have to do again. I had managed to escape them for a year or so when it was happening. He had always said prescription medications were bad, that I could handle my problems on my own. I followed suit.
Good girl.

"You're showing symptoms of PTSD. It's like you were a prisoner of war. You're staying so strong though. " My therapist had said to me. I smiled in response and said thank you quietly as I sat on my trembling hands, an effort trying not to bite at my bleeding nails.
Gulping back the words "When does it  end?"

But there I was, jumping at the backfires of trucks, looking for His car everywhere, avoiding a certain side of the town.. If only she actually knew.  I had to be soothed to sleep numerous times, mother by my bedside, reassuring me the doors and windows were locked
. Safe. Ha. Despite the safety, I always woke up screaming, not remembering my dreams. Regression to childhood night terrors. Never answered my phone if it rang, for fear of a gunshot being fired on the other line. The last threat He posed. Scrubbed myself raw, trying to get the guilt out of mouth and pores. Chain-smoked, He hated that. Constantly checked the driveway through closed curtains expecting His car, Him. Lurking. I contemplated moving, changing my name, not going college although already paid for, staying home huddled in my room, becoming one with my twin-sized mattress. Perpetually cold.

I was my mother.

Eggshells scattered at my feet; wobbling in her brown, close-toed kitten heels. My friends, dwindling badly then and still now, asking me if i am/was okay, the response was always a no in my head. How could you be when your head was constantly swimming? Drowning.

Running into Him the first day of my freshman year in college was the hardest day of my life. Nevermind the courses of court dates, family distress, traumatic loss of trust in the 8th grade: finding the video tapes my grandpa had recorded, watching them, seeing myself undress, the cats running through the house, the sickness afterwards, 3 divorces, two remarriages of a broken home, the late nights lit up with red and blue lights, being ripped from my home.
It all paled in comparison to seeing His face after so long, the causal way He walked. wondering if anyone knew what He had done. What I had done.

I had passed Him in the cafeteria. His eyes lingered on mine, predatory, daring me to say a word. I looked away, kept walking as if it never happened. as if my insides weren't strung up higher than telephone wires. As if I wasn't standing in a room with the person who was my own personal earthquake. I ended up collapsing in a bathroom stall, slouched up against the wall, hands trembling like Haitian sidewalks, not even 5 minutes from the passing. I called crying to my mother to come and get me unable to complete my next class.
"I can't do this, Mom." I  wailed, "I can't see Him."
She came and got me, understood, thankfully kept quiet. I was a bit inconsolable, and shook the whole **** way home.
All the hard work I had done in therapy, the hours of crying, tearing up Kleenex, rebuilding myself from the infrastructure collapsed as I did. The fire I ignited inside myself was burned out; gasoline and matches were unobtainable.


My mother told me to keep a stiff upper lip. She faces her version of my  demon everyday: my father, sleeps the same bed as him, Still holds his hand, wears the ring and the finger with it’s history. She didn't collapse, not yet. She was stronger. Ankles more fit to wear the shoes of abuse, inner destruction.

"I'm going away for the weekend."
"Are you coming back?"
"I don't know."

My mother exited in November, in her kitten-heels and bruises and secrets. Came back a month later and was blinded with a cold front storming out her youngest daughter.

Her choice to leave. My choice to leave. They mirrored each other. She never slammed the door though, left more quietly than I could.

I still have no skin, I keep peeling it away, in hopes to show someone something a little deeper than my shallow body, my bruised knees and the coldness that lingers

I stay substantial though, iridescent, like the tide rolling in. Falling over myself. Finding myself shrinking and rising.
Inside out Apr 2014
I saw a carving from Bethlehem that you had given my Nan,
She showed me a photograph of you, you were tall, with a golden tan.
The carving it was inscribed, 'with love from your brother Tom',
I knew my Nan had looked up to you, when all was said and done.

My Nan she was a little girl, when you were called away,
With her mother she waited eagerly for news, day, by day, by day.
In her eyes you were a hero who had gone off to the war,
Your smiling face, and uniform, were the last things that she saw.

She dreamt of the day that you would come back, striding through the gate,
she heard her mother pacing, though she didn't know your fate.
She heard her mother weeping but didn't want to know the reason why,
In her stomach she had a feeling that something was awry.

Then her mother sat her down and told her you were dead,
She told me she went dizzy, blood rushing to her head.
She told me she cried out your name, her heart it was pure broken,
The army sent a telegram, but it was really just a token.

You were just a boy of eighteen years when you were forced away,
I wonder how many mothers would cope if  their  sons left today.
They couldn't give you a grave, there was nothing left to bury,
You were blown to pieces in one hit, with bombs dropped in a flurry.

You only lasted for three months in your short, tough, army life,
My Nan died aged eighty-four, after a life of grief and strife,
She pined for you throughout those years and missed you everyday,
Her hero, her brother Tom, who left and went away.

She worried that when you fought, you longed for her and home
And worried that you were consumed with fear, and if that fear had grown.
She wondered if you had called out "Mum" and if your blood was swept by the tide,
how desperately she had wished, that she had been there, by your side.

The reason I know of you today, is that girl who became my Nan,
Who kept your memory alive as she always did back then,
I tell my sons about you Tom,  I hope it's the right thing to do,
And I hope that  they will love me as much, as my Nan had loved you.
Madisen Kuhn Jun 2013
1.  don’t be afraid of getting hurt
because in life there are times
when we need to be vulnerable
an unmatchable brilliance is radiated
when you bare your soul to another
and are privileged enough to be shown
the deepest parts of their spirit in return

2.  write often
no one has to see it, you can scribble
on napkins and throw them away
but please, allow yourself to know
the freedom of letting words seep
from your heart and relieving
the heavy strain of carrying
so many smothering thoughts

3.   never promise forever
because not once have i met
a person whose forever lasted
and i can’t say
i remember a time
when my forever has lasted, either
Jewel M C Oct 2014
I hardly remember
a ******* thing
about that day
before gazing into his eyes
once again, for the first time

rushing toward the exit
running from the baggage claim;
it was all a blur,
as walked through those doors
all I remember was the vastness
of the first sight,
stepping into the bright, unfamiliar place
& nothing else, but him

I scanned the crowd
the strange faces waiting
for loved ones
emotion thick enough to touch
in the air,
but just to my right
in the front
with his body pressed up against the metal bar,
I saw him

it was the first time I saw his face
not through a photo or webcam
in a time that was so long it ached
I think I lost my breath
did I leave my things behind when I ran?
I don't remember,
I just ran to him

it was too surreal
I can't remember a moment between
seeing his face, & kissing his lips
nor what kind of kiss it was
or how long it lasted
I just couldn't fathom it
I was really there
it was really him
& it didn't matter where we were
it was all a wonderland
to me, I was holding his hand again
everything was bright & new
it was magic, pure magic
Amanda Fern was twenty years old, long blond hair with brown eyes and many called her beautiful.

She was desired by many men, a six foot beauty, of slim build with curves that drove them wild.

She always dressed to please, like tonight she wore a dress that left nothing to the imagination, it was pink and by the way it clung to her body it was obvious she wore nothing underneath.

She wore leather knee high boots and she was waiting for a client to pick her up for her job was an escort.

At eighteen a rich boyfriend had paid for her to have implants, 34DD, he had been sixty seven and she had dumped him after she got what she wanted.

She found richer and older men paid more to have her, and they never lasted long, if they had the money she would use them and she never lost her heart to any of them.

She had received three hundred dollars from someone by the name of Sam Haine, she had never met him and she was to wait for transport to pick her up to take her to the rural countryside.

She was hoping this Samuel Haine, whoever he was, would be her next sugar daddy.

Suddenly  a coach of horses arrived, with a coachman dressed in black, his face hidden by a black scarf who beckoned for her to get into the coach.

"Whatever" she said and entered and sat in the coach, it had leather seats and must have cost a fortune.

The journey was long, leaving the city and heading for the country, past fields which seemed dark and eerie in the night.

They arrived at a mansion, ivy covered the walls and  Amanda could see the large oak doors were open as inviting her to enter them.

The coachman opened the door of the coach, and never spoke but she got the message, she was to enter the mansion alone.

As she entered those oak doors, beautiful crystal chandeliers bathed her in candlelight, but there was no one to greet her, it was then she heard his voice for the first time.

"Come to the master bedroom, third floor at the top of the stairs, the door is open" he said from up above those stairs with dark green carpets.

It was a voice of someone younger than she expected, a voice that seemed so ancient but sounded so gentle.

Amanda walked up the stairs then came to her destination, through she could see a four poster bed with white silk sheets, covered with red rose petals and as she entered the room she saw him for the first time.

He looked to be thirtyish, he had long flowing brown hair, it flowed past his shoulders and he was the most handsome man she had ever seen in her life.

His eyes seemed coal black, but they shined and he seemed so pale skinned, standing there in an old fashioned looking frilled white shirt and black trousers.

He must had been six foot four, she wasn't used to men taller than herself and that voice was like music to her when he spoke.

"You are a beauty indeed, come to me" he said, and she approached him for this was the first time she had ever wanted a man, had felt this way.

He lifted her dress and she felt it glide off over her head and his eyes seemed to glow as he studied her naked body and she knew she had to have him.

He lay her on the bed and she felt him kiss down her body and then his mouth and tongue found her thighs and he tasted her, and she shuddered with delight.

He probed her masterfully with his tongue, tasting her deep inside and she exploded with an ****** that rocked her from within, for the first time she was in love.

He undressed, then joined her on the bed, his body was well formed with muscles and she needed him.

He kissed and gently nibbled her ******* making her wet again, then he was inside her moving with a slow and gentle rhythm, she wrapped her legs around him and screamed as he brought her to ****** time and time again.

He never made a sound and when he came inside her, she felt him flow deep into her and she felt alive, she never knew *** could ever feel like this.

She stayed there on the bed, and she watched him dress and she felt her heart sink, hoping he would ask her to stay and not send her back to the city.

"Please stand my sweet" he said and she obeyed, he came to her and she felt his right hand touch her left breast as her heart beat fast.

She never felt the pain, all she knew was he had something in his hand as he took it away from her chest and she looked down and saw her blood gushing from a hole below her left breast.

She saw the evil in his eyes as he watched her dying, as darkness came to her all she could think was "He stole my heart".
copyright Chris Smith 2010
I.

One night at the Troubadour I spotted this extraordinary girl.

So I asked who she was.

‘A professional,’

That was my introduction that on a scale of one to ten

there were women who were fifteens—beautiful, bright, witty, and

oh, by the way, they worked.

Once I became aware,

I saw these women everywhere.

And I came to learn that most of them were connected to Alex



II.

She had a printer engrave a calling card

that featured a bird of paradise

borrowed from a Tiffany silver pattern

and,
under it,

Alex’s Aviary,

Beautiful and Exotic birds.



A few were women you’d see lunching at Le Dôme:

pampered arm pieces with expensive tastes

and a hint of a delicious but remote sexuality.

Many more were fresh-faced, athletic, tanned, freckled

the quintessential California girl

That you’d take for sorority queens or future BMW owners.





III.

The mechanism of Alex’s sudden notoriety is byzantine,

as these things always are.

One of her girls took up with a rotter,

the couple had a fight,

he went to the police,

the police had an undercover detective visit

(who just happened to be an attractive woman)

and ask to work for her,

she all but embraced her

—and by April of 1988 the district attorney had enough evidence

to charge her with two counts of pandering

and one of pimping.

For Alex, who is fifty-six

and has a heart condition and diabetes,

the stakes may be high.

A conviction carries the guarantee of incarceration.

For the forces of law and order,

the stakes may be higher.

Alex has let it be known that she will subpoena

every cop she’s ever met to testify at her trial.

And the revelations this might produce

—perhaps that Alex compromised policemen

by making girls available to them,

—perhaps that Alex had a deal with the police to provide information

in exchange for their blind eye to her activities

—could be hugely embarrassing to the police and the district attorney.

For Alex’s socially correct clients and friends,

for the socially correct wives of her clients and friends

and for a handful of movie and television executives

who have no idea they are dating or

married to former Alex girls,

the stakes are highest of all.



IV.

Alex’s black book is said to be a catalogue of
Le Tout Los Angeles.

In her head are the ****** secrets

of many of the city’s most important men,

to say nothing of visiting businessmen and Arab princes.

If she decides to warble,

either at her trial or in a book,

her song will shatter more than glass.





V.

A decade ago, I went to lunch at Ma Maison,

There were supposed to have been ten people there,

but only four came.

One of them was a short woman

who called me a few days later and invited me to lunch.

When I arrived, the table was set for two.

I didn’t know who Alex was or what she did,

but she knew the important facts of my situation:

I was getting divorced from a very wealthy man

and doing the legal work myself

to avail lawyers who wanted to get a big settlement for me.


Occasionally, she said, I get a call for a tall, dark-haired,

slender, flat-chested woman

—and I don’t have any.

It wouldn’t be a frequent thing.

There’d be weekends away, sometimes in Palm Springs,

sometimes in Europe.

The men will be elegant,

you’ll have your own room

—there would be no outward signs of impropriety.

And you’d get $10,000 to $20,000 for a weekend.





VI.

The tall, slender, flat-chested brunette

didn’t think it was right for her.

Alex handed her a business card

and suggested that she think about it.

To her surprise, she did

—for an entire week.

This was 1978, and $20,000 then

was like $40,000 now,

I knew it was hooking,

but Alex had never mentioned ***.



Our whole conversation seemed to be about something else.



VII.

I was born in Manila

to a Spanish-Filipina mother and German father,

and when I was twelve

a Japanese soldier came into our house

with his bayonet pointed at us,

ready to do us in.

He locked us in and set the house on fire.

I haven’t been scared by much since that.



My mother always struck me as goofy,

so I jumped on a bus and ran away,

I got off in Oakland,

saw a help-wanted sign on a parish house,

and went in.

I got $200 a month for taking care of four priests.

I spent all the money on pastries for the parish house.

But I didn’t care.

It felt safe.

And the priests sparked my interest in the domestic arts

—in linen, in crystal.



A new priest arrived.

He was unpleasant,

so on a vacation in Los Angeles I took a pedestrian job,

still a teenager,

married a scientist.

We separated eight years later,

he took our two sons to another state

threatened to keep them if I didn’t agree to a divorce.

Keep them I said and hung up.

It’s not that I don’t have a maternal instinct

—though I don’t,

I just hate to be manipulated.



My second husband,

an alcoholic,

had Frank Sinatra blue eyes, and possibly

—I never knew for sure—

had a big career in the underworld

as a contract killer.

Years before we got serious,

he was going out with a famous L.A. ******,

She and her friends were so elegant

that I started spending time with them in beauty salons.

They were so fancy,

so smart

—and they knew incredible people,

like the millionaire who sat in his suite all day

just writing $5,000 checks to girls.



VIII.

I was a florist.

We got to talking.

She was a madam from England

who wanted to sell her book and go home.

I bought it for $5,000.

My husband thought it was cute.

Now you’re getting your feet wet.

Three months later,

he died.

After eleven years of marriage,

just like that.

And of the names in the book

it turned out

that half of the men were also dead.

When I began the men were old and the women were ugly.



IX.

It was like a lunch party you or I would give,

Great food Alex had cooked herself.

Major giggles with old pals.

And then,

instead of chocolate After Eight,

she served three women After Three



This man has seen a bit of life

beyond Los Angeles,

so I asked him how Alex’s stable

compared with that of Madam Claude,

the legendary Parisian procuress.

Oh, these aren’t at all like Claude’s girls,

A Claude girl was perfectly dressed and multilingual

—you could take her to the opera

and she’d understand it.





He told me that when she was 40

she looked at herself in the mirror

and said

Disgusting.

People over 40

should not have ***.

But She Was Clear That She Never Liked It

even when she was young.

Besides, she saw all the street business

go to the tall,

beautiful girls.

She thought that she never had a chance

competing against them.

Instead,

she would take their money by managing them.





X.

Going to a ****** was not looked down upon then.

It was before the pill;

Girls weren’t giving it away.

Claude specialized in

failed models and actresses,

ones who just missed the cut.

But just because they failed

in those impossible professions

didn’t mean they weren’t beautiful,

fabulous.



Like Avis

in those days,

those girls tried harder.

Her place was off the Champs,

just above a branch of the Rothschild bank, where I had an account.

Once I met her,

I was constantly making withdrawals and heading upstairs.





XI.

We took the lift

and Claude greeted us at the door.

My impression was that of the director

of an haute couture house,

very subdued,

beige and gray, very little makeup.

She took us into a lounge and made us drinks,

Whiskey,

Cognac.

There was no maid.

We made small talk for 15 minutes.

How was the weekend?

What’s the weather like in Deauville?

Then she made the segue. ‘I understand you’d like to see some jeunes filles?’

She always used ‘jeunes filles.’

This was Claude’s polite way of saying 18 to 25.

She left and soon returned

with two very tall

jeunes filles,

One was blonde.

This is Eva from Austria.

She’s here studying painting.

And a brunette,

very different,

but also very fine.

This is Claudia from Germany.

She’s a dancer.

She took the girls back into the apartment and returned by herself.

I gave my English guest first choice.

He picked the blonde.

And wasn’t disappointed.

Each bedroom had its own bidet.

There was some nice

polite conversation, and then



It was slightly formal,

but it was high-quality.

He paid Claude

200 francs,

not to the girls

In 1965, 200 francs was about $40.

Pretty girls on Rue Saint-Denis

could be had for 40 francs

so you can see the premium.

Still, it wasn’t out of reach for mere mortals.

You didn’t have to be J. Paul Getty.





XII.

A lot of them

were models at

Christian Dior

or other couture houses.

She liked Scandinavians.

That was the look then

—cold, tall, perfect.

It was cheap for the quality.

They all used her.

The best people wanted

the best women.

Elementary supply and demand.



XIII.

She had a camp number tattooed on her wrist. I saw it.

She showed it to me and Rubi.

She was proud she had survived.

We talked about the camp for hours.

It was even more fascinating than the girls.



She was Jewish

I’m certain of that.

She was horrified at the Jewish collaborators

at the camp who herded

their fellow Jews

into the gas chambers.

That was the greatest betrayal in her life.



XIV.

She was this sad,

lonely little woman.

Later, Patrick told me who she was.

I was bowled over.

It was like meeting Al Capone.

I met two of the girls

who worked for her.

One was what you would expect

Tall

Blonde

Model.

But the other looked like a Rat

Then one night

she came out

all dressed up,

I didn’t even recognize her.

She was even better than the first girl.

Claude liked to transform women like that.

That was her art.

It was very odd,

my cousin told me.

There was not much furniture

and an awful lot of telephones.

“Allô oui,”



XV.

I had so many lunches

with Claude at Ma Maison

She was vicious.

One day,

Margaux Hemingway,

at the height of her beauty, walked by.

Une bonne

—the French for maid

was how Claude cut her dead.

She reduced

the entire world

to rich men wanting *** and

poor women wanting money.

She’d love to page through Vogue and see someone

and say,

When I met her

she was called

Marlene

and she had a hideous nose

and now she’s a princess.

Or she’d see someone and say

Let’s see if she kisses me or not.

It was like

I made her,

and I can destroy her.

She was obsessed

with “fixing” people

—with Saint Laurent clothes,

with Cartier watches,

with Winston jewels,

with Vuitton luggage,

with plastic surgeons.



XVI.

Her prison number was

888

which was good luck in China

but not in California.

‘Ocho ocho ocho,’ she liked to repeat

Even in jail, she was always working,

always recruiting stunning women.

She had a beautiful Mexican cellmate

and gave her Robert Evans’s number

as the first person she should call

when she was released.



XVII.

Never have *** on the first date.



XVIII.

There will always be prostitution,

The prostitution of misery.

And the prostitution of bourgeois luxury.

They will both go on forever.



“Allô oui,”



It was so exciting to hear a millionaire

or a head of state ask,

in a little boy’s voice,

for the one thing

that only you could provide

It's not how beautiful you are, it's how you relate

--it's mostly dialogue.



She was tiny, blond, perfectly coiffed and Chanel-clad.

The French Woman: The Arab Prince, the Japanese Diplomat, the Greek Tycoon, the C.I.A. Bureau Chief — She Possessed Them All!



XIX.

She was like a slave driver in the American South

Once she took a *******,

the makeover put the girl in debt,

because Claude paid all the bills to

Dior,

Vuitton,

to the hairdressers,

to the doctors,

and the girls had to work to pay them off.

It was ****** indentured servitude.



My Swans.



It reached the point

where if you walked into a room

in London

or Rome

as much as Paris

because the girls were transportable,

and saw a girl who was

better-dressed,

better-looking,

and more distinguished than the others

you presumed

it was a girl from Claude.

It was, without doubt,

the finest *** operation ever run in the history of mankind.



**.

The girl had to be

exactly what was needed

so I had to teach her everything she didn’t know.

I played a little the role of Pygmalion.

There were basic things that absolutely had to be done.

It consisted

at the start

of the physical aspect

“surgical intervention”

to give this way of being

that was different from other girls.

Often they had to be transformed

into dream creatures

because at the start

they were not at all



Often I had to teach them how to dress.

Often they needed help

to repair

what nature had given them

which was not so beautiful.

At first they had to be tall,

with pretty gestures,

good manners.

I had lots of noses done,

chins,

teeth,

*******.

There was a lot to do.



Eight times out of ten

I had to teach them how to behave in society.

There were official dinners, suppers, weekends,

and they needed to have conversation.

I insisted they learn to speak English,

read

certain books.

I interrogated them on what they read.

It wasn’t easy.

Each time something wasn’t working,

I was obliged to say so.



You were very demanding?

I was ferocious.



It’s difficult

to teach a girl how to walk into Maxim’s

without looking

ill at ease

when they’ve never been there,

to go into an airport,

to go to the Ritz,

or the Crillon

or the Dorchester.

To find yourself

in front of a king,

three princes,

four ministers,

and five ambassadors at an official dinner.

There were the wives of those people!

Day after day

one had to explain,

explain again,

start again.

It took about two years.

There would always be a man

who would then say of her,

‘But she’s absolutely exceptional. What is that girl doing here?’ ”





XXI.

A New York publisher who visited

the Palace Hotel

in Saint Moritz

in the early seventies told me,

I met a whole bunch of them there.

They were lovely.

The johns wanted everyone to know who they were.

I remember it being said

Giovanni’s Madame Claude girl is going to be there.

You asked them where they came from and they all said

Neuilly.

Claude liked girls from good families.

More to the point she had invented their backgrounds.



I have known,

because of what I did,

some exceptional and fascinating men.

I’ve known some exceptional women too,

but that was less interesting

because I made them myself.



Ah, this question of the handbag.

You would be amazed by how much dust accumulates.

Or how often women’s shoe heels are scuffed.





XXII.

She would examine their teeth and finally she would make them undress.



That was a difficult moment

When they arrived they were very shy,

a bit frightened.

At the beginning when I take a look,

it’s a question of seeing if the silhouette

and the gestures are pretty.

Then there was a disagreeable moment.

I said,

I’m sorry about this unpleasantness,

but I have to ask you to get undressed,

because I can’t talk about you unless I see you.

Believe me, I was embarrassed,

just as they were,

but it had to be done,

not out of voyeurism, not at all

—I don’t like les dames horizontales.



It was very funny

because there were always two reactions.

A young girl,

very sure of herself,

very beautiful,

très bien,

would say

Yes,

Get up, and get undressed.

There was nothing to hide, everything was perfect.



There were those who

would start timidly

to take off their dress

and I would say

I knew already.

The rest is not sadism, but nearly.

I knew what I was going to find.

I would say,

Maybe you should take off your bra,

and I knew it wasn’t going to be

beautiful.

Because otherwise she would have taken it off easily.

No problem.

There were damages that could be mended.

There were some ******* that could be redone,

some not

Sometimes it can be deceptive,

you know,

you see a pretty girl,

a pretty face,

all elegant and slim,

well dressed,

and when you see her naked

it is a catastrophe.



I could judge their physical qualities,

I could judge if she was pretty, intelligent, and cultivated,

but I didn’t know how she was in bed.

So I had some boys,

good friends,

who told me exactly.

I would ring them up and say,

There’s a new one.

And afterwards they’d ring back and say,

Not bad,

Could be better, or

Nulle.



Or,

on the contrary,

She’s perfect.

And I would sometimes have to tell the girls

what they didn’t know.

A pleasant assignment?

No.

They paid.



XXIII.

Often at the beginning

they had an ami de coeur

in other words,

oh,

a journalist, a photographer, a type like that,

someone in the cinema,

an actor, not very well known.

As time went by

It became difficult

because they didn’t have a lot of time for him.

The fact of physically changing,

becoming prettier,

changing mentally to live with millionaires,

produced a certain imbalance

between them

and the little boyfriend

who had not evolved

and had stayed in his milieu.

At the end of a certain time

she would say,

I’m so much better than him. Why am I with this boy?

And they would break up by themselves.



Remember,

this was instant elevation.

For most of them it was a dream existence,

provided they liked the ***,

and those that didn’t never lasted long.

A lot of the clients were young,

and didn’t treat them like tarts but like someone from their own class.

They would buy you presents,

take you on trips.



XXIV.

For me, *** was something very accessoire

I think after a certain age

there are certain spectacles one should not give to others

Now I have a penchant for solitude.

Love, it’s a complete destroyer,

It’s impossible,

a horror,

l’angoisse.

It’s the only time in my life I was jealous.

I’m not a jealous person, but I was épouvantable.

He was jealous too.

We broke plates over each other’s heads;

we became jealous about each other’s pasts.

I said one day

It’s finished.

Sometimes I look at myself in the mirror and say:

Break my legs,

give me scarlet fever,

an attack of TB, but never that.

Not that.



XXV.

I called her into my office

Let us not exaggerate,

I sent her away.

She came back looking for employment,

but was fired again, this time for drugs.

She made menacing phone calls.

Then she arrived at the Rue de Boulainvilliers with a gun.

She shot three bullets

I was dressed in the fashion of Courrèges at this moment

He did very padded things.

I had a padded dress with a little jacket on top.

The bullet

—merci, Monsieur Courrèges

—stuck in the padding.

I was thrown forward onto the telephone.

I had one thought which went through my head:

I will die like Kennedy.

I turned round and put my hand up in a reflex.

The second bullet went through my hand.

I have two dead fingers.

It’s most useful for removing bottle tops.

In the corridor I was saved from the third bullet

because she was very tall

and I am quite petite, so it passed over my head.



XXVI.

There were men

who could decapitate,

****, and bomb their rivals

who would be frightened of me.

I would ask them how was the girl,

and they’d say

Not bad

and then

But I’m not complaining.

I was a little sadistic to them sometimes.

Some women have known powerful men because they’re their lover.

But I’ve known them all.

I had them all

here.



She will take many state secrets with her.



XXVI.

I don’t like ugly people

probably because when I was young

I wasn’t beautiful at all.

I was ugly and I suffered for it,

although not to the point of obsession.

Now that I’m an old woman,

I’m not so bad.

And that’s why

I’ve always been surrounded by people

Who

were

beautiful.

And the best way to have beautiful people around me

was to make them.

I made them very pretty.





XXVII.

I wouldn’t call what Alex gives you

‘advice,’

She spares you Nothing.

She makes a list of what she wants done,

and she really gets into it

I mean, she wants you to get your arms waxed.

She gives you names of people who do good facials.

She tells you what to buy at Neiman Marcus.

She’s put off by anything flashy,

and if you don’t dress conservatively, she’s got no problem telling you,

in front of an audience,

You look like a cheap *****!

I used to wear what I wanted when I went out

then change in the car into a frumpy sweater

when I went to give her the money she’d always go,

Oh, you look beautiful!



Marry your boyfriend,

It’s better than going to prison.

When you go out with her,

she’ll buy you a present; she’s incredibly generous that way.

And she’ll always tell you to save money and get out.

It’s frustrating to her when girls call at the end of the month

and say they need rent money.

She wants to see you do well.





We had a schedule, with cards that indicated a client’s name,

what he liked,

the names of the girls he’d seen,

and how long he’d been with them.

And I only hired girls who had another career

—if my clients had a choice between drop-dead-gorgeous

and beautiful-and-interesting,

they’d tend to take beautiful-and-interesting.

These men wanted to talk.

If they spent two hours with a girl,

they usually spent only five or ten minutes in bed.



I get the feeling that in Los Angeles, men are more concerned with looks.



XXVIII.

That was my big idea

Not to expand the book by aggressive marketing

but to make sure that nobody

mistook my girls for run-of-the-mill hookers.

And I kept my roster fresh.

This was not a business where you peddle your ***,

get exploited,

and then are cast off.

I screen clients. I’ve never sent girls to weirdos.

I let the men know:

no violence,

no costumes,

no fudge-packing.

And I talked to my girls. I’d tell them:

Two and a half years and you’re burned out.

Save your money.

This is like a hangar

—you come in, refuel, and take off.

It’s not a vacation, it’s not a goof.

This buys the singing lessons,

the dancing lessons,

the glossies.

This is to help you pay for what your parents couldn’t provide.

It’s an honorable way station—a lot of stars did this.



XXIX.

To say someone was a Claude girl is an honour, not a slur.



Une femme terrible.

She despised men and women alike.

Men were wallets. Women were holes.



By the 80s,

if you were a brunette,

the sky was the limit.

The Saudis

They’d call for half a dozen of Alex’s finest,

ignore them all evening while they

chatted,

ate,

and played cards,

and then, around midnight,

take the women inside for a fast few minutes of ***.



They’d order women up like pizza.



Since my second husband died,

I only met one man who was right for me,

He was a sheikh.

I visited him in Europe

twenty-eight times

in the five years I knew him

and I never slept with him.

He’d say

I think you fly all the way here just to tease me,

but he introduced me

by phone

to all his powerful friends.

When I was in Los Angeles, he called me twice a day.

That’s why I never went out

he would have been disappointed.



***.

Listen to me

This is a woman’s business.

When a woman does it, it’s fun

there’s a giggle in it

when a man’s involved,

he’s ******,

he’s a ****.

He may know how to keep girls in line,

and he may make money,

but he doesn’t know what I do.

I tell guys: You’re getting a nice girl.

She’s young,

She’s pleasant,

She can do things

she can certainly make love.

She’s not a rocket scientist, but she’s everything else.



The world’s richest and most powerful men, the announcer teased.

An income “in the millions,” said the arresting officer.

Pina Colapinto

A petite call girl,

who once slid between the sheets of royalty,

a green-eyed blonde helped the police get the indictment.

They really dolled her up

She looks great.

Never!

What I told her was: ‘Wash that ******.’





XXXI.

Madam Alex died at 7 p.m.

Saturday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center,

where she had been in intensive care after recent open heart surgery

We all held her hand when they took her off the life support

This was the passing of a legend.

Because she was the mother superior of prostitution.

She was one of the richest women on earth.

The world came to her.

She never had to leave the house.

She was like Hugh Hefner in that way.


It's like losing a friend

In all the years we played cat and mouse,

she never once tried to corrupt me.

We had a lot of fun.


To those who knew her

she was as constant

as she was colorful

always ready with a good tidbit of gossip

and a gourmet lunch for two.

She entertained, even after her conviction on pandering charges,

from the comfy depths of her blue four-poster bed at her home near Doheny Drive,

surrounded by knickknacks and meowing cats,

which she fed fresh shrimp from blue china plates.



XXXII.

She stole my business,

my books,

my girls,

my guys.

I had a good run.

My creatures.

Make Mommy happy

Oh! He is the most enchanting cat that I have ever known.



She was, how can I say it,

classy.

When she first hired me

she thought I was too young to take her case.

I was 43.

I'm going to give you some gray hairs by the time this is over.

She was right.





XXXIII.

I was fond of Heidi

But she has a streak that is so vindictive.



If there is pure evil, it is Madame Alex.





XXXIV.

I was born and raised in L.A.

My dad was a famous pediatrician.

When he died, they donated a bench to him at the Griffith Park Observatory.



I think that Heidi wanted to try her wings

pretty early,

and I think that she met some people

who sort of took all her potential

and gave it a sharp turn



She knew nothing.

She was like a little parrot who repeated what she was supposed to say.



Alex and I had a very intense relationship;

I was kind of like the daughter she loved and hated,

so she was abusive and loving at the same time.



Look, I know Madam Alex was great at what she did

but it's like this:

What took her years to build,

I built in one.

The high end is the high end,

and no one has a higher end than me.

In this business, no one steals clients.

There's just better service.



XXXV.

You were not allowed to have long hair

You were not allowed to be too pretty

You were not allowed to wear too much makeup or be too glamorous

Because someone would fall in love with you and take you away.

And then she loses the business



XXXVI.

I was pursued because

come on

in our lifetime,

we will never see another girl of my age

who lived the way I did,

who did what I did so quickly,

I made so many enemies.

Some people had been in this line of business

for their whole lives, 30 or 40 years,

and I came in and cornered the market.

Men don't like that.

Women don't like that.

No one liked it.



I had this spiritual awakening watching an Oprah Winfrey video.

I was doing this 500-hour drug class

and one day the teacher showed us this video,

called something like Make It Happen.

Usually in class I would bring a notebook

and write a letter to my brother or my journal,

but all of a sudden this grabbed my attention

and I understood everything she said.

It hit me and it changed me a lot.

It made me feel,

Accept yourself for who you are.

I saw a deeper meaning in it

but who knows, I might have just been getting my period that day!



XXXVII.

Hello, Gina!

You movie star!

Yes you are!

Gina G!

Hello my friend,

Hello my friend,

Hello my movie star,

Ruby! Ruby Boobie!

Braaawk!

Except so many women say,

Come on, Heidi

you gotta do the brothel for us; don't let us down.

It would be kind of fun opening up an exclusive resort,

and I'll make it really nice,

like the Beverly Hills Hotel

It'll feel private; you'll have your own bungalow.

The only problem out here is the climate—it's so brutal.

Charles Manson was captured a half hour from Pahrump.



I said, Joe! What are you doing?

You gotta get, like,

a garter belt and encase it in something

and write,

This belonged to Suzette Whatever,

who entertained the Flying Tigers during World War II.

Get, like, some weird tools and write,

These were the first abortion tools in the brothel,

you know what I mean?

Just make some **** up!

So I came out here to do some research

And then I realized,

What am I doing?

I'm Heidi Fleiss. I don't need anyone.

I can do this.

When I was doing my research, in three months

I saw land go from 30 thousand an acre

to 50 thousand an acre,

and then it was going for 70K!

It's urban sprawl

—we're only one hour from Las Vegas.

Out here the casinos are only going to get bigger,

prostitution is legal, it's only getting better.





XXXVIII.

The truth is

deep down inside,

I just can't do business with him

He's the type of guy who buys Cup o' Noodles soup for three cents

and makes his hookers buy it back from him for $5.

It's not my style at all.

Who wants to be 75 and facing federal charges?

It was different at my age when I

at least...come on, I lived really well.

I was 22,

25 at the time?

It was fun then, but now I wouldn't want

to deal with all that *******

—the girls and blah blah blah.

But the money was really good.



I would've told someone they were out of their ******* mind

if they'd said in five years I'd be living with all these animals like this.

It's hard-core; how I live;

It's totally a nonfunctional atmosphere for me

It's hard to get anything done because

It’s so time-consuming.

I feel like they're good luck though....

I do feel that if I ever get rid of them,

I will be jinxed and cursed the rest of my life

and nothing I do will ever work again.



Guys kind of are a hindrance to me

Certainly I have no problem getting laid or anything.

But a man is not a priority in my life.

I mean, it's crazy, but I really have fun with my parrots.



XXXIX.

I started a babysitting circle when I wasn't much older than 9

And soon all the parents in the neighborhood

wanted me to watch over their children.

Even then I had an innate business sense.

I started farming out my friends

to meet the demand.

My mother showered me with love and my father,

a pediatrician,

would ask me at the dinner table,

What did you learn today?

I ran my neighborhood.

I just pick up a hustle really easily,

I was a waitress and I met an older guy who looked like Santa Claus.



Alex was a 5' 3" bald-headed Filipina

in a transparent muu muu.

We hit it off.

I didn't know at the time that I was there to pay off the guy's gambling debt.

It's in and out,

over and out.

Do you think some big-time producer

or actor is going to go to the clubs and hustle?



Columbia Pictures executive says:

I haven’t done anything that should cause any concern.

Jeez, it's like the Nixon enemies list.

I hope I'm on it.

If I'm not, it means I must not be big enough

for people to gossip about me.



That's right ladies and gentlemen.

I am an alleged madam and that is a $25 *****!

If you live out here,

you've got to hate people.

You've got to be pretty antisocial

How you gonna come out here with only 86 people?

That's Fred.

He's digging to China.

You look good.

Yeah, you too.

It's coming along here.

Yeah, it is.

I wanted to buy that lot there, but I guess it's gone?

That's mine, man! That's all me.

Really?

I thought there was a lot between us.

No. We're neighbors.



He's a cute guy

He's entertaining.

See, I kind of did do something shady to him.

I thought my property went all the way back

and butted up against his.

But there was one lot between us right there.

He said he was buying it,

but I saw the 'For Sale' sign still up there,

So I went and called the broker and said,

I'm an all-cash buyer.

So I really bought it out from under him.

But he's got plenty of room, and I need the space for my parrots.

Pahrump will always be Pahrump, but Crystal is going to be nice

All you need are four or five fancy houses and it'll flush everyone out

and it'll be a nice area.

They're all kind of weird here, but these people will go.

Like this guy here,

someone needs to **** him.

I was just saying to my dad that these parrots are born to a really ******-up world

He goes, Heidi, no, no; the world is a beautiful garden.

It's just, people are destroying it.

I’m looking into green building options

I don't want anything polluting,

I want a huge auditorium,

but it'll be like a jungle where my birds can really fly!

Where they can really do what they're supposed to do.

There were over 300 birds in there!

That lady,

She ran the exotic-birds department for the Tropicana Hotel,

which is a huge job.

She called me once at 3:30 in the morning

Come over here and help me feed this baby!

Some baby parrot.

And I ran over there in my pajamas

—I knew there was something else wrong

and she was like

Get me my oxygen!

Get me this, get me that.

I called my dad; he was like,

I don't know, honey, you better call the paramedics.

They ended up getting a helicopter.

And they were taking her away

in the wind with her IV and blood and everything

and she goes, Heidi, you take care of my birds.

And she dies the next day.

She was just a super-duper person.



XL.

I relate to the lifestyle she had before,

Now, I'm just a citizen.

I'm clean,

I'm sober,

I'm married,

I work at Wal-Mart.

I'm proud to say I know her. I look into her eyes

and we relate.





I got out in 2000,

so I've been sending her money for seven years

She was…whatever.

Girlfriend?

Yeah, maybe.

But ***, I tried like two times,

and I'm just not gay.

She gets out in about eight or nine months

and I told her I would get her a house.

But nowhere near me.

I didn't touch her,

but I'd be, like...

a funny story:

I told her,

Don't you ever ******* think

about contacting me in the real world.

I'm not a lesbian.

Then about two years ago, I got an e-mail from her,

or she called me and said, 'Google my name.'

So I Googled her name,

and she has this huge company.

Huge!

She won, like, Woman of the Year awards.

So I called her and I go,

Not bad.

She goes, 'Well, I did all that because you called me a loser.'

I go, '****, I should've called you more names

you probably would've found the cure for cancer by now.



XLI.

No person shall be employed by the licensee

who has ever been convicted of

a felony involving moral turpitude

But I qualify,

I mean, big deal, so I'm a convicted felon.

Being in the *** industry, you can't be so squeaky-clean.

You've got to be hustling.

Nighttime is really enchanting here

It's like a whole 'nother world out here, it really is

I’m so far removed from my social life and old surroundings.

Who was it, Oscar Wilde, I think, who said

people can adjust to anything.

I was perfectly adjusted in the penitentiary,

and I was perfectly adjusted to living in a château in France.



We had done those drug addiction shows together

Dr. Drew.

Afterward we were friendly

and he'd call me every now and then.

He'd act like he had his stuff together.

But it was all a lie.

Everything is a lie.

I brought him to a Humane Society event at Paramount Studios last year.

He was just such a mess.

So out of it.

He stole money from my purse.

He's such a drug addict because he's so afraid of being fat.

He liked horse ****, though. He did like horse ****.

This one woman that would have *** with a horse on the internet,

He told me that’s his favorite actress.

Better than Meryl Streep.



XLII.

The cops could see

why these women were taking over trade.

Girls with these looks charged upwards of $500 an hour.

The Russians had undercut them with a bargain rate of $150 an hour.

One thing they are not is lazy.

In the USSR

they grew up with no religion, no morality.

Prostitution is not considered a bad thing.

In fact, it’s considered a great way to make money.

That’s why it’s exploding here.

What we saw was just a tip of the iceberg.

These girls didn’t come over here expecting to be nannies.

They knew exactly what they wanted and what they were getting into.

The madam who organized this raid

was making $4 million a year,

laundered through Russian-owned banks in New York City

These are brutal people.

They are all backstabbers.

They’re entrepreneurs.

They’re looking at $10,000 a month for turning tricks.

For them, that’s the American dream.



XLIII.

If you’re not into something,

don’t be into it

But,

if you want to take some whipped cream,

put it between your toes,

have your dog licking it up and,

at the same time,

have your girlfriend poke you in the eye,

then that’s fine.

That’s a little weird but we shouldn’t judge.



She was my best friend then

and I consider her one of my best friends now,

because when I was going through Riker’s

and everyone abandoned me,

including my boyfriend,

I was hysterical,

crying,

and she was the one that was there.

And, when somebody needed to step up to the plate,

that’s who did, and I have an immense amount of

loyalty, respect, and love for her.

And if she’s going to prison for eight years

—that’s what she’s sentenced for

—I’ll go there,

and I’ll go there every week,

for eight years.

That’s the type of person I am.
Derrick Twidwell Mar 2014
you were just there looking so beautiful as always
just was such a simple glance
you still just are so amazing
so quick it lasted so long

all day that glance lasted so long
stuck in my head
one thousand memories come to the surface
crazy times ive cherish with this time apart

you walked by with a simple stare
was it just a simple stare
mine was no simple stare
looked your way with memories of us

was I even worth the stare
blank
was it just that
walked away

all day that glance lasted so long
stuck in my head
one thousand memories come to the surface
crazy times ive cherish with this time apart

go back to that single moment
walk up to you heart racing
give we this time of day
talk to me

want to know how your doing
im doing so bad away from you
don't want to leave this moment
talk to me

all day that glance lasted so long
stuck in my head
one thousand memories come to the surface
crazy times ive cherish with this time apart

come closer now (talk to me)
Wake me up from this nightmare (talk to me)
I miss you half to death
do you even miss me

all day that glance lasted so long
stuck in my head
one thousand memories come to the surface
crazy times ive cherish with this time apart

my mind torments me with all this struggle
still I love you to death
why cant I just move on
can you please love me again to death

want to know how your doing
im doing so bad away from you
don't want to leave this moment
talk to me

Please just talk to me
I need just three words
words spoken only from you
talk to me
mar Jun 2016
It's not fair that you only have to spend the morning without me
for I'm trapped in the night
darkness deafening me as I tell myself over and over that this is real
that midnight is only an hour
that I'll be home soon
and I never feel like I'm where I'm supposed to be
transporting myself place to place
continent hopping like a heart murmur
my soul is five hours behind
and when you sleep my whole being longs for your voice
glasses half empty stacked beside me
I remember a time when my hair danced at my hips
when the moon would be full and heat lightning blinded me
constantly praying to a god I didn't believe in that I could fall asleep
but dreams didn't come
and that summer lasted but eight days
when I can feel your heartbeat you are fire
but now that I'm so far away your voice is tired
your laugh is like a wind chime on a day when the air doesn't speak
milk moons have a habit of forcing me to reread your words
making me realize I now posess curses I never thought I'd have to endure
like how when I touch you I am not the girl my father raised
like how when you push me into the wall I hope your mother doesn't weep

We all have promises we wish we never made
I wish I didn't tie myself to you with silk
knotting each of my heartstrings around your fingers
I'm like your puppet
and it's wrenching because I had always been so brimmed with pride
conceived by my parents notion that I'd be doomed to wander alone
or blessed
if you choose to look at my freedom like it's that of a gift
but I don't want it anymore
I refuse to chain myself to my past
my frosted veins melting in your palms
I am not who I thought I was
I am not the lady my matriarch once bore that hot morning
a head full of curls and irises that told two different tales

I'm so lucky that the trees bend north tonight
I contribute secrets as clouds to the noir
unkept stands of chestnut trying to escape
but I don't blame them
and ink is all around me as I further my vices
counting down to paradise as I move a little too quickly from my bed
the other part of me wonders if I go visit him at this time
and I grin at that notion she thinks that's what I want from this hour
there are moments I forget to miss you
guild soaked as I remember love
I wouldn't call this bliss
it doesn't even scrape at happiness
it's emptiness
but not the way I've experienced before
I don't have words for this new feeling
not yet at least
I'll let anything in as an attempt to starve out this self doubt
but no whisper is as warm as your breath
because with you you don't even need to comfort me with diction
instead I swallow your glances like honey
I hope you know this mindset will never evolve
and if it does it is only to grow stronger

Some hearts change with the seasons
mine used to change at every chime of a clock
I'm stagnant now
laying calmly in the eye of the storm
the light hitting my skin the only thing changing each hour

Soon this will be over
No longer damning every firefly and its nerve to glow without purpose
Soon I'll be at your mercy again
Purple thighed and alive
Because right now without you I've never felt so alone
Eyelids like blankets
Terrified of what dreams could await my unconscious soul
But in the deepest hollows of my chest I hear your voice calming me
Saying what you always say when you hear my heart rate jump
"Let me sing you that song about the stars I know you love"
Erin M Petersen Aug 2012
i am but a moment on the face of the world
a memory that will fade
with the passing of the tides
as so many of the castles
small children did in those days built on the sun
with their buckets full of water
pacing up and down the sand
making motes that never lasted
making smiles that never lasted
as those children grew and learned what the real world was
not fairies and motes and castles in fantasy worlds
but society and its hateful whims
Torin Galleshaw Aug 2018
It was perfect before I had a name
I knew she was my wing-ridden angel the very moment my eyes were blessed
she laughs when she wants to cry
and her smile
it only gets deeper
she still holds the pieces of her broken halo...

once again I talk about wolves
because everyone has their problems
yes I do
and I've seen them circling fangs out
when I closed my eyes and made my peace with god
that moment
that moment lasted forever
and ever since I left it I am only trying to get back

yes i do remember when darkness was so constant I forgot about light
yes, I know how it changed me
she was the only beautiful thing I've ever known

Heaven sent me an angel
that's the only way
I wish I was holding her now
I wish I could tell her I love her
maybe I can
once again we talk about wolves
outside its raining
I love the rain
ok
India May 2018
We perpetuate heartbreak culture,
teaching girls the man who holds her loves her despite the bruises,
or it was her fault; she looked older.
We fetishes shoulders,
prize youth from the young in return for pre-chewed gum,
swallowing tired ideals from those who still wield them like flags,
waving their patriotism on poles of bone before a throne of medieval *******.
They chant mantras with beer stained breath about how 'our' country 'bested' the rest,
but what about the brutality?
The blood split on foreign soil in return for prehistoric oil?
Our land is deemed pure so long as the violence on our hands never reaches our shores,
but the ocean is red and staining our sands.

How can you have pride in a country who's sole identity is based off having the worlds largest navy?
Congratulations. You bombed your way through countless continents, collecting cultures to gather dust on pedestals and alters
We sin on Sundays, drink till we're ****** then wave at the seven deadly's (they don't apply to us here).
We teach preschoolers nationalism before they can walk,
indoctrinate our children before they can talk.
George killed the dragon.
Hood gave to the poor.
we all jumped on the bandwagon before we realised the princess had no choice and the rich still ruled.
There was no voice in the tale for those whose wail could be ignored.

What about those without lines in the script?
Those kicked to the curb, then kicked from it?
Our pavements have no room for nonconformists,
they're tailored to for same mind, same mindless wanderer,
squandering on the lasted polyesters even though that mouth on the street hasn't eaten in over a week.
'God save the Queen' from the vermin;
the homeless have been tossed out of the trash.
Why help them when you could save your cash by turning a blind?
After all, out of sight, out of mind.
Welcome to England, we hope you like what you find
Because we’re not changing it.
ryn Sep 2014
Toting the mysterious bundle and sporting a sore back
I drag my feet up the last few steps, expended of vigour
I almost couldn't resist prematurely looking through the sack
Remembering the words from the wise old seer

Grimacing I walk a slow gait to get to the table
Set the bundle down and relieve my weight onto a chair
Parched throat but wait longer I am unable
Curiosity takes charge and into the gift I will tear

Blood is pumping along with an increasing heart rate
Fingers scrambling clumsily over the strings that bind
Nails digging frantically into this package bearing my fate
Gnawing thoughts of uncertainty flooding my mind

At last my fingers win the battle that lasted
The final string has fallen... Obstinate knots all undone
I pick the cloth by the edges to have it unfolded
The contents inside reach out like rays of the sun

Corners of the cloth open up like a fully bloomed blossom
Exposing the treasure that lay solemn and quiet inside
Common objects we'd normally perceive as random
Petty things now important as they attempt to guide

I pick up the first and notice an engraving on it's stem
Between my fingers - an unassuming feathered quill
Barely legible, such little space the words do cram
"Here is your sword... Draw blood and let spill"

More riddles, I sought to examine the next
A flat bottomed vial filled with jet black ink
On it is a label with scrawling of time worn text
"Here is your blood; let flow what you think"

Lastly, lay bound up sheets of yellow stained parchment
They reek of age-old herbs; intoxicating slightly
At the top of the first, a note scribbled not so recent
"Within these pages, you must bleed to find Sanctuary"

Staring down at the objects laid in front of me
In hopes of discovering something I should miss
Then finally it struck me, so plain to see
I'm using the instruments now, writing to find release...
See "Dear Mystic"
See "Dear Seeker"
See "Sanctuary"
amt Jun 2014
The cottonwood fell from the skies and covered the grass

Like snow

It smelled fresh and young, like summer

Like you

Like the winter that barely lasted, the snow melted too soon

You were gone too soon


I'll never forget the night I heard.
That
Was the night
It snowed.
Summer girl, in the wintertime
Yanamari Oct 2018
When people tell me
That I'm strong
I'm beautiful
I'm amazing...
I don't feel anything.
Tell me these things
When I cry about the pain
That has lasted me years,
When I'm up at night
Even when I'm lacking sleep,
And
When I'm expected to smile
My whole life when I don't feel your warmth.

This ice palace I reside in,
Is it my lifeline?
Because if it is
Wouldn't it be better if
It melted?

All these moments
Have become entangled
And the momentary lapses
Irregular,
My world all
Grey
And
I just can't do this.

But my calls are stuck
In my throat.
I'm frozen.
I'm not resilient.
It's taking me so long
So long
To stand up.
And my heart is giving up
It's beat
Fading.
...
thrcy Sep 2013
That eye contact
when our eyes meet
still sends chills through my spine
blanking out my mind
getting my eyes lost
from such a beautiful sight
legs get a little wobbly
toes get all tingly
arms wanting to embrace you
hands wanting the touch of your skin
lips calling out for yours
our breaths coming as one
the nose liking your wonderful smell
for it is like home

That eye contact
when our eyes are locked
for I know that our paths have converged
at least I knew that for a moment
you were looking for me too
it only lasted for a second
but you don't seem to know
how a second can last for a lifetime
it's like time froze
as I look at you
the flashback of old memories comes running through
the good and the bad
but boy
onto this brief encounter
our eyes coming together
that twinkle in your eyes
makes everything worth while

That eye contact
when the eyes are telling me to move on
and let it go
come back to reality
before I get trapped again
by your magical spell
that gets me lost every single time
those eyes that got me disappointed
from all the hopes, dreams, expectations,
and heartaches
leaving me out of breath
and shaky for why it only lasted that long

That eye contact
that I'll always remember
when I should be forgetting

That eye contact
brought us closer
but now we're distance apart

That eye contact
that will always capture my heart
making my entire body smiling in an awe
Honey, you're love is like fireworks
Exploded beautifully at the sky
Lightened up my darkest nights
But lasted in just a blink of an eye
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!!
1.  I am grateful for having the freedom to share my thoughts freely without censorship.

2. Grateful for my wife and our daughter growing inside of her.

3.  I am grateful for something greater than me keeping me alive multiple times, when I tried to take my life multiple times in a dark period that almost lasted a decade.  

4.  I am grateful today that I can start the day free and at peace with my life, and not drown out the voices with substances or compulsive behavior.

5.  I am thankful I can breathe, and be in touch with my heart.

6.  I am grateful for Hello Poetry , my online community of poets that I can share my experiences and learn from others to continue living with hope.
Julie Schnell Nov 2016
Our love is as strong as a lion
Soft as the cuts on you lying
Times we got hot like an iron
You and I

Our hearts have never been broken
We were so innocent darling
Used to talk till the morning
You and I

We had that mixtape on every weekend
Had it repeating
Had it repeating

You were my September song
Summer lasted too long
Time moves so slowly
When you're only fifteen
You were my September song
Tell me where have you gone?
Do you remember me?
We were only fifteen
And I, I remember the chorus
They were singing it for us
You were my September song
Tell me where have you gone?
Do you remember me?
We were only fifteen

Sometimes I think that I see your
Face in the strangest of places
Down on the underground station passing by

I get a mad sense of danger
Feel like my heart couldn't take it
Cause if we met we'd be strangers
You and I

Still I play that mixtape every weekend
Got it repeating
Got it repeating

You were my September song
Summer lasted too long
Time moves so slowly
When you're only fifteen
You were my September song
Tell me where have you gone?
Do you remember me?
We were only fifteen
And I, I remember the chorus
They were singing it for us
I hear that September song
That I'm singing along
Thinking about you and me
Oh what a melody

And as the years go by
You will still be my, be my
(September song)
You are my
(September song)

You were my September song
Summer lasted too long
Time moves so slowly
When you're only fifteen
You were my September song
Tell me where have you gone?
Do you remember me?
We were only fifteen
And I, I remember the chorus
They were singing it for us
You were my September song
I remember the chorus
They were singing it for us
Heard this song on the way home tonight and wanted to share the lyrics.
Marcus Lane Mar 2011
Sunshine,
Birdsong
And children drunk on
Lemonade
And laughter.

That Welsh picnic
Has lasted forty years
And will last forty more
In daydream

And nightmare.

The stream babbled
Over pebbles,
Fern fronds
Brushed our sun-browned shins

Till the dead sheep
Slugged us in the guts.

Bloated and bulbous,
The body dammed the stream,
Its lifeless eyes
Crawling with life.

Those pearly marbles were
A child’s looking glass into death.

The rocks we hurled at it
In reckless revulsion
Were the screams
Of violated youth,

And those empty dead sheep thuds
The dawning of our mortality.
© Marcus Lane 2010
abcdefg1 Sep 2012
I’m built up with all the tension
Will I go into another dimension?
I’ve packed my favorite snacks
Including my only pair of slacks
I said goodbye to all my friends
I hope this wouldn’t be the end
I wish there was no rush
And I would totally love a slush
I remember to bring a weapon
It’s obviously only for protection
And a camera for my memories
My bathing suit for the sea
And my favorite winter jacket when there is a breeze
This trip better be for free
I’ll miss everyone I know
Even all my foe
I’m ready for this journey
Oh, there better be a gurney...

I hear the noise of the ship
It’s time to get on
I hear people singing a song
There is entertainment along the way
I didn’t even have to pay
Someone threw a block
I can’t believe I forgot my sunblock
I ate from a 5 star cuisine
It tastes so serene
5 hours have passed
Time went by so fast
I wonder how long this will last
The day is getting darker
And not too far away
I see some colorful lights
It was a splendid sight.

I was blinded by the lights
As I walk through the cave
There were millions of crystals
Some small some big
I might have seen some pigs
Then what amazed me the most were the people
They were taller than skyscrapers
And always smiled with glee
They ate strange exotic fruits
Then turned into brutes
There was nothing this place lacked
These apples would’ve killed Isaac
Then they led me to a hut
And brought me what looked like macadamia nuts
The place was so beautiful
I ate until I was full
Like a fat baby I slept the night away
And woke up by the bay
Wow wasn’t that a day
What else should I say?

I see a little girl
Cute as a pearl
She came from the tides
Looking for a ride
She gleams at everything I say
She even ate some hay
She imitates what I do
It’s hard to tell who’s who
I wonder why I’m here
Was I meant to have a beer?
Then it literally hit me
The little girl that I see
Was what I meant to be
I learned to have fun
Relax and say puns
Forget about all the taxes
Put away all my axes
This is why I’m here
It’s not for me to fear.

The little girl and I
Baked some pie
With maybe a few flies
Then we swam under the waterfall
And went to the mall
This lasted until fall
Now I must return
I’ll miss those exciting days
And all those scorching rays
But now I must go home
My family is there
I don’t know what to wear
They bought a big cake
All for ME and not to share
How I missed them so much
I began to lose all touch
I lived the night away
And I didn’t even have to pay
Now it is May
And I lay.
It was fun, while it lasted.
Maybe it can happen again
but either way, at this moment
it is in the past, and maybe future;
but all the same, it is not here and now.
But, it sure as hell was fun while it lasted.
Ben Dec 2011
and                                                              ­                                                            
that backseat "love" lasted only as long as the night
as the memories rush in that morning try as i might
to keep you outta my mind, you're holed in there tight
a battle between "love" and lust...(hint) love lost the fight.
we                                                        ­                                                                 ­   
caused kisses shared between those wet rival lips
and bare skin touching, form a feeling at these hips
down unbuttoned jeans that your small hand slips
hear that sound, like tearing, as our "innocence" strips.
*******                                                          ­                                                              
fo­rmed foggy windows from our skin we shared
and dissolved to nothing, ha, like we ever cared
  discoveries made at night shed light on how we faired
the sounds of "love" from my speaker actually blared
(lust)                                                                                                                          
.
self-congratulatory nonsense as the
famous gather to applaud their seeming
greatness
you
wonder where
the real ones are
what
giant cave
hides them
as
the deathly talentless
bow to
accolades
as
the fools are
fooled
again
you
wonder where
the real ones are
if there are
real ones.
this self-congratulatory nonsense
has lasted
decades
and
with some exceptions
centuries.
this
is so dreary
is so absolutely pitiless
it
churns the gut to
powder
shackles hope
it
makes little things
like
pulling up a shade
or
putting on your shoes
or
walking out on the street
more difficult
near
damnable
as
the famous gather to
applaud their
seeming
greatness
as
the fools are
fooled
again
humanity
you sick
*******.
Ryan Bowdish Sep 2013
School was always humuorous to a degree in my opinion because of the underlying idea
that the more damaged you were, the cooler you were in the eyes of the rest of the school.
I have heard numerous conversations that began with something along the lines of, "Oh, you
think YOU got it bad, well my dad blah blah and my best friend blah blah and my life is hell."

I decided to get a little personal and share with you guys something I have never actually
told anyone in entirety yet. I am pretty sure the whole story is still only here in my brain.
I will, out of respect for these people, change their names.

It's October 31, 2012. It's about noon, and all of us sixteen to twenty-two year olds are just waking up.
Brianne woke up probably a few hours ago already to tend to her son, Aaron. He is adorable, one
and a half, blond hair, blue eyes. I have been living here for nearly two months. I am supporting her,
Aaron, and myself with food stamps. I get two hundred dollars a month to basically smoke **** and drink
on the government's budget. Trust me, I'm not proud of it either, and if I could I would pay it back.
Since Brianne is a single mother and an adopted child, she has a single-digit monthly rent (I was *******
baffled to hear this) and receives support from her foster parents. Basically, if I want to stay here forever
with absolutely no consequences save to miss out on a life of my own, I can.

Brandon is putting on clown make-up so he can troll the streets as a juggalo. I find this amusing as I always
liked to mess around with ICP fans, but he's a really cool kid so I let it go and I even help him perfect it.
I notice he has a bottle of Stolichnaya in his backpack and it's practically full. That, to me, is temptation.
I ask if he would mind me taking a few drinks here and there from the bottle and he says it's fine, so I proceed
to get a nice one p.m. buzz. It was always my favorite drunk, very light, and airy, almost like you're still asleep.
Something bogs you down, but it doesn't bother you, somehow it makes you lighter.

For the rest of the day, we hook up with a few friends, go out and trick or treat in the pouring rain, get soaked
and wait for two hours under an overpass while Brianne goes and gets her car. From there, we proceed home.

At this point, everyone is over at Breanne's and we're all making dinner and drinking beer and having a good time
(Aaron is with the grandparents tonight). I guess I started getting angry about the recent events (for about a month,
everyone in our group with the exception of Brandon have been slowly losing items...but they're obviously being stolen.
At a point, a few of us did some research and determined the only person who could possibly have stolen
a good deal of these things has to be Brandon) and I decided I was tired of sitting on the news waiting for no one to make
a move after a solid two weeks of being certain that we had our guy. So I called him out... and proceeded
to begin burning bridges slowly and very surely for the next few days. I am pretty sure a fight would have broken out
if Bri hadn't taken me into her room to relax. When I finally do, it turns out I woke up the upstairs neighbor,
her baby, and everyone in the house has left save for my friend Jeff and his girlfriend Marissa. This concludes night one.

I later learned that Brandon was not actually the person who was stealing from us (unless of course
he just happened to not get caught when we found out who had done most of it) and I feel bad for bringing the whole
thing up because I would have liked to stay in touch with him. We got along swimmingly and he actually did have
a lot of interesting things to talk about. Smart, nice, hilarious... Well, maybe he'll turn up one day.

The next morning, I woke up to find the house empty save for Jeff and Marissa in the next room, but where I am,
it simply appears empty. I don't know what happened but I intuit that I have been sleeping all night without
my girlfriend. This upsets me and I begin to weep like a confused child, which is exactly what you do when you're
helpless and too drunk in the brain to figure out how to pull yourself out of a helpless situation (trust me,
I own the handbook). Marissa walks in and begins to explain to me that I had scared her too much and she slept
on the couch and that she had left to go pick up her son. So I realize I need to calm down, but I can feel
Jeff is not happy with me in the slightest, considering he will not come and talk to me (this is extremely painful
because he is probably one of the best friends I have ever had, with a mind that vastly exceeds that of everyone
I have met save one other, and he's a different story). They leave and I decide to stay in the house all day.

This is a very bad idea. I stay home, watch re-runs of a show I have seen billions of times, and considering
that Brandon and I are no longer on good terms, like a complete *******, I drink the rest of his *****.

In walks Bri, it's around 7. She's not happy. She proceeds to tell me that the night before I asked out a friend of mine
and she said yes. And I was a bit shocked because I couldn't remember it at first. Then it all hit me.

A few days before, Aaron called me "dad." Now remember, this is not my child. I am dark, dark, dark, and she had this kid
about two years after we had any past relationship. I am extremely worried in my mind and I realize I am headed toward nothing.
That I am stagnant and can not even afford to go back to school. This scares me, so I drunkenly asked out Tanya.

Tanya...we had been friends for about five years, and I had tried to get with her so many **** times... she was like
one of those girls you see and you're instantly reminded of an anime character. Tall, thin, beautiful hips, perfect
proportions, lovely hair, eyes, voice, and a personality I can liken to a Disney princess/black metal lumberjack.
The kind of girl who has a tough exterior, but inside, she just wants someone to tell her everything is going to be ok.

After about two hours of pleading with Bri to let me stay, I finally send Tanya a message, and we hang out for the next
two days, whence I whisper in her ear that everything is going to be okay and we proceed to have quite passionate ***
for those nights, where I discovered the secret to making a woman ****** with my tongue (tip: if the underside of your
tongue isn't completely torn apart, you're doing something wrong). But alas, I could not stay.

This is the part I dreaded, because I know I have to go back to Jeff's house and ask him if I can stay there for a while.
And I got the answer I expected.

The words he used...

"I'm *******...extremely ******* at you, and disappointed." It was like a father saying it to you. And him and I
have a very interesting friendship built on such an extreme understanding that I knew exactly how badly I had been spiraling.
I began to leave and he gave me a slice of pizza, with that slight smile that told me "just go find yourself, we'll be fine."

I hobbled off into the night drunk, with one piece of pizza and all my food at Bri's, which could have lasted me another few days,
easing the transition into homeless. And it could have prevented a horrible occurance that took place the following afternoon. I
was crying, because I knew I was dying, but I didn't want to ask either of my parents for help, because this was the first time
I was out on my own and I was far too proud to give up and let the world make me its victim. So I walked...

Sixteen ******* miles...

To the next town. Took me all night because I was dodging traffic, easing into trees, avoiding on and off ramps, trying to stay
away from any police that may exist on the road. When I finally arrived in the next town (where I knew I may have one contact)
I decided to sleep until the morning came so I could have the energy to find my next venture.

It was five thirty am. I had 3 hours until sun-up, I had just walked enough to be burning, and there was plenty of whiskey in my veins.
I had left my sleeping bag with Tanya hours earlier, wishing in the park that I had not been so naiive as to think I would be allowed
back in the house. So I pulled out a pile of ***** clothes and put them over me like blankets, in some random corner of the local
park, under some bushes, hidden from cold and sight, with great hope...

Fifteen minutes pass. My eyes shoot open. I am freezing. The sweat has dried and frozen to my body. This is hell.

I grab my things and with the worst effort I can ever remember myself mustering, I drag myself to the toilet.
When I open it, the first thing I check for is cleanliness. It's spotless. I am so relieved. I sit in the corner of the room,
which my knees to my chest, head in my hands, wrapped in a leather jacket I had gotten from Jeff (ha, he really is my
guardian angel, though he would laugh to hear it).

I catch winks, occasionally looking up to check if the sun is rising. When it finally is, I get up, change my clothes (I had
ONE clean set of clothing and it had been rotting with the rest in the backpack) and immediately head to a thrift store where
a family friend is working.

On my way there, I notice in a little parking lot near the store a sight I had never actually come across but I always thought
would be the most amazing luck, and it was timed in such a spot in my life that it was the ultimate miracle...and a curse in
disguise.

In front of my eyes (this miracle appeared in my path as I was walking looking down, so it startled me) was the worst possible thing
for me: A half finished fifth of Smirnoff, and a half smoked pack of Marlboro 100 Reds. I open the pack and sure enough, the celophane
protected every cigarette inside from any water damage. I am ecstatic. This is not only amazing, but highly unlikely.

So I down the bottle in one go and take the rest of the smokes with me.

When I arrive at the thrift shop, it turns out I am there on a day when my potential savior is not working, so I get her number from the clerk
and head over to a payphone and realize... I have no money. So I decide to go on a quest for dropped pocket change.

Before I even leave the parking lot, I see a young man, no older than 23, sitting on a nice red classic-style Corvette and he's
reading William S. Burroughs. So naturally, I decide to strike up a conversation with the young man. Turns out he's the nicest guy
and his name is Jordan. So him and I got together and decided to go out for a game of disc golf (some may not know what this is;
Imagine frisbee but with a golf theme, so you need to get from a tee pad into a basket. Really fun, centering, and extremely popular
with potheads, Californians, beer-drinkers, and hippies) and before we go, he asks if I would like to snag a few beers first.

I tell him a piece of my story and he can tell I am down on my luck and broke so he decides to help me out. He buys us both some beer
and we proceed to disk.

Turns out he's an ex-****** and has been through quite a bit of hell himself, so we find that we're in a good position to help each
other make some better decisions in life. After the game, we go over to a payphone and he gives me money to call my friend.

Buzz (this the only name I am not changing because her name is ******* badass) answers the phone and unfortunately informs me that
though she would take me in any day of the year, she just moved in to a house with one older lady she takes care of, and its a single
bedroom apartment, so there is just no way it can work.

So I go back to his car and tell him the news, and he says he thinks he may be able to put me up for a few days until I can sort
everything out. We go back out to the store and grab ourselves a fifth of *****.

We end up in the park playing music, talking, performing standup for one another, and I begin to realize I am drinking too fast,
so I try to ease back a little. He was playing a version of a Radiohead song I had never heard before

"Everyone this way. Okay, get your hands against the wall. Spread your legs. Don't move."
The doors clanking, some ******* won't shut up in the next cell over.
More slamming of doors, someone rubbing my body all over trying to find my knives, no doubt.
And my AK 47 I conceal, and my ****, and my ... oh ****, I really did have **** on me.

"Move forward. Turn around. Alright, go to bed."

----------------------------------------------------------­---------------------

"Get up. Come on, slowly... There you go. There's a few more coming in so we got to get you to another cell."

Clank, clank...

"Pick a bed."

----------------------------------------------------------­---------------------

Something is wrong. This bed is not covered. There is no comfort. It's just a mat. And I have no pillow. This is not a house
of any sort, my bag isnt what I am sleeping on. Something is very wrong here.

I am in jail. Oh of course.

I know the answer before I hear it, but I ask anyway: "What are my charges, ma'am?"

"Drunk in public."

-------------------------------------------------------­------------------------

I'm about thirty miles or so North of inner Seattle. Not a bad place to be. I'm working for a Safeway. It's somewhere around
the first of June. I receive word that Bri has been on ******. And I may have left at a crucial time in her life thinking
only of myself, but I needed to go somewhere I could be productive. Yet my decision left her in a position where she turned
to hard drugs...

I can't help but feel I am to blame. I am listening to the dull, stupid words of my ex boss, Rod, who is telling me
that even though I may feel like I need to help her, there is nothing I can do for her, so I should bury myself in my work
instead. He tells me this in about six hundred different ways before I leave the room after twenty minutes. Well great.
I may have no focus here at work today, but at least I killed almost a half hour of the day just listening to someone
*******.

I am at a loss of what to do here, but I eventually get a hold of her, and after a long time not talking, we come to
somewhat of a closure, and she is beginning to sober up herself. I realize we were both in incredibly hard times, and I still
wish with all my heart there could have been some way I could have helped her raise that boy and stayed and been her
love, and at the same time, still go to college, and progress and get a good job...but I was in a small Northern California
town. There was nothing left, all the old shops were out of business. It was time for me to move on then, and we have
all seen better days for it. She looks incredible these days by the way. She lost an insane amount of weight, and I know
a lot of it had to do with the drugs, but if she truly is sober like she says she is, she'll be getting much better.

A few weeks ago 3 people I used to know and hang out with died in the span of a week. It was a terrible tragedy, and I have been
thinking back on all the names of people I used to love very, very much before they got lost in some way.

There's Lorne Holly, who killed himself after a few weeks of detoxing from crank.

Layla Harmon, who died in a car crash, blunt head trauma, with a drunk driver (I have a tattoo for this, I will never drive drunk).

Heavy Eagle, who killed himself after years of drug problems.

Chaz Lipman, who died in a car crash as well.

Ren Rain, who I am still not sure about...

And of course, Tray Beraldi, who was my closest friend's cousin... I wish I were there to mourne with him...

Last night I got a text from my best friend, who said he couldn't sleep and he barely eats anything anymore, and he feels like his throat
is going to explode, and he cant swallow and his neck is killing him constantly. He has been this way for a year, and he is talking constantly
about getting a gun and blowing his head off. And no one believes him because he constantly talks about it because he is in so much pain.
No doctor can diagnose him so far, he has no idea what's wrong with him, he's been tested all over the place, he has no hope, he's barely
cligning and he doesn't know how much longer he can hold on.

All I really want to say is

Lord? What I have done? I don't pray, I never pray, I don't even know who I would pray to. But WHAT ELSE DO I HAVE TO DO?!

I bring myself across hell and I pull myself from the worst depression I h
This is autobiographical...so be prepared for somewhat of a story.
Crazy Beautiful Mar 2014
Gazing at the moon
My heart loves to the core.
For once I fell in love
like no other time before.

I met her from the hills,
just text, and window based
The butterflies set in,
with such beauty, she was graced.

With kindness and a voice
She patched up every sore
Was it meant to be,
as it’s never been before?

Summer, it came with fire
For at that time we met
And as that wood door opened,
I knew where my heart was set.

Hand in hand we walked,
My faith to her I swore,
as we kissed that first sweet time
We melted on the floor.

As the leaves fell off the trees
Warmth shared through the winter,
of course we had our problems,
flicked off as though a splinter.

Lots of hurdles came,
With those came the pain.
But after all that we’ve endured
one fact remains the same.

Seasons spent together,
In fact, we lasted four,
the fact remains, I still love her
Forever, and ever more.

I pray that she’ll come back
I Hope I'm in her mind,
So much I want to share,
Don’t care if love is blind!

As she drifts away
there’s nothing I want more
then to feel her love again,
As I’ve never felt before…
Our embrace lasted too long.
We loved right down to the bone.  
I hear the bones grind, I see  
our two skeletons.

Now I am waiting
till you leave, till
the clatter of your shoes
is heard no more. Now, silence.

Tonight I am going to sleep alone  
on the bedclothes of purity.
Aloneness
is the first hygienic measure.  
Aloneness
will enlarge the walls of the room,  
I will open the window
and the large, frosty air will enter,  
healthy as tragedy.
Human thoughts will enter
and human concerns,
misfortune of others, saintliness of others.  
They will converse softly and sternly.

Do not come anymore.  
I am an animal  
very rarely.
Frazer Charlton May 2014
I saw the Maori Jesus
Walking on Wellington Harbour.
He wore blue dungarees,
His beard and hair were long.
His breath smelled of mussels and paraoa.
When he smiled it looked like the dawn.
When he broke wind the little fishes trembled.
When he frowned the ground shook.
When he laughed everybody got drunk.

The Maori Jesus came on shore
And picked out his twelve disciples.
One cleaned toilets in the railway station;
His hands were scrubbed red to get the **** out of the pores.
One was a call-girl who turned it up for nothing.
One was a housewife who had forgotten the Pill
And stuck her TV set in the ******* can.
One was a little office clerk
Who'd tried to set fire to the Government Buldings.
Yes, and there were several others;
One was a sad old quean;
One was an alcoholic priest
Going slowly mad in a respectable parish.

The Maori Jesus said, 'Man,
From now on the sun will shine.'

He did no miracles;
He played the guitar sitting on the ground.

The first day he was arrested
For having no lawful means of support.
The second day he was beaten up by the cops
For telling a dee his house was not in order.
The third day he was charged with being a Maori
And given a month in Mt Crawford.
The fourth day he was sent to Porirua
For telling a ***** the sun would stop rising.
The fifth day lasted seven years
While he worked in the Asylum laundry
Never out of the steam.
The sixth day he told the head doctor,
'I am the Light in the Void;
I am who I am.'
The seventh day he was lobotomised;
The brain of God was cut in half.

On the eighth day the sun did not rise.
It did not rise the day after.
God was neither alive nor dead.
The darkness of the Void,
Mountainous, mile-deep, civilised darkness
Sat on the earth from then till now.
One of my favourites aeeee,
yeah it's not by me, don't know how to not claim this.
A shark
afebrile acceded
deep in
shallows there
his teeth
lasted with
anticipation of
her bay
was akin
to high
jinks as
his floridity
was aghast
with achievement
that caught
her so
nobly again.
A shark in infested waters
Danny Valdez Jan 2012
He woke up
next to the empty spot
where Wonder Woman had been.
He puked in the toilet
slammed down a forty-ounce Miller High Life
and started putting the suit on.
boots
the gray and black tights
the gloves
the yellow utility belt
and the cape.
It was leather.
He put the cowl
under his arm and left his apartment.
It was a late start
nearly noon
by the time
the bus got him to
Mann's Chinese Theater.
He saw a lot of his
friends and colleges
as the bus went down to his stop.
It was a regular day
all the characters were
in their usual little groups.
Spider-Man & Captain America
two Mormon boys that had been
excommunicated from the church
they got caught **** *******
each other
now they were stuck in Hollywood
like everyone else.
The X-Men
or H-Men as most people called them
were a group of junkies.
One of them had a cousin at Fox
and they got four replica X-Men costumes.
So that's how they scored
their junk everyday
garnered pretty good tips from the tourists.
Cyclops, Jean-Grey, Storm, and Wolverine.
It was a good grift. **** good idea.
Then you had the impersonators
plastic surgery freaks
obsessed with Michael Jackson
creepy bald men dressed as Dr. Evil
and there was always
a lazy fat guy
that would do Elvis.
Not know any of the songs
and saying the catch phrases all wrong,
"Well, thank you Ma'am....thank you so much."
Those guys never lasted too long.
The cutesy cartoon characters
were almost always
pedophiles or ******* ladies.
The horror people were hands down
the most bat-**** insane of the lot.
They got into the most fights
they terrorized the kids
and they talked a lot of ****.
Would bate guys into fights.
Michael Myers would always start ****
with guys that had beautiful women with them.
It was ****** up.
The LAPD took away Freddy Kruger last month
for beating up a guy
right in front of his kids.
There was talk from the cops
about shutting down their whole thing down.
Making it illegal to dress up in costumes
and get tips.
'Panhandling' as the office had said.
But
Batman hung out with
Superman & Wonder Woman
while doing his thing.
The night before
Wonder Woman and him
had been drinking, smoking, and
they ****** once
before she asked him
what she needed to.
"We got two new guys starting tomorrow."
"What?"
"Yeah. They came up to me on the street today,
wanted to know if they could hang with us."
"Wha? What? Well...do they have costumes?"
"Yeah." She said, exhaling smoke, wrapped in the sheet on the bed.
"These guys got a Green Lantern and a Robin costume. Really good quality,
they showed me pictures. Hey, you finally got a Robin now! Isn't that great?"
"****...I don't know Diana...I was kinda liking our little *******.
"Oh come on, Bruce. It'll be good." She said, wrapping her arms around him
as he sat on the edge of the book, looking out the window.
"We can finally get the big, group tips. Like what the H-Men got going."
"Alright. That's fine."
And the next day
there they were,
Green Lantern & Robin.
Wonderful costumes, like she said
their hair color and overall appearance
spot on.
"Hey there!"
"Hello. Robin. Green Lantern."
Their gloved hands all shook.
They got acquainted and he couldnt help but like them.
Nice guys, musicians, Rockabilly guys, from Venice.
They went out into
the crowd of people
Superman's voice booming over the crowd
telling everyone that they're safe from
evil and wrong doers, blah, blah, blah,
the usual ******* that Superman always said.
Batman yelled to Robin over the enclosing crowd.
They were now fully entrenched by people
fat & sweaty
Batman's panic attack took over.
"COME ON!" He shouted over the rising crowd noise.
The dynamic duo
shoved & pushed
parting the sea of fat tourists
and breaking out onto the sidewalk.
"What's up, Batman?" Robin asked
looking up to him.
The size difference was just like in the comics
Robin was a little guy.
"I just needed to get outta there. Let's go take a lap
down Hollywood Boulevard...see what kinda cash we can grab."
"Okay, Batman."
They walked
up and down
the walk of fame
posing for a few pictures
making some kids day
with wide-eyed excitement
that will be with them forever.
They made forty bucks too.
"Alright, that's good for now. Let's grab a beer, Robin."
It was a small dive
on Hollywood Boulevard
they were two beers in
and Robin was learning a lot
about how Hollywood really was.
Some real talk from Batman to Robin.
"Yup. I moved out here in 1997. I saw that movie 'Swingers' and I thought...
I could do that, that could be my life, I want that."
"And what happened Bats?"
"Well...I came out here, went to film school, did everything I was told, and...
I still got ******." He said, taking a long pull from the bottle.
"Well what happened exactly?"
Robin's green glove, gripping the brown bottle
tilting it back, bubbles rising
"Well...ya see...when I was in film school, the instructors all told us...you either do your internship here in Hollywood or go to New York. Anywhere else and you won't be able to make it. That's what they said."
"Yeah?"
"Yeah. So I did my internship here in Hollywood and it was for nothing. The whole two years that I was at Faramount, I was never allowed to even touch any film equipment. Well, just to dust it off and clean it. But they didn't even try to teach me anything there. I just did food runs at lunch, got them their Starbucks in the morning, and took out the trash. Swept the parking lot, cleaned the toilets, I was a ******* janitor at that place. And you know what happened next?"
"Huh?"
"One day they just fired me. Just like that. After two years of being their ***** boy. So now I have $50,000 in student loans that I can't pay back, and a degree that got me nowhere."
"****." Robin said, finishing his beer.
"Yeah. So what do you do?"
"I'm in school for audio engineering."
"Ah...the music business eh?"
"Yeah, Batman."
"Hmm."
Batman grew silent then, just finishing his beer, and staring into the mirrored wall.
He wanted to say,
"I have 117 scripts sitting in a stack next to my t.v. That's eight screenplays a year. Robin, I've been at this for fourteen years and it doesn't get any better. I never stop trying and I keep at it, year after year. But I'm done. Get out while you
still can Robin. This city will eat you, **** you, **** you. If you still have a home, I suggest you go back to it."
Batman sat there, his beer finished, still staring straight ahead.
Robin pulled out a ten dollar bill, smiling, calling for the bartender
with that sparkle in his eye
of youth and hope.
He didn't want to say all that ****
crush that gleam in Robin's eye
like he once had.
Those were the best days
the great days
the glory days
to be young, handsome, poor, and hopeful
that you could make it
that it could happen.
So Batman didn't say another word about it.
Nope.
There were things
Robin would have to learn all on his own.
Harriet Cleve Jun 2019
'Where is he now?'

'Room 35'

'His age?'

'Twenty 29'

'Has he spilled any brain fluid from the eye sockets?"

'He has not yet been placed on the neural cell divider'

'We were instructed to wait upon your arrival'

The two men faced one another. Equal in stature and authority.
Both were ghastly in their features. Sunken eyes that contained the
weary load of a harrowing existence. Intelligent though ravaged eyes that penetrated into the deepest recesses of the psyches of those quarantined in room 35.

Berdensharder walked past Halden.

Will you induce the full cerebral breakdown? said Halden

'I have not yet decided'

'Let me see him first.

Room 35 was secured and access permitted to Berdensharder.

He walked in and breathed the formaldehyde humidity.
His nasal passages recoiled in revulsion at the pungent sting of miserable brain fluid filters in suspension.

Facing him was the sample. A young man with a look of terror in his eyes.

He had been placed in a cranial clamp and was rigid in an upright steel frame. Electrodes hung like tentacles from a deformed squid.
Clouds of medicated bacteria floated in a transparent tube connected to the frame. The tubes had not yet been put in place.

'Your name?' said Berdensharder

'The young man was clamped by the wrists and ankles; naked and ashamed of his fear. His forehead was scarred and an incision led into his prefrontal cortex.

'Radsler Duriyima' came the reply

The voice was broken and clung to a false hope of salvation.
He had awoken in room 35 and had no knowledge of his previous weeks or months. His brain struggled to function.

'Your name! Berdensharder screamed is Gunther Strausse!

Tears flowed freely down Duriyima's face.

'No. My name is Radsler Duriyima'

This was the only lucid thought in his mind. He was sure of it. His life depended on this name.
Instinct was heightened as he said it again.

'Radsler Duriyima!'


Berdensharder switched on the cranium synaptic fluid uptake. He set it for distillation level four. This was normal and a precautionary first step in the cerebral breakdown initiation.

Duriyima's body convulsed and a screen in the room displayed his thought process and an image appeared on a screen.

The synaptic  responder projected the dulled translucent pictures of a face in a mirror. It was Duriyima's and he was shaving in an apartment. A grainy distorted vision interspersed with the sounds of a woman screaming. A gun blasted and then grey dull plastered walls rushing by. More screams. More walls. Blood splashed. Then black.

Suddenly Duriyima's eyes opened and Berdensharder sprayed a saline solution on the eyeballs which kept the eyelids from closing.
He took a surgical precision scalpel handed to him by Halden.
Slowly he slit the eyeball and removed a trace of fluid. Inserting a tube into the eye, his hand was a precision instrument and he gently placed it deeper into the back passage of Duriyima's eye.


Duriyima wanted to scream but was prohibited by a mouth gag soaked in a medicated solution.

His body shook the entire time in rapid convulsions. Only his head remained unmoved.

Tears flowed freely the entire time and the tear duct of the severed eye was gradually made redundant by Berdensharder.

Stepping back from his helpless sample Berdensharder looked upon the apparatus. He removed the gag.

'Now Mr Gunther Strausse!
'Your name!'

'Duriyima wanted to respond but only an animal like sound emitted from his throat.

A scream so horrific it would unnerve the servants of Satan

Halden looked at Berdensharder.

'Well, are you going to induce the full cerebral breakdown?'

'No. We will first get this sample to state his name.
'When Gunther  Strausse is ready to state his name then I shall do so'



Duriyima looked at the pair of them. What was going on?
Where was he? What did they want? His mind couldn't function.

The door of room 35 was closed and he was alone

One thought began to emerge. His name he now felt was Gunther Strausse.


He could not be sure. His thoughts ebbed into insanity.

Berdensharder would induce the full cerebral overload the following day.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Duriyima succumbed to massive shock, severe trauma, and paranoia.

He remained plugged into the filtration system for two hours in a semi conscious state. His brain ebbed with seismic brain wave cycles that sheared the integral subconscious of his existence.

One name repeatedly came to his mind, 'Gunther Strausse'
He tried to make sense of all that had happened as the fragility of his sanity took its toll. The face of Berdensharder took on a form in his thoughts. He felt nauseous and violently ill. His eye ached with an unbearable pain; his vision horribly strained and blurred.
The sound of a gunshot deafened his ears. His forehead was an explosion of activity and excruciating pain. Tears flowed from one of his eyes and this confused him. He sobbed and in a gibberish howl begged for deliverance.

He had this stomach churning sense he was in Hell and the torments he had endured were God's retribution.

He found his voice then.

'Sweet Jesus!' he screamed

'Not this! Not this!

'Son of God! Forgive! Forgive!

He begged till his bowels emptied and the stench of anonymity
reeked from his flesh.

Duriyima was very much still a part of the living; in a ghoulish grotesque quarter of a savage place reserved for aggressive science.

His screams and outbursts of terror had triggered an audio camera.

Berdensharder looked at the desperate features of Duriyima.

'No! Gunther Strausse' he said to himself.

'There is no God here'. 'Not for you nor any of us'

'God, Gunther Strausse, you will find has never heard of you'
'Not here'

'For you, only I control your emotions'
'I determine your quality of life'

'Yes! You will find out that betrayal is rewarded with surrealism!'

'I am your God!, Gunther Strausse'

Reaching his hand to a calibrated dial he adjusted the volume of the sound chamber to it's maximum decibel rating.

Duriyima's screams were relayed back to him and his ears bled with the intensity of the sound.

His mind collapsed in the wall of sound as his heart pulsed in rapid sickening beat patterns and it overtook the sound of his own screams.

'Yes!', Gunther Strausse, scream!  It will help you to realise it is all you have left.

Duriyima's body convulsed like a lightning rod for terror.
His brain burst with demented anguish and he collapsed into a nauseating nightmare.

Even in this state, Berdensharder followed him and the labyrinth
of Duriyima's mind became a battle ground for sanity.

Berdensharder's hand reached for the distillation filter system.
He employed the backwash switch and watched as the fluid of Duriyima's brain was circulated into the three micron carbon elements.

Halden looked on and met Berdensharder's eyes.

'It will be of no use' he said

'His mind can not cope with insurgent cells'

'He will never state he is Gunther Strausse'

A third figure looked on as Duriyima's face erupted in an explosion of hideous expressions.

'We shall see' said Gunther Strausse
'We shall see'

Room 35 crashed into an uncanny silence for three minutes'

Then a cacophany of sound hit Duriyims's ears

'Gunther Strausse' it wailed

'You are Gunther Strausse'

The cells in Duriyima's brain formed new synaptic networks forging in clusters around his prefrontal cortex.

Brain fluid started weeping from his sockets.

It was beginning to happen. His memories were being replaced.
His mind reborn. It was excruciating and still the wall of sound echoed and resounded in room 35

Gunther Strausse


Gunther Strausse

Gunther Strausse

Duriyima's eyes stared into an abyss of madness.

His tethered hands could not reach out to touch the face of sanity.
Deep inside his pysche he knew his ordeal was just beginning.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
You took note of the cry for salvation?' Halden said to Berdensharder


'Of course, it is natural in the sample. The Amygdala reflex'

'He still retains a sense of deliverance. His amygdala is primitive and
primed for a search; a Saviour who will redeem him'

'There is no scapegoat here he will find. No burning bush.
No Good News from Christ'

'Still it is a sign of deep resistance' replied Halden

'It is a trivial issue and will be resolved'

'We will remove this superstition and replace it.

'He will question his sense of identity'

'He will becomre as Gunther Strausse and he will witness his own transformation.'

'Has the synopial fluid vat been prepared?

'Yes'

'I will inject his neo-cortex with an anti-aneurism sedation'

'He will beg for death soon but it will be denied'

'Nor shall he fully recover from the full cerebral breakdown'

'We are taking it to level six distillation tonight'

'Has the cryogenic vat been prepared for the body'

'Yes'

Duriyima will soon pray to be Gunther Strausse but prayer will abandon his faculties'

'He will endure and witness the five hour transcendence of terror'

Halden and Berdenschrader looked at one another knowingly.

'Has there been any further visuals  from the synaptic cells of Duriyima'

'Yes, a woman's face made a lucid and highly resonated image on the cerebral scanner last night'

'Only high resolution visuals are deemed important due to the high emotional energy associated with them'


' She has been identified?

'Even now she is being prepared for Room 35'

'Good, good. This will please Gunther Strausse'

'Now, let us immerse Duriyima into his new reality'

Halden and Berdensharder dressed into the rubber robes and secured the brain aprons in place.

Entering Room 35 they looked at the sample. He was under a deep induced coma. Berdensharder took a scalpel to his forehead.
A vacuum switch was enabled and a surgical cutting tool prepared to remove Duriyima's brain for temporary relocation.

Halden and Berdensharder looked at the clock on the clean-room walls. They had a five hour window to take Duriyima into a purged state of cerebral surveillance.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hald­un rolled his sleeve up as Berdensharder prepared injection 19 and prepared to administer the dose.

'You have no need to worry Halden'

'It is routine now at this stage especially for you'

'This will be your seventh full cerebral surveillance of a sample'

'I have brought you back every time'

'You are safe with me. Your brain, your body will be unscathed'

'I hear a citation of merit will soon be yours'

'Gunther Strausse will award it to you personally'

'You are a loyal servant Halden, I will see you in five hours'

Halden looked at Berdensharder. Each man had suffered in their own way since 'the shutdown' took place.
Only their intelligence and guile had ensured their survival.

'Yes, Berdensharder, I know it. You will bring me back.

Then Halden passed into an induced coma.

The rig was in place and Berdensharder lifted Haldens skull like a door on a hinge. The titantium bolts were embedded deep into his skull. Delicately and with great precision twenty five electrodes were inserted into Haldens brain.

Berdensharder switched the spinal column reverse chamber.
A two way valve tripped the automatic pulmonary Gemini blood cell network. Haldens body remained in live peaceful repose.

The clock ticked in time with his heart and his brain was placed into the electrolytic vat.

In the same way and with the same urgency and diligence the brain of Radsler Duriyima was placed along side Haldens.

Level six distillation was in progress. Berdensharder now set about
the procedure which would take Duriyima to the verge of a mental breakdown.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
In room 35 a young woman aged twenty four stared back at her tormentor.

Her hands and feet were restrained in an upright frame.

A cranial brace secured and held her head rigid.

On the screen facing her was an image of Berdensharder

'Your name?'

Hannah Prestovsky's mind was confused. She had no recollection of the last hours or days. Her mind struggled to function.

Only her name surfaced to her mind. The only lucid thought she had. Her name was Hannah Prestovsky. She knew her life depended on this name.

'My name', she stuttered, 'is Hannah Prestovsky'

'No! Your name is Gunther Strausse!

Tears flowed down her face. She was naked and ashamed of her fear.

'No, she said. My name is Hannah Prestovsky!"

She sobbed and emptied her bowls as the stench of terror rose from her body.

'I am a diplomat!' she cried

'I demand immunity! In the name of God who are you?'

'Silence settled broken finally by the image on the screen.
The voice of Berdensharder boomed from the speaker.

' No, you are no longer represented by any government authority'

'God is no longer here to deliver you into his protection'

' Now, your name?'

Hannah Prestovsky screamed till her lungs exploded with exhaustion.
In an area of this room sealed from her screams, the brain of Radsler Duriyima was about to undergo full cerebral surveillance.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
­Duriyima's brain lay pulsating in the neural vat. The electrodes in his brain were connected to those in the brain of Halden.
Berdensharder was engaged in the system flowpath direction.
When he tripped the one -way valves it was essential Halden's brain fluid flowed into Duriyima's.

In this 'full wash surveillance' Halden's consciousness would merge with Duriyima's. If the process was successful then those thoughts held in the synaptic network of Duriyima's would be an open book to Halden. His brain would retain all that was contained within Duriyima's. It was unprecedented technology and had not yet failed.
Each time on relocation of Halden's brain, he was able to give a full account of the life of the sample. It was as if he was the sample.

Every fear, every concern or hope was disclosed to Halden.
No one else in the facility was capable of undergoing a surveillance of this nature. Others had tried it but in all cases both the sample and the invasive consciousness died within minutes.

Halden and Berdensharder were the only team to ever secure consistent trials to unheard of 'five hour' deep cerebral surveillance
and succeed in securing the neural data of the sample. Their method became known as the 'five hour transcendence of terror'.

Berdensharder looked at Halden. His admiration for his associate was deep and he envied him his courage. He was ruthless of course but he had an air of dignity about him. Berdensharder thought too that Halden would escape one day. If that ever happened he shuddered to think of the repercussions.

All these thoughts were fleeting and the flashing instruments alerted him to his first function. He would light up the prefrontal cortex of Duriyima first.

He looked at the calibration settings on the visual imaging screen.
Then  he stared at the live body of Duriyima. The body was an empty vessel although every spinal output was connected to the remote brain of Duriyima. Audio and visual scanners would enable Duriyima to witness his own detachment.

This was the reason for anti-aneurysm injections into the new-cortex of the sample. It always freaked them out.

The worst was the brains response to it's isolation from the body.
The 'language to vocal' response was recorded and displayed to a digital readout. The voice was an algorithm. The screams became white noise.

When the sample recovered from the shock it was then the voice became an artificial sound emanating from the instrumentation panel.

Before Halden could immerse into Duriyima an interrogation was initiated.

Berdensharder turned on the system to awaken Duriyima.
Slowly Duriyima responded. His body responded in simultaneous response to his brain.

He could see the set up on the screen. It dawned on him that he had become an abomination.

Then he went into a full mental breakdown that created a white noise explosion that lasted for ten hideous minute.

'Yes! Scream. It is all you have left. Shortly your mind will open its gates to Halden'.

'Gunther Strausse will be planted in your brain'

'You will soon need your Saviour'

Duriyima knew it then. He must be in Hell. It could not be real.

None of this could be happening.

He didn't know what to do so he screamed.

The scream of the demented.

A smile traced the face of Berdensharder.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Berdensharder waited till the white noise finally stabilised.
He knew the sample was in deep pyschological  trauma.
This was a natural part of the procedure.
Duriyima's brain waves alternated between gamma and alpha rhythms.

A voice suddenly emanated from the speaker. It was monotone and the pitch was low. The sample was ready to communicate.

'Am I in purgatory?'

Berdensharder did not respond. He reached forward and opened an anthrax aerosol.

Reaching into the vat he opened a microscopic funnel into Duriyima's occipital lobe. He squeezed the aerosol which contained enough anthrax to poison a minuscule area of the brain. It went black immediately and the whole brain seemed to shrink in a futile sense of survival.

The white noise monitor went into a frenzy of sound.
It lasted for fifteen minutes. Duriyima was in agony.

When the noise subsided the brain was lifted from the vat.
Berdensharder removed the black tissue for sample analysis.

He watched the screen as he cauterised the area.
Duriyima's body was writhing in intensified terror.
He knew the whole procedure was witnessed by Duriyima as though he were a third party.

The body was in convulsions; at times seemed as though it might break free of it's restraints.

'No, Gunther Strausse, you are going nowhere'
'Now let us listen to some classical music shall we?'

A beautiful piano concerto filled  the air and the vibrations settled into the brain vat. Berdensharder looked at Halden's face as a smile broke out on his features.

This pleased him to see his associate receive some pleasure.
The music always worked. The brain always responded.
He looked then to Duriyima's face. It was contorted in a ghoulish grimace. Even so, the brain wave activity settled to level fifteen.

The body slumped now and the eyes were catatonic.
Berdensharder needed to leave the sample undisturbed for fifteen minutes. If it went into cerbral flatline then he would administer sedative eighty four. This always brought the sample back from the corridors of death.

From experience he expected the sample's next words would be 'my name is Gunther Strausse'

This had to be the way. The brain needed to survive. This was the name it must give. It must give it in no uncertain terms.

It feared the anthrax. The unknown. It feared the interference of nature. It must be placed back in its body. It must co-operate.
It must state 'my name is Gunther Strausse'

Berdensharder was patient. Thirty minutes passed and once again the white noise subsided.

The brain was in active mode once again. The samples vital statistics were stable.

The music was discontinued.

'Now, Gunther Strausse, what is your name?'

The sound monitor responded in a hesitant slow manner.

'My name is Gunther Strausse'

'Did you not tell me your name was Radsler Duriyima?' Berdensharder replied

'My name is Gunther Strausse'

Berdensharder was in full control and raised the terror level.

'No! Your name is Radsler Duriyima!'

'You have never heard of Gunther Strausse'

The White noise from the sound monitor went catastrophic.
Duriyima's brain screamed in agony. Had it not been for the anti-aneurysm injected previously it would have phyically exploded.
The body went into convulsions.

'Who are you?' screamed Duriyima

'Who are you?!'

Berdensharder smiled and replied 'It is who you will be that is the question'

'It is who you shall be!'

It was time now to open the non-return valve and allow Halden to enter the consciousness of Duriyima.

The White noise on the screen indicated that Duriyima was on the verge of the full cerebral breakdown'

'Soon it will be over' said Berdersharder and reached to turn on the valve. Halden would now perform the full wash surveillance.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~­

It was always a beautiful experience. Halden felt as if he were reborn and the world was an unexplored discovery. Here in the neural ocean of Duriyima's synaptic network of young cells he immersed himself deep in the private psyche of another human.
He searched the entire brain map of Duriyima and came to know that neural landscape as though it were his own.

Duriyima resisted of course and became aware of the invasion.
His screams were a peak of White noise on the visual audio scanner.

Berdensharder watched carefully. Halden would soon know every thought and experience that Duriyima ever possessed.
He cared not for the fate of Duriyima once they were finished with the sample. All that mattered was the complete subjugation of a private mind. The private would become public. This forced confession would become the norm. It was exhilarating to be a part of the destruction of the individual. Halden had shown remarkable courage and took great personal risk to achieve this break through in mind control. He had shown it was possible to inhabit another's brain. Once this was done it was a step away from world *******.
Those who control the mind control the future. The secrets of enemy States would be unlocked. One had only to capture the intelligentsia and key figures in an administration. Their minds would be ransacked. Berdensharder turned suddenly as footsteps unexpectedly approached.

It was Dr. Xuaguang Lee from sector 84.
Behind him was a young woman holding a syringe to his throat.

'What the hell is going on!' screamed Berdensharder

'Hannah Prestovsky was sick to the pit of her stomach at the sight she beheld.

'You are going to release Radsler Duriyima' she said venomously

Dr. Lee looked on with rising terror in his eyes.

'She is holding a lethal dose of injection 19!'  he screamed

'Do you think I give a **** about him?!' said Berdersharder

Shoving Dr. Lee away from her she ran to the neural vat.

Holding the syringe above the brain of Halden she lunged it into his brain stem.

'You fool!' Berdensharder screamed

'The body of  Halden went into cardiac arrest.

Halden was now locked into the consciousness of Duriyima.

There was no way back for him. He could now only survive if Duriyima survived.

Seeing her chance at the shock she had given to Berdensharder she siezed the anthrax spray and a chemical solution from the neural vat.

'I swear to God if you don't bring Duriyima back then he will die my way!'

Berdensharder's mind raced. He had to save Duriyima if he was to save Halden. He knew Duriyima and Halden were one now.
Could he do it? What would the result be? Gunther Strausse would ****** him if he did not bring them back.



'Step away from from the neural vat! he shouted

'If you have any thought for Radsler Duriyima then let me work!'

Dr. XuGuang made to run for the door and was shot instantly by Berdensharder.

Hannah screamed as the blood sprayed her face.

'No ! Berdensharder' she screamed

'You will give me that gun or it all ends here!
'She gestured to the neural vat and prepared to dose it with a chemical mix.

Berdensharder looked at her and knew she would do it.
He passed her the gun.
'Now! Let me work!' 'Every minute is vital!'

Hannah Prestovsky was sickened by this filthy abbatoir.
'Where the hell are we ? She thought

Berdensharder turned the one way valve and shut down the pulmonary system for Halden. He needed to work fast and get Duriyima's brain back into its body.

A surge of excitement ran through his veins.
Would Halden be able to communicate from his new mind.
Could Halden dominate Duriyima's brain.
'Step back from the neural vat! Please!

Hannah held the gun and watched the horrible spectacle before her.

— The End —