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honey Sep 2019
i always get the same gift,
just wrapped in different paper.

i pause, i listen,
respond, honestly.
i pause, reach out,
remember, i love you.
i pause, awake early,
you rise, feast on my labor.
i pause, i pay,
open wallet, for our memories.
i pause, remember you,
a simple gift, out of love.
i pause, i pause, i pause.
i pause to give,
give all of what i have,
to love you, care for you,
to bring a smile to your face.

my pauses become longer,
my body becomes weaker,
my heart becomes depleted,
my mind becomes scattered,
& im exhausted.
so tired that my eyebags have eyebags,
my tears like a dried up lake,
my heart shriveled & empty.
i gave all of me, all i had.
every pause belonged to you.
but none belonged to me.

you look confused,
upset, hurt.
you scoff, angry,
that i have become empty.
you think i am neglecting you,
i try to pause for me.
you accuse me of selfishness,
accuse me of manipulation.
you say my pauses were calculations,
that i am only there when i need something.
but i never needed anything,
just for you to...
pause.

the gift i get, is all the same
just wrapped in different papers.
leeches, vampires, vacuums,
anything to **** my heart dry.
yet told that i should be grateful,
for receiving a gift at all.
but all my pauses are gifts,
gifts of all i have to offer.
to give a smile,
is sometimes all i have in me.
but i will give it freely anyway.
but no one pauses for me,
they just keep on walking.
taking with them,
fragments of me.
rainydaysunday May 2014
As I'm writing this
all I'm thinking of are the pauses
between your words when you stop to wet your
mouth with the disregard of others'
thoughts.
I think of the pauses the people on tv take
They've made those silent but how they shape our lives has become Louder

The pauses in my sister's words are deliberate. because she
can not speak toofast    t o o  f a r   too out of hand
about the things she cares for.
Her words are Broken by the slow sounds of
A mouth closing and
opening others to her opinions closing
them to their own.

I hear my mouth
I hear the way breath skids over my lips like a body being dragged
behind an old pickup.
I hear my mouth make wet noises and
I ask myself how to be dryer
I ask myself why I breathe like I do
because my Living isn't supposed to be a statement.
My life isn't supposed to interrupt
anyone else's.

All I'm thinking of
is that your pauses
interrupt my life.
Cné Jul 2018

Ebony
silhouettes
inked
by a dying sun,
portray
lovers embraced
in
the synergy of one.

Inseparable
dreams
slowly
morph into one …
subservient
to the
whims
of the compliant
heart’s
drum.

And
azure pools reflect
a
tie-dyed denim sky,
as
enchanted dreamers
seal
their love with a kiss nearby.

Twinkling
stars confetti
the
emptiness of space.
And
as darkness descends,
shadows
swallow all of the light’s trace.

Reality
pauses …
as
time seems to stand so still
to
the depths of their very souls,
motionless
they swim.

I whistle for the Scarecrow to lead the way right after Neur decided to leave. It begins to form a black mist/smoke like essence in the middle of where I stand then it unifies and creates a Scarecrow with red eyes and it makes noise and flies slowly in front of me. Finally it lands in a mysterious cave where I stand in awe as I see ...there the Scarecrow stands on top of a crystalline rock emanating from the entrance of the cave itself. I walk in and I feel an eerie feeling go down my gut...something tells me to look immediately to the right. So when I do there it is the mystical impenetrable rock Aziel was talking about. Then just then I feel a sense of ease and Aziel says telepathically..."So my not what are you waiting for destroy the rock and retrieve the relic." So all the sudden I feel a sudden deepening defining feeling in my chest and I acquire the powers of Darkness for the first time in my quest for revenge is paying off. I command my whole arm to become a sledgehammer and hit the rock directly and it cracks in a half...there stands a beautiful glowing base with a fancy top on it ...made out of red diamonds and showered in Gold. Then I am relieved. "I got it" I tell Aziel telepathically. Then Aziel responds worried ... "Come as quickly as you can because I believe the Goddess is onto you...plus I cannot sustain you with the power of Darkness only 45 more minutes. Therefore,  come friend for you will be handsomely rewarded. " As I am getting out of the cave I hear galloping coming up the path I came. Then to my bewilderment Boom there stood a huge 32 ft tall ElderGloomTree It looked at me and it had a sweet berry like strawberry like scent in the Air it smelled beautifully nice.
The middle of the tree there was a mouth like sideways and it opened inside it slowly took out it's tongue and there was a small what looked like a mustard seed with rainbow like colors all over. There that little seed grew before my very eyes in the matter of split seconds and formed the shape of a beautiful glowing young woman with beautiful green skin and black hair with blue red and white stripes on the hair color. She spoke to me kindly and softly her breath smelled like fresh mint...I was astounded. Frank: "Yyyoouu...mmuusstt....bbb..e..." I stuttered... Nabyah: "Yes Young Mortal I am Nabyah many call me the Goddess Of The Forest Of Whispers. What are you doing here...what is that your carrying and oh one last question...I heard from Neur you was seeking me." Frank: "Indeed I am Frank Deltoro and I am here to request something from you...in return I'll do something you want done. If it's under my power and will to do so I will aid you." Nabyah: " I want to aid my tribe of centaurs and the remote Cyclop  village of Vlakazamuk & Chalekathan *
  We want to stop the killing of Centaurs and the human captures from capturing Cyclops and making them work enslaving all Cyclop population or sometimes brutally **** them and practice known as
Davalkaj Shamanism.

You humans and your inventions to destroy our home-world and natural habitat. Tell me what makes you think I'm going to help You? Should I **** you for trespassing my forest?" Frank: "Well... I didn't come to fight but if i must we can clash but I would rather we handle the situation like 2 Grown up adults here well you for one am sure have lived thousands of years now but hey...help me and I will do my best to remove the curse." Nabyah: " Fine but do come ...come close to me I will kiss you in the lips once and you shall have my blessing..." Aziel shouts telepathically: "Use the power of the Dark to see if she is giving you a curse or a blessing...if you take the kiss and become enchanted well since the power of Darkness is in you it will be removed. But if it's a curse I shall take it and renew your power by some. So either way it's safe go ahead kiddo...I know you want those lips. Get em" I just nod. Then wow I kiss the Goddess and it's by far the most romantic thing that's ever happened to me in my 25 yrs of living. I felt a holy power showering over me then the power of the Dark was immediately removed.
Then all the sudden she makes a beautiful hymn comes out of her mouth and a fairy about 3ft tall with 6 wings flying in mid air hands Nabyah a gorgeous engraved Vial of blood. "Here is what you seek warrior; proceed carefully not only benevolent souls and entities linger here. I leave the area as soon as she hands me the vial of blood. I get about 50 ft away from the area and the power of Darkness consumes me I transform to a Giant Bat and head back to Aziel.
In the Castle am greeted with pleasure and I hand him the vial of Goddesses blood. There and then he drinks the elixir of blood and before my very eyes he regains his youth and full power. Then there stands 5'7 Sharp look young man about 20 to 21 years of age. He disappears and reappears behind me tapping me on the shoulder. Aziel: "Frank I am in complete debt with you for only and even though we do not agree nor do I love him any but thanks the Lord...you helped me regain my full vampiric power. Ahhh it feels amazing. Hahaha  he embraces me in a warm hug.  Now what do you desire my mortal friend?
I think deeply..."I want to help the Goddess remove the curse from the forest." Aziel: "I usually don't meddle in human affairs but I am making an exception I'll help you as long as your willing to help me destroy the Order " Frank: "Does this mean I must look for the Relics Neur Blackthorn asked me to get ...since I got the vial I don't really need to do it no more right?" Aziel: " I'll let you borrow the power of Darkness for 6.5 more hrs till morning comes" Frank: "Thanks Aziel once again for letting me gain more power and knowledge."

~ *Meanwhile


At a very remote location deep in the heart of the Forest Of Whispers lived Bethilda Wood. She has lived in a old ruined cabin for 700+ yrs also she is known as The Elder Witch *Empress Of Darkness
known to bestow powerful spells and hexes but also with the gift of healing and releasing souls back to the Almighty One. A young Wiccan woman comes up young in age her skin tan/white heading toward the old rugged cabin...then pauses whistles a delightful melody and a staff appears.  Having been trained in the field of magic this young witch is been taken under Bethilda's wing. Bethilda:  Adrianna  darling come I have a surprise for you. Follow me to the pond of *Greater Enchantment. Adrianna: So... I heard you became the High Dark Empress 1200 years ago. Bethilda: Yes that is true I been a Witch for the past 1600 years or so. I survived the middle ages the dark ages and the years of enlightenment.  It's something I been willing to be all my life for I meet the man who carries my heart a young man known as The Count Of the Night. Dracula! We fell in love and I bore 3 of his children who so I have heard inherited the gift of becoming a vampire and they inevitably became vampires, more like the 3 princes of the night. Vladimir my first born Aziel my middle child and Uriel the youngest of the three. I been on the quest of finding Jesus Tears a small opaque flower the color of silver to complete my spell and relinquish Vladimir's soul to the mortal realm fit it into a red diamond and transfer it's soul essence into a freshly dead human body. With that he will come back to the World of the living and redeem himself and take revenge on the Order. Adrianna: I will help you. I will find this flower you'll see. So then they practiced spells from there on out.

~ Meanwhile

Its 1 a.m. and Frank heads out to seek the Ancient Relic. With the complete power of Darkness at his disposal he sends out 3  scarecrows to look for areas of interest in the Forest Of Whispers. Two of the  scarecrows come back one doesn't so that last one got killed by someone's power. Frank communicates telepathically to Aziel. Frank: I think someone is onto us Aziel guard the Castle it might be the Order. Aziel: already got it covered buddy. Then Frank feels a very strong power slowly emanating from the Southeast part of the Forest Of Whispers.  Frank transforms to a bat and heads there. As he gets there the small village of Chalekathan...
He who has been destroyed there stood a mysterious figure in the middle of the havoc a mysterious strong power could be felt from him. Mysterious Man: Hello adventurer my name is Navarro Castle-worth I am the Warlock of the *Tower Of Frejoird
where I was trained to use magic and rituals to summon strong deities into this plane of existence.  I got here too late someone had destroyed the village before I got here. Frank: Right ...my name is Frank Deltoro and how do I know your not the one who destroyed the village? Why should I trust you? Navarro: Young friend...I do not desire battle but if it's necessary I will satiate your thirst for battle...Navarro Summons his staff and says some words and a Huge Nightmarish Creature that looks like a dog with a fog of Darkness surrounds the Creature. Frank summons the power of Darkness and since its 1:33 a.m he gains the *Wings Of the Desolate Count which makes his power two fold. There Frank stood looking at Navarro in the eyes and him looking at Frank with perspicacity. All the sudden a trembling can be felt and a Huge Cyclop comes out of the Wilderness. Mysterious Cyclop: Hold one moment ...this man is telling you the truth young Mortal. Frank: Woah a Cyclop what how did you get here? Frank loses his fighting stance and so does Navarro...My name is *Jhino Velvermount I am from the Tribe Of Chalekathan* known Village Of the Largest Cyclop population. "Come I show you what the Witch Of the Tavern Of Doom Dragons* done her name is ...whispers Bethilda N. Lement. Raised originally in Sweden in the small farming town of Wrellender* learned Martial Arts Of Taijutsu and Ninjutsu. Able to control Lighting/Air/Water/Fire/Metallic energies. Coming from a family that practiced Zetzou Buddhism. Who are thought at a very young age to control the Chi* Energies of the body how to practice Re-Vitalizing and Re-Energizing the Chi to be able to stay in a meditative/active blending of consciousness with the subconscious to make Ninjutsu possible. She is known to have rested 1322-1555 A.C. about 250 not been too active but her Great Grandmother. Nayya M. Element who was born 1119 A.C. in the same village one of the co-founders of it who placed the curse on the Forest Of Whispers and it's being sustained by her Great Granddaughter Mrs. Lement. Now me and Navarro follow Jhino to the Village. We go thru extensive difficult paths that leave me tired for an excruciating 5 hrs of walking. Finally arrive at the village... and there is about 30-40 Thousand Cyclops gathered around the Village to hear Gromm ElderLord of the Village Of Chalekathan. Gromm: My stance stands I am here to protect my people from the evil that has left this village wrecked record in the past 300 years. I will NOT allow Bethilda to wreak havoc here no longer. There Me and Navarro and Jhino stand behind the large crowd waiting for the speech to end. The speech finally ends and strong Cyclop incense is burn to allow other high ranking tribe members to know the Elders speech ended. <br>
<br>
~Meanwhile in Aziel's Castle~
"Hello" a young woman with Long Red Hair that hits the ground as she walks White Pearl Eyes with Black Pupils and with a Long  *Black Ceremonial Dress known as Akashaic Black Tunic Of the Dark Empress from the Land Of Necromancers.
There appeared in a Dark WindAziel Governale in a White Taxedo like Suit Welcome Home... Iris Senteno ...Oracle Of the Shadows Of the most powerful Magicians from the Tower Of Frejoird. I have seen your prodigal human who's name is Frank Deltoro...handsome young man who encountered Navarro in The Forest Of Whispers. Will he be trouble? Or shall I eliminate his presence?"
Aziel: No he is working for me...you shall have him without delay at the end.

                         ~To Be Continued
Work in progress.
Slow sinks, more lovely ere his race be run,
Along Morea’s hills the setting Sun;
Not, as in northern climes, obscurely bright,
But one unclouded blaze of living light;
O’er the hushed deep the yellow beam he throws,
Gilds the green wave that trembles as it glows;
On old ægina’s rock and Hydra’s isle
The God of gladness sheds his parting smile;
O’er his own regions lingering loves to shine,
Though there his altars are no more divine.
Descending fast, the mountain-shadows kiss
Thy glorious Gulf, unconquered Salamis!
Their azure arches through the long expanse,
More deeply purpled, meet his mellowing glance,
And tenderest tints, along their summits driven,
Mark his gay course, and own the hues of Heaven;
Till, darkly shaded from the land and deep,
Behind his Delphian rock he sinks to sleep.

  On such an eve his palest beam he cast
When, Athens! here thy Wisest looked his last.
How watched thy better sons his farewell ray,
That closed their murdered Sage’s latest day!
Not yet—not yet—Sol pauses on the hill,
The precious hour of parting lingers still;
But sad his light to agonizing eyes,
And dark the mountain’s once delightful dyes;
Gloom o’er the lovely land he seemed to pour,
The land where Phoebus never frowned before;
But ere he sunk below Cithaeron’s head,
The cup of Woe was quaffed—the Spirit fled;
The soul of Him that scorned to fear or fly,
Who lived and died as none can live or die.

  But lo! from high Hymettus to the plain
The Queen of Night asserts her silent reign;
No murky vapour, herald of the storm,
Hides her fair face, or girds her glowing form;
With cornice glimmering as the moonbeams play,
There the white column greets her grateful ray,
And bright around, with quivering beams beset,
Her emblem sparkles o’er the Minaret;
The groves of olive scattered dark and wide,
Where meek Cephisus sheds his scanty tide,
The cypress saddening by the sacred mosque,
The gleaming turret of the gay kiosk,
And sad and sombre ’mid the holy calm,
Near Theseus’ fane, yon solitary palm;
All, tinged with varied hues, arrest the eye;
And dull were his that passed them heedless by.
Again the ægean, heard no more afar,
Lulls his chafed breast from elemental war:
Again his waves in milder tints unfold
Their long expanse of sapphire and of gold,
Mixed with the shades of many a distant isle
That frown, where gentler Ocean deigns to smile.

  As thus, within the walls of Pallas’ fane,
I marked the beauties of the land and main,
Alone, and friendless, on the magic shore,
Whose arts and arms but live in poets’ lore;
Oft as the matchless dome I turned to scan,
Sacred to Gods, but not secure from Man,
The Past returned, the Present seemed to cease,
And Glory knew no clime beyond her Greece!

  Hour rolled along, and Dian’******on high
Had gained the centre of her softest sky;
And yet unwearied still my footsteps trod
O’er the vain shrine of many a vanished God:
But chiefly, Pallas! thine, when Hecate’s glare
Checked by thy columns, fell more sadly fair
O’er the chill marble, where the startling tread
Thrills the lone heart like echoes from the dead.
Long had I mused, and treasured every trace
The wreck of Greece recorded of her race,
When, lo! a giant-form before me strode,
And Pallas hailed me in her own Abode!

  Yes,’twas Minerva’s self; but, ah! how changed,
Since o’er the Dardan field in arms she ranged!
Not such as erst, by her divine command,
Her form appeared from Phidias’ plastic hand:
Gone were the terrors of her awful brow,
Her idle ægis bore no Gorgon now;
Her helm was dinted, and the broken lance
Seemed weak and shaftless e’en to mortal glance;
The Olive Branch, which still she deigned to clasp,
Shrunk from her touch, and withered in her grasp;
And, ah! though still the brightest of the sky,
Celestial tears bedimmed her large blue eye;
Round the rent casque her owlet circled slow,
And mourned his mistress with a shriek of woe!

  “Mortal!”—’twas thus she spake—”that blush of shame
Proclaims thee Briton, once a noble name;
First of the mighty, foremost of the free,
Now honoured ‘less’ by all, and ‘least’ by me:
Chief of thy foes shall Pallas still be found.
Seek’st thou the cause of loathing!—look around.
Lo! here, despite of war and wasting fire,
I saw successive Tyrannies expire;
‘Scaped from the ravage of the Turk and Goth,
Thy country sends a spoiler worse than both.
Survey this vacant, violated fane;
Recount the relics torn that yet remain:
‘These’ Cecrops placed, ‘this’ Pericles adorned,
‘That’ Adrian reared when drooping Science mourned.
What more I owe let Gratitude attest—
Know, Alaric and Elgin did the rest.
That all may learn from whence the plunderer came,
The insulted wall sustains his hated name:
For Elgin’s fame thus grateful Pallas pleads,
Below, his name—above, behold his deeds!
Be ever hailed with equal honour here
The Gothic monarch and the Pictish peer:
Arms gave the first his right, the last had none,
But basely stole what less barbarians won.
So when the Lion quits his fell repast,
Next prowls the Wolf, the filthy Jackal last:
Flesh, limbs, and blood the former make their own,
The last poor brute securely gnaws the bone.
Yet still the Gods are just, and crimes are crossed:
See here what Elgin won, and what he lost!
Another name with his pollutes my shrine:
Behold where Dian’s beams disdain to shine!
Some retribution still might Pallas claim,
When Venus half avenged Minerva’s shame.”

  She ceased awhile, and thus I dared reply,
To soothe the vengeance kindling in her eye:
“Daughter of Jove! in Britain’s injured name,
A true-born Briton may the deed disclaim.
Frown not on England; England owns him not:
Athena, no! thy plunderer was a Scot.
Ask’st thou the difference? From fair Phyles’ towers
Survey Boeotia;—Caledonia’s ours.
And well I know within that ******* land
Hath Wisdom’s goddess never held command;
A barren soil, where Nature’s germs, confined
To stern sterility, can stint the mind;
Whose thistle well betrays the niggard earth,
Emblem of all to whom the Land gives birth;
Each genial influence nurtured to resist;
A land of meanness, sophistry, and mist.
Each breeze from foggy mount and marshy plain
Dilutes with drivel every drizzly brain,
Till, burst at length, each wat’ry head o’erflows,
Foul as their soil, and frigid as their snows:
Then thousand schemes of petulance and pride
Despatch her scheming children far and wide;
Some East, some West, some—everywhere but North!
In quest of lawless gain, they issue forth.
And thus—accursed be the day and year!
She sent a Pict to play the felon here.
Yet Caledonia claims some native worth,
As dull Boeotia gave a Pindar birth;
So may her few, the lettered and the brave,
Bound to no clime, and victors of the grave,
Shake off the sordid dust of such a land,
And shine like children of a happier strand;
As once, of yore, in some obnoxious place,
Ten names (if found) had saved a wretched race.”

  “Mortal!” the blue-eyed maid resumed, “once more
Bear back my mandate to thy native shore.
Though fallen, alas! this vengeance yet is mine,
To turn my counsels far from lands like thine.
Hear then in silence Pallas’ stern behest;
Hear and believe, for Time will tell the rest.

  “First on the head of him who did this deed
My curse shall light,—on him and all his seed:
Without one spark of intellectual fire,
Be all the sons as senseless as the sire:
If one with wit the parent brood disgrace,
Believe him ******* of a brighter race:
Still with his hireling artists let him prate,
And Folly’s praise repay for Wisdom’s hate;
Long of their Patron’s gusto let them tell,
Whose noblest, native gusto is—to sell:
To sell, and make—may shame record the day!—
The State—Receiver of his pilfered prey.
Meantime, the flattering, feeble dotard, West,
Europe’s worst dauber, and poor Britain’s best,
With palsied hand shall turn each model o’er,
And own himself an infant of fourscore.
Be all the Bruisers culled from all St. Giles’,
That Art and Nature may compare their styles;
While brawny brutes in stupid wonder stare,
And marvel at his Lordship’s ’stone shop’ there.
Round the thronged gate shall sauntering coxcombs creep
To lounge and lucubrate, to prate and peep;
While many a languid maid, with longing sigh,
On giant statues casts the curious eye;
The room with transient glance appears to skim,
Yet marks the mighty back and length of limb;
Mourns o’er the difference of now and then;
Exclaims, ‘These Greeks indeed were proper men!’
Draws slight comparisons of ‘these’ with ‘those’,
And envies Laïs all her Attic beaux.
When shall a modern maid have swains like these?
Alas! Sir Harry is no Hercules!
And last of all, amidst the gaping crew,
Some calm spectator, as he takes his view,
In silent indignation mixed with grief,
Admires the plunder, but abhors the thief.
Oh, loathed in life, nor pardoned in the dust,
May Hate pursue his sacrilegious lust!
Linked with the fool that fired the Ephesian dome,
Shall vengeance follow far beyond the tomb,
And Eratostratus and Elgin shine
In many a branding page and burning line;
Alike reserved for aye to stand accursed,
Perchance the second blacker than the first.

  “So let him stand, through ages yet unborn,
Fixed statue on the pedestal of Scorn;
Though not for him alone revenge shall wait,
But fits thy country for her coming fate:
Hers were the deeds that taught her lawless son
To do what oft Britannia’s self had done.
Look to the Baltic—blazing from afar,
Your old Ally yet mourns perfidious war.
Not to such deeds did Pallas lend her aid,
Or break the compact which herself had made;
Far from such counsels, from the faithless field
She fled—but left behind her Gorgon shield;
A fatal gift that turned your friends to stone,
And left lost Albion hated and alone.

“Look to the East, where Ganges’ swarthy race
Shall shake your tyrant empire to its base;
Lo! there Rebellion rears her ghastly head,
And glares the Nemesis of native dead;
Till Indus rolls a deep purpureal flood,
And claims his long arrear of northern blood.
So may ye perish!—Pallas, when she gave
Your free-born rights, forbade ye to enslave.

  “Look on your Spain!—she clasps the hand she hates,
But boldly clasps, and thrusts you from her gates.
Bear witness, bright Barossa! thou canst tell
Whose were the sons that bravely fought and fell.
But Lusitania, kind and dear ally,
Can spare a few to fight, and sometimes fly.
Oh glorious field! by Famine fiercely won,
The Gaul retires for once, and all is done!
But when did Pallas teach, that one retreat
Retrieved three long Olympiads of defeat?

  “Look last at home—ye love not to look there
On the grim smile of comfortless despair:
Your city saddens: loud though Revel howls,
Here Famine faints, and yonder Rapine prowls.
See all alike of more or less bereft;
No misers tremble when there’s nothing left.
‘Blest paper credit;’ who shall dare to sing?
It clogs like lead Corruption’s weary wing.
Yet Pallas pluck’d each Premier by the ear,
Who Gods and men alike disdained to hear;
But one, repentant o’er a bankrupt state,
On Pallas calls,—but calls, alas! too late:
Then raves for’——’; to that Mentor bends,
Though he and Pallas never yet were friends.
Him senates hear, whom never yet they heard,
Contemptuous once, and now no less absurd.
So, once of yore, each reasonable frog,
Swore faith and fealty to his sovereign ‘log.’
Thus hailed your rulers their patrician clod,
As Egypt chose an onion for a God.

  “Now fare ye well! enjoy your little hour;
Go, grasp the shadow of your vanished power;
Gloss o’er the failure of each fondest scheme;
Your strength a name, your bloated wealth a dream.
Gone is that Gold, the marvel of mankind.
And Pirates barter all that’s left behind.
No more the hirelings, purchased near and far,
Crowd to the ranks of mercenary war.
The idle merchant on the useless quay
Droops o’er the bales no bark may bear away;
Or, back returning, sees rejected stores
Rot piecemeal on his own encumbered shores:
The starved mechanic breaks his rusting loom,
And desperate mans him ‘gainst the coming doom.
Then in the Senates of your sinking state
Show me the man whose counsels may have weight.
Vain is each voice where tones could once command;
E’en factions cease to charm a factious land:
Yet jarring sects convulse a sister Isle,
And light with maddening hands the mutual pile.

  “’Tis done, ’tis past—since Pallas warns in vain;
The Furies seize her abdicated reign:
Wide o’er the realm they wave their kindling brands,
And wring her vitals with their fiery hands.
But one convulsive struggle still remains,
And Gaul shall weep ere Albion wear her chains,
The bannered pomp of war, the glittering files,
O’er whose gay trappings stern Bellona smiles;
The brazen trump, the spirit-stirring drum,
That bid the foe defiance ere they come;
The hero bounding at his country’s call,
The glorious death that consecrates his fall,
Swell the young heart with visionary charms.
And bid it antedate the joys of arms.
But know, a lesson you may yet be taught,
With death alone are laurels cheaply bought;
Not in the conflict Havoc seeks delight,
His day of mercy is the day of fight.
But when the field is fought, the battle won,
Though drenched with gore, his woes are but begun:
His deeper deeds as yet ye know by name;
The slaughtered peasant and the ravished dame,
The rifled mansion and the foe-reaped field,
Ill suit with souls at home, untaught to yield.
Say with what eye along the distant down
Would flying burghers mark the blazing town?
How view the column of ascending flames
Shake his red shadow o’er the startled Thames?
Nay, frown not, Albion! for the torch was thine
That lit such pyres from Tagus to the Rhine:
Now should they burst on thy devoted coast,
Go, ask thy ***** who deserves them most?
The law of Heaven and Earth is life for life,
And she who raised, in vain regrets, the strife.”
I take the time
to take a breath
and pull my self together
in the pauses in our conversations

Every pause hurts more
every pause a reminder of the third wheel
the longer the silence of the passing time
the more the sting in my heart

I desire your undivided attention
but I'm partly a third
a second division
not deserving of your full magnificence

I struggle with these pauses
I struggle with your heart
I want to be your one and only
but we are just a pause apart
down
  down
    down
      down
        down
          down
            deep
              below

children of the caves will let their
secret fires glow
~~~

An explosion of birds
Dawn
Sun strokes the walls
An old man leaves the Casino
A young man reading pauses
on the path to the garden
~~~

Bitter winter
Fiction dogs are starving
The radio is moaning softly
calling to the dogs
There are still a few
animals left in the yard

Sit up all night,
talking smoking
Count the dead & wait
’til morning
Will warm names & faces
come again
Does the silver forest end?
~~~

December Isles
Hot morning chambers
of the New Day
Idiot first to awaken (be born)
w/shadows of new play
learned men
in Sunday best
we’ve had our chance to rest
to mourn the passing of day
to lament the death of our
glorious member
(she whispers secret messages
of love in the garden
to her friends, the bees)
The garden would be here
forevermore
~~~

Mexican parachute
Blue green pink
Invented of Silk
& stretched on grass
Draped in the trees
of a Mexican Park
T-shirt boys in their
Slumbering art
~~~

-I fear that he’s been
maim’d beyond all
recognition

He hears them come &
murmur over his corpse.

Street Pizza.
~~~

funny,
I keep expecting a
knock on the door
well, that’s what you
get for living around
people

a Knock? would shatter
my dreams’ illusions
deportment & composure
The struggle of a poor poet
to stay out of the grips
of novels & gambling
& journalism
~~~

A quality of ignorance,
self-deception may be
necessary to the poet’s
survival.
~~~

Actors must make us think
they’re real
Our friends must not
make us think we’re acting

They are, though, in slow
Time

My wild words
slip into fusion
& risk losing
the solid ground

So stranger, get
wilder still

Probe the Highlands
~~~

Bourbon is a wicked brew, recalling
courage milk, refined poison
of cockroach & tree-bark, leaves
& fly-wings scraped from the
land, a thick film; menstrual
fluids no doubt add their splendour.
It is the eagle’s drink.
~~~

Why do I drink?
So that I can write poetry.

Sometimes when it’s all spun out
and all that is ugly recedes
into a deep sleep
There is an awakening
and all that remains is true.
As the body is ravaged
the spirit grows stronger.

Forgive me Father for I know
what I do.
I want to hear the last Poem
of the last Poet.
guy scutellaro Oct 2019
The rain ****** through a darkening sky.

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

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

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

The rain turns to snow.

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

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

Snowflake chuffs once, twice.

The man is gone.



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The bartender recognizes the man smiling at the redhead.

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

"Who told you that?"

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

"George, I heard, HE was dead."

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

They shake hands.

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

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

"Gobble, gobble," O Malley smiles.


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

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

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

The people sitting the barstools do not turn to look.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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



"I'm part Indian. "

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

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

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

Her bushy eyebrows come together forming a delicate frown.

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

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

And Jack smiles.

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

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

She smiles.

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

Delleto tries to speak.

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

Jack recognizes the look on her face. Bad dreams.

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

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

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

Jack is finishing his beer.

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

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

She stands up, stares at Jack Delleto.

And walks away.


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

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

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

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

"Dove sta amore," Jack Delleto asks.

Death is angry, steps closer.

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

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

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

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

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

The Miller Lite gently rocks and then it stops.

Jack stands up, shakes his head and smiles.

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

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

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

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


2 a.m.

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

The rain has finally turn to snow.

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

The dog, Snowflake, dead, Jack thinks.


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

Jack disappears into empty pages.


Chapter 2


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fondly, he remembers.

Dad.


                                     *     

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

Jack Delleto thinks about mountains.

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

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

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



                                           Chapter 3


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

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

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

"YOU PROMISED."

"How about a sargeant in a jeep?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Finally the boy and his mother are quiet.

"My husband will have you fired."

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

Jack mutters something.

"MMOOOMEEE,  what does..."

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


                              
     

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

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

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

"I was attacked by five women."

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

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

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

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

                                        
     

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

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

"Hello, Kathrine," says Jack Delleto.

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

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

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

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

"You were alone, always alone."

"You've seen me there before?"

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

"How many kids do you have?"

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

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

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


                              
     

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

The snow must melt; spring is inevitable.

His pup will be back.



                                           Chapter 4


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"About right."

"You look tired."

"I am a little."

"Are you sick or is it a woman."

"I'm not sick."

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

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

Jack and Felix start walking over to the ring.

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

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

In the opposite corner Bill Wain waits.

"Will he be alright?" Harry asks.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bill Wain comes out of his corner circling left.

Jack rushes straight ahead.

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



                                           Chapter 5


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

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

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

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

"Who told you that? Crazy George?"

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

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

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

How's the other George? Dell asks.

"AA."

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

"Rehab."

"What about Robbie?"

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


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

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

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

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

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

Some guests clap. The bemused just stare.

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

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

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

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

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

"Thanks, Mr. Cool."

Jack takes off the sunglasses.

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

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

"What happened?" O'Malley asks again.

"Bill Wain."

"He turned pro."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Do you hear them, Bob?"

"Hear what?" Bob asks.

"All of them."

"All of what?"

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

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

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


                                          Chapter 6


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

"My names Kathleen."

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

"How about, Darlin?"

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

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

"But no one else is dancing."

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

"It's twenty degrees out there."

"I'll keep you warm."

"All right, lets dance."

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

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

Kathleen had never meant anyone quite like Dell.

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

"Nothing."

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

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

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

"No."

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

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

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

"Do you want me to?"

"Yeah."

Kate blows out the match.


                                  
     


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

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

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

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

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


                                         Chapter 7


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

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

"Still alive and well."

"Who is this pretty young lady?"

"This Kate."

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

Kathleen forces a smile.

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

"How long?  Delleto inquires.

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

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

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

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

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

Earth, O island Earth.


                                               Chapter 8


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Earth, O island Earth.



                                           Chapter 9


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

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

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

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

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

"You lost?"

"Yeah."

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

The radio plays softly.

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

Kathleen sighs.

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

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

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

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


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

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



                                             Chapter 10



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

"That's because I care for you."

The rain pounds the roof.

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

"Well I don't need anyone."

"People need people."

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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



                                            
     



The ringing phone.

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

"Jack, I'm scared."

"Kate?"

"Someone broke into my apartment."

"Is he still there?"

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

"I'll be right over."



                                         Chapter11


"How hot is it?" Kathleen asks.

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

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

"Let's go to the boardwalk."

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

"We could go on the rides."

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

"It's my birthday."

"I bought you flowers."

"Yeah, carnations."

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

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

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

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

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

"Fine."

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

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

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

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

The boyfriend stares angrily at Jack.

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

Jack wins that game, too.



                                                 Chapter 12



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

"Soon, Darling, "her father assures her.

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

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


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

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

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

"Ooooh, Daddy, I love this."

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

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

Kathleen feels the impulse to *****.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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




                                      
     

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

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

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

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

The man does down.

Jack wins.



                                                  CHAPTE­R 13

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

They take the shots and throw them down.

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

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

"Probably not insects."

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

                                          
     

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

The rain pounds the roof.

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

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

The austere room has won.

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

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



                                           Chapter 14


The rain turns to snow.

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

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

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

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

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

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


                                        
     


Slowly the door moans open.

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

"Yeah, I'm awake."

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

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

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

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

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

"Jack, you forgot something that night."

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

"You didn't kiss me goodbye."

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

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

"Yeah, I'm crying."

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

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

"Hold me, Jack, hold me tighter."

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


                                          
      *


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



                                            Chapter 15


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

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

Jack has committed a trespass.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And begins licking him.

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

                               FANTASY WILL SET YOU FREE

                                                 The End

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


"Conversations With a Dead Dog..."
r Jan 2016
Last night I read your poem
in bed instead of writing
like I'd said I would.  I
had to start over twice
because my eyes aren't
as good as my heart
when it comes to stopping
and starting at pauses
heavy with losses.  Lost
causes and me seem to be
your specialties. Especially me.
Asphyxiophilia Jul 2013
It's 3 am and you're restless again. Your thoughts wander briskly through the fields of memories of him and you find yourself picking each one and holding it delicately in your palm. The lights from the streetlamps outside your window peek through the blinds and illuminate synthetic stars onto your ceiling which you count like each kiss he ever placed on your cheek. Your legs are wrapped up in your sheets like the way they used to tangle around his ankles every evening. You roll onto your side and attempt to close your eyes once more, calling out to a peaceful slumber that has been evading you for weeks when suddenly, you hear a whistle in the distance. You open your eyes again to see the stars growing into spotlights that threaten to swallow you like black holes, but without the mystery. You immediately grab your wrists out of fear that you unconsciously took a blade to them but you are greeted by scars that have been forming for approximately three years (and eleven months). Your heart threatens to pound its fist through your chest as you slowly turn to see what the source of the light is. Just as your shoulders align with your mattress, a man steps from what appears to be a train engine and greets you with a nod of his head.
"Good evening, sleeping beauty," he begins sweetly, "I have come to extend an invitation to the night train."
You bring your hands to your eyes and attempt to wipe the hallucination away from your vision but when you open them again, you see the man gazing intently.
"It is my understanding that this is your first meeting with the night train," he states as he waits for you to supply an answer.
You nod your head.
"Well, my dear, the night train is here to offer a sweet elixir to cure this sleepless evening. You see, the night train's purpose is to supply the recipient ("that's you," he says behind his hand) exactly twenty minutes of time spent anywhere of their choosing. And then, once the time is up, the recipient must board the train once more, and will be met with approximately eight hours of uninterrupted slumber." He pauses as an assurance that you are following along, so you nod your head slightly. "However, the catch, you see, is that if the recipient does not board the train at the end of the twenty minutes, they will find themselves trapped in a restless oblivion with the promise of never again finding the comfort of sleep." A slight smile tugs at his lips as he tilts his head out of sympathy. "This may not seem to be much of a threat considering you are currently wrapped up tightly in your bed, but I assure you it will be tempting to remain within the place of your choosing, despite the whistle of the night train."
Unsure of what else to do, you nod your head once more.
"Alas, now we must be on our way, because the countdown begins in exactly three minutes! So I urge you to think quickly of where you would like to be taken!"
As though the train has suddenly run into your chest, the meaning of the opportunity that has been placed in front of you knocks the wind out of you. Before the conductor even finished his sentence, you knew exactly where you wanted to go, so you swing your legs to the side of the bed and push yourself upright.
"I would like to be taken to July 13th at precisely 2:32 in the morning," you say quickly as you flatten your restless hair to your head and straighten the t-shirt you are wearing.
"Very well, very well. Now board the train, my dear. And we'll be off to the morning of July 13th, but I urge you not to forget your time limit of twenty minutes!" He places his hand on your back and ushers you into the train, guiding you to a red velvet seat lined with golden stitching. Once you are comfortable, he disappears into the cabin and blows the whistle before pulling out of the station that is your bedroom.
With no warning at all, you feel a tightening in the pit of your stomach and before you even have time to clench, you are sitting on a rooftop overlooking a vibrant city.
"I just don't know anymore. It's like- It's like everything I once knew has been flipped upside-down and I'm just expected to be okay with it. But I'm not."
You blink a few times in an effort to adjust to the sudden deja-vu that causes your head to swim in the memory of an evening you have constantly waded in.
He is sitting with one leg tucked beneath him and the other dangling over the edge, as though even his limbs can't decide whether they want to take the fatal plunge or not. His hair was always absent of color, the kind of black that made you question the material of the universe because even the night sky couldn't compare to the degree of darkness; but it seemed to be doing just that as it laid haphazardly across his pale forehead. His bony fingers are clutching a nearly empty bottle of gin which he brings to his lips between sentences. He continues speaking as though you didn't just appear out of thin air beside him.
"My mum doesn't even pretend to understand anymore. I've heard her mention boarding school at least three times this week, despite my constant refusal to even speak of it. She knows the walls in the apartment are paper thin, so I know she brings it up because she knows I can hear it. But I don't want to hear it."
You notice the vacant look in his eyes as he stares into the horizon, like a hotel room that has been emptied of every belonging, including the light bulbs. He uses his free hand to adjust the collar of his leather jacket before taking another swig of the gin.
"I just can't stay there anymore, and she knows that. Deep down, she knows I can't stay there now that he's gone. I just can't."
His voice is as hollow as his chest as he uses his tongue to wet his lips before turning his head slightly to look at you.
"I wish you could come with me, I really do. It would be quite the adventure, the kind that we used to dream of having. But I can only afford one ticket out of town."
He places the bottle on the ledge, dangerously close to the edge, before resting his sweaty palm on your exposed thigh. His eyes travel from your legs to your forehead, and he leans forward to place a kiss on it, but he misses and falls into your lips. Just like before, your hands land on either side of his face, catching him before he falls completely, and you suddenly find yourself exploring the warm cavern of his vulnerability. His tongue swirls around your own and you taste the bite of the alcohol on his breath but this is the moment you have always craved so you soak up every bit of it. He pulls away just as your heart starts to tremble, and he wipes his mouth with his sleeve before picking the bottle up again and stealing a drink.
"I wish you could come with me," he says again, his eyes now focused on the street below. "But I fear I can only afford one ticket out of town."
Just then, you hear a whistle, but the timing isn't right. This is the moment you would have died to change, and now you've been given a second opportunity, but you can feel it slipping away.
You lean towards him, softly placing your hand on his arm.
"Come with me. We can go anywhere in the world that you please, and I promise it'll be better than here or there if we're together. Because I can't go where you're going, because I can't pay that price, but I want to go away with you, I do."
You search his empty expression, hoping to grab some string of familiarity that you can use to pull him back to reality, but his eyes are locked on the parallel lines beneath.
The whistle grows louder, this time stinging your eardrums, and you know that your time is running short, but you can't let him go.
"You don't have to go back to your apartment, you don't have to go back to your mum. We can runaway tonight, together. You and me, just the way it was always meant to be."
Your voice is shaking and desperate, getting louder with each word that you speak as the whistle blows from behind you, threatening to leave.
Just then, a hand falls upon your shoulder, and for a second you allow yourself to glance over, and it is in that second that the body before you tips over the rooftop's edge. Your heart falls like a weight in your stomach, just like on the evening this event first occurred, anchoring you to the cement and preventing you from going after him. The conductor who now stands behind you grabs your torso and pulls you backwards as you scream his name into the night sky. You kick against his hold as he drags you back onto the train and into the velvet seat again.
This time, you were unable to hear his body land on the pavement.
This time, you weren't able to look down and see his hands lying ten feet away from the rest of his body.
This time, you didn't get to perch on the edge and contemplate for hours joining him.
This time, you couldn't blame yourself for being speechless, for letting him be the star of his shining moment, because you attempted to be his Juliet.
You didn't realize you were still screaming until the conductor grabbed your shoulders with his hands and shook you quickly.
"Quiet my dear, I fear it is time to go. And I was unwilling to allow you to remain any longer, but I fear you will only be receiving six hours of peaceful slumber."
You look at him sternly, unsure how he can continue to speak of this ****** night train and its guidelines after you just watched the love of your life commit suicide for the second time.
You take a deep breath before speaking, "I don't understand the point of this, why bring me here if I couldn't change anything? Why allow me to relive this if it didn't make a difference?"
He smiles sympathetically before beginning, "oh but it did. You see, for three and a half years you have been tossing and turning, wondering what you would have done differently and if you would have been able to change it. But you see, the past isn't something that can be changed. It can only be relived again and again within the minds of those who continue to contain it, and the pain of the past and the memories that come along with it will feel just as real as the day they happened if you continue to dwell on them. Eventually you will see that tonight made a significant difference, because you were finally able to recreate the scenario that you always dreamed."
Your mind is running at a faster speed than the train as it makes its way back to your bedroom, and you can't seem to comprehend what the conductor is saying.
"So you're telling me that the whole reason behind this was to show me that he was going to die whether or not I tried to convince him otherwise?"
He places a gentle hand on your shaking shoulder and replies, "the reason behind this was to allow you to finally put the past behind you and grant yourself the pleasure of peaceful slumber. Because you see, my dear, there is no such thing as the night train. It is merely a figment of your imagination. Deep inside you, you realize that nothing you said could have changed that night, but you needed to dream another possibility in order to believe it. Now believe it."
"But I-" you begin to speak but in the blink of an eye, you're suddenly sitting on the side of your bed, your shoulders no longer shaking. You blink again, trying to make sense of everything. You bring your hands to your face and feel your cheeks, reassuring yourself that you still exist. You look around once more, noticing the stars upon your ceiling twinkling as though they are winking at you like the conductor of a mysterious night train. But you realize that you are in your bedroom, in your t-shirt, as though you never moved beyond that point. And you find that you're unsure whether it was all a dream, or whether you really did go for a ride on a night train, but you decide to lie back down and attempt to sleep anyways.
And six hours later, you find yourself awaking from a very peaceful slumber.
Of that sort of Dramatic Poem which is call’d Tragedy.


Tragedy, as it was antiently compos’d, hath been ever held the
gravest, moralest, and most profitable of all other Poems:
therefore said by Aristotle to be of power by raising pity and fear,
or terror, to purge the mind of those and such like passions, that is
to temper and reduce them to just measure with a kind of delight,
stirr’d up by reading or seeing those passions well imitated. Nor is
Nature wanting in her own effects to make good his assertion: for
so in Physic things of melancholic hue and quality are us’d against
melancholy, sowr against sowr, salt to remove salt humours.
Hence Philosophers and other gravest Writers, as Cicero, Plutarch
and others, frequently cite out of Tragic Poets, both to adorn and
illustrate thir discourse.  The Apostle Paul himself thought it not
unworthy to insert a verse of Euripides into the Text of Holy
Scripture, I Cor. 15. 33. and Paraeus commenting on the
Revelation, divides the whole Book as a Tragedy, into Acts
distinguisht each by a Chorus of Heavenly Harpings and Song
between.  Heretofore Men in highest dignity have labour’d not a
little to be thought able to compose a Tragedy.  Of that honour
Dionysius the elder was no less ambitious, then before of his
attaining to the Tyranny. Augustus Caesar also had begun his
Ajax, but unable to please his own judgment with what he had
begun. left it unfinisht.  Seneca the Philosopher is by some thought
the Author of those Tragedies (at lest the best of them) that go
under that name.  Gregory Nazianzen a Father of the Church,
thought it not unbeseeming the sanctity of his person to write a
Tragedy which he entitl’d, Christ suffering. This is mention’d to
vindicate Tragedy from the small esteem, or rather infamy, which
in the account of many it undergoes at this day with other common
Interludes; hap’ning through the Poets error of intermixing Comic
stuff with Tragic sadness and gravity; or introducing trivial and
****** persons, which by all judicious hath bin counted absurd; and
brought in without discretion, corruptly to gratifie the people. And
though antient Tragedy use no Prologue, yet using sometimes, in
case of self defence, or explanation, that which Martial calls an
Epistle; in behalf of this Tragedy coming forth after the antient
manner, much different from what among us passes for best, thus
much before-hand may be Epistl’d; that Chorus is here introduc’d
after the Greek manner, not antient only but modern, and still in
use among the Italians. In the modelling therefore of this Poem
with good reason, the Antients and Italians are rather follow’d, as
of much more authority and fame. The measure of Verse us’d in
the Chorus is of all sorts, call’d by the Greeks Monostrophic, or
rather Apolelymenon, without regard had to Strophe, Antistrophe
or Epod, which were a kind of Stanza’s fram’d only for the Music,
then us’d with the Chorus that sung; not essential to the Poem, and
therefore not material; or being divided into Stanza’s or Pauses
they may be call’d Allaeostropha.  Division into Act and Scene
referring chiefly to the Stage (to which this work never was
intended) is here omitted.

It suffices if the whole Drama be found not produc’t beyond the
fift Act, of the style and uniformitie, and that commonly call’d the
Plot, whether intricate or explicit, which is nothing indeed but such
oeconomy, or disposition of the fable as may stand best with
verisimilitude and decorum; they only will best judge who are not
unacquainted with Aeschulus, Sophocles, and Euripides, the three
Tragic Poets unequall’d yet by any, and the best rule to all who
endeavour to write Tragedy. The circumscription of time wherein
the whole Drama begins and ends, is according to antient rule, and
best example, within the space of 24 hours.



The ARGUMENT.


Samson made Captive, Blind, and now in the Prison at Gaza, there
to labour as in a common work-house, on a Festival day, in the
general cessation from labour, comes forth into the open Air, to a
place nigh, somewhat retir’d there to sit a while and bemoan his
condition. Where he happens at length to be visited by certain
friends and equals of his tribe, which make the Chorus, who seek
to comfort him what they can ; then by his old Father Manoa, who
endeavours the like, and withal tells him his purpose to procure his
liberty by ransom; lastly, that this Feast was proclaim’d by the
Philistins as a day of Thanksgiving for thir deliverance from the
hands of Samson, which yet more troubles him.  Manoa then
departs to prosecute his endeavour with the Philistian Lords for
Samson’s redemption; who in the mean while is visited by other
persons; and lastly by a publick Officer to require coming to the
Feast before the Lords and People, to play or shew his strength in
thir presence; he at first refuses, dismissing the publick officer with
absolute denyal to come; at length perswaded inwardly that this
was from God, he yields to go along with him, who came now the
second time with great threatnings to fetch him; the Chorus yet
remaining on the place, Manoa returns full of joyful hope, to
procure e’re long his Sons deliverance: in the midst of which
discourse an Ebrew comes in haste confusedly at first; and
afterward more distinctly relating the Catastrophe, what Samson
had done to the Philistins, and by accident to himself; wherewith
the Tragedy ends.


The Persons

Samson.
Manoa the father of Samson.
Dalila his wife.
Harapha of Gath.
Publick Officer.
Messenger.
Chorus of Danites


The Scene before the Prison in Gaza.

Sam:  A little onward lend thy guiding hand
To these dark steps, a little further on;
For yonder bank hath choice of Sun or shade,
There I am wont to sit, when any chance
Relieves me from my task of servile toyl,
Daily in the common Prison else enjoyn’d me,
Where I a Prisoner chain’d, scarce freely draw
The air imprison’d also, close and damp,
Unwholsom draught: but here I feel amends,
The breath of Heav’n fresh-blowing, pure and sweet,
With day-spring born; here leave me to respire.
This day a solemn Feast the people hold
To Dagon thir Sea-Idol, and forbid
Laborious works, unwillingly this rest
Thir Superstition yields me; hence with leave
Retiring from the popular noise, I seek
This unfrequented place to find some ease,
Ease to the body some, none to the mind
From restless thoughts, that like a deadly swarm
Of Hornets arm’d, no sooner found alone,
But rush upon me thronging, and present
Times past, what once I was, and what am now.
O wherefore was my birth from Heaven foretold
Twice by an Angel, who at last in sight
Of both my Parents all in flames ascended
From off the Altar, where an Off’ring burn’d,
As in a fiery column charioting
His Godlike presence, and from some great act
Or benefit reveal’d to Abraham’s race?
Why was my breeding order’d and prescrib’d
As of a person separate to God,
Design’d for great exploits; if I must dye
Betray’d, Captiv’d, and both my Eyes put out,
Made of my Enemies the scorn and gaze;
To grind in Brazen Fetters under task
With this Heav’n-gifted strength? O glorious strength
Put to the labour of a Beast, debas’t
Lower then bondslave! Promise was that I
Should Israel from Philistian yoke deliver;
Ask for this great Deliverer now, and find him
Eyeless in Gaza at the Mill with slaves,
Himself in bonds under Philistian yoke;
Yet stay, let me not rashly call in doubt
Divine Prediction; what if all foretold
Had been fulfilld but through mine own default,
Whom have I to complain of but my self?
Who this high gift of strength committed to me,
In what part lodg’d, how easily bereft me,
Under the Seal of silence could not keep,
But weakly to a woman must reveal it
O’recome with importunity and tears.
O impotence of mind, in body strong!
But what is strength without a double share
Of wisdom, vast, unwieldy, burdensom,
Proudly secure, yet liable to fall
By weakest suttleties, not made to rule,
But to subserve where wisdom bears command.
God, when he gave me strength, to shew withal
How slight the gift was, hung it in my Hair.
But peace, I must not quarrel with the will
Of highest dispensation, which herein
Happ’ly had ends above my reach to know:
Suffices that to me strength is my bane,
And proves the sourse of all my miseries;
So many, and so huge, that each apart
Would ask a life to wail, but chief of all,
O loss of sight, of thee I most complain!
Blind among enemies, O worse then chains,
Dungeon, or beggery, or decrepit age!
Light the prime work of God to me is extinct,
And all her various objects of delight
Annull’d, which might in part my grief have eas’d,
Inferiour to the vilest now become
Of man or worm; the vilest here excel me,
They creep, yet see, I dark in light expos’d
To daily fraud, contempt, abuse and wrong,
Within doors, or without, still as a fool,
In power of others, never in my own;
Scarce half I seem to live, dead more then half.
O dark, dark, dark, amid the blaze of noon,
Irrecoverably dark, total Eclipse
Without all hope of day!
O first created Beam, and thou great Word,
Let there be light, and light was over all;
Why am I thus bereav’d thy prime decree?
The Sun to me is dark
And silent as the Moon,
When she deserts the night
Hid in her vacant interlunar cave.
Since light so necessary is to life,
And almost life itself, if it be true
That light is in the Soul,
She all in every part; why was the sight
To such a tender ball as th’ eye confin’d?
So obvious and so easie to be quench’t,
And not as feeling through all parts diffus’d,
That she might look at will through every pore?
Then had I not been thus exil’d from light;
As in the land of darkness yet in light,
To live a life half dead, a living death,
And buried; but O yet more miserable!
My self, my Sepulcher, a moving Grave,
Buried, yet not exempt
By priviledge of death and burial
From worst of other evils, pains and wrongs,
But made hereby obnoxious more
To all the miseries of life,
Life in captivity
Among inhuman foes.
But who are these? for with joint pace I hear
The tread of many feet stearing this way;
Perhaps my enemies who come to stare
At my affliction, and perhaps to insult,
Thir daily practice to afflict me more.

Chor:  This, this is he; softly a while,
Let us not break in upon him;
O change beyond report, thought, or belief!
See how he lies at random, carelessly diffus’d,
With languish’t head unpropt,
As one past hope, abandon’d
And by himself given over;
In slavish habit, ill-fitted weeds
O’re worn and soild;
Or do my eyes misrepresent?  Can this be hee,
That Heroic, that Renown’d,
Irresistible Samson? whom unarm’d
No strength of man, or fiercest wild beast could withstand;
Who tore the Lion, as the Lion tears the Kid,
Ran on embattelld Armies clad in Iron,
And weaponless himself,
Made Arms ridiculous, useless the forgery
Of brazen shield and spear, the hammer’d Cuirass,
Chalybean temper’d steel, and frock of mail
Adamantean Proof;
But safest he who stood aloof,
When insupportably his foot advanc’t,
In scorn of thir proud arms and warlike tools,
Spurn’d them to death by Troops.  The bold Ascalonite
Fled from his Lion ramp, old Warriors turn’d
Thir plated backs under his heel;
Or grovling soild thir crested helmets in the dust.
Then with what trivial weapon came to Hand,
The Jaw of a dead ***, his sword of bone,
A thousand fore-skins fell, the flower of Palestin
In Ramath-lechi famous to this day:
Then by main force pull’d up, and on his shoulders bore
The Gates of Azza, Post, and massie Bar
Up to the Hill by Hebron, seat of Giants old,
No journey of a Sabbath day, and loaded so;
Like whom the Gentiles feign to bear up Heav’n.
Which shall I first bewail,
Thy ******* or lost Sight,
Prison within Prison
Inseparably dark?
Thou art become (O worst imprisonment!)
The Dungeon of thy self; thy Soul
(Which Men enjoying sight oft without cause complain)
Imprison’d now indeed,
In real darkness of the body dwells,
Shut up from outward light
To incorporate with gloomy night;
For inward light alas
Puts forth no visual beam.
O mirror of our fickle state,
Since man on earth unparallel’d!
The rarer thy example stands,
By how much from the top of wondrous glory,
Strongest of mortal men,
To lowest pitch of abject fortune thou art fall’n.
For him I reckon not in high estate
Whom long descent of birth
Or the sphear of fortune raises;
But thee whose strength, while vertue was her mate
Might have subdu’d the Earth,
Universally crown’d with highest praises.

Sam:  I hear the sound of words, thir sense the air
Dissolves unjointed e’re it reach my ear.

Chor:  Hee speaks, let us draw nigh.  Matchless in might,
The glory late of Israel, now the grief;
We come thy friends and neighbours not unknown
From Eshtaol and Zora’s fruitful Vale
To visit or bewail thee, or if better,
Counsel or Consolation we may bring,
Salve to thy Sores, apt words have power to swage
The tumors of a troubl’d mind,
And are as Balm to fester’d wounds.

Sam:  Your coming, Friends, revives me, for I learn
Now of my own experience, not by talk,
How counterfeit a coin they are who friends
Bear in their Superscription (of the most
I would be understood) in prosperous days
They swarm, but in adverse withdraw their head
Not to be found, though sought.  Wee see, O friends.
How many evils have enclos’d me round;
Yet that which was the worst now least afflicts me,
Blindness, for had I sight, confus’d with shame,
How could I once look up, or heave the head,
Who like a foolish Pilot have shipwrack’t,
My Vessel trusted to me from above,
Gloriously rigg’d; and for a word, a tear,
Fool, have divulg’d the secret gift of God
To a deceitful Woman : tell me Friends,
Am I not sung and proverbd for a Fool
In every street, do they not say, how well
Are come upon him his deserts? yet why?
Immeasurable strength they might behold
In me, of wisdom nothing more then mean;
This with the other should, at least, have paird,
These two proportiond ill drove me transverse.

Chor:  Tax not divine disposal, wisest Men
Have err’d, and by bad Women been deceiv’d;
And shall again, pretend they ne’re so wise.
Deject not then so overmuch thy self,
Who hast of sorrow thy full load besides;
Yet truth to say, I oft have heard men wonder
Why thou shouldst wed Philistian women rather
Then of thine own Tribe fairer, or as fair,
At least of thy own Nation, and as noble.

Sam:  The first I saw at Timna, and she pleas’d
Mee, not my Parents, that I sought to wed,
The daughter of an Infidel: they knew not
That what I motion’d was of God; I knew
From intimate impulse, and therefore urg’d
The Marriage on; that by occasion hence
I might begin Israel’s Deliverance,
The work to which I was divinely call’d;
She proving false, the next I took to Wife
(O that I never had! fond wish too late)
Was in the Vale of Sorec, Dalila,
That specious Monster, my accomplisht snare.
I thought it lawful from my former act,
And the same end; still watching to oppress
Israel’s oppressours: of what now I suffer
She was not the prime cause, but I my self,
Who vanquisht with a peal of words (O weakness!)
Gave up my fort of silence to a Woman.

Chor:  In seeking just occasion to provoke
The Philistine, thy Countries Enemy,
Thou never wast remiss, I hear thee witness:
Yet Israel still serves with all his Sons.

Sam:  That fault I take not on me, but transfer
On Israel’s Governours, and Heads of Tribes,
Who seeing those great acts which God had done
Singly by me against their Conquerours
Acknowledg’d not, or not at all consider’d
Deliverance offerd : I on th’ other side
Us’d no ambition to commend my deeds,
The deeds themselves, though mute, spoke loud the dooer;
But they persisted deaf, and would not seem
To count them things worth notice, till at length
Thir Lords the Philistines with gather’d powers
Enterd Judea seeking mee, who then
Safe to the rock of Etham was retir’d,
Not flying, but fore-casting in what place
To set upon them, what advantag’d best;
Mean while the men of Judah to prevent
The harrass of thir Land, beset me round;
I willingly on some conditions came
Into thir hands, and they as gladly yield me
To the uncircumcis’d a welcom prey,
Bound with two cords; but cords to me were threds
Toucht with the flame: on thi
Ken Pepiton Aug 2018
******. No white guy can say that, right.
People who can truly call themselves ******* can. *****-***** ****, W.O.P.,
maybe they can say ******, okeh. But they say it mean,
knowaddamean.
What'sbout Jewboy?
Can the Kaffen kid say ******?
Sand-******, but not ***** ******. Hecan say ****, too. And *** and *****.

Oy vey, okeh. We can take it. We can take it all. Rules is rules.

That's right. Wanna fight? Wanna be my enemy?

--- Grandpa had a play date. ***- Where's the Fun?
These kids got no guns.
And no enemies. Except imaginary ones.


Greedy little master mind sprouting odd fruits from Pokémon.
Can we make this work? Perfect it, in effect?

Marbles, maybe we can teach that old game and go from there to the funnest parts of FTA... Findtheanswer, like God and Adam played. The rules are some same, bounds, fudges and such. Keepsies, ante-ups and such, too.
Risk is right if-I-can-tation.
Losses can be baked, clayballs,
while momma bakes our daily bread.
Poor kids can make marbles in the sun, since forever, I am sure. Rolly-polly patti and johnny cakes roll marbles into spoons,
Momma knew that stuff. She could shake butter into cream, singin' along Que sera, sera, whatever will be
will be,

but it won't be the death of me,
watch and see,
babu boy oh boy
---
We can play war until we die, but don't tell the children.
They are the price we are to pay. They must believe.

We swore allegiance for security. We thought it best
for the kids to lie.

You know?
I believe, you know. It's unbelieving I need help with.

Can't you see? We swore allegiance and taught it has become the  honor-us-course-us-po-deserve-us ritual. A rite we pass for the protection of the eagles gathered around the body.

We are proud of our children who die taking
the courses called for, we never ask why,
except when we cry. Silently, inside.

It's our role to remember the glory
of our children dying for the IDEA that lives
in the statue of Freedom
under which our laws allow
might is right, if God was ever on our side.

You know what I mean.
Say so. You know the lies are being told.

Stop believing that is okeh, eh?

---
Mussleman dominance meme manifests once more to battle the flood of knowing being re-leased or bought, outright, to aid the seekers seeking the meta game.

F.T.A, remember? Find The Answer. Same rules as Hide and Watch,
"All ye, all ye, outsiders hidden in our midst, in free."

"Send me your- poor, huddled masses",
remember being proud of that idea.
Poor thing, lady libertine, so tarnished now that not even Iaccoca's glory loan could gild the actions she sanctioned in the name of the republic for which she (a proxy mate, feminine aspect of God) stands. Sig-n-if-i-cious-ly.

Seig Freud, we say, with the statue of freedom watching over the legislative body, she stands
quite similar to Diana of the Ephesians,
in her role as mob solid-if-er, if I know my mythic truths been told.
---
Trink, trink, trinkits gits the good good luck,
light m'fire witcha spark and see
a light in the night when the noises pending terrors flee.

Rite, we passed those places ages ago, now we hear echoes, only we know them, for we have been taught,
what echoes ever are.
Our own terrors screaming back at us.

Alot of lies are taught wrong
and a sleeping giant in a child may dream
of other ways to see.
New windows on new word worlds expressed in
HD Quad-processed reality
simulations. You know,
child eyes see right through those.

Exactly that happened. Slowly at first.
Good is more difficult to believe
you are expert enough to try doing than is evil.
Read it again.
This couplet or line, as time will tell.

Don't ignore known knowns,
stand up under the weight of knowing good and knowing evil.
Be good.

We know from conception,
we think,
whatever it takes means
take what ever we think right,
pursue happenstances in the favor of my father's world,
provided for me, the kid.
\
The son, a first-man son,
some several thousand generations removed.
Lucky some body stored the good stuff in the mitochon'orhea, right.
We'd be powerless. O'rhea, double stufft, blessusall.

Otherwise lies are left for kids to learn,
but not to
be left true,
as when they first was told.

Our sibyl e-gran mals tol' em true,
as they knew what they passed through, to the moment, then...

Around the fire, dancing shadows, make them play.
All ye, all ye outs, in free!

See dancing shadows, en-joy my joy, be strong,

long strong, sing along, long, long song

and laugh until you die.
---
Some con-served ideas will land a man in a prison with no keys.

Imagine that. Take your time, it is no passing fancy. Be here,
with me, a while. Pleased to meet you I am, no comma needed.
Now, we may wait, whiling away a time or two is common, in mortal pauses. Are you dead or alive?

Is it dark or light? Do you see in color here, or in gray?

Who built your prison? I built mine. You'll love it, I imagine,

whenever forever flows past those old lies striving for redemption,
recycling-clingy static hairballs and ghost turds
touch, once more,
*** potentia amber atoms in cosmic chili for the soul
of the loaf-giver, warden of the feeding forces life lives
to give dead things. There's the rub.

Spark to fire? Watts to fuel the favor, Issac, can you lead us in a song? A con-serving song for when the cons a fided or feited,
defeat my sorrows and my shame,
let me see Christ take the blame.

Confidencein ignowanceus. Worsen dignitatus evawas.

Blow on it. Soft. The spark landed in that ghost **** you thought you swept away or ****** into a vortex of hoovering witnesses,
if you whew too strong, you blow yer own little light out, and have to wait for lighten-loadin' bearers
to take care from you.

That can take time, too.

It always takes a while to get deep enough to see the bottom.

Cicero, old friend...

ne vestigium quidem ullum est reliquum nobis dignitatis 

[not even a trace is left to us of our dignity]

From <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dignitas(Romanconcept)>

See, from a single spark,
touching a volatile bit o' whatever,
you may see the root of the Roman canker sore
yomamma kistyawit.
And be on yo way,
satisfied minded there do seem to be a way, each day, just beyond the evil sufficiency we find soon after the morning's mercy's been renewed.

And may, if it may be,
ye see a rich man wit' a satisfied mind
and may that man be me in your mirror, as it were.

Carry on, as you were.
Or walk this way, a while,
mind the limp. I'll set the pace.
It ain't a race, y'lil'squirt.

Wait'll y'see.

Waiting is time's only chore this close to shore.

What manner of men are we, who could be our enemy?
What name makes me your enemy?

What peace can you imagine when no words carry hate?
Can you imagine evil peace?
Cromwell n'em said they could make peace wit' war.
They lied.
Their lies remain lies,
evil knowns
good to know, on the whole.

Knowing makes believing count for more than idle
oaths of loyalty to memes mad
from the first of forever to now.

now. stop. This is the bottom. I know the way from here.
Do you?
You can say so, but you never know,
if you never make the climb.

And that can take forever, I've been told.
Fun, for fun. Bees in bonnets and such archaic antics, no pun un intended.
The N word test. I chickened out, but under protest. If I say/said a word to hurt a childlike mind, or an innocent ear, I am not being kind. And the black magi said He could care less, he's moving back to Kingston.
Logan Robertson Jul 2018
there's a fisherman down by the sea
sitting on the wharf
watching the sun sink into the western sky
a frown frames his house
he looks out the window
at his pole, gear
and especially that of his net
emptiness
metaphors that weigh on him
uprooting his garden
a garden of no delight
one lonely row of forget me not
and regret
all wilting
his foundation
lost
never found or realized
he pauses
runs his hand over his pole
like a belt without any notches
his grip slipping into the abyss
as the last of the orange
sinks
bleeds also
at where the sea  meets the sky
where his day slowly turns to night
somewhere out there he sees his image
in nature's mirror
at his crossroads
for deeply
and some may say shallowly
he looks onto the sea one last time
and he means what he says
and throws his fishing gear in
tears welling in his eye
as he watches his teddybear sink
lips gurgling
seemingly asking why
... why
he answers back
there were no fish or bites
in his lonely sea
or wind at his back
... there
his window opens wider
the sea not singing or dancing
he sees the ambient light
correlations
... here

Logan Robertson

7/06/2018
If one reads between the lines the poem reads like a eulogy with a
harbinger to come.
AN UNPUBLISHED DRAMA.

I.

ROME.—A Hall in a Palace. ALESSANDRA and CASTIGLIONE

Alessandra.     Thou art sad, Castiglione.

Castiglione.    Sad!—not I.
                Oh, I’m the happiest, happiest man in Rome!
                A few days more, thou knowest, my Alessandra,
                Will make thee mine. Oh, I am very happy!

Aless.          Methinks thou hast a singular way of showing
                Thy happiness—what ails thee, cousin of mine?
                Why didst thou sigh so deeply?

Cas.            Did I sigh?
                I was not conscious of it. It is a fashion,
                A silly—a most silly fashion I have
                When I am very happy. Did I sigh? (sighing.)

Aless.          Thou didst. Thou art not well. Thou hast indulged
                Too much of late, and I am vexed to see it.
                Late hours and wine, Castiglione,—these
                Will ruin thee! thou art already altered—
                Thy looks are haggard—nothing so wears away
                The constitution as late hours and wine.

Cas. (musing ). Nothing, fair cousin, nothing—
                Not even deep sorrow—
                Wears it away like evil hours and wine.
                I will amend.

Aless.          Do it! I would have thee drop
                Thy riotous company, too—fellows low born
                Ill suit the like of old Di Broglio’s heir
                And Alessandra’s husband.

Cas.            I will drop them.

Aless.          Thou wilt—thou must. Attend thou also more
                To thy dress and equipage—they are over plain
                For thy lofty rank and fashion—much depends
                Upon appearances.

Cas.            I’ll see to it.

Aless.          Then see to it!—pay more attention, sir,
                To a becoming carriage—much thou wantest
                In dignity.

Cas.            Much, much, oh, much I want
                In proper dignity.

Aless.
(haughtily).     Thou mockest me, sir!

Cos.
(abstractedly).  Sweet, gentle Lalage!

Aless.          Heard I aright?
                I speak to him—he speaks of Lalage?
                Sir Count!
       (places her hand on his shoulder)
                           what art thou dreaming?
                He’s not well!
                What ails thee, sir?

Cas.(starting). Cousin! fair cousin!—madam!
                I crave thy pardon—indeed I am not well—
                Your hand from off my shoulder, if you please.
                This air is most oppressive!—Madam—the Duke!

Enter Di Broglio.

Di Broglio.     My son, I’ve news for thee!—hey!
              —what’s the matter?
        (observing Alessandra).
                I’ the pouts? Kiss her, Castiglione! kiss her,
                You dog! and make it up, I say, this minute!
                I’ve news for you both. Politian is expected
                Hourly in Rome—Politian, Earl of Leicester!
                We’ll have him at the wedding. ’Tis his first visit
                To the imperial city.

Aless.          What! Politian
                Of Britain, Earl of Leicester?

Di Brog.        The same, my love.
                We’ll have him at the wedding. A man quite young
                In years, but gray in fame. I have not seen him,
                But Rumor speaks of him as of a prodigy
                Pre-eminent in arts, and arms, and wealth,
                And high descent. We’ll have him at the wedding.

Aless.          I have heard much of this Politian.
                Gay, volatile and giddy—is he not,
                And little given to thinking?

Di Brog.        Far from it, love.
                No branch, they say, of all philosophy
                So deep abstruse he has not mastered it.
                Learned as few are learned.

Aless.          ’Tis very strange!
                I have known men have seen Politian
                And sought his company. They speak of him
                As of one who entered madly into life,
                Drinking the cup of pleasure to the dregs.

Cas.            Ridiculous! Now I have seen Politian
                And know him well—nor learned nor mirthful he.
                He is a dreamer, and shut out
                From common passions.

Di Brog.        Children, we disagree.
                Let us go forth and taste the fragrant air
                Of the garden. Did I dream, or did I hear
                Politian was a melancholy man?

                (Exeunt.)




II.

ROME.—A Lady’s Apartment, with a window open and looking into a garden.
LALAGE, in deep mourning, reading at a table on which lie some books and
a hand-mirror. In the background JACINTA (a servant maid) leans
carelessly upon a chair.


Lalage.         Jacinta! is it thou?

Jacinta
(pertly).        Yes, ma’am, I’m here.

Lal.            I did not know, Jacinta, you were in waiting.
                Sit down!—let not my presence trouble you—
                Sit down!—for I am humble, most humble.

Jac. (aside).   ’Tis time.

(Jacinta seats herself in a side-long manner upon the chair, resting
her elbows upon the back, and regarding her mistress with a contemptuous
look. Lalage continues to read.)

Lal.            “It in another climate, so he said,
                Bore a bright golden flower, but not i’ this soil!”

         (pauses—turns over some leaves and resumes.)

                “No lingering winters there, nor snow, nor shower—
                But Ocean ever to refresh mankind
                Breathes the shrill spirit of the western wind”
                Oh, beautiful!—most beautiful!—how like
                To what my fevered soul doth dream of Heaven!
                O happy land! (pauses) She died!—the maiden died!
                O still more happy maiden who couldst die!
                Jacinta!

        (Jacinta returns no answer, and Lalage presently resumes.)

                Again!—a similar tale
                Told of a beauteous dame beyond the sea!
                Thus speaketh one Ferdinand in the words of the play—
                “She died full young”—one Bossola answers him—
                “I think not so—her infelicity
                Seemed to have years too many”—Ah, luckless lady!
                Jacinta! (still no answer.)
                Here’s a far sterner story—
                But like—oh, very like in its despair—
                Of that Egyptian queen, winning so easily
                A thousand hearts—losing at length her own.
                She died. Thus endeth the history—and her maids
                Lean over her and keep—two gentle maids
                With gentle names—Eiros and Charmion!
                Rainbow and Dove!—Jacinta!

Jac.
(pettishly).    Madam, what is it?

Lal.            Wilt thou, my good Jacinta, be so kind
                As go down in the library and bring me
                The Holy Evangelists?

Jac.            Pshaw!

                (Exit)

Lal.            If there be balm
                For the wounded spirit in Gilead, it is there!
                Dew in the night time of my bitter trouble
                Will there be found—”dew sweeter far than that
                Which hangs like chains of pearl on Hermo
judy smith May 2015
Tired of being called names and listening to complaints from your partner because you snore at night?

But more than that, it is important to keep a check on your snoring as an excess of it can be an indicator of many diseases, one of them being sleep apnea, says Dr Kaushal Sheth, ENT surgeon, "People develop sleep apnea when their airway collapses partially or completely during sleep due to various medical conditions. This causes the oxygen levels in the blood to decrease and can be potentially life threatening when it becomes obstructive sleep apnea."

Elaborating on it further, Dr Jayashree Todkar, bariatric surgeon and obesity consultant says "Snoring is an indication of obstacles in a person's breathing. When excessive fat accumulates around the stomach, the lungs do not get ample space to expand when we inhale oxygen; this in turn leads to obstacles in the process of inhalation-exhalation."

However, there are many myths surrounding snoring which is a very common problem. To sleep better one must get rid of the myths that surround snoring and only accept the facts, says Dr Viranchi Oza, BDS as he gives us a lowdown of some stories around snoring:

Myth: Everybody snores, therefore it's normal.

Fact: Snoring is not a normal condition. Labelling it as 'normal' diminishes the seriousness of the condition. Snoring is not just about annoying your partner, it is a sign that the body is struggling to breathe properly during the night. Snoring on a frequent or regular basis has been associated with hypertension and can also be an indication of sleep apnea (pauses in breathing). Sleep apnea sufferers have been reported to have diminished gray cells in their brains, most likely due to the oxygen deprivation of untreated sleep apnea. If left untreated, sleep apnea increases the risk of cardiovascular disease over time. In addition, insufficient sleep affects growth hormone secretion that is linked to obesity. As the amount of hormone secretion decreases, the chance of weight gain increases.

Myth: Snoring only affects the health of the snorer.

Fact: Snoring doesn't just negatively affect the health of the person snoring, but also the health of the person lying next to them in bed. A typical snorer usually produces a noise that averages around 60 decibels (about the level of vacuum cleaner), but with some people this can reach 80 or even 90 decibels (about the level of an average factory). Sleeping with a partner who snores during the night has been shown to increase the blood pressure in the other person, which may be dangerous for their health in the long term. Snoring also causes the partner to have fragmented sleep and lose up to one hour of sleep

every night.

Myth: Snoring comes from the nose, so if I unclog my nose, my snoring will stop.

Fact: Having a stuffy nose can definitely aggravate snoring and sleep apnea, but in it's not the cause. A recent study showed that undergoing nasal surgery for breathing problems cured sleep apnea in only 10% of patients. Snoring vibrations typically come from the soft palate, which is aggravated by having a small jaw and the tongue falling back. It's a complicated relationship between the nose, the soft palate and the tongue.

Myth: I know I don't snore, or have apnea. I am fine.

Fact: Don't ignore your wife when she tells you that your snoring doesn't let her sleep. When a partner snores it is very difficult for the spouse to sleep. There are people who snore excessively and suffer from sleep apnea, but feel absolutely normal. However, snoring increases their risk of getting a heart attack and stroke. The only definitive way to prove that you don't have sleep apnea is by taking a sleep test. Screening questionnaires like the GASP or the Epworth have shown high reliability in identifying patient risk for sleep apnea.

Myth: If I lose weight, I'll cure myself of sleep apnea.

Fact: Sometimes. It's definitely worth trying, but in general, it's very difficult to lose weight if you have sleep apnea. This is because poor sleep aggravates weight gain by increasing your appetite. Once you're sleeping better, it'll be easier to lose weight. This is the one ingredient with many dietary and weight loss programs that's missing or not stressed at all. It's not enough just to tell people to sleep more.

Myth: Health problems such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension and depression have no relation to the amount and quality of a person's sleep.

Fact: More and more scientific studies are showing a correlation between poor quality sleep and insufficient sleep with a variety of diseases. Blood pressure is variable during the sleep cycle, however, interrupted sleep negatively affects the normal variability. Recent studies have shown that nearly 80% cases of hypertension, 60% cases of strokes and 50% cases of heart failures are actually cases of undiagnosed sleep apnea. Research indicates that insufficient sleep impairs the body's ability to use insulin, which can lead to the onset of diabetes. Fragmented sleep can cause a lowered metabolism and increased levels of the hormone Cortisol which results in an increased appetite and a decrease in one's ability to burn calories.

Myth: Daytime sleepiness means a person is not getting enough sleep.

Fact: Do you feel very sleepy even during the day despite the fact that you had a long night of proper sleep? Excessive daytime sleepiness can occur even after a person gets enough sleep. Such sleepiness can be a sign of an underlying medical condition or sleep disorder such as narcolepsy or sleep apnea. Please seek professional medical advice to correctly diagnose the cause of this symptom.

Myth: Getting just one hour less sleep per night than needed will not have any effect on your daytime functioning.

Fact: This lack of sleep may not make you noticeably sleepy during the day. But even if you've got slightly less sleep, it can affect your ability to think properly and respond quickly. It can compromise your cardiovascular health and energy balance as well as the ability to fight infections, particularly if the pattern continues. Lack of sleep has also been associated with road accidents (up to 60% of road accidents involve lack of sleep) and air crashes (Air India Mangalore plane crash in 2010 was due to lack of sleep). Sleeping for less than six hours a night is equivalent to legal levels of alcohol intoxication.

Myth: Sleep apnea occurs only in older, overweight men with big necks.

Fact: Although the stereotypical description does fit people in the extreme end of the spectrum, we now know that even young, thin women that don't snore can have significant obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep apnea begins with jaw structure narrowing and later involves obesity. It's estimated that 90% of women with this condition are not diagnosed. Untreated, it can cause or aggravate weight gain, depression, anxiety, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, heart attack and stroke.

Myth: Snoring can't be treated.

Fact: Have you given up on your snoring thinking that it cannot be treated? There are many different options for treating snoring.

Some treatment options are rather drastic, possibly requiring surgery or prescription drugs, but prior to exploring such options it would be wise to first seek out alternative treatments. You must visit a sleep specialist to get the right diagnosis.

Myth: Extra sleep at night can cure you of problems with excessive daytime fatigue.

Fact: Not only is the quantity of sleep important but also the quality of sleep. Some people sleep eight-nine hours a night but don't feel well rested as the quality of their sleep is poor. A number of sleep disorders and other medical conditions affect the quality of sleep. Sleeping more won't alleviate the daytime sleepiness these disorders or conditions cause. However, many of these disorders or conditions can be treated effectively with changes in behaviour or with medical therapies.

Myth: Insomnia is characterised only by difficulty in falling asleep.

Fact: There are four symptoms usually associated with insomnia:

- Difficulty falling asleep

- Waking up too early and not being able to get back to sleep

- Frequent awakenings

- Waking up feeling tired and not so fresh

Insomnia can also be a symptom of a sleep disorder or other medical, psychological or psychiatric problems. Sometimes, insomnia can really be a case of undiagnosed sleep apnea.Read more here:www.marieaustralia.com/long-formal-dresses | www.marieaustralia.com/bridesmaid-dresses
MartialPoet Jan 2018
I'll sleep one step closer
When the ticking clock
Pauses in eternity
All sound turns into silence
The smell of petrichor
The holy melody
Breathes it's last tune.

The world will die alone
Singing it's song of curruption
People get silenced for speaking too soon
The wise men stay silent
And the poor speak the truth.

I will die lonely
At least i can keep my humanity
Untainted by hands seeped in sin
The bitter taste of iron
The sweet scent as the body grows cold
And i will then see the beauty
In white who i long for.

I will die lonely
While the world dies on itself
Victims of corruption
Loss of innocence
Voices of the twisted
Lurk through the crimson shadows
Where the big bad wolf
Calls all the shots
Eenie meenie miney mo
Which poor lamb will be slaughtered next?

The world will die alone
I will die lonely.
Robyn Apr 2014
The dragonfly pauses in the middle of an April rain to listen to the girl who cries.
The girl who cries looks at the dragonfly and wonders what it means to pause in the middle of an April rain.
The dragonfly finds it's meaning looking at the girl who cries.
The girl who cries finds the meaning of the dragonfly.
To pause is to reflect.
To pause is to be honest.
To pause is to stop and rest.
The girl who cries will not stop crying.
The dragonfly will stop.
Nat Lipstadt Jun 2018
porch talk, simmering in a Bud light sauce
everyone chair-rocking, even the boxer dog,
in his self-propelled 360 degree swiveling chair
eavesdropping and spy eyeballing the farm for
strangers and any creatures as of yet, unsmelled

get done with weather, the crops,
the neighbors,
the weird, and the truly neighborly,
grandkids escapades, hopes and desires, comparative literature and regional dialects and philosophical dialecticals tickling,
bs’ing and tall tale telling,  breathing the windy geography of the air over the land that dictates the how we live,
open another Bud for the buds,
did I forget to mention
farm equipment?

skirt politics cause nobody wants any
nothing-to-be-done-****-aggravation,
leaves nothing mo’ to ramble on about ‘cept the

absent women

no worries all above board no secrets uncouthed,
but the mood softens as the pale daylight wisps come rarer
as now
nearer to nine pm, obvious saved the best for last,
a very manly-way of ordering things,
big silent pauses in the converso conversation,
guy-sighs many,
as the last essay of the day is being jointly authored,
denotating the generalized listings of
how they drive us crazy,
listing the repetition of ever changing instructions,
which doesn't recognize bi-coastal mannerisms,  non-differentiating
just  humanism-isms

and the peculiarities of each (a list kept)
in a compare and contrast,
an end of the day summation,
and the boasting-outbesting,
of each of their
specialisms
which is sadly now forgotten and which haven’t been
brain-recorded so cannot be disclosed
other than it’s now ten
and all that’s left is
to sleep, perchance, to dream,
of private things
and bigger and better
John Deere tractors
Songs of Oregon  No. 4
Tim Knight Sep 2013
squeeze you to read you,
the pores that pour out hidden punctuation
that defines and makes and creates pauses for
you to look beautiful in.

there are two velux windows somewhere
in the world that look out onto chimney pots
and rooftops and birds next to each other looking
out over a flight plan that they'll fly together.

in pub seats we'll slide into and across,
placing coats on empty chairs so not to be stolen
and you pause. And out comes a list from behind a breath and a
colon: everything you wish to achieve in a year.
coffeeshoppoems.com
Terry Jordan Nov 2015
Appreciate a pure sunrise
See all its glory
Yet just before Amazing Dawn
Has its own story

Before you have a choice to make
Turning left or right
First pause to contemplate the spot
Right within your sight

Body language will belie the
Loud clang of false words
Look into a person’s eyes or
Miss the message heard

What makes a brilliant orchestra
Or pastoral scene
The thing defining beauty is
The spaces in between

In the pauses, in the spaces
Feel your resting hearts
Waiting for the curtain rising
Just before it parts

All the spaces in the painting
Give it life and depth
Sea shells overlooked make precious
All the ones you’ve kept

Hold that hole in that sweet donut
Just before it’s dunk
And keep an eye right on the ball
Right before it’s sunk

Anticipating Christmas morn
Or Baby’s first step
The moment he’s still holding on
Right before he leapt

Savor that bite, unopened gift
Mere ghost of a smile
Forget the end, appreciate
Running your last mile
Robert C Howard May 2017
Through an open window, I hear
      the Big Thompson's steady music
drifting up from the valley below.

May breezes and gentle rains
     coax the snow-capped peaks
to surrender their alabaster cloaks
      downslope into gathering streams.

Silhouetted by light from the waxing moon,
      a cinnamon bear lopes along water’s edge,
pauses for a draught and meanders on.

A bull elk newly coifed with velvet antlers
        folds his legs beneath its belly
and kneels into grasses beside a tranquil pond.
        while the Big Thompson rushes on.

Spring beauties, calypso orchids and geraniums  
       shake off their winter's sleep and
dot every vagabond trail and verdant hill
        while fresh new leaves adorn the aspen boughs.

The Big Thompson inexorably presses on
        bound for rendezvous with time and space
and tumbles into the always patient sea.

© 2017 by Robert Charles Howard
Kewayne Wadley Aug 2018
I love listening to you.
In any way possible.
Whether it's big or small.
Sometimes I get lost in not just the words you speak.
But the actions that follow.
I hate interrupting.
Adding on to previous statements.
Until I know that your completely done.
Not wanting to make you feel unappreciated.

My hands following yours in the deepest form of flattery.

Open ended questions that lead to hour after hour of communication.
My fondness for you growing deeper and deeper.
At times I can't help but interrupt.

Our pauses taking a bit longer after each statement.
It's the anticipation that I want you to know.
That I am listening and take to heart what you are saying.
Stretching myself to cover every part of you.

Completely attentive excited that you'd consider my opinion.
To sit back and reflect without jumping to conclusion.
The one thing that I can do to improve myself.
To love you better.
To accept any and every change that may occur.

A safe place where we can do and say anything without being judged.
I love listening to you.
Specifically without interrupting.
Noticing how happy you are being heard.
With the intent of hearing what you are truly saying.
I appreciate you for truly understanding that if I do interrupt
It's truly the sole purpose of how much I care
Era Tangar Sep 2012
Flickering lights, a pause of the dark.
botched up kohl, a spot on her chin
an ironic beauty mark.
She just  lay there, dummy dead..
Juggled in a crass cacophony so shrieky,
as if nothing was ever left unsaid.

Her red tinged lips clasp the stick of joy...
it, like a new bride, so crisp and coy.
a rush so sweet..
the feel to feel it forever.
WHAT. A. MAJESTIC. TREAT.

The pain evaporates..
the soul levitates..
the sins are forgotten..
a bizarre psyche evolve to take a path less trotten.

The world stands against her ..
She doesn't belong to it anyway,
a sight of it is blur to her.
In that moment. .. she belongs to her soul.
like diamonds belong to coal.
the scorchy sun don’t matter..
the night sky, just colorless with a flecky mole.

Let her lie in her limitless peace.
let that nothingness never cease.
let that brutality bestowed upon her lay low for a while...
invincible. . . let high be the highness, let her smile.
Natalie Sep 2015
"What are you?" he asks. "I mean what are you mixed with?"

He does not mean for the question to be rude. He has never seen someone quite like me, and the question has been bouncing around in his head for at least 2 minutes. So he blurts it out.

"Jamaican, Chinese, and White," I tell the stranger. I smile politely and attempt to mask my discomfort.

He only looks more intrigued. He thinks I am odd, oddly beautiful. Like a rare bird he has found. Not a bird one would ever keep. Just something to look at in awe.

"What are you?" the test paper asks, though in a more formal way. "Please bubble your ethnicity." I hesitate. I think about bubbling 3 different races, but I just end up filling in the bubble that says "other".

"What are you?" I ask my mirror. "Are you a freak? Why don't you look like everyone else? Why do they stare at you?"

"You are not pretty," i tell my reflection. "You are just different. The kind of different that no one likes. The kind of different that scares and intimidates people."

My reflection pauses for a moment. She smiles with kind eyes, forgiving my insult.

"You are everything," she tells me. "You are the sun, the moon and everything in between. You are a scorching hot fire, yet you are cold spring water. You are good and bad. You are you and I am, too. But most of all, you are human. Just like anyone else.
This poem is about the struggles and insecurities i used to have as a child of mixed race. Then growing up and learning to love myself.
Tommy Johnson Mar 2014
We are all human beings
We all have our own lives
And different ways we live them
But each one of us is a writer
And this poem is for all of you

All of you who have virtues and use them in your writing
Those who use flashbacks and revisit mental photo albums

Beginning the story from the middle for that’s usually where you mind is at
Looking back then looking forward
Studying the past so you can be ready for what is to come

Recording catastrophes with a number two pencil

Tales and blurbs of tragedy
Caused by love or the lack there of

Rewards and punishment
Self-reliance and self-fulfillment

We are mere narrators
Humble, maybe unreliable
Equipped with numerous devices
Ironic Paradoxes
Red herrings
Fortuitous plot twists
Metaphors
Allegoric hyperboles
Analogies
Oxymorons and onomatopoeias

We sling Chekhov’s gun like bandits of literacy

We’re visionary revolutionaries
Revolution of the mind, body and soul

Changing ourselves and examining who and what we are
To become what we are destined to be
The best

Rejecting convention
Building our own paths
That lead to cliffhangers

Romantic lust
Comedic affairs
Dark massacres
Spiritual healing

Religious speculation
And the questioning of the way we, the people are being governed

We use the tools we are giving to sculpt new art that the world can stand in awe of

Personification
Symbolic imagery

Practicing pastiche with respect
Dionysian imitatio

Surreal reality
Defying mortality

Reiteration and retort

Using nature to express emotion and thought

Doubts and fear

Opposites
Morals and ethics

Satisfying curiosity

Parodying what we see
Embellishing just a little

We us word play to dive deep into the topic of conscious, subconscious and unconscious thought

Using satire to poke fun at the human condition,  its senses and perception of the universe to get readers thinking

Expressing our anger, our boundless joys
Desiring unknown pleasures

Seeing past the fallacies put before us

We write with great candor about war, personal conflicts, and self-abuse

With hinting undertones to give these ideas a second thought

We write of the supernatural, metaphysical mysteries
Outlandish, obscure mind boggling theories

As the clock ticks too fast for us and the characters we’ve created

Demolishing the fourth wall with a sledge hammer of defamiliarization

Epiphanies in a parking lot
Speaking in the 1st, 2nd or 3rd person

Using fun things like anagrams and palindromes
Candy for the lovers of such things

Spontaneity is an understatement
Nonsense is an insulting overstatement
Absurdity seems to fit just right

We are chameleons
We can write in various forms
Streams of gratifying consciousness
Brilliant prose
Beautiful poetry

And chose to use or merely acknowledge the ways to achieve these forms
Rhetoric, rhythm  and rhyme
Meter and mora
Conceit and consonance
Assonance
Intonation
Working with phonaesthetics  

And accenting aesthetics

A poem can or could not be organized as such
If we want to get technical about it

We have a poem
With a number of verses
And in those verses
Are lines
And those lines might rhyme
And have a meter or rhythm
Stressed or unstressed syllables

In contrast to that we may write
Without all of that and use emotion
Feeling and structure our work with what we feel is the best way
Line breaks
Pauses and puns
Silly similes
Ambiguous antonyms  
Intonation, linguistics
Fight against the fascists of grammar and conservative correctness

So, in the end we are writers of a rainbow kaleidoscope forms, devices, ways and ideas

But we alone are the ones who make the world think
Make it move
Revolt
Renew
Learn
Look back
Remember
Cry
Smile
Forget
Ease

Write my friends write until your mind explodes and your fingers bleed

Read, read and become inspired
Even if what you’re reading is bad cheese

Forget getting published it’s the writing that matters
Disregard the off-putting, critical chatter

And if you think no one reads
Than be the seed and sprout a tree of astounding artistry
And let’s begin a new movement composed of ideals that will hold true forever
I might be preaching to the choir but it must be said that poetry; literature isn’t dead
Nicx Sep 2014
Silence surrounds                                                        ­    The sun still shines
but loneliness cannot exist                                               on this perfect day
Not in a place                                                            ­            except, too often,
where time never quits.                                                       no children play.
It's unfortunate                                                      ­                 The empty park
that bit by decaying bit                                                    beyond these walls
our generations keep                                                             cries in memory
losing grip.                                                            ­             of laughs and falls.
It's a terrifying thought that                                                             ­ But wait,
when asked "what time is it?"                      does hope approach at dawn?
it'll seem foreign and insane                               He pauses to finish a text..
to glance at my wrist.                                                    And then he is gone.
The goal of the assignment was to write two sections about two different things and tie them together creatively in the title.
Joseph D May 2015
What a sight to see
Your perfection shining through my flaws
A reflection so pure the universe comes to a stop
Pauses in applause
She declaws the frightened dog that learned to act one with the wolves
It pulls me
Yet pushes me greater
For my soul it is the knower of all
The wisest translator
The pen
And paper
Max Apr 2012
one day i was talking to my little sister.
she asks me if i was ever depressed.
i tell her yes.
her eyes widen and her lips are mouthing 'why?'
'babe, i'm transgender.'
'is that it?'
so i begin to explain to her the things i feel.
i tell her how everyday i can't wait to get home
and slice open this body i don't know
with a razor from a convenience store.
i tell her i don't know how to act like
a girl for mom and dad, but apparently
i do a **** good job because they
don't notice i'm not.
i tell her that for fourteen years
i've wanted to cut my hair short
and never have to wear a skirt to church again.
i tell her about the pain and fear of
going into a public bathroom.
i tell her about the looks the kids at school give me
and the shoves from behind
about the **** binders and
the locker rooms.
i tell her that i don't know what they
want me to be, and if i can be it.
i tell her all i want is to be called 'he'
and feel like they mean it.

she pauses and gives me a look that says
even though she's too young to understand,
she does.
'i've always wanted a brother.'
Terry Jordan Dec 2016
Appreciate a pure sunrise
See all its glory
Yet just before Amazing Dawn
Has its own story

Before you have a choice to make
Turning left or right
First pause to contemplate the spot
Right within your sight

Body language will belie the
Loud clang of false words
Look into a person’s eyes or
Miss the message heard

What makes a brilliant orchestra
Or pastoral scene
What defines their beauty is the
Spaces in between

In the pauses, in the spaces
Feel your resting hearts
Waiting for the curtain rising
Just before it parts

All the spaces in the painting
Give it life and depth
Sea shells overlooked make precious
All the ones you’ve kept

Hold that hole in that sweet donut
Just before it’s dunk
And keep an eye right on the ball
Right before it’s sunk

Anticipating Christmas morn
Or Baby’s first step
The moment he’s still holding on
Right before he leapt

Savor that bite, unopened gift
Mere ghost of a smile
Forget the end, appreciate
Running your last mile
An edited repost
Paul Celano Jun 2010
There is one time when the body pauses
The dazzling placid late night

Inside a concealed crisp castle
There is a slacked thrown of pose
One trivial light flickers softly
Beside a firm restful coffin

Now I lay me down to sleep
A phrase heard through life
Happens in the reality of this moment

Stripping cloth from the frosted vision
Once again becoming true natural
The chilled air surrounds the body
Seeping in the lowered soul
Laying ever so still on a lush plank
A quicksand of memories as the body sinks

The light now slender
Nothing but the somber knights
They cover a chattered body
Leaving a sense of protection and warmth

Are the eyes open or closed?
A thought lucidly pounding in the brain

The sense of smell is the true friend
At this sudden listless time
Only supple crystals shift the nose
Tingling the starved fragile hairs

Face cannot be wiped
The body is made of oppressed stone
The arms weighted to a pull
Tied down by tickled silk shackles
The legs a block of endless heavy
The body is no more a vital vessel
But an anchored hard shell

Although the fleshy mind stays alert
Thoughts, dreams, emotions
Marinating in a skulled ***
Fusing together to make a dream
An intense deep sleep
In the world of non reality
©2010 Paul Celano
galaxy of myths Jan 2018
Let me tell you a phenomenon I realized. Whenever he opens his mouth to speak, I pause and lean in to listen. My body seem to come together in peace, listening intently. The breeze softens to the sound of his voice, flowing with a quiet coolness. The animals pause to hear his stories, like an eager crowd. Whatever tension building up on my shoulders and neck seem to pause and heal, disappearing quietly with each word he utters, or whatever sound he hums as he stop to ponder in between conversations. It's like the universe comes to a calming pause whenever he makes a sound.

And oh, don't get me started when he sings and fiddles with the guitar or piano. With elegant fingers poised on strings or keys. Creating magical notes with a fiery passion surging from his beautiful heart to the tips of his fingers. You may think I'm exaggerating but I am always in awe of his talents. It's like his soul scoops up the emotions and dumps them carefully in music chords and intricate words. How I could just close my eyes and let his voice breathe life into me. I thank God everyday for his existence; for he is made of all things soft and beautiful.

-m.b
K Balachandran May 2014
A girl wearing a flowing gown,
on which yellow butterflies are in profusion
sows seeds of happy confusion
inadvertently in midtown.
The day on its upward swing
pauses a moment,  catching my breath
I jump on, with her, we fly up
the girl smiling to herself
allowed me to arrest herself
inside me for keeps, without persuasion
Remember those magical yellow butterflies
from" One hundred years of solitude"
when thou hast taken thy last applause,and when
the final curtain strikes the world away,
leaving to shadowy silence and dismay
that stage which shall not know thy smile again,
lingering a little while i see thee then
ponder the tinsel part they let thee play;
i see the large lips vivid, the face grey,
and silent smileless eyes of Magdalen.
The lights have laughed their last;without,the street
darkling awaiteth her whose feet have trod
the silly souls of men to golden dust:
she pauses on the lintel of defeat,
her heart breaks in a smile—and she is Lust….

mine also, little painted poem of god
He slowly assembles his rifle on the barren rooftop as the
     wind blows through his light blond hair.
His long overcoat ***** and wraps around his thin long
    legs.
He places his elbows upon the short wall in front of him,
     firmly kneeling on both knees.
Glancing into the rifle's sight, he focuses sharply through
     its cross hairs; he sees hundreds passing through the sight,
     men, women, children, and as he sees it, a maze
     of mass hysteria.
He thinks of his current desperate situation and with each
     passing thought, his heart pumps more hateful
     adrenaline through his expanding veins.
What am I?....He wonders.
"I am the orphan child too ugly to adopt!
I am the spit in the street you step in and curse!
I am the cockroach so many crush beneath their feet!
I wish to love and beloved, for I am ever so lonely,
     so empty.
I wish to give my whole self to someone to make them
     eternally happy!
To sacrifice all I possess, including my life, for the one
     I love,
but I am thoughtlessly branded a stalker!
I am the void in all broken hearts.
As a child, I only wished to be loved and appreciated,
but I was raised the invisible child.
There's a painful sore in my throbbing brain, the lethal
     virus of society'd disdain.
I'm insane!....I'm insane!...Give me peace, God if you exist
     Give me peace!
He glances once again through the sight's cross hairs,
catching sight of a young boy standing alone, mouth wide open
    with tears rolling down his cheeks.
He pauses.....envisioning himself, his blue eyes cloud
     with tears.
He pulls back back his loaded rifle placing it against the
     short wall,
realizing at the moment this wasn't the way to end his
     unbearable pain.
Reaching into his deep overcoat's pocket, his long fingers
     catch grasp of the cool surface of a 9 mm.
Pulling it slowly from his pocket, he raises it to his temple,
slipping his finger upon its tight trigger he whispers once
     again,
"God....if you exist,
Give me peace."
To explain this piece, I wrote it over 15 years ago. I was a child who was nearly beaten to death twice by the age of 5 years old. One thing I do remember was at the times I was being beaten, it was almost like I was observing it from outside my body. When I started school I was a skinny, poor, cross eyed kid who went from one beaten to another. I once wrote, that I was like Daniel walking into the lion's den, the kids hopped about me like kangaroos with wolves teeth, punching me, spitting on me, continuously mocking me. I became just a shell of a child and sadly hated myself like all others. Took me years to heal I was quiet, introvert, who couldn't even find a date; but with time, I grew stronger, for I had family that reached out and showed me I was more than a rag doll to to be tossed around. People, called me a saint and a great guy! But in the final summation, it was the bitterness of an unforgiven world and it's cruelty that made me a tortured soul, etched thoughts that bled into my wounded soul. I grew to love my father and I grew to see the good in people. I harbored physical and emotional scars that amazingly never weighed me down and when people spoke of the cruelty I suffered, it was a hind thought. It became someone else, not me. But realize that all people are molded with each day of their lives and that mold can always be molded to be destructive! Faith and openness are great healing tools, for confidence and soul.
goodtea Apr 2018
They never tell you
In the books
How weird it is to
Be the ****** up one
Of your friends
They make it sound dark and cool
But they never talk about the distance
And how no one can relate and all
Those awkward pauses and silences
That happen when you speak
Hey they never tell you in
Books and movies
That it ******* *****
Being the ****** up friend
Bleeding hearts and tragic poetry
Have no space
In real life
And
Sometimes late at night you’ll reach
For your phone and realize you
Have no one to call
Cause when you’re the ****** up
Friend everyone else sleeps easy
And you’re left alone with all your
Demons and truths you can’t swallow
Hey
It’s weird being the ****** up friend
i can still taste the blood in my mouth

— The End —