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when he looks at a woman he searches for qualities that attract him because he wants to desire her yet this tendency creates an imbalance or disadvantage he is rendered weak to a woman’s beauty or whatever traits he idealizes self-realizing this propensity he looks away from women years of disappointment neglect change him he becomes afraid of women gynophobic

2

when she looks at a man she searches for qualities she is critical of because she wants to be impervious to his power she is suspicious of all men their upper body strength penchant to be in control misperception of women as property misogyny emotional immaturity neediness to be mommyed selfishness insensitivity or over-sensitivity depending she wants to be treated with equal respect a loving nurturing relationship she is suspicious of all people their alternate realities passive aggressive behavior co-dependence craziness

3

he sees her then looks away she suspiciously notices nothing happens they go back to their separate homes alone always home alone grown calm in resignation yet disbelieving of this destiny saddened by this fate both worry about future she looks at her face naked body in mirror her stomach churns feels sad sickening remembers time when she was more carefree he puts one foot in front of other then walks tries to remember who taught him to walk how many times did he fall who taught him to laugh where did his sense of humor go

4

he sees her thinks she is lovely resists the urge to turn away he smiles says hello she notices nervously smiles her shaky voice articulates louder than a whisper hi

Tucson 2-step

they are standing in line at a café on 4th avenue he is directly behind her she is lanky wearing white background faded colors patterned summer dress thin straps over bare shoulders long brown hair few gray strands small unfinished tattoo on left calf leather slip-ons 1 inch heals he is at a complete loss for words thinks to make remark about the weather decides not to overhead fan stirs hot humid July air barista girl asks what she would like her eyes scan blackboard menu behind counter she hesitates remarks help him i need an extra moment to decide he steps up to counter money in hand orders small to go Arnold Palmer half black current lays $3 on counter mentions change goes in tip jar thank you barista girl moves fast he lifts cup from counter glances at woman still deciding then at barista girl says have a wonderful day turns walks out door dawns on him woman grows hair under her arms his 2nd most compelling female physique adornment fetish oh god he thinks to himself should i wait for her to make up her mind then approach try to craft conversation at least find out her name no i’m too weak in this moment she is so lovely let her go

2

she orders double Americana in small cup to go room for soy milk thinks to herself he did greet her perhaps their paths will cross on street why did he run off so fast she glances toward front of café notices window seat changes her mind instructs barista ******* 2nd thought make it for here digs through purse realizes she left wallet in truck explains to barista girl she needs to run out to her vehicle to retrieve wallet forgotten under front seat the air on the street is heavy dense she smells her own perspiration looks north then south does not see him walks to truck feels exhausted appetiteless almost nauseous wishes she did not order a drink thinks to get behind wheel drive home go to sleep

Tucson 3-step tango

she feels disappointment by her recent writings as if she is reaching a more sophisticated audience and setting a higher standard for her work yet she is not living up to her ambitions her recent writings smell of her past writings too emotional the damaged woman wounded child she wants to write more introspectively with detached humor that only comes from keener intelligence she slams her laptop shut decides to go to Club Congress for a ****** mary or margarita but Club Congress is haunted with small town cretins losers wannabes she considers Maynard’s decides Maynard’s is too safe suburban yuppyish finally gives in to thought of glass of pinot noir at Plush next comes what to wear jeans in mid-July desert heat is unacceptable perhaps loose fitting thin cotton white summer dress thin leather belt ankle high indian moccasins hair in ponytail no pigtail braids no ponytail no makeup maybe little ylang ylang oil no she thinks about her recent writings

2

i am one breath away from crying in every moment one breath away from flying m.i.a. in every moment one breath away from destroying everything there is beauty in ugliness beauty in decrepitude disease beauty in harm hurt suffering beauty in greed injustice betrayal beauty in corruption contamination pollution beauty in hate cruelty ignorance beauty in death we spend our whole lives searching for a good death we spend our whole lives searching for eternal love this modern world is too much for me over my head the horrors of this place are beyond words unspeakable voice inside maybe mom yells quit your whining or dad hollers stop complaining i am trying to smile through tears one breath away from giving in one breath away from becoming stranger to myself winter spring winter spring there is beauty in nothingness we spend our whole lives searching for ourselves learning who we are not finding grasping secrets from dark paths light trails winter spring winter spring i am one breath away

3

she sits alone at bar at Plush glass of pinot noir glass of ice water in front of her 2 bearded older men eye her from other end of bar she ignores them glances at her wristwatch tries to look like she is waiting for someone music from speakers antiquated rock standard it is early friday hours from dusk moderate middle aged crowd mingle wait for local jazz trio to begin she thinks about her recent writings wonders is it too late for love considers lesbian affair from 5 different perspectives 5 woman’s voices each describing same lesbian affair in 5 opposing accounts hmmm she sips dark red wine from glass chases it with ice water she considers a story about a gang of female bikers who ride south to Mexico

4

the Americans came through here last night crossing border illegally climbing over our fences digging tunnels beneath our barrier walls littering along their trail they travel in packs of every skin color carry guns knives explosives wear leather boots some are shirtless tattoos dyed hair mischievously smiling conceitedly stealing when in question murdering they rob our homes slaughter our chickens ransack gardens loot our harvest you can still smell the stink of their fast food breaths

5

she swallows the last dark red wine from glass chases it with ice water local jazz trio begins to play as bar fills with more people she decides to walk home one foot in front of other wonders who taught her how to walk how many times did she fall she laughs to herself

Tucson square dance

TPD 10-18 unconfirmed data report

7 post-University of Arizona female graduates go to Cactus Moon for several drinks and dancing then drive to Bashful Bandit for more drinks and dancing 2 women get into scuffle victim Brittany Garner female 23 years of age race #5 (Native American, Eskimo, Middle -Eastern, Other) 5’ 2” long black hair cut-off blue jean shorts clingy light blue top falls hits head on side of bar dies of fatal blow to skull forensics report crushed occipital lobe assailant Stacy Won female 31 years of age race #4 (Asian) 5’6” black jeans black leather jacket red helmet Honda motorcycle still at large

witness accounts

Jess Delaney female 33 years of age race #2 (White) 6’ tight black pencil skirt white sleeveless undershirt no bra 3” heels blond ponytail “that squirting little **** deserves everything she got she lied told Stacy i’m a ***** i never cheated on Brittany i don’t understand we were all having a good time getting buzzed and dancing we should never have left Cactus Moon **** Kerrie thought some biker dude might be hanging around the Bandit hell maybe the Bandit was a biker bar once but now it’s just a college sink hole full of drunken frat boys when Monique flashed a little *** they went crazy cheering and buying us shots it just got out of hand never should have happened the way it happened Stacy didn’t mean to **** Brittany it’s ****** up i want to go home please let me go home”

Sabrina Starn female 29 years of age race #2 (White) 5’8” trendy corporate gray suit black pumps red shoulder length hair “i have to be at work at 8 AM Stacy was drunk out of control she gets crazy when she drinks Brittany was trash talking pushing all Stacy’s buttons then Stacy accused Brittany of sleeping with Monique and all hell broke loose i didn’t see what happened i was in the powder room it’s a terrible tragedy unfortunate accident can i please be released i need to sleep this is madness”

Kerrie Angeles female 27 years of age race #1 (Hispanic) 5’ 6” black pants white shirt black hair cut stylishly short silver crucifix around neck red fingernails “when we got to the Bashful Bandit i was ***** soaking between my legs thinking about a cowgirl at Cactus Moon ready to **** anyone i saw fantasized pulling a train with those frat boys Monique had been kind of quiet at Cactus Moon but when we got to the Bashful Bandit she lit up dancing wild unbuttoning her top jacket Sabrina went to the ladies room to snort coke with biker dude Kerrie wanted but he wasn’t into her then Brittany started saying crazy stuff accusing Stacy of stealing Monique from Jess Jessie goes through women heartlessly she doesn’t give a **** about Monique Jessie knows if she wants Monique back she can simply fiddle a finger my guess is Stacy is half way to Argentina she never meant to **** Brittany i’m going to miss her real bad she was a good kid”

Ann Skyler female 28 years of age race  #2 (White) 4’ 11’’ green white red Mexican peasant skirt black t-shirt black high-tops hair in messy bun “i’m confused i saw them dancing laughing grinding up against each other Rage Against the Machine came on then Nine Inch Nails the room felt quaking dizzy claustrophobic then they were pushing each other shoving yelling frat boys cheering the next thing i knew Brittany was supine on the floor blood pouring out maybe she just slipped hit her head i don’t know what to think i feel real sad confused sick to my stomach scared”

Monique Smithson female 24 years of age race # 3 (Black) 5’ 9” blue jeans jean jacket cowboy boots nose ring braided pigtails “Stacy had it in for Brittany from the start i saw it in her eyes at Cactus Moon she made several clever toxic remarks they snapped at each other i never thought it would escalate to ****** poor sweet Brittany was always so susceptible i was looking down adjusting my jeans over my boots when it happened i heard felt a big thump glanced up Brittany was lying there lifeless blood spilling everywhere Stacy ran out fast i heard her bike engine take off in a hurry”

Rodeo Drive Tucson

matt’s hats tom’s tools & tobacco lou’s liquors fred’s beds frank’s planks bill’s drills jane’s drains & panes chuck’s check cashing cheryl’s barrels hank’s tanks tina’s trucks & tractors walt’s asphalt sean’s pawn rick’s rifles mom’s guns terry’s tires charlie’s harleys rhonda’s hondas jim’s rims art’s parts gus’s gasoline mike’s bikes frank’s feed gwen’s pens ann’s cans nancy’s nursery joes‘s clothes jess’s dresses bert’s skirts steve’s sleeves paul’s shawls michelle’s shells & bells al’s pails & snails sam’s hams & jams patty’s pancakes phil’s chili don’s donuts betty’s spaghetti bob’s burgers alycia’s quiches jean’s beans jerry’s berries anna’s bananas andy’s candies cathy’s taffies tony’s ponies roy’s toys kim’s whims marty’s parties jill’s pills rick’s tricks alice’s palace debbie’s disposal dave’s graves

Quinta Waltz de Tucson

she is definitely displeased profoundly disappointed in her latest literary efforts she dreams aches to create deeper discourse higher insight more thoughtful philosophical inquiries about life’s challenges beauty a better world overpowering love inspiration instead she writes paperback television trash stupid inadequate answers to solemn questions she wonders if she is too scratched dented to find love her ******* are definitely changing she is deeply disturbed not ready for menopause too young for menopause she wants to remain a fertile woman with smooth skin wet ******

2

her neighbor Leslie awoke to horrible morning Leslie’s 6 chickens were assaulted overnight precious Mabel dragged off feathers everywhere trail down the street other hens cowering slumped together with wilted necks 3 of them with puncture wounds Leslie carried them one by one inside washed their wounds hugged them cried who did this terrible act a neglected abusive neighborhood cat or some desert predator why didn’t Leslie wake to sounds of savage marauding now this creature knows hen’s whereabouts when will it return for more massacre what modifications need to be enforced to ensure their coup before nightfall

3

she wants to remain a hen keep producing eggs does not want is not ready to enter the next **** stage of this **** existence it was fun being pretty for men inspiring them to say do whacky things she wants to remain a hen she is definitely displeased profoundly disappointed in her latest literary attempts “Tucson square dance” (self-referential) ****** bit about Americans came through here last night in “Tucson 3-step” ****** "Rodeo Drive" tepid perhaps the pinot noir lowered her standards everything is becoming nothing she cannot sleep tosses turns thrashes sheets in humid heat of her lonesome bed is she is too scratched dented to find love she worries for Leslie

4

tomorrow is another day they say the rain will come last year’s monsoon never came the baking sun smothered her garden died one by one sleepless she will miss tomorrow’s pilates class the infrequent delightful chatty breakfast afterwards she dreams aches of deeper discourse higher insight with detached humor that only comes from keener intelligence more thoughtful philosophical inquiries about life’s challenges beauty a better world overpowering love inspiration she crossed the line tonight her ******* are definitely changing

Tucson 666

he decides to shave eighth to quarter inch length salt and pepper beard a.k.a. unshaven look he has worn for years and grow full mustache the whiskers on his upper lip are darker with sparse gray at first no one notices after weeks the mustache gradually fills evoking many contrasting remarks several women loath it several men admire it girl at grocery store suggests he grow Fu Manchu so she can tug on it shopgirl says he looks like Charlie Chaplin downstairs neighbor from Turkey explains most Turkish men traditionally wear mustaches he read mustaches masculinize and empower men especially men in authoritative positions he thinks back to the 1960’s when many hippie males grew mustaches then in the 70’s gay men fashioned mustaches then in the 80’s cops adopted mustaches he wonders why a swatch of hair beneath nose is so provoking examines his visage in mirror discerns the mustache confers a Pepé le Pew quality or European accent to his appearance he remembers when he was young hippie with many amorous episodes how his mustache preserved the scent of a woman but there are no women in his life for many years do post-menopausal women possess scent? he feels indecisive whether to retain it or be rid of it

2

she observes her figure in mirror thinks to herself maybe her ******* are not changing perhaps it’s all in her head she inspects the little lines forming near her eyelids studies her features for signs of aging hardly any silver strands in long brown hair she examines neck ******* arms elbows fingers tummy hips pelvic region thighs knees shins calves ankles feet detects subtle changes thinks to herself my ******* are possibly slightly changing turned 40 in March married briefly in late teens no children a 15 year old dog beginning to suffer veterinarian promises to warn her when the time comes she wonders why it is so difficult finding fitting mate men sleep with her several times then move on maybe she is not such a great lover perhaps she would be better if one of them stuck around perhaps she is a lesbian the whole ide
CK Baker Jan 2017
They brought them
from the hollar
to the barge
to the field ~
into the wallows
in prayer
skinny little pinkers
cropped by ivory gates
buzzed with hot wire
hooked on bug worm
whistling dixie
around scrummers
and **** pen

peckers squawk
down eden lane
(nipping at jean lint
and fraystring)
deep in the hollows
a mad crow
(with steady tap)
the snouts high
on grunters
and squealers
stomping past
the feather pack

folded fingers
on the gatekeeper
(an engineer by
trade they'd say)
pigtails and
slack line
down the dusty lane
a snap of the jawbone
and lawn chairs settle
(facing north)
the bold script
and chimes
uneasy
Larry B May 2011
"How do I love thee, let me count the ways"
A poet of old was known to have written
So how many ways can we say I love you
When our hearts have truly been smitten

Yes box, No box or Maybe box
Has been known to give us a voice
Passed back and forth with high expectations
'Til the reader has check marked a choice

Pigtails and spit wads can say I love you
As chewed up paper flies through the air
Or maybe a tug on those beautiful pigtails
Will show them that you really care

Sharing your snack is very romantic
Or their initials enclosed in a heart
And of course, "Will you be my valentine?"
Is always a good place to start

The ways that we say I love you
Are really too many to list
But you'll know when it's right and love is in sight
When two lovers have finally kissed
AnnaMarie Jenema May 2014
Mom should’ve been here by now. I sat on my frilly blue and purple polka-dotted bed waiting for the knock on the door telling me mom found my dress. Finally, it raps on my door. “Mom! Did you find it?” My eyes widen as the silky blue sways in her arms, it’s beauty sings as a caged bird let free. I gasp in admiration. “I-It’s wonderful!” I pick it up and it glides down into a perfect fit.  “I’m glad you love it. Come down after you finish getting ready.” The door thuds after her. Looking across the room I note my honey brown hair that curls into pigtails. Restraining the squeal that is caught in my throat, I travel the length of my room to the mirror.

     The mirror sits on an antique dresser that my mom found at a garage sale. At first I didn’t care much for the ancient wooden junk that is at least half a century old. Now the gold-tinted metal gleams with pride once again. Rusty gems were in carved into an arc surrounding the mystic glass. “Lydia! Can you go upstairs and get that box down for me?” Mom’s request interfered with my thoughts. … Go in that dusty attic? “Sure mom!”

       Out the door and into the hallway stood a door like any other in our house. It squeaked open as eerily as what you’d expect in a haunted house. ‘A box, a box’ than out of the side of my vision I thought I saw motion. I shook it off as just being a spider or mouse. Soon my footsteps lead me to come across a dresser and mirror identical to the one in my room. It was cluttered with cobwebs and spiders. “Not very well taken care of, are you?” I muttered the joke. I looked into the mirror expecting to see a light blue dress covered in dust and sparkly silk material, but there was no reflection at all. I looked even closer at the mirror, before realizing, there was no mirror at all.

     I looked around until I found it behind the dresser, sitting on the ground. I touched one of the gems that surprisingly glowed despite the rust. Something shone until I was blinded. A tingle ran through the hand that brushed the mirror’s gem and flew through my arm until it encompassed me, racing into my every feeling until I couldn’t feel anything. My eyes shut and refused to open themselves.


     A gentle breeze grasped my hair, as music descended from the air. I could smell what seemed to be a banquet of some kind, mixed with perfume. Slowly my eyes lifted their veil to lock with waves pounding against a brick wall. I was looking down from a balcony into the erupting sea. The white brick-made balcony was large and lonely even with the brush of people walking by. I hid behind the rose-red curtains to look around. People danced and talked. Some ate. The music paved the trail for their feet to follow, all very gracefully. The men wore suits that tails drip to their knees. Their white shirts buried under sashes of gold, red, or blue. Sometimes holding medallions, some only dressed in ties. The woman wore Victorian dresses of every color and shade. Frilled hats with flowers were arranged on their heads.

     Wait, I’m not supposed to be here. I was in the attic, going to the café with mom. What was I doing? My head ached from the effort to recall my actions. Why can’t I remember? I stumble backward only to reach the balcony’s edge. Where is this anyway?

      I dive back into the curtain to search for my answer. The softness of the curtain was a rose pushed to my nose. I peeked through the small gap to find a page carting some clothes past my hiding spot. I sneaked next to the cart being wheeled into a doorway, planning to find a way out. I lost the page and walked around until I went through an archway door. The cool air spiraled against my silk-trapped skin. The scent of flowers bloomed around me. I found the garden labyrinth.

     Walking through the maze’s hedges I arrive at a beautiful fountain displaying crystal clear pouring waters. Everywhere I gazed, flowers embraced the greenery. My breath deprived my lungs of air as I took in the sight. It was so magnificent under the light of the full moon. A few lamps lighted a sidewalk path maneuvering along the hedges. I circled the fountain, taking in the surroundings. My silk dress was shining in the dim glow. The sceneries beauty entranced me.






     I didn’t see a shadow before me, and almost fell to the ground. In a graceful swoop an arm latched around my waist to pull me to my feet. “Be careful to look where you’re going, please my lady.” He bowed his head while his slim rimmed glasses started to fall off of his face, suddenly he looked up at me; sliding them back on with a slight wave of a finger. “That garb isn’t from around here.” He noted my sky blue dress with interest. I’m not even sure where I am. “I seem a bit lost. Will you help me?” he stares at me closer, a deeper curiosity shines in his green eyes, daintily brushed by his dark hair. “My dear, if it brings you comfort to know, we are in London at the Buckingham palace.”

      I gasped; London was so far away from New York. It’s across seas. I gulped at my next question as sweat pricked the nape of my neck, “What’s todays date?” His eyes sparkled at the question. “Why, it is June 28, of 1838. The entire castle is bustling at these very words. It’s a day to remember. Now my dear, I must take my leave and see to the ballroom. Farewell.” He bowed, than turned to leave. His slow stride seemed like a dance all on it’s own. My gaze was caught on his figure following the foot trail until he had disappeared. I sighed at my first encounter with someone in this grand place. The Buckingham Palace, in 1838. …1838!! That can’t be right, it’s 2014. Then the shock hit me as if bricks fell from the castle onto my forehead; the clothes, the language, the pages, and royalty. This couldn’t be London in present Great Britain.

    I circle the garden once more before I decide to go back inside. The young noble had realized my clothes didn’t belong here, probably anyone who sees me would recognize this too. I start off towards the footpath. The melodic rhythm still swirled in the breeze. Than for a second I thought I heard a footstep. My head twists back only to see a shadow move. The cool air now seems icy. Multiple possible things to say to the night air gallop through my mind. “ Such a lovely night,” is the one I decide on. From behind me a few feet back I imagine a sigh. No, not imagined, but actually there. It’s too real. I turn on my heels just to catch a glimpse of a black cape caught in the wind, as it’s master floats into the open. “My, It is lovely. However, I didn’t realize such a strangely dressed commoner as you could enter this palace.” His smirk shows sarcasm as easily as his eyes. “I never intended to visit a palace, even less in London.” My honest answer only has him conceal his laugh.




     “I’m sure you didn’t. Yet, your dressed for a fine occasion.” His hand reaches for mine. I pull away from the willowy figured glove. “Why not allow me this dance in the garden?” I back away, aware that his voice is too prescient and I should be careful. “Are you going to be wary of me?” his gaze turned pained, his blue eyes that were once full of playfulness now melted into hurt. I unintentionally reach out for his gloved hand. His laugh echoes past the foliage. “Such a naïve girl.” Dread decided that this nobleman should be avoided at all costs. I ran towards the palace. “And so the chase begins.” He snickers and rushes after me.


     I pass through the archways, glancing back now and again to find the caped captor flying along my tracks. If only there was some way to lose him. I ducked into the nearest doorway. At the far end of the hall I could see a door with a sign saying, “Dressing room”. I flung myself under a table and tablecloth to hide myself as my pursuer rounded the corner into the hall. I tucked my head between my knees and waited for his footsteps to fade. The warm place that held me trapped was close and too easily discoverable. I held my breath and tried to sink into the darkness. I’m not here. No one can find me.

     After enough time flew by to ensure my safety, I crawled out from under the table. The cloth draped over my head. I looked back and forth, half expecting to see a smirking smile, and haughty eyes. A girl stares down at me. She’s at least ten years old. “Shhh.” I press my finger to my lips and gently smile at her as if we’re keeping a secret between us. She giggles, copies the motion to her own mouth, than delightfully skips away. I let out a sigh and stand up. I follow the hall to the dressing room. The door creaks open and I look around once more, startled by the sudden noise.

     I sneak inside hoping find that the room is abandoned. In the darkly lit room, only my footsteps sound. As far as I can tell, no one has entered lately. I walk over to the carts of clothes and run my hand over the first one on the stack. It’s a ruby-red dress with fine material and some gems similar to those in the mirror. … The mirror. Not in my room, but the attic. My head hurts again, but I know I touched its gem before winding up here. How? I look through the dresses until I find a light blue and white one. The bowed sleeves come down to my elbow with frills encasing the bottom. The neckline forms a squared area of similar white frills. A small white sash acts as a belt that drops into the skirt of the dress. Two similar white ones come down each side. I pick up the light material and set it near my feet.
      My old silk dress easily slips overhead, making way for the new clothing. After tugging tight sleeves and bodices into place the light dress swoops over my feet. I spin through the dark room only to stop at catching someone’s eye. I immediately turn towards the frozen face. It is my own reflection in a mirror. I face myself as my sight settles on the dress I wear. My honey brown hair curled over the dress from my pigtails. My eyes sparkled it’s matching blue to the dress. In the corner of the room, next to the mirror, sat a large wooden box. I looked through it to find that it was full of jewelry and accessories. I prodded its contents until I found sky blue bows to wrap in my pigtails.

     I walked into the open hallway, now littered with people going to and fro. Anyone from passerby’s, young nobility, servants, and pages. Once the hall emptied I fled the room, hurrying through the corridors until I met with the room that created the harmonious trance. At the ends of the great ballroom sat crowds eating and laughing. Clusters of on-goers danced and chatted. In the middle of the farthest side of the room sat a throne that was embroidered with metal marks from centuries of legends. On the throne sat a woman at least eighteen of age. Her regal crown shone despite other attractions surrounding the dance room. A page strode over to her as she flourished her hand for his service. He stood and listened intently to her whispers. Finally, he stood and roared for the room’s attention. From his mouth spilled cheer and wistfulness, as he demanded the crowd’s ear. “Our young Queen Victoria’s coronation has completed. Now starts a new era! Let the celebration proceed.” The room reverberated with hope, love, and admiration for their new ruler.

     ‘Queen Victoria has been crowned’ having no clue how to find a way home, I disconsolately decide to join in the festivities. The crowd moves into a larger room. I stagger after them; the mass pushing everyone forward. We pass the kitchens. The aroma of cakes and deserts of every kind rises into the cool night air. The only smell more perceptible than delicate delights is the perfume penetrating the entire castle. We enter a by far more spacious ballroom. Empty amphitheater seats loom overhead, tied into the walls for onlookers to watch the ball unravel. Once again I glance at these to notice black material hangs over the edge. A head moves as people fill the seats. A nobleman with a black cape and familiar blue eyes takes their seat next to men and woman of high status. I walk into the mop to hide myself, while watching him. He laughs and chats with them as if he’s known them all his life.


      Unable to watch where I’m going, I trip. The harsh, solid ground hits my knee as if I’ve met a tornado. I wince at the pain as I strain myself to stand. A firm, but careful hand grabs mine. I look up into green eyes shaded by recognizable glasses. “My dear, you are very clumsy.” He smiles at me as I pat my dress back into place. “I see we’ve met again.” My response comes weakly as the sore from my knee makes me flinch. “I don’t think you’ve told me your name.” I inquire. “You have not requested my name, so I haven’t told it. However, if you do me the honor of a dance, my secret may be leaked.”  He bowed and offered me his arm, as I timidly accept it.

     A new song disrupts the last, as new pairs take the stage. He walks me onto the floor, and diligently starts to dance. I watch my feet, not wanting to mistake my pace. “Lift your chin, my dear. You don’t seem to but much of a church-bell.” I looked up at him puzzled. “Church-bell?” As he tried to conceal a grin, his glasses couldn’t suppress the laughter in his eyes. “Your rather quiet. And most likely not from around London, are you?” I looked to the ground once more. Should I tell him or not? Will it start problems, or will I be okay? “It’s fine, I shall not expect you to answer a question you wish not to.” I looked up at him, solemnly. “I promised to introduce myself, correct?” I nodded, as the music that echoed around us faded into the next song.

      His movements were so fluid; he was a wave at the end of the day, flowing into the sunset. “Miss, I am known by most as William Anderson. It’s a pleasure to meet you.” He procured my sweaty palm into his, tenderly swiping his mouth to my fingers. I let my hand be brought back into the dance as I searched for words to speak. Once the dance ended a few moments later, I curtsey and murmur, “It’s nice to meet you. I am Lydia Olsen.” At my gesture he bows, and requests once more, “Am I trustworthy enough to understand why you are in a mysterious place you don’t understand?” My answer had been decided and started to splatter from my mouth. “Y…”









     The next sound bounces along the room, it’s symphony starting. My words mix into the noise. In my vision of the seats above, snowy dots shoot arrows in my direction. Blue eyes gaze down at me, their iciness piercing me as icicles prickle my skin. I exchange a glance with William, nod and answer, “You are. I’ll explain.” My discomfort is surely recognizable. I often peek over my shoulder above as we dance. The shadow with a glare starts his voyage through the seats to reach the stairs that pillar into the wall. He descends from the tower, only adding to my panic. My hand seizes Williams, as I give him an apologetic smile. We hurry from the room, stumbling over each other’s feet. His graceful prance, now a faltering wreak.

     Once we are outside the ballroom, I turn towards him. “I trust you, so please understand, I live In the USA in 2014. Not London, not Even in the 1800’s.” His expression is masked, but I’m sure that I’ve confused him. “I went back into time, from the future.” The simple words struck a chord with him, his glasses tilted off his nose as he listens intently. “The future? How?” even I don’t know how to answer such questions. “I’m not sure. I was in the attic with a mirror, than … ****! I’m here.” Confusion once again wonders onto his face. “I went into a storage room with old things, and found a mirror, touched a gem, now I was here.”

     “I see, but why did we run away from the celebration? I was looking forward to another dance with you.” His casual smile does nothing to conceal unasked questions. I’m not sure how to answer them ei
Madisen Kuhn May 2013
there once was a young girl with green eyes
who wore her soft blond hair
in braided pigtails

at the age of seven,
she watched her older sister
stand in front of the mirror before school
and pinch her stomach with a disgusted face
          neither of them ate breakfast that morning

at the age of nine,
she watched her older brother
make fun of a girl with glasses
for reading on the bus
          she went home and hid all her books in the attic

at the age of twelve,
she watched the older girls at school
with straight hair and short skirts
put makeup on in the bathroom
and discuss how boys would only like you
if you looked perfect, like them
          the next day she arrived with red lips, short shorts, and no braided pigtails

at the age of fourteen,
she watched her father hit her mother for the first time
her mother cried when she saw her standing in the doorway
and told her daddy didn't mean it
          the next year, she told herself that her boyfriend didn't mean it, either

at the age of sixteen,
she was paper thin and empty
with straight blond hair, red lips,
purple flesh, and lifeless green eyes
          while staring at her reflection in the bathroom mirror,
          she thought to herself "at least i'm normal."
topaz oreilly Nov 2012
Scoffed Pink pigtails nestle on rusted wire.
Captives  and their butterflies,
borrow hope till  dawn .
Way back they surrendered their dignity.
Hallowed chapters of  Collegiate sobriety
tussled  wearing a dress like a **** of hay.
How can they un- burden future  perception?
I know of the fire storm back home
but the expectancy is forgone
Extended with shame
Pink Rayon complies disparagingly
already moribund.
Jon Po Dom Apr 2017
Her dark chocolate skin is an aphrodisiac
Yet I cannot taste
Awakening the beast within
Dormant for so long
He longs to play

Her chest expands with every breath
Beautiful skin tone and gorgeous smile
Hair the way I like in pigtails
Reaching down to her buttocks
And her eyes?
Big brown eyes
They pierce through me like a sword
Never letting up their gaze
Seeing through to the beast within
Roaring with intensity

I long to feel,
My hands travel freely to antagonize
I long to taste,
The forbidden fruit
I long to see,
Her body move beneath my touch
I long to smell,
Her chocolate skin moistened by the heat of immense passion
I long to hear,
Her moans and cries as she comes undone at my hand

The beast wants to torture my beauty
Whips and chains await you my dear
Let's explore your pleasure together

JM 4/26/17
Harriet Cleve Jan 2019

A Skeleton gunslinger, takes on the Unholy of Hell and wages war against his nemesis Hatchet, as a portal to Hell threatens to unleash the putrid, rancid, Unholy hordes onto a desolate planet. "


The bringer of Death arrived in Dakota. Custer's Seventh lay dying on the Powder river. The Ancients had sent him to walk the Earth and help the Ghost-walkers to hold their land. In his mortal days, he carried a torch for Serela, an outcast from the Mind seekers.That's what got him killed in the first place. The saloon was full that night, and he was called out.
He pulled his gun first and knew he would die. His death was foretold in the ancient scriptures of truth. 'The bone that liveth shall slay the flesh and the flesh will become liveth bone'.
Justice will walk the plains and avenge the truth'.
Serela had looked on as a bullet pierced the gunslinger's skull.The spirit of the ancients swept through her soul then, as she watch his head explode, filtering its entrance into the new receptacle of justice.

No one saw the killer shadow draw or witnessed it's departure but John Bitumen's body lay dead, the blood flowing from a hole in his forehead. Even as he died, he was reborn.
The Skull of Death in search of a gunfight, Deathbringer, Cleanser of Evil.


Hatchet looked at his mangy horse, a wasted beast worn out and at the end of it's road.Two years it carried his weight and the saddle dug deep.Whippings were constant and the calloused cruel fists of Hatchet rained down on it's neck if it slowed any.The nearest town was a mile down the road and it was late in the day.
That was all it took to set the anger in motion.Hatchet took five paces away from his horse and hurled his razor sharp hatchet with violence. The horse's head was split in two.
He hauled his saddle, and wrestled his ****** weapon from the dead horse, then walked into the dusk. All the time, Serela had observed from the Spirit's eye, an artefact of the Ancients, entrusted to the Mind Seekers. Hatchet would pay for his offence against Nature's pure beast, for it was written' All Creatures will walk the Earth and all will be held Holy.Swift will be Divine retribution against those who slay the pure beast'.
Hatchet wasn't one to read the ancient scriptures and could not know that the Skull of Death would search him out in the next town.The Ancients had called forth their Gunslinger and a skeletal hand rested on the sacred Gun of Abe. Hatchet would be called out and a Gunfight would settle scores. A chill in the air unnerved him and he took comfort in carresing his ivory handled pistols.


Darkness fell on the land and the half moon shone on the dead horse.The night crawlers made to cut it's remains and scavenge it's carcass. Two hands were raised to the sky, pleading for forgiveness. Horsemeat was forbidden and a desecration of sacred laws.
A knife was produced and held to the beast's throat. In that moment, all became aware of the onlooker.A tall figure in a drab grey longcoat, black spurred boots, an old black stetson. The Sacred Gun of Abe was in his hands. The Skull of Death, the Ancients Gunslinger, walked the Plains once more.
All seven night crawlers stared in disbelief. Their last minutes of life ebbing from them as the eyes of the Ancients warrior scanned their souls and cremated their bodies.Seven figures suddenly engulfed in flames under the incessant stare of the Skull's empty sockets. Amongst the embers, the Gunslinger knelt beside the horse. In his mortal days, this beast was his closest companion.Hatchet had stolen his possession and the sight of it's remains stirred an anguished scream for the horrific end which befell his steed.

Gently the Gun of Abe was placed on the horse's neck. A small bottle of holy oil was rubbed in it's wounds.' Though death may stalk the pure, truly I say to you that righteousness will prevail and the dead will rise'. Even as the words were uttered, a ball of blue flame enveloped the horse. The light illuminated the darkness and from the light the skeleton of a horse emerged, raising itself up on its hind legs, in defiance of death. Approaching the Gunslinger, it nuzzled it's head to his skull, the brilliance of it's chalk white bones radiating a supernatural hue. Mounting his steed, he galloped into the night.Vengeance was coming.Death on a horse was looking for Hatchet!


Raihna woke suddenly and locked eyes withHatchet. She had been ordered to sleep with him, against her wishes. 'Something wrong with me, *****? Hatchet snarled when he'd paid his ten dollars to the House Madam.
'You better be worth it *****! He had roughed her up before falling into a drunken slumber. Now he was standing in his ragged long johns, at the end of the four poster bed.
A manic look was in his beady eyes, as he swigged his liquor jar. Unkempt rank hair covered his weasel like features. Reeking of horse and trail sweat, an ugly belly adorning his uglier frame, he leered for the longest time.Raihna took it all in, especially the hatchet in his right hand. 'Think you're mighty purdy, don't ya! he sneered. ' Let's see what you look like with a hair cut'!
Raihna noticed then that he had pinned her pigtails to the wooden headboard. Realising a scream would be the end of her, she stared back and waited. Hatchet hurled his weapon and it sliced into the headboard, shorning her hair.From the table, he grabbed his bowie knife and aimed for the other pigtail, slicing it off and nicking her neck. 'Well lookee now' he laughed as a trace of blood ran down her neck. 'Ain't you gonna scream, *****?


An eerie blue glow filtered into the room just then and the whinny and snortin' of a horse filled the air. 'What in Hell's name? muttered Hatchet. Looking out of the curtains, he saw the chalk white Skeleton of a horse and a skeleton rider brandishing a pistol. A fiery blue-red low glow radiated from their eyes and it seemed both rider and steed were on fire. Hatchet shouted out ' You one of them Resurrectionists?!' suddenly remembering the old shaman he had killed back in Piebald.
Hatchet had stolen his runes and kept them for trading with the Mindseekers. He thought now that maybe this was him come looking for him from the afterworld. Hot ***** trickled down his leg and he felt scared and sick to his stomach.

The gallows await !' It was almost a whisper as the ancients gunslinger raised his head towards the window. Hatchet grabbed Raihna and tried to shield himself from the spectre below. His mind raced as he hesitated, panic flooding his brain. 'Take them! We be even! he gambled as he threw the runes at the gunslinger. Even as he did so, they were grabbed instantaneously by a skeletal hand and placed around the gunslinger's neck. For these were the runes of time and in the coming trials would decide the balance of power between the Unholy and the Just.


Hatchet had thrown away his trump card and even as he loaded his gun, he was destined to die. 'Pearls before swine' whispered into the room and Hatchet descended the stairs, with Raihna in front. His pistol was cocked and he would shoot it out. If Hell was waiting, he wasn't going on his own. His hatchet lay in his side belt and he made his way onto the street.
The hallway was pitch black and Hatchet cautiously approached the parlour door hoping to get out the back street. He held a vice-like grip on Raihna's arm as he pushed her along. 'You keep your mouth shut ***** and open that door easy' he whispered, his voice betraying his inner terror. Suddenly and unexpectedly, he felt the cold muzzle of a revolver pressed hard to the back of his head. 'You take your claws offa my girl, Hatchet 'less you wants your **** brains spilled where you stand!
Hatchet knew Charlotte, the House madam, wasn't bluffing. He'd seen her do it too, back in Abilene, when China Jack beat up one of her girls. She'd shot him straight through his throat and followed up with a clean shot to his manhood. It hurt Hatchet even now just thinking about it'. Jesus! he thought as he cursed his situation. Things were moving too fast and nothing was going his way.
Hatchet loosened his grip, carefully holstering his gun.As she moved away, Raihna spat on his face and kneed him in the groin. ****! he bellowed and went to strike Raihna. His hearing saved her, as Charlotte cocked the gun and stopped him where he stood. 'Think I'd sleep easy with you on the premises, Hatchet? Take me for a fool? I don't know what the Hell is out on that street but it wants you!' By Christ, you're going out the front door to face it too!. 'Always were a cowardly *******, now move you lousy **** head!
Raihna had gotten hold of a shotgun and had it trained on Hatchet. 'Drop that hatchet right now, she said. ' You're facing that creature with your gun and nothing else! God knows you don't deserve even that much. Hatchet dropped his hatchet. 'Now kick it over here!' He did so and as Raihna picked it up, she hurled it back immediately into his right thigh, gashing him like a pig for the slaughter. Hatchet screamed in agony and Charlotte pulled it out of his thigh as the room sprayed with the red bloom of imminent death. Now move you *******!


Charlotte and Raihna ushered him towards the front door and kicked him into the dark dusty side street. 'You got it coming, Hatchet!, they shouted and there waiting for him was the Ancients Gunslinger. He had dismounted from his steed and now faced Hatchet.The look of death was in the Skull's eerie sockets and it was all Hatchet could do to stop his hands shaking. He threw up and finally faced the spectre before him.

'For those who have suffered, shall be avenged. The Righteous Light will shine on the Unholy and all dark souls shall be driven from the Plains. Fear will walk amongst them and even the shadows shall despise their ways.'
Thus it had been written and now was coming to pass.


Hatchet went for his gun, and time slowed down as his eyes scanned the scene. A chalk, pure white, skeletal hand reached for a gun and the fluid movement captured his attention. Hatchet knew he had been outdrawn and could see the gunslinger's bullet leave the smoking barrell, pristine, crafted by a master gunsmith. He noticed the leather holster, worn and faded, almost an antiquity, strapped to a dark trousered leg.
The long coat, ghastly grey, adorning the bones of the undead. Empty eyes stared him down, as he heard his own gun's sharp report and watched his bullet sail towards the spectre. Just before the gunslingers bullet blew his brains out, he finally noticed the spectre of the horse and instinctively knew this was the brutalised beast he had so callously slain. Blood and bone exploded violently and the mortal remains of Hatchet dropped to the ground.
Hatchet didn't know it then but he too was about to be reborn; for the Unholy were about to unleash the Scourge of Hossana and the Ancients Gunslinger stood in their way. Hatchet would be forged in the cauldron of Hell and in the coming trials would once again face the Sacred Gun of Abe.


Hatchet became conscious, and felt as ill as a cow in a slaughter house. The smell of death was rancid and his vision seemed out of focus. A nauseating, sickly stench permeated his nostrils and he winced as the pungent odour inflated his lungs. He was aware his whole body was bitter cold and he shivered uncontrollably. If this was a hangover, then it was the worst he'd ever been. Terrifyingly, he noticed that he was manacled, face down, to a massive ice block.
Encased within the block was a dead horse, it's head split in two, exposing brain matter, decayed pulped flesh, and grizzled bone. It's mouth was fixed in a ghastly grimace with it's eyes looking back into Hatchet's, it's gory mane matted in dirt.
His screams were hideous to hear and were lost in the din of the thousands of screams echoing within the air.The sound was deafening and burst his ears as the terror built up within him. Hatchet knew then he was in Hell, amongst the thousands of fallen souls now in the possesion of the Unholy.
His whole being was perished with unbearable, intense cold yet he could see flames, blazing blue and orange, feet away from him taunting him with intense glow.
Still the shrieks and squeals of thousands around him assailed his ears! The amplified volume resonated in his brain as his own screams built to a crescendo!
Yet, no light radiated from the flames and the pitch black illuminated only the horse within the ice block and the grimace which would be eternal. Still Hatchet screamed till he felt his throat would explode and his mind begged for deliverance! It was then that his shoulders and back ignited with agonising pain as he felt the sting of a whip.
Again and again the whip found it's mark and his flesh was pulverised. He cried out for forgiveness and begged to be spared and still he was lashed.He prayed to pass out and knew he never would ! For he was in Hell and the blackest deeds were now held to account.
A voice bellowed at him'Welcome Brother Hatchet! We will have a purpose for you soon! Enjoy the interim! Many more punishments await you yet until you are ready'. The eerie voice trailed off as Hatchet continued to be whipped. His agonising screams drowned the air and was unheard amongst the thousand others. Still the horse fixed it's empty eyes and stared at Hatchet and its grimace took pleasure in his suffering.

Seven days passed since Hatchet was despatched to Hell, and darkness fell on the Plains like a widows veil. No light illuminated the Earth and the Lakota knew this was the sign of the coming trials. The Ghost-walkers had appealed to the Great Spirit and no one who witnessed their victory at the Powder River could deny their courage.Truly this was evidence of the Spirit's intervention in their way of life. Reports had come in to Chief Red Cloud of a figure of flame riding amongst the Buffalo. A Skeleton on fire, riding the Skeleton of a horse at full charge. It seemed the very ground they rode upon was a torch of lightning, and the figure was at one with the Buffalo. Red Cloud rode out to witness it himself and noticed the blue-orange glow, like an aura of defiance, surrounding the figure. In it's hand was a gun, and Red Cloud recognised it as the Sacred Gun of Abe.
Many tales had been passed down from his ancestors, and Red Cloud knew this figure was sacred to his tribe.The Ancients Gunslinger would play a role in the destiny of his People.The Whiteman would pay a heavy price for the desecration of the traditions and way of life of those under the protection of the Great Spirit. He knew too that an enemy would arise which would destroy the Whiteman, and all the Earth's inhabitants. Only the Native American would take the battle to the Enemy, aided by the Ancients and the Mind Seekers.
Red Cloud knew his people looked to him for leadership, and he would provide it.They would hear how Red Cloud rode with the Ghost Rider and take pride in his courage. His fate was tied to the Ancients Gunslinger, and this had been preordained in the ancient Scriptures. Red Cloud looked down at the flaming figure and dug his knees into his horse. Charging down the hill, he shouted out a proud battle cry, and rode like the wind to the side of the Ghost Rider.In their trail the Buffalo followed.The trials ahead would be met and the Unholy would do battle with their most dangerous enemy.



**** it Charlotte! 'It don't make sense!
Hatchet weren't killed by no ghost, for Christ sake! Marshall John Lancaster was tired and couldn't believe the events which occurred in his absence. He had just brought in Ned Marlow.Got two of his men killed doing it, and suffered a leg wound himself in the shoot out. Marlow had been holed up in Tinkers Creek and came out unexpectedly with his guns blazing as the posse approached the log cabin. It had suddenly turned pitch dark, and all the horses got spooked, causing confusion amongst the lawman's officers.
Ned Marlow knew Hatchet; had lost an eye in a bar brawl to him once.It was said Hatchet carried the eye around with him ever since.
Ned was closing in on Hatchet, bent on revenge, and swore he'd see him dead. Suddenly a shot rang out, and startled Lancaster.
Ned had headbutted the Marshall's deputy as he was being placed in the holding cell.He had grabbed the deputy's gun then and blown a hole clean through him. Carelessness, or tiredness, maybe both, had cost him his life. Ned didn't give no quarter when his own life was on the line. He weren't going to no hangman's noose neither. He burst into the Marshall's office then and fired off two shots catching Lancaster in the left arm wounding him badly. The Marshall got off one reactive shot catching Ned's left ear.The sound deafened him and he put a slug through the Marshall's head.The fragrance of gunpowder filled the room and Charlotte could only look on.'You're coming with me, Honey!'bellowed Marlow as he grabbed her hair, pulling her close, and made his way onto the streets. A gun was held to Charlotte's head and Ned was figuring his next move.


He was too busy watching the streets but if he'd looked up, he would have seen a hatchet hurtling towards him with violent intent. The hatchet caught his gun hand and severed it clean off his wrist. Ned now had the indignity of losing his right hand.He screamed in agony as blood squirted from his severed wrist, spraying Charlotte in a plume of lifes red wine. Ned looked to the ground and his own hand lay there, holding his pistol, it's finger still on the trigger. Legend would record the severed hand fired off a shot moments after it's horrific amputation. Ned Marlow didn't know it then, but he too would play a role in the coming trials. The Unholy knew it only too well for it had been written 'The Deaf shall hear, the Blind shall see, and the hand of the sinner will turn on the Unholy'.


There the severed hand lay. A ghastly, grotesque, weather worn obscenity.
The gun had been removed from it's grasp since it's horrific amputatation from Ned Marlow. Three days had passed since the incident and no one dared to remove it from the street.cOminously, no decay had festered to spoil that monstrosity;for life still lingered within it's ghoulish flesh. Mangy street dogs looked at it with curiosity, yet kept a tentative distance. The little finger still wore a silver ring, set with a black stone. Once it had belonged to an ancient Pagan High King, who had been slaughtered in battle. An artefact from a distant time, carried across Europe into the America's. Evil had tainted it's properties and the Sons of the Unholy had sought it since. The ring now sought a new owner as the severed hand, an abomination of creation, crawled, like a filthy worm in the dirt. Slowly, laboriously, with uncanny certainty, the wretched hand made it's way towards the room of the one who had hurled the hatchet.


Raihna sat alone in her bedroom.The hatchet lay across her lap and it was emitting a low hum, almost inaudible, but she had heard it. At first she thought madness was setting in, but she realised that the voices communicating with her were real; the Mind Seekers had chosen her.
Her mind and body became a telepathic conduit and she was absorbed in receiving the messages. The Ancients were channelling through her and a deep trance held her almost comatose.
Slowly, sickening slow, the hand crawled it's way towards her., Grubby, thick, fingers inching themselves stealthily, dangerously close, while Raihna was immersed in the communication.
Her eyes were closed in the deep state between the conscious and the unconscious, so she could not witness the fingers wrap themselves around the handle of the Hatchet. Both hand and clasped hatchet lifted silently from her lap. As the hand moved to distance the weapon from her, the ring glowed a greenish hue, emanating the presence of the Unholy. Suddenly the hand lunged at Raihna's throat!
Raihna's life was ebbing into eternity.The possessed, filthy, unholy amputation squeezed her windpipe with the vengence of perpetual hostility. The ring on the severed hand's finger glowed brighter, as her life force lay on the threshold of destruction. It seemed as though the light of a thousand burning suns illuminated that room. A portal to Hell had been created and Raihna was pulled into that abyss. She was neither dead nor alive, for the Unholy had need of a pawn.The hatchet too was ****** into that void as it was destined to be reunited with Hatchet.The light was blinding and it seemed the very Earth could have been swallowed; as though the Gods had abandoned all of Creation!
Yet there he stood! A blazing figure astride a blazing horse.The chalk white bones of a skeleton horse carrying the Ancients Gunslinger towards the entrance to Hell! The ancient scriptures had written ' The Liveth Bone shall ride into Hell, and the Unholy shall cower'.
The Sacred Gun of Abe shall wield the vengeance of the Ages and the Earth and Heavens shall shake'. Thus it had been written and was now coming to pass.
A portal to Hell had opened and the Gunslinger charged into that cesspool of abomination. No Horse ever galloped with such energy and the Unholy prepared for the skirmish.The Gunslinger was possessed with a relentless rage for Justice. Hell quaked as both rider and horse fearlessly charged into the bowels of Evil's pestilent abode.
Furious at this brazen affront, the Unholy now made to close that portal. Even as they did so, Hatchet was resurrected from his tormented existence. His hatchet was reunited with him as he prepared to once again face the Gunslinger.Raihna must be rescued; for her destiny was tied to the Earth's salvation. For now, she lay in a corner of Hell watched over by a severed hand. The screams and anguished cries of all the lost souls in Hell echoed in the stagnant air. Still the Rider charged furiously as he sought to gather Raihna to his arms. A ****** hatchet sailed towards him and Hell looked on.


Hatchet charged from the cage of demons, his face etched with the pain of perpetual torment. His emaciated form like a malignant Phoenix rising from the ashes of Hell. The pitiful creature carrying his burden reared from his weight. A wretched carcass of a decayed horse which had been ressurected for battle. That same horse which had been encased within the ice block;whose ****** head Hatchet had split open when both were mortals on the Earth. Man and beast now tools for the Unholy; possessed by the collective evil of all who now suffered in Hell.cTheir dark energy would now be harnessed for the coming trials. A gruesome grimace was fixed on the horse's face and it's empty eyes stared ahead as Hatchet charged towards the Gunslinger. His violent countenace expressed the deadly intentions which would be borne down upon his enemy.
He had hurled his weapon and watched as it made it's deadly trajectory towards the Gunslinger. As the hatchet spun and revolved through the air, Hatchet emmitted the scream of the demented. The Gunslinger had lowered in his saddle and the hatchet narrowly missed it's target. Continuing on it's course, it landed in the back of one of the screaming forgotten whose souls were doomed to eternal agony.
Both riders now crashed headlong into one another and Hatchet fell from his horse. The Sacred Gun of Abe was now in the Gunslinger's hand and a skeletal finger pulled the trigger.
Once again, Hatchet would witness a bullet discharge from it's revolving chamber. His head exploded as the bullet entered his brain, exiting in one piece and landing in the dank soil of Hell.The blessed relic purified the soil and the Unholy recoiled with revulsion.
The dead cannot die and Hatchet struggled back to his feet. Grabbing the Gunslinger's reins, he attempted to pull him down. It was then that the runes around the Gunslinger's neck pierced the air with a deafening incantation.
The Unholy screamed as the Holy words of the Ancient Scriptures filtered into the bowels of iniquity and shook the foundations of Hell.
Hatchet reeled back and grabbed his hatchet from the spine of the forgotten sinner. He looked up then and witnessed a warrior's lance sail through the air.It violently struck and impaled the severed hand guarding Raihna.
Red Cloud had accompanied the Gunslinger in his charge into Hell!
hand slaps shoulder knee rhythmically that’s called hamming the bone sitting on a street curb singing making up lyrics i got a transitor sister loves cossack named jake he rides Cherokee chopper all he’s ever known is hate he’s going down underground where a man can be a man wrestle alligators live off the land ebb flow i don’t know racing chasing hair-pin turning at 150 miles per hour downshift to 3rd spread the word sweet sour naked flower touching skin deep within defies all sin with a grin speed speed speed all i need i’m getting off coming on you tawny scrawny bow-legged pigeon-toed knock-kneed Don Juan Ponce de Leon Aly Khan all wrapped up into one going to have ******* good time good time tonight i feel like an orphan mom and dad seem so far away tonight i feel like an orphan you make me feel this way hand slaps shoulder knee rhythmically hand bone hand bone

Odyseuss drifts job to job construction worker office assistant waiter whatever he does not understand how road to recognition works continues showing portfolio to art dealers but they react indifferently he does not know how to attain notice in art world begins to suspect there is no god watching over souls instead he imagines infinite force juggling light darkness creation destruction love hate Mom and Dad insist he can earn respectable income if only he will learn commodity futures like cousin Chris Mom says you can work down at the exchange and paint on the side a part of Odysseus wants desperately to please his parents he considers perhaps Mom is right for the time being maybe build up nest egg it seems like sensible plan he wonders why Dad and Mom never speak about money how to save manage they treat the subject as forbidden topic Odysseus has no idea what Dad or Mom earn or investment strategies Odysseus is about to make serious mistake the decision to get job working at commodity exchange needs deeper examination why is he giving in to his parents what attracts him to commodities trading is it Chris’s achievement and the money? does Odysseus honestly see himself as a winning trader or does it simply look like big party with lots of rich men pretty young girls is that where he wants to be why is he giving up on his dream to be a great artist does it seem too impossible to reach who makes him think that? is he going to give up on his true self? he halfheartedly follows his parent’s advice begins working as runner at Chicago Mercantile Exchange several friends including Calexpress disloyalty for entering straight world commodity markets are not exactly straight in 1978 clearing firms pay adequately hours are 8 AM to 2 PM over course of next 6 months Odysseus runs orders out to various trading pits cousin Chris rarely acknowledges Odysseus maybe Chris feels need to protect his image of success perhaps in front of his business associates Chris is embarrassed by Odysseus’s menial rank and goof-off attitude maybe Chris senses what a terrible mistake Odysseus has made

Chicago suffers harsh winter in February Roman Polanski skips bail in California flees to France in April President Carter postpones production of neutron bomb which kills people with radiation leaving buildings intact in October Yankees win World Series defeating Dodgers in November Jim Jones leads mass-****** suicide killing 918 people in Jonestown Guyana in December in San Francisco Dianne Feinstein succeeds murdered Mayor George Moscone in Chicago John Wayne Gacy is arrested

darkness descends upon Odysseus his heart is not into commodity business more accurately he hates it he loathes battleship gray color of greed envy he resents prevailing overcast of misogyny he meets many pretty girls yet most of them are only interested in catching a trader it is rumored numerous high rolling traders hire young girls for sole purpose of morning ******* remainder of day girls are free to mingle run trivial errands commodity traders typically trash females it is primitive hierarchy Odysseus bounces from one clearing firm to another then moves to Chicago Options Exchange then Chicago Board of Trade on foyer wall just outside trading floor hangs bronze plaque commemorating all men who served in World War 2 Uncle Karl’s name is on that plaque Daddy Pat bought his son seat hoping to set him up after war Uncle Karl’s new wife wanted to break away from Chicago persuaded him to sell seat move to California Uncle Karl bought car wash outside Los Angeles with Daddy Pat’s support Mom and Dad encourage assure Odysseus commodities business is right choice they promise to buy him full seat on exchange if he continues to learn markets they feel certain he can be saved from his artistic notions the markets are soaring in profits cousin Chris is riding waves a number of Chris’s friends are sons of parents who belong to same clubs dine at same restaurants as Mom and Dad Odysseus is not alpha-male like Chris Odysseus is a dreamer painter poet writer explorer experimenter unlike Chris who has connections Odysseus starts out as runner then gets job holding deck for yuppie brokers in Treasury Dollar trading pit Odysseus holds buy orders between index and middle fingers sell orders in last 2 fingers arranged by time stamp price size in other hand holds nervous pencil he stands step below boss in circular pit in room size of football field full of raised pits everything is traded cattle hogs pork bellies all currencies gold numbers flash change instantaneously in columns on three high walls fourth wall is glass with seats behind for spectators thousands of people rush around delivering orders on telephones flashing hand signals shouting offers quantities every moment every day calls come in frantically from all around world space is organized chaos sometimes not so organized fortunes switch hands in nano-seconds it is global fiscal battleground rallies to up side or breaks to down side send room into hollering pushing shoving hysteria central banks financial institutions kingpin mobsters with political clout daring entrepreneurs old thieves suburban rich kids beautiful people pretty young females abound big guns **** in same air stand next to low-ranking runners everyone flirts sweats sneezes knows inside they are each expendable Odysseus is spellbound by sheer force magnitude he feels immaterial only grip is his success with girls it is not conscious talent he grins girls grin back Chris’s trader friends recognize Odysseus’s ability they push him to introduce girls to them it is way for Odysseus to level playing field he has no money or high opinion of himself he simply knows how to hook up with girls

1979 January Steelers defeat Cowboys at Super Bowl Brenda Ann Spencer kills 2 faculty wounds 8 students responds to incident “i don't like Mondays” in February Khomeini seizes power in Iran in March Voyager space-probe photographs Jupiter’s rings a nuclear power plant accident occurs at Three Mile Island Pennsylvania in May Margaret Thatcher is elected Prime Minister in England in Chicago American Airlines flight 191 crashes killing 273 people in November Iran hostage crisis begins 90 hostages 53 of whom are American in December Soviet Union invades Afghanistan 1980 in November Ronald Reagan defeats Jimmy Carter one year since Iran hostage crisis began

he meets good-looking younger girl named Monica on subway heading home from work he has seen her running orders on trading floor she is tall slender with long dark brown hair in ponytail pointed nose wide mouth innocent face she confides her estranged father is famous Chicago mobster Odysseus recognizes his name they talk about how much they dislike markets arrant disparity of wealth between traders and themselves Odysseus says i hate feeling of being so disposable worthless Monica replies yeah me too he tells her if i was a girl i’d ******* myself to several handsome generous traders Monica acknowledges that’s an interesting idea but who? how? which traders? do you know? he answers yeah i know exactly who and how Monica says if you’re serious i’m in i have a girlfriend named Larissa who might also be interested i’ll call Larissa tonight following day Monica approaches Odysseus at work agrees to meet at his place after markets close that afternoon Monica and Larissa show up eager to learn more about Odysseus’s scheme Larissa is petite built like a gymnast giggly light brown hair younger than Monica he lays it all out for them cousin Chris and his buddies the money ******* both girls are quite lovely he suggests they rehearse with him he will coach them on situations settings techniques girls consent for 4 weeks every afternoon they meet at Odysseus’s place get naked play out different scenarios he shows girls how to pose demure at first then display themselves skillfully fingers delicately pulling open ***** spreading wide apart buns working hidden muscles he directs each to take up numerous positions tasks techniques then has them switch places he teaches them timing starting slow gradually building up rhythms stirring into passionate frenzy having two mouths four hands creates novel sets of possibilities one girl attends his front while other excites his rear he positions them side-by-side so he can penetrate any of all four holes he stacks them one on top of the other many other variations after reaching ****** several times making sure to reciprocally satisfy their eager needs Odysseus dismisses girls until following day finally after month of practice Monica and Larissa feel confident proficient primed Odysseus arranges for girls to meet with 2 traders through Chris most traders have nicknames Twist who is hosting event is notoriously wild insatiable on opening night Odysseus behaves like concerned father Larissa and Monica each bring several dresses and pairs of shoes Odysseus helps them choose suggests Monica ease up on make-up he styles Larissa’s hair instructs Monica to call him when they arrive again when they leave he requests they return directly to his place Monica wears hair pulled back in French twist pearl earrings sleek little black dress black stiletto heels she stands several inches above Odysseus Larissa wears braided pigtails pink low-scooped leotard brown plaid wool kilt just above knees brown suede cowboy boots he kisses each on lips then pats their butts warns them to be careful mindful Monica winks Larissa giggles more than an hour passes as Odysseus sits wondering why he has not heard from girls suddenly reality hits he does not want to be commodities trader and certainly not a **** this is not how he wants to be known or remembered Odysseus wants to be a painter and writer Monica and Larissa are good sweet girls whom he has misguided he calls Twist’s place Twist answers Odysseus asks to speak with Monica when she comes to phone he questions are you all right Monica answers yes we’re fine we’re having a fantastic time why are you calling what’s wrong he explains you were suppose to call me when you arrived i began to worry i think maybe this whole arrangement is a bad idea i want you to call it off and come back home i don’t want either of you to become prostitutes i love you both and don’t want to be associated with dishonoring you Monica says it’s a little late to call it off but we’ll see you when we’re done kissy kiss bye Odys another hour passes then another he frets wondering what they are doing after 4 hours as he is about to call Twist’s house again doorbell rings Monica and Larissa both giggling beaming Odysseus can spot they have a coke buzz Monica announces you should be proud of us Odys we got each of them off 2 times we left them stone-numb and tapped out the girls open their purses each slaps 5 hundred dollar bills unto table Monica says this is your cut Odys we both got a thousand for ourselves he replies i can’t touch that money we need to sit down and talk Monica demands no talking Odys take off your clothes he insists i’m serious Monica i’m never going to send you out again Larissa claims there’s no turning back for me i had too much fun Monica  pleads come on Odys we’ll be good we promise now take off your clothes Twist and his buddy never attended to our needs i’m ***** as hell Larissa where’s that little bottle of dust Twisty handed you

Chicago Monday night December 8 1980 Cal and Odysseus sit at North End they're on 4th round feeling buzz the place is lively adorned with holiday decorations Cal says you’ve changed Odysseus questions what do you mean? how? Cal says the commodity markets and your cousin and his friends they’ve changed you when was the last time you painted Odys? are you dealing coke Odysseus looks Cal in the eyes answers they’re so ******* rich Cal you can’t believe it one drives a black Corvette Stingray another a ******* Delorean anything they want they buy girls cars clothes condos boats yeah i’m dealing coke to Chris’s friends it’s my only leverage remember the Columbian dude Armando we met at tittie bar? i score from him and keep it clean Chris’s buddies pay up for the quality i don’t remember my last painting maybe the black painting i never finished after breaking up with Reiko Lee a girl falls off bar stool crashing to floor at other end of bar Cal says Odys, you better play it careful you’re messing with the devil got any blow on you suddenly bar grows quiet someone turns up TV volume they watch overhead as news anchorman speaks slow solemn camera pans splattered puddle of blood pieces of broken glass on steps to Dakota Building Cal looks to Odysseus John Lennon has been murdered Cal waits for Odysseus to say something tear rolls down cheek Cal glances away stares down at floor they drink in silence
Brooke Nov 2018
Most days, I don’t know strong.
Not the lift my arm, flex my guns type of strong, because you and I both know that I can barely do a push up.
So I never really know much about that type of strong.

I’m talking about the type of strong that will keep this a secret, and still crush me.
Demand me into silence, teeth and jaw and fist.
So I will fold it and shove it underneath my pillow.
The type of strong that forces me to beg you.
And I will beg you to let me hold onto this.
Let me hold onto this like it’s the last part I have of you.
Don’t make me go to that clinic, I beg you, let me look into the mirror and see a mother, not a graveyard.

You see, I keep finding my hand on my stomach.
My fingers tracing the letters to everything their name could’ve been, on the skin under my belly button.
I press my palm against my flesh, and I can feel a heartbeat but I know it’s my own that echoes through these veins.
And at the end of the day, our hearts beat as one.
So when their heart stops, I wonder if mine will too.

I know the type of strong that will go back and forth on my decision a million times,
and I’m sorry that I keep telling you I’m keeping it,
but I can’t seem to shake this uncertainty and regret and I wish this weren’t the case.
I wish I had the kind of strong that prepared me for those two pink lines.
It breaks me that this is goodbye before I even knew hello, and I’m never going to meet them.

They could have your eyes, and they could have my nose.
And at three weeks, their heart started to beat.
And at four weeks, I was running out of my english classroom, because morning sickness decided to check in.
Now I’m sitting in social studies, and you’re sitting across from me, and a girl asks,
“Why do the abortion protestors come to a high school?”

I hope you saw my jaw clench, and my eyes close.
Because now my brain is running through everything I wish I had done differently,
and everything that I wish I had been strong enough for.

You see, I wish that I had the strong that allowed me to go against what was best for you, to do what was right for me.
But my strong just leaves me wondering if it were a boy or a girl.
My strong makes me want to go to walmart and buy those glow in the dark stars, stick them to the ceiling of my room, and call it a nursery.
My strong reminds me of when I was little, and my mom put pigtails in my hair.
My strong looks like tired eyes, in a bed made of sheets that needed to be washed two weeks ago.
It looks like a seventeen year old girl, that wants to go to graduate high school, but she has to be anxious about mifepristone, before she can be anxious about university acceptance.
My strong makes me feel like I’m losing a piece of myself, and my soul is being ripped from my body.
I don’t know a strong that is enough for what I need it to be.

My strong tells me to apologize, but I don’t know how many more sorrys I can give out.
I’m sorry to bring you into this.
I’m sorry that I told you.
I’m sorry that I’m scared.
I’m sorry that I can’t bring a little more of you, and a little more of me into this world.
That they will never see the blue skies, or the green fields, or the yellow flowers.
They will never know the sweet songs that you sing, or the warm chortle of your laugh, like a fire that burns through a forest of sorrow. They will only know my cries, and my sadness, and this black cloud that floats around me and screams storms when I hold my belly.
My strong tells me that this is more than just taking a pill.
It tells me that this is death,
do I need to write an obituary?

You tell me that I am so strong,
but the door to the abortion clinic is so heavy,
and I can barely do a push up.
This comes from a place of complete desperation. Because I was alone in my journey, and I needed someone to hear me.
Diane Aug 2013
i.
Jimi was procrastinating in the bedroom with Lizi; his performance anxiety had become unbearable.
He could tell she was trying to “******” him tonight. She didn’t wear a bra under her ratty t-shirt and
snuggled up against him when she climbed into bed, this was his queue to come after her. Hmmm,
does she think he’s so simple? At least Pavlov’s dog had the respect of his owner. So he lay on his stomach,
pretending he was asleep like he had done so many times before. After what seemed like an eternity, Lizi
sighed with disappointment and rolled over.  When Jimi dared open his eyes he glanced at the clock,  
2:17 am. His stomach felt hard as he choked back tears, there has to be more to life than this…
when could he stop pretending?

ii.
“Shhh it’s ok. You don’t need to talk about it.” He said, pressing her head against his chest.
That angered her. She did need to talk about it, and he was treating her like a child. She glanced
at the clock, he had already overstayed his available time.
“You need to go. It’s past 3.”
He sighed, “Yeah, you’re right. I’m sorry.”
“No problem. Can’t keep the wife waiting.”
“Please don’t be mad.”
“Hey, it’s my own ****** fault for getting involved with you.”
Jimi didn’t say anything. He never did when things got uncomfortable. Instead, he reached for
his coat and put on his shoes. “I’ll call you tomorrow morning, ok?”
Mango sat silently, staring out the window. No you won’t, she thought, and you’ll get busy
and forget to even ask me, because you don’t ******* really care.
He walked over and kissed her softly. “Bye honey.”
“Bye” she answered, not returning the kiss, or looking at his face. How could he bring up
this ****, and then leave her alone with all of her emotions?

iii.
There was really only one friend from college that Jimi trusted enough to talk about anything
of substance. But even so, he didn’t dare talk about Mango. He’d been telling her that he was
going to move out, but no one in his life knew there were even problems in the marriage. Lizi
didn’t know there were problems in the marriage. This was much bigger and more complicated
than he had imagined, and how long could Mango hold on?  He didn’t mean to **** her around,
but she cried more than she laughed these days….he really missed her laugh. When he and
Mango were together, his feelings for her were powerful, literally full of power. He had fallen in love with
her, more than he had ever loved anyone, or even knew he was capable of loving anyone. But the
pathway to her was terrifying and treacherous, and once on that path, there was no turning back.

iv.
“At this point music doesn’t comfort, poetry doesn’t comfort, my work does not comfort and you
do not comfort.  I don’t remember the last time I felt so empty and out of control of my life.”
The other end of the phone remained silent, every passing second bunching the muscles in her
back and neck as if her whole self was shriveling into a contorted form of a human being. “Jimi,
just face it—you lost me. You thought I’d be a cure for your boredom and dissatisfaction, but
you didn’t expect to fall in love with me. Okay, you love me. So what? So ******* what? You
aren’t going to leave your wife and I’m tired of being treated like your concubine.”
“Don’t give up, please don’t give up. Don’t you love me anymore?”
“Right now, I hate you. If I leave now, maybe the hate will fade and we can be some sort of friends.”
Nothing was heard but the faint sound of breathing for the next ten minutes.
“You know what Jimi? **** this whole **** game that you think is love and ******* too.”
and she hung up.

v.
“I know who you are.”
“Excuse me?”
“You are the woman who has been having an affair with my husband.”
Mango looked up from her register. Large round hazel eyes bore through her, burning with anger
and refusing to cry. An enormous scarlet letter “A” seemed to be melting into her skin. They stood
there, sizing each other up, Mango could feel her lip begin to quiver.
“I can see why he wanted you, you look nothing like me.”
Side by side it was true. One woman refined, statuesque, well bred. The other thrift store coordinated,
pierced lip and pigtails.
Mango tried to think of what to say “I’m sorry. It’s over, I ended it over a year ago.” was all she
could come up with. How do you say I’m sorry for intruding on the bond between a husband and wife?
How do you say I’m sorry for something that can never be undone and has forever seared pain
onto the heart of another woman?
They stared at each other for a full minute, neither willing to break the gaze. Finally, Lizi sighed and
began to walk away.
“Lizi…” She turned back to look at Mango one last time, “He didn’t make me happy either.”
Three thousand feet up! Up the side of Mount Crumpit,

He rode to the tiptop to dump it!

"Pooh-pooh to the Whos!" he was grinch-ish-ly humming.

"They're finding out now that no Christmas is coming!

"They're just waking up! I know just what they'll do!

"Their mouths will hang open a minute or two

"All the Whos down in Who-ville will all cry BOO-HOO!"...*



At the top of the mountain he untied his dog

From the sleigh. And the valley was filling with fog

As thick as the Who Hash he'd grinched just before.

He chuckled with glee at what was in store.

Now the Grinch grabbed the sacks from the top of the sleigh,

And with a mighty "HEAVE **!" he shoved them away.

The bags filled with toys well they weaved and they shook

With the weight of the things he so sneakily took.

Until finally momentum made things far less slow.

They fell 3000 feet to the jagged rocks below.

A sickening crunch and several sharp cries

At first startled the Grinch but caused him to realize

When he stole from the Whos down in Whoville his pride

Had gotten the best of him; he'd thrown some children inside.

He giggled maliciously, grabbed his dog Max

And got back in the sleigh, for he couldn't relax.

He had to go back, for his job wasn't done.

All the Whos down in Whoville, every last one

Every man, every woman, every daughter and son

Would be dead in their beds by the dawn of the sun.

The trip down Mount Crumpit was faster than up

As he growled to himself, "where's that ***** with the cup?"

He jumped off the sleigh, machete in hand

And marched straight into Whoville, whose gates could not stand

For the rage made him strong. How he hated the Whos

With their **** cheesy smiles, and their dumb pointy shoes,

Turned up noses and pigtails and hideous songs,

THE SONGS, THE SONGS, HOW HE HATED THE SONGS.

And now he'd make sure that the Whos sang no more...

At Cindy Lou Who's house he kicked down the door

And strode into the bedroom of Cindy Lou Who.

She woke with a start, murmured "Santa? That you?"

The Grinch, with a sneer, grabbed Lou Who by the hair,

****** her out of bed seven feet in the air,

And with two sharp knives pinned her arms to the wall.

Her screams roused her parents just down the hall.

They ran to their child to save her from harm.

The mistake that they made cost them each their right arm.

Writhing on the floor in their own ****** mess,

They looked at the Grinch in a state of distress.

"Why would you do this?" they managed to hurl,

"Please, you can **** us, just not our little girl!"

He listened to their pleas with a wry little smile,

He patiently heard them, then after a while,

He cut out their tongues with another sharp knife,

First of the husband, and then of the wife.

Then he turned to young Cindy with glee,

And hissed in her ear, "you'll do something for me..."

Cindy shook her head violently, but to no avail,

For the Grinch had the tongues on a rusty old nail.

He shoved them down her gullet. She started to choke,

Then she finally died, for the rusty nail broke.

He stepped over the body of mother Lou Who,

And the Grinch slithered over to house #2.

With this house he made quick work of the Whos.

He set them on fire to cure them of the "blues."

The blaze that resulted would spread down the street,

Drawing Whos from their houses like flies to dead meat.

A grenade waited for them in center of town.

A click, then a boom mowed, like, half of them down.

The other half attempted a weak attack.

With a Type-67 the Grinch kept them back.

The little Who children could do nothing but stare

In open-mouthed horror as the Grinch, without care,

Shot them down one by one till the snow was stained red,

And he would not stop firing till they were all dead.



And as the sun rose oe'r the grisly scene,

The Grinch drenched in blood of adult, child, and teen,

With a pentagram smack in the center of town,

And the tree in the middle would slowly burn down.

With the scalps of the Whos down in Whoville in hand,

The Grinch called his dog Max, who could barely stand

Because he was violently shaking in shock.

He could not even whimper, let alone walk.

Not a Who was left standing, not a song to be heard,

Save for that of a single Who bird

Which was quickly snuffed out by a single pistol round.

And after that there was not a sound.

The Grinch, his work finished, got back in the sleigh,

Cracked the whip over Max, and slithered away.

The last thing the poor town of Whoville would hear:

"If there's anyone left, well, I'll come back next year!"
The italicized section belongs to Dr. Seuss. The rest was me. It's a little late, but...
In her room, she looked out the window
Seeing the evergreen tree swinging in the wind
The raindrops pelting the window
A few birds, swooping for cover
A little girl standing out in all the gray
Brown hair pulled into pigtails
Wearing bright yellow and red
With a blue polka-dot umbrella
Jumping in puddles
Not even using the umbrella
Unless she was trying to collect rain

Driving to a new state
A new home
Leaving friends
She watched as they drove through a puddle
The water collecting on her window
She imagined that little girl
Her pigtails drooping
Her umbrella dragging
As she walked through the muddy puddles

At school, daydreaming blankly
Looking out the window
As the teacher droned on
About fractions, and decimals
Equations and graphs
She imagined seeing herself
Jumping out the window
Into the puddle on the ground
Splashing water onto the grass and plants
She saw herself
Wearing her favorite yellow raincoat
With her shiny red boots
Her blue polka-dot umbrella
Filled with holes
That the water just ran through
Her hair up in pigtails
With her favorite pink bows

She saw herself as she used to be
Before school was hard
Before she moved
Before she got older
She wished she really could jump out that window
And relive those moments
Before she could dream any further
The teacher called her name
Yanking her out of her red rainboots
Leaving her pink bows laying in the mud
Sadness pulling at her eyes
As she was taken from her happy memories
Jonny Angel Aug 2014
I meant all those tender things I said.
I just thought you had your big girl pants on.

Sorry Sugar,
your pigtails & pretty ribbons
threw me off.

And now
I've got no choice.
I've got to find a way
to get over you.

And I still care.
Turquoise Mist Feb 2014
Deep green
Brown, blue, gold flecks
Explode from inside the green
The flecks, they lay immersed in the green
Floating, dancing
These green eyes,
Her eyes,
They stand open
Wide
Huge on a tiny, precious face
They stare
Then they dart
Taking in the room
Watching
Questioning

Long, dark eyelashes outline
These deep green eyes
And they flicker
Down
Up
Down
Up

Her delicate curls are pulled back
Carefully, lovingly
Into two messy pigtails

Her lips
Full, pink, soft
Slightly parted
They lie silent
Thoughts begin to flood her brain
Words begin to overflow into the depths of her mouth
Soon they reach her tongue
Sliding, slipping
Begging to be free
But no sound escapes
Quickly, her lips close
Tight
And these lips
They hold off the wave
Yes, her lips are
Still
Pushed together
Firmly, determined

Her hands
So small, so fragile
These hands
Grasp at the edges of her shirt and
Slowly, gently,
Peel it off her skinny torso
Leaving her chest exposed and
Cold
Deliberately, her fingers undo the button
On her tie dye jean shorts
And her shorts, they
Fall
Cascading down
Landing in a pile at her ankles
And her hands
Those tiny, fragile hands

They clench into fists

And those lips
Those full, pink, soft lips
They press together
Harder
And those pigtails
Those carefully, lovingly placed pigtails
Are violently ripped out
By the hands of a monster
And now
Her curls
Her delicate curls
They plummet down the sides of her face
Settling against her cheeks
Shadowing her eyes
Those deep green eyes
That squeeze shut
As the voice of the monster cuts through the air
And on her command
His fingers
With painstaking exactness
Burn their way up her calf
To the inside of her thigh
And still
Up
Farther
They go

Yes, she closes her eyes
Her deep green eyes
And her small hands
They unclench
And then reach up
And cover her ears

Just like that
Her world turns dark
And silent
Luna Rose Nov 2016
Useless                                                          ­          
Beyond recall
Worsening
Dejected
…..
The voices
Of people
Who have labeled me
I am a person who cannot be developed
Why is that people have the need to put me down
Is cause people see me , As a somewhat caveman

I wonder if I died today will the world remember me as a terminal case ?
Or would I be remembered as that little girl
Who only wanted to have a friend

I see little kids with their mothers and fathers and
I wonder do their children know that
They are slowly melting away to a society
That does not understand the concept of
Life, with people day by day popping capsules
So they can feel numb to each other. So numb
To fact that they would use the term goner as some sort of a name

I remember the days That  I would lock myself in my room and cry
Cry about how nobody wanted to play with me
Cry about how I never looked like the other girls in my class
I remember the days when my mom would put my hair in pigtails  I had my pigtails till the 4th grade

Many of the other girls thought it was strange
Many people thought I was strange
The only friend I had was the mirror reflection of myself
But sometimes she didn't even want to play with me

I still remember the day a teacher called me stupid
I remember not being able to count backwards
I remember I didn't know how to read
I remember that little girl who
Had one wish
Her wish was to be smart
Till this day she still wishes she was smart

You may say that I'm smart
But in all honesty
I don't see myself as a smart person

I look in mirror every morning and see
A soul who has been bruised too many times
A soul who is barely surviving
This world as we know it                                            

Most of you may see this as a phase
Or just a girl who just wants your attention
But what you don't  realize that
This girl is telling you her story

I would like to tell you that I am a survivor
But that my friend would be a lie
I am still at war
Ladies and gentlemen
You have labeled
Me as a goner

Sings (twenty one pilots GONER):

I'm a goner
Somebody catch my breath
I'm a goner
Somebody catch my breath
I wanna be known by you
I wanna be known by you

Though I'm weak
Beaten down
I'll slip away
Into the sound
The ghost of you
Is close to me
I'm inside out
You're underneath

I'm a goner
Somebody catch my breath
I'm a goner
Somebody catch my breath
I wanna be known by you
I wanna be known by you
I got inspired by twenty one pilots
Sonja Eliason May 2012
She danced across the sidewalk

Her tiny boots splashing the puddles of color

Blue, pink, green, yellow

Her pigtails smudged with paint

Brown, blonde, black, red

She dances through the rainbow rain.



He walks to work, leaden, heavy

His shoes are black, but polished

With red, and orange, and yellow

His hat is dark blue and his coat is green

His smile is coal, traced in red,

His face white, with eternal teardrops

Etched on his face. 



The boy and girl, young, shy

Their hands delicately intertwined with strands of purple

Strings of yellow electricity

Jumping from heart to heart

Red raindrops fall up from the sidewalk

Gravitationally drawn to them

Tracing their faces before flying away.



The seagull collides with clouds of orange

His wing tips blue and wispy

His beak green as the sea

Purple fog tints his stomach

As he tumbles through aqua wind

My window only filters mango light

My ceiling the color of honey

The air above the floor is black

The space beneath the ceiling is white

And everything in between covers my body

In rainbow rain.
zebra Jun 2018
when i want inspiration to write poetry
i watch a heaving tempest of kisses
they have a better flavor
than cooking shows

what's prettier than pretty pretty
in pigtails
shaking her delicious
derriere whipped Soufflé?

i'm kissing butter princess
witchy **** 
spread lickity splits
eating her
with a big wide **** eating grin
like an open face dagwood

whats more poetic than that hopeful glaring
of
Adonis's plumper in paradise
filling Cleopatra's slathered meringue?

ga-ga-ga-gag me, daddy
merciless, pa-leazze
fluttered big wet talking eyes
like pools of blue honey
getting it zigged zagged
hard against a redraw mouth
throttling fluted gullet
while eager throat gasps
a symphonic music of the spheres
in relentless staccato chokes
lovin her big devil **** splashing
all gym built wonder-boy
a litter of ****** and tongues
licking pig greedy
rapturous milkshake waterfalls

whimpering
mmmmmm
oooh big daddy
oh my ****** god
pillar of colossus
you Tunisian donut you
pierce me like a spoon
through summer guava

oh my god
oh my god
oh my god
ohhh ohhh ohhh
ooooooooooooooooooo

who screams like that eating lunch
but a half ate apricot?

better than a football game
I'd rather take her greek
more fun than math or small talk
preferable to a pat on the back at work
or a ridged procession at a funeral

oh beautiful dark fig
squatting crotch candy
bubbling tapioca ***
wired into the labyrinth of me
queen of
spun sugar **** 
all pyrotechnics
and fluttering sinews

if you asked most
do they watch ****
they'd grow smug like a senator
or punch you in the mouth
outwardly highminded
refusing the blessing of a
video **** parade
of pirouetting vaginas
and glistening areolas
for the glory
of the secret ******* ceremony

the *** moralists
only good for a secret ******
living their lives
with passions submerged
and nothing to confess
except for guilty offerings
as they wander through dreamland shopping malls
wanting to know
Victorias ***** little secret
seduced
but not caressed
by
a mouthpiece for castrated dreams
*** adult
Pedro Tejada Jul 2010
"Boy toy
or girl
toy! Don't
make me tell
you again, Pedro!"

I have committed a felony
within the land of the Golden Arches.

I have gone through
another patient's order
and forgotten which gender
to assign to the child
standing right next to them,
as if in need of another
fresh new coat in
traditional roleplay,
as if these little ones
were the cattle of tradition.

How foolish of me to assume
that the tiny calf in pigtails
would enjoy the strong-willed,
goal-setting, leadership-evoking
action figure instead of the sanitized,
goal-admonishing, vapidity-provoking
fashion doll.

I wouldn't want to lose
another valuable customer.
horns squawk
   rainforest avenues
  
  exoskeleton
of cars
   arteries clogged
with unlovely   taxi cabs

fat  green  fruit
for sale
     five languages
merge into a knot
hisses    kiss    vowels
   kiwis apples pears

   black guys   basketball
debt rises like      blood pressure
stocks tumble
    but we walk
brogues clop on concrete

count  brick after  brick
sun cascades
   over roof slates
mind cracks in slabs

   (you say
Monroe      stood here)

   heat quivers
men are dominoes
suits    for the office
   a funeral

designer sneakers
   daddy paid for
pigtails   cheap thrills
  violet octagons
  on a stranger’s neck
(behind the closed doors)

today
I drink purple water
     aubergine lips
remind me
of a Tuscany Superb

   list the names
Houston   Charlton
Leroy   Sullivan
Perry   Cornelia
Dominick and Jane

(ladders lead
                away from me
                close to
you)

and back again
Written: June 2014.
Explanation: A poem written in my own time that sort of accompanies previous piece, 'Fresh.' While I am continuing with the beach/sea series, I am also taking more of a look into the 'city' side of things too. This poem, like 'Fresh', is not about any specific person, but was partially inspired by someone.
A 'Tuscany Superb' is the name of a type of dark purple rose, while the names listed towards the end all refer to streets in New York City.
Jerry Oct 2012
No second chances!
No do-overs!
That is one of the regreatable rules of time.

No more pigtails & pretty dresses,
No more Horsey-back & Piggy-back rides,
No more Tee-ball & Soccer,
No more Marry Poppens & Wizard of OZ,
No more Popcorn & Video games,
No more homework & bed time stories,
No more marshmellow roasts & snipe hunts,
No more sand castles & sand dollars,
No more Sparklers & Pinwheels.

No time to pause & reflect!
It can only cause regret!
Enjoy it along the way while you can.
Everything is temporary.
It needs to ryme better! But my regreat is clear.
Cyril Blythe Oct 2012
“…the grandfather’s camera with the last pictures of the youngest Colorado theatre shooting victim was stolen and the family’s sorrow has compounded…”*

Veronica, why did you love Anne Hathaway
And why did you not go refill the popcorn,
Veronica? You ate it all during the previews
Though I warned your stomach would hurt.

Sweet Veronica, how did you know to hate Bane
And why did you not go to the bathroom,
My dear. The hand-dryer’s scream is loud
But it dries, unlike your wetting, red screech.

Veronica, why did you insist that you were old enough
For this fate? And how could I have agreed,
Cold Veronica. Pigtails were meant to be springy,
Not limp with blood, Pepsi, and regret.

The Bullets.
The Cape.
The damning shot
Would have slapped
Even Batman
Dead.

Young Veronica, why is the memory of you
And your innocent flesh fading fast,
To red Veronica? Wet too young and too alive
For the four-foot long coffin we buried.

Yesterday.
Cop lights.
My camera with
The last shots of you
“Stolen, sir.”

Wail, Veronica from the camera screen
In the hands of this thief, oh, convince him,
Stab, Veronica, with your pixilated smile
Until the guilt brings your smile home, to my eyes.
Gaye Nov 2015
I remember her as a little girl walking into a classroom with pigtails and a hand full of green glass bangles, today she is the bride and her smile breaks the reality of adulthood and powerlessness of human life to run back as children.
She is getting married.
Ottar Aug 2013
I

Gut drawn across history, reaching to this day and a time,
                                               teaching to play the sublime,
hourglass.
Where no grain has gone through that passage, unchanged
           And some wait at the threshold, not ready, unsteady.
There is a tug o'war back and forth,
till time always wins.
Time or forgiveness erases my straight forward sins.
All that bends lined up just so,
timeless,
fast or slow,
no one alive knows!
Just how it was meant to be
so let it...


II

Can you catch them, the leaves of fall,
is there chase enough in you to play with them all,
as the sounds of Autumn, have the pace,
which invites you play face to face with
what you hold, end of the rainbow,
Summers gold, treasured,
with subtle pleasure.

Where is your wisdom, where is the care, you leave behind
to find some solemn place of peace,
in a world that won't let you practice your passion,
it is after all out of fashion,
so bow a little more
and I will listen for the wind,
which may blow your notes like leaves and sheetmusic,
like laundry on the lines,
which you have to memorize or read,
in the cold
until the sun sets, the lights dim and the candle wick
is extinguished.
Still you dream of summer.


III

Sitting in the outdoors on a chair built for two,
I sit alone, so much to see and to hear,
as there is music playing, but I do not know from where,
the bees buzz and travel like they can feel the vibrations,
dragonflies dance in pairs, wingtips touching the sky and clouds,
hummingbirds find the flowers sweeter than before,
is that a cello out of doors?,
but the traffic on the street, fails to compete,
and the music goes on and I am replete,
but I listen still, to drink in more,
I would rather be no other place than where I am now
I close my eyes, and keep them that way as
I fear surprises among other things,
but this music is filled with the comfort it brings
the empty space beside me in this double chair,
if the empty space were to leave what would I have?,
feed me in my loneliness,
fill me, though I may be alone,
I will be able to share,
the Joy of caring,
with any who come near and love what I love best,
but my emptiness moves with me,
when music, like love, is a test of trust.

IV

The rocks meant to trip me up make my feet find footing,
as to step on the wrong rock means to fall
on my face
or land displaced,
oh the hard, hard heart-ed rocks,
my fingers lose skin,
don't trust my eyes
alone
don't trust my feet
alone
don't trust my memory,
to get me home,
I have to forget where I was so I can know to keep
going, because I need to go,
to the water,
the clear water,
it gives me credence,
when the water runs clear,
I drink it in and I am revived,
so pour this rocky music into me and
when I wake up, I will take up where life
has left off. And give it another day on the rocky slopes
that rocks my hopes,
there is no easy life.

V

Are your days dragged on for many hours past twenty four?
They at work want you to work more for less,
you walk in the door to change your dress,
and out you go again, so you pack you wallet with
cash, credit and disdain,
you walk slow as to shuffle not to be resistant,
so you actually see something near or distant
that resembles life in the normal lane,
instead your ups take you down,
from there all you do is look up,
up and away.
The music mocks your life
of strife,
your significant other half,
is more than you will ever be,
there is no end to the mockery,
so pick up your bow,
and reach not for an arrow,
but strike your muscles and your nerves,
to see if you are alive after all,
well...?
Beware
Beware
for only fools imitate the wolves by
howling at the blood moon.
Or jaywalk without looking,
or stay on the treadmill from hour one beyond twenty four.
Time, the monotone and remains the same,
it us who fill the hours, for shame, at the pace.  


VI

Oh jump and run and hide as it has all been a dream,
the ogres are in the hills and trolls are under every bridge,
the master walks the fence line banging his club every twenty paces,
to see if any faces peek out from the shrubs which need trimming
and he sends his dogs to ferret out the weasel faced boys,
and the pink pigs with pigtails,
while we hid in the oak on the hill watching the sun stand
stock still and the tall trees dust the sky as they move in the breeze,
making room for the heart shaped moon,
for my love, my love...
we will soon be apart and no glue will hold us
together,
and once we will be together again it will
be like we never parted,
but you left me so soon at a terrible cost, on my heart strings
each butterfly that goes by lightly
reminds me of you,
each single cotton ball cloud,
that floats my way,
I wait for it to come over-head,
no, I run to where it is so,
I
can see your face gently in the shadows
and contours but you are playing at hiding while
I
seek your beauty in all things,
all things,
all things,
that we said were ours and did not possess,
because it all belongs to God.
As do you.

Sadly I must wait here for my time,
I will listen to this music, as I am by myself
lone cellist playing
while I hold it all in,
please come close before he plays the last staff,
the last bar, the last note,
then I will rest, sleep, dream and float,
on the notes he has played as they
carry me as close to you,
so I am sure to catch your tears.



Final Thoughts (Incomplete)
The measure of the flesh is found in six pieces, of these cello suites.
The measure of the heart for music is opened in these six pieces of mystery.
They that sound, from time to time, that they were composed yesterday.


©DWE29082013
Inspired by listening to Cello Suites No. 1 through No. 6 by JS Bach by Various artists, especially Pau (Pablo) Casals and reading the Cello Suites by Eric Siblin, great read, if you like that sort of thing.  
I think, I know that this poem will be in progress for a long time, until I find some understanding, of music theory or learn to play the violoncello. Started 20130825 finished 20130829
he waits by the window, everyday
for the little girl to come home and play
she's his favorite, he likes the smell of her
the way she runs her fingers through fur
and talks to him, even if he doesn't understand
she's never rough when giving a command
it's more like a question, a please do this
she tops it with a pat and he gives her a kiss
she lets him sleep in her big warm bed
gives him baths and makes sure he's fed
she listens, even though he doesn't talk
plays ball with him, takes him for a walk
somethings different, it doesn't make sense
no big yellow school bus pulling up at the fence
no little girl with pigtails and a happy smile
maybe he should just wait a little while
same thing happens day after day
why doesn't the little girl come home to play?
and the humans cry, the house is always too dark
and he knows now what its like to have a broken heart
he stops eating, though they all try
he just waits by the window as the days pass by
he doesn't understand how she can be gone
leaving him so desperate, feeling alone
because she was his, his one true friend
and he feels the changes in the wind
and how the world seems empty without her laugh
the roads look scary without her dancing down the path
and every sound makes him bark
when he can't find her hand in the dark
she was right, innocent and she was good
and now tennis ***** don't bounce like they should
TPD 10-18 unconfirmed data report
7 post-University of Arizona female graduates go to Cactus Moon for several drinks and dancing then drive to Bashful Bandit for more drinks and dancing 2 women get into scuffle victim Brittany Garner 23 years of age race #5 (Native American, Eskimo, Middle-Eastern, Other) 5’ 2” long black hair cut-off blue jean shorts clingy light blue top falls hits head on side of bar dies of fatal blow to skull forensics report crushed occipital lobe assailant Stacy Won 31 years of age race #4 (Asian) 5’6” black jeans black leather jacket red helmet Honda motorcycle still at large
witness accounts
Jess Delaney female 33 years of age race #2 (White) 6’ tight black pencil skirt white sleeveless undershirt no bra 3” heels blond ponytail “that squirting little **** deserves everything she got she lied told Stacy i’m a ***** i never cheated on Brittany i don’t understand we were all having a good time getting buzzed and dancing we should never have left Cactus Moon **** Kerrie thought some biker dude might be hanging around the Bandit hell maybe the Bandit was a biker bar once but now it’s just a college sink hole full of drunken frat boys when Monique flashed a little *** they went crazy cheering and buying us shots it just got out of hand never should have happened the way it happened Stacy didn’t mean to **** Brittany it’s ****** up i need to go home please let me go home”
Sabrina Starn 29 years of age race #2 (White) 5’8” trendy corporate gray suit black pumps red shoulder length hair “i have to be at work at 8 AM Stacy was drunk out of control she gets crazy when she drinks Brittany was trash talking pushing all Stacy’s buttons then Stacy accused Brittany of sleeping with Monique and all hell broke loose i didn’t see what happened i was in the powder room it’s a terrible tragedy unfortunate accident can i please be released this is madness”
Kerrie Angeles 27 years of age race #1 (Hispanic) 5’ 6” black pants white shirt black hair cut stylishly short silver crucifix around neck red fingernails “when we got to the Bashful Bandit i was ***** soaking between my legs thinking about a cowgirl at Cactus Moon ready to **** anyone i saw fantasized pulling a train with those frat boys Monique had been kind of quiet at Cactus Moon but when we got to the Bashful Bandit she lit up dancing wild unbuttoning her top jacket Sabrina went to the ladies room to snort coke with biker dude Kerrie wanted but he wasn’t into her then Brittany started saying crazy stuff accusing Stacy of stealing Monique from Jess Jessie goes through women heartlessly she doesn’t give a **** about Monique Jessie knows if she wants Monique back she can simply fiddle a finger my guess is Stacy is half way to Argentina she never meant to **** Brittany I’m going to miss her real bad she was a good kid”
Ann Skyler 28 years of age race  #2 (White) 4’ 11’’ green white red Mexican peasant skirt black t-shirt black high-tops hair in messy bun “i’m confused i saw them dancing laughing grinding up against each other Rage Against the Machine came on then Nine Inch Nails the room felt quaking dizzy sweaty claustrophobic then they were pushing each other shoving yelling frat boys cheering the next thing i knew Brittany was supine on the floor blood pouring out maybe she just slipped hit her head i don’t know what to think i feel real sad confused sick to my stomach scared”
Monique Smithson 24 years of age race # 3 (Black) 5’ 9” blue jeans jean jacket cowboy boots nose ring braided pigtails “Stacy had it in for Brittany from the start I could see it in her eyes at Cactus Moon she made several clever toxic remarks they snapped at each other i never thought it would escalate to ****** poor sweet Brittany was always so susceptible i was looking down adjusting my jeans over my boots when it happened i heard felt a big thump glanced up Brittany was lying there lifeless blood spilling everywhere Stacy ran out fast i heard her bike engine take off in a hurry”
Lorraine day Aug 2013
Pink balloons
Glitter nails
Glossy lips
Fairy tales
Frilly dresses
Pigtails with bows
"I have a secret"
No one knows!
Flowery handbags
Sweet perfume
"Can't keep  it in "
Need to tell you soon!
Sparkly jewellery
Ballet shoes
"I know what you're about to lose"
"Tell me the secret I here you shout"?
Ok
''Closets open."       I'm coming out!!!  .....
alice scott Feb 2014
first kiss
18 year old, diving,
hurt.

lavish styles (of) discipline.
long stories,
instruction:

teacher and student.

(a) bar bathroom:
pure teen punished
sexually broken:

alice.

scarlet underwear,
redhead pigtails,
(and) b grade movies.
idea from: http://animalnewyork.com/2014/****-poetry-artists-turn-live-feed-***-search-terms-verses/ . It was creeping me out. Alice came out twice. Redheads kept coming up, too. Are these people searching for me? Or some-one like me? I have never met any-one like me.
chloe hooper Dec 2015
my heart
will never be as heavy as the ones of the
children who are forced to learn the anatomy of a gun
in two seconds
flat. it doesn't matter if you believe in
god. god finds calm in
violence, god doesn't come
here, to the schools that are named after presidents and
townspeople who've done good
deeds, places
that were supposed to be
safe.

my heart
will never be as heavy as the ones of the
parents who sent their kids to
school in dresses and ironed
khakis and two little
pigtails and got them back in
body bags. there are no
flags here. no Purple Hearts
for the kids who couldn't wait long enough to find
god.
tw
spysgrandson Sep 2014
balking, then walking into the suburban night,
I have escaped the TV, the PC, the clutter of memories
and the last two hanging, breasty incandescent bulbs in the galaxy,  
soon to have their filaments burn out amid the indifference
of florescent pigtails and their infinite, incessant hum
I have escaped into this night      

marching on, marching on
the sullied, sacred sidewalk squares
past the dentist’s house, past the woman whose husband was murdered
by his best friend over a case of beer, and had her eternal fifteen minutes on Dr. Phil
past the retired educator, past the woman who…hell I don’t know what she does--she drives a gold Avalon
and never retrieves her Sunday paper before noon  

marching on, marching on  
I count cadence, move as if I am headed
to another battle, and I am, but I won’t see my enemy tonight
he is yet on the black horizon, waiting for me, and you    

marching on
when I pass the widow’s house a second time, a third (?) time
I smell her cigarettes and see the orange glow in her garage, like  
a lonely firefly moving to and fro, in the universe she creates for it
before flicking it to her oil stained concrete graveyard, stomping it out
never to let it fly again, though by my next circle she will have birthed a new one  
and given it a foul fickle journey of its own    

marching on
a truck passes me on my final lap  
its fumes mixing with the cool moonlight
I hold my breath, wanting neither lunar light
nor carbon monoxide for my evening repast
  
when I breathe again,
the scent of tacos soothes my olfactory,
I do not know its greasy origin in this dark place  
nor do I care, but I inhale again more deeply
daring the odor to tease me again  
and help me forget what
I escaped to find  
marching on
1
Who will honor the city without a name
If so many are dead and others pan gold
Or sell arms in faraway countries?


What shepherd's horn swathed in the bark of birch
Will sound in the Ponary Hills the memory of the absent—
Vagabonds, Pathfinders, brethren of a dissolved lodge?


This spring, in a desert, beyond a campsite flagpole,
—In silence that stretched to the solid rock of yellow and red mountains—
I heard in a gray bush the buzzing of wild bees.


The current carried an echo and the timber of rafts.
A man in a visored cap and a woman in a kerchief
Pushed hard with their four hands at a heavy steering oar.


In the library, below a tower painted with the signs of the zodiac,
Kontrym would take a whiff from his snuffbox and smile
For despite Metternich all was not yet lost.


And on crooked lanes down the middle of a sandy highway
Jewish carts went their way while a black grouse hooted
Standing on a cuirassier's helmet, a relict of La Grande Armée.


2
In Death Valley I thought about styles of hairdo,
About a hand that shifted spotlights at the Student's Ball
In the city from which no voice could reach me.
Minerals did not sound the last trumpet.
There was only the rustle of a loosened grain of lava.


In Death Valley salt gleams from a dried-up lake bed.
Defend, defend yourself, says the tick-tock of the blood.
From the futility of solid rock, no wisdom.


In Death Valley no hawk or eagle against the sky.
The prediction of a Gypsy woman has come true.
In a lane under an arcade, then, I was reading a poem
Of someone who had lived next door, entitled 'An Hour of Thought.'


I looked long at the rearview mirror: there, the one man
Within three miles, an Indian, was walking a bicycle uphill.


3
With flutes, with torches
And a drum, boom, boom,
Look, the one who died in Istanbul, there, in the first row.
He walks arm in arm with his young lady,
And over them swallows fly.


They carry oars or staffs garlanded with leaves
And bunches of flowers from the shores of the Green Lakes,
As they came closer and closer, down Castle Street.
And then suddenly nothing, only a white puff of cloud
Over the Humanities Student Club,
Division of Creative Writing.


4
Books, we have written a whole library of them.
Lands, we have visited a great many of them.
Battles, we have lost a number of them.
Till we are no more, we and our Maryla.


5
Understanding and pity,
We value them highly.
What else?


Beauty and kisses,
Fame and its prizes,
Who cares?


Doctors and lawyers,
Well-turned-out majors,
Six feet of earth.


Rings, furs, and lashes,
Glances at Masses,
Rest in peace.


Sweet twin *******, good night.
Sleep through to the light,
Without spiders.


6
The sun goes down above the Zealous Lithuanian Lodge
And kindles fire on landscapes 'made from nature':
The Wilia winding among pines; black honey of the Żejmiana;
The Mereczanka washes berries near the Żegaryno village.
The valets had already brought in Theban candelabra
And pulled curtains, one after the other, slowly,
While, thinking I entered first, taking off my gloves,
I saw that all the eyes were fixed on me.


7
When I got rid of grieving
And the glory I was seeking,
Which I had no business doing,


I was carried by dragons
Over countries, bays, and mountains,
By fate, or by what happens.


Oh yes, I wanted to be me.
I toasted mirrors weepily
And learned my own stupidity.


From nails, mucous membrane,
Lungs, liver, bowels, and spleen
Whose house is made? Mine.


So what else is new?
I am not my own friend.
Time cuts me in two.


Monuments covered with snow,
Accept my gift. I wandered;
And where, I don't know.


8
Absent, burning, acrid, salty, sharp.
Thus the feast of Insubstantiality.
Under a gathering of clouds anywhere.
In a bay, on a plateau, in a dry arroyo.
No density. No harness of stone.
Even the Summa thins into straw and smoke.
And the angelic choirs fly over in a pomegranate seed
Sounding every few instants, not for us, their trumpets.


9
Light, universal, and yet it keeps changing.
For I love the light too, perhaps the light only.
Yet what is too dazzling and too high is not for me.
So when the clouds turn rosy, I think of light that is level
In the lands of birch and pine coated with crispy lichen,
Late in autumn, under the hoarfrost when the last milk caps
Rot under the firs and the hounds' barking echoes,
And jackdaws wheel over the tower of a Basilian church.


10
Unexpressed, untold.
But how?
The shortness of life,
the years quicker and quicker,
not remembering whether it happened in this or that autumn.
Retinues of homespun velveteen skirts,
giggles above a railing, pigtails askew,
sittings on chamberpots upstairs
when the sledge jingles under the columns of the porch
just before the moustachioed ones in wolf fur enter.
Female humanity,
children's snots, legs spread apart,
snarled hair, the milk boiling over,
stench, **** frozen into clods.
And those centuries,
conceiving in the herring smell of the middle of the night
instead of playing something like a game of chess
or dancing an intellectual ballet.
And palisades,
and pregnant sheep,
and pigs, fast eaters and poor eaters,
and cows cured by incantations.


11
Not the Last Judgment, just a kermess by a river.
Small whistles, clay chickens, candied hearts.
So we trudged through the slush of melting snow
To buy bagels from the district of Smorgonie.


A fortune-teller hawking: 'Your destiny, your planets.'
And a toy devil bobbing in a tube of crimson brine.
Another, a rubber one, expired in the air squeaking,
By the stand where you bought stories of King Otto and Melusine.


12
Why should that city, defenseless and pure as the wedding necklace of
a forgotten tribe, keep offering itself to me?
Like blue and red-brown seeds beaded in Tuzigoot in the copper desert
seven centuries ago.


Where ocher rubbed into stone still waits for the brow and cheekbone
it would adorn, though for all that time there has been no one.


What evil in me, what pity has made me deserve this offering?


It stands before me, ready, not even the smoke from one chimney is
lacking, not one echo, when I step across the rivers that separate us.


Perhaps Anna and Dora Drużyno have called to me, three hundred miles
inside Arizona, because except fo me no one else knows that they ever
lived.


They trot before me on Embankment Street, two hently born parakeets
from Samogitia, and at night they unravel their spinster tresses of gray
hair.


Here there is no earlier and no later; the seasons of the year and of the
day are simultaneous.


At dawn ****-wagons leave town in long rows and municipal employees
at the gate collect the turnpike toll in leather bags.


Rattling their wheels, 'Courier' and 'Speedy' move against the current
to Werki, and an oarsman shot down over England skiffs past, spread-
eagled by his oars.


At St. Peter and Paul's the angels lower their thick eyelids in a smile
over a nun who has indecent thoughts.


Bearded, in a wig, Mrs. Sora Klok sits at the ocunter, instructing her
twelve shopgirls.


And all of German Street tosses into the air unfurled bolts of fabric,
preparing itself for death and the conquest of Jerusalem.


Black and princely, an underground river knocks at cellars of the
cathedral under the tomb of St. Casimir the Young and under the
half-charred oak logs in the hearth.


Carrying her servant's-basket on her shoulder, Barbara, dressed in
mourning, returns from the Lithuanian Mass at St. Nicholas to the
Romers' house in Bakszta Street.


How it glitters! the snow on Three Crosses Hill and Bekiesz Hill, not
to be melted by the breath of these brief lives.


And what do I know now, when I turn into Arsenal Street and open
my eyes once more on a useless end of the world?


I was running, as the silks rustled, through room after room without
stopping, for I believed in the existence of a last door.


But the shape of lips and an apple and a flower pinned to a dress were
all that one was permitted to know and take away.


The Earth, neither compassionate nor evil, neither beautiful nor atro-
cious, persisted, innocent, open to pain and desire.


And the gift was useless, if, later on, in the flarings of distant nights,
there was not less bitterness but more.


If I cannot so exhaust my life and their life that the bygone crying is
transformed, at last, into harmony.


Like a Noble Jan Dęboróg in the Straszun's secondhand-book shop, I am
put to rest forever between tow familiar names.


The castle tower above the leafy tumulus grows small and there is still
a hardly audible—is it Mozart's Requiem?—music.


In the immobile light I move my lips and perhaps I am even glad not
to find the desired word.
Em Glass Apr 2015
sun
In the beginning there was light
and so much fight to be drunk into
our very bones, not an eye sunk in,
nobody drunk except on finger paint
and what the stars might taste like
when we thought stars were small,
when there wasn’t far to fall,
before the white-tiled kitchen floors
grew too far away for us to notice
the texture of the black mortar
that held them in place like Elmer’s glue.
School is a bright maze of halls
that we walk through hand in hand
and mark our heights against the wall,
unsure whether to fly or to stall and stay close.
Our eyes are level as we hopscotch
round the ankles of women and men;
I think we’re going to be friends.
They weave a Charlotte’s web of pigtails
and bright red balloons, but isn’t it just
true that we feel safe close to ground,
tempted upward by gold and warmth
but torn, for the kitchen floor is close
and nice and cool, and doesn’t burn us
to the touch.
a space-time continuum
JJ Hutton Apr 2013
we, mistakes made in groping dark,
ironed and cheekkissed happy accidents,
told we arrived by love, and our purpose forward: to love.

we were chocolate milk runners.
we were completion grades.
coloring sheets of MLK and jagged cutouts of billy goats.
we were girls in sequined jeans with scraped knees.
on the basketball court we pushed pigtails to concrete.
rumors of us kissing in the lobby waiting for our rides
did circulate.

we, skinny white girls of Moore, Okla.,
skipped supper and laid at the feet of TV-watchers
like bleached branches of fallen oaks garnishing their standing brothers.

we were doorbells.
we were passenger seats.
peeking in the teacher's edition and handshaking answers in fluorescent bathrooms.
we were the first ones on the bus and the last ones off.
knees to chin, untied laces on heater's ****, winterlong sweat factory.
rumors of us agreeing to go to prom over fourth-period lunch
did circulate.

we, writers suffered writers' morality,
disregarded right, wrong, norm; lounged, waiting to be under the bus,
suffering for the story. tense matchstick lovers --  dim light for a moment and then.

we were someone else's *******.
we were someone else's hairpins.
as whatever ran so hot in us cooled, dried on thrift store comforters,
so did we. ceiling fans and ***. fingernails and boxed wine.
rumors sustaining.

and so it came, after announcements, after invitations,
after subbing in one bridesmaid for another, we were getting married.
we were grooms with empty pockets and full of sound advice.
our fathers took us behind the church,
chaplipped our foreheads,  and said,
"I know, we promised you were made from love and to love.
But I gotta be real honest here. You were made from whiskey.
And there's always the distillery."


we were jobless in wrinkled suits.
we were brown shoes; black belts.
and this will look good on your resumé. and this will look good on your resumé.
translation: how about ******* this ****? or how about this one?
a resumé was one page. we couldn't fit all the ***** on one page.

we, beardheavy and deodorant-streaked,
lived in dream houses in Ulysses, Kan., drove dream Tahoes,
watched dream Netflix, next to  portly wives who looked like
QUEEN MOTHER OF ALL THE BROTHELS OF THE LOWER MIDWEST.

we were childless.
we were wanting.
after consulting a physician and a bottle of whiskey,
we lifted and pinned the sagging belly of our wives with
a wooden board. one good **** in. one borrowed pregnancy test.

and so it came, the weddings of our sons. behind the church,
we took them aside and said,
*"I know, we promised you were made from love and to love.
But I gotta be real honest here."
m Oct 2010
Zip up the tux
and put it back
in the body bag
it came in

we danced, but
it didn’t make things
more real

i, with my
fake, dead skin –
someone else’s –
and you with your
cute pigtails

“make sure
you return
the body,”
mom said.

this is all we are
skins under death
someone else’s passion and style
we fit the frame

triangular shoulders
show stability
i hope:
please tell me you notice

death provides me with
a sense of being
just because it reminds
others
of someone i’m not

I hope you notice –
Now, this:
This is who I am.
I am capitalized,
With proper grammar
And order.
Joseph Valle Aug 2012
Night beckons to strange people.
Actually, if you can accept this premise,
then the mind makes everyone strange.
And still yet, there is something specific about darkness,
I cannot put my finger on it,
that sends odd sparks of real life
on a mission to city street corners.

I hide in my car after leaving the café
with the hope of seeing, "The Pigtailed Man."
This isn't his name.
However, I need say no more to any stranger
for him to envision my character.
We objectify him and his image becomes clear
even when spotted in narrowed alleyway darkness.

He has a beautiful wife
with locks past her shoulder
of auburn and lillies,
and two wonderfully bright children
who sit on his knee when listening
to nighty-night, bedtime stories.
Their ringing laughter illuminates
the darkest corners of their happy home.
They'll never know why he needs
to go bye-bye at dangerous evening hours,
hunting sour scowls from passers-by.

He's unkempt: legs unshaven, chin covered
by midnight shadow, beer belly hanging over his
plaid picnic-basket red schoolgirl skirt,
and his face sags as if a topical novocaine
was applied generously to his chubby, rosy cheeks.
Upon seeing his aimless strut
and dead-to-self eyes, I wonder: Where does he dress?
Does he put his outfit on from plastic grocery bag
around the block from the lamp-lit looks of
the neighbors' friendly daytime greetings?
More importantly, if I were friend
and was to catch him in the act,
would I say anything?

Darkness calls out the most intriguing creatures.
We're afraid to call them "human beings,"
because being human most certainly
does not look like this.
Or, does it not look like this?
Shadows claw walls around all
because not one body projects light.
There are some who know, and some who appease.
The pigtails hang to his knees as he stares
at the mannequins of pretty women
in the window of the closed department store.
Julianna Dec 2019
I wore pigtails
in kindergarten
because every one thought
I was a boy
I wore dresses in 1st grade
pigtails weren’t enough
in 2d I wore pants
only with floral patterns though
otherwise they asked
in 8th grade a classmate joked
that I look like a boy
I laughed
but lost a piece of young me
Jenny March Feb 2011
Where does the innocence
of childhood go?

a time when mom was
all it took to sooth life's sorrows

when rocks and trees were
the foundations of our
imaginary castles

when we used hugs and kisses
as our currency of choice.

was your best friend was the one
with pigtails who you just meet
on the swings?

or was he the one who no one
seemed to like, but always made
you smile.

how is it that we've lost this part
of our being?

does it flee with the passing
of time? or the coming of age?

does it retreat due to a compromised
simplicity? or does it surrender to
newer and grander things

some it seems are able to retain
a sliver of their youth and
have that eternally vibrant glow.

but are they not frowned upon by
those of us who grew up too soon?
JCM 2011©

— The End —