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We are unlike the rest.
Yes, I know that's what the rest say.
But unlike the rest, we are not glued together.
Instead, we are stitched together.
Stitched so that every string
Is smoother than the furrow
Of bitter eyebrows.
Stitched so that if one of us wanders off,
It would only take the tug of a string
To bring us back together.

Unlike the rest, we are a medley of forgiveness.
Because with us,
Mistakes come in a handful,
Each painted a different color of disappointment.
But it only takes
Jumps into pools fully clothed,
Random trips to the museum,
Hangout on rooftops
To make it all better again

Unlike the rest, we are craziness
Well-mixed with a spoonful of loyalty.
An odd mix, enough to taste the sweet
Amidst the sour
So that insults come easy
But if one of us trips on nothing,
The rest of us will follow to help you back up.
After laughing, of course

Unlike the rest, we aren't actually friends.
There should be a word
For people who care out of understanding,
Who laugh outside things that are funny,
Who will be there even when they physically aren't

We are not like the rest because the rest call us friends.

And they say friends are forever
But we are the people who beg for much longer.
Apparently, it's national best friends day. This is dedicated to the people who are much more than friends to me.
nivek Jul 2015
here we write our epic
from first post
to last bugle fading
and all your readers
throw in a handful of dirt
the day you stopped singing
and turn away to their bowers
to continue in this stranger than fiction endeavour
writing out their hearts and minds one big poem stitched together
Benji James Dec 2018
So many elements
Make up this man
Let me open up
Show all that I am
Take a little insecurity
Fill these eyes with some tears
Take a little fear
Sew them into this skin
If I'm gonna show it all
I need to let you see everything

Open up this heart
Cut it in half
Let all the love bleed out
Just so they have no doubt
All I've got is yours too hold
Take these hands filled with hope
Come inside my mind
Where you'll see all these
Dreams on display
Sometimes this Imagination
Runs away

There is passion
There is inspiration
There is motivation
There is faith
Stitched into the fabric of my being
Strength and hope, open your eyes
And you will see
All these things make up you and me

Sprinkle some hurt
To fill the drive
There's a little hate hidden inside
Kept in the dark corners of our mind
But I choose love, that is where I side
Opinions could fly out from these lips
But that would be counterproductive
I'm just trying to be me
The best I can be
I'm just trying to see
A world in which I can exist
And be proud of all I've accomplished.

Take a little anxiety
A pinch of crazy
Pour a little jealousy
Over me
All these little things
With some humanization
That adds up to this creation
I'll walk this world
Arms wide open
You'll see every inch of me
Nothing to hide
No disguise
No agenda in my eyes

There is passion
There is inspiration
There is motivation
There is faith
Stitched into the fabric of my being
Strength and hope, open your eyes
And you will see
All these things make up you and me.

Sprinkle some hurt
To fill the drive
There's a little hate hidden inside
Kept in the dark corners of our mind
But I choose love, that is where I side
Opinions could fly out from these lips
But that would be counterproductive
I'm just trying to be me
The best I can be
I'm just trying to see
A world in which I can exist
And be proud of all I've accomplished.

Take a little self-control
Inject some humour into my soul
Drink down some bravery
Fill my warrior spirit
through a dance
Filled with fire
Fill these eyes with starlit skies
Feel power building inside
A determination to be great
Finding a way to new heights
Through freedom, Through flight
This is so raw, This is so real
You're inheriting all that I feel.

There is passion
There is inspiration
There is motivation
There is faith
Stitched into the fabric of my being
Strength and hope, open your eyes
And you will see
All these things make up you and me.

Sprinkle some hurt
To fill the drive
There's a little hate hidden inside
Kept in the dark corners of our mind
But I choose love, that is where I side
Opinions could fly out from these lips
But that would be counterproductive
I'm just trying to be me
The best I can be
I'm just trying to see
A world in which I can exist
And be proud of all I've accomplished.

Honesty soaks into my skin
Revealing truths
Layed out before your sights
And it comes as no surprise
All of these acts that take the stage
Are giving there all
No time for questioning
No time for dismay
Only came to display all it is they can be
With each opportunity that came there way
With belief in their talents shown
Audiences left with their minds blown

There is passion
There is inspiration
There is motivation
There is faith
Stitched into the fabric of my being
Strength and hope, open your eyes
And you will see
All these things make up you and me

Sprinkle some hurt
To fill the drive
There's a little hate hidden inside
Kept in the dark corners of our mind
But I choose love, that is where I side
Opinions could fly out from these lips
But that would be counterproductive
I'm just trying to be me
The best I can be
I'm just trying to see
A world in which I can exist
And be proud of all I've accomplished.

©2018 Written By Benji James
Shofi Ahmed Jul 2018
The epitome on the show
is more than a dream turned true
a timeless beauty stitched on the stone.
The first sight hooks the eyeballs
no star is a far cry from here
it looks so close.
A narrative feels so familiar is never old
seen tons of times yet is a new Taj Mahal.

Since the medieval eyes were dazzled
by this monument of love
the crave to eye on it once in a lifetime
is in every lover’s heart!

People of new ages flock here
with the admiring birds
on this air of everlasting romance never
gone with the wind are mesmerised with love!
Poetic T Feb 2015
They said I was put together,
They stitched me together,
But the stitching was wrong.

It was meant to build me
To make me strong, but the
Stitching itched, I could tell
Something was wrong,

The stitches were rotten no
Good in me, a bad apple they
Said festering stitches within.

I was created stitched together,
Nothing could go wrong, but
The stitching was corrupted
No longer can this go on, I
Was a mistake, a puppet but
They stitched me wrong.

Now I am discarded an error,
As they go back to the drawing
Board, to see what could be improved
So the stitching isn't rotten from
Within..
the flay.

With smiles and lies
and fists full of scalpels,
she opened my chest
like priests open chapels.
Grasping my heart in her fist
until it gave its last beat.
Looked in my eyes,
and dropped it at my feet.

why.

"I came here to love you, to hold you above..."
"Oh didn't you know?
That's how we say goodbye to the ones that we love."

grey.

Shuffling the pieces, applying the patches
and the verse falls to the soul,
like soot to the ashes.

cartography.

stitched the walls back together.
stitched the bandages;
stitched the cream;
I stitched and I stitched,
forever it seems.

madness.

I rock on my knees
staring at the young, in-love, and naive.
I rock till the bones in my hips fall apart,
and out falls my heart, now just a spare part.
The stitches, I suppose, were not as sound as I thought.
hosts of battlements
378

I saw no Way—The Heavens were stitched—
I felt the Columns close—
The Earth reversed her Hemispheres—
I touched the Universe—

And back it slid—and I alone—
A Speck upon a Ball—
Went out upon Circumference—
Beyond the Dip of Bell—
cosmic poet Apr 2014
sometimes it feels like my mouth is stitched shut
maybe to prevent me from saying the wrong thing?
but when the stitches fray
and im allowed the luxury of voice
it seems like wrong is the only language I know
Ben Dec 2011
The feeling of fall

Will forever remind me of you

Of the nights that we shared

The smell of vanilla in the air



This is the time of year I will never forget

The love that we shared the secrets we kept

These are the scars that I'll always bare

Stitched on the sleeve of my hoodie you wear



Kiss the chill night

To taste the pain

Look in your eyes

Betray I'm ok



This is the time of year I will never forget

The love that we shared the secrets we kept

These are the scars I'll always bare

Stitched on the sleeve of my hoodie you wear



Chills coursing down my spine

Hands fumble explore bodies fingers intertwine

Learning and finding new ways

To pass these fall days



This is the time of year I will never forget

The love that we shared the secrets we kept

These are the scars I'll always bare

Stitched on the sleeve of my hoodie you wear



Now you're in his arms

And I'm all alone

He's kissing the lips

Once pressed upon mine



This is the time of year I will never forget

The love that we shared the secrets we kept

These are the scars that I'll always bare

Stitched on the sleeve of my hoodie you wear



And I swear that I'm fine

Believe me I'm fine
I just can't get the smell

Of vanilla off my mind
Maggie Emmett May 2016
Gendering Woman *******

Beautiful, anatomical part //  Ugly, anatomical part
Natural, pleasurable             //   Burdensome, loathsome
Female Symbolic                //    Femme Symbolic
MALIGNANT                             HEALTHY

fearful, tearful, wretched     //  joyful, hopeful, euphoric,
bereft, wept, grieving          //  embryonic, rapt, relieving
leaving, loss                         //  believing, gain
m a y b e - d e a t h                                            r e - b i r t h
                                                   BI-LATERAL
                                             MASTECTOMIES
Operating Theatre

SURGEON                                         ANAESTHETIST
cleaning/ cutting/ knife/ scalpel   //   doping/ unconscious/ airway
blood / tissue                                 //   hypotension
loss/ damage                                 //   shock
drains                                             //   sinus rhythm
stitches                                           //   pain deadening
tight binding                                 //   reversal drugs
                                    
POST-OPERATIVE
a l i v e                                                a w a k e

draining, bound & stitched               draining, bound & stitched
                                            DRAINED
    ­                                   ~ UNBOUND
                                       -- UNSTITCHED –

Empty chest                                                    Flat Chest
FREEDOM from Disease                               FREEDOM from Dis-ease


© M.L.Emmett
This was written to explore the different responses to bi-lateral mastectomies, one woman with Cancer; the other trans gendering. It was inspired by reading The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson, whose partner, Harry, was pleased to be rid of these cumbersome appendages & by my friend, Angela who had breast carcinoma and felt very differently towards the loss of *******.
igc May 2015
I saw the best minds of my generation congested and
polluted overdosing on irrelevance

Abandoned abused replaced
Fed to the thought police
Corrected corrupted
Declining the potential to be heard in
exchange for the opportunity to be documented

Lives being lived according to unfeasible standards
You either make it or you don’t
there’s no in between
there’s no maybe
there’s no equal

Left to meander through the conceived thoughts of others
decisions being made
moves being made
eulogies being made

nothings real
nothing’s right
nothing’s honest
nothing thought up matters


Who in the safety of their homes were taught respect
are told to mask their emotions
Identities saved for the weak
Only to be showcased when conducive

Who pump iron into their veins
looking for an angry fix of acceptance
Sweat streams surge down their backs
Failure prominent in their thoughts
Motivation blessing their features
the Devil clever in disguise

Who see little white fields of fairy dust
a never ending landscape of courage
giving them superpowers beyond belief

Nothing beats the freedom of being told
You can fly

Who dream of equality behind closed eyes
But render to imposed birth rights when open
The upper hand implying more than height
and executing more force than necessary to move them

It’s all about the cause until you’re indubitably
the effect

Who tuck monsters into their beds
Forgetting to check closets for skeletons not quite left behind
in the path of carefully chaotic self destruction
Conveniently purging themselves of words whispered
in the throes of passion
Forced upon the ears of all naive enough to listen

Who carelessly expend countless hours playing with
condescending pawns disguised as adults
All grown up with no where to go
Replacing quality with quantity
Leaving long dull trails of breadcrumbs
leading to hearts long since lost
Never to be recovered again

Who follow sexuality by the book
doing this to get that for this him them who what when where
Why does the finish line have to be covered with brightly colored lace and muffled drunk cries chanting no

Who stare dead straight into the soul of love but never
Never into her eyes
Told she is not worthy of being addressed directly
Fingers itching to cop a feel
Only to discover the body is but a passage to her straight dead soul


Who trade in their voice mind and individuality
for half assed smiles and superficial men
As the face of a leviathan nicknamed acceptance
hands them a paycheck they’ve worked too
night day night night hard to refuse

Who idolize the feel of phantom limbs of lovers past
Twisted words convoluting their heads
Forcing on masks of pure heroine
at the sight of scars left on the soul
Scratching at the need to feel wanted
But cowering at the ability to truly be heard

Who have perfected the art of parallel painting
Elegant red streaks hidden beneath layers of
choppy dark colored hate covering pretty pale limbs
Seeming to fade as colorlessly caked on insecurities susurrate bitter-sweet nothings that curl themselves just inside her mutilated skin

Who scavenged their looks from the bottom of holes
they’re expected to clamber out of
Smiling pretty smiling
Being treated to complimentary meals
Only to be served plates full of disappointment.

Who crave companion’s flaws
in ruthless attempts to satisfy their hunger for compassion
Selfless beings dedicated to less than noble attempts at vanquish
The call for heat too satisfying to refuse the trade off forever uselessly launching themselves into razor sharp blades
aimed at ***** sleeves

Who see soft lips as cushion enough to fall from towers built of fear
Dragging moist palms across pavement thighs
Tearing at the seams holding their
hearts together

Who cower behind brick wall appearances
fruitlessly clutching on to ideas reserved for the most fortunate
Scaring away potential with claws that seemingly only come
out to play in the face of acceptance

Who’s sick stick thin limbs trail their worn down
fingernails in an effort mar skin no one can see
Streaks titillate their bright red scalps
A reflection of their underlying journey

Who disgorge yesterday's meal from stomachs long before empty
Blood spewing from the mouth an open wound
Continuously sewed up but never stitched tight correctly
Wiring shut opinions but never gorged enough to
muzzle their Howls



Ideas, calm and collected have long been hijacked and invaded by Hestia

Hestia! Consent! Content! Acceptance!
Long nights and roid rage men!
Two faces fighting a losing battle!
Girls playing mom! Boys playing war!
Ill ridden parents still pledging to the
United States of Controlling Media!

Hestia! Hestia!
Overall reign of Hestia!
Hestia the beautiful!
Incarcerated Hestia!
Hestia the ******!

Hestia twisted and shaped to form the voice of conformity
Hestia constantly watching over and monitoring
Hestia being told what to ******* think

Hestia seeping creeping sneaking into the
darkest crevices of our minds
Hestia when least expected coming out to say
Hello

Too late! Hestia’s already made herself at home
Wedged between the rooks of your biggest fear and
burrowed deep into the folds of
Your  Worst  Nightmare

Stuck in a constant battle between
rejecting Hestia,
and accepting her.
This was obviously inspired by Allen Ginsberg's "Howl."
Considering it was, at the time, the voice of that generation, Welcome to Generation Y.
This is a work in progress.
Sofia Paderes Feb 2015
Summer, Day 1.
Do you know how much I love you?
One day you will.
One day you will.
I haven't even seen you yet,
but I am so in love with you.

When the time comes for us to finally be together, I will drive us somewhere outside this concrete jungle to ask you that. Then I will tell you to look at the stars, and you will try to count them, even if you already know that not enough stars were created to compare it to.

Darling, I dance and I sing and I shake in delight at the thought of being with you. I'm a morning person now, because I know that every waking moment is one day closer to forever.

Summer, Day 2.
I have sworn to save every part of this heart for you. I've loved before, but not like this. Not like this. My stone-heart now made flesh beats as if I'd just been born, as if I'd been made to love and to be loved by you.

Summer, Day 3.
I can't believe you chose me. I can't believe I'm going to get to marry you. We've got quite a long way to go, but I'm already preparing, making sure my dress will be as white as snow, every hair in place, this heart pure and this body untouched until the day I put my hand in yours. I can't wait to see your face when I walk down the aisle. I promise to be the perfect bride, your perfect bride.

Fall, Day 1.
I might not write as much as I did during the summer. Life has been getting busier and busier, but I want you to know that I still love you as much as I did from the first day.

Fall, Day 46.
I've been spending quite a bit of time with someone. He's clever and says the most interesting things. I feel like we will never run out of words to say to one another. We talk everyday, and the funny thing is sometimes I feel my day isn't complete yet if we haven't spoken. Don't worry, my heart is still yours. Just thought I'd let you know.

Fall, Day 52.
I think I love him, but just a little bit. I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to cut an inch off of my heart to give to him. It's just an inch less. Surely you won't mind.

Fall, Day 80.
He's been with someone else this entire time. It's a good thing I gave him only an inch of my heart, but the rest is bruised. Don't worry, darling, I'll have it fixed in time.

Fall, Day 100.
It's still beating, but barely. Maybe I should love a little again. Maybe some warmth will do this heart good.

Winter, Day 15.
I think... I gave a little too much.

Winter, Day 50.
My latest disaster said my heart was something worth waiting for. Apparently his second hands tick faster than the usual. He left, taking more than I expected he would.

Winter, Day 65.
Is a heart supposed to look like this?

Winter, Day 90.
I can no longer hear it beating steadily. Some parts have frozen. I have tried to stitch pieces back together and they hold... if you would call it that. There are scars and cuts that haven't healed, swollen bits from the wounds that were infected because I tried to save the poison only to have it lash out and bite me in the back.

Winter, Day 104.
What have I done?

Winter, Day 135.
Look at it. No wait, don't. There isn't anything left to give you, anything worthy enough to even stand in your shadow. I promised you everything now I give you nothing. You waited for me yet I pursued others, consumed by my lust and my pride, where can I hide that I myself will not see this mess of a heart I've created? Where can I run to that I will not have to see the look on your face when you see what I have left to give you? Do you still want this, this broken vessel, this torn up heart, all the pieces that don't fit, all the stitched up parts? Do you still want me?

Spring, Day 1.
You do.

Spring, Day 3.
You do because you knew what you were getting yourself into long before you met me, you knew I would break your heart yet you still asked for mine, you do because you are love itself. A death defeating, grave shaking, forgiving, full of grace and mercy, life and righteousness kind of love. This is the love that chose me. Now I choose you.

Spring, Day 5.
What have I done to deserve this? As far as the east is from the west, so you have cleared my offense. When others asked for me, they knelt on one knee but you asked nailed to a tree. Now here you are. Despite what I've done you want me to return to you, want me to still have you. And you know what?

Spring, Day 7.
I do. And I give my heart to you in absolute surrender and total abandon. Here, though broken and torn, take it and make it new.
It was yours all along. I was yours all along.
A piece written for Logos' Vessel under Fringe Manila.
Amir Mar 2012
i'm sure
life was a peach
til he was born breach
but the inversion of his excursion
into the hands of the surgeon left him worse an'
the immersive submersion
in perversive subversion
was only urgin'
the incursion
of aspersions
for subversive diversion
as
an apparition with volition
wishin for position transition
fishin for recognition
of  ambitious cognition    
this in addition
to the malicious conditions
that stitched in repetitions
of neurochemical
         composition
       transmissions
    entailing
the intensity of his propensity
to find immense suspense in the
density of a tense city hence did he
commence in the dispensary
of sound condensed sensory
sensory sensory sensory.

said the intensity of his propensity
to find immense suspense in the
density of a tense city hence did he
commence in the dispensary
of sound condensed sensory
sensory sensory.
Abigail Primpot,
Abigail Primpot,
              …stirred her iron ***,

Abigail Primpot,
Abigail Primpot,
             …home of death and rot,

Abigail Primpot sewed and stitched a lot.
She produced a sweater that shined like treasure,
                           …and no one else has ever seen much better!

Abigail Primpot learned to cook from old wives’ tales in an old dusty book.

Frog legs, bird gizzard, wolf’s bane, small lizard, one rotten apple and one sharp tooth, …cup of mead, some spices and a bottle of vermouth, a chant and a song and a wizard’s spell, …and a whirlpool in the cauldron that went to Hell! Abigail Primpot likes to stitch ‘cause she is a witch and though she was quite young; she lived with snakes, bees and scorpions and things that stung!

Abigail Primpot would become a Beast when she wrapped herself in her shining fleece!

Abigail Primpot,
              ...her home stunk of death and rot,
Abigail Primpot,
              ...sewed and stitched a lot,
Abigail Primpot,
              ...she had an iron ***,

Abigail Primpot,
Abigail Primpot.
A children's rhyme. The beast, the golden fleece and webbing are all ancient mythological cosmogonical symbols of the rotating stars of heaven. New Mythology
A Poem for Three Voices

Setting:  A Maternity Ward and round about

FIRST VOICE:
I am slow as the world.  I am very patient,
Turning through my time, the suns and stars
Regarding me with attention.
The moon's concern is more personal:
She passes and repasses, luminous as a nurse.
Is she sorry for what will happen?  I do not think so.
She is simply astonished at fertility.

When I walk out, I am a great event.
I do not have to think, or even rehearse.
What happens in me will happen without attention.
The pheasant stands on the hill;
He is arranging his brown feathers.
I cannot help smiling at what it is I know.
Leaves and petals attend me.  I am ready.

SECOND VOICE:
When I first saw it, the small red seep, I did not believe it.
I watched the men walk about me in the office.  They were so flat!
There was something about them like cardboard, and now I had caught it,
That flat, flat, flatness from which ideas, destructions,
Bulldozers, guillotines, white chambers of shrieks proceed,
Endlessly proceed--and the cold angels, the abstractions.
I sat at my desk in my stockings, my high heels,

And the man I work for laughed:  'Have you seen something awful?
You are so white, suddenly.'  And I said nothing.
I saw death in the bare trees, a deprivation.
I could not believe it.  Is it so difficult
For the spirit to conceive a face, a mouth?
The letters proceed from these black keys, and these black keys proceed
From my alphabetical fingers, ordering parts,

Parts, bits, cogs, the shining multiples.
I am dying as I sit.  I lose a dimension.
Trains roar in my ears, departures, departures!
The silver track of time empties into the distance,
The white sky empties of its promise, like a cup.
These are my feet, these mechanical echoes.
Tap, tap, tap, steel pegs.  I am found wanting.

This is a disease I carry home, this is a death.
Again, this is a death.  Is it the air,
The particles of destruction I **** up?  Am I a pulse
That wanes and wanes, facing the cold angel?
Is this my lover then?  This death, this death?
As a child I loved a lichen-bitten name.
Is this the one sin then, this old dead love of death?

THIRD VOICE:
I remember the minute when I knew for sure.
The willows were chilling,
The face in the pool was beautiful, but not mine--
It had a consequential look, like everything else,
And all I could see was dangers:  doves and words,
Stars and showers of gold--conceptions, conceptions!
I remember a white, cold wing

And the great swan, with its terrible look,
Coming at me, like a castle, from the top of the river.
There is a snake in swans.
He glided by; his eye had a black meaning.
I saw the world in it--small, mean and black,
Every little word hooked to every little word, and act to act.
A hot blue day had budded into something.

I wasn't ready.  The white clouds rearing
Aside were dragging me in four directions.
I wasn't ready.
I had no reverence.
I thought I could deny the consequence--
But it was too late for that.  It was too late, and the face
Went on shaping itself with love, as if I was ready.

SECOND VOICE:
It is a world of snow now.  I am not at home.
How white these sheets are.  The faces have no features.
They are bald and impossible, like the faces of my children,
Those little sick ones that elude my arms.
Other children do not touch me:  they are terrible.
They have too many colors, too much life.  They are not quiet,
Quiet, like the little emptinesses I carry.

I have had my chances.  I have tried and tried.
I have stitched life into me like a rare *****,
And walked carefully, precariously, like something rare.
I have tried not to think too hard.  I have tried to be natural.
I have tried to be blind in love, like other women,
Blind in my bed, with my dear blind sweet one,
Not looking, through the thick dark, for the face of another.

I did not look.  But still the face was there,
The face of the unborn one that loved its perfections,
The face of the dead one that could only be perfect
In its easy peace, could only keep holy so.
And then there were other faces.  The faces of nations,
Governments, parliaments, societies,
The faceless faces of important men.

It is these men I mind:
They are so jealous of anything that is not flat!  They are jealous gods
That would have the whole world flat because they are.
I see the Father conversing with the Son.
Such flatness cannot but be holy.
'Let us make a heaven,' they say.
'Let us flatten and launder the grossness from these souls.'

FIRST VOICE:
I am calm.  I am calm.  It is the calm before something awful:
The yellow minute before the wind walks, when the leaves
Turn up their hands, their pallors.  It is so quiet here.
The sheets, the faces, are white and stopped, like clocks.
Voices stand back and flatten.  Their visible hieroglyphs
Flatten to parchment screens to keep the wind off.
They paint such secrets in Arabic, Chinese!

I am dumb and brown.  I am a seed about to break.
The brownness is my dead self, and it is sullen:
It does not wish to be more, or different.
Dusk hoods me in blue now, like a Mary.
O color of distance and forgetfulness!--
When will it be, the second when Time breaks
And eternity engulfs it, and I drown utterly?

I talk to myself, myself only, set apart--
Swabbed and lurid with disinfectants, sacrificial.
Waiting lies heavy on my lids.  It lies like sleep,
Like a big sea.  Far off, far off, I feel the first wave tug
Its cargo of agony toward me, inescapable, tidal.
And I, a shell, echoing on this white beach
Face the voices that overwhelm, the terrible element.

THIRD VOICE:
I am a mountain now, among mountainy women.
The doctors move among us as if our bigness
Frightened the mind.  They smile like fools.
They are to blame for what I am, and they know it.
They hug their flatness like a kind of health.
And what if they found themselves surprised, as I did?
They would go mad with it.

And what if two lives leaked between my thighs?
I have seen the white clean chamber with its instruments.
It is a place of shrieks.  It is not happy.
'This is where you will come when you are ready.'
The night lights are flat red moons.  They are dull with blood.
I am not ready for anything to happen.
I should have murdered this, that murders me.

FIRST VOICE:
There is no miracle more cruel than this.
I am dragged by the horses, the iron hooves.
I last.  I last it out.  I accomplish a work.
Dark tunnel, through which hurtle the visitations,
The visitations, the manifestations, the startled faces.
I am the center of an atrocity.
What pains, what sorrows must I be mothering?

Can such innocence **** and ****?  It milks my life.
The trees wither in the street.  The rain is corrosive.
I taste it on my tongue, and the workable horrors,
The horrors that stand and idle, the slighted godmothers
With their hearts that tick and tick, with their satchels of instruments.
I shall be a wall and a roof, protecting.
I shall be a sky and a hill of good:  O let me be!

A power is growing on me, an old tenacity.
I am breaking apart like the world.  There is this blackness,
This ram of blackness.  I fold my hands on a mountain.
The air is thick.  It is thick with this working.
I am used.  I am drummed into use.
My eyes are squeezed by this blackness.
I see nothing.

SECOND VOICE:
I am accused.  I dream of massacres.
I am a garden of black and red agonies.  I drink them,
Hating myself, hating and fearing.  And now the world conceives
Its end and runs toward it, arms held out in love.
It is a love of death that sickens everything.
A dead sun stains the newsprint.  It is red.
I lose life after life.  The dark earth drinks them.

She is the vampire of us all.  So she supports us,
Fattens us, is kind.  Her mouth is red.
I know her.  I know her intimately--
Old winter-face, old barren one, old time bomb.
Men have used her meanly.  She will eat them.
Eat them, eat them, eat them in the end.
The sun is down.  I die.  I make a death.

FIRST VOICE:
Who is he, this blue, furious boy,
Shiny and strange, as if he had hurtled from a star?
He is looking so angrily!
He flew into the room, a shriek at his heel.
The blue color pales.  He is human after all.
A red lotus opens in its bowl of blood;
They are stitching me up with silk, as if I were a material.

What did my fingers do before they held him?
What did my heart do, with its love?
I have never seen a thing so clear.
His lids are like the lilac-flower
And soft as a moth, his breath.
I shall not let go.
There is no guile or warp in him.  May he keep so.

SECOND VOICE:
There is the moon in the high window.  It is over.
How winter fills my soul!  And that chalk light
Laying its scales on the windows, the windows of empty offices,
Empty schoolrooms, empty churches.  O so much emptiness!
There is this cessation.  This terrible cessation of everything.
These bodies mounded around me now, these polar sleepers--
What blue, moony ray ices their dreams?

I feel it enter me, cold, alien, like an instrument.
And that mad, hard face at the end of it, that O-mouth
Open in its gape of perpetual grieving.
It is she that drags the blood-black sea around
Month after month, with its voices of failure.
I am helpless as the sea at the end of her string.
I am restless.  Restless and useless.  I, too, create corpses.

I shall move north.  I shall move into a long blackness.
I see myself as a shadow, neither man nor woman,
Neither a woman, happy to be like a man, nor a man
Blunt and flat enough to feel no lack.  I feel a lack.
I hold my fingers up, ten white pickets.
See, the darkness is leaking from the cracks.
I cannot contain it.  I cannot contain my life.

I shall be a heroine of the peripheral.
I shall not be accused by isolate buttons,
Holes in the heels of socks, the white mute faces
Of unanswered letters, coffined in a letter case.
I shall not be accused, I shall not be accused.
The clock shall not find me wanting, nor these stars
That rivet in place abyss after abyss.

THIRD VOICE:
I see her in my sleep, my red, terrible girl.
She is crying through the glass that separates us.
She is crying, and she is furious.
Her cries are hooks that catch and grate like cats.
It is by these hooks she climbs to my notice.
She is crying at the dark, or at the stars
That at such a distance from us shine and whirl.

I think her little head is carved in wood,
A red, hard wood, eyes shut and mouth wide open.
And from the open mouth issue sharp cries
Scratching at my sleep like arrows,
Scratching at my sleep, and entering my side.
My daughter has no teeth.  Her mouth is wide.
It utters such dark sounds it cannot be good.

FIRST VOICE:
What is it that flings these innocent souls at us?
Look, they are so exhausted, they are all flat out
In their canvas-sided cots, names tied to their wrists,
The little silver trophies they've come so far for.
There are some with thick black hair, there are some bald.
Their skin tints are pink or sallow, brown or red;
They are beginning to remember their differences.

I think they are made of water; they have no expression.
Their features are sleeping, like light on quiet water.
They are the real monks and nuns in their identical garments.
I see them showering like stars on to the world--
On India, Africa, America, these miraculous ones,
These pure, small images.  They smell of milk.
Their footsoles are untouched.  They are walkers of air.

Can nothingness be so prodigal?
Here is my son.
His wide eye is that general, flat blue.
He is turning to me like a little, blind, bright plant.
One cry.  It is the hook I hang on.
And I am a river of milk.
I am a warm hill.

SECOND VOICE:
I am not ugly.  I am even beautiful.
The mirror gives back a woman without deformity.
The nurses give back my clothes, and an identity.
It is usual, they say, for such a thing to happen.
It is usual in my life, and the lives of others.
I am one in five, something like that.  I am not hopeless.
I am beautiful as a statistic.  Here is my lipstick.

I draw on the old mouth.
The red mouth I put by with my identity
A day ago, two days, three days ago.  It was a Friday.
I do not even need a holiday; I can go to work today.
I can love my husband, who will understand.
Who will love me through the blur of my deformity
As if I had lost an eye, a leg, a tongue.

And so I stand, a little sightless.  So I walk
Away on wheels, instead of legs, they serve as well.
And learn to speak with fingers, not a tongue.
The body is resourceful.
The body of a starfish can grow back its arms
And newts are prodigal in legs.  And may I be
As prodigal in what lacks me.

THIRD VOICE:
She is a small island, asleep and peaceful,
And I am a white ship hooting:  Goodbye, goodbye.
The day is blazing.  It is very mournful.
The flowers in this room are red and tropical.
They have lived behind glass all their lives, they have been cared for
        tenderly.
Now they face a winter of white sheets, white faces.
There is very little to go into my suitcase.

There are the clothes of a fat woman I do not know.
There is my comb and brush.  There is an emptiness.
I am so vulnerable suddenly.
I am a wound walking out of hospital.
I am a wound that they are letting go.
I leave my health behind.  I leave someone
Who would adhere to me:  I undo her fingers like bandages:  I go.

SECOND VOICE:
I am myself again.  There are no loose ends.
I am bled white as wax, I have no attachments.
I am flat and virginal, which means nothing has happened,
Nothing that cannot be erased, ripped up and scrapped, begun again.
There little black twigs do not think to bud,
Nor do these dry, dry gutters dream of rain.
This woman who meets me in windows--she is neat.

So neat she is transparent, like a spirit.
how shyly she superimposes her neat self
On the inferno of African oranges, the heel-hung pigs.
She is deferring to reality.
It is I.  It is I--
Tasting the bitterness between my teeth.
The incalculable malice of the everyday.

FIRST VOICE:
How long can I be a wall, keeping the wind off?
How long can I be
Gentling the sun with the shade of my hand,
Intercepting the blue bolts of a cold moon?
The voices of loneliness, the voices of sorrow
Lap at my back ineluctably.
How shall it soften them, this little lullaby?

How long can I be a wall around my green property?
How long can my hands
Be a bandage to his hurt, and my words
Bright birds in the sky, consoling, consoling?
It is a terrible thing
To be so open:  it is as if my heart
Put on a face and walked into the world.

THIRD VOICE:
Today the colleges are drunk with spring.
My black gown is a little funeral:
It shows I am serious.
The books I carry wedge into my side.
I had an old wound once, but it is healing.
I had a dream of an island, red with cries.
It was a dream, and did not mean a thing.

FIRST VOICE:
Dawn flowers in the great elm outside the house.
The swifts are back.  They are shrieking like paper rockets.
I hear the sound of the hours
Widen and die in the hedgerows.  I hear the moo of cows.
The colors replenish themselves, and the wet
Thatch smokes in the sun.
The narcissi open white faces in the orchard.

I am reassured.  I am reassured.
These are the clear bright colors of the nursery,
The talking ducks, the happy lambs.
I am simple again.  I believe in miracles.
I do not believe in those terrible children
Who injure my sleep with their white eyes, their fingerless hands.
They are not mine.  They do not belong to me.

I shall meditate upon normality.
I shall meditate upon my little son.
He does not walk. &n
Nickols Dec 2012
Thoughts of cotton candy kiss laced with guilt.
Bubble gum wrapping the shame.
A deceit told through a mouth sewn closed.
But eyes held wide-shut.
A lie supported by another lie, bracing itself before falling.

Should I let the guilt be known through a cotton candy kiss?
Let the bubble gum wrapper shunt my shame.
Will I hold our secret behind stitched sewn lips?
All the while, holding my eyes wide shut?
Could I support this burden, bracing it with another lie?
Before I let it slip and fall?

A dangerous dance our feet have started,
where it goes I am not for certain...

A wicked path we've lain before us.
where it goes I am not for certain...

An affair of just wanting,
but nothing of taking.
Where this is leading I am not for certain.
For: where I hope we are going,
Well now,
that is another matter all together.

*Fin
Arcassin B Jun 2015
By Arcassin Burnham

I'm determined,
Lack the feeling of yearning
The desire to talk about this insecure little daddy's girl,
Yes
Like me,
Yeah you blame the world,
But comparing yourself to me,
I'll make you scratch your eyes out
And turn you back to ******* *****,
Don't leave a comment,
Just mean what you say,
If you don't have reasons,
Get out of my face,
You don't know me,
You never met me,
You look like you ****** on 82 *****,
Your a big mouth ***** you need to be stitched up,
Your skills on the pad they flock,
Must have been the time of the month when you sent that comment,
Miss Arlo Disarray get off my ****.
Clearly I don't take kindly to fake tough people
Nigel Morgan May 2015
In a distant land, far beyond the time we know now, there lived an ancient people who knew in their bones of a past outside memory. Things happened over and over; as day became night night became day, spring followed winter, summer followed spring, autumn followed summer and then, and then as autumn came, at least the well-known ordered days passed full of preparation for the transhumance, that great movement of flocks and herds from the summer mountains to the winter pastures. But in the great oak woods of this region the leaves seemed reluctant to fall. Even after the first frosts when the trees glimmered with rime as the sun rose. Even when winter’s cousin, the great wind from the west, ravaged the conical roofs of the shepherds’ huts. The leaves did not fall.

For Lucila, searching for leaves as she climbed each day higher and higher through the parched undergrowth under the most ancient oaks, there were only acorns, slews of acorns at her feet. There were no leaves, or rather no leaves that might be gathered as newly fallen. Only the faint husks of leaves of the previous autumn, leaves of provenance already gathered before she left the mountains last year for the winter plains, leaves she had placed into her deep sleeves, into her voluminous apron, into the large pockets of her vlaterz, the ornate felt jacket of the married woman.

Since her childhood she had picked and pocketed these oaken leaves, felt their thin, veined, patterned forms, felt, followed, caressed them between her finger tips. It was as though her pockets were full of the hands of children, seven-fingered hands, stroking her fingers with their pointed tips when her fingers were pocketed.

She would find private places to lay out her gathered leaves. She wanted none to know or touch or speak of these her children of the oak forest. She had waited all summer, as she had done since a child, watching them bud and grow on the branch, and then, with the frosts and winds of autumn, fall, fall, fall to the ground, but best of all fall into her small hands, every leaf there to be caught, fallen into the bowl of her cupped hands. And for every leaf caught, a wish.

Her autumn days became full of wishes. She would lie awake on her straw mattress after Mikas had risen for the night milking, that time when the rustling bells of the goats had no accompaniment from the birds. She would assemble her lists of wishes, wishes ready for leaves not yet fallen into the bowl of her cupped hands. May the toes of my baby be perfectly formed? May his hair fall straight without a single curl? May I know only the pain I can bear when he comes? May the mother of Mikas love this child?

As the fine autumn days moved towards the feast day of St Anolysius, the traditional day of departure of the winter transhumance, there was, this season, an unspoken tension present in the still, dry air. Already preparations were being made for the long journey to the winter plains. There was soon to be a wedding now three days away, of the Phatos boy to the Tamosel girl. The boy was from an adjoining summer pasture and had travelled during the summer months with an itinerant uncle, a pedlar of sorts and beggar of repute. So he had seen something of the world beyond those of the herds and flocks can expect to see. He was rightly-made and fit to marry, although, of course, the girl was to be well-kept secret until the day itself.

Lucila remembered those wedding days, her wedding days, those anxious days of waiting when encased in her finery, in her seemingly impenetrable and voluminous wedding clothes she had remained all but hidden from view. While around her the revelling came and went, the drunkenness, the feasting, the riotous eruptions of noise and movement, the sudden visitations of relatives she did not know, the fierce instructions of women who spoke to her now as a woman no longer a young girl or a dear child, women she knew as silent, shy and respectful who were now loud and lewd, who told her things she could hardly believe, what a man might do, what a man might be, what a woman had to suffer - all these things happening at the same time. And then her soon-to-be husband’s drunk-beyond-reason friends had carried off the basket with her trousseau and dressed themselves riotously in her finest embroidered blouses, her intricate layered skirts, her petticoats, even the nightdress deemed the one to be worn when eventually, after three days revelry, she would be visited by a man, now more goat than man, sodden with drink, insensible to what little she understood as human passion beyond the coupling of goats. Of course Semisar had prepared the bright blood for the bridesbed sheet, the necessary evidence, and as Mikas lay sprawled unconscious at the foot of the marriage bed she had allowed herself to be dishevelled, to feign the aftermath of the act he was supposed to have committed upon her. That would, she knew, come later . . .

It was then, in those terrible days and after, she took comfort from her silent, private stitching into leaves, the darning of acorns, the spinning of skeins of goats’ wool she would walnut-dye and weave around stones and pieces of glass. She would bring together leaves bound into tiny books, volumes containing for her a language of leaves, the signs and symbols of nature she had named, that only she knew. She could not read the words of the priest’s book but was fluent in the script of veins and ribs and patterning that every leaf owned. When autumn came she could hardly move a step for picking up a fallen leaf, reading its story, learning of its history. But this autumn now, at the time of leaf fall, the fall of the leaf did not happen and those leaves of last year at her feet were ready to disintegrate at her touch. She was filled with dread. She knew she could not leave the mountains without a collection of leaves to stitch and weave through the shorter days and long, long winter nights. She had imagined sharing with her infant child this language she had learnt, had stitched into her daily life.

It was Semisar of course, who voiced it first. Semisar, the self-appointed weather ears and horizon eyes of the community, who followed her into the woods, who had forced Lucila against a tree holding one broad arm and her body’s weight like a bar from which Lucila could not escape, and with the other arm and hand rifled the broad pockets of Lucila’s apron. Semisar tossed the delicate chicken bone needles to the ground, unravelled the bobbins of walnut-stained yarn, crumpled the delicately folded and stitched, but yet to be finished, constructions of leaves . . . And spewed forth a torrent of terrible words. Already the men knew that the lack of leaf fall was peculiar only to the woods above and around their village. Over the other side of the mountain Telgatho had said this was not so. Was Lucila a Magnelz? Perhaps a Cutvlael? This baby she carried, a girl of course, was already making evil. Semisar placed her hand over and around the ripe hard form of the unborn child, feeling for its shape, its elbows and knees, the spine. And from there, with a vicelike grip on the wrist, Semisar dragged Lucila up and far into the woods to where the mountain with its caves and rocks touched the last trees, and from there to the cave where she seemed to know Lucila’s treasures lay, her treasures from childhood. Semisar would destroy everything, then the leaves would surely fall.

When Lucila did not return to prepare the evening meal Mikas was to learn all. Should he leave her be? He had been told women had these times of strange behaviour before childbirth. The wedding of the Phatos boy was almost upon them and the young men were already behaving like goats before the rut. The festive candles and tinselled wedding crowns had been fetched from the nearest town two days ride distant, the decoration of the tiny mountain basilica and the accommodation for the priest was in hand. The women were busy with the making of sweets and treats to be thrown at the wedding pair by guests and well-wishers. Later, the same women would prepare the dough for the millstones of bread that would be baked in the stone ovens. The men had already chosen the finest lambs to spit-roast for the feast.

She will return, Semisar had said after waiting by the fold where Mikas flocks, now gathered from the heights, awaited their journey south. All will be well, Mikas, never fear. The infant, a girl, may not last its birth, Semisar warned, but seeing the shocked face of Mikas, explained a still-birth might be providential for all. Know this time will pass, she said, and you can still be blessed with many sons. We are forever in the hands of the spirit, she said, leaving without the customary salutation of farewell.
                                               
However different the lives of man and woman may by tradition and circumstance become, those who share the ways and rites of marriage are inextricably linked by fate’s own hand and purpose. Mikas has come to know his once-bride, the child become woman in his clumsy embrace, the girl of perhaps fifteen summers fulfilling now his mother’s previous role, who speaks little but watches and listens, is unfailingly attentive to his needs and demands, and who now carries his child ( it can only be a boy), carries this boy high in her womb and with a confidence his family has already remarked upon.

After their wedding he had often returned home to Lucila at the time of the sun’s zenith when it is customary for the village women to seek the shade of their huts and sleep. It was an unwritten rite due to a newly-wed husband to feign the sudden need for a forgotten tool or seek to examine a sick animal in the home fold. After several fruitless visits when he found their hut empty he timed his visit earlier to see her black-scarfed figure disappear into the oak woods.  He followed her secretively, and had observed her seated beneath an ancient warrior of a tree, had watched over her intricate making. Furthermore and later he came to know where she hid the results of this often fevered stitching of things from nature’s store and stash, though an supernatural fear forbade him to enter the cleft between rocks into which she would disappear. He began to know how times and turns of the days affected her actions, but had left her be. She would usually return bright-eyed and with a quiet wonder, of what he did not know, but she carried something back within her that gave her a peculiar peace and beauty. It seemed akin to the well-being Mikas knew from handling a fine ewe from his flock . . .

And she would sometimes allow herself to be handled thus. She let him place his hands over her in that joyful ownership and command of a man whose life is wholly bound up with flocks and herds and the well-being of the female species. He would come from the evening watch with the ever-constant count of his flock still on his lips, and by a mixture of accident and stealth touch her wholly-clothed body, sometimes needing his fingers into the thick wool of her stockings, stroking the chestnut silken hairs that he found above her bare wrists, marvelling at her small hands with their perfect nails. He knew from the ribaldry of men that women were trained from childhood to display to men as little as possible of their intimate selves. But alone and apart all day on a remote hillside, alone save for several hundred sheep, brought to Mikas in his solitary state wild and conjured thoughts of feminine spirits, unencumbered by clothes, brighter and more various than any night-time dream. And he had succumbed to the pleasure of such thoughts times beyond reason, finding himself imagining Lucila as he knew she was unlikely ever to allow herself to be. But even in the single winter and summer of their life together there had been moments of surprise and revelation, and accompanied by these precious thoughts he went in search of her in the darkness of a three-quarter moon, into the stillness of the night-time wood.

Ah Lucilla. We might think that after the scourge of Semisar, the physical outrage of her baby’s forced examination, and finally the destruction of her treasures, this child-wife herself with child would be desolate with grief at what had come about. She had not been forced to follow Semisar into the small cave where wrapped in woven blankets her treasures lay between the thinnest sheets of impure and rejected parchment gleaned surreptitiously after shearing, but holding each and every treasure distinct and detached. There was enough light for Semisar to pause in wonder at the intricate constructions, bright with the aura of extreme fragility owned by many of the smaller makings. And not just the leaves of the oak were here, but of the mastic, the walnut, the flaky-barked strawberry and its smoothed barked cousin. There were leaves and sheaves of bark from lowland trees of the winter sojourn, there were dried fruits mysteriously arranged, constructions of acorns threaded with the dark madder-red yarn, even acorns cracked and damaged from their tree fall had been ‘mended’ with thread.

Semisar was to open some of the tiny books of leaved pages where she witnessed a form of writing she did not recognise (she could not read but had seen the priest’s writing and the print of the holy books). This she wondered at, as surely Lucila had only the education of the home? Such symbols must belong to the spirit world. Another sign that Lucila had infringed order and disturbed custom. It would take but a matter of minutes to turn such makings into little more than a layer of dust on the floor.

With her bare hands Semisar ground together these elaborate confections, these lovingly-made conjunctions of needle’s art with nature’s purpose and accidental beauty. She ground them together until they were dust.

When Semisar returned into the pale afternoon light it seemed Lucila had remained as she had been left: motionless, and without expression. If Semisar had known the phenomenon of shock, Lucila was in that condition. But, in the manner of a woman preparing to grieve for the dead she had removed her black scarf and unwound the long dark chestnut plaits that flowed down her back. But there were no tears. only a dumb silence but for the heavy exhalation of breath. It seemed that she looked beyond Semisar into the world of spirits invoking perhaps their aid, their comfort.

What happened had neither invoked sadness nor grief. It was as if it had been ordained in the elusive pattern of things. It felt like the clearing of the summer hut before the final departure for the long journey to the winter world. The hut, Lucila had been taught, was to be left spotless, every item put in its rightful place ready to be taken up again on the return to the summer life, exactly as if it had been undisturbed by absence . Not a crumb would remain before the rugs and coverings were rolled and removed, summer clothes hard washed and tightly mended, to be folded then wrapped between sprigs of aromatic herbs.

Lucila would go now and collect her precious but scattered needles from beneath the ancient oak. She would begin again - only to make and embroider garments for her daughter. It was as though, despite this ‘loss’, she had retained within her physical self the memory of every stitch driven into nature’s fabric.

Suddenly Lucila remembered that saints’ day which had sanctioned a winter’s walk with her mother, a day when her eyes had been drawn to a world of patterns and objects at her feet: the damaged acorn, the fractured leaf, the broken berried branch, the wisp of wool left impaled upon a stub of thorns. She had been five, maybe six summers old. She had already known the comforting action of the needle’s press again the felted cloth, but then, as if impelled by some force quite outside herself, had ‘borrowed’ one of her mother’s needles and begun her odyssey of darning, mending, stitching, enduring her mother’s censure - a waste of good thread, little one - until her skill became obvious and one of delight, but a private delight her mother hid from all and sundry, and then pressed upon her ‘proper’ work with needle and thread. But the damage had been done, the dye cast. She became nature’s needle slave and quartered those personal but often invisible
Firzaana Mohamed Jun 2015
Oceans apart
Stitched Hearts
Stars unseen
Emotions intervene

Thoughts ignored
Words never bore
Pictures sent
Modesty bent

Her mind knew
Her blood ran blue
Fears adapted
Soul captive

"Release me!" she cries
Send was never pressed, her heart pries
She fears
To her, he becomes dear
And when he is ready to leave
Nothing in her will be ready to believe.

-fir.m
This is just a random thought about many long distance relationships where he/she feels captivated by someone they can never truly know whether they are fake or true!
Valsa George May 2017
As the sun moves to the western horizon
Colors are skilfully blended in a palette
In an instant the sky becomes an exquisite canvas of art
Making even Van Gogh burn in jealousy

With the last glimmer of sunset
When the shadows chase the light,
The aerial folks fly back to their nests
Like black and white specks dotting the sky

With a dark drape stretched across the Earth’s face
The arrival of the night is a spectacular sight
Cicadas and crickets welcome her with their ceremonious band
And street lamps blink their eyes to catch a better view

While truant clouds still wander around aimless
The cerulean sky signals them to hurry
Stars slowly appear in the night sky
Like sequins stitched on to a blue brocade

The crescent moon smiles down
The empress of the night, proud and regal
She and her retinue keep guard over the slumbering Earth
The unpaid sentries of the night!

A gentle breeze makes a palanquin ride
Wafting in the scent of opening buds
The beauty of the night sends me to raptures
My heart exploding like foaming wine in a bottle

Yet I cannot but keep wondering
How many dark secrets
The night holds
Within her tenebrous folds!
What a pleasant surprise, this poem is made the daily. Thanks to everyone for making it possible through your likes and kind comments. These days I can't see the daily and I don't know where to look for it. The site is sometimes quite tricky.....Thanks a lot once again !
I remember the history well:
The soldiers and politicians emerged
With briefcases and guns
And celebrations on city nights.

They scoured the mess
Reviewed our history
Saw the executions at dawn
Then signed with secret policemen

And decided something
Had to be done.

They scoured the mess
Resurrected old blue-prints
Of vicious times
Tracked the shapes of sinking cities

And learned at last
That nothing can be avoided
And so avoided everything.
I remember the history well.

                                                                 2
We emerged from our ******* mounds
Discovered a view of the sky
As the air danced in heat.

Through the view of the city
In flames, we rewound times
Of executions at beaches.
Salt streamed down our brows.

Everywhere stagger victims of rigged elections
Monolithic accidents on hungry roads
The infinite web of ethnic politics
Power-dreams of fevered winds.

The nation was a map stitched
From the grabbing of future flesh
And became a rush through
Historical slime

                                                                 3
We emerged on edge
Of time future
With bright fumes
From burning towers.

The fumes lit political rallies.
We started a war
Ended it
And dreamed about our chance.

Fat fish eat little fish
Big ones arrange executions
And armed robberies.
Our ******* shapes us all.

I remember the history well.
The tiger’s snarl is bought
In currencies of silence.
Eggs grow large:

A monstrous face is hatched.
On the edge of time future
I am a boy
With running sores

Of remember history
Watching the stitches widen
Waiting for the volcano’s laughter
In the fevered winds

Hearing the gnash
Of those who will join us
At the mighty gateways
With new blue-prints

With dew as seal
And fire as constant
And a trail through time past
To us

Who remember the history well.
We weave words on red
And sing on the edge of blue.
And with our nerves primed

We shall spin silk from *******
And frame time with our resolve.
__
Source:
http://www.universeofpoetry.org/nigeria.shtml
Carolin Jan 2016
He left a part of his
heart under my  
skin.

Stitched it up with a
silver coloured
thread.

Told me words of love
while the needle went
out and in.

Placed a kiss on my
rosy cheek and told
that he'll put my pain
to an end.

He wove love onto
my skin.

While his fingertips
were begging to
undress the champaign
lace I was wearing.

And the scar he left
was exactly like the
signature he leaves
on all the letters he
writes for me* ~
A lonely child,
child of neglect

I see you.

Night it befalls,
lonely child met..

You meet me.

Peeled round waist from belly to back,
four pieces do a belt of babe make;
stitched and branded.

Lonely child of neglect,
I bathe in your warm fat.

Clouds they roll, stream cotton-frayed sky.
Mother's light peeks to say goodbye, to you;
-the lonely child whom had to die?

I transform.

AWHOOOooo!

eah, hah-hah, hah-hah, hah-hah...

<>...Hunt...<>
          C
Cyrus Agons Jun 2014
Surfing across the glaze of light
Multiverse into one, this universe shines bright
Condensed energy upon my sight
Mystery upon this 'life'
All is multiverse stitched into one universe
All universes stitched upon each other
Tension upon layer and layers
Heaven, Hell, reincarnation, all are bound by makers
One moves upon a series of 'matter' or vibrations after the shell is removed or gained
However rather low, high, negative, or positive energy, all is remained
Logic
A mere barrier designed and captivated by a mind
Grasping your vision, your perception, your multiverse
Either a hinder or power surge
Forming pieces of ones quilt to converge
A poisonous psychedelic
The rarity of an ancient relic
It is yours, whatever it may be
Hold close, as it is all you may have
As the 'universe' of the multiverse leans and meets according to so
Then raving within your conscious, you see a brighter glow
You pursue, you make the most
Using the now gleam to move upon the multiverse you hope to have
Doing all in reality in order to keep the spark alive
What seems to be drab
What seems to strive
All according to the beholder
We keep these lights seemingly closer
Whatever they maybe
Whomever they maybe
What has never begun to start will never be over
Michael Bingoff Oct 2009
Half stitched heart rips at the seams
begging to be sewed once more
Preachers, like thieves, run rampant
and lie dormant.
The infection burrows deeper
its making me sick
slowly writhing, twisting and
turning the dull blade, severing
the stitches with every turn.
Defiant love ***** away my soul
only to replace it with torment
and pain.
Its the only thing I know.
Kind words and a smile is fake
I can see the pity.
Poetic T Aug 2014
Seamstress sew me a line of word
Make it colourful,
Make it stand out,
She did it, the words weaved in and out
One over the other,
They flowed vibrantly,
She was a master at sewing word
Her pins were
Pencil
&
Pen
Woven with each, shades came out
Each told a story, a life of its own
Happiness
Darkness
Terror
&
Joy
What was asked, she would sew
Every stich was new in her mind
To sew a word profound,
All took time
Once stitched there was no going back,
It was complete
Colourful,
Dark,
The words woven  in style
Like it or not,
Her woven words stitched to the page
This seamstress of ink and lead,
Now waiting to once again sew words
Upon a blank page...
Nigel Morgan Nov 2012
(with poems from the Chinese translated by Arthur Waley)

My bed is so empty that I keep on waking up.
As the cold increases, the night-wind begins to blow.
It rustles the curtains, making a noise like the sea:
Oh that those were waves which could carry me back to you!

Suddenly she was awake. She could feel a cool breeze on the cheek that wasn’t warm on her pillow. She could smell the damp fields, the waterlogged moorland and the aftermath of recent rain. The action of rain on wood or stone seemed to release particular vapours wholly the province of the night in a small town. There was also the not entirely welcome residue of the past evening’s cooking from the kitchen below. But such sensory thoughts were overwhelmed by the rush of conversation clips; these from a day of non-stop voices that had invaded and now occupied her consciousness. She had listened furiously all day, often fashioning questions as the listening proceeded, keeping it all going, being friendly and wise and sensible and knowing. She could hear her tone of voice, her very articulation in the playback of her memory. It was so difficult sometimes to find the right tone, that inflection suitable to different aspects of ‘talk’. She didn’t want to appear pompous or too serious. That would never do. The thing was to be light, but intelligently light so her colleagues would say to one another – ‘Helen is a treasure you know: brilliant person to have on the team. You can always rely on her. ’ She knew she was often anxious for approval, for a right recognition of her efforts, to be thought well of. ‘Doesn’t everybody?’ she thought wistfully.

There was a momentary flurry of what Helen often dreaded when she found herself awake at night – yesterday’s embarrassing moments. These invariably began with ‘Am I wearing the right clothes?’ It was Caroline’s jacket that came to mind first. That mix of informal but simply smart that can only be bought with serious time and a clear conscience with the credit card. Her favourite blue affair (mail order) with big pockets and the slight pattern on the hem suddenly seemed very ‘last year’. Anna had chosen all-over black, loose trousers with a draw string, no jewellery, but flashy sandals and make up. She’d painted her toenails green. Helen did make up – a little, but not to travel in. She knew she had the right shoes for a long day. Then, those first conversations with Paul, who she’d never talked to outside a meeting before. ‘Keep it light, Helen’, she’d say, ‘Don’t say too much – but then don’t say too little.’ She had found herself – her independent womanly self, speaking with an edgy tone she didn’t always feel happy about. As she spoke to Paul about the coming evening’s football – he’d brought it up for goodness sake – she found herself being funny about the inconsequence of it all, then remembering the passion with which people she knew and loved followed the intricacies of this sport. She saved an own goal with some comment about the game’s social significance she’d picked up off some radio interview.

As the long journey had proceeded she’d been able occasionally (thankfully sometimes) to fall into observation-only mode. There was this sorting of images into significant, memorable, able to forget about, of no consequence at all. She’d been caught by the strange geometry of yellow cones that seemed stitched onto the rain-glistening road surface. There had been a buzzard she’d glimpsed for a moment, a reflection of Sally in the window next to her seat, that mother and her new born in the Ladies at the services, the tunnels of dripping greenery as the coach left the motorway for the winding minor roads, then the view of a grey tor on distant moorland followed instantly by the thought of walking there with her sketchbook, her camera and his loving company, with his admiring smile as he watched her move ahead of him on the path; she knew that behind her he was collecting her every movement to playback in his loneliness when they were apart.

Oh how she wished for his dear presence in this large half-cold bed, as the dark of night was being groped by dawn’s grey. There and there, and now the pre-dawn calls of local birds before that first real chorus of the dawn-proper began. She thought of them both on their last visit to this ancient countryside, being newly intimate, being breath-takingly loving, warm together for a whole night, a whole day, a whole night, a whole day . . . the movies in her mind rolled out scenes of the gardens they’d visited, the opening they’d attended, all that being together, holding hands, sitting close together, sitting across from each other at restaurant tables (knees touching), always quietly talking, always catching each other’s glances with smiles, and his gentle kisses and slight touches of the hand on the arm. She began to feel warm, warm and loved.

As she was drifting back into a shallow sleep she remembered his voice recite (in the Rose Walk at Hestercombe) that poem from the Chinese he loved . .

Who says
That it’s by my desire,
This separation, this living so far from you?
My dress still smells of the lavender you gave:
My hand still holds the letter you sent.
Round my waist I wear a double sash:
I dream that it binds us both with a same-heart knot.
Did you not know that people hide their love,
Like a flower that seems to precious to be picked?
Two poems from the Chinese quoted here are taken from Arthur Waley's translation of One Hundred and Seventy Chinese Poems published in 1918.
Mateuš Conrad Sep 2016
in terms of a cyclops: it's one extreme
   or another...
   a cyclops can never be cross-eyed,
it can never be blurry for him -
  even when the tip-of-the-nose
   is just that,
                        having two eyes
   is enough to see two sides of
an argument with the precision
    of aquatic optics - blurry today,
blurry tomorrow -
         nibble the left,
                     nibble the right...
then centralised: or Newtonian -
the unlearning of gravity
           for the purpose of learning
   selective magnetism and a stitched-up
   smile.
King Panda Apr 2017
Smell of lilacs bloom
to no end—a nebulous glow of
purple, perfect, and unperturbed—your
poem of lilies with caution tape
snug in my backpack—
your pollen hundreds of miles
away—a firebrick orange
sung again and again. A cotton
blow unlike anything colorful
—a white puff of dandruff before
the rain—a bouquet for
your spring stitched
stem by stem.
zebra Jul 2017
i come to you half mad
with desire
like slithers tongue
i wish
to have painfully stitched
to your silky ****
an act of desires supplication
my *** turned to poison
deprivations effulgent
obsidian flower salivating
your every smile
fleshy bells ringing
warping tintinnabulations
i am a starved incubus
drooling at your knees

behind me
a frothy junket of misdeeds
for loves sake
your feet the scent of lavender and salt
their shape evoking numberless poems
and begging adorations

your belly
a tender cauldron undulating
tummy ***** dancer
sacred *******
temple of worship
the site of your rounded bottom
naked red mouth calling
my sacred liturgy
your *****
velvet tulips for a tremulous kiss

I seed you a thousand times
a raging bludgeon
storming wounded gates Palisades
drenched and florid
fruit and milk ****
until jaws lock
and spire drops
turning me
to midnight cadaver
***** black hollows
a dark eyelid, blink-less
dead **** face down
a slumped snake

then soft dew
and cool ales
clear thickened muds saturation
lighten heat and peel
the warm palate
with agile caress
tender haunches wide and spiced
milk and butter thighs
her hair in mine
rushing river life
again i animate
an embryo id
dressed in fire
all vices and virtues
blood and sky
*** ADULT EXPLICIT
Sade LK Dec 2014
OCD
My scars don't look like
Anyone else's-
They're more careful,
Organized, precise and
Exact.
Not light, but
Never deep enough
Never deep enough
Never deep enough
Never deep enough.

People always ask why
I do such pretty patterns:
Because this is the only thing in life
That I can really control
Control
Control,

And I find it so beautiful-
Though, not so much tragic.

My scars are not chaotic like a
Car-wreck,
They are consistent like a
Coma-
Proof that I was awake
The whole time I was sleeping,
And I could feel everything
Even though I could tell no one.
No one.

That this
Unconscious obsessive compulsion
Demands order
Order
Order,
it
Insists by instinct,
An intricate simplicity.

Still, I will 'ever envy
Those stitched gashes, once
Gushing
Gushing
Gushing with surrender and
Serenity...
Each raised and rough coarse collagen fiber
To form a white flag
Forever etched in flesh;
To tell the world
They, were a slave to freedom-

I am only a slave
To *myself.
Written December 6th & 8th, 2014
Akira Chinen Feb 2016
She was beautiful with tragedy and melancholy stitched throughout her heart She smiled every now and then but her teeth were stained with misery
No one could notice
She was drowing in tears
As she stood in the open down pour of rain
It was the absence of joy
And bad luck with love
Never having a reason to fall
I wanted to lie
Make up some cliché
Tell her something
Anything
Life...
It gets better
(but more often worse)
Love...
Will raise you up
(but more often break you down)
But I'm a terrible liar
And a petty thief
And we have never crossed paths
And would never be face to face
In the black and greys of her
Every changing eyes
I could see the
Unmistakable Fires and madness
You only find in the
Purest fires of love
Flames that burn too hot
For mere mortals to approach or hold
Fools burn from the inside
Until their nothing but ash
But she didn't seem
To notice
Or feel them at all
Unknown miles away
I could hear their sirens call
Feel their watmth
Like a slow burning poison
That slides coolly down
Your throat
And then without warning
Snuffs the life from your heart
It leaves a smile on the corpses left behind
For most of them
It was a good way to die
The last thing to see
That beautiful
Tragic
Melancholy
Miserable
Love
Sputtering
From her
Stitched Heart
feeling sorry for myself again,
surprise surprise, I think a lot
they say don't it's bad for you,
surprise surprise, I wonder still
feeling sorry for myself again,
like some crack-addled *****
frustration at every turn, as I see
the corridors of my mind; a dead end
every time, and maybe the migraines
are a true sign of recent times
pain for days, a complete sense of contempt
seeing myself so low, I must mount my eyes
high up in the trees, stitched into leaves
to look down on everything so

feeling sorry for myself again,
surprise surprise, I think a lot
they said don't it's bad for me,
surprise surprise, I wonder still
feeling sorry for myself again,
like some lonesome lowlife
I understand the kettle's whistle,
tormented and brought to boiling point,
tortured by the very talents that give it purpose
am I a kettle or a joke to you?
pain for days, a complete sense of contempt
seeing myself so low, I must mount my eyes
high up in the trees, stitched into leaves
to look down on everything so
Not much to say lately, I do miss myself though
guy scutellaro Oct 2019
The rain ****** through a darkening sky.

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

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

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

The rain turns to snow.

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

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

Snowflake chuffs once, twice.

The man is gone.



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The bartender recognizes the man smiling at the redhead.

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

"Who told you that?"

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

"George, I heard, HE was dead."

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

They shake hands.

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

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

"Gobble, gobble," O Malley smiles.


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

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

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

The people sitting the barstools do not turn to look.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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



"I'm part Indian. "

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

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

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

Her bushy eyebrows come together forming a delicate frown.

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

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

And Jack smiles.

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

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

She smiles.

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

Delleto tries to speak.

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

Jack recognizes the look on her face. Bad dreams.

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

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

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

Jack is finishing his beer.

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

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

She stands up, stares at Jack Delleto.

And walks away.


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

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

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

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

"Dove sta amore," Jack Delleto asks.

Death is angry, steps closer.

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

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

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

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

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

The Miller Lite gently rocks and then it stops.

Jack stands up, shakes his head and smiles.

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

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

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

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


2 a.m.

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

The rain has finally turn to snow.

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

The dog, Snowflake, dead, Jack thinks.


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

Jack disappears into empty pages.


Chapter 2


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fondly, he remembers.

Dad.


                                     *     

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

Jack Delleto thinks about mountains.

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

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

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



                                           Chapter 3


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

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

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

"YOU PROMISED."

"How about a sargeant in a jeep?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Finally the boy and his mother are quiet.

"My husband will have you fired."

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

Jack mutters something.

"MMOOOMEEE,  what does..."

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


                              
     

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

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

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

"I was attacked by five women."

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

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

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

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

                                        
     

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

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

"Hello, Kathrine," says Jack Delleto.

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

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

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

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

"You were alone, always alone."

"You've seen me there before?"

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

"How many kids do you have?"

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

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

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


                              
     

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

The snow must melt; spring is inevitable.

His pup will be back.



                                           Chapter 4


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"About right."

"You look tired."

"I am a little."

"Are you sick or is it a woman."

"I'm not sick."

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

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

Jack and Felix start walking over to the ring.

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

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

In the opposite corner Bill Wain waits.

"Will he be alright?" Harry asks.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bill Wain comes out of his corner circling left.

Jack rushes straight ahead.

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



                                           Chapter 5


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

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

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

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

"Who told you that? Crazy George?"

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

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

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

How's the other George? Dell asks.

"AA."

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

"Rehab."

"What about Robbie?"

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


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

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

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

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

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

Some guests clap. The bemused just stare.

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

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

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

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

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

"Thanks, Mr. Cool."

Jack takes off the sunglasses.

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

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

"What happened?" O'Malley asks again.

"Bill Wain."

"He turned pro."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Do you hear them, Bob?"

"Hear what?" Bob asks.

"All of them."

"All of what?"

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

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

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


                                          Chapter 6


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

"My names Kathleen."

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

"How about, Darlin?"

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

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

"But no one else is dancing."

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

"It's twenty degrees out there."

"I'll keep you warm."

"All right, lets dance."

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

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

Kathleen had never meant anyone quite like Dell.

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

"Nothing."

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

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

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

"No."

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

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

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

"Do you want me to?"

"Yeah."

Kate blows out the match.


                                  
     


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

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

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

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

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


                                         Chapter 7


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

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

"Still alive and well."

"Who is this pretty young lady?"

"This Kate."

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

Kathleen forces a smile.

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

"How long?  Delleto inquires.

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

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

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

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

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

Earth, O island Earth.


                                               Chapter 8


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Earth, O island Earth.



                                           Chapter 9


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

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

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

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

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

"You lost?"

"Yeah."

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

The radio plays softly.

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

Kathleen sighs.

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

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

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

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


They are sitting on a couch in the room that atone time had been a sun porch.

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

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

"How did you get those little round scars on your arm," Jack wonders. "Up and down, hear and there."

"Do you really want to know?" There is anger in her voice and Jack does not understand.

"Why, yeah."

"My foster mom always wanted me to be clean and if I didn't I got hit with the belt. I tried to keep my face clean but it didn't do any good.

He was the worst, though, dad. He'd burn me with his cigarette. That's how I got these ****** scars. And when I knew he was coming home I'd get sick to my stomach and when I heard his key in the door, I'd wet myself.

But that wasn't the worst of it.

When they didn't beat me or burn me they ignored me, like I didn't exist, like I wasn't even there."



                                             Chapter 10



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

"That's because I care for you."

The rain pounds the roof.

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

"Well I don't need anyone."

"People need people."

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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



                                            
     



The ringing phone.

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

"Jack, I'm scared."

"Kate?"

"Someone broke into my apartment."

"Is he still there?"

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

"I'll be right over."



                                         Chapter11


"How hot is it?" Kathleen asks.

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

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

"Let's go to the boardwalk."

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

"We could go on the rides."

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

"It's my birthday."

"I bought you flowers."

"Yeah, carnations."

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

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

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

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

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

"Fine."

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

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

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

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

The boyfriend stares angrily at Jack.

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

Jack wins that game, too.



                                                 Chapter 12



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

"Soon, Darling, "her father assures her.

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

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


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

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

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

"Ooooh, Daddy, I love this."

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

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

Kathleen feels the impulse to *****.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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




                                      
     

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

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

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

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

The man does down.

Jack wins.



                                                  CHAPTE­R 13

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

They take the shots and throw them down.

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

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

"Probably not insects."

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

                                          
     

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

The rain pounds the roof.

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

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

The austere room has won.

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

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



                                           Chapter 14


The rain turns to snow.

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

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

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

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

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

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


                                        
     


Slowly the door moans open.

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

"Yeah, I'm awake."

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

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

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

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

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

"Jack, you forgot something that night."

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

"You didn't kiss me goodbye."

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

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

"Yeah, I'm crying."

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

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

"Hold me, Jack, hold me tighter."

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


                                          
      *


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



                                            Chapter 15


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

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

Jack has committed a trespass.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And begins licking him.

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

                               FANTASY WILL SET YOU FREE

                                                 The End

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


"Conversations With a Dead Dog..."
13 May 2013
Impulses that thrash
in the chambers of red
have trembled in fear
of what you have said
you reign over me
with those crimson lips
that slender seduction
that drips from your legs
upon my withering self
dominating my senses
you've caged my soul
your attraction belies
about what you desire
knowing you too well
I'll still sear in the fire
your nails drill into my spine
with lust and cruelty so kind
so humble, so sweet i beg
for you to devour me
leave not a morsel behind
I'm lost in your hair
slipping from your back
releasing your garments
my tongue will caress
a slave to your touch
held in your bust
this is how much I love you
your skin be stitched to mine.
radamz Sep 2010
I want to wake up next to you
Our skin stitched together as one
Just like the card I sent

One big happy deformed person
Much fun could be had
Ugly fun…

We could go to an amusement park
Eat cotton candy ‘til our stitches practically burst
Test out  just how much the horsies will hold

Laugh at our misshapen self in the distorted mirrors
Jam our oversized *** in a bumper car
Point at children who give us sideways glances

Up stage the bearded lady
Bark obscenities at those whom are wider
Yell at the man that tries to make us pay for two

I want to wake up next to you
The pink thread tightly knit
Just like the card you  received

Instead you lay in another bed
A world apart
No bobbin or needle in sight
Lyn-Purcell Aug 2018
~ ⚘ ⚪ ⚘ ~
But I am relieved.
Not being confined in bright velvets
of the West, or shimmering silks of
the East. Each hand-stitched with
animals and flowers, crystals and
furs, with gold and silver to
parade around in Court.

~ ⚘ ⚪ ⚘ ~
I find far more splendour in a simple
iris-purple kimono-robe, lightweight,
silk-satin and printed with lilies with
a pink silk trim. It strokes my ankles,
and the sleeves, they billow; the sash
firmly fastened around my waist.

~ ⚘ ⚪ ⚘ ~
My handmaid, Ilazi, presents a gilded
bowl with the purest form of fruits -
the ones that were rain-washed. I have
a variety to choose from - strawberries,
blueberries, peaches, green, red and
black grapes which I pick and nibble
on. Hmm, a succulent balance of
sweetness and ****.

~ ⚘ ⚪ ⚘ ~
And then my senior handmaid, Anihana,
arrives with a tray in hand, clearly made
from stainless steel with rose-gold accents.
'Sweet Queen,' says she. At the wave of my
hand, the music stops. 'Forgive me for
keeping you waiting. I know how particular
you are with your pearls so I narrowed
them to your favourite three choices.'

~ ⚘ ⚪ ⚘ ~
'Thank you,' I say and as I lean up, she
presents three cream-hued scrolls.
'Lists,' says she, 'of all the ship's
inventory. Would you like to
inspect them, my lady?'
'I will after some tea, Ainhana,
thank you.'

~ ⚘ ⚪ ⚘ ~
Anihana nods and moves by my side
as my eyes fall on the tray's contents.
A small silver five-minute sand-timer,
a glass teapot with bamboo handle,
an infuser and steel lid half filled
with hot water; steam dancing
out of the spout. Then, a lovely
glass teacup, one of the most
beautiful I've seen yet.
~ ⚘ ⚪ ⚘ ~
Part three of my Jasmine Pearl freeverse!
Lyn ***
Rangzeb Hussain Feb 2011
Journey to Mecca – The IMAX Experience

Imagine the scene... There are crowds of people milling about, some in queues, some chatting by the windows, others sipping a warm drink. There are children playing in corners, babies drinking milk, and wherever you look you see people of all creeds and races united under the banner of a shared humanity. And what is the reason for this diverse cross section of society to be present in one place on a quiet and sleepy Sunday afternoon at Birmingham’s ThinkTank? The answer is right there across the busy foyer. It is a poster for a new IMAX film called “Journey to Mecca”. The very air bubbles with excitement and expectation as the cinema staff cut the proverbial ribbon and usher the people into the auditorium.

Space, vast and open, is the first thing that hits the audience as they take their seats and let their eyes wander over the immense spectrum of the IMAX screen. A map unfurls across the screen and a narrator explains the time and lays down the background to the scene that is about to commence. The year is 1325, the place is Tangier and the story is about a man who is about to embark upon a journey to the holy city of Mecca on a pilgrimage. The charismatic young man is Ibn Battuta, he stares at the stars that twinkle across the canvas of the night sky and he dreams of spires, of domes, of jewelled cities that sparkle in the desert sands, and his vision swoops like a falcon over the alleys and streets of the kingdom until they rest upon the Ka’aba, the sacred building at the heart of Islam.

Ibn Battuta bids farewell to his beloved family and sets out on his journey which will see him tested, both physically and psychologically, as he travels to the fabled city of Mecca. His trials and tribulations on the road to Mecca are detailed with an emotional richness rarely seen in modern cinema. The script is nuanced in a way that allows the audience to connect with the action and the various characters. The depth of research and the care in which the tale is told is delicately balanced. This is cinema as entertainment and as education.

The film reveals the magic and wonder of the Hajj by contrasting the life of Ibn Battuta with modern day worshippers at the same holy sites as those visited by the young traveller all those years ago. The scale of the event is brought to realisation in a way that will make even the most jaded film connoisseur gasp with astonishment.

In terms of technicalities, the IMAX technology is notorious for being extremely expensive and difficult to master. The format does not allow for the creative freedom that one can utilize in 35mm, so it is to the credit of the crew that this film looks seamless and breathtaking. Every single frame of the drama is a beautifully crafted canvas that seems to glow like a painting. The cinematography is exemplary and employs a painterly palette. The deserts and mountains are dry, cracked and dusty brown like wrinkled parchment while the sun drips golden lava across the scorching landscape. The white garments of the pilgrims are like beacons floating in the creamy dust of the desert sands whilst the tapestries hanging in the bazaars are lovingly stitched in green and blue threads; and the silver and gold bangles on the arms and ankles of the village girls ****** and twinkle. The atmosphere of warmth and friendship is apparent in every scene, especially when the succulent food is shared by the soft red glow of the campfires. High above this blend of colours, languages and the swirl of human emotions are the dancing stars that ripple in the heavens. The spectacle and sounds of a bygone era are stunningly designed.

The soundtrack also serves the film quite well. The music is never intrusive or melodramatic, it is there as a soft accompaniment to the proceedings. The use of strings, Moorish mandolins, African percussion and the human voice brings an exotic and ethereal ambiance to the drama.

“Journey to Mecca” is a journey of hope, a journey of understanding and a journey that will inspire. The sheer magnitude and beauty of this film left the audience awed and instilled a desire to learn more about the past which we sometimes neglect to reflect upon in our fast moving lives. This film is an ode to peace, love and compassion, and acts as a bridge of understanding between the past and present. And, as the film fades to black at the ******, there is a final haunting image that will resonate with every member of the audience. The message is simple and poignant. It illustrates the transient and swift nature of life; it shows how we glow brightly by the light of the noon day sun and then fade into the tranquil shadows of the coming twilight. Our journey in this life should be one that respects all of humanity despite our cultural or political differences. It is not often that one leaves the cinema knowing that your soul has been moved by something rare, delicate and exquisite. This was one of those rare occasions.

— The End —