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V Sep 2012
I don't understand why  it is so difficult now
When before it might not have been easy
but it by far was never this bad
I can't hear the whisper anymore
I don't know if I ever will again
Why can't I wake myself up?
I haven't cried in a long time
I haven't truly expressed any type of emotion
except for anger
in a long time
I don't remember myself anymore
I miss a lot of things
If I knew back then
what I was going to be like now
I would run like hell
and try to change a lot of things
Someone once asked a question
"What are some regrets that you live with?"
This is what I would answer with...
I regret the day that I didn't ride my bike anymore.
I regret the day I started wearing make up.
I regret the day i straightened my hair.
I regret the day I didn't wear my retainers.
I regret the day I stopped playing sports.
I regret the day I stopped swimming.
I regret the day I stopped doing gymnastics.
I regret the day I stopped being a kid.
I regret the day my Grandma died and I realized I knew nothing about her.
I regret the day my Grandpa died and I never got to tell him how much I love him.
I regret the days I took for gran-it when I could talk to my mom face to face
I regret the day that I didn't be a little nicer to my brothers.
I regret the day I didn't live up to being the Youth leader I should have been
I regret the day that I decided I wasn't good enough
I regret the day I couldn't look in the mirror and not hate myself.
I regret the day I boxed up my emotions.
I regret the day that I let society take who I was.
I regret the day where I no longer felt important.
I regret the day that I ran away from everything.
I regret the day that I told myself "there is no turning back"
I regret the day that I lost a friend.
I regret the day where I became angry.
I regret the day where I saw my friends turning and there was nothing I could do.
I regret the day the world fell upon my shoulders.
There are so many regrets.
Far more then just this short list.
I'm in a moment of life
where things never seem to get any better.
There are still the same unsolved problems as yesterday
and life still doesn't get any easier.
The best I can do for now,
Is smile,
and pretend like nothing really matters
the thought of death is an uneasy thought
in my case it's a ****** nightmare

on the 16th day of May, 1967, Mr Youngblood took his 6th grade class to the playground as he always did, every Tuesday after lunch. The kids spread out to their usual positions. Some played catch with Mr Youngblood. A few, like Roger and me went to the basketball net and several played on the monkey bars, both of which were part of the big asphalt square. Just opposite this area was the soccer field and then some good distance between that and the Middle School. Lots of open space for a bunch of suburban kids to have fun. The Sun was bright and the wind was light and the temperature was right around perfect. We had been playing for 10 minutes or so when the wind picked up and clouds seemed to move in out of nowhere. We all thought it must be a storm coming...and it was. A distant laugh froze everyone. At first no-one saw him, but then we all saw him at once. He was walking across the soccer field towards us, long deliberate strides. Where he came from is a mystery as there was nothing but open land behind him for several hundred yards. He was tall and lanky and as he approached us, I noticed that his face was contorted and discolored...a pale, almost painted white and he had jet black hair combed back, long and greasy. His lips were thin and black and his eyes bloodshot and almond shaped. He wore a black suit, a black shirt and candy apple red tie. He looked like a mosh-up of Curry's Pennywise and Ledger's Joker, only I would have traded for either one of those ******* right now over this guy, ten to one. He came to the edge of the concrete square. Johnny ****** his pants and Charlene fell from the monkey bars, landing awkwardly on her left side and causing a compound fracture, her radius protruding from her skin leaving her hand dangling like a dead fish. She did not scream either because she was scared it might draw his attention or she was going into shock...or maybe both. He took two more steps forward and then began laughing as if he'd just heard the funniest joke he'd ever been told. His teeth looked as if they'd been replaced with shark's teeth. I swear there were rows of them and his mouth stretched inhumanly wide. His laugh slowly winded down to a snarl, and he gave a long look to each one of us, as if he was burning the faces to memory. And then he spoke..."You children just go on having lots of fun! Well, except for you Johnny...didn't your Mom just rip you a new *** for ******* your pants at Grandma's? shame, shame!" And Johnny was off...tripping twice before he got his feet under him. "You run home and ...Ha Ha Ha...oh my...change your pants, you pathetic little ****!" Mr Youngblood picked up Charlene and started to carry her inside. By this time her pretty pink dress was soaked in blood. The freak addressed him. "Nice man...but you can't save them. In a few days they will all be mine." He laughed again and every kid ran for their lives back to the school. I was the only one who stayed. To this day I'm not sure why. He turned and walked towards me slowly. "What have we here? The little man isn't running with the others. Are you not afraid Billy boy? Afraid for your life?"...and he leaned in close...close enough that I smelled a foulness that cannot be described. "Because that is what I'm here for...your life!" "Who are you?", I asked... and with that his dark black and pointed eyebrows raised and he straightened up. "Who am I...Who am I? My, my the boy has a backbone. The nerve to question while others lose control of their bladders. Well, I'll tell you who I am, child. I am God's worst nightmare. I am every ***** little secret thought you've ever had. I am evil in all it's forms wrapped up in one little package and sent to collect the souls of the innocent. All of you here today will be mine tomorrow. Roger will fall down the stairs off of his front porch and break his neck. Charlene will die from infection due to that nasty little accident and Becky will be hit by the school bus Thursday morning. That will be most nasty! Almost a decapitation. I won't bore you with the rest, but they will all die. Hmmm...you know what Billy... I like you, so I'm thinking, perhaps...yes, I'm going to make a special offer to my new special friend. I won't take your soul until you die from natural causes. What do you think of that idea? At that moment, when your family is gathered round your bedside after suffering that...well, maybe you don't want to know the details... you will see a bright light...but you won't be going towards the light Billy...at that moment I will place my hand on your shoulder and that light will slowly fade into darkness and we will meet again, and you will become my apprentice. So, what do you think of that, Billy? Do you want to be my apprentice, or do I **** you now? Come, come...I haven't much time!" I tried to answer, but my mouth was as dry as cardboard and I could only manage a weak gasp. That laugh again and he turned and walked away in the same direction..."I'll take that as a yes. Remember, you are mine upon your death, Billy boy!" The wind died and the Sun appeared again.
By the end of the week, every child on the playground that day had died...exactly as he stated they would.

And now you know why, even in my darkest days, I never, ever contemplate suicide.
this story was prompted by a Joker bobblehead I found in a collectibles store that is creepy as hell - I think I will make it my annual Halloween post!
Emily Tyler Sep 2014
I guess I just expected
Something else

It happens every year,
I get excited
Hopeful
Giddy
That maybe
This year will be
Different.

Maybe I'll find an awesome friend
Who does my nails
And answers calls at two am
Like Nicole did
Before she moved to California

Or she could be like Kayla
Who would be silly with me in
Drama class
And use chocolate sauce for blood
In our Black and White movie
Before her dad died in combat
And she went to bury him in
Some foreign country
Where cell phones
Don't count

Or a boyfriend like Louis
That I could see a future with
Sitting listening to Relient K
In a college dorm
With a million years to spare
Before he left for London

But the girl in front of me
In English
Pops her gum for the boy
In the next desk
And could poke my eye out
With her fake straightened hair.

The girl in my drama class
Cakes on her mask and
Participates in pageant after pageant
And calls her anorexia
A diet

And I heard the rumor
That the boy I thought was cute
In chemistry
Was caught ******* his
Girlfriend
Under her desk in
Español Dos.

I didn't think my standards were too high to meet.
"Nothing gold can stay."
-Robert Frost
Sally A Bayan Aug 2013
It had been many years since I last visited....
I could smell the salt in the cold sea breeze
As it welcomed me and
Blew my hair all over my face.
I gathered my hair in a bun.
Thereupon, I caught sight of my surroundings...
A town, which  used to be a hub,
Has turned into a neglected, dying place,
Now rich with junk cars, old stores,
Abandoned warehouses,
Torn down wooden fences, old houses.....
Everything was old and unkempt,
Walls, broken glass doors and windows
Were marked, spray-painted with all sorts of
Writings, distorted faces, big and small letters,
In all styles, shapes and colors,
Whichever suited the vandals' tastes and moods.

It saddened me, for I knew so well...
This place had seen better days,
I had seen it full of life,
During my childhood days......
Days, when my siblings and I were
Forbidden to go beyond those breakwaters.
Crippled was I by my fear of the waters...still,
I longed to swim far beyond rows of big rocks
Where big ships were anchored, and
Colorful sailboats sailed along.....
Back and forth we ran, from sea to shore,
To see a starfish or  even a jellyfish,
Brought by the waves as they hit the sand.
We were content with knee-deep splashes
In that clear blue water, long ago uncorrupted,
Once so natural and undefiled,
Now, with traces of oil and all kinds of debris
All visible even from afar.....

I leaned on a wall, crestfallen.
I reflected on my life, and how
It paralleled with my hometown.
My heart and my mind
They have marked walls, too,
Wrapped with deception...
Wounded by betrayed trust....
Scarred by past experiences,
Sad and unpleasant ones.
And yet, here I was, standing on my two feet,
In front of this dying place,
Still alive, while my hometown
Had turned into a ghost town.

That moment,
I felt countless eyes staring  at me,
While a strong gust of wind blew,
Almost pushed me away from where I stood.
Like, it was begging me to go......
To leave my hometown alone,
And give my life a second chance....
But live it somewhere else.....

The cold sea breeze, once more
Brushed against my face,
Whispered to my ears
And pressed upon my mind,
Thoughts I had always resisted then.
Something was flowing inside me....
It was starting to fill my soul.

I straightened from where I leaned
And brushed away the dirt from my coat.
It was time to move on, time to go
I untied my long hair,
Let it fall on its own......and
Let it be blown by the wind.

.... Sally....


     Copyright 2013
      Rosalia Rosario A. Bayan
George was lying in his trailer, flat on his back, watching a small portable T.V. His
dinner dishes were undone, his breakfast dishes were undone, he needed a shave, and ash
from his rolled cigarettes dropped onto his undershirt. Some of the ash was still burning.
Sometimes the burning ash missed the undershirt and hit his skin, then he cursed, brushing
it away. There was a knock on the trailer door. He got slowly to his feet and answered the
door. It was Constance. She had a fifth of unopened whiskey in a bag.
"George, I left that *******, I couldn't stand that *******
anymore."
"Sit down."
George opened the fifth, got two glasses, filled each a third with whiskey, two thirds
with water. He sat down on the bed with Constance. She took a cigarette out of her purse
and lit it. She was drunk and her hands trembled.
"I took his **** money too. I took his **** money and split while he was at work.
You don't know how I've suffered with that *******." "
Lemme have a smoke," said George. She handed it to him and as she leaned near,
George put his arm around her, pulled her over and kissed her.
"You *******," she said, "I missed you."
"I miss those good legs of yours , Connie. I've really missed those good
legs."
"You still like 'em?"
"I get hot just looking."
"I could never make it with a college guy," said Connie. "They're too
soft, they're milktoast. And he kept his house clean. George , it was like having a maid.
He did it all. The place was spotless. You could eat beef stew right off the crapper. He
was antisceptic, that's what he was."
"Drink up, you'll feel better."
"And he couldn't make love."
"You mean he couldn't get it up?"
"Oh he got it up, he got it up all the time. But he didn't know how to make a
woman happy, you know. He didn't know what to do. All that money, all that education, he
was useless."
"I wish I had a college education."
"You don't need one. You have everything you need, George."
"I'm just a flunkey. All the **** jobs."
"I said you have everything you need, George. You know how to make a woman
happy."
"Yeh?"
"Yes. And you know what else? His mother came around! His mother! Two or three
times a week. And she'd sit there looking at me, pretending to like me but all the time
she was treating me like I was a *****. Like I was a big bad ***** stealing her son away
from her! Her precious Wallace! Christ! What a mess!" "He claimed he loved me.
And I'd say, 'Look at my *****, Walter!' And he wouldn't look at my *****. He said, 'I
don't want to look at that thing.' That thing! That's what he called it! You're not afraid
of my *****, are you, George?"
"It's never bit me yet." "But you've bit it, you've nibbled it, haven't
you George?"
"I suppose I have."
"And you've licked it , ****** it?"
"I suppose so."
"You know **** well, George, what you've done."
"How much money did you get?"
"Six hundred dollars."
"I don't like people who rob other people, Connie."
"That's why you're a ******* dishwasher. You're honest. But he's such an ***,
George. And he can afford the money, and I've earned it... him and his mother and his
love, his mother-love, his clean l;ittle wash bowls and toilets and disposal bags and
breath chasers and after shave lotions and his little hard-ons and his precious
love-making. All for himself, you understand, all for himself! You know what a woman
wants, George."
"Thanks for the whiskey, Connie. Lemme have another cigarette."
George filled them up again. "I missed your legs, Connie. I've really missed those
legs. I like the way you wear those high heels. They drive me crazy. These modern women
don't know what they're missing. The high heel shapes the calf, the thigh, the ***; it
puts rythm into the walk. It really turns me on!"
"You talk like a poet, George. Sometimes you talk like that. You are one hell of a
dishwasher."
"You know what I'd really like to do?"
"What?"
"I'd like to whip you with my belt on the legs, the ***, the thighs. I'd like to
make you quiver and cry and then when you're quivering and crying I'd slam it into you
pure love."
"I don't want that, George. You've never talked like that to me before. You've
always done right with me."
"Pull your dress up higher."
"What?"
"Pull your dress up higher, I want to see more of your legs."
"You like my legs, don't you, George?"
"Let the light shine on them!"
Constance hiked her dress.
"God christ ****," said George.
"You like my legs?"
"I love your legs!" Then george reached across the bed and slapped Constance
hard across the face. Her cigarette flipped out of her mouth.
"what'd you do that for?"
"You ****** Walter! You ****** Walter!"
"So what the hell?"
"So pull your dress up higher!"
"No!"
"Do what I say!" George slapped again, harder. Constance hiked her skirt.
"Just up to the *******!" shouted George. "I don't quite want to see the
*******!"
"Christ, george, what's gone wrong with you?"
"You ****** Walter!"
"George, I swear, you've gone crazy. I want to leave. Let me out of here,
George!"
"Don't move or I'll **** you!"
"You'd **** me?"
"I swear it!" George got up and poured himself a shot of straight whiskey,
drank it, and sat down next to Constance. He took the cigarette and held it against her
wrist. She screamed. HE held it there, firmly, then pulled it away.
"I'm a man , baby, understand that?"
"I know you're a man , George."
"Here, look at my muscles!" george sat up and flexed both of his arms.
"Beautiful, eh ,baby? Look at that muscle! Feel it! Feel it!"
Constance felt one of the arms, then the other.
"Yes, you have a beautiful body, George."
"I'm a man. I'm a dishwasher but I'm a man, a real man."
"I know it, George." "I'm not the milkshit you left."
"I know it."
"And I can sing, too. You ought to hear my voice."
Constance sat there. George began to sing. He sang "Old man River." Then he
sang "Nobody knows the trouble I've seen." He sang "The St. Louis
Blues." He sasng "God Bless America," stopping several times and laughing.
Then he sat down next to Constance. He said, "Connie, you have beautiful legs."
He asked for another cigarette. He smoked it, drank two more drinks, then put his head
down on Connie's legs, against the stockings, in her lap, and he said, "Connie, I
guess I'm no good, I guess I'm crazy, I'm sorry I hit you, I'm sorry I burned you with
that cigarette."
Constance sat there. She ran her fingers through George's hair, stroking him, soothing
him. Soon he was asleep. She waited a while longer. Then she lifted his head and placed it
on the pillow, lifted his legs and straightened them out on the bed. She stood up, walked
to the fifth, poured a jolt of good whiskey in to her glass, added a touch of water and
drank it sown. She walked to the trailer door, pulled it open, stepped out, closed it. She
walked through the backyard, opened the fence gate, walked up the alley under the one
o'clock moon. The sky was clear of clouds. The same skyful of clouds was up there. She got
out on the boulevard and walked east and reached the entrance of The Blue Mirror. She
walked in, and there was Walter sitting alone and drunk at the end of the bar. She walked
up and sat down next to him. "Missed me, baby?" she asked. Walter looked up. He
recognized her. He didn't answer. He looked at the bartender and the bartender walked
toward them They all knew eachother.
Alexis Mar 2011
I have survived,
With only half of my heart broken,
With as much dignity as what's been taken, and
Hope as far as I can throw it.

I have trained myself,
To be aware of what is worst to come,
To close my eyes in darker times, and,

To know that I cannot be loved.

I have faced,
A rope that leaps to outer space,
A cliff with rocks and waves down at it's base, and
Held on to,
A crack head with my name.

Although the lesson that I learn is never the same,
The outcome remains.
I was ruined,
Painted smile to be seen.
Never seeing the rotting core to the depths of me.

Healing.

You must first fall,
To stand again.

Straightened.
chrissy who Nov 2012
She struts through her town
Chin up
Hair down.
Trying to hide
Her skinned knees.
She doesn’t want the world to see
The only evidence she bears
Of when she finally fell.
Tripped, stumbled, whatever you want to call it.
She could hold herself up no more.
Gravity overcame her
Truth overcame her
Life overcame her.
Her back bent
Her knees buckled
She tried to scream
But no sound came out.
Her one moment of weakness
Left her with scars
Unseen
And ****** knees.
How do you come back from a fall like that?
She built herself up for years
Like a mountain ever growing,
A trophy never rusting.
She shined her shoes,
She brushed her hair
She straightened her blouse
Every day
Trying with all her might
To maintain her image
Of perfection.
She should’ve realized sooner
No one is perfect.
Not a one of us
Not Ghandi
Not Martin Luther King
Not Eleanor Roosevelt
Not even Dr. Suess.
They weren’t perfect
So why was she?
Who is she, that gets to achieve the dream
That the majority of people are treading water just to get a glance of?
A better question would be
Why did she get to do such a good job
Of hiding her imperfection.
She walked everywhere with a bottle inside
Holding everything in
Nice and tucked away
Like a child at bedtime
Hidden
Safe and snug
Where no one could see it.
She pulled it out only in the wee hours of the morning
While sitting by herself
At the top of her mountain
Where she sat
And wept
Silently.
When the rays of dawn would peep over the distant horizon,
She would wrap the vial up
And swallow it again
Down into the depths of her soul
To remain hidden
To keep her secrets safe
To keep herself upright and a-okay in everyone else’s sight.
This went on
And on
And on.
Until one night
When the moon shone bright
And the stars and constellations shone around her head.
She went to examine the newly expanded contents of her secret container
When she realized the stars weren’t shining solely on her soft
Perfectly parted hair.
Someone else was there with her
But it was too late to put the ampoule away
It was already out, see
And in plain sight.
She fumbled,
Caught off guard, she dropped her flask.
She jumped to catch it but it was already rolling
She chased it.
Down the mountain they went
A bottle
And a girl
Moving in tandem
One no faster then the other.
She tried to slow herself down as they approached the base
But it was too late
The momentum was too great
She tumbled headfirst
Her knees hit the ground
At this speed
Grass feels like concrete.
Green stains on her elbows,
Blood on her knees.
Water marks down her cheeks.
The higher you build yourself up
The longer you have to fall
As she discovered the night the constellations revealed her façade to another.
No one’s perfect
No matter what they seem
You never know
Who, at nightfall, screams.
This young girl learned her lesson
It’s better not to hide
And now she struts around
Showing skinned knees
With pride.
Angela Alegna Oct 2012
I am carved in scars
In stretches,  in mars and imperfections
Blood, sweat, thick skin.
Roots of strength and passion and pride
I will not trade my high mentality for your low approval
I am a queen of Africa

Untamed, ****** hair, color: opaque
Killed, straightened, whitened
Westernized, hypnotized, it's this way or the highway.
Bleached skin, egotistical chocolate, pale skin
Contacts in shades of green, blue, hiding murky eyes
Size 0, size 1, size 3, stop. Hips do lie, only flat and thin.
Push up bras, Barbie *******, corset waists.
Bikinis, mini skirts, cleavage, to hell with tradition.

I am carved in makeup
In luster, attention and perfection
No longer, blood, sweat, thick skin
Lost roots of strength and passion and pride
I have traded my high mentality for your low approval
I am no longer queen of Africa,
No longer queen of me.
Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pin rest; snug as a gun.

Under my window, a clean rasping sound
When the ***** sinks into gravelly ground:
My father, digging.  I look down

Till his straining **** among the flowerbeds
Bends low, comes up twenty years away
Stooping in rhythm through potato drills
Where he was digging.

The coarse boot nestled on the lug, the shaft
Against the inside knee was levered firmly.
He rooted out tall tops, buried the bright edge deep
To scatter new potatoes that we picked,
Loving their cool hardness in our hands.

By God, the old man could handle a *****.
Just like his old man.

My grandfather cut more turf in a day
Than any other man on Toner's bog.
Once I carried him milk in a bottle
Corked sloppily with paper.  He straightened up
To drink it, then fell to right away
Nicking and slicing neatly, heaving sods
Over his shoulder, going down and down
For the good turf.  Digging.

The cold smell of potato mould, the squelch and slap
Of soggy peat, the curt cuts of an edge
Through living roots awaken in my head.
But I've no ***** to follow men like them.

Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests.
I'll dig with it.
cody metcalfe Jan 2010
The beginning of the beginning stage.

In the patterns that my lack of wisdom supports itself with.
Inside of course of my social blinds; and excuse depraved mind.
Yes locked or latched with what you could picture a key,
which has encrypted in its’ gold textures; certainly not pure gold the words, “Good Luck Son.”
Yes a story of unimaginable setbacks, woes, blows, deception so thick that it doesn’t dwindle to meagerness, but yet modifies like a brain being corrected by an assault on the body.
Yes, in the darkness of these patterns a trust in heroes runs rampant enough to muster conquest, and loss, and redemption soured by lust, and open warfare, and crime in it’s purity, in it’s raw form.
Yes, in these patterns created by lack of youthful imagination crucified if you will out of my conscience behavior tracking skills. A light breaks upon my sins,
and yields itself to a pattering method,
and then there is the plot of guts, blood, spit, tears, sweat, beads of dirt from a worked land,
that seems itself to be more ill-tempered than the folks that share its majestic worth.
These patterns only call out to the insane, and to the loathed, and the forsook, and the poor.
I haven’t caught the demons floundering down the dirt road in East Texas with their tails wagging stirring hot dust particles into the sun light atmosphere.
Now when the description techniques take effect in these patterns; the developed story, yes utterly developed in its’ entirety always in content,
and smiling boisterous to the meek,
and ragged dressed in search for their Sunday school Classroom.
End of the beginning stage
Here we are again in this surreal manner seeing first hand a triumph understood and fabled about in the Southern Grotesque shadows that are still apparent at noon,
at noon my good; well, carry on the well, carry on.

The Beginning of the middle.

The young ****** girl we call her a ***** now a days,
  
cause we had the Scopes Monkey Trial once or twice up in Tennessee I think.

She leaps and bounds and then abides to Christ for an instant, like my speech under oath.

She wrinkles her sections of her lips and blow a kiss to the huge white man lurking in the truck a block back.

The white man loves cigarettes towards abatement and then to City Hall.

The young ****** gal,

fell to a seat like it was grace that fixed the radio in the truck or some last twist or turn or **** from her little decreased hand.

The voice of the white man calling back to her,

singled out her emotional distress,

she always seems as if she has be ***** by this white fellow.

Now well I might have lost some folks by this point,

Now well I got to get to the ****** boy,

Yes well let’s see he carries a cursed burden so bad that every acquaintance felt afterward that this boy had picked a fight…

he moped oblivious to the sowed seeds he made desecrated in all truth. No one every pointed out that there is the place where you are supposed to bleed,

No one said, sonny boy right there is the place where you can be saved,

Nothing was delivered to him at Christmas, and it all went to his ***** sister. So therefore

He came upon the scene with this summer rain gesturing fun, and misery all under this sun.

Now well a thunderous voice came out of the church side windows, which were down,

Actually dismissing the pulpit, now well the bigot thundered, “ I want the fire, I want the praise. Stand up,

I want the fire, I want the praise!” The predicament that willowed the **** in the mouth of the skipping

****** boy, in all his glee and grandeur, caused him to straddled the wired fence on the other side of the truck.

Some would call this a grievance to accolades of vengeances long over due, and over due,

The dogs run free in these parts,

that’s just the simple truth.

But this is the beginning of the middle,

The cotton patch circles the road like a rubber tire on its rim,

And trust was never interracial enough to bide the will of saints on the cusp

Of revenge.

The ****** roared, “Get behind thee satan, or some ****, and some **** it was,

The kiddo trip over himself and tangled his way to the feet of the white man,

Who kindly picked him up, and said,

“not only can your sister **** a good ****, she can fix transistor radios’.”

The church service let out in one small horde to the capture the tensions of one of the old American lime lights befuddling Uncle Sam.

Uncle Sam is no pun, he’s a gentlemen to both the North, and the South.

Sos’ with one huge crack the white man fractured the ****** boy’s jaw,

“Good ole boy, get on back to the picking!”

The next stage of the middle

The folklore of shame added to disgrace is looming,
What can one man do when beaten, left for this effect,
“Bubba can’t walk no either,” said a white eyed spectator,
Angels have no trace here,
no trepidation here,
in my lack luster,
Thoughts,
edges of justice tampered torn by impatience at God,
At the Good Lord.
Let’s see I am the son of a clerk,
A nerd to salvation, and more so a nerd in general.
I called for nerves,
In the nerves that were yet,
to be nerves,
and for that fire on the water,
“where’s the,
Hearkening cries that shudder the barns with frantic frolicking of fire men,
and police men,
The, law say psst, where’s the ******* laws!” I laughed to myself I wasn’t in cahoots with the ******,
or the ***** girl who had began to come back for her brother,
but I wasn’t asking a soul to come in and take my place,
if ya, if ya, if ya get my drift hood wink!
Whoa ay,
my indignant monologues must have jived and then shook,
I was to cool for this,
I was to ready to step up in the world,
lo,
behold,
a pale rider,
“The sheriff, from the south, beware Isaac,” I told myself, “beware.”
The girl slithered like snakes to her bother;
her souls bearings were now plastic, and latched under the arms of the fallen boy.
The rain hastened,
then came stronger,
and then the congregation split as the Sheriff took ground.
I scurried like the rodents, and joined the congregation.
The white man, pulled his gun, and shot the sheriff in the stomach.
“It will heal,” the sheriff hands ******.
The truck was gone,
both ******* and all.

The Middle Stage of the Middle.


The river winds and brings enriches through the earth first,
and second in humanly attributes,
Frankness took to front face of the town,
and the outskirts wailed like someone had burned their property,
Dogs still ran free,
cause that is what happens around here,
and I played a harmonica,
and steel guitar,
Serenity which found facets to seep regardless of where the kidnapped traveled,
and the kidnappers force,
spelled a gearing up for a manhunt,
and even possibly a trial.
The mother of the two kiddos that were gobbled out of the town,
worked for a shyster,
and crook keeping his sanctuary wooden like,
and contemporary.
She had the knack that clings to most maidens middle aged and nudged by bouts of,
Grace.
Like a parasite,
which is the whistling you hear,
some hymn,
hymns,
from passed down relics,
called family.
The crime that spindled like the pap she knew setting down to slumber without meaning to,
Was a embezzlement crisis,
piped from the corner store,
to a small methamphetamine lab,
harboring the man Ms. Clawdy worked for,
until the cops were scarce it was hard to grasp for the town,
and anyway the sweet anyway of my sigh as my mother,
and the preacher were in my bedroom making love when I came in from the lake.
It sounded like she was faking it,
I am pretty sure,
but I am so badly endowed that its hard to believe that,
well,
I hadn’t my father say,
“alright.”
I hadn’t heard the word alright,
in ages!
It was poignant,
and disgruntling in the same instant.
By the way,
my mother was having a seizure,
worse than the tiny ones the ****** girl has.
My father a bank manager is his past life,
and a decent accountant,
shut the door on them.
I haven’t whimsical atrophy or empathy at what happens in jail,
what happens to criminals,
what happens to evil persons once exposed pretty well by children of the Lord.
I am old enough to know better,
I let the dog in,
and lead him into the room,
and shot the dog.
My hopes were,
That my ma would snap out of it,
the drugs spilled to the floor,
and I ran out to the tractor,
And got back to work.
I rhetorically thought to myself,
I wonder why I ever attempt to date a girl,
From these here parts of East Texas.
My parts were to be made ***** quite yet….


The later middle stage of the middle.

The Texas Rangers came in cars,
and the blood hounds met and mingled with the townspeople,
This part in the story is delicate,
and stubborn in its youth,
mainly for the dramatic irony I try to forge.
The character of the father of the two kiddos who were kidnapped and battered takes to drinking,
and lays down like that dog in my room.
The sweet corner store elderly sold him a round of beers in a few quarts,
and he says,
“we sure appreciate, you heard.”
“Now Leroy that was a good boy,
and that Vivian was a sweet child.”
“Still is, you’ll see!”
“Our prayers to the saints our with Mr. Clawdy.”
“Yeah ok,
thank you much,
have a good one!”
The Texas Rangers weren’t as captivated by the alcoholic rampage.
They infiltrated my house right off there beaten path….
The fire and praise replaced the preacher and the Texas Rangers ****** him up,
and **** like the chalk coming off the hands.
Ya mean, ya mean!
They spun a tale that half the gang searching for the ******* as they put it,
well two got snake bitten,
and once they thought they had him cornered a tornado mustered up,
Then it was nothing.
How is it nothing?
I wanted to say,
I saw,
how is it nothing,
my mother straightened up,
and wiped her nose,
and put on some make up,
and the preacher or my father didn’t rat her out, for the drugs.
That is when I guess the prejudice, or injustice, or just the wanting,
the yearning to be grown,
or the despair and weird hormones towards women….
I let it out in front of God, and country,
“Tell it like it is ma, ******* it, tell it like it is, that dog will haunt you, in a heart beat,
more than he is going to haunt me,
God dang, tell it like it is, you high, and skipping, cheating, lying, I hate you!
I hate you!”
“Now son,
we are handling this,
seems this little fella needs some restraint from his parents.”
A quid pro quo was in the midst, I knew I wasn’t speaking in vain.
I knew my father was madder than any of them Texas Rangers.
Yes Texas Rangers eww,
I cried,
and search for something more in me,
but there wasn’t anymore to come,
just another day,
and of course the little man in me pretending to be a sheriff like the one a saw get shot,
that I came to know as a piece a fraction of manhood coming of age.
The men later,
sat my mother down,
and she lied time and time again,
and they went to the other streets,
and to the corner store,
and eventually to the ****** side of town.
I came into contact with a passenger of a greyhound,
who was blind,
and his cane tattled,
and ratted,
towards me like the end of time.
“Protect your name, yes, protect your name, and then some!”
“Bless you.”
“Whose that?”
“Yellow belly.”
“Yellow haired.”
“Ah Good man.”
“Two got bitten, you the new sheriff?”
“Sheriff, think again guy, I am the Preacher.”
The crossing cars slowed and crept in splendor and curiosity,
where and who penetrated the ideology of the passers.
“Two steps, and curb, and the name’s Isaac.”
“How do you do. Preacher ***.”
The deception that I spoke about,
and the turmoil that I so to speak promised echoes in the neighborhoods nearby.
I realized he smelled of pickles, and relish like stenches,
but repellant of mosquitoes came out of his jacket,
and immersed us both in a whirlwind of effort.
Gamblers,
ramblers,
antlers,
all part of the commerce spared themselves the grief,
spared themselves the haphazard and soon what was left was lovers,
and bad men.
And Texas Rangers.
The Texas Rangers flooded the countryside,
and snapped me back at the dinner table,
“take us to the house where the drugs are, or draw us a map!”
“A map, gees you guys don’t need no map,
heck,
take a right on Granger,
a left on Tempest,
and it’s the fourth house on the left.
Say the mans name is Jim.
If ya, if ya, if ya catch my drift! Hood wink!


The End of the Middle Stage.

With the Texas Rangers half crazy,
like the people I know,
and the inner thoughts that have came to become an awareness more or less,
the thought that I will never reproduce,
and the thought that I was fallen,
by the actions that broke my wings,
sank beneath my garnered wretched existence,
the lawmen arrested as the heroes,
and the villains came without a fight,
including my mother,
and Mr. Jim.
And Mr. and Ms. Clawdy got into the station with delight,
and exercising emotions about the missing persons,
by the way of a white man.
I don’t ever get dialogue out of this station sequence but I imagine somewhere,
the words we have a lead into finding the whereabouts of your children.
The drug house was linked to other drug house in this jurisdiction and they didn’t stutter in my dialect. Repentance is unlike amending past fights, and arguments.
The harvest was futuristically here,
and danger was trampled by the lawmen,
and peace and order was restored nicely now.
The shyster was quarreled,
and the commercial trucks picked up the slack,
and the Sunday school classes proceeded.
Ms. Clawdy sat one night about a week after the event involving her children,
and she realized that no one could help her, I
n the place where she needed help the most,
and no one would pardon her anger in the night with her husband drinking so heavily.
I went to their place,
and I took the preacher with me,
and I finally felt what it was like to be in cahoots,
or what a partnership is truly like,
short sided to say the least.
I knocked the flap,
and pounded my feet,
and pounded my feet,
like the fire man told me,
once,
“beat feet bub,”
well I did,
and finally Ms. Clawdy answered the door.
“What’s y’all going to do about getting your kids back?”
“We leaving tonight!”
“In the dark?”
“That’s right!”
“I know where they might be kid.”
“Good deal.”
“That’s right.”
“Is he going with you?”
“Yup, yup, now come on let’s go!”
“***** I ain’t going with you any place.
***** I am drinking my sorrows away!”
“Not going huh.”
She was gone into the night like usual circumstances take people away from their homes in the midst of great trusts wedged between wisdom and fault, and to the great beyond murmured as truth.
“He ain’t going with her.”
“Maybe we should leave Isaac.”
But I was already wound,
the good luck key had already been turned in my spine,
and twisted in my blood,
and I watched Mr. Clawdy throw another quart against the wall crashing down in pieces.

The Beginning of the End stage.

Cliché is a muse in the common man,
or if it isn’t well my mind is to thwarted by degradation,
and much to much pride and jealousy to see love work in the most excellent ways,
so excellent it even would make a mother fly out towards danger,
and attempt to rescue her young.
I read about the Scopes evolution trial,
in the tribune,
and bugles sounded at the death of William Jennings Bryan,
and I thought of him disparagingly…
I gulped and supped,
and wanted to bolt in the dark living room,
and tear a piece out of the ole Clawdy for what he really was,
the blind man cause that what he was now,
stopped me,
pulled me back,
“you want a turn,
you want a turn at this mess,
all day,
this whole time you been wanted a turn.
I know,
now I know for the good, so as to end it.
It isn’t anybody place here now!”
And that was it,
we retreated back to the tractor we road in on,
Failure I blamed my mother for,
retribution was only heard by the croaking frogs,
and crickets.
I had seen enough weddings,
and funerals,
and signed enough books,
I was ready to shoot another dog at least.
But we waited.
My father never peered his or reared his head once,
and the morning came the fields were tilled,
and re tilled,
before noon,
and soon the blind man said,
I need to ***.
Yes,
and so we went into the pasture,
and urinated.
When we came back we were confronted
Michael Humbert Nov 2014
What if I ran when you told me to?
What if I hadn’t said no?
What if I had left you the way you left me?

And what if you weren’t the first girl?
Would I have loved you the same?
Would I still be bound and chained by this addiction?

I grew closer to you than anyone,
I sang to you on the phone before your surgery,
I straightened your hair when you couldn’t lift your shoulder

How do you reconcile this?
How do you rationalize it?
Or discard it?

I couldn’t always be there for you,
But I always tried,
Despite the distance,
I always tried
i Mar 2014
out of the blue you came,
and for that i was the blame.

the house was too crowded,
sweaty bodies and red cups enshrouded.

i looked and looked around,
but you didn't want to be found.

and then in the backyard i saw you,
noticed you right through.

i asked you 'what's the matter',
you said 'i would rather'.

i gave you a questioning look,
you asked, 'are you Brooke'.

i chuckled at you guess,
and straightened my dress.

you got up,
and pushed the red cup.

i opened my mouth to talk,
but further you walked.

you cupped my neck,
and gave me a peck.

i gasped for air,
and ran my hands through your hair.

your lips connected to mine again,
and realization hit me then.

i was too good for you,
and you were too good for me.

we didn't match,
we were a mismatch.

but just so you know,
i loved you all along.
even though we both said no,
we were wrong.

you were such a party destroyer,
you destroyed me, completely,
mind and body.
jayellen Apr 2017
i still have dreams of her
but she's different now
renewed somehow
¿happy perhaps?
that's quite the stretch
her eyes no longer scream
rather they sing of
daylight and bubble gum kisses
the dark circles
that had burrowed under
her eyes
were uprooted
and gone
her smile is wider
and genuine
her teeth no longer reek of
cyanide
and paper cuts
her lips no longer curl sadly
around each punchline
rather they wrap around each word that
exits my chapped lips
her lips are no longer
chapped
instead they are soft and whole and healthy

she straightened her hair
and chopped it to her
shoulders
as though each of her problems
dropped
with her delicate curls
as though her past would be as lost
and as irretrievable as her hair
she tells me
that she's never felt
better
and i know that her kind of better
is dropping everything and running
and turning into a cold brick
because once you're a brick
the only pain you can feel is when your bones
chip
i fear i've lost
my dear, Anjelica
to this destructive
"better"

she straightened her hair
she straightened her hair
she straightened her hair

and it's cookie cutter straight now
chalkboard flat somehow
she keeps it on her shoulders
her eyes don't scream
and in my dreams
i see us dancing but
this is not a dream anymore
who am i to escape to
now that my dear, Anjelica
has a light gleaming in her eye
and that same eye
is whispering to me of
dreams
dreams
dreams
and
life
wonderful colorful life
and she tells me
that her favorite color is
yellow
because it symbolizes
hope
and i begin to realize
that perhaps she is
"better"
and perhaps this is for the
"better"

but i am selfish
and i am petrified that
i do not understand
this new
Anjelica
this happy
Anjelica
i do not know her
she was the only one i knew
and now i am
simply lost
for how can i
write
about a stranger?
i am the
stranger

she paints yellow flowers
on her window
and she lies down
and she sleeps
as i sit there
i see that
one thing has remained
the same:
she still looks
damaged
in her sleep
Isabel met an enormous bear,
Isabel, Isabel, didn't care;
The bear was hungry, the bear was ravenous,
The bear's big mouth was cruel and cavernous.
The bear said, Isabel, glad to meet you,
How do, Isabel, now I'll eat you!
Isabel, Isabel, didn't worry.
Isabel didn't scream or scurry.
She washed her hands and she straightened her hair up,
Then Isabel quietly ate the bear up.
Once in a night as black as pitch
Isabel met a wicked old witch.
the witch's face was cross and wrinkled,
The witch's gums with teeth were sprinkled.
**, **, Isabel! the old witch crowed,
I'll turn you into an ugly toad!
Isabel, Isabel, didn't worry,
Isabel didn't scream or scurry,
She showed no rage and she showed no rancor,
But she turned the witch into milk and drank her.
Isabel met a hideous giant,
Isabel continued self reliant.
The giant was hairy, the giant was horrid,
He had one eye in the middle of his forhead.
Good morning, Isabel, the giant said,
I'll grind your bones to make my bread.
Isabel, Isabel, didn't worry,
Isabel didn't scream or scurry.
She nibled the zwieback that she always fed off,
And when it was gone, she cut the giant's head off.
Isabel met a troublesome doctor,
He punched and he poked till he really shocked her.
The doctor's talk was of coughs and chills
And the doctor's satchel bulged with pills.
The doctor said unto Isabel,
Swallow this, it will make you well.
Isabel, Isabel, didn't worry,
Isabel didn't scream or scurry.
She took those pills from the pill concocter,
And Isabel calmly cured the doctor.
Lunar Apr 2017
Seven years. It has been seven years since that day.

And now here they were in the alfresco of that overrated café, with the man sitting across the lady: he was sipping his black coffee and she, her jasmine tea. The scenario almost seemed impossible in the past, but for someone with her tenacious personality, something ‘impossible’ just meant ‘a little later’ than ‘never at all.’ This moment played by fate was comparable to the persistent rainstorm that forced them to stay together a little longer in the coffee shop than planned.

“I’ve been thinking,” he sighed into his coffee mug, “About leaving this place and heading to the States. Study more on film and acting from the professionals themselves. Get into showbiz of the global standard. Be a real director. What do you think?”

She straightened her posture and settled her cup down on the table, nodding in acquiescence at his idea of endeavors that appeared promising for his future.

“Well… Why not? I say go for it. I support you in that decision.”
He diverted his eyes to hers, trying to read the gaze behind those wide eyes. Though wide and nonchalant they may seem to be, only a few can notice and genuinely understand what swims in those dark depths. Their staring game ended as her voice surfaced once again through the sound of rainfall.

“I support you. If you’re ever wondering why, it’s because I had to make a decision just like that—seven years ago.”

This time it was his eyes that widened, and he placed his mug alongside hers.

“What kind of decision was it? You definitely weren’t aiming to be an actor like me, considering you’re a licensed interior designer, not to mention writer, right now,” he chuckled, leaning back onto his chair.

A soft smile of nostalgia emerged on her lips as she remembered what she wrote on the night of the sixteenth, a day before the significant seventeenth.

April 16, 2017; 11:15 P.M. — I’m satisfied of this unrequited love. I’m happy this is all one-sided. I’m glad everything is ending before it can even truly begin. It would be easier for me to leave him who doesn’t even have the slightest knowledge of my existence, who doesn’t even know my sentiments, who doesn’t even miss me, yet alone think of me. It’s all good; perfect, even. A broken heart is better than two. At least there will be some times when I might let him and his strong hands put my weak heart back together and restore it to me. I’d rather have that than us both losing and scattering the pieces of our mutually shattered hearts. He must never be broken; I need to protect him from being so—I will take myself away from him. I’ve never been any happier to be in a love that’s unknown and unreturned. He will be happy, and I will be too. In the end, his happiness will always be mine.

“I had to leave the places and people I love, to be where I am and who I am today,” she exhaled. “It was tough, but thinking of those moments and people I held onto and appreciated… all of that kept me going.”

“Was it a happy one? I mean, did you find the happiness or ending you were looking for?”

“If I were to be dead honest, yes. More than happy, actually. I’m not just relieved, or satisfied; I’m overwhelmingly grateful. I earned the careers and lifestyle I aimed for. I managed to travel all over the world and see the places and people I’ve wanted to see. My soul roams free, finding home in the many corners of this earth. I’ve finally come home, and this time I know I’m not alone.”

The man was a grown man in a smart-casual attire, but he sure maintained the curious eyes of the child that he furtively kept in himself. Being under his scrutinizing eyes, she reminisced of the same intensity he gave back when they were still twenty-one and on the verge of growing up.

“But what about ‘him’ whom you left behind? Did you come to know him this time, maybe love him too, again?”

She picked up her teacup, providing a little wall between them both, and swallowed the remaining aromatic drops along with the thoughts she wanted to tell him ever since then.

I came to know him—you—but I don’t love him ‘again’. The feelings, which I harbored for you for all these years, never left me even when I left you back then. I know I was told to reach for the moon that I may land among the stars even if I failed to reach it. But I realized I had to reach beyond the moon—the sun, the Milky Way, the entire universe—because I wanted and needed to be worthy of my existence. I wanted and needed to prove myself to myself, to you and to everyone else.

“I did. And I’m happy with how we are right now, even if it seems like we’re back to zero this time round.  Though I’m not sure how my feelings are for him now, if I seek him as a friend or as a potential love interest.”

He seemed doubtful of her response hence did he hesitantly express his last thoughts: “So you’re happy now because you left him previously. But what if he’s the one who leaves this time? Would you still be happy?”

The clouds were emptying now as the pouring rain concluded to a light shower; likewise the people they were surrounded with under the alfresco umbrellas. She knew that she was prepared to answer this question. For the past years, concerned individuals would ask her the very same thing, and for this was she thankful. She herself would recite the words to her reflection every day, much like a prayerful mantra.

He caught a faint twinkle in her eye, a proof of which her answer would be echoing with conviction and it made him realize that those particular words to be said would be one of those things that would remind him of her.

“It won’t matter if he learns how I feel then or now, and yet doesn’t feel the same way. If leaving me would direct him to his happiness, then so be it. Perhaps we aren’t meant to love each other in this lifetime, any other lifetime, or even in parallel worlds, but I still am and would be happy about it. What’s greater than this feeling of being able to love someone so much? Like I said: in the end, his happiness will always be mine.”
There's an angel called wjh I've let into my life, and I have to let him go now.
Her mind lives in a quiet room,
  A narrow room, and tall,
With pretty lamps to quench the gloom
  And mottoes on the wall.

There all the things are waxen neat
  And set in decorous lines;
And there are posies, round and sweet,
  And little, straightened vines.

Her mind lives tidily, apart
  From cold and noise and pain,
And bolts the door against her heart,
  Out wailing in the rain.
Mitchell Duran May 2014
We took the back road to the house. The shade from the trees made the road feel like tunnel. Not a shred of light came in. We'd have to drive slow. The road wasn't made of concrete: it was made of dirt, rock, and dead leaves. Sometimes we could see the worms come up out of the dirt in the headlights, their pink stretching bodies like weird little fingers. Carrie never looked. She said it was too scary. The rest of us would look and watch them dance around like that. Sometimes we'd have to run them over. Of course, we'd feel bad about it, but we needed to get back to the house. There were things to be done. Nothing planned, but nonetheless, things to be done.
Englend reversed the car up to the front door. The liquor, the food, and the beer was in the back and would make it easier to get it from there. Patty and Carrie (the one scared of the worms) ran straight to the bathroom. They'd been complaining about how we never stopped at a gas station to ***. Englend said we didn't have the time and I just didn't care. Denny was in the same mindset as me. We usually were. Kat was looking out the window, thinking about something she didn't wish to share when we started to unload. She offered to help after she'd finished her thought, but the three of us said we had it. We didn't really, but we let her have her thought while we carried the bags. There weren't that many to complain about anyway.
When everyone was inside unpacking their things, I hung back and smoked a cigarette. I looked down at the river. It was full and rushing. The trees were full with bright, lime green leaves. The branches were tanned auburn from the sun. They looked the forearms of the Mexican girls at my high school: smooth, everlasting, stretching to a place I was never allowed to touch or look at. I ashed my cigarette into a pile of leaves and immediately worried that I was going to start a fire. I kicked it out, thrusting my boot heel into where I thought the ember had went.
"What the hell are you doing?" Englend screamed from the front porch, a handle of whiskey underneath his arm, a glass with ice in the other.
"Ashed into the leaves," I told him, "Trying to take it out." I kicked the leaves a few more times, then walked towards Englend.
"Let me get a hit of that," I said, pointing at the handle.
He spun the top and it rolled off the tread. The cap rolled off the deck and Englend chased after it, handing me the bottle first.
"Take this. Where'd the hell it go?"
"Down there somewhere," I said, pulling the bottle back. The sweetness of the whiskey hit my nostrils first, then the bite of the liquor. I coughed, feeling my eyes begin to water. The first one was always the hardest. After that, they got easier.
June had just ended. July was just arriving. The third was tomorrow and the next day was the fourth.
I took another pull from the handle. I placed on the decks railing and left Englend with it. He was still looking around for the bottle cap.
"I thought I saw it roll under the deck," I told him.
"*******," he moaned. He looked up at me, "Come and help me. It'll be faster with two."
"Can't. Gotta' check on Carrie and get ourselves a room."
"*******," he moaned again, reaching under the deck.
"Don't get your hand bit by a possum or rat or something!" I yelled behind me, going inside. "Carrie!" I screamed, "Where'd you go?"
"Upstairs getting our room ready!" I heard her scream from the 2nd floor, "Come and help me put the sheets on."
I went into the kitchen. Denny was stocking the fridge with the beer and the meat. I reached over his shoulder and grabbed a Budweiser. He had an open one in between his knees. The light stuff was on the bottom to the far left, the heavy stuff in the middle, and the expensive IPA, hoppy stuff to the far right. The top shelf was for food, mixer, and whatever else the girls had decided to get at the store. Fruit and things. I opened up the freezer. There were two handles of Smirnoff resting on three large bags of ice. We would need more ice. I closed the freezer and ran my fingers of the labels of two more handles of Cazadorés tequila and Bulleit bourbon. Overall, I thought we were fairly stocked for the four day weekend, but one could never be to sure. People came out of the wood work for the 4th of July. No telling who would show up at our front door.
I went upstairs to see what Carrie was doing. She was laying on the bed with the sheets resting on the dresser. The light was off. The room was cast in that light grey pigment that happens when the bedroom light isn't there. It was nice. The sun had been straining my eyes the whole time even though I had been driving in the backseat. Carrie was laying face down on the bed. She was wearing a skirt, so I slowly laid down on the bed and inched her dress up. She didn't flinch or move, so I pulled it up until I saw her burgundy lace *******. They looked pressed or ironed or something they looked so clean.
"What're you doing?" Carrie asked me, her face down into the mattress.
"Just looking," I said.
"At what?"
"At your ****."
"Why?"
"Cause' it's nice."
"Close the door."
I got up, closed the door, and laid back down.
"Lets put the sheets on the bed first."
"OK," I said.
We put the sheets on the bed, but couldn't wait for the pillows and the rest of the blankets. We tried to be quiet, but knew we weren't. After, we took a shower together. I rubbed Carrie's shoulders while the hot water rained down on us. She said it was better to get a massage in the shower because the hot water loosened up the muscles. I didn't know if that was true or not, but I did it anyway. I watched her as she unpacked her bag. Her hair was wet and it swung back and forth, wetting her back. She was wrapped in her favorite pink towel. Water dripped from her body down to the floor. I waited to put my things away. I had brought up very little. Mostly *****. Carrie took up most of the dresser. I had one drawer by the time we were finished.
We took a nap. After we were done sleeping, we looked outside and saw the sun had been replaced with the night. The stars and the light coming from inside of the cabin streaked out into the forest like a splash of golden florescent paint. Carrie and I poked our heads outside to listen to the creaking trees and the rustling of animals through the bush. Someone downstairs was lightly clattering dishes as they cleaned them while the smell of red maple firewood burning in the fireplace came up to our room. I took out my phone from my pocket and looked at the time.
"****," I said, "It's already 10 o'clock."
"I'm starving."
"I'm starving and need a drink."
"Let's go downstairs and see what they made."
I slipped on my 501's while Carrie straightened up her hair. We went downstairs and saw two plates with hamburgers and fries on them. Patty was at the sink cleaning the pots and pans. She was staring down into the soapy froth, humming a song to herself I couldn't understand. She hadn't heard us come down. Denny, Englend, and Kat weren't in the living room.
"Where is everybody?" I asked.
"Oh!" Patty burst. She swung around, a soaped up frying pan in her hands. "You scared the **** out of me!"
I put my hands up, "Gotcha!" I said smiling.
"They went for a walk somewhere and left all the dishes for me."
"Leave'em," Carrie said, taking Patty's hands and wiping the soap away with a rag, "Van and I will take care of them."
"I only have a few more..."
"I insist!" Carrie took Patty's arm and lead her to the couch and laid her down. I took a cup from the pantry, filled it with ice, and poured Bulliet half-way up. I handed the glass to Carrie and she brought it to Patty.
"Look at that," Patty smiled, "Full-service."
"What you get when you come up to the Dangerson cabin."
"**** right!" I exclaimed through a bite of hamburger, "Only the best here."
Patty leaned her head back after taking a long sip of the whiskey. She exhaled and closed her eyes. I watched her as her chest heaved up and down. She kicked off her shoes and let her hair fall over the armrest of the couch.
"You said they went into the woods, Patty?"
Carrie took her burger and went and sat next to Patty.
"Lift your legs up," Carrie said, "Let me sit with you."
"Yeah. They went into the woods an hour or so ago. Probably a little less."
I opened the fridge and grabbed another beer.
"What were they going out there for?"
"I have no idea."
"Probably to get firewood or something," Carrie said, "Can you grab me one of those."
"Sure," I said, tossing her one.
"Wait," She yelled, throwing her hands in the air. The beer landed right in one of her flailing hands.
"Nice catch," I laughed, opening the fridge and grabbing another.
"You're such a ****!"
I smiled and walked out onto the deck.
"He really is," I heard Carrie tell Patty.
"I heard that!"
"You were meant to!" she called back to me, laughing.
I shook my head and opened the can of beer. Why did they decide to go get firewood now? We had plenty of wood here already. Patty probably didn't know what she was talking about. That happened often. I strained my eyes to see through the darkness, maybe see if I could spot a flashlight or the round end of a lit cigarette, but the forest was just a wash of thick blackness. Even the stars had grown faint.
"Englend!" I shouted.
Nothing. Not a peep. They were far out there.
"Englend!" I shouted again.
"What the hell are you shouting at?" a voice said from the trees. I couldn't tell who it was, but it was someone I knew.
"Who the hell is that?"
"Well who the hell do you think it is?" It was Englend. He came out of the trees like a wild boar. He had a handle of whiskey in one hand with a pile of small twigs and firewood in the other. What came to mind first was a mix between a drunken Brawny guy and a pinecone.
"What's all the screaming about?" Kat asked, trailing behind Englend. Denny followed behind. They all had armfuls of wood. From what I saw, little would be useful, but I kept that to myself.
Englend came up the deck and handed me the handle. I took a long pull. As I drank, I looked up into the stars, which were now out and shining brighter than they were before. A cloud had moved, wavered off somewhere, presenting the gifts that were behind it. I lowered the bottle and watched Denny and Kat walk up the stairs. They were smiling.
"What are you two so happy about?" I asked, handing Denny the whiskey.
"Gimme' that!" Kat snagged it out of my hand, laughing. She took a long pull. Denny, Englend, and I watched, amazed that little hippy Kat could take such a heavy shot.
"Good God," I murmured.
"She drinks like a pirate," said Denny.
"A ****** pirate," added Englend.
Kat was especially small. Not a small person small, but petite. She also had a great *** and could out drink, out party, and out do the rest of us in debaucherous shenanigans. She had never heard of the word or feeling of shame either and did, really, whatever the hell she felt like.
"I heard that you *******," she said, exhaling, blinking her eyes wildly.
"That was a biggun'," Denny said, taking the bottle and pulling it.
"Needed it. Englend had us wandering around the ******* forest for firewood the minute we got here."
"Do we even need any?" I asked.
"Course we do!" Englend exclaimed, "Gotta' keep our ladies warm!"
He put his arm around Kat and shook her.
"Gross..." Kat frowned, her face pickling while she squirmed out of his arms.
"You love it Kat...where's Patty? Where's my babe!?" Englend thundered off into the house.
"I'm right here," Patty squealed. She was still on the couch with Carrie. She kicked her feet crazily as Englend jumped on her. Carrie jumped off just before he cannon balled onto the couch.
"You guys are SICK!" Carrie screamed.
"You love it," they both said in unison. The two of them play wrestled until Patty finally got Englend by the ***** and kissed him.
Denny handed Kat the bottle," You want another?" he asked.
"I'm good, Denny," she said.
"Hank?" He asked me.
"I'll take one, yeah," I said. I pulled it back as Kat went inside. I exhaled and looked at Denny, "So, you and Kat are the only two legitimate single people here. How you feel about that?"
"Hopeful," he said.
"That's good to hear. I'll see what Carrie can do."
"Sweet," he said nervously.
"Let's get inside. Patty made some burgers."
"Thank God," Denny sighed, shaking his head, "I'm ******* starving. Englend had us walking for ******' miles.
"No idea why. We have plenty of wood downstairs."
"Seriously?"
"Yeah. Lots of it. I cut a bunch the last time I was here."
"******," he laughed, "Englend told us were out."
"He doesn't know what he's talking about," I said. We walked into the kitchen. I put the bottle down next to Carrie, who had made her way from the couch back into the kitchen. She looked at the bottle, then at me.
"What you drinking there?" she asked me looking at the bottle.
"Whiskey," I told her.
"Can you not drink so much?" she whispered so no one could hear her.
"I'm good," I said, taking her hand, "I just drank a little bit outside while I was waiting for Englend. They went on a wild goose chase for firewood."
"Good."
"Denny was telling me they went all over for the stuff."
"Why?" she smiled, "We have so much from the last time we were up."
"That's what I was telling Englend, but he didn't care. Guy gets antsy."
"Who's antsy?" Englend called from the couch. Patty was wrapped up in his eyes, looking drunk from the single shot Carrie and I had given her. Kat was on the couch with a beer. Denny was hovering by the door, rocking back and forth on his heels still holding an armful of fire wood.
"Why don't you just leave that by the door?" I told Denny, "Take a seat. Stay a while."
He dropped the firewood by the side of the front door and took a seat on the floor in front of the fireplace by Kat. He looked up at her and smiled, but she didn't notice. She was sipping her beer, rummaging around in her pocket for something.
"What I was saying was that you guys didn't need to get anymore firewood or kindling or whatever the hell you guys got because we have a lot from the last time Carrie and I were up."
"I saw those logs," said Englend, "And they're ******* twigs compared to what we got!"
Everyone laughed.
"Well," I said, opening the fridge for another beer (I wasn't sure where my other one had gone to), "I'm not taking the **** down."
"All good, we'll take it down."
"You'll take it down," said Kat, "We had to walk through half of the ******* forest to get to your secret wood spot, then walk back. I'm finished with wood for now."
"Fine," Englend moaned, "I'll take it down in the morning."
"I'll help you," Denny added.
"Good! We got two big guys to do it. It'll be done in no time."
I turned around and opened up the cabinet that was filled with shot glasses. I took six out, put them on the table, and filled them with whiskey.
"Let's take a group shot before we all start getting snuggly and sleepy."
"Great idea!" Englend shouted, popping up from the couch.
"For America!" Patty giggled, following Englend.
Kat helped Denny from the floor and walked over to the counter. They parted hands when Denny was on his feet, but I could tell he wouldn't mind holding her hand for the duration of the trip.
"I'm glad to have you all here," I said, "Glad we could do this."
Everyone nodded, smiling, holding their golden brown shots in the air.
"For America," I said.
"For America!" the rest of them yelled. We soaked in the glory of fine whiskey and hazy conversation for the rest of the night.
Everyone was moving slow in the morning. Englend seemed to be the most up out of everyone. I walked into the kitchen to him whipping 12 eggs, grating cheese, pan frying potatoes, bubbling coffee, and pouring orange juice into mimosa flutes. The champagne was already out. I thought, a little alcohol will probably do me some good. It did. After my third glass, I kissed Carrie when she groggily walked into the living room. She preceded to slump onto the couch. I brought her a cup coffee and some Advil. She smiled meekly into my glazed over, blood shot eyes. I could tell she was hurting, but she would be right in a couple hours. Once we got into the river, all would be right.
"Jesus," said Carrie, "You guys are already drinking?"
"Of course!" Englend laughed, "It's the fourth and it's already noon. We're behind if anything."
"And Englend made breakfast," I said.
"I can see th
Brandon Jun 2014
"They're ******. All of them." Bill said. Pounding his right fist on the bar top before sloppily grabbing his tumbler of whiskey, spilling small but significant amounts onto the wooden top, and bringing it to his lips and gulping it down in one swallow.

"More." He shouted at the old man behind the bar who begrudgingly obliged and poured another four fingers width into the glass.

Bill pulled another fifty out of the pocket of his ***** white button-up and slid it onto the bar top where it rested momentarily in the droplets of whiskey before the bartender picked it up and placed it in the register next to the other four fifty dollar bills that the man had already spent. Though the drinks were only twenty a piece Bill made no move for change so the bartender ignored his growing belligerence and continued to pour.

"They can't all be ******."
The man sitting next to Bill piped in.

"Yes they can." Bill ranted back. "Every last ******* one of them. They speak in lies and loose words. Turn everything around so they're the victim. **** em. ******. All of em." Bill downed his drinks but before he could shout for another the bartender was already pouring a drink for him.

Bill laid down another fifty and drank some from the tumbler.

"Maybe it's the ones you meet." Bill's neighboring barmate pitched in again attempting to offer some wisdom.

"I've met them all. I've worked with them all. I've ****** and been ****** by them all. They all want an Apple but ignore the tree the Apple grew from. Always in some sort of silly competition." Bill answered back.

He finished off his drink but asked the bartender for a soda water instead of another whiskey. The bartender filled another tumbler up from the spray nozzle and put it in front of Bill and said no charge.

Bill laid a fifty on the counter. "From all the ******" he said.

He stood up barely able to stand until he balanced himself by using the stool and once he gathered himself he walked towards the back of the room where the restrooms were.

Bill stumbled in and rested himself at the sink taking a look at the reflection in the mirror. His wire-rimmed glasses were smudged and hung slanted on his lean dorky face and his short cropped hair was a mess. It had been a few days since he last shaved and the admiration of a five o'clock shadow had began to make an appearance on his cheeks and upper lip. The suit he had been wearing looked like it had been through a war itself, all tattered and torn and crusted with stains.

He removed his glasses and attempted to clean them in the sink before drying them off with the untucked tail of his shirt. He put them on. It wasn't much better. Next he straightened out his hair the best he could, struggling to keep his much despised cowlick in place.

He unzipped his pants and pulled his **** out and went about relieving himself in the sink all the while staring at himself in the mirror. When he was done he shook twice before putting it away and zipping back up.

Bill went to wash his hands but looked at the sink and realized it had been clogged and now laid full of his *****. He chuckled and shrugged his shoulders and walked out of the bathroom.

His soda water was still on the counter and he started to drink it as the bar's front door opened allowing fresh sunlight to assault it's way in. A tall model-beautiful girl stood in the doorway wearing a suit that showed as much skin as possible. She scanned the room until her eyes laid at the disheveled Bill at the bar.

"Mr Gates" she announced, "the car is ready if you'd like to leave sir."

Bill ordered a whiskey with soda and left another fifty on the bar. His barmate said he understood now why Bill had said they're all ****** after seeing how the woman at the door was dressed. He was laughing as if he had made some grand joke.

Bill stood up off of his stool, knocked back his whiskey and soda, straightened his glasses once more, and threw a strong right hook towards the other man, sending him flying off of his bar stool and on to the hardwood floor. He laid sprawled out, conscious but not moving.

Bill shook his fist. It had been a long time since he had hit anyway.

He walked over to the downed man and told him to never disrespect a woman again.

"But you called them all ******." He replied.

"No you little ignorant man, I was calling everyone in the world of business a *****. There is no loyalty and the only thing that matters is profit."

Bill helped the man back up off the floor and back onto his stool. He laid out a hundred dollar bill on the counter and told the bartender that whatever the man wanted to make sure he got it. Mr Gates straightened himself up again and walked towards the door and after looking around the dingy barroom one last time walked out into the sunlight where a limo was awaiting him.
louis rams May 2012
(5/25/12)

They had married at a very young age
At the time they thought it was a game.
They had been together for a long time
and he thought that everything would be fine.

They had lived together for two years or more
And they thought they knew the score.
At seventeen years of age they felt they knew it all
And life was to have a ball.

With part time jobs they paid their bills
Living together was such a thrill.
Not having to worry about a curfew hour
Now “ they had all the power”.

Going out partying every weekend
Not thinking of the money that they spent.
Coming home late at night , being drunk
They would start to fight.

She started feeling some ******* pain
And from this point on their lives would change.
She went to her doctor to check it out
Pregnant she was - there was no doubt.

Now their eyes opened to the fact
From this point on there was no turning back.
They now had a child on the way
And they could no longer go out to play.

He got a full time job and straightened up his act
And a better position he would have to attack.
He went back to school To get a better education
And to give his wife and child all that he could give
And with both their incomes they would have to live.

She worked for seven months till she
Could work no longer, and to get their house in order.
When she went to the hospital because her time was due
She found out she was having not one but two.

She gave birth to a beautiful boy and girl
He was a diamond and she a pearl.
The most precious babies you’d ever want to see
And he was the proud father - as proud as can be.

They struggled like most couples do
But he was determined to see it through.
She took her children and held them tight
For in their faces she saw their fathers might.

His love so strong for his family
And this is what they all did see.
And the rest is history.
RH 78 Feb 2015
The barber asked "what would you like?
Quiff?
          bun?
           Mohawk?
slicked back?
           side parting?
                    centre parting?
                                            greased?            
                                      permed?                  
                           straightened?
                   skin head?
               bald head?
        spiky?
        A comb over?
pony tail?
        pig tails?
                    curly?
                            frizzy?
                      dyed?
                               mop top?
                         French crop?
                 blue rinse?
           purple rinse?
                             step?
                                    undercut?
                                              shaggy?      
                                     dreadlocks?"
"No thanks" I replied
"I'll have a short back and sides and make it messy on top please"
519

’Twas warm—at first—like Us—
Until there crept upon
A Chill—like frost upon a Glass—
Till all the scene—be gone.

The Forehead copied Stone—
The Fingers grew too cold
To ache—and like a Skater’s Brook—
The busy eyes—congealed—

It straightened—that was all—
It crowded Cold to Cold—
It multiplied indifference—
As Pride were all it could—

And even when with Cords—
’Twas lowered, like a Weight—
It made no Signal, nor demurred,
But dropped like Adamant.
I was talking to my little sister yesterday
She looked at me
  And this is what she had to say
Do you think I'm pretty
Like those people on T.V.
Those fashion models
Business Mongrels
That walk the L.A. streets

The girls at school say I'm not
They say that I'll never be
They laugh, tease & taunt me
They make me feel small
They make me feel ugly, not wanted
And worst of all

They make me feel less like the girl you tell me I am
You tell me I''m pretty
Amazing in every way
But those girls the ones I see every day
They hurt me in a way that doesn't
Make me want to walk tall

Because I've heard it a lot
So much that I am beginning to feel
That I have no appeal to anyone
So I'll ask you again

Not as you being my sister
But my closest friend
Do you think I'm pretty?

I looked at her
I could see the pain of what those girls had done
I could see that my work was not yet done
So I smiled even though
I had tears in my eyes

I smiled to her
And to her I replied
You are beautiful in every single way
From now on I'll tell you every single day
I know it's hard but listen to me
Even though you may not want to
Don't listen to what those mean girls say
They know that you are pretty

They really do
They know you are pretty
And now you know it too
With those last words I saw a new light in her eyes
She smiled and straightened her back with pride

Say it I told her knowing she needed to
Just like she needed me to say it too
I'm pretty she stated
I'm pretty she beamed

I knew I had helped her self-esteem
I was proud and now my work was through
wrote this from a point of view of someone I'd talked to about my feelings. They acted like my older sister so I turned them into it
Ian Boyd Nov 2011
The truck was full, its open back
heaped black, and there a leg, an eye;
daylight thickened on the sweating
stack and blurred the further sky.

Ten feet away I pulled the key
and let the engine jolt and choke,
the CD skipped, an old riff jarred,
a line of meaning stopped and broke

and something in that silence straightened,
left a splintered ****** mark,
I closed my eyes and felt it there,
hating in the blinded dark.
segi504 May 2014
You remind me of my pillow
It straightened my neck
Composed my cheeks
Dubbed a smile on my lips
Complex-ed me with a WOW complexion
I now comb less

Yet I gaze
Agape in  awe of having discovered
That you have out matched my pillow
JustChloe Mar 2014
You say your original
No one like you
But then I see you with straightened hair and Uggs for shoes
You squeeze into a too small shirt
Your jeans are just as tight
You take off your glasses and get contacts
Does that seem right?
The next day I see you
Your look completely changed
Your hair is died black and your nails look the same
Since when did you wear nail polish?
This is not who you use to be
Now every time we talk
We talk about me
You say my hair would look good straightened
You tell me I should wear Uggs
You say my face would look better with make up
When I say no
You get an attitude
Because I am not a copy cat like you
I see your new friends the ones with the same shoes the same colored hair
They changed you do you care
And when did you start to swear
You are exactly like them now
Me I'm not
So I get pushed out of your best friends slot
You talk just like them
You all walk in a line
What did you think I wouldn't notice?
And act like its all fine
Snap out of it
You must be under a spell
I know you all to well
I'm not telling you to ditch them
You have new friends that fine
I’m just telling you to stop being a copycat
Its time
Not its past time but it's not expired
You need to get a grip because this is not right
This is not you
Its societies bite
It’s got a grip on you and it’s holding on tight
Stop being a copy cat be you
All you have to do is be yourself
I'm so tired of this
People dyeing
People crying all to get accepted being a copycat
Isn’t all that great
When you’re a copycat you don’t get everything as gold on a plat
To be a comply cat you cant be real
Because you feel like the it girl all the time
And its hard everyday when you have to act like you’re in a play but your not
This is real life stop living a lie
All you care about is shoes
Next it’s boos
Here comes the drugs and now you’re the person locked up
Then your rejected like a shoe that doesn’t fit
And the it girl doesn’t have it
She has no friends or so it seems
Because she can always come back to me
But you forgot that
Your forgot the lessons you learned from others
How your aunt had a kid at 14
How your sister just became mean
How your brother is hooked on drugs
And soon you will be too
It's like a loose tooth
You want it there and you don’t care if what’s next is better
Being a copycat is like a loose tooth
You need to let it fall out
Or that is what you will do
You will fall out of a great life planned for you
But I don't what you to fall I will hold on
But I’m not the strong
You need to snap out of it just like I said because
Now you wanna starve to death
Better yet you want me to too
That’s not how I roll
That’s not how I do
Because I am not a copy cat
Like you
click clack, sound of the track
busted lighter, jilted firefighter
****** mosquito bleeding blighter
coffee cup, record stuck
panicked post boom stuck in a rut
had you'd never seen her, been her
watched her fly by
is it a plane, wonder bush, brick lane spy
fallen tree, dropped whispers ina wood
shoulda, woulda but never could
pushed by the wind, running around
set off faster, harder, leavin the ground
seen more war than a nu-rave punk
hit the pavement harder than a skool boy drunk
deeper, lower than before
been round the world 3 times over
prayed harder rollin around in clover
teemin, screaming anticipation, panick buy
obsessed with cuckoo, escape with a sigh
darker, lighter, tougher, cornered and lame
call my breath, take my name
shame, dusted, glory be no more
music drags me back from the shore
vacumn packed, culture vulture sister
pierced hot poker, stoke her, twist her
throwin pieces, jigsaw puzzle in the grass
pull my hair, bit my cheek, slap my ***
shorter, tighter loved a whole lot longer
pushed behind, throw back 80's stronger
straightened, heated from a blue rinse dude
i am sitting her 3 minutes from rude
throw me away from here, take a stand
eating raw from inside the hand
ruined, borken levelled tiger print sweater
20 marlboro, 2 strokes and its better
dangermouse, grotbag loved forever
tether me, feed me, clothed in dried leather
Bowie, polka dots, illuminated lights
star brights, fist fights, just rights
scuffed my heels on your broken walk
shut your mouth when you talk
broke you, stalked you, wounded you down
turn away from rain as we run thru town
just like a fire
black crow eating berries from the briar
sacred high, dancing beauty
eyes black and smarting, ****** up cutie
batman, she-ra, Holy ****** Cow!
Look at me, **** me
I'm a big girl now
Chano Williams Apr 2014
All day yesterday was the best day of my life
Nothing went wrong, everything went right
Tracking all the factors that helped make it so
Reinvigorates me to continue with my goals
There’s a thought that returns, maybe coincidental,
But there is a common thread that is sequential
Early in the morning is when I first saw you
And at the end of the day you were in my rear view
So you were there with me from sunrise to sunset
Any moment we had together I never felt upset
No awkward instances, only natural feelings
No pressure to make myself seem more appealing
You make me feel like I’m almost where I need to be
To have something that you may one day need from me
Leisurely I will continue to approach the situation
Because this is a path that I want to keep straightened
At the prime of our lives for the time of our lives
We just have to be willing to hold on for the ride
Hopefully I’ll have you before the towel’s thrown in
Together we will laugh at what could have been
All the bullets that we dodged and the ones still lodged
Deep into our hearts, but they’ll seem like a mirage
Compared to the dreams that we’ve chosen to live
After each other’s hearts that we’ve chosen to give
It feels so strange to be so close to these emotions
I’m hopeful for the future, for once my mind’s open
To all of the possibilities that life could deal to me
I’m so thrilled to see what will be revealed to me
Whatever happens to me, I need you to be there too
Since I know with you there we could see it all through
I can’t recall a single bad day in which you were involved
Even in one of your foul moods I was still so enthralled
That’s just the kind of person I will always choose to be
Doing whatever it takes to always have you with me
Especially when extreme patience is all that’s required
I’ll work hard at this job, no way am I ever getting fired
Committed until I’m beyond the age of being retired
Whistling while I work until the day I might expire
One day, to all these thought you won’t be oblivious
One day I’ll pursue you with an attitude that’s vigorous
Until that day comes I’ll patiently wait off to the side
For an opportunity to make you my source of pride
JJ Hutton Jan 2014
I.

The last thing? It wadn't nothing special. Pa and me, well, we never had what I guess you'd call a real easy exchange. He kept to hisself. I kept to myself. We worked hard, and we appreciated each other. But we--and this may be sad to you, but it ain't sad to me--we didn't get touchy-feely. Didn't say "I love you" or things like that. We traded off fetching the water. Traded off nabbing clothes off the line for Ma. He taught me how to be, to live, you know? How to work the cotton. How to work the mules. He gave me three bullets--just three--every time I took the .22 out to get a squirrel. "Make it count," he'd say. "Don't bring home less than four." Making it count--that means more than that other stuff.

So, what I'm saying is, in the end it wadn't no big to-do. Before he handed Ma the shotgun and told us to get, he stuck his head out the kitchen window, the one just over the sink. He said, "It's gonna rain. Them's the kind of clouds that ain't fickle."

I said I reckoned he was right. He said yep. Handed Ma the shotgun. And that was that.


II.

Robert never wanted to live in Tennessee. He was a Kentucky boy, and if it hadn't been for my selfishness, I believe he would have died a Kentucky boy--or man, rather--at a much later date. See my mother, Faye, she got dreadful sick back in '31, and I says to him, I says, Robert, you know my sister can't take care of her--this being on account of her being touched in the head and all. He didn't say nothing, which was usual, but he didn't grumble neither and that, that right there, is the mark of a good man.

We started with just 80 acres. He built the house hisself. Did you know that? It wasn't nothing fancy, no, but we didn't need nothing fancy. It was made pretty much entirely of--oh what do they call it. It ain't just cedar. That uh uh uh--red cedar. Can't believe I forgot that.

Anyway, our place was sprawling with red cedar. Not the prettiest trees you ever saw, but they were ours, and they provided what we needed of them.

Because of us doing alright with the logging, we was able to pick up the Whitmore place. That was another 160 acres.  Robert hated Tennessee, not a doubt in my mind about that. It was his home, though, you see. It was his land. He wanted to make something of it to give to our son, Henry.


III.

Come all you people if you want to hear
The story about a brave engineer;
He's Franklin D. Roosevelt, in Washington D.C.
He's running the train they call 'prosperity.'

Now he straightened up the banks with a big holiday;
He circulated money with the T.V.A.
With the C.C.C. and the C.W.A.
He's brought back smiles and kept hunger away.

      -"Casey Roosevelt" [Excerpts]
          Folk song recorded by Buck Fulton for E.C. and M.N. Kirkland, July, 1937


IV.

Before they even started on the reservoir, the Tennessee Valley Authority started digging up the dead. I'm serious. Most frightful thing you ever saw. Hickory Road--and I swear, I swear on the country, the good Lord, anything from a ****** to a mountain--the road was full-up with buggies carting coffins. Three days straight they were carting dead folks down to Clinton. Most of the coffins were barely holding up, too. Made out that crude pine. Seeing them yellow-but-not-yellow heads poking out was enough to make a feller sick.

If I remember right, they had to relocate something like 5,000 before they dammed up the Clinch, but they made a lot more living, breathing folks than that move along. Lot more.


V.

A week before the T.V.A went and flooded the valley the sounds stopped. The duhh-duhh. The errgh-errgh. You know? The sounds of work. When you don't got all that noise going on--that routine, I guess you could say--what can you do but think?

And because of that, I believe, that last week Pa acted different. He was trying not to, trying to act just the same. But he was trying to be the same too hard. Ma would take coffee off the stove, pour it for him and he'd say: "Thank you, sweetheart." He always said thank you. That much was the same. It's that sweetheart bit that didn't fit in his mouth right. She left the kitchen. Couldn't take it.

Tom Scott hung himself, too. Clyde Johnson, his brother Jacob. There was one more. Big fella that lived down by Hershel's store. Can't remember his name. Pa's was the only body that didn't wash up on the bank.

I never did see them after they washed up. Mrs. Scott said it was appalling. She said her husband's body was all puffed up, swollen with the water. Sheriff cut the rope off her husband's neck. She said that neck was black leading into purple leading into black. Raw. Mrs. Scott didn't live too long after that. A year or so. The shame got to her I suppose.

When folks called my pa a coward, I never argued with them. Didn't see the point. What's a coward? Somebody hang hisself? Somebody that leave his wife and boy to fend for themselves? That a coward? Call him what you want. I ain't gonna argue. All he is--is dead to me.

VI.

My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places. And it will hail when the forest falls down, and the city will be utterly laid low. Happy are you who sow beside all waters, who let the feet of the ox and the donkey range free.
         - Isaiah 32:18-20

VII.**

Robert had brown, wavy hair. He had big hands with scarred knuckles. He was missing a tooth on the right side. Three or four down from the front. You could only tell when he laughed. Every day in the field he wore the same cap, a Miller's Co-op cap, with overlapping sweat stains. He never wanted to track dirt in the house so he'd knock on the side of the house anytime he needed something from inside, like a box of matches or a knife or something. The first two knocks would be to get my attention. They'd sound urgent. The third was soft, as if to say please. When we went to bed, he always waited for me to fall asleep before he even tried. He knew his snoring kept me up.

On the last day, Robert handed me his shotgun. Says, "I love you, Mary." He was so choked up, I didn't know if he was going to kiss me. So I kissed him. Says, "I love you Robert." And that was pretty much all. We got in the buggy and headed off to my mother's.

I wanted to bury the shotgun. I knew I'd need a place to visit, a place to talk to Robert. And it had to be a piece of him. I dug the hole out behind my mother's place. Henry, he must've thought I was crazy, digging that hole the very next day. He asked me what I was going to put in there. I says the shotgun. He says, "No, ma'am, you isn't." I says, "Yes, son, I is." He says we need that gun. Get squirrels. Get rabbits. Make it count, he says.

I was pretty sore about it, but I ended up throwing my wedding ring in that hole. It being the only other thing that was him. We put the shotgun over the door frame in the kitchen.

I miss him every day. I feel it in my body. Feel it down to my bones. I imagine it wouldn't feel no different if I had lost a hand. But what makes me sadder than anything, sadder than not seeing Robert every morning, sadder than knowing he don't get to see what Henry makes of hisself, is that Robert didn't get nobody's attention.

He never said that's why he had to do it. I just figured as much. He wouldn't die for nothing. That wasn't him. The paper wouldn't say nothing about him other than he was dead. I wrote the T.V.A. Never heard nothing back. It's like the world mumbled, "I'm sorry," and just spun on. That's what they give the good men: a mumble. Killers make the front page. They're in the pictures. The good men? For the good men, the world has to keep asking for their names. The world says, "Oh, Robert, right," and "I'm sorry." But the world don't mean it. The world's got dams to build, valleys to flood. Graves to move. People to uproot. Why? Do you know? Course you don't. God hisself would shrug his shoulders and tell me that's just the way it is.
Al Drood Jul 2018
He switched off the TV and turned to his wife;
“That's the worst news report that I've seen in my life!”
She tidied their supper away and she said,
“I’ll be dreaming of that when we’ve long gone to bed.”

“Did you see all that famine, starvation and drought?
Well it sure makes you think what this world’s all about!
Global warming and climate change melting the poles;
I just wish someone used some pollution controls.”

He nodded and sighed as he straightened the chairs;
“Can’t believe all that bloodshed caught me unawares!
It’s just seems there’s a war every place that you look;
Religion and greed?  Hell, they’ve written the book!”

With his arm round her shoulder they looked down below
as the Moon bathed the Earth in a silvery glow.
In her cute alien ear then she heard his grim mutter;
“Here we are in the stars looking down at the gutter.”
Senor Negativo Aug 2012
Angels make horrible pets
and enemies
and devils
should be fluffy
unjustifiably weak
enough to mend organs and sink into the mind
enough to swallow ignorant earth
wipe off bodies
set down times
True-believers, and under-achievers
complacent *****
everyone is different
made of hydrogen and certainty
sinking through the orb of space
contracting and expanding independant of the nature of the universe
I shall not be the mosquito
the construction site down in your valley settled with liquid fluidity
couldn't survive paradise
straightened on the sands
whisper love songs
as quiet as fury
slow like my touch
tactile truth
realistic moisture
and this isn't how
a home is wrecked,
wind cutting through my hair
and my expressionless face is still
while nostalgia overcomes me.
what have we come to?
words of hatred once spoken to one another,
followed by kind, apologetic letters,
and pure innocence engraved on our faces
turned into hangovers,
excuses and more excuses.
the worries drag my eyebrows down
like bent, rubber arcs that have been straightened
and are moving slowly back into formation.
am i the only one?

am i the only one?

i grab a pen and paper and write
the words inflaming my throat,
the visions in my eyes.

everyone moves.
everyone moves on and grows
with intoxication in hand
and fire
burning through their sockets.
is this growing up?
to enjoy and to live;
is it necessary to poison one's self?
what have we come to?

why, a different location
will not change the way they act.
am i the only one?

it's peer pressure what they do,
it's peer pressure.

but i am left,
because i refuse.
does that make me wrong?

my friends; their love and trust
bestilled in my heart;
it's weakening, it's breaking.
i shouldn't feel this way.
what have we come to?

is a dream of sanity and beauty
not enough?
because that is all you need
in my book.
you step in my book and see
a bird soaring
a flower blooming
an idea growing.
it's beautiful.
you step out of my book,
you don't see.
you're trapped
in the fumes, in the heat
of the crowd, in the smell
of the liquor.
what have we come to?

love is not an object.
it cannot be thrown around
and pestered with whenever you
please. it cannot get
carried around to become
an STD.
it cannot.
why?
it is not love.
it's hurt, it's stupidity.
the love is the feeling,
the lights,
the faith.
where is it?
lost,
disease has taken its place.

what have we come to?

it's what is inside, it's in
your soul, not displayed
on your skin.
what you are is not a material
thing, so why don't they bother
to take
a
second
look?

all walk with a label
instead of a name.
what have we come to?
Will Storck Mar 2013
Laughter & glitter
Sunshining through straight white teeth – voice unheard of
With a smile to make any man slither over
Cutting soft stomachs open
Driving out with sticks and leaves and rocks
And leaving me with the tab
How like them to err for the sake of error
Terrible and true
Acuity bound
It’s feeding time at the zoo &
There’s no one to take this noose off around my neck
We were swimming in the gulf when she asked
Why create when there’s so much to destroy?
My hands their play things too
Toys ordained from disdain sustained
By tight men in tight suits
Watching us from Ivory Towers
What a relief
& the power trips of the circus beneath them
Reaching out with viral irony I scream
Out to the heavens heaven doesn’t take collect calls
& here she is connecting souls to mates
Correcting hate and abating disgrace worldwide
Webs intangible but thought to be hooked
To the hearts that spun them
Free flowing love & peace to cut my noose hung from
The sycamore tree
As for me what more could please
Disease eradicated
People educated
Our lives illustrated not by blood off a bayonet
But by regret eliminated
Fat cats in high homes with low self esteem would seem
Just as happy to see her redacted from the text books
Crooked lies straightened & the sad thing is they
Trick us fine serfs to mitigate others in their organized ignorance
Leaving us in the dark to elbow for clues
Groping the dust blind &
Hurting ourselves with ***** fingernails scratching
She shouts like a car crash &
Everyone’s at the scene drawn to attention
By flashing red & blue
Cashing their moral chips for a peepshow
Their smiles use less muscles than frowns but take twice the effort
Affecting deflections of accusations
People listen & how couldn’t they?
Her words lifting chins like a rope over a branch
But this time the tree’s on fire
The Tower’s burning & she’s cutting all the safety nets
Like she cut the rope off around my neck
James Kelly Apr 2015
Straying from the straightened path
Its as easy as it gets
The voice inside telling you no
But the enticing idea of leaving is too much
Like leaving the trail of the woods
Once you wander far enough
Only then do you realize your lost
The dark and cold of your soul
Matching the night sky above
The ones picking you up when you fall
Are back on the sunny and straight path
That you can no longer see
The only company you keep
Is your warped thoughts and your past
Your loneliness causes inner demons
It leaves you bitter and wounded
Cynical and dead inside
You have only you
To mend the permanent damage done
Because off the path are thorns
And those thorns cut little by little
But after a long time they leave gashes
And those gashes never fully heal
They only scar
I'm still wandering aimlessly
I no longer know the direction of that path
That I left long ago
So let this poem be a warning sign
With big bold red letters
To those leaving the path
That this isn't where you want to be
I could've been king of my path
Yet I ended up a pawn in an evil game
So to those of you out there
Rise up and become more
Because the woods are very dangerous
And its so dark and cold here
Maxie Steer Jul 2010
I straightened my tie,
my noose of choice.
I surveyed the nerves,
boutonnières,
cuff links and best men
dressed then stressed
over punctuality.


I am late in my white dress,
my unstained reminder.
I rehearsed the vows,
poses, held my roses
and had my ladies
in waiting,
waiting.


I wait at the archway,
stiff, starched and
looking rented
for the occasion


I wait for my turn
to walk the plank,
the aisle spans oceans
and I am unsure.


I am unsure
but it is too late.
She sees my face and
searching behind
her veil for sympathetic
shared fear.


I give my father a mechanic kiss,
I twist and face my future.


I smile and wince,
I take her trembling hand,
I find her eyes,
I see my future.

**
I smile and wince,
He takes my trembling hand,
He finds my eyes,
I see no future.

Mechanically he put out his best press
Straightened his yellowing pages
In spite of little pieces flaking off
Like dandruff

Ow !
His spine was not as strong
As in younger presses

He bathed and used aftershave
But still he had that musty air about him

He lay claim to nervous fame
As he fidgeted with the book markers
About to be given as gifts
For her , his blind date

She came in fresh in expectation
Her beauty made him full of dejection
Her cheerful voice proved
to be more than exhaultation

He fumbled for the first sentence
Of subjection , but
Managed only to say
"Please ! I'm just an open book to be read"

She eased over
And ran her fingers over his cover .
down his bindings ,
then inside his yellowing pages

She sighed ,
with pleasure ,
"Yes , this is my perfection "
JJ Hutton Jul 2013
MST
I shoud've told the bartender to tie me to the last working pay phone.
But I didn't. I let her introduce herself. Sadie, she said, like The Beatle's song.

I'm hard to forget, so I asked, What's your motto?

She breathed in reverse. She looked at the door. She was past mottos.

It was Josh, right?

Yeah.

Let me tell you something. I'm the bad, **** ***** that's gonna wreck your health.

And she did.

Every weekend for 105 weekends. I opened her up like a paycheck.
I spent her on a big brass bed.
I spent her on glass tile.
I spent her on the kitchen island.
The Japanese table.
The water lily pond.

Her brother Frank or Gary or Marvin---some American classic---kept us
horizontal with white whiskey from his personal still.
Personal still.
And there is a house in New Orleans,
but there's another one in Colorado Springs,
one you should be wary of.

I shoud've told the bartender to tie me to the last working pay phone.
But I didn't. I let him tell me about his dream. My name is Jack, he said, as in Jumpin' Jack Flash.

Like the Rolling Stones' song?
Like the Stones' song, man.

You were in it.

Four white girls shared one mic. Karaoke night.

You were in my dream. Are you listening to me? I'm gonna say it anyways.
I only had one eye, but I could see you. Seen you plain as day.
You were scared of me. As you should be. We were on the coast.
No, I don't know which one. I saw that thought on your forehead.
It was a dream. Anyway, you were holding a pen. A giant pen.
And I asked for your name.

I lifted my drink from the makeshift napkin coaster. Pulled a pen out of my coat pocket.
Straightened out the napkin. I scribbled Nobody. Handed it to him. And aimed myself toward the interstate.

I shoud've told the bartender to tie me to the last working pay phone.
But I didn't. She had one helluva an afro. Her name was Katrina, not like any song, like the hurricane.

My skin tastes a little like coffee, Katrina said.

I like coffee.

You wouldn't like me.

Probably not. But I've been lost in this bar forever. I could change my mind.

No, sweetie. Forever ain't that long. Just ask my ex-husband.

Katrina paid for her drink. Asked me if I'd like the change.

Yeah, I'll take it.

I called my buddy Chris back in Oklahoma, but he didn't answer.
I called my buddy Ben back in Oklahoma, but he didn't answer.
Sam. Sarah. Brooks. Nothing. Silence.

Barkeep (I always wanted to say it), I don't think your phone is working.

It works. You gotta remember kid. You're on Rocky time.
There's an hour, every night,
where you're the only person you know that's awake.
Eudora Feb 2016
I believe it's time I straightened up
Knocked the dust from off my mind
Make some room for different thoughts
Find which ones I need to wipe

Rancorous experiences and sombre days
Or unending expectations of the people around me
Do my utmost to please hearts in different ways
Throbbing particles in my head, no one could see


As I feel my way along the fray
The razors edge that cuts too deep
Only in my minds eye can I blink away
All those thoughts that pressure me

Yes it is indeed time..
To deterge the nagging wounds in my mind
And cease the harsh ringing when they chime
Breathe them all out while I let my myself unwind



Mike Hauser
**Eudora
It was a such pleasure writing this with the lovely, Mike Hauser. Thank you Mike, for inviting me to do this with you, again. :))
Henryk Krzyrz Sep 2012
Constant understanding that
holds my mouth ajar.
reminiscent stars tangle with words like
"How" and "are"
tangled, mangled, strangled with that
Transylvanian tongue.

Straightened teeth bore with smile.
Oh, how the world has waited for such.
Lovely questions of impaling rulers
drinking blood
and vernacular across Carpathian
Hungarian
store owners.

Polski #1 says beautiful,
Polski #2 asks for no answer,
Orthodox Orthodontia
and Ignorance taint this experience
however lovely it may seem.

Cold is the only embrace
shaking hands struggle to write
every letter of every word presents one
good fight.
Tooth and Nail.

Glances glance eyes,
golden demise of any sort of
inside.

A perfect scowl.
Sjr1000 Oct 2014
My night time self
hates
my morning self
it's clear as night and day
they never did get along.

My night time self
stays up too late
never sleeps
always thinking
drinking, plotting, planning,
worrying about morning self's mistakes
smoking a thousand cigarettes
one **** over the line
eating chocolate bars
at one a.m.

While my morning self
an early riser
is the one
that has to get up
go to work
always corrects
and
lectures
dedicated to maintaining the structure.

My night time self
only thinks about himself
uses
the last piece of wood
won't bother setting up
the coffee maker
he's so cruel
stares into t.v. space
muttering about love's
he's never had.

While my morning face
has to face
the clutter of night time
disgrace
bottles,
lights blasting
computers running
another ***** movie going
hello poetry splattered on the walls
and another alcohol poisoned
Jersey blonde
stretched out across
the bathroom floor
while morning self
has to shave
and doesn't know her name.

Night time self
finally sleeps
god rest his soul
about the time
morning self
from his dreams
has to rise
rudely awakened by talk radio.
Morning self has to go out and play
the straightened out games
while the residue
of night time insanity
lingers,
a film
covering morning self's
pretense at sanity.
Responsible
ethical
moral
always has to pay the bills
for you know who.

I once tried to get them together
a meeting of these two
but it quickly dissolved
into
a
shouting match
across the twilight dew
never could get them together
they were as different
as
me and me
and
you and you.
"one **** over the line. . ." Brewer & Shipley, 1970.

— The End —