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Showing posts from May, 2013

Farm Hand

Them goats. They got themselves into the house 'tother day. Them was just playing around, doin' them goat things they do, eatin, shittin, makin a gen'ral mess of things.
We usually keeps a tight ship here. My wife an I, we got the good blessin's of the Lord to have had a full house, and the even gooder blessin to have 'em kids leave the nest whence they were grown. So, whence they left we had to keep the farm run ourselves. The chil'ren were good fer hoing and plowin. My eldest son, he's the bright'un, he went off to college and got himself a good little girl. She's precious. A daughter, if'n you reckon what I mean.
My youngest jus' left a few month back. It were he who always left the gate open so them goats would get free.
I don't blame 'em. They smell somethin' nice comin' from our kitchen (my wife is the best damn cook in this here county), and they come waddlin' in. You see, them is silent. I call them, sometimes b…

It's Near

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Time for a short story. This is a response to the Writers Digest prompt for the week of the 28th.

My grandfather always told me to never have children. He was scared our children would end up complete messes. His children certainly did.
I was raised by my grandfather. My mother was "addicted to controlled substances," but I knew she was a sex-crazed meth-head. My father was a womanizing sports car driver with an enormous ego and severely diminished id. He didn't stick around.
So, I tried to follow my grandfather's advice and aim for a life of celibacy. I joined the seminary, got a job preaching, and wound up a deacon, married, with three kids.
I met my wife in the summer of '03. I was one of the pastors of our church and Anna was a recent college grad who was unconvinced religion was real.
What ensued was 188 hours of deliberation, libations, and sex. My grandfather tut-tutted, but 10 years later, he's a proud grandpa.
My kids, Eli, Nicole, and Claudette, are 7…

Seat, Otherwise Known as Power

Again, I find myself drawn to the shadorma. It's a gorgeous little form from Spain. Here's my most recent one.

His seat was
sweating with power
soon to be
overturned.
Along the far horizon,
the drums of war droned.

A Senryu Series

The poetic form Senryu is similar to a haiku. It has a total of up to 17 syllables, usually in a 5-7-5 pattern, and doesn't fit the nature or cutting archetypes of haiku. It's fun being concise.

NOTHING FORGED IS NOTHING USED
They forged the wall from
stone and steel, hiding their eyes
while their castle fell.

GIVE AN INCH
I always laugh at folks
who insist upon
rulers for life’s measures.

BE STILL, YOUTH
It’s a most curious thing,
that tears of joy and pain
are both the same color.

OBSERVING REQUIRES SIGHT
One of life’s ponderables:
needing one’s
glasses to find one’s glasses.

SOMETHINGS NEVER CHANGE
He picks up the old, battered
coin, flips it,
and walks to the nearest slot.

BAREFOOT IN THE ASH
As I walk barefoot
in the ash, I remember
that rain washed me clean

Waterlogged

Waterlogged.
The soccer game ended early
and now, he stood on the curb,
with the rain coming down,
and the only word
he could think of was
waterlogged.

Soaked,
through and through,
comes from the lumberjack
tradition of sending
logs down the river.
They'd soak up the water,
making them useless
until they dried out.
They'd weigh too much.
They wouldn't burn.
They'd have to sit out in the sun,
and sometimes they'd mold over,
making them brittle and hollow.
Waterlogged.

The streets glistened with the newly applied surface,
the tires of cars-by squealing in lack of control.
But with each new car that passed him by,
he continued to be soaked through and through.

He'd catch his death of cold.
Wouldn't that serve him right?

At least they won the soccer game.
He laid down on the sidewalk
and let the rain pelt him and squeak
through him
and touch him and know him intimately.
He could almost feel him being sent down river.

Soon he would mold.
Soon he would be hollow
and the house that would …

Paddy Wagon

Sometimes, when I leave the windows open, I wake up with a slight chill, pulling at my covers. I try to go to sleep with the covers already on, though, so I don't wake up. But, sometimes I can't help it, especially in the middle of summer, when the heat just lasts on through the moonshine, and I feel like tomato soup.

I say all that to say that I'm not accustomed to waking up in the middle of the night hugging myself. Why do they call it a "straight jacket" anyway. It doesn't keep anything straight.
The two men were named Ajax and Phil. Nice guys. We probably could have been friends if it weren't for the fact that they were carrying me from my apartment into the back of the lorry. Lorry. I love the names the Brits give things. Bangers and mash. Tosser. Kip. Dog's bollocks.

Ajax and Phil looked at me funny as they passed me into the lorry. I guessed I must be crazy. Why else would I be walked out of bed and into the back of a paddy wagon (that's an…

Whisky needs a chaser

Friday nights,
I find myself planted
belly up to the bar at
Morrow and Bakers.

The bartender's name is Jacky,
at least that's what her name tag
tells me.
She works weeknights, so I
only see her once a week.

Jacky's an older lady,
perhaps in her sixties,
old enough to be my mom,
so I can't help but think of her that way.
Usually, our conversations
don't extend past
niceties,
but I've been coming in here a while,
though it's a dive,
and Jacky's become a friend of mine
and this bar is our treehouse.

I always wonder why it is I come here,
come back Friday after Friday,
and I think it's the way
Jacky hears the bell
above the door and
her eyes turn to
face the draft,
her lines seem to disappear and
for just one moment
her hair hints at a
luscious brunette,
and then she shadows over,
face back to the brew,
eyes back to grey.

I asked her about it once.
She said she hadn't had enough
drinks.

The next week, I asked again,
because now that I noticed it
it has become like a secret,

Cover to Cover

At first, the page is clean and blank;
our eyes unable, blind to words.
We pick and choose the phrases that
we won't/cannot misunderstand.

But, things get easy, so they say.
The words we read become more real.
We find beginnings are made of
our truths and wills and hopes and dreams.

The story must begin! We say.
And it, when it starts, we're happy.
The pages turn, the plot thickens.
We are but children, bright and new!

But with each page comes plot and spite.
We meet conflict, antagonist,
the rising action, see the twist.
Our love is torn from lover's limb,

and we become the pages torn.
It starts off happy, doesn't it?
We climb the good climb to the top
and try to never turn around.

But in the end we cannot help
but fall in love. Acquainted with
the lover's quarrel, we have the taste
of blood on our crimson-dyed lips.

Despite how wretched, wrinkled we
become, we cannot find the fight
to put our books on dusty shelves
and file away our lonely lives.

Smiling, While Knowing the Difference Between

In the study, next to the kitchen and
lined in gorgeous windows,
sits an old dust jacket
hiding the contents of his favorite book.

If you asked him, he couldn't tell you why
it's his favorite book.
Perhaps, though, he'll smile like he always does
right before he whispers the truth.

He says,
It's the time before the new chapter
and shortly after the last one.
We, you and you, scan and skim,
and when the last period is done

you pick up where you left off,
find that numerical green light,
or cleverly abbreviated name,
and read on into the brilliant night.

But I want to know. I want to
see what happened between
Bombadil's leaving the council
and when they arrived in Bree.

I want to know that Ender's dream
turning his days into a murderer's
fantasy will all be washed clean
with Demosthenes's thunder.

What happens between the quill of one
and the first quill of the next?

And then, he's silent,
for he's said all he can.
He still hasn't explaine…

I. The Beginning

There's always a beginning,
isn't there,
born in peace, and settled?

Bottles and Breakups

I lost my wife in amongst the human detritus about a half hour ago, and I found myself standing awkwardly in front of an old table spread with old things. I'm ambivalent about garage sales. Sometimes you find something good, something that has history, and it will collect dust and history at your place until you have a garage sale and the cycle starts all over again for someone else.
I just hated going to them.
I decided it was time to go, so I lurched forward out of my daydream and stumbled over an old wooden box. In the process, the lid came loose and skittered across the driveway.
" Oh dear," I heard Ms Franklin say as she scuttled up to me. "Are you alright, Mr Wilcox?"
"I am," I said bending over to pick up the lid. "Terribly sorry about that."
"No, no. That old thing has been in the attic for the past 50 years. I thought that lid was sealed on forever."
"Well, it just takes a clumsy old oaf to open it, I take it." I p…

Curbside

Day 1
There's one week every
six months
where my neighborhood
loses its dignity;
white plastic chairs
sit empty on the sidewalks,
old televisions become the
scrying glasses to the pavement.

I usually join in this game,
my competitiveness
not to be outdone.

I stand at the driveway,
staring at the unadorned curb,
an eye without mascara,
so I start with my old clothes,
oversized, outmatched, and reaking of
button-shaped disappointment.
I found an old Hawai'ian shirt
lurking in the back of the shadows of the closet,
hiding in the place even the light couldn't escape.

Funny, I think to myself.
Funny I don't remember this.
When, in truth, I did.
I remembered the way my wife
laughed when I pulled it over my
undershirt in a second-hand store
dressing room.
I remembered the way the starch
made my insides ache for a cold shower.
I didn't remember the party that
came afterward.

But, into the bag it goes and I caresse it to the
curb,
satisfied with my steady hand
and with…

Something needs to change

(When reading through this post, bear in mind that I may have written several categorical claims. Please note that I am not including ALL of a certain demographic, just most.)

I was looking at my blog the other day, just browsing, and I started to ask myself: if my blog were placed in the middle of several blogs, would it stand out?

The answer was no.

So, I'm starting to wonder to myself, what can I do to make it stand out? What's the difference between my blog and others.

One, I'm not getting paid.
Two, I have no idea how to spice things up.
Three, my poems aren't filled with fancy images and moving things.

I'm relying on my poetry, but seeing as how the nation's literacy is quickly spinning 'round and 'round the giant urinal cake and down the drain, fewer people are reading (which is one of the reasons why I'm so happy I have the readership I do).

I don't know what my goal is. The face of readership has certainly changed. I wonder what Stein…

Light, a Point in Space

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Oh, to be on that train
approaching the speed of light,
descending into blue-black deserts
and trailing into desert nights.

Approaching the speed of light,
my flesh bends and twists and breaks.
And trailing into desert nights,
my bones become earthquakes.

My flesh bends and twists and breaks,
while my eyes define the arrow's draw.
My bones become earthquakes,
shaking at the arrow's crawl.

While my eyes define the arrow's draw,
I blind myself indefinitely,
shaking at the arrow's crawl,
scratching at the arrow's belly.

I blind myself indefinitely,
allowing me the time to think,
shaking at the arrow's crawl,
my infinite time in every blink.

Allowing me the time to think,
time sinks in deeply to the core of me,
my infinite time in every blink,
I am now able to see what I want to see.

Time sinks in deeply to the core of me,
and the arrow's sting becomes a dull nagging,
I am now able to see what I want to see,
your smile, stretched thin, your voice gently lagging

Little One

This one is a mixture: part haiku (the first stanza) and the piku (second stanza).

My little one swears
that the sun is growing from
her tip- toes and heels.

I can't find any
reason to
tell her otherwise.