Saturday, July 14, 2012

Weathering ★★★

We hadn't intended to have a hurricane party
But the morning after we danced and drank
and fell asleep in piles on couches and blankets
the storm hit.
Breakfast was soda and chips
and leftover Thai food.
We stood on the porch
wearing yesterday's clothes,
best jackets,
and swim trunks,
watching the rain come down in sheets
flooding the roads
and making great spinning gyres
that came over the hoods of passing cars.
And above it all, ominous
was the distant wail of a siren
and a disembodied voice
telling us to stay indoors.
It wavered in the wind
and seemed to come from everywhere
and nowhere
all at once.
The storm would thicken or break
as its arms passed over us
allowing us brief moments of respite
in which to rush to the car and
like valiant warriors
defying death itself
drive to get fast food.
Our return was met triumphantly,
and we sat and ate our spoils
doing our best to mourn that
they gave us the wrong order
and forgot the straws.
We laughed together,
with eyes bright,
as the storm washed us over,
and finally, as the weather broke,
we all went to our respective homes
driving highways filled with fallen branches
spying here a lost lawn chair,
there a rubber ball
and of course the water,
always everywhere,
in great murky pools
that invaded roads, ditches, and parking lots,
as if we had come back
to a different place
than the one we had left.

Recurrency ★★

Let me speak of echoes.

There are two true monsters I have known,
vain attractive bewitching creatures
each as cruel and elusive as the other.

In a way
the latter came to feel
as a shortened parody
of the one that came before;
both were marked
by an error of the body
and by a tattoo on the breast,
a design of their own fabrication,
as if the ink had sunk into their very flesh
and twisted their hearts.

In my memory they had eyes to bite the soul
though one wore blue and the other honey.
They shared a similar tastes in clothes,
and obviously in women ,
because they both sank their claws in me.
For a time anyway.

Our meeting was
a story told twice by different tellers,
starting with a concert missed
that led to sharing drinks with his friends
then slipping into his arms,
and then into his bed,
and then not doing anything more
but sleep.

The endings follow
and are always bitter
both took with them,
from me,
besides the grief and biting teeth,
besides my pride,
a book with a story
one separate from what was told on its pages,
and one I still would find
worth fighting over.

Do I receive such men unto me
as recurring punishment of past misdoings?
Am I haunted by some ghost
with a memory come unwound
trapped repeating it's story time and time again?
Or is it I who is cursed to repeat the same refrain?
a song, a dismissal
a karmic cycle

And if I looked would I find others?
Did the girl who called me names in grade school
in sleep blossom inky flowers
upon her thin breast?
Is life just you and I
sitting around a campfire
singing rounds
each picking up the last in endless echoes
each the same but slightly different
until we all collapse in sleep?

Used To Know ★★★

I say I knew him well
as if this is a thing I stopped doing.
Knowing him I mean.
Instead I seem unable to displace
that ocean of unneeded trivial details
that comprise his uneasy memory.
The way his hands moved during his mounting anxiety.
The soft scent of him,
always bringing to mind the color green.
I can uselessly recall the way he takes his coffee -
with milk, two spoons sugar -
or the bend of his body in sleep,
the rise and fall of his chest
while I lay melancholic beside him,
afraid to make a noise.
Burned into my eyes
is the brand of that coiled form
How could there be such peace and burden?
Yes, I know him.
Or I know who he was,
the immortal frozen titan in sleep
so large and monolithic
in each small breath.
A body now more mine than his
in the recollection of his whispered presence,
caught in me and lost to him.
Just as I am stuck in other chambers still.
But if you saw us in a photo,
if any still exist,

and asked,
I would hear myself say,
in what must be my voice,
He’s just someone I used to know.

Grey ★★★

It’s the middle of the night
and the world consists
of brilliant flashes of color and gradients of black.
You sit beside me in the car
singing along to the stereo,
a forgotten album
from some one hit wonder from the nineties.
Instead of stars we get a charcoal grey
and the air is hot and sticks to the skin
filling our breath with thickness like oil,
but things are just fine
here with you.
My windshield blurs the lights of the cities we pass through
lens flares and psychic auras and ghosts
that we leave behind us each in turn
until we are left alone in grey,
but such a splendid shade it is for once
though I couldn't tell you why.

Embody ★★

There is an itching in my fingers
somewhere between the palms and the tips
that makes them yearn to curl and grasp
lock onto some material tautness
but I know it would only make the stiffness spread
so instead I spread them wide
to let the night seep through them

I twist a dial and it starts to blend
with the dancing melodies
or drifting somber notes
riding them out as if physical
as if it were the thing that breathed the wind in my hair

The dark becomes endless like the ocean
and brilliant and hot like desert casinos
some vagueness swimming alongside me
like a friend
but only one you would trust
just so far

Soon I feel as if melted into this thing I have created
and the unknown alleys slide by
hidden places I have never tread
and there is darkness in my teeth
and pools sliding between my lips

I can ride this out or turn away
for my mother taught me strength and force of will
and my father taught me strength and how to use that will
how to consume pain and fear
and also
to always be prepared
and how to look like you know what you are doing
and when to run
because these woods are full of monsters
and I am alone