Thursday, September 29, 2011

She's got eyes like boarded up windows
A heart closed off to the street
Her hands have fallen:
curled and wasting against her skin lain along her lonely dress
She's too young to rise from hurt, to lift up strong from despair
But as darkness gives way to red light
Her life will be that youthfulness
Till a boy she loves boards up those eyes,
Then she'll wear that lonely dress,
her wasting skin growing rougher and more calloused with age

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Well, I was getting ready for a fight. I wrapped my hands with white cloth tape. In my small room I stood on a rug threadbare and torn and shadow boxed against a cracked dusty mirror. I bobbed and weaved, but the mirror saw me as something funny; see it was warped, just like me. No matter, empty punches came from my clenched hands. My rhythm was off, my timing slow in the stale apartment air. It was 3am, and I was getting ready for a fight. Somewhere I knew an opponent would be doing the same. I wondered if he was warped and scared like me, or if he knew my name.

"Are you ready?"

"Yeah, I'm ready. How about you, Square Corner?"

The blog sat ponderously. He rubbed his yellow beard with small blue fonts as fingertips.

"Sure, I'm ready," he said. "Ready to take off like a rocket."

The first blog in space, I thought.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

I got a lip busted open. It's 3am and I just left the One Lucky. My wobbly knees gave way and I tripped over my two loose feet. Lucky I gotta handkerchief to hold up to my laughing, bloody face. I don't know what's so funny, this thing about tripping when I haven't even been drinking, except for a cold beer. Must be the tiredness that got to me, or the cold air, or my thoughts someplace else. Must be something that made me trip and start laughing on this Square Corner night. Might as well enjoy it while it lasts. Hope I don't need stitches, but even if I do, I'll let the doctor and nurse in on the joke. Then we can all ponder wobbly knees and the absurdity of it all.

I lifted my eyes to look at the moon, but my neck hurt so bad I only saw the rising smoke of rooftop chimneys. I could see higher and higher, except these stiff muscles can only take me so far. Last night I fell in front of the One Lucky and busted open my lip. My neck felt fine, but it hurts now. I know I should be more cautious with my steps; it just seems so funny the craziness of it all. Besides, chimneys with rising smoke are nice to look at, if only for a hurting moment or two.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Poison pores bleeding of my tattooed skin
Colours of time, like a melting sky with a red sunrise
It runs, these colours of time, they poison my inside
This tattoo evaporating in pale, earthly white
Disappears with my mortal name
To a heaven's rising, an awaiting
Like a grave needle in my skin
I pierce my soul and taste again
See, I'm this ramblin' pagan
I don't believe in no fancy God in a fancy leather book
See, I'm this ramblin' pagan
I pray to the road in wandering worn shoes
I don't talk no chapter and verse, sing no rising hymn
I just whistle to the open road, my face against a cool breeze
It's Fall a comin'
A season a changin',
But this ramblin' pagan prays when he's walkin' on leather soles

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I've felt deep shadows in the interior of my mind
Seen unclearly with darkness in my eyes
I've been weighed down by an angry heart as heavy as time
This is constant, these things, this foreboding of an unblessed soul
I know what is gone sometimes will never return
But sometimes it does, and sweeps this all away
So I wait with deep shadows for that sweeping day, if it comes before time

Monday, September 19, 2011

It was 3am with nothing to do. So I turned out of bed and played Indian music on old vinyl. Something I picked up at a yard sale. I ironed my clothes with a rusting iron that slid steamy and slow against a blue shirt I should have made into rags long ago.

I was at peace, the best I'd felt in months, but I became worried the music was too loud. I folded my clothes and put them away. It was now 4am with nothing to do. So I slept and dreamt of India and their fine cotton and wished I were there. Well dressed and alive, my old rags turning into ragas, my heart singing with something to do.
I've been mugged by words. Held up against a wall and had sharp commas pressed against the thin skin of my neck. I've been tortured by pairs of colons tearing into my night eyes. Those syllables like urban gangs, circling me and taunting me, then swarming my frail self and beating my bones till I'm broken and forlorn. Those words teamed with crazy punctuation abhor me. Their wish to ruin me upon a streaked and bloodied page. I hurt from these written posts, but I heal in my own way. That's another story, a crazy comma has come my way.
I am to the fallen these open doors
Glancing in this church, rising in steeple and prayer
I am that, as this too:
The entrance to a rounded temple,
a mosque in minaret call
A synagogue as guiding light
I am those colours that bend in stain glass window
That open belfry that lets in light and crisp, cold air
I am all those things, and the disbeliever, too
There is that importance of all this, this organized prayer
The awe of a God that We create
And there are those days I pray this disbelief will go away
But no matter, there is that rising steeple
that round temple
that singing mosque
that guiding light
I believe in all that, and revel in the beauty and closeness I see in open doors

She's got eyes like boarded up windows
A heart closed off to the street
Her hands have fallen:
curled and wasting against her skin lain along her lonely dress
She's too young to rise from hurt, to lift up strong from despair
But as darkness gives way to light
Her life will be that youthfulness
Till a boy she loves boards up those eyes,
Then she'll wear that lonely dress,
her wasting skin growing rougher and more calloused with age

The Voice
I heard her voice, five minutes away
That cry for help, she wanted me to come to her aid
But she was too far, her voice was five minutes away
The wind was strong, stronger than me; it robbed me of that time
it robbed me of her, her words silenced, she fell quiet as a grave
In years since, I recall only once of that day, that distance
That injured voice dying for my aid

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Bet
Oh, if I gamble on tomorrow,
I'll bet on all the days I own
Around the table I sit
A smoky circle of steely men;
One lays down an Ace of Spades
A Queen of Hearts cries out his name
This time I feel a loss, losing the winner's hand
I missed out on tomorrow, that's all the days I own
But a Queen of Hearts married an Ace of Spades, and I went home

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I was walking near the One Lucky in a state of self-possession when I was pulled into an alley. A wild-eyed youth had pressed me against a brick wall.

"I'm scared inside my head!" he screamed. "The voices, the voices. I'm scared inside my head!"

There was that wildness in his eyes. Then came a sorry, lunatic squint and the slow easing of his two strong hands. I snuck out of the alley and heard the cry of the crazy boy scurrying against night: "I'm scared inside my head! The voices. The voices. I'm scared inside my head."

I too was scared inside my head. Afraid for that stormy youth overtaken by madness. A mother's son. A brother. A sister. A father's boy lost to the randomness of a mind dispossessed and on fire.

I stepped into the One Lucky and sat at the bar. A cynical face looked at me from a smoky mirror, but I saw no wildness, just my own worried eyes.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Last Fight
It was 3am and in a back alley an old fighter boxed against shadows. He threw lefts and rights and spoke in small, crazy admonitions: "I'll get ya's Manny. I'll get ya' Manny Weinberg. That belt you got is mine!"

They knew the fighter at the One Lucky as a harmless old fool, a braggart whose tall tales were fueled by too much cheap booze. Some laughed at him. Others ridiculed and mocked him, teasing him into off balance turns of bent sadness and desperate anger. This bothered 'Beer Mugs' Moran who pretended to pay him no heed. But he never ended the cruelty, even though inside it hurt his heart. Instead the bartender let the man box off his booze in the back alley, throwing his half-made fists against men he saw as big as windmills.

It was the first night of winter. The old fighter felt as tough as a charging bull with giant clouds of steam rising through his flared nostrils. The steam mixed with the alley light, illuminating him in a passion play; as if God were a fight fan, and was blessing one last round shrouded in an old man's mortality.

As much as the fighter felt special at 3am, he forgot about winter's first ice. He danced and slipped sharply, his head cracking against a tin garbage can.

He hit the pavement hard. Out cold he was with both arms encircling his head and his two open palms laying against the icy ground. There was no more crazy talk. No more steam rising from bullish nostrils.

An awakened old dog walked from behind the garbage cans where he slept at night. He hobbled to the fallen fighter and pressed his warm nose against the cold human skin. The stray dog didn't lick the man's face. Nor did he whimper quietly out of sadness or fear. Instead he moved with his hurting hind legs and lay down protectively along the human's chest. He felt the last, quieting beats of a dying fighter's heart. The dog then licked his own lips gently and watched clouds of steam rise into God's waiting air.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Some people watch TV till their eyes hurt
Others watch dreams in darkness;their eyes hurting at first light
Others watch nothing; their eyes gone blind long ago

I can't remember
I can't imagine a future
I'm in the now, a Hero for the moment?
So scared I am for the past and the instant I'll soon forget
It's best, I think, to hold absently to the coming night

The Screen
I went to a matinee movie
A girl sat alone in the second row
She held her knees up to her heart;
There was a small, tired crying sound,
Perhaps it came from the screen with moving pictures?
I sat in the third row, far from the girl and wondered: tired and alone
The Speech
Don't believe what I say
Question these wandering lips
I'm a wayfarer of words, I travel on broken speech
I've cut wanting hearts on shards of desperation
Made them bleed deeply in soundless emotion
Oh don't believe these moving lips
I'll try to hold back, as much as you've been warned
But I got a serpent's tongue with a razor, poisoned tip
And for you these scarred, slithering lips run fast
Speak slowly in silent time
Be told, you with your gentle eyes
Be remembered, you with your sweet woman's lips
I'm a wayfarer of broken words
I'm a traveller of dying verse
Cut I am by shards of your wandering speech