Sunday, May 27, 2012

the writer

The writer down the hall is dead. He died peacefully in his sleep. I don't believe he would've written his obit as tame. It's buried among his papers, he kept everything, and tonight I'll jimmy the crumbling deadbolt and search with a flashlight. I know he wrote his own death notice because as I sipped coffee one evening in his apartment kidding him to teach me everything about writing I laughingly asked him to write mine. He rolled in a clean sheet and stone-faced typed one line, folded it quickly and shoved it over in a locked tray of his splintered roll top desk.

I thought he had died another day. Normally there was the clockwork sound of the typewriter pounding, floating easily through the cardboard plaster walls sporadically in the night, and if I slept on my left side facing the window that beautiful typing calmed my heart before dawn as rhythmic as a twittering Carolina Wren.

One morning was silent except for clock-less garbage men and I tossed restlessly, then sat disheveled on the edge of the bed with bowed head, reading the upside down Hanes on my briefs, hearing only my heart beat. I pulled on my jeans, combed my hair with clumsy fingers and went three doors down, listening first, then knocking lightly.

A graveled but cheerful voice bellowed his signature 'Enter!'. There was a box and bubble-wrap strewn and a shiny new laptop upon his small round cherry table. He followed my eyes, smiled and nodded. 'Mr. Underwood is no more, my friend, buried in the backyard'.
'I'll never sleep again,' I replied after some time.
'Then I'll warble sea shanty lullabies occasionally'.
And he unsuccessfully cleared his throat, began to hum instead(my cue to leave him the hell alone), turned his back bowing to the flat keyboard, writing about love for the loveless or perhaps a vignette of a babe with a babe of her own.

Wide awake at three A.M., I donned a black knit cap like a thief from every thieving movie ever made, opened the unlocked door finding a hollow shell. Either slobbering relatives or publishing vulture vandals took orange crates of archival loose leaf, the round table, the roll top desk, leaving only the bubble wrap. In the weak beam of my torch it looked like foam bubbling along the edge of the water, walking distance to a silent spot where magpies traverse in the shade of overhanging willows where The Writer looks over my shoulder humming as I write pencil to yellow paper about babes with babes of their own until reflected white clouds on the water disappear.

House At Dusk (1935)
~ Edward Hopper

Friday, May 25, 2012

two hearts haiku

Two heart lover's tryst
Thousand fine combed love me knots
Eternal brush strokes

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Love Theme from Cinema Paradiso

Chee-Yun performs....

Sunday, May 20, 2012

birds of a horse feather haiku

Clown communiqué
Aim - squeeze black rubber bulb - honk!
Harpo Marxism

The Circus With the Yellow Clown (1967)
~Marc Chagall (1887-1985)

Friday, May 18, 2012

bountiful fields

Scarecrow temp worker
Mend fence posts past harvest moon
Wintered healing hands

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painting: Four Season Farm Summer
by Fred Swan

Monday, May 14, 2012

dust for life

'Monsieur Gauguin!'
'It's not for sale, Malek', Paul answered impatiently, shaking his head.
'Ah, Monsieur Gauguin, I beg of you'.
'You beg everyday. Why is that so, my friend'?
'Alright. I will tell you, Monsieur,' he murmured, rubbing his right hand over his face as though hoping not to break down. He spoke barely above a whisper. 'The child huddled is mine'.
Paul leaned in and gazed with squinted eyes at his own masterpiece, grasping it with stained finger tips towards the orange setting sun of the dirty open window. He looked at Malek incredulously. The man was wiping both eyes with his palms, hiccuping back tears.
'Here, it is yours,' he said soothingly. Paul swiveled his gaze back and forth, searching his room. 'There. I will wrap it in heavy cloth.'
'Let me give you something for it, Monsieur Gauguin', he offered in a shaken voice, 'a token perhaps, oui?'.
'No no no. Your money is like the dust on the sill to me,' the artist smiled. 'And what of it? Every other work I do will be buried in the earth when I am buried'.
'You are sad, Monsieur Gauguin', and with eager, wide open eyes, 'go and paint some flowers next!'
'I will leave flowers to my friend Vincent.'
'That mad man?'
Paul shrugged his shoulders. 'We all live on the edge of madness', he replied wistfully, turning away to the window. A breeze swept in and dried his own tears hidden in sweat. 'But you are too kind, Malek,' he said, facing him once again and towering over the hunched man. 'Here,' he said in a thunderous voice, 'this is yours now. May your child come to the table and share in the bountiful fruit of Life!'

painting: The Meal (1891)
~by Paul Gauguin

Saturday, May 12, 2012

tree hug haiku

Circular life lines
Trebled timber, perfect pitch
Silent bark heartbeat

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photo courtesy bing search
unknown photographer

Sunday, May 6, 2012

river song

Standing at the edge of the water you sharply hold your breath as the quiet wave touches your toes and retreats. I watch you fold your arms and shiver. I want to hold you; to peel back your swimsuit as though it was that peel-able skin of a grape Mae West suggestively demanded before popping it into her succulent mouth. The water rolls in again; you stoop and cup it playfully with small prayer hands, pulling it towards you the way a cat spoons the water with the back of its tongue, your eyes closed too. You spring up, laughing and tossing the water into the air, arms outstretched, the Sun exposing all the rainbow colors of your diamond droplets and you ask me to name all the colors I witnessed. I say I don't remember them all, rather I was noticing your swirling ginger hair falling across those pale-blue eyes, your soaked cream-white suit tightening, my steadying hands preparing to peel.

image: River Irwell courtesy R.A.D. Stainforth

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

a visitor is all I ask

Just one. That's all.
You see, I have all this soup and...cigars.

Arguably one of the funniest scenes. Ever.
And that's Mel Brooks' hand dishing the soup.

low and inside

'The outfield, swung around a little to the left, deep in center, infield back, as Wally stands tall on the rubber like a statute and gets the sign at two and two. Breeze from the right as heavy clouds are turning dark. He rocks, kicks and fires. Bunson SWINGS and...oh! goes down in a heap on..what was it, Bill'?
'Appeared to be a splitter, foul-tipped that caromed off Bunson', mid-section, Chuck. Ouch! The slo-mo confirms it. Right in on his..Ow!'
'I don't think I want to watch that too many times there, Bill'.
'No. No, a shame the minors don't have the protection like the big leagues'.
'Oh man, Bill, they just showed it again. No wonder he's down on all fours'.
Dead air as Bill sees a hot chick in the first row wearing a wife-beater, as it reminds him that he needs to to strike his wife the next time the team returns home. It begins to sprinkle. He notices the ball has rolled all the way out past shortstop, no one dare touch it. The manager is looking at the ground, shaking his head, kicking dirt in thought. Men all over the park stop eating their chili dogs, frozen at their lips as they replay the slo-mo white hardball bulls-eye meteor on the big screen in left. Bill imagines beer sales will now skyrocket from the middle of the sixth for a good two innings more. He shudders.
'How do you treat something like that, Chuck'?
'You got me, Bill'.
'I suppose soaking'.
'Soaking, yeah'.
'Yeah. Soaking. Not in the trainer's, most likely back at the Motel Six. But, man, I don't know. I never. Bunson's up now, wobbly. I can see his watery eyes from here, Chuck. Gosh, if he was only a right fielder the Birds could easily replace him....'
'Bill, excuse me, but Bunson just gave the thumbs up! What a kid! Men are eating their dogs again'.

image by Manu Pombrol
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