Tuesday, October 30, 2012

one man's theory

Moon laments
upon our desirous tides,
naturally gravitating,
proving the theory
One celestial soul
orbits the other

Sunday, October 28, 2012

willow manor ball

Her name is Léa Seydoux.
Perhaps the most beautiful woman I've ever seen.
She was ready to go in four minutes. She let me watch from the edge of the bed as she combed her luscious hair with fluid arms, those small hands swimming brushes. She was most likely ready much earlier, but I do not speak French, and she had to draw me a picture - a lipstick clock drawn furiously on her hand-held mirror. I got her point. She seemed upset, but took charge, and smiling, straightened the white tie of my old Barrymore Tux with two hands. Stepping back, then towards me, she brushed my dusty shoulders, as though I just survived a deadly duel with a low flying crop-dusting plane. Off! to the Willow Manor Ball.

We were lost, seemingly speeding in reverse in my MG Midget. A huge man at a solitary rusty pump gas station on Route 33, marbles stuffed in his mouth, gave us directions to the Manor. The roller coaster road fell off into a white mist, visibility poor, and then into a clearing where the girl touched my arm and pointed back over my left shoulder, to what appeared to be an old crimson bricked church on a large lot, cars parked at an angle, and slow deliberate folks entering two white peeling doors. We went in, finding very quickly it wasn't no ball. I heard her sharp intake of breath. Once inside, we seemed at the point of no return. Sizing up the dilemma, I felt the best thing to do was a quick view.
'He looks good', I said loudly at the closed casket, the dim lit room tilting with purple velvet chairs. She gripped my arm tight, trembling. We turned and headed straight for the door, leaving a dish of hard blue candy in twisted cellophane on a small table for the dead. An old man with milky pale blue eyes stopped us with palm extended, asking if we'd sign the book. I made it Mr Henry Nessleroad And Wife, a distant laugh echoing behind us up a staircase. We ran to the car. I wanted to kill Mr. Marble Mouth. I dared not mention the ghost of Willow Manor to come, promising the girl there'd be plenty of champagne to make her forget old milky eyes. She nodded but did not understand, burying her face against my right cheek and shoulder.
'Je t'aime', she whispered, her chest heaving oh so slightly.

Turns out marble mouth was right. I'd made a left where I should've made a right, after a second left pass two rights. Two hours later we saw the orange glowing lights of the Manor shining beyond a row of shedding autumn blaze maples. I stopped briefly by her soft hand upon my chest as we crossed a wood-plank bridge over a narrow clear creek pillared with a willow tree. She got out and went to look over the side, her hands clasped in front, head tilted, mouthing something, soft poem-like as though she stood alone deep in a dark forest, her white blouse eerie against the dusk. 'Je t'aime', she said again, smiling. I really need to find out what that means.

No mask could hide the beloved hostess as she greeted us at the front door. I knew the voice - semi-husky, soft, flat, poetic - Midwestern twang, rising and falling.
'Ghost?' my date asked me.
'Not yet', I laughed.
Dinner at eight was an adventure. A nine course meal of the most delicious gourmet hamburgers nine different ways you could imagine, the girl elbowing me like a schoolmarm frequently whenever I used the wrong utensil or when my elbow came to a resting position. All I could do was wink at any witnesses that observed my clueless social graces. When two women shanghaied Léa away for a bit, I spent a wonderful half-hour in the quiet of the Manor library, buried in a deep chair, exchanging small meaningless talk with a man bearing an uncanny resemblance to Cary Grant. He offered an excellent Cohiba Esplendido cigar, a luxurious blended joy, and the books became lost in the mist. We talked as sweet, moody, Chet Baker sounds washed in from another room. It's as though all unrelated experiences in our lives were suppose to culminate in our meeting for the very first time here at the Manor. Meaningless drivel. But the last thing he said as I rose to go was singular and pithy -
'Don't lose that remarkable girl'.

I felt a confusing chill as my neck and ears burned when I viewed my date dancing with another man. I could overhear a little - he spoke the same as her, only deeper, a voluptuous, romantic, staccato, seductive tone. The champagne glass in my left hand began to splinter. And my hand was pricked and bleeding. I excused myself next to a woman behind a Lone Ranger mask that you could find three-for-a-dollar from a traveling carnival, wanting to punch her as she cornered me and went on and on about the good old days. In the light above the kitchen sink I could see the cut in my first finger, and I ran the faucet at full force. Appearing out of nowhere the hostess stood one step behind.
'You are hurt'.
'It looks bad'.
'The drawer. Here. A band-aid', she encanted like Tonto, reaching around me.
'I've had a full life', I said as she peeled a band-aid.
'You're not dying yet'.
'Perhaps I should put my feet up'.
I looked at her. 'Yes, I've had full life', I repeated hoarsely. She was smiling now. And then we were laughing. 'Go to Léa now', she insisted, firmly and lovingly. She just seemed to know the right thing about everything this night.

I danced the rest of the evening with Léa. She saw me searching for you-know-who once or twice, me spotting him in a chair asleep with a giant bottle of champagne on his lap, white droll trickling from one corner of his open mouth, and at once she pulled my lips down to hers to put an end to any doubt, then burying her face once more against my right shoulder, speaking concisely:

'je me souviendrais de cette nuit aussi longtemps que je vivrais'.

It sounded good, and made me happy nevertheless, whatever it meant. Late at night, the Hostess wished us a "full life for evermore" at the front door, her dark magpie eyes sparkling, emptying a glass of brandy cheerfully out of a shot glass, smashing it against the brick walk way. At three A.M., just as the Morning Star rose above the tree line, we revisited Léa's favorite bridge, fading music still reaching out to us in sonata fragments from the distant Manor gala, and she held me tight against her as we rocked slowly in the light of the rough-idling MG's loving headlights, almost stalling, but revved to life by some ghost at the throttle. And she did not let go until it was time to depart for Paris, releasing me with tears in her eyes, her voice breaking, 'je dois partir maintenant', resigned, and never looking back. I ran after her, caught up those small delicate hands in mine, never to let go.

Monday, October 22, 2012


Money felled from trees
Chinese fertilizer debt
Spot me a twenty?

Friday, October 19, 2012

late autumn haiku

Harvest moon's faded
Candy corn colored burnt leaves
Whitened frost voices

Golden haikus of Artists and Poets
await you across town in
recuerda mi corazon,
exclusive home of
Haiku My Heart

photo credit: tumblr search

Sunday, October 14, 2012

for sale


Cozy cottage on large, spacious prairie. Water closet attached. 2 lanterns furnished. No bus lines or shopping nearby. One mile from Willow Manor down that one lane you know you think maybe is a dead end. Dry well. Someone's Uncle Virgil lives down at bottom since World War 1. Best Offer.

painting: Midnight Snack (1984)
by Curtis Wilson Cost

Sunday, October 7, 2012

portentous potion

He took her hand. It was quiet there in her room and in the street below. He could hear the clock upon the wall and he could feel the same rhythm in her pulse as she rested her head upon the pillow.
"You must stop sending for me", he said, just above a whisper.
"I'm not to summon you when I'm ill?" she replied without response. She closed her eyes, and he let go. He went to the window, hands clasped behind, the warm sun soothing his weathered face, eyes closed briefly. He looked below. Two scrawny dogs lay under a vegetable carriage, and he saw the proprietor exit a shop and kick them away, heads bowed and scurrying away, never looking back, their sites set on a vagabond squatting before them, smiling and offering crumbs of some sort.
"You must get out of here. I know of no other elixir". He turned to her and saw her eyes flooded with tears, her cheeks no longer pale.
"There is this affair", he began in an enthusiastic tone, "soon, within a few weeks, a gathering at Willow Manor". He turned back to the window. "Perhaps you know of a gentleman then that.."
She rose slightly and tried to hide her reddening eyes.
"The Ball"?
"I know of no one", she thought out loud, voice hollow.
He walked over, a towering unexpected shadow to her, and smiled. Even in dim light, he noticed her black eyes shined, and those full rose pink lips parted slightly. He took both her hands soft in his, turning two small palms up, and she looked up at him as he examined them close like any physician would. She shivered, then felt peculiarly warm and loved. He'd catch her looking into his eyes, clumsily bowing as he gathered his medicine bag, bowing again without speaking, and part. In the days following she would send the house boy to fetch the good doctor again and again, and she would ask him as he squinted sideways into the whites of her eyes what color of gown she might wear, and when he placed his palm on her cool forehead she'd casually inquire about what foot to set forward first upon entering a room crowded with kind strangers.

art: Sick Woman (1665)
by Jan Steen

Saturday, October 6, 2012

small hand haiku

Silk strands bounding heart
Dissipating loneliness
Small delicacy

Golden haikus of Artists and Poets
await you across town in
recuerda mi corazon,
exclusive home of
Haiku My Heart
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