Sunday, February 24, 2013

bury it, again

Bury it, they'd say, looking up at me over the first page, halfway through the second paragraph. Don't hide prose in a dark concealed place where you might just find it again one day and hear the melancholy echo of that horrible word: Potential. Hemingway would say to take a shovel and dig a deep hole out back, bury it all in an unmarked grave in the pocket of a fighter with a huge hole its stomach, punctuated by the half-empty bottle whizzing by my head, shattering another hole in the wall, thrown as he sits alone, leaning against a soiled wall. Nice shot. Fitzgerald would be kinder. Bury it? Yes, but near a cherry tree, enriching the soil to produce the juiciest red morsels to top off delicate stemmed glasses. The kind of glass that leaves no marks upon the wall when heaved by red-eyed Gatsby, laughing harder and harder, engaged to the sport, a bored butler holding the next tray of cocktail darts, the room oblivious of my melodious latitudinal mouth searching Daisy's white neck.

Venus de Milo with Drawers (1936)
-- Salvador Dali

bury it

Friday, February 22, 2013

haiku separation

Never forsaken
Distant hearts huddle closer
Love's all that matters

galore over at
recuerda mi corazon,
exclusive home of
Haiku My Heart

Monday, February 18, 2013

the big thaw

A cold front pushed a brief warm flow across the landscape, turning snow to water, combined with torrential rain, exposing November's lost children in the muck: skeleton keys to the whiskey closet, the dog's waterlogged tennis ball, Mrs. Nestleroad's automobile, and the sealed brown briefcase stuffed with double-spaced prose feared lost forever.

Mrs. Nestleroad misplaced her car many a time anyway without the benefit of a snow drift, so that was no big deal. Once, a search party and a pack of bloodhounds found it in a tree. But the missing briefcase - because its contents held the decade long writings of Mr. Nestleroad - brought tears and anguish. It was discovered out in the middle of the field behind the house, dog's teeth dental-marked into the plastic handle. The identical markings on the tennis ball.

Mr Nestleroad spotted a gathering of magpies through his binoculars from the back porch one squalid morning as the rains eased, adventuring out barefoot into the ankle-deep mud to investigate. They scattered when he got there, but the magpie mating call he whooped when he saw his beloved briefcase boomeranged two onto his shoulders and a chorus circling above as he sloshed back to the house, falling, picking himself up, again and again, magpies head-butting the case.

He was hoarse from the earthly encrusted joy. He opened the case on the kitchen table by the light of a solitary railroad lantern, next to a white bowl of plastic fruit. The manuscript was chilled but warm and dry to the touch. He read aloud in a broken whisper lines on page seventy-one just to confirm it was his manuscript, and that it was all truly happening:

' the darkness I saw a campfire. There were six boys, sleepy, and a dog showing its teeth at me. I asked the oldest for help, and at first he looked sidelong into the fire, silent. I told them all I'd pay them handsomely if they would just come and look at the car up in the tree...'

"Oh, Mr. Nestleroad". She wasn't this happy since the time a few years ago her daughter-in-law called her mom for the very first time as they sat close on the couch, touching hips, looking at old sepia photos in an over-sized burlap album. She wept quietly, and then she wept some more. Mr. Nestleroad bypassed the skeleton keys and used a hatchet to break into the whiskey closet, taking down in both hands a bottle of Willow Manor Rare, vintage 1924.

painting: Wind of History
by Jacek Yerka

Sunday, February 10, 2013

the diner

The diner was cold. No other shops were open, closed and boarded-up with Free Rent! blazing red on warping plywood. No more trains visited a once bustling Taj Mahal station. Free prime real estate for quiet nesting birds. Quiet enough to heal broken wings. You could tell just by looking up from the swirling green marble floors below. Dead grass and bits of murky stretched plastic in ceiling openings with fresh dripping rainwater. Old paperback books rotted in the damp darkness two shops down, new cash registers rusted shut. Small books with women on the cover in sweaters two sizes small, where in the opening paragraph(I heard once)the boss ran steadying fingers down his secretary's unbuttoned blouse, right there in his office, but no one was warming to it from the spinning carousel rack hidden by plywood.

The coffee was steaming beyond the chrome-edged counter in the solitary diner. Black rings stained white-chipped porcelain cups just like staining teeth, circles too, on the clean tables, and on purple saucers. They talked almost in whispers at a table, a man and a woman, seemingly trying to build up long lost pressured steam of their own.

She had been crying; permanent creases shadowed above her brow. He reached across a number of times, she repelled, turned her gaze, and caught my eyes twice briefly, perched on the cat bird seat spinning cushion. I snapped back to my bulging egg salad on fresh white bread, quite surprised it was so good in a sparsely visited, unmarked establishment. The fountain was refreshing too, sparkling fizz in clear cubed buoyant ice.

A hollow shattering coffee cup striking the floor made me turn one last time. The Proprietor swathed The Waitress in his arms, close enough to smell her hair, and she wasn't resisting. I felt a burning on the back of my neck. I tucked a dollar under my plate and two quarters on the counter, tracking spilled coffee for the exit. Outside the vacant sinking brick building a car drove by slow, the flash of a camera from the backseat to capture the old place before it would be demolished, instead a picture of a lone man standing like a statue by an ancient building for all time, but with lots to do. It started to rain. A train whistle in the distance reminded me of how hollow my heart was, and that I had no woman's hair to smell. My neck shivered as I thought of a simple cup of hot coffee, black.

Joseph Lorusso painting.

Friday, February 8, 2013

no shadowed haiku

Beyond winter's bend
Simmering beneath packed snow
Purple clover flames

Welcome Sunrise Haikus
and tender mercies over at
recuerda mi corazon,
exclusive home of
Haiku My Heart

photo: Bing search for clover

Sunday, February 3, 2013

the old place

Splintered miniature burgundy drawers
punch cards undecipherable
inhale beyond the periodicals
papyrus scented, leather bound
most by the dead, some newly pressed
still warm to the touch

Dusted, no fingerprints
peel back the skin
smell the brittle pages
water-colored landscapes
cloaked in oil-on-canvas plots
for the ages

photo: Central Library
Manchester, U.K.
~by Robin Gosnall
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