Sunday, June 30, 2013

the dead

Everyone seemed to be looking through Adeline. She smiled and looked down as always, but a silent, invisible calling cut through her. 'They know me', she thought, 'Why do they ignore me? I've carried their weight, powdered their babies, given rides with the wind to pleading children hoisted in my basket, pasted the corner of picnic tables with bulging blueberry pies under cloth at Summer Musicale'. The ruddy-faced man at the market, the town gossip in a print dress, the constable sporting a handlebar mustache - nothing.

Timpani drums beat a steady song. She thought they came in the direction of home, but they did not grow louder, remaining the same on her eardrums and matching the beat of her heart. She headed home along the pasture lane, the only lane in the village, the wind kicking up once and sweeping away her broad-brimmed hat, the tall hay-colored grass waving. A carriage approached and she stepped aside out of its moping way. It stopped a moment, the pale rider tipped his hat. The drums ceased. She was so assuredly glad to be noticed, she nodded twice.
"Look at that sky", she exclaimed. Giant pastel clouds braided one another. "It is heavenly", she whispered to herself.
"It is for you, Adeline", he said hoarsely, turning and looking at the scene over his left shoulder. She saw his face was lunular, the rest of his profile dark. "You will be there very soon", voice fading, and he dissolved before her, carriage and all.

image by Musin Yohan

Monday, June 24, 2013

young noir

Stanley Kubrick photo
Look Magazine, 1949

You got a light? Baby, do you ever got a light. Keen. Is that yours? My old man collects them. Yellow hands that always smell like they could go up at any second. Flash paper hands. He'll end up burnin' down the pad, man. That's a great sweater. You a model? Interested in pictures? My old man, maybe he could do something with you. He's a director, you know. The Killing. Yeah, that's his film. No bull, really. My old man, the lighter-fluid aftershave guy. Maybe I could get him to look at you. You've got a face. And you got more. No, wait, come back. My hands are clean.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

theory of buoyancy

The Promenade, by Marc Chagall (1918)

The grassy blue sunlit lane dog-legged between the willows, a weathered red barn in the clearing ahead about fifty yards. He pointed to her left shoe.
"You're untied, tongue's crooked, that must be uncomfortable". Before she could answer, he added: "You should let me lift you". She looked up at him down on one knee, shoe off, a quick readjustment, alternating between tying and pushing back long dark hair falling over her right eye. She sighed.
"Lift me? Why"?
"Suppose we were walking", he said, "walking along and there before us a muddy puddle, or you twist your ankle, hobbling. What am I to do, run the other way? You should know if the man beside you is strong enough to heave you to safety".
She stood, pushed back her hair, but did not answer. She walked on until he took her hand in his. It was the first time they'd touched. He looked at her, she looked down at her shoes, a faint smile appearing like a delicate and silent rolling wave over a field of barley.
"Alright", she said hesitantly, still looking down. The shy sun came out from behind a white thinning cloud and spotlighted the barn brilliantly before them.

She watched his brown eyes the entire ride, hoisted in a room with a view, floating it seems, imagining a life of a thousand muddy puddles, but no more than a couple minor sprained ankles, thank you. His knees were weak from something other than strain as they entered the barn, leaps of faith rather than step by step by step. Her heart so pure gave him strength to go another one hundred miles if need be. The curvature of the tongue equals an opposite and invariant gravitating tongue. Of course, mind you, perfect atmospheric conditions and a a bed of hay must be taken into consideration.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

the nightmare room

The door never was locked. It is an adequate latch, so why change it out? Even after a century of foundation settling that's shifted the ceiling like slate a hundred miles underground, it's plum as a carpenter's thumb.

I'll be reading...there in that very chair, subtle as a slow sleigh ride, lost in my little world nudged along by Capote, Woolf, shoved by Hemingway, and the door softly latches with that solitary click. Like a ghost hanging a do not disturb placard. Sometimes late at night I hear the door slam. I come downstairs anyway and check. Murmured conversations of souls annoyingly finishing each others sentences cease right as I pull back on the handle. I shiver and think I'll heave the lantern one day at something with big teeth that wants my blood, and the papers will boldly type how I burned down my own home sweet home.

Maybe the dead come in the sink-dripping night to look at my books. I find some of the older books opened. And pages of my manuscript missing, perhaps used by Thurber to blow his nose. I find pages dog-eared. The cat hunches its back at those.

No, I don't need your key.
You take it and get the hell out.

Charleston Farmhouse Door, UK

Saturday, June 8, 2013

itch haiku

Brief intermission
Sipping possibilities
Dream girl forever

Tom Ewell & Marilyn Monroe
The Seven Year Itch

Five steps North, seven bread crumbs West, then five swift paces Southwest leads you to 'recuerda mi corazon,' exclusive home of
Haiku My Heart

Monday, June 3, 2013

off key

They always come back each year, the same ones. Taking down the feeder without a ladder, they impatiently zip by my ear, rapid wings echoing like a panicked staccato breath, slamming foolishly against the reflecting window, and I fall backwards. We recover nicely.
I find myself motionless, neck on a swivel and head cocked liked the feathered, listening to their lively lullaby. But I whistle off-key, blinking. The littlest birds travel zig-zaggedly, never a straight line between A and B, avoiding the claws of overfed predators, inarching their small hearts to mine. I zig-zag in life contemplating the next little event, hoping the watercolors don't run.

work of art: Waking, Walking, Singing, in the Next Dimension? (1979)
by Morris Graves
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