words tumble lottery loose
and I am just another loser
who plays with his last dollar
his last wish
his last hope
easy pick is no way to write
20/20With the misty dream20/20 by Eremitik
That is Love,
Death and God,
We are who we are-
Fearful congregations of lemming insistence
Unlocking unknown stupidity
And faltering wisdom-
Brings cryptic answers to unasked questions
But those answers are questions, more and more
To create nothing from nothing
We excel, ignorant.
Blind sight is 20/20
Live-FireWe knocked him out of the sky with the first shot. I couldn't believe it; our missile went straight up and arced along the edge of a cumulonimbus, and from the ground it was impossible to tell if it was anywhere near the target. There was a flash of green light in the sky and the CO cried out "gotcha!"
I rode in the turret on the lead Humvee, sweating bullets and barely able to exercise trigger discipline when we got a visual on the target's crash site. The storm front was passing over now, and a torrential rain came down on the farmer's field where our convoy pulled off the road and gathered round a crater. It was a deluge, truly fitting what we had done, and most of the platoon dismounted from their vehicles and descended the crater. I stayed on my gun, providing cover that I knew wouldn't amount to shit if our target was still breathing.
They brought in a stretcher and a moment later carried out the body. It smoked and smelled vaguely of...well, all I can say is it smelled green.
Refuel.Sunset. The Texas sky was a royal shade of lilac fringed with burnt orange and various blues. The treeline had faded into one long, jagged shadow forming a hazy fence around the empty highway. A harvest moon had just cleared the top of the pines - a beautiful moon, sure, but small; it might have been the size of a nickel, but was probably closer to a dime. The moon never gets as big for us as it does for the movies.
I was leaning against my beat-up old Dodge minivan in a deserted convenience store parking lot, staring idly into the twilit sky; I probably looked creepier than a bruised-up runaway with a knife and a grin and detailed opinions about the girl next door. The pollen-y dust that collects on the van in late spring left a greenish streak across the back of my cheap blue shirt, which bothered me in an abstract way. It was stuck in my mind like popcorn in my teeth, the knowledge that my shirt was coated in pollen that would probably coat the seat of my car, would probably stain o
Road TripI put a bullet in her head, but she keeps coming back to my front door. That's my fault.
But what isn't my fault, what I will never accept as my fault, are the things she leaves on the doorstep for me to find after she staggers back into the lake. They're photographs and diaries, addresses and phone numbers.
It's always something horrible--the first photograph was of four men in hoods surrounding a little girl on a plinth in a large stone room. They had cut her vertically along the belly, and her face was distorted. Another time I decided to go to an address; it was in Pittsburgh, a long way from my home. All it was, was an abandoned project. Barren floors and paint peeling from the walls, broken windows and the smell of mold and excrement. Then I stumbled on a trap door and found a pit to the old sewer line below. It stank of burning hair.
And the diaries. Oh, God. The things some people have seen.
But yesterday she left me a set of keys. I'd long since given up screaming at he
The Cousin in New Orleans The Christian kids were following me long before I knew it. It's true that I was distracted by many things. It was my first trip to New Orleans (pre-Katrina) and I found it delightful. I rode the trolley, which made me feel like I was inside a giant pinball machine because of all its bells and whistles.
Views of stately homes, hanging Spanish moss and green, green lawns completed the feeling of being in another realm. Well, I was in another state, having arrived from California about a month before. Before that, I'd been on the commune in Colorado, where I'd eventually return. But now I was in love with New Orleans.
I went often to the French Quarter to people-watch and listen to the music, all kinds of music. I never saw the other side of the Mississippi; it was foggy every time I tried. I also went to Tulane University, to sit in the student union and feel more at home.
Probably about now I should say I was under the infl
Silver NoirSilver bullets come seven to a magazine, all fitted to a special handgun carried alongside the usual, and every single shot has to be accounted for. Expensive little things. A cop can get written up for being too wasteful and careless with them – there’s been problems, see, with some of the less upstanding boys selling the silver on the side, then reporting a lot of ‘missed shots’ in mysterious ‘it got away’ Big Fish circumstances.
I used all seven of mine last night. Every single one, against just one target. None of them missed. The first was fatal. I kept shooting anyhow.
I am far beyond write-ups now.
I should turn myself in, I know. I should have done it last night, after I’d finished staring at the body. I wasn’t thinking. I was blank. The force was all I knew, and now it was gone. My life was over. I left the gun there – no ammo, no further use in it for me – and I just…wandered off.
I’m not wandering anymor
Intelligent DiscussionThere was only one seat left in the bar. Richard slid into it without a second thought, without even glancing at either of his neighbors…until he heard the one on his right call for the bartender at the same time as him. Then they both looked.
The patrons immediately around them hushed. Over by the door, the bouncer looked quietly attentive.
“Is there a problem, gentlemen?” the bartender asked, a clear warning in her tone. Richard gave his neighbor another side-long glance, saw his own narrow-eyed, wary expression reflected back at him, and offered the first tentative flag-wave of a truce.
“No. I’m here for a vacation.”
“…me, too,” said the other, and since there were still no other empty seats to be had, they settled back into their adjacent stools and did their best to ignore each other as the rest of the bar relaxed around them.
Unfortunately, ignoring your arch-nemesis, an arch-nemesis apparently on vacation i
I Know What I Am Worth"A five-dollar bill," she said. "I had it with me just before I left the house, and now I just can't find it!"
My mother looked sympathetically at Terri. "Are you sure you didn't put it in your purse?"
"I'm certain," Terri emphatically replied, looking in her purse just to make sure. "I put it in my coat pocket along with my keys. I set my coat down by the door, and when I put the coat back on, I locked the house and put my keys back in my pocket. I felt it in there."
She gave my mother a look. "It must have fallen out on my way here! I need to find that Five."
My mother looked at the fresh pot of coffee and the fresh cookies hot from the oven. They were carefully arranged on the kitchen table, ready to be eaten and drunk as the two women would spend hours talking and gossiping. My mother looked forward to "having coffee" on Saturday with her friends. &
Mom, What's a Vagina?At 9 years old, I rushed home late from my school's "Just Say No" assembly to catch a new episode of Oprah with Dr. Oz. My mom didn't know I watched it, but Oprah was my idol, and I hadn't missed a single episode that year. The doctor strutted on the stage, with all his years of medical training and mastery guiding his tall step and wrinkled smile. He stretched the blue gloves to his elbows, and dragged the tarp off of the organs he called "healthy". They were a dull pink, and I could almost feel my own fingers scraping against the spongy flesh when he held it up for all to see. I felt a chill in my spine as I raked my own hand over my shirt, and I tried to see what I can feel through my skin and ribs. Only a young beating heart, locked away and dancing to the commercial jingles.
Soon, Oprah and Oz were back, and taking questions from the audience. I groaned when none of the grown-ups knew what to ask. Sure, heart blockage was all very interesting, but when would they ask the goo
Shadow ReedeNo sirens
go hand in hand
along the streets
with feathers and stones
braided in their hair
with lips sewn shut
and spider-webbed eyes
the tiny little monsters
and demons and things
that skitter like dead leaves
over cobble stones and graves
in the shadows roam
sharp, like little cats' teeth,
grinning behind masks
and crimson sigh,
and you will know them
by their smiles,
and spider-silk between fingers
cold as Death
and the litter of leaves
and turned earth
turns dirt and worms.
No sirens these,
nor girls neither,
despite guise of youth,
such lovely beasts
with nightmare glare
whence you should chance
to glean such serenade
as to draw the Shade,
now and forever more,
draw the shade...
and draw the shade...
Happy Ever Aftermath
Happy Ever After
Wish that I could say that
In all Honesty
In all Ernestness.
Happy Ever After
Is something strange and winding
It's but a fairy tale
It's but a dream gone stale.
Happy Ever After
Is glaringly blinding
That is a bath
In boiling water.
An intricate path
Thus I pin all my hopes on my
Happy Ever Aftermath.
the new breed of the living dead
the new breed of the living dead
does not walk around
by nighttime at all
they prefer the bright daylight
hollow minds, empty eyes
glued to facebook, whatsapp, twitter
I would laugh till I cry
if it wasn't that bitter
aren't they the generation
of the free, funny and lovestruck?!
now they are dumbstruck
"Obey" written on their clothes
hunting, fishing for lemmings to follow
blind leading the blind
users get high on their own profile
addicted to stranger's attention
slave to the soulless treadmill
tied to fackbook, whatcrap, twatter
you hope it would
but nothing's ever gonna get better!
Into the PrisonThere are too many people who die in the hopes that whatever pain they feel, it will end once they are dead. But it doesn't end, much to their sadness and surprise. People still feel pain in the Afterlife. We all feel it, perhaps more than we did in life. And here, there is no death to save us from this pain. Some poor souls will go through great lengths to avoid it, but the best anyone can do is put it off for a while. That’s the reason we end up here—to finally deal with the pain once and for all. Easier said than done, I know, but it happens. And if we can do that? Well, then we get to move on. Usually.
The Prison never used to be here. I'd heard a story by an old rabbi once. He said that after Cain invented murder and founded a city, Abel found himself in the Afterlife, crying out through blood and earth for justice. After he’d calmed down a bit and realized there was little point in fus
Going the Wrong Way OutThere is no government in the afterlife. No bureaucracy. There is no Saint Peter standing at pearl-lined gates, checking your name in a book or scroll or database. When I was young, they would teach me stories in Sunday school about heaven. It seemed funny to me that the same people who told me segregation and exclusion were bad would turn around to tell me that Heaven was a place people were kept out of while hell had open membership. It sounded more like the difference between a country club and the little shit-hole city park by our apartment with a broken swing dangling like a lonely noose that never got fixed. When I pointed this out to the local priest, he just picked up his golf clubs and told me to go play.
There was once a god-fearing politician who always ranted about how much he hated big government. When he came down the old road, he became more and more upset. He would complain to those people passing by who looked like god-fe
Coyote Makes a Proposal“There you are,” says Coyote. He walks over to the fence and joins me there.
I don’t really turn to look at him. I see him out of the corner of my eye, but I continue to stare in silence at the Big Mountain, capped in white like an acolyte, waiting patiently for the day when its bellow will be heard and felt down to the bone.
Coyote leans in imitation on the rustic fence, hewn of rough beams and posts of wood that fit inside one another without nails. Open. Minimal. We stare for a long time. Nobody talks. Not even the Mountain.
“Grizzly send you?” I finally ask.
Coyote looks down at the dirt and wildflowers and kicks a small trench in the sandy dirt. “Not exactly. But we’re all kind of wondering what’s up.”
I exhale and kick a trench of my own under the fence. “You and me both.” A hawk cries and wheels in the sky. Not Hawk. Just a hawk.
Death, Like an Old Montana RoadI stuff my hands in my old jean pockets and walk across the gravel parking lot. On the other side lies a patchwork box of a building. An old yellowing marquee sign in the shape of an arrow points. Half the lights are out and more than half of the letters that used to advertise CHX FR.ED STE-K & FRI—something. The K is turned sideways and is half hidden by the ampersand.
Most people’s version of heaven is a bunch of people walking around a cloudy landscape over a golden street. I’m told there’s a gate and pretty women with yellow blonde hair, bird wings sticking out of their backs and little hand-held harps. Glowing hoops hover magically overhead of everyone, and everyone is dressed for church in stuffy suits and dresses. Sometimes, there’s a grassy park. Usually, there are relatives. Everybody smiles.
My afterlife is different.
Coyote smiles. “I see you found the place.”
I nod. “Easy to miss if you’re not looking f
Instructions for Being a Good GirlKeep a smile handy, along with your lipstick.
Squeeze your heart to fit in a top.
Walk on needles and don’t dare to trip.
Taste is a luxury, calories are unforgivable.
Those are the basic rules, got them all down?
Pick a face now.
You’re lucky, girls come in two models -
Vixen or virgin.
The measures are fixed, customize the colors,
But not too much.
No warranty, no exchange.
Remember, all women are witches.
It’s still a fact, even if a letter is changed.
The modern witch needs nothing but glamours.
These come prepackaged - beauty in a capsule, youth in a tube.
Running out? Sorry, thanks for playing,
Glamours are the currency for all your trades.
Witches come in two models - sexy or hag.
Let’s see, what am I forgetting?
Be helpful, “no” is the worst insult a person can hear.
Nod. Wave. Laugh at unfunny jokes.
Let others enjoy you.
And didn’t I tell you to smile already?
Midwinter DreamI dreampt
you wrote me a poem
in which you deigned
repeated unto me
what I did mean.
from afar we cannot meet
but still I wonder
you ever think of me at all?
And why oh why
don’t ever call
on words and such
secrets to keep
on tangled tongue
did you hear at all
or am I just this undone?
Words on a page,
it’s all I have
this life’s stage
and of you I’ll dream
in tender sweet
that someday touch
palm to palm
FallowWhen I was a little girl, we lived in a house with a nectarine tree. My father tended to it faithfully, watering it and pruning away the dead wood and the branches that would grow too heavy with time, sealing the trimmed edges with care. Each spring, it bore a can-can line of frilly, fragrant petticoat blossoms, cast away wantonly beneath the carnal attentions of buzzing cyprian bees. Each summer, it groaned beneath the weight of fruit, ripening in heavy round golden bellies, basking in the honeyed California sunlight, serene and assured in its fecundity. For a glorious few weeks, we would eat nectarines all day long, in as many creative applications as we could think of, canning the excess for a taste of summer in the fallow months to come.
One spring, the tree dropped every one of its leaves, instead flowering in a veritable nova of blooms… somehow, it sensed the end of its long, slow life, and in one last tremendous effort, it sank all of its energies into posterity, producing
untitled4I can hear her voice in this. These are the words she said to you and you're saying them to me in a desperate attempt to stave off this feeling. That you have. About me. She's saying it all and I can hear and if I pay close enough attention she becomes me and I become you and we drift away on a cloud of synth and acoustic guitar deep enough to drown the world.
How can I be this for you? It's not about changing my shell - I'm tried that, done that, prayed for that, dreamed up plans to change my face into hers. You would think it was sick if you allowed yourself to believe me, but believe me. Had I any skill or desire or bravery or cash, this visage would be but a distant memory and you would hold her again in your arms. And it would make no difference.
You like them broken and wounded, you like them unfixable, like you, so that you give reason and shape to your misery. Sing your songs. I will listen for as long as I can.
Unnatural SelectionNever a dull night. Nick and I were called out to a distant corner of the preserve last night after an alarm went off. The moon was full, casting a silver pallor on the snowy ground so bright we didn't need our headlights. I always hated how the alarm system was built. When it went off, it meant we had 5 miles of fencing to inspect. Usually we found nothing more than a downed tree or, worse, a section of rust. But this time, the cut and twisted wires greeted us in plain sight. There's something about full moons.
Ditching the pick-up was our only option. The trail was impossible to see from it. Even with us following the trail on foot, it quickly disappeared into the powdered northern scrub. We tried to find it again, but tracking at night is never easy, particularly when the snow is loose and easily carried by the wind to cover footsteps.
"What was that?" Nick asked, turning. He pulled his rifle off his shoulder and crep
KillerI am ready to kill him.
I am watching his wife leave for work. He is retired. He never goes anywhere before ten thirty.
She climbs into a blue minivan and leaves. If she notices me watching, she gives no sign.
I wait; the car is idling. I wonder if I should turn it off, decide that the sudden change in background noise would draw attention to me.
He comes outside; bermuda shorts and wifebeater. Opens his garage door, which rattles like thunder. I grab the shopping bag from the backseat, check the contents. Rubber bands, clam knife, bamboo skewers, cotton clothesline twine. I grab the expandable flick-baton thing I got from the GI surplus store.
My hands are sweating.
I get out of the car. He has his lawnmower out in the driveway. I wait until he pulls the starter cord to shut the door, let the noises blend. He doesn't notice.
I look up and down the street. Nobody.
He is still yanking away at the lawnmower ripcord. Thing won't start.
I start walking across the street, still glancing lef
Weakness: First WaveBeen too long, unbroken
Since I've faced the eyes of the reaper
Been so strong, mistaken
Wounds had just fallen deeper
Nightmare dreams, we scream
Hang my heart on a wire
Evil gleams, ripped seams
We'd been masking the fire
Smoke in lungs, cough, spurt
Swallow poisoned rejection
Broken tongues revert
Cutting out the infection
Panic Attack: Winter BonesIce permeates
the depths of bone
Weakening every structure
The shadows lived
And veneers began to fracture
Ice replaced our veins
attacked a nerve
And left us with these stains
I Tripped...Let me close my eyes and
Sleep on your heart.
Up on my tippy-toes I'll climb,
And my lips will embrace yours
MetamorphosisI have been blinded to the future
Yoked, as I am, to the past.
The boxes of mementos mori
Weigh me down with the taste of dust
The stale scent of incompletion.
The smiles I wore in those years
Were left breathless and blue
Stillborn epitaphs inked upon
The backs of photographs
And keepsakes no longer meaningful
To the guttering ghost I have become,
Haunting my own shuttered life
Hunting for refuge in dark corners
Today, November’s candles
Smoke in the waning sun
But I shall feed tomorrow’s Midwinter bonfire
With yesterday’s pain and paper
Today's fallen leaves
Glowing butterflies against the cold and darkness
To light my way onward.
blushing velvetpoetry blushes
a red velvet champagne
when we wake naked
beneath caramel sheets
haunted by bad habits
her kiss is secret-heavy,
an iron hope lingering
as morning salts
over the ghosts of porcelain remembers,
((fool-ferocious and fevered))
slip joy out the window
and return to her embrace
Ocean Sweptthe ocean is quilted with goodbyes,
a patchwork trove of heart death
breathless and beat lost
lungs rip in the breakwater,
breaks creak in the cracked masts
of stair stepper spines
because the strength you siphoned
from dead haunts and graveyard poets
left warped handholds
and treachery in the falling:
a host of hesitant admittances
you refuse to put your name to
instead, you bask in anonymity
Lucky Laura from Classic Lit
will take the strappy heels you slipped
beneath the fringe of two-ply sheets
home with her, leaving antique heart rust flakes
tucked like treasure payment
into half-empty Advil bottles
it was a swap and shift, a bliss inconsistent
in its reverent impotence--
years from this moment,
you'll lick your lips after champagne
and swallow the whispers of his name
he was never more than saltwater
in all your open wounds
you'll never break the same
November SkyThis is where we come to get lost
Where the horizon meets with sudden
The ease of orange marmalade and honey
But passion strikes us in its reflection
Cascading desire for the unattainable
Burning blistering in our hands as we
Catch stars like fallen embers which arose
From fires burning to challenge the cold
In nights bewitching the tempest of twilight
Though silently soothing like cinnamon in fall
i don't always tell the truthwe are not constellations,
now -you whip past
in a violent frenzy, inches
away from my face-
to find purpose in a star
i rush back to the arms
of a possible protector, they only
hold me for a moment
in burdened silence,
letting go when the pain
outweighs the gain
by a few tons of
light years later, you
reappear on my horizon
just before the sun,
on vaporous feet
in an orbit of devotion
you look so lovely
and my eyes fall for it
but the rest of me is itching
to be something new
and someplace else
you insist that we
organized by chaos
by our audience
ending in chorus
from where i stand,
the cosmic shiver of your lie
is like an echo
through hypothetical bones
we are not constellations,
your heart in pieces
scattered across the void,
The MirrorThe man in the wrinkled brown suit spotted the mirror in the corner of the store, hidden behind a rustic picture frame and a broken coat hanger. I had hoped no one would see it for a while, and when it was discovered, I would have moved on. The truth was that I would most likely never move on. Sitting behind the front counter, trying to hide behind a yellowed copy of Brighton Rock , a chill went down my spine as the memories returned to me once again.
I'd first found it myself in an antique store much like my own. It wasn't hidden. The owner had hung it near the register and written the price on the glass with a red grease pencil. Look for something that I can put in the bedroom, above the dresser, my wife had told me previously that day. I purchased it without thinking.
My wife was a gracious woman. She never asked for much, only the occasional favor. The decorative hanging that
Survivors drink Coffee #1Their lifestyle binds people to one day be lines of chalk
in a city that leaves mockingbird corpses all over its sidewalks.
I walk by as the leafs die. Petals that once dabbled in growth
now lay on the rotting floor.
The city is mankinds junkie daughter with a hoarder spirit. Now the rain starts to waterboard her and push her to the limit. But thanks to the brave little torture chamber occupants, that ripped out the fuse to beat the killswitch to the punch, she can keep living, she can keep breathing, thankful for us stopping evil locust achievments.
Somehow in this cruel world we got to keep moving, dealing with authoritys that dont know what they´re doing. I´m on the train home that races towards the evening, where I will find a serene scenery most deciving.
No matter how rough, nothing can stop me. I´m a survivor and survivors drink coffee.
A Motel In Limbo"Got a view of the pool?" I ask.
The small elderly man behind the desk checks the directory. "How many nights?"
He fishes the keys out from under the desk. "Room 210, Miss. Housekeeping comes at eleven, and the pool opens at twelve."
Everything in the room is yellowed, from the numbers on the door to the sheets on the bed. I make a quick sweep of everything that is there. I make sure the windows are sealed and that there is nothing suspicious in the nearly-unclean bathroom. What housekeeping? I sit down on the bed for today's cocktail of medication, storing the bottles in the nightstand drawer for now. I take out the bible and toss it to the other side of the room, and someone walks by my window outside. I light a cigarette (having no idea if this is a smoking or non-smoking room) and head to the door to get a look at the new neighbour.
I pull back the curtain with my free hand to
on life supportI'm fine floating in space
Disconnected from the world
Until I think to myself
What if my rocket leaves me
CreatureOne little eye, one inch wide,
One little life as a three pound mind:
Look up for a time, just beyond home,
Out in the darkness of space we float.
Distant stars, ballroom dancing,
Waltzing galaxies, the universe entrancing;
More color there than can ever be seen
Bursts, too, in dust forming every heartbeat.
The iron of asteroids condensed with the sun,
The iron of the mountain rests in our blood;
Plant and animal seem descended from one,
Every individual fuzing when seen from above.
Cutting its teeth within its own flesh,
The Cosmos remunerates consciousness,
And yet through the pain, pleasure is sought
In one little biosphere love has wrought.