Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Assorted Haikus

One: First, do no harm.
Easier said than done. It
bleeds touch, breath, sight.

Rule two: All else is
commentary. Smoke, mirrors
tricks and slight of hand.

Three: It will all work
out. How? When? In my lifetime?
Clock is tick, tick, tick....

In all this, silence.
Refuse to engage, answer.
Guilt, wisdom or fear?

Can I borrow a
cup of sugar, book, scissors,
someone else's life?

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Rime of the Ancient Bicyclist

See! Here! I have an
albatross upon my head.
Not only there, but
around my neck, too,
squeezing the breath out...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Vera Told Me...

Small. Ordinary. But that woman promised it would change her life,
remove the worries, prevent the clenched teeth marks on the calendar, soak up the fears.
Oh yes, soak up the fears.
That woman promised.
After the last time, never again.
He promised, too, but he lied.
“It’s my right.”
“You promised.”
“I’m your husband.”
“You prom-”
A black eye settled that discussion.
She fingered the innocuous foam cushion.
Insignificant. Soft. How could it?
Would it?
Would he...
Dear God, let it be so.
Dear God, I’ve tried and I’ve tried and the priests can’t help or they don’t help and I’m doing what I can. I’m doing my best, God, every day, just trying to get by, I am. I swear I am.
Dear God, how much can I thin the soup before it’s not soup, before it’s colored water and salt?
Dear God, forgive me, but it’s a smaller sin, much smaller, it must be, isn’t it, God?
Dear God, please don’t let it hurt.
Dear God, please let that woman be telling the truth. So many lies I been told, lies and lies on top of lies, rubbish piled up where the trash collector don’t go because even he’s scared of being here long enough to give it a proper sweep.
Dear God, how can this be wrong?
“Momma? Momma, you alright in there?”
“Oh, sweetie, momma’s fine. Just give me another minute or two.”
Dear God, let this cup pass them. Please let my girls grow up safe and whole and, dear God, may they never know what I’ve done.
“Momma? We’re hungry, momma. Can I make tea?”
“Right, love, put the kettle on. And take out the jam. We’ll have a bit of jam on our biscuits tonight, won’t we, lovey? Yeah, that’s a good girl. I’ll be right out. Thank ye for minding the little ‘uns. Now, let’s all have a wash up and then we’ll have our tea. Yes, you can put a teaspoon of jam in the tea. we’ll have us a little party, now, won’t we? Just lovely.”

It’s Better to Light a Candle than Curse the Dark-Or is it?

She’s lost time. Here, in her box, her special place, there is no clouded noon or sequined night, no visual clue of the natural rotation of the Earth, no calendars with little boxes filled up in runes and hieroglyphics, then ‘X’ed to note another day completed. Not that it matters, how she, herself, marks another day down, another day counted out in this latest cycle. If she doesn’t count, does she count? If she stays in here, where there is no time, does it stop?

There are signs any passerby could remark on, verifying that time has passed, that she’s changed in these months, but not how many or how few grains have trickled or whether the grains running through that narrow opening are salt, sugar, sand or nuclear pellets.

Only her Master knows that.

Master knows everything about her. Master tells her on a need to know basis what day it is, or if it’s time to sleep or eat or drink the luscious soup exclusively prepared for her. Master controls her because she is inexperienced and ignorant of all things and she likes that, not having to think, only having to react. As long as she listens to Master, everything will be fine.

That’s what everyone tells her: listen to Master and it’ll all be fine, it’ll all be okay.

So why did Master leave those matches? This box was her dark place for resting and being, just breathing. In, out, in, out, breathe breathe breathe. Are they to tempt her or encourage her? She can light one and see, but does Master want her to see? Besides, what is there to see? The only thing in the box is her. Does Master want her to ignore the matches, continue in her self-imposed darkness?

She turns around and wraps her arms around her knees. She rests her head on her forearms, trying to find a spot where the pressure on her ulna won’t hurt. When she had hair, long, thick strands of hair, it padded her head. Master took away her hair and flesh, leaving her bony and hairless, spare and beautiful. A distillation, granite after the artist chisels away the parts that impinge his vision. Master is a laser perfecting her every cell.

She lights a match, but blows it out after she sees the bruises, the purple splotches that never heal. Did Master want that, want her to see? The box helps her pretend them gone. It’s easier if she waits in the dark. A few more months and the pretending, the box, the rules will all be gone.

She smiles. She is so tired. Master wants her to sleep. She lights another match. It burns where she used to have fingernails. Master took those, too, because she used to scratch and gouge herself trying to get to the bugs crawling underneath, fire ants and beetles and even tiny lizards frilling their throats and swishing their tails. They lived in the fat layer between her muscle and her skin.

Better purple bruises and naked fingers and bald scalp than the vomit, oh god, the vomiting, and the nasties and the trails of hair falling behind her like breadcrumbs leading her to a place that is no longer home, outside the box, a place her body visits while she waits for Master’s voice to say, “It’s time, Aimee. Come.”

She lights a third match. It flickers. She pulls it close to her face, trying to focus, then puts it out in her mouth.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


It's still there.
Over two years and the markers are still there.
I know. I see them, get that queasy feeling when I pass and see fresh flowers teddy bears ribbons
on those three little white crosses lighting up the median.
Not everyone sees.
Those flashing lights, they saw too late. More flowers next week.

please see earlier posts, click on the labels below

Tears are Salt Rain

When you cry, voiceless
How can I? What do I? [deep breath]
You rip my heart out,
Chasing yours, trying, wanting
anything to be your net.