Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Staring at the out of focus mirror, at the baby smooth skull, I smile. There is a safety razor on the edge of the bath, and I know the blades will be counted later.
I’m not allowed to keep the extras, not since they found out that I’d found out and tried to make a quick and almost painless blink but since then I’d acceded to their wishes,
drank the Kool-Aid and lain in the hum hum hum machines.
They do give me a little bit of privacy.
The soap lather is slick, squishy, making quick work of my final depilation.
If I make myself bald now, then I will be bald all over.
I can’t reach my back, but I think that’s pretty hairless anyway.
I look like one of those very naked mannequins, hairless and sexless.
I won. Not them.
I tricked them, tricked them all, not waiting for the hum hum hum machine to take my hair, take my sex, take my me.
I’m going to use a whole bottle of lotion now and make me feel pretty.
And then I’ll count the stitches on my ribs.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Quiet is Underwhelming

We’re too silent now. I know, we promised silence, misguided thing that silence is, thinking silence is the same as comfort, that silence is the absence of strife.

It’s not. It’s just silence.

Except when it is another symptom of yet another cause, another reaction to another unknown.
Walls, gates, moats,
Wagons, caves, motes.
We build so much, wanting something different.
We know what we don’t want, everyone knows what they don’t want-or they think they do.
That is the easy part, knowing what you don’t want: vanilla ice cream, brussels sprouts, sardines.
But doing something you don’t do so you’ll get something you don’t have...

It’s time.

I’m taking down walls, storming gates, crossing moats.
I’m slipping between wagons, searching caves, removing motes from our eyes.
From both our eyes.
Put away stubborn, pride, inflexible. Put away fear.
How could I think less of you when I am so so far from the shadow of perfect myself, staring at perfect’s ass, so far behind I am in a lapped field on the verge of being pulled?
Beat down stubborn, pride, inflexible-more you does not mean less me.
The fallout and backlash anticipated, those are just shards from another goblet thrown by someone else, not me, never by me, and missed by the vacuum cleaner.

I’ve been there.
So take me to the common ground and we will open out mouths, let words pour out, smudge the chalk art in the driveway and the lines in the sand, cross the boundaries leading to a new place where no one cowers in the closet behind the winter coats and worn out sneakers and crumpled scraps of gift wrap.
We’ll go there, speak untested, unafraid and be silent together later.


I am a feral dog fighting over rancid meat.

Scared, wild, hungry.
Sniffing, snarling. Stay away!
All slowly dying.

You think we’re human?
No, poverty took us down
to woods alleys graves.

Invisible now,
feel their cold breath on your neck,
hear their echo howls.

Goodbye Girl

He stood over the shredder, feeding it, watching it gulp his former life, their life and spit out confetti destined to soak up bird poop and urine in the bottom of a large cage.
It gulped so hard it pulled the papers from his hand, reminding him of the plant in "little Shop of Horrors’, of quicksand, of the days she nursed their younglings, their frantic sucking, the milk spurting everywhere and her becoming thinner and paler as their bellies rounded hard., excess spewing out their little bottoms an inhale later.
He fed more into the shredder.
Her bank card.
Her checkbook.
Her photos.
Her passport.
Her notebooks filled with lies.
Her flashdrives, disks and tapes.
All that contained her, the machinations of her multi phasic mind.
He fed it.
When the hopper was full for the third time, he went out back and dumped the bits and bytes into a hole, shoveled dirt over it and turned the tarp. It was, if not a good feeling, certainly satisfying.
He called the girls to lay violets on the mound and, slowly, slowly they walked back into the house, one by one.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Naegleria Fowleri [Brain Parasite]

"Work gives life meaning, a sense of purpose, makes you feel your day was worth something."

Crashes in my head, tide roiling over the boardwalk, pulling human detritus out to mid-sea where passing cruise ships will wonder just how THAT got out there, turn the panaceas into so much white noise.

Work locks the demons in the closet, skinny fingers claw under the edge, desperate to reach the doorknob so they can come out and guide me to the TECO oven and sing me a lullaby , perchance to dream of happier days.

The Future is Invisible and So am I

     "You know, we’re at a crossroads? That things are going to change, evolve? Whether we want it or not, change is inevitable. Trite, but true, and the changes outside are going to impact us. How we deal with them, cope, in the end, it’ll be okay, we’ll be okay."
     I hear his voice, words I wish I heard, but it is all imaginary. He says nothing, staring at the papers, document sets, email chains, the bottom piece removed from a Jenga pile and the resulting crash.
     He says nothing.
     That is my position, silence, not his. My standard operating procedure, mode du jour. He has no right to usurp my place in the relationship, no right to mystery, circumspection, privacy, reticence.  How am I supposed to respond? Do I take his role, wiggle my ears, turn cartwheels, cajole? I am clueless. The endless ramble voice I wish I heard strangles whatever my tongue might dance.
     "This is a good thing. It’s time, more than time and now we’ll be able to move forward to another level, we really will. Just think, baby doll! No. don’t think, babe, feel! Let yourself feel, babe! I love you and this is good, it’s all good. You’ll see. I’ll be fine, we’ll be fine, more than fine, better than ever."
     But the fantasy in my head, whispering sweet nothings, protestations of eternal love and rose strewn silk sheeted beds and microchip diamond rings, the voice promising tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, stays there, in my head, hammering my brain, not swirling down my helix to caress my tympanic membrane. The ossicles spin, measure and cut in a padded room.
     He says nothing as he folds the papers back into their standard sized envelope, adorned with a certified return receipt required edge, nothing as he scrolls the numbers in his cellphone, nothing as he fills a duffle bag with pants and shirts and socks but not the photos he took of me.
     Nothing as he throws the bag into the back of the car.
     Nothing as he turns the corner.
     Nothing as he gets onto the Interstate.
     Nothing as he watches the odometer climb.
     Nothing as
     Nothing as
     Nothing as
     The air conditioner clicks on and the temperature drops a few degrees, startling me. I lift the needle from the scratch, worn through to the turntable, on the 33 rpm. I suppose I could burn it to a CD or MP3 player, but what would be the point?
     It will still be stuck in limbo.

Secret Life of an American Wife

Secret Life of an American Wife
Surrounded by secrets-What are we hiding, anyway?
I know, I know what lurks in the hearts of all
and it is not evil, not anything that exciting or creative, no
it is fear
it is resignation
it is past hope, devoid of redemption
See! That one over there? 
He lives behind Walmart, in the truck he bought, used, when he finished high school.
Her? She skips her insulin and lunch was dumpster diving.
The greyhair across the room? She drives without insurance and will be relieved when they repossess.
Young man with frayed jeans? He moved back in with his parents and her sister and her kids.
But they all smile and pretend and make like they’re going to work and class and and and
and oh my, yes, education and integrity are so important, of course, yes sir, I will, thank you, and we all want more of this and and and
I know their secrets, how close, shoulders burning, white fingertips clutching at the precipice, they are to falling. I know.
I have secrets of my own.

Wellwood D14

He’s pushing up daisies through the hedgerow
I waited too long before, too long since
The blip in my life that was us
Grey roads and heat wave ripple air before,
tree root broken sidewalks and tsunami wind since
I lie down, partly hidden by the bushes
Soon, I will take his hand and we will push up daisies together.