Monday, March 30, 2009

The Soldiers and the Witches

The questions still remain unanswered, even after decades and countless journalistic searches through every type of record. The detainees were taken, all of them women, on the good faith that they would be returned to their homes after a reasonable interrogation and some photo ops with high ranking government officials. That was the official story, it came from the president’s lips. It was printed in the one small daily paper next to the three photos of the captured women, their faces dotted by the micro spots of ink. It was plausible that some of the military officials had their hands in the cookie jar, that they were just waiting for the new coup and then they would run the country their way. Iron fist, shirts buttoned to the neck, each woman a potential hole for the taking. But now, before the gunshots, now, as the cauldron was still at a low murmur, they were waiting for night to fall and sleep to overcome many eyelids with an unbearable burden.
The women were not returned. There were years of tribunals, the world asked questions, and the questions remain. They are alive with question marks on both sides of the sentence. They are bold and italic. And they linger in the air, a once angry current that has simmered to a soft cry. The whole country lives with the curse of inflection. The babies in the womb feel the collective shiver and stutter at the consequences.
The women were taken in the dead of night. While the stars shone brightly, their heads were covered in soft white pillow cases. Despite the sacks and blindness, they remained tall and proud. It was the skin on their necks that spoke of their defiant eyes beneath the cloak. Their necks sung soft lullabies that their gagged mouths could not materialize. Their necks rejected the shackles on their bare feet and the ropes that bound their hands.
The largest man among the pack of wolves was overseeing the arrest. His round stomach was just below the arrogance of his chest, so pompous and eager that it pushed out the shiny buttons of his military uniform and reflected the light of the stars. He felt their rejection, the witches were not terrified of his guns or voice. As he exploded into the small shack, their eyes did not break with worry, their mouths did not tremble before the legion of men behind him. They were unmoved, unafraid. More so, they were unwavering, refusing to let their spirits be taken. He felt it through the pillowcases, he felt it through their silence, he felt it coming through his back and moving like a current to his chest.
“Damn these women!” he thought.
There were no alternatives. These witches would be punished for their acts against he president. Their detention would be a show to all the brujas that litter the mountainside- their fires and chants would not be tolerated! At least that was what he told himself. That’s what his consciousness liked to think…was he a good man? A loyal man? Defending and protecting the president? Maybe…in the smallness of his dreams, he wondered about the erections he had while breaking down the doors. He wondered about the heat he felt as he slapped the defiant witches into submission. Was this an act of loyalty? Was it something else? No, he was loyal damnit! A nationalist!
This was a reasonable land, with logical people…at least the people of the city. These women could not be allowed to play with the subconscious of a nation. They helped the enemy with their potent smoke and their red colored balms. They aided terrorism with their ceremonial chants and dreams. The country had been ruled by these fat women for centuries, these women with enormous breasts and checkered aprons. These women large as trees with flowers braided into their long gray hair. They had to be stopped.
“If the conquerors were not able to do it, then we will.” he muttered under his breath.
The military had raided three encampments in the past two days…there would be more to come. The three they had now had left crying children in their wake. The cocks were just beginning to crow as they began the mountainous descent, but in the bluish black of the heavens, the stars still flickered. The earth under their feet was hard and compact, the women marched soundlessly as their feet padded the soft soil like compassionate mothers.
It was a small chain gang and the man holding the reins, the second in command, turned every now and then to make sure the women trailing behind him were still there. He didn’t trust these witches and every time he turned around, he half expected one of them to be missing, having vanished into the twilight sky with a cloud of red vapors. He looked into the hillsides, into the blackened walls were he knew there were tree covered foothills and steep mountains beyond.
The small military team had pursued the rumors for years. They had hired scouts and bought off self-righteous old lovers in the hopes of tracking down another group of witches, little covens which dotted the jungle covered regions of the country. These could not be extraordinary women, they lived like animals, living within mud walls and sheltered from the rain with leaves. They ate worms and toads, he was sure! Without the women, closure would eventually enrapture the peasant community…there were just a couple of huts, “maybe we’ll go back and kill them all in the morning,” he thought. He shrunk a little with the thought of murdering the villagers, he still hated the sight of blood, even though he had personally ended the life of hundreds of people, slaying them with his metal blade. His duties had not changed him, he felt sick each time, his stomach revolted, yet, his loins…something within him tingled as he punctured them. They always begged, they pleaded with him for pardon…
Could he really be their salvation? Could he be their god? No, he did not grant life, he merely took it. The transfer of energy was one sided, their blood ran only towards him. He made a point of always slicing them downwind, so the gravitational pull, the wind, the force would bring their last gasps pouring into his lungs and skin. He felt them enter, like a steaming cauldron of red ink, he was poked and touched, massaged and punctured.
The countries he had traveled to were always desperate, half the population working for modernity, while the other half could not let go of their powders and their myths. Could they not see they were torturing themselves with their devil-religions? Did they not understand that the forces of truth were on his side? Wasn’t eternal life attractive to these people? He felt sorry as he bludgeoned the men, his pity dissipating as he dropped his green military pants and forced himself into the tight unwelcoming insides of crying women.
He compared himself to an ancient warrior, punishing those that worked against his god. If people would not join them willingly, he would put them out of their misery, allowing them to forever dance with the devil. Panic spread through the mountain communities when they heard that the Avenger Platoon had arrived. The smoking fires of the foothills re-created images of their last victory. The sky was alight with brutal scenes of slaughtered villagers, headless chicken and udder-less cows. The cooking fires knew what was to come.
“Even the fires of the people are haunted,” he thought. “What god-loving fires turns smoke into a prophecy?”
The poses of the women, their pleading eyes as they begged for their children’s lives, kissing his feet as he broke down their splintered doors. He moved with sexual heat as he stormed with his army through town, taking the beautiful maidens and gutting the crones. The uniformed men were allowed to do as they pleased with the townspeople, so long as they left no one alive. The thrill of it, the energy of it, the fear in the crisp morning air always led to a bulge in his woolen pants, and he walked around fully erect, while he ordered his troops to set fire to the thatched huts. He could decapitate a man while, at the same time, defile his daughter as she screamed for the solace of death. And yes, he would grant that to her later, after he released a small load of his heat and prepared for another invasion of peasant flesh. There was always sexual release in the slice of his sword. The sweet release of abandon that only lasted for an instant…if only he could hold onto it for another second.
He imagined other adults of his class, sipping wine at dinner parties and playing with their decks of cards. He snickered. It was he who was doing the real work for this country! He was exterminating the network of witches and warlocks. While they sat in their fancy neighborhoods and bred small white dogs, he was the real savior of the country! Not the general, not the president, it was he who led his men to do the good work of god.
“To hell with those social climbers! The history of the world will one day praise our goals. God will show who is right!”
He turned around once again and saw that the three witches were still there, walking in single file, in silent defiance, seething with the hatred of utter and complete defeat. At that moment, that was all the proof he needed. God was in his hands, god was in his weapons, god was in his soldiers, god was in the chains that held them and wouldn’t let them go.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Tunnel And The Light

Most of all, he didn’t like the edge because of the loud noises, the thumping, the screeching, the banging, the tremors that made it seem as if the whole tunnel he had just dug out would come crashing down upon him, something which very rarely happened, but every once in a while it did.
Back in the heart of the world, things were simpler. There were more people, and they all crossed paths so often that it was easy to forget which tunnel you had dug and which tunnel had been made by someone else and it really didn’t matter, because they were all about the same size and they could trade tunnels any day, any hour, and all tunnels ended the same place anyway, or very similar, and there was food in all directions, plentiful and available. But all the food was known and safe, and he wanted something else, even if it meant enduring the loud noises.
Because here at the edge, there were hardly any people at all. Every once in a while, he would run into an old tunnel left behind by some other loner that had come before him, maybe one that came back with treasure or maybe one that never came back. Out here, he was on his own and he had to mostly dig his own tunnels, and the soil itself was harder and darker, and he didn’t really mind any of that but he did mind the noises, because, after careful consideration, it had become clear to him that the noise could only come from the great Demons that lived above the earth and the thought of it made him tremble and his nose got cold and still and he looked down at the dark soil and tried to think of other things.
When the thought of the Demons came upon him, then he momentarily accepted that maybe it was better to stay where the family was, where the known world was, maybe it was better to stay where there were plenty of people and plenty of tunnels and no loud noises and maybe that’s where he should go and all he would have to do is to follow his own tunnel back to its source, and pretty soon the noises would fade away into memory, and, all of a sudden, there would be another one like him and then another, and there would be more tunnels and the only noises would be the little scratching that he recognized as the scratching of other people, digging away and eating and digging some more.
The vision of resting there made him think that maybe he was crazy to be out here, that he should never have come out all the way to the edge, but as much as these thoughts crowded into each other and as much as it was tempting to be back where it was safe and familiar, he still kept on digging, he still kept on going, and the noises kept on getting louder. He ran into a big white rock and then another and he noticed that the roots were shorter here, as they trailed down knotty and hard from the top of his improvised passageway, and there were areas where the soil was very thin, thinner than he expected, so thin that it was almost impossible to make a tunnel through it because everything would just crumble back into place, and then he would run into soil that was almost as hard as a rock, and he made his way around these obstacles the best way he could, for he had many tricks at his disposal, and many different ways to face the hardships that were present here at the edge of the world.
But he knew it would soon be time to come out, for it was no good to have come all the way out here and then not see the light, for time was composed of periods of darkness and periods of light, and you could stretch the darkness for a while and you could wait until you felt tired or until you felt like eating something different or simply until you wanted to be warm, but, sooner or later, you had to rip up through the soil and push your nose up and face the light, and then, bask in its magnificence, and know, for a single clear moment, that you had gone somewhere, and you were now there, and your nose was warmer, and your eyes would grow wide with the momentary understanding.
There was no use putting it off for too long, he would have to do it sooner or later. He found a place where the dirt was not too thin and not too hard and he started to dig up, up towards the surface, and the noises got even louder, and it sounded like a hundred people dying all at once, like rumbling explosions that threatened to break the world in two and leave him naked in the midst of thin soil that flew in all directions, with no roots or rocks to grab onto, and no dirt floor on which to land. But he kept on digging up, inch by inch, while great waves of fear made the effort even harder. Eventually, the roots shifted aside and he pulled on some of them and pushed up, and dug some more and then the light hit him, hard and blue and bright and his eyes got wide and teary and his heart beat hard and the noise was deafening but he didn’t care, he had come all this way, and he wanted to see what was here even if it meant the end of him.
It took some time for his eyes to adjust but then he saw them, the big Demons staring down at him from an inconceivable height. They were hideous and gigantic and they were made of light in many different shades and they moved slower than he did but with a significance and a power that he found terrifying. He slid back down the way he came, shaking with terror, and he waited there, maybe they would go away soon and then he could look outside again. He pushed his nose out for a bit and looked up and he saw the gigantic forms of light once again and he pulled back further and waited once again. They had to go soon, if they wanted to kill him he would already be dead, although he knew that he had no way of knowing what their true purposes were, he just had to wait and wait and wait.
After a long while, he pushed his nose out again and there was single demon there, glowing above him like a tower of rainbow light bathed in blue and yellow, and the strange being was just standing there and he looked up at it and he couldn’t tell what was his face and what were his eyes and what was his nose, but he was sure that it was looking down at him from the great heights that he inhabited. He looked up at the Demon and the Demon shifted slightly and moved just a little closer and he ran away once again.
In the comfortable cover of cool darkness he waited some more, hoping the strange Demon would go away like the others had. As he waited, the noise was becoming deafening, more terrible than ever, and it came in great waves that made his tunnel shake and little rivulets of dirt would come pouring down upon him, threatening to end his adventure suddenly with a single explosive fade out made of root and soil. There was very little buffer of soil to hide him from the terrible noise, so it washed through his tunnel like dark clouds of poison gas and his whole body was shaking and he knew he had to escape soon or he would go mad.
But he had to look outside, at least one more time, and so he did and the Demon was still there, still looking down, and he thought he knew then what were his eyes and they were staring right at him, and he was going to pull away again but the Demon didn’t move and it was so still and he could almost imagine that the Demon was like him, maybe a bit like him, maybe not so different, maybe somewhere behind the Demon face, there truly was something that was not so bad, not so evil, not so terrifying… but then a new wave of noise came and he ran down the tunnel because that had been too much, he had gone too far. The noise was still making the tunnel tremble as he ran and all he could see in the darkness before him were the Demon’s eyes and all he could remember was the moment when he thought, as he looked into that giant strange being, just for a second, that maybe he was a Demon himself.
The others would think he was crazy, and maybe he was. At least now he knew why the people never ventured so far out to the edge of the world. More than death, more than pain, more than hunger, it was terrible knowledge that waited here, in the fiery eyes of a Demon, in the crushing noise of its giant black wings.

Friday, March 27, 2009

A Box With Three Hearts

My face is dripping off, millisecond by millisecond. The youth once commanded by this form slips away into the deep canyons and riverbeds of flesh that feed my eyes as streams do the turbulent seas. Their color has grown cloudy; the whites tend towards yellow laced with red veins like crimson spiders webs. The hair that once glistened like polished gold in the sunlight has turned the color of tarnished brass under the mists.
All of this, the culmination of minutes and hours and days and months spilling into years of confused dreaming. I am something magickal, something mechanical and strange. How seldom we look at the human organism and wonder about it. We are it, so we unfold, blind to the intricacies of our own existences.
I am a replica of two others who were each replicas of two others. I am a thing which yearns to replace those two sad lost creators. I grew out of a dark and tangled wilderness, screaming to know why I had been made, and my makers couldn’t tell me.
Why should anyone live or die? Why does this world go round and round that shiny yellow star that makes everything so warm and keeps the wheat growing and the bread pouring into the mouths that gape open like endless caverns that meet somewhere in the earth’s center, tunnels through which alien life forms run rampant in the darkness.
There are some answers to some questions. There are also some questions sprouting from answers like the many little green shoots rising from a chia pet, or like flowers from the finger tips of blue meanies.
I make my dreams up after I wake. The fact that I have always remembered so many dreams means that I am so imaginative that every murmur which disturbs the placid pools of my being inspires in me a story composed of vivid characters and startling landscapes linked in a chain of events put into sequence within the blinking of an eye.
Do you know that when I arrived here today I didn’t know what to do?
I didn’t know what I could do. It’s been a while since I could do all that I can do.
I had some disturbing phone calls and some unnerving emails waiting for me. My mother tells me of two dogs coupling in her backyard and how, unable to part afterwards, they yelp with anguish and she, not knowing what else to do, goes out and pets them until they calm down and are able to disjoin. A strange man has sent a message suggesting that I do it doggie style with him while smoking a cigarette. The lines in my face deepen.
I strain to remember what I need to do.
I received a box with three beets the size of human hearts, their bright purple and red stems looked as if they would bleed if I broke them, so I tried to be careful.
This head hurts, the eyes are puffy and itchy. The lips are painful and dry. The inside of the mouth feels as if the delicate flesh within it will all peel out. I don’t know why. I think that it wasn’t always like this. Once my body was a delight. I could do anything with it. I couldn’t imagine being old, even though I tried. Now that I am older I know that I never imagined it as it is. I could walk any distance without experiencing fatigue and saw the words written on signs long before I passed under them. It will get worse and worse. Every thing will sag under the weight of gravity, my head will hang low like a vulture’s, hovering out in front of my stooped shoulders. The veins will be apparent under my skin, as translucent as tracing paper, and, beneath its scaly surface, you will see the blue and purple of the bruises that I will acquire from the gentlest touch, like a piece of overripe fruit.
And why? Why was I born, why will I die and why must I ask?
I feel thirsty. As if the water that is life has ceased to run by this way and I am wading in the dust of the riverbed, wondering. One wrong step and the waltz disintegrates into disorder.
I received a box of paper board with three beets the size of human hearts, their bright purple and red stems looked as if they would bleed if I broke them so I tried to be careful.
My daughters mentioned their father at the dinner table.
“I remember when Daddy gave us those jelly beans for Christmas.”
They discussed the flavors of the jelly beans from that box. The youngest made up a story about how her father directed her to the trash can to spit out a bad one.
“That never happened,” the eldest told her.
I could almost touch him. I could almost feel his presence. All of the terrible things that I wanted to get away from, they seemed imagined. I could only recall how he loved us.
We three sat at the table. They talked. I cried a pair of little tears that couldn’t be spilled, so these faded eyes swallowed them back up with a careful blink that helped to wash the lens of the eye. I excused myself from the table.
Here I sit, my flesh dripping off, millisecond by millisecond, replaced by something new, by a replica, and it will not know why then any more than I know why now, no more than my daughters will know why, no more than their father knew why, no more than the two dogs in my mother’s back yard know why.
I received a box of paper board with three beets, the size of human hearts.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Worm

Click, it was the sound of metal releasing, all the right parts opening in unified collaboration. The key turned and the handle released in my hand with a creak of audible pleasure. I found myself momentarily on the thin line between spaces, not yet in the hotel room, not exactly in the hallway, and though I never stopped moving, the thin barrier seemed to last forever. I could not remember the series of steps my body took to end here, at the heavy door I had begun to push with my shoulder.
Had we driven? What city were we in? What were we doing here? The thoughts raced close to the walls of my skull, fast as lighting on a stormy night, without much significance, passing itches that were only vaguely distracting. The long carpeted hallway was typical of hotel interior design, a floral-inspired beige wallpaper covered the walls, its sleek surface intercepted every eight doors with oval mirrors and small wooded tables that sat in front of them like altars, holding vases with silk flowers upon them like offerings to the dead. The walls breathed the scent of cologne and business men in gray suits and overnight stays that hovered close to metal tubes, and tepid take-out, and mini bars left decimated.
The key turned and I took the first step, pushing the heavy white door open with a single whispered creak. My fiend was right behind me, so close I could feel the heat of his body like a slept in blanket. My other friend made no movement to follow. Her presence hovered like a low riding cloud, not quite with us, but still in the atmosphere. Maybe she knew safety remained in the corridor of yellow light and interspersed wall hangings that offered the gift of reflection. But I never asked.
Pushing on the heavy door, I stepped into the double room, my eyes zeroing in on the wall to my right, something was moving, I squinted, looking more intently. Suspended parallel to the floor, at the midway point from carpet to ceiling, was a single gossamer thread, an almost invisible tightrope made evident only by the foot long worm that traveled upon it. It was about a foot away from the front of the wall and silently, inch by inch, it shuffled along in the way that worms do, slowly approaching the wall. I watched and time seemed to hold still as the worm traveled.
I stood, conscious of nothing else, not my breathing, not my body, not my first friend next to me, I only saw the worm. It seemed like only a second had passed and it was almost at the wall, just an inch from its hard white goal, if worms have goals, and just as it took its final step, it evaporated. My neck turned without a clear intention and I shifted perspective, I looked at the wall opposite the door, the one in front of us.
There was the worm again, on another thread, five feet up from the pale green carpet and a couple inches from the wall. We watched it again, its methodical movements, but a foot from the wall, the worm started to sway, the back end of it fell from the thread and it held on for a second, but then it dropped from the spider’s thread and fell to the floor. I watched in silent horror as it fell through the air like a strand of spaghetti, landing quietly on the narrow walking space between the two beds of the hotel room.
On contact with the ground, the floor opened, the hole in the floor kept growing, opening wider and wider, revealing a pile of junk that had sat buried beneath the floorboards. The worm was lost among the refuse. Rusted metal chairs and crumpled papers and dented cans and bags of trash in black plastic. It stayed like this, as though the worm had pushed a button that it could not undo.
We could not stay here, the room had been exposed, its façade opened, gaping and unlivable, obvious to us because of a quiet sacrifice. I looked at my friend, his eyes were fixed on the refuse…quietly, he instructed me to find the receptionist and search for another room. I stepped towards the door without question, I knew that there was no other option.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Burning Man

The desert is flat, absolutely level save for the cracks in its pale yellow surface that rise and dip nearly unaccounted for. Surrounding the dried lake bed are purple mountains on all sides that hold us like a soup bowl that was drained of its contents long ago. Where fish once darted in deep currents, where green life once moved on the whim of the wind, there are now people dressed like mermaids and geodesic domes that shine colored strobes into the black night. Perhaps they might see us, maybe they’ll come like the skydivers and explore this civilization, the third largest city in Nevada that lives for one week. Like the small bacteria that once bloomed here, this is a temperamental state. There is a burst of life, birthed always in the hottest month of the year, and out come the children, naked and decorated in fur. With mohawks and spikes and goggles. The gates are open, and fucking and sucking begins. Libations pour from every orifice. Ice is the only commodity. In a city without need, tritons dance ‘til the soft morning sun taunts them to sleep. But I have always been of a different sort. I rise with the low thump of drums kissing my ear. They are in the distance, somewhere, and I rise naked from sleep with the desire to pull them inside. Where is the 4/4? On what wind do you ride? Calling me from slumber, I journey towards your source, the master in which you move, the hand which beats your skin. My bike is my friend, the companion that moves to my every whim, we move as one through the haze of early daylight, while the wind is still calm, while the mermaids sleep. The wind plays tricks, and I ride in circles looking for the drums. First north, then east, then north again. HOOOnnnnnn, HOOOnnnnnn!!! The sound of a water truck, the Jesus of the desert. The shower, the fountain, the orgasm. The horn calls, taking the front stage, grabbing the mike and thrusting its cock in my face. Percussion moves closer to the wall, towards the mountains, and the spotlight focuses on the curved silver sides of the tanker, gleaming in the light. It’s close, only a couple “blocks” away, I pedal furiously to reach it. The incessant spray of water lands on the parched earth, I see a handful of people, some naked, some in loincloths, some only in sandals gently jogging behind a tanker full of water. Like hare krishnas dancing after their leader, knees up, smiles drawn, trailing after the cool stream. I am off my turquoise bike, simultaneously running towards it and disrobing. In the raw state, below the sun, in the wind, in plain view of whoever cares to gaze upon my white flesh, I am here, breasts jiggling, ass shaking, thighs bouncing, I run to the source. It’s a large tanker, shaped like massive oil trucks that cruise through cites and on long, wide freeways, only this one contains thousands of gallons of water, the truck rolls through the desert street at 1 mile an hour, shooting a hard stream of water from its back like a continuous orgasm of hydrogen and oxygen. With a smile that blooms from my deepest being, I let the water wash over me, taking with it streams of sweat and dust and leftover kisses that drip down my legs. And the liquid mixes with the dry floor of a dead lake and a soft gray clay forms. Mud clings to the bottom of my feet and rises towards my ankles. My feet get dirtier, but I become more beautiful. Alive in the elements. Spirit moves through me like a river as my body mixes with the people of stone and the ones of air and the guardians of water. The sun beats down on me like a lover of the future. The wind grasps my nipples with the ferocity of a future mouth. And I am here. Naked. The water truck passes and my bike awaits, I ride, past miles of tents, past swing sets and trampolines and rows of green latrines. There is a white tent in the distance and the beat holds steady in the wind as I race towards it.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Forks and Spoons and Knives

They drink honeyed water from preserve jars and live in white houses laced with trellises and lilac. Every table is littered with papers and books. White porcelain coffee cups stand empty. Classical music mingles with the noise of cups colliding over a sudsy stainless steel sink hidden in a back room. The silverware cries out as it is sorted, forks from spoons and knives and sent to separate quarters where they may see each other, but not touch. The moment when they can all crash and clang together in a great orgiastic reunion behind the closed kitchen door is a moment they look forward to. Only the Latino dishwasher in his white apron with his sleeves rolled up witnesses their reunion. He helps them along through their frenzied ritual in the times between their segregation in the cylindrical white tubs positioned by the chrome napkin dispenser. No human can know how completely forks long for spoons. Nor can we of the two legged breathing kind imagine the anguish of the knives, always struggling with the forks for a moment with the spoons, and the spoons with the libido of rabbits profess their love to each of their brothers, but the forks luck out more often than the knives because they are after all more alike to the spoons than the knives are. Spoons and forks both enjoy a line of work which brings them close to the heat of open mouths. For this reason they share a certain sensual connection which the knives, always busy with the business of slicing and spreading will only rarely know when some sexed up model parts her pouty lips and extends a tongue to lick whipped margarine from a blade in a television commercial which will also feature a white stallion and a world famous tennis player on their way to brunch with the margarine licking sex pot. Such encounters are rare and awkward for knives. More familiar to them is the life of the deadly assassin, striking without remorse, carrying out their lonesome quests without tears. Do not pity the life of the knife. It cannot pity you. It lives in a world in which none of us may escape our truest nature. The knife meets its destiny with eyes wide open. It never begs or pleas. It loves the spoon fearlessly but will never sacrifice its own work or compromise its own true nature for the pleasure of fraternizing with a piece of curvaceous cutlery.
If anything, admire the knife, or do not consider it and saw away at that slab of charbroiled bovine flesh and chew and talk at the same time to the girl sitting across from you whom you hope to bed later. Cast the knife aside when you are done with it and do what you can to wile your own time away without a backward glance at the instrument of your will, you cruel and indulgent God.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Little Bird

There was no reason in the world for the little bird to light down upon my windowsill. It held in its beak two little twigs , branches from an olive tree I think, or it could have been apricot, honestly I know nothing about trees.
My grandfather had an orchard and I spent summers there, but goodness knows I never did anything but lay around under the trees reading penny novels about cowboys and Indians that I had found down in the musty old cellar under grandpa’s dusty wooden house. I remember eating the fruits from the trees of the orchard.
One season in particular, came a crop of very sweet fruits. Apples, pears, and other delicacies sprang from the trees. The reds and greens were so rich and they may have been an indication of their sweetness.
I don’t know what made them so sweet, maybe it was the extra rain, maybe it was the wind from the north, who knows. I just remember eating the sweet fruit under the trees in the orchard. My lips touching their skins with anticipation for each bite. I often wondered if the birds noticed how sweet the fruits were too. Perhaps they just pecked at the fruits with their tiny beaks and never truly tasted them at all. Perhaps they were able to taste them and perhaps they did notice the extra sweetness this season.
Maybe they were wondering if the farmer put something special in the soil this season to make them so sweet. Maybe it was poison. Yes, perhaps that was it, maybe the farmer didn’t like the birds and was trying to poison them all. Would poison taste sweet though? Maybe it would taste sweet to trick you into thinking it wasn’t poison. If it were poison, then there would be no birds to wonder about the sweetness of the fruits, so that couldn’t be it.
Maybe the sweetness came from the rain. The clouds drifting by some strange cities gathering strange molecules to make sweet rain. Maybe clouds really do taste like cotton candy as I have long suspected. That may be what made the rain sweet.
Or it might be that it was something in the soil. The cows were eating a lot of Twinkies and their shit made the soil sweet, which in turn made the fruit so sweet.
Why those birds sat on my windowsill with those twigs is still a mystery to me though. Were they trying to tell me something?
Maybe I am making too much of all of this and they were just en route to their nests with some nesting material in their little beaks and needed to stop and rest. My windowsill was the perfect spot for them. The dark green paint was flaking off the wood of the sills but it was still a nice place to stop and relax.
Bugs sometimes came and rested on the sill too. Big giant bugs in the summer time. Those yucky green ones that you fear will get stuck in your hair. Japanese beetles I think they are called. June bugs are even bigger and yuckier. I had one of those stuck in my hair once. It was terrible. Every little girl’s nightmare.
Wait…Maybe bats would be worse. A bat stuck in your hair would definitely be worse. I can imagine them flopping around helplessly in my tangled hair, gasping for their tiny lives just as freaked out as I am. Maybe bats have terrible, scary nightmares about getting stuck in a little girls hair. Never being able to fly free ever again. They would rather be flying around using their radar to catch tiny, bug morsels from the air. Being stuck in a little girls messy, long hair definitely would be their worst nightmare.
When I was little, we used to play in the field until dusk. We would see bats fluttering about seemingly aimless. We would take small pieces of gravel and throw them in the air as high as we could and watch the bats dive for them thinking they were tender bugs to snack on. The stone would come crashing down, barely missing one of my siblings and we would laugh and laugh, rolling in the grass teasing each other about the near miss. Those bats DID know what they were doing after all. They could not be fooled by the small stone, they somehow knew it wasn’t an insect. How they knew was beyond me. Aren’t they blind? Later in the week, when my dad would take out the tractor to mow the field, he would be very angry to find all of those pieces of gravel. We hid in ours rooms to avoid the scolding. But later the next week, when the bats came out again, we would do it again!
I never did get a bat stuck in my hair. I think they are too smart to fly in a little girl’s hair, actually. They want bugs and fruit. That’s it! Maybe the bats did something to make the fruit extra sweet that year! They are probably much smarter than we give them credit for. Maybe the bats and those birds on my windowsill were conspiring together. Maybe they were building something monumental. They may have a whole bunch of buildings that we know nothing about where they harvest the sweet fruit and sell it on the black market. And maybe that’s the secret the little bird was trying to divulge. If it was, then it went right past me, just like those summer days when I would lay under trees, reading penny novels and eating sweet, sweet fruit. Gone before I even noticed.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Thump, thump, thump, thump, the beat crawls along my skin as the taste of sugar rolls down my throat. Jump into this moment, as it jiggles by with each second, as sugar mixes with blood, as beats mix with sounds and my fingers press life into springs and plastic. It dances with the lightest of steps, on the borders of my mind, on the whispers beside my ear. The rhythm encompasses my body and sends small shivers of chills up and down my arms. My hips want to move with each hard beat like grinding upon my lover’s hips to thrust him deeper within me. The sounds resonate on the top on my head like raindrops. The strange, fascinating noises tantalizing my eardrums, almost teasing them, making them want more.
My hands search for the right keys to press. Pressing the black squares, trying to form words as my mind reacts to the music, the rhythms, the never-ending cacophony of noises being emitted from the speakers and being injected into my brain like sperm being ejected into the womb. The top of my skull feels open and vulnerable as if something can fall directly into it, or perhaps escape out of it, like some strange creature from regions best left forgotten. It seems that I am separated from the fingers that type these words on the newfangled keyboard. I feel a sense of being disconnected and it takes several moments for my thoughts to reach my hands.
I want to dance. But not with my body, well, not with what I have come to know as my physical body. I want to dance with that invisible part of me that I know is in there somewhere, yearning to come out. It wants to dance. It wants to be free.
The instruments strum and pound as I scratch my face. I have suddenly become itchy. I feel tiny bugs on my skin that probably don’t really exist. Invisible bugs dancing on the soft surface of my skin, brushing across the air, making me itch. The invisible bugs dance like there is no tomorrow. They only dance in the nowness of the universe. A rhythm only heard by them and no others.
I take a deep breath. My spine burns. The flames are dancing up and down my spine. They lap at my bones like logs burning in a fireplace. The flames consume me. Hotter and hotter I become. My spine feels like the stick skewering a kabob, holding meat onto the wood so it won’t fall into the flames. It burns hot, but does not get charred.
Again, a deep breath. Don’t forget to breathe. You mustn’t forget to breathe. The breath carries the life force into our bodies, sending it deeper and deeper into our core. The shadow of the witch on the wall stirs her brew. Toad’s eyes and lizard gizzards. The shadow of the crown looks like a witch. A benevolent witch. Not a mean one at all. A cute little Halloween witch with a black cauldron.
My fingers don’t want to type words any more. The invisible core within me wants to dance. It wants to dance the eternal dance that it has always been dancing, it was just never able to come out, never able to come out and dance. It was like a young girl at a school dance that just sat in the chair in the back of the room, too afraid of what other people might say about her if they saw her dance. Too afraid to ever really be herself, to be free enough to dance her own dance.
Now, the invisible part of me will no longer sit quietly in the back of the gymnasium worried about what others will think. Fuck them. They don’t know the feeling. They will never know. Perhaps they do know and they just don’t want me to know. People can be mean like that. They want to keep everything for themselves and not let others enjoy things like dancing. They laugh and point. Fuck them.
I will dance.
I will dance like the flames and the bugs.
I will dance my invisible dance that only I know I am dancing.

Friday, March 13, 2009


The ambulance door is open and I can see a stretcher with a woman upon it. She lays on her back, her heavy head is tilted to the side. Outside, the day is bright with the light of early morning. The ambulance is parked haphazardly on the dark asphalt, the drivers having ignored the fading parking lines. The emergency vehicle is white, which startles me for some reason, I thought ambulances where red…but maybe that’s just a backward memory.
I look to the massive bridge in the near distance. The mouth of its giant body is half a block away. Its gaping form connects this land mass to the less populated city on the other side of the bay. The bridge is old and its design is more crude than the streamlined bridges being built today. Its dark steel structure has grown almost purple with the daily beating of sun and water vapor. Its immediate closeness lends a strangeness to the neighborhood. The constant coming and going. No commitment, just movement. My intellect searches for a more concrete reason to explain my anxiety about the bridge, but the answer lays not only in the bridge, but also in this abandoned industrial zone.
There are vacant lots of grass surrounded by chain link fences, empty parking lots with dry weeds pushing from the cracks. Scattered among the dead brush are some small yellow flowers that have offered themselves to the sun. Overhead, there are crisscrossing concrete overpasses, and the freeways create geometric shadows upon the empty lots. I know this is just a small pocket of desolation. A couple of blocks away, there is a thriving metropolis with car horns blasting and pedestrians that fill the streets, but here, where I stand, there is no one.
This is not the quiet and tranquility of an olive grove, here, the lack of life seems purposeful. The violence here is silent. The killings and drugs are hidden. It is close, but hidden from sight. The silence is heavy, waiting for a gunshot or a scream to fill the space. Despite the daylight, I sense lurkers in the shadows. At any moment, I expect to see Spiderman leaping from the rooftop of a crusty warehouse that litters the landscape.
Old buildings, relics from a time of industry and financial progress. The entrepreneurs are gone and the night creatures have moved in to fill the shadows and empty lots. I expect they will find bodies near the bridge tonight.
I turn to the ambulance, a woman with light red hair is on the stretcher, she lays on a puffy pillow and her body is covered with a white sheet. She has many clothes on her torso, she is dressed for day in mid fall with her sweatshirt and gloved hands, not the day that whispers of heat and sunshine. She is propped on a pillow, but her head is tucked close to her chin and has dropped to her right shoulder. There are two people in white doctor’s jackets. A man sits on a chrome stool within the ambulance, in between the woman’s legs. A female assistant stands further in beside him. No one sees me.
The woman is pregnant, but I see no belly lump. She has a bit of blood on her mouth, a smear of red over her lips and covering the pale skin of her upper lip. She winces and cries out softly. Intuition tells me she has requested an abortion. She moans again softly.
I stand still, locked in a position of curiosity and fear, I thought it was a painless procedure, but she seems to be hurting. Her brow is wet, her straight shoulder length hair is pasted to her face, covering her face in prison bars of red hair. Her eyes are just slightly open, through the small slits I can barely discern the whites within.
I turn to the doctor and his assistant. The man is leaning in. His face is turned from me, and only his graying hair and large white hands are obvious. He looks like a large man, probably at least 6 ft when standing. The woman beside him is much younger, probably only twenty-five at the most. She stands elegant and tall, her black hair is pulled back from her eyes and falls past her shoulders.
The man leans into the space between the woman’s legs, scooping and pulling and sucking her insides. The blood around her mouth has grown to bigger, covering her chin and nose. The doctor is using force, a lot of force. It seems more than necessary and as I stand there, I realize he is trying to hurt her. He is not just pulling out the fetus, as she wanted, he is pulling out her uterus, scrapping the soft walls of her womb with hard metal instruments and doing it painfully hard. He wants her pain. She is a baby killer.
My stomach churns, these are not doctors, they are members of an anti-abortion group that have managed to disguise themselves. The two “doctors” begin to talk amongst themselves. The woman on the stretcher is suddenly wide awake, her eyes are opened wide with fear, revealing the blue irises and exterior white. She is scared and stunned, but unable to move or scream. With a sudden knowledge, she realizes she has been poisoned and has had all her insides removed. She gasps and collapses further into the pillow. Her breath is gone and she is still.
I look closer at her face, it is nearly covered in blood. The two infiltrators move close to her face. Standing above her, the man grips a sponge, squeezing blood onto the woman’s already red features. The assistant opens her cupped hands, releasing a thick white liquid that mixes easily with the blood. I stand paralyzed, unseen, wondering if I am actually here. Wondering, in the midst of this theater of violence, what my role is, what my role was, what my role could be.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


“Parchment.” I heard a voice say. In the translucent layers of sleep, the double syllable was clear. I was in my bed, warm beneath the covers…and I was alone in a black void, naked, looking for the source. I heard the word once, from a disembodied voice, it came from the darkness, beyond an enclosure of safety where there was no roof, no floor, no walls. I stood, in the center, in the middle of a darkened bubble that seemed to stretch past the furthest sun. Without forms to admire, without colored shapes or lines of meaning to decipher, the word was clear. Rich, beginning with pursed lips and then opening wide before the tongue closed against the roof and the teeth came together…this was only one half, in the other, the mouth opened once again in a circle that closed with the finality of a depressed tongue against a hard roof. I heard it ring like a thousand bells…my eyes fluttered in the search for reason. “What do you want?” I asked. There was no response. I stared into the darkness, waiting for an answer.

Upon waking, I held onto the word. I thought of my mother. When I was young, my mom would burn the edges of parchment paper and we would pretend that it was a pirate’s map. On its textured surface was the charted currents to a secret island. A land were mermaids laid beneath the sun, their milky breasts never tanning, their songs never ending. The map held the directions, the clues, the coordinates, but it was up to us to decipher the codes and take to the waves, to the open sea. Yes, it was charted, but it was one thing to stare at the journey on a piece of paper, half a world away, quite another to brave the winter swells, the scurvy, the delusions amongst the endless water and treacherous calls of the sirens. The path was given, we held it in our hands, but our will, it was our will and determination that could not be drawn or charted or predicted. This changed by the day, by the hour. The map was there, the secrets were everywhere, and the map promised a chest of diamonds, it was up to me to begin the quest.
I looked into the darkness, still, the sounds rang in my ear. “Ocean water” he said. His words echoed with bass. “Who are you?” I asked. There was no reply. I stood, naked, waiting.

On the water I must ride. With the map in my hand, I look past the wooden ledge into the endless buoyancy, the mini crests and valleys of liquid that jiggle like dancers holding onto each precious second, up and down. No concept, no thought, they move because they do, nothing more. There are no birds in sight, no land, no people…nothing but the water below and the water within. This vessel of flesh, made from the same mixture- the liquid carpet on which I ride. I float upon myself, the extension of me beyond the skin, I look into the endlessness, we are the same. An ecosystem cycles beneath the wooden ship floor. A world beyond my understanding. Complex, unforgiving, dark. The valleys, the currents. I am just a drifter with a map in hand, seeking the island, seeking the diamond I remember. My mind takes me as does the ocean’s path, the wide, unforgiving openness of consciousness. A thousand lives move beneath me, nearly hidden. Mammoth whales, sharks, plankton…the journey of currents and tides, unending in their cycles. I take the ride in this ship, again and again, following the current, grasping the map. Seaweed floats by like the green hair of an empress, alive and pungent, smelling of my gifts.

Upon waking, I held onto the words and drank a glass of sea water.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Hopping Mad

Rabbits as a whole gathered in mass outside the Kremlin last Thursday morning under a shower of dusty white snowflakes. The atmosphere was charged with the concerned outrage they felt over an issue which could affect the world as a whole. Your correspondent was there to get the complete story and make certain that the rabbit end of this tale would be put on record, for we all know how often the family Leporidae goes unnoticed, or worse, misrepresented.
Most of us are all familiar with the cartoons of the 20th century in which they are depicted as callous trouble makers, wiseacring harbingers of doom, always moving the kiddy pool when some gentleman dives off of a 20 foot high board so that he plants his shinny bald head directly into the bosom of old mother earth and looses a tooth or two rather than completing that perfect swan dive.
I am here to tell you that not all bunnies are so mischievous or unreasonable. For the most part they are not all that unlike ourselves in that their main concern is that they get to chew the morning clover and hump the misses a few times before dawn breaks over the glen. They want clean water and fresh air and good schools for their children just like the rest of us. A few have even made the acquaintances of old European royalty. That should at least say something about the dignified air with which they carry themselves. You will also find that they are a remarkably punctual lot, obsessed with arriving on time for important dates, a quality sadly lacking in most humans today, wandering in, as they do, ten or fifteen minutes late to punch in at work or to catch a summer block buster at the cinema.
These fine floppy eared creatures had come together before the Kremlin to call that some action be taken in preventing the Japanese government from genetically engineering the worlds largest monster bunny, a plan that was set in motion early last May when world renowned scientist Ishi Hiosami announced that the necessary breakthrough had been made. Long has the population of Japan longed for a weapon superior to any possessed in the west. Long have they dreamed of a mammoth animal protector of their nation, a real life Mothra to protect them from the corrupt world beyond their islands borders. Hiosami revealed that the construction of such a protector was now possible due to advances in the art of bio engineering in the past 3 years. The government was quick to respond to Hiosami’s claim and project "Bunniki" was launched shortly thereafter. An island the size of Rhode Island was constructed of plastic pop bottles covered with terra firma and the construction of the worlds largest genetics lab was begun last august. As the lab nears completion the rabbits, pikas and hares of the world are raising public outcry.
I spoke to a young rabbit wearing mittens and earmuffs, stamping to stave of the cold chill of the Russian winter.
"It’s monstrous." He said. "Just imagine it. Anyone that wants to use a Rabbit as a weapon of mass destruction is insane. It’s a crime against the order Lagomorpha."
I ask him,
"What about Japan’s claim that Bunniki is intended for defense only?"
"Bunni- whah?" he shakes his head, "Listen you have a rabbit that big you’re gonna be itching to use it. Forget how devastating a rabbit that size would be to the environment. This is, for us, really an issue of how criminal it is to make a rabbit into a monster. I mean, first of all, nobody asked us if it was okay to play in our genetic pool, now did they? They don’t have the right. And we are also afraid of the way this rabbit might be treated. I mean look at what they do to regular bunnies. Companies like SC Johnson and Gillette have been locking our people up and spraying shaving cream into our eyes for years now. I mean, our eyes are actually melted out by this stuff. What do you thinks gonna happen to this 200 hundred foot tall bunny? The world will take one look and launch a nuclear missile into his retina. Is that okay? I don’t think so."
Thanking him for his statement I introduce myself to an older female with rather small round ears that up to this point has been rousing the rabble by shouting through a megaphone.
"As a rabbit, what action do you hope the Russian government will take to stop Japan."
She glares at me and clears her throat.
"I’m a Pika actually."
"I’m sorry, what?" I ask confused.
"I said that I’m a Pika, not a rabbit. We’re on the endangered species list, which is probably why you don’t know what I am. You don’t need to know, your kind is about to usher us into extinction."
"I’m sorry" I stammer. Then regaining some measure of composure I clear my throat and ask, "Well, as a Pika, what is it that draws you to this issue?"
"Well, I think this is an issue that concerns everyone from the Lagomorpha order. It is important that we stick together because people have been torturing and slandering us for years. Do you know how many stuffed bunnies are sold in the US every spring? And we never see a penny of that. I mean if you make an Angelina Jolie doll you have to pay her for the right to use her image. But us, no, nobody ever thinks twice about doing whatever they want with us. Wear us in a jacket, make us into a stew, throw us in a cage, fiddle around with our genetic code to build a monster. Whatever you want. So we have to start somewhere, and this is an issue of epic proportions. Everyone knows that Japan is engineering a giant monster bunny. There’s a lot of publicity around this issue. So this is where we make our stand."
And stand they did, no more than a foot or two from the ground on their little hindquarters. Your correspondent was there, adrift in that fluffy sea of wrath. If this is what happens when you piss off a Pika or a jackrabbit, I’m not looking forward to seeing Bunniki get mad.

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Pool Builder

She was the pool builder, imagining their shapes into being. One strange structure rose high above earth and sea level. Like giant seashells turned inside out and formed into shallow cups, several pools rested upon staggered towers pouring water from one level to the next, like a psychedelic sea inspired garden fountain. Another was set deep in the earth in an L formation. She dreamed them, forged them out of nothingness and swam in their tepid waters testing the designs, searching for the one that most pleased her. It was an endeavor to create a home for her soul, a shape more familiar than the primordial womb. A body harmonious with her being in which she could dwell. And she could dwell in no other place but these that she had created. To step out was unthinkable, perhaps impossible. In any body that she could create, she could swim freely. Beyond that she was restricted. Her appearance could change as easily as that of any pool she could inhabit. Most of the time she was invisible, as crystal clear as the waters through which she wound her way. In other moments, she was a translucent maiden with long flowing golden hair, barely more perceivable than a ghost lingering at the edge of a pool, gazing out at the wider world.
Her agent in the walking world, in those domains which existed without her effort, was called White Wave Of Love. She was of elfin stature, petite and wiry with big brown eyes. Her hair, long and straight was the color of polished mahogany. With an ever merry smile given freely, without reason, she moved briskly about. Hers was a great capacity for action and movement. She was the hand of the pool builder, able to move and arrange things outside of that watery world.
One day, the pool builder surfaced to peer at the world beyond. In the distance she could sea the real thing, the wild and raging sea. Walking steadily towards it was none other than White Wave Of Love. The pool builder called out to her trying to summon her, but white wave plodded on as if she could not hear. Her countenance was dismal, her shoulders slumped in resignation. The pool builder boiled with frustration. For a moment she imagined that she could leave the pool and grab the other, summoning her attention at last. It could not be however, and though the builder strained at the edge of the pool, White Wave took no notice. She walked on, crossing the sandy beach until she had reached the foamy shoreline. There she at last collapsed upon her back and lay motionless. She stared unblinking across the dunes of sand, her face resting in its moistened grit.
The tide began to roll in, slowly at first, overtaking her white sneakers and socks. She never flinched. Not even the slightest tremor or twitch disturbed her body as the waves lapped at her denim skirt reaching up to finger her white blouse. She had become as heavy as a lead statue. From the pools edge, the builder could feel all that White Wave felt, a deep and hopeless depression. A sensation of parched hollowness beneath the ribcage so strong that if felt like a physical illness. It was beyond doubt that love had left her and she was allowing life to leave her as well. From where she lie she was swallowed piece by piece by the rowdy sea. The pool builder saw through the stoney eyes of White Wave as the water tugged her away. With a sense of severe aggravation, she slipped back into her pool to swim.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

First of September

The old woman lay in her small bed, the morning was still dark, but it was time to rise and begin her prayers. Years of discipline, and still she could not induce her muscles into movement. It was the day, the day around which all other days of the year revolved around, like planets around a sun. Typically, she was a calm woman, a cautious yet compassionate person, un-swayed by fads or the changing eras or superstitions. But this day, the first day of September, frightened the old nun. She had lived for sixty three years, and out of all those she could remember, almost every time, on the first of September, a new tragedy bore down on her life. Today, was again, the first of September, and she lay nearly paralyzed in bed. She feared not for herself, but for the people she knew. All those around her were subject to the fury of this day, she knew not where it came from or why it persisted, but it was real, she had the memories to prove it, the tally of Septembers and their consequences. Her heart beat to an unsteady drum, she awaited the days news with a feverish chill. She had failed, she knew this for certain, despite her subtle pleas, she had not been able to convince him to avoid skydiving. The boy was nineteen, a volunteer that sprouted as organically as the fruits and vegetables he had been able to coax from the dry soil.
The abbey had seen better days, its garden walls were beginning to crack, the paint chipped without shame, for years a fog of decay had clung to the edges of the building, a fog that lingered despite her fervent prayers. Their garden had withered, the fruit trees bore only small bitter fruit and the soil dried to a powdered dust. Their two acres had once been a thriving enclosure, a small but lively home for god and a sanctuary within the city. But the steady source of donations had dried up when news of the latest priest sex-scandal had broken ten years prior. To this day, the city had still not forgiven "the church" and the abbey had been caught in the crossfire. The paper had been printed on September 1st. That was the day the abbey began to crumble.
She thought of the boy, planting seeds in his dingy overalls. He had come to them one day, looking for soil in which to work. He had wanted nothing in return, just space on the earth uncovered by cement or decorative stone…space and soil…time to let the elements conspire and breed. It had been April when he knocked on the wooden door that faced the street. She brought him into her office and he outlined his plans with an innocent smile on his red lips. He had been reading books on soil maintenance and organic gardening, he carried a small paperback in the pocket of his overalls, a small, dingy reference manual that he carried with the reverence of a sacred text. The creases of his hands were stained with dirt and his nails were dirty. To her, he looked like a beautiful angel, a youth unscathed by the clutches of a harsh world. She saw in his eyes that he still believed in warmth and tenderness, that he still held a flame in his heart for the seasons and the slow way of process.
After many months she had learned that three local colleges had offered him a place within their lecture halls, but he was headstrong, she could tell that within the first couple of minutes when he had walked though the door. College meant little to him, he said he felt god in the soil. When gently coaxed, he said he saw the divine living within a hibernating seed, a small kernel that could so easily sprout to life with water and sun. Indeed, it was magic, or the divine, or whatever word was able to hold the vast mystery of nature, and she wasn’t really sure there was one.
He had been offered a path to the world, the world of men, the world that had been carved out and demystified within the collegiate halls, and the young man choose to live under the sun, letting the wind rough his cheeks and the soil stain his hands.
In April he had come, and by the first days of fall, the kitchen was again filled with the harvest of late summer. Lettuce and carrots and strawberries and tomatoes. His careful cultivation had stirred the pot, it had infused the world within the walls with a fresh wave of energy. He fed them all with his efforts. She was fed not just in her stomach, although she was grateful for that, but her very core felt renewed, like a soft rain had come and washed away the outline of gray. It was the red-blooded energy she felt stirring within the stone walls of their sanctuary. And this is why she had failed, she had not been stern enough, she had not clearly communicated the wrath of this day. She had let him leave, knowing that perhaps she might not see him again. He had gone, to be close to god he said, to fly for a moment with the birds. She hoped, she prayed, that this day would not be as typical as the rest.

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Their effort was united, tied together in a sweet smelling bundle with thin satin ribbons and the colored thread of revolt that ignited every couple of seconds with burgeoning thoughts and the shiny lacquer of birthed possibilities. In the dampness of the morning, the smell of thick sweat and dew covered meadows and greasy hair and kiss covered nipples, they all mingled like never before. This was the aroma of motion, of ecstatic dance after a thousand lifetimes of slumber, of pure life, gazing at itself unpolished and unabashed within the pond of clarity. They gathered together, the five of them, each wearing tattered black leather and carrying small torches or candles. It was a pivotal move, a clear, turned corner that was already a hundred miles from the old way of being. Revolt was their new action, their new tactic. They had gathered four nights before, gathered just the same, sitting in a small circle around the flickering of a single flame. Without a word exchanged, they knew it had come to this moment, this decision, it was change or die. Push forward into the new flower which might await or die in the scarred arms of a deformed master, a breeder with arbitrary rules and masked instructors and chained teachers. Would this continue to be their life? Would they live the next seventy years in the invisible handcuffs of the Woman? In the grasp of the Man? The five of them, bursting with the same impulse, the uneasy flutter so easily found and so easily lost. They felt it, each in their heart and their circle tightened, each second demanding more. It was mandatory, something must be done, there must be a new way of being. They each knew something must change…but how? Their leader watched the flame, in his gaze it wavered and grew and jumped. The life moved and he followed with it, its partner in each descent and arrival. The others held their hearts, as he held the flame, they in turn, held him. It was trust that cradled them in the web. It was intuitive judgement that padded their chamber. Yes, the discretion was all up to one, to the one that commanded without force, yet, there was no steel, there were no weapons of blood. He was the warrior without a spear, the hunter that moved by the moon, by the smell on the wind, by the words that came to him like divine insight. He took the formless shapes and took them to bed, he rolled them up, bathed in their murmurings and wound them together in a sentence of understanding. He was their king without a crown, unjeweled and covered in the flavored milk of love. As they sat in the late hours of night, when the street lamps flickered and the last of the trains left with their sleeping occupants on their way to the suburbs; they planned their next move, their new approach, their renewed attention. They chewed their drug, they let their mouths taste the shape of the "s" and the contours of the "u." The smell lingered, slightly above their skin, playing hide and seek from one nostril to the other. Their drug was the color of a new understanding, and it leapt to them in measured waves and soft caresses. Take what you can and leave the rest for later, it crooned. Pushing too hard will break it, and grasping too hard only pushes the waves to the horizon. Let it come softly, it whispered. We are here, a frequency away. Just a small break and we are here, when your mind is ready. Some understood and then forgot, riding the steel bits of the city like surfers of urban oceans. Nothing could be forced. For a moment, they were united in that pivotal understanding.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

An Endless Walk That Spans The Length Of Time

An endless walk that spans the length of time. The number of fog covered mountain passes defies the measurement of mathematicians. They are also invisible within the vast void of my imagination. They sprinkle their theories and equations, erupting in sums, moving though suns, embedded within orange planets of amber. I sit on a chaise lounge in Miami, sipping cool tea and contemplating the cause of my condensation. Pastel buildings surround me and brown asses jiggle past my hands every three seconds. Iridescent beads drip towards my belly, finding solace within the deep hole of my belly button. Quickly, you come and suck them out, the last bit of water that sits upon my surface. The endless desert stretches taught on this pale sand. Mirages are liberally dosed within all my crevasses, and there are many. Explorers have mapped the contours of a an armpit, but only you have discovered the valley of date trees. Barefooted men have found their way to these fields, a spectacle of tall trees, geometric in their planted patterns. Row after row, each springs forth from the land at 36 inch intervals. Down to the millimeter, the measure is exact, the desire of a lost king. Shedding their names and memories, the bald headed men, each uniformly dressed in red shirts and white slacks, they cling to the bark with their overdeveloped leg muscles. It is their thighs alone that keep them upright, that keep them from plunging head first into the cracked silver earth. A machete in their mouths, they move like a battalion of hungry military men, in search of the fruits that will shed them with endless wealth.
Move you fools, higher still!
The branches sag, the boughs not easily giving up their seeds. Their meaty flesh. The hunger within pushes them beyond any limit. The limit of words or biological strength. The sounds of high ringing can be heard even clearer at this height. Ring inside, the clanging pushes this energy even further past the doorway of eternal glimpses.
Let me shine with the glory of a thousand lifetimes, a thousand deaths that defy the meaning of logic, the meaning of these words, bound in a leather bound dictionary and carried by a little Asian schoolgirl in her backpack. You can use it for the test, but the memory will soon be forgotten.
It’s not enough to remember, you must learn.
You must learn to do.
Must learn how to do.
There is this…or the other.
Not doing.
Checking out. To swim in a vast pool of misery and human dread. The endless search for nothing. Can you find something in an illusion? Can you project your own lifetime and its own conclusion?
The death of my ancestors. The death of me comes closer each day. I only hope that it happens in the bed of my lover. May I have my brains freshly tasted and be buried beneath the sage. Burn my leaves. Smell me before the invocation.
If I have learned to do before then, perhaps I will enter, perhaps I will dance inside of you.
Perhaps I will move with all the atmospheric movement you shall circulate within the earthly confines of a café full of curiously scared wide-eyed fools.
When you reach for me, I will be the same as I am now.
The same as it ever was.