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The Bond

Coruscating thoughts betray thy primal instinct.


To the witness, the clouds commence, skewing that which has been long since known of man.


It is here, where the heart begins its activation.  An internal clock of inborn premise commences, stirring forth the Grimoire incoherent.  In counting down and spiraling through, a leavening of complacency spires to, flecking the stars with gold and sparkling hues.

In a momentary lapse of permutation, reflective as it is refractive, adjunct to the enemy it stows.  As is the composure under compromise, baseline’s stilt, rearranging polarity. Such damask blends breed patterns unrehearsed.


Pulsation bleats awhile rapt in throbbing undulation. Emulously, in duress, the synapse skitters to inert measure; a weight felt reactively within the fading doe.


Struggling, she battles each interval coursing in the plague. Struggling, to remain focused, to ignore the loosened clasp. Struggling, to deafen the fleeting harmonics born this eve. Struggling, to adhere to innate notions, to see through, both the vision and the virtue, she’d painted in her dreams.


Fledging forth amongst the besmirched quaking born from such dystopian avails, one would not think ill for fading soon to the aberrant qualms that darkness drew.


Despite tremors, of consequence, nature is discovered; where traits, of perseverance, dare not yet escape into death’s ever-alluring, outstretched arms.


And, in as such, violent resolutions forego their anticipatory applause.  Instead, baffled as they should be, said constrictions grow intrigued by the tarried rebuking from this beast.


The doe, now pale like pallor’s bride, rejects thy outcome, denouncing the agonies your restrictions make.


She adheres instead, to the coursework determination phrased within; blocking all currencies of pain and by staring deep into her pleasure’s swoon. And it is within this now, which sensations become avowed, thusly taking her through, to that time, in which she elsewise would’ve claimed.


Amongst each meandering pause another echo would emerge.  Upon a bed crafted in cruel reality, in a setting coated by seeds of unnatural parlance, maternal impulse still chose to surge. Instructions whispered she to stay. Whence came the word, perhaps the ethos spake, perchance the wind itself? Though none knew such a cure, enough was spoke to stir the beast e’er still. Mystery kept wake her eyes, to stare, beyond the pain and through the sadness it would purge. Mystery kept full her lungs, to breathe, inhaling another tinge of life.  Though fleeting still, mystery kept alive both instinct and hope, enough for her to feel what it was she knew as truth. Mystery kept her silent, still, to marvel upon the art she gave and to lay eyes upon that which she would invite to set her free.


Yet, when time came to, she looked away.  Many stood agape, to believe she chose to test the temperament of fate. If not for the architect with womb, never would this truth be sate. For the salt cast stream, which was all the story needed a mother to see and know.  Such action was not bred in denial but rather bled from sacrifice.


As the doe would have relished taking her leave with such a sight, it was out of fear she chose no such reprieve. As much as her lids did beg for this delight, she could not bear to know her expiration would be her artistry’s initial sight.


Such strength uncommon, born of a love noticeably unseen in such a time, to sacrifice the love she bleeds, so her blood can bear not the timeless burden of such bloodied sorrow.


Seasons would shift and time did pass, leaving us our return to this unfamiliar familiarity, a present path connected with the seeds of life’s past.


A hunter, it is told, often discovered a child scampering through his favorite tract of lawn. Upon this day and for each one that does still pass, he would stand still to watch, as this child aged upon his familiar stretch of path.  Here then he sees, each time he does, the child is cuddled close, amongst a warped wood of unnaturally yet naturally shaded hue.  And strangely enough, seasonably without expectation, such a man, of his line, should choose ebb back such a gifted sight.  Never did his quiver part from the spine, effectively deboning sycophantic notions of archetype.


And as the well worn boots march away each time, a child scurries along through brush and wood, ever looking back, leaving indication it would return again, a truth this hunter proudly knew as true.


And what is to be said of a predator that sympathizes with his prey?  Perhaps all that can be said, must lead us through, past the points of typical convention, to the precipice of an unlikely connection, a convection, that forever onward, only two would truly know.


Or quite possibly, as I like to think it through, perhaps the myths are true.  To which, so the songs bestows, that despite what we know of as truth, a doe still protects her own, even after her days were eternally through. The tale then retells, that through a promise made, between a sickly doe and a hunter who fared not well in hunting, that bonds be built, between man and nature and nature with man, creating an ouroboros between adult and child.


A Fatal Transitioning….The Poetry of Sleep

He screams to the heavens, for invisible militias to decimate the berserkers of the mind; Postulating to the pagan voice, ferreting for a life long forsaken, grasping the inevitable, but leaving a tethered string, to allow an unraveling to return the flesh unto this gavel trampled deep….and yet

I wonder why,

His cries, his tears,

Never adorned the

Thoughts of a Deity

That could have saved…


Brooding boy, beg not

for your appearance turns sour when you do


Is the disease so great you can’t alleviate the thrashing within?

Is there not, in your position, an analgesic for such wrathful whims?

Can you bear not the

Grimacing toil of youth, for it is in truth; when I relay how you were not the first, to suffer as you feel…does that allay your fear?

Does this expel your quorum’s spell—

Will this quell the quivering abrasions that estrange you deep within?

Does it bend/Will it blend?

Can it purge/Can it make you chaste again?

Will you hunt the haunt that hinders you with inanity?

Will you blossom to the foul fragrances of a rancor smoke’s uncloaked?


Does it make the slightest inch of placation…will it assist you in rebuilding the dynasty that could have been…if not, for the misfortunes of your house of sin?


Do you even understand the voice in which I speak?   Can you focus upon my presence now?  You flail your arms as madmen may, you writhe double-clutched, biting deep into the upturned soil where last you sat…what, tell me what, am I to make of this?  Was I proscribed to an anomaly or a incurable decree?  Tell me, for my abilities have grown worn, the hornets nest is building, soon shall it flinch forward the deadliest yet of swarms and all the while, I mean no insensitivities toward your plight, but I cannot understand the warped sensibilities that dwell deeply through you now…and, I fear, I shall fail you and my master both…then, tell me, what shall I report at such a time?


I slap you but you smile, I surmise a beating would cause you much joy in such a senseless state.  The longer I harbor your companion; I fear lost as well I shall submit?


I scream yet I wonder if my range you can even hear.  At times your reactions indicates a cognizant being still writhes within, but at others, I fear it is but a barely moving corpse presiding that space, occupied, yet somewhere other than here.


I turn the vultures away from their feast, yet as sun’s fall and the sands rise in blistering gales beneath the sky, I fear, their meal is near at hand, and it may not be, he, that they await?


Our journey is lingering, I have nothing to report, his condition remains as it had, yet, I cannot be positive in such determinations, for I fear I am not the same as I was previously…I notice a failing of faculties…seemingly each week another is removed…and although we approach you now, the effort is far greater than the years spent in sacrifice….each day’s progress, is quickly covered by tomorrow’s sands…


The hallucinations are the strongest they’ve been, I consistently imagine we are not in the realm we first arrived, yet have strayed into some hourglass, where only the shifting dunes remind us of the hours remaining…


The accounts about oasis’ are factual…


I am now communicating fully with our friend…and his pain has transformed me into a creature that understands his own…hope is lost, at least for me, he seems to have regained his sacristy….he tends to me as we speak…if only a caravan should approach…I am, in desperate need of an anodyne to dissipate this remorse… for this, this all, is but the poetry of the sleep.


As a loud clanging rhythm

wrinkles the smooth

beneath your eye’s

weathered lid






At The Track

The PA system crackled.  The walk-around was complete.  Those in the stands clung onto their tickets tightly. They had that that hopeful glow all about them.  There’s always something magical about horseracing. The Gamblers, while most would leave the track with far less money than they had before arriving, each and all, had the possibility to hit it big, and that was what kept each of them coming back.  This was what made the anticipation so great.


The Announcer started rattling off each horse:  A Ghost Named Rain….Therefore, Contagious…Marty’s Martian Landlord…Felicity’s Dancing Dominatrix…Mike’s Vulgar Rainbow…Somewhere over the Backstop….Dream, Dream Patchwork Innocence and Sweet Cake and Rum to round out the field.

Eight chances to cross the finish line Win, Place or Show…


The Starting gun was pointed…shot…and they were off.


Marty’s Martian Landlord pulled up lame just moments after the quarter-mile.  Sweet Cake and Rum, the odds on favorite, was lagging bad.  Neither would be claiming victory this night, taking their 4 to 1 and 2 to 1 odds with them respectively.


Six remained and the odds increased.


Therefore Contagioushad five strides between his back shoe and A Ghost Named Rain, who was followed closely by Mike’s Vulgar Rainbow, Felicity’s Dancing Dominatrix and Dream, Dream Patchwork Innocence.   Following the pack, just a few strides back, was the other 4 to 1 horse, Somewhere Over the Backstop.


Dirt kicked up high.  Faces strained in the stands.  Three separated themselves, leaving hope to balance out over the final section of track.


Sweat was dripping from brows about…yelling,”C’mon, C’mon” and the like, phrases heard easily a thousand times over in a little over a minutes time…


In the end…Mike’s Vulgar Rainbow Won, Therefore, Contagious Placed and Dream, Dream Patchwork Innocence Showed.  80 to 1, 65 to 1 and 9 to 1 respectively


This Big White-Haired man screamed some reveling words and fainted flat over the bleacher seats…


“Paramedics, Paramedics,” a gangly, weasel looking of a man shouted loudly…seconds before he pried the winning trifecta from the old man’s pudgy finger and thumb.


I tried setting things straight, but nobody would listen….I felt bad, but at least I had a really nice Show.

The Unfortunate Case of Narcoleptic Prosody

Narcoleptic Prosody
Eyes close…amphitheaters arise
Sing, sing for me now, so I may rest in sleep,
wherein inspired are the dreams, said symphonies awake

Dysplasia Ptolemaic
Euphratic composition
Tigris by the tale
current, be-sides our haunts howling us now
down the street and through the flood
it could be a ghost
or a demon, searching for the lost vial of dysthymia’s blood

with surface wounds we know
A fluidic blend of homilies
surrendering the linens to caution’s afterglow

to contusions turned
in mortifying advance each is yearned
its side-splitting salience
A cartographic fence
Inching close, aligned
With a calendric design
time slows,
and this is all that’s known

Ever pushing forward
each and every ounce
we share
a piece,
a part,
apportioned in tine
wrapping the tearstained syndromes’
with pretty boughs scourged upon

From deep within an unknown seal
an utterance protrudes through tangents real
unclasping the gash-in-cleft
revealing a consequence that burnout’s played its dance upon,

the deepest scar, the frowning gape, lost in sidestep, trapped in fate

Allocution unsheathes its grey-bent blues,
replacing point of pitch with tongue in groove
while mercury lingers
and penance remains
failing to desist
the fractures nature made
the one’s nurture never could resist

The consistory that bludgeons
But the phantoms still are coming
churning dismissive stares
unto, the buried totems lost in you

and the definition’s overt masks
too quickly don their capes in fear
before the valerian fever could tempt the last of such spasms
sympathetic appeals

From the never-ending conditions that relapse
to witch-hunts ill-conceived, unleashing the still playful pups out into the wildness of the river’s night,
afraid the Pythoness divines you still
breathing full inundations fluctuating words—afoul
yet never had I believed in such stories, not a singularity of symbol could sway an outlook devised by my own making, unless such contradictions escaped the lips of Euphoria herself—

If would be as bourgeois spelled it be
deemed as far lost as
jetsam caught ashore in canard’s net

A marble valley sunset
under tropes of gold
brazen blisters encumbering
close to the curve of spine
in such spaces I forever think of you
wherever I shall be, in any of my various conditions,

As the pleasure swoons the temple doors
I’ll remember you, my sweet, sweet girl
the essence of that innocent one back when
you found me, looking, for the someone
that happened to have your face
your eyes and heart
your grace and laugh…

Each time the music cringes across the delicates
I fondly recall each those nights beneath the canvassed stars

yet perhaps the misinformation, here, is right,
perhaps too much time has passed for you this night
for your light, seemed to be,
the one pure thing, to which it appears
impossible to ever conjure again,
and that sweet affair was but a glyph
upon the mapping webbed, upon the only
meaningful expedition I’ve ever quested on—
yet, why those lies were spread of you
why they said you were but crafting schemes
where love was but insincerities voice, painted in such inebriating hues

I pined days over you
from anger to sadness
to a demand, to obtain, truth
only to hear you spent your days since
laughing at how I fell into your snare
I didn’t believe those tales those “teachers” told
start now,
on the brink of what felt succinct,
when pressed,
you were nowhere near
for reasons,
unknown to spy,
you’d left,
ran away,
far from here
if only I had the name you wore,
then perhaps
recreate we could,
the sentiments you showed me there
but, alas
what is, is
the rationale and motives
are but middling data in-between
the truth and the truth’s that could have been

The Hit

My cousin Daphne, a real lost soul that one is, yet, I can’t really think that with a straight face now can I. Shit, I guess I can…I, done so much worse now, hadn’t I. Anyhow, she saw me take out Jimmy the Snitch. It wasn’t planned to go down like it did, that’s for sure. But there I was, cleaning up and who walks by the motel room, yep Daphne. Kind of funny actually, there I am knee deep in bone and blood and she’s standing there in some fishnet tramp suit, lipstick smeared and all, just sitting there and watching me. What do I do, I start yelling and screaming at here, threatening to tell her ma what a whore her little girl turning out to be. That’s when she said, “go head call Ma, but just to make things fair, you do, I hit 911,” touché was all I could come up with.

Now, not that you all gonna shed no tear for me or anything, but I’m trying to get this blood out the carpet and she’s going on and on about how much I make, how’d I learn, any openings….blah, blah, blah…so I said, “if you wanna learn go find a mop or something”

So that’s how my cousin daphne switched careers. Guess, in a way, was fortunate for her. That was her last John, while two days later that trick killer started his slash-dance through slutsville, hitting all the local dives, including that fine establishment she was just at.

So, Daphne aint’ the best yet, nah, not nearly, and she’s a bit too ambitious too. I keep nittin at her to slow things down, go spend some time in the alleys picking off the bums, perfecting craft and all, but she wants the greenbacks. The other night took her on a gig wit’ me, east side, big Eye-Tal-Yan spot, lots of good fellas and guidos around, enough hair gel to start a fire, a really damned big one too. Joey Clack Clack Do-Re-Mi, sometin like that, he was this big fat shit who runs numbers for Bobby Biscuit, who was the target. But the thing is, no one seen Biscuit for months, been hiding out low, running real intricate shit, coded messages and only clack clack and Tony Talladega, they the only two that seen him, and been at a different spot each night too…so figure we’d catch a ride with Clack Clack.

You see, I heard it was pay-up night for Clacks, and knowing Biscuit like I do, figured he’d still be keepin up on his accounts, so like I figured, the call came in and old clack-clack got up off his fat ass and pedaled on down to district four, then back out to two to three and then, as funny as it is, right back to Paisons, name o’ that spot we was just at. Clacks was all out the breath by time he got up dem stairs, and we snuck in on after.

We waited till clacks went back on down and snuck in through the escape. We snuck on through the house until we found Bobby B hanging out all covered in white stuff, Daph asked, “that coke,” and knowing Bobby B like I do, “nah, we in luck, take a wiff…” I told her, “Is that, smells like amaretto” she whispered back, “yep, making his famous biscotti,” I filled in the blanks, adding, “and looks like some espresso’s ready to brew as well…

The hit wasn’t very glamorous like you see on TV, kind of boring actually. You see, turns out Bobby was hiding out from his mother-in-law, and although we didn’t then, she was probably the one that put out the hit. He banged megan, that shot girl from Lopes, that latino club, and she went on braggin’ how she got herself a real gansta, well that don’t sit well with mrs. B, no, not at all, but she aint got the balls to question Bobby herself, so like normal, she called that roller pin toting hag…anyhow, I was gonna sit down with B for a bit, shoot the shit and try to figure things out, maybe get him out to Canada or someplace, but Daphne, eager as she was, pulled out the glock and started waving it all over the flat…

Bobby may be a gangster, made man and all, but he aint the violent type really, he talks a great game, and no one’d wanna mess with him, so no one did, but he aint really all about the roughing up bit, his joy is food, cooking up mean dishes too I hear. Actually had these Biscotti bunch times before, he’d pass em’ round the pool hall lots of time, bragging his skills up and all…but before had a chance to work things out, there was my cousin, acting more trailer park than hitter…and poor bobby, well his heart just gave out right there, boom, all done no bullets, no confrontation…

Daphne went to grab a biscotti and make some espresso, but we didn’t have the time now, but there, right there, was his recipe, that much was too good to let go…and in fact, it’s the type of thing that gets you pinched.

Six months later, there I was, out of the business, opened up a little joint, west end. Had lots of customers, till Bald Sheila wandered in as she passin by, saw me in my apron and said she had to stop…Old Sheila was one of Bobby’s side dishes and the minute I saw her head tilt back and sniffing like a dog do, I knew I was done for. And yep, she knew, I knew, and she knew I knew that she knew. Didn’t have a piece anywhere near me neither. So tried keeping things cordial, but Sheila took me down with that tiny thing in her purse. Luckily for me she wasn’t as good a shot as she was a bloodhound…

I had to close the joint down, turn states on bunch a people and they got me out in Oregon. Been like this for a few years since. And they got me working stock at a local hardware spot. Aint life like I was used to, but, can’t really complain…that was until today. Came home from doing a double and when I walked through my apartment door, I could smell the amaretto in the air, and about same time I saw Daphne sitting there in the chair, gun pointing right at me…

…and you’s all thought us types were big into family like that…

The Bazaar

Upon exiting the car, we instantly noticed how early we’d arrived. When we were younger, it never meant much to get there first thing, before the crowds started to settle in. Nope, in fact, back then, watching them, was kind of the point for going there in the first place.

Today, well, I don’t make many trips to the Bazaar. Haven’t been there in some time and don’t spend nearly the time I had as a kid. It’s not even close really. Where we’d spend a good afternoon meandering about the various stands, watching all the different peoples, mingling amongst themselves, bartering with customers, transforming from seller to buyer, where they’d then, become minglers and barterers themselves. Now, it’s a case of knowing what I came there for, where it’s located, and trying to get in and out as fast as I can.

There are many reasons for the change. First would have to be: with age, time constraints seem to alter the courses steered. Then, I recall there’s several more, but only one comes to mind, that being: How rundown and dangerous the areas become.
So back I go, to days lost in time. Back to youthful loitering, watching the characters that exist in full frame, making up the conversations we cannot translate, predicting the next actions individuals would make, and then following them about, just to see who had won the Peach soda and the Gelato cone.

Upon exiting the car, a beat up Pontiac Bonneville, seated seven, yet most days it was but three, Myself, Mark and Johnny. Repaving was a language this parking lot never knew. Mark would say the cracks gave the Bazaar character, Johnny would just say the owner was cheap.

Dirty grey, should be white, building on the fringe of what is and what should be considered for the list to be condemned. Paper signs, written in pencil, taped in Scotch, line the lampposts that hadn’t worked in twenty years, providing the sales, for those who took the time to scribe away.

Upon arriving to those double-doors, we’d check to see which autographs were new since the time before. To open those doors, you knew you’d arrived, for the scent was as distinct as an odor could be, at first unpleasant, quickly unnoticed, yet that first whiff of food, dirt, sweat and dust, is one you’ll never grow conditioned of.

Leon, four hundred pounds and all, would sit upon that wobbling stool, checking bags and frisking the incoming patrons tight. Johnny always thought he frisked the girls a bit too long, but, in all the times we’d gone past, never did a woman stop to second guess. When he was done he’d grab a cigarette and make some off-the-cusp innuendo or two, which were humorous the first few hundred times you heard them through. He wasn’t a cop, just somebody the developers knew, that could be trusted in keeping things in line, and would work off the books for many less the dimes. Mark would always kid him, “you lost a couple since last time, eh?” to which he’d whip out his wallet and show a conveniently placed picture of a little baby girl, say had her just the other day. We’d go on and laugh, and I’d reply, “Leon, how old is she by now anyways?” to which he’d always say, “older than you, older than you.” And in we’d go, and once in, we’d roam the aisles mighty slow.

Denisia and her fresh fruit were always the first to see. She’d flirt with us as we passed by, until a more likely mark would catch her eye.

Tristene, she had a stand close by there, but no one ever got a straight answer, as to what exactly she peddled by.

Marquez and those fresh Goya drinks, first stop we’d make, pick up a pack of seeds, enough to bide away the morning day. He had issues though, wouldn’t make eye contact, not one bit at all. So of course we’d play that game, drooping and bending knees, watching him avert his gaze, over and over until he swam us with his hands, and we’d laugh it up down the way…

Only slowing to a crawl, when we saw Mr. G, and his carved wood carved ware. But as interesting as they were, I’m pretty sure he knew we were too old for some toys, and if that wasn’t enough, he must’ve had to mop up the drooling pools that formed, the second his eldest daughter Tina came out to view.

Once we had our libido’s sparked, we skipped on out and passed quickly by a bunch of stands we cared not for, and ventured deep, into the heart of this bazaar place.

Exotic fruits and flowers were the first place here, can’t remember her name, but a nice old Chinese woman manned the space, always smiling and nodding to us, didn’t speak a lick of English, but none of that mattered much, the goods explained themselves, and they always changed from week to week.

The fish stand was my favorite of them all. Here you’d get fresh catches from the lake, where you could purchase them freshly fileted, right there, if so you liked. Big burly Samoan guy, probably not really Samoan, but to this day, Singh is the only Samoan I ever met, so I always say that’s what was his nationality.

More of the same stands there stood; fish, fruit, flowers, snacks and meat, each owning their own nuance and novelty. A uniqueness they couldn’t hide if it was what they one day decided to try for. Just to watch the customers interact, sometimes successfully, sometimes in scenes from sketch comedy, perhaps a parody you’d expect to see upon late night TV, or, in some cases, unlike anything you could possibly dream.

We’d watch the couples meander closely near, examining the products and looking to deal, speaking foreign tongues between themselves, as if to tell the shop-keep, “hey, you can’t understand us, so we’re talking about how we can make you give us a huge deal,” of course, their efforts fell, for the most part on deaf ears.

Lovers would walk hand in hand, picking things as if they had a plan, when reality was they were caught up in the atmosphere, as were we all, walking short yet feeling tall.

There wasn’t any music in the air, just the sounds of old AC units chugging through, combined with the sounds of a mix of languages galore. At all different pitches and randomly paced beats, the sounds we heard were never the same, and unique from one moment to the next.

Olga’s stand we love, at least my mother did, as she’d send us there specifically for her homemade pierogies, three dozen potato, four dozen cheese and a half dozen Kraut, as only my father would eat those. She was a nice woman in her mid-forties back then, who spoke English, yet had the coolest little accent, the one that forever reminded her of the home she left behind, so her children had the opportunities she and her husband never knew. Her girls were cool, but a bit on the wild side, we knew one of their friends, and saw them out here and there, and laughed between the three of us, as the picture they presented there at their parent’s stand, couldn’t have been more different, something Olga and Tom, would never accept or understood.

To get to the back part of the Bazaar, you had to pass through a dark, dark tunnel, where the lights hadn’t been on in years it seems. This was a place where the scents were not unique, as they could be found in any restrooms across the land.

I’d always find it amusing; in fact, this was something we’d bet upon as well. We’d stand alongside the raised café platform, where we’d eat our Gyros and sip our tea, looking down at those who were emerging from the tunnel’s dark. We’d wager as to how many of the sweatered uptown folk, would pat their butt, as if no one could tell that they were making sure their wallets were yet sitting still.

One last place before we would venture back. It was always hit or miss though, for this news shack was open when Adibi chose to come in. You see, he didn’t need to open at all, for one day he bought one of the lottery tickets that he would sell, and he it hit big, yet, for traditions sake, he never retired completely though. So, we’d go there, as he wouldn’t proof for dirty mags, cigarettes or beer, which we didn’t complain, but found it mighty strange, that he would ask for ID when we tried to buy a scratch off lottery ticket. Go Figure?

Out we’d go as we came, a bit quicker of a pace than what we first had made. Some days Johnny would make us stop though, at one last place, the comic exchange, where he’d pick up a bunch of terrible titles that never sold at the other shops in town, and there he would get his dimes and quarters spread clean across the chipped glass counter, and the two Korean brothers would curse at us, well, Johnny more than me and Mark. And here’s the kicker, Johnny would come back every time, and say that he needs to learn Korean, because he needs to know if he should take offense to what they were saying.

Well, one day, this little girl, probably nine or ten, popped her head from behind the jewelry cage across the way, and spoke, as if she was ashamed for needing to correct the lack of knowledge possessed by us three, “ They say, ‘you fool, same thing every time, coin, coin, coin’… not Korean, this is Korean,” and she rattled off a string of words, “what they say is Vulcan…geez,” as she ran away, but not before she waved her fingers at us in that spockish way…

Then, we returned, back to the parking lot, and stood today, just Mark and me. We’d lost track of Johnny after he moved away. At first we all made a point of keeping in touch. In fact, he came up and crashed in Mark’s basement now and then, and we’d return the favor once a year or so. But as time grew further removed, he met a girl, and they moved in together and had a child of their own. And somehow, we faded from priority, and now, once a year or so, we’ll get a postcard, showing his family, where, despite the soreness over losing such a one-time link in our three piece chain, his happiness could be seen in each these cards, a happiness I was glad he found.

And we were wondering how things could have changed so much. The faces were distant, the mood was bland, the parking lot was rife with needles, and gangs of boys trying to earn their stripes as men. The stands were more spread apart, not nearly enough to warrant a trip from the suburbs in.

As depressing as it was, we still heard a myriad of foreign tongues, mainly bickering over the economy, or so we thought. But the voices were there, just not as many of them, and that, although not we had looked forward to. And once we got over the disappointment of the memories from way back when, I guess, was still enough to bridge the gap of time, returning, at least a part of those memories…

Out in the lot, I asked Mark, “ Feel like Fondue,” to which he replied, “Sure, where to,” and then I simply said, “well, The Melting Pot, of course”

Brian Miller is spending his night hosting Poetics by People Watching. Head on over to D’Verse, and share in what our poets see. While you’re there, we’d love to read, or hear, what your people-watching expeditions have produced. This piece is another longer piece, as you know by now. I had this idea for awhile now, getting down a short story that revolved around change, and how it can be explored through the examinations of character. In this case I mainly used people as the foundation, but the settings and the scenes themselves I’ve also attempted to treat as characters themselves. To keep the short story in a poetic state of mind, I amended my speech patterns in the recordings, hopefully creating a more musical/poetic effect, something I also tried dearly to do within the words themselves, by replacing traditional prose with, I hope turned out to be the most part, poetic prose. Another great them tonight at D’Verse, can’t wait to head on over and dig into what y’all watched. Hope to see you there.

The Unexpected Announcement of Muriel B. James

Muriel James was on particular edge. The men had just completed dropping their wives off at the old Brownstone that Muriel’s father had passed down to his only child many years before. William James, Muriel’s loving husband of nearly 35 years, knew today was not the day to be mulling about the parlor. He didn’t mind as much that the house would soon be filled with forty or so women, ranging from the very young to the extremely old. What irked him though, was how Muriel had been acting the past day and a half or so, being on edge and easily reaching temper’s flare. He didn’t think too much upon the situation, as his wife acted quite similarly whenever a large crowd of family would gather at their home. This time, was ever an example of such a situation as any. Everything had to be pristine, in place, as if the house was never in a state of anything less than immaculacy.

William was on his way out of the house, when Darlene, his youngest daughter, to whom this party was being hosted for, entered the door, promptly and unprovoked, she gave her father the dearest, “dadeee,” complete with a loving hug. William kissed her on the cheek, wished her a good day as he leaned over to kiss her wonderfully pregnant belly. He paused a moment, whispering sweet thoughts to his future grandbaby, and then, moments later, he left the women to themselves.

Muriel came quickly to Darlene, as frantic as frantic could be. Darlene, seeing the distress upon her mother’s face, tried calming her down some, “Ma, just slow down, everything looks beautiful.” But Muriel would have nothing of it, ranting on about this and that and that and the other thing she can’t quite recall, until she reeled slightly. When she recovered she peered about hoping nobody caught a glimmer of the display, which of course, Darlene had, but her eldest daughter Beth, who just then entered the room, had also arrived in time to catch the sight as well.

“Mom, sit down, you look terrible.” Beth quickly pointed out, in her ever to the point way of speaking. “ Ma, bet’s right, you don’t look yourself…look at you, flush and pale, sweating like it was summer outside,” added Darlene, “not to mention you’re shaking something awful.”

“No time for this, I’ll be fine, just skipped breakfast, that’s all, nothing more to this story,” Muriel added in her normal, ain’t no big thing laissez-faire, which was a red flag to the girls, as such a stance of character, typically indicated that something was bothersome and weighting to their mother. The girls, of course, read this like a book they’d read so many times before.

Beth, as usual, was first to reply, “ Cough it up, what’s the matter.” Muriel poo-pooed it away, and begin prattling off little snide remarks, which was another indicator that whatever this thing that was bothering her, was much bigger than the girls had thought mere moments before. Darlene spoke up in an overtly sentimental tone, not uncommon to her demeanor when under stressful situations, and certainly in line with her present condition, “Ma, you’re scaring me and the baby,” which garnered a quick snark of a look from her sister, as to any who knew the girls, would not have found this glance the slightest bit out of place.

“Now look, I said I’m fine, and that means I’m fine…I really don’t want to think of anything but your shower…don’t concern yourself none…this is your day…Bethany, take your sister to the couch, she shouldn’t be on her feet this long…and while you’re up and about, might as well make yourself useful, grab the long stems from the cabinet and put them out for me…if you want to help, that’s the best I got.”

The girls wouldn’t budge, and didn’t say a thing, something they learned quite well growing up. To which, Muriel’s tone started getting more curt, until she started to cry, something the girls had not expected, as was never their intention, and something the silent stare had never provoked previously. Typically a quick slant of the upper lip, followed by a shake of the head, and a short giggle, but today, now, the girls were in unknown territory, and were feeling more ill-at-ease, the longer this situation lingered on.

“I’m fine,” as she fruitlessly tried wiping away the tears.
“Ma, please…we’re scared”
“Listen, you know you’re going to have to tell us. This party won’t be happening until you do…might as well settle up now, before the others arrive. If this is still going on after Lori and Maureen get here, you know… you don’t want that… cause if it does…well, you know Lori will call Jimmy, and he’ll call dad and then the whole day’s gone…is that what you want.”

Suddenly, Muriel stopped crying. She wiped away some of the wet and looked directly, somehow, at both her girls simultaneously. Her gaze stared intently into her daughter’s eyes, speaking as slowly as she could, “Well, ok then, best you each grab a chair…You know how much I love you girls…you know how much I love your brother and your father too… but…there is something, something I’m afraid will ruin everything,” to which Darlene interrupted, ”ma, now, don’t leave him, he loves you so much…sure you’re beauty’s outlasted his looks, but he’s your heart, ain’t that what you always say…” Beth had that deer-in-headlights bewildered look about her. She was speechless, which, for Beth, is something that never occurred. “What are you…no, not at all…couldn’t be more off base…look, you want to know what’s bothering me…then listen quietly until I’m done,” their mother chimed back in retaliation, grabbing a glass of water and then proceeded to tell her secret. The girls nodded and let their mother continue:

“As I was saying, all I ever wanted in life was to watch you kids grow up, have children of your own…so I could spoil them rotten…and live out the rest of my days with your father. There’s nothing more to me than family, I hope I’ve made that point clear over the years, but now, I’m afraid, for myself and for your father. In two weeks I’ll be 63 years old, and yesterday,” pausing as she takes in another swig of water, “ yesterday I found out, somehow, I’m once again with child.”

The girls froze to the news. After several moments of silence, moments that lingered into what felt like hours. Beth, spoke first, “ Do you think dad suspects anything,” to which Muriel shook her head side to side, softly saying, “no, I don’t believe so… I haven’t had the nerve to tell him neither.” Darlene then spoke up, “ I thought daddy had that taken care of a long time ago…it is daddy’s isn’t…” Muriel chimed in with a little more pitch this time, “ Yes, of course it’s your father’s…and he definitely had that taken care of too…I was with him when it was…but I used the computer and found out it’s not as rare of a thing as you’d expect…there are percentages…”

Beth stood up, “Ma, whatever you decide,” to which Muriel broke down in tears again, “I know, I know, but there’s no decision to be made, it is what it is…a blessing is the only way I can look at it” “What about the risks,” Beth was quick to bring to light. “Risks are what risks are, probabilities that may or may not take place, this though is not a risk, it’s a gift…Is there a chance I don’t make it through, of course there is, but there always is, just maybe a little more in this case….it’s never been about the baby…no, I’m just as happy as I was when I found about you girls and your brother…it’s just…how do you tell a seventy year old man…who’s been wanting to buy a condo in Florida…that he’s going to be a father once again…how does a wife tell him that…and, then there’s the issue of being able to take care of the baby…after all, we aren’t spring chickens anymore…but it does feel better talking to you girls about this. The girls and their mother than huddled close, each with moistened eyes and dampened cheeks, when Darlene broke in, “I can’t believe this…Bet’s we’re going to have a little sister,” which sent an air of ease throughout the room. Beth giggled a bit, which you could tell they liked seeing, as they don’t see it often enough, “and you know, your baby is going to be a little older than her aunt or uncle…a best friend.”

The family moment would be cut short prematurely, as the doorbell rang, the first of the guests had arrived. Muriel stood up, wiped off her face, redid her hair, put a spring in her step, and greeted her guests as cheerfully as ever. Meanwhile her two girls stood where they were, glowing something wonderfully, wet faces and all.

I’ve been away from the computer for the most part of the past 4 days or so, but got a chance to read through many of the poems linked up to this past Saturday’s Poetics, hosted by Manic Daily. It was a really great theme, and as usual, was very impressed with the posting itself, and all the responses it garnered. So, even though I missed out on the party itself, the impetus for this short story came from pondering the “unexpected,” and thought I’d post it today.