Thursday, October 11, 2012

the terminal

Ah, the dead. That is my first thought too. Or the soon to be dead. Dead death decay ing. All good stuff. Meaningful. Always a well the habitually thirsty can cull from. But not today. Today's terminal is about comings and goings, not goings gone. Airplanes, and the like. People. Lots of people. In a hurry.

Yes. Off to visit the pirate ship (should this be capitalized, or should we inspect this place first and then decide if capitalization has been earned, or if it's even desired? I suppose the latter most prudent) and missed my flight due to a series of improbable events that no one deserves being bored with. Waiting standby for the better part of a day reading and sipping drinks and bad food and lots of eavesdropping and staring, and also some avoiding of a few of the obviously unpleasant travelers and their respective crews. Sitting on my ass too long. Musak. Public address system too loud and too static and too familiar. Dead air. Decidedly harsh impersonal insulting. Plane to catch.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

the green

Our interchange has stayed with me the week. It as if her emerald eyes bore into me and left impression, deeper even than her words, deeper than her expression. And maybe it is as simple as she threw a green cloak over me and just lately I sort from underneath. I untangle. I uncover a detail unnoticed earlier: the moisture from her hands, the roundness of her O's, the shock of her blonde hair. And so it is as if my memory blows kisses from behind me and I am besieged with little whispers, knowing glances, continuous drops of attention.

And it is likely she would be surprised with what I say here. Might deny it, think me building castles of air. Not fully grasping my currency: the aftershock, the resonance, the trailing (yes, Breathe into Now, but do not forget to gather all that remains, for later, when it can be shaped and polished and shown).

I could feel her eyes lowering when I told her of the naming of the pirate ship. Lowering still further when she said, "I wouldn't have gotten that," and shame on me for not correcting immediately, for not saying it is blessing, it is testament, that you do not get such things. Only the afflicted and the irreparable travel to find pirate ships, to call this adventure. To believe so strongly it makes shambles of all else.

And again, I wonder: did I put my hand on your heart to feel your rhythm? did I leave you something to take on your upcoming travels, perhaps a word or two worth repeating like a silly song? did you see even a hint of your green reflected back (it is how you measure, I am certain), or did I fail the test? Will the words spill like seed next time or will you again have to cajole?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

the emerald-eyed lovely and the love

You coyly behind the door and then a smile, a full white smile but overpowered by your eyes, the green now all that can be measured, your nose and ears and lips, your forehead and chin, all but quiet neighbors. They are left to the margins. The writing, you ask, and we fall quickly into before. Do you notice how short the catching up, how immediate the continuation?

You describe the frightened little girl with a busted appendix, the scary man and of course the disbelievers, always the disbelievers. But I believe and you believe and for a couple of hours this is enough (and you know, you do know, that you can find me whenever you need believing). And then you pull from me with a vigor and compassion I haven't before experienced. Like a skilled interrogator you do not rush, do not over-stimulate (like a breezy dumping of words across my face - now sort! no matter how lovely the words: foul result) but take care to close all of the escape hatchways, all of my favored paths of flight.  Breathe, you whisper, when I fight you. Breathe, like a slap, when I stay stubborn. Breathe, like a caress, a kiss, a lover's arm around the midsection. Yay! you say, and I understand your exuberance, your pleasure. And I might measure it against mine own, but imagine - me without further words. Now spent.

M Scott Peck says love is doing saying what one perceives to be in the best interest of the object of our affection. Love is not magical thinking. Love is action and difficult choices. Love is saying what we hope imagine trust is what we need to say, not what sounds good or will make the other think highly of us. Love is a wing and a prayer. It's in the mail.

Friday, August 24, 2012

the Vietnamese girl

They called her one thing but her name was another. And I called her the one thing also, but I wondered about that, having two names because one was easier for foreigners to say. In those days I didn't think about things for very long, just long enough to decide, a or b, typically, and I decided unfortunate or not, I would go with the easier name. The name she had put on her own name tag. Plus her tickets were a mess and then the cooks would make a mistake and someone's order would get screwed up and then I'd get pissed and I'd call her whatever name I could quickest get my hands on. But Mister, she would say. But nothing, I would say, and she would flash me a look of the wild, and carry that grudge for perhaps the rest of the day, but never more.

And then I got to calling her by her birth name, and getting it just a bit off. Enough off that she would feel the need to correct Mister, enough off that she would flash me a touch of those hot eyes. But the flash would lack bite and she would realize half way in that I was playing, getting her goat, and then she would smile, embarrassed that she did not see, happy that I was playing. And for an hour it would be Mister this and Mister that, suddenly quite the chatterbox, and her tickets would still be a mess but not quite as bad. Or maybe I would care less about it.

I was alone when I had all four wisdom teeth dug out. Three days at home, no solids, pain meds and rest, said the doc. The first day obviously the worst. And then there came a knock on the door and she was there. Mister, please, I bring you soup. You must eat for strength. I will be Mister's nurse. And so she was and while I was in and out of sleep she was there. And one time my eyes opened and my hand was in her hand, her eye's on mine. And one time my eyes opened and her hands held a wash cloth against my chest, then lower, then lower. Mister need cleaning. Everywhere. And she smiled the half annoyed half pleased smile I had grown to accept as part of my everyday necessity.

And then one time I opened my eyes and she was naked and laying beside me. And it was dark outside which meant she had been with me all day and then some more. Please Mister, I stay with you. Always. And in my weakened state the thought of pulling her closer was irresistible. So I pulled her closer and I pulled down the covers and admired the extent of her beauty, the perfection of her form, the stunning smoothness of her skin. Somehow she was simultaneously demure and vibrant, hot and cool, powerful and vulnerable. And I could not help but kiss her.

And then in the morning when I opened my eyes I realized that it was not a dream - that I had sent away perhaps the most stunning woman, in so many ways, that I had yet to meet. I sent her home to her husband. The one of whom I had only heard her say, Too old. He too old to do __, whatever it was being discussed, and then the implied look, But you are not too old, Mister. Are you too old, Mister?

And lately I have been thinking of her because I think today I would have handled things differently. People aren't property. She wasn't his. Love is elusive. Love may be everywhere, but not always so easily gathered. And when it is delivered to your door? Gift wrapped? Youth is truly wasted on the young.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

all the broken people

The spinners are the most obvious. Tiny delicate things with smiles like a blinking neon: the shades and hues in and out and affected by what is placed nearby, by your eyes even, and certainly by whether you reach in a hand and give them a spin, whether they bounce for you, whether they deign laugh, or shriek, or bite down on a lip, the trickle of blood your doing and the subsequent red smeared grin your doing, and then the ripple of bloody grins crosses the room like a sudden wave, this spectacle you've initiated: like kick starting a motorcycle, the one foot leg digging, and then they spin and blink and then they all squeal their distinct lovely tiny squeal, a symphonic blessing of sorts when you walk alone in a room of shards and can feel no pricks upon your own skin, can feel only the most absurdly outlandish, and the spectacle of the spinners spinning (they howl now, in unison, this pack of tiny broken pain emitters) borders on surreal, perhaps exceeds surreal for those whose paths have remained narrow and steady, and to those I offer caution: what do you think hell will be like? And shouldn't you be preparing for it now?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

the laughing man

He was easy for me to dislike. The memory of his blubbery rolls and constantly shaking jowls still grates. The blinking squinting giggling eyes. The shrill feigned surprise ("Oh, do that again!") - give me a goddamn break. And to the crux - how did he know to take that seat? What do/did I miss?

How did he know they would reward his choice of real estate, the far far corner couch? The party was central when he wandered off, I assumed the loner misfit taking cover, and from my position I could see the whole room and the smoker's patio and both entrances and also my position was located close to the bathrooms and I could knock my knuckles on the bar without even turning my head and more bourbon would be poured, or whatever else I decided was needed. I had established a power position, tried and true, and so I felt sorry for the jiggly man when he wandered over there, poor bastard.

And then there was one hot thing tucked into his left shoulder, her fingers under his shirt, twisting, and his shrill giggles are felt across the room like an assault, and then soon another tucked under his right shoulder and her fingers are likewise dispatched and jiggly man now has the look of one tickled by a hundred feathers, his puffy eyes closing and opening so rapidly, beyond squinting now, as if they are drowning and gasping, as if compelled by the hot young things, the must be working girls. What the hell, and who could not watch? And then the couch was filled with hot young things and then chairs were dragged over and then more chairs and then the couch was pushed out from the wall so more hot young things could squeeze in behind rolly polly man, massage his shoulder, breathe upon his neck, tickle his ears, caress his arm or back or whatever slice of him they can reach, the laughter raucous now, the touching kissing becoming almost obscene.

What the hell indeed. And I am reminded of the directive from the room of lit candles and vibration, Breathe into now. And so here I think I am getting that down and I stumble into the jiggly man who shows me I don't have nothing down. Not a goddamned thing. Compared to him I'm but a novice and the road ahead is long. But, of course, I can choose a silver lining: I've had a look what's down that road and, Damn. That fat man could party.  

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

the little lovely

If you were made of porcelain, like one of those China girl figurines, I might sit you next to the bookcase (your choice of black, your favored black, the layers upon layers of it, would play well anywhere in this room, might even address the subdued elegance clearly lacking). But if I place you next to the bookcase so much of you is swallowed by the couch, its height measured at 27 1/2", which, as you well know, leaves me only 32 1/8" of you to view (and yes, I do believe that you would bounce on your toes, endlessly, so that I might see more of you. lovely you.)

But of course you are not porcelain, the goose bumps I felt on your skin very real, very breathing, and the little noises you made were not manufactured either, and I blush to say anymore (and yes, I do see that blush can be pink like another pink, and I do see that blush is found in the cheeks which reminds of other cheeks, and I do see it is the same as flushed, like one gets during you know). So I learn that you are nothing like a doll that can be brought out to play and then returned to over here or over there. You are more constant, insistent (and yes, I see you have called, and yes, I see you have messaged, and yes, I will see you very soon, and yes, but it will be a surprise so I will not tell you now what your surprise will be because then it will not be a surprise and then I will miss the exclamation when you jump to wrap your arms around my neck, the reaching from your tiny painted toes).

The solution, of course, is obvious and has been apparent from the first: I will place you here, inside this narrative. The benefits to you are significant: first, I will ignore eliminate strike any of your tiny flaws, your blemishes (and yes, I did notice several - need I start to catalogue?); and secondly, we can visit anytime anywhere and here it will always be good, you will always be my little lovely, and I will lather you and I will blather for you and you will not find it better elsewhere (and yes, it was different with the Thief of kisses, much different, and I don't want to get into that. And I won't).

(and yes, I know you are real. So am I, and so is here. and yes, you will grow to love it here, and I will love you here, and you can play here always play here we can play here and I will always see you as I did the first time when I said you are amazing and far exceed my expectations and we talked of books and covered decades with the broadest strokes, leaving comfortable portals to revisit, endless portals, and I left with the taste of you ingrained, the scent of you memorized, and now it is time for me to pamper you, don't you see?)

the Moderator

The purpose of this board is Entertainment. It is not entertaining to read drivel about why one writer is superior to another. Cease and Desist immediately.

James Allen will continue to be a valued contributor to this site. Figure out the logistics of computers and writing times and spaces and so forth on your own. Do not bring it here again. Consider this topic closed. 

We are done here.

Monday, August 20, 2012

the truth

Once upon a time there was a boy, and if me might borrow from a lovely lady we will call him boy little boy, just this once will we borrow, and only in homage, such tiny homage, and this is a little boy who has already spent a lifetime looking for those who brought him into the world and then quickly cast him off, looking for those who abandoned him, for those whose image he assumes he was created in, and so he has looked and looked and looked, everywhere his little boy brain and little boy feet might arrange for him to look until he has decided he can look no longer. And as a comedian once said, Been around the world twice, talked to everybody once. So the boy finally came to accept that he was alone in the world. And that was that.

But that is never that, two is never one, so after a short respite the boy set back out, now looking all the world over for things he might fancy. And he did fancy, and fancy, and so he collected much like we might expect, his greedy little fingers reaching and touching and holding every shiny thing, every smooth or warm or sharp surface, unwilling to release his hold, stuffing it into his pockets, dragging it to his domicile, or if the thing too large, standing nearby and watching it for days or weeks or months, the little boy unwilling to consider life detached from his new fancy. By way of example, as we do not wish to be too summary, the little boy once trailed a little girl for just over six months, following her every move, watching and waiting and yearning, of course yearning, and as there were no stalker laws then, and as he was just a harmless little boy and one who knew to keep a respectable distance, no one took offense to the little boy's following and yearning, but, as you might imagine, the little girl did grow tired of the intense scrutiny and so, from time to time, she would hide so deeply the little boy could not follow her, but still he would yearn, more intently then, his eyes kept closed so he might imagine he was following her still, and then soon the imaginary following would become imaginary leading, the little girl now smiling and laughing as she followed the little boy's leading, this reversal decidedly more pleasant, the yearning now more intense.

But this fairy tale does not end happily ever after as, may we call her the girl little girl just once, the girl little girl weakened under the intense followings of the little boy, so much so that she felt a sickness in her belly that caused her to see doctors, a sickness that troubled her so much she could not discuss it with anyone, not even her mother and father, especially them, and so the little girl while hiding from the little boy sat down and wrote him a note, today if written from a professional we might call it a cease and desist order, a little girl's note to a little boy saying, I don't want to play with you anymore, and please stop following me around, and please stop longing for me. And go away. And so the little boy did what we might expect a little boy to do, he cried like a little boy, or a little girl, maybe that, but either way he shed a lot of tears, and then he followed the little girl around some more in the hope that her mind would change, maybe if he just waited for her tummy to feel better then she would welcome him following her around, like in his imaginings where she would follow him, like that, so he continued until his tummy got sore, very sore, and the sickness took him to doctors too, like the girl, and this thought pleased him, the two of them now lovers like from a fairy tale, both struck and wounded by the same magic dart or arrow, but the doctors told him his sick was nothing like her sick and he would do well to move far away to a better climate, a dry hot climate, and there he could resume his following and his yearning and he would be much less likely to catch the cold, the sick, that he now felt, the sick that the last doctor he saw promised would leave his body when he left this place of the little girl. And so the little boy, after following the little girl one more day for his memory, so he could be certain to not miss a single step and he would always have this one perfect day of following and yearning, forever and ever, traded all of his collected things, his shiny things, for passage south and a life of fresh following and yearning, without the sick and without the cold, especially without the cold. The sick he would keep, some of the sick always with him, and because he learned well from following the girl, the rest he would keep hidden away, always safe,

Sunday, August 19, 2012

the lurker lovely

Just yesterday I caught the familiar whiff of her. Her scent a trail on the backs of others as if she intended for it to be obscured but also wanted to apply test, perhaps she torn with the ambiguity that plagues us all: to have my cake or to eat it? And perhaps coincidence favored to have her in the vicinity but if it were test then I did not fail as even that small sample of her is as distinct to my nose as a freshly split harvest apple might be to your nose or a spring pine after a full rain might be to all. And while it has been so many years since I have seen her, since we sat across from each other like no more than lunch companions (so hard have I tried to erase that final picture: the demure companions), and talked of love as about love, as something over there, as something abstract, as something we no longer shared between us. And yes this was a good decision to talk around love and to keep it labeled past tense because we both had chosen such divergent geography and laid foundation and no sense revisiting that again, no sense getting too close to what if.

I wonder how you came to recognize me. How you came to locate me in a world over-stuffed with voices (your eyes never very good, squinting even as a girl, and I do not imagine you tasking your delicate nose to the ground, you unwilling to bend that low, and I do not blame you that, not one bit)? Do you remember me reading to you: the dull textbook, comics, newspapers, the dinner menu? And when my improvisations proved too annoying and you had scrunched your nose in disapproval, maybe a small giggle, maybe not, and you had scrunched again, Please stop, the obvious message, and at that instant always I would have the same impulse: to leap upon you and wrap my arms around you so tightly, so fully that even taking breath would be difficult, that it would be easier for me to breathe for the both of us, and all you need do was stay warm, always stay warm, for the both of us, yes, but stay warm for me. So cold without you.

Would it please or disturb you to know that for years I wrote you poems? You should know they were more bleating than poetry, not unlike these words, and you should know that I did not care then as I do not care now. Let the world label me, Man who Bleats, and I will wear the accompanying sign across my chest, and if need be I will change my signature to match my new label, and every time my pen scratches paper I will feel compelled to recall a touch of you, a delicate splash of you, of you, you that haunts me still.

(as a girl she would hide. I would find her tucked away in odd places, her secret places, that I learned to uncover one by one. and before the first harsh blast of autumn she would start with the bundling, oh how she did not like feeling cold, and she might wrap three scarves around her face and ears leaving no slots for her eyes because, as I just now realize, her reaction to what she would see was instantly chosen: elation or sadness, and a screeching jumping slap my chest and arms elation, and a days in hiding sadness, hidden and wrapped and buried in hiding places I could not find, places she would not later reveal, and that is how it comes to be that some days the risk is just not worth taking. and that is how love comes to fade but not die. of course it never dies.)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

the future lovely

yes it is true that I have been thinking of you lately. more than is healthy (you even woke me this AM at 3:45 and then I could not return to sleep - so here I sit, holding my chair for another day and it is you that pushes around mine other thoughts, it is you that insists, and so I will stop fighting and we will see what more you are about). and we know that the line between thinking about and actualizing is not real, that it only exists if we insist it must, and I know this better than the many but instead of comfort it fills me with fear which we both know is not true because the fear is already mine, you did not place it there, but rather you remove my interest in other distractions and now, ah, I see, here it is, this vile mess: it would choke the air right out of me, it would bash my skull.

yes it is true that you and I have not danced yet and we have not sipped wine (is it true that on occasion you prefer a good belt of whiskey?) or touched lips or even fingers. I have not brushed the hair from your face, felt the flush in your cheeks, tickled your fancy into a smile that I can believe belongs only to me. we have not argued. you have not yet begun with my instruction (if you were unsure that I speak to you, now you know), inherent to our agreement and you have not yet even given me directions. but we both know those are nothing but details, not even a hill of beans, tiny annoyances that churn my stomach for no good reason (will we laugh later, when recounting?), and that our collision is already scheduled, it is in the books. It is all but ordained.

Friday, August 17, 2012

the room of lit candles and vibration

And while our hands touched and while our knees touched and while I pushed on with my version of the ocean breath (ever the problematic colors!) and then you said what today I do not even remember  but that we laughed and then we laughed again, and do not be sad but I can not remember the last time I laughed so loudly so easily. I can not remember even the last time I laughed.

So I am no fool: a man who does not laugh is a very sad man. But there is another explanation and I choose it: a man is wise to not spill his laughter everywhere but to save it for where it will echo, for when it will ring loudly in his ears days later like an ocean shell. And when you vibrated me, when you moaned weeped pleaded into the darkness of my forever quiet, when you commanded in your voice primal and then you laid hands on me to insist, well, I am laughing with that now as if you were here making this room vibrate, spinning me, and then of course, yes: touching hands, touching knees, again touching voices.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

the prodigal

has returned, it would seem, and not without considerable rust but undeniably he, and forgive me for not slaughtering the fatted calf or baking a cake. and forgive me for not capitalizing as it seems the benefit gained is insufficient when measured against the effort required. and if you were to say that time is run short and any word might be my last and therefore it ought make excellent sense to demonstrate the most care for posterity - I would call you a silly fucker to your face and say you don't get a god damned thing, do you.

all deaths are imminent and only the truly un-alive lose sight of that one truth. but when death flaunts and tickles, chastises and pronounces, when death lays claim by saying we have found a better? and there is no doubt that the better has returned and that this here voice is weaker and less disciplined and ultimately forgettable (remember just yesterday: the laborer; the craftsman, at best). so there is no point to argue, no case to make. the rest is only tears.

so all hail the returning hero. and let us see how early he rises tomorrow. let us see if he has had his fill for now, or if his thirst, unlike mine own, is so easily sated. let us see how soon he chooses bless me with oblivion.

a narrator, a protagonist and two beauties walk into a bar

It is a spectacular view from James Allen's desk, looking out over the city. And while James sleeps, his alarm clock taking this day off, the city does not. The interstate has the look of midday, if one could excuse the headlights, and all of the street lamps also, which serve to illuminate the sleepiness prevalent in other parts of the city but from this vantage point what is seen is a mix of flashlight and dark shadow, splashes of alive and dead. It is lovely to behold, and it would be no surprise to learn that James Allen spends more hours gazing out these windows than upon his keyboard, the pursuit of inspiration always a justifiable expense to even the most casual of writer. But James sleeps now and we ought remain on point, better to make hay, a funny old adage that suggests speed, and what half wit couldn't find fifty better examples in the bat of an eye, better to make hay for he will not sleep forever, eventually he will stumble down those stairs looking to sit down and prose out some magic, after, of course, due inspiration is digested from outside his window, after the now quite awake city has tossed him a few bones, after he has suckled, a new fondness of his that will shortly be one of the early casualties, so we must not overly savor the rewards for being up and about when others are not and, Oh well, much like life, much like death, nothing lasts forever. So we will let James sleep and enjoy his dreams while we enjoy his coffee and his leather chair and his lovely view of the city and make use of his keyboard and the fine music he has recently stored on his computer, a present, as I understand it, from a nomad of sorts who lives the carefree life in another state, and one that chooses his nom be plumes with great and delicate care, blessed be the truly profound and inspired.

We should save the sleeping James some unnecessary angst and decisively state that while slightly ironic, but certainly not to the extent that required mention and what reader wishes to be instructed to take it or leave it, no inspiration there, rookie stuff, there is absolutely zero reason to not link the two beautiful ladies in the same passage, albeit with decidedly more care, and sans authorial mumbling and grumbling. Much like the overly breathy poet, the dandified poet, the poignant story to every poem poet, the affect effect affected poet, and all of the tiresome countless variations, I say give me the words and save the chest beating. If the words are good we will pound your back for you and you will be grateful we saved you from all of the other. And so without further chest beating we will give you words on the beauties, an improved version of what James attempted, bless his sleeping heart, and the final words on the matter. A professional is on the job now.

It is good form to give preference to the departed and more so if recently thus. So we will begin with the dearly departed thief of kisses, and good riddance to those garish parentheticals that surely rankled the tasteful lady, like a train to her gown, a fine and proper appendage when the formality of the event commands, say, for her wedding and the tiny girl with blonde pig tails trails, holding it from the floor, best she can, while the groom watches from astride the altar, managing only to shake with anticipation. A fair recount of her beauty then must include a fair recount of her life, but due to limited scope of her importance to the overarching narrative and given the limited availability of this nice leather seat, we will choose a tiny slice thought to be, if not summary, then representative. Simply stated, the lady first stole hearts before she settled on mere kisses. And this little slice of the lady is intended as neither metaphor nor analogy but a picture gathered from one of her albums, which now reside in James Allen's library, as owner of all things related. And while it would be more than reasonable to question the validity of the thief as a character, after a proper review of the countless albums she appears to be quite real, we will leave that for James to sort at another time, that's his problem, after all, and this voice is but a short reprieve from the gashing and gnashing that abounds this place and it is not incumbent for this voice to repair everything that ails.  Who would ask their vocalist to fix their aortic valve. But, enough of that. And, Hah, but what bride doesn't look stunning on her wedding day, so we will toss that picture away and instead revisit the day she stole her first heart, and if you connect two plus two you will indeed get four.

The boy saw her first. At a crowded dance, she one of those imported as counter balance for the Jesuit-instructed male only population, and the turnout at likely one hundred percent, when does that ever happen for anything, plus there are the chaperones and the various favorite teachers that this particular night decided to check in on the boys and the young ladies that would come grace them, and then there are the assorted parents visiting for the same reasons and of course the volunteer workers, all of whom showed on this night, maybe only because it will be the last charitable work before the school year ends and last chance to make amends for the sign-in sheets that did not have their name inscribed, and as mentioned prior, all of the boys, one hundred percent, disconsolate fellows just yesterday, restless irritable fellows, but now apt and attentive, the muscles beneath their coats and ties taut, yes, but that is merely the blessing of youth, the demeanors are downright calm, relaxed, as if they just fell out of bed and now they casually mill about, brush elbows and laugh, excited for the first breath of female, the first smell, since Christmas break and thank dear Jesus for that blessed taste. And now it is spring and Christmas is well in the rear view mirror and all of the things that are in the air are more in the air in May, and when you are seventeen, even more then, much more, and so it is likely that before the boy had made his way through the crowd to where the girl, no thief then, just a girl, sat alone, as impossible as that is to envision with the people on top of people on top of more of the same, they all are the same to the boy, a moving annoying mass of all the same, and in the middle, or just off to the side is the girl he will love with all of the heart he did not realize he possessed until this very moment. And if beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder, and if the proof is in the pudding, then might we not measure the actions of the boy and apply as gauge to the beauty of the girl who would come to be known as thief.

The boy, as a matter of practice, neither talked nor danced. He read and he thought and he argued, mostly with his Jesuit instructors, and he competed against the other boys in athletics, taking his victories often but sulking over defeats, sulking often for weeks, and so extra time would then be commissioned to prepare for the rematch, the reclamation of his dignity, the restoration of order. An emotionally unhealthy little fellow, all might agree. But then we all require fuel to propel through life, it will surely not drag us along, well, not for a pleasant ride anyway, and who is to judge where one gets theirs versus another, sometimes it is best to just stay with the facts and leave the opinions home where they belong. The boy did not dance and he did not talk, other than to question or argue. Yet he spotted this girl and no book had told him what he should do, nor had any of the Jesuits, and there were so many damn people milling about, blocking him, and he felt like ripping through them like running with the football and wanting to play one against the class, Fuck them all, catch me tackle me if you can and I bet you can't because that is how I want it because that is how it must be because I am different than you so very different and although it would seem I mean better and I work my ass off to make it seem so you can take my word for it that you would do well to settle on different and again try to catch me if you can because you can not because I will not let you not ever let you no matter how strong no matter how fast. And so the boy who neither talked nor danced pushed through the crowd and asked the young lady to dance and then he took her hand in his, another first for the boy, and he led her through the crowd to the dance floor. And as he walked her to the dance floor the others parted, maybe faded would be more accurate, or we might say he pushed them from his world and by extension her world, and for these next few hours his world was but two. On the stage they meshed hands and later her head would fall to his shoulder, nestling comfortably, a picture of harmony to the interested onlooker should they think to label it, and before the first song was over the boy decided that he would never long for the girl again, he would never have to fight through a crowd, that the girl would always be a part of him and near. And so they danced some more and he held her hand when he again parted the crowd and then he talked and did not stop talking until the busses came.

And so a narrator, a protagonist and two beauties go into a bar and while this sounds promising everyone knows that not only would it be better with one beauty, it is obscene with two. So enough of beauty for one day. And let the lady take rest knowing she has a place unshared, as the boy would have it, as decency would have it. And it is likely we will visit with her again. Rest in peace, beautiful you.

a newsflash

There has been a whimsy sighting. Confirmed by reliable sources. Stay tuned for further updates. Repeat: there has been a confirmed whimsy sighting. More to follow. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

the Beauty: the appraiser (of hands) and the thief (of kisses)

The places! I have been recently. It sometimes is as simple as opening your eyes. Walk about and feel the tugs and pulls (of opportunity, agreed?) and then look, or listen, as the situation instructs. But this is no fresh news and no one enjoys a lecture (though many attend) so let me move away from tell and into show, the writer's foremost instruction. (Reader: note the playful tone? The Places! I have been of late)

The irony is not lost on me: while she rots decays fades, falls back into the oblivion that claims all, now we choose to speak to her beauty? Seek your perfection elsewhere.

How then to properly pay tribute, to distinguish the beauty of the departed lady from the many of fabulous beauties one might encounter on any given day? That her features were without flaw (think: full fleshy lips, always moist, and centered correctly in the lower quadrant; thin straight strong nose with exuberant nostrils; dark luminous eyes with lashes that reach for you; firm chin that leans up but not out, establishing both fearlessness and depth of character) is a given, a baseline expectation. And we might quite exhaust ourself cataloging the rest of her physical measurements or we might describe one of the kisses she stole: her full black hair tossed back in laughter, the red of the wine overpowering her lipstick with just a tickle lingering on the crease of her mouth, her eyes misty and unfocused, leaving a trail of smiles about the room (men always smiled when she looked in their direction) and the impression one might pull at this moment is that she is a delightful distraction, a vision even, a Girl with a Pearl Earring if you wish, mounted upon the wall, safely articulated over there and part of the room, the environment, but not part of the discussion, not part of your immediate reality (this her secret, really) and then in a moment there are two (soft warm vibrant smooth strong) hands pressed against your cheeks and for just a flash you see a peek of a laugh from her eyes (do they embrace or mock?) and then with an uncommon elegance, a pause (an offer of hors de combat, I presume), and there is no resistance because the allure of her continued touch overwhelms the mighty and the afraid: the most severe coward will find his mouth crawling over hot coals, jagged glass, to finally experience a brush of her breath, a tickle of her tongue. When she is finished, when she has bagged another, she will push your head away, your face away, with a thrust of her hands that will leave you thirsty beyond compare. You must find water. And so you will leave her, as water comes before pleasure, and her eyes will trail you, her laughter tickling at your ears.

I could spill and spread a thousand words and cull and plead through various combinations and not do her beauty justice. So I will describe her thus: she is like the mirror that reflects whatever vision you (the visitor, the holder of her hands) might possess within you of absolute unequivocal beauty. She is Helen of Troy, a pile of gold coins and shiny jewels, a sheet of Busnois, the radiating Virgin. And then she is better than that, more beautiful than your feeble vision: she is Jesus stepping off the cross and the little French girl leading the charge of foolish men and she is David slaying the giant warrior with only a boy's rock. She is the perfection of a memorable moment in time except that she reflects this moment from within who holds her hands, matches her breath, maintains the fire of her eyes without shuddering or fleeing. It is as if she has a third hand that extends into your chest cavity and a third eye that moves into your mind and a third ear that listens to every word you have spoken, every thought you have had, and in those moments she will love you better than you can imagine, than you ever will experience, even should you live to one hundred.

It might be inferred by placing testament to the Thief's beauty in such close proximity to such a remarkable lady as described above that there is an animosity towards the departed and that for eternity she will be compelled to pale by comparison. Although inaccurate (who can prove otherwise?) it is a strong argument and rather than try to overturn it we instead will ignore it. Please forgive the intrusion, the jar.

And so the final few words must be given to the appraiser (of hands) because while she breathes the other decays. So I should state that I did not flee and I did not shudder and thus she could trace me back a hundred years, were I that old, perhaps to birth, the womb, beyond. My hands in hers, her eyes in mine, one heart rhythm - the examination completed in a few beats but the experience elongated for my benefit, not unlike the lingering touch goodbye, the suckling of what is to soon be lost. Yes, I am ashamed that so soon came the melancholy. But I was forgiven, and also forgiven what my hands told: man of labor, craftsman at best (think: carpenter, cook, plumber, stone mason). Common man. One of thousands that she has held and instantly forgettable (although it is true that she does not forget, still). And so while I quickly exchanged love for despair I thought of your hands and wondered - how would  they read? (I believe she would be startled by your hands - so fine, so delicate.) Do they still cause you embarrassment? Do you still start fights so you may bloody and punish them? (Yet, do you not task them as you should, as you must? And do they not obey with the precision of a surgeon, the guile of a magician?)

Monday, August 13, 2012

the divine descriptor, the dearth, and the disposable

Her message said divine and I believe we can agree that to be an extravagant word choice and indicative of a sense of frivolity not apparent amongst the general population (perhaps .5%). And why do you suppose frivolity is so rare? Because it is most often met with indifference, a two shouldered shrug, anathema to the prime (primal?) inherent quality that demands a playmate for existence. And so frivolity comes to be starved out of existence amongst the general population and, when weeds of it sprout here and there, trampled by boots of arrogance and impatience, and then further ridiculed by intellectual know nothings. So forgive me for rejoicing this slight brush with this sweet lotion as I say frivolity is art squared, and, unfortunately at present, out of mine own reach.  

But all is not lost: I would mock you, good form (or superstition) be damned. I would rent a sky banner and fly it all day outside my many windows (windows you would blacken; smear dry ugly soot in such shapes as to cause utter complete dismay, failure, sleep),

But all has not left: I would love you (the dances the grinding the compression) like the scar across my chest: the wound the reminder the exhortation the debt that must be paid because the Great Usurer must always be paid and on time. I will fly outside my windows my many windows. One day soon you will see. Our dance then complete.

I walked among you yesterday and did nothing more than notice: your sacks and carts and bedding, your defeated posture. And that I did not detour or divert my eyes makes me more than the many? I suppose. But what I should tell you is that I have been closer to your bench than you might imagine and I have worn your clothes and your look. So long ago it seems now. Another lifetime or someone else's life? What is indisputable: I was at least as human then as now, likely more. So bless you and rest well.

the Wanted

Choreographer (of the love dances)

We seek a skilled production designer of the ancient art of lovemaking.  The successful candidate will be fluent in multiple disciplines but insistent on a fusion with the modern aesthetic (please be prepared to provide and discuss a sample script).

This is not an entry level position and the successful candidate will be empowered to devise, sculpt, orchestrate truly life changing protocols for one whose present level of expertise might be categorized as Modest. It must also be mentioned that while you will not report directly to the subject of your innovations, his displeasure will surely, and quickly, reach to you should your performance be found lacking. In other words: results, not just philosophies, are expected.

If you find this to be an intriguing and challenging opportunity, please contact Team James by telephoning: 210-555-1234 (if a male answers, please hang up; wait one hour to call back.)

Remuneration: negotiable to generous

Team James is an equal opportunity employer (of powerful vibrant females).


I call you Bàba. In Chinese mean father. You now Anna's Bàba. Is okay?
Bàba - You have no wife? Your muscles need wife. Too tight like knot. Need at least girlfriend.

BàbaAnna will be Bàba's girlfriend? Anna will be Bàba's girlfriend! Bàba?
Bàba like Anna? Bàba like Anna! Bàba like Anna best of all girlfriends?

You are not like Chinese manBàba. Anna make Bàba dance. Look! Bàba love dance for Anna.
Bàba - Your shoe not tied correctly. Give foot to Anna. Anna make Bàba always look right.

Bàba - What does incorrigible mean? Why does Bàba say words Anna can not say? Bàba ashamed of Anna?
Bàba - Call Anna after work to this number and Bàba come get Anna? Take Anna to Bàba's home? Bàba's bed.

Bàba - Go to China with Anna? Live by ocean, eat fish and rice every day. And Bàba learn speak Chinese!
Bàba - Take Anna on American date? And go to Starbuck's for coffee? And big ice cream cone for Anna? And then Anna get fat. Anna fat! Fat! And Bàba still come see Anna? BàbaBàba like fat Anna, old Anna?

Anna love always see Bàba. Anna never tired of touch Bàba, make Bàba feel happy. Anna love Bàba.
Bàba - When take Anna to see new home, downtown home? Bàba think Anna talk too much?

Bàba - Tell me words mean Anna pretty. More. More. Bàba just need Anna for girlfriend? No others?
Ah Maze Ing Ahmaze ing  Anna amazing? Anna Amazing! Bàba love Anna best of all! Yes, Bàba

Bàba - Every day I wait by window for Bàba to come. Every day I wait but you do not come. Only come one day and not the others. Bàba understand? One day you come is enough. Anna will always wait for Bàba to come. Always. Bàba understand? Anna is Bàba's girlfriend. Best girlfriend ever. Ah Maze Ing! Anna wait. Bàba? 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

the performer

A few small expectations:

Do not touch the money on the dresser until we are finished. And then do not count it, but rather trust that the envelope will be properly stuffed (and extra, I assure) as I may find it impossible to let you stop on schedule. Do know that this is listed first as any violation of this protocol will ruin the performance for me and you will not be invited to return.

Do not expect me to touch you. And especially do not act surprised or disappointed if I choose to keep a distance from you that you find puzzling or offensive or whatever adjective you might attach - remember, you are paid to perform to my specifications not to assess or criticize my reaction.

Do not recoil should I choose to touch you. And do not quibble with whatever body part I choose and whatever means of caress I offer. It is highly unlikely that I will use my tongue but if that were to happen please do not tremble (my tongue is extremely sensitive and a tremble will feel like an assault, like a tremor). In rare instances I may choose to spit at you, but do know that the intent will be non-aggressive and the spittle fine, perhaps comparable to a summer mist.

Do pleasure yourself before your performance. Several times, if need be. It can be quite distracting to witness the moistness down below as you writhe and gesticulate and prostrate (and while this sounds contrary to common understanding of the word prostrate, sounds like a sloppy word choice on my part, an egregious decision and to the detriment of what precedes, as we both surely know one poorly chosen word reduces the credibility of the author, gashes it wickedly, know that this word was chosen with precision and the explicit expectation that when you prostrate yourself I will be in as close a proximity as the very moistness I object to, so, yes, it will be quite distracting).

Do bathe luxuriously for a minimum of one hour and with the lotions and oils I have sent. This is non-negotiable. And I have added to the envelope accordingly, paying for this hour. Do believe me when I say I will notice the difference between forty five minutes and sixty.

Do not touch me. And should you forget do not act surprised when I slap your hand, perhaps forcefully. If I initiate contact and voice encouragement then you may touch me. And you will do well to mirror, and under no circumstances exceed, the pressure I apply to you.

Do memorize all words you have to say. I expect you to be available to provide eye contact at all times and you will thus be unable to refer to notes. And if you prove industrious enough to discipline your blinking to six per minute, matching mine own, you will be properly rewarded. An hour with no break in contact, not even a microsecond? You will quickly become a favorite.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

we will call her the, ahem, Choreographer

Surely all are familiar with the argument over form poetry and free verse, between outlining a novel first or just following a thread and organically creating. Those in favor of form/outline would say roughly that this structure allows for greater freedom within the text, a greater focus on the words lines story etcetera. I have personally favored free/organic but don't feel hard and fast about it, and have actually written a form poem that I would feel comfortable showing anyone who asked (if I could locate it). So I would say then both sides have a strong case and why even argue?

So why mention this argument? Because it offers a distinct parallel to a discussion a few members of Team James were having recently (and quite behind my back); that is, when man and woman are engaged in making the love is it better if the program has already been designed, the activities for the session listed and agreed upon? Does this allow for all of the energies and intentions and attentions to be focused on the mutual pleasures of the participants, with absolutely no thoughts being given to what else (not on the program) one, or one's lover, might be doing? Much like the writing argument it was a heated and ultimately fruitless debate - split vote. But the ladies did agree on one point before calling it a night: Team James could use to add another member and a series of experiential "workshops" might offer improvements to my disposition and offer fresh perspective on the argument. So they decided, unanimously, to add this new member who we will call politely, the choreographer (the designer of the love dances?) - bless their hearts.

New-ager Carolyn Myss says that the Universe's clock runs much faster than we are comfortable with, faster than we will typically allow. That we prevent healthy change, progress that we intuit to be "good" for us, because we fear the onslaught of what follows next, the acceleration of time and change, the speeding up of our life. So if it seems Team James is growing rapidly and branching into unexpected directions that is because that is exactly what is happening. And that's because James (or in this case his team?) has said to the Universe: Bring it the fuck on! Let's see what else you've got.  

The ladies are constructing an ad, which may or may not get posted here. They also are investigating back channels and expect to have a selection by this time next week. I will not be involved in the interviews and may in fact never actually meet the choreographer. We will see. What's good for the team is good for me. Let go let God.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Their Goddess, My Goddess, and the Lover (of books)

I dislike it, intensely, when she mentions others. The before other and the after other and the significant other: they are the borders that compress and thrust against the walls of our encounter, our shared time, and must I have them as intruders, must they be allowed to extend their limbs through the door, rake their knuckles against the walls, leer through the windows? And then, She: breathe into Yes! (unsaid/assumed: breathe into Now! get present  get here  get right only here  nowhere but here here  now)

I brought her a book from off of the prized shelf (yes, the great S). And if she likes it I will admire her more? I told her do not worry, just give it back if you do not like and please please think absolutely nothing about it. I just thought you might like to try something different and have I mentioned how attractive it is that you read so much and I will keep it to myself that your breasts seem to have escaped their cover today (planned escape? coincidence?) and yes my they do look lovelier than expected and sure I might write a sonnet to them someday (but first we must get better acquainted) and yes of course here is my telephone number for you to enter into your iPad should you need to contact me about that work matter and is it possible you are as uncomfortable as I or is that smile just acknowledgement that I am no match for your wisdom and instincts, your wiles and guiles? (and what if she dislikes the book? we will see how well she lies or how strong her portents)

Hahhh! Breathe Gather Raise then Hahhh! Again Again Again! And so the lesson that before I could not remember, not even the colors, has taken small root. I will not be giving class any time soon (well, there is that singular exception planned) but I can recall the edict and gladly I will call this progress. And when I received your energy from the left and returned it through the right and later you asked for me to report and I did not report what I just now glean: you sharpen me, make me as instrument to soon enough do my own pruning, cutting away what is choking and unnecessary. And I believe I sharpen you also. More than you expected?

Salon Girls and the woman who puts electricity in my pockets

Four and a half hours is not nearly enough time. It is like dropping a few crackers amongst a famine, a teaspoon of water to settle your thirst. And of course that is not true - during that slice of time there is no hunger or thirst, no lack of attention. It is the Skakespeare troupe to an audience of one. And they circle and laugh and touch and clip and trim and shape and whisper and caress and smile and then push me back out into the world. Perhaps improved, certainly delighted.

While her posture is unassuming and the droop in her blouse sufficient to expose half of her breasts, do not be misled, caught unawares: she is about the business of recovery, of proper cataloguing, and will not be dissuaded from her assignment. And with paper and pencil she will take copious notes, furious notes, and her posture will not change, she will not stiffen even slightly as her eyes flash and her hand jots, and while her breasts remain pleasant to look at, soon enough she will adjust the current and I will startle and she will no longer have pleasant breasts for me to look at. My only active sense will be hearing: her voice so calm, instructing, questioning, and the scratch of her pencil (it seems muffled, almost muted, as if she tries to keep this sound from me - to what end?) and the low drone of the generator, the occasional sizzle of the current, the shrill bleat of my voice.

It is likely, almost for certain, that I will be questioned about this slice of time, this expense. And so I will tell of feeding chocolates and the bottle of Cab Sauv pulled from the owner's private stash behind the safe and I will tell of the various and abundant allures of the pretties, and their obvious flatteries and their less obvious lingerings, of both touch and glance, a trail of imaginary affections. I will explain, perhaps even catalogue, the incongruous by very definition nature of this series of interactions, the predictable unfavorable outcomes, and all of the noticed inconsistencies, the tiniest of foibles and untruths. And this will please her, sufficient feed for her jotting hand and flashing eyes, and if I can remember when under the duress, I will describe her breasts to her and attribute them as belonging to one of the salon beauties. And I will deliver exquisite detail, total appreciation, and will expand and expand and expand until I am told to stop, until the current removes the delight.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

the visiting writer, a slut, the lovely l, and the lady of ten thousand needles

The familiar tracing of her fingers, but now she knows exactly where it hurts. Her voice, Here yes, hurt here? is reassuring. Combined with her fingers and palms, the precision of her insertions, it feels like love. A lover? A mother? You tell me, I do not know. It feels like a love that does not care how you would define it, would shrug, say, Okay, sure, if you like. An inspection of my tongue told her: Too much heat in the body - do you like sweets?

Her fingers on my back did feel like a clawing, a pawing. I saw that you noted that down so surely we will revisit that word choice. But her fingernails were long and her hands strong and her demeanor aggressive (of course flirty, a faux sexy) and so why am I having to defend this choice of word? And then you do not even ask me to give reaction to her breathy throaty sexy whisper into my ear, I do hope that I'll be seeing more of you. 

When I asked her about her use of colons: she made a joke: Ah, colons - everyone has one. Ha ha ha ha. I did not find it funny then and today less so. You can ask me anything. Please do. Anything. I will bow to the person that thinks I have something to tell them. And do not minimize the effort to form a question: the strain, the pain: like defeating constipation, like lady grow the fuck up already. What kind of poet jokes about writing? 

Already you have established value: maneuvering the Poet's return from the woods (and his blessed thickets), with certainly the pirate to hail from the high (emphasis on: high) seas soon thereafter. A fine ally you make, my lovely. (Have I mentioned the guest quarters offer an encouraging view of both the natural and urban habitat, and provides the privacy that you require? And the existing tenant can be relocated easily enough.)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

the Sadness (of the chasm) and the Sofa

It is likely we will not speak of my writings ever again. He made known his preference for the tangible, the concrete, (unsaid: the linear) and finds the distance between me and the material too wide to bridge, to follow, to enter. And while my first impulse is to criticize the criticism, instead I will accept his comments as not only personally valid, but likely summary of many another frustrated reader. And so I will accept his readership as casualty of my perhaps misguided pursuit of self, truth, art, whatever large thing it is I look for here. And that he was my first instructor (shocking amounts of red ink, and Like!!! comments, and this reminds of ...., and so few criticisms, but always a couple addressing the most egregious missteps), the first to sit with me when I had no clue, only blind inclination? It means that I will grieve him properly, lovingly, and not dismiss him as merely trite and simple.

I have before described it as gaudy and while this is accurate it is insufficient as one word can not describe the horror that is this particular piece of furniture. But also it is colorful and that is what I decided this half (the writers half) of the room needed. And in lieu of cushions to rest your back against it has pillows, and because it is not only gaudy but also old, they are also old and require constant fluffing to hold some sort of shape, particularly after someone has sat on the sofa. A lot of words to say I sit conflicted: rumpled sofa pillow that commands me to come fluff, arrange, straighten; the visual of the Lady visitor who ruffled said pillow, her taking over the whole of the sofa, spreading out her person and things, filling into the sofa as opposed to merely a squatter on top of it. She/her fully present.

And now she is not here. But for the time being I can look at that one severely compressed pillow and see the whole scene of her. (when she smiles from behind her shades you see only teeth and lips, a bit of nose, and it is exactly the smile of the Vegas black jack dealer chicks when they are turning 21 hand after hand and grabbing all of your chips, running you out of town - such private laughter, hidden sorrow,  that you can not see can not hope to reach, go away now)

the Collector (of sentences)

If we were to attempt to build a description we would start and finish with: he is an odd fellow and then merely cite example. His oddness is of such a startling capacity that his physical attributes are rendered wholly meaningless (consider: you would be overwhelmed by his presence, his oddness, long before you actually spotted him). As such, he prefers the isolation of library basements and forested parks, and only those lushly populated with both birch and pine, and the one in close proximity to the other, so that his stimulation might be simultaneously ocular and olfactory. And at all times his person will include: ample pens and paper, something to read, to inspect, and a case to carry his most treasured purloined sentences.

And as you might imagine, his oddness can only be handled in small doses. It can be/is quite overwhelming. Such that the mere brief description of him is so taxing that I feel compelled to rest. Another time we will discuss his methodologies, his collection and perhaps his aspirations, and what I  presume to be his endgame.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

the lost girls, the masseuse, and the billy girls

We will not blame them. They were here and then they were not and is that not exactly how life is instructed to be? Here there now gone. That they had felt attached, like an additional appendage on my body, my torso, is irrelevant. That they were not surgically extracted but rather butchered free is irrelevant. That I bled and bled and bled and also bled tears and then cauterized with an iron that withstands the growth of future appendages is irrelevant. The only relevancy: do not trust the Great Taker. He only loans, does not give. The great Usurer.

It is wrong I know. Forgive me for saying but I think of your hands as belonging to a plantation mama: they fold the dough, press through again and again, roll it out; they spank the bottom, love the child, handle everything that comes their way with a dignity that traces generations, centuries, continents. Please forgive me the labels, the shackles, but your hands are strong like a man, kind like a woman, certain like the shaman. And there are idle moments on your table when I can't help but imagine you sitting in front of a cabin fireplace - rocking, knitting and deigning the threads of vitality back into me. Do forgive me, blessed you.

And so I build a team. Team James. Yet to appear: the salon girls. Soon, I promise. And whereas the billy girls brought good looks and a catchy tune and a few dance steps to the table, and little else, my team is comprised of powerful woman with multitude skills - that they are also most fetching is just pleasant coincidence. I am like the pig sniffing truffles: I am onto them now and I will add and add and add unapologetically. I am just like the pig then.

the anniversary

Sunday last was one year since they ripped me the hell open and then stitched me up. And it appears my feelings towards the event have distilled as I feel no great need to push words at it.

Thank you then to all of you fine people that are still in orbit, that did not disappear whilst I was becoming him.

Monday, August 6, 2012

there is only one God

And Syrio Forel would have us believe that one god to be Death, and to Him we say, Not today. It is a solid position and can be said while fencing, and with a smile and twinkle and just a hint of foreshadowing, which adds bonus points in my book. Well done then.

And while I have no quibble with Syrio I leave open the hopeful possibility that he is mistaken: that after making acquaintance with the one for sure God, we discover that he just be errand boy for the real McCoy, the benevolent despot that we all hope Him to be when we send to Him pleas and bargains in times of distress. But that is neither here nor there, his existence or benevolence - we will all discover for ourself when the time is come.

It is the "not today" that lately has become more troubling (than the "only one," in case you haven't been paying attention) - must we always say this? When is the time to wrap our arms around Him and say, Yes, now would be good, please do your thing. Is it dark, depressing, a "sign" of something to be thinking of such? I mean what else ought one be thinking about? Isn't death the one true boundary on life, and any useful measure of quality of life must include death (Volume = Quality X Quantity), and didn't Socrates say the unexamined life is not worth living?

But lately my thoughts have travelled two courses, just one of which I will discuss now: the idea of siphoning, of giving it over before your time. A simple construct really. You can say every morning to Death: Not today, and then turn around and do little/nothing to actualize your life and isn't that ceding a portion over to Death, who probably chuckles whilst on his merry rounds as He actually has no need to come visit you because you freely tithe to Him? What small fortune have I given to Him over the years is the prevailing thought and one that I absolutely can do nothing about - done is done. But what is left in my account and how shall I spend it? Or would I prefer to sit idle, be like the boy with the hole in his pants pocket, losing his allowance before even reaching the candy store? It is a sobering place - but here is where I am lately, if you've been curious.

the complaint department:

can be found below under: Comments

You should know that I will not acknowledge having read them and likely will not read them at all. But it is better that you voice your displeasure with my whimsical revelatory inappropriate content there than by creating a wide berth for me in public, or by discussing my "phase" behind my back. And while I pride myself on my thick skin, some of the remarks that have been retold to me border on hateful. So declare yourself, for all to see. Make your case. And then leave me be.

The Courtesan, the L, and the Silent Lady

She mentioned Prague, but it was in passing so it became one of those things that may or may not be true. Perhaps I spend too much time in the fictional world, the task on the reader to discern the intents of the narrative - reliable narrator, or no? And who is speaking? And where opinions must be supported (where in the text is the evidence?) or abandoned. And of course the writers. How to keep their fictions straight? Who doesn't wish to improve their station in life? Well writers know how and it is easy and fun - just change the narrative. Well, that it isn't true? Eh, too bad. This sounds better, is a much better story, we'll roll with it.

So I have placed her in Prague. And I believe that to be a comfortable place for her until she proves to be otherwise located: I can now be satisfied that she is somewhere not unattended, and she can be quite pleased with the sight-seeing and shopping, the lovely accents. And now that she is placed I need not think of her again until such time as it be either urgent or convenient. What could be better?

And now my attentions to you, my lovely. And to be absolutely clear: those attentions will remain intellectual, spiritual, emotional, literary, abstract, and just general curiosity (so few hold interest after the first close inspection - the scrutiny folding them in on themselves, like a page of bad text to be crumbled and tossed in the wastebasket). Do not misread my exuberance about your presence as anything more than the pure delight of having a pleasant memory revisit, years later, and decide to stay awhile. (and should you look around you might notice that I quite have my hands full with attentive, and potentially attentive, ladies, at present?)

It is not that she can not speak, or does not speak the language, but that she chooses silence. Of course I can not know that for certain, not to prove it, but I do believe it as much as anything. And so when you call her on the phone to ask to visit, she waits for you to suggest a time (and if you do not know the protocol? you learn it, or are replaced by the one of the many wishing for your spot in line) and if the time you request is agreeable then soon enough you will hear a dial tone. So many foolish men and nervous boys can not withstand the silent wait and thus hang up their phone. And this means less than nothing to her as there will be another and another and another and a countless other, and she will give her words to none of them. Her one withholding, the only No she will apply. You can imagine for yourself the rest of it.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

the first casualty, the L, the goddess, and a cuckolding edict

A thief should always be prepared for the worst of outcomes and so I will offer you no great sympathies - life merely matched expectation, and we will let it go at that. And may there be another leg to your journey, another realm (as you always insisted) that welcomes your kind without bias. I am told your collection was tossed to the five winds, scattered into mist, and this before you moved your lips for the last time - surely a pain greater than the thrust of the dagger, the tearing of flesh.  A regrettable execution of a clear directive.

Nature abhors a vacuum, as does a narrative. Out with the old and in with the new. For the time being we will call you, dear dalliance: L [the lady, the lover of lover, the lord (lady) of ledgers, the liquid, the limitless]. And if you object to this involvement foisted upon you? I will remind (so gently): did you not travel great lengths from the north to the center, then navigate the maze and contrary arrows, traverse the countless circles to the top (do not forget the gates), only to then choose the elevator to the room of labels? Signs everywhere, my lovely. You are here now: let us see if you prove interesting.

We did not languish and we did not echo (in the room of lit candles and vibrations) and thus I am compelled to call it a disappointment. And so I will. But when you said, Care to go back now, or is there something else I've said that you'd like to argue with first, and of course you said that with the even tone of one who views words as salve not sword, and because I did not look, to contextualize the comment of course, then I am now left to fill in blanks: so we will put a small smile on your face, call it rueful. And I will hold to my version: space was being bent, stapled, bridged, my (argumentative?) words my only currency, don't you see?

It should be obvious but if not: the woman is not sufficient, the man must be involved. Of course the greater the involvement the greater the victory. And I will say that his bed and then later sipping his whiskey is a damn fine start. You should leave the smell of a good pipe behind, or, at least, a decent cigar. Scatter a few ashes even. Nothing too obvious - where's the sport in that? And then, incremental escalation.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

the everything

There will be no sequel. There will be nothing more.

the gatekeeper, the I don't know, the adopted, and the cuckold's wife

It is only recently that I have chosen to consider you. To question, to curse. To measure the spill you allowed: the destruction, the vast soiling. Your error reduced another as no hundred men could have. You replaced man with monster. Now, forever, a perpetrator. An instrument of pain and shame. You gashed a wound as deep as your own. Who would ever forget? Must all sins be forgiven?

And while I am angry: the constancy of you was mirage? made of sun and sand? Sure, agreed, it was unfair to label you, to install you, as such. But I argue: consenting adults do much worse. And there are a thousand things worse than being constant. Do you not see? It is foundation and accepts only the incredibly strong.

They will toss you back you know. It is our only unspoken: too unsavory to speak to the they, unnecessary to verbalize amongst us. It is a priori. And so we all have our gods and spend a lifetime confirming or denying, scurrying about proving, insisting, shouting, and you must know that is nonsense. But we all have time that must be accounted for, spent. So carry on, keep doing what you're doing, and I will speak for you, say what you hide from: toss them back. Why wait? Are you too busy spending time to see this? Fortunately I am less busy, so I will say it again: toss them back. But first you must stab those heartless motherfuckers and gouge their buzzard eyes. Of course, child: you will then be truly alone. We all are.

What shall I tell you that you don't already know: that she arches her back to match my surgically altered posture when we kneel to pray, elbows interlocked? that she ignores my juicer and instead squeezes the oranges and grapefruits one by one, carefully removing each seed? that she will swallow any story I tell her, as long as I place her prominently within? that she prefers potatoes to rice, croissant to pita, spinach to all other greens? that the welt on her left buttock was not caused by her being "clumsy"?

Friday, August 3, 2012

To watch you fill a glass

To watch you fill a glass, so very careful not to over-pour, is an exquisite pain. You re-purpose the glass to dominate the liquid it is meant to serve. Abomination or just folly? Will you not see this, know this, as choosing a pauper's existence? The regal hold nothing very tightly.

Then we know how you choose words. The miserly touch which surely affronts your better nature. The resultant acid that indigests you, pushes you away from the table. Such grand tableau unborn then. And so I must explain: word, line, sentence, and whatever follows: they exist only as servants to your command. No one remembers the peasant. Live as Queen then.

the Fourth Wall, the Chair, the Eunuch, and a Commercial from our Sponsor

They would have you be at their pleasure without consideration for your own, making you much like a decoration for a themed party, or as an ornament on a holiday tree. They would take comfort in the incompleteness they have drawn into your features, the omitted protuberance, the hairlessness, the fuzzy contours and corrected conversations. They would know you as a toy then. The big fun walking talking sipping spitting toy. Look! he makes smoke rings. Do it again! again.

And always Miss Marian that is where I drew the line with you. The only hard and fast line, I think now. Do you remember C sitting on the floor in the corner, pulling poetry rapid-fire from her head? Your favorite, she. And I didn't begrudge you that, your 2nd favorite was sufficient and much more than I expected at the beginning. And who did you ask to call on your daughter when in the Dallas area? The great salesman now nervous to handle the phone, fumbling to form complete sentences. How could she not be spectacular? Who could ever be worthy?

But did you not co-conspire with your pronounced silence on the lascivious, the carnal, the physically perfected allures? When did you announce: I am as a man must. No, you skulked about the periphery as a beggar, not even rattling your beggar's tin, never raising your voice to command: I must eat! No, you are the lead conspirator, not once raising your eyes to see which full man does not dignify you with so much as a hateful glance and a spit at his feet. You disservice the very dirt that has become your bed.

The play's the thing, no? And so I put names to every slight and exaltation and bend it whatever way it needs be. Attempt to wring some art from everyday. James Allen to be revealed. Please forgive the interruption.

It's Friday night so after you strike out in the bars get your ass over to Dicky's Joint and eat some homemade macaroni and gravy with some nice sausage or meatballs and try your luck at Rough and Tumble. Don't be a fucking pussy and head straight home or go try to grab some snatch out of the  diners - when did that move ever pay off? We got free booze for the players. Got broads too. Don't be a pussy now. And yeah, of fucking course you need a vouch. Any time after ten tonight. Ask for Dicky. I'll be here.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

How James Allen spent his Wednesday:

6:45  Rise and shine

7:00  Drink coffee, look out windows and write. Wonder about things.

1:15  Enough. Mushy brain. Crank up Alan Mudd's Pandora, shower, etc.  

1:45  Open some pain in the ass mail from the big stack. Deal with it. Loud music helps

2:05  Taco Garage: chicken and beef fajitas w/guacamole & charro beans. Eavesdrop on 2 hookers 

2:05  Read some correspondences and poetry. Edit a manuscript. Curse loud guy on cellphone 

2:05  Feel overly pleased with self. Thus: overly converse with waitress who is now nervous

2:10  Turn the charm back down. See? Not hitting on you, just being pleased about things

2:15  Eat drink read. Listen for hooker convo. Blocked by cellphone guy. Accept defeat

2:50  Nice tip for waitress: let her figure it out. Exit through doors: turn which way?

2:50  Stroll about Milam Park. See: make-out couple - rendezvous? homeless sleeping, stirring

3:00  Make joke to pretty girl who is now nervous. Reveal pure heart/intent. Success

3:05  Laugh at pretty girl's unfunny joke. Think: doors are always open to the young and fetching

3:05  Walk and think and avoid looking too closely at anything, particularly the unpleasant

3:35  Bus stop bench in shade: a few pages of Phillip Roth (like - see you later). Watch people

4:15  Rest

6:00  Eat Alan Mudd's mango yogurt - awesome. Also a couple of cherries and an apple. 

6:30  Red Sox game. Email and the like. An apology crafted and sent. Jotting ideas.

7'ish  Doze off. Sox give up 5 runs while I'm out. Glad I missed it. Internets.

8:45  A peach and a pear. Wanting Alan Mudd's remaining yogurt but deciding to save

9:10  Write a bit. Stare at city night. Like: the idea/spark; Hate: the piddling words

10:15 Curse the shallowness of my reservoir. Find paper to make a list for proof

10:15 List: Nervous girl, sizzling food, annoying guy on phone obscuring conversation,  hookers, rendezvous couple, park - almost desolate now, homeless, pretty girl, jokes funny and not, people of all kinds walking by me, bus stop, pigeons, shade tree, pavement, heat, city day, city night, goddamn city sounds and smells and shouts and lulls, Christ! no more. enough.

10:20 Wonder: who the fuck can't do something with that haul? Answer: 

10:30 Hot shower to wash off disgust, prep for sleep. As long as cursing: what aches

10:45 Phillip Roth continued. Immigrant lit? Solid smooth storyteller. Good pace and tone.

10:50 Think, while reading: bet he could do something with my list. Re-read several pages, several times

11:4_ Sleep. 

another whimsy-free excerpt:

It will not prove surprising to even the most casual sort that Henry and wife chose left center aisle, three rows from the front, seats one and two had they been numbered, which church seats are not.  Well at least not this church in this place in time, twelve years after Brooklyn's Dodgers changed coasts and shortly after the slow to adhere pronouncements of Vatican II. If we should choose to fasten John to seat three, a seat he has once before chosen with considerable consequence, well, an interesting thought but quite impossible as sixth grade valedictorian John at this very moment opens his King James bible and lightly clears his throat in preparation for his first reading to the Easter Sunday congregation, John the first anointed schoolboy lay lector and don't think Henry's chest isn't puffed out more than a little and also that he wears his best suit, funerals and weddings only, and it would be informative to know that his wife added a freshly cut flower to his lapel, and one that matched her carefully applied rouge. Please open to Mark, chapter 16, verse one, Not only to the pious women who went out to embalm the body, and John's voice is excited but true, annunciating the words carefully but confidently, correctly, as likely nothing comes more easily to little John Duff than words on a page. And so this celebration of the divinity of Jesus of Nazareth continued without incident and one might fairly question the detour to this spot on John's map, Why stop here, What is there to see, and that criticism would be more than apt if it was not also mentioned that after the mass was over, after John had accepted handshakes and tiny kisses and some back pats from numerous parishioners and after The Monsignor had made his way over to thank the little fellow for his contribution to The Lord's Celebration, well after all of that and John had left church feeling as some sort of pint-sized conquering hero, later, at their home and after the roasted ham and mashed potatoes had been cleared from the table, after the boston cream pie, bought from the Jewish bake shop they were in the habit of visiting every Sunday after church, no irony intended, after that pie had been half-eaten and cleared, after all of the nourishment of the day, literal and figurative alike, had left John feeling sated beyond expectation or experience, without reference, a sort of pre-adolescent post-coital hue that he could do nothing with but absorb, and then attempt to cling to as experience had taught him that when good times are visiting now, bad and worse times are around all corners, after all of that and please forgive the excessive detail and posturing, Henry thought to offer some constructive opinions to the young lector, because, as we all know, everyone likes praise but we benefit more from criticism. Johnny, if they invite you back again, don't read so fast next time, The older people couldn't keep up, And then they were looking at your mother and me, like we could do some damn thing about it. Slow the hell down next time, would you please.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

the Minister, Mister Gray, the Cuckold, the Nameless, the Inevitable, and the Beat

With the same quivering lips that will recite a passage from his Greek bible, and with a pound of the fist that has thumped many Sunday pulpits, with that same breath he will insist that he knows of a fellow that you are a fool not to use to purchase your next new vehicle as this fellow is guaranteed, Guaranteed I tell you, to save you thirty percent off sticker, at a minimum. And because I have seen him preach, heard him exhort, witnessed his eyes turn up towards Him, I am certain he believes the one as the other. Truly a sucker for a salesman.

It seems we have more in common than I had previously been willing to concede: baseball, tidy contracts, illusiveness, smooth bourbon, tweed. And you seem to be a solo operator although I  originally miscast you as little more than a minion. Know: I am thinking on you now and you will give it up. You have been in the shadows long enough.

How'd you like them apples?

I empty the cupboards, dump the perishable goods onto the floor, in pursuit of you. And we both know I hate a mess, particularly in the kitchen. And so your taunts cause me to continuously overstock, to purchase as if for a famine, to ignore the most basic edict of nature: kill the useless. And if I have a soul the decay of you stains like Cain, like the original stain, like the blood of Jesus on the face of Magdalene. Hah! it is true: nothing is changed.

Of course I will come. My illusion of control: the fearful scratching of fingers, the clawing skid marks of faulty brakes (or an acceleration that exceeds recommended speed for safe braking - yes, that). Will I grow past that? Evolve? Actualize? Are not all seasons promised? Is it not written that summer must follow spring, and then autumn, the glorious fall? Well it should be so written, you and I both know that.

You used to speak of Path. I will sip from one of those past conversations [Yes, I did save so many - poured into a canteen, the symbolism particularly fitting, I thought (well, yes, a flask would have been better, but too small and once the laughter had faded not nearly as practical) and remember to measure whether I move forward or away, the only reliable measure]. And now for you every day is a Big Day for Sailing?

an excerpt:

And while it is true that John looked pleased, it is also true John has spent a lifetime looking other than he actually feels. Or perhaps more illustratively, John has mapped a course of feeling that like the political parties of the day leans towards the middle, with little tolerance, in John's case, for the angst on the left or exuberance on the right, and he has run a flag up the mast declaring his centrist affiliation, and that is that. And that would be that if John were truly a centrist at his core, but who is truly such a thing. If Henry were near we might nudge him in the ribs and ask, How would you describe the boy's temperament, and Henry, depending on time of day and whether at work or home, would likely either shrug or ignore the inquiry, answering in absentia, What a stupid question. It is also possible he would shout an invective or two and to his last breath Henry would feel exactly the same, we could not drop into his life at any point and get a different, or more meaningful, report on John as a child, and while the next thought is to ask the wife, John's mother, who could be a better source than the woman who pushed John from her womb, and not without considerable pain, suffering, and blood sweat and curses, words the pristine catholic girl did not realize she was capable of repeating, and with such gusto and spit, and why wasn't she thought of first. Because John is little interested in her opinion.

an almost genetic fallacy

Recently I was looking at some of Eliot's thoughts and Tom borrowed this concept and tilted it for his literary purposes and so I decided I would borrow his tilted fallacy and tilt it some more for mine. I should admit that what he says isn't a clean parallel with a problem I have been having, but it seems to me it's close enough. Namely, how does a writer re-enter/continue/pick up where left off a large piece and maintain some cohesion when said writer is writing from a radically different place in their life? When one is a largely different person?

We all know fixing a sentence or paragraph is easily done, and maybe a different writer is as preferable as the original for the requisite emotional distance, functioning more as close reader rather than author, focusing less on the pleasures of the author and entirely the interests of the reader. Donald Hall writes a poem and puts it in a drawer for 6 months before he next looks at it. I believe this to be more rule than exception and, as the roughness of these blog posts demonstrate, a desired approach.

But what when reader/writer realizes something needs be tossed, scrapped entirely, taken in a different direction? Or just finished? It is time for the author to appear and do his stuff. It is time for the author to feel through the existing piece and create space within an internal sense of its totality. Needed: author's vision, and all that falls in line behind that. But if that author is dead? What then?

(Thank you, Alan Mudd: Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody cascading my windows during this needed timeout. Loving the Pandora.)

Well this is a hard argument for me to make because a large part of me says, Horse shit. But that part doesn't sit down to continue the work and write the most tone deaf ill-fitting sentences that were surely written by someone else. Time, then. Yes, that's all that's needed. How much, I say. And also, Wouldn't that be nice. And also, I'll believe that for now because: A) I have no proof one way or the other; B) It's less disturbing to believe so until proven otherwise makes sense to be hopeful (unless, of course, there is a great opportunity cost involved: so far, No, or not measurable; but being delusional is never without substantial cost).

So while I am nagged by this argument (one of the many I keep active, like an incessant autistic juggler who also throws knives to keep his hands busy) I know I must move, in some direction. I am finally prepared for both outcomes: either I can meld old and new (or again revert to old - we can debate how desirable this is at another time) or old must be scrapped, attributed to a cost of living, and that is that. No sense crying over spilled milk, or words.

But, of course, that is exactly what I have until very recently been doing, crying over what I can not seem to do now that I could do before. The thought that this (beautiful) chunk of my life gets tossed - well, has held me captive. And who better to encapsulate this than Mike Tyson: Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face. So get up and fight with what you've got left or get the hell out of the ring.

I am far from done with this. But for now I will continue to write to see if old me lives or if not, how miserable I must be with new me. The preliminary results suggest that I am needing a heavy dose of whimsy. Other opinions appreciated.