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Day 15 - SiltThere is a downward pull that begins slowly –
Forty years of fine red silt cease flowing through your veins
And settle like sedimentary rock.
Things, and you, begin to taste of copper.
Lavender mists condense as you walk out to fetch the paper
The kettle is whistling or the coffee roiling when you return to the kitchen.
Your lover is waiting, his beard and hair greying slightly:
Sometimes he still kisses you like he did when you were twenty three.
You start to spend your evenings in the ochre light
Of sloppily-painted sunsets which begin around the time the theme for Final Jeopardy fades out.
Coffee cups are washed, sinks drained.
Everything smells of earth and book pages with a hint of Pine-Sol.
The window is filled with the amber radiance of marigolds –he likes to garden,
While you are more careless, killing houseplants by neglect.
You promise to stop disassociating yourself, and to write less in the second person.
You get drunk less often and even jog once in a while.
Day 4 - QuietAutumn began and ended quickly
So now the sun sets early and I spend my evenings in the dark.
Today’s thoughts are quiet ones -
Where we love is where we live and die.
Day 3- North StarIt was dark when I left work today,
And I shivered as the wind slid around my bare legs.
(shouldn’t have worn a dress today, says the voice in my head.)
I try my best to ignore it. I always do.
I swear familiarly, angrily, when traffic is backed up at the bridge again –
This traffic congested tangled metal thing spanning the river
Like some kind of urban jungle gym.
But still it is the northern star of my commute and points the long way home.
I’m perched on a stool in his mother’s kitchen
With a mug of orange tea in my hands and a bowl of chicken soup with dumplings in front of me.
On the way home, my debit card is declined.
I try not to panic.
Day 2 - DetritusI squint my eyes as you kiss my freckled face
my sunstreaked hair out behind me like a banner
As I emerge from the lake with foam and seaweed clinging to my calves.
I make a face. You laugh.
Longing is a savory dish we must sit down to dine,
even as we cling together
in a tired knot with mouths that taste of lemonade and alcohol.
I whisper in your ear “I don’t want you to go.”
The night before we left a storm broke
with rain and thunder, and lightning webbed across the sky like lace.
I came to where you slept,
weaving myself into your arms.
This is the detritus of summer:
pearlescent driftwood grasped in hands worn down by sand.
Filling up our pockets with stones, memories.
A wall of tiny meaningful things we build to keep out the coming of the night.
There are no secrets here but many mysteries
And subtle, half-veiled truths waiting to be made known
Day 1- Cold HandsEveryone said a storm was coming but I did not prepare.
Perhaps I was too flippant or afraid to acknowledge?
Probably the latter –
Avoidance is my middle name.
The storm’s precursor:
Grey skies, and rain hissing its way up my windshield as the wipers, groaning,
Flung it away.
A low front settled into my chest midafternoon at the thought of leaving.
Now, I sit on the couch by the window, watching the rain fall
As the cold gradually seeps from my limbs and my fingers thaw slowly.
But isn’t a blanket a small comfort compared to you,
Immediate and present, mouth tasting of
Sour apple and blood?
Cemetery LaneDriving down Cemetery Lane
Steering wheel gripped tightly, top and bottom, taking sharp
As the radio host mourns the fate of Montana's coal industry.
We'd go behind the school with the Grecian columns
In a parking lot pooled with yellow streetlights, exploring
The darkness my mouth left on your neck.
Driving and breaking too fast
With the memory of the way each bend winds around itself
Like solemn ribbons around the tombstones.
Lying on a bed far from home
Pizza box kicked on the floor and the television flickering with the sound off.
I cannot forget the way your skin brushed mine.
MineThe past four years, I have been a nomad,
A snail, whose house is wherever her back is.
An hourglass constantly turned over and over, measuring
Time until I leave, time until I return.
I'm packing a bag with my toothbrush, my phone, and my fiancé's shirt to keep me warm
i won't be gone long, i only need a few days' worth of clothing.
Life doled out in miniscule increments like the vitamins I portion into plastic baggies
And forget to take when I am gone.
I've tired of living out of packed suitcases and half empty closets,
With a roof provided, but my heart somewhere else.
Filling out paperwork, what is my address?
When is the night where I can go to sleep and feel your arms around me,
Waking up to tangled limbs, tousled hair and no bed else to sleep in?
Tell me when I can put my bags away, throw out my arms and say
This is mine.
BrillianceI wasn't sure if I was falling asleep or drowning. Pastor Abilay had just reached the third point of this three-point outline and I was fading quickly. "The devil's 15 minutes," my father often called it. He would sit rigidly at the head of the dining room table after every Saturday dinner and warn us that just as the pastor reaches the place where Scripture is applied to our lives, we start to drift off due to the devil's influence. I always did, and it terrified me.
Pastor Abilay's sermons were an odd blend of clinical Calvinistic theology combined with the self-assured charisma of a leader whose word was law. His sermons always made me feel as if I were boxed in by walls of water and left me with a dead weight in my stomach. Just as I thought I couldn't take any more, he concluded the sermon and we moved on to the final singing. The presenter came to the front of the stage, hummed a few bars of the next Psalm, and we all began to sing. The song rolled in a rich four-part harmony tha
Come HomeCome Home
The leaves were just starting to fall as Alexander Bartel wheeled his bike out of the garage and left for work. They had been yellow and orange for a few weeks, but red veins had gradually taken over until today, when, at the hands of an incoming cold front, they began to fall like rain. The wind had awoken him early and when he woke up, so did his wife, who glared at him in the dim morning light and rolled back over. Breakfast had been instant oatmeal and instant coffee and half a glass of pulp-free orange juice. Grace liked pulp and he didn't, so they bought two separate half gallons every week. She was just waking up when he left for work but he made it out the door without her noticing.
On the whole, Grace was not very supportive. She acted as if she didn't believe him when he said he was going to work and had taken another job on the side for extra money. He always said he would help her achieve success as a writer but now she had taken the new job and rarely went to her
The Devil on Your Shoulder
Wrapped like a gift in sheets, playing the role
of cold turkey while sweat shakes down the flesh.
Frozen in time, forced to see life flash before
the gaping eyes as though a Pale Horse had
come alone in jest and spite.
The rapid blinks that pan the camera angles for
unsettling cinematography make for a trip to an
avant-garde Hades for the audience of one.
Those damned subliminal messages hidden
in merciless metaphors.
Demons behind the curtains, sending in paper
airplanes with scribbled teasing and temptation,
awaiting their gift to open itself and become
a savory meal that would only blend with
the memories of what once was.
A husk once called man will sit, quivering alone
in the room of his own induced Hell, while those
demons cackle and drool from every angle as the
hallucinatory short films escalate into
the award-winning nightmares.
They call for him to come out and play,
with voices like friends and tones like killers.
Strength wraps the blanket tighter, absorbing
the sweat of th
Into the DarkFalling, flying, drifting
Into the dark we go
Following you though you're broken
Into the dark we go
Just One More Time
Those chains, how their cheers can resonate
in wake and dream alike. My shoulders are
strained in time without a proper word.
How bound I am from the starting line of my
own naivety to my lack of bliss in
the lack of ignorance?
I am no longer blind, but climbing my
Jacob's ladder upwards from shame
where chains pull me back
In that foolish past, I was never aware
of these bloody chains that before me countless
others have worn in varied forms and guidance.
Stable ground that welcomes my feet is
above my head, just out of reach as the
seconds take my few grains of sand.
Those chains labor me, like massive serpents
of unholy iron that constrict with
all my struggling.
Take my heart and hands, for alone
I will only fall with the inevitable
results of time and temptation.
the shame sweeper december, windshield salted with ashes &
you half-asleep in the holiday daze
in the backseat;
(idiot child equals)wolf cub, dangerously off-key
but in the moment, so serene;
imprinted memory -
perhaps that's why you clung
to festive wrappings
and paced back and forth in january when
you could've picked a date, gone out
& taken off your clothes and had a good night's
and in the attic window
there was a sack flopping on the wind
like some kidnapped chimney sweeper,
all wrapped up in New Year's lights,
an ode to our unpretty corpseswhen things can't coexist
sometimes the world just qualifies them on its own
with enough pure madness to drown
out the deafening silence
it is the most tenable ones left distilled
flensed and laid ritual
at the feet of Saint Cecelia
for sainted vultures to circle
and pass over in turn
a la carte [we are]
the abnormalities of this world
variegated and willing
to leave with only our grudges in tact
when cold tentacles of truth have rendered
unleavened post hoc into zinc-
and we have discovered
the subterfuge to be a more heuristic option
- more accommodating, and much more ...
( made fresh to order )
Quand les violons jouent l'essentiel.Quand les violons jouent l’essentiel.
Les violons de lumière en prisme et ambre
Jouent de leurs ombres bleus la neige blanche.
À la fenêtre de l’hiver
Que la nuit touche de son givre,
Le jour de ses heures s’allongent
En turgescence d’une angoisse.
Une trace de sang dérègle
Le temps que la neige ensemence
De tous nos rêves funambules
Sur le fil chancelant du moi.
Un millier de flocons tombant,
Nous éparpillant étrangers
En la singulière mémoire.
Alice à l’étroit du miroir
Et Émilie désorientée,
Le poème est à ciel ouvert,
Frontière pointillant l’émoi.
Le cœur bat de l’inattendu
De cette perception qui crie
Notre peine à n’être que ça :
Qu’un portrait tracé au mystère
Où la rue n’est qu’un pas de plus.
Le temps déroule son allure
Nine-teenHoy cumplo 19 años
Hace un año me convertí en mayor de edad
Hace 1 año entré a la vida adulta
Hace 1 año empecé a madurar
Hace 1 año supe lo que es la guerra
Hace 1 año aprendí a luchar
Hace 1 año fui nueva
Hace 1 año comencé a soñar…
Soy una mujer adulta
Capaz de enfrentar mis problemas,
Quizás no sea la más culta
Pero puedo resolver mis dilemas
La adolescencia se empieza a desvanecer
Tendré mi familia, hijos por crecer
Conseguir un trabajo, un sueldo por gastar
Mayores responsabilidades, alguien a quien amar
Aceptar las cosas con calma y paciencia
Pensar antes de actuar, usar la cabeza
Enfrentar los retos que la vida me presenta
Con tranquilidad, usando mi destreza
PurgatoriosI have sat in the mouth of Satan and heard his words,
Tasted his fear.
You also were there and rushed headlong into the black hole.
The sand caught fire and we ran,
Naked, noble, slicked limbs and flashing eyes.
I rejoiced in my torment, and still I ran.
"Sorrow, not loathing has fixed itself so deep within my heart.
It will be long before it is stripped away."
Time slowed and we were forbidden to run.
They ran around us, but you grasped me from behind
And I could not kiss you.
Higher we climbed, past greedy and virtuous,
Lovers and killers and tyrants, all
I am not sure if lingered long in the place where sins are burned away,
What penance we made
Or if the time for making penance was long since passed.
But when we reached the peak of Purgatorios,
We drank of the river Lethe and forgot.
Un roti de Cupidon"Patron.. je suis pas sûr que ça soit une si bonne idée..."
Un bruissement d'ailes presque froufroutant sur sa gauche le fit se retourner d'un bond, mais il ne put percevoir qu'un bref mouvement du coin de l'oeil. Ils étaient rapides, bien trop rapides. Jamais le vieux ne réussirait. De nouveau ce bruit soyeux, semblable à des ailes de tourterelles, mais bien plus proche. Dans son esprit il pouvait les voir, tournant au dessus de sa tête comme autant de vautours prêts à la curée.
Le bruit assourdi des détonations résonna et tout autour d'Emmanuel une pluie de plumes commença à virevolter tandis que cinq bruits sourds accompagnaient la chute d'autant de corps autour de lui.
"Ramasse les, petit. On a encore du boulot."
Avec une grimace mi admirative, mi dégoûtée, le jeune homme se mit au travail, enfilant des lourds gants de cuir pour se protéger. Son sup
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