Buried – A Poem

 

Buried

It was buried
so far down
that
over the years
she nearly forgot
it was there.

She would never speak
to anyone
about it.
Even to her sister
who slept
in the next bed
it was a secret.
Never being brought up
during the shadowed
conversations
they would share
in their room
lasting long into the winter nights.

Covering it with the
finest fabrics
her mother had bought
she carried it out
far into the woods
and digging a hole
she planted
it
deeply
into herself.

And so the years
past
until one day it came
alive
as a fierce and sudden fire
that she could no longer
hide.
She glowed so
that the people asked
if she were in love
or expecting.

But she would dismiss them
with a look
of terror and beauty
they could not
understand.

Slinking away
the people
took
to speaking
silently
about her
amongst themselves
behind closed doors
and in restaurants
seated at booths far
from the entrance
eating chef salads
and drinking
cups
of sweet coffee.

However
the fire that was started
continued
to intensify
and her attempts
to ignore
to suppress
or to cover
it
would not work.

It came so that
the clothes
she wore
became illuminated
relics
and her skin
brilliantly radiating
like a bright
newborn
star
a light so pure that even
the morning rays
of the blood-red sun
envied
and
could not diminish.

It and
she
became indistinguishable
and when
in its fire
she felt no more
fear
they
became one.

Many of the people
the poor and sick
the women
and the children
the suffering
and abused
found solace
in her
comfort
a beacon of
hope
and healing
for their many wounds.

But there were men
who feared her.
Feared the tidal change
beaming
horror
and grace
from her gaze
and conspiring
killed her
stabbing her with a long
spear
so that the fire
bled out as a
golden
liquid light
that flooded the land
and sunk
down
into the earth
to be trampled on
and forgotten
as her body burned
to ash
and was blown
away.

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Mortuary Peace – A Poem

Mortuary Peace

Outside walls obliviously observe
a ranting under the olive trees
of the plaza.
The leaf edges are etched golden purple.

A mortuary peace slumbers in the aisles
of the used bookstore.
I take a book
and fearfully pay
a grim undertaker for a storekeep
whose smile gleams like a moonlit slug.
In haste I exit the plaza
furtively pass the Lunatic of the Olives
who yells at me to beware
of the long wall on
the third day.

At home a closed-minded specter has
taken up residence.
She hates the windows to be left open.
I have named her Gatsby
after that being the last book that she read
(or so she said)
before she died.

That along with her refusal to reveal her true name.

“I would like to be
more intimate,”
she told me
“seeing that we must live together
but we are just on two different levels
of existence you see.”

Upstairs through an architectural
twist of fate
a voyeuristic portal opens to me
past the privacy fence and tall hedges
of my neighbors
The Parsons
and I spy on them through
my bedroom window
as they plant obscenities in their backyard
garden.

The woman
Penny
is dressed in a low-cut black dress
with pearls shimmering in the sunlight
and Daniel
meekly sniffs her breasts and neck
while she rubs his cock
through his tailored slacks
and domineeringly pulls at his tie.

And all I can wonder
is why
they are so elegantly dressed
on a Tuesday afternoon.

Turning I see my wife lying on the bed
staring at the ceiling
and I think of fractures.
The fractures in the bridge I was on
while stopped
at a red light.
Small thin cracks in the concrete.
Or the fractures in my toast
I made for dinner the previous night
that I covered with butter and jelly.

Or the fractures in our dreams.
Or in ourselves.

I walk over to my wife
to touch her cheek
and feel them
as she drifts away
to sleep.

Opening her mouth I plant
a seed
under her tongue and watch as it grows
brittle silver bark
tall slender limbs
branching into her brain
and roots
digging deep into her heart.
A fruitless tree
with desirous flowers
blooming pink and lavender
in the spring.

Gatsby enters and invites me downstairs
to the study
where she takes my whisky
and pours us both a glass.

We drink and speak about the book I bought
and she laughs at The Undertaker
and The Lunatic.
There is something about the olives
though
that makes her sad.

She is a colorless beauty
with a soft lifeless voice
and she points
a transparent finger
outside at the long wall
in front of our house
choked by vines
and crumbling underneath.

“In three days it will be gone,” she says.
“But so much the better.
There is a pleasure
for the dead
in the impermanent.”

“What is it you want?” I ask
coming up behind her
and placing my hands
on her hips.

“To feel. The warmth of kindness
and biting taste of spite. To feel
your hands on me
now
and the jealousy of another
being with you. To feel
love
and hate
as becoming ghosts
we find a slumbering tranquility
but must bury these feelings
along with our bodies.”

Universe – A Poem

 

Universe

I’m moving
to

Play in the harvested stars
have the solar wind at my back.

The universe has become so complex
and too simple that
I don’t see the difference.

Crow’s caw
chilled skies to white
with vodka tonics being
served in the tent.
A Caribbean red jacket
Polynesian blue
shoes.

Joviality
sedated to silence
expresses knowledge
of my existence.

A man with glasses
nearby speaking
how she
and me
have an unfamiliar air.

Parker always knows the settlement score.

I know I am a liar but I want to breathe you into existence.
Catch it
stop!
time
does the wind steal the last of my marbles?
The boardwalk is on fire
call in the ammonia strikes
take shelter in
the woods
tangled sinister ahead

watch
in the skies
where hell descends.
Disconnected
I no longer remember my number.

Sister sit
nearby
lean in rapt attention

This is your great divide.

Walk away
a crushed cigarette
an ass
defined
perfected by blue jeans
and a bashful glance.

Point – A Poem

Point

Have I told you I hate the way
your mouth forms words?
How your lips thin when you speak?

Your honeyed words ever leave
a bitter aftertaste.

My teeth taste like steel.
Too much instant coffee.

Not a sworded tongue. I am not so clever.

Christ
your sentences
are a wearing gymnastic exercise.

I fear you shall never understand
there is no simpler task
of creation
no more beautifully
expressed
artistic accomplishment
then the
point
.

Intimate Emptiness – A Poem

 

Intimate Emptiness

And in the confusion
in that rattling din of despondency
there was Miles Davis
playing Amandla
over the stereo.
A common singularity
threading together the
distancing lives.

“There is a sanity in his music.
Something soothing
that never wearies the soul.”

Yet let’s forgo foregone conclusions.

There is a guy
and a girl at the counter drinking
and between them lies
an intimate
emptiness.
A marriage
perhaps
with a house and children
and pedestrian
sex
driven on and lingering through
an obligatory desire.

“You are a bastard.
You know nothing of them. And just
extend yourself
into other people’s territories. You will never understand.”

That is true. There is a jealous
taste to my words.

But look at the smiling man.
Large and
boisterous
he works the room
to extend his illustrious views.
His slothful
opinions.
He is a true ram
that one.
I bet his feet will freeze.
Yes
a fitting metaphor but
no
truly freeze this winter
with frostbite
clutching his toes.
His frame too large
for the small bed he made
and passed out on painkillers
he will forget to
turn the heat on.

“Please, please. Let’s speak
of pleasant matters.
Life is too awful with you around.”

On the patio the men smoke
smile
laugh
and discuss their house of cards.
How they posed it just right.
Waiting now for it only
to collapse.

“Stop. Oh you sweet dumb bastard. Just end it. See
now the song
is over
and it was the one pleasant thing I had
here.”

723 – A Poem

723

The air is cold.
Heavy
with the weight of our crimes.
We are driving out
to the woods.
Suzy is in the backseat with Colin and you
are riding shotgun
next to me at the wheel.
You look roguish. And
I
am desperate for a pardon.

Our bones can feel the layer of snow
that has fallen
and continues to fall. Illuminated
by the headlights it
pirouettes down
covering everything
coaxing with blanketed assurances
the earth
into a steady rhythmic flow
of a persistent coma.

The cabin stands unobtrusive off Route 723
a few miles out-of-town.
Wood, brick and plaster.
Opening the door the smell of roses
perfume out into the night. Becoming lost
in the stillness
trapped
beneath the maples
and the firs.

Getting drunk on the sacramental wine
we took from Colin’s church
with a picture of Cupid stamped
on each bottle
we laugh. The image of
a rector
coming to our minds
pacing through the pews
consumed with worry about how to hide
this naughty
blasphemous oversight
from his good parishioners. But we helped
him. Us saints. Coming to rescue
and secure
the whole case
and relieve his troubled
sinful soul.

“Poor sinners
all of us,” you say.

And Suzy says yes as she hugs you
from behind as you sit
cross-legged on the floor
pulling fibers from the carpet.

In the loft we make love.
Your mouth tastes like fruit gum
wine
and smoke
from the fire we started.
I hear your sadistic whispers
singing to me still
pleading me
on
and you say you can feel the violent
brutality
in my hands as I touch your body.

Colin cooks eggs the next day when we wake
and nails a crucifix
above the mantel. Tells us we should stay
here for a few days. Here miles
out-of-town
on 723. Wait for
it to blow
over.
I go outside to breath in the morning
and walk
in the snow. Through the window
I see Suzy kiss your
cheek. Your face has turned hollow.

Above and below the light of heaven
has turned the world
opaque. Poor sinners. Gallantly seeking harbor
in institutions
ripened for harvest and
burning.
In the frost and ice I sit and say
“Forgive me…”
but I don’t know who I am speaking to
or why.

Marcello’s Revenge – Chapter 10 – Mustard Seed on Mars

Here is the last chapter of Part I of Marcello’s Revenge. This will conclude my postings of the novel. I am working on part two and hope to have it finished by the end of the year. I hope you enjoyed it and thank you very much for reading it. Feel free to comment as feedback is always welcome and appreciated. You can find all the chapters:

HERE

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I was in the common room of the Galloway Treatment Center. A large spacious area with rows of plastic folding tables with benches, and chairs lined up by large windows for their clients to enjoy the scenery. It was, all in all, a dining area, but called the common room as people would socialize there, play games, meet guests or family members, or just spend some time to themselves reading. There are no televisions in Galloway, but there is a centralized radio with speakers mounted in the ceiling of the common room and in the hallways, and over it The Circle Game was playing at a low volume.

A bright, nearly blinding white light caused by the morning sun reflecting off of the newly fallen snow and white clouds hanging heavy in the sky illuminated the room. There was only one occupant, an elderly woman I guessed from her short gray hair, sitting in an Adirondack chair, looking out a window with her back to me. I approached her, and at reaching her side found it to be Sophia. Her face was youthful, smooth and lovely as when we were just married, but her hands were wrinkled and marked with liver spots and thick blue veins, as aged as her hair. A plaid, woolen blanket covered her from the waist down, though it was quite warm in the room. Continue reading