Monday, December 12, 2011

The Mouths of Nothingness.

She puts words together, one by one,
In sentences brown as bone.
She goes walking, down one street, and up another-
She limps.
Her eyes are like pools of nothingness. She bends and breaks.
She opens her mouth and calls out to the morning,
In the ancient winds of time.
Burdened by the years of hard labor, she cries out to her dead lover,
The skull Hamlet left behind.
It was not hers. It was not his. They were gentle in his wake.
Death was not something to take, to bring back.
The spirits were left behind in closed doors. Someone thought she was
Wrong, that she couldn’t stay away from the broken doors.
Someone thought she was jealous, and refused to give her any bread.
The bread comes from the oven.
It is the soothing sound of her father’s voice that wakes her up, every morning,
In time for school.
She acts like she wants the world. She acts like she owns it. She knows nothing,
And pieces words together on a string-one drop after another, a pebble falls
In the water, and sounds are dripping everywhere.
It is the rain, the color of the rain, and the mood that is everywhere. She doesn’t talk
About open wounds, only the rape, that was cold, hard, bitter, and filling in her
Mouth. She doesn’t keep her promises. She is the echo of lies in the hearts of everyone,
In nothing, everywhere.
Her mother is dead, and living, breathing-
Her father gasps on a table. She is dead, and nobody moves. The lies sing like the lions.
Sometimes, things knock on the doors, like skulls, and hatred is ripped from flesh.
She hates the people who move her, and the sorrows are like tears gone dry.
She is dry as a diaper. The lion weeps from far away. A star falls from the sky.
She thinks most people are morons.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Broken Time.

The night has been broken into the minds of us.
We dismiss the shadows that move like grass.
In the wind, the whistling sound comes again-
Like a ghost that wanders in the willows.
Emotions? Are like a sieve, that waves.
A daisy is on the windowsill.
A hand taps on someone’s window glass.
The panes are like tears that come like rain.
Down the mountain, the wind comes.
Down the mountain, we don’t know anything.
My mother is a little hectic. She watches her mother
Go upstairs, falls down the stairs-one by one,
Legs twist with hands. She is like a water current.
Time goes, it slows-things move like shadows.
There is the dark place, the place we can’t go to.
The place in the heart, beyond all time.

Why is there so much hatred? Why is there so much sorrow?
I went to the library this afternoon-the woman’s eyes narrowed
At me, as if she wanted me to leave. I held out my hand,
And she took my money, but her hand was not my hand-
My hand was hers. She didn’t understand the way of the world,
How it was for young men and women in the army,
In the navy, in places that are foreign as the mind. The mind is all
We have. Like a creative fox.

Thursday, November 03, 2011


“You’ll get forty dollars.”
She pursed her lips. “I don’t know,” she confessed. “All I was doing was looking at the paper for a job-” She shook her head, dizzy and confused. She didn’t know why she was dizzy, only that she was. It irked her. The irkness was in her mind, and it quieted her.
“Shut up. You know the paper regulates those things, don’t you?”
“Then you’re one of the few who still know about them.”
“I am one of the last,” she confessed. “That’s what they told me in fifth grade.” Her mind traveled back to the time in her real school, the real school she had before she found out about computers and what they could do. It wasn’t a good idea to talk about the aliens. How they crash-landed on earth and destroyed the dinosaurs. It was an accident, they said in the papers, long after it happened. They wanted to help fix it. Well, the wars came, and everyone knew the wars started because of the dinosaurs.
“Well?” the pimp was staring at her expectantly. “You’ll get a lot of money.”
“A lot of money,” she said. “Yeah. Forty dollars, first, then-”
“More than you have now, that’s for sure!” he said gleefully, and chuckled behind his hands.
It had always been like this. Ever since her mother had been taken away-she refused to call her mother a criminal-strange men had approached her and offered her money. She tried to go to a community college for three months, until the feds found out and took away her credit cards. She got several credit cards, and bought a small car with it-she thought she was going to get a job right away, and didn’t. She fumed at her family for forcing her to be in this situation. It was forced upon her because of the crime rate. Forced upon her, she insisted to herself. Forced upon her; it was not given to her. No, it was never that.
“Okay,” she agreed. “I’ll do it. I don’t got a choice.”
“None of us do,” he said. He led her down the street and into an alley. Shadows crisscrossed across the pavement. Pain in her feet, and the painful memory of trying to block out all those other times…the times when she was weakest. She didn’t know why, even though her daughter asked her why. She thought about her daughter in a half-bored, half-amusing, distracted way, the way a neglectful mother would think of her lonely daughter while she was fucking some dumb man.
She was alone in the enormity of herself, in the largeness, the grandness of herself. She was an overly large woman. Her daughter was an almost nearly byproduct of a rape, because the man didn’t want a fat wife-he wanted a skinny wife, he put emphasis on the word, she remembered with a sneer. She wanted a daughter and had one.
She couldn’t go that one route, what’s it called, artificial insemination, she couldn’t born her baby in a test tube because that was supposed to be a secret. She knew a lot of secrets. She understood how the world worked in her own special way-the psychologist said she was special. But, she wasn’t. She was trapped. It was in the Before-Time that Reanna thought about suicide, before she was born as a Hybrid, when she was floating in space in a test tube-that was how they made humans now, in a test tube, and put them down on a manmade planet that suited the aliens purposes, to be looked upon, and studied in such a way that was credible. She didn’t know what the aliens looked like, but they planted what they looked like in her dreams. She could feel them when they did it and she was being born in a test tube, feel it creeping on the edge of her mind.
The only thing that was outside of free will was forcing their thoughts upon hers. She thought she could feel their thoughts sometimes, in the way that their thoughts moved fluidly like water, slow and unearthly like the glowing of the lights. Sometimes, she thought about It-the thing that was more horrible than actually committing suicide, the actual thinking about it. She didn’t think of suicide in a way that she was going to actually do it, but she thought of it in the way that she actually wanted to do it but wouldn’t go through with it-she thought about the how and why and the liking of it and what other people would say about her after she passed. The darkness of suicide was always there, and the anger was there, fresh in her mind.
She didn’t approve of anger. She thought it was bothersome. She remembered once, her mother said she never got angry at anything, ever, that the anger was not how she expressed herself. It was, what they called it, the Remembering, the Time that was Before-After the Before time, and how it was sequestered in the rhythm of her life, the life that was half-lived. She had a half-lived life. She knew it now, could feel it in her bones.
The taking of one hundred pills or more, and dying in the living room, was romantic to her when she was living in the cold place underneath the floor boards in the man’s house, and the man called Todd came and fed her twice a day. She soiled herself. She was his pet; he was called a pimp, and she had been fourteen when she came To the Bad Place, and would be nineteen now. She always thought of her life with her parents as Before; this was Now.
The Days passed, longer more than ever, and everything seemed like a dream, or stepping stones on top of one another. Her face was streaked with dirt and tears; her ears were covered in crusted blood. She’d had a few ticks, and a few bruises. Her eyes were blue. She stared at them in the mirror in the bathroom in the basement.
Made faces at herself in the mirror, and squinted her eyes shut tight. She knew what the days were because they had left a computer in the basement and she turned it on and watched it hum to life, and she wrote stories and played poker and War, but she could not connect to the Internet to ask for help. The Internet would have been a great deal.
She remembered, a few years before she was kidnapped, she and her classmates had been learning how to use the computer and she was a fast typer, typed almost 50 words per minute.
It was the strength, those memories of good times that kept her alive, and everything inside her mind was shut off when the kidnappers came and made her strip for money.
They let her go outside, but someone was always with her-Ronnie or Howard or Denni, she was the worst, she was always getting guys’ phone numbers and wanting to do them and she took them down to the basement and sent her, stumbling, up the stairs to the living room-Boner was there, and Clyde. Clyde wanted some, but Boner said she was too young for the job-said the cops would come and find them, cos she was missing for a long time.
“You a missing girl?” Clyde asked her.
She nodded. “Yes,” she whispered.
“You wanna come home wit’ me?” he asked her. “You won’ be missin’ no mo.’” He chuckled, and Boner slapped him upside the head, and they glared at each other. Clyde snorted and stomped out of the room.
“Look, girl,” Boner told her. “I know you think I want some. You ain’t getting none from me. I’m in a committed relationship, okay? You safe wit’ me. I don’ need you, but you git some bones on you, gi’, you be a good one for my clients.” He smiled, as if proudly. “You be her dodder.” He nodded matter-of-fact like.
“What does she look like?” She sniffed, and wiped her hand on her nose.
“She real big,” he told her. “But, she pretty. She has red hair, kinda dirty, but not pimp dirty like Wanda.”
Reanna’s lips curled. She loathed Wanda; she was a terror.
She remembered Wanda, and how the woman didn’t know she was in a Dream Capsule. Stupid woman. Everyone knew that. How come she didn’t know it? She needed to talk to her counselor. She never did anything without talking to her counselor. Everyone was against her. She knew it. She couldn’t put her finger on it.
“I’ll take you, gi’,” he promised. “I gotta take somethin’ home to my wife-otherwise, I ain’t getin none o’ dat from her-nor you,” he added quickly, as an afterthought. She rolled her eyes. He grunted asset. “Get in, girl.” He shoved her in. the car sped away. She was tense. She settled against the seat and tried to enjoy the ride. The car stopped. He pushed her out and the car sped away. She watched it go and went inside the tall, nondescript building. It was a pale brown. The windows looked dirty. Everything about the place was old, drab, dirty.
“Are you Reanna Chanceitt?” the counselor woman asked.
“Yes,” she managed to whisper.
“We’ve been looking for you,” she replied.
She promptly burst into tears.
“Who was looking for me?” she asked a few minutes later. She wiped her hands on her jeans. They were dirty. Most girls didn’t wear jeans anymore, they wore the plaid dresses that were authorized by government officials-the aliens, she was told.
The woman looked surprised. “Why, your parents, of course!” she replied.
She blinked. She didn’t know what to say. No one was allowed to say parents. “What do you mean?”
She looked away, a little embarrassed. “You know. Parents. You look like you don’t know what I’m talkin about. Like it wasn’t implanted in your brain like all dem odders.” Reanna was amused. She didn’t know counselors talked in that way-most Foreigners spoke eloquently.
“I don’t. We’re not supposed to talk about that.”
“Oh, yeah, well,” she fumbled. “They changed the rules, now. We got some bad peoples coming in, the Pope had to act fast.” The pope was big and had a big chin.
She frowned. “Who’s in charge around here?” she asked. “I thought it was the Mayor, now, after the little problem at the post office.”
She nodded. “Yeah, the scientists are trying to bring the dead guys back to life-as zombies.” She shook her head and tsked. “I don’t think that’s a good idea. The good lord’ll fix it, I’m sure.”
“Yeah, sure you’re sure. You were sure three thousand years ago, weren’t you, during the Civil War.”
The counselor was shocked. “You’re not supposed to talk about that!” she said in a hushed voice. “We’re not supposed to mention War-the aliens are listenin’ now, what if they do th’ hangin’?”
The girl looked down at the floor. “I forgot.”
“I figured as much. We’re going to have to fix you, girl.” She nodded her head. “We’ll take care of it, right away.” Her eyes looked distant, sad, as if she were staring at some great distance, far away. She sniffed. Reanna sniffed, too. It was going to be a long day.
The paperwork was filled out, and then the parents came and took her away-to the Dream Time, the reality that was more based on reality than actual reality, based more on a calming realization of fictional thoughts being pressed against hers. She was being brainwashed, it was certain.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


I am not the force that moves inside of me.
The hatred flows in my heart.
It is the heart. The heart that is the word.
The love is casual as glass, like a spider when it comes down
The mountain.

No one knows about dates-this date, that date, everything is about reason.
The reason that is the wind, that blows in imagination down the mountain.
We talk about pine apples into the night. You steal kisses with a glass eye.
Shadows are dark, steeples are dark, darkness is dark in everything.

She is going to be fullgrown. She is going to be a lion.
Those are my predictions, I wrap them in soft hands.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Metaphors In Clouds.

He thinks she is the woman in the tomb.
I don't know the name of the tomb.
Someone brought me a newspaper and stuck it in the mailbox.
The wildflower lays broken on the sidewalk; people tiptoe through these lies.
I have ideas, they whisper in my head. Some people think they know what they don't
know, that their wives and husbands adore them. Then, changes shift forms,
things are moved to change-someone gets a job; someone loses a friend; a new one comes
into focus, comes into the picture. This is the picture I didn't know about,
I couldn't understand about that was looking back at me right from the start.

All of these people are like lawn gnomes. Things are gifts in the dark. I am not
a miracle worker, a slave, a Barbie; I am not your politician, someone to strike the dragon in the throat-
I am the one who saves the dragon, I am the shadow in the gust of wind that moves
through the trees, the apes are free, they have come to seek their revenge.

I don't know where my father puts his glass towns. I don't know where the light
is as it shines through the trees.

I know the forgiveness, in my mind. It is not in my heart. My anger is vast,
like the ocean, the night sky is flung away from me.

I look out of my window. My hair is flung back from my face. I close my eyes,
and think soft things. Sometimes, I think about what it would be like,
if the government actually fixed things, read metaphors in the clouds
and the sidewalks of the world. How large the world is. How real. It is not safe from my father, my lover, my enemy. Some people are enemies. Usually, they are small like bulbs of flowers.

Sometimes, a person jumps out from a bush to scare school children.

Life mocks everyone.

Then, the tomb is brought back out again. My mother is no longer here to take my hand. I don't remember her hand. I remember a blank wall, staring time, memories are latched to ghosts. Ghosts that I have not seen, the tomb is like a word.

I don't want people to talk about me behind my back, to fuel hunger in my veins-
these veins are red, distorted as time. Time comes back.

Monday, September 12, 2011


And then, people like me, are thrown from dust,
to dust-and then crows are called in for a murder trial.
I am awake to the sound of the trilling of birds out my window.
Destruction is like misery. It is hard to see, to hear-
a telephone rings, and begs goodbye to me. He is a wanderer,
the sound of summer in darkness, the sound of hands moving back to me.
The ghosts are woven in strands of summer magic, as if I believed in magic at all.
I am nowehere, Ohio, I am the state that drifts outside of who I am. My mother
ignores me. My father is distant in my mind.

Time does not become me. It is not who I am. My friends are not my friends. My friends are set in stone statues. It is the sadness that brings me. It is the rape
that is fresh in my mind, how tired I am. Some people read and speak in English,
other people eat their daily supply of bread. He was not my friend. He is the betrayer. The speaker of solemn words. Of pretend condolences. He is equipped with
nothing. His mind dreams about nothing. I wake up and the birds chirp in my window. Everything is like it was. He has his children. I have my bread. It is supposed to be okay, I am not reminded of anything in between dreaming.
From my father, I forget, from my father, I have forgotten. The shadow lies in the windows of time. The windows of destiny.

It is what it is what it is. It is from a far off state I have never heard of,
the place that is wrapped in paper chains. The sky that is colored and dipped
in red, the sky that is translucent in its wake. We are woken. All things are woven,
including despair, and the darkness that lingers here is strong like lions,
and beauty is written away with a colored marker. I am accused; I am the accuser.
I stand before the trials of the court, and shadows whisper to me like spiders,
in broken things.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Different things in the news tremble like a collage of voices.
I don't spit. I move like wind and tears.

The voices of the wind
call through the trees-this is the memory, this is the yesterday.
This is the time that isn't mine.
Sometimes, I think about when I was little,
and I was fishing with my father. My father, with the big blue eyes,
and face stained with tobacco and tears.
He spat on and on about the war,

how stories were woven from stars, and musicians sang for their food only.
That they never had any families, or spoke their minds freely.
War is not
free. It stems from the dinosaurs,
from science, from the act of being alone. I am alone in my grief, alone in the way I look at things.

From seventeen years ago,
I let you go, and my basket dropped in the snow.
I ran, looking ahead,
backwards again, and forwards-then, I was in prison, and my neighbor with the flaming
red hair set me free through his destruction.

He went on, and the memories of pain screamed in my mind,
I was like ghosts, and truth was destroyed.
Marriage destroys things.
It destroys whole families.
It turns humans into balls of mistrust, lies, hatred.
No one can see my pain, see my memories, my tears, or why people want me dead. They ignore me. I am homeless, the one whose innocence was kept silent. She moves on, in her grief, and doesn't know me, wants to steal my things. She has everything. I am a ghost, I fall in myself. People will never fix their problems. They will always enhance them, become them, and the dying will be sent to the scavengers.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Bad Behavior.

I tried not to be in love with lightning-
the way it tiptoes across the sky, and dashes into the clouds.
The clouds are angry, like lions, they are selfish and unnerving.
They are not petrified. I think our ancestors were petrified,
that they were unified in the realizations that all things are kept unturned.

My words are not my sorrows. They are not thrown into the piles of rocks
on the ground, they are not the brokneness that my life has become.
I try to make up new things for children to play with, and keep the thoughts to myself.
A young girl in Spain tries to take my boyfriend; tries to open a can of worms.
She is selfish in her reasons, as planes fly into buildings and heads are buried
in the sand. She moves like lightning, her thoughts are fluid as water running through
the stream. She thinks she is home. She writes fake letters and puts them in jars
and sends them out to the ocean, hoping to find some peace, some serenity, some inner

She is turmoil. She is the sound of the ocean that rings with the voice, the sound of

This is summer. Things are in summer. A man and a tan and a pile of rocks-
he jumps on his engine, and turns it on, it sounds like firecrackers in the stillness.
She says goodbye to her words, to the night that is dark. She is like a ghost.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Apes Are Angry, Jealous-

I am a ghost that moves in a mountain.
No one speaks and no one is heard…
All around me are the shades of colors,
Locked in a dream. This is like my nightmare.
I type and I type and the words are thrown like shadows
Across an empty page-this is war, the war of temptation.
I spoke of yesterdays. They are like golden days,
My father is in Canada, my mother is far away. My wife
Doesn’t know how to talk to me anymore. My neighbor thinks
He knows me, but he doesn’t know that he makes me cry at night,
He makes me wet the bed. I look out the window and stare at a stream
Of flowers on the broken lawn. I think about our ancestors,
Who were not our friends-they are animals, and the animals speak to
The sky, the ground, the meadows filled with flowers. He doesn’t think about
Anything but his own selfish ways, the ways that are the center of the self.
He pretends he cares. He is the pretending. He makes mistakes on purpose.
He tells me lies, lies, and goodbyes. He doesn’t know anything about
The whispering of the pines, or how the ghosts of apes move through the
Mountains, through the colors and the cold and the dark and I have to tiptoe,
To try and understand, to not be in love because I am forced to.
He didn’t move on. I forgave him, but that thing is still undone. People move like
Tombstones, like shadows. He thinks he knows, he doesn’t know.
Only time will tell. Only time will move back, and forth. The reading is in the
Fire that burns selfishly. He is dead to me. Dead to my ears. My ears are
Burning as the night is burning and the lies burn in every fire place in every household
In the country. People force me to procreate, to be with nothing. Why? Why?
Why are these things happening to me, why can’t I stop them, why am I forced to write
In a diary that doesn’t understand me, that has blank pages?
You’re the ones who force me to be this way. I sit quietly in the dark and tears spill down my
Cheeks. The wind moans; no one hears me.

What Is In Riddles.

You said words are hard, they wrap around things unseen-
That distance lies in riddles, and things in between.
Nothing else will work out, quite well in the end.
This is the world we’ve been trying to mend.
I don’t know about the other ones, only we play pretend-
The flowers in the garden don’t want to grow,
Nothing is a seed that will be forced to overthrow.
I don’t understand the negativity or what we comprehend,
Why books have to have middles, or antiques are what we send-
Through the shadows, and the lies, and the hurt and goodbyes,
You tried to make me see something in a mystery.
I don’t want to go where you will go, except in time it will show,
And tomorrows are sorrows wrapped in a vine wrapped in misery.
You went to the ocean, and the ocean sent you home,
Your life was like something we weren’t even shown.
We fly like a flock of birds, and speak in sad rhymes,
The lion uses its wings to hear of unheard things.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Of all the things that were created,
And the hands of clocks are turned backwards.
The guitar player plays at a pub in London,
And wildflowers bloom on the darkness and mist.
I thought we weren’t going to be here more than usual,
That things are tempted and not created-
That the fields and wildflowers are in full bloom,
And nakedness dances like urchins in the living room.
Light bounces off the fireplace. The night has come,
And shadows march across me, around me, through me-
People forget time, forget watches, forget bread,
The eating is not sinful. We are ghosts running against
Time, we are respectful, and we are dead. We are clocks
That spin around and around, and the sun melts into
Shadows. Someone sleeps in his cave, a dog barks at night,
The wind whistles like a train in a shimmering light.
My mother is awful, my father is dead-I have no home to call my
Own, only the night lingers like mistakes. The moon
Burns brightly, a lamp shakes, and bones shake like lightning.
We run away, and we run, and we keep running until guilt
Keeps us back.
No one sees me, no one knows.

Friday, April 01, 2011



And this society, the one we live in, where people in wheelchairs
Are thrown into the trash;
And people named Mikel are picked on in public,
Carry picket signs down foreign-sounding streets, like Pickled Eggs;
Deviled Hands; High Street, the name rolls off your tongue.

The words are like plastic sheets put on a brown couch.
How autumn quickly changes into summer, and summer and winter
Are both entwined,
And monkeys are both riveted by words that are spoken from old vowels;
That the sounds of summer rain drift softly through the dark,
In the dark of the night, and the night

Drops like a monsoon out of Japan; and the Emperor was angry,
And the entire Atlantic Ocean was angry, and it was angry with its voice.
How people think they are not in a society, and how the society
Gets back at the smart people, and the dumb people get everything,
Especially the blondes and men interested in art.

Sometimes, the museums whisper softly at night, and the night
Calls down to the dinosaurs in the museums;
How the museums are like parts and ghosts wander around
In the dark, like softly moving shadows,
And how some people are homeless, and not breathing,
And breath comes out of me, and is me and NOT.

I don’t know what to make of this, what to speak of this,
In the words that pour from my lips, the lips that speak the poetry-how kings
And queens mock me, and think I am grand, but no one sees
Me stand in the shadows, unless I destroy entire empires…
My mother thought it was a bad idea, not a good idea, that ideas
Shouldn’t be put in society, shouldn’t be spoken of in classrooms.
Sometimes, even the walls are dim, and sometimes I can hear them.

"I'm Hungry!"

My eyes are like wildflowers wrapped in straightjackets.
Lions sleeping in cold cages; falcons walk on the tips of lakebeds.
Sometimes, when I dream, I can’t speak, I can’t see,
Anything but the blindness of my eyes staring at the back of me.

I hear about the soldiers in far off Guam, the country with the name
That sounds like twin cities;
And how we live, and the things we do, sound like list after list after
Sometimes, we read magazines; sometimes, wives take cereal to their
Husbands in boxes,
And how old men named Marc and Liam think themselves better
Than others, and waste their money on the tracks, on gum, on
Whispers in the dark-

The stars, late at night, are like eyes that stare down on the world,
And watch over it, watch over it, waiting, and how Michael and Charles
Are like shadows that pour down stone walls,
And we think and we think but we can’t find the words to say.

“I’m hungry,” she said, and he brought her cheese and wine on
a gold tray,
and the bird outside wouldn’t chirp,
and the room refused to breathe.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Gathka said she wanted a normal daughter-one who was without physical perfection. A scientist would call it a genetic mutation; the regular population called it something else, they called it Normal. The word itself has been around for more than two thousand years; it was only in the last five hundred years that the definition changed. Gathka supposed aliens had something to do with it. Aliens had been visiting the Earth for hundreds of years, even before the birth of Jesus; they’d made claims of the cavemen, the dinosaurs, the wooly mammoth. They even admitted having something to do with global warming. Their ships ran on fossil fuel. Gathka supposed other races lived in the universe, but the kind they met were intelligent, smart, fast, their minds were faster than any computer. It was amazing to watch. Gathka sat behind the desk, nervously stroking her fingers. She always did that when she was nervous. She was a tall, blonde woman and had large, blue, cat-like eyes. The human race mutated after seven thousand years; the only things that changed were the length of their earlobes, and their eyes, which was more cat-like in appearance. Gathka was an anthropologist major in college, and had studied ancient humans-humans from the Electric Age; the Golden Age; etc. 10,000 years before that, the saber tooth tiger and other animals roamed the earth. Gathka highly suspected a meteorite did not kill the dinosaurs after all, but it was simply a genetic mutation that span over time.
She turned. A whisper of sound. The doctor entered the room. He was tall, muscular built, and had broad shoulders and thick, brown hair. Gathka couldn’t help but stare. He looked almost identical to her husband, except he had blonde hair and was much taller. He ran a business in New Jersey. They were from New Jersey. She smiled thinly and rose to her feet. She straightened her dress nervously. “Hello,” she said. “It’s nice to meet you, doctor.”
“You’re one of the few,” he began.
“One of the few, what?” She raised her eyebrows questionably.
“One of the few who aren’t going to go by Artificial Insemination. We have a huge sperm bank. We even have some celebrities, some politicians. Quite a few writers. Still no?” he asked.
“I promised my grandparents,” she explained. She hesitated. She thought it was silly explaining this to a doctor. She didn’t have to explain anything to a doctor! It was her body! It was her decision-and her husband’s, who was eagerly awaiting their first child.
“You promised your grandparents what?” he asked. He wasn’t being impatient or condescending. He was being kind, generous, and offered input on the best way to take. She had made up her mind. She was firm in her revolution, in her decision.
“I promised I would be a Norm,” she replied. It was a strange thing, to be a Norm when everyone else wanted to be Abnormal. It was weird. It was ludicrous. It was hard to imagine, but it happened, very rarely, every so often. In society, being different was wrong. She knew that now. She suspected it for a long time, but humans were conditioned to think and feel a certain way, and everyone went with what everyone else was doing. If someone did it differently, they were considered a Normal-or, a Norm, for those who wanted to know. It was something that happened, changed over time. It was ridiculous. It was absurd. But, it was how society had changed. They were different. They were a lot worse. The crime rate, especially, was ridiculous. A few murders among the Abnormals; the Norms had good behavior, but there were few of them left in the world. Few and far between.
“I want to have my baby the normal way,” she told her husband the next day, over tea. He had come home, and he stroked her shoulder. He was home after a dozen meetings at the office. He was a lawyer, one of the best in the state.
“I know, dear,” he answered. “I do, too. I’ve been doing research. Many couples gave birth in hospitals. Can you imagine such a thing? That’s where they performed surgeries on people! Can you imagine!”
Gathka could. “What about their genetics?” she asked. “Their genetics just appeared out of nowhere, like magic.” She shook her head. “I can’t believe people lived like that. It’s so funny, seeing how they dress, and what they wore-”
“How they made their food,” he finished, giggling.
She nodded. The Norms ate food, still; the Abnormals lived off of energy from the sun. The sun was a large thing, and radiation was recycled. Always recycled.
Gathka gave birth to her daughter on September 8th, 3443. It was midnight. She decided to give birth at a hospital. The building was virtually empty, save for a few Abnormals who were having their regular check-ups. Some Abnormals liked to act out their lives, and pretend they were something they were not-many Abnormals begged to have a disease, even though disease was wiped out 900 years ago. She sighed. Being human was very difficult work. A lot of thought went into every day activities. Her thoughts were slow, muddied. She had trouble breathing. She brought home her daughter after being three weeks in the hospital. The doctor was puzzled because the baby had come out of the womb. Most mothers who were brought in to the hospital born babies in a test tube. It was how it was, how it shall be-she suspected he thought she was slow, numb, dumb. Maybe all three.
Her husband was gone again; gone to a business meeting. They decided to revive businesses after the last of the wars, due to the wishes of the government. Her husband laughed every time he heard the word, government, like it was some kind of great, colossal joke. One of his ancestors had died in Vietnam. That could be the reason for his case of the giggles. Maybe it was genetic.
“Hello, sweetie.” Gathka sat on the floor next to her daughter. She was broad, bold, insidious. She was eager to learn more about her Norm daughter. She would take it one at a time, however.
“Hello, Mom,” she said, smiling broadly. “Look what I’m doing.” She pointed to the toy animals spread out on the floor. “It’s Noah’s Ark, Mom. But, I don’t have a boat for them. Can we buy a toy boat next time?”
Mom was an old-fashioned word. The Abnormals called their parents “rent” or “rents.” It was an old trend that span generations. She smiled at her daughter and watched her play.
“Sure, honey,” she said, smiling down at her. “We’ll see.”

Monday, March 21, 2011



Anwon Price, magister
King Wandron, ruler
Delila, troll
Egg, male troll
Anwon Price was a great magister and used magic to heal others. He was not well himself. He had large eyes and a beaked nose. His mouth was long and thin and frowned a lot. He walked down a dark, shadowed road. The moon was out. It was night. The wind moaned softly. A creature darted up to him, and grabbed his hand. “Sir,” he said, breathing heavily. “Sir, may I request your service?” he asked quickly. He was trembling.
“What?” he said, with a start. “What’s the matter?”
Anwon peered closer and realized he was talking to a troll. Trolls were strange creatures. They had wide foreheads; dark, parched skin; and eyes as black as the midnight forged from darkness. They were strange, idiotic creatures, and Anwon wanted to avoid them at all cost. Tonight was no such luck. “What do you want?” he demanded. “Money, time, playing cards?” He was impatient. He wanted to get back to his job of buying and selling brooms. But his conscious refused to let him.
The troll thought about the last gift. He shook his head. “No,” he spluttered. “My friend stuck his head in a tree-”
“You want me to get him out,” he finished, nodding his head. He rubbed his hands together eagerly. He was greedy, greedy about the money he was going to make. “I would like seventy shillings, please.”
“We don’t have any money, but, hurry, he can’t breathe!” He threw back his head and howled. A long, emerald tear squeezed out of the corner of his eye. He sniffed. He was about to throw a tantrum.
Anwon Price nodded his head. “Okay,” he said. “I guess you’ll want me to be a hero, then, huh?” He didn’t like it. He didn’t like it at all.
“Yes,” he said. “Please.”
Anwon looked into the troll’s eyes and saw what he saw in them. He picked up his bag and hurried down the path towards the darkness that swallowed them. They were in the darkness for awhile; it was almost black around him. Dirt crunched under his feet. He was not wearing any shoes, he had sold it for a broom back in Oddscreak. He shook his head. No one wanted to pay him for his services. He was worried about food, because he was getting low on funds. He had a magic bag and he could pull a seven-tenths shilling out of it every few weeks. It worked, but it would not do to sustain his current need of food. An apple cost almost a whole shilling. “Where is this troll?” he asked him. “Where is this dummy?”
“Over there.” The troll pointed to the edge of the woods, and tugged at his hand. He had claimed he was a teenager. “He’s stuck in there.”
Anwon couldn’t help it. He burst into peals of laughter and shook his head back and forth. He hadn’t realized how much he liked trolls until now. He slapped the troll on the back. “Okay, runt,” he guffawed. “We’ll get him out.”
And Egg couldn’t understand why he was laughing.
He slapped the troll on the back. “Let’s get this show on the road,” he exclaimed. He rubbed his hands together gleefully. “Okay, first thing’s first, how did he get his head stuck in the tree? Were you playing a game, or did you put him in there?”
“We found some honey in it and he was trying to get the beehive,” Egg explained.
He nodded. “I see, I see. Well, stand back, and let me do my work.” He pulled a long stick out of his robe. Anwon wore a robe because he thought it made him look cool. The other kids thought he was cool. They asked him to perform at birthday parties sometimes; he hadn’t done it in at least four months. He tapped the tree. Nothing happened. The wind still cried; darkness swirled around them. He tried again. Still nothing. The branches of the tree shuddered. He decided a better tactic was at hand. He banged the troll on the side of the head. He howled and the tree bulked but did not release the troll. Egg was getting impatient. He hopped from one foot to another.
“Hurry!” he complained. “We need to be home by sundown.”
Anwon was confused. “Why?” he asked.
Egg shrugged his shoulders. “Because,” he answered. “It’s when we eat.”
Anwon thought he understood. He took hold of the troll’s legs, and pulled. The troll fell back on top of him. His breath was nearly knocked out of him. The troll stumbled to his feet, gasping and clawing for air. “Thank you!” he exclaimed.
“What’s your name?” Anwon asked him.
“My name is Delila.”
Anwon raised an eyebrow. A female troll. It was almost unheard of, especially in this part of the country, which was called Graywhereland. Anwon thought the name should be changed. He didn’t understand why the king allowed such a beautiful place to have such a terrible name.
“Thank you,” the trolls exclaimed. “Thank you, very much. Would you like to join us for a feast?”
Anwon’s stomach rumbled with hunger. He rubbed his stomach. “Okay,” he agreed. “Okay, I will go to your feast. Where is it?”
“At Captpot Hall,” Egg explained. “In the Rion Forest.”
Delila took his hand and tugged him deeper into the forest of trees. The stars appeared in the sky above them; it must be well past midnight. Delila was skipping. She wasn’t bothered by the fact they were in a magical forest. It was a magical forest and many creatures lived in it. Including the Waggabeast; the Biggabeast; and the Trilyabyte, they are kind of like lizards without a tail.

Thursday, March 10, 2011



The night is full of stars.
What I see, is what I see-
In it is what darkness brings.
The highway is full of cars.
And the night is full of stars,
The wind constantly sings-
Silver things are lined with trains.
The sun is dry when it rains.
I’m all for money, when I got a honey,
And it is what night will bring.

There are lines in the broken road,
That goes on forever-
All the things we remember,
And sand through hands that are poured.
Like dreams and shadows, moving on
Night beams,
And sorrows are woken in a dream.
There are lines in the broken road,
And it goes faster and faster,
Like a shadow in the night.
The sun is filled to brim with light.

All the sadness in the stones,
Are broken, at last, and we go home-
We see the tides that are coming in
The ocean.
They are broken, and the lines go on forever.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

What the Boy Knew.

The boy did not understand the importance of books. His mouth turned downward in a slight grimace, and he looked at Teacher. Teacher had gray hair and green eyes, they seemed to stare at nothing, a lot of times. Brian wondered if he was well. He did not look well. He looked very sick. He climbed off the stool, and looked at him. “What are you doing here?” he demanded. “I thought I sent you home. I told you not to come back. I dismissed you!” He clenched his fists. It was not a good idea to anger the Prince of the Emperor of Jennsen, but it was important. The Emperor had taken him aside, and told him to tutor his son. He was bound to obey. Obeying was what Teachers did; that was how they survived in the universe that was harsh and cold and cruel.
Teacher waved his hand in a dismissive gesture. “I understand you do not take things seriously, my boy,” he chirped. “I have come to help you.”
“Help me with what?” he asked. His voice trembled like the Western Winds that rose from the South, and settled in the East, and everywhere in between. He owned everything on this planet, from the vast forests of Straighte, to the Inland of Eucalydies. The planet was monstrous, far larger than anything the Settlers had ever found. They settled on the planet thousands of years ago. The oceans were large-there were only two, but the water was angry, choppy, epic. Yes, the word would work. His father was gone most of the time. He wanted his father to be at home, so he could play with him. The maids and servants and the neighbor boys were not fun to play with, they made fun of him because he was rich, and he did not have shabby clothing. His clothes were made from the finest tailors in all of Jennsen. It was ideal for the prince of an Emperor to wear such fine clothes, and he definitely was made of money.
“You are the son of an Emperor,” he said in a thick voice. “You are supposed to be educated, elegant, endearing-you are none of these things! Look at how you walk! You walk like a duck! A duck!”
He looked around in abashment, and a sword hung on the wall. He grabbed the sword, and started swinging it in a clockwise position. “This is what you are supposed to learn, young student!” he cried. “You are supposed to learn how to duel!”
Brian shook his head. “I do not understand,” he said. “I am supposed to be married, and breed-that is what is in my Histories.”
Teacher stopped cold. He put down the sword, and stared at him, his face bold. Brian thought Teacher looked a lot like a duck. His hair was long and gray; his face was long; even his hands were like webbed feet, they stuck out tremendously. “How do you know about them, boy?” he demanded. “How do you know about the Histories? Only adults know about them, not children!”
“I followed my father.”
Teacher nodded thoughtfully. He saw it now. Brian was one of the Oddities, they were the ones who always had to make trouble, who didn’t appreciate Order, or anyone who could lead. Teacher cocked his head to look at him. He had to help him, before the Empire fell around his ears-or, his throat, for people who did what he did usually had their heads cut off. Brian was not like the Others. He was special. He was the son of an Emperor, and his life was spared. “Listen carefully, boy,” he said. “I know you see things, you think things that are different. I want you to listen to me. Do not tell anyone what you think. Ever. If you want to live.”
Brian’s eyes widened in fear. “If?” he echoed. His voice sounded loud to his own ears.
Teacher nodded. “We are at war. We have been at war for a long time. Real war stopped a long time ago, when the Emperor’s son, Temptess, discovered Magic. Not the real magic, but…close enough.”
Brian wished he would elaborate. He did not. He continued, “I am your Teacher. I will teach you how to read.”
An hour passed, and Brian still did not understand books.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Bitter Salt.

There was a three-story window that looked out
At an abandoned parking lot, and the faces looked in

At a crowd of spectators, all mouths open, all smiling.
The people were like rounded things, and the noise of the party
Was loud and translucent, and the Shadows of stone
Moved and no one could move.

The speeding train on the subway, was like the wind,
And it moaned like the wind, and the sound was awful-

And the teacher threw his temper out the window,
At the running cars, and the sound of the night was like
A whisper of trees that pounded on the forbidden grass of
And the silence was like a firecracker in the night,

And all reasons were not like shadows in the grass,
On the edge of things.
Some people are born bitter; and die a bitter death,
And people are too demanding, and bitter.

This salt is like the ocean, and the ocean is bitter because it
Holds all the fish, and sometimes, the fish die,
And the Gulf of Mexico is like a round circle in the middle of
The ocean.
Everything is treated with respect, and respect is in anything,
And all we have is our bitter bread, and the salt it came from-

Monday, February 28, 2011

Wings, His Mood.

His mood is like a shadow, that moves swiftly on
Its wings-
On abled beast, his harp it sings,
Like shattered, broken things-
In the dark, we weep like stars, and the night
Is a spell of words, and sorrows are broken,
And time is gone.
My mother said she was not a part of anything,

That she is not the part of the world that is between
Things. She speaks better than me, her thoughts are
Relinquished; she said she gave away medals once,
And a harp, to her next door neighbor, who had three
Cats, and seven pigeons that pooped in a well.

It isn’t like me to beat around the bush, and not say what I
Am supposed to say, it is not like me to speak,
When no one speaks, and everything is spoken in
Blades of grass, and Nature is wrought with the churning
Of the wind, and the clouds are taken like sorrows.

In and out, the harp sings like sorrows, and everything is folding
In the grass, and the spring is folding, and the light is folding,
And everything folds with it. The fear is there, the fear is sharp
And bitter as blades of grass, and we are far away, and far
Away is close to us, and everything around us is sharper than
The eye, and what we see like burnt pieces of wood.

The forest, the trees, the eyes see from far away, and everything
Is far away, like the roaring of the ocean, and the shadows
Pound at the doorway of the old house we lived in when I was three,
And the mother, and the father, and the brother, the tallest of the elms,
Sits back and watches everything drown.

The water is like Shadows, and the serpent opens its mouth, and
Everything moves with it, and in it, is the tongue of the beast,
The night time that speaks of stars, and wisdom, and trees.
My mother thought my life was not supposed to be like yesterday,

That we are above what we are, and death is not the end. Only the beginning
Of a forgotten war, the fiendish fiends, and all hope brings. Everything is what
It is, and nothing is what it seems. We are not the warriors of the night,
Of the screams of children as they play, and the pigeons scream from far away;
We are gone, and we decide, I open the front door and let the sunlight seep in.
Guilt eats me alive, like something that is a tree that stands tall, and guilt is not.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I Dream of Chromosomes.

These times, I see, in reverie,
And shadows march like stones-
Things belch like chromosomes,
And I walk alone.

Shadows move like songs that sing,
In the heavens and the tide-
In this light, we will abide,
And tender-light will bring.

I think we are not what we are,
That the light is near, and we are far-
We travel now, and walk a mile,
As the elephant will docile smile.

The night is like a walking song,
And we move, we move along-
All we have is all we are,
And the light is near, and we are far.

The squire is moving like a birch,
And the birds will chirp like lonely things-
Temper is what it brings,
As we move about, and wander, search.

I am gone, and you are not done,
And the light is over and the coldest stone,
Moves again, and moves again,
Like a willow in a dream.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Orphans At Midnight.

They said I could not write. That I am not here.
That things are not things and we have no rings.
I am not haunted by the depths of things, that move like
Water and shelter and are not gone-
The barking of the dog wakes the farmer, and he rises out
Of his bed the next day; and sometimes I sit and stare out
The window and think about the rising and falling of the ocean,
And nothing is sharper than stone; and nothing becomes
Nothing, and everything moves and is stiller than the shadow.
I do not remember my childhood, only the memory of it
Is still and wide as the nightmare that makes up my life,
And I am forced to realize I am not dying, that I have not
Lived up to my name. Everywhere we go there are speakers
Of oceans; everywhere we are, the words are quick like
Stones, and my name is on the lips of everyone in Italy because
My friend is the Chancellor’s wife; and I try to pretend I don’t
Care, but I care about the flowers and the hills and the trees
And how everything is nothing, and nothing is everyone in between
These rocks and crevasses and people think I do not have anything,
That I am an orphan like midnight.
They said I could not write. I could not spell words. I could not spell
Thoughts that are meshed inside oneself; no one represents me,
Because the tectonic plates are gentler as stones and nothing;
And I am this nothing, and people give me funny looks because
Of the scar on my forehead, that I did not do, and now my mother
Is in her house; she thinks it was my fault, and I was a child,
And I am not greedy about anything.
They said I could not write, and it is not midnight, either, and skeletons
Walk like birds.

Monday, February 14, 2011

How Dragons Are Not Here.

I talk about dragons in books; and books rhymes with nooks
And everyone hates me because I am a strain, and my voice is
Like a crocodile and I have sharp teeth and the bones melt with bones-
Sometimes, things are broken, and promises are made, and people
Weep, and the canyons are deep as oceans-
Sometimes, I do not know where the canyons are made, or why
They are made, only they are there, only the opinions of things
Are driven out of the land like coyotes, and some Americans
Do not like take-out food, especially not Canadian, French,
Canadian Bacon-I think I like oranges on certain days; I think
I like this or that; and the snow falls down on the Himalayas and sometimes
I look for Big Foot or someone else, someone who is not quite so simple
In his words, or for men with big trucks and yellow gardens,
And how they sod the fields, how they grow corn-some of the corn
Is shaped like diamonds, and some men break their backs on them;
Some of them are tall; others are short; others are like children in their way
And as ghosts; they tell me I cannot speak for them, but I end up writing
About them, how they troll, how they move, and their movement is simple
Like the tides are simple and the ocean is larger than itself-
And how wallabyes look up to us and badgers look up to us and the sounds
Of summer is larger than our eyes, and my teachers expect me to pick up
Their paychecks and not spend it; and how Mr. Millan, the man from the Bronx,
Was shot at the grocery store and he had a limp and it makes him cry every
Night, including on weekends-I do not know about words, only about the spelling
Of them; like the Spelling Bee I won in sixth grade.
These dragons are kind of sort not on my heart or mind and I am forced to realize
Something I have come to know,
That humans are not humans at all, just plants, maybe, like talking trees,
Or words that come out of books, and birds sing their song,
And I am paler than lightning, and lightning is quick and brown and moves like
That some sands rise out of nothing, and nothing has become of it. I tiptoe this nothing,
And people don’t want to hear me speak. I ask myself why, and thoughts
Linger in the dark.

People Are Not.

People who do not like others do not like
People who do not like others do not like flowers,
Specifically daisies, wildflowers, roses-
Some roses are purple and red;
Others are sworn into strategy; that communication
Is not who we are, and we do not know about

Some men and women do not walk standing
Upright; some men and women make amends by
Seeking out the truth;
And the nozzle is turned off, spit out of a valve;
Greenland and Ireland are all wisdoms that speak
When others speak,
And ghosts are adventures of the forbidden seekers
Of this night-
Sometimes, songs rise out of the night, and shadows
Are shadows and Nature is Nature, all wrapped in a riddle.

The riddle begins to speak and communication is what
We speak, and sometimes the words fall in rhymes
And rhymes are spit out of worlds. Some things are not left
Unsaid, some things are left unbroken, like a watch
Dangled from a chain, and other things that we do not know,
Are forced not to know-

Nothing is the matter, but all is made of matter, and wives
And dolls are pretty much the same, and trees stand tall as the sun.
Some people speak. Most do not.

People who do not like others do not like books or birds or songs
Or strains of grass, and people who do not like words are moving
Like mountains, sad and remained like bitter waves that
Break on the shore of an ocean, and sometimes people have problems
With death and poverty and we know it not,

That ghosts stand on oceans and look down into them. That some ghosts
Do not live, others die, and warriors and knights are stiller than the night.
Some people do not like other people, some people do not like poverty.

Something Taller Than the Sun.

You’ve got nothing but the sound of your own voice
Reaching to the infinite, reaching to the sadness that
Lacks in your grace-
We are tall as buildings, and everything emulates inside of it,
Outside of it like the falling and rising of the wind-
Everything is the wind, and yesterday is the wind also.

That the shades grow taller than the sun,
And the moon is round the sun;
That these words are round, and we are not afraid,
And temptation lacks creation and everything in between.

That people do not force realization upon the politeness of us,
And the grandness that is tall and pure.
And the country rises from ashes, and speaks to us of ashes,
And we are not what we speak, that we are not weak,
And nothing is weak. That the world is not round,
And we are not round, and we can talk to the words on our lips,
And everything is insistent, that nothing is whole and sacred
And the words are emotionless things-

Sunday, February 13, 2011

With the Rest of The Dreams.

In the dream of redemption, the harshness of the dream is withered
And remains on the vines-on the herald of dreams, we walk among
The tall trees, and teach the Elk to stand proud and strong-
We teach them to communicate with the rest of the country that is
Not the country, and these houses are not tall, and stand tall as wildflowers;
Moving in the grass, the trees are barren and grown; this is the system
That is not known, all we have are other pieces of shadows made from
Taller things; all we have is the lack of speaking, and the speaking of
Shadows that delve further into the being; that these tides begin to move,
And everything moves in it and outside of it; that they do not understand
The swift, moving tide, and sparrows are fallen on the ground near my feet;
That the language of redemption is torn from roots and grain, and I talk
To the warriors who bend and strain and everything is ridden of the light
And pain;
The moon pours into the window; that shadows are lutes, and words are nothing
More the strain of colors; that people are stupid, nothing more than shadows,
And society is not what is meant to become,
We have our secrets and they are not the gold and the cold and the words
Are like whispers in haunted castles;
I live in a castle, it is outside of these walls, and reading things is nothing
More than the temptation of being-
That the temptation of being is a language of something that is something else,
And people are eager, and force other dragons to shape and move and turn;
That the shadows and tides yearn tomorrow, and we go with the moving train-

On Metaphors.

The metaphor is spying on me,
In the classroom, outside of the classroom.
Mr. Cortez is in the living room of his house,
He is afraid to go out-
He teaches Spanish to ninth graders, to college
Students, and gets a lot of money.
All he cares about is the money,
The feeling of money in his hands, the feeling
Of the wind through the mountain.
He knows about destruction; the destruction of
The rain forest, he knows about the peace,
And the beginning and end of it.
He has given the land to the man in the black
Hat, who looks like Abe Lincoln, but is not;
The metaphor is spying on me, and is jealous
Of my accomplishments, but accomplishments
I have none, and so she is after the fruit
I harvest in the winter.
Without food, the human race will perish,
Dissolve into the big nothing because it cannot
Love, cannot die; is forced to wonder why.
Old men walk around old coffee shops;
They are only old because of the telling of it,
The teller of tales, the redemptions of things.
Everyone is a bully, they like to bully and be reminded
Of a time when bulls and deer and the antelope were
Free, and not chained as they are now;
That they are not chained to film, that they are not guilty,
That they do not wonder lonely down barren
Marshes in the summer, and the summer is not wet
With dew, and that goodness is nothing, means nothing;
Everything is a language, spun of spider webs.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011


All your heart belongs to me like the wind
That moves in the sea.
Your eyes look at me like glass,
The sorrows fade and do not pass.
I like to see what I can see, in love’s enchanted beauty,
All these sorrows we do not grasp,
The words are felt and do not turn.
Like the sorrow, we will yearn,
And are trapped forever in a wheelbarrow.
The sky is yellow. The harp is yellow. A bird hangs
From a brush in the sky.
A tear drops from your eye, and you sob and cry,
And you cry.
I know you’re stuck in a rut and can’t get out of it.
Your life is in ruin and nothing can be done about it.
No one wants me here, the life is what I fear,
And the tables are stacked up together like the birds of a feather.
I can’t hold onto life anymore. I’m stuck in a dimension,
Another door. It’s just another day, another word on
The floor. Like a carpet stuck full of pine needles.
We don’t speak without discussing it first.
We don’t have a memory of anything outside of us.
The first day begins and the next one ends and it resumes
In the middle, and life is not felt, and the sorrow is
Gone with it.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Face In His Memory.

“How about you fluffin’ muah pillah, sugah?” Those were the first words out of Drudd Hennessey’s mouth when he saw the nurse. She was the most beautiful sight he had ever seen, next to his last ex, may she rot in Hell and die a horrible death forever afterwards. Long legs, face like eye candy, very skinny. Most nurses were very fat, or bigboned, his Grandaddy liked to call it.
The other thing-the second thing-Drudd Hennessey saw when he woke up from a coma were the bars of his hospital bed. He blinked again. The soft murmuring of nurses in the background, the soothing sound of someone who would care for him. He didn’t know her name, only he liked to call her sugah. He didn’t even know she was a nurse. He thought he was dead, or married, whatever came first. Time slowly ticked by. Maybe she was his wife. He continued to grin at her. She was very beautiful. The nurses thought he was stupid or high. The doctor gave him a drug test while he was asleep, and hadn’t alerted the nurses. Before the car accident he was relatively normal. The sound of cars rushed by on the street. The mood was calm. Everything was in place on this cold, cool morning.
The nurse left for a few hours; and returned, carrying a bed pan. “Go to the bathroom,” she ordered, her voice crisp like October wind. She didn’t make a sound. Why not pick up someone while he was in a hospital bed. “Well,” he said. “How you doin?” He smiled surreptitiously. Was it his imagination, or did she roll her eyes in his general direction? She liked him, he knew it.
“You’re a very lucky man, sir,” she told him. “You were going to die. Do you remember anything? We put a tube in your throat.” She chuckled. He didn’t think it was funny. Not funny at all.
He grinned at her, admiring her long legs. He was having trouble focusing. She just gave him meds. Maybe that was it. “How about you fluffin’ me pillah, sugah?” he asked again, in a smooth, New Orleans drawl.
She chuckled. “How about I hit you over the head with a bat?” she suggested.
He ducked his head. “It’ll be worth it, ma’m,” he whispered. A tear trickled down his cheek. He didn’t brush it away. The conversation was getting interesting.
She tsked. “You got pain in your back again, I see,” she said, cocking her head to look at him. “You taked out your back in the car accident. We will put a tube down your throat again, you keep talkin’ like that to me.” She chuckled, trying to make up for the empty threat. She didn’t mean it. Actually, she liked the man, he was very sweet and brave, didn’t wake up at all through the brain surgery. It was a funny thing. The heart monitor went off for one second, went back on again. She had to get him to remember some things about the accident. Some thing they could use. There was the other couple, the ones who caused the wreck-they were in the local jail, the husband was threatening to kill Drudd, but they didn’t know his name. She wondered if they understood what was going on, that criminal charges were being pressed against him.
“When do I get out?” he asked.
“First, tell me what your name is.”
He scrunched his face, trying to remember. He couldn’t concentrate on anything,
especially not the words that poured from her lips like wine over water. “John,” he said at last. “John, Berry.” He smiled triumphantly.
“We found your driver’s license,” she said in a clipped, disapproving tone. “That’s not what it says on your driver’s license. We are sorry, but we have to take precautions. Those are hospital rules, son.”
Son. The words popped in his mind. They hurt, the pain was bright and it was hard to see. He grasped his sides. He was in love. With her, or with pain, he didn’t know. The pain in his back was enormous. He didn’t say anything. She was in it for the money, that was it, the little bitch. “I don’t know,” he gasped. His eyes watered. “Are you happy, you…you stupid old witch?” He was off-base. She wasn’t really old, just skinny, and tall, and had an attitude problem. Where was his damn wallet? Jesus H. Christ, he had rights, didn’t he? He needed to call his parents. Or his lawyer. He wanted his damn wallet. He wanted to get out of here. This damnable place.
“Tell me your name, and you may leave,” she replied.
He thought quickly. He couldn’t remember anything. His mind was a blank wall, full of old flowers. “Mick,” he replied at last. “Mick Smith.” He smiled triumphantly. He hoped it suited her. Not much suited her, from what he saw.
“Tell me, other things,” she urged.
“My parents real names are Sarah and Jean. My mother’s maiden name is Watson.” He smiled. “She likes daisies.”
She frowned, and scribbled something on her damn clipboard. She left the room. The surgeon came back, sometime later, murmured something to the nurse, but he was asleep.
The surgeon’s name was Roger Johnson and he didn’t understand what the man’s problem was. They did a CT scan on his brain; it didn’t show any current problems. He didn’t need surgery of any sort. He was perfectly fine, after the surgery.
The nurse’s name was Hannah. She was a good nurse. She even won an award, once, a long time ago, back in the good old college days. He was much older than she was. He thought he was someone named Mick. Not Mick Jagger, Mick Smith. He imagined Mick Smith had once been overly tall; overly handsome; and a football star. There was a Mick Smith who went to Iraq and died there, but that was another story. The doctors couldn’t understand why he dredged up the name Mick Smith. He was a college football player, one of the best on his team.
“What do you make of him, Doctor?” she inquired. “He thinks he’s someone named Mick Smith. Maybe he really is Mick Smith. Maybe he’s a criminal and stole someone’s wallet. Maybe he’s a sniper!” She gasped, and her eyes widened. “We should call the police.” She didn’t even have her cell phone on her. Her hands quivered.
The good doctor shook his head and frowned. Hannah was a good nurse, but a definite idiot, slow and stupid. “No way, woman,” he snapped. “I checked with the police station and the prison. There is no one by the name of Mick Smith. His real name is Noah Watson. What I can’t figure out, is why he keeps saying his name is Mick.”
She shrugged. “He was in a coma.”
“He woke up from it! Most patients wake up. Most remember things within a few seconds.” He snorted. “He ain’t got no family, or he’s a criminal, can’t say which. Dumbass.” He didn’t normally swear. He swore when he was angry or afraid. Not in front of nurses, it wasn’t called for.
“Remember what you said: most. Maybe he has trauma problems. Some patients do.”
He sighed. “The optimum word. I guess I better go tell the fool to leave.”
She frowned. “We can’t send him back home and he doesn’t know who he is,” she protested. There was worry in her tone. “It’s not safe, for him, or us. What if his family wants to go back and sue us?” she asked.
“I don’t think that’s a good idea to bring that up,” he replied, waving his hand in dismissal. “If they want to sue us, they will sue us-there is no use around it.” He shook his head and sniffed. Hannah was a funny lady. She didn’t have any friends, but she helped people all the time. He frowned at her. “Go home, sweetie, and take a break-you’re becoming overworked.”
She stomped her foot. “I am not! I have to work night shift!”
“Not right now, you don’t!”
Dr. Johnson paced back and forth in his office, wondering what to do about Hannah. She was a good enough nurse, but she was getting to be rather tiresome. She was always trying to out of her way and help others far beyond what is necessary. Doctors and patients shouldn’t converse outside of the hospital. He could get sued. Well, he did date Wendy the nurse outside of doctor’s rules-and Dr. Sarah Cunningham-and Bridgett the janitor-he grinned. She was good in the sack, he had to admit. Red-headed and gorgeous, long legs, model figure.
* * *
Hannah went home for an hour. She ate a light dinner-a tuna fish sandwich, she gobbled those up fast-and she did the dishes and folded last night’s laundry. She looked around her small little apartment. She’d had it for ten years. It was something to be less desired for. It was what she could afford. All in all, she got a good deal out of it. She did God’s will, and she got to live. Being a nurse was very hectic. She had seen three deaths in her time. The surgeon had seen many more in his time. She thought about it long and hard and decided she didn’t want to take a break. She didn’t have any family, no friends. Certainly no love life. The surgeon was very good-looking, as far as surgeons went, but she had no desire for him and none for her. He was seeing someone, three years ago, but that fell apart. The good surgeon didn’t hold his anger very well. There was never any violence, but he had a mouth on him and it got him in trouble. She shrugged her shoulders, grabbed her coat, and headed into the cold night air.
It was very windy.
She walked down the street, holding her purse like a shield. Shadows crept across the sidewalk; the cement was cold as winter in December. She looked left and right. She looked down the street. A cat was walking by, creeping on its four paws. The hospital rose ahead, tall as a sentinel in the dark. Stars sprinkled above. She opened the door and went inside. The security guard wasn’t there. She grew alarmed. She walked down the hall. The lights flickered. They couldn’t afford better lights. Sounds flew all around her; the sounds of doctors talking to patients; nurses chatting; machines grinding in their little crypt. She went down the hall and glanced at Dr. Johnson’s door. It had his name on it. She tapped on the door and opened it. He was gone. Probably to lunch. He ate a late lunch. His mind was constantly occupied by things around him. She sighed and closed the door. She rubbed her face warily and trooped up a flight of stairs. She figured she better go visit Mr. Mick Smith. He might wonder where she was.
His back was propped up with a pillow. He smiled at her. A tray was placed in front of him. “Hello,” he chirped happily. “What are you doing here? I thought you were laid off.” He chuckled at his own joke.
She smacked him on the shoulder. “Quiet, you,” she said. “I came to see how you are doing.” She cocked her head to study him. He was very handsome. She didn’t notice it before. She wondered why she didn’t notice it. She looked at his hands. She wondered why she did so. They were smooth hands, like an artist. “What do you do?” She wasn’t supposed to ask him anymore questions. He was supposed to remember on his own. He was trying. She’d heard from the surgeon last night he could remember the alphabet and was very good at math. She’d checked his records. He didn’t have an arrest warrant. He was clean, but very mysterious. She liked helping him.
“I’m a painter,” he answered. “I paint houses.” He smiled.
She smiled back encouragingly, but she was worried. What part of what he was saying was a lie, or the truth? She shook her head, trying to rid the memories that threatened to surface over the water. The night was upon them. She was supposed to be at home. She couldn’t stay away. His head drooped on the pillow. She glanced at the door on her way out. His file wasn’t on the door. She returned to Dr. Johnson’s office. Knocked softly on the door. “Sir,” she said. “Sir, are you in here?” She had a habit of calling him “Sir.” It was an epitaph she would have to forge over. It didn’t suit her. She should call him “Doctor” but he was far too friendly for any doctor she had ever met. She opened the door. It was very dark. She went inside, and shut the door behind her. It made a little sound. She looked around. His desk was untidy. It surprised her. She would have expected it to be much neater. She opened the filing cabinet and poked in, and didn’t find what she was looking for. She closed it again. She saw several files on the desk. She sifted through them. Picked up one and dusted it off. The name on it was Noah Watson. She was surprised. She opened it. It was his birth certificate, and-an adoption certificate. Sarah and Jean Watson were not his real parents, they were his adoptive parents. His real parents went by a different name. That could get confusing. They hadn’t changed his first name. It was still Noah, but his real parents and his adopted parents were not the same. He didn’t know he was adopted. She stole a piece of paper, made a copy on the copying machine, and slipped out the door and into the night.
She decided she would consult a lawyer. She called him on the telephone. “Hello, Bruce,” she said. “May I talk to you?”
“Yes,” he replied. “How may I help you?”
She went on to explain her current problem, and he listened intently. “That’s an interesting story,” he said. “Does the boy know?”
She bit her lip. She didn’t want to correct him. “No,” she informed him. “He doesn’t. I asked the surgeon to tell him-he did brain surgery on him, and he woke up calling himself Mick and it says Noah on his card-but, he said he doesn’t like getting involved.”
The lawyer was getting curious. His full name was Bruce Ducking and he was forty-three years old, once widowed, and never remarried. He had three children and a home in Sweden and a garden he never watered. His poor, dead wife would be turning in her grave if she knew. His lip quivered. He should get out. It was a beautiful day. The sun was like a large coin in the sky.
“Okay,” he said at last. “What are their real names? I can look up their address.”
“Joseph and Josephine Berkley,” she informed him. “His birth certificate was in his files. He had an eye surgery at age three, for temporary blindness. I don’t know how on earth they discovered he had an eye problem. I guess they gave him up after that.”
“Of course it wouldn’t say.”
“Of course it wouldn’t.”
Joseph and Josephine Berkley were very curious people. They did not live far away, over in New Jersey. It was convenient. She thought it was, anyway. They lived in New York. Bruce pulled up in a cab and she got in and smiled at him. He was very handsome in his suit-he always wore suits, it was a part of his interesting personality-and his black hair was slicked back. His blue eyes shone with excitement. He liked helping people. Most lawyers didn’t. They just handed out money. Most of it wasn’t warranted. She told the taxi driver the address. It was a long ride. They spoke very little. She smiled, fidgeting in her blue skirt and blue blazer. She was going for another job interview on Sunday. She was going to try to get another job in real estate.
Joseph and Josephine Berkley were very fat people. Josephine was very round; Joseph had more bulge in the neck. Josephine’s hair was dark brown, Joseph’s was completely gray. She had to smile. She didn’t want to giggle at their austerity, but she couldn’t help it. They lived in a white house and had a white picket fence. Their mailbox was a drab gray.
“You look nice,” Bruce said. He blushed.
They had gotten out of the cab and hadn’t gone up to the house yet. Hannah was suddenly shy. Not because of Bruce, but because she was meeting more strangers. She didn’t like strangers. She stayed inside most of the time. “Thank you,” she replied. “You look very handsome. Kate must be proud.”
“We got married the year before,” he answered. “I was going to invite you, but you were at your sister’s-”
“Yes, Jan, that’s her name. I’ve completely forgotten.”
“It’s okay, you’re not friends with her. We are.”
“That’s good to know.” He straightened his tie. “Okay, now we got to do this right.” Sometimes when he was nervous, he got very shy, and slipped back into what Hannah called his “gangster” talk. He was from Detroit. Moved to New York City. They met at NYU and became friends. He went off to law school. Hannah didn’t want to stay in school that long, but becoming a nurse seemed like her only option. She went up and rang the bell.
“Hello,” she said. “How are you?”
Josephine smiled. She had a pretty smile. It lit her entire face. “I know what you’re here for,” she told her. “I talked to your lawyer friend last night. A police officer also stopped by, to make it official. They found my baby.”
Hannah was startled. “He was not considered missing, ma’m,” she apologized. “You put him up for adoption. I want to know why.” She blushed. She didn’t mean to sound conceited. It came out like that. “Did you know who you gave him to, after he went to a new family?”
“No. The adoption agency knew, but they never told us. They shut down. We contacted the police. They went bankrupt, and the papers were sent to Social Services. They were in a different county and we couldn’t get them. We tried, many times, to find him. We got good jobs now, making carpet. Is he here?” She peered over her shoulder, and Hannah had to inform her he wasn’t. She said she was going to talk to him tomorrow, afterwards. She told him about the car accident, and how she found the information.
“Oh, my!” Josephine looked like she was going to faint. Joseph ushered her into a chair.
“Do you need anything?” she inquired.
“No,” Hannah responded. “I’m fine, thank you.”
“So, you’ve seen my boy?”
“Yes, but he left the hospital and I have to get the address, too.”
“It’s no worry, ma’m, well find it. We’ll be all right.” Joseph was the talker of the two. Josephine fidgeted every time she spoke. Her eyes were large. Everything about her was enormously large. Hannah wondered guiltily how she managed to walk or sit up. It seemed most difficult for her to do. She had seen pictures of Noah’s adopted parents. They were much more attractive.
She rose to leave. “I better go find Noah’s address,” she quipped.
Joseph nodded. “We were just about to make dinner.”
Josephine looked harried. “You may stay if you like,” she told her. “We’re making pot roast. Joseph makes a mean salad, he does.” She looked like she wanted her to leave. Hannah couldn’t stay, really. She had decided to take morning and night shift. It would do her good to get out of the apartment. It made her feel stifled and claustrophobic, trapped like a ghost. Hannah didn’t have friends. She didn’t have much of anyone. Her parents were in Greece. She was stuck in New York. She liked it, except the people were mean and overly stuffy and rude and rich. Hannah was not rich. Most nurses were not. They were very poor. Some did a poor job. Hannah was not one of them.
* * *
The next morning, Noah was gone. He left the night before. Gladys, the Head Nurse, told her. Gladys was very bigboned. Nobody messed with Gladys.
She spotted Dr. Johnson outside, smoking a cigarette. She thought he was avoiding her. “What do you think you’re doing?” she demanded.
He was surprised to see her. “What are you referring to?”
“You know what I’m talking about! Noah is gone! I was trying to find some information for him! Useful, information!” She couldn’t help it. A tear squeezed from her eye and she tried not to let it drop. She didn’t want to let it drop. She didn’t cry in front of doctors. It was one of her rules. She didn’t show emotion at her job.
“He remembered his name,” he replied, shrugging in a half-distracted, half-bored way. “Doesn’t remember much else, like where his parents live, but that’s okay.” Amusement in his gaze.
“Did you know about this?” she asked. She clenched her fists. She was angry, beyond angry, and hurt. She didn’t know why. She wasn’t attracted to Noah Watson in any way. She didn’t love him. She wasn’t infatuated by his good looks. He was downright mean. Spoiled, like.
“Whatever do you mean?” The innocent look again. She could wipe it off his face. She wanted to. Her fists begged her to. She shook her head. She clenched her fists; unclenched them.
“That his adoptive parents are not his real parents.”
“Yes, I did. Surgeons know important things about their patients, especially genetics. Especially if they can’t find the next of kin.” He smoked another puff, and smiled. “Well, I better go back inside. I have to do gallbladder surgery in an hour.”
She grabbed his arm. “Stop. Aren’t you going to tell him who his real parents are? He has a right to know.”
“Yeah…uh, no.” He smiled, and put his hands over his head and stretched. He winked.
“That’s wrong!” she protested. “You can’t do that! What are you going to do to fix it?”
“Look, it’s not my job to barge into people’s lives and mess things up. I’m just the surgeon. I like to sew. I knit at home, even. Right now, I’m making an afghan. If you want to tell him, that’s fine, copy his birth certificate. Why his parents had a forged one, I’ll never guess. Maybe they were involved in something shady.”
“Or the mafia,” she murmured.
Some parents were weird. They protected their kids to the death. They protected their children the way they were supposed to, and got nothing out of it. It wasn’t how it was supposed to be. Things like war and mistakes were not supposed to happen. That was why they had erasers on the end of pencils, she supposed. She was going to have to think about it. Damn Dr. Johnson, it was his job-but, maybe, really, it was hers. Or someone else’s. She wished she were somewhere else. Maybe some place, far away. She didn’t want to think. She had to sit down. She put her head in her hands and cried. She didn’t know why, but she was crying for Noah.
Noah was not dead. He was gone.
* * *
It took Hannah two weeks before she decided she was going to tell Noah. She found out at the police station where he was living-at a small, rundown apartment in the Bronx. She could take a cab over there. It wasn’t that far from the hospital, or her apartment. She sized up the apartment complex. It was small and drab and the windows stared at her like closed eyes.
“What is your full name, Hannah?” Noah Watson sized up the woman who stood on the porch in the rain. She was drenched. Soaked with rain.
Her teeth chattered. “My…my name is Hannah Smith!” she replied, shivering.
“What did you come here for? You didn’t have to tell me anything. I didn’t know I was adopted.” He leaned on the side of the door, his thoughts blank.
“Because I thought it was wrong you didn’t know,” she sniffed. “I debated whether or not to tell you. I thought some relatives, like your adoptive mother, would get mad, and sue the hospital-I can’t afford to lose my job. I found out she’s like, fifty-seven now, going to go on Social Security soon. Dr. Johnson is the best surgeon I’ve ever met! Only three patients died in his career! Can you imagine! Only three! One went into cardiac arrest after the surgery, but that couldn’t very well be his fault, could it?” She shook her head. “I don’t know about those things. I don’t play God’s work. We tried to save that one, we really did. He was a chiropractor, not exactly a doctor, but still-” She trailed off. She was thinking about something else, something long ago in her memory, far away, like a flower folding. “Anyway, I thought I would tell you,” she finished. “I’m sorry I didn’t before. Dr. Johnson said it wasn’t his place to tell you. He’s a real rat sometimes, but good, nonetheless.”
“Yes,” he agreed. “Do you want to come in?”
“No,” she replied, shaking her head. “I will stand out on the porch, and talk while you listen.” She fished in her handbag for the papers, including the one she copied at the hospital a few weeks ago. She took it out and handed it to him. She studied his appearance. He hadn’t shaved in weeks. He’d had a razor at the hospital, one of the nurses bought one for him, said he was pretty cute and would make babies with him if she could. She was twenty-nine. He was in his thirties. She realized she didn’t know that much about the people she worked for. She sniffed.
“What’s the matter, are you catching a cold?”
“Thank you for telling me. I suppose I should talk to a lawyer about this.”
“You should,” she agreed. “What are you going to do now? Do you remember
anything else?”
“I do not, but that doesn’t matter. I’m talking to a counselor now. I didn’t want
to at first, I was ashamed. It’s the best course of action to take, I guess. Giving my current state.” He chuckled. It wasn’t really all that funny.
“Goodbye, Noah. Your parents real names are Joe and Josephine Berkley. I talked to them myself. They said you can still call yourself Watson.” She smiled in amusement. He was a lot like a woman with a maiden name.
“Goodbye,” he said. “Thank you for talking to them for me, making sure they are all right. I’m glad they are not drug dealers.”
“No,” she replied. “They sell carpet.”
She turned and stared at him for a single instant and he vanished back into the house and was gone. She glanced at the welcome mat. A shoe print of water formed where he stood, like the disappearing of a ghost.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Hatred of Wildflowers.

He knows some things outside of what he knows-
Outside the heart of the forest, where things run smooth
As stones. The tides go in and out, in New Orleans, in Mississippi,
In places I have never been.
Words are things I have never been.
The words are translucent, run smoothly as water, and water skips
Like stones.
This is my love. This is my life. This is the folding of symmetries,
The occasions of man and miracles-
People are upset about the hurricanes in Greece, in Malasyia,
In countries I cannot pronounce.

This is the man I love, abashed by the hatred of his own self,
Like flinging stars to the moon-
He insists I should not drive cars, he insists, I should not buy things,
That he will buy things, that this love is not grand. Grand total,
Grand shark, grand anything.

The forests grow and everything grows with it and he says his ex is like
A sister, that he knows how to rhyme words with blister.
The tree speaks, and shimmers in the sun.

His sister is a genius. She spins tales on wildflowers, sunflowers, forget-me-nots.
The earth spins with the sun, and the eyes are distant, vast as the sadness
In his heart, that waves and bends like mountains-

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Roses, Kindly, Petals.

The roses kindly force petals on moving ghosts.
We move with ghosts and we are of ghosts.
Words are spoken and move with hosts.
We vanish and the last one remains what was left insane,
And no one speaks, and nothing speaks.
Today we speak and are of tears,
And love lasts these most tender years,
Everyone thought what we would become,
Just like a night in a forbidden tomb.
You said I was a demon; you said I was the devil,
I don’t know what is more afraid than being level.
The rose was in a thorn of roses and nothing more
Than I supposes,
Than all the riches of the earth,
And those who live and die in birth,
Are forced like memories of our worth.
You taught what you were taught in midnight thought.
Everyone told us what we were told.
The last night disappears in tarnished gold.
For all our worth is never sold.
The roses kindly force petals and fade-
The light is gone and night abade.

You Walk In the Dark.

You walk in the dark of the night.
A light is underneath the moon-
It is the shadows that glow in a spark at noon,
And heralds Time, which slows the light.

This night is the evil, this night is of frost-
Tomorrow, we will yearn, and seek,
All this time we bend with the lost,
And shatter old war wounds on a mountainpeak.

Old memories wrapped in roses wrapped in cold,
Nothing is more forsaken than the tide-
Our heart is a memory of what is bold,
And the darkness is what leaks and coincides.

Tonight we are of memory and most right,
The dreams of yesterdays and bend with old hands-
We make what is darkness, out of the night,
And tarnish the bold in tarnished lands.

This is old. In night we seek, in the night we burn,
Like broken old bicycles and moving wind,
We are caught in shadows and force to learn,
What we know is what we know in kind.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011



The robot didn’t know where he was, only that he was falling.
He was falling and he couldn’t stop it. Darkness whizzed past him. Darkness everywhere, even underneath him. He didn’t understand why he was falling or why he felt like he was falling, only that he was, and he couldn’t do anything to stop it.
He stopped.
It was bright again and he could see.
See in front of him, see behind him, see before him.
He was unscathed.
“What is this place?” he wondered aloud. His eyes whirred.
He remembered the Scientist, Dr. Scabborth, he made him. He made a robot and the robot could not remember his own name.
He saw something shiny on the ground. He picked it up and put it in his pocket. Next to the shiny thing, were three letters written on the sidewalk: MME. That must be my name, he told himself.
He decided to go into the building. It was a very old building and a sign was on it, it said: Dr. Jean Crawford. He opened the door and went inside. A light breeze followed him in. It was spring and it was nice and the sun shone like a giant diamond in the great, wide, open space.
A man seated behind the desk. He had a broad, sloping forehead like the valley; his hair was red as wine, and like the river. The river was cold, and spring was cold also.
“You think you’re a wizard, correct?” the old doctor asked. His face was hardened with lines, and his eyes were velvet. He wrinkled his forehead. His eyes were piercing blue. He had a mustache.
“I think so,” he said, his forehead wrinkled even further.
“You think so? Or, you know so?”
“I think so,” he insisted firmly, “and I know so.” He shook his head. His eyes were frightened; he didn’t know why he had come to this place, of all things. He remembered wanting to run, wanting to get away, far away from everything. He wanted to just go.
“I am a wizard.”
“You think you are a wizard.”
“What kind of wizard do you think you are?” he asked. He leaned forward in his seat. He tapped his fingers on the desk.
“I think I am…a good wizard.” He smiled. His eyes smiled in his face; everything about him smiled. He didn’t understand what was going on, only he was talking to a nice man at a desk.
“What do you remember about your old life?” he queried.
The psychologist was a nice man. Some women said he was good-looking. Other women thought he was a chimp, a man of mean demeanor.
The wizard looked out the window as the last light fell into the room, and it grew very dark. The psychologist rose to his feet. At last, he said, “I think a storm’s coming.”
For many years, the psychologist grilled the wizard. He had become very interested in what he had to say. He became very interested in what the man did. He checked at the local hospital and there was no birthday for him. He called himself MME, and that was all. He insisted his parents named him MME. Their last name was Sidways, or something like that. He thought it was a very unusual last name for a man to have. He had seen more unusual last names, like, Colcitcher, Ashwake, Merlin. The names rolled off his tongue, as he went through them in his mind, one by one.
Everything about his story spoke of treason, and he was very disturbed.
“I think you ought to get your head checked,” the psychologist said one day. “I think you ought to get your head checked, and go away from me.” He smiled at the man, expecting him to comply. Instead, he closed his eyes and nodded off. The man, MME, had fallen asleep.
The psychologist could not rouse him for anything. He could literally hear the man’s heart ticking in his chest, and knew he was alive. He ate lunch. He made a few phone calls. At five, he shook his shoulder and could not wake him. His eyes were slightly open.
“Well,” he replied. “I don’t know how you get away with it, but I envy you.”
He smiled, tipped his hat, and left the office.
The door swung softly shut behind him. It hardly made any noise at all.
* * *

Thursday, January 13, 2011


I remain, shattered, in your memory.
The eyes of a wildflower, the ears of a goat-
Lost in a field of smoky mirrors,
The eyes stare at me, reach to tomorrow.
My nose is a symmetry, and everything is gone.
The words are mine, like heaven’s remains.
In the endless dawn, the caribou sing,
And convert to the words that listen, and remain.
Ghosts are mistaken, we are lost in the void,
Spirits are broken, on the eyes of a coin.
We flip them and zombies poke out of
The dark,
And no one can see us, and shelter the pain.
Hear the cries of the sadness that comes,
The refrain, the lost voice, that echoes in the
Still silence-
There is no other word, but the sounds of our
Voice, and we are alone,
All alone in the world.
I am alone in the heel of my own thought.
I am alone with my voice.
I am truth.
Truth becomes me.
We are the flesh, that heralds the light.
The night is broken,
I am situated upon a table, the smile of a lamb
Is the heart of a lion,
I focus and things become much clearer.
We want to buy something, we want to spend
Everything we can.
Night is the man.
I am shattered, you told me I could not speak.
You are lost in yourself, you are lost without a voice.
The glumness is not the emotions we seek,
I didn’t make it-it was not mine to announce.
Everything is woken, and we are shattered.
I found you in the void of darkness,
In the island that is not who we are,
The sadness heralds the lion,
And in the place where we are,
We see like shimmering eyes, the pale glow,
The moon.

Thursday, January 06, 2011


“You are a bastard, Anwon. One of the very few left in the world.” Anwon Price sighed and closed his eyes. He did not like how Kent was so dramatic it made his head spin and his eyes water. Sometimes, he felt like melting into a puddle on the floor, which was wet and slick and hard as anything. The days felt like they were going by, slower than the winds that rose from the North and echoed Across the Ages-Across the Ages was a term coined by King Wandron the Ninth, in 45 A.D. It was a miracle they survived the Ice Age. It was a miracle, with what all the wars and all, they survived anything. He started to quiver. To shiver. He didn’t think anything could be done about him. He wanted to sit down. He wanted to rest his eyes. His mind wandered, and he saw his Uncle’s magic mirror. The man had taken him in after his parents died in the mysterious fire, and he had had nowhere else to go. It was logical to go to the next of kin, but his Uncle Kent was not all there. He was a wizard, one of the few left in the world, and his head was not on right. Anwon had seen it happen many times. Magic destroyed people. Destroyed lives. He only hoped he would not go to Hell, the place Beyond the Gates. It was another saying. They had a lot of sayings these days. War was growing more and more prominent in the East. They had to be careful, watchful. Considerations were to be had, and his Uncle was not paying attention.
“Uncle Kent,” he said. “May I go outside and play?”
He shrugged his shoulders nonchalantly. “You can go outside and play, or you can work, but in the end, you must work. Give regards to your mother.” He threw back his head and laughed harsh laughter, the bray of a donkey. Uncle Kent was very bitter after his wife, Tatina, left him. He said it was the boy’s fault, even though Tatina loved children and baby-sat him often. He was used to the neglect, the patronizing attitude from his Uncle. He sneered in his direction most days. He ignored the sarcasm on others. He was bitter about the way he was being treated, bitter and misguided, and nothing could do to sustain the reason for the pain and suffering his Uncle caused. It was day after day after day.
“Go outside, boy!” he scowled. He threw a dish towel at him. Anwon ducked and headed outside, into the bright sunshine, and the light fell in through the trees and he walked a ways and came to a very old tree in the middle of the woods, it was a strange tree and it bore of a different color from the other trees. It was so dark it was almost black. The other trees were mostly brown. He shook his head and rested his hand against the tree, and a burning sensation entered his body, and he jumped back, nearly stumbling on a tree trunk. He sat down, hard, and fell onto a rock. It was sharp in his back. He picked it up and was about to thrust it into a bush. He looked at it and saw it was not a rock, but a strange pendant dangled from a necklace. He put it around his neck and he couldn’t remember anything for the next few hours, except the sharp sound the wind made as he ran through the trees, he laughter echoed in the twilight forest. The trees were like sentinels in the growing dark, and at long last, he stumbled, and collapsed, and his breath was knocked out of him, and he crawled to the barn and slept in the hay.
He had a dream.
He had a dream they said he was the boy With the Thousand Wishes, but it was more like, the boy With a Thousand Dreams, all stacked up, one after the other. The dreams were slow, and moved through his mind, slower than syrup. He loved making pancakes in the winter. He had been cooking since he was five. His Uncle left him alone in the big, wide house that was full of dark places and cold corners, and the open windows made it even colder even though it was nice outside. He looked at himself in the tall mirror in the bathroom, sometimes, and saw his pointed ears, his glowing face. His eyes were blue. Sometimes, they turned brown. It was not noticeable, and anyway, they did not have very many neighbors. Most of his neighbors were crows, and he found himself drawn to the animals.
School was different. He was the biggest nerd at school, and the kids poked and prodded him and jeered at him and called him names, and he did not know how to fight back, and tore his shirts and his eyes were bloodshot, most nights. His Uncle barely noticed, but the maid was kind and gave him cookies and soothed his hurt feelings and sent him out to play. He ran through the woods faster than lightning and did not know it was the pendant, making him soar like dragons.