Two Hands

It's not much,
But it's starting to look like all I have,
Two hands to hold on to this spinning planet,
This bucking lifeform,
Screams that it's had enough of this,
Too much shit already,
What would you contribute?
Who would you benefit?
Not near enough to satisfy,
You subside and you make do,
With all of the shades you will never live out,
Because your two hands cover your face,
And you still see what's coming,
Right through to passing you by,
These things,
Come with the night in invisible packages,
Left on my doorstep like bastard children,
My own creations,
And mine to keep or cast,
It is bloody business,
Ripping these leeches from my body with two hands,
Holding on to what hope I can still produce and retain,
Advancing forward with giant's laden steps,
A long way remains,
So I will grasp each and every moment as if I would never have it pass,
With two hands.


The Itch

It all feels so broken lately,
Like a rustic carousel,
That once spun in auburn cycles,
Now consumed by taller seeds,
It is an itch beneath the surface,
Below fake bronzer and leathered hides,
Below all your attempts,
To retrieve it.

It is walking in a capsule around all the people you know.


The Things You Lose

"I'm the same as I was when I was six years old,
and oh my God I feel so damn old." -Modest Mouse, Never Ending Math Equation

Nicholas struggled with a dream he would not remember. His brow furrowed and the various other muscles that comprised the inner workings of his face twisted and contorted. His eyes slowly slid open as the idea slipped back into whatever dark pool ideas come from, and stared blankly at the ceiling as they took their leisure to focus. He swung his feet to the left and out of his white sheets. For a long time he sat with his palms over the edge of the mattress, enjoying his yet-still existence and examining the mappings on the tops of his feet.
His ankles flexed, slightly shifting the mappings as he stood up and raised his hands over his head to help wake the rest of him.
He moved into the small kitchen, very much in the stillness and pressed the button to begin brewing his coffee. He had become fond of the all-powerful, singular button that signaled the real beginning of his day. The machine had no other settings; it could not make an expresso or latte, could not be programed to start at a preplanned time. All that was fastened avove the glass pot was the chrome circle and a miniature bulb that lighted green when the chrome circle was pressed.
He heard sounds from his counterpart life back in the other room. He leaned against the counter and waited for the machine to finish his cup. While the time passed he studied the front of their refrigerator, faring no better than a tackboard with its generous helpings of mangets and postcards. He poured his coffee, fixed it to his liking as a bluejay pecked around the outside of the window above their sink, and returned to the bedroom.
"You were grumbling, " he said to the woman who now sat upright against the headrest, whisps of white sheet advancing her midsection.
"Yes, I was grumbling."
"What about?"
"You don't like children anymore?"
"No, not literal children. I mean how so many of the actions and habits we take onward into adulthood are some of the most basic ideas we ever had. Selfishness, jealousy, irreverence- they all started out in a sandbox. Someone pushes you and you get angry. Here we are, some twenty years later, and it just feels like we're still angry at that guy in the sandbox."
Nicholas held his coffee between his hands, sipping it and wondering if that bluejay was still at the window.
"You're probably right. I bet we really don't need as much schooling as we have after fifth grade or so, just vocational stuff. "
"I'm not trying to be right, I'm just trying to see if I've gone crazy yet. Am I crazy, Nick?"
"You're not crazy."
"You sure?"
"Here, have some joe." He handed her the half-empty cup and moved in behind her, to hold her. He could tell she wasn't watching anything outside the room, and that she was still uncertain. He tilted his head to speak directly into her ear.
"It is a very fascinating hypocracy for man to say so much that he so yearns for the joys of a child and wishes so desperately for them back, but has taken with him all the pains and injustices of growing up as if they were somehow more important, more necessary. No you aren't crazy. You're beautiful. You're wonderful, Adel."
He kissed her cheek as she sipped the coffee. Her hand reached back and felt the side of his face as she continued to think. At length he felt her relax and fall back into him. Her eyes regained the cunningness he had fallen in love with, and he knew she had won. She continued to drink his coffee.
"Did you know I saw a bluejay out over the sink a minute ago?"
"You put too much cream in your coffee."



Hen House

Varying the routine,
I like to root in my positions,
Like a mother hen to her nest,
And squack until I'm blue in the face,
At any old bloodhound to pass by,
About every problem I haven't fixed,
And every one I'm sure to start,
Until they howl at my persistance,
And I ruffle feathers one more time,
To show I mean business brother,
And there is a secret hope,
That if I belch knowledge enough,
I will eventually be light enough to fly,
Up and over the house and the weathervane,
With the morning rooster joining in flight to the sun,
Both of us refusing to let up,
Lighter and lighter,
And the bloodhounds will howl up from their solid dirt road.

Admittance #249

When I am alone in my house, and the sun is just about level with the planks that make up the deck just outside my sliding glass door, and I have my cello and the pigeons I married a while back, It's almost like I haven't failed at all those things I've tried at, you know?

The Sequence of Events

To speak and not be heard,
To express and find them deaf,
To care so deeply and be so helpless,
To have done so little,
To have done nothing,
To wish and break,
To put back together in shambles,
To never be able to,
To leap and be shot out of the sky,
Is to fall flat,
Is to stick a very fine shoe into one's own mouth every morning,
It is enough to pull out every hair.

And when you are wrecked,
You have lived just a tad.


It caresses,
It feels and it touches,
In all the right places protruding,
Euphoria as its wake,
Tidal waves of ecstasy,
Flowing through the mind,
And it bites,
It bites hard,
When it comes all you can do is clinch your teeth.

Of April

To my descendant April,
Who may never hear of such a name as mine,
And never see my face as I do hers,
You had a most wonderful birth,
Not passive in the least you came,
Screaming and kicking and changing,
Shaking the room with your future,
I saw it clearly from my spot in the corner,
Even as the rest of your family crowded in,
You were very full of light from the start,
I watched from unoccupied chairs,
As you ventured out into the vast apartment,
Hair not yet long enough to be brushed out of your hazel eyes,
Nothing escaped your vision,
I have tried my best to keep you safe since then,
And only a few scars have escaped my own sore eyes,
But that's growing up,
Which you have done splendidly,
Right up to and through the drinking under the bleachers phase,
Which was trying for both of our psyches,
You never lose the ground you gain for a second,
Nor a drop of the light you blessedly started with,
Did I hear,
From my place on the outskirts of your dinner table,
That you were ready to pass that light on?
Or at least portion it out to your own children,
Who I hear will turn out much like their mother,
With just a tad in all the right places of father,
The last time I remember dancing was when you two met,
I cannot even postulate how bright that will all be,
But you will always be my brightest,
My April,

No matter how long I've been gone you will always be the brightest.


A Long Walk Sounds Really Good to Me Right Now

You're working me to death,
And all I want is some overgrown stones,
Maybe a pair of fireboots,
And history.

The One Real Sound Sleeper

There is a time,
When people are supposed to be alive,
And everything is fire,
The world sleeps in late,
When she is more than a thought,
She is a dinner with a microwave and a blanket and a heartbeat,
And we are all caught in hammocks with our loves,
Shielded flatteringly by sun soaked trees,
Very blessed,
This is a time,
When people are supposed to dissolve,
Tearing like wet paper,
With their frayed edges,
And their repetitions,
Standing with weak knees,
You watch everything get smaller,
And getting smaller I,
Am drowning with it all,
I will see this fall its course,
Down to the dark lavender,
Surrounding the ocean floor,
And in time I will return,
To fresh coastal clouds,
And better for it,
For not splitting myself,
The one real sound sleeper that idea.


The Prettiest Marketa

Rudy felt for the key to his flat in the warm cloth of his coat pocket. There it was, propped in the corner in just the way to wear the fabric out the fastest, as all pointed things have a habit of alligning themselves in important things. He was sure that if he were wearing his old hooded sweatshirt with the thumbholes that the key would have been perfectly flat inside the middle pocket. He listened for the bolt to slide out, krept into the flat, and listened for it again to slide back. His brown derby hung on the rack beside the door in the short little hallway, forgotten that morning and vehemently believed missing by it's owner once the cold air reminded him he was without it. Rudy scowled at the hat, then his eyes reversed and reflected a jovial approach to the situation. He thought it was a pity that no one saw him take it so well.
Rudy crossed the landing and peered outside for a sizeable duration of time before doing anything else. A biker was waiting at the corner for the light to change, which was very rare in Rudy's neighborhood as no one really remembered a time when the signs were adhered to. Some men were unloading a floor cleaning ensemble and loading it into the freight elevator in the adjacent building. A little girl was watching the men below along with Rudy, and he was just about to wave to her when she turned at her mother's voice, brown ponytail flying, and disappeared. Rudy went back inside himself, but no at any direct beckoning. Still he did feel pulled as he entered his bedroom and began to undress. He had worn his good shirt for the walk that morning, because the weatherman had said it would be an exceptionally good day and Rudy felt that he carried some degree of importance in being the only senior in the city who still believed that the weather report was usually right. As he put the oxford shirt back on its hanger and looked up to find the bar for the hook, he again felt something. He looked around his tiny room, with nothing but a bed and lamp for reading, but only felt differently when he was staring into the closet. He stood up and began moving various articles of clothing on various colored hangers in hopes of finding the source. Rudy was visually reminded of what surely had to be the cause when he rediscovered shoeboxes lining the far wall of his closet and hidden by all his pants and shirts. He had collected and filled the boxes with various trinkets and mementos of his life, and chose to withdraw five at random, hoping it would satisfy whatever urge was inside him that had jumped at the sight of the boxes, and that was now beginning to annoy him. Even though he had nothing else to do that day, Rudy still didn't like the feeling of being commanded by such a desire.
Inside he recognized everything instantly. The horribly itchy red sweater he had received after graduating college from his aunt, which had marked the last piece of clothing that he had been given as a child played off as a present. The seashell necklace he had been given by a girl upon disembarking his plane to Hawaii, and later discovered that same girl to have three different incurable but very treatable diseases and that that was the closest he could come to summarizing Hawaii: a beautiful girl with a cabinet full of pills behind the bathroom mirror. Rudy was perhaps most excited to find his old film camera, the kind with the wind-up side that distinguished every serious amateur film director. He had almost forgotten all about his original purpose in digging out the boxes and was set on filming down at the park when he discovered a spent roll of film still in the camera. It was not like him to leave film undocumented, and he was immediately curious.
Rudy closed the yellow, embroidered curtains to his street. He thought they fit his age if not his taste, so he had kept them dispite all of his old friends announcing every time they saw them that yellow was not his color (as if it were some new, unbelievable discovery). He was surprised to find his heart rate had increased at the expectation of what could lie on the film. Quickly he set up his old reel set and sat down in his ratty recliner. Rudy declined to recline, and instead stayed with his elbows on his knees as the reel rewound. As soon at it was finished, the reel automatically clicked back and began to play.
The light shone on the screen, and Rudy's eyes followed it to see himself, only much younger. He was in the same park that he had planned on filming in. Rudy stroked his chin, as the Rudy on the screen still had his beard trim and neat. He was smiling and commenting visciously on the day and the people, when he reached with both hands behind the camera, presumably at its director, and after a brief struggle turned it around. Now the light brought a woman on the screen, one with deep grey eyes and a calmness that ran down the background. She was sitting on a black park bench, and kept covering her mouth when she laughed at the young Rudy's flattering description of her. Often she would look off out at something, but the camera never left her face. One tear from each of Rudy's eyes began to make their way down his beaten face, but he didn't notice. He didn't blink. Young Rudy said she was Marketa, and that she was the prettiest Marketa he had met so far, to which she chuckled. The camera jerked randomly for three seconds and then settled to them both, Young Rudy beside the prettiest Marketa. More flattery, more chuckling, and then a little peck of a kiss from Young Rudy. Then there was silence and nothing but homely eye contact until the reel abruptly ran out.
Rudy looked back at the machine as if to embarrass it into starting again. Slowly he reached up and felt the water that had run down his cheeks and onto his undershirt. Marketa. The name was a spice to him. Those grey, ominous eyes echoed all through the history he chose to keep remembering. Had he really continued to live without her? More tears came.
At length the film equiptment returned to its place in storage and that night Rudy kept the filmstrip and the camera under his pillow as he slept. It seemed like as long as he could feel it there, Marketa was the last thing he thought about and the only one he dreamed of. In those dreams Young Rudy always had the prettiest Marketa, and the weather was always mild and the weatherman was always right. So when Old Rudy woke, he could be happy, no matter if he remembered his derby or not. And every day he would walk a new way, one that led him down into the park and to the bench in the film. He would look in the direction that she had looked, and she was there with him, seeing past everything like migrating geese across endless stretches of land.



It connects,
It latches and it feeds,
Coils around the heart strings,
The vibrancy rings through,
Clear to the other side of the cage,
And everyone catches something of it,
So beautiful and so old,
But in their grasp they become quite impatient,
To see and not to feel,
Pinching open it escapes,
And the glance is granted for the instant,
Foolishness quickly realized and laughed at,
To think we would be any better off with possession!
Again comes the ringing,
That never stops but never has your full attention,
To the other side of this cage,
Don't think about it.


Wishing Stars

It is a very fine,
Very enjoyable thing,
To feel through your value,
Like weaving through delicate,
Fragile needlework,
To remember how much you are,
To so many people in so many places,
And to smile behind your back!
At all you don't see,
Radiating from you like poisonous glory,
Seeing it like the first litter of squirming,
Finding blind pups,
Splayed on the slate floor,
And just waiting,
For that first honest connection,
That you robbed me of any reason to continue wishing stars.

(and you're so damn cute.)