"Those were hard things for me to come by, and I offer them to you for what they may be worth." - Toby Wolff

Monday, April 23, 2012

Simplicity is not something
known to me.
It is an element
in a table
likely periodic
that has been lost between printing
of this version and that.

To even say such a word is a mind absent
of anything truly recorded...
but rather digital.

All the hiss and scratch of a pure album
is lost in translation
and complexity tries it's hand at management 
on a board of dials.

Simplicity is for children
and we have, without consent,
moved to a place where such hibernation
has come fully awake.

Sunday, April 15, 2012


I can't seem to hold on
I can't seem to let go
I've lost my hands and the stumps of my arms wave
as goodbye and hello
and neither the coming or the going or the bald end
knows the damn difference.

Can you see these incomplete appendages as they war
to pull and push
almost comical in their inability to do either
without a grip?

I am tired of watching them.
You must be too.
All that flailing.
A bad dance by a worse dancer
in the throws of this tryingtryingtrying
and you, with season tickets!

If I could just come into myself
push through the tight ends
fingers filling a glove
I could hold something long enough to know.
I could release something long enough to know.
(at least in theory)

She said she had reached the middle of a lake
the shore lined with her many children.
She could see us waving, and she tried...wanted to...
but couldn't seem to make her way back.

I scoffed then.
'Selfish' I might have said.
'Weak' even.

Oh, I understand it now.
In the most difficult of all battles
(that being self to self)
she lost her hands
and we lost her.

I keep trying
to swim with stumps.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Time Travel

There are only so many miles in a day.
She watches them click by
flipping over like a pre-digital electric clock
fwap - fwap - fwap!

To curb hunger costs four miles.
If you want to eat downtown
you starve for a couple days
to gain ground.

Her body is shaped like eternity
hour glassed
and the miles run like grains
through the narrow opening of allowance
building as they do,
in steady accumulation.

There are twenty miles left to the month
and everything is drawn in
to a balancing act,
hands weighing options as if they were fruit
this orange?
this apple?
Which is more miles per pound?

She knows her miles are numbered
and that the favorable ones roll quickly
while the painstaking take too long.
Yearning for  coffee
she decides the three miles just aren't worth it.
Tomorrow she may need to take a detour.
Detours are costly.
Damn riot cost her eight miles today.
Tomorrow she'll stop time.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Egg Full of Baskets

(SPOILER ALERT: This is a work of fiction, born of a dyslexic idiom my mind spoke. I think it turned into a metaphor about feelings, their origin within our issues...how they cycle, how we try and decipher and categorize them, devoid our mind of them, or hold them close. Maybe we stop trying to organizing them, train them, exercise them to be stronger, and just give them a break. This writing reminds me of my dreams...all worry and angst with no clear place to land or rest.)

She put all her baskets in one egg and carried it deep in her cleavage. It seemed ridiculous, but at this point ridiculous was far superior to sour. Ten years ago it was a real egg with a Sharpie face that she protected. Poor infant "died" when she let fate guard her backpack while necking with Billy Joe. There was a brief funeral and real tears, 'cuz Billy Joe's clumsy hands weren't worth the failing grade.

Wicker handles reached up from her pheasant blouse and switched at her chin like dry brush, but she didn't mind. She was taking these baskets to the quarry, and all their contents too. So many baskets, and all the cargo leaking and yelling and vying for attention. When her hands cramped last Spring, she thought about all she held, longing to spill it along the road like a broken yellow mile of highway, yet knowing it was treasure. So she hung on, until the cramp gained ground inside her mind. When your brain squeezes like that, it makes you loose your hands, like bowels after a meal of mystery meat turns suspect. All the will of holding eventually gives way to natures call. "Shit for brains" was coined after such a time. She was sure of it.

The quarry spread out below her with a toothless grin that labored under the lips of excavation. She worried at the buttons of her blouse. She worried at the handles of each basket. She fingered the smooth shell holding all the baggage that had worn grooves in her palms.

Years later, covered with the sediment of weathered cycles, she tore the last button from the tattered white flag of surrender she wore. The egg was carefully removed and the baskets plucked from delicacy, one by one. She lined them up like a broken yellow mile of highway and faced them towards a terra cotta moon.

Her last thought as she hit the cement surface of water was a good one. The baskets were hitch hiking their way to promise, and the egg...well...she took it with her.