elephant.

I forgot to watch the leaves change color
this year
maybe I’ll miss it again and again,
the orange fading to gray in my vision
red, yellow, brown
like a lost dream
I’ll miss the lights, go up around Christmas time,
the white frost on the ground
light as powder, a single set of footsteps
broken through the snow
I’ll miss the children, the faceless children
the crowds of people, well-wishers, I suppose
I’ll hold my nose close to the warm steam
floating up from a mug of tea
forget all about it
and then when the spring time comes again
a rebirth of soul and lover alike
I’ll live anew again
out—out hibernation
forget, once again, that ever a time existed
when the sun failed to rise early and fall late
a shadow cast upon the earth
it’s only a chemical, I’ll tell myself,
a petty emotion
don’t think about it,
pretend it’s not there
the elephant of loneliness waiting patiently at my backdoor.

sorrow’s the word

it’s never a good sign when you can feel your heart beating

the rhythm of the traffic, boom boom down the street

airplane flies over head, people leaving tomorrow,

coming home, gone again

go and come back, she said

the music in my head, disconcerting

music shouldn’t be felt like a sleepless night

restless, ready to crawl back under the sheets

I feel too warm, a volcano ready to erupt

after years of dormancy

listen to the stillness in the air, suffocating

I’ll draw my imaginary sword and slice through tension and sorrow

kneel, I’ll go down on one knee

bow my head to the world, slip the white mask across my face

let loose a long sigh, goodbye

then bring sword to heart, let lava spill

like a warrior of old, I’ll die a respectable death.

morning intense

tremor runs through my body
legs shake, bring me to my knees
an electrifying energy runs through my bones
strings played like the beloved guitar of a rock god.
mind fades to nothingness
this is primal, evolution flung out the window
fly away, white birdie
make way for the floods
i’ll be thy vessel, lend me thy oar
earth shake and shatters across my pale skin
life splits open, energy—released
trembling, hung limp against the wall
never recover
eyes twinkling, parade, fantasia lights
exploded, awaken all night
newborn, rhythm wild
blinding white,
survived.

oatmeal

cooking oatmeal every morning
when the roosters crow
cock-a-doodle-doo
bubbling over on the white stove top,
fire burner spilling gassy heat into a cool morning still
thick, milky oats, clean and—
I imagine all the little dark hands sorting these oats
running their hands through the yellow grass of a sun burnt field
where the troublesome Santa Ana’s stir up long wild fires
swept, hot as—dry as—
a devil’s sky, blank as god’s bullet proof eye
way high, high above.

Morning air fresh on my face, this warm feeling
softly stepping through the house
all’s sleep
the colors slanted through the windows
cool shades of blue, soft against my dark eyes
sleep warn, been dreaming all night
I dream about the worn hands, sweeping through the grass
waist length, some shoulder, swallowing bare feet sticky with mud
dark hands, blistered, old and trained
appreciating beauty as it comes,
taking truth as it stands,
wrapped comfortably in soft bedtime slippers
hiding the scars criss-crossed along soft baby toes.

Shuddup

I’ve hardly written any short stories at all…only three I would let anyone else read. This was just a quick exploration, off the top of my head. I really like how it turned out.

SHUDDUP

Painted girl strolling down the street, painted girl in tattered jeans, tattered heart, red beaded necklace strung like a noose around her neck, layered over and over (roar). Painted girl had a name, she supposed, but no one really knew it. She bit the side of her black lips, thick and full. The blackness was like a scar ripped into the side of her face. The black around her eyes, the image of beauty, American beauty, painted in circles around her eyes. She saw the world through these thick black lashes, the black liner, thick and cool against the soft skin around her eyes, gentle as a baby. She pounded down the streets, crunching on every strewn wrapper with the sole of her boots, inch thick rubber. She pretended like she heard the crunch of autumn leaves.
There were no trees in this city. No oxygen. No love. Nobody could breath, there was only hate. Suffocation. What was her name? She called herself Miss Murder, Killer, Pain. She liked the attention, the stares, the hatred just seemed to pour off of the people around her. Hate City, that’s what she called it. She stomped around the block, around and around, just like her head. Around and around her thoughts went. Jimmy. Jimmy. Jimmy.
A snarl caught on her lips, she curled up the side of her painted black mouth in contempt.
“I just need to run off a little steam.” She laughed, swinging her black, thick curls, long and full, behind her. Black Black Black, everything was black with Killer.
KILLER? WHO ARE YOU KIDDING.
He’s a joke, he’s a joke, oh just a crime against nature.
REALLY BUT YOU SHOULD THINK ABOUT THE CHILDREN. THE CHILDREN KILLER, THE CHILDREN.

“Shuddup.” She mumbled sheepishly, chewing on the side of her lip. Pearly teeth, big and pretty. She didn’t want to listen to the voices anymore, arguing amongst themselves. As long as they didn’t sound like Jimmy, though, she could handle this.
Tired of the race track, circling around like a vulture, in search of discarded corpses, the remains of a bloody fight, the circle of life; she sprang forward into a dash.
That’s it girl, get away from here. Just get away. The voice of her mother chimed in her head. It sounded so soft and sweet compared to the real deal, she wondered why she recognized it at all.
The city whirled, building upon rotted building joining up with her midnight sky. They never seemed to cease. She could hear through the walls of the concrete apartment, prison blocks disguised as low-cost-living. She heard the crying of babies, the screaming of husbands and wives, the silence of the battered, ignored teenagers, the weak coughs of the aged and dying. They all clung to her brain like victims washed away in a hurricane. They drank the putrid water, they were dying of thirst.

Killer kept on running until she reached the place of worship, some religion she wasn’t a part of, never knew the name of. Those kinds of people didn’t look her in the eye, didn’t even glance up. She wondered if they knew there was more than the gray of the sidewalk, if they knew about the glistening beauty of a setting sun, rising moon. She hopped the wrought iron fence, little pointy crosses sticking up at the top, waiting to stake her in the heart. Surrounded by dead people, she strolled through the church yard and felt at home, calm. These dead people didn’t talk back, they just lay in the earth, decomposing, staring up at their imaginary sunshine. They liked a little company, even welcomed it. They wore little name tags, saying what they meant to anyone, their entire life summed up in one engraved sentence. Convenient.
Killer strolled up to Keith Johan, stared down at his solid gray face for a moment.
“Hello, Keith, and what’s your special talent?” Beloved father, husband. Hm. Not much to go on, but the painted girl didn’t like making fun of dead people, after all. They couldn’t defend themselves, and they were probably laughing right along with her, anyways.
Yeah, I had a pretty shitty life, and now everyone knows it. How embarrassing. Cremate me, why don’t you? Killer wondered what his voice really sounded like, what he smelled like, his clothes, what was his favorite shirt, what did it feel like to hug him, to hold his hand? Did he have a gentle handshake? She hated glorifying the dead. Most people were disappointing in life. No point in wearing rose colored glasses. She pulled off her sweatshirt, with the giant laughing skull on the back, tied it around her waist, laid down on the soft grass on top of poor Keith, keeping him company. Her arms rested lazily behind her head, muscular. Her tank top showed her breasts, like a flag. Female Female. She hated the pull of sex, ever present in the back of her mind, ever present in the front of men. They did nothing to hide their monkey brains.
OH KILLER, RETURN TO ME, I’M DYING.
Will you shut up please? Relaxation is key. Smell the grass, so sweet. So rare in the city streets.
You’re such a beautiful woman, why hide your face? Why stick around with that odd boy, what’s-his-name.

The voices, the usual voices, their constant argumentation, like starved buzzards. They just circled around and around in her mind. There was no end to the madness. She just wanted a little peace, a little quiet.
She tried looking hard at the stars, seeing past the eternal blackness, into the stars beyond human sight, beyond intelligence and imagination. She only saw herself, mirrored in the sky like a glossy lake. One star shimmered into the edge of her vision. It crawled across the sky like a silver spider, brilliant, delicately spinning a sinewy web in the eternal darkness.
Baby, you’re going crazy.
Oh look, people are coming out of church, they must be devil worshippers. Look at them, they have red eyes.
SHUTUP YOU, CLAIRE—

“WILL YOU SHUDDUP.” Killer screamed, her shrill cry piercing the silence. She flung her hands up in exasperation, listening to her voice echoing across the shimmering streets, falling away, away, away. She leapt back to her feet in one swift motion, punk ninja.
She circled around the cemetery, always a circular motion. Her boots squished in the wet grass, mud sucking at her soles, threatening to pull her down to hell. She resisted, getting along fine with all these dead people. She didn’t need the living, didn’t like the living, couldn’t understand the living. She was a living dead, truly. Stomp stomp stomp, around and around the cemetery, like a nursery rhyme going off in her head. Hurricane, hurricane’s a’coming, sound the alarm. Jimmy, don’t do it. Please don’t do it.
Tick tick tock little lady bug, time’s a wasting.
Hush little darling. Hey you, have you called your momma anytime soon?
REALLY, I THINK YOU SHOULD LOOK OVER AT THOSE CHURCH PEOPLE. JESUS, NO JOKE, LOOK. LOOK. LOOK.

Killer bit her lip, she couldn’t stay in here forever, could she? She couldn’t listen to the voices. Once she started listening to them, she would start talking to them, arguing with them. She couldn’t slip down that awful spiral, not again. Jimmy, her mind wandered over and over him, stepping lightly over his grave, one little hop at a time. Counting sheep in the night. What would his grave say? Beloved, my island. Would it ever be enough, one little line? She saw it in her head, etched into stone. Name. Birth. Death. Purpose.
Leave it alone, let the little man roast in his oven.
Lie in your own bed dear, feel safe in the night.
ALONE ALONE, HATE CITY, ALL ALONE.

Killer couldn’t stand it, the sweat building on the surface of her skin. A soft breeze tickled her damp chest, making her shiver. She was trembling, her lip, trembling. Blood mixed in with black. She bit her lip so hard it drew blood. Soft and sweet, she tasted her heart like a lion, beating through her veins, flesh and bone, welling up at the surface like an ocean of tears. She cried out, this heart would stop one day, someday soon. It would give up, become nothing, not even history. The human line would stop, no more little painted girl running around, no more little blood. The life would End, like a brilliant thought—cut off midstream.
She felt the fire coursing through her body, enraging her, making her feel insane. She burst forward, springing above the graves, feet flying. She cast her body over the wrought iron fence. No staking today. The dead silently watched her go. She flung herself past all the ghostly church goers. Their red eyes mistook her for nothingness. She flew with wings outstretched between the concrete arms of the city, enclosing, choking, suffocation. She couldn’t breathe. Her heart like a black hole bared itself, its teeth, its softest corners. She ran until she came to that circular place, surrounded by water. Water eternally flowing past, the island in the middle. She reached for that island.
A gun shot, shrill in her ears.
No no no.
The voices urged her.
Go forward, keep going, you can still reach him.
That’s your island.
BLOOD, DON’T YOU FEEL THE BLOOD?

She strained her ears, listening, stopped dead in her tracks. Was that her Jimmy? Was he lying on his back now, facing the sky , eyes open and glossy into nothingness? She strained to listen to the drip of red, the echo of pure silence, pure peace.
She reached out, fingers tentative upon reaching the doorway. Watched. Listened. Still as the dead.
She watched it, a little painted girl in a huge, round world:
There was a small boat, gently paddling away, across the black ocean of the city streets. She listened to the cool slap of salty water against the wood.

white masks

Watch as I paint scars across my faces
all of them, white masks, waiting to be filled
watch as I paint her lips red, hers orange, hers blue
I’ll close all their eyes with newspaper
then poke them through again
pushing my thumbs through the almond shaped holes
I’ll wear these faces up on stage,
brilliant lights, hot as desert sun,
cast upon my bare arms, heaving chest
burning up, rosy cheeks softly hidden
my face of fury, my mask of sorrow,
they’ll all conceal, they’ll all reveal
they’ll paint scars and wipe them out again
I’ll dance, my face hidden, feet tapping across the stage.

glow worms

the dark room, family ‘round
their faces reflected like hallowed ghosts
attracted to the light of the tel-e-vi-sion
mine too.

dogs lying on the floor, on the couch
dead as dreams allow,
their little paws kicking up dust
we’ll let them lie.

noise, noise, cascading from all sides of the night
this age, so as not to let the silence fall in
step, a slow sort of waltz
tapping at the edges of my brain.

glow, life, glow.