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Apr 30, 2007

Two Hours

One man seated alone on a bench at the edge of a pond. Wind blowing east to west, rippling the water towards the shore. Maple, oak, and willow lean at the waterline, dangle infant blossoms over the murk below. Clouds stretched thinly across the horizon. The wind relents. The aloe smell of earth and dandelions fill in the space.



Wandering thoughts like birds fluttering limb to limb to limb. The bench is positioned underneath electrical lines. The eastern edge of the pond is flanked with railroad tracks; a small concrete bridge over placid water. Oh to have the sun's view of all this. Change the wander to wonder.

Apr 25, 2007

Later Than It Is

Quietly I slipped out the front door, laundry basket in hand. I listened for the latch to click shut behind me. Down the stairs I went, my whites on the agenda for this load. On my way back upstairs from the community laundry in the complex, I realized what I'd done. A couple of weeks ago the manager installed new locks on the all the apartment doors. On the old ones if it was locked and you would open it from the inside, it would automatically unlock. Not so with the new ones. They stay locked. And this was my predicament.

I had a laundry basket, a bottle of detergent, was wearing a pair of fleece pants, a blue shirt, and sandals. The door was impenetrable. I had to think.

Set the laundry basket in front of the door and went back downstairs, into the garage, where my car is. The car was locked too, but I always leave the hatch unlocked, just in case. I crawled in through the back an unlocked the passenger door. It wasn't a matter of finding a tool in there I could use; I knew there were none. It was a matter of finding something that could be fashioned into a tool. Papers. Lots of papers. Not going to cut it. Two shirts. A pair of gloves. A book. Title documents. Coins. Pens. An Ipod. A cigarette carrying case. None of these would get me in.

Tore through everything once more. Nothing. Opened up the cigarette tin, and an idea. That little flap of metal inside that holds the cigarettes in place was small, thin, and metallic. Probably made of aluminum, but it might just do the trick. Movements would have to be quick for I wanted to avoid at all costs alarming any of the elderly residents that populate this place. Shuffling back upstairs I tried to thread the tiny piece of metal in between the door and the door frame, catch the lock, and I'd be in.

It wasn't working. The metal was too small, and too brittle to push against the metal catch of the lock. I started to sweat. A car pulled into the garage downstairs, and I knew I'd have to try another method. Back into the garage. Tearing through the car again. Aha! Sticky with spilled soda, a grocery store club card. Plastic. This is a tool.

Walking back upstairs and I see that the door across from mine is slightly ajar. The old woman may have been watching me. Fuck. I can't return for a while. My laundry is done. Nothing I can do with it. There's a whole apartment behind that door that needs me. But I can't. I have to wait.

It's a half a mile walk to the nearest pay phone. I figured on calling my mother at her work. Toll free number, and I could have her contact the manager to let me in. If only I could remember the managers number. I gave her three variations of what I thought the phone number might be. It was the third one. Went straight to voicemail.

Blustery and grey outside. Colder than yesterday. Might rain. The wind presses against my legs, arms, and chest, my clothes taking on each minute detail of my body, revealing too much. I may as well be wearing a bathing suit in November. I walk faster. Told my mother I'd break in if she didn't get through. Problem was that now I had two doors to get through. The outside door, then mine.

Shivering, embarrassed, I approached the first door. Looked inside the window to see that the hallway was clear. Slipped the card into the crack in the door, one tiny pop and the door comes free. One down. Walk up to my door. Slip the card in the crack. A loud pop and the door jumps back, swinging open to reveal four piles of laundry that need attention.

I email my mom to tell her that I'd just gotten in. She tells me not to leave anything valuable in my apartment. No shit. Gotta watch out for guys like me.

Apr 24, 2007

Lost in Brownsville

A farmer pulls a burdened wheelbarrow in his wake. The sweat of the soil rolls down his face, collects at the collar of a faded blue shirt. Sandy hair matted flat against his head pressed from last night's rest. He lives the significance of his actions as if he were merely breathing. A graveyard across the way. Slanted headstones white and brittle like aged bone lean under the gnarled arms of ash trees. Root and rot entangled underfoot.

Heading north, against the flow of a shipping train. Boxcars bear flourscent messages from the cities. The country kids replicate the designs on the sides of silos. One side of the cylindrical face completely canvassed, each stapled rung reached. Eat Me. I love Sara, secured in a heart. Fields are overturned, sustenance seeded. To the surface is brought a generation's worth of history, tradition whispered, molded into mud.

The northern face of a barn grins a black smile where its red slats are oddly missing, their removal a savage one by the brute force of nature or accident. No white lines to section the roads, the roads enough of a divide in themselves. Scattered steads. A car or two each mile. Signage of another town unincorporated every few minutes. Brownsville. Lomira. North Byron: Population Contented.

Apr 23, 2007

Monday 4-23

Rain hurls from the greyed skies onto the pavement. Brown maples melt into maroon. The heavens divide, the storm passes. Birds come to life, calling one another. Taking flight more often, swooping down into the moist grasses. Fat worms wriggle from out of the dank earth on a suicidal mission to breathe in the damp air. Car tires slosh in the gutters. A police siren. The scent of an earth renewed. Rich mud. The hot breath of the sun. Sunday afternoon baseball games. Childhood. The flowers that won't return this year. Not cursing their loss. Dancing within the emptiness erected in their space.

Apr 22, 2007

An Engineering

They said it'd be a moonless night, but yet a sliver hangs in the northeastern skies. The final sickle holding on, moving through its cycle. A meteor shower will reach its peak in an hour or two. Sleep calls, drowning out the silence of the night. Across the street in the graveyard, worms renew, echoing soft underfoot, the patter of children's feet. The elm trees grow taller. The years become shorter, and what has passed is measured by the sun; each cycle reborn, tinkered, and manufactured.

Apr 17, 2007

June

the sun is too bright
and the din of the highway
too pervasive
a world constantly screaming
honking its horns
slamming its breaks
this world here
like an angry child
being pulled in a direction
he does not want to go
but it's too late.
It's too late.
And in your time zone
clouds piss upon
the underdressed and
you're always ahead of me
no matter where you go
meaning that I envy you
meaning that you're always
one hour closer to where
I want to be.

Apr 8, 2007

Apr 6, 2007

Latent Love

Afraid,

he moved to make
assonance of the
distance between
them.

Out from a
thunderstorm
hanging overhead,
a cloud slipped
into their
conversation.

His tongue fell
to the floor,
red carpet for
silence to
tread on.

Apr 5, 2007

Acknowledgement

a horn whispers
shivered silence broken
just before the
first taka-boom
unshackled

the rain ralls;
black legs hung
on lines are
siphoned into
hands like spiders

take wings which
fly up to slap off
the poet's mask
and the poet dazed

drops his book
for a quick-eared glance
at this storm,
the death of his poem.

Apr 4, 2007

The Crown

We aren't going to get
this lucky, are we,
the man asks,
half his hand inside
my strained jowls,
fingering a molar with
a learned dexterity

a gold cap today,
flat, pressed against,
compact, tight, sat
atop the stub of a
tooth, its metallic surface
and shine like a mashed
penny imprinted
with the likeness of
a zoo animal, I am

king of dental bills,
throned at the peak
of Mt. Invoice,
conquered with my own
laziness, sat down
into this chair with
disdain for flossing, left
to tongue the metal
slab in the back of
my mouth thinking
about how it feels
to be one half of
a percentage point
less human.

Apr 3, 2007

She Got My Love, I Got an Ipod

No compliments, give or take,
but only excrement flows out
from between those bleached
white pearlies you got there.

I am a jerk.
I am weird.
I am quiet.
I am a smoker.
I am a pot head.
I am a liar.

I like dead bodies.
I go to the wrong school.
I have holes in my ears.
I have lots of tattoos
I have only one tattoo
but I don't match
and can't match

and I don't care enough
to match my clothes
because what should
really come out of your
mouth never does.

To end, I say
I can't wait to see you
tonight, and you say
bye.

then your pops
got the dog drunk
so he could cut its
hair and you Shirley
Temple spent
an hour that night
straightening your
curly locks and eightish
turned to nineish and
nineish turned to
tenish and
you left before the
night turned to Sunday.

You were my moon
on those cloudless nights,
and I was your suck up.

Apr 2, 2007

The Funeral Procession

What a charge it is to
conduct this train;
The line moves slow, deliberate
like the hands on a watch,
together, loosely connected,
the cadence of independent
cars.

There are few days to
compare where drivers
will be more aware
of their final destination.