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May 31, 2007

June 1st, 2007

Another June. A beautiful storm washed away the remnants of May yesterday afternoon. I'd run out to my car to close the windows just as it started sprinkling. The sky turned a translucent white, and oh, that smell, I imagine, is as pure as it gets. A good, warm rain. An indiscriminate cleansing, just what the farmers have been praying for. How I wanted to stand underneath that veil, let it soak into my pores, risking a diagnosis of insanity by the colleagues. Neither the time, nor the place.

Ben, a coworker of mine, and I have this saying whenever the subject of precipitation enters the conversation: Well, we could really use it. It carries no weight. There could be two feet of snow blanketing the earth. We could really use more. It seems that's what everyone says up here, in this part of Wisco, where the rural and the urbane are still happily married, and, all the more inspiring, by no means are they newlyweds.

Prayers

like fallen maple seeds
spin out of control
come to rest
on the blazing concrete
from which no hope
will ever grow;
a tortured life
spent searching
for schisms
in the pavement


May 31st, 2007

They issued an air quality warning yesterday for our county. Something to do with particles in the atmosphere from factories, car exhaust, and the likes. Basically pollutants. Who exactly "they" are escapes me at the moment. Some sort of agency. Said that it would be most dangerous to those with heart and lung problems, young children, and the elderly.

On the drive to work the air did look hazy in the distance. Not quite a fog, but enough to make the forests on the immediate horizon appear to glow blue. The trees do their jobs. From my office window they are a pleasant sight, flanking the edges of the farmer's field. Breathing in the carbon-based pollutants. Without them we choke. How easy they've come to be ignored.

But they breathe and persist through the changing seasons. Not simply the four seasons humans have come to know, but resilience and perseverance through the millenia, the quiet keepers of a maddening world.

May 29, 2007

May 30th, 2007

Late last night the wind intensified and ruffled the plastic shades through my open windows. The constant hum of crickets kept me entertained. Then the silence of the whirring motor inside my computer. Oh how sometimes this all seems like a story with great potential but there are moments when I wonder how much I'd miss if I could fast forward to the end, and imagine backwards to where I'd come from.

I woke around 3am to silence and an intense pain in my head. Another migraine. They say that these things can often be triggered by food; mine are usually intense and last one to three hours. I must have been roused from sleep near the tail end of this one, squirming, calling out in pain into an empty room.

The drive to work this morning wasn't pleasant. I felt the disturbance from last night hanging over my shoulder, as it still does even as I write this. Blood vessels burst in both of my eyelids from squeezing them too tightly, leaving me looking like I've been punched a good few times.

May 29th, 2007

If I didn't feel it I would've realized that indeed, last night's sleep was restless. I woke to find the bedding unfastened at each corner of that mattress. There is something upsetting about not being able to sleep soundly when I know I should be doing just that.

I take no notice of chirping birds, and am briefly thankful for not being roused by the motorcycle parked out in the lot just outside my bedroom window. What a change this is from living in the country, where the view I had brought me open fields, and a boneyard. Now there's a large graveyard just across the street, the view poignant. Here the street lamps strangle almost all starlight.

This day is no different than the rest. I expect nothing, although remain open to surprise.

Note

Envision the world
surrounding, the wind-riding
whispers, an effigy of tombs
vacant, cold rock and unearthly
brazen touch of lifelessness,
that which is strong, lasting,
and does not erode,
things rooted and structured
so as to survive change.

All that which does not blow away.

Tufts of fur ripped
from lucid flesh weave between
blades of grass. There is
the cat, the mouse and its dismemberment;
satisfaction immediate and eternal:
one sated for the time being,
one given sutures to end pain,
a scorching forever snuffed out,
in an instant, blown away.

A great flood this way comes,
trees torn and broken by root,
by limb, knolls unseeded;
take care now to wrap new life
with this empty space.
Blindly casting
stones into placid water,
mimic the splashes in the
earth-trodden mud, and clay,
in that from which Adam was made.

Cherubs cry out from the shadows
of a dark mind, no outstretched
hands to grasp and for the
damp alleyway there is naught
but a vigil and a vision.
Memories and marks for all
slowly fade into grey, cemented:

All that which does not blow away.

May 21, 2007

Sleep xxxxx Wake

I'd found a shoe.

It looked like it would have been quite comfortable for walking. When rolling it back and forth between my hands I could barely remember purchasing it. Strange for me to buy something but never use it. How long ago I had gotten the pair, I could not remember. There was no longer a pair to behold. Just this grey suede, rubber-soled shoe, completely useless without the other.

Suddenly I had a distinct urge to find it's mate, fit them to my feet. I tore through each nook, corner, and closet of a house looking for the other to match. It wasn't any one particular house, but a combination of houses that I'd been in throughout my life. It held parts of a friend's house who lived a few blocks away, when I was still a young child. Then there were elements of a house where there once lived a girl I had a crush on when I was a freshman in high school. Finally, there were strong semblences to the house where my father, step-mother, and her children currenlty reside.

I navigated this amalgam like I'd known its structure as my own. After sifting through scores of shoes that I had never seen before but were all my size and looked quite similar--I could find not one in a pair-- I was ready to give up. I trodded down the hallway to my step-sister's bedroom, the only potential haven I hadn't checked. For whatever reason, many people had congregated there, including my mother, father, step-mother, step-sister, and a few faces I cannot remember.

I threw open her closet doors and dropped to my knees and started digging. More single shoes that would fit me; men's shoes, size twelve. Where did she keep her shoes? Under the bed would be next, then her dresser drawers. That's when my mother broke the silence, seated there on the edge of the mattress.

- If you never talked, you would be flat.

I stopped digging and straightened up confused at these cryptic words. How would I be flat, I wondered. My father must've read my expression. He looked my way rather seriously.

- I think what your mother is trying to say is that you come alive when you speak.

My mother looked on in silent agreement. For a moment I wondered, then gave a response to let both her and I know that I understood.

May 17, 2007

I Live in a Cage

So aware of my surroundings yet unable to do much about the parts I don't like. Like the elephants that live above me, tromping around day and night, all hours, filling the bathtub then sucking copious amounts of water through their long trunks, the water weight pushing heavily upon the floorboards underfoot, coaxing creaks and moans with each lumbered step. Normally I would pound on the walls. I've given thought to setting loose a mouse to stir up a frenzy, but I know in their panic the elephants would rise up on their hind legs and come crashing down through the floor and depending on where I was sitting or resting at the time it might mean my own certain death. I am not a good zoo keeper. I don't like cages.

Then there's the gurgling of the motorized beast outside my open bedroom window. Why the man has to park his cycle there, I don't know. Why he fires it up each morning at 6am and twists the throttle and makes it thrash and growl, I don't know. Because of it I pray for grey skies and rain each morning. I don't walk down the street each day roaring like a lion and with every step boast my presence, always announcing when I am coming, and when I have gone. I could never feel comfortable tearing the silence off the walls of a once white-washed world.

Each Thursday the garbage truck stalks into the parking lot and with mechanical arms lifts each of the dumpsters up and over its head, emptying the contents into a grimy, putrid container to be taken and emptied into a larger, grimier container. A large, steel swine, gobbling up the scraps. All waste. Someone has to wake up early each day so that they can get people's messes out of their sight because we as a whole have forgotten how to be efficient, because we've been trained so. And I am guilty too.

What sort of animal am I? How does the world see me? I try to sit still and listen, and survive for the time being. Neither predator nor prey.

May 8, 2007

It Was in a Dream Where We Walked Together

The world awaits outside the back door, pensive, trembling reverantly. Mice stir in the dead leaves from last fall's shedding, the distant highway hums. I can feel the damp earth deep within my marrow. The spruce, the evergreens, the weeping willow. Take my hand, and I won't ever let go.

We walk down the center of a buckled and cracked road that cuts through the middle of an expansive graveyard simply to remind ourselves how alive we really are. Effigies of the Virgin Mary, of Christ, of miniature chapels, stanchions held fast together by the thin, perceptible cord of death. And yet we live.

Our measured breathing seems to fall in cadence with the rhythm of the earth. Soft touch, sighs, a whisper of hot breath on the nape of the neck. Safe and secure, within the granite walls of our own cathedral. In our confessions we fold ourselves together in prayer.

May 4, 2007

The Vanishing

Last night's washed up
moon dissolves
thin into the sky.
Grey pockmarks seep
through a cerulean blue.
Cosmic lakes, promises
of distant life renewed,
chased away by the sun.