Wednesday, October 31, 2012


She moves in half-light.  Spins in the swirl of noise and strobe.  The laughter seems tarnished.  The smiles, a sticky camouflage.  She beams around the confusion.

She moves in rapid glances.  In missed caresses.  In the feeling that remains when a loved one leaves, planning never to come back. 

What tangible nothing?  What deception?  What?  Is it love?  Hogwash.  Or is it merely forgiveness?  Equally absurd.

Does it come in a bottle?

She lives a me, but what would Sartre have done?  When simple self-loathing fails.  When self-punishment is not enough.  When self-destruction only gets you halfway there...

Happiness lives in the shadows, but I can see it sometimes from my apartment.  She is elusive.  Lost in tall groves and backwood thickets. 

She becomes lost in the cross-light.  My memory implodes for the third time.  My mind is frightening to me.

Licking lips, feeling strong.  It’s all just the same old con.  Selling something you don’t have.  She sells dreams and sadness.  She sells everything but what we really need.  Is this a mother?  Is this a friend?  No more or less than anyone else.

Forced to face the frontier.  Bright lights to armageddon.  Dim lights to self-delusion.  Gas makes my car run.  Whiskey makes me run.  But what makes the whiskey run?  Who breathes the life into every rye and corn flow desecration?

Quick, look confused.  Is it the guy in the hat?  With the dirty t-shirt?  Is he hurting?  Is he lonely?  Aren’t we all?

She slinks through half-death.  I live in hell already.

Who will sing the songs of my childhood when I have forgotten the words?  When time has suffocated the sentiment.  When will these words fail me?  It’s just a matter of time.  A matter of brain cell assassination.  When the bottle is dry.  When the books are gone.

She swings by with a sideways glance.  Selling the private dance.  She says, “so, are you smart and poor?”  I tell her I’m poorer than I am smart.

What greater selfish rush than the written word?  I live as king and queen.  I bleed for myself while Christ begs for bandages.  Do we all despise me as much as I do?  Listen to how silent it is in here.  Listen, maybe, to the implied deception.

She dances in the contempt I hold for myself.

Among men, I sicken me.  I choke and gag on self-awareness.

Can I speak to you?  Or overpower you with the smell of cheap perfume?  A scent that takes you back to all those pre-pubescent Playboys.  If even I disgust myself, and pity the others?

Tap into the realm of repression.  Love yourself through the hatred others feel for you. Find a place. Or a shady spot to turn to death.

Money talks more profanity.  I prove myself to quantify a cash reduction.

She hides her beauty in obscurity.  She sluts away the easy fix.  One would hope that this means salvation.  The game is over but for the blind optimism that tempts a mortal to call the goddess down.

You are impressed by these shiny recollections.  You like to watch me drink.  To see me choke the bourbon past sobriety.  You love the weakness, but fear the beast.  We all become prostitutes or repressed.  We try to let life fill in the blanks.  But the blanks are emotion.  The loss is communion.  The love is ultraviolet.

Can you buy my love?  Can I sell it to you?  Let’s take guy #7.  Wants a woman who will reach for love and settle for the status quo.  I’m sad, but I don’t know how to tell anyone. Maybe if I pour enough whiskey down my throat they will think to ask.

Is there a damsel in distress?  A Madame lost among the dunes of hapless wandering.  Over the hill and fuck the dale.  Do you love me, or will I love the way you ignore me?

Do you want me?  Do you pretend to care?  Do you love beyond your means?  Or will you force caring to be redemption?  Wishing you could love anything, or anyone, or anywhere more than me, here and now.

Spinning in the shallows of half-remembrance.  Hunting the crayfish of horror.  Inside yourself are you uglier than outside?

Is it better to be free, while the rich drive past in gleaming German cars?  Crying for an orphanistic rabble rouse.  It’s lonely in the noose, with the conveniences that are prerequisites.

We crave the freedom, all of us, to be the round peg that fits into the round hole.  We are waiting for the scale-tipper.  Driven mad by the bet-hedgers.

She moves in halfway-there.  Dizzy from the spin.  Brain fried after all.  Ketchup covering disillusion.  I would love revenge on the stupid monkey.  I can grab a stick and bash skulls.  While you oggle and give life to disrepair.

Once upon a nightmare, bleeding.  Left to casual hatred.  Right to heaven.  Do I want to die?  Or will I hunt God down and force him to ante-up.  Don’t forget to not remember any of this.  Once upon a hogwash.

The light refracted makes less sense.  The loss of feeling, body set to purge.  Yank the rug out from my heels.  Fake left to increase the sprawl.

Put all your eggs in one basket.  Give the basket to a child.  And watch him spin toward yoked oblivion.  Paint the colors of lying.  Shade and glitter deception.  Salt my wounds and cauterize.

If there is dialogue and prophesy...  Even between a man and his notebook.

On knee, shortened--pre-shortened in slavery and servitude.  Money falls to the bottom, where we will fight and scrape and bite and betray.  Kill your fellow man.  Drink deep while the weak are falling.  Don’t pity unless you pity yourself for looking backward.

Out of all the monkeys, why us?  Why settle for the large brain?  Why pervert God’s harvest?

Why antelope?  Why tiger?  Why rapt attention and hidden resurrection?  Why pretense?  Why music?  Why beat?

Why death not insurrection?  Why life, this bland confection?  Sugary escape.  And why always disappearing into withdrawal and hangover?

Am I still hiding from a school marm that never existed?  Someone’s got to write the bad songs.

The colored lights swirl like nausea.  Left behind, awkward girl.  Always running, awkward girl.  Do I smell your corpse burning?

We all fear our desires.  And I fear life.  Wanting instead...what?  Despair and suicide?  No, to sleep forever. Or to live like God, in fiction, as water flows through trembling hands.


  1. JD, I cannot get inside your skull to pretend that I understand this study in half-light, half-life, half-lies.

    My inner sense of rightness tells me it's poetry remembered from dreams, for it has its own dream logic. But always, I love your grasp of the word, for it sings to me uniquely.

    Thanks again.

    1. Thank you, Erin. This is an OLD piece I just stumbled upon.

  2. Dan, beautiful. Will read it several more times this evening. Glad you found it. An entirely different cadence yet still your voice. Did I mention, I love it :))

    1. Can certainly feel the pain you were in when you wrote this. And, it weaves back and forth like a drunk attempting to walk the straight line. Oh, my friend.

    2. Thanks Jo. Yeah, those were dark and strange times to be sure. ;)


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