Sunday, January 29, 2012


Darlin', I hope this finds you well. Funny, that we circle around this thing. Can't seem to look it straight on. I always think it will be different but it never is. We built the cages. There is no one to blame but ourselves. We skirted the sun with flimsy wings, surprised when the wax melted. We fell into the soft revery of summer after summer. Sure, it rained. It got cold. I refer to the summer of the soul. That light, soft place inside both of us.

Marked as sinners, honey, you may be right. I never did figure out how to wrap my mind around the word. Let alone the sin. Doing the natural thing, you'd think we'd be forgiven. It chafes at my soul if I dwell on it. Like burlap. Like pine bark through an old faded t-shirt.

Either the rest of the world is crazy or I am. Hell, maybe it's both. And maybe this is a letter and maybe it's an epitaph. God knows. And I shouldn't even use that expression because I know God don't know, just like a statue can't see itself for what it is. But we all stare at it. We all glare at it. We all huddle under the shade of its outstretched arms.

I guess I should be grateful. We. We should be grateful. For a warm place to sleep and love and peace.  Grateful that we haven't been strong enough to push everyone away, as much as we gave it our best shot. Goddamn. We sure tried.

I watch the sparrows taking their dust bath...little puffs of bird making a big old cloud of it float into the still afternoon. Maybe we're like those little birds. Maybe we're like the dust. Maybe we ain't like none of it...I sure wouldn't be surprised.

I love you so much it makes me hate you. You, my reflection. You, introspection. You, darlin' was always headed towards this. Standing on the train tracks while the train barrels down on you, pint bottle swinging lightly in your hand, smile on your face. Thinking about how they taught you about perspective in art class. About those pictures you drew. Ruled out. You were so proud of them. Like only a dumb-ass kid can be. Now you've ruled it all out. You have lost perspective.

Honey, you are weak and I am weak and the weeks pass by like hummingbird wings. Just one more week, you think, and then its been years. And the train don't stop and you can't get off and you scratch that itch because there ain't nothing but to scratch it. Scratch it til it bleeds and laugh it off like you ain't embarrassed by the whole thing.

You got your shell and I got mine. We're partners, see? But the shells are paper thin. We are moments from shattering. And you smile and I smile. Mile after mile down this road with no end. Hand in hand, we follow ghosts and promises and pretend that everything is going to be OK.

You and me, darlin'. I reckon we're about stuck now. Like hot tar on a midsummer morning. I tried to scrape you off. I tried to find the exit...when all the lights were too bright. When the heat of desperation was like a door slammed in my face.

Fuck it. That's your answer. I know it is. It's all over you, written in scars and burns and my stomach turns...I'm sick just thinking about it. You. Me. Partnership. Brotherhood. These words we misuse, the feelings we abuse. I ain't but one whip short of a gallop, but I don't have the strength.

Stop fighting. Together we can stop it. Alone, hell.  You brought us here just like I did. I imagine myself standing on the top of a tall mountain. I got three choices. I can stay up here. I can climb down, but it will take forever. I can jump and roll and tumble, collecting scrapes and tearing through the bramble bushes. I think I'll stay up here for now. I'll wait for you like you promised you'd wait for me. And the weight of my obligation will obliterate the failure of my longing.

I ain't proud one bit. Pride went out the window a long time ago. Sometimes I wonder if it floated away or just went splat on the ground...I wish to God I'd paid attention.

You'll die soon and I'll die soon. In the mean time, we'll keep circling. Don't have much of a choice the way I got it figured. We made our bed and someone's got to lie in it. And lying has become second nature to me now. I don't think I'd recognize truth if it slapped me in the face.

As salutations go, this one ain't great. I understand that. I'm a one way street. I'm warm tap water. I'm so sick of myself I could die. But we're in this thing together. Birds of a feather. And they'll put us in the ground side by side. Me and my vanishing pride.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Fisherman.

Standing, stork still with rod in hand, he waits.  A foolish shadow grinning through the afternoon glare.  He hears trains in the distance, the call of gulls, children building families of pebbles, twigs and sea smoothed rocks.  His is a foolish pursuit.  As any hope is foolish, for the universe smiles as it devours the optimistic.

In a small apartment hundreds of miles away an old friend pushes a needle into his arm and smiles at the irony of it.  It is not a smiling matter.  This does not occur to him as the drug forces its way into his veins.  He has given up on hope.

In the mind of a three year old every second is infinity.  Every laugh is an explosion that sends vines of happiness creeping on soft skin.  Every injustice is the world defeated.  Every sadness, forever.  Every smile a blessing.  It has not occurred to her to question the validity of hope.

The writer and the fisherman are one in the same, broken but standing thanks to bits of tape and glue.  The page holds them together.  The blank canvas is hope, be it an empty screen or the orange sheen of an egret's sunset.