Friday, May 8, 2020

2 Minutes. Go!

It was 1997, and I was driving around the streets of San Francisco in a beat up, hand-me-down geo prism that barely made the trip from San Diego. I was new in town, and I felt like a fraud, so I would pick out a neighborhood and just start driving, smoking cigarette after cigarette and stopping for a drink as necessary. It was phenomenal to be young and in San Francisco, and the night was like one long, wet kiss. I had music, I had good books, there was weed everywhere, and it was all mine.

And then I almost got arrested. It happened like this.

I was on one of my drives through the nighttime, and I was in North Beach, home of beatnik writers and drunken deviants. I drove for a while, and then I got out to walk around. And I was no longer in North Beach. This was a recurring problem. I have zero sense of direction, and it is never wise for stoned dudes with no sense of direction to aimlessly cruise complicated city thoroughfares.

So, it was late. Probably close to midnight, and there were some hookers on the block and some crackheads on the corner. It was real fucking authentic, so I decided to take a stroll.

Lose the car and slide out onto the sidewalk, cigarette up, and I’m walking. Head down. Collar up. I walked fast in those days, but suddenly there was a woman damn near jogging beside me, and she was wearing a mini-dress and big, gold hoops.

“You looking for some company?”

“Nope, thanks.”

“Hey man. Can you do me a favor. Dude has been following me, and it’s freaking me out. Walk with me?”

So, I look back and there is a no-shit creepy fucking dude about half a block back looking at this woman like she’s a pork chop, and I’m the mongrel dog that stole it from him. Of course, seeing how I was raised on southern chivalry, I asked her to marry me and we moved to the country. Or I offered to walk with her. Who knows. We didn’t get fifty feet before the whole goddamn world turned red and blue. Fuck. Then there’s a fat, sweaty cop right out 1970s casting in my face telling me I’m going to jail. The chick is yelling at him that I was being a gentleman. I’m imagining calling my Mom. Hey, Mom. So, I’m in jail. Well, soliciting prostitution, but here’s the thing…

Eventually, the cop relents after we both explain to him repeatedly that he is beating up the wrong tree, almost literally (cops like to get handy with hookers and nineteen-year-old punks). I don’t even have any money. I’m afraid to fuck girls that don’t fuck for money, let alone those who do…

I don’t even know how I got home that night, riding a wave of adrenaline, no doubt, and I didn’t learn a goddamn thing from the experience. But I didn’t go to jail. I went home to the Mission, got drunk with my roommates and ate tacos. A success story.


  1. I love these true stories. Especially when they end with tacos or burritos. I was right there with you all the way.

    1. I love them, too. "Welcome to the Jungle" kept going through my head. Anything you can walk away from...and have tacos or a win.

    2. This is great, Dan, Love the whole vibe the precision with which you tell it.

    3. Right there immediately. What I mean is, I was pulled into the story without a moment's hesitation. And for some reason, "...and I didn’t learn a goddamn thing from the experience" made me laugh out loud. Tacos, burritos... Brother, I've craved tamales many times since I had them at your place.

    4. I love when you tell a story like this. It's like the beer we're sharing is cold, the buzz is buzzing and we can actually hear your voice. I mean there, on (virtual) paper, this mostly-deaf guy can hear you go up and down in tone. Shoot, I could even see your hands move!

  2. “Tell me again, Daddy, about the people.”

    “You should get some sleep.”

    “Just one story?”

    “Okay. One. But I’ve told you this so many times…”

    “Just once more…”

    “Once upon a time, there was a great people. They were filled with compassion and knew their connection to the earth and all the other living creatures.”

    “I like that part of the story.”

    “But among the great people were those who wanted power and chaos. They wanted to be called Big People.”

    “But why, Daddy?”

    “No one really knows. Some say they were bored, and tired of card games and board games. Some say they were evil. But it doesn’t matter. What matters is that they began to see the other people of the world as toys to be played with.”

    “Like my dolls?”

    “Kind of like your dolls. The Big People took to calling the others Little People. They had great fun for a while. They told the Little People they needed to bigger houses. The Big People told them that they could be better if they worked harder, and if they worked really hard, they could be Big People, too.”

    “Then what happened, Daddy?”

    “The Little People forgot about what made them truly special. They forgot their ties to other living things on earth. They worked harder and harder and spent less time with their children and friends. They worked harder and harder and harder, hoping to be Big People.”

    “How could they forget about flowers and bees?”

    “First, the Big People pretended to fight each other. Company against company, political party against political party…”

    “What’s a political party, Daddy?”

    “A group of people who think they all agree with a Big Person, but who the Big Person uses as toys.”


    “But some of the Little People noticed that the Big People weren’t really fighting with each other. The Big People were all laughing at the Little People. The Big People knew they had a problem, so they invented other things to distract the Little People. They said that some Little People were more special than other Little People. That some were good, and some were bad. And the Little People believed them, and some of them killed each other.”

    “What’s it mean to kill, Daddy?”

    “It’s when someone takes the life of another.”

    “Like when I turn off my flashlight?”

    “Like that, but the switch only works one way. When a Little Person is killed, they never live again.”

    “That seems wrong.”

    “It is wrong. And some of the Little People realized this. And they tried to tell the other Little People that they shouldn’t kill. But the other Little People believed the lies and kept killing.”

    “I don’t like this part of the story, Daddy.”

    “And then one day, something terrible happened. Something that scared the Little People and the Big People.”

    “A monster?”

    [continued in comments]

    1. [continued]

      “A very tiny monster. Something we call a virus. It started killing Big People and Little People, and it didn’t care if the people were special or not.”

      “What did they do, Daddy?”

      “Well, the Big People locked themselves away, trying to avoid the virus. They stayed inside their big houses, but they knew they needed to have food and other things. How could they get food and still stay safe inside their mansions?”

      “I bet they made the Little People bring it.”

      “They did! And they were very clever. They invented new names for the little people. They told them they were very special when they brought food for the Big People. They called them ‘Essential Workers’ and ‘Heroes.’ The Little People were proud of these names, even as the virus struck them down.”

      “Why didn’t the Big People let the Little People stay in their big houses, so they could all be safe?”

      “Ah, you ask the question that the Little People began to ask. All the fancy names didn’t put food on their own tables, didn’t protect them from the virus. The Little People began to wonder what exactly the Big People were doing, and why they were so Big.”

      “So what did the Little People do?”

      “They started to ignore the Big People. The Little People began helping other Little People, and the other Little People remembered to say ‘Thank you’ and gave gifts in return.”

      “I bet the Big People were mad.”

      “Oh yes. They needed the attention and adoration of the Little People as surely as they needed food and toilet paper.”

      “What did the Big People do?”

      “They stomped their feet. They told the Little People they could have no more food. Except it was the Little People who grew and distributed the food.”

      “So they couldn’t do anything?”

      “They had one more trick. They pushed buttons.”


      “Big red buttons. Mushroom clouds of fire sprouted everywhere in the world, wherever people, Little and Big, lived. And all the people died.”

      “That’s very sad.”

      “Yes it is, sweetie. But it all works out for the best. The earth healed her wounds, lakes formed in the craters from the bombs, trees grew where they used to grow, birds sang, and frogs peeped.”

      “Thank you, Daddy, for telling me the story.”

      “You’re welcome, little one. Now it’s time for sleep.” And Daddy touched his antennae to his daughter’s antennae, and they were both glad that cockroaches didn’t have red buttons.

    2. Oh, this is marvelous! And chilling. And that ending. But we all know that cockroaches will inherit the earth...

    3. You're most kind. Thank you for taking time to read it.

    4. This is great and at the end, hilarious. Kafka is rolling in his grave...

    5. Brilliant. I really didn't see that ending coming. Amazing misdirection and such a light touch. Teresa's comment made me think you should switch "Daddy" for "Gregor" in the last line in homage. I love this so much.

    6. Aw, man! I read along, saying to myself, Yep, Yep, Whoa! Preach, brother!!! Such a great allegory. And then...BOOM...that climax and surprise ending. So good!

    7. Woah. I love this. It's sweet and sad and terrifying. That reveal at the end. Really well balanced writing

  3. He is a musician, and his body is his instrument.

    He is not the monogamous sort, but his paramours never complain. Each is grateful for however many hours he can spare. They lie in sated glow, and then they hunger for his return.

    He is an artist, and his fingers, preternaturally long, are his brushes. How lightly he writes upon the public and the private parts of bodies, telling stories with his touch.

    He is a poet, and his words are the kisses he butterflies across the ears and necks of those who hunger for his odes and verses.

    He will never hunger for food, never lack for drink, for such are freely given. But all of it, the notes he plays, the flesh canvas he paints, the sonnets he leaves behind, all of it is penance, amends for the grief and darkness he has known.

    The rare night when he is alone, he sometimes smiles, sometimes weeps, but always, he leaves his own story untold.

    1. Wow, whoosh! Perfect portrait of a character that most will never think about and even fewer will choose.

    2. Beautifully expressed. And though it's prose, it actually feels like a poem.

    3. I agree. Poetry. This is beautiful. I have known people like this and their stories rarely get told because they don't think it's worth telling

  4. “They’re dropping like flies,” Hank Atwater said as he scanned the scattered sheep herd.
    “I know. It looks as bad as the shipping fever back in aught-nine, but they was beeves,” his son Chet said with a chuckle.
    “You think this is funny, Chester Mateo?” Hank’s eyes flashed beneath the shade of his sombrero.
    “No sir, I was just comparing how they’re just fine on Tuesday and dead on Thursday.” Chet had learned the hard way that hearing his father use his proper given name followed by his baptismal name was akin to hearing distant thunder. A storm could be coming.
    “These ain’t cows we’re talking about, boy. And it ain’t these stinking, bleating blankets on the hoof, either. These are real people, despite what your grandfather would have you believe. And they been here a hell of a lot longer than he has. Even longer than your mama’s conquering Spaniard ancestors,” Hank said. He would’ve spit if he could work some up in his mouth.
    “If these Navajo keep dying off like this, there won’t be any more sheep or wool or people living out here. And if there’s no people, then all you see is nothing you can’t see in an old painting. No soul. And if they can get sick, that means we can, too. You understand that, Chet?”
    “Yes, Pa. I get it. But how’re you gonna stop these blanket-heads, I mean these folks, from getting sick?”
    “That, Chester Mateo, is the problem. No one knows. Yet.”
    Hank spurred his horse east, toward the hogan of his friend Klah Etsiddy. Klah’s family lived beneath an ancient pueblito tower of bricks and mud. Normally, Hank would know his friend was home by the smoke coming from the smithy his grandfather built within the pueblito after The Long Walk.
    As they rode nearer, even Chet was aware something was different. All he heard was the wind. By now, he should be hearing the ring of Klah’s hammer on his anvil, turning red-hot iron into tools or horseshoes. His father broke the silence as he spurred his horse into a lope toward the hogan, from which no smoke rose either.
    “Lefty, you here?” Hank called out his friend’s nickname as he jumped out of the saddle. In the Navajo language, Klah Etsiddy meant Left-handed Pounder.
    As Chet reined up, he saw his father approach the front of the house, then stop dead in his tracks as a figure emerged from the shadows in the doorway.
    “Come no closer, Henry At-the-Water,” Klah said. “I wish you well, my friend, so I ask that you stay back from my home. The evil spirit of your war has invaded the Diné, I think.”
    “Are you sick, Lefty? Is Johona all right? Your Mom, The kids?”
    “We are not yet sick. But we are not attending the great healing ceremonies with other families because my mother is so feeble now. But you know she is a blessed medicine woman and a hand trembler. She had a vision that this great sickness was coming. She saw the saddle catch fire on the old horse’s back when was not near any flames. So we have eaten of that horse.”
    Chet couldn’t believe what he heard. “What?” he said as he scanned Klah’s corral. “Out here in the middle of nowhere, no doctor for fifty miles. An old grandma and kids. And you’re eating your only way of getting help?” Chet asked. Hank shot him another of his thunderstorm looks.
    “My mother knows what to do, Chester At-the-Water. I took one of my other horses to warn my neighbors, but they aren’t so…accepting of Mother’s gifts. So we will stay here and follow the old ways.”
    “Pa, I can’t take anymore of this blanket-head hocus-pocus shit. I’m gonna start for Gallup. I’m stopping at the Jennings’ spread on the way.” (Continued)

  5. “I would feel a lot better if you went right home, Chet. Your Mom might be needing you until I get there,” Hank said. But Chet was already in the saddle and headed to his girlfriend’s father’s ranch.
    “That boy will be the death of me, Lefty.”
    “He is young and has not found his way yet, Henry. He needs guidance and knowledge of the spirits inside him.”
    “He needs a swift kick in the ass is what he needs. So what is it you and your family’s really gonna do, Lefty? I worry about you out here.”
    “Mother said we will be fine. She was taught by her grandfather who was a great hatalii during other such sicknesses.We have seen this before.”
    “I don’t know, my friend. The doctors still don’t know what this thing is or where it really came from. If I didn’t know you and the Diné as you taught me, I’d haul you back to my place, just to be closer to a doctor.”
    “Henry, I am closer to a doctor than that. She sleeps on the other side of my hogan,” Klah said with a chuckle.
    “What’s she sayin’ to do?”
    “We are now supposed to stay away from others, keep our life force within us. After today, I will not see you. I only leave the hogan to go to the pueblito or to tend the animals. We will pray and keep ourselves clean. Mother says I should not go to my forge because it will make my hands too dirty.”
    “She wants you to keep your hands clean? How the hell…?”
    “Yes, it is what she was taught. We have things to do. The children will learn from Mother, Johan and me more in the next weeks than they would in many months. This illness could be a good thing for my family.”
    “Well, I don’t know about that, compadre, but I learned a long time ago not to pooh-pooh the teachings of the Diné elders. They proved too right too many times. Hell, you’re all still here, aren’t you?”
    “Many won’t be after this, Henry. I pray you take Mother’s warning to heart for yourself and your family. Keep close to home. Keep clean. Stay happy. Pray. That’s the best way I can explain it to…”
    “A white man?”
    Both men laughed.
    “Well, Yá’át’ééh, Klah Etsiddy, my friend. You keep well, okay?”
    “Yá’át’ééh, Henry At-the-Water. I hope to see you when the sickness is gone.”
    But Hank Atwater and Klah Etsiddy did not see one another again.
    Hank decided to adhere to his friend’s mother’s advice, but his son did not. That day, Chet stopped off at the Jennings’ place where his girl, Alice, was nursing a tickle in her throat. With a peck on the cheek, he left for home.
    In a week, she was dead.
    In ten days, so were Hank Atwater and his wife. But for some reason, not Chet.
    When word of his friend’s death reached the hogan of Klah Etsiddy, the Navajo blacksmith arose from listening to his mother teach his children about the survival of the Diné Bizaad over the centuries. The children kept her alive she told her son many times.
    Too bad Hank At-the-Water was right.
    His son Chester did turn out to be the death of him.

    1. Oh, my heart. This is so poignant, and with so many cutting details. I love the line about his baptismal name being like thunder. It's wonderful to read your words again here.

    2. You take us right there. I was with you the whole way. Great work!

    3. This is rich and profound and so relevant while steeped in authenticity. Amazing piece.

    4. Sad and beautiful, and relevant is exactly the right word.

    5. You do this so well and it's SO hard. These relationships existed. Friendship. Alliance. And they were destroyed by ignorance. Timely

  6. I feel like I need to give a content warning for this one. It's kind of brutal.

    It lives in a dank, fetid hole, mostly in darkness. No one can be sure what rank and dripping maw first spawned it. No one knows how it snuck into us like something both pitiful and pitiless, some terrible fugitive of night. For some, it shows itself early and soon; others only carry it, showing no symptoms; while for others still it bides its time and shows its dormant ferocity in a ghastly belated howl. It begins with the letter C and it lives. Can you, will you name it?


    The young man kept coming back, begging to be recruited. The older man squinted into the lowering sun that sent rays around the younger man’s head, bit down on the unlit stub of cigar, sighed a rough and weary sigh. The silent canvas of the dimming evening was briefly rent by a single coyote, but only briefly. The silence always came back.

    The older man shifted his posture, dusted off his uniform, fixed the kid in another stare, this one less languid. The younger man fidgeted and looked away, at a band of liquid gold on the horizon, under the furrowing brow of encroaching night.

    The man—poet, mercenary, dog-tired wanderer of the world’s defective abysms—spoke first.

    “You don’t know what you’re signing up for. They’re cruel. They do things I doubt you’ve even imagined.”

    “I’ve imagined.”

    “You’ve imagined a man killed by a machete?”

    “Yes sir.”

    “Tell me. Do you think it’s over quickly?”

    “Not sure I ever thought too long or hard about it.”

    “Exactly, son. Then you haven’t imagined. That’s what I mean.”

    “What do you mean?”

    “It’s slow. I’ve seen it. They strip a man bare and drag him out in some dusty wooded place. He’s blindfolded and crying quietly in fear, mind filled with the dripping black heft of the bad thing almost upon him. They start on a shin bone, stretching out his recoiling leg, and begin to hack a few inches above the ankle while the victim screams in pain and the kind of existential outrage that will never be assuaged, the kind of horror that won’t ever be avenged. It can take four, five, six hacks of the machete, more, to clear the bone and separate the lower part of his leg, while the blood torrents from the wound in squirming sheets. No painkilling respite, obviously. Stark and terrible. He is someone’s son. Brother. Friend. He is in appalling agony and terror and shock. And that’s only one of four limbs. The other leg is next. Then the arms. Hacked through by a straddling incubus while still living. Yet this is no demon, just a man. You cry tears of relief when they finally saw through his neck, however crudely, and let him gush and puke his final blood gout and return to the universe. The dry mesquite tries but fails to summon tears. The red hawk shrieks its wrath. Try to imagine being that man, helpless beneath that blade. Then, worse, try to imagine being the one who wields it.”

    1. OMG. I'm glad I wasn't eating while I read this. Now hoping the younger man will change his mind.

    2. Kind of brutal? Okay, I was about to say well executed? God my social skills really have gone to hell.Well done? No that's not right, either...Bloody excellent writing? There ya go!

    3. I'm probably a bad person for laughing at "well executed." I think my mind could be in a dark place right now. And what this man is describing happened; I'll never say where I saw it other than somewhere on the internet, but these scenes play out for real in many of the world's most troubled spots. Awful stuff.

    4. Awful and... yes well-executed. Writing darkly sometimes brings light back into the world. Keep the pen moving, my friend. The world needs words, especially words as well-crafted as yours.

    5. You remind us, in majestically graphic words, how man is the infernal champion not only of instant killing on an industrial scale, but of prolonged, violent death as lesson and, date I say, entertainment.

    6. Well executed. Lol. Goddamn DA, this is so well written it made me squirm

  7. There were young women in Elizabeth's circle whose husbands traveled on business for weeks or even months at a time. The women didn't seem to mind overmuch. A few of them even bloomed in their husbands' absence. Elizabeth couldn't wrap her head around it.

    Elizabeth was not married, nor even engaged or spoken for. But in the weeks since Teddy had gone away, she'd certainly not bloomed. She'd gone from determined-but-sad to despair and back again. She felt as if half of her were missing, as if her soul had been ripped from her body and hidden somewhere out of reach.

    It's a hard thing, living with such a vital part of you missing. No, not living. Surviving. For that's all she was truly able to do. Breathe in. Breathe out. Put one foot in front of the other. Hope and pray that, if she kept moving forward, she would somehow, someday come out on the other side of this thing, and walk back into Teddy's arms, where she could once more be whole.

    1. So touching. reminds us all of just how meaningful a simple embrace can be.

    2. So sad, with that tiny glimpse of hope to alleviate it.

    3. I'm rooting for her. I want to see that embrace. Totally get that feeling of half of you missing.

    4. I'm pulling for her, too. And I hope Teddy knows what a treasure he has.

    5. So much satisfying prose a panorama of emotions ending with hope and curiosity. Yet all in such distilled form.

    6. This is lovely. Sentiment without sentimentality

  8. This is a day for dancing; that's exactly what I say. It's a day for us to groove and behoove if we so choose.

    And I do.

    Today, I am walking the walk of the proudest of all men. I am wearing my best suit; the peacock one with three chrome buttons. They are shining now - see them, then blink - each one of them a star.

    I am a constellation in motion, that is precisely what I am. A man wearing the sky across his shoulders.

    Now, you may ask me what it is I'm doing here today. It's an honest question, and it's one that I will answer. And I will answer you as I would anyone, awarding you my smile; my brightest one and the only one I own. My teeth are like the moons which float up high above, ghost mirrors for the stars that they orbit. But they gleam with the intensity of worlds, serving me better than any word any mortal man may utter.

    And my feet; they both play their roles too. They raise me and turn me, and they spin me round about, each one leading my breath as it energises my soul. I was only a man when I woke up this morning but now, I am like nine, each one of them true glorious. If you see me dance; you know exactly who I am. I am the sinners and the sainted, both the black and the light. I am all that I am and all you could be if your wishes were true promises and my charity was boundless. We are sisters and brothers at one time, both of us enfeebled and immaculate, both the lost and the found. Neither one of us the one who woke up yesterday or the one we'll be tomorrow when we sleep. We are phantoms of the future, reminders of our past, everyone falling through today as we blink away its light, the dark of night following like a spectre as we walk into its shade.

    But you may well be a doubter; there are so many more who are. They stumble as we walk, crawl down lower when we fly. They are not to be pitied; they are but waiting to be chosen. It isn't yet their time, but every person has their place. They are the soldiers and the guardians and the protectors of the few. They are the bedrock we depend on, the darkness of our skies, the woollen blanket with which we wrap ourselves at night.

    We will come together, all as one, soon.

    We belong, we are love, we are the many dressed as one.

    1. How every wonderful, and gorgeous writing. I love it!

    2. Like a secular prayer to the collective. I love this. You hooked me early, but especially when I reached this line: "A man wearing the sky across his shoulders."

    3. I love this, the sumptuous details of it. I also highlighted this line: "A man wearing the sky across his shoulders."

    4. Yep, gorgeous and sumptuous, and I pray it might be so. I loved the last line.

    5. A beautifully limned personification of E Pluribus Unum, Mark.

    6. This is fantastic. Agreed on the secular prayer and excited to hear this new flow

  9. Again, this feels like the beginning of something.


    She’d alarmed her children. Delilah giggled as she adjusted her mask in the mirror. Today she’d chosen a purple tie-dye background with a Grateful Dead logo front and center. A nice match to the thin purple streak in her long white hair.

    In a way, she lived to alarm her children. She laughed again, eyes brightly merry in the center of her wrinkles, remembering the shocked faces on her computer as one after the other, probably after some official council of her progeny, scolded her via Skype about this new volunteer project of hers.

    “You’re at risk!” Barbara Jean shrilled. “You shouldn’t be out there now!”

    Caroline had stared in disbelief, then said, “Can’t they get someone else to do it?”

    “Mom,” A thread of exasperation drew Benjamin’s usual calm demeanor tighter. “Maybe you should get back to your poetry. Find something productive to engage you.”

    She understood their worries. Eighty was a touch over the age of concern for succumbing to all manner of germs, and not just the current one. But she didn’t see herself locked up in her house until the end of time, doing crossword puzzles and watching television. Death would come knocking for her soon enough, and she had a wardrobe of masks and a calling. And when a person has a calling, it’s her duty to see it through. The children would just have to accept that about her. Eventually.

    Some of them had even been proud of her, once.

    “My mom’s a claptrapper,” she’d overheard Barbara Jean bragging to her teenage friends, then explained what it meant and how brave and hip she’d been. It was called contact tracing then, too, only it was for venereal diseases. She’d track down various people who might have had contact with infected parties, and advise them to come to the clinic to get tested.

    How innocent we were then, Delilah thought. It was highly unlikely that the nasties she tried to stop in the sixties and seventies would kill a person. This was a different world. Despite what her children seemed to believe, she understood that. And she could do most of it by computer or phone. But same as it was then, some folks were harder to reach. Or stubborn. She knew stubborn.

    Even if it was just standing on a person’s front porch, having a conversation through a storm door, or leaving her flyer of symptoms and where to get tested, and maybe a mask if she had any to spare, today she would confront stubborn.

    1. Oh, what a fascinating angle. As I've been reading this week's stories, I've been wondering what it is that draws us in and commits us to reading the whole piece, especially given how distracted many of us are right now (okay, I'm distracted, so maybe that's projection). And in this story, it's an ostensibly simple line that did it: "In a way, she lived to alarm her children." There's so much personality and humour and life in that short line.

    2. That last paragraph did me in. It cut right to the core of what matters and why Delilah is doing what she's doing - why she, herself, is being stubborn. Love this piece so much.

    3. I find myself loving Delilah. She reminds me of a delightful AIDS counselor in the fluffy film All Over the Guy, from 2001. You've told this story beautifully.

    4. So many great hooks in this piece. Sentences and images that snagged my eye and ear to drift along with Delilah's story and missions.

    5. I agree. Also think you've met an amazing character who wanna more story

  10. Motions in E

    Suspended in animation,
    Take a step forward
    And stagger it back.

    Play a harpsichord
    Because there’s nothing
    Else to do,

    Or a reedless violin
    When your meditation
    Can’t stand it.

    Are you still listening
    To me as the skies
    Burn black?

    Are you running
    Ragged? Thought too
    much? Too little?

    I count backwards,
    Speak in sign,
    Find out what’s mine

    In a crystal lake.
    Time passes
    And I am my own key.

    1. I like the structure and the subject matter... and the last line is perfect.

    2. Thanks, Leland. I was a bit late this time. Sunday night!

    3. Agree with Leland. That last line shows strength and self-awareness. And, on second reading, I found a musical meaning in the first line. as.describing a suspended chord.

    4. Thanks. I was thinking of music, which I can't read, and the title is a word rattle of 'emotions' :)

    5. Super cool. I read it like joe

  11. A pretty penny

    I found a penny yesterday,
    Its shine long lost,
    Edges rubbed of their ridges.

    I pocketed it for today,
    This little tired head
    Looking at me curiously.

    Where will this penny take me?
    Does it want to be spent?
    Or should I keep it for prosperity?

    On its own it can’t do much.
    Its only value lies in addition,
    To gain by a bigger grouping.

    I’ll put it in this red pot
    Of small change, in the mix.
    A jangle of metal cast-offs.

    1. "A jangle" is a perfect collective noun for metal cast-offs! And I think that little penny is a perfect metaphor for how many of us are feeling... not sure if we should be spent or adding to prosperity in these times. I really like this.

    2. Love, "It's only value lies in addition,". Shows the power of E Pluribus Unum.

    3. Thanks, Joseph. I googled that!

    4. Agree with Leland. Simple and rich


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