Friday, September 3, 2010

On the Street

There's a man with an hourglass figure
His sway natural, unaware of itself.

He's old and he wears old man's clothes.
Beige and brown, cinched with a belt.

He has a hat on. He brings his hand to it,
matting it down. On account of the wind,
that whistling wind - incessant.

He walks with his hand on his hatted head.
And he sways with the rays that light him.

He travels in a straight line.
That curves on him.

He turns around. And comes to a halt.
He's got a glass eye.
Blue, his color of choice.

He stands there, like maybe he's
forgotten something.
But he doesn't walk back.
Or go anywhere.

He just stands there, still. With
his glass eye and his runaway hat.
That heeds to the wind.

It howls.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Roadtrips

I wish to tell you about road trips down country lanes, narrow ones, populated with sprinkling of flowers and people, over a lot, and I mean a lot, of greenery. Green hills rolling into one another, tightly clenched trees bristling, presiding over green fur. Crumbling cottages there are, seven-hundred-year-old structures some of them, and then a little up a ways, some new developments; lots with shiny prefab houses that look so neat, colorful, and cheap to be made of mere matchsticks; wouldn't be surprised to hear they were. Otherwise the scenery goes on, uninterrupted, until we enter a village with either the triangular-roofed houses or the mainstay one-story boxes with the double windows, always those double windows. For the winter, brutal here.

Down these country roads we travel once or twice a week in the summer, some times listening to music, some 1970s classical-experimental Slovak band, low-key rock, or nothing at all. Most often nothing at all but the scenery's sounds. All the unseen cacophony of summer life with its insects and murmurings of the earth. A tractor whirring or a hose we encounter maybe, manned by a suspicious or indifferent potbellied man. Suspicious if they were to catch your eye peering.

Women in muumus, wearing socks over sandals, with a water hose bent over the geraniums or other perennial variety.

Soothing, these drives. Mind succumbing to the movement, being pulled and lulled by it. Rarely do words pass between us, and if they do, it's something so commonplace, an item of a to-do list perhaps, that we just nod or grunt, uh-huhing each other in acknowledgement.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

From Finger tips of Night Runs

I squeezed death with fingertips

Pressing and twirling

Grind of miniature life

For the trespass of walking across my glasses

Peppermint lingers – the surprise.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Moving Back In

I've changed my mind, I'm allowed to do that, aren't I! I just can't part with Madeleine.

Plus here is my chance to babble on...too appealing to pass up.

I need a journal now. Fat dollops of change landing my way. Aways.

Stay tuned, my fellow two readers or so. (Not that I'm counting.)

Recently realised I was also keeping it off limits to everyone A late night mistake.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Folds

Dreams lay in folds of my mother’s dress.
She wore it day and night that summer.
Stitched into her fabric, her fiber, I thought, confusing the two.
Flowers bloomed on it while my dreams rested.
Waiting to pounce at chances now come and gone.

In that summer they remained burrowed, sleepy-eyed,
safe-keeping all promise of the possibles.

The horizon. My mother, she walked along that fur-lined
path going further than I could see.
On and on and out of sight.
My cheek on her lap later, sunny whiffs,
while she ignored the busy ants on their hike up her leg.

Warm, too warm, I sprang up suddenly, rubbing her off
against the cool plaster wall.
Soon I began to notice the earth
lodged underneath her nails.
And hate her for it.

She took it wherever she went.

Her thighs rubbed together, her dress swooshing
all the while: mounds, hills, and every other protuberance.
Perturbing me. Even her face was rounded;
that skin of sunburnt yolk.
When I brought her a lacquered butterfly,
she began to look at me sideways.

And I started to iron her dress.

Housework

The house leaned to the side – a gothic, miniature version of its
popular cousin in Pisa. Concrete stairways flanked it on both sides,
leading up and down dark pathways one could take with
legs on. The house was trying to grow those –
feverishly aiming to escape its planted, boorish fate.

It wiggled and twitched, contorting every which way
in its aspiration. It was getting there,
thanks to the middle gash commonly called a door.
It helped it breathe though it wasn’t nearly wide enough.
The legs it gave were elephantine, two graceless trunks.

But still, that center allowed for the shape of possibility.
It just needed a little more effort or a bout of inspiration
- something to turn the impossible on its head.

It knew it needed to slim down.
So it pulled itself up by the rootstraps,
tugging it up, up, upwards.

So that it now found itself in its amorphous shape.
Looking at times like a beanbag stretched gruffly from both ends.
In its becoming…its just being there, it was not this or that
and especially not the other thing.
Into black to begin with,
it held existential airs.

“What does IT think it is!” passersby said.

Hearing that, the house shook, clamping their mouth shut in fright.
Fantasies of crushing came and went.
It only provoked further ridicule…blows
a strong house had to swallow.

Still, the house was best defined for its longing,
clearly partial to the left path, but
the neck of it was now impossibly narrow.

In its craning, the house was very
likely responsible, elbowing as it does with its girth.
Pressing its desires.

But to say something would only hurt its feelings.

That left the right staircase, if going up was the plan –
and wasn’t it always?

Though tumbling down was padded with delights,
it was still not easy a plan, with its mighty teeth.

In any case the right path ran in a clear strip, up or down,
clearly a more practical if less interesting option.

But it would take some preposterous time to do either.

And now the furnace was cold, and it was getting late.

Upstairs, on the top floor where the house slept
on a coarse mattress made of straw with a blue felt blanket,
its walls green, pockmarked and snaking towards little
pinhole-eyed windows, it went blinded and glassed.

There is always tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Casualties

A nippy, grey autumn day. Leaves fall and swirl off trees, dew dripping off the surface of some of them. Few people are scattered throughout the park. A grandmotherly type shuffles along a pathway tugging a small dog on a leash.

She approaches and moves past a man sitting on a rusty park bench. As she passes, the man turns to regard the dog with an amused, kindly expression.

He is Mikhael, in his late-twenties, casually dressed but trendy in a fake leather jacket and fedora hat. Clutching a duffel bag, he proceeds to remove a tin food container and fork from inside it. He lifts open the lid, spearing the large chunks of brown, cream-doused meat.

As he’s about to take a mouthful, a young woman in a green sweater appears in front of him. She stands there, warily facing him. Her name is Amanda. Seeing her, his eyes light up and he struggles to chew on his food. She looks down at him, a look of undeniable disgust on her face.

He swallows, lump and shame beading down his throat in equal measures. She sits down on the bench, allowing for a considerable distance from him. As he gestures for her to take a bite of the food, she emphatically nods her head “no.”

MIKHAEL (with a Slavic Accent): Sorry, humm, how are you?
AMANDA: Good, you?
MIKHAEL (yawning and then eating – a feat): Gud.

He takes another bite.

AMANDA: Listen, I’m in a bit of a rush, so…

He gulps down his food, nearly choking on it.

MIKHAEL: Yea yea, sorry. I don’t have lots time in work so I eat now.

He closes the container and puts it away. He then turns to fully face her. Taking her in, he cracks a bittersweet smile. Noticing her slight shiver, he abruptly wedges himself out of his jacket.

MIKHAEL: Here, here.
AMANDA: I’m fine. Thanks.

He hands it to her, beaming as he does. Reluctantly, she takes it, putting it on. He gazes at her in his jacket, his face suffused with pride. She stares straight ahead.

MIKHAEL: You look beautiful, like all time.

She grins, adjusting her hair.

AMANDA: Yeah, well.
MIKHAEL: You sure you want to talk here? We can go my apartment? More comfortable.

She shakes her head “No.”

MIKHAEL: You sure? Restaurant maybe? Café?

She vehemently shakes her head “no.”

MIKHAEL: Across, there is -
AMANDA: No, no! Here’s fine.

Stricken, he looks down. She sighs, takes a breath, gathering her composure.

AMANDA: …I’m sorry. But like I told you on the phone, we gotta problem.

Expectantly, he gazes at her. She continues to stare straight ahead as she speaks. A brief, awkward pause ensues.

AMANDA: I’m pregnant.

He is stunned.

AMANDA: Which really sucks but what can we do.

His eyes glaze over.

AMANDA: So I thought you could help me find a doctor and we could split the costs.

She turns to look at him, waiting for a response. Slowly, he snaps out of his dumbstruck state.
Moved, his eyes well up as he stares at her.

MIKHAEL: Ah? You have…there.

He reaches to touch her stomach, drops are falling now. They stream down along with snot from his nose. He pulls out a handkerchief from his pocket and blows – hard and honking.

AMANDA: Yeah, not for long though.
MIKHAEL: What you mean, not for long?
AMANDA: Didn’t you hear what I said. I’m obviously not gonna have it. That’s not even in question. So…

He gasps, out of loss of what to do. Suddenly he lunges forward and up on his feet in a frantic, wildly strange movement.

AMANDA: Oh, Mikhael, please, you’re not gonna freak out again are you?

He clamors towards her and crouches down in front of her. He tries to grab her hand as she resolutely stuffs it into her pocket. She recoils further away on the bench.

AMANDA (continuing): Obviously you are.

He persists on trying to touch her as she shuns him. She looks around, mortified.

MIKHAEL: I love you.
AMANDA: No you don’t, you just think you do.

He looks confused.

MIKHAEL: What is the difference? I love you, I do I do.
AMANDA: Okay fine. But I don’t. You know I don’t.

He throws himself on the ground and starts to flail his arms about.

MIKHAEL: Why you send me to hell? Why?
AMANDA: Oh jeez, will you stop it! You are embarrassing me.

He mutters something unintelligible. She looks around and notices there’s a woman watching them from a distance. She smiles at the woman.

AMANDA: Will you please get up…People are looking. God, you make me feel like such a sadist.

He ignores her, continues to mutter to himself on the ground. Her cell phone rings. She picks it up.

AMANDA (quietly and sweetly): Hello… yeah I’m almost done. I’ll meet you in twenty minutes at the entrance. K’, k – bye.

Still on the ground, he looks up at her.

MIKHAEL: You leaving? Who is that?

He gets up and moves toward her. She looks scared.

AMANDA: Listen, as responsible adults we need to share responsibility and…
MIKHAEL: Responsibility, how can you talk it? You bring best news in life but to take it from me.
AMANDA: Oh, for God’s sake! No one is taking anything away from you. Now, be reasonable – don’t tell me you think I should have it.
MIKHAEL: Yes of course.
AMANDA: Okay, forget it, I knew this was a bad idea. I just thought I’d give you the benefit of the doubt.
MIKHAEL: What?

She gets up, starts to slip out of his jacket. As she hands it to him, he stares at her, questioningly.

AMANDA: Never mind. I gotta go.
MIKHAEL: Where? How…

She sighs.

AMANDA: Listen, I’m sorry if I hurt you. I wish you the best.
MIKHAEL: Who you meet now?
AMANDA: A friend.
MIKHAEL: A man?
AMANDA: What difference does it make…yes.

He grunts.

MIKHAEL: Already? Pregnant and already with other man.
AMANDA: What!
MIKHAEL: Slut!

Color drains from her face as she stares at him in disbelief.
Suddenly, her expression shifts; she can no longer contain herself.

AMANDA: You… You think I’d have your child? I’d be totally ashamed.

She saunters past him.

AMANDA: You’re so…selfish.

He watches her as she picks up her step, walking away.