Archive for the Prose Category

The Imposter Feeds The Birds

Posted in Prose with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 14, 2017 by beautifulimposter

One moment there’s an empty bench, the next there I am. It’s easy when you exist between the cracks of things, you’re always just everywhere. The daylight is weak, watery, thin gold hammered to transparency by winter’s hardness. My breath is the smoke of dragons, or at least that’s the fiction I’m maintaining today.
I rummage through the deep pockets of my great, black coat, picking through the contents, the bits of dreams, lost keys, remnants and fragments until my fingers find the bag of seed. Taking it out, I hold it in my left palm while my right hand dips in, feeling the cool slither of the grains slip sliding. A cast handful glitters briefly, suspended in air that shouldn’t be able to hold the weight of a feather, an arch shimmering bright before bounce scattering across pavement washed in slipshod wisps of snow.
They come slowly, in ones and twos, little, beetle black iridescent, wings fingering strands of cold air before alighting, heads curious tilt, ink drop eyes suspicious yet hunger overrides caution. Starlings, sparrows, little ragged pieces of fugitive night hop between the avenues of seed, needle beaks dipping, peck peck peck.
I watch them, hop and flutter, a moving mandala. Within the blue-purple-green-black feathers the faces surface slowly, rising up from deep, deep waters trapped in jeweled wings. Each feather is a screen, a frame showing the motion picture of a whole life. The stories are endless, myriad, woe and joy, smiles, tears, the rending of garments and spilling of ash, homemade pies, kisses and salt, spinning and whirling, almost more than the eye can hold, or at least more than most eyes. After a while you get used to it. I’ve often thought it’s a wonder they can fly at all, with the weight of all the souls glued to them, caught on honey sticky feathers.
The few passers by are chased by the wicked teeth of the cold, no one looks. Even if they did, they wouldn’t see, it takes a knack that most forget beyond the borders of childhood. A shame really, but that’s is the way, always forgetting, always wondering on to the the next. That’s why I make it a point to sit and feed the birds and watch the lives in the dark mirrors. For the remembering. I scatter another handful and sit back to enjoy the show.

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A Lost Art

Posted in Fun stuff, Journal, Prose, Social Commentary with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 1, 2015 by beautifulimposter

I miss making out. Not just because I don’t have anyone physically in my life at the moment to make out with. I have someone with whom I would very much like to in point of fact, but that current circumstances prevent such delightful intimacy. It’s not just that though, it’s the fact that even within the context of a romantic relationship at a certain point I think we kind if stop making out. Once we have “grown up” and have had a few partners it seems, in my experience at least, that any initiation of kissing and petting just leads to sex. It’s almost a foregone conclusion, like we somehow get into the mindset that it has to go all the way all of the time.
I get that to a certain extent. When you’re younger, making out is your baby steps, how you learn the wonders and joys and in some cases mortifying embarrassment of sex. It’s that first toe so to speak in the deep and mysterious waters of being with another person, exploring an uncharted, unknown continent with nervous, sweaty, fumbling hands. There were limits, because either you, or your partner, or both weren’t ready yet to just dive in. There were also practical reasons, like adults being around and frowning on the same things they used to get up to for some reason I’ve never been able to understand. All of that though kind of goes away after a while. We all get to that point where we get at least somewhat comfortable with our desires, we know what we want and roughly how to go about doing it and so, when there is opportunity and we’ve confirmed everyone is willing, there’s no need to stop. Why make yourself suffer that agony of boiling, nearly violent frustration when you have someone perfectly willing to give and get that release right?
There’s something to be said for that. I mean, I remember very clearly spending HOURS in my bedroom with my first girlfriend, laying on my bed, lips chapped, jaws aching, various bits rubbing together and possibly getting rub burn. By the end of one of our marathons, no matter how sublimely enjoyable I would, walking her home, have to walk very, very delicately to in no way show how much pain I was in from having an erection for what amounted to half a shift of a work day without it serving its intended purpose. Now, here is where I’m going to point out, I’m not trying to garner any sympathy with this, I’m just relating the facts, it bloody fucking hurt like I’d been kicked in the groin. I’m sure my girlfriend endured similar discomforts, was aching just as badly, but I can only faithfully report my particular symptoms. Bottom line being, while making out was definitely a great deal of fun, it did get us both worked up and wanting more and why put yourself through that when you don’t have to?
Because it is fun, that’s why. Because it does leave you wanting more, and that anticipation can make any future coupling that much more intense. Because sometimes it is still such a wonderful thing to let your hands roam over your lover’s body without urgency, just loving the feel of them, savoring it without that finish line of fucking barreling down on you. It has kind of made me both sad and wistful over the years that just making out kind of gets put aside with all the rest of youth, often gets viewed as something childish and not becoming of an adult. I think we get it into our heads that once we are grown ups, we have to be that all of the time and that something like making out almost becomes beneath our dignity.
That’s such a shame to me though. I love the thought of laying on the couch with my girl, a movie on so we can at least pretend we were watching, kissing with just that perfect amount of tongue, the kind of kissing you can keep up forever, no sprinting, all long distance, the air full of the soft sounds of wetness and lip smacking and the whispering rustling of hands over clothes and clothes against each other. Something languorous, lazy, sensual, even playful. It could lead to more, or it could just settle back down into cuddling, only to start back up again, or it could just as easily lead to falling asleep together. That to me is my idea of heaven.
Unfortunately, at least in my relationships, once that ball got rolling it inevitably ended up being naked and needing to clean up. I am not going to speak for anyone else out there, but in talking with others of like vintage to myself, this seems to be a fairly common state of affairs. Well, I for one think making out should in fact be re-instituted to its rightful place in the roster of adulting fun and games. If you’re lucky enough to have someone to do it with in your life right now, give it a try. There is something to be said for reclaiming a bit of lost innocence and delayed gratification.

Hope

Posted in Journal, Prose, Social Commentary with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 22, 2015 by beautifulimposter

You know, hope is never something I’ve really had. I mean, I’ve said to people “I hope things get better” or “I hope you have a good time” but I’ve done so only because it’s a nice thing to say, the only thing to say in some cases if you’re going to say anything. Yet I’ve never actually held hope for others or myself, to me from a very early age hope was equal to disappointment. Things would happen or they wouldn’t, would go well or poorly and more often than not hoping for any particular outcome was ultimately fruitless.
So I’ve made my way through life without hope. Even when I was unemployed and growing more and more desperate every day I never thought to myself “I hope I hear back from that job”, I just put my apps in and if I got a call, great, but if not then I just had to put more out there or else. Hope was never part of the equation. I don’t even hope for better, I just do my best and I get what I get. That’s how the world works. Even with my kids, I don’t hope they do well. I give my best, try to teach them what I know, tell them not to make the same mistakes I’ve made but ultimately, their fortunes are theirs. Mostly when it comes to them I just gave fear, knowing what I do of life. I fear what this world will do to them, how it’s going to crush down on them and put out the light in their eyes. Fuck, I don’t even have hope for humanity really, the more I see all I get is the same behaviors that have been perpetrated for millennia, new names perhaps, refining of concepts but all the same bullshit. If we honestly haven’t truly learned anything in all this time, where is there room for hope?
Now, all of the above was true, I basically thought hope was for suckers. I even wrote a poem about it somewhere on here if you care to look. It was true, but now, strangely, it isn’t. I have hope now. In fact, it kind of snuck up on me unexpectedly and metaphorically mugged my psyche. I wasn’t looking for it, but it found me and I find myself hoping for things. Now, normally if my brain allowed itself the faintest glimmer of hope, the “rational” majority of my mind would pitilessly squash it out. Lately though, I’ve found myself telling that part of me that gives me all the perfectly logical reasons why any given outcome is unlikely if not impossible to go piss up a rope. I find myself not giving even one fuck if all that I’m wanting will come to pass, I am just allowing myself to enjoy this feeling of lightness, being uplifted by the possibility regardless of logic or probabilities. It started off small, just hoping for one little thing, but it’s growing, spreading out roots and branches and slowly but surely I find myself hopeful.
Now, I’m not saying that just hoping is going to make miracles happen. I also don’t believe in magical bearded dudes in the clouds granting wishes. I know I’m going to have to work and struggle and fight for any of my hopes to come to pass and even giving my absolute all I know full well they may not, that disappointment and failure are always options. The thing is, I just don’t care any more. I do not care if I crash flaming into the ground and my whole world burns down. If it does, I tried my best, my hardest and I hoped for more.
Now, I know a lot of my faithful readers will be shocked by this, maybe to the point of sudden death. You all probably are overly familiar with my cynicism, my ongoing battles with clinical depression and anxiety. None of that has gone away really, it still lurks and I still fight it, I just have some better weapons perhaps. Where did all this come from you ask? It was a gift to be honest. A truly unexpected one, one I wasn’t looking for in the slightest, but probably one of the greatest gifts anyone has ever given me, even if they don’t realize that they did, that simply their existence is the gift. Like a lot of gifts, it’s fragile, but I’m trying to keep it whole. I say thank you every chance I get in as many ways as I can. It truly is a precious thing, what we call hope and I think from now on I will always appreciate its value, double edged as it may be.
So, for the very first time since I was a child I am hopeful. I bet money there are many who know me who had no hope for that. It just goes to show I guess.

The Kiss After

Posted in Poetry, Prose with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 19, 2015 by beautifulimposter

This could be viewed as a companion piece to “Not My First Kiss”, or maybe a finishing of the thought, a codicil that turns wistful nostalgia into something perhaps more hopeful. All I know for sure is that it is something that has been on my mind much of late, looking forward to that next kiss

I have gone on at great length about kisses. It is entirely likely that I have written miles of verse or prose dedicated to the subject, describing as best I can all possible varieties, shapes, conditions that a kiss may take or have. The fashion they can linger upon the skin or in the blood, the deep, lasting marks they can make upon fevered brain or tempestuous heart. One could say it is a favorite subject of mine, both a connoisseur, collector, and something of an expert even, if I do say so myself, although I think I could dig up a few testimonials to support the claim if I tried. The thing is, there are simply so very many kinds of kiss. The first kiss, the kiss goodbye, goodnight kisses, the best of which may turn into good morning kisses, languorous kisses that last whole afternoons and greet the dusk with sultry succulence, breathless take you by the spine and drag you to your feet kisses that fall down upon upturned lips like lightning, ringing in the ears like thunder, kisses that contain laughter, kisses that taste of salt, every hue or mood that passion may bend itself to will each have its print. All of these though, from the greatest to the least, all pale in comparison to that greatest of all kisses. The next one. The one your lips remember from birth as the faintest whisper of trembling, a dull, wicked ache like a blade scraped over the raw nerve that is you, the one that only exists as a pressure differential, the even if you kiss the same mouth forever and ever promise, the ecstatic, shiver up and down the spine in supreme, expectant, agony of antici…pation kiss. There will be in any life a multitude of kisses, some better, some worse, but I think that it bears noting that the best kiss you will ever or could possibly ever have…is the next one.

It’s Funny In A Way (But Really It’s Not)

Posted in Journal, Prose, Writing Process with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 30, 2015 by beautifulimposter

You get one aspect of your life squared away, or at least moving in the direction where it will be possible to get things squared away and another aspect just seems to get completely fubar’d.
I’d say between late June till now-ish has been one of my most creative periods, I’ve written a lot of poetry and a couple of short stories that I’ve actually felt really good about. I have also managed to acquire a small group of friends, still in the early stages of friendship, but way more than I have had in a long fucking time and they are a bunch I really hope I can get in tight with. I have also managed to reacquire gainful employment after being out of work and pretty much worthless for far, far too long.
So here’s the thing. My life seems like it just might be getting back on track yet for some ungodly reason I am feeling so blah creatively all of a sudden. My last few poems have been flat, stale and unoriginal and even though I really want to write, the words just don’t seem to want to play fair, they keep wriggling out of my mental grasp like tadpoles. Even more so, it’s like when you’re trying to catch the tadpoles and you think you’ve got a good head on one but when you dart your hand under the water you became fooled by the distortion of light refraction, the target wasn’t even really there. Hell, even at my last couple of readings I haven’t left the stage feeling that same high, I just can’t seem to catch the rhythm of the words right and it all falls flat.
It’s almost enough to get me buying into the myth that one must suffer to create, which I know is complete bullshit. Yet at the same time it always seems that you get that one plate spinning that was wobbling, almost falling and another is on its way down. I don’t know what to make of this and even in this moment of jubilation (I was grinning like a mad idiot earlier just being able to say out loud “I have a job”) I still find this feeling of frustration and a gnawing doubt. Looking over some of my stuff, I’m finding fault, even pieces that have been publicly well received seem like hack work. I hate that, because a part of me knows that they are good but in this moment not only can I not make anything new I’m trying to destroy what I have built. The last couple of years I sort of put the question of whether or not I have any talent as a writer out of my head but only because I was much more concerned with the question of my over all value as a human being and finding myself very much lacking. As soon as that seems to even begin to turn around all of a sudden I’m back to wondering if I really have a voice, if I have anything truly worth saying even if I do.
It’s the up and down that kills me. I use this a lot in all of my writing, but I am just so tired, so bone deep weary of it all. I’m trying my best to figure it all out, I’m trying my hardest to maintain that balance, I really, truly am giving it everything I have but I am just so very tired. I know I whine a lot on here. This is the only place though I can get this shit out, just so that it’s not living inside my head any more, because it is too bloody full all of the time.
That’s it really, that’s all, thanks for listening.

An Open Letter

Posted in Journal, Prose with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 17, 2015 by beautifulimposter

Dear ***,
I’ve tried writing this letter so many times over the years and every time I could either not find the words I wanted or I let my cowardice win and deleted it, convincing myself there was really no point in writing it, that committing myself in writing served no useful or constructive purpose. I’m still not convinced this will do any good, but I think it can’t really hurt either. It’s not like I think you’ll actually ever read it and even if you did happen to come across it I truly don’t think it will matter that much, not now, not after so much time and distance between us and now. What was “us” anyway really? A little bit more than a year when we were both still kids? Nearly twenty years in between filled with other people, experiences, good, bad, or indifferent but all changing and shaping each of us into two people who may not even recognize each other if they passed on the street?

Only for me, I know that’s just a little bit of bullshit. I’d know you anywhere. When you can’t stop thinking of someone, picturing their face, holding on to the sound of their voice it makes remembering very easy. I honestly haven’t ever stopped thinking of you, not once. At first they were all angry thoughts, trying to justify myself I guess, distance myself from my own stupidity and selfishness. They changed though, over the years. I replayed everything out over and over, all the moments, all the conversations, all of the mistakes I made just coming clearer over time. I was a shitty boyfriend, from start to finish, there’s no way I can deny that fact. I took you for granted, what you were and how special that was, how rare. So now when I think about you, all I can feel is guilt and regret.

There’s the big word, “regret”. You are, among all of my many regrets, the biggest by far. Kind of late in the game to realize this, but it’s true. I never once stopped loving you, no matter what I actually said. It’s quite possible that you’re the only woman I can truly say that I do love, that I can honestly use that word for. I’ve told other women that I loved them, and I’ve always wanted to mean it, I’ve convinced myself thoroughly that I did mean it but the thing is I don’t miss any of them. Not like I miss you. Some days I think all that I am is missing you, not a person, just this raw walking streak of loss. I know with a grim certainty that I will go to my grave missing you just as certainly as I know that I won’t ever see you in the flesh in this life again. And that’s my fault.

I think I’ve tried to evade that fact for a long time, tried to twist out from under it for years yet I can’t deny it any more. I could make excuses, I have made excuses, I was young, I didn’t know what I was doing, I was stupid and foolish and just fairly horrible all around. But those are reasons, not any kind of justification. In the end, I convinced myself that this wasn’t love, that there was this mythical something out there, that despite believing for all of my miserable life that there is a “one” that you weren’t it. I’m very good at convincing myself into things. Most of the time in doing so, I hurt people, just leave a lot of wreckage in my wake. No more so when I walked away from you. If it helps any, not that I think it will, I hate myself so much for doing that. I’m so angry all of the time and I can pretend it’s because of the state of the world, my disgust with humanity and all of its failings, or whatever other high handed bullshit I can scrape together but in the end I’m angry that I threw something precious away and I have no one to blame but myself. I punish myself every day, I use memories of you to beat myself raw and bloody because I don’t think I can ever suffer enough to make up for my mistakes.

That doesn’t really matter though. It’s not going to make any difference in the end. I’ll still do it, but it’s a pretty useless and futile gesture. Even if I could look you in the eye right now and tell you how sorry I am, would it matter? You’ve gone on to have loves of your own, you’ve built a life, struggled, suffered, become someone who might in some way remember a boy who broke your heart once upon a time. My relevance in your life is a negative, something so much less than nothing. Fuck, I’m just close to being a complete stranger to you now. I like to tell myself that that’s why I’ve never written this down before, that at best all of this would be an awkward and unwelcome reminder of something that once was, at worst it’s just pulling open an old scar best left closed. The truth is though that I’ve never committed to anything, not you, not my life, my writing, my marriage, nothing. I’m too scared, too much of a god damn coward to lay everything down and make a choice for better or worse. So much of my life is filled with moments where I let events unfold until all the choices where made for me, except once, and I made the wrong motherfucking choice.

I really don’t know what all of this is, why I’m writing this. There always seems so much I want to say but it never comes out just right. Maybe there’s no right way to say this, maybe I could start talking now and never be able to explain everything, just keep talking until my voice got lost but I’d still be making the words with cracked and broken lips because it will take me the rest of my life to truly convey all of the pain and anger and regret I hold inside of me. The bottom line though will always be this and this alone. I love you. I always have, I do right now and I always will for the rest of my wretched life. I always keep the hope that you will find your happiness, that for every hurt you will find the remedy. I want you to always know how beautiful, intelligent, amazing and truly wonderfully weird you are and I hope you will always keep who you are and feel that strength. I will never, ever be a part of your world ever again but I hope I can always find some way of knowing that you are out there and doing well.

I guess that’s pretty much all I have to say. It’s not really, but at some point the words have to stop. I just want to leave you with this and then I’ll stop. No matter what happens know this one thing as the truth. There will ALWAYS be one man who loves you, who thinks you are the most incredible person he has ever known and believes with all of his heart that the world is truly better and special and magic because you grace it. Know that sweet, beautiful girl.

Forever yours,

Matthew Brewes, The Beautiful Imposter 

I Wish

Posted in Journal, Prose with tags , , , , , , , , on September 12, 2015 by beautifulimposter

I wish I could sing in front of a crowd the way I do when I’m home alone. Not that my singing is ever any good anywhere, but when I’m alone I let go, I let the music take me and for however long the song is I’m free. I can’t do that with witnesses. My whole life is about maintaining control, an even keel, don’t rock the boat, don’t cause offense, be careful, be quiet, fly under the radar. No one is allowed the whole picture, not ever.
I got absolutely wrecked last night and I feel terrible. Not from the hangover, but because I lost control and that to me is an unforgivable transgression. I’ve been tearing myself apart all god damn day. There’s no excuse and I have no mercy for myself. It doesn’t even matter that I may not have done anything that bad, I just won’t allow myself to be forgiven for letting go.
I get sick of it, the care, the caution, the very intricate thought I put into every word, every gesture, everything a facade, what I think will work best in any given situation. Even then, I will pick apart every single conversation, go back over the play by play in my brain, finding the flaws, reprimanding, rethinking. It never stops, not ever. I think somewhere along the way I’ve completely forgotten who I actually am, that I lost myself trying to be the best version of what everyone else wants. Maybe that’s why I hate being alone so much lately, when I’m by myself I stop existing, there’s no one for me to be.
Except when I’m singing, when the music starts and it tells me who to be, my body moving without thought, screaming the words until it feels like I’m spitting blood. I wish so very often that I could have that freedom every once in a while with others without the blur of alcohol. But I can’t, I’m too afraid and the fear is constant. I’ve lived with it for far too long and it’s become far too comfortable. So I hide and I cling desperately to my control and my masks and I pray no one ever finds out about the hollow and the empty underneath.