Archive for weird

Turn of the Tide

Posted in Poetry, Social Commentary with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 8, 2017 by beautifulimposter

There is rust upon the tongue, flakes of grit
The taste of metallic decay, bitter silences
Poisoning all thought, each stillness the longer echoing
Of all the words trapped beneath cowardice
Or strangling themselves stillborn,
Infinite infant corpses dangling faux tears
Strung grisly ornamental from spiny, crusted lashes.

Something rotten indeed
Cloying, unlovely, limping mockery
Nuzzling lascivious leaving viscous fingerprints
Stains beneath the flesh, the marks of remembrance
Bruises and cuts clawed desperate fingers digging
Oh, to remove the cancer bequeathed
Undressing bare to the bone not ever clean enough.

Bouquets of fear in full bloom thorn tearing
Wrung hands raw, wounds upon wounds
Every day, over and over and over
One moment, one touch, one word, or look, or any other abuse
The wreaths hung choking in lungs buried beneath
Crushing weights, pinned butterfly beneath the thumb of oceans
Gasping in the dark alone and alone and alone…

…when of a sudden, a match is struck,
Timid flickering, more shadow than orange burning
But warmth where there was cold, a point
Fixed, a spar to cling, then another upon another
Till there is a torrent of pricks in the night
A blaze, one into one into many and there is a raging blossom
Strong and terrible and righteous.

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November

Posted in Poetry, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on November 21, 2016 by beautifulimposter

The bitter knives of winter
Are grinding their flinty edges
Hidden discreetly in the folds
Clever and cunning
Finding all the cracks and crannies
Stabbing cold and deep
Into the scurrying masses.

Everyone becomes a dragon,
Smoking breath rising into blooms
Of flaming leaves rattling above
Crackling orange and yellow
Autumn dripping ashes and embers
Flicked from the fag end of November
In swirling arabesques.

The sidewalks look picked clean,
Bare boned, save for rags and scraps
Fugitives all bow-headed, meek
Beneath the lash of winter’s stirring tongue
Furtive dashing from one haven
Of warmth and light to another,
Near numbed fingers desperately clutching
Venti peppermint mochas.

I like to imagine the stories that chase them
Like mongrel dogs tipping at their heels
As I watch, cocooned in glass and steel
Adrift upon the early morning streets
Yet temporarily marooned,
Waiting for the next summons,
Listening to my mind weaving tall tales
To and audience of me.

The One Who Was Seen

Posted in Prose with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 19, 2015 by beautifulimposter

Here is the next little bit of the story that I began this morning and that I hope will grow into something much longer and stranger and wonderful. It is a tale that I think has been brewing in me for years, ever since I first started writing, with characters I have long known. You have already been introduced to Abby, and now it is time for Nevermore. I have tried to write in two distinctly different styles as a device which I hope works, a more realistic, prosaic one for Abby and what she sees and thinks and feels and a more arcane, poetic, fantastical style for Nevermore. I think these pair well, but as always, I would love to here what any of you think. Happy reading, and cheers all.

Her eyes chased him from the cafe, dogging his boot heels as he spun out into the twilight streets, long, black coat tails billowing scraps of deeper night behind him. He was pinned by them, two spikes of deep blue twisting in his mind, he was crushed by the weight of them as if the whole sky of all the late summer afternoons was bearing down upon his shoulders. She had seen! She had seen him! Impossible, ludacris, inconceivable, there was no way, there just wasn’t. He stalked down the sidewalk, the early evening crowds absentmindedly swirling out of his way, closing behind him without a thought, he was a salmon cleaving the waters and leaving no mark or sign of passage.

Still his mind reeled back from that one single thought. She had seen! No one had ever touched him with their eyes, not from the first to the last, not once in four billion years had any eyes caught his reflection within them. He turned up his high collar, hunching his shoulders against them, still they fluttered about him, malicious blue jays swooping and diving as he quickened his pace, not a run, but a swift clicking stride, long legs unable to outrun the eyes, the memory of them. He jammed his fists into his deep, deep coat pockets, brushing against his new treasure. This calmed him a bit, breath leaving his lips in a long sigh. At least he had managed to snatch up what he had come for before those eyes had so savagely stabbed at him. His fingers uncurled and brushed lightly over the delicate, trembling souvenir, stroking, caressing…he knew it would make such a lovely addition to the tapestry and that thought brought a smile to his thin, austere lips.

As he walked the quaint, trendy downtown streets twisted beneath his feet, for a moment he was walking over grime crusted cobbles, then wood planks, then grass, then smooth brushed chrome, his boots changing their tune rapidly as he wound his way deeper and deeper into The Border. The buildings too became a strange mix, modern sleek white cubes beside Georgian brownstones, mingled with Tudor thatched roofs, Grecian arches rubbed elbows with antique pagodas, halogen street lamps shared their duties with gaslights or rushlights or strange floating globes of eerie luminescence yet he spared these not one thought. Fragments of every place and time all seemed stitched together haphazard, leaning over drunkenly beneath strange, wheeling stars in a sky of perpetual gloaming. All passed by without so much as a glance, in fact for him, the familiarity of the strangeness wrapped him in comfort like a thick blanket as he wound his way through this jumble of broken worlds, mind bent on nothing but the thought of getting safely home, where maybe he would stop seeing her eyes.

Ahead, towering over all rose a twisting spire of pitted and blackened iron and smoked glass, twined about with arches, buttresses, parapets and walkways that crawled like ivy, a soaring impossibility that stabbed up into the sky, the needle from which the disc of night spun widdershins. He paused at its great feet, spread out like the paws of an old, faithful hound, slim fingers reaching out to trail over the massive iron doors that were there, then weren’t then were again as he crossed the threshold. Inside the first great hall appeared like a flea market, heaps and piles of junk as far as the eye could see. Through this he passed, lean scarecrow shadow flicking behind him until he reached the stair, steps nautilus shell spiralling upwards, mother of pearl thin, crisp echoing to his boot heel tattoo as he ascended, still feeling.

Landing after landing flittered by until at least he alighted from the stairs, passing along the landing through an arch that could have easily been at home in Notre Dame into a room that had in fact clearly once been a cathedral. Behind the pulpit, hanging from old blackened beams, drifting dusty in the light of ten thousand fat candles was one of his artworks. Another smile stole across his lips as it fluttered softly, thousands upon thousands of powdery wings creating a sucerous like that of a single drawn out sigh, a tender lament that washed over him, calming, soothing.

From his right pocket he carefully drew his latest prize, fingers dripping the dust of a fresh, bright pair of moth’s wings, panels of iridescent green and blue and purple shimmering between thing leaded canes. In their depths, shifting constantly in the same way scenery is broken up as you walk past a mullioned window, was a face, a body, flashes of copper flame hair, fair skin, freckles, bowed full lips…and blue eyes. Even here they stared back up at him as he held the shy latte drinking poet’s longing in his cupped palm. His fist nearly spasmed, almost crushed them out as they laughed at him from within the fluttering, but he checked himself. No, he had watched for far too long and this ache was far too sweet not to be a part of his tapestry.

“Clotho, Lachesis, Atropos, come my ladies, please spin for me” His voice was low and soft, the sound made by ancient wooden boxes richly carved as they sit in spiced perfume silence holding the bones of dead saints. In answer, from the ceiling descended three graceful spiders, legs long and shapely. The first, new shoot sap green, alighted on his shoulder and scampered primly down his arm, taking up the still fluttering wings as her sisters swung on their own shimmering chords to a bare spot amongst the other pinned and woven longings. The second, a fat, nut brown, began to weave a lattice of fine thread upon which to stick the new addition, forelegs knitting and spinning as her sister finally ascended with the prize, helping to fix it in place. The third and last, ancient, bone white circled around, cutting, tying off, finishing the weaving with swift, sure knots. He loved to watch the sisters work and he stood back, able still even with all of the confusion around it able to pick out each individual ache, each subtle and wonderful desire unfulfilled. It was his monument to melancholie and among his various works was one which brought him the most comfort and quiet joy. It reminded him of the deapths of the heart, and that was always good.

Save now, where he could still see sapphires winking at him, needling him, SEEING him. With nearly a sob he spun away, his great black coat swirling around him. He fled his cathedral of snatched desires and bounded up the staircase once more, actually running now until he reached the top, panting even though he needed no breath, icy beads of sweat trailing lines of cold fire down his weathered copper skin. His chambers were open to the sky, the walls simply a series of great arches looking out into the plum purple ever twilight of his realm, holding up the vast dome of the ceiling that he had stolen from Constantinople before it could be finished, bright Byzantine tiles creating a maze that would have given Escher nightmares. From all around there was a welcoming flurry, soft, redolent of feathers as inky eyes trained upon him from all corners. They could see him, but that was fine, that was how it always had been. Slowly, then in growing chorus, from all corners they welcomed him home as they always had done, magpies, crows, ravens croaking slowly “Nevermore, Nevermore”. When he had first awoke so many and many dawns before they had been there and this was all that they had said then, so he took it to be his name.

Nevermore walked from the landing towards his favorite arch, pausing here and there to stroke purple black feathers, feeling the comforting weight of Skergaal settle upon his right shoulder, wings rustling in stately fashion, a courtier preening and proper. Nevermore however did not ask for his news and knowing his master’s moods well, Skergaal remained silent. The lonely, tall figure stood at last on the precipice, toes of his boots brushing the circumference of the tower top, a sharp border between something and nothing, almost a metaphor yet his mind could not appreciate it, could not as it usually did find solace in the view of The Borderlands sweeping below in dizzying crazy quilt tumbled confusion. No, he was disturbed, deep within something was wrong, something undefined was out of joint and the breeze that whispered past his lofty erie had upon it the distinct, cloying funerary scent of myrrh. His face was turned outward, yet before him he could only see her eyes. She had seen him, and that was wrong, she had held him within the prisms of her irises, caged him, defined him in the world of The Real. It had taken all of his might to shake off her clinging gaze, pulling the voices of nothing to whisper her mind back asleep. Yet still, for all his might in nothingness, she had seen, the girl who saw.

The Girl Who Saw

Posted in Prose with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 19, 2015 by beautifulimposter

This is the beginning of something. I’m not sure what it is yet, but I am going to keep chipping away at it to see where it wants to go, where it takes me. I know it’s not likely that many here will read this, the longer pieces often get overlooked, but I would really like some feedback on this. It’s the first piece I have ever really written from a woman’s point of view and I would really appreciate any feedback on it, how it sounds. I always feel so un-authentic when I write women and it would help to know if this works. Any and all thoughts will be welcomed.

Despite the feeble attempts of the air conditioner sweat was rolling down Abby’s brow, plastering her hair to her forehead as she moved between the tables. The place was crowded even for a Thursday evening, they were short staffed and the heat from outside kept stealing in through the nearly constant open door all of which just seemed to be piling on to an already shit day.
“five!!” Abby growled under her breath, slamming down her tray onto the counter and swiping at the sweat dripping into her eyes, the flush on her cheeks more from anger than the heat. “if he doesn’t learn to keep his fucking hands to himself…” her words trailed off in impotent frustration as she glared at Maggie behind the counter, surrounded in her usual cloud of steam as she worked the espresso machine. Maggie glanced over, giving Abby a commiserating look in between furiously filling cups and passing them down the line.
“You know, instead of just keeping a running count you should just tell Charlie, you know he’d back you up and fire the perv’s ass.” Abby just rolled her eyes. Yeah, as far as bosses went, Charlie was pretty good, but he was the owner and wasn’t around much. Not like it had made a whole bunch of difference the last time she had brought up Jacob’s habit of grabbing her ass. He had said he would talk to him and he probably had, but bottom line Jacob was a good manager and kept the customer’s and the cash flowing. If she made too much of a thing about it she knew it would always be easier to replace her than him.
“Never mind, I just need three large coffees, two espresso, a cap, three mocha lattes and one Earl Grey tea.” Maggie just nodded. You could see the little mental list just scrolling behind her eyes, ticking over almost like a computer as she whirled behind the counter, filling, tamping, steaming. Abby was always just a little impressed watching this little engine of a woman and couldn’t help but smile just a bit. There was no room in there for anything but the work and Abby kind of envied that. She somehow knew that Maggie never kept any of this place with her, none of the abusive customers, the bullshit, it was all just one order then the next until she hung up her apron at close. Abby always wished she could put things away that easy.
While she waited for her order, she turned back to the main room of the cafe, leaning back against the counter, her hands rising to her face, rubbing over her forehead and temples, smoothing back her hair, taking a deep breath and stretching. Her gaze wandered around the crowd, couples, groups huddled around their tables, the room filled with the chaos of mingled conversation, the complex interplays of social interaction. She always felt outside of it, moving among it all but never really a part of it, a near invisible cog that helped it all work. Sometimes she felt a little bitter about that, but most of the time she cherished the anonymity, the obscurity of being one more apron and smile with a pen. Her eyes marked her tables, making little mental ticks, coffees at three, espresso and cap at five, two lattes on one, the last latte to the guy sitting on the sofa in the corner and the tea…where was the tea guy?
“Fuck, another one!” Abby growled again, thinking she’d had another walkout. Not quite as bad as being stiffed on the bill, but if one more impatient asshole left because she didn’t instantly pull his drink out of her ass and then decided to leave a comment it could be her ass.
“Another what babe?” Maggie didn’t even look up as she was stacking the drinks onto Abby’s tray, somehow knowing automatically the order Abby would need to serve them and placing them just the right way.
“Nothing Mags” Abby carefully picked up her try and headed back out into the fray. Coffees, espressos, both without a hitch. Lattes, a lot of snark about how long it took, usual bullshit “did you have to like, grow the beans yourself” that had Abby’s hands itching to bash the posh cunt’s sneering face in, just a little shy smile from Mr. Single Latte and she was on, fixing the smile to her face as she tucked the tray under her arm, whipped out her pad and took the next round of orders. Polite chit chat, hi, how are ya hun, best sunny disposition, ignore the useless blather, get the details then back to the counter, taking the long way so she didn’t have to pass by Jacob and his lear and his fucking hands.
“Two more javas, one unleaded, two caps, one strawberry smoothy, three iced mochas Mags” the words just rattled out of her brain, it wasn’t even like thinking any more, her brain just dropped the words onto her tongue. She turned again, once more in that little island of calm, braced against the counter, feet aching, her top clinging clammy against her back. “fuck this place” she muttered under her breath as her eyes again did their little scan. Coffee couple, looking happy and disgustingly cute together, suits for the caps, workout bro with the smoothy, the kids at four with the ices, high school girls all giggles, bright and fresh. Her eyes lingered on them for a bit, thinking it hadn’t really been that long ago that that was her, right? When homework and boys had been the biggest worries. Only that wasn’t true either, not really. Abbey couldn’t remember a time when the fear and doubt hadn’t gnawed her insides, a hungry animal clawing it’s way through her. Her eyes slunk away from the girls, now almost ashamed she had even thought she had ever been one of them.
Then there was latte guy, nursing his coffee, notebook on his knee, wanting to write but just doodling. She knew his writing face and this wasn’t it. She also knew he fancied her more than a bit and that’s why he would spend her shift tucked away, trying to make his coffee last the night, stealing glances at her over his thick wire rim glasses. She kind of liked it, the quiet attention. She knew he would probably never say anything and that was fine, he wasn’t her type and besides, relationships were foreign, horrible things. No, this was safe and Abby liked safe and distance. At least his eyes didn’t cling to her the way so many others did, like they already had their clammy, sticky fingers all over her. She closed her eyes for a moment, letting the shudder roll through her, her breath stuttering, catching for a moment before going back to its regular rhythm. Her eyes opened again, and there he was.
It was like her eyes just drew him there as her lids flickered upward, a lean, dark figure leaning forward in a chair just beside latte guy, elbows resting on his knees, fingers steepled, all sharp angles. His black hair fell in loose waves around a narrow face and…and…and it was like something was willing her not to see more. Details kept coming into focus then sliding away, she could feel an ache building just behind her eyes as she tried to hold on to him, but the more she did, the less she saw. She could almost hear a voice whispering in her ear “look away, you aren’t looking at anything, see, it’s just an empty chair, maybe someone left their coat on it, it’s nothing, look away”. Then it hit her, enough to take her breath away and she staggered a little. Waves of aloneness crashed into her, this sense of tremendous distance and of being utterly and totally alone…not lonely, just alone, something close to complete and total desolation. She trembled, was almost in tears when his eyes found hers. His expression seemed surprised, almost alarmed and then…and then…
“On a break or something?” the voice poured like dirty oil over her and Abby kick started back to reality. Jacob was in front of her, hungry, coyote smile pinning his lips to his cheeks, breath reeking of smoke and cherry lifesavers. “We aren’t paying you just to look pretty here” The smile never met his eyes, they were always dead fish grey.
“I-I-I know Jacob, I just…I just needed a moment” Abby grabbed her now full tray and shouldered past him before he could make a grab, or say something that would make her want to rip his balls off…given half a chance she would too, had to bite near through her lip as he cat called “keep it shaking out there” his chuckle yapping at her heels.
“Fuck this place, and fuck you too” she pressed the words out through gritted teeth and spent the rest of the night seething, trying to push it all away, Jacob, the customers, everything. The strangeness of a moment before was already fading fast, just a melting shadow, nothing of it lingering, except for a pair of eyes and even these hid themselves carefully in the back of her mind.

Open Mic

Posted in Fun stuff, Poetry, Spoken Word with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 19, 2014 by beautifulimposter

So I was invited to an event called Ten Artists here in Springfield, IL held at The Hoogland Center for the Arts on a semi-regular basis. The event showcases ten local artists, as the name implies as well as performances from local writers, singers, musicians, etc in an open mic format. This video was taken on 10/31/14, the last time this little gathering occurred and I just thought it might be cool to share with you, my delightful followers. The gentleman introducing me is Adam Nicholson, one of the literati types I have had the pleasure of associating with and founder of Sala, a fledgeling project of his to foster the arts of all dimension here in Springfield. Anyway, I hope you all out there enjoy this as much as I enjoyed doing it. There is just something about a live reading that is electric and wild and fun and it is one of those times I really feel alive. That’s all I have for now folks, stay tuned as always for new work, cheers for now.

Addressed to a Girl, Somewhere

Posted in Poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 22, 2014 by beautifulimposter

Somewhere, right now
There is a girl
Whose smile will be the death of me
Who laughs in the rain,
Holds her mug of tea
With two hands, just below her mouth
Like she’s whispering secrets
Into the steam.

Somewhere, she sits
Legs curled beneath her
Reading Tolkien in her underwear
Listening to Elvis Costello
On 180 gram vinyl
Because fuck yes it sounds better
Looking simple and plain and perfectly beautiful.

I know she’s out there
And I’m dying to tell her
That I’ve memorized exactly
How she tilts her head in thought
Or how her shoulders shake when she just can’t take any more
Or how she drives me crazy mispronouncing “supposedly”
But I still don’t care because it’s her and she is everything wonderful.

Somewhere, right now
I am loving every small beat
Of her sweet heart
Forever and ever and ever
So every night,
I am sending her goodnight kisses
Addressed to somewhere.

Album of My Years

Posted in Music, Poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 13, 2014 by beautifulimposter

I walked In Through the Out Door,
Wandered winding roads
Into August and Everything After
Gave tuppence
To The Temple of Low Men
Just Throwing Copper
Maybe the painted Juke Joint Jezebels
Could afford a Facelift.

Little Earthquakes shook my foundations
“Achtung Baby!!!”
The Wall is falling down
Crash Into Me
Maybe we can fix it
With a Monkeywrench
Give it new Color and Shape.

A lonely Minstrel In The Gallery
Rode off on Heavy Horses
Unfortunately he left his Aqualung
Too bad he was Thick as a Brick
He came Back in Black
Up the long Highway to Hell
Selling Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
I had to salute him
For he was About To Rock.

So I was left wondering “Who’s Next”
When along came the junk man
With his Swordfishtrombone
Trailing Rain Dogs
Standing vaguely at the corner
Of Heartattack and Vine
Rattling Small Change
Off into The Heart of Saturday Night
Falling off the curb
Down the throat of The Bone Machine.

Avenues of Joshua Trees
Rattle and Hummed
Jingle jangle following my footsteps
Back along the months
I spent Five Days In May
Fully Completely
Recovering The Satellites
Spent a Long December
In The Chelsea Hotel
Wearing through my Famous Blue Raincoat.

Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me
Into a Downward Spiral
Of Disintegration
All you Pretty Hate Machines
You Violaters
Carrying Sixteen Stone
Razor Blade Suitcases
Looking back
Into your Cracked Rear View
Waiting for The Man to Come Around.

You’ll be Waiting for the End of the World
Punch The Clock
In the Imperial Bedroom
My Aim is True
Since I joined the Armed Forces
Found new ways to Get Happy!!!
Using This Years Model
Adorned and groaning
Beneath The Weight
Of All This Useless Beauty.

I fell down at last
Singing Songs From The Big Chair
In the little house on Abby Road
Finding happiness in a Revolver
And a bright yellow Rubber Soul
Clearing up the mess left
By Sgt. Pepper’s Band
Picking up empty crisp packets
With Sticky Fingers
Sweeping the refuse and ribbons
Under the doormat
To the Houses of the Holy.

Automatically For the People
I drove off, always Born to Run
Across the Darkness at the Edge of Town
Like a Bat Out of Hell
Burning high octane Orange Crush
Blood Sugar Sex Magic
Won’t even come off with Bleac
Jane says
But all I could muster
Was a listless “oh well, Nevermind”