Archive for writing

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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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.

Do I Write Poetry To Know Or To Pretend That I Know?

Posted in Poetry with tags , , , , , , on August 15, 2015 by beautifulimposter

Can you write poetry for someone you don’t know?
Is it enough to describe the form
Define the shape of a body
In arabesques of frenzied adjectives
Collisions of metaphor, tangles of mad
Breathless images drawing her outline
No matter how perfectly
Knowing that it would be hollow
Without the hues and subtle shadings
Of what lies beneath the flesh?

Is it just lust, something venal
Simple chemical urges feigning higher intent
Am I spending nights dreaming of her lips
Because they are hers, mysterious
Subtle, hiding volumes beneath their lushness
Or am I just so long bereft of kisses
That these brilliant curves have burnt
Raw crimson staring at the sun after images
Behind the lids of my eyes?

Of which am I more afraid,
That she say no and I am left no more
Or less than I was, a skin stretched over longing
Or is it a yes that has me trembling
That what is in my head will be real
With consequences, disappointments
Expectations that I can’t fulfill
Are there answers in these lines anywhere
Have there ever been
Or am I always writing poetry for the unknown
Defining a shape I can live with.

New Skin

Posted in Poetry with tags , , , , , , , on August 4, 2015 by beautifulimposter

It is a cycle
We step out of
Our robes of dust
Shedding cells as fine powder
Residue of past selves
Lingering motes twisting
Choreographies within sunbeams.

It is renewal
A disrobing, fresh and pink
Flushed from the steam
Grit and fingerprints littering
The drain, all the evidence
Washed away
The blood and sweat and scars
All the stories forgotten.

If only it were that easy
If only the ink
Did not seep beneath the page
Yet it does, we bear the stains
A thousand hands
Leave lines on flesh or bone or nerve
The best achievement
Only a rough scraping.

Yet sorrows can be overwritten
The text can be edited
Tumorous passages excised
With patience
With time
With a steady hand
Psalms can replace poison pen letters
If you choose your authors well.

Writing You Back

Posted in Poetry with tags , , , , , , on July 22, 2015 by beautifulimposter

You would say that your skin
Was fallen leaves
As you sat, small as you could be
Looking out the window,
Rain painting teardrop shadows
Your hands gathered up to your lips
Like you didn’t want any more words to escape.

You’d get mad at me
For stealing them, your words
Because to me they were playthings
To be bent and twisted about
I couldn’t help it though
I am after all
Just a thief of words.

You thought I didn’t take you seriously
Saying “you’re stitching my breath to pages,
I can’t breathe spread out over corpses”
But I couldn’t understand
All I could hear was the pen scratching
You hated that sound,
Said it felt like ants under your skin
Itching and prickling.

Maybe I should have left a few alone
You stood in the doorway
Telling me you couldn’t even cry
I’d written all of your tears into deserts
But I don’t think I even looked up
Until you were gone
Now I just scribble down everything you ever said
Hoping I can write you back.

Chasing My Muse Through Satruday Night Traffic

Posted in Poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 18, 2015 by beautifulimposter

She was walking down the street today
In those damn green and purple stockings
Treading the white lines
Stalking huntress, frock coat flaring
She’s naked beneath it
God damn it, I’m going to have to chase her
Through the traffic again.

Her fingers are red
Face smeared with rich, dark blood
A child joyfully devouring a jelly donut
Licking her dainty fingertip
Looking back over her shoulder
Eyes caged by razor blade eyelashes
As I stumble, panting
Pinball dodging cars swirling out of
This raving mad man’s way.

She never once changes gait
You could keep time by her hips
Seconds being sliced off of the air
The trees that line the avenue
Wither and die in the wake of her passage
Only to erupt anew
Sudden towers of burgeoning green life
Leafy branches holding up blood orange sky.

I can almost reach
Straining, breath like fire blistering my lungs
Peeling the flesh from my throat
My fingers clutching at her coat tails
Closing only on exhaust fumes
Eyes stinging with familiar tears
Tasting their salt
As her laughter falls down from above,
Cold, cruel rain.

She’s sitting on a lamp post
Legs dangling, paddling the cough syrup thick night air
Her smile a bitter crescent moon,
Eyes agate, invulnerable
Things of the dark and the wild
Belonging to crossroads and toadstool faerie rings
Firing pitiless arrows that pin me to her feet
As the blood drips from her fingers
Becoming the ink
As I carve the verses into my flesh.

This is all she will ever give me
Laughter and just enough blood to live.

Burnt Offerings

Posted in Poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 13, 2015 by beautifulimposter

I am ten thousand cigarettes
Burnt offerings and rusty hinges
Yonge Street at twilight
Endless paper cups of last sip coffee
The breath of winter over Lake Nipissing
A fistful of crumpled ticket stubs
Eighteen withered rose petals
Occasionally headstones in the moonlight
Rarely writhing fingers white knuckle clenched
Sharp white teeth under Snow White’s blood red lips
A collection of ragged wounds in various stages
Of closure, decorous, almost bejeweled
Personal stigmata worn as war medals
Or the ribbons a magpie would use
To adorn its nest
Thirty five spent candles
A new taper almost spent 
Lingering traces of whisky and smoke
The bitterness of myrrh on the tongue
Feeling of ashes and honey upon the skin
Clinging like new fresh death
All of the thoughts you can’t find the words for
Cannot express save in listless sighs
A susurrus of autumn leaves
The presence you feel when you enter an empty room
But mostly,
Just the ten thousand spent cigarettes.