Oct 25, 2013

Homicide

I had this dream, she said, but I found that it needed to be killed. Dried out and left to wither on the vine wasn't enough. It needed an exorcism, a cutting out. Like a murder, an ending of a life's hope and possibility in a spray of blood and spine cracking thrashing.

So I exorcized it, she said pointing to the deep furrows in her brow and the bags beneath her eyes, purple like three day old bruises.

Oct 19, 2013

Le Lola

The full moon cast long shadows down low over the horizon.  Lola stared at it wistfully out her bedroom window, her stomach grumbling on the afghan that lay spread across the top of her bed.  She rolled over to tie her shoes, humming the last few snatches of Evita's Don't Cry for Me as she laced on her bright blue sandals.  Her mom growled up the stairs - Lola, are you ready for bed yet?  Lola groaned and whined back, almost!  Going to close the door of her bedroom, she yawned, and ran down to tell her mother good night.

Not finding her mother downstairs, she found herself drawn again to the window.  The moon filled the pane, a solid pale yellow suspended in the inky purple blackness that was the sky that late October evening.   Her mother seemed to have wandered into the back of the house yet, Lola found herself drawn out onto the small square lawn at the front of their clapboard family home, her sandals skimming the dewed grass.  It was a night dew, dripping from the blades.  Without giving it much thought her feet turned themselves toward the street, skipping aimlessly down her drive to the avenue.

The wind picked up and she shivered, uncertain of where she was heading.  Her nose picked up the scent of something earthen, like the sweet rot of new mulch, and the bodily smell of burning incense.  Her stomach grumbled again  -- strange to be hungry so late in the night. There was a faint howling coming up the east walk, someone's labrador letting loose in the heady glow of the rising moon.  She cowled for a moment, hesitated.  The howl came again, lower, a yogic ohm of midnight mystery.  Without hesitation, Lola's feet turned themselves in the direction of the sound, then she was skipping, then running along the ground, blue sandals leaving a trail of dewed footsteps across the neighboring lawns.

--

Within a few minutes, she was at the foot of a large hill, staring up at a dark figure near the top of it.  It was Paulo, her friend from physics class.  She now remembered that they had agreed to meet, here tonight.  He had the camera obscura equipment with him, and she found herself in its cross hairs as she approached.  He yelled something to her, what she didn't quite hear, but suddenly she felt unsure of herself.  Without another step, she crouched on the ground, resting on her heels as she stared more closely at the cloaked figure standing behind the large black box.  This was the place that they were to meet -- the top of the highest hill at Jone's Park.  The park was a few blocks from both of their houses nestled in a copse of trees.  The hill they were on was treeless and near the middle of the park, a great observation point for their grand experiment of measuring and capturing the phases of the moon.

The moon project had originally been Paulo's idea.  Their professor had just started their chapter on gravity -- tidal waves and Lagragian points had been all that Paulo could talk about for days.  He had decided to plot it out, to see if he could find earth men hiding on its face, or even capture a picture of it so clear that it would rival that of the ones in their tattered textbook.  That had been three weeks ago.  He had since plunged himself head first into learning about camera equipment, studying the patterns of the night sky and plotting which spot would be the best to capture the moon as it phased overhead.  Paulo had been coming out to this hillside every night for weeks, telling his parents that it for class research, which it had begun as originally.  Now it was just an obsession.  Tonight was the first night that he had asked Lola to join him.

She wasn't sure what had made him invite her out.  As of three weeks, when the moon madness (as she thought of it) had started ago they had never said two words to each other.  She sat at the far back of the room, keeping to the sides where she could doodle in her notebook and daydream while keeping an eye on the class proceedings.  Paulo sat near the front, had his hand up in the air more often than it was on the desk.  He seemed to know everything, especially about the moon.  But the day before, he had approached her, as they were picking up their books for the next class.  "Lola," she heard her name called out softly.  She turned around, dropping her bag on the floor in surprise at the suddenness of acknowledgment.  Paulo was right behind her, his dark intelligent eyes bearing impenetrably into her soul.  "Saturday night's the full moon. I'm taking a photographs of it," he said, like he was reciting a fortune bought from an oracle.  "You should come. I'll be at the Jones hill after night fall."

That had been two days ago.  Now, Lola sat crouched on the ground, staring up at the dark figure on the hill that loomed large above her.  She didn't remember Paulo being so tall and dark.  He was saying something to her, whisperings carried down to her ears on the chill October breeze.  She shivered involuntarily.  She felt cold, and then sleepy.  Without a thought to it, she curled into a ball, the moon looming behind her, taking up half the sky and illuminating the hill in a bright, uncanny light.  Her mind oscillating out between tiredness and urgency to run up and warn Paulo (of what?), Lola fell into a stupor, and then yawned, closed her eyes and fell asleep.

She awoke to barking.  The labrador that had originally drawn her out of her house was moaning in the woods somewhere near by.  It must have gotten out.  Her bones felt like liquid gold,  her eyes hazed over.  A fog had come up over the hill, it must be near morning. She stood up and wobbled on her feet.  She felt woozy.  Suddenly, she was aware of not being alone anymore.  She looked up the hill towards where Paulo had been when she first approached.  The hilltop where he had stood a few moments ago was empty now.  She exhaled and a slight low, graveled sigh escaped her lips.  Where was Paulo?

The moon had slipped behind some clouds, casting a pale glow over the hilltop.  Her bare feet slipped up and across the grass, as she ran up towards the hill, away from the lab's increasing frenzied barks.  She tried to whisper Paulo's name, but her voice came out grizzled.  She had drooled in her sleep all over her face, and she reached up to wipe her mouth clear it.  She stopped short.

Paulo hadn't left the hill.  His camera equipment was still there, laying on its side in the ankle deep grass.  The wind had scattered his negatives all over the eastern side of the hill.  Then she spotted him, curled in a ball, asleep.  She approached cautiously.  There was a rusty smell coming from him, and he seemed to be breathing quite shallowly.  As she reached out for him, he suddenly awoke, took one look at her face, and started screaming.

The labrador's howls burst into frenzied barking.

---

Lola awoke to bright sunshine streaming in through the window of her bedroom, lighting up her red walls in a pinkish morning glow.  Her clothes from yesterday were still on, sticking to her body.  She sighed, hopped tossed her clothes into the hamper and got into the shower to prepare for Sunday school that morning.  She skipped breakfast -- she didn't feel as if she'd be hungry ever again.

Paulo's body was found on the hillside, mauled as if by a pack of rabid wolves.  He shouldn't have been out so late by himself in such a remote part of the park, it was decided.  Her neighbors never found their labrador, who ran off the same night.  Roving band of wolves, it was determined.  They didn't come down much from the mountains, but strange things happen on full moons.

---

A few months later, Lola found a photo in the back pocket of her jeans.  It was made on instant photographic paper, the sort that just a bit of exposure will render into a picture within a few minutes.  She didn't know where it had come from -- it looked like a real life sketch of an internet meme: a wolf on its haunches howling before a full moon.




Oct 7, 2013

Hiking: a comparison

Hiking through the upper bounds of New Jersey cum lower New York state, other wise known as the Ramapo Mountains.  Wilderness of the North East.

It's nothing like hiking in Texas, the hot sweltering summer heat where the biggest threat to sanity is your skin -- burnt by an endless sun, scratched by thickets, sharp grasses and unforgiving thorns, bitten and feasted upon by hordes of insects, spiders, gnats, and mosquitoes, sweat stains on clothing that fester into chafed patches behind your knees and at your armpits or hives that come on in a reckless rage at the mere brush of a patch of hayfever grass.

It's nothing like hiking through the Amazon, with its endless vista of green, oppressive heat and thick, humid air that fills your lungs with life and loathing.  Green, verdant, teeming with life that's as soon to eat you as you to eat it.  The rainforest breathes with life as it exhales with death.  Wild and free and dangerous as the piranhas you're fishing up for dinner and the water you're boiling within an inch of its life hoping that it's enough to kill the verdant microorganisms that teem within it.  It's a hazmat territory, with boots and long pants and loose, flowing long sleeves that cover every last inch of self.

No, the Ramapo forest was a dream of moss encrusted rocks, and dry crisp air and leaves falling, a halo of golden rain.  The mists that cover the ground in the morning, the earthy sigh of the woods and silent crunch of leaves beneath your feet, a rusty carpet covering strewn stones and sparsely spaced trees that cover your heads in a canopy of autumnal riches -- gold, green, amber, honey.  No mosquitoes, no sign of life other than a laconic, serpent lazily out for no more than an evening stroll.  A lake of large mouth bass, no deeper than 12 feet at depth.

The wilderness of the Eastern shore tamed more than the the wilderness out South/West.

Oct 5, 2013

Sensemaking

Tired and fever brained (fever brained, brainded, brain dead, branded), starting to feel the effects of cabin fever (oh hello, Manhattan apartment at home for three days with a sick roommate).  Rational state of mind is exactly the phrase one could use to describe my personhood at the moment.  (Person's hood, in the hood, of the hood, a 'hoodie').

Thought: this type of writing will never earn me any money.  Stop.

It's quiet in our shoebox.  You can hear the neighbors opening cupboards, playing pranks on each other, or holding jam sessions.  Last night at midnight there was a 'police raid' on the apartment next door, to the East. (Men's combat boots, worn out. Vintage.  Laces freshly pressed.) Tonight, there's a live music jam box going on in the apartment to our north.  (Pair of women's heels, platform. Black pleather. Strappy.)  And suddenly it hits me that New York City is a live hopping city.  This is why no one has a TV but why people write novels here and why people come here to be in bands or make music, or spend a life exploring the arts scenes or to talk or to get lost in the subways or to come down off of luck and plunder the depths of compassion on the A line from Fulton to Jay Street.  Because there's a passion in the air and the opportunities are boundless and the only one singing sad songs and stories of could haves and would haves are saps and soul suckers and they don't last long here.

Where do you fit in brown pair of mary jane loafers with turqouise tassels and exquisite, hand cut pleating on the sides.  All leather.  Soft, but good for walking along riverbanks, alone.


------

There's a mouse in our apartment.  His name is Fred Wilson, like the VC.  His name was to just be Fred but my brain kept going and it just stuck. F red wils on.  He's cheeky, comes out to play at strange times, no wariness in his step, but definitely a cautious creature.  He has yet to broach the perimeter that seems to exist in a 10 foot radius from my personage (person of age, pears aged, an aged 'hood).

Nervous because living is performing is to be asking for judgement.  Someday I may tell someone about Fred.  In the meantime, we're working on our interpersonal communication skills, especially the non-verbal category.  It's not what you say.  It's how you say it.

EEEEEEEEEEEE. MOUSE!

Oct 4, 2013

Corpus Writ.

The fall of man is felt in the heart long before the cold winds come.

How much of a man must you read before you know that he is a gifted, a talented, writer?  Is it the one sentence that he speaks out of turn, or the fifty fifth chapter of his magnum opus, 3,000 pages in.  It's not prolifigy, though that speaks to the heart and soul and causes you to know, deep in your soul that you stand before, in front of, behind one who knows expression.

When does talent really begin to show itself?  Will you recite back to me the time when she was six and she read every street sign aloud, but to herself, a chanting of locations passing that taught her both a sense of direction and love for the written word.  Or perhaps the time in fourth grade that he go caught red handed with a stack of borrowed library books on the play ground and instead of standing up for himself, he wrote the librarian a treatise on the imperative of free literature.  She learned how to count at 14.  He got his mother's sister's cousin's nose and died early of Parkinson's.

Words, they say, last forever.

Gone away to, Ohio

She awoke in a room, white and glowing walls that stretched up in all directions, as far as she could see.  A brilliant dim glow of the early morning sunshine, a place no shadows could live, phantasmically aseptic.  Eyes crusted over, she couldn't see much farther than the end of her nose.  It was hard to tell where all the brilliant bright light was coming from.  She rolled over, face planting her self into darkness once again.

Where the hell was she?  The last she remembered had been at the bar with Ben and Jake and Catherine.  Out for a few beers.  There had been dancing and laughter and talk of taking a trip to the Hamptons next weekend.  She was training for a bike ride in November.  There was an awkward hesitation in the entire party when Jake realized it was the same week as his birthday, but that was cleared up when she promised to show, at least for a while.

She licked her lips.  Dry, like salted caramels, it left her mouth thrusty for more.  No sense of urgency, though.  But where the hell was she?

You're supposed to be dead, he said.  It was then that she realized that her feet were missing.  As were her hands.  And the sunlight that had been pouring in was really a spotlight.  The ghoul reached out his hand and said "and now, you're one of us, love".  She was in a water tower, the one at the top of her apartment building.  There was no one there, but her.  She had drank too much the night before, blacked out (as one will, when there's little to eat the day before), and made a pact with the devil.  She was here, stuck in the bottom of a dry, ghoulish tank, white, curving walls of smoothed paint stretching up a sheer twenty feet.  The sun turned on its axis.

I'm not a vampire, she thought, neither miserable nor elated, just hung over.

She died of thirst three hours later.  Jake, although he attended the funeral, never quite forgave her for scheduling a bike ride the same day as his birthday.

blank canvas

this canvas is blank. does that mean it's time for me to start afresh? that's one of the side effects of blank canvas -- it brings...