Forty frosty, colorless years where which the silence had built, grown, & settled upon them like a heavy, full-season blanket.
Forty of them; where the walls observed no good morning, hello, how was your day, did you hear about this, did you hear about that.
No congenial exchanges muttered.
The couple passed each other in the hallway, or might occasionally find themselves waiting for the frying pan, the television, or shower to be ready for their own use, impatiently. Wordlessly.
The beginning of the descent into the static, mute, existence was resulting from no particular fight, but more of a long, blue-hot-burning that built, seemingly to the point of no return, & a terrible, despairing feeling of being stuck together in the house of pulled, private shades & blackened, hollow photos.
The house with the yard where the neighborhood children wouldn’t fetch their balls from. The house of anger. And the house of dashed dreams.
Throughout the time of the Big Freeze, one had taken up quilting. The other had become an origami savant of sorts. One had developed a fancy for cherry everything: pies, ice cream, liquors, preserves… The other: a determined reader intent on hungrily devouring all on the topic of the Ottoman Empire & it’s collapse.
Still- no sound uttered.
Their love for music had once untied. United them.
Like sun slathered honey, smelling of dewy mornings, feeling like cut-back-fresh wisteria vines, they’d listened with their then-warm-hearts & looked with soft-watery-eyes to the other half play. Nimble fingers. Fluid attachment to sound, to manipulation of keys, breezy build ups, unpredictable yet so-good-crescendos.
Life times had come. Gone. Come. Gone.
There they were, embroiled in a semi-coexistence where none would ever speak again, as the icey quiet had crept into all the pockets of possible return, all too long ago.
But. If. Ever.
And never with a nod or a pre plan- they were ever to find themselves on the porch at the same time…
The music. The sound generated. Together by the dueling keys. The compliment of their knowing hands crashing down upon the ivory.
Creating the wildest, sensible cacophony of exquisite sounds, speaking leagues through keys into the sky, could’ve convinced the ethers to rain.
Would have the porch sitters abandoning stoops.
Would stymie the squirrels in their gathering.
The birds would settle in. And watch. And absorb. And the music would live.
All the lives that were tampered down & tucked in & brutalized with nothingness through out the years.
There & then.
Without nod, or gesticulation, the songs would conclude.
And the door would creak open.
The floor boards would give their predictable sighs.
The television would roll on in careless fashion.
But those: the only sounds that remained.
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The stillness will say take me or leave me, without saying so.
The softness will be yours to find.
We will wake, inevitably.
We will make the creeks and coos and moans that are in concert with the first moments of returning from turning off the grand system of body- the one primary to the sun; heavy bold to cloud shy, where we come back into minds after the curious dream places we arrive. Gathered or spilled.
The stillness is there, upon wake.
The skull- hollow and reverberate. Prepared for nothing. Subject to you.
It’s walls- holding no residue of experience, brain proximity unconsidered.
The brain. The master tenant.
The eye opener to look.
The thought provoker to begin consideration.
Or heavy chatter.
Or cacophony that slips from our grips and pushes us down dried-grass-barbed-slopes of new ideas, repetitive thoughts, or at worst- debilitating dark-cornered-unlovely-menaced fears.
I’ve always maintained “It’s the curse of the artist” to be so embedded in m own head; my own roller coaster emotion- trigger happy switch to take off.
Swapped for creative head- where use of traded goods is essential for self preservation and soul satiation.
In spite of knowing.
That outside my very self- exists all the peace and calm that anyone wants access to, as long as I stay in said stillness. That is there for the there-ness and no agenda to speak of.
And these soft moment-matters, they velvet path our way in elongated instants, where we find ourselves at fluctuating, anytime times.
And perhaps we tap our third eye 3 times with our index finger, to remember, here here here. This this this. Now now now. To stay soft in the still for one more moment.
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A walk around the blocks.
When the lights are on in the apartments within eyeshot, bright enough to reveal each illuminated box of walls and furniture where lives take place. Where conversations abound, or peter-out. Where honesty lies across the table, or secrets stay tucked under lightly-used napkins. Where sauces boil and bubble and forgotten pies burn crisp. Where old shoes line the entrances and extend into halls, tripping the innocent, and plants curl yellow in the condensation of windows.
Where sounds of closing car doors echo louder in the hush. And cats scramble with their better, dark-favored vision to the other side of the road. And skinny rats develop false confidence, obeying their hunger, scampering out of dirt holes to snatch fallen crumbs.
Where people sleep in dingy, hard, marble doorways beneath the blankets that once belonged to generous beds, and dream of colorful fantasy pictures, or terrible monsters, or vacations that they’ll take next life time, or things that they’ll have forgotten by morning.
Where pasty, sun-deprived gamers sit in fluorescent ,24 hour donut shops tactically moving board pieces, tantalizing early onset diabetes to their doors, gorging on fried-sugar-dough, systemically solidifying the promise of never getting laid again past a glory-hole. Where cups of stale coffee tip and splash spotty pants from shaky hands, and ashy floors, and blurry eyes and sour breath.
Where new couples cruise the banks of the lake, holding hands and kissing at each bench, and butterflies hopefully in there somewhere.
Where cargo trucks roll about, containing clandestine items of unknown sourcing to half of the drivers.
When I walk around my neighborhood.
Around blocks that are beginning to encircle a sense of home.
At night where my dog and I walk in wonder.
And contribute to the spectacle of the quite observers observing.
Posted in creativity, inspiration, little bit o this little bit o that, love, musings, ordinary madness, photography, random, Uncategorized | Tagged Bay Area, california, oakland, observations, walking | 9 Comments »
What’s the method to your madness? You know- the one where you pick at the scab or reactivate the cut again again, or bang your ever forever perma-bruise; only this time instead of puss coming out you get a fine, silky, viscous magic thread of your own musical splash.
Splash splatter shit.
All over your walls.
Hope your carpets’ not too absorbent, ma’ dude.
This welcomed mess; The kind you’ve been keeping your chin up for and doing all your positive visualization practices and your “this too shall pass” breaths. You’re totally pumped because boOm- your muse showed up just when you were trying to name it and give it form, and now all you want to do is make it suiting, stitchy clothes and dress it up like an angel. But it’s no angel, darling. You traded your soul for you art. And you knew that already.
Why do artists carry the cross? Why so encumbered? So fickle and burdened? I’m feeling a Stevie Ray Vaughn song coming on… something about sales… so dust off the wax and we can get those memory cells back on board. I don’t know that you’ll need them if you’ve got the right momentum, but a brain buzzing and flexing with optimal potential only services the rest of us too.
Good luck riding the rocket. And naming the fuel source. And being aware of when you gas up. Because the moon- she waits and the broom is busy.
Draw a picture for me when you get a second. I’ll be here trying to identify my own individual sound. For now all I know is that it’s likely set in minor chords… and probably a really sexy rhythm section.
Posted in art, creativity, inspiration, love, music, musings, ordinary madness, poetry in motion | Tagged art, bizarreO land, color, creativity, discipline, entertainment, inspiration, musings | 4 Comments »
The strangeness of days. The lopsided magic that elbows you from the sidelines. You hold your ribs, shaking your head. It happens. “Did that really happen?” You’ll say,cued up, but you’ll know. YES.
Eye-rubber, head-scratcher days. Where synchronicities pip, pop, pap and you watch. You know something is right- for you at least- in some way- but what an unorthodox display.
When moments and days segue and transcend perfectly into the next. The foreshadowing-of-strange-life-events feature revving.
As we grow, we become more aware- hopefully of the simple one door closed/ another opened equation. It’s genuine application. It’s mystery promise.
Go on, slap your normativity across the face with a wind up and see what comes. It might be giant. A slow giant, with watchful eye’s yet sloth-like timing. Like a continental drift. Before you know it you’re on the other side of the equator. Eating the same cereal all the while.
It’s moves like this that occur when you were sleeping. Be it literally or physically. Suddenly you might be 35 years old, in a kitchen that’s giving up the battle of white walls, a long and scratchy-floored corridor, old mouldings, access to the roof where you’ll take in first-of-morning moments, big ol’ bay windows at your head where you do your best to rest under your prized Pendleton.
Maybe you’ll have gone to a show 2 nights ago that you were looking forward to. One who’s performer you had seen before, who’s lyrics inspired and tickled you; a voice so soft you wanted to make slippers out of it. And maybe that show turned out to be an absolute flop- mimicking a pitiful freshmen art school project on staccato affects on the audience, and an undeterminable counterpart person on stage to remain turning potentially purposeless knobs and staring, full face into the eyes of your singing sweety who would soon melt before you as a bore. And maybe they would remain, staring and staring some more into each other’s eyes, ignoring the crowd at large, and whispering near the microphone; said counterpart looking plain Jane, but when the light hit her just right somehow Alice Cooper would emerge. Sans light tricks. Just a disco ball 20 some odd feet above. Let’s just say. And you told your friends. And the Alice Cooper thing was just undeniable and so-fucking-trippy and it kept happening. A devil woman!
And then you’re in this place, devising a get away plan, when the show ends early anyway, and you decide “Oh how nice, I shall ride my bike home and retire to bed quite early, making up for lack of sleep. How divine”, or something to that effect.
Home you go. Sleep you do. Until 3:37am when bullets ring out. Maybe 6 maybe 7 you can’t be sure because waking up with jolts and orientation isn’t your strong suit. And then a man wailing begins. And you call the police, and you go to the living room and you watch the man writhing on the sidewalk, 1 story below and about 7 yards from your building and punctured with bullets, and you; helpless in your robe, holding your mouth and wishing for a hug. Reevaluating the definition of loneliness.
Cops come after not too long and your eyes won’t budge until you forcibly pull yourself back to bed with silver brown black red sparks jittering your spinal column, heavying the pit of your back and lay there as the police commence taking witness testimonies right below your bedroom window until 6:50am.
And then your day has begun with sleep being a lost design, and you are nothing more than shot with rubber-band-brain thoughts continually slinging back to the sounds of what is to be a man the most alone in the world when consolation is the most important. And-oh-the-humanity.
And big baby, suck it up because you’re in the city now and it’s time to get tough and cut the gasps.
And then the day passes until the moment where you return home from the long-ass work day, to unwind with your pup-beast-filthy-love-animal-dog, and you go a walkin’ and a talkin'(on the phone), and as you round the dark corner, you emit a silent scream because… a gun! On the pavement. Too much. Your friend awaits on the other side of the phone afraid and waiting to be informed, as you realize- it’s not so much a gun as an abnormally large and angular shaped, 90 degree turd, in the perfect shape of a big big revolver. And you release in laughter and your friend remarks “I don’t know which is worse”, as your dog has begun to help himself to perimeterless snack, so you tell her what’s worse. And you know you have discovered a whole new level of turd burglar.
The continuous line, having been so for a while now; curious, unpredictable, colorful, undeniable. It’s the strangeness of days, when you as the observer skirt harm, eyes alert and concerned, yet an energy of still and constant, if not necessarily detached- lightness of being. Atypical stage. The comedy, the tragedy, roller coaster magic, continuos turn. Wheel gears gripping and moving forward as we ride. It’s all happening.
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Some people will never know peppermint tea.
There will be a wedge between them and this.
These are the same people who seldom see downy pillows, subject to innocent giggle-moment feather loss where that one puffs out. Where your head lays down, and then out it comes, or put on a fresh pillow case, and out it comes. Hardly a thing to notice; yet a subtle representation of rest and comfort. And it falter-sways to the floor. Maybe it’ll attract the curiosity of the nearest dog, causing a little head cock, that feather.
Perhaps these people saw and knew those pillow and feather moments once- but that was a long time ago and many trades have been made. Far, ever farther from places with such bed luck.
The people of no tea. On land where whistles represent alerts other and bigger than hot water exclaiming its readiness. More of a can-cup, heat sourced from over shabby fire scraped together with treated lumber that busies itself turning concerning hues. The tea peace idea replaced with something like beans that are from some say, Jimmy Dean’s factory in Milwaukee, where disgruntled employees full of creaks and sore muscles (who also likely remain in the dark on peppermint tea)slowly mill. Replacing tea-soft-moments in nuzzling chairs with pink cheeks, down the line to dusty dungarees around the fire and hardened cheek bones. And scrapes and scratches and scars. And hobo songs. And plastic bottles and hooch. And whiskey-wet ground in respect to those gone before.
Hobo hobo hobo song. A life unknown and not very long. Plenty adventure, enough wrong. Find a quick home, then move along..
Where hopes of red headed waitresses taking orders in diners in light blue dresses for 3 lucky dimes worth bring steaming cups of black coffee and 4 packs of sugar in the next town- and they can dream about her on the way to the next one after that. Though no rush, though not slow enough for that dern peppermint tea.
Tea has to be held just right. Tea is open wide and higher maintenance than one might realize, without being given the right platform. It’s booze that comes in a bottle neck. And it’s booze that warms longer. It’s swishless. It’s tip resistant. You can’t hold tea in an open train car. The racket movement that stays rumbling in kidneys even with two feet on solid earth. Tea wouldn’t know how to act. The stars governing the sky with exposed souls beneath it, roofless, riding rails, bargaining, whittling, asking for mercy, sharpening shank, or staring contest styling into night abyss. Tea wouldn’t know this life. Too soft and soothing. Never told in conjunction to characters like Nebraska Pete or Bozo Rider.
Some people will never know peppermint tea.
There will be a wedge between this and them.
Posted in art, creativity, fiction, graffiti, inspiration, musings, ordinary madness, poetry in motion, random, random trailings, tramps, travel | Tagged adventure, graffiti, hobo, prose, song, tea, trains, tramp, travel | 2 Comments »
I thought I told you not to ask me twice, because I blush when I can’t recall your birthday, or to ask about how your knee is feeling today, or if you worked out your most recent car issue…
It doesn’t stick and I have never known myself to be less invested in someone I do care for, and it frightens me about myself- making me like you less.
I can sense your hands extending my way even when they are busy making lumps of your pockets, or interlocked, white-knuckled, behind you. I can feel the buzz of your questions, when your mouth forms a perfect, airtight line. Your eyes- a welcoming brown and asking of me things that I can’t & won’t promise.
You ask me to be honest so I do and I am, but keep digging you do. You forget my humanity, in beta, treating me as though I tuck a cape secretly into my dresses; forgetting that I can only love you when you are happy in full & not look to me to fulfill this unspoken, expected duty to make flush your holes- pocked with insecurity. You forget how hard it must be for me to tell you constant disheartments, lest you never remembered- let alone realized.
Hurting the kindest person in the room. A bee stinging a bee. Squash blossom strains cross pollinating: creating a mealy, deceptive, lackluster hybrid. A dog, a tail: perpetual circling.
Your accolades stroke me, cocoon me, croon to me, make me sweet on you when you are not light enough to blow off the tower in response to my altered breathing. Your enviable sincerity. In my mirrored comparable to you this would equate to ghost netting/ nothing to show.
But love is it’s own world that hasn’t handle bars; and to grip and grasp- a fruitless way to hang on. Because it all boils down to feeling. Feeling with out the illusion of urgency. Feeling and truth commingling. And the foresight to not fear your intuition.
I disappoint myself in light of you. In your shadow I cannot commit and reciprocate. It’s tragicomedy. To want love so bad/ and be incapable of return. I do love you, but not how I would if I could.
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