January 31, 2018

On Blame

Tell me in the morning, I'm the one keeping you from sleep.
Tell me in the evening, I'm the one been giving you grief.
Tell me all day long, make me the subject songs,
saying, You wonder why you did, "I do."
Well, this ringing in my ear's getting clearer.
It ain't me, babe. It's you.

Said, Hope rises in the morning on the wings of a dove.
Well, this one's dying or's fallen asleep by lunch.
Seen the sight of the light of love disappear
underneath the moon
Oh, Hope died, life lied, you cried, and
it's darker now, babe--that's true.

Oh, this ringing in my ear's got clear.
It weren't me, babe. It's you.

December 11, 2017

On Thickening Skin

Oh, it ain't like it used to be
It's never like it was
Each time I come home I'm a stranger in love
with your madness disguised as a dove
You're not looking for peace
when you're out for blood
But each time I come home
I'm stranger in love.

Oh it ain't like it used to be
Never like it was
A flame gone to ember's not the light that it was
Yet here in shadows-stretching making our own stuff's
two burned out strangers differently in love
In the light of…
Making light of the light of this "never like it was"

In light of the light of this "never like it was" 

In the light of the light of this "never like it was"
Making light of the light of this "never like it was"

September 7, 2015

On Going Onwards and Upwards

Gate narrow, path steep...
ever so dizzy from the winding streets
and the options there that are there to meet,
with such friendly faces
all full of teeth
...that sink so deep.

Pulled onward, very slow,
but two lines trailing in the mountain snow,
as too-tight the knot of a distant rope
finds lariat burning, slipping hard on the soul.

In time, I'll make it,
 I told myself,
though now I'm cold and want the help
of Hell's breath and her hand of snakes
to singe this rope or poison the legs
and send me soaring to the years before

...However base the open road, it's warm.

If God'd just but me release,

I'd fall and mourn a space, then cease;
and land this weathered form
like shards of glass,
in a million pieces for my last dance,
in my last stand before I'd melt away.

March 22, 2015

A man buried his dead dog and got sad.

Was two days after and he hadn't washed.

Midway up the vee of a large-print brown flannel about the spot in town he’d’ve buttoned it, the ten o'clock hour reflected itself off a pool of sweat and sadness drawn up in a slouching man's chest.

He wasn't talking, lips tight as the lid of the tea jar leftwise. A head sunk toward a heart days sunk.  Thoughts came slow and dissipated, grew in quiet swirls and faded almost as quickly. In principal he was embarrassed for steeping so. So he judged himself lazy and then let himself off for letting the mind go unchecked, Too beat ...'n with reason. Too early to chase em. Just let um turn ...into... something... The jar and his own vessel changed together slowly in the stale movement of time across the morning--darkening within, dirtying what might've been refreshing.

He let what his eyes took in wash over him by way of the floor. He’d known for a while and even before he bought it that he was looking at too many coats of paint trying to hide rotted wood. He thought, It's hot already. Air’s blank. Knots in this floor've fell out, rotten ..like blank eyes. Just left there ..staring up. Blank. Buh-lank. Buhl, and his middle finger came down with more force than he intended on the arm of the swing. Consequently, a cube of ice shifted in the big glass jar.

Like blank eyes staring up at that busted awning where the bats get in.

He spit and watched it speckle while the bulk of it moved past the edge of the swing towards where he wasn’t really aiming. To him, them beasty voices in the walls at night weren’t so much a bother, but, “Itn’t right for a home,” he’d said to her before, “But, we’ll have to wait till after taxes," he'd said, "And. And, pfft. Honestly, I don't know that much about that stuff.”

He eyed the movement of that wet clump of himself until it disappeared through one of them holes in the floor. To his accidental bullseye, he gave an underwhelming snort of triumph, "Hmmphf." And a smirk. The noise, part acknowledgement and part contempt, was the first sound he made that day. The smirk brought with it the movement of the tissues of his face. He'd forgotten how faces tighten after tears pass through them. And Things had apparently settled in the lines of his cheek. For, with the lifting of the lip, cracks were made known him in the dry beds of that place. Under the porch there was no sound as, down onto a bed of worms through some two feet of blank, spit landed.

He envied the worms mildly and mused shortly on a swell of grace come down, Heavenly torrent rushed all over the morning chores? That'd do fine. 

Answering, he smirked again, harder than before and from a different, darker place, Fine? Sure. If "fine's" just Somebody bigger's spit?

"No," he said out loud. Shaking his head in disagreement with himself, his upbringing took over and ran him from that place. He grunted and brought his foot down, leaning forward to make a change, but it came back more perturbed and making some argument having to do with incremental progress in the face of chaos, Sure as hell's different from what was happening a minute ago: eating dirt, shitting dirt, blank. This confused and irritated him. It felt right, but it felt slippery. But it felt right in the face of needing a change. So, taking ahold of the swing arm tightly, he swore silently in agreement to this last little coup.

No." He still didn't like it. And at last, he bubbled up in a huff and spit again with such a serious hack down through those knotty-windows in the blue painted floor that he'd have broken one out if they hadn't been gone by a couple-ten seasons of God's good will and gravity.

He stood, stood up crooked, mad, and moving to white hand rail perching tea that hadn't seen any sun yet but had made tea all right. And in a dirty glass, a little more straightened out, he looked, looked and drank, and didn't look at anything until a clump of grass coming out of the moss on the stone wall jumped. It was a rabbit. But he wondered if it couldn't have been Jesus in-rabbit-carnate saving him from blasphemy for really wishing he was a worm.

He wasn't going anywhere but that's where he headed next. Out across the yard, he passed the mound that hadn't yet grown grass this season that'd been dug by the tool shed that now housed a new shovel. Looking at the dirt, he remembered how he'd fought and got her, bought something that was nearly a house but had had a porch, and kept on loving something till death did she part like he'd promised. And somehow that wasn't so bad. Only the dog went and parted two days ago, too.

He walked on passed the mound through a path that split the garden to a scraggly wood the realtor sold as "forest," but he never really would rightly call a forest on any representation to someone who didn't know about much about forests. His bit though, his hundred feet before the barbwire and sign that read "Private" were for several rows of windblock matured evergreens. Dry as they were from the last two summers, even still he thought them the best third of the vast pithy whole of the property he'd bought. And it was only part that could separate him from his residential doings of nonsense about worms and tool sheds and dead pets and dead wives into a natural something different. And there he cried again.

And again the cracks of a dirty face filled. And the headwaters, they bifurcated into bifurcates and so on through old tributaries on down. Headwater met pools, met spilling, met sweat, and followed gravity into the dark wet space of a half unbuttoned flannel.

September 22, 2014

On Thickening Skin

Oh, it ain't like it used to be,
never like it was.
Each time I come home,
I'm a stranger in love
with your madness.
Disguised as a dove,
you ain't looking for peace
when you're out for blood.
But, each time I come home,
I'm stranger in love.

Ain't like it used to be,
never like it was.
Flame gone to ember's
not the light that it was.
But here in shadows stretching
making our own stuff's
two burned out strangers
differently in love
in light of the light of
this, "never like it was;"

making light of the light of
this, "never like it was."