DISMEMBERED THOUGHTS

Well it looks like this is the end of the line. I’m rolling down the steps now, and the whole world is spinning around me. I can even hear the sputtering coming from my neck a ways off; back at the guillotine. It must have been comical for the crowd when my head bounced off the rim of the basket and down the steps—I could vaguely make out the bubbling laughter the exhibited as I bounced and turned wildly.

But here I am now, sitting—can we even call it sitting if I can’t take a seat?—as a dismembered head, looking out over the horizon. It was a kindness of them to remove the weight of my shoulders on such a lovely day. The sun was just starting to set, and the bright orange of the clouds hadn’t quite turned that lovely hue of pink yet. The air was cool, but not cold, and the wind was just light enough to be pleasant.

It reminded me of the days with my mother, out on the fields before all of this happened. Those were they days when things felt so much simpler. I could go out running, away from all the noise and struggles. My mother worked so hard then, though at that time I hadn’t a clue. I wonder what she would think of me if she saw me now.

Flash forward a dozen years, when I set off. That was the last time I saw her. Her age was finally starting to shine through, but I was dead set on making my life what I wanted it to be. Not ten miles out from my home I found a woman, about my age, with long blonde hair and a proud smile. She accompanied me for a while.

Another dozen years flew by, and I saw myself grow into a hardened criminal. The thin beard of my previous visions had grown rustic and gruff. Life had not gone my way. I had been forced to steal and pillage to make a living, and in my own way, I found success. I had gained notoriety, and the crown had placed a bounty on my head. In turn, I burned down their capital building and stole their princess. She was returned without a scratch—I’m not a monster—but only after they had exhausted their vast wealth looking for her.

Then at fifty, things began to change. I watched my limbs grown thin and my heart grown darker. I nearly lost my first fight then, to a younger, heartier lad, and I only won because I played dirty. When he pinned me, I spit in his eye and stuck him with my knife, then cut my own belly and swapped the knife to his hand, to make it look like, in self-defense, I had managed to kill him with his own knife. He bled out groveling in pain. But the damage had been done. I realized time was not on my side, nor was it on the side of any living being, and I went back to see my home.

They had left it abandoned, and I took up residence for a time there. I grew fatter, and for a time I like to think that I was happy. Until one day, the corporal found out just who I was, and they took my in. By that time, I was too brittle to put up a fight.

And here I am now, stretching out the last moments of my life, just to watch the sun set one last time. That was my mother’s favorite time of the day, but it looks like I’m not going to get to see the sun fall behind the mountains this time. My vision is already growing hazy, and I can hardly manage the strength to keep my eyes open. At least now, maybe, I will get the time for some rest.

——

 

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UNDERSTANDING (DIS)ORGANIZATION

Lets talk about being organized! The SCARIEST thing in life since sliced bread. Wait. That’s not how that works. Anyways, being organized is something that I am simultaneously great at and terrible at. And I mean TERRIBLE. Like I have books in four different places in my room, and none of them are where I keep my books to be read. I have things in my clothing drawers that are not clothes. Like organization is not my strong suit at home.

But then at work, I organize nearly everything more systematically and efficiently than anyone else on shift, and I carefully keep up that organization. If a staple is out of place, I’ll know. If the inventory gets messed up, I’ll know. I mean, I can’t really do anything besides complain about it, because I’m not the store owner, but I knew there was something going wrong.

So what gives? You think I would care about my living space more, right? Well, I think it has to do with a few different things. Firstly, I am more comfortable in my living space than at work. Less people to impress. That’s why any of us would. Secondly, I’ve lived here forever. FOR-EVER. I know every nook and cranny of this place, and so when you ask me where my copy of Hamlet is, I can tell you it is in stack one, versus when you ask where my copy of Beowulf is, I can tell you it is in stack two. At the store, if you ask me where something is, I have to go check to verify nobody else moved it before I tell you where it is, because working with co-workers is HARD (insert heavy sarcasm because it really isn’t difficult to work with co-workers as long as they just put things back and keep the room a little cleaner than before but NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO why would they do that. Ok, rant over).

Anyways, what do you think? Is your place spick and span, or do you have a well detailed map of the place in your head? Let me know!

 

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LOVE POEM #48 – MUDDY WATERS

The smoky voice, crackling

with the coarse rhythm

of an ancient studio recording,

asked the dimly lit room

to turn the lamps down low

 

and with the smell of

smooth Marlboro cigarettes

lingering after the heat of passion

she felt a quiet flame reignite

 

that she had thought was lost,

burnt out like the kindled fire

that was her first marriage.

 

Their silhouetted figures,

glistening with sweat in the moonlight,

sat sticky against the oak headboard;

limp thumbs tangled together.

 

He ruined that sweet moment,

as most men do,

when he turned to her

and whispered “I love you.”

 

That was all it took for the sweat

rolling down her chest

to freeze to ice, and soon

she was swimming

in muddied waters.

——

 

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TAKING A SAD SONG

How do you make it better?

Paul told me not to make it bad,

But sitting here in the dark,

The hall light like a luminous spirit

Hanging over me, I can’t seem

To wash the tears from my eyes.

 

The empty house, filled with

Lost-hopes, hallow voices, and empty promises

Drown the once buoyant chants of the

Frost on Sunday rerun I found on YouTube.

 

Maybe from the steps of superstardom

The depths of despair

Look like a small puddle.

 

But the staircase to Paradiso

Passes through the Inferno,

And I think I might have gotten lost

In Purgatorio

 

Just like mama and papa did.

Why else could such good souls

Not make it into heaven?

——

 

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LOVE POEM #46 – WHERE PIGS CAN FLY

I met a girl named Victoria

And suddenly I knew the meaning of euphoria.

It was like she had fallen from heaven

(‘Cause from one to ten, she was an eleven).

I thought, in truth, it was an angel I’d seen,

Because no one more perfect had ever been.

There was a shimmering smile in her eyes

That no mere mortal could have devised.

 

‘Course I’ve never been a religious man—

Never one to think there was a master plan.

But I was struck dumb on Earth that day,

And for all my words I could not say

What it was that she meant to me…

‘Cause together’s something we could never be.

 

Yes, perhaps there’s some perfect world

Where I end up being with that perfect girl.

Where hell freezes over and pigs can fly

And she breaks up with her perfect guy.

——

 

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LOVE POEM #44 – DUSTED CONSTELLATIONS

Look out the window,

I made that for you.

That low-hung half-moon,

Golden brown and smiling.

You remind me of it…

Or rather, it reminds me of you.

That beacon in the darkness,

Between the starlight,

Swaying with the sounds

Of smooth jazz in the night.

I can see you in her

On lonely nights.

On the broken porch steps,

The chill autumn breeze

Swirls along our fingertips,

Edging us closer.

I want to dance.

Take my hand,

Let me guide you

Across the sky tonight.

The two of us,

Dusted,

With wine on our lips,

Make for a lovely constellation.

Exhaustion.

Star gaze with me,

My little star girl.

So full of life;

So full of light.

Lie with me a minute,

And let eternity pass us by.

There’s no arms I’d rather call home.

——
 
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THE WOLF’S REMORSE

Lo! Through the years, I’ve become a skeptic;

Rusting unburnished, like th’aged Ulysses.

The sharpness of my mind has turned septic;

The breath in my lungs has become a wheeze.

Yet the strength in my fist still begs to fight,

To once again tear Grendel limb from limb.

The sins of my past haunt me like a wight,

Could it be that I earned a curse from them?

I know it’s sin to commit murder, Lord,

I hold thy commandments by my bedside,

Yet they had caused injury further, Lord,

And so their punishment was eye-for-eye.

 

But now I hear my Geatish men burning

At the hands of an insatiable beast,

And I wonder if these Christian learnings

Are just the ruse of some fraudulent priest.

For it was my will that slayed these monsters,

Not the holy relics of olden times.

Mayhaps it be you were an imposter

To convict one’s enemies of false crimes.

 

But what the truth is, Lord, I do not know.

All that I can do is reap what I sow.

And if this cruel dragon would kill my men

Then I think it’s high time I kill again.

——

 

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LOVE POEM #37 – A JOURNEY

It was the end of the world.

The streets were burning,

The oceans were churning,

And that’s when I realized

That I loved you.

 

I was there, running,

From a monstrous beast

Through a collapsing hallway

When it hit me

That I loved you.

 

And when I felled the beast,

I knew I had to find you.

 

So I traversed the sea,

Climbed mountains, and

Walked miles,

Ever telling myself

That I loved you.

 

I bloodied my arms,

Battered my limbs, and

Endured sleepless nights

As my mind screamed to me

That I loved you.

 

I crawled wearily,

Weak from malnutrition,

Afraid each day was my last.

My only respite was

That I loved you.

 

And when I had crossed the last street,

And used the ends of my strength

Just to knock at your door.

I knew it was true

That I loved you.

 

And then you opened the door,

 

And eternity passed between us.

 

The hate, the anger,

The pain, the love,

The lost friendship,

The bitter words.

 

Like a wave from the ocean,

It all washed away.

 

There you stood:

Shorter than me,

Yet somehow tall.

Perfectly beautiful

And shocked.

 

I opened my mouth,

But my words

Abandoned me.

For no words,

Could compare

To how I felt.

 

And to my surprise,

You grasped me,

Held me, and

Cried on me.

 

I felt the words

I love you

Fall out of my mouth.

Though I had not

Bidden my tongue to say them.

 

And you turned to me

And whispered

That I love you

Too.

——

 

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BUS RIDE TO THE THEATRE

We were on the local bus, and it was about seven-thirty. They were probably on their way to school, and I was off to start my second week as a movie theatre clerk. Unfortunately, I had to bounce from bus to bus to get there, and even leaving home at seven often resulted with me being late. My attention was turned to the video. It was rude of me to look at the screen over their shoulder, but when I heard the solemn violin music playing I had to check it out. The two kids in front of me—really young adults of about sixteen—had their iPhones out, giggling from video to video. The title of the video displayed in a bold red “This Ad Has a Powerful Message About Domestic Abuse.” It was some breakdown video about how an advertisement had tried to humanize the abuse victims.

Maybe it was the cynic in me, but it seemed to fall flat. I mean, how is it that all the victims are the hourglass figure girls? Aside from their black eyes and bruises, they all had perfect skin. Which was ironic, since the ad was for swimsuits, and the women all didn’t want to be seen for their bruises. Of all moments to talk a realistic body issue, a self-conscious swimsuit girl wasn’t a good moment?

I was spurned from my thoughts as my second change of buses came. I left the two kids to their laughter. The second bus was busier and I had to stand. The soles of my feet would ache from the swaying and speeding by the end of the trip, but aching was something I had grown used to. The freeway flew by as we sped down the road to our destination, and eventually I was lost in my own thoughts. I felt my eyes glaze over, as I looked around at a room full of mothers, daughters; sons, and fathers. How many of them were abused?

My mind turned back to the video. What had been that “powerful” message? Oh yes, that women shouldn’t stand for domestic abuse. Duh. More specifically pretty women. But how else does a company sell bikinis if it can’t use perfectly rounded butts and a body devoid of stretch marks?

Still, my mother was battered and beaten by her father, and then again by mine. I remember the welts, the lumps, the black eyes, and the shuddering tears. I remember the cold embrace of her arms as she told me it would be alright. I remember the night it became too much for her; the night she hung herself from the rafters. Her body was limp, listing about slowly. She had bitten through her tongue when the rope had snapped her neck, and it had left a dribble of blood from the side of her tired mouth.

The beam she had tied the rope to had sagged beneath her weight, and looked as though it may break. Her well-worn face looked tired, yet calm, in the way that a child looks fatigued as it naps after a long bout of crying. But the only tears shed that night were from me. My father was out doing…whatever it was he did after his night of drinking.

But we never talked about the middle-aged woman, with her wide torso and blotchy face. The judge never questioned her suicide when my dad came through the doors crying. No one listened to the five year-old child’s wails about the evil man her father was. They just saw a pathetic woman, a noose, and a broken family; who were just like the thousand they had seen before.

It stung to get off the bus that day, and see the glorified posters of happy families and perfect couples as I walked into the theatre, but life is never without its stings. I was lucky to be on time today. Mine vices—past, present, and future—were just another mark on the list of what people experienced every day.

——

 

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LOVE POEM #31 – CONFESSION

I have a confession to make

I think I love you.

And for once in my life,

Things might finally get better.

 

I love your eyes, I love your lips, I love your hair.

I love your kids, I love your hips; the way you stare.

The way you lie, the way you frown, the way you shout.

I love every single thing that you’re about.

 

I love your dad, I love your mom, I love your twin.

When your mad and when you’re bold and when you sin.

I love your white, your black and your blue and red.

I love your light, your back and your hue in bed.

I love the wine, the drinks; your tattoo dove.

And the signs you make to show your love.

I fucking love you.

 

And for once in my life,

I think,

Things might finally get better.

——

 

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