Thursday, December 30, 2010

84: Q&A

Don’t think I’m indifferent to your questions. Maybe you’ll find me dispassionate, detached, emotionless, repressing deep monsters. Some may find me those things. Maybe I am these things. Maybe I am even worse. Maybe I am the answers to questions you’ve not yet asked.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

82: Half-Life

We were back where we started.  All of us pushing 40, youth beyond decay.  Ron, guitar god friend from youth, returned from mountain exile, played half his age.  His eyes were that long ago fire, his hair spitting flames.  Here we were like yesterday, days of doubling time, ensconced in a club, blanketed in metal.  Back home were my wife and kids.  Safe, our time together only just begun.  Speakers blasted sound.  I closed my eyes, became 20 again.  But this wasn’t the end.  All my life left, brilliant days to come.

Friday, December 24, 2010

81: Empty Space

Don’t tell me about black holes.  You’re just like the rest of us.   Your head is empty space and gelatinous white.  The only thing you know is your phone number.  You’re too cool for school.  You don’t have atom-powered brain capacity.  You can’t recite theories like alphabet.  You’re not black rimmed glasses, socially awkward, pocket protector.  Sorry to box you like this.  Sorry to be defeatist.  This is just the way it is.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

80: Cryogenics

Cryogenics, he thinks, the way to keep this forever. Slides in, closes the door. Deep space cold. See you later. Ice takes over.

Monday, December 20, 2010

79: Rock of Ages

The beach calls but I’m 17 and afternoon lazy.  On MTV, Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar On Me” is again the number one video.  The song gets inside, I’m hot, sticky sweet, and it can’t be shaken loose, even as I hate it, its non-metalness.  I’d rather listen to Metallica or Guns N’ Roses.  In one month, senior year starts.  Everyone’s going to love this stupid song.  So I go to the beach and hit waves.  Back home the girl I like doesn’t like me.  She’ll like that song though.  I watch the sunset, scream.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

78: Regenerative Abilities

My wife and I can’t stop our neighbors.  Ted and wife Jane have eight kids—Timmy, Ted Jr., Doogie, Tasha, Dale Jr. (after the race car driver) , Serena Stephanie (one child), and Ralphina.  They live in our yard, eat our food.  No matter how you deter them, they return stronger and more ferocious.  We are the opposite.  My wife on most days is tired, worn down.  Daughter Nell stays holed up in her room.  Son Hunter becomes my shadow, afraid to break off on his own.  We lose parts.  They don’t come back.  We diminish into nothingness.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

77: The Impasse

You say turn off the tv.  But it’s the news, I say, we have to, as responsible citizens.  No, you say, I can’t do it anymore, it’s martinis and slapstick comedies from here on out.  But the horror of it, the widespread destruction.  Kuwait, Valdez, you say, I’ve done my time.  I watch you walk out the room, insistent, shoulders oozing toward the ground, the weight of years.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

76: Like Old Times

You said, we should go grab a pint, just like old times, but it wasn’t.  I stand at the bar’s perimeter, not sure what to do with my hands, where to look.  My oldest’ll be done high school next year, you said, where’s the time go?  I remember holding that child as a baby, wiggly with no control, then later, my own.  We used to talk music, beers, the conquerable future.  The bar crowds were louder, happier, smarter.  I sipped the beer and for a brief moment, there we were, that old place, where we were.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

75: Copper

He fled from screams of messiah. He attained effortless movement, knife slicing air, data streaming through wires. Days before, he touched that lifeless girl, her face glowing metallic even in death.  Her lungs inhaled life.  Her eyes exploded open.   Her death, absorbed into his heart.  Back home, confines ripe with frying oil, he held a fired bullet, painted crusted red.  He squeezed it into a copper coin.  His mother, on her knees, prayed. Now the world knew.  He ran until he stood over deep ocean.  Then he plunged. Into the unknown ruins, the untouched sands, new kingdom of silence.

Friday, December 10, 2010

74: The Neighborhood Sloths

We’ve found our neighbors’ kids asleep on their porch, on our porch, on our patio, on our lawn, and even in our beds. They snore like buzzsaws, become immovable masses, impervious to shakes, nudges, and airhorns, and if you’d ever met their parents, you’d understand how it all fits. You’d wonder just what the heck was wrong with us, why we put with what we do, what glue is it that holds us together, allows us to sleep at night.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

73: Burst

The clock mounted to the building glows in red light.  The sky chimes night.  The city sounds exploding stars.  We hold hands and watch the minutes pound forward.  Beneath us a subway train bursts minor earthquakes.  Cars filled with brilliant lives painted dull.  We grip fingers ever after.  We watch the hour become ours.

Monday, December 6, 2010

72: A Sampling of Complaints

She said, the coffee tastes like cigarettes, pushing it across the table, offensive.  Over there, pock-faced man sad, the pot roast was stringy, conquered carcass hoisted by fork, lame with gristle.  A sampling of complaints written on paper scraps: the bathrooms smell like urine, the pay is meager, the owner has octopus hands.  Two youths sat across the street, heads full of unwritten grievances, spray paint cans in backpack, lighters in back pocket and pondered, who will they deface, how will they burn.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

71: The Multitude

Six of us packed into the Toyota, went to the Metallica concert. We were contorted, an hour drive. The next day, though, we’d become brotherhood, the multitude in black, the those that were there.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

70: Disembodied

I’m here but don’t know where. I’m floating in nebulous, I’m thinking in hazy. Memories of rain on flowers and the cold steel of buildings under construction. How. Where. Why. Fractured formulas of identity.