Tuesday, November 30, 2010

69: The Last Option

He couldn’t take it anymore so he jumped from the roof.  Except it didn’t do anything.  He landed on his feet, which were sore for a few hours after but weren’t injured.  Do I go back up, he thought, do I try it again?  Where’s the new lease on life, the altered perspective?  In the house there were the problems still.  At night in bed he dreamed of a boat that sailed to new frontiers.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

68: Your Typical Hand

The palm reader refused to read his palm.  She took one quick look, said, no, I can’t, turned away.  Why, he asked.  What’s wrong?  Please, don’t ask.  Please, leave.  Outside, he studied his hand, sniffed it quickly.  Soap, sweat, garlic from lunch.  Your typical hand, he thought.  Footsteps crunch leaves.  Across the street, a man wearing the same shirt, pants, and coat flexed his fingers.

Friday, November 26, 2010

67: Burning Books

He didn’t believe in curses but the book brought bad luck.  A chain of wrecked car, house roof damage, broken foot, and unfaithful lover.  A novel that went from present day to World War II atrocities and a lost city underground.  He stopped and started, stopped again.  Bad things happened, rewrote his life.  Years later, he’d have to stop one of his kids from taking scissors to a Seuss book.  We love books. We respect them.  Go to your room—not mentioning that old book, the curse exorcised with lighter fluid and fire.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

66: Dare

Write something long, she said.  I dare you.  He closed his laptop.  He was never one for dares.

Monday, November 22, 2010

65: His Words Disturbing

His words disturbing.  Kill everyone, kill everything, lay the world to waste.  Call it age thirteen.  Follow the chain: the teacher, the principal, parents, psychologist.  His explanation is, it’s all that makes sense.  He dresses in black.  In his room he imagines the world without his parents.  There’s a library of suicide poems, a catalogue of slasher films.  He’ll grow out of it.  The common refrain.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

64: V

Count the victory, one, two, three, four…. In harmonizing sleep you feel the thrum of old battles only dreamed.  Electricity courses through, the bing bang boom.  The book you’re holding—you don’t understand the particles of thought, the revolutions of letters.  Light years you will be supernova, the curious peering in, your beautiful nuclear, shell-like remnant.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

63: A Safe Box

One vicious winter S and I were driving in an ice storm.  The roads were covered in slick glass and vacant.  Stores everywhere closed—the world shut down.  We drove down a road of Victorian homes, the path lined with trees covered in glistening ice.  We marveled at the scene—toy village of winter, street lights reflecting off the frozen trees revealing pinpoints like faraway stars.  Deadly but beautiful.  This winter is never ending, huh?, I asked.  Yeah, it’s forever, he said.  Ice tinkled on the windows, the roof of the car, a safe box that trudged toward shelter. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

62: Eat Asphalt

He couldn’t stop himself from taking a chisel to the road, picking up chunks of asphalt to stick into his mouth.  The thundering crunch in his skull.  His teeth shattered debris, his cheek flesh scarred, his words become rough coating.  The road, someone would say, sending his brain reeling.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

61: Gravity Gone

If gravity were gone, she said, the world would be a better place.  He stops, thinks about unbound bodies floating upward, colliding with rising cars, street lights and wires, stuff.  They’re looking out an 18th floor window.  He wants to say, what are you thinking, but he can’t.  Between them there are stories, there are years.  She rests her forehead on the window, inhales.

Friday, November 12, 2010

60: Counting to One Thousand

This woman sits next to me, tells me things about myself she shouldn’t know.  My name, the hospital where I was born, the time I almost walked onto the highway.  She was old, wore too many clothes.  Her body creaked.  She mentioned my first day of kindergarten, when I stood outside after the bell rang and cried.  I told her, I could already count to one thousand then, remembering my teacher who held my hand, walked me inside.  Yes, I know, she said, grasping my hand, her fingers like magic markers.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

59: Your Disintegrating List

You, the breather, the lover, the survivor, the analyzer, the many things.  The earth is geographies, the heart is a matrix, you say, knowing full well you will die, your list disintegrating.

Monday, November 8, 2010

58: Longitudinal

Silence.  The squish of spaghetti.  Fork hitting plate.  The sigh.  Creak of pushed away chair.  The match strike.  Sear of flame.  The plead.  Shuffling of feet.  The crunch of unsealed plastic.  Muffled tears.  The splatter of tossed strawberries.  Laughter.  The echo of that first summer.  Quiet.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

57: Fit of Frustration

We come to the show armed liked Mossad.  Start a mosh pit.  Your hidden bottles clank.  We know the band.  At first, they point and wave, but then they ignore us.  We get rowdy and stumble.  We get tossed.  You wander off, loose in the city.  I find you slumped over in a dark moldy doorway.  I pick you up, arm over my shoulder and a combat injury walk to the car, flop you into the backseat.  Drive home in dream.  We have no pictures.  We can’t prove we were there. 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

56: The Stain

The stain, can it be undone, he asks.  No, the voice says, booming, fatherly, it’s forever.  He looks up into blind glass.  Above, broken skies.  He feels chill, aches of tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

55: Codex Alimentarius

He made a list of foods that kill.  Poultry for salmonella.  Canned foods for botulism.  Beef for colon cancer.  Fish for mercury.  There’s conspiracy here, he thought. I’m biting on this pen, he thought; those plastic particles will suffocate my insides.  You forgot the pesticides sprayed on vegetables, his wife said, behind him. He started to write, but she grabbed the paper and tore it.  The heck with lists, she said.  Just live.  He knew she was more right than studies, research.  That night, he cooked a feast, first of many.