sent Clyde to outer space in 1955.
it must mean everything to sing out the darkness, in unison, like crickets. Rusty axles breaking into hundreds of dollars. Friday night, a Camel and a hard grin.
holding our breathe on humid mornings
when full exhales seem hopeless. “I don’t mind the noise,” the neighbor said.
“It’s them country smells that get me.” But the indoor temperatures more approximate
the outdoors now, the air like a Mutsu
sweetening the view
of things dying while we dream:
lawns that stole our weekends away;
mosquitoes that chased us back inside;
weekend alarm squawks that awoke the block;
days so long that the possibilities
seemed stifling; the chlorophyll that cloaked the sunset shade of maple leaves,
dried-blood oak, yolk-yellow ginkgo. Now, with the freezer full, let’s be honest
fall was how we really felt
He sees everything. Enter now all the evils that poison the child and make him a man
Envy, malice, comparison of men,
striving, greed, smallness, all the ignoble days
cleverness, fakeness, two-facedness
distraction upon distraction, all the wasted days.
And, above all, blindness:
man looks outward and sees only himself,
his self like a colossus standing before him, occluding the sky. He sees nothing: he has no idea how to live. End then with the elderly
who are senile but begin again to dream…
The eyesight of the aged is oddly immaculate:
As their minds loosen free they know exactly
how they would have wanted to live.
To paint a picture that presupposes
Like confused footsteps that reach
Across some worn and weathered beach. These words that fix you, find you,
Words, that bind you, words that blind you,
Words that lead you to a trance
Or spin you with some sacred dance, Before your fingers can perturb
The petals of a rosebud undisturbed.
Within the jar the question lingers
As we count with broken fingers. A mermaid sings in a distant sea.
Like stars she cannot be seen directly,
Etched in moon glow beyond all proof
Like some last Olympian, proud, aloof. continue…
Silently, I collapsed in my room, caught between thanking God for saving me and scolding myself for my cowardice, for sprinting off like a baby girl when womanhood was at stake. Years later, I was reading about a double-murder in Cleveland in which a couple were slaughtered roadside in their car. A gunshot to the head of the him, to the chest of the her. Unglamorous deaths, both: he without pants, she without shirt, her breasts ruined with the mingled stains of their blood. I thought back on my night in Steubenville. I’d never returned for my shoes or for M. Bovary. I realized with regret I’d never picked up another copy, never finished her story. Emma was still waiting, poor dear, poisoned on her pillow… I have never considered myself a virtuous lady. Just lucky not to live in antiquity.
lies the echo of your name
don’t bother to call it pain same old sameness, same old flame – Virginie Colline
As in fall the maple’s leaf
Is borne unto the breeze
And sent away, a flicker
Across the open fields. You that I am wanting,
I live now in a foreign city,
Where the days are empty streets
And the nights an endless boulevard,
And I cannot possibly know
Anymore where to turn or
Just what it is
That I ever really wanted. – Matthew Saks
as a stained glass painting. Now imagine it disappear
in dwindling reds
until it becomes a flat marshland
of compressed grey. It’s almost as if to say
things as beautiful as paintings
should never exist
in the first place. – Andreyo Sen
I return the shadow of a cat
to the cat:
every mouse recognizing hyperbole,
sensing my predatory nature-
in conference deciding who will
place a bell on Kitty’s neck,
who will catch her cat-napping,
which one will roll away fear,
like a ball of unraveling yarn.
– Michael D. Browncontinue…
I pause before reaching for the next step. Where my brothers see a line extending from their toes,
knowing with certainty the orientation of that step,
I see a splatter,
a glob, like paint dropped from a height,
the edges fighting to decide the right direction.I place faith in my gut that I’ll meet my brothers
at our destination in the end,
as long as I accept that my path
might look a little messier, the manner of my step
a little clumsier as I slip in the paint
and skate my way across the ground. – Leanne Rebecca continue…
for fish I said up river near the log jam we might find another fish you said lets look – Richard C. Armstrong III
Someone once said, a teddy bear is a projection of your early fears of spaces & absolute stillness. Of losing yourself in the shafts endless as you. You rip Teddy to shreds. You stitch him back together. Tell him it was all just a misunderstanding. You tell him to be quiet. – Kyle Hemmings continue…
How many times has it chomped my fingers, how many times has it tasted my earlobes, how many times has it charged my behind, butted my belly, bloodied my clothes, trampled my toes, bruised my bones? How wicked is the goat, braying with laughter when I stumble? There in the dirt pen, hen-pecked and speckled white, brown, and gray, there in the alfalfa, mowing the green, there at the mailbox, splayed obscenely, waiting to nip a postman’s hands, a sheen of sweat on its neck, a cake of dung on its tail, in full regalia lies the goat, barking with hatred when I approach. Down in its soul, it knows it will die; down in its blood, it pules with fear; down in the muscles under the roots of its hairs, it tenses, it twitches, it bristles; it opens its eyes and regards the barrel of daddy’s pump gun. Away runs the goat, old billy, whinnying like a kid. Now in an oven, tossed with carrots, turnips, shallots, white wine, now on a plate with suprêmes of clementines, now in my mouth, pulling apart, masticated, luscious, lovely, a buttery treat for my tongue and tummy is the meat of the ornery goat. I say, “Pass the gravy.” – Evelyn B. Hirschworth
The real business behind the curtain swallowed up that April’s sun as soon as it arrived. Bad-luck-struck from the get-go, unable to see the multitude for the tree-peoples of personal hopes and dreams, we were (simply put) only somewhere: still behind the eight-ball of everything, still the mocked sons of industry’s fallen king. How long could we carry on just carrying-on?— The carrion of a generation’s education spread thin amongst the vultures of the information age? How far would the veil be pulled up over our heads before the slow satin of another era’s dawning would drop fully down upon us? Bleakness became us. Built for the blunderbuss, we were abandoned in the realm of the battle rifle. The ballistics of corporate realities had us rightly bought-out before our very eyes… There once was a man who said at the heart of any true endeavor is a tethered ego and a willingness to release that which is rightly ours to hold onto. Yet to give up more than that which belonged to us in the beginning is an impossibility. All we really ever had was our own lives to live. – Richard C. Armstrong III
How could you describe sorrow?
That deepest sorrow that demands silence, to
keep you from screaming.
I like to guard in my heart the good, the loving.
I weed to dig out what worries me, but now
I have to save it and it oppresses me,
sealing my mouth.
I hadn’t wanted to, to stay confident,
but I couldn’t.
How long can this last?
Why should this happen to me, when it happens to no one else?
Did I do something wrong?
Too many times my mind has wandered
while I stand fixed in the same spot…
When it seems happiness will come over you,
the heart assualts you.
I never wanted to learn, but I realize that the science of love is life and experience.
It is the absence of innocence. – Kire (translated from the Spanish by Kire and Thomas McCafferty) TRISTEZA ¿Como se podria describer la tristeza? Esa tristeza profunda que hay que callar, que no puedes gritar. Me gusta guardar en mi corazon lo bueno, lo amoroso. Suelo sacar afuera lo que me preocupa, pero ahora tengo que guardarlo y me oprime. Sellare mi boca. Yo hubiera querido no hacerlo, tener confianza, no se puede. Cuanto tiempo durare asi? Por que me tiene que suceder esto, que no les sucede a nadie? Tanto mal hice? Tantas veces he partido quedando fijo en el mismo lugar… Cuando parece que se va acercar la felicidad, te asaltan el corazon. Nunca quise aprender, pero me doy cuenta que La ciencia de la vida y del amor es la experiencia, es la falta de inocencia. – Kire
It was never in the cards It was never in the stars It was never in our future I was never in your heart, Save some little space reserved For the temporary visitor Like a guest house Mother-in-law suite Or drawer under your bed. Run around the entire earth Fifty times if you can So slowly you ran It was always your plan To never find a home. – Dominique R. Scalia
The rage of time inside the space between his cupped hands and ears was proof enough—he’d gone too far. But it would be silly to turn back now, halfway through a life, hunched over at the long table in the cafeteria, surrounded by gibbering omnivores with their compartmentalized trays, their divided lives… He had a good chance at getting the Chair if the Chair ever died. And his next book, the important one—they’d expand his Wikipedia entry. And what would he do if he stood up right now and walked out, the pilaf still steaming on his tray? Fishing? TV? The Plebeians seemed to get by fine with a six-pack and a lineup of celebrity game shows, vampire sitcoms. He could blend right in. The Korean man at the deli wouldn’t think twice if he brought a bottle of malt liquor to the register, asked for a pack of Camel Lights. Thanks, Lee. See ya t’morrow. And what would he be giving up? After the lectures, the office hours, the board meetings, the applications, the hiring committee, applying for grants, grading papers, reviewing the relevant journals, after all that, to burn, to crave the unapportioned time to sit down and what? Write his articles, chase a fly around the room with a dish towel, crack his neck, pace? And if he did give it up, then at parties, when someone’s wife said, And what do you do, Martin? he could say, I work at the Port, offloading containers, or, I run my own landscaping business. And she’d say, No, you silly man, I mean, what do you do do? What makes you get up in the morning? And he would say, What do you mean? And she would say, Never mind. But of course, he wouldn’t be at parties like that, at the parties he’d go to, no one would ask what you do do. That would be nonsense. But it wouldn’t be so easy as all that, to get a job at the Port, start a business, etc. And he’d put years of his life into getting where he was now—a respectable position. No, it would be silly to turn back now. To turn away from the one thing he was good at. Which was what, exactly? Obsessive introspection? An unparalleled ability to sit inside his own head without going mad? Without going mad? Without going mad? Hello, class. I’d like to begin today’s lecture with a thought experiment. Let us imagine a man. He is just like me, only older, and fatter, balder, more able to get away with being the acerbic asshole he’s always been. He doesn’t drink. He’s divorced. He wakes up at seven each day and masturbates, before making a pot of coffee, or plopping a few ice cubes in the remnants of yesterday’s pot. He eats a bowl of cereal while grading the papers he didn’t finish last night, he rushes to class, discusses chapter six, catches himself staring at the Chilean girl, gets flustered, eats lunch by himself, arrives at his afternoon lecture, locks the door, puts a .38 special to his head and says: What is happiness? Answer in the form of a short essay. You have until the end of the period. – Horace Thursby Blandemeal, PhD
Asking too much of me, this life has never-the-less made a turn for the better. And I am as surprised as the next guy about it. It’s not like I’m the most nominated film of the year, but (speaking cinemaphorically) I’ve put the few million bucks worth of butts in the seats it takes to break even. Consumed by desire, I am going to give it all another try. My self-hypnosis cassettes are rewound placebos: My subconscious is crammed full of surface-level self-esteem. Beauty is in the boredom, I think. I think a lot too, although that is a strange thing to say because even always thinking of nothing is a lot of thinking, I think… – Richard C. Armstrong III
“It would be so novel. So dreamy.” “So dreary. So fantastically bleak.” “In that Virginia Woolfish way.” “We would be so cool.” – Thomas McCafferty
his breath touched with a Mint Julep his tongue, his lips, his whirlwind kiss
wrangle me to heavenly bliss. – Casey Whittaker
for then it will become like a celebration.
And let each day happen to you
just like a child, with the passing of the breeze,
is given a cluster of blossoms. To gather up and save them –
this never enters the child’s mind.
He shakes them softly from his hair,
where they were so happily captured,
and holds out his hands anew
to the glorious years of his youth. This poem was written by Rainer Maria Rilke and translated from the German by Matthew Saks