Old Stuff

Trees Guard the Sand

I’m sitting in a sinking boat, floating in a stagnant sea.  The water is brown and leafy.  Mosquitos swarm around my head and take the shape of clouds on the skyline.  The shore is almost out of sight.  Large green trees guard the sand.

I don’t remember what it was like standing there staring out at the sea or winding through the forest, carried by the pillowy floor.  I have no idea why I launched this boat or even sat in it to begin with.  I don’t know where I’m heading because I am not rowing.  I am drifting; the way that mud allows for drift.  And the only sights I see are sunrises, accentuating brown, and sunsets, dying gray.

I haven’t spoken a word in weeks.  I examine the thickness of the water; I feel it in my hand.  I listen to the cracking wood of the boat when stiff winds move me a foot or so.  In the distance I think I see another boat, but it is sailing with some speed.  It has a person on it, smiling and speaking out-loud to himself or possibly, someone else – someone he can see, but I cannot.  His boat is cutting through the thickness and soaring toward the shore, unaffected by the trapping mud.  As he goes ashore, he sees me and waves me in.  As he heads for the trees he shouts, “There’s nothing out there.  I’m going back.”

I raise my hand to wave and wonder what he meant.  I heard the words, but it made no sense.  I turn and sit and stare and watch the water shine like oil; hardly thinking anything at all.  And soon, I vaguely remember seeing a man run off into the woods, and I think he spoke of something but I don’t know what it was.

I lose myself again in the yellow-orange mist rising from the water and swirling from the mosquito hordes.  I feel the urge to tip over and let my weight carry me over-board and sink me to the ocean floor and fall asleep with a heavy sigh and pull the grime and filth over me like a warm and cozy blanket.  And so I do.

In the water I don’t feel wet and in the mud I don’t feel trapped.  I breathe deeply and I feel eerily at ease.  I feel drained but comforted.  And I feel utterly alone.

Peering up I can see the light of the dying sun; forcing its way through the surface of the water.  I can see my boat, but I can’t remember ever being in it.  I feel as though I’ve been lying here forever.  So I stare at the rays of light as they fade away and I watch the boat above slowly drift away.

Soon, I remember seeing something bright but do not know what to call it or how long ago I saw it.  I remember seeing something dark move away like a hovering shadow but I cannot describe it exactly.

I look around the darkness and I feel the thickness that blankets me.  Slowly, I get still and close my eyes.  After a while I open them but can’t remember ever closing them.

I don’t know where I am.  There is nothing.  I cannot see and I cannot feel and I cannot remember being able to.

Suddenly, the sight of the man on the shore appears in the space behind my eyes and I see him there. I understand the words he shouted and they pierce my ears.  My mind shudders.

Fear is all I feel and it is everywhere.


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Ladybugs Dance

A butterfly floats through the darkness that exists just outside its world

Life crawls along and seems to always cry alone

His face is wrenched and his words are like daggers that drop like tears

Ladybugs dance across boats that resemble bridges to waste away in clearings in forests with singing trees where blue giraffes munch the leaves off of blue trees and make company for lonely slugs and desperate men

Wolves howl at a moon that shines like an eye, drenched and half-closed

Hearts lie fading like neglected tombs and crushed like cardboard boxes

Blood drips from the sky splashing windshields of cars driving slowly through secluded back-roads while wild dreams sip orange juice wishing life would explain itself

And a butterfly dies in the light of all the world

And everything waits in silence watching tears answer questions

While ladybugs dance


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Nick picked up the pack of cigarettes from off the kitchen table and took out a cigarette.  As he replaced the box of Newports on the table, he slid the cigarette between his lips.  He sat searching his pockets for a lighter as the cigarette dangled from his mouth.  It moved around furiously between his lips until finally Nick’s hand reached up in frustration and grabbed it, asking anybody for a light.

As my hand reached out towards him, he threw the cigarette back between his lips and leaned forward.  It stuck straight out of his mouth waiting for the fire.  It was nothing without the flame.  My thumb ran down the top of the lighter and made a useless spark.  Repeatedly it sparked.

Then a glorious glow of fire that instantly set off a chain reaction.  Nick’s head leaned closer as my hand reached out just a bit further.  The flame engulfed the tip and the cigarette released all its tension as the smoke filled the air.  The lighter went out.  The fire kept burning.

The cigarette needed Nick to live and it glowed with life.  It released all the stress that was sealed inside for so long.  Nick breathed and it burned.  It let go of everything inside of it out into the air.  The pain of living and struggling to remain alive that was bottled up inside was finally being released in a passionate outpouring of regret and sincere sadness.  The feeling of an enormous loss.  It all filled the air in a cloudy smoke.

And as quickly as it began, it ended in a dirty ashtray.


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A skinny man, long and tall

Inspiration surrounds him and holds him tight

He is forced to bleed and his soul pours out

The stains he creates form a picture of extreme passion and furious anger

His hurt knows know bounds

The bleeding is what keeps him alive



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