Another NaPoWriMo come and gone. Bye till next year!
Over the Hill to the Poor House
. . . in our bitchin' Camaro, with drinks in the back and cheetos up front, we'll park on the heights and look over the wall, drinking and smoking, and listening to music while the sun goes down behind us and casts our long, bitchin' shadow over the poor house, its wee inhabitants suitably wretched as they potter around the yard, keeping an eye out for Dickensian beadles and shifty-moraled teens like ourselves. We are supposed (we're often told) to look upon them as a sort of warning, but what the hell can you tell teenaagers: we don't believe in death or taxes and with our bitchin camaro, cheetos, and awesome allowances, we certainly will never join them down below, tiny shadows without music, gathering below in dark.
Undemonstrative, solemn YOU: becoming the rancor of the mantelpiece, its loveless dust invading all our feasts of amity. Up the jealousy quotient -- we lack the means to cure you, any priest to divine the ridiculous, the hateful, who will pull your simple, downcast eyes back and over to the road. It forks here, it forks there, and if you will not walk along with us, eyeing the chimneys that rise like sailing ships to the north, then there's nothing left for you to do. We go on ahead, the priests all shuffle off and death lies down beside you, death: your last and faithful dog.
Louis X loved his ladies, who loved petticoats by Mlle. de Rivard and sipped Coke -- the taste of life! Louis XIV was, by contrast, an aesthete who loved Entenmans and Sara Lee, was known to prefer orchestras by RCA and always asked for Ovaltine, a trait he passed on down the line, cut all too short by revolution and a growing national call for the rustic taste of Jimmy Dean and Ginsu knives. Their consorts too, were fascinating: Marie Antoinette swore by Prada, thought crab was king, loved Miller High Life and the Ecole Lysee, and lost her head and pocketbook to PriceWaterHouse Cooper's seductive ways. And when the dynasties were done and gone, cut down by Napoleon, still royalty survived in nation's boundless passion for Bud, the King of Beers.
For all they say about life going on like sitcom programming, if someone threw a lead brick at the set, some great giant with hands like leg of lamb, by chance afilled with drugs and liquor, then everything's cancelled. This turned-on Domination we call sweet existence is frighteningly hot and fragile, a tiny aria; we can always see the crystal shatter, become nothing at end but dry footsteps, a papery shake in a soft afternoon.
Out of the Hitherwhere
I ran a thousand volts through an old telephone receiver, and watched the thing explode like a mineshaft. It was just as I suspected: deceptive communicatons, what eternal ether there may be, it's no match for action, red shock that is its own medium.
Days of Birth
Here we have an aspect of fine wine: the stanched-blood stain lying like a beggar gone to earth, and no one will wipe this up, will take this death off the earth, or move it aside, or burn it. Here we have the glass I handed you, and you have the stem still grounded in the world of your hands, the hands that spill like a mother, that bring everything forward, bloody, to live.
Empties Coming Back
Mechanical way: an arm like a motor in the old, plasticized miracle of motion, progress. Don't start to the right or the malice of the animals will be unaccountable. Begin like a bridge begins: arch forward into conversation with something beneath you, suppler, too. You won't be the first stranger to assimilate bones into dice, robotic metals into a lover's eye, hovering deftly over the house like a winter god. The telephone rings just once but never picks up, premonition you can ignore. With accent on the present, start again.
Call Me Not Back from the Echoless Shore
Here comes the scream factory: small keys twirling under a tongueless glaze. Mozart by the twisting ton, ode to novocaine, old novena for the last and final quiet. This is the precinct of preternatural lies, of colored beans and rumors of more efficient ways to howl. Who can better our old screams? Will you do it with money? Not even. Take a listen at this keyhole: hear them building screams from whispers, darning cloth from teardrops, hanging key chains, the little ones -- those frozen particles of time.