Three thirty seven

Awake. Bladder.
Keep the eyes slitted to suggest to brain I’m not awake yet.
Think as little as possible. Frankenstein-movement to suggest to brain still very sleepy.
Pee.
Back under quilt. Duvet because it’s cold now.
Sleep.


I said sleep.


Worry.

Worryworryworry.

Worry.

Fidget feet.
Put palm upon forehead/eyes.

Worryworryworryworryworryworry worry worry. Worry. Wooooorry. Wurry.

Should I just get up?

Worry. I’m thinking too much. No. I’m thinking about sleeping too much. And I’m thinking too much.

Don’tworrydon’tworrydon’tworrydon’tworry. Worry.

Now I’m just wasting time. What time is it? 2:03. 2:04. Two hours left. I’ll have missed 2 and ½. Maybe I should just get up.

Don’tworrydon’tworrydon’tworrydon’tworry.

Breathe. Fidget. Throw off the quilt and duvet.

Sit up. Drawer. Jeans. Drawer. Socks. Creakcreakcreak. Closet, hangers. Flannel because it’s cold. Creepcreepcreep into kids’ rooms and put their covers back on. Close doors without making the knobs crea—close doors and hope they don’t wake up. Close master so the beeps from the lights don’t wake her up.

Light by the table, light on the stove. Coffee? Chance to go back to sleep? Reason you had to pee? Give it up. Give that delicious addictive stimulant that-you-might-need-right-now uuuuup. Headache—totally worth it. Tea. I’ll ebb off with tea. Irish breakfast tea.

Boil. Broil. Toast. Peanut butter. Where’s the peanut butter? Where’s the freaking peanu—oh.

Mixmixmixmixmix. Broiled. Flip. Boiling. Pour. Stand there staring. Broiled. Take out, coat in peanut butter. Blow nose.

Toast to table. Tea to table. Mason jar of water… to table. Blow nose again.
Backpack. Laptop. Paper. Pen. Open. Password. Sit. Twitter. MSWord.

Now type. What to type about? Stare at last cluster. Toast. Toast. Tea. Half of mason jar. Pop recently-infected-ear. Whaaaaat to tyyyype…

“Awake.” Blahblahblah. Edit. Done. Post to blog or save for some publication? Would Fathom take this? Would anyone? I should research what kinds of publications take things like this. Or just blog it. I mean, for what purpose are you writing? What’s more loving?


I’ll just blog it.
What time is it? Ah.


Apparently, it’s World Sleep Day. Coincidental.
Pic’s from out front of my work.

Ophthalmoi

An oak looms in the garden,

My effigy of pain,

I’ve not climbed since May’s rain,

When soaked hands slipped,           bones broke, skin ripped,

And I ran inside, alone.

Friends on the oak’s limbs beckon,

Enticing me outside.

In my kitchen, I’ll hide.

Wood can’t harass    me through paned glass,

Crouched, back to the door, alone.

If I could see the arm that reached to stand me up again

To climb the oak, to rest upon not ground, not under limbs;

If I could see the tree anew,

Not sharp as black but multihued,

With eyes not mine to recognize

Insects and birds, the clouds and sky.

The oak waits in the garden.

I climb its trunk again.

Scent of rain, shouting wind—

Rustling leaves          can’t hinder me

From escaping my prison.

How I Would Paint Success

Blackbeard in an Armani

His cross-bone skibbies ride over a sharkskin belt

A white-and-red mint hides his Gehenna breath

Clean-shaven scars swath his cheeks and chin

And his sword arm waves against the sky

That I would row! row! row!

Scurvy Dog in a suit

 

And

 

A ribeye of wagyu

Over applewood embers

On the grill of Hephaestus, himself

But under the char

Maggots burrow

And gnaw its rot

And smear their feces

Along its marbled halls

Yum

Poop-steak

A Name And Only A Name

My name—

Do you spy green sprigs on a hill,

Hiding an underworld beneath?

A barrow of whispers?

Lines of letters, milling

On nametags, on poems, on pedigrees,

Like diplomat zombies?

Then I, the wildfire’s pinpoint spark,

I dim, and I drift among the leaves

As ash in an evening breeze.

A Beornic hermit, I subsist,

Pinewoods-bound, naked

But for fur, growls, claws, fangs, the stink of bear and blood.

“Beloved Father and Husband”;

Entombed in pine, under granite and grass, I break down—

Fabric tongue unraveling,

Losing all but my name.

Judging from my classmates’ reactions, I have over-subtle-ized this and obfuscated my meaning. I didn’t intend that at all. I changed the title to contextualize it a bit better, but you’ll have to let me know if it works. I might just need to add a bunch more stanzas to flesh things out.

Petals of Cobalt

I only wanted a dream. Next to my bed, just below its edge and close enough to touch, rested a clear glass globe the size of my head, an aquarium of sorts. The globe encased a stamen-shaped apparatus, metallic and black, from which glowing, sky-blue tendrils writhed, probing the globe’s underside, cascading from bottom to top, like so many searching, electric fingers. If I, the curious observer, touched my own finger to the globe, the swimming tendrils would gather on the spot, forsaking their search and sharing their warmth with me, tingling. Holding an open palm to the top of the globe, I could coax those incandescent, living tentacles into a single, white bolt, bright and hot, connecting me like a conduit to the beastly flower inside. In the darkness, the sphere’s luminescence coated the ceiling and cast floating black ghosts along the walls, like dreaming dancers, spellbound by the alien flower’s soprano hum. And entranced, I too danced in dreams until morning.


I want to keep watching. “Illuma Storm.” What an awesome name. The shimmering posts of electric light hurry about their eight-inch atmosphere, oblivious. So I reach down, holding my hand to the glass ball’s cool, still surface until its aimless inhabitants gather, unified in mock worship underneath. If I move my hand to the top, the blue beams draw together into a single, white streak, like lightning, like a sharp crack in the darkness. They loosen and regain their color when I hold my hand on the side, growing translucent and fuzzy. And if I glide a finger across the glass surface, they draw toward it like dew beads on a crystal balloon. I extend my body from under my dinosaur-print covers, head first, and touch my tongue to the surface, feeling the beams’ electric tingle, but tasting dust and finger prints. Tired and cold from reaching, I retreat back to the warmth of my comforter. But shifting my pillow, I can lie on my side and still see it churning. It even paints my eyelids blue when I close them.

Three Forms, One Frame

This is a poem to Jon, my true friend,

To a vagrant like me, a road on which to end,

A beachfront retreat without fence or police.

Against my gusts and drops and shouting hail,

He stood, anchored, like a bastion, laughing—

Silent, shoulders bobbing, drool slathering his chin;

His stomach, eyes, face, and dignity all puckered.

And when my rains battered his laugh, he guffawed,

Until my winds died down and my own shoulders bobbed.

When, as it does, the tide pulled him to sea,

I wandered a year until home returned,

Not Jon but Jon infixed with an ‘h,’ with a different voice and face—

Perhaps different in form but with the same frame.

Wide windows replaced the self-portraits I hang

(I threw a few out because of mustaches he’d paint),

Adorning the air with pine forests, salt, and waves,

Until he left again, as before.

But a model had been made from his frame, which became

Mysti, my wife, my home until hospice,

Not the first Jon or the second John but the last.

Prior to this, I hadn’t attempted poetry in years. And unlike wine, my craft has not aged well. It’s more like this morning’s coffee. In an earlier draft, the succubuses (I have heard “subbubi” is outdated) Rhyme and Rhythm seduced me. But for lack of mastery, I sacrificed English to please them. Only after some pointed, but appropriate, criticism, did I realize my mistake. I have since removed those lines, which seems to have helped.

King Caffeine

Cappuccino fights for us. Not acrid drip coffee, like the crow-black sludge manufactured in all-night truck stops. That muck flays your throat with writhing fingernails of hate. *Plop* *splash* *plop* it knells, as gummy chunks hit the porous floor of a Styrofoam cup, like sounds best left in the bathroom. Like an invading tyrant, it marches upon you, subduing you behind dark, dripping bars of endless night. But the king fits his guests in fuzzy robes, silken sheets, and popping fires. He speaks, his voice a shining note, as he glides from his steaming nest to rest in a porcelain carriage. He arrays himself in infinite sheets of deep browns and tans, like soft, supple leather. And tipped from his bed, he releases a thousand dancing warriors, adorned with silver swords and helms and shields, to piroutte across the stage of your mouth, fighting back knived goblins and the bloody fangs of wolves, singing all the while, before diving head first into the cave below to do battle against the coldness of wakeful nights. Only a king, not a bully, can keep those nights at bay.

Myself (Revised)

I posted this vignette previously, but after receiving some critiques, I reworked it. Let me know what you think.

“You scare me,” a previous draft began. But the ghoul of perfection cornered me, and in desperation my task took way too long, with way too much censure. Revealing my unedited self, as opposed to the comfort of studied abstraction, makes my face warm and my hands shake. So the deceitful strength of rotting fingers keeps you and me apart. But like the steps of my pursuer’s persistence, only by means of repeated encounters can our romance succeed.