Monday, June 30, 2008

Sink or Swim

when it's sink or swim
there are two choices:
paddle, hope for foreign voices
to pick you up again
or sink:
a weak swimmer,
with no shore or savior,
it comes to this in the end.
but as you drown,
given up,
choking on the briny fluids deep,
it's near serene
the time to pass
and alone in drowning sleep.
drifting lifeless with tide and time,
the cold lets your corpse keep,
suspended for motionless ages,
only nibbled by peckish visitors
who nag, perhaps torment,
then leave again.
you find yourself there:
nothing else.
No one comes, none can see,
but soon you rise,
numbness gives way to feeling,
cold like ice gives strength,
soon to thaw.
Soon there's nothing left
but numb and rendered pieces,
flotsam, jetsam, jettisoned.
washed ashore, the broken bits
baked in sun
make brilliant sand
strewn upon a beach so great
none can own it,
merely on it stand.

[not actually standard, this is a response]

Friday, June 27, 2008

Cheap Tricks (9)

[still need to edit but posting now for sleep]

His pounding feet were the flattest beat ever and it seemed as if his thundering footfalls would splinter his shins asunder. Of course he was no longer a physical being and this was the last thing on his mind.

It was desperation that had taken him and had he been in a calmer state of mind, Cheap may have realized it was this girl's resemblance to Jel that had him following her.

Damn damn damn damn shit they had nearly cut him off. No sign now looking back, but what happened? were they still stalking or were they done with this? It seemed like they'd been really intent upon this quarry, made sure nothing would be noticed till the last minute.

They'd been so focussed the usually-observant harpy-bitches had failed to notice the inconspicuous ex-still-junkie on the street corner.

Who paid attention to human refuse better than they?

Salvagers of the lingering ever-presence that seemed to be the afterlife, their ways of valuing people were different from those of most of the living--and dead. To these creatures, you were a piece of meat. You were juicy and delicious food or you were dried up and unappetizing. Cheap must have been the latter.

Accosting the unwitting net-carriers who were also the victims of the succubi, he'd nearly gotten himself ensnared. One was either living or a goner, the others had responded to him in unexpected ways.

The lady had attacked rather than flee; the man had come to help, and the two in concert had chased him off, hurling curses. Despite the many things he'd seen during and after his life, Cheap felt it all to be too surreal. Like something out of an unusual and even poorly done movie.

It was of these two and their aggressive pursuit that had nearly been curtains for him--surprising from a slightly older woman and a business-looking-man. They had allowed the narc-succubus to track and head off Cheap, and it was only her counterpart's distraction with the girl that had allowed him to escape with his soul.

The touch of that creature had been cold and black, but Cheap had hit back without trying. He imagined the feelings that his touch conveyed must have been desperate and longing, entirely unappetizing and even harmful to a leach-like being. He was far too poisoned by addiction for even a twisted nightmare to feed off of, but Cheap was happier to be free and not overly concerned with analyzing the state of his apparently immortal soul..

The woman, if she could be called that, had become so nightmarish in her rage that it was not
possible for him to forget the image of her snarling, predatory face and eyes practically glowing with rage. They burned themselves into his vision.

But Cheap's mind was saying things like: just run, forget the girl, they probly already got her, the other one's out there. Reluctantly his feet changed direction of their own volition, ignoring his thoughts entirely and overriding his natural flight response for reasons he couldn't have given.

The part of his thoughts he didn't hear was: oh god, it's just like Jel and I won't let that happen again. This thought was lurking somewhere in his psyche; it had been waiting for a moment to act, and a girl with a superficial resemblance to his longtime girlfriend triggered it. She looked like Jel from behind, but he didn't realize this is why he was so concerned.

Cheap, you're getting too gold-hearted for your own good, he told himself.

Next block...she was headed for the school. If he could catch up, lure her away...

And suddenly;y, before he could formulate a plan or thing anything through rationally, he could feel her confusion, plain as day. He was halfway to the campus and she was ahead still, in sight, the succubus seeming to lag behind, but something she was doping was even affecting cheap.

Perimeter: stay away circle around yell for her.

As that vicious thing neared her, he screamed "No!" and this got the attention of both. It wasn't enough: he charged it. This was the last thing it'd expected: like a cougar, an thing acting nothing like prey could confuse and even frighten it simply by doing something stupid.

It was stupid, as she eventually brought her claws to bear. They weren't things you could see, they were things you could feel: hear them emerging from their sheaths, slicing the air.

Being poisoned wasn't going to help him with the huntress.

New plan: charge the girl! The huntress was again taken aback by this changed of tactic, almost amused by its new quarry's quirks.

It looked dismayed, however, when the man chased the girl away, and it followed, screeching loudly.

"RUN!" he yelled at the dazed and suddenly startled girl.

Cheap didn't look back until he saw the campus police headquarters far ahead--the police being a sight that he never welcome. Instinctively, he began acting more casually and trying not to look like a criminal.

She was screaming for help as she passed the living, but they didn't or wouldn't hear. Cheap hoped the girl would keep running, but she fell.

Not good. They couldn't have run far enough yet, and there was nothing else they could do.

"Let me help you up" as he approached.

"Someone is after me!"

"I know." Then, "Relax, aight?"

"Let me go."

"Keep moving, we can talk about what just happened."

"You mean the part where you chased me like a psycho?!"

"That ain't it. I'm saving your ass. You don't got a reason to, you gotta trust me."

"Why don't I just go to the police?"

"Hey, maybe you didn't notice that nobody else is helping you. You think it's any different with the police?"

"Well--" and Cheap knew he'd won the argument.

"Look, we're both in deep shit if we don't run now."

That horrific screech sounded again.

"What the hell is that?" the girl asked.

"Something bad that wants to eat us, so run!"

They ran like hell.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

For Many

As time passes surely
some will pass dearly
passing their knowledge
out of this world.

And time passes on
while newer/younger/others do survive
the passed won't be forgotten:
what they were in life lives on.

Left behind's what's built with hands,
to hearts and minds can't be undone.

a no nym, us

I know
I can't know you,
can't tell,
can't say.

Have we met?
Have I seen you before?
You have my name,
I've not yours.

Maybe you rode
the same bus
the same day,
after it drove
the other way
and changed numbers.

Or shared the same space
same time or later,
public place we both know:
a link left untripped,
yet to be thrown.

Unknown to me,
your name could be
an ex-lover's,
an ex-teacher's,
ex-co-worker's,

or someone's I know,
under this alias
merely an X to me.
If I tried to find you,
wouldn't know if I had.

Nameless on the net,
anything could end
this exchange in a blink,
harsh thought to think,
but I won't pretend.

Net sum zero:
you are quite unknown,
each separate, alone,
in uncharted reaches,
in this mer de noms

Monday, June 23, 2008

Look Out Below

Life is like falling,
so forgive me if I fall straight past.
with no way of stalling,
I'm grasping desperate ever fast.

See, I have to let go
to keep from pulling others with as I fall past.
So my grip, feeble as it often is,
so often just don't last.

Maybe someday I'll find
a snag to hold to, or catch a real ledge.
I figure out falling more all the time,
and now that I've stopped screamin' and flailin',

I can't tell if I'm further from the edge
or closer to the ground.
So by the time I've hit the bottom,
I hope I'll've all worthwhile found

Saturday, June 21, 2008

e-spawn

electronic swimming forth
tween nets and relaying bend to bend,
rivulets' turbulence drives,
but course steadied in stream, on line.
fish-like to spawn, new home to find,
in data packets not too private.
fleet sent forth with out formation,
repletely random, few successes;
many numbers sail out,
few to be returned

Friday, June 20, 2008

sun to tears
burning down
squinting

wind to soothe
blowing through
cooling

chimes to please
sounding thanks
singing

clouds do shade
growing cool
quickly

Friday, June 13, 2008

She will come

when she will come
a bell will tinkle
I will know it is her
I will smile my love
when she will come.

when she will come
all will be well
I will be well
I will be with her
when she will come.

when she will come
she will take my hand
we will be as one
we will be each other's
when she will come.

when she will come
knowledge will be sure
all will be clear
all will endear
when she will come.

when she will come
I will leave here
but not alone
but not alone
when she will come.

when she will come
I will draw curtains
it will be bright
it will be right
when she will come.

when she will come
I will not be lonely
she will then show me
she will love me only
when she will come.

when she will come
my hope will fullfil
my wait will be done
my wait will be worth it
when she will come.

when she will come
I will die happy
she will still care
she will not bare
when she will come

when she will come
life will be over
it will be so sweet
it will be complete
when she will come

Monday, June 9, 2008

haiku

bringing better joy
but opposite of snowflakes:
seeds of cottonwood

Crossroads (8)

Alyssa must have taken a wrong turn.

Was she on the street she thought she was on? Where had the graffiti gone? And something she couldn't place...it was dark already?

Everything she noticed was somehow confusing and wrong, and it happened suddenly. The only thing she could think to do was to...stop?

Should she run? It all seemed overbearing, the pressures that assailed her and pushed her from all directions. Had that woman done something? But no, she hadn't even touched Alyssa...

Woozy, that was it, all of it, shaken up. Like a time when she'd had too much soda and gone on the ride anyway it was all unpleasant but not even suffering--too ambiguous to be any one such thing.

Shit, watch where you're walking.

Hey, hey! Hang on, you've got that. It's mine! Who said that?

The voices? Why were there so many voices and where were their faces? So hazy, what is happening to me? Alyssa...yes that's me, what do you want? The name, I don't need the name, it is all useless and meaningless, this is not you, your name.

Help!

Should she cry out? Running. She had to, but so hard, arms hanging, legs dragging emptily like inert, weightless but couldn't move--because no traction? Goddess, the dark! It was...where was she, the street had gone. What the hell?

Suddenly a face: jumping out at her it smiled and her blurred vision cleared for a minute, this face was welcoming, inviting, a solid ground in a shifting sea of startling visions and her voice calmed and soothed. Nothing could be more inviting.

Yes, this is the way to safety child.

No! A voice somewhere called out, even the woman's serene face was a moment startled. Where was it? Distant and distorted, it was trying to ripple the placid calm of this tiny pond in the frightening garden that the world had become.

Alyssa, wake yourself up! Some shred of will clawed for her attention. Look away!

She took notice--both of she, the woman and Alyssa. And something of the woman's features changed, as if a mask...the mask had failed and now frustration cracked it up into pieces. Anger showed beneath but the will was not enough to fight the hunger, the desire.

Hesitance on Alyssa's part destroyed the control and the face mutedly shrieked: YOU BELONG TO ME. It was mere fact, not hostile, but asserting a right.

The right of a predator: Alyssa had already wandered far and wonder now turning away fluttered behind her the owl to her mouse; phantom, specter emerging from darkness ghostly, pale face gave way to talons showing, reaching, soon tearing.

RUN!

Obeying, she ran, she did the impossible. Surely the woman could not follow? Wasn't this the footpath of her college? Yes! Keep your mind on it, watch your feet, keep moving! And somewhere, rage sounded like an alarm into the dark sky.

Soon shouting, a male scream, a scream and then running, footfalls hitting and shaking a ground like jello, were they the man who screamed's or were they mine, Alyssa, you've got to keep focussed on running!

The path branched. She never knew what to do here, just go!

Inside she screamed at herself, but the screaming was emerging and the rage was rising, nausea subsided and the sky relighted. A rhyme in her mind and then things improved.

A smile found her face to replace the default scowl; vision clearer, the sky was never dark; it was morning and hope rose from the east. Dim in the fog, Alyssa saw where she was, saw a man running from behind her--run!

He must want a chase, had he followed from the bad part of town? Odd how that was so near the school. But no time for distractions!

Campus police. Best place to go; he wouldn't know what hit him if the cops saw her being chased by this maniac.

Feet and flight took over despite Alyssa's out-of-shape-ness. It wasn't far, she knew, and she could afford a sprint. Even if she doubled over puked and died from the effort.

Rounding a building corner running through two joggers, "wait!" cried the maniac. Wait! For her assailant!

"Help!" Alyssa screamed at the hapless idiots who weren't helping her--not even noticing! Good Samaritan laws would be a good idea for these bastards.

And pass just a few more buildings, just a bit more screaming for help, and some cop would be her hero--she'd never hoped to run into a cop as she now did.

It was not to be: rough patch of asphalt broken by roots and one caught her foot--as she fell to skinning knees, she thought the tree had done it on purpose.

Smack. Shit. It was over.

"Let me help you up."

Must have been young, a student--a hand lifted her, hers dusted herself off.

"Someone is after me!"

"I know" said the maniac.

Fuck. It was over. Struggle! Escape! She squirmed but he firmed, kept her from going. Knee to the crotch and he jumped, must have dodged.

"Relax, aight?"

Not trusting him, she stopped and relaxed, not seeing why until she saw the sorrow in his eyes--and no malice.

"Let me go."

"Don't run. We gotta talk about what just happened."

"You mean the part where you chased me like a psycho for goddess-knows-why?!"

"No, that ain't it. I just saved your ass."

Sunday, June 8, 2008

11:00 apologies

I make them to the face
that the time I've missed
(lost were it a race
or an object, placed amiss)
can be forgiven with embrace.
closely snugged with pillow, sheets,
hours can't be made up anyplace:
pushed back to AM sleep in,
I dare not see the face

Saturday, June 7, 2008

love like a drug

swap bag for cash,
replenish my stash.

for you a done deal;
for me more appeal.

are you the dealer
or are you the drug?

is it you I come back for
or what you supply?

when you're around
I'm such an addict,

but I can't really tell
what gets me so high.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Down Against

lays me prone
ubiquitous force
rock and hard
my place is down

bruising grasping
everywhere
holds me pulls me
shows no care

its total grasp
irresistible
takes me down
each time for more

it permeates
entire body
within without
with no mercy

Monday, June 2, 2008

Cottonwood 'Chutes

millions drift: up, down, left, there, back, fore, to, fro

a few glimpsed longer swirl by, pause whorl moment's rift

gift seeing longer, take overwhelmed look at vista of billions

floating seeds in air on mission to make more: making more makes more

miracle birth so many can live suspended high up awaiting a fall never comes

littered the sunken cluster tighter in a carpet layer unmended

while parents, up-ended, roots stick them immobile in place

seeding or spewing or shooing young into airspace or ruin

lost but glorious far but farther to go they fly and don't know

under no power own fly from their homes aiming for the horizon



(written after having half a beer, which somehow made me drunk for a short time. Nothing has been edited but spelling)