The leaves billowed from the heavens, a roasted brown or Sunkist yellow. Mixed into the mess is the liter of the ages; a pattern, a rhythm, a song of color against dismal grey concrete. I pass the man with the tenderized face, jeans with holes and a twisted limp. But he smiles, teeth like termites. And though he smiles, later he won’t. And though he greets me with a kind face now, later he won’t. We know this, we know the binary of the demons and the angels. It remains unacknowledged, but the distance is respected.
A little wired
Wilted ass flower,
manage to misunderstand.
They drugged Jesus,
Nauseous with nothing to nibble,
Far from original sin
Smoking on senile hand rolled slugs
Settling insectile faces
Behind sterile windshield
I need these antithetics
To get through the day
The list travels through L.A.
Coilng around the world
Knotted ball of twine
Each thread the next scroll
Of my prescription
Of prick the fingers,
Make him bleed,
They whisper it,
Hiding behind sweaty palms
As I stumble to the curb
“RAPIST OF THE SOUL”
the roach that go away
The sky is stained with exhaust
The strip with buds
In my land
Two layers closer to hell.
brain cells drain like
blood trailing toe holes
composing the semi empty
to mostly empty receptacle
that is man
a habit rippling
they’re taking their scrapings
and plucking the roots
like Sitar strings
they’re just trying to return
the electric touch
bless ‘em for it
Doc cuffs the bills quick
Tabs a pretty sack
Of greenery so I’m
paying my way
with teeth and finger nails
dirty deeds and coagulatin’ oil rags
week of the next
peeling for fix
in the lobby
drip and waiting for the withdrawal
to shock like a cattle prod.
I can feel the magnetic waves
in the atmosphere
the blue cancer
They got it,
Pulled the last stale tooth.
and the heart no longer beats
to free form jazz.
Ginsberg by the sausages
Eyeing Mccarthy bag boy
At back, 3 point turned
Don’t meat, travel slowly
The curtain is iron
I’ve always been able
To see straight through you
Close your eyes with shallow grieving
The caulking gingerbread blood
Faucets leak slowly
Apocapic ending whirl,
Annihilation transmitted to
A black polo
Ghosts in the tea party
Gum reduction surgery
And Arian dentures.
Like the escorts tail
The peacock’s feathers
To slit your wrists by.
And the win ripples
Over sewage prairie
Stalks the stinking
On the brown
Tending the field
I took her love
like a well fitted suit
in between torn
of suicidal dancer
tapering to toes
taking me to celestial lows
In-furled frilled brow
Historical Fiction of Crossing the Delaware.
They shall be deep in slumber with drink and the festivities of the night before. God will be forgiving for the turmoil we suffer through on his son’s date of birth, for it is in his name that we fight and it will be in his name that we take back the Jerseys. It’s their location in Trenton that puts them at such a disadvantage. They rest in open plains, with little more than an outpost or two to keep them under cover from the wrath of our muskets.
December 25, 1776
We reside on the wrong side of the Delaware. I fear that this may soon be the end of the American colonies. The snow lies like a thick wool blanket across the landscape. It’s in a stark contrast with our dark uniforms. It’s a good thing that we’re arriving late within the night, for we’d be seen from miles away in daylight. I seriously doubt the thickets of sugar maples and paper birches would give us much cover from the rain of Hessian gunfire. The landscape is radiant white, barren. A desert of snow violated only by our infantry’s steps.
We’ve lost much of the front, retreating into Pennsylvania, I grow doubtful and weary hearted. I’ve seen many men lost in battle and heard of many more lost at Washington’s command. Maybe Washington isn’t the king of the frontier that I was once so sure he was. As he trudges through the snow, firing up steep mountainsides, his coy expression hints at a greater sense of purpose. We may lack confidence in ourselves, but Washington leaves no hints of discouragement.
We’ve lost all of Jersey, and Manhattan.
Even if we are finished serving on the first. We need a general that will make the most out of the time he is given. Especially when the future looks so bleak.
There’s fifty four hundred of us, give or take the few that have been left behind off the trailside. Many of us are walking with only rags to cover our feet. Many of us won’t make it to see 1777, but I must have trust in Washington.
I hope that on the day of Christ’s birth God is merciful to the American army. The cold claims another victim. The vacant expression on his face is only seen in glimpses as we pass. The American troops seem to diminish before we even taste the scorn of battle.
I’ve seen several men blue at the knees, walking with slivers of what was once their feet. Once they regain feeling they will ache. They will pray for death. I suspect many will never walk again. We split up, an attempt to flank the Hessian army, but now that we’ve reached the raging mouth of the Delaware, the three thousand or so soldiers that separated are nowhere to be seen. Maybe they’re cowards, or wise, and have abandoned their country with nothing in mind but their own survival.
I see another layer of earth scraped from the shore. The sand crumbling into nothing. It could sweep you away before you’ve realized you’ve left the ground. The clashing waves are reminiscent of ancient Trojan warriors colliding in battle. The sky is grey and the river looks daunting. No, the river is impossible. I no longer fear that the Hessian Mercenaries will have my scalp like the salvages. Trees erode away on the coast. They’re contorted and bowed, leaning away from the angry waters. They too fear the consequence of Nature’s temper. This river will be the death of me. As we proceed closer to the water, it fluctuates, reaching out of the rapids and threatening to swallow the battalion whole. I day-dream of our tattered bodies blue and bloated, floating down the river like the chunks of ice thrashing against jagged rock. Some claim to be able to walk across when the waters are calm, but the menacing blues allude to unknown depths. The deeper the water, the darker it appears. Hell must be an unsightly shade of black.
The first man who falls in this river won’t make it to see the last man cross. It’s the cold that we’re at war with, not the British, not the Hessians, but the whimpering heartbeat snuffed by Christmas frost. It’s unfortunate to think so, but maybe God isn’t on our side.
The boat is rickety at best. The paneling in the bottom of the dingy is warped and malformed. It seems we would have a better chance skipping across lily pads then taking our chances in these poorly constructed coffins. The current is treacherous and swallows men like the family at a thanksgiving feast. We arrive in Jersey at 3 A.m. Three hours after we were supposed to. General Washington rides up and down the lines encouraging us for battle, snot dribling down the horses nose and spit splattering our faces as he passes. If he really wanted to inspire us he’d get off of his horse and join us. He’d be bootless turning the snow shades of red with the blood from his frayed feet.
By the time we marched the nine miles from where we had crossed the Delaware (the boat crossing deviating from the intended course greatly) the sun had risen half an hour before. We couldn’t tell if the sky was pink with the rising sun, or the blood soon to come.
As we approach the Hessians we can see them in a thick haze. Many are still sleeping, leaning against the other soldiers in the snow, reeking of moonshine. The battleground is littered with low lying shrubs and rivulets from old farm fields.Strategically they were at a loss. They rested in the open. If we didn’t know better we would have thought that it was a band of drunks and bums celebrating Christ’s birth in the frigid snow. Cowering behind the few houses and their howitzers, there wasn’t much they could do.
While some lunged for their weapons, General Johann Rall screamed out to his men.The plumes of smoke emitted from the edge of each musket. It was sporadic, but with meaning like a meteor shower confused for shooting stars. I counted a total of six shots fired before we could see their white hankies tied to the end of some twigs they scrounged from their splintered cover. They were pel-mel, and destined for the end. There wasn’t much blood shed, but enough to keep the majority of the Hessians at bay. I could see one, too young for battle, wandering aimlessly around his fallen brothers. He knelt down to a Hessian, brushing the hair plastered to the Hessian’s face out of his eyes and in a moment he was shot down. He lays in the snow twitching, and moments later his corpse was still. Grown men cried for their mothers and waited for the silence of defeat. We wounded General Johann Rall and at the end of the day we suffered from few deaths. We left Trenton on our conquest with twelve hundred prisoners of war and we left the ones too wounded to walk to bear with the cold. If we only got our hands on an onslaught of red coats. We’d show them what a resistance really looks like.
Their accents were thick like cement yet to be mixed, complete with sedimentary surprises and untrained turns of phrase. Later we overheard one of the Hessians who said that Rall asked for reinforcements from General James Grant in broken English, but was rejected. The English never did think much of us, maybe now they’d take us a bit more seriously.
Someday parents will walk their children to the bus stop in hazmatt suits and borrowed oxygen tanks. It will no longer be a human right to existence. We’ll never know what privilege we have until we run it into the ground. We’ll never know how important the weeds are in the garden until the land is barren and we’re struggling for our next breath. Welcome folks we’ve reached the beginning of the end.
They cycled through their small plethora.
Prescriptions to Oxycontin, Xanax, Ritalin.
Smoking pills, swallowing pills.
Burning the finish off potential that some claim to be “God given.”
He stumbled, gathering pieces of himself.
It was twelve blocks to Samantha’s flat.
He could endure.
With his hand in his pocket, he pinched himself.
“Sober up dammit”
the taste of wine becoming sour in his dry mouth.
Cars passed on the left,
but he climbed the hill, looking forward.
They were all looking for an excuse.
They’d sell you down the river if it meant validation of an invalid existence.
They stared. Faces change.
couldn’t be trusted.
Sometimes soft faces shroud hard interiors.
He thought of Samantha’s refined curves.
The lace leaving just enough to the imagination.
The smooth familiarity,
and the taut skin of a conscious body.
Eight more blocks.
The people passing looked at him like he wasn’t so much of a man,
but the dangerous biproduct of man
stuck to the bottom of their shoes.
They peered down at him,
scraping him off with a twig, dropping him to the street to decompose.
Demeanors expressed a conflicted mixture of cautionary disgust.
Samantha was the escape he could depend on.
No tolerance, no nausea, no overdose.
The ideal heroin high
The euphoria without the pain.
Torbin found, like most of the best things in his life,
the dependency could kill.
The way she touched him.
The way she could love him when, in comparison,
everything else was brittle Styrofoam ready to crumble the moment any pressure was applied.
Five more blocks.
A car horn blared.
Torbin shifted to the street side.
Maybe he’d serve society better as a pancake.
Torbin thought of just how good he would be as a pancake.
He saw her as the last green blade of grass on a yellow lawn.
He no longer sat as an island in a sea of flammable turpentine.
In his mind,
and solely in his mind,
he thought of Samantha and him as one.
Forever he would walk as “we.”
But she walked alone
The chase excited him, destroyed him
He loved her AND the idea of her
She represented the pursuit
Because he knew she would be
Three more to go.
He hid the rejection under used blunt wraps, the ashes from meth ad any number of other drugs
Under it all he intended to bury himself
He would be regretful to have Samantha coiled around him
In his grave, set aside
He was succeeding
So the paranoia set in.
He imagined her sleeping with man after man, the sweat tainting her supple skin,
and most of the time he was right.
He had trouble determining the difference in profiting for survival and love.
Was he just another customer paying with whatever he could?
In a way,
he was certain he was,
though he paid the tab with a breaking heart.
In memory, sandpaper didn’t seem so coarse.
His image of her was galvanized in a thick layer of gold.
He arrived outside her apartment.
He hesitated, swaying,
in a current.
The stairs were long,
each a different spectrum of color.
Some called it street art, but graffiti,
vandalism was more appropriate.
nothing but slurs and hate speech.
Walking into the room the air was thick.
The bare walls
The long mourning windows
The crumbs even the rats wouldn’t eat
The interior was like it’s residents
Void of colors
Ghosts of where once was
A feeling being
He heard the rhythm.
a cinderblock dropping repetitiously on the wood floor.
Torbin approached slowly as the clashing grew louder.
The desk lamp dimly lighting the flat had been stripped of its shade and flipped to its side.
A murmuring feminine sob, followed by short bursts of screaming psychosis.
Her shadow, contorted and massive against the brick wall.
He could tell by the silhouette, her hair had a mind of its own, sporadic mood ring,
Highlighting her failing state of mind and the paranoia pulsing through her body,
Her terminal disease.
She sat legs crossed, slouching over,
the metallic head of the ball peen hammer facing her.
and the blood dripping down her jaw.
When she noticed him she smiled,
A flap of gum and strands of socket hanging out of the craters in her gum line
where her two front teeth were before.
“I have to get them out. They’re not mine. I didn’t put them there. I just needed–.”
brushing the knotted shrub of hair from her face with a soft,
Her knuckles white from squeezing the wooden shaft of the hammer.
She spread her lips like a wolf, growling, intimidating.
He imagined her teeth rolling across the floor,
Torbin dove, knocking the hammer out of her hands.
Under the thick coat of blood, he barely recognized her once defined features.
“It’s in my head.” Her eyes large, searching vacantly.
“They’re coming for me Torbin. They’re on their way. I know they are. They can find me.
and Samantha tapped a brown sticky index finger on what remained of her broken canines.
“What the fuck Samantha!
There is no “they.”
They is another figment.”
Torbin paced from one wall to the next
before he threw the hammer into some unknown puddle in the corner.
Samantha drooled into her lap.
Torbin sat, curled
with his face in his forearms.
“We can’t do this anymore.
How can you do this shit?
How can you do this to me?”
Torbin’s tone was unconvincing broken legged puppy.
He used his sleeve to wipe the bloody spittle from her chin.
“No. No, they’re coming for us. You’ll see.
but it’ll be too late.”
“Samantha. It’s you.
It’s always been you.
It may already be
He crawled away to the mattress in the corner.
She wrapped herself around him like a velvet robe.
She sobbed into his back,
smelling him on the shirt he’d worn for the last three days.
Her voice reminded him of rodents squeaking in the crawlspace.
“I can be a whore, an addict, a roach,
but I can’t stand the idea of being your lost cause.”
An excerpt from a novel in progress about two homeless teenagers struggling with addiction and the destruction of loving an addict. More to come!
Another cigarette, a bottle of wine, and another cigarette. Walking through the boulevard, the neon lights casts my shadow upon the pavement. The letters spell out death. “Nude girls” another way to numb another sense. Budweiser on tap, another sense dulled, “rocket donuts” eating away reality, eating away suffering. Each sidewalk is a pattern, repeating, but differentiated. Cigarette buds, gum steamrolled to the pavement. An hour until the next class, another arbitrary declaration of my “knowledge.”
The vices vary from person to person. Drug, drink, caffeine, food, sex. I think, you think, they think, I think, we have a freedom of choice, but if the only choices given to us are A, B, or C, how much free will is there?
We walk, bus, ride, run, to the same classes, the same grocer, our routines are cemented like the walls of the catacomb. Sealing in a predestined fate, we walk down the same halls, purchase the same goods, read the same text. It’s like we’re all pieces to a puzzle we’ve finished dozens of time before.
The repetition is enough to make you nauseated.
Even vagabonds, unrestrained from day to day routine escape to the same locations, eat out of the same dumpster, always eating a similar morsel, the unwanted can goods that once again, weren’t eaten.
To rebel from the conventional is to follow a path that’s been treaded a thousand times before. We rebel to join the other rebels conforming to black clothing and angry music. We rebel in bright vibrant colors from all the other rebels sick of hypocritical rebellion.
Variety is as limited from switching from A to C to B, but at the end of it all, we’ll always have to return to one of these options. In the end variety is deception. In the end there are only so many paths to walk down, only so few words to choose.
As members of this redundancy, we must fool ourselves into believing that the next wall of this cage is different from the wall we stared at before.
But every bit of ash flicked from the cigarette tip is indecipherable from the next. In the end even colors, even art returns to the primary colors.
We’re born, we live, we die. In a way it’s beautiful, in a way it’s confining, but more appropriately,
The landscape to repeats on a reel. Life is limited to the categories we give it, and in the end if Torbin walks into a bar, a strip club, a book store, or a restaurant, he’ll always return to Samantha’s side.
She is as much his as the hair fused within the fibers of his scalp. Even in her final monologue she’ll fit into the warm python palm of his hand.
“Do you have to do that?”
Torbin stares at a dark cloud, in an otherwise blue sky.
“Stop cracking your fingers.”
Torbin holds his hand in the other slowly popping each knuckle out of place.
She clenches her jaw, slapping his hands out from in front of him.
Even in anguish, he likes to watch the contours of her face contort. He’s in love with her soft balled fist. Samantha hears a “POP” from Torbin’s side.
“God dammit Torbin, again?”
Another of Torbin’s smirks and he nudges her off the sidewalk.
for the restless
with sputtering minds:
an ’86 Chevrolet
with a hole in the gas tank
and a corpse in the trunk.
brace the doors
of my water damaged
insects within my split tongue
released to the public
kernels stuck between
of Heaven’s head lice.
some laces aren’t worth being tied
I won’t be surprised
to find you’ve hijacked a plane
murdered your spouse
and ejaculated on the President’s face.