A Four Letter Word

A Four Letter Word

There is a new four letter word

my mother uses it as well as pops,

my grandmother and entire family.

It wasn’t an embarrassment

when I learned it.

I use it all the time,

and so do you.

 

It speaks of togetherness

and points fingers

to inclusion and lumps

it even speaks of destruction.

We don’t hesitate,

but the implications are bigger

than the time it takes to say.

 

It isn’t fuck or love,

the best or the worst,

and it is not hate

But I fucking hate

that I love how it polarizes.

 

Generalization is its definition,

the stated fact of a situation.

It has started and ended wars

and it is doing so right now.

 

The word is THEY,

and you should think about it

before you say it,

or before it’s too late.

 

The Pieces

The Pieces

 

There are tears in her drink. The walls are salty and blurred. The paint is chipped and cracked with loss. The frustration wells and she screams. The reverberation is swallowed by its own echo and another heart breaks with the singularity of loss.

She let it in. She let in the remembrance the once wonderful romance and the betrayal. She let in the time together and the eternity of gone. She embraced what was and what should have been until it was clear and she was done.

She stood, naked in the sunset letting the orange light fade in her eyes. And then her lip curled, just a bit at the corners and her eyes shifted in thought. She selected this and that and of course those, maybe this… No, too much. She dressed and inspected the design. It was fresh and different and alluring without being slutty. It said yes, but it did not say now.

The emotion crept back in and she smirked because it was trying to betray her. She wouldn’t let it. She turned to the shelf and thought for a moment before selecting. She sprayed the potion as a last touch, as a beginning and a simple period on a final goodbye.

The sun was gone now and she looked out at the moon, sparkling in its glow above the Angel city skyline. Then she smiled. Not for what was or what could be, but for what is.

She stepped out with a trumpets whine and a cellos low moan, her heals drumming her through the night.

The Stone

The Stone

 

Push. The stone begins to retreat. He presses through bleeding teeth. Sweat pisses from his forehead and shoulders and runs down his back. His calves bulge and pop. He can hear the tendons strain against the fibers for the millionth time. The stone retreats another inch and his shoulders threaten to dislocate. They will. He has felt them. It has happened thousands of times in the past. His elbows hold, but as he presses, his back arches, and his body begins to fold.

This is a mistake. He has felt this before as well, lost count how many times in fact.

One disc slips and pain rips through him like electricity. A second begins to follow suit. His hips could straighten this out and he tries, but that calls for the legs and knees to aid him and that isn’t going to happen in the world of hurt he is living in now.

The stone retreats another inch and his back releases with it. The leverage is gone and the stone is not stopping now. He knows the next move and with his last bit of energy he spins out of the way for the two, three, or four billionth time and dives. He just gets himself clear as the stone rumbles past. He turns and watches his nemesis roll away.

He drags himself off the ground to his knees, stops and begins to weep.

His weeping is quiet and breathy and the tears come from his eyes running in waves. When he can no longer hold back he wails in frustration and sorrow into the hot desert wind. His body is already reconstituting and as a compulsion, he stands. Still weeping, his body moving like a marionette, he is taken back down the hill while rivulets of tears run down his robe.

He cries the tears of the damned, the lost and the lonely. He glances around as his body takes him back down to the starting point. All around is desert, wasted and hot. Nothing is living or moving, but him and nothing has for as long as he has been here. He doesn’t pray for forgiveness or for mercy. He ended that after the first decade. Here, it is never been dark, it has never been night, it has never rained nor has it ever cooled. Day in and out he has pushed and strained. He has worn a groove into the earth and he knows every inch of this stone.

His stone. It has crushed body parts. It has flattened limbs only to have them regenerate a moment later and with them, the same the compulsion to return to the bottom of the hill and start again. Push.

Push, he breathes and the stone moves weighting not much more than a feather. He takes the first step and the weight begins to accumulate. He presses on. His feet treading the same path he has walked for… How long has he been here?

In life he kept his own counsel. He trusted no one. He was cruel and a trickster, but he was charismatic and cunning, with a charm that could make friends with the Devil himself. He once fooled Mr. Death and trapped him for a time. He made an enemy out of God.

The endless sleep of true death was far too good for the likes of him for he was powerful. And so, this… A special purgatorial realm was created for him to be left and forgotten about for a moment or forever. Which was it? Those two always get mixed up.

The hill was straight and not very steep, but with each step the stone gained more weight; five pounds, ten stone, a hundred kilos here and there. It was perfectly rounded so it rolled easily in the groove. He walked, pushing it, feeling the weight increase. A few hundred thousand times he had tried to turn around once he was near the top. Press with his back and use his legs, for he had clearly gotten stronger over the millennia. It was to no avail.

He might slip and lose a foot, but it would come back a moment later. He’d slipped countless times, had his arms, shoulders and legs crushed, but they too came back. He has never died however. He had never been completely crushed. His body has been mangled beyond recognition, but never his head. For he wants to live, he has always wanted to live and if he is to live for eternity in this place pushing this stone up this accursed hill then so be it. He would still be living.

He pressed. In the strain and the heat the sweat poured down his face and began to burn his eyes. The tears only came in the aftermath. They came in the frustration. The tears had only begun a hundred years ago and only came as he watched the stone roll back down the hill. Something felt different now.

All of a sudden the tears began as he pushed. Why were the tears coming now? He stepped forward, pushing the stone watching the chipped bits and flecks he recognized on the stones surface as they moved through his blurred vision.

He cried the tears of the damned as the stone became heavier. He splayed his palms wide and dug in with his hands as the weight increased and the stone rolled forward up the hill. How long had it been? It was countless.

He did not pray for forgiveness. He did not care to be forgiven. He felt his legs beginning to strain. He had been cruel and faces began to run through his vision. He imagined their blood on his hands as he pushed the stone.

Step, his feet were starting to dig. His calves began to bulge. The tears were running now for who he was, who he had been and what he had done. They ran for his self-righteousness and his complacency. He bowed his head and pressed the stone as the sweat began to piss from his forehead. The tears and sweat ran and dripped off his nose. He didn’t pray. He apologized, for what he had done and who he had become.

He used his head, had he ever done that before? The stone moved higher. His body was locked and straining. His joints were crushing and his tendons were taut and holding fast while his muscles and threatened to pull. He opened his mouth for the first time in decades to speak and found he had forgotten how. He pressed and the stone rolled, getting even heavier. The tendons squeezed and sweat squirted from his skin as his muscles burned.

Forever? An understanding suddenly came to him and more tears began to burn from his eyes. He didn’t speak to God, or the gods, for he cared nothing for them or their rules. He released a scream of pain and frustration and sorrow. Not for himself, but for those he had wronged. He pressed. The stone moved forward.

How much had he been given? He had been a king and he had squandered his power, his rule. He had demanded supplication from his subjects. He had stolen. He   had murdered and he had raped. He was worse than even he had ever believed.

He opened his mouth and screamed again in frustration and memory and pressed. The stone rolled higher, getting still heavier. The weight on the top of his head was crushing his neck. He breathed and suddenly felt eyes on him. Were they judging him, or where they only bearing witness? It mattered not at all. He was in judgment of himself. What had he become and why?

He pressed and the stone moved as his body burned and his joints crushed. His face was awash with tears and sweat and his neck was strained on his shoulders. He screamed again forgetting how to make any words at all. More eyes were on him. He couldn’t see them, but he knew they were there. All his transgressions were bearing witness to this final reckoning.

What was that? Final? Yes final, for he would succeed this time or he would allow the stone to take him. He pressed and the stone moved. His body was in flames, riddled with strain and leverage as the stone gained even more weight. It was now threatening to crush him. If it retreated an inch he would be finished.

He could not speak, but his mind remained sharp and finally, suddenly, after a millennium’s millennium he apologized for his transgressions. He apologized to the eyes on him, to the witnesses to his redemption and his reckoning. He cried out again and pushed with everything he had left and the stone didn’t move.

Why was he put here, to roll the stone forever? How long had it been and how long was forever? Forever was somewhere between a moment and eternity and where was he now? The fire in his body overtook him and all at once he felt his muscles release.

There was a moment, a moment of tears and blood and sweat where he could have moved and started again. In that moment he decided he was not deserving of this, for even this torture was living, it was maddening, but it was living. He could have stepped to the side and begun again and if that be the case he would die this time, and die again and again the next time on into forever. His body collapsed and the stone which now weighed tons began to roll back.

He felt it happen. He felt it all.

His back crushed with his neck. His knees turned an odd angle and this time the blood came fiercely as his skin split. He was quite literally flattened and everything that was inside of him was squeezed into the outside.

His head went last and he was still aware when it did. His skull was hard and it twisted as it rolled. His eyes were granted a moment’s vision of those who bore witness to this reckoning as tears still poured from them. Then the skull went. His brains left him as the stone crushed it and rolled down to the bottom of the hill.

The emptiness and the forgiving endless black only lasted a moment before he returned. The pieces of himself reconstituted on the hill and he took his first step as a weeping marionette. He looked around to the audience as he descended to the bottom. He breathed and placed his hands on the stone still weeping and still apologizing as a hand rested on his shoulder.

He turned to face a man. He had once called the man friend and he had betrayed him. He had his friend beheaded. Then he raped his wife and his children as well before selling them all into slavery. The wife and the children were there as well and countless others he had wronged. There were hundreds of them and they all stood with him each placing a hand on the stone and together they all pushed. He continued to weep as he walked up the hill, pressing on the stone that felt as if it weighed nothing.

Near the top he began to feel some weight, but the mob of supporting forgiveness pressed forward and the stone rolled up and up and then stopped. One by one the helping hands were removed until he stood for the first time with no weight threatening to crush him. He dropped to his knees, resting his head and keeping his hands on the stone.

He wept now more than ever in the past. He wept for the mercy and forgiveness that he did not deserve. He wept in thanks and made the ground muddy with his tears. Then one by one he removed first one hand, and then carefully he removed the second. For the first time in forever he felt the weight of pain, the weight of the horrible atrocities he had committed and the immense foreboding weight of guilt leave him. He wept and screamed his thanks to the heavens as dropped to his knees and the stone stayed.

Bestiality

Bestiality

 

The car was all flat, satin black

with tinted windows and gunmetal rims.

It was born in the fifty’s,

got a new lease when the century turned,

and it sounded as if it was very angry…

all the time.

 

Its grille smiled with teeth of black chrome

and it wanted to chew up everything in its path.

It did own the whole fucking road!

I never knew its name, it never told me,

but I called it Victor when it was mine.

Freedom Bid

Freedom Bid

 

By the ringing explosion I stumble

through the haze of a sulfurous mist

thick with burned smoke wafting into my nostrils.

There are faint screams, some laughter,

another round of sparkling colors.

I remember China had the first fireworks.

All of them were white.

Europe brought the pigments

which cause the brilliant colors seen today.

 

There is another explosion, someone screams.

I stumble forward, catch myself with my freehand

and continue moving close to the ground,

serpentine, there is another explosion.

Something strikes my head, my back,

I stumble again fighting to get away,

blood is dripping onto my shirt,

down my pants as I clutch the body

trying to reach the edge of the chaos.

 

Something zings past my head,

strikes and explodes in front of me.

Another explosion, someone cries out

and I wonder if they see the blood.

Someone is lighting another cannon

as another goes off, too close

my ears ring, where am I?

I hold tight to the body, stumble again.

“Fire in the hole!” someone cries,

but the smoke is too thick to see.

Where is my neighborhood?

 

I look down at the nub, wonder where his hand is.

He hangs limp, passed out in my arms.

Another explosion, I am deaf, someone grabs me.

He is taken from my arms,

They begin to scream at the sight,

a child, maimed on this day of freedom.

 

The smoke doesn’t clear my head.

Music rises and I hear troops sound the attack.

Bagpipes assume a gentle moan of sadness

down the street after the funeral

and I feel for friends that have met their ends

bleeding into the earth for greed and fear

fighting over lands possessed

by those strangers they called enemies.

 

Turf is a name, burned from the first wars

as tribes fought to rule those near enough

to control then across the sea,

from the back of a horse.

Armies are created in the declaration

of what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine.

 

Until..

 

I don’t like your culture and that too must end.

I don’t like your face, your eyes, or your skin

and in their wasted lands we begin again

to force-feed our regurgitated beliefs

digested and refed a thousand times over.

 

Perhaps…

 

One day we will tap into that which separates us

like thumbs from the apes and we will create

with the other instincts a new age

of renaissance will grow from the stem

of gray matter that resides mostly unused

behind the face of fear to fight the fight

which we portray to others hiding

in the rocks and hills grunting to survive

in the waste, after the governments

have crumbled to dust

and the machines begin to rust

 

But remember this…

 

Einstein knew, “World War IV

will be fought with sticks and stones.”

Sentiments

Sentiments

1

 

You are all of me,

filling my senses,

take everything

in emotion

and let me

worship you

for a moment.

Just for a time,

 

for time is all we have

running short

and I wish to spend

every moment

to my last with you.

 

 

2

 

I must speak,

so when I wake

alone and lonesome

I will not have the guilt.

Wrought from not knowing,

and never trying,

consumed by fear

holding my tongue.

the endless depths

of never spoken silence

rest heavy.

 

I want to be with you

on a mountain top,

watching a golden sunset

drift into infinity.

 

 

3

 

Someday,

I will look at you

like it is the first time

remembering jitters

vulnerable

and tongue tied

running down

to my stomach

wrapped in knots

holding my breath

on your every last

spoken word

 

days when each kiss

came nervous and slow

igniting every sense

until they explode.

 

All of this and more

someday. But today,

I just love you.

What Apart-meant in the Darkness

What Apart-meant in the Darkness

at the new move in,

to the single apartment

eyes scan the out world,

observed

from a forgotten fish bowl,

floating king sized

and upside down.

 

from the empty conditioned drone

listen

to neighbors television sets,

beds squeaking of sex,

while love lyes masturbating

to reruned memories of an ex.

 

from the lost,

alone at the bottom of a well,

filling from eyes overflowing.

witness the stars

winking in the pitch,

on a black afternoon

 

from loneliness,

work-out the routine,

day in and out

only to return

to the cold bed

clutching a cock

with two empty hands

ticking in the wall

thinking of the razor’s gift

to shift everything

permanent.