24 October 2008

the white horse [revis'd]

growing up I remember some scripture saying satan and his horses was pale. so I always saw him as pale and fine-boned with the eyes a dead giveaway.
now his sister—a deadringer if I ever seen one—is standing in the kitchen with cheekbones that could cut glass, staring at me, running her narrow tongue across red lips.
the way the light filters through the heavy nylon curtains and fills the hollows of her lovely face moves me, inexplicably, almost to tears of joy or ruin. it is hard to say which as
I watch the long bone of her thin wrist twist in the fading light to open the Ramen for me;I take it stupid and thick as a lamb deep in the wolf.
the water comes to a boil and I toss the noodles in and we are suspended for a moment, facing dark-to-dark in the late october evening. a step closer and anyone could see that her eyes is full of beautiful black water like a sea that is strangely luminous under a moonless midnight.I remember I dreamt yesterday that both her cold hands was on my face with my tongue pulled deep and feeling the sharp edges of her carnivore teeth..

we snap out of it as her kid falls down the back steps. she walks out calm and comes back with the girl on her shoulder howling like a banshee. I creep out unnoticed and lock my door but the walls are still howling like a banshee and I'm burning alive in my cheap flannel sheets. I close my eyes that wont close knowin that shell be riding pale white horses til they lather with sweat over my dreams.

16 October 2008

vacilando heart

blues like your worn out shoes in the dead tired end of main st. town with its battered plywood windows,
blues like the bar with no sign but Bud Lite alight behind the glass,
and them real hard time blues like your woman with her neck wrung and still steaming down by the James headwater this first freezing night of the fall,
behind your trailer which is coming down on itself in this prison scented with whiskey breath and empty sky. youre just pacing there, caged behind cheap vinyl siding, not saying much to this land of bluffs and buffalo rolling weak kneed into an oblivion of ancestors that the sunset burns alive over and over till there aint even a memory of ashes.

11 October 2008

and thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed:

Leaning against his dented truck, this old timer runs a tired hand through his gray whiskers and pulls up his jacket against the wind which is cutting its first fall teeth.
Behind us the husks of STRAIN RB34™ are rustling behind their laminated trademark placard. Each row has a different trademark and all the plants are dead, except for a spray of insubordinate white wildflowers on the other side of the fence.
He tips up his trucker hat and wipes his forehead. “This thing is not, this crop is not a wholesome crop,” he finally mutters with his tongue filling in for the missing teeth.

10 October 2008

Back to Donna

The phone rings in the kitchen and I answer it and stay in view of the stove so I can watch the meat fry.
You say, Oh Donna’s real sick, blood coming out of her ear, I tell you she just doesn’t care even with her kidneys shot she’s still out there drinking margaritas. Well now she has one of those, what do you call them, an-yer-isms, maybe a few, and she called and said she has blood coming out of her ear, and I was like, shit just chill out and I’ll be there at the end of the month. But it’s coming out of her ear and I have to go, I’m at a greyhound station and it’ll take two whole days to get there.

and I say, 'safe travels and stay out of trouble.Straight road!'

And you laugh so loud it hurts my ear, Oh Natalie, come on, you know me! click.

I open the door to the windowless little room next to mine. The bed is neatly made. In the drawer there is a pair of plaid shorts and seven bars of soap. I take the sheets off the bed with the feeling of reverence that comes when you move something that was last touched by someone who is gone now, someone you will never see again.

09 October 2008


shes a silverhaired woman on the porch looking down at the old buffalo run that once was. shes standing on an Everest of years with a heart as light as a pebble.
this lightness it is spilling out of her like it was water over the brim of a drinking glass held to catch a waterfall and she speaks and it washes over me cold and clean and I cant say nothing else.

we’d all been inside all day for two days talking about how to help those whove fallen through the cracks to the wolves, bars, and police cars. we are taking a smoke break cause the cracks are wide and yonder dogs are hungry.
she thanks me and thanks the rest of us for this gift of a day. she smiles, lights a cigarette, says ‘good luck with that battle into medical school, we’ll look for you on the other side. Me, I’ll still be kicking. HAH!’ she shakes her head, and leans on the railing and sweeps her gaze like a hawk across the plains.

I had been standing there incredulous that she has seen all these winters, darker winters than Ive ever known naked with the wind howling through the snow. I was thinking, how in the fuck is it that she never laid down and died under the weight, even when she wanted to, even when the world pointed towards it and said ‘you must?’ but then it occurred to me that that a heavy burden long carried is not so easy to cast off. it starts to settle deep till it shapes the shoulders under it. it is even as we speak twisting through my guts like a beautiful but troublesome vine that will kill the tree if you cut it off. I put my hand to my stomach in wonderment.
but she has seen this before, knows how it is. and now above this buffalo run that’s given way to soybeans and other strange fruits, she she starts to laugh
and it catches and we roar with it, doubling over, until tears stream down our cheeks.

08 October 2008

the itch

Everyone gotta lose it sometimes," you say, and laugh a sooty laugh. "We'll smudge your room tomorrow, get out those bad dreams thats haunting you. You sure its not anxiety from the sober life? You going sober, getting that anxiety? ..Everyone gets the damn itches sometimes."
you another light one, hitch up your fading plaid shorts, and ask me to check for lice in your cropped hair.
"Even me, I got them itches all right. I can feel them bugs, scratchin at night, man I've had some crazy nights. I tell you one night I had five of em tryin to get to the halfway house, that was back when I had my body, and shit, I tell you, two girls was clawin into the front and two was at the back door and I think the other was trying to sneak into the basement! and man oh man I had to crawl out of that window right quick fore they all caught my ass. The nurse came knockin at the door and said, GIRL, you in some trouble now! haha! So I jumped my ass out the window. I don't know what it is about them. I mean, I got girls, they tattoo my initials on their wrist or their tit, and I just say, shit you are cr-a-zy. One of em, Charyl, well she was at a party with our friends and she left and aint no one seen her after that cause she got stabbed 17 times and she died with that tattoo of my initials still on her wrist, right into the grave. We think it was one of our friends cause no one else saw her that night…I mean, some of them are so crazy. Some of em are classy, like Donna drivin the Lexus, which my daughter likes, you know, but Donna that girl is crazy. She is crazy, breakin all my plates and shit."
you shake your head sadly. the cigarettes, by now, are done, and I didnt find any nits.