The Other Thinker

Tags

, ,

Sculpted names.

10.16.17 – Marble-y

He kept his head tilted down, ran his hands across his scalp with those chipped and unkempt nails itching along its surface. He didn’t pull bundles of hair but instead let it drag like he was tilling his crown and slid those fingers from its center to the length of his neck. The eyes stayed unfocused, touching back and again to the right corner, scanning in uncertainty. Apart from his arms he held still and sat hunched so fully over that he might have rolled into a ball at any moment and spilled onto the floor in a tumble of summersaults.

That far away space he was searching seemed to prop him up better than his own spine or even the coordinated effort between his knees and elbows. He wasn’t cradling his head in his hands and the repeated running showed little signs of carrying him further forward. The leaves rustled apologetically behind him, a slight ruffle like starched sheets on an otherwise quiet street. The wind didn’t unsettle anything else, just the fragile fingers of a greying tree and the wisps of hair that snuck free of his combing hands.

There was a decision being rummaged about with every toss. The pose was soft enough that he might have been sedentary for a minute or even an hour while weighing the ease of that thing and we wouldn’t have known the difference. He was crystallizing as an archetype to those on lookers, replacing some weaker visual definition long ago catalogued. For him, comfort was a distant thought and every time the light bulb was about to come on, someone swatted at the string and sent that delicate glass swinging wildly about. He was suspended in the same solution.

-VGB-

Advertisements

House Warming

Tags

, ,

Mislabeled boxes.

10.15.17 – Im-binged

We hoarded hours like winter was coming and we didn’t think there’d be any to spare. In a way we were right, the cold season’s approach meant our time was bound to be eaten up, bit by bit, with help from the socialites we tried to keep polite company with. There’d be ceremony and fire alike to bond over and spill our eggy cups upon ourselves in sloppy fashion (another hallmark wreathed on wool.) You hated the small talk but liked the idea of get-togethers as an excuse to lure the less-than-often used parts of yourself out into the open. You were a shy host who was both delighted and scared that guests showed up.

We didn’t plot well once calendars stopped being involved. You could recite dates as well as any thorough historian, but you never had a knack for engineering beyond the invitation. I didn’t stomach it either and left you to scuttle in that mess until it looked as though you were drowning; then I’d jump in to lend a hand and mostly forget that I couldn’t swim. We’d muddle by as we always did, charm and gold in hand, dowsing fires as they sparked out from the embers we’d let in at the front door (smothering was your strong suit.)

I’d look forward to the in-between times. We’d find each other in the silent passings of a crowd and company. I’d nudge you a little and sneak my hand into yours briefly as our paths crossed. Those attendants must have thought we were teenagers looking for any contact on this chaperoned date, but they carried us on and apart from one another thinking that you and I might have time enough alone after the fete. We didn’t tell them no. Instead I played the cheerful emcee and I stole what moments I could from you, gathering them up to keep me warm through the chilly months; happily you did the same.

-VGB-

Bedside Visits

Tags

, ,

Copper and tongue.

10.14.17 – Nursed

You too had been laid down and asked to take further rest. We spared each other wasted breaths and the words between that day by mastering silence and seeking to see through the walls at our prone ends. They stood sheets at our sides and called it a stroke of privacy. Feet still shuffled in and out of view and made those wanderers voiced ghosts who came to call but never crossed the linen lines. Our course was only to lay and forget the life spilling onto the hard stone floors, some from us, and some from the others stationed behind their own simple screens.

You heard stories from your growing grave; narratives made from whispers and howls that cut through the quiet room and passed easily beyond the thin and wavering walls. They weren’t always complete, a dishonest narrator calling out to an unknown audience and not really believing they were heard. They’d offer only the most present of feelings and bless their condition with a numbered sense of pain and discomfort. It wore you down to listen in the night of these troubled auto-biographies and the suffering they detailed, sleep might have been better, but the shouts carried through dawn.

The bluebirds came and went, stealing the rasps and coughs of neighbors, shushing the taxed, and carting off the ones being unmade. You’d still be uneasy thinking about what’s worsening on the far side of the curtains. I didn’t wait with you but you told me of your evening in that holding; how the weary and wounded rolled in and out just beyond view and they left their fears strung up around the room with whatever senses were still working. Your telling was part of the recovery, the piece of your story that you didn’t air in that cold hall but held until you were in fond company and could let your woes be caught.

-VGB-

Hunt and Peck

Tags

, ,

Lacked clacks.

10.13.17 – Just-stitious

Someone built a street between these keys and here we are, standing atop the towers, looking desperately at the gap separating them. If Hope took a leap, she’d fall at least a few feet short of the next roof top and have a long time to ponder the fault of that decision before rushing to a stop. At least the skyline stays clean; it’s a bit broken by pits and points and appearing like a rough set of teeth gnawing at a reddening sky. That beast is mad below. You can tell by the clicks in his throat each time we cross one of these hollow molars. The canines already seem to have pierced the plane above, cracking through and leaving trailing bouts of ivory pools off their dark and sharp ends. We climbed up here not to take in this view but to step from one block to the next without any trouble building at the cross.

There are architects rattling in their oak homes knowing that this geometry was roughed so. I’d have thought the bridge over those creases would make this a simple dash job, but we were caught up in ‘em. That pause meant all the effort was spooling away; the thought of further labor struck us suddenly and stole off with some of our motivation to continue this tare. We were dragging bones up and about the stairs to reach these markers for even just one cue. I no longer had a read on what was being spelled out, the strings running together in a clutter that might have made more sense if I stepped back. To look at them from this seat was like staring up an alleyway at the dozens of laundry lines, each carrying its own treasures but all appearing as disheveled clutter in the way they covered and slipped among each other.

Maybe we’d find a bit of time to trap just one or two of those linens while ascending. We could steal a bit of color with the use of our vantage point and stage it at the peaks. I’d fly them as flags, lost but marking a precise path from that letter to the next.

-VGB-

Pronounced

Tags

,

Dragging coattails.

10.12.17 – Speared

I was eager to adopt an accent and act like I was borne of elsewhere. I could hide in the dialect but it only really made shade when you catered to the details of speaking it. I was normally gargling the words and letting them force their way out like too many bodies squeezing through a doorway. Those listeners looked on as though I was just spilling marbles from my mouth in some queer presentation. The critics were waving away with feather and far thought and I was sweating to think of the print that might arrive at dawn for this muddy mention.

It was never about reciting known lines but acting on improv and imagining myself forgetting I was plucked and placed. Here, of all spaces… I didn’t wake and watch my face wander through the mirror in open monologue, instead I let all the pacing take its air in my head. I didn’t stumble there. No lisp to cut my meanings in half or steal the star from its shining sentence. I couldn’t have stuttered with the confidence I showed in stealing the breath from that silvered boy. It was like pinching his voice from his throat and swallowing to make my own. I would have thought it cruel if joy wasn’t both our result.

I hide the hard words behind mumbling and mean to make matters my own with a fine flourish. It was familiar to the frequent ear; the song of a traveler that strayed too far from his own and was lapsing into the luxury of his course. I was wanting to become a part of the ensemble, the crowd that stood transfixed and tried to catch the peals and silence that stretched off a mangled and beautiful use of language. We lay in it, happily reflecting on the unexpected turns and drawn out tones and hoping for a moment that it just might catch.

-VGB-

Third Season

Tags

, ,

The brittle bristles.

10.11.2017 – Leapt

I stared at the skyline wondering how it might make ruin beautiful. The clouds had been retreating for some time and left only the promise of gold at their backs. Our weak sun was doing its best to keep the light from receding in the blushing months. We already knew that it would grow faint and leave us in royal times with more fickle flames to track through a dark age. The white stallions were running too fast for me to believe there was no wind. I’d been standing bare for long enough to know if the world was spinning; no tickle or trifle lashed upon my skin to tell me we were moving on.

I’d find more russet colors to call, draining deep the ocher and crimson for any combination that might seem sensible for harmony. The world was being set on fire and we were watching with wonder and a chill at the kindling collecting. Leaves were weaving in and out of the migration lanes, making way for another blinding rain that hadn’t yet passed through. The grey might march solemnly in but for now they were all turning tail and leaving us left with a gilded outline and auburn optimism. These times would only ever last less than a half turn of the little hand, so we cherished them as well as we could.

The yellowed ground was finding a better palette from the puzzle pieces laying creased and cracked on the ground in encroaching clusters. There’d be someone to come along and sweep these lost children off, they were tears drying against the earth anyhow. Stars would descend shortly and peek at the changes made but be bereft of the lantern that granted us such a visual boon. Maybe they saw their own version, noble on its own with purples and deep hues to challenge red’s rolling dominance. Always when the heavens stared down, we peered right back.

-VGB-

Worrier’s Webs

Tags

,

Invisible agitation.

10.10.17 – Recomposing

Your words were seared into the wood and had left rough whorls that kept whispering for fingers to track upon them. I could read that burned braille with most of my senses and saw that your craft had intended to leave such a lasting mark. I wondered if it would have been clearer to etch a suggestion on my hand so that I might see and feel it at every opportunity; I was only encountering your last wish at the rise of the morning during my exodus from sanctuary but it still felt like a carefully placed trap, a spider web I must woefully walk through at the start of my day and feel its feathered touch till shadows grew long.

Too much creaked in the attic. The boxes of yesteryear’s clutter kept piling up and gathering the invisible weight of the dead. I couldn’t see the stress in any moment but I could witness its effects each time I went to that graveyard and started to dig a new plot. I’d bumped into ancient spirits before and it always took a heavy effort to swat them off. I was only ever looking to leave the new bones in a quiet coffin, but the soil here was too soft and agitated the slumbered weavers. There’d be new webs to walk through in the morning.

I was starting to wonder if I was the restless shade and that the subtle brushes with an old world that clung to me only meant I wasn’t moving enough to stave off the creases in time. Those builders had moved on, abandoning their nets but I was still strolling through the remnants and acting like the nuisance was fixed. I’d find the dust gathering in my corners like that firm hourglass was spilling tiny grey bits of sand about me as a reminder that it too was aging. Maybe tomorrow I’d wake and close my eyes as I passed the threshold, hands held high and repelling the worries of a world behind me.

-VGB-

Favored Authors

Tags

,

Oeuvre over.

10.09.17 – Skimmed

I read your thousand-and-one tales, kept a candle burning till the sun made it obsolete, and slept in the day like my prey was nocturnal too. You weren’t boisterous enough to entertain and spin the narrative on your own voice so you jotted down those breadcrumb lines and left me to follow them through the night. It kept you separated and safe from me by placing you on the far side of a page. I’d not have thought it could be so durable, almost indestructible in its construction; that cage was maintained through your will and wish to live and you reinforced it each day with another sound story between us.

I imagined you scribed while I dreamed, stealing images from that sacred and solitary space to lure me through a familiar landscape and into your fine trap. The descriptions were compelling enough to give me déjà vu and I ran through your plots with corners creased at a feverish pace. I knew the characters but not their journeys; I knew their homes but not their triumphs. Legends and myths were made personal with ink set to save blood. You stalled with just enough length to keep the sharp thoughts off your neck and my hands keen to turn that paper over and again.

We’d carry on through the years without conversation, without repetition, though some tales might trouble their way back around to a similar theme. I sat and read rapt. I wanted to believe you were calm and confident, certain that this story would see you living through to the next daring day. The strokes of that sharp bone would confirm a steady hand but the voice of its author quivered every now and again as time followed swiftly after her imagination. Maybe it’s why I fell for you; that you seemed to stand so firm against death’s coercive beckon by simply asking him to sit and hear a story.

-VGB-

The Sundays Known

Tags

, ,

The creaks.

10.08.17 – After-loss

The radio was running your playlist so I wouldn’t forget the language we spoke. I’ve had those misty mornings where the sun is creeping in with small beams and gently shaking us awake one eye at a time. We’d let the fog sink in a second time, try to dip our heads back in a short baptism to the dreams we’d been seeding. I never wanted to wake up, but you’d always keep your smile in reach of my lips and sing softly with the crooner on the speaker in hopes that I might snuggle deeper into the bed and dance with a kind of wiggle to reach your corner of it.

I knew of these times, of the sweet dawns that lingered like a loving aroma from the sun’s percolating kitchen. There’d be breakfast on the break and we’d still be yawning and sawing with warm porcelain in hand and jammed toast in the other. All the thoughts to come were bidding their time on lists and wishful thinking that seemed so distant from our minds. There was a dutiful body that was aching to start moving but a happy heart that was pleading for a bit more patience. We sat at the table with a delicate balance of arguments and a still cooling cup of coffee.

The sun trickled through the blinds and we squinted at one another like it hurt to see those outlines. I could make out the curves and turns on your face, those beaming back at me with the same intensity as the closest star. The music was still drifting in from the other room and you swayed in place while drowning the dishes. I closed my eyes over and over trying to make still memories of the scene. I wanted it to wash over me too and carry a cherished moment to that future me that would see this place be quiet and empty. I saw you dancing and singing and I let that be the only dream I’ve ever known.

-VGB-

On Fine Ends

Tags

,

Necessary breaks.

10.07.17 – Over-sure

I put you in the ground with only a few solemn words; I feel like it would only have taken the precious three we shared after those diamond years to do the same. I couldn’t come up with enough of a plot to fill the space of your absence and I’d have let others say their peace if we’d made this a public affair. Still, I tossed the first earth, the dust you’d soon join and sleep forever in. My tears fell silently behind those pebbles as the rest was pushed in to close your window and cover the bed. Your dreams were fading so I tossed mine in to keep you company.

I was told it was cold and dark down there and I had a hard thought that the space might make you shed new tears. That bitter box would fill and drown you, even after death, with no soil to take back the water you bled. I remembered them in life, streaming down your face like streaks of glitter and my heart following close behind. I’d lose my breath when I learned you were wounded and often offered cloth and hand to steal away some measure of that sorrow. You were still now, no more worries to cause trial and trouble and no need to take my shoulder for home.

I’d kiss the stone set to your brow just as I kissed the one I put upon your hand. Here there’d be a space to kneel once more and tell you of my love and pledge like you hadn’t heard it before. Flowers would be set to shine for a time and wilt a bit after until I could find the feet to bring me round again; they were heavy in effort without you to run to. I was crawling through the graves just to lay six feet from your lips and pretend we could whisper through the worlds and into each other’s hearts once more.

-VGB-