8-Bit Narrative

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The creative glory of restriction.

10.06.17 – Nostalgic

He couldn’t tell me what his idea of digital poetry was so I was locked into a rendered vision of receding parallel lines poorly defining curves and orchestrated chip-tunes that degraded exponentially until they reached my ear. I’d sampled some old crypto-currencies to keep from standing on such a basic landscape, one barely rendered by LEDs and the sputtering hum of a machine too ancient to keep up with its owner’s far-fetched requests. We couldn’t out run this performance piece but it brought all the memories of youth to bear on its simple construction; we’d explore the thought.

He suggested there were butterflies blooming in the deeper code of this web like he’d laid some script down to be a chrysalis for that change. It meant ignoring how I figured the rules worked and assuming he’d spurned all those turned and curved lines into something less meaningful than letters but amorphous and willful enough to ask for change. I could easily hunt and peck through the green fields resting on that back-lit, black background and find the faults with that logic but I wanted to see what tomorrow might mean for the world we’d built in this box. We were the children of gods given the beach to build on so that our mistakes might be simply erased and our expanse might only just touch the lasting nature of this land.

I’d follow him in behind that virtual veil because it meant trusting someone else to define this world, to set its limits, and to give you access to the story they’re telling. It was the easiest way to stand behind his eyes and see the way the world blossomed to him. Knowing that, I could get lost in the details and features that ran in neon infamy and were eclipsed with a palette too vibrant to not blink steadily upon, its images lasting long after you’d given over to the beautiful emptiness of closed eyes.

-VGB-

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Amateur Achilles

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Built in weakness.10.05.17 – Over-injured
They missed more than my heel when dipping me in the Styx. This cursed foot, right of the left, can’t help but find fault in its own turning and is set to be a shaky soldier. I half expect Apollo’s hand to guide another coward’s shot to this better bullseye and take me down to a great, green embrace. Already it’s lighting up like it’s glowing and itching in thinking of flight, of the strong separation between the frailty in its bones and the ask of its master. Immortals were likely to be placing bets on which side I’d land on, face down to dry dust or eyes up to that conniving Olympus. Fate had pretended to forget about the foolish brother yet I’d still be judged to stand on stars like I had chosen to be a great hero too. My own myths limped along without much poetry.
I can hear the gears turning in the old ashen bones. They don’t slide smooth anymore, preferring instead to grind and churn and sand away at one and other with harsh tone and biting pain. That grating sound came like two terra-cotta pots rubbed together with the chewing of their coarse ends spreading as tension through my jaw and extremities. I’d known this awful angle before and nurtured its recovery to a fine grain with limp and rigor. I was always in the act of playing a hobbled favorite and that southeastern bell had been rung to a crack more than twice already. Recovery wasn’t the heroic deed to frame in shadows on an artifact’s round belly but it was more accurate than any of the other stories. I’d gathered a name or two in my time and had them nicked against this wound and left as the title to my shambling legacy.
The meddling ambrosia-addicts were playing their long games, testing their subjects in meaningless contest. Even with a stretched lineage from the swan-king or his not-so godly crush I couldn’t be dismissed from the participation. Though I chose the less elevated path of my more heartily dipped brethren, not to seek glory’s fair treasure but to lead the life of Riley and wander at obscurity’s side. There was no thread of demi-god that wasn’t run carefully through the three sister’s hands and spun into that endless tapestry. I think mine had only knots to bear out and was lain without much charge at the side of so many others. These loathsome injuries that crept weakly up and yet stung so cripplingly upon me, stole that half-blood and left only the fraying ends of a yarn not richly told.
-VGB-

Missed Punctuation

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Silent alarm.

10.04.17 – Right-roused

I didn’t hear the bells; they’d fallen off their mounts and clattered to the floor without much circumstance. I was stretching my arms above and trying to catch the dreams peeling away like fireflies winking out as they wander off to another dusk. The sleep hadn’t unsealed my eyes enough to find focus on any touch of the day. I was a newborn again groping and crawling around unworried but with a queer sense of urgency. Darkness was ebbing away and leaving the soft browns and yellows of light’s quiet entrance but I could feel the long shadow of tardiness growing steadily in its wake.

I was trailing a ghost I’d left in my prints yesterday. He didn’t have the same expediency but he also wasn’t hampered with an overly cluttered list that kept getting further penned as I realized what time was taking. If that page was being filled it was done with too many hands that kept slipping in between words and causing a greater confusion rather than smooth consideration. I needed an editor not just to keep the quality but to prioritize the order for me; shamefully I left that man under covers and awaiting a bitter break to clear his needed nap.

You couldn’t follow the route built by routine if you’d already taken that first left for the sake of hustle. You had to override the course and that took thought that was already precious and taxed to a harsh limit at this hazy hue. The flight was straight but maybe the aim was a bit mismarked by blurred vision and the mental itches that flared up from that midnight agitation. I was letting the clones of past days run into themselves at a modest mark and hoping that parts of me might do the same and catch us up to where I’ve always been at this dawning hour, on the cusp of waking, and walking calmly into work.

-VGB-

Turnabout

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Ring size.

10.03.17 – Hangers

It was hard to wait for the Ferris wheel to make its full revolution. The top always seemed so far to go with no indication that we’d get a quiet and fulfilling stop at its apex. We were lingering in a rocking seat with pink passion held tightly in our hands and hope in our hearts for a special moment at the sun’s height. You were pinching pieces of that cloud apart and smiling as it dissolved sweetly behind your freshly dyed lips. I couldn’t help but blush every time those blue eyes took a swipe at me and the corner of your mouth curled in approval.

They’d built the wheel right on the shore’s edge and every time we swung around it appeared as though our feet would dip in that approaching ocean. We welcomed it and sought that cold and refreshing kiss with extended legs and toes pointing just to brush the breaking surface. You laughed at my attempts but held yourself low with a bit of a shake and tension that told me of your worries; you thought you might slip too far below that retaining bar. We weren’t looking for a plunge, rather a secondary expression of this date and a lasting impression to carry back to the next go round.

The peak is where we truly hoped to land. Every now and again, before boarding, we had seen that great ring stop with one car tilting at the pinnacle and its occupants pleased as can be for the suspended view. Up there we could stare at the jagged land across the bay and how it tickled the sky to a giggling tint as the sun receded. The great pool now far below our feet stretched out around the mountains and waved gently off the horizon. We saw the swells starting in that drawing distance beneath the strawberry fields and moving unheeded towards our shore, building with a bubbling foam and ready to fall completely upon us with an overjoyed curve.

-VGB-

Star-struck

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Lasting light.

10.02.17 – Waxed

A crimson light cut across his face, splitting it in two. It fractured his visage at the nose leaving his sight line in opposition to his voice. The separation was singed in by that red smear on my vision. He remained unmoving, sitting with his attention at the light’s strong source, lips still twitching out a stream of unheard syllables. He looked like a man rapt with this touch of god and talking in an uninterrupted line of tongues that were delivered by a lit caress. Just as he was drawn in by that glowing and glaring form I was moved to make an approach. He was a beacon with features shining as they were with no shade between.

No one else seemed to catch the gleaming eye of that spotlight in quite the same way. Other bystanders were crossing its lane but were only sliced gently through limbs and torsos with harmless effect. The city often cast its lines upon the pedestrians and most ignored the bright bait for a granite experience; many had their own lighted lure in hand and followed it forward with little distraction from outside influence. I closed my own to search this man and his adjusted image hoping to see the source that brought his eyes to a standstill and left him paralyzed and flawless in the projected performance.

The hard haze at light’s edge kept me from seeing him clearly, but he was shifting in seat with a wiggle that let him stay pointed towards the sure source. I think he was dancing, maybe headphones obscured and mouth moving along with an anthem only he could catch. I was approaching a disruption that might have only occurred at my angle of observation. The beam moved off, blocked by the scurry of some fellows between him and the burning bulb. I stopped for a bit, letting the afterimage drop its velvet hue from my vision. He turned to look at me, surprised by my proximity and curious as to the intent. I brought my screen back to my face in a worried hurry and acted like we were shadows once more.

-VGB-

Everyone’s Critic

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Ugly opinion.

10.01.17 – Pestered

The comments were slapdash, scrounged together with all the words crossed off a list of decency. We weren’t reading them so much as trudging through the filth and looking for something that might have been salvageable after a good washing. I didn’t usually try and scrape good ideas off the bottom of the barrel, but I figured something must have congealed enough down here to move past rotten and back to a queer kind of fresh. These were thrown tomatoes after all, hucked and hurled at no one in particular but still sticking like red pin to anything of measure.

We didn’t offer public critique for improvement instead we just listened to the jeers and calls of a crowd incensed enough to engage. I think rage brought them to the door the most; torches in hand like they were bearers of a dangerous but necessary light. You could see the desire to disrupt and address the issue with din and disaster just in case we couldn’t take wholesome notes. I wondered if the implements of old were only meant to be menacing or if there was a noble reason to bring and brandish such harsh points. We couldn’t look eye to eye with those who held spike and spire to our vision and asked us to step forward.

It wasn’t better to brush it off and act with ambivalence. We were pressured to put up fences and find the right tribe. I thought maybe the outcasts were winning but it was hard to know which lines you sat on the side of. There was a fog of faces and the trail of fire that kept you from knowing if an individual was masquerading on all the wings. We’d seen the same tricks played with lies and wished to never beg further of them. I combed the littered crop and tried to find the cast-off reasons but all that ever sifted through was a prickling sense of ire that festered and oozed eerily on.

-VGB-

New Readers

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Flooded.

09.30.17 – Mud-made

The pool grew wider. I let it dig itself out in this way; little streams cutting further in the yard and taking slowly that soft earth back to different shores. It might have rolled in with other loam, a silt surprise to gift the distant soil with a kiss from my backyard. I wouldn’t have asked for it but I let nature take a course that never seems smooth in the moment but must be by virtue of its selected method. I haven’t seen those tailing creeks cut through the ground in a coarse fashion, they did it drip by drip and found the route where effort was the least involved.

You watched with some wonder at what this spot was becoming though I’d admit this was your first time standing upon the lake. I almost threw you a shovel and asked if you wanted to dig a pond of your own or if you’d rather just dip a toe and see if the interest was there to play in this one. We were old friends on a dock enjoying the cool and quiet morning and just waiting for the fog to lift off the lake’s cobalt face. It wasn’t a swimming day but that didn’t mean we couldn’t witness the settling still happening here. The boundaries stretched daily so I was simply grasping for familiarity to stop the rocking beneath our feet.

Rain might come and increase its swell. I’d seen the banks overflow and start new life out between the weeds and oaks at its edge. There was always a shadow of curiosity darting between the trunks and stalks at the far side of this watering hole. I’d never find tracks or capture a wild beast in candid glory, but I could see the movement and hear the rustling that drew my attention to that space at my opposite. Some days I’d round the banks to try and catch a glimpse. Each time I’d make the loop back to where I started with little else noticed except that the distance had grown and we were a little further apart from shore to strand.

-VGB-

Immortal Caesar

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Idle Ides.

09.29.17 – Senatorial

I could see the long line of swords broken on your back, the shards laying scattered on the floor and looking as fragile as glass and just as dangerous. The edges seemed unmarred, unused, even though their form had been utterly shattered and left as silvered remains of a killing legacy at your feet. The cuts upon your flesh had sealed after a time but left scars crisscrossing from your nape to the tail of your spine. There was a texture there that ran as a rough map through the history of your reign but no amount of touching on those ridges could tell the number of times a knife had been plunged in nor how much death you’d seen in your noble time.

You kept the hilts and crossbars in pile at the corner of the throne room as a monument to the failures of usurpers. That stack had long since passed being a hill and was teetering on a scary and sharp landslide. The weapons varied in quality and rarity, some already rusting while others kept their luster and still held rare jewels and precious metals upon the pommel, but all were splintered and hoarding dust. It was a gruesome tower to the futility of assassins and it stuck out even more in the hall; there was nothing else held there except your plain chair, oaken, and worn to fit your proportions.

I thought maybe there was a rite in taking the steel to your frame and watching you shoulder the burden of that subject. It didn’t make you a kind or fair ruler, but at least one willing to bear the brunt of decisions and to bleed for the sake of a servant. But you were one too, forgotten under the weight of the ruler’s ring. That hewn laurel drug you down further than any blow might have and when you sat and listened from your high position you propped up your chin with more effort than it took to stand against a bidden blade.

-VGB-

Missing Meaningfuls

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Fidgeting lines.

09.28.17 – Unscripted

I didn’t have a machine beating in the background to take the taps and make mixed tapes that maxed the missed space from my tapping that Morse message. It was too morose to hang a hard hook on and let it carry the weak and weary lines to fine end. These were the peak times for light lips, swinging hips, and winged gits that stole a whole soul with a single sling of arrow and silvered swill. It’d never end well, sending heavier swells to drown out the sounds of our once glorious glossy format; the lossy compression couldn’t make a lasting impression in solely a single season of that spilling treason.

He was taking a blade to the black matte, editor in the back, cutting slack from the jumbled jungles jarring up the proceeding rough run. I told him to relax into the italics, reallocate that metal angle to a clear slant before aligning the next rhyming clip. At the flip it’d seem like a meaningful measure missing from the treasured verses we heartily rehearsed. But that sound, hardly reversed, was a gunshot made out to be a plot hole; a shout out to being not whole, bullet-riddled and whittled down to a script ripped and torn with no means to strap that staff or get giddy on the bloody revival’s arrival.

I hoped those gaps wouldn’t collapse the piece, leave it in a heap, like a body huddled in an alley till it just wasn’t anybody at all; blended back into the brick of a sick city no longer believing the jargon scrawled on those unlit walls. The senseless violence hid the silence visiting since god gave her last breath and the left behind was gifted with no kind of worth. The merciful made mirth for fallen fellows and though we hadn’t heard Gabriel’s bellows we were longing for the charging choir. Our chant was to aspire to the harp and halo; with heart and hope we go, to glory and its missing story.

-VGB-

Cake-Craft

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Under manipulated.

09.27.17 – Butter-creamed

The soft ding of an oven done meant I was now in a mood to make that confection stand out. I set off awful; temptation was wafting a way for me to have expediency to that creation, a quick decision to reach without thought for a final product not yet cut. I’d stand in anger and anguish, nursing a red robin still pecking and squawking from my palm. The other cool hand might make a move with glove and cover a developing callous with crafty cloth. Already I’d be sweating and cursing and working out a better solution to a shifting rise. There were no problems but the ones I was baking beside.

I’d started with the same base ingredients as anyone but left enough of my own tastes in the cake to remove its resemblance. I’d always holdout on the recipe, handed down from family, and press the secret away from prying eyes. I saw the jealousy along with a pinch of worry waiting from the tasters at the table; it made me think I wasn’t done with the masking just yet. I’d pulled that raw umber slab from its hot hearth and displayed it on the counter to let its shape grow gentle. We would live in the aroma until I could cover the cracks and perforations that came from building something delicate; flaws formed in the natural course and I only wanted to try and steal a sample of perfection.

The smoothing would take longer than I wanted to admit and there’d be liberal application of silver and edges to scrape away the worry I imagined bumps might give. The recipients already knew it for what it was but I was seeking to re-frame my creation with a certain sense of flawlessness. I didn’t want any anxiety to make the flavor run bitter at the first bite. We’d cut into it with glorious expectations and I’d try to ignore the fact that I had glazed this pock-marked beauty for my own sake and in all the wrong ways was diluting the right first impression.

-VGB-