After Porridge

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Fabled loses.

12.5.17 – Corner-stoned

I’d snuck in through an unlocked door and considered that breaking and entering had to involve some actual breaking for me to be legally culpable. Maybe I’d elbow a window on the way out to tempt the investigators and truly declare myself a criminal. Slipping in felt like a necessity, one where I could relax and take a pipe while enjoying the creature comforts of another man’s patterns. His paths were well worn through the halls, seat slouched and still supporting an afterimage of his heavy shape, one set of dishes done over and over as if he hadn’t let guests step through the portal in a decade. I wanted to drink it up without distraction, without interruption.

But other fragments were propped up in the absence of dust, one’s that couldn’t help but take my attention. He’d laid out several settings and purchased enough furniture to field a family. It seemed either disingenuous or desperately detached from the world he was living in to pretend there were others here. There didn’t appear to be extra occupancy in this place, just a persistent wish by a tenant with enough time to hack together a facsimile. The upstairs worried me more and I was nervously certain I’d find an extra bedroom that suggested his fantasy was in truth a reality that had been stripped away by time and all this evidence was the only memorial.

There once was three taking a dance but you’d only know it by the photos turned down to be hidden from an errant eye on waking. I’d lain down on that slab and tried to trace his footsteps from dream to downstairs. I could see he’d shut the doors that kept the evidence of a gathered past and walked in lines between only the base needs of breathing and moving. I wouldn’t piece together the frayed ends of that man’s knots without words that wouldn’t come calmly if he found me here. I was a different specter passing through another’s graveyard. Maybe I could offer respect, but already I was trespassing by laying upon the ashes last touched by the dead. I’d walk out lightly, inches off the ground, being a ghost to this place and disturbing it no more.

-VGB-

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Old Piano Song

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Insomniac’s snoring.

12.4.17 – Fluted

The old piano song, hung solely on your melody and shining with that stocky voice, was rippling when you went clear on breath. We still tried to carry it on, offering our weak harmony and babbling lyrics as an amendment to an otherwise glorious hymn. I was already drifting off and letting what serenading came pass right through my ears and onto the dreams they’d bundle and swing. Those waves were rocking us gently onward, eyes shut to catch the notes that might be missed by an operating blindness. I stopped lingering on the synesthesia and tried instead to quiet an offbeat anxiety that kept me unconsciously quaking.

You never slept on records no matter how many spins around we gave them. I had heard Apollo could quiet a room with a single draw of his hand on a length of golden thread. It’d ring the same as your call and echo down the long halls of an Olympus we could never enter. I saw it shimmering on the edges of that staff, like it might rise out of the mist and beckon even those of us with bad apples in our bellies. Entry was restricted for a different set of immortals, those that could live on without their deeds dressed in eternal fire. I think you found your lyrics in that deep and distant space, connected only by the strong imagination of a believer and dreamer that sought to climb the mountains that kissed softly upon that firmament.

The coda was coming on in a way that built and built but was asked to be extinguished like a strong flame blown on tenderly but suddenly capped with a bell. That smoke left over would linger and tantalize as a flowing memory of the beauty that had just been smothered. I was already asleep in the land where you couldn’t be quelled and the show continued before an awaiting and suspicious pantheon. It could be a match in heaven, one that might flicker and frustrate those ancient lines. A new story was working its way between the folk tales and threatening to steal back some of the power that the gods had been granted.

-VGB-

Watched Weather

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Jammed bends.

12.3.17 – Ordinaries

The great slates had been cracking all day, the dust settling through them in brilliant rays that stole all the strength of the sun and let it fall like a flood on those sacred spots. You were counting all the ways that the angels rode down on those bridges; a-wing, sliding, giggling with hems held up and smiles wide enough to shine across the distance between. The water was washing the stones on one side and holding up its monotone cousin at the other outing. Even the sails of passing ships appeared to be paring the soft ash and spilling out the golden grain of a lost season.

We had to brace against the hard breath of a coast line and bundle deeper into flannel and stocking to save ourselves from a steady icing. We wanted the view to rush over the horizon and prove the sweeping arm of the sky contained too many shapes to hold on just one far plane. That’s why you always asked to watch the world, to see the shifts, subtle but present, that came into frame after several long pauses in front of the artwork. I’d have thought it took a magic eye to give greater dimension but you always said repetition made the patterns break and let us see into the creases of things.

Someone was etching the earth from above, planting a small nail through the rough rock that skated slowly by. It made me miss the empty skies and the dancing lights that took their positions each night and stood so still that only the ancients could catch their delicate footwork. We were capturing stills and trying to catalog them for the next great slideshow but mine often dissolved into a sensible mess, just a feeling that didn’t quite carry along all the grand detail of a photograph. I always thought it was enough, but you noticed the lost marks more than I.

We stared on and I put pages down to see if I might find a quick capture for tomorrow’s eyes to peruse but even the words couldn’t build a proper outline for that figure to live in. Instead I left it shifted and watched the clouds crumble and smash apart, sinking in that transformation and knowing the light might soon follow.

-VGB-

The Tax it Takes

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The self over other.

12.2.17 – Conspiratorial

We were an eggs and bacon brunch hanging out with warming coffee while the world twisted on in cities where life was printed on parchment and supervised by gavel. I only needed the salt and sought it passively with a hand reaching out that lacked sight or thought. I’d be more likely to spill it or stumble over the jam than truly scout what I was hoping to know by fingers acting friendly towards others. The tears on windows had my greater attention, I kept watching their slow race against lazy competitors on that wide and transparent field. We’d heard late night news that made me think they were chasing down that mechanical rabbit from rooftop to a cold earth. I might have had a mind to join them in that internment, thinking the deep earth was still a better place to dissolve than under a wide-eyed sun. We hadn’t seen his face in days anyhow, we just imagined it in our own less masterful ways, drawing pictures with those soft eggs and pretending sunny-side up was the way the world always wanted to turn. The wires in the early AM told a different story.

We let the food turn cold but held on to the tradition of re-heating our hearth by log and pot and splitting the time between with nurtured silence and a slow discourse. It was the catching up that old friends do even though we hadn’t been such for any length of time and certainly not ones to take a title. You and I could play the worrier’s game and scratch our hands or look over the other’s shoulder at the line of specters waiting to perch. I heard those call and responses where two people kept propping each other up in support despite not having their own and often it sounded like we were birds laying a bit of territory and winging back around in a gesture that was either suggestive or aggressive. Your personality offered that it could be both but I wasn’t awake enough to really receive either. I hadn’t been sitting here anyhow, already I’d unconsciously stayed outside on that curb watching the rain-races continue and betting on which bead might break against the ground first. I’d felt shattered since the middle of the night and I’d come for sympathy I couldn’t even accept next to a smile and a cup of coffee. We were starting off the same as drops of mercury, silver, cold, and damning at a touch.

-VGB-

Touch Typing

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Clock-watching.

12.1.17 – In-pressing

I got to wring my hands once more. Fingers folding across the long lines scored on the backs of those creaking machines. I would have thought the texture lived and died within my palms, that time might have worn along my fingertips and spent an eternity dragging the surface from trenched to flat with influence that was only ever noticed when I stole more definition from its field. I believed that they must be smooth as glass by now, sanded down by all the slow, deliberate, sliding that took place when I moved this intention from one place to the next.

The long bones couldn’t hold still anymore, their rigging too decayed to keep even something so light as that little digit steady for very long. I was supporting one hand with the other and turning them over so neither would succumb to the weakness that living and scarring were always pulling for. They didn’t want to straighten or flatten further, instead preferring to nest, cradled and swaddled, in a balled fist as if they needed the warmth and closeness to further survive and venture out when called by an aging master. Always they unfurled like a flower stretching towards the sun, easing with a patient comfort but in a concerted effort.

The blood was beginning to show through the layers. It seemed as if I was losing color and gently turning to ash. I’d ground so much earth into my skin that I always assumed I’d eventually paint myself that speckled ochre of crushed dirt. I was being reclaimed, the process told by my pigment fading back into that spent star-stuff with only the cool blue of my veins signaling there was still life left in this crisp specimen. My wrapping was old plastic, stretching but lacking the elasticity to return calmly to rest. Those fingers spat on and I watched my life dance wildly under the slack covers, wondering if soon they may lay still and my dreams would be repeated no longer.

-VGB-

With Butterflies

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Turning translucent.

11.30.17 – Pupal

Having only two modes meant I was in chrysalis or scattered about fluttering like my life was ending in a month. I had a beat to back either, softly playing to make change calm or steadily building and steaming like the pipes wanted to burst and just be done with it. Both were pressure changes and a shoulder tap had to mean wildly different things to those creatures and I’d chance a turn thinking that I could override any instant inclinations that one’s lizard brain might try. It was always a shuffle for an interjector though in the cocoon I probably appeared more approachable. We didn’t choose the pattern splashed on our backs but theory would suggest time printed something distracting and detracting to those that might come to strike. I hoped I had a face painted and flight patterns randomized to take advantage of my own erring on the erratic; I might be weaving like Ali would dream of but still felt so soft in that poised posture. Apprehension could abate if I was crystalized; consumed but hard to crack and still transparent enough to pass that light on as color.

I was expecting a net that flew with fingers crossed, unwieldy but rolling reliantly on luck to snag a new specimen. It was a fibrous construction, playing nice, but it seemed like a silly detail when that captor would carefully carry out his porcelain prisoner and pin her behind glass to examine and hang on. That bait and capture was coming from my own camp when I acted too patient and hung on thin twine in precarious positions. I was calling for trappers to sit in the shrubs and stalk until I broke into a run right at an awaiting, hard hug of cloth and concern. It was a different shade of static living, one that excluded choice and offered only a bare garden to be caged in. I’d have a host of similar inhabitants to patter out my days on and we’d wish and whisk our way across the tiny vale in world that had lost all its wind. And that’s how we’d know we were sealed, when the breath of others no longer stretched along our wings or tickled and swung the cradles of our rising sons.

-VGB-

When It Lies On

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Paving stones to hot locations.

11.29.17 – Regime-d

These were hard lions to follow, ones that roared on a rampage, took their rage off the page, and jammed that tooth to your neck for a negligible bit of the truth. Always it went too far with the pride, standing in angry stride at the mangy sites of those family fights. But we wouldn’t best Samson, test his strength to rank ourselves amongst saints and miracle workers. And like Max’s mix it was a bitter pill to swallow; he’d let the dead still wallow, loving their bluffs and not strutting for buttercups. We couldn’t linger, licking lips for revenge and leaving a finger as an extra figure for our fallen fathers. What mattered was matte, flat and monochromatic so we’d standout, automatic, on the backdrop when we came stomping in to rend and bend back the beasts that tried to unseat us. They’d meet us and bleed till they could be only dust. That long filing, spiraling back to the green mother that’s cradling all her offspring. She sings to see us, weeps to wean us. We’re waddling, swaddled in that love but shoving one another to the cold, smothering crooks, out of the old comforting nooks and maybe off that safe haven to a worse kind of heaven. We didn’t have to encourage the outrage, it came from being balled up and writhing with lying snakes. They’d shed skin to sneak further into stabbing range and exchange that venom for vision and the wisdom to warp ours. Those eyes, lit to be wounds, slit too soon to teach us our own echoes. This way no one knows their own guttural greeting from a grumble against a revealing and false wall. Now all we had was more boasts to throw at the mirror and hear only the jeers resounding back at astounding levels. We’d mustered in ire, rallied in retaliation, and sired our own annihilation; it was deserving and deafening.

-VGB-

Unkindness

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A feather’s wrong texture.

11.28.17 – Coriolis

I didn’t want to have to tarry on the unkindness of ravens. Already they were making like a heavy flock around my head, storming as a big, black cloud and set to be chatty when silence would do. They’d caught wind of something tipping in the air and were in a flurry to mark it with circle and strum. I expected a strict pecking order to keep the peace but those birds couldn’t gather without a fuss and fumble. Roaming against an ashen sky, they seemed rough and popped off the backdrop like an out-of-place puzzle piece spinning to find a fair fit.

The racket had me expecting a tornado towering overhead, and while there were many in movement, it was too few to make even an ill attempt at a funnel. They were honed like sharks and diving with a regular rhythm to reach ever closer towards a chilling corpse but none stopped long enough upon the ground to drive up a real response. I wonder if they saw the barest of breaths leaving that husk over and over in an anxious battle to live and to give in. I imagine it was the same as letting the cold seep through and knowing that sleep would calm you and likely kill you.

They didn’t need influence from the currents, they could survive by bleating and beating a wing at one another, find favor in a lilting loner and pick him till his bones settled next to the meal still cooling on the ground. They had enough to envy but still didn’t mind spending time making a mob of it all. I just wanted them to scatter so that the portent would be warded and all might be well enough to make morning last a little longer. But they were the night’s ally and hung like a malicious mobile above my bed till the light bid us both an angry awakening.

-VGB-

Thomassons

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Of strict disuse.

11.27.17 – Troved

You asked me who swept those stairs, the crooked set that sat in the corner always trying its best to collect dust and not look like much at all. We’d wandered up its spiraling heights at a heady run the first time we’d met that iron and brick circle tucked in the back of a winding alley-maze and were caught confused when it stopped short of finding a finish. Its top stair matched against a wall that looked so solid as to have never held an entryway. We pressed its stubbled surface for some time, assuming that there was a hidden switch that might swing open a wondrous doorway secreted in the design.

The cleaned causeway was stuck with no apparent exit, only a descending retreat to where we first found its blackened bannister. It was squished between buildings in a way that helped it be denied ownership from any of them and there was a trouble in tracking the angles that it turned to find the other side of that dead-ending top. It seemed like an artifact cut and pasted from some other city and had been stranded here without a scratch or bend out of place. It was as old as the structures that carried it, but it lacked the wear of time or the coat of filth that always crept its way along forgotten and stored things.

We never lingered to long against its spine, instead we shot to the top and back down again in any investigation we ran. You’d inspect the edges and watch for telltale signs of its custodians. Always you’d hold your breath on the final corner before it came into view, maybe in hopes that you’d find the stairs had just disappeared or that we’d see a man descending, broom and bucket in hand from a hard climb and long wind. We never saw either but we visited often and played upon its length and legend like it was built just for us, and maybe it was.

-VGB-

Foam Fountains

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Sweet decay.

11.26.17 – Carboned

I chose orange and cream thinking the combination would spin like a yo-yo of my youth and be as lazy as it could be in returning a memory to me. It was puckering and sweet in that way that only chemicals and dry thirst can swell and meld on. It only hinted at its title, but the tone and content were worn well enough to make amends. The beads sat around the rim as gems beckoning for sip and lip to take a first taste for the second time just in case I hadn’t let it truly ripen from tree to tongue. But it had. These were drops straight from the sun, the ones that rain banished for holding too tightly to their color. They’d blush a reddish amber standing next to those envious and grey great hounds. It would have been a devastating loss to have them blended, diluted by the dishwater flavor of a grumpy sky. So I drank it slowly and savored the suggestion of sun in Fall’s springtime.

Green apple was left hanging in the breeze, bitter and with arms folded. Initially I hadn’t wanted to approach such a sour counterpart and hadn’t yet contemplated it in a viscous suicide until I’d steadied on all the flavors from their own homes. This one would’ve caught my attention in several other forms, all solids, but as it stood, it had been laid about against some other unique individuals that didn’t often settle in with a carbonated crowd. I was already well on my way down to the sunshine state when I felt I should turn back and give a poke at the other fruit in the tree. Still, that shy rose didn’t seem ready to present for this tea-time and I was stuck dumping out the fizz of a failed romance that hadn’t even officially started. The syrup was absent and everything that should have been slow about that pour became a tapped hydrant instead. I dropped our star to brace for a raspberry that was elicited by shoddy craftsmanship and poor timing. It left the middle of the day a touch damp and airier than I’d have liked.

-VGB-