Archive for the ‘River of Memory’ Category

Part C

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

His hands insecure and trembling knows that they expect him to finish the job. It’s always the same thing. Born a man and expected to carry everything the world has to offer with no complaints. Expected to stand with strength that he doesn’t have. The hatred he feels for himself lashes out to the world. Bitter and alone. Young and weak. Rotten before his time. Tired of the struggle so soon with nowhere to turn. Surrounded by loved ones that have no love to give. “It will end,” he says involuntarily. The words sliding past his lips, dripping down his chin, as he suffocates to death. His legs, numb and tingling, bang against all the shit he bought in his life to fill the void as his body sways with the tide of the wind. The corners of his mouth lift in a smile that belies the innocence of an inexperienced heart.

The Beatles wondered about those that embraced themselves and rejected the world. But what about those that accept neither? The truly alone. Where do they belong?

The oldest voodoo city in the New World. His home was the swamps where the women would tease the shackles of society with their freedom.

Raindrops fall and the silence beckons. Butterfly wings engulf the vision. Last breath drawn while he hides behind a smile. The nights drag on and he comes to her for her warmth and innconce. Without realizing. Without knowing. How his self-centered kindness and caution made her bloom. How his empty promises held her captive and how much he meant to her. How much his abscence filled her world with echoes of laughter faked behind a screen. The rain poured down slits of conrete being held fast by the hair of children lost within the whims of their parents. Smoldering flames between them char their skin littering the ground with ashes. Like ants pushed out of line, they wander, leaving behind the tyranny of existence. His boots crush their ashes beneath his smug gait and his wandering hands dismantles their hair from their entangled prison. The carefully stacked walls fall like carefully constructed truths whispered between lovers over torn cotton sheets covering a mattress pockmarked with cigarette burns. Faces worn with age peek in from musty curtains and so she is left to pick-up the pieces of her loneliness. The ultimate betrayal. The solace of lies.

The rain fell and washed away the years of polish. Over their eyes and trimmed nails. Under the sediment that is dragged along number fingertips. Showing off bullet wounds like medals on their sleeves. The only thing that they have to hold on to is pride to mask the weight of their sacrifice. Money slips through their fingers like it does the rest of us. No meaning in the rate race and survival is the only option. Coffee and cigarettes on a street corner avoiding eye contact. Connected by a mutual disdain for each other and the human condition. Women and their purses litter the pavement and streets. Men and their belts mill around behind newsstands and between brief cases that bulge with self-importance and dank resignation. Cigarette butts tumble from between the fingers of the homeless like…

Like the beat of boots against uneven concrete.
The soft sizzle of burning tobacco wrapped in thin paper.
Like the rustle of crows’ wings above the current of smoke.
Broken smiles hiding behind insincere eyes.
That creep between the cracks of our lives.
Brief silences surrounded by the cacophony of lies.
Whispers screaming the truth down greasy hair.
Past starched collars and torn jerseys all the same.

Beautiful how the silence makes their limbs sweat.

Part B

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

Just as there is a fee for everything else in life, there is a fee for opening the gates to your heart. People do not see you. You are just a flutter of wings above their heads. They will destroy you. They want nothing more than to destroy who you are. They will break you in every way. They want nothing more than to break your will and create an obedient slave. You think it’s a joke. That it can never happen to you. You toss your hair and laugh while bowing down to the same master who hides behind a smile and soft hands. Until, one day, the truth will beat you down. Your body violated and no longer your own. When you can hardly think straight, they will hammer at your mind. Every insecurity and fear will be magnified and confirmed to be true. Day after day. Month after month. Year after year. Your isolation and loneliness will be absolute. They will become your world. The entirety of your existence bending to their will. So, what will you do then, proud one, gaudy one, “strong” one. Oh, but it’s your fault, isn’t it? You allowed this to happen. Isn’t that what you said about the others? Yes, that was before they broke you. That was before you became a doll.

Walls of green surround us as we travel and into the moon we fall. Every detail sharp and as crisp as the weeds rustling in the wind. Her fingers trembled as she clutched her cigarette. Her past and present tumbled from her lips. Her words tripping over one another, but why?  Faster and faster as Father Time drags his hands down her thighs. Our faces become our masks as we dance to the ramblings of ghosts.  My heart reborn as a Ruby embedded in a fallen angel’s chest. I, the demons and I, stain her soul with paint richer than blood. The grinning moon graces innocence with pain.

She came to me dressed in sheets of white cotton. A pearl necklace around her neck. Eyes full of hope and desire. I sold her out to the Demon limping with his lacquered cane. Preaching to me about God and his angels in a cemetery surrounded by statues of Mary piously staring down at us in prayer. He came to us, lies tumbling through his loose lips and eyes cold with hatred. Would I be lying to say that I did not know what he would do? To save myself, I saved her. She left as she came, with blood stained feet and a broken heart. Our shared trauma fragmented in her mind until the day she dies.

Part A

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Along the river of memory, there lies a village of song where the eyes of women meet in harmonized experience. Shared lives of duty, men, and children. But no matter who looks and pries within those encrypted hearts, they turn away or lash out in fear. Men who fall in love with the hushed tones of the wind cascading down fields of dead grass and the low pitched call of hawks competing with him for dinner. They tread through a world that they barely understand every night. Forever a visitor in a strange land. Seemingly delicate, thanks to youth, and nimble hands kneading primitive dough, she finds herself slipping along the currents of her own thoughts. In her innocence, unaware of leering gazes from the villagers following her every movement. What was once graceful fulfillment of her feminine duty becomes a lewd act. Traveling still, she finds herself wandering through back alleys entrenched with the permanent scent of the living. Beneath layers of filth, she senses the threat of scavengers and predators. There are stories left untold in the rustle of dirt encrusted sleeves and torn heavy duty khakis that have not seen the inside of an office in years adorned with more piss stains than a used cloth diaper. Uncertain steps transition into a slight sway of the hips as she readies the thin large round iron baking pan for eventual baking. But that is also a lie, she knows, as she lifts her gaze from the floor of the bus to catch a glimpse of the scene unfolding outside the window across from her.

The old man ambles down the block with the odd grace of those who wear another decade around their shoulders. It’s not just the old straw hat or the well-tailored dress jacket or the loosely fit slacks that gives it away. It’s the slight slump of the shoulders one gets when letting the mind wander too far into the past. Like a blanket the body tries to envelope itself with to block out the present that they resent so much. The ugliness of the world around them. They watch their descendants resort to drugs, alcohol, and an endless sea of faceless strangers on street corners and in abandoned buildings, inevitably becoming an active part of what they are trying so hard to forget. The young ones, they didn’t choose this existence but it chose them and it sinks its claws into their hearts with the tenacity of a rabid animal. We want to protect our children from the world, but sometimes what we want most is to protect them from ourselves.

The bus passes a woman sitting in her car checking for traffic before a right turn and she examines her face. How the artificial light illuminates her cheekbones and slides down each meeting at her lips. It dawns on her that this woman must belong to someone like most women here tend to. She imagines the woman’s face titled back against the car seat in pleasure for brief moment. Does her lover caress her neck with worship in his eyes and every feeling he holds within hanging on his breath as he runs his mouth over her ear? Does she reward him with a smile that is for his eyes only and so it will remain even if they do not? The passenger on the bus wonders and sighs to herself in resignation. The other woman’s lover does not do these things, she decides. Their love life is probably as boring and as passionless as the best porn flick that is available on tape. Fingering, blowjob, penetration, dirty talk, few position changes, and end. How she longs for passion as the bus rolls on past the woman in her car.

How she longs for life.