It's time to grow up and start seeing the world the way it really is and not the way we want it to be.

Monday, April 30, 2012

nashville, 1971

with a dozen roses from tyler, texas...
stems pressed between my elbow and my side,
blossoms jutting out beneath my shoulder
like a burst of blood frozen by the camera
in a cheap and violent movie...
i lope easily across the rain-engorged alley
my dingoes squishing shamelessly in the mud
erupting small splashes of sound
into the early sunday morning silence
then, from the alley, i ascend a gentle rise
to the glass slick, rain-washed lawn
of a tall, rambling three story house
turned gray with vampire winter’s wind
sucking life from ancient white-washed walls

now the leather of my boots squeaks on splintered stairs
a sneaky, sheepish sound
my run ended, i am suddenly slowed
not ready yet to announce my arrival
i carefully climb the wooden backless steps
uneasily attached to the rear of the house
to the first landing and the single eye
of the back door window whose lacy curtains are half-closed
as if what lay beyond were feigning sleep
and watching me greedily behind an eyelash thin wall

now, shuffling the mud from my boots
onto the frilly fibers of her doormat,
i feel a massive, incredible wave of adolescent shyness
sweep past my adult sophistications

and drown my will beneath a flood of indecision
i hold the roses before me in one hand
an ineffectual barrier, fooling no one,
my free hand stretches out, one finger trembles
the trembling translates into a noisy, stacatto buzzing
of her un-feminine, unnerving doorbell

i stand, back to a gray and ugly sky,
facing a door in a wall of gray and lifeless wood
and feeling just as gray from the inside of my ash dry mouth
to the paleness of my nearly fainting face
with a ridiculous, incongruous bouquet
of obscenely red roses
mocking all the gray and coldness
in the air, in the me

and the door opens
moving on mysteriously silent hinges
in a world where such things nearly always creak and rasp
and a gasp of air envelopes me
like the breath of a child escaping all at once
astonished by the splendor of the tree on christmas morning
warm and tingly, vibrating with a thousand whispers and promises
laced with the twin smells of baking bread
from an oven somewhere nearby
and a perfume that strikes with
a pungent, serpentine sensuality
transforming the yeasty image of bread rising
into a throat catching, erotic flash of twin breasts rising,
pale and flour-ery from a shocking, silky slip of negligee

my eyes skid past her
careening off walls and floor and assorted pieces of
salvation army furniture and mirrors and stained glass, tiffany lamps
till, braking and boomeranging, i force my focus to her face
my elbow creaks, arthritic and threatening to pop loudly
as my automatic arm thrusts the roses forward
unnecessarily close to her pert nose

i stand in the space between the seconds ticking by
and my hand begins to vibrate with a low hum
i stare into her solemn, searching eyes
and know that if she does not smile soon
my whole arm will be palsied with
a violent, uncontrollable spasm
and i’ll scatter a cascade of rose petals at her feet
and turn and leap down the stairs
in a complete and utterly defeated rout
and run back across her yard
through the mud of the alley to my hollow room

and in the instant when it seems the fabric
of time itself must surely rip from the strain
a faint, butterfly-shadow of a smile
passes over her serious, until now unapproachable, face
the roses bunched lightly to her breast
she turns slightly
and, with the delicate motion
of a fragile fingered
impossibly feminine hand,
she invites me in

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Suggested reading:

  • A History of the End of the World by Jonathan Kirsch
  • American Colossuss: The Triumph of Capitalism 1865 - 1900 by H. W. Brands
  • American Colossuss: The Triumph of Capitalism 1865 - 1900 by H. W. Brands
  • Life After Death by Alan Segal
  • Radicals for Capitalism by Brian Doherty
  • Radicals for Capitalism by Brian Doherty
  • The Science of Evil by Simon Baron-Cohen
  • The Science of Evil by Simon Baron-Cohen
  • Traitor to His Class: The Privileged Life and Radical Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt
  • Traitor to His Class: The Privileged Life and Radical Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt


About Me

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I am from West Virginia. Born in New Martinsville to a minister's family. Traveled around West Virginia and Southern Ohio growing up. The only stability I got was from my mother's side of the family in Boone County. My Great Grandfather on my father's side was preaching in Madison during the Mine Wars. He ran for the state legislature on a pro-union ticket and won only to have the coal companies tie the results up in court so he ended serving only one day out of this term. My Grandfather on my mother's side stood with the miner's at Blair Mountain and died of Black Lung when I was still in my teens. I was raised a Conservative Christian...not a Fundamentalist. Strict separation of church and state based on the understanding that what makes for a good politician is pretty much the opposite of what makes a good Christian. I'm politically radical in that I believe in one man/one vote and the only way to have political equality is to have economic equality. I'm an atheist because once I accepted the fact of my own mortality I found no need for belief in God.