Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Mind the Wind

                The wind blew through the cracks and crevasses of Jose’s drafty windows.  It sounded like a dismal and out of tune harmonica playing a funeral dirge for some fallen tyrant. It hummed high to low, dissonant and cruel. The sound was flat and harsh, rough and jarring and woke Jose quite successfully from a deep sleep.

                Sleep had overtaken Jose and he had nodded off on his couch the night before, television on, living room lights still on. He was powerless to resist the lure of the Sandman. Yet he’d gotten his full six hours of sleep. He was up before his alarm clocks yet there was still an irritating noise that roused him. The wind played its flat music through the drafty windows as Jose sat up and rubbed the sleep off his face.

                He looked up at the still blaring TV, some infomercial about how to have fantastic Abs with little or no work as recommended by “Doctor” Sharma Gulligenesh. Staple of late night/early morning infomercial quackery, Jose had seen “Doctor” Sharma several times in various other “health product” infomercials.  This time the good Doctor was extolling the virtues of electrical back stimulation for use on a person’s trouble body areas.  He was demonstrating this technique on an attractive blonde who probably didn’t have a problem area on her whole body.

                “I bet her personal life is a mess though,” said Jose to the TV.

                He shook his head at “Doctor” Sharma’s smiling face and started feeling around for the remote control. Jose found the remote on the floor. He likely brushed it to the floor while sleeping. He flipped the channel over to the morning news to find out why his apartment was being played like a pan flute by the wind.  He was lucky enough to catch the well-respected morning news meteorologist just getting into the Wind Advisory Alert.

                “Winds will be gusting up to 70 miles per hour throughout the day with the possibility of even higher speeds,” said the TV weather guy, “We recommend caution if you have to venture out today as these high winds can be very dangerous.”

                Jose stood up from the couch and went to his leaky, musically disinclined windows and looked out. The trees were bent in the strong wind and there were swirling tornadoes of trash twisting through the streets and lawns. Jose shook his head at the amount of litter strewn about. He wondered where all the anti-littering campaigns had gone. The world seemed a great deal dirtier than he remembered.

                The wind howled through the leaks around the window trim and blew the hair back from Jose’s face. He took a step back from the windows. He wasn’t afraid but he was cautious. He turned back to the TV to see other live footage of exterior camera views of various locations around the city where the wind was churning and battering buildings. The new casters continued with the regular news of the day.

                There were overnight shootings and murders, fires and riots, all the normal things you become nearly immune to after living in the city. All the constant attention to the worst of us can desensitize a person. Jose hardly gave all the hell going on much more than just a passing thought. And that thought was simply a monosyllabic, “Hm.”

                Jose looked at his alarm clock and realized he had been woken up ten full minutes before he was supposed to. It was actually sort of a comfort since he had such a hard time avoiding the snooze button when he was actually in bed. There was something about sleeping on the couch that seemed wrong so getting up off it in the morning didn’t seem so hard.  It was almost a pleasure.
                Jose shut his alarm clock off so it wouldn’t start beeping. He turned back to the TV. It had suddenly gone dark. He figured the wind was causing some interference. He started to get himself ready for work.  His cell phone started to buzz with weather warnings and alerts. He gave the messages a cursory glance but didn’t really pay any attention. He went to his bedroom and looked at his still made bed. He wanted to crawl under the covers and just go right back to sleep. It was a perfect day to do it too. The sky was gray and the wind was chilly.

                A beeping started. Jose looked at his alarm clock quite certain that he had turned it off. It wasn’t the alarm clock. His TV started flashing the Emergency Warning System Alerts. An automated voice started repeating a message of imminent danger for the city area and to seek shelter immediately. Jose was in his underwear standing in his bedroom, listening to the EWS and barely conscience of the rumble growing in the distance.  He thought he should probably put some pants on.

                His building started to shake. A mirror fell off the wall and shattered on the ground. The TV turned to static; the clocks started blinking 12:00. Jose could hear a terrible sound, far worse than the musically challenged wind through his windows, it sounded like a tearing, like something was being ripped in half with chainsaws and jackhammers, or torn apart by wild beasts.  Jose dropped to his bedroom floor and covered his head with his hands.

                Lightening flashed outside and the building rattled. Jose could feel a vibration through the hardwood floor. The floor actually felt alive and was slightly rolling. Jose got to his feet and staggered amid the movement and noise. He got to the window in time to see a pillar of fire spinning down from the clouds and blasting the ground just a few blocks from his apartment. Jose was thrown back toward his couch as the blast struck the building. His windows burst and molten steel heat poured into Jose’s apartment building. Jose’s couch caught fire and the once leaky window frames were now just molten twisted shards.

                Jose turned to run but there was nowhere to run to. He’d gone into survival mode, scrambling toward the door to his apartment, trying to turn the handle that was too hot to touch. Jose realized his hair was on fire and he tried to bat it out. His lungs scorched. He fell to the floor.

                The building shuddered against the heat of heavenly wrath. The pillar of fire continued to twist down the street, melting the asphalt ahead, leaving nothing by charred ruins behind. The winds whipped smoldering ash into great clouds.  All was silent but the wind. 

Monday, September 28, 2015

Something Small

The size of us
isn’t so very
large at all.

Mars has water,
Pluto has ice mountains,
The moon turns red.

The enormity of it
is astounding and
mildly belittling.

We may be alive,
but those lives are short
and as small as our place.

The size of our problems
is nothing compared to the
size of our egos.

Egos completely dwarfed and
laughed at by the massive
universe around us.

If a universe can laugh,
and I think it can,
just look at us, and you’ll know.

Our smallness is everything,
it’s all we have. We hold onto it
tightly in defiance of our tininess.

A conundrum of the highest
caliber.  Just a little
small of us.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Soul Games

“It isn’t hard to
have a little soul.
All you need is a
something to tap
your toes to,” said the DJ in
a deep and wide baritone.

“A beat that makes
your hips sway,
A rhythm that makes
your head bob.
A bass you feel all over,” he continued
in his chasm like voice.

“You’ll find your soul
in there.  
Bouncing off the walls
of your groove house,” smiled the DJ.

I got up from my seat and
listened for my soul. I could
usually hear it in “Try a Little
Tenderness”, or, “Land of 1000
Dances”, or even, “Shake your
Groove Thing”.

My “groove house” was vacant.
My soul was being quiet, it seems
he was smoking out in the alley,
talking with the other old souls about
Frank, Buddy and Gary Cooper and
trying to be 1958 cool.

“Get back in here,” I shouted through
a cracked bar room window.
He ignored me, waved me off without
looking my direction. He blew thick
blue smoke into the air.

“I promise not to get too funky,” I said.
My soul turned and looked at me, with
almost pity on his face.
“Okay, okay, no funkiness,” I said.
My soul smiled and dropped his smoke
to the alley, mashed it with his shoe.

Little did my soul know, that everything
was going to be funky.  And in my soul’s
soul. I knew he’d dig it.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Listen to the Music

Greasy fingers,
mashing the piano keys,
playing some song I’m
sure I’ve heard but can’t

Slippery fingers ,
sliding from one octave
to the next, but mangled,
in the fullness of too
much sound.

Poking fingers,
pointing accusations at
the notes as they fly too
fast and too furiously over
the dissonant hum.

Middle Fingers,
as the noise becomes too
much and I can’t stand the
murdered sound of a song I’m
sure I know but can’t name.

What is that song being murdered?
It’s like trying to figure out which of
your pigs is being slaughtered by the
butcher just by the sound of
it’s squeals.

Damp toes,
wading in the blood of the tempo,
a tempo tortured and
hammered, nailed and crucified
by neglectful hands.  

Wait a sec…
It’s quiet now…
Oh my…
Oh no.

It was just my heartbeat in
my ears. Not a piano at all,
just the messy thumping of
my heart, throbbing in my
ears, but playing a familiar song. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Through the Raindrops

                “We saw you out there,” said James.
                “Out where,” asked Merrill.
                “Standing on the sidewalk, during that big thunderstorm,” said James.

                Merrill shifted in the hard plastic chair. He crossed his legs. James stared at him over the file jacket that seemed to hold every detail of Merrill’s life. The harsh florescent lights buzzed overhead. A water cooler gurgled in the corner of the beige colored room.

                “I’m sorry. I’m not sure I know what you’re referring to,” said Merrill.
                “The other night. We saw you. We know it was you. Standing there during the heaviest downpour, just getting rained on,” said James.

                Merrill knew exactly what James was talking about but he shook his head.

                “No. I’m just not sure about that.”

                James put the file folder down and folded his hairy hands on the hard wooden desk. He considered Merrill for a moment. James was breathing heavily through his nose. The sound of his inhaling and exhaling seemed to rattle the small interview room.  There was an odor to his breathing, something like plastic and garlic. It made Merrill very uncomfortable.

                “We’re certain it was you. In fact, in your file here it says you have quiet the penchant for playing in the rain,” said James.
                “Well, I mean, as a kid. Didn’t we all like to play in the rain,” asked Merrill.
                “No,” said James.

                Merrill smiled nervously. He cleared his throat as James picked the file folder up from the desk and started reading aloud.

                “Thursday, 1:38 a.m., subject observed standing in the heavy rains. There is no discernable reason for the subject to stand in the rain. Subject is just standing, getting soaked through,” read James.

                Merrill blushed. He didn’t think they’d be watching him then. He figured it was just a fluke. Why would they watch him so late? He was on his own time.  

                “Ok, it’s true. I was standing in the rain, just getting drenched,” said Merrill.
                “Why,” asked James.

                Merrill sighed and cleared his throat. The garlic plastic smell seemed worse, like someone was heating it up over a near-by stove.
                “I wanted to see if I would melt,” said Merrill.
                “Clearly you did not,” said James.

                James resumed looking through Merrill’s file.

                “Actually, I did melt a little,” said Merrill.
                “What,” asked James.
                “Well, I wanted to see if I would melt. I wondered if the heavy rain drops would fall hard enough to dissolve pieces of me. I wondered if the drumming of the rain all over my body would somehow reduce me to a little melty puddle of Merrill.”
                “It didn’t though. We can see you’re right here,” said James.

                Merrill uncrossed his legs, adjusted his dress pants and leaned forward toward James.

                “But it did melt me. I was transformed into something very different. I was no longer just Merrill, but a mingling of everything that had ever made the rain. I was soaked through to my skin and I felt the weight of the whole world. I felt it pushing me down, changing me, and sculpting me into something, someone, completely different than the person I woke up as. I wept in the rain. My tears mixed with the waters of the world.  I was melted and re-formed,” said Merrill.

                James looked at the ticking clock on the wall over Merrill’s head. Merrill sat forward, pressing his forearms against the edges of the desk.  There was a knock on the door.

                “Excuse me,” said James and he rose to his feet. He fixed his suit jacket and moved toward the door. He cracked the door open and he received a note. James opened the folded letter and read it to himself. He looked at Merrill and then re-folded the note and returned it to the mysterious messenger.  He cleared his throat and brushed his thinning hair back.  He stepped back to his chair and closed Merrill’s file jacket.

                “So you melted,” said James.
                “Yes,” replied Merrill.

                The water cooler gurgled again. The aroma of garlic and hot plastic started to refill the small room.

                “I think we’re done here. We’ll be in touch,” said James.
                “Well, thank you for your time,” said Merrill.

                Merrill stood up and headed for the interview room door. He opened it and stepped into the hallway outside. He headed for the entrance and noticed how gloomy the sky overhead looked. It looked like rain. 

Monday, September 21, 2015

New Seasons

The rain hasn’t melted me,
the sun hasn’t scorched me,
the snow hasn’t frozen me,
the leaves haven’t covered me.

Turn, Turn, Turn,
and I’m still here,
broken and battered,
heart heavy and soul worn.

Every Season has it’s sharply
pointed arrows.
That fly faster and harder
every year toward the heart.

We dip, we dodge, we
defilade,  we run, we rest,
we stop, we catch our

We survive our history,
and pretend to prepare for
the future, without knowing
what’s really going to happen.

We know it might rain,
or snow, be sunny or cloudy,
chilly and damp or dry and
gray. But never really for sure.

Monuments to the Id,
shrines to the Ego,
our bodies,  our minds,
weathering each storm.

Like some forgotten statue,
an icon of some unremembered
battle. Corroded, molding, pointing
upwards, defiant in time’s presence.

Still there. Still here.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Superhero's Lament

So there,
I did it,
for you all.

You’re safe now,
the danger has passed,
everything is cool,
no more cowering beneath
that overturned car please, sir.

Seriously, the space thingys,
are gone, back up to…space,
the explosions are over,
there’s nothing to fear,
not really anyway.

Yes. Yes. I know you’re
grateful, No, No ma’am,
please put those away,
that’s just not decent,
really, it’s okay.

I’ve used my powers to
save you all, just another
day of doing my duty to
protect the Earth from
all the, stuff.

It’s just what I do,
I know no one asked,
it just had to be done,
or you’d wind up on
your ass.

Well, I’m sorry you feel
that way sir. It’s just how
it is. I save you. You thank me.
I say it was nothing, just my duty,
then I fly home.

But you know what?
I’m tired of it. I think I want
some groveling and begging,
and a statue, right over there,
where that lady flashed me her boobs.

Yeah, where’d she go?
Get her back out here.
She can be in the statute too.
There you are dear.
Why so shy now?

Forget it.
I’m just going to go.
To my secret base.
I’ll watch a little TV and
maybe go to bed.

You guys want to hang out
instead? No. Okay, Yeah,
I get it. Lots of loved ones
to find after nearly half the city
was destroyed in that amazing battle…

…that I won.
For you.

That’s cool.


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Why I Dig Science

                I loved Mr. Wizard. I thought his use of science to engage children in exploring the world around them was just awesome. Don Herbert was a decorated World War II veteran and an early TV pioneer and he realized the power of the medium to capture the public’s attention and draw it toward science.  Bill Nye and the Mythbuster’s guys have all attributed their love of science and scientific experiment to Mr. Wizard and I think it’s entirely just. I know I certainly tried to re-create some of Mr. Wizard’s home based science experiments.

                Science is friendly yet impartial and Mr. Wizard tried to make us all aware that it wasn’t about some stuffy egghead in a white lab coat sitting over some sterile lab environment with a blackboard in the background with the word’s “Kill God” written on it. Science is accepting of anyone with a willingness to learn about it, openly and freely, and without preconceived notions (or at least a willingness to have those notions bent.) The principals of science are for everyone.  

                Yesterday I saw a commercial on TV for something that I thought was pretty amazing. A company named Project MC2 (Squared) has launched a line of STEM related dolls. Each doll focuses on a particular area of science and comes with its own experiment. “The Project Mc² brand was developed in order to inspire girls that it's cool to be smart, leverage the growing trend of STEM,” the toy company’s CEO Isaac Larian told Mashable. STEM is an acronym for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

                I thought this was brilliant and frankly, something I have never seen. I think it’s about time companies understood that science is pretty cool and that the only way we can get back into the forefront of scientific exploration is to encourage play with these types of toys. It also emphasizes the fact, without sounding misogynistic; women have been mostly left out of science.  I say this with a heavy heart and because the statistics support it. Women made up just 28 percent of science and engineering workers in 2010, according to the National Science Board's annual "Science and Engineering Indicators" report, from Feb. 6, 2014. These numbers have apparently risen to 33 percent since 2010, but that’s still dismally low. So I hope these toys encourage a whole new generation of young women to explore science and use it is a window to open-minded thinking.

                It also got me wondering about Kim Davis. I wondered if she ever played with any science themed toys or was ever encouraged to explore ideas or concepts through science, technology, engineering or mathematics. Kim Davis is a Kentucky county clerk who spent six days in jail for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, claiming it conflicted with her religious principles. I wonder what sort of person she might be if she’d had the opportunity to play with toys like those being marketed by The Project MC2 brand. Would she still only believe that God is the engine behind all things on Earth, or could she perhaps still be a woman of faith but understand that God’s gift to humanity was curiosity and a willingness to explore the world around them, to in effect, become more like the being that allegedly created us in its own image?

                I wondered if Mrs. Davis ever watched Mr. Wizard when she was younger. I wondered if her youthful fascination with the universe was limited to the dogmatic doctrine of a religious principal. Was it only Sunday school or was there any brain expanding school? Did she ever see a machine and think, “I wonder how that works, I should take it apart and then put it back together,” or did she just think, “God made it work through his infinite power, The End.”

                Imagine if she had been exposed to scientific exploration or was encouraged to get into mathematics or engineering. She might be the loudest voice in the choir of scientists pleading for environmental change solutions or drumming up media attention to alternative power solutions or pushing Mars exploration. She might have been the claxon call for scientific education. I mean, considering the doggedness with which she is resisting a Supreme Court decision and the Law of the Land, imagine her doggedness for clean water in Africa through improved irrigation and solar power if she had been given the opportunity.

                Perhaps, she might be that symbol after all. Perhaps she can bridge the gap between faith and scientific discovery. Even the Pope has indicated they’re not mutually exclusive. Maybe she’ll be that symbol of what NOT to be and inspire other’s to avoid her type of close-minded thinking. It’s certainly permissible to be a person of faith as well as someone with a burning desire to know why or how things work the way they do. It is through the search for truth that we ultimately find God. Or something to that effect I heard somewhere once.

                The reason I do love science is because it’s fair. It’s a lot like chaos that way. Chaos and science don’t care where you’re from, how old you are, if you’re transgendered, if you’re mulatto, if you’re straight, or even if you believe in God. The reason things happen is always open to exploration and possibility. Physics is the best example of why science matters, since it’s always evolving and changing our understanding of the world around us yet keeps so many rapt with a nearly obsessive desire to know more.

                Science opens the mind to possibilities, possibility is the doorway to questions, questions are the gateway to knowledge, and knowledge is the key to wisdom. Who wouldn’t want to be a little wiser?

Friday, September 11, 2015


There are some days
that sincerely haunt us,
some days that make us
cringe, or blush, laugh or shake
our heads as we remember
how we felt, how we acted
that day. A memory of a day gone by.

But I think it’s rare that we
remember the actual date
of our joy or shame. We look
at the calendar and the numbers
have no effect on our memory,
we just know that it happened
on some random day, oh so long ago.

There’s only one set of numbers
that, for me, and maybe for others,
that truly is branded into memory and
is simply unforgettable. We see it
at least twice a day sometimes and it
never fails to remind us.

Three little numbers, we’ve always
only known as the way to summon
emergency responders. Three
numbers we’ve heard so many times,
even William Shatner hosted a TV show
with those numbers. (Kudos if you
remember the show.)

Three numbers, now in the pantheon
of infamous dates. Never to be forgotten
by those who bore witness. Never to be
disregarded every time the clock changes
from nine-ten to nine-eleven.  Never to
be out of mind when you look at a
calendar for September.

A date, a moment, a blink of the eye,
a second spent in memory of where you
were and what you were doing, if you cried,
if you held you hand to your mouth, if you
reached for the hand of a loved one.
You think of it every time you see those
numbers, even if just for a millisecond,
you think about it.

I’m wearing my American Flag
lapel pin today. I never forget to
put it on when I see this date on my
calendar. It’s less about patriotism and
more about solemn reverence and
remembrance.  We remember they
died. But embrace that they lived.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Tell-Tale Poem

I can understand why
the ancients thought the
heart was the seat of emotion,
passion, fear and peace.
The heartbeat is a funny thing.

It’s reaction to stress,
to sex,
to love,
to work,
to sweet kisses,
a child’s laughter,
a stormy night.

All makes sense when
trying to decide why we
do, what we do, when we
do it.
It’s clear.

It’s why we wear our “hearts
on our sleeves”, and not our
“brains on our sleeves”.
Neither is the most pleasant
of images. I mean, if literal,
it’d be pretty gross to have
either internal organ just
jutting out there at the
end of a shirt sleeve. Ick.

But the metaphor works
because we still think, with our
brains, that the heart is the
true guide of our convictions.
Even though our brains know

Our brains pulled a fast one
on us all. “Blame the heart,”
Cries the brain. “It’s the heart’s
Fault!” And we’re almost fools
enough to believe it.

But it’s better to say heartache
than brain ache, Heartsick over
brain sick, Heartbroken over
brain broken. 

Although Brain freeze does
win over heart freeze.

Well done brain, well done.
Keep that heart pumping and
we’ll all just keep forgetting
you’re there.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The Dangers of Eavesdropping

“I like the new nail polish,” said the woman in the black skirt.
“I just can’t wear blush,” said another woman with frizzy hair.
“I never do my nails, too much trouble,” said the woman in the coat.
“Stop messing with your hair,” demanded the woman in the black skirt.
“I can’t help it. It’s so frizzy,” responded the woman with the frizzy hair.

“A guy I went to grammar school with
died last week,” said the women in the black skirt.
“That’s sad,” said the woman with the frizzy hair.
“Yeah, so sad,” said the woman in a coat.
“How did he die,” asked a woman with a Mommy hair-style.
“I don’t know. He was sort of off
the grid,” said black skirt woman.

“I don’t know why I wore a coat today,” said a woman in a coat.
“It’s not cold,” said the woman near the door.
“It’s a nice coat but too early for it,” said the woman with Mommy hair-style.
“I wish we could open a window,” said the woman in a coat.
“That would mess up my hair,” said the woman with the frizz.

“Why is my phone ringing,” asked Black skirt as she dug through
her large over the shoulder bag.
“I have an anti-frizz product you should try,” said Mommy Hair-style.
“Will you write the name down,” asked Frizzy.
“Who is calling,” asked Black Skirt, “Oh hi, what happened?”

“I have so much work to do. I’m so behind,” said Coat.
“Oh I know, I’m so busy after vacation,” said woman near the door.
“He what,” asked Black skirt into her phone, “Oh my. Oh no. Well, we’ll
deal with it when I get there. Thanks for telling me.”
“What’s wrong,” asked Coat woman.

“A guy my company let go a month ago killed himself,” said
Black Skirt.
“That’s terrible,” said Mommy Hair-style.
“That’s sad,” said Frizzy.
“That’s awful,” said woman by the door.
“And I have a new employee starting today,” said Black Skirt.

I don’t think I’m going to eavesdrop while
riding the train anymore.
I’m not sure which part is more tragic
and I don’t think I want to know.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Oh Sweet Mystery of Life

                It is a fairly complex mystery of which even Hercule Poirot would probably have a difficult, if not impossible, time trying to solve. It has baffled me for years and has boggled the minds of so many others. Why am I still single?

                This mystery’s depth was only highlighted this morning by a lovely couple up on the train tracks. I was doing my usual bit by waiting in my usual place for my usual train when I saw this couple. A couple clearly very comfortable with themselves and each other and didn’t seem to mind that everyone else on the train platform could see them as well.  And we could see everything. All their dirty laundry was on display. Literally.

                This lovely couple is homeless and they have been living through the nights behind one of the train shelters on the platform. They have their clothes laid out to dry in the sun.  They have a whole area blocked out for their shelter and seem to be getting along quite well despite the occasional train roaring by at all hours.  I have seen them there for the past week or so and they look pretty well moved in.  I wonder if I should get them a no-house warming present.  

                But I digress; their homeless plight isn’t really the point of this piece today. It’s really about this young couple. I shouldn’t say young couple, but then this man and woman are of rather indeterminate age due to their hard scrabble life. They could be anywhere from 30 to 55 years old. But again, that’s not the point. The point is, they have each other and they seem quite well matched as homeless couples go. They are both even blondes. But again, they are clearly together and seem to be there for each other in the most normal and human way possible.  It would be quite lovely if they weren’t in their dire situation. (Although I’m not exactly sure how dire it is.)

                When I boarded the train the blonde homeless couple was just starting their day. She had woken him and he put on his pants and shoes. They were starting to gather some of their things together. He even carried her bag for her. Homeless chivalry is alive and well apparently.  As the train pulled away from the platform the homeless Ward and June Cleaver started walking down the train tracks to destinations unknown.

                I couldn’t really understand it. Why does this homeless guy, homeless gal, have someone special in their life and I don’t? What does this homeless guy have that I don’t? It’s not a contest I know, but still, I have a rented roof over my head, some food, an income, I can be compassionate and caring, loving and doting, a bastard at times like everyone, but overall I’m not too terrible. I’m not too hard on the eyes either. I’m not some Adonis but I’m not Jabba the Hut, I’m just normal; with the occasional bouts of crippling depression and anxiety, but otherwise, completely normal. One might say I am a “catch”. And yet I wander from party to party, event to event, holiday to holiday without a plus one.

                When I arrived downtown I got off the train and started walking to work. Near one of the underpasses by the train station is a young homeless couple pan handling for your change. They both seem quite able bodied and I’ve seen them both at times reading different books as they beg for a little something to help them get by. They are together and I often see them engaged in conversations about this, that or the other thing. They appear to have been together for a long time and are also quite comfortable with each other.

                As I pass I am hit by their unbelievable stench and their curious togetherness. It’s just a damn mystery that these two people have each other in this hard luck world and I don’t have the same kind of love in my life. In some ways, it makes me feeler poorer than these homeless couples do.

                That’s not to discount the love I have received in my life. I’ve been extraordinarily lucky to have had the opportunity to love and be loved by the finest of people.  I’ve had people want to take care of me and want to be around me. Unfortunately I may not have felt the same way about them, thus rejecting them, like I have been rejected so many times by those that I am crushing on. It’s the circle of life, which brings me back to the present mystery.

                How is it that no less than two homeless couples have found in each other what I have been sorely lacking? They have love in their lives, at present, and I go home to a refrigerator filled with hot dogs and half full jars of salsa. I water my plant. I ignore the pile of dishes in the sink. I let stuff pile up on the dining room table. All because I don’t feel like there’s any reason to keep up with the house work or groceries because I never expect any company. I may have a roof, a job, a wonderful family support system, and a comfortable place to sleep at night but I don’t have that particular woman to answer my mystery.

                The mystery of why I am still single. I mean, it probably takes some guts to admit to a woman that you’re homeless and you’d like her to join you in your on the streets adventure. And it must be one heck of a woman to take that man’s hand and say, “Crack,” and go off together to live in ten minute bliss and then spend nearly every waking hour together.  And yet I don’t have the right woman to let me sit quietly and ignore her while she reads a magazine about celebrities.

                Am I poor tempered? Do I stink of rot? Am I just a walking corpse? Do I intimidate? Am I scary? Do I have too much baggage? Do I expect too much? Or not enough? Do I not make enough money? Is my zip code wrong? Am I that much of a bastard? Am I too particular? Too picky? A Snob? Snarky? Creepy? Dopey? Sneezy? Bashful? Doc?

                I think I should start a homeless dating web site, HomelessHearts.com. I bet you I still couldn’t even get a date with the right woman.  It’s just a damn mystery, without any detectives working on it but me. This might take a while. I hope these homeless couples find what they are looking for and manage to hold on to these relationships well into prosperity. I’ll probably need their financial support at some point while I stew in my own juices at the retirement home and try to remember where my damn teeth are and for some reason the answer will be “California”.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

The Melodies of Murder Mountain

The bodies are piled,
higher and higher as
a dark chorus bloodies
themselves around
the heaped mass of
failing humanity.

The piles grow faster
than the beat the
funeral dirges can drum,
and echo against the red walls
of corpse laden sepulchers and
marble mausoleums.

A lamenting funeral song,
crying out in hollow, raspy voices,
“Oh Where did we go wrong”.
to silent responses and deaf
ears.  Each lyric more sorrowful
than the next. And the next.

Rings of choruses around an
ever growing hill, weeping,
sobbing, tears turning into
a torrential sea, swallowing them,
trying to drown them,
while the drums beat on.   

All Hallowed ground,
All consecrated with blood and
flesh, and misery. Slippery with
death, sorrow, morbidity, and
slick promises of and end.

The songs go on, forever,
gargled with blood, tears,
around this monument of
death. A mountain of loss,
prime for avalanche.  

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

I Should Probably Just Look Out the Window

I saw her on the train
this morning.
Well, not “Her”, but a
very good facsimile of

This copy of “Her” had
some mileage and
she wore it on her face,
but it was pretty darn
close to my lost “Her”.

I hate that.
It gets the mind
whirring and humming.
Gears and motors that had shut
down, start sputtering to life.

Sputtering out wild
‘What if’s?’ and ‘I Wonders’,
and all sorts of dreaded
scenario based fictionalizations
about what life might have been.

These wicked visions don’t do
anyone any good. They’re steeped
in wistfulness, accusations, mourning and
linger for too long, cluttering up
the present.

This facsimile, this doppelganger,
is someone else’s “Her”.  Someone
took the time to love her, marry her
and build a life with her all so she
could wind up on my train, to spite
my memory.

I caught myself thinking that I
hoped my “Her” would do better
than this shady, worn out copy.
Then I thought I was writing about
the stuff that happens on the trains
too much.  

Then I went to work. Then my life
went on because it had no choice
and wallowing in the memories of
a train lady doppelganger was dumb.

It wasn’t “Her” anyway.
So why carry on like a widower
constantly eulogizing the loss
of a relationship.
There’s so many better things to
see on the train.