Sunday, March 30, 2014

Retrieval Process

I've been having a hard time with electronic housekeeping lately and didn't want to lose more stuff.

Chant

A young village boy approached an elder
Asking for advice, 'How does one address God?'
The elder looked upon the young one
He said nothing but beckoned
The boy followed

The elder walked well away from the village
Stripped himself before the boy
Danced naked in the sands of the desert
All the while chanting nonsense
The boy left clueless

The next week the boy approached again
The elder beckoned him forward
The pair came upon the well
The elder dropped his loin cloth and pissed
Happily around the well

The boy was confused
He asked, 'Why are you so foul?'
The old man shit in his hand
Made dolls and balls
Threw the shit high into the air

The boy was distraught
He asked, 'Why do you poison us?'
The elder then milked himself
Rubbed his seed upon his body
The boy cried out in anger without words

The elder left the boy
Saying only three words
His back unbent
Filth covered body, eyes bright
'God, please forgive.'

An Explanation

My late night practice
Enhanced as usual by ancient medicine
I was enthralled, taken in, and flew away
Vision expanded, such a high vantage
I was given knowledge and power
Over things far beyond me
It take others decades
To even consider such an act
I jumped in with both feet
The pool was like fire in my mind
Its waters like vacuum
Deepest lake of fire and ice
I shouted loud, disturbed the resting
Those dwellers of the deep
Listened to such piteous wailing
They offered rest, just breathe deeply
I breathed in great gasps and drowned
There I was shown how to love
Without thought or consideration
I spun wildly, triangle to circle, square to cube
Cube to sphere, sphere to torus, torus to disc, unknown shapes
On, and on, around and up, in and out
Then called to and came to me a sphere
I spun with great intent
My cube self is not a cube
My sphere self is not a sphere
I showed the sphere how to extend
Change, do this! Challenge your shape!
Tentatively the sphere opened
We met and joined, it was beautiful
Immortal seeds planted, both spheres gone
One capsule where once there were two
When finally pulled from such a lake
I was drowned but again breathing the thin air
This air is lacking, filthy, and nigh on lifeless
Gone what once was and ever transformed
Ah my Love, you were not conscious of this
You have been there many times though
We will be there again, together

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Some More Stuff

I just realized that I have not updated this in some time. Here is something that got wonderful reception at the Cultiv8N Culture open mic in Phoenix.

The Piper and the Swordsman

Forgive the plaintive songs
This reed sings what it knows best
There was little sweetness in its bed
It was plucked green
The cane dried and yellowed
Cut down to size and drilled
Holes along its body
For the air to pass, creating
Melody, harmony, music

The remainder of the reed
Split and bound
Wrapped in cloth and leather
The two halves sing for each other
One sings its sweet tune. longing
The other has no voice
Whenever it is swung the air passes
It hears its other half
Cries in its quiet way
Whooosh, crack!

One day the two halves reunited
The flute was being played as usual
Its master begging in his tattered robe
The other carried by a traveling swordsman
Looking upon the flautist the fighter frowned
He said, "The song you play hurts me deeply
I cannot stand to hear it any longer.
It is too much for me to bear, my heart
Longing to leap from my chest."

The musician looked upon the fighter
His response, "Blowing air through this
Sad, abused reed is what I need.
The joy in my heart is not apparent
As I expel sadness from my lips.
Leave me now, I have played here for years."
With a lightning quickness
The swordsman lashed out
Cane whooshing, then CRACK!
The flute's sad music ended
Each half having met, both broke

The piper looked up, stricken
Flute smashed, so was the practice weapon
Seeing the swordsman's face
Crying over his broken stick
The musician laughed and rose
Walking calmly he bid the man,
"Peace unto you my brother."

--

I'm still working on this one at the moment, I think this is the first verse but... I need to do more work.

Thirst

Come, let us sit and speak, I long to listen
Smoking, sharing, making signals as we gesture
Spiraling smoke, spinning vortices, dervishes in the air
Breathe out, so I can inhale the vapor of your words
Being that high, from your thoughts
Pour another whiskey, golden liquid
Quenching throats with this: water of life
Closer, lean in, I long to drink your smile
Dropsy takes hold, drunk on that distilled happiness
Light a new flame, I see the fire reflecting
Staring into the mirrors of your eyes to see myself
Who is there? Not who was before

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Those Same Knives

There was no glory in it, pride, yes. Vanity? Check. Were they adolescent White boys you may have thought they were about to play hacky sack. As the old man put it, "In the old days it was all us good ol' boys but now it's been overtaken by Spics, Flips, and us Whites are stuck on the outside of the circle." Most of the men were Mexican with a few Filipinos and White boys thrown in for some variety. Papa Carl hobbled up to the circle to talk shit and look over the competition. I headed away from the ring, around the shack and back to the truck.

Carl's little brown pickup was a Mazda that had seen better days. The paint had been scratched away by use and oxidated by the sun. Dust and mud caked the tires and its rear wheels were somewhat low from the load of crap he constantly hauled around. Topped by a white camper shell, no one could tell what was inside by looking through the scratched and encrusted tinted window. Standing against the cornfield, it imprinted an agricultural scene that will never leave my mind. A sweet and grassy aroma from white corn was light in the air as the dust cloud from our trip into the middle of the farm settled. Gravel crunched beneath my feet as the summer's wet heat made sweat drip from my brow, into my eyes and then down to soak my shirt even more. The cocks were restless and in anticipation they slowly sighed like a quiet siren singing to Death himself. The men's banter was just under the volume for speech to be understood. Sunlight shot the dust cloud through and through with diamonds. Each ray highlighted the spinning air as if each eddy was a dervish slowly descending from paradise. Farm life was never something I enjoyed but I could see its beauty in those small, quiet moments.

Up went the hatch to the camper and I pulled down the gate, pinched a finger in the latch and cursed ineptly. Each rooster had its own A-frame enclosure tacked together from plywood. We were only going to enter two into the ring, Old Man Davis had heard that some of the bettors had some high quality fighters with them and like any boxer knows: you win some, you lose some. According to modern science, many dinosaurs had feathers and birds are just an evolution of the more quickly developing species. This evolutionary lineage was not lost on me and their ferocity was astounding. The razor sharp blades strapped to their feet made them deadly. Training the birds had been long and hard work, this made them winners.

Every time the weather allowed in the spring or summer and if we had birds of the right age they sparred. Trimmed combs and wings made each rooster look streamlined as we strapped on a chicken's equivalent of a boxing glove to each foot. A friend of Carl's would usually help us when it was time to spar. Lucero would bring his little boy who was about my age to help. After strapping the "gloves" on to each cockerel the little brown boy and I faced each other in anticipation as we carefully released the birds and backed away. They fought in a flurry of feathers and dust. Screams escaped their craws and their necks were frilled out with feathers from top to bottom like metal Christmas trees. After a few minutes of the two birds abusing each other viciously, Lucero would grab them by the neck to stop the fighting. Carefully removing the "gloves" so we could return them to their respective rooster teepees was the scariest part of the process for Lucero's boy and me.

Today was different from those training sessions, instead of the "gloves" we had tied the knives to their feet. Those same knives were ordered special from magazine ads and were sharpened, polished, and stored in a place of honor. Those same knives made the blood bubble, the feathers fly, and the occasional head flop to the floor of the ring. Those same knives still shine in my mind's eye whenever I think of a blade well made. I can easily recall the anticipation I felt every time I would sneak into Papa Carl's spare bedroom to look at those same knives.

The men there called to me as I slowly brought the enclosures to the ring. They would speak to each other en EspaƱol and the only reason I knew they were talking about me was because of the words cuarto, poquito and guero. My father was Mexican but you never would have known it. My Germanic heritage showed through, every summer gave me the same appearance: sunburned bright red with blue and silver eyes shining through the red. Since he left when I was very young I only picked up whatever Spanish I knew from the other kids in town. The hubbub died down as the birds were matched up.

Carl conferred with Old Man Davis. Old Man Davis was nearly senile but he stood up straight as a rod and hooked his thumbs through his overalls as if this were the most entertaining thing he had done in a long time. A huge smile overtook his face as he recognized some of the men in the circle. The two old men leaned in toward each other. Papa Carl had to adjust his crutches to get closer to Old Man Davis. Finally they made their bets.

Betting always turned out the same in these circles. Everyone wanted to know how Carl would bet. Some bet in line with his opinions and others bet against him as a matter of spite. He wasn't known as the premiere rooster breeder in the region for nothing. I knew our match was coming up shortly. I watched the first two fights before I went behind the shed to stare off into the sky and tried to attain a state of no-mind. When Papa finally bellowed out my name I ran back to the ring, ignorant of how much time had passed.

I picked up the first enclosure and opened it slowly. The Filipino man across the circle was only slightly taller than my prepubescent self. He stared fiery hate into my eyes and cursed under his breath in Tagalog. I removed the hood from our bird almost simultaneously as he did. Both his bird and the one in my hands were pulling for the fight. Once the count was finished we released both roosters and backed out of the ring quickly. Feathers and blood already lay in the dust all around the ring, there were scratches on the ground where they had launched themselves at each other. The two birds for this fight were well matched.

Still the brunt of the Pinoy's hateful gaze, he would occasionally flick his eyes back to the ring. Jumping, clawing, pecking, screaming, a flopping carcass that didn't know its own demise and at last, it was over. "Look at your chicken's head Flip! It's limped over to the right and it ain't ever coming back up. Just like your tiny dick ya shit licker," Papa Carl continued to bellow his victory in ever ebullient torrents of filth for a few minutes until the short islander cleaned up his bird and left altogether. Looking back, that gaze during the fight was probably directed at Papa. I saw the money change hands and Carl handed me one of his sticks as he shoved a wad of cash into his sweatpants pocket. The second fight was coming any moment and I was ready to go home. Stuffing the winning rooster back into his box was always a matter of agility and avoiding those same knives. Blood from the match was all over my hands and pants by the time I got the first cock contained.

Our second fight was with a Mexican fellow's bird, he was a friend of Lucero's and greeted us warmly. My grandfather understood him easily enough and let out a "bway-nose dee-ass" in his thick Arkansas accent. I looked at the man's son, a few years older than me, he was more nervous than a Chihuahua on coke. The two birds played out their danza de espada much like the last time. Our second bird was also victorious, the other bird lost a foot and its wing was hanging from its body. The stump of its leg kicked spasmodically as the blood pooled under it. The second rooster we fought that day was much easier to coax back into its box.

Papa Carl and Old Man Davis were happier than pigs in shit to have won and were debating on further matches. After a few more fights the men implored us to leave, a phone call had been received and apparently the Filipino was angry because of the match. Word was he had gathered his sticks and was coming. The fellow was a well known practitioner of Eskrima. We left that day, our fortunes determined by fate, the roosters, and those same knives.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Found these recently.

Yet more fragments from my mind. Here is a short story I found that I had started in an untitled document.


The man stumbled through the thick undergrowth of the rainforest. The slick mud and rotting foliage made traction nearly impossible. The bullet in his left hamstring burned with every step and fire shot through his leg. Infection was a surety, the moist air, the pained nights of restless sleep, and lack of medical supplies made it an eventuality which he did not relish.

Rick knew he was finished. The operation went to hell in a hand basket before his team landed. The discjet had barely touched down when a rocket screamed into their staging area. The aircraft was a complete loss. Ambushed, the surviving commandos fought with everything they had. Rick had been shot in the leg, when he fell he was knocked unconscious after his head collided with a stone on the ground. The lone survivor of his team, the guerreros must have thought him dead when they left the remains of the discjet and the corpses of his comrades behind them.

There was wildlife that defied comprehension in this jungle. The genetic engineering projects of the past three decades had made creatures that were incredibly well adapted to survive. The most bothersome of these were the hunter moles. Their sharp digging claws and incredibly powerful jaws made them gruesome to contend with. It was rumored that the moles were hybridized with wolverine and mongoose stock to create a half blind predator with little regard for the size of its intended victims. Rick had knifed three his first day in the rainforest. They were quick and his pants were shredded around his shins and calves.

Hour after aching hour he trudged through the jungle. It had been at least a week since the discjet was lost.

Here is a first draft poem fragment I found in my Google Docs.

Do not be obsessed with death
It is unknown and unknowable
Rather be concerned with life
Live fully, happily, and waste no breath

We are not strangers
Death and I are well acquainted
Our first meeting I was five
Still unaware of the dangers

Of my own body, attacking
Itself on many levels
It is varied and ever causing strife
And compassion it is certainly lacking

Do what you love, there is little time
Follow it thoroughly, do not quit
Of pleasure, yourself do not deprive
Every incursion on your enjoyment

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Fredly Adventures

Fred sat at his desk and hanged his head sadly, his hands rested palms down on the surface of his worktable, as the sigh escaped from his gullet. The scorching summer sun he saw through the window contrasted bleakly with the bluish hue and low hum of the T8 fluorescent tubes above his head. The conflicting parts of the light spectrum made Fred nervous. The reddening light of the stretched out sunset and the blue tubes were battling the energy drink, the jay he smoked at lunch, the craving for nicotine, and his antidepressant: he felt like a dreidel on an uneven table. The constant air conditioning made the call center smell stale and the air dried out the back of the throat.

The man had dirty blond hair, a florid complexion, drab brown eyes, and pale skin. His wardrobe tended toward khaki with an accent of brown and his unkempt appearance was a combination of an aversion to razors, allergies to laundry fragrances, and laziness. The bulk on his short, wide frame gave the impression of a barrel that had grown skinny cartoon legs and arms. Not one for floral scents, the cologne that effected his personal space was spicy and some might have said it smelled somewhat angry. Fred looked to his right and saw Rudi two rows down, This whole place would be better without Rudi.


Fred thought this little refrain at least once a day. Two weeks ago when she asked which ocean New Mexico was closest to he smashed his forehead into the wall by his desk repeatedly. Every time she spoke with the customers and asked them to hold while she had to speak to a supervisor Fred cringed. Even though he was no where near a supervisor's pay grade she would always ask the taciturn man for confirmation of details or even for information that had been communicated to the rest of the team weeks ago. Reading comprehension seemed to be beyond her capabilities. At first Fred wondered if she was interested in him because she constantly assaulted him with stupidity. Hopeful that she was using her questions as segues into deeper conversation he tried to coax her into talking about herself. Rudi was on a completely different wavelength though and after a few weeks of her ignoring his awkward attempts at banter and small talk Fred concluded that she was mentally deficient.

"Hey Freeed?" Rudi asked after she gophered above her cubicle. The beautiful brunette intoned the last part of his name to such a high pitch that Fred ripped a paper off his cube wall and crumpled it into a very small ball. If her visual appearance were not so attractive Fred may have murdered her months ago as a favor to the general population. Rudi was a petite Italian woman in her early 30s, with a long patrician nose, almond shaped chocolate eyes, olive skin, an hourglass figure that made every straight man's heart in the building race, a chest that was not too big for her frame, and a butt that could only have been described by a word that rhymes with rubble. Unfortunately for our hero's taste this combination of physical beauty and a skull filled to 40 psi placed her on a special area of the womanly number line. She had exceeded the scale and sat firmly at both 0 and 10 simultaneously. Some of the nerdier fellows called it the Rudi quantum state of hotness.

Fred gritted his teeth and stood up. He was so short in comparison to his coworkers that he was only slightly visible below the shoulders when standing at his cube. "What do you need Rudi?" the man let the words grind out of his throat like grist being turned to dust. After she had outlined an issue that newer employees typically mastered within 3 weeks of training's end Fred dolorously responded and provided her with a full and correct answer. He then assumed an almost identical position of despair that he had assumed before Rudi had asked her question. What a wonderful existence for 9 hours a day. Fred pondered that tomorrow will be Friday or "Monday plus four" as he called it when he grumbled on his walk to the bus stop after work and on Fridays we dance.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Some Stuff I've Done In The Past, Perhaps Worth Revising.


Most of this is poetry I wrote when I was very young. Some of it not so young. Mainly here so I have a place to look at it and try to make something new.

Bound by many cords
The heart is pulled in five directions
Each rope is held by loved ones
These are important strings
Made of silver, they shine balefully
As the moon's cold light
East, west, south and north
These ties will spin your limbs

The rope made of gold 
Is reserved for the beloved
Give it freely, this one will grow back
Shorter, it is harder to extend
And if severed, it is painful
Even worse to put forth again
Choose its holder carefully

Finally there is line made of diamond
Carbon crystals formed, the rope held by none
This flies to the Divine
Sometimes you cannot see or feel it
Do not doubt its existence
Pull with all your might
Ascend!

--

Today I saw the sky 
Like never seen before 
The giant rolling clouds 
Like some far off distant shore 
The blue vast like the rolling sea 
Such a sight was never meant for me 
The sands and the seas 
Make beautiful harmonies 
Sights and sounds--Nature's song 
All this beauty was never meant for me 
God's beautiful creations 
Objects I don't deserve 
These beautiful creations 
These we must preserve

--

She walks in the night 
Beauty her right 
Tiger's eyes 
Much like fire 
To the left 
To the right 
Something in sight 
In harmony of the night 
Sparks fly 
Tongues lie 
Eyes flash 
Lives crash 
Deception her name 
The lying game 
Beauty's impression 
Leads to depression 
The pit deepens 
A child weeping 

--

A flaming arrow 
Flying 
Piercing flesh 
Eyes like fire 
\Slowly scorched 
The fire spreads 
Through my soul 
Eyes like fire 
\Sparked by words 
Truth quickly ignites 
Yet some will not take it 
Eyes like fire 
\I look 
Surrounded by flames 
Darkness 
Eyes on fire 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Today's Written Shiat

Drowning in his own sputum he looks around at the people lying in the beds next to him. The rows of beds and their patients remind him of the garden he tended as a young boy. Each person a rotting carrot, their taproot bodies eaten from within like burrowing rabbits below. The consumption is slow and agonizing. The man looks up and sees the city of shining quartz. The city has been calling to him for some time. His neighbor in the bed not an arm's length away coughs loudly. The spasms racking his body from expelling the tiny bits of pink lung and mucus shakes the whole bed and nearly jitters the bedpan from the night stand. The other patient examines the product of his efforts that have been deposited on the hand towel. The city fades away as the man fades back into a laudanum induced oblivion. Some day...