Painting NightsDear Emma,Painting Nights by brassteeth
The truth is I'm not a painter.
The truth is I followed you here from that flower shop on Whitmore Street, two and a half months ago. Please, keep reading.
You actually took my breath away when I glimpsed you holding a bunch of lilies in your slender hands at the flower shop counter. You stunned me. That's never happened to me before. I was watching you turning the bouquet left to right, you seemed in awe of the flowers' beauty. Your eyes, your perfect smile, the way you held yourself. It was not a conscious decision to follow you here. I think I was in a trance. I know how it looks; I know it sounds like a movie.
When Miss Vale said it was only the beginning of the painting course, lesson two, I signed up, paid my money on the spot, just to follow you into the room.
Just to keep seeing you. Just to be near you. I know it's crazy.
I stared at the back of your bobbed hair for that entire lesson. In my mind I was shouting for you to turn around
DadI turned out like my spot-skinned fatherDad by brassteeth
and I would twist and turn the dry tall-grass threads
that I found on the prairie into braids of hair
like he taught me,
and I would feed the horses blocks of salt
before they took flight in the bleak twilight of the plains.
I lived in a world of dry winds and cul-de-sacs
and reached the thinking end of things
before I knew I had no-where to go,
and I first fell in love with a girl
who’s handle is lost to that wind
but her brown eyes are sketched to my soul for eternity.
When I left home he stood on the old porch
while the wind chimes sprung chords
across the flat land like a funeral bell
as my mother walked me to the car,
and as I drove across the cattle grid for that final time
he was already inside the house and gone to me
as a shape and as an image.
He died of a stroke 6 months later
and she told me in her soft sweet voice
how much he had loved me and his pride of me
but it was always in her voice
and I had to use my imagination
Forgiveness EconomicsGenesisForgiveness Economics by brassteeth
But for the small purple stain on its border, the banknote was non-descript.
It had a value but men value things in different ways and by different means. It had a value, but its value is not it's story.
It landed on the church plate face up, coming to rest softly on the flat silver base amongst the loose change like it was tossed to the cloth of a gambling table, soundless but with a small sense of resignation. A man paying for luck, a man asking his God for a favor.
It came from the wallet of a small sad man, who feared the Good Lord daily. The banknote was the weekly price of his penance, the bill of sale for those half-remembered crimes of a misspent youth and other things unmentionable.
The small sad man's hands were fat and white and callouses sat on his thumb and forefingers, the scars of a bank teller, a money counter, a man who knew about value. The hair on his head was grey and his eyes were blue below his wrinkled forehead and tonight would be the last time he
The Things He Could Not LabelJimmy watches her sleep from the doorway and begins to study the sun on her skin and the freckles that dot her cheeks. Emily is lying naked on her side facing the window and he wonders if the light from the morning sun really is flowing through the glass or if perhaps by some miracle, she herself is the very light of the room, like some beacon that has overpowered nature by accident.The Things He Could Not Label by brassteeth
It was moments like these that left his mind grasping for words to match his longing. He could lose all self-awareness when he watched her. The slender slope of her neck and hips, the tan line on her back where, by day a bra strap crossed her spine, or the faint constellation of moles on her left thigh that she laughingly said matched her star sign. If she woke now, she could just glance up at him and the internal clock of his soul would seize.
Emily didn’t use makeup and Jimmy never understood why any women would ever bother with it. To him it was like covering up beauty itself, like applying fresh
Ottumwa ShamanIn Iowa, weeping willows dream ofOttumwa Shaman by MineralAccident
Tigers, born in pagan fog, their
Coat of stripes singing shaman
Songs; shrill symphonies of grief.
Heaven tilts, crashes, and we race
The dirt to get away. We drink the
Earth with bullets of air and grow
Dizzy, light-headed from breathing
Some far off flame. Perhaps a poet
Who braved the fog of Ottumwa, and
Caught fire. Every cowboy has his
Six chances before high noon, before
The fog forms wispy jackals to take
Them home again. Every son inherits
An empty gun, six voids to fill with
Answers, skimmed and guessed from the
Covers of books their fathers used
To read. There is no other way.
In sleeping, I have been to Iowa,
And I learned where wiccans go
To make their bed. I do not know now
If I had dreamed the weeping willow,
Or if it had bent low to dream of me.
In Iowa, there is no such truth, only
Depth, and the shaman's song of grief.
The hollowi.The hollow by archelyxs
He says, you can tell an honest man
by the run of his walk, the stalk of his step.
Laugh, then, no, no, it's not for women.
The honest woman is walking towards you
even when she walks away, he says.
Nothing can be as deep as woman
or as hollow. I cannot be woman:
I am a tangle of shallows
destined to fall the willowish
drowning men until they free.
I am the highway the honest men
use and in being used, I gain permanence.
You, you sloppy cadences and twists,
I strangle. God, you got me heady still.
But my cankerous heart pulses on
and spills lethe on grassy steppes.
His sister's tone is mechanic
and breathy. She talks the night to drowsy;
satellites fill the sky. The cop who writes
us up is the same cop who once had to wrestle
starry seed-pods from my wrists in the performance
of what Emerson calls beads on a string.
Something in his sister's tone makes me think of
peeling the sunburn off my breasts
in filmy strips and his long eyelashes.
The valley belongs to sad runners.
Lucidityi.Lucidity by archelyxs
I am a natural lucid dreamer. When I was sick,
I dreamed away whole strings of days that burst
with causal power, as if the sun, shining past
my silted eyelids, had spilled a home behind them.
You watched how well I played that girl:
high heels, sparkle eyes,
sitting on his work desk with my lips curled,
legs crossed, booze at needle length
beneath my skin expelling floral tones,
I pretended to fall asleep on top of his blankets
so I had access to my concave nest,
a place without his hands on my stomach, no,
and without his mouth on my shoulder.
Now I am not even here
and he doesn't know, not at all.
My respectability besieged
the rest of me when I believed
in being respectable, for,
like a miasma of red night,
pulling up sleep in orange-tasting sinews,
you were born from a nautilus shell
to ensnare the thirst of laughing.
Had you been tossed so far beyond yourself during the night
that you woke up aware that you think about eternity
because it's manifes
The willows are thinking again about thickness,|
slowness, lizard skin on hot rock,
and day by day this imagining transforms them
into what we see: dragons in leaf, draped scales
alongside the river of harried, spring-stirred silt.
Short Journey Upriver
Current Residence: Annahoriasticin
Favourite genre of music: Country or Western
Favourite style of art: Literature
Favourite cartoon character: God
Let the Sparrows InI.
Blackbirds rest on the power lines,
their silhouettes form the notation
to a dawn song set on the sheet music
of telephone poles contrasted by the sun.
Curled leaves are land mines littered
on the lawn where imprints of twigs
and a nurturing robin's tracks collect.
Branchlets and leaflets stem from
porch step railings and mailboxes;
the numbers read odd on the east,
even on the west side of the asphalt:
The engraved letters on
the siding reads, "Davis."
This house is home to family
so let the sparrows in.
with its branching hallways
furniture rooted to the floor
family, friends, the occasional
out from home.
Let the sparrows in; let
Let the door's
loosen—let the door stand ajar
be let open
the night owls and
let the doves
in pairs in the iridescent
Let the sparrows in.
Framed on either side
last nightlast night, the smell of you seeped into me.
i caught it dripping from my pores
and unfurling from my hair like a sightless memory
then settling comfortably on the pillow beside me
and pooling in the creases of my sheets
like a contented water cat.
last night, the taste of you rubbed into me.
your unique spice grubbed beneath my unpainted nails,
flavoring the back of my tongue and the space between my scapula
with a sweat-salty sweet desire
that I licked from your shoulder while your stomach breathed into mine
and we balanced indelicately on coxae and cotae
like dancing bears on balls.
last night, the idea of you sailed into me.
it came silently, slowly flowing into small dark corners
so it wouldn't frighten me
and waiting for the sunrise,
waiting to be cautiously picked up and examined for solidity,
to be confirmed by the pleasure in your eyes
when i said you'd meet her at Christmas
and you didn't look away.
|"Once there were brook trout in the streams in the mountains. You could see them standing in the amber current where the white edges of their fins wimpled softly in the flow. They smelled of moss in your hand. Polished and muscular and torsional. On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps and mazes. Of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again. In the deep glens where they lived all things were older than man and they hummed of mystery." |
— Cormac McCarthy