Jenny and the Gorgon (freewriting)

Writing something weird is better than writing nothing at all, eh?

Do you remember the time with scaled that mountain and you fell and busted your back? Jesus, you were laid up for six months in the hospital, and you did all that physical therapy. What was the therapist’s name? You slept with him, which is all kinds of fucked up, but I try not to judge. I try and fail. Ha ha.

Darren, that was his name. I’m not saying he wasn’t attractive, but you getting in bed with him made as much sense as a lizard in a blender, which–I don’t mind telling you–doesn’t make a hell of a lot of sense at all. That’s what my daddy used to say, before he turned to stone. Speaking of weird-ass things, how many people you know that just, like, suddenly turn to stone? It threw me for a bit, I’ll tell you. And when other people started turning to stone, I figured it was some kind of chemical attack, some country that had cooked up this lethal gas that made people into statues. But it turned out a gorgon had gotten loose, which would mean that she had been held somewhere to begin with, for something like a thousand years, and then she was set free and she was like, “Fuck, it’s been a long time, I’m going to set these eyes on the first miserable bastard that comes along,” and bam, just like that, Daddy was stone. He had just woken up, had his first cup of coffee, and opened the front door. Little did he know a gorgon was slithering down the street.

That’s the kind of fucked-up world we live in, Jenny. Trump in the White House, gorgons roaming the streets, ol’ Ms. Shookapoo coming down with the gout. Did you know women could get gout? I thought it was a man thing. Hell, I hope I don’t get it.

No, Jenny, it wasn’t Medusa! Lord God! It was another one. Maybe they cut her head off and put it in a bag, and they’ll keep it around in case something big-ass monster shows up, like they did with Medusa, who’s apparently the only gorgon you think existed. Crack a book open, Jenny, and get off that damn YouTube!

I swear, you and the YouTube! Its like you think it’s magic or something. Maybe it is magic for you and you’re under its damn spell, so I think it would be best if I just smashed the daylights out of the computer and run over your phone in my truck. Then what, Jenny? Then you’d be more worried about the damn gorgon, is what.

 

Waiting (poem)

I’ve been thinking about home a lot lately…my own birthplace and the general concept of belonging. I feel rather rootless, despite having lived in my current city for thirteen years. Something is calling me back to my home state of Alabama, but I’m not sure what. I need to plan a trip.

This poem, though written some time ago, fits my emotional state today.

Waiting

The fragrance of your shoulders lingers
like the shadow in the doorway the day you left,
dooming the crops to failure, the clouds to gridlock,
the birds to perpetual restlessness.

I hold a postcard from you
that shows a black-and-white lighthouse
with the words: Glad I finally got away.

I don’t blame you, of course—
I would have gotten away, too, had my legs
not been encased in the iron of this town,
my will tied to the whimsy of the librarian
who still frowns me down when I’m overdue.

Perhaps curiosity (not desire) will drive you back home
and you’ll find me. By then, I’ll be bent at the waist,
my thoughts riddled with holes, but I’ll know you,
never having forgotten you in the first place.

Love in Articulo Mortis (poem and song)

I may have posted this poem before, but I don’t feel like searching the blog for it. Either way, I like it, and I’m trying to unite my music with my words. If you’re curious, here’s the song that accompanies the poem.

Love in Articulo Mortis

Regrets packed in tearsalt,
I hand them to the porter.
I’ve been here before,
love in articulo mortis.

I board the train on a night
darker than I’ve ever seen,
cloudless, the moon judging
me with borrowed light.

The signal blows and I’m
tossed into haunted sleep.
When I wake, I look out
on a ruined landscape.

Without a word, the porter
hands me my things and nods.
I step out onto the platform,
a stranger in a dangerous town.

To Do List (poem)

So far, I’ve only checked off #1 and #7. 

ape robert 2

This has nothing to do wit the poem…I just like it.

To Do List

Turn monsters into flowers.
Make eggs cry.
Discover a new alphabet.
Eat my way through a marble statue
Bring worms to orgasm.
Find six keys and five doors.
Encourage a germ.
Visit my oldest hate.
Dictate a letter to a fish.
Fall from a high ledge of butter.
Exact revenge for trees.
Find a reason to love.

Service (poem)

Sometimes the hardest thing to do is stay….

Service

I sleep inches away from my enemy,
but I’ve been trained not to panic
and to count my breath when she sends
out her siren call, pre-recorded but still deadly.
(I’m Odysseus, but I do pretty damn well).
Temptation isn’t a sin and resistance
isn’t a virtue…at least, not anymore.
Now, it’s just life, slowly marching on,
and the man trapped behind enemy lines
is no hero as he carefully chooses his steps,
just as the man closing his eyes in the same
room where she lies deserves no medal.

Ben the Would-Be Cannibal (story snippet)

 I came across this story snippet as I was going through some old writing, and I was struck by how often cannibalism comes up as a theme in my work. Also, for every completed story, I have perhaps fifty or so partial stories. So it goes.

No picture for this one. I’m not terribly keen on Googling “cannibalism.”

“I’m supposed to care about something, you know,” Ben said as he chewed on a face.
“What if I’m a sociopath?”

“Well,” Donovan observed, “you’re eating a human head. And just because you’re
supposed to do something doesn’t mean you should. Shit, I’m supposed to go
to church, but I don’t. Also, I’m sitting here as you demonstrate you’re a cannibal, so
what does that say about me? I’m supposed to stop you, right? Or at least protest in
some way?”

Ben sighed. “I’m not really a cannibal. This is processed.”

“Doesn’t matter. You’re eating a processed human, which they say tastes like the real deal.”

“I guess.”

“You haven’t eaten a real person, right?”

Ben sighed again. “No.” He could have, of course. There was nothing stopping him
from exploring the black market and picking a body. It would be dressed-out and
ready to cook. Instead, he was gnawing on human-flavored gelatin face. What
respectable cannibal would eat a face, anyway? Could you even cook a head and have
the features stay in place? Maybe if you closed the eyelids and simmered it in broth,
Ben reasoned. The facsimile face he was dining on had gooey, sweet-flavored eyeballs.
He imagined the real deal was a bit tougher and more salty.

“So why are you worried you’re a sociopath?” Donovan asked. “I mean, the current
activity notwithstanding?”

“Because like I said, I don’t care about anything. Not school, not girls, or cars.
Nothing, man. It’s a scary feeling.”

“Which means you’re not a sociopath. Do you think a real sociopath pauses to
reflect on his lack of empathy?”

“Maybe. Like, early in their sociopathy.”

“Have you ever tortured or killed animals?”

“No.”

“See?”

“That doesn’t mean anything, Donovan. The mutilation of animals is only one
indicator in a wide variety of cues that might signal someone’s a sociopath.”

“Well, for someone who doesn’t like school, you don’t seem to have a problem
learning. At least about sociopaths.”

Ben shrugged and ate.

Donovan studied the beheaded false corpse before him. Eventually, Ben would have to
remove its clothes, and Donovan didn’t want to be around for that. Ben had
ordered a male corpse, which Donovan guess was better than a female corpse, but he
really wasn’t sure why…

 

Memory (poem)

I’m sifting through some old writing and occasionally finding decent poems:

Memory

A bell rings somewhere in the distance
as the mist drifts in from the lake where
I last saw you, your face sparking
my memory, waking me in the dark
and charging me with the voltage of guilt.

The bell rings out again, and I close
my eyes, allow myself to walk toward
the sound that resonates in the leaves
and flows like liquid into my dry mouth
that opens to speak your name again.