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Archive for March, 2010|Monthly archive page

A Walk With No Destination

In by Chris on March 30, 2010 at 11:43 pm

Over and under the street signs
Onto the sidewalk
Watch out for the gutters
Don’t get swept away
It’s the return of the walkers
Treading across the city
Who knows where they might look?
Chaotic aortic bodies
Dancing where regulations would have them hands-up
It’s a crisp morning
One with a sense of time
Open signs flipped against the light
Invisible walls grown from sidewalk cracks
And yet they come
Where they go
Reaching their paths into alleys and crosswalks
Searching for themselves
In a land filled with tracks
Finding is foreign
Where they step
Sprightly, haphazardly
Ever winding upwards


A Poem That Seemed Right When My Eyes Were Droopy, But Now Seems Dumb And Generic

In by Chris on March 27, 2010 at 8:58 am

My eyes are dry and
Full of sand
The wind has blown my tears
Across my cheeks and
Stung me with dust
What things have I seen
That my eyelids droop against my will
The world swirls
I try to think
As my vision sinks and
Pours out of tired holes
Colors blur
Without my eyes
Where can I go
Where will I wander
And what can I know
Under the skin of things
Beneath the bones
I sense a shape
A faceted feeling
Grown in like souls
My eyes are dry
With or without them
I might see

The Winds

In by Chris on March 26, 2010 at 10:32 pm

They start a great rushing noise somewhere above you or behind you. It grows and draws near; when you face it you can trace its madcap rush down the hillside as it sends the flattened tops of the trees into furies. In a split second it is upon you, widening your eyes, yelling in your ears, and catching you up and pushing you away. It lasts one symphonic moment, and then the receding eddies are left to tug you each in its own vain direction. The great mountain furies forever brew more and stranger winds to hurl down the valleys.

Ankle Pain

In by Chris on March 15, 2010 at 6:58 pm

My ankle felt a stab of pain as I got up from dinner tonight. I thought it strange; I couldn’t remember having hurt it during the day. I lay down and called to mind all the cures I could remember for phantom ankle pains. Spells, healing images, ancient stories of miracles – none could dissipate the pain, and soon my ankle had swollen. I could only hope that in sleep, healing dreams would come unbidden. The last thought I had was of a rumor I had heard – that certain people believed that material cures could heal the internalities of the body.


In by Chris on March 14, 2010 at 7:39 pm

An hour or two after the sunset – I couldn’t tell you exactly when – the electricity went out. I was lucky, for I was in my apartment with my family. Of course, when the lights suddenly flicked off, we arranged ourselves together in the living room to wait it out. In less than a minute, we were rendered immobile with the lack of light. When it came back, we heard we had been off for about two hours, and the blackout had covered the city. This kind of thing makes me wonder about times before electricity – how did our race survive?

Snail Trail

In by Chris on March 14, 2010 at 8:04 am

Underneath a smooth rock lives a slimy snail. But his shell is smooth. Every day he leaves his home to crawl over to his favorite rose bush. He loves to make his way up the stalk, squeezing himself between the thorns. And when he finally gets to them, the leaves are delicious! That’s life for him. Some days it is rainy and miserable; some days it is warm. Until one day he crawled out from underneath his rock like normal and saw something very strange. He had never seen anything like it. Craning his eye-stalks upwards, he saw that it

No Need to Adjust Reality

In by Lara on March 13, 2010 at 12:21 pm

Soft voices against hard beats and hard streets against soft feet and hard dreams against soft sheets when waking feels like dreaming and dreams float into memories and then it’s difficult to grind back into reality but it’s not even preferable, anyway because no one knows you there. And here, it’s perfectly acceptable that light switches open doors and doorknobs turn hands into claws, claws that gnaw and grind and grasp your thoughts like marbles out of a bag. And then the marbles roll off the varnished table onto the floor, wavy and fluid like water. No need to adjust.

Hangover, part II

In by Lara on March 13, 2010 at 12:20 pm

No, I don’t want to go for a walk. Yes my hangover is really that bad, and can you not just leave me alone to savor my miserable hungover existence? I don’t want to be happy and sunny right now. I’d actually love nothing more than to enjoy my self-pitying…well, self. My head feels as though it has been encased in wood and tiny splinters have pierced my brain so that everything is just fuzzy shards of this reality. And I guess it’s masochistic, but in some screwed up way, I’m laughing. There’s something kind of beautiful in being hungover.

Candy Store

In by Lara on March 13, 2010 at 12:20 pm

She worked in a candy store, which was funny because candy stores always made her nostalgic. But her childhood was perfect. It had all the friends she could have ever wanted, a really, very comfortable and nurturing home, and parents that rarely fought. And when they did, her mother would tell her that her father and she were like swans—mating for life. So she never worried about them getting divorced. No, her childhood was nothing like the candy store she worked in—all that processed, fake food, gaudy colors, and messiness, and fighting brats. No, her childhood was far from sticky.

Safari: Day 3

In by Chris on March 12, 2010 at 3:40 pm

“Is that…How lucky! OK, quiet everyone, we’ve happened upon one of the most fascinating types of trash in the Atacama. See how the tire has, over many years, entrenched itself in the dry desert soil. This allows it to capture smaller, wind-borne pieces of trash to waste away for years in its dark interior. Let’s see what we’ve got here. Hmm, Kool-Aid, Super 8, paper towel. Wait. What’s this? Amazing! A Baby Ruth wrapper! These candy bars are not consumed below the Mexican border, yet this one has migrated across an entire continent ending in this desolate spot…”

The Truth About My Mind (II)

In by Chris on March 12, 2010 at 1:50 pm

I have discovered the truth about my mind by mapping the way in which it works. Well, mapping is a relative term. The vast majority of it is a kind of Rube Goldberg machine made of a constantly shifting amoeba-like material. Change and obscurity is the rule. What I am sure of is that there is a small monster up above my head crafting ideas and dropping them into my head. The amoeba machine processes whatever he chooses to feed it. I know little of this monster, least of all where he gets his information, or why he chose me.

The Truth About My Mind (I)

In by Chris on March 12, 2010 at 1:50 pm

I have discovered the truth about my mind by mapping the way in which it works. Without going too deeply into schematics, what happens is this. Different receptors receive inputs – often in collaboration – and transport them to a holding tank. From here, a selector filters for the most interesting details, which it then feeds into the main processing core. A complex process then occurs involving comparison to available memory, recapitulation, and filing away in an incompletely cross-referenced database. The exportation process is similar, but opposite. The only mechanism not completely understood is that which converts ideas into language.

Loren Farhardt

In by Chris on March 12, 2010 at 12:39 pm

Loren Farhardt searched for the remote places in our world where the map still wears down and creates a precipice into prehistoric nothing. The places where ancient mariners believed the ocean falls in unceasing cascades, where mountains rear as breathing sanctuaries of all types of demons. He peered into the eyes of a host of creatures in silent jungles and in the oblivion of the deep sea. Every time he found it, he tried to note the experience. But the X’s on his map and the hollow words in his dog-eared journal ever failed to capture those haunting moments.

What I Wore

In by Chris on March 11, 2010 at 9:03 pm

Tonight I went to a fancy dinner. I wore my scuffed navy blue Converse All-Stars because I have no fancier shoes with me. I wore skinny slate gray pants and my old black belt. I wore a short-sleeved plaid shirt tucked in. It is brown and white and missing a button halfway down. But that was fine because I wore a tie that is maroon and indigo with a nice subtle Oriental pattern. Of course I wore my black-rimmed glasses and the beard that I used shampoo on for the first time the other day. And the dinner was great.

Free Writing Inspired By The Memory Of What May Have Been Love

In by Chris on March 10, 2010 at 7:16 pm

Quick put your fingers around mine and I’ll show you across this dusty field. Step over the barbed wire here and hey! Marshmallows!

Stop hey there’s something under the pillow. What? A key? Don’t even try to make that joke. Please.

Soap got in my eyes from the great car wash in the sky, perhaps you had your jacket cleaned there? So that’s why I can’t see to well right now, and maybe your pinky toenail too.

Love is like LSD I declare, where rhyme might happen or you fall down to be caught up again in subsequent tree swings.

Literary/Self Criticism

In by Chris on March 10, 2010 at 7:14 pm

Yes, Bannadonna from Melville’s “The Bell-Tower” and Aylmer from Hawthorne’s “The Birth-Mark” symbolize humanity’s desire to create perfection in both themselves and the machines they create, but I am more intrigued by the authors’ belief that such stories should be presented so simply. I’m always pushing myself to create more and more interesting stories, but can my endeavors be simply captured to turn me into a symbol for the endless journey? I’d like to think that I’m a maelstrom of influences, desires, and emotions. But I suppose societal critiques in literature are bound to take form in one-dimensional characters.

No, This Shirt Should Be Hung

In by Chris on March 9, 2010 at 6:55 pm

After I finished talking for the third straight evening about eating habits at night with my adoptive grandmother – one shouldn’t eat anything more than an apple, she says – I retired to my room to check my emails. I could hear her in her room moving her clothes into the new armoire, still talking – simply narrating the things she was thinking. I began to half-listen. They were mundane things, quietly filled with desperate importance. What could I do? Moving into our house after living so many years alone must have come hard to her, and she knew her age.


In by Chris on March 9, 2010 at 6:54 pm

When they finally let him shower, his snot was black and he couldn’t scrub out the dirty lines indented into his forearms.
He had been trapped under a collapsed building in a position he could not remember getting himself into. A concrete rafter had pinned him onto a painful jumble of cracked wood and brick, and the only way he could keep it from crushing him was by keeping his aching forearms braced against it. For hours he heard nothing and wondered detachedly why he didn’t release the pressure. Even when he heard voices he wasn’t sure he could continue.

New Album

In by Michael on March 9, 2010 at 2:47 am

You download a new album at 11pm. You heard about it on a blog or from a friend.

Your first listen goes well. There’s a couple of standouts. You play it again. And again.

It goes from beautiful to annoying and back to beautiful. Your headphones dutifully keep the music coming, like the brooms in Fantasia.

You lose track of how many times the album has repeated. You count the hours since 11pm and divide by the length of the album. Wow, that’s more than you thought.

As the sun comes up, you remember the rest of the world exists.

High Times On The Paddle Boat

In by Chris on March 8, 2010 at 7:09 pm

At Table 1 on the top deck of the casino paddle boat Soufflé, a disagreement broke out.
“You just drank out of my mojito!” shouted the man in cowboy boots.
“Are you sure?” asked the man with earbuds.
“Yes!” The first man scattered the second man’s stack of chips with an accidental angry gesture.
The dealer ahemed.
The three glared at each other.
The Soufflé hit a wave, and the mojito tinkled, splashed, and fluttered all over the felt.
“What the hell!”
“Come here you!”
“I’ll kill you!”
Everything somehow flew out the window and landed in the river.

Somos Escombros

In by Chris on March 7, 2010 at 12:27 pm

Secret walls shook themselves to destruction
The faces of houses show no emotion
But rubble has been shoveled into the streets

The black dust of walls swirls
From the depths of each pile
Repulsive incense from altars
Of brick, trash, adobe, and carcasses of rats

Today the piles are carted away
By priests with mid-day sweat-stained shirts
Solemnly heaped into dumpsters
Paraded to their disappearance

And up and down the street
Doors have opened
People gather
Until the breeze carries the last stains of dust
Through a neighborhood thrown open

The people rebuild
The secrets of their neighborhood

A Simple Togetherness Poem

In by Chris on March 7, 2010 at 12:02 pm

Here is not there, it is nothing but here.
I am not you, I am me.
But when disaster comes
Where will we be?
Lonely and swamped in personal seas
Banging our boats on trembling shoals
Haunted by the thought
That in spite of our goals –
To survive, to breathe, to live, to grow –
We cannot
About each other know.
I believe that here is not there,
But there I must go.
You I must be,
And you be me.
The earth has calmed, my heart has slowed.
My eyes are open,
And I walk out this door.

Chile Earthquake Knocked Earth Off Its Axis And Made Days Shorter, Says NASA

In by Chris on March 7, 2010 at 11:57 am

Why can’t we share
Such an exuberant release of energy into the world?

I search for a hopeful way to describe
How the building was taken
And cracked like a rabbit
Clenched in a wolf’s jaws.

Energy bounding through the earth!

And the spines of the people
Rigid with madly fleeing heartbeats.

When the world must change,
Why are we chased?
Our hearts are so fast,
Yet our memories won’t rebuild.

We walk our own paths, never as one,
Until the ground to which we are bound
Rouses itself to joyful hunt.

Our hearts,
Suddenly united,
Run for their lives.

I Read Every Word I See

In by Chris on March 6, 2010 at 7:27 pm

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On The Playground

In by Chris on March 6, 2010 at 7:26 pm

Over by the slide the kids who don’t play tag at recess have gathered. The others, they’re all laughing and having fun jumping off things and chasing each other. But the ones by the slide, they do different things. They’re friends because they’re not friends with the tag-players. But if it weren’t for the whole playground situation, they probably wouldn’t play together too much.

Such is life, though they don’t know that. Make the best of the place you’re in and the people that are there too. They’ll grow with this lesson and someday forget it and relearn it again.