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Archive for April, 2010|Monthly archive page

The Hot Dog Stand

In by Chris on April 30, 2010 at 10:16 pm

The hot dog stand shines brighter than the streetlights in this distant Mexican town. Men and women stand around it. Maybe one or two eat, but the rest talk or watch or wait. Nothing moves in the dark side streets of this town until another dark shape separates itself into motion and approaches the glow of the hot dog stand. The hot dogs themselves are shiny with grease but covered in fresh, diced tomatoes. They could be anywhere in the gutters or on the eaves of the dark town, but here they have been gathered to be cooked and served.

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Get Ready

In by Chris on April 30, 2010 at 4:45 pm

All right let’s go if you chest bump me I’ll do it back, ain’t no other way to go about this.

We’d best exchange numbers first in case we want to follow up on what’s about to happen.

The sushi’s sitting well – excellent tempura shrimp wasabi glory – so that ain’t gonna be a problem.

My lawyer drives a yellow Lexus, has three dogs and knows his stuff.

Ain’t that a shame? They’ve begun patrolling this street; I surmise it’s for the best.

Are you ready?

I reckon I am.

They say that invisible gas will be our downfall.

First Impression Of Santa Rosalia

In by Chris on April 30, 2010 at 4:45 pm

It feels as if the town itself was once a mineshaft. In the last century that shaft widened, grew thick with wood slat houses, sheltered a succession of dusty characters, and opened itself to the moonlit sky. The great layers of rock around the town are pincushioned with useless tunnels, yet it feels as if the town itself is a gun barrel-shaped tunnel pointing from the gulf into the heart of the peninsula. The people here are rougher than elsewhere, more demonstrative. In the street you hear catcalls from cars with loud music, but above the slumping hills are quiet.

City Stories

In by Chris on April 30, 2010 at 4:44 pm

“Hey! Hey! Who the hell is a storyteller in this plaza! I’ve got a hankering! Who can tell me a story with a funny moral!” The man looked around expectantly, his cowboy hat tilted on his head. “Hello!”

People chuckled under their breath, as they do, and looked at him when they thought he wasn’t looking. A little boy pointed.

The man wasn’t really expecting anything. He was just bored. In this city he felt he was forgetting the stories of his youth, and no new city stories came to replace them.

“Hey! Ten cents for a story! I’ll listen!”

La Plaza Nueva

In by Chris on April 30, 2010 at 4:44 pm

Hay gente en la plaza nueva. Los funcionarios están reunando las poblaciones de los pueblos para dar un espacio nuevo – y también a darlos un mensaje viejo. ¡Desarrollo! Con el apoyo de la gente y los gobiernos quien trabajan sin parar. El mensaje es tan viejo como los pueblos. Con dignidad se presentan más planes para la gente. Y la gente adora los funcianarios en las celebraciones. Pero después, cuando la gente regrese a su casa sin el dinero para comprar una cerveza celebratoria, hay palabras sin adoración. La gente cansada pregunta contra los dignitarios afuera de la plaza nueva.

Row!

In by Chris on April 30, 2010 at 4:44 pm

Row row row your boat, gently down your dreams
Merrily merrily merrily merrily, life is made of streams

Grow grow grow your goat, feed him lots of hay
Verily verily verily verily, milk him every day

Mow mow mow your lawn, make it nice and clean
Carefully carefully carefully carefully, neighbors judge your greens

Stow stow stow your junk, hide it fast away
Probably probably probably probably, you’ll need it all someday

Fro fro fro your hair, look like such a G
Scarily scarily scarily scarily, we’re all the same to me

Your boat will row, your goat will grow

The Naturalist And The Anemone (IV)

In by Chris on April 27, 2010 at 7:51 am

Encased in the warm, clear water, the naturalist could gaze at the great orange anemones for hours without thinking of anything else. Even the creeping realization that it was time to search out new creatures in new seas could not penetrate this state of his heart. Each night in his bunk, he resolved to cut off his experiments and move on, and each morning he stayed.
His whole life might have become enveloped in this pattern had the ship not run low on provisions. They finally sailed one bright morning, and the naturalist thought sadly that he never would return again.

The Naturalist And The Anemone (III)

In by Chris on April 27, 2010 at 7:51 am

For several weeks the naturalist swam to the anemones, studied them and tested them on his ship.
The first time one stung him it shocked him; the little arms were worse than hornets.
He ground up the stinging cells, made them into pastes and powders, and tested them on every ailment he could find among the crew. Daily the compounds showed new aspects, new hopes, and daily they disappointed, sometimes disastrously.
The evidence of the anemone’s uselessness grew in his mind, yet each time he swam down to one he became spellbound, as if experiencing it for the first time.

The Naturalist And The Anemone (II)

In by Chris on April 27, 2010 at 7:50 am

The naturalist knew when he had arrived. Throughout the voyage he had speculated as to what might occur when he returned to the orange anemones, and he had resolved that he must simply go.
He slipped beneath the sparkling surface of the sea and entered a world pregnant with unknown creatures. Slowly he swam, savoring the life all around him but only searching for one thing.
He found it. The thick anemone was orange like a crystal sunset – strong and content and mesmerizing. He gazed at it until he was sure the creature accepted his journey to find it.

The Naturalist And The Anemone (I)

In by Chris on April 27, 2010 at 7:48 am

Since he had first encountered the great orange species of anemone in the distant reaches of a hidden sea, the naturalist had dreamt of them constantly.
He toured his mother country searching for support for another excursion and convinced many men – including himself – of the miraculous healing power of the anemone’s stinging chemicals. Scientific curiosity, however, was only a small factor in his desire to return. His memory of the first moment of discovery, of swimming solitarily up to the great, supple anemones, grew into longing nostalgia in his heart.
In nine months, his ship sailed for that hidden sea.

Corrugation

In by Chris on April 25, 2010 at 8:12 pm

He walked home from work with his corrugated tin life weighing rusted on his shoulders. Sweat, oil, and dust were on his face. The day had passed and his mind had been fully involved in learning to drop in a new transmission, but scuffing down the side streets he longed for a popsicle. Twenty-two, he thought. His hands and mind felt right when they were deep into an opened engine, but what about the rest of the world? Once he had told people of his future, of waters and women and nomads. Should he be proud of his grease-stained hands?

I Am Tired Of Anthropomorphizing Things

In by Chris on April 25, 2010 at 8:11 pm

On a flat sandy beach there is a rock, around which the waves wash at high tide.

It is worn, hunched, and tired; its only lonely hope is that it might be able to give the preoccupied gulls a place to rest away from the bathers below. Or it stands valiant, the last outcrop remaining on this beach in the timeless battle between rock and ocean, determined never to give in. Or it spends its days dreaming of when the oceans bubbled with restless volcanoes, and in the sad nights its ancient minerals cry out longingly for the distant moon.

Pieces Of Earth

In by Chris on April 25, 2010 at 8:09 pm

Pieces of earth lay fragmented about you
On your walk to work in the morning.
Shards of glass and blades of old bottles;
Puzzle pieces tossed in forgotten gutters.

Everything waits to be assembled –
Picked up in words and fit together.
Your poetry lifts you, it sets oceans
To cascade down mountainsides.

It creates romance between the man
On his bike and the bagel stores,
But like romance your words fade
Into themselves as time passes.

The earth in poems has a melody
That forgets the earth without, outside.
The harmony of the trash and grass
Eludes your wondrous, straining words.

The Power Of Conversation

In by Chris on April 24, 2010 at 7:10 pm

“Imagine walking down the street in a crowded, sunny city and every snippet of conversation you hear is not about the weather or pets, but about deeper things.”

“Interesting, we do waste a lot of talking time on things of no importance.”

“If the whole world were constantly thinking about their humanity and their relationship to the universe, how much growth could we make towards understanding and peace? How in tune with ourselves might we be? Six billion minds! We still wouldn’t reach answers, but the constant thinking and debating would strengthen us immensely…”

“Hey, how’s your dog these days?”

Charlie’s Lump Of Gold

In by Chris on April 23, 2010 at 8:00 pm

Charlie waited as the men in suits discussed his small lump of gold. He had found it tangled in the roots of a great oak tree that had fallen high on a remote mountain; now it sat on the polished wooden table somewhere deep in Wall Street. They were coming to the same conclusion he had heard so many times already. “An interesting find, really, but we’re not interested.” Charlie took the lump and shuffled out into a snowy New York night. He thought of the mountains, his buried mother, the starlit night – and the gold burned in his pocket.

The Sublime Breakthrough

In by Chris on April 22, 2010 at 11:56 pm

The sublime breakthrough of our lives comes at the moment when our suffering has reached a climax. Jesus broke through to hell and to humanity when his body was split and broken. If his breaking had not led to his breakthrough, he would have been lost forever to the realms of mortality – his breakthrough allowed him to conquer his death and his entrance into being human. Might not a man born mortal break through in the same way as Jesus Christ, leading him to suffering beyond what can be endured and on through to an immortality beyond what’s possible?

What We Talk About – Two Stories

In by Chris on April 22, 2010 at 11:43 pm

1. Their naked gasps took some time to subside into contented caresses. He ran his fingers through her hair and she stroked his back the way he liked it. Finally he gazed into her eyes and said, “Pleasant day today once the sun came out.” She answered, “Hopefully more sun tomorrow.”

2. “Five forty-nine please.” The woman waited at the register until the clerk looked at her in impatience. Then she reached in her purse and fixed him deep in the eyes. “Your eyes,” she said as she slowly withdrew a bill, “seem made of truth. What do you see in mine?”

It’s An Absurd World

In by Chris on April 22, 2010 at 10:30 pm

I waved at Truth as I drove by with the windows down and Lady Gaga blasting. He nodded back at me and I tried to remember His face as I searched for a Taco Bell sign – I felt like I wanted to remember him this time.
Later I saw Fear and Hope relaxing together in the back lot of Taco Bell near the dumpsters. They were more chilled out than usual, I kind of wanted to bring Truth over and chat with them all, but I think He had left to go get a bag of chips over at 7-Eleven.

The Nuts And Bolts Of A Grand Nation

In by Chris on April 20, 2010 at 10:22 pm

Mack stepped from behind a curtain. The US Capitol building was silent – eerie after the windbaggery blustering through the halls all day.
He whispered ideas to the bolts holding the Senate podium into the floor, and suddenly they began to think.
Mack’s words were simple, but soon the bolts grew aware of themselves. They had been tightened too much. The shiny podium was heavy. They began to wiggle and writhe.
Soon they were free, rolling through the halls. It sparked a reaction, a revolution.
When the legislators returned in the morning, their grand place of work had collapsed and run away.

Questions Deepen Midnight

In by Chris on April 20, 2010 at 10:15 pm

How about you? he said looking up in her eyes how about how about you? How about you? he said he said and he looked up in her eyes. How about how about how about how about how about how about how about you? How about how about how about you? How about you? he said looking up in her eyes up in her eyes up in her eyes. How about you? he said he said looking up up up up up up in her eyes in her eyes in her eyes in her eyes her eyes in her eyes.

The Sleepy Cloud

In by Chris on April 19, 2010 at 11:48 pm

In a cabin covered in moss and high in the mountains, a young cloud settled itself for the afternoon. It fell asleep in the middle of the cabin’s one room, reaching nearly to the ceiling.
As evening came on, a sheepdog returned to the cabin and said, “What are you doing here? Don’t you know that this is no place for your kind?”
“I only wanted to sleep for a bit,” replied the cloud.
“I’m afraid you must leave, this is no place for you,” said the dog, baring its teeth.
The little cloud drifted from the cabin sadly.

Grill-head

In by Chris on April 18, 2010 at 10:34 pm

Once upon a time there was a man whose head was actually a George Foreman grill. George Foreman did not know about this man, in fact he had never even heard of him, despite the fact that his little grilling invention had led to this incredible specimen of evolution. Anyway, the grill-head man was quite popular due to the fact that he could turn anyone’s boring old sandwich into an exciting lined hot panini-type sandwich. People got to thinking he did the same for their days. Now, who knows if a grill-head can do that kind of good-natured, day-inspiring thing.

Willy Nillbilly

In by Chris on April 15, 2010 at 12:07 am

Oh dear my mind is confused again. I started thinking about policemen and if my lifespan is infinity, well I think that’s what it was anyway. Then I met this guy and we bought this jug and for a bit my thoughts sharper and sharper man, then they were coming in from all angles and he was my muse man! Wine and strangers, they are my muse. Oh dear my skull, I am certainly confused. What a soft bed, I seem to remember thorns in my shirt the last six nights. I’ll fall asleep, then see where I am now.

Stability

In by Chris on April 13, 2010 at 10:20 pm

For weeks after the images of collapsed buildings had faded from the world’s newspapers, he imagined aftershocks. Each time every part of him would freeze, even his heart, and as he tried to find his breath again he imagined the safety of being aboard a ship.

Months later, after a series of real aftershocks, he hid himself in the unused front bunkroom of a docked research vessel. That night, he came out to the surprise of the crew, and the whole world was tossing in great heaves. He was sick over the railing. Where, he wondered, was the earth firm?

Things I Hear People Say Tonight

In by Chris on April 13, 2010 at 12:09 am

I see you. All the dopeheads chilling in their houses tonight, eating their pork ribs and trying to talk about their lives. Oh yeah the weather was nice today, did you hear about Brad Pitt? What a damned cacophony always ringing in my ears I can hear it from here. Hell I know it better than they do. All these damned dopeheads. I mean I don’t pretend to be original, it’s impossible in this climate. I just try to keep my head low. It’s all I can do with all the self-righteous knowledge whizzing around, people talking all the time.

Now I Must Go

In by Chris on April 9, 2010 at 8:46 pm

“Now I must go,” she whispered out towards the black bay and distant lights beyond.
He felt her hand harden into resolve, and then she slipped away from him, slipped down the rocks and into the invisible waves with hardly a splash.
For hours he stood gazing out into the bodiless night. He imagined her soft stroke as she glided through the long, arctic waves. He imagined the blue dress clinging to her as she felt her way up the rocky shore beneath the distant town.
Eventually the bitter daylight came and froze him, and he knew she still swam.

Midnight Snack

In by Chris on April 9, 2010 at 1:55 pm

Each night the spider tiptoed across the ceilings until it reached the room where two men lay slumbering. It slid down on its line and landed on the first bed. For the next hour it worked through the sheets, searching for a fold that would take it to an exposed bit of flesh. When it finally found what it was looking for, it snapped its jaw down and drank long and deep. Then it repeated the process in the second bed. Returning each daybreak to its roost in the stairwell chandelier, the spider was content, lost in its web-like routine.

Returning Home

In by Chris on April 9, 2010 at 1:55 pm

Thirty years and my forehead creased by the coal mines could not change the way she reached her arms around my neck when I returned home. We held each other. I felt old, for my boots had stained the tile floor, still spotless though yellowed. She slid her fingers into the back pocket of my jeans and pulled out a chunk of coal. I had not known it was there. The angry black smudged across her delicate fingers and slipped out of her hand. I felt her become light, I began to cry, and she faded longingly from my arms.

Dancing Edward

In by Chris on April 6, 2010 at 8:40 pm

Edward tapped his forefinger on the bridge of his nose, looked at the ceiling, and reached for his book. A cockroach ran towards his foot, and he leaped and spun and hit his elbow on the counter and hopped and shook his head. When it stopped throbbing, he slumped and shuffled in circles trying to remember what he had been doing. Edward tapped the bridge of his nose, looked up, and the whole thing repeated again and again.

His little sister came home and watched. That night she was the spectacle of her prom as she manically mimicked his dance.