Sunday, February 27, 2011


digital photo

Monday, February 21, 2011

In a Garden

She stepped among the coloring flowers
and kicked over every ornament in her way:
a bird bath, an old gnome, a boy
whom she'd been chasing. Her dress already
brushed in strokes of green and brown,
she knelt to pick dandelions from the grass;
the yellow weeds staining young fingers,
she held death so loosely in her hands.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Side Effects

Side Effects

34"x 28"
acrylic/fluted sbs

Is this blog dead? or just suffering from the aftermath of the malicious attacker?

Friday, February 4, 2011


Someone has removed most if not all contributors administrator privileges. This blog may be hijacked.


Saturday, January 29, 2011

When She was Young

When She was Young


Monday, January 17, 2011

Where Our Youth Goes to Die

I found him, alone, lying in the woods
studying each cloud that passed,
the old snowflakes blowing from sleeping trees.
Shirt and arms tucked beneath his head,
he looked like a man vacationing on a beach,
a bullet hole in the middle of his bare stomach.

I pulled off my sweater and shirt
pressing them on his wound—
Do you remember Halloween, when we were young?
There was a time when costumes felt more real
than the clothes we buried beneath;
plastic masks becoming faces for days,
we paraded around as skeletons and heroes
taking sacred oaths to never break character.
I was always the first to forget my promise.

His blood began to soak through my clothes,
yet he remained calm, still breathing, searching;
a gun sat several feet from his bent elbows.
Do you remember campfires in the snow?
He quietly closed wonderful eyes
and I stared at his fading body,
strands of blood pouring from the hole
that has always burned in his stomach—
a pale white canvas painted in flames.
I saved, what I was supposed to save.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

But Will Jefferson [Jalopy] Be Playing Tonight?

"Memory it can't be bought'n, 
it can't be won, the carnivals for free.
It took me years, to get those souvenirs 
And I don't know how they slipped away from me." -John Prine

Among the things I'd like to do, sometime this year, is a retrospective of my writing on this blog and in my music in the last few years, or at least since Brand of Make Believe was begun a few years ago.  It wouldn't be a genuine retrospective... more a capsule form discussion of themes and subject matter.  Post by post.  It won't take terribly long... maybe five or six pages at the most.  I should hope.

What gets me thinking about this is what a wonderful forum for what is on my mind that the blog has turned out to be.  Something like a website of my day to day stuff, it is fun to go back in time, and it's easy to do simply by looking at the table of contents, organized by date!  For you, this holds little excitement.  For me, however, it is a diary and a great deal more.  Pictures, poems, essays, recollections... stories and happenings.  Only by the seamless tricks of our lying minds do we convince ourselves of a memorable past.  The truth, as we all know when asked for details, is that we can't remember, and are mighty surprised when anyone else can.

It wasn't till I was old enough to "know" how lousy I was at many things in life, that I learned from long-term relationships that I sometimes remembered things that other people did not.  It isn't fair, given the biological realities, for me to expect my Mom and Dad to remember as vividly my childhood as I do.  And conversely it isn't fair for my Mom and Dad to expect that I would have as nuanced a memory of the Iran/ Contra affair as they do.  Our memories serve different functions at different times in our lives.  

I have always had a peculiar memory.  I have always found it extremely difficult to memorize rote facts.  This, I know, is a problem for everyone.  And no, I do not think that I could not learn. It was just a fact that without a constant study companion, I could not, on my own, force myself to sit as a very young man and learn rote facts.  If anything, as an adult I find the discipline easier, but the memorization even worse.  I sometimes, even frequently, can't remember my phone number.  Out of seven routine bank accounts I only know three account numbers.  Sometimes, I am mumbling an account number (I go to the bank multiple times a day: as someone who used to constantly have trouble with money, it always seemed impossible for me to ever imagine myself as one of those guys who takes his kid with him to get US savings accounts, like in the Public Service Announcements I would listen to back in my wasted youth.  Well... those PSA's are one of the reasons, I suppose, that I enjoy bank transactions so much.  Besides, you are transacting your money in a manner just as consequential when you buy yourself lunch, or a haircut, or your weekly $200 groceries at Wal-Mart or Kroger.  At the bank the purity of my intentions, and the bizarre ease of access to "products" of the American banking system to which we citizens of my country have access (especially as opposed to some of my Asian, European, and Middle Eastern friends) definitely is on my mind; despite the incredibly crappy, airplane like aesthetics of what passes for a bank in my world.)    I was trying to say above, sometimes I am mumbling an account number correctly, as I pull my wallet out to look it up.  This infuriates me, since when I remember not to look at the number I almost never can remember it!  Only the chafing of the back of my hand, as it reaches into my wallet and the odd strain on my right rotator cuff allows my mind to say, "yes, it's 12345678910."  Oh well... you get the picture; my memory is terrible.

And yet... how often can I remember in exquisite detail, every last breath and supple bend in some landscape and/or emotional arc I've shared with a friend or lover?  Trust me, we all dwell on the past.  Especially the recent sad and lonesome past.  There is nothing so tawdry as the truth off the mouth of a friend who tells you how your suffering is necessary for your future pleasure.  In any case, it isn't unusual for a friend to tell me, between bouts of shock at me not knowing my phone number, ect.  that they are shocked that I remember that day, a few years ago, when they were doing such and such and I was taking them to Nashville.  Trust me... I don't know my phone number, but I know that trip to Nashville in Technicolor.  Even if it wasn't a romantic friend.  Even if it was a favor for someone I didn't even like much at all.  Your stupid beating heart is all my screwed up being needs for its mnemonic needs.

Of course, you might have seen those people on the news, a few months back, who remember everything they've ever done, down to amazing resolutions, back to when they were babies.  These people apparently remember everything!   Obviously,  if I remembered everything, I long ago would have demonstrated this skill to someone who would pay dearly to have a sidekick with such an ability, and retired to my farm, and warehouse full of laboratories and workshops by now.  No... my memory is not extraordinary.  It's only special when placed against my memory problems. 

And yet... certain things seem to interest a writer; in particular where memory and the hilariously inadequate term "living" are on speaking terms.  I wrote a poem in 1994, for example, December of 1994... late at night, perhaps one thirty or two in the morning.  I was living with my parents at Clarkston Rd in Zionsville, my last childhood home.  I was relaxing after work delivering pizza at Papa Johns.  At the time I had been working at the pizza place for only a month or two. I worked at least forty hours a week delivering.  I found it a bit intimidating due to the fact that the delivery area was at least one half riddled with bad neighborhoods, and incredibly neglected instances of commercial effort.  Thirty minutes prior to writing the poem I was sitting in a chair, in the North facing section of my parents living room, beside a large brass chest.  The chest had all over it little dimples with round things, like nailheads stuck into them.  I always liked that chest.  It actually occasionally needed polish.  Something to look for in brass.  Beware of polyurethane coated metals.  Just beware.  I was sitting beside my families baby grand piano, the big square chest, in a chair looking across the foyer of our house, through a slot above the front door that sometimes, being sheathed in a thin sleeve of metal, vibrated like a reed during certain winter storms.  One of many things in childhood a grown person wouldn't mind hearing.  Perhaps one day I will write a letter to the current occupants (whom my parents knew prior to selling the house to them) and ask after that braying front door, secretly hoping no handyman ever managed to silence it.

It was two weeks before Christmas, and I had decided to sit in this somewhat strange quarter of the house, due to the fact that I had many fine memories, sitting in that chair, reading, and sometimes, lying on the ground, reading as well.  My childhood, I knew, was over.  Hence the gangbangers, and otherwise awful storm clouds of feeling that seemed to surround you ten miles away where I worked everyday.  My childhood was gone... I knew... but for that brass chest, the carpet with its anarchic tassels, and the white oak floors, and braying front door.  The house seemed to remind me of my promise as a human being.  The promise that dropping out of college had marred somewhat.  The promise that failing to function as a normal adult outside my parents home had marred a great deal more.  So, here I was, late at night and abiding beneath the sheltering arms of a house that could not live my life for me: but seemed eerily lucid in its depiction of a life I no longer had.

The night before I had written in a journal, sitting in the same chair, before I went to my Mom's computer to type the poem I'd written.  The poem I wrote that December night, more afraid, nervous and anxious than, self reflective, was called "No Peace."  I have the poem, somewhere.  So do most of my family members, if they kept a sheaf of poems I gave them for Christmas one year.  It wasn't a terrible poem.  But it isn't one I feel anything for.  The poems I like from that collection I sometimes still look upon and wonder "what were you thinking?"  But really, I already know.  I'm not a thinker, really.  I'm a phenomena oriented guy.  A dude who is more or less a average thinker, but a decent feeler and processor of experience.  Especially what most folks regard as the spiritual and mystical sides of life.  That's why I have for years preferred all these journeys.  None of them amount to anything concrete, of course... their value to me, is that they are the only ways I have ever, in life, been able to attach meaning to my life.  Long hours in the snow drifts unplowed, beneath the mustard lights of the ghetto delivering pizza.  Sometimes ten and twelve hours a day between Thanksgiving and Christmas, taking a lousy meal to some very excited poor folks.  The kids would be jumping around, and the parents smiling (not for the pizza, but because they love their kids.  It was unmistakable.)  The snow would be deep and relentless in its defacing of easy divisions between the suburbs and the 'hood.  A lazy stream would reach beneath the snow, and lose even this fiery sodium plasma lights embrace, and be, for the evening, the only instance of rebuttal to all the flakes of water..... save the trees.  I'd have a cigarette in my mouth and be driving those snowdrifts, unplowed, at midnight, more miles and miles until the last of the pizza's were gone.  I'd listen to some unabridged book on tape... dreaming of the day when I could have an endless supply of non fiction to listen to.  Dreaming of today, actually.  But it wasn't so, back then.  Listening to James Mitchner, and if I was lucky T.C Boyle, or something.  Listening to everything, like an inmate within the jail library.  This book, or that bunk.  Those books or that car... with the endless madness of the commercial radio between sweet sessions of NPR.  I couldn't listen to classical music all night.  Though eventually, I'd turn everything off.  And skate in my Olds across the silent clouds of snow, back to my parents, where the end of a night, often meant a poem or two before bed.  After a minute or two in a chair to stare at the door.

The poem I wrote when I stood up after looking at the bleating reeds of the door, ended,  with a last line, "and a future so like nostalgia."  I suppose I liked that line, and still like it, for all wrong reasons.  It sounds cliched, which, if you are insecure enough, means you belong to a canon of some description, yes? If it must not be good, can you at least say it's cliched?  I hope so.  

"a future so like nostalgia"  I definitely still like it. I've never disliked the line.  The poem itself was never meant to mean something particularly romantic, or deep. It was a poem for the sake of being poetic.  A pretty irritating thing... like the fragrance of handsoap, or something.  Something demonstrably useful, but constructed with no thought to its place on a scale of meaning or time.  So, it was perhaps me fooling myself that I might take myself less seriously than I in fact did.  Something to that effect.  But, looking back, I was miserable, and scared, and I think I knew that as well.  There must have been something to the fact that I was working in this soul killing world of the ghetto, sometimes risking my life to take people food they could not afford that demonstrably kills them: and then writing about "a future so like nostalgia."  Maybe it was my way of saying that when things are much better one day (as they became, eventually) I didn't want to remember myself as some calloused fool.  Somebody pretending things were too terrible... or too good.  I'm not sure... but I do definitely remember liking myself, and my take on the world.  In many ways I loved those crappy neighborhoods where I worked.  The way they punctuated the end of the gifts and innocence of my childhood, and preyed on the very substance of my highest ideals.  The sheer certitude of poverty and disability.  The accelerated lifespan of a people who I shared everything with, but fate [mostly.]  The conversation, the siren like cooing that that fate had with me.  "Just listen to the softness of my voice, Andy," it would say.  "You, son, are here, 'cus you pissed your luck away."  I knew that wasn't true.  I was there for a job, and a chance to be tested in some way I couldn't explain.  Eventually I would leave some of the people I came to love in those neighborhoods behind... many of them have died.  One man in particular, Sheldon, is a character whom I have been trying to write about for fifteen years.  More than once he proved himself a more pure soul than me.  But it only took one night to bring him down.

"and a future so like nostalgia"

Last night, as I was falling asleep I laughed to myself, reading an article in a New Yorker sent to me by my father (the subscription, that is.)  I had to get out of bed and come and write down a passage from an article about the perceptions we have of the toppling of Saddam Hussein's statue early in the Second Gulf War. Big surprise, great article.  I think it more or less explains itself.

In "The Future of Nostalgia," Boym's book on history and memory, she described Soviet era monuments serving as "messengers of power... onto which anxieties and anger were projected."  The Princeton architectural historian Lucia Allais, who has examined the destruction of monuments during the Second World War, mentioned to me one of the most famous topplings ever-- of the statue of King Louis XV in Paris, in 1792, during the French Revolution.  The action was portrayed by its authors as a liberation from the power of the monarchy, but they put in its spot a symbol of a new sort of power: the guillotine.  These monuments destruction "are usually acts of monumental replacement, which hide continuities of power... behind the image of rupture," Allais wrote to me in an e-mail.

("The Toppling" by Peter Maass, The New Yorker; pg. 53, paragraph 2)

'cus she'll offer her charms to the darkness and danger of something that she's never known/ And open her arms at the smile of a stranger who'll love her and leave her alone-- K. Kristofferson The Silver Tongued Devil

What a strange sort of magic trick being argued here, by this social rearrangement. 
It's strange the sobriety that black words on a white page can claim.  And yet guilt, in such realms as the rhetorical is hardly unimaginable:
Wouldn't you know...
We poets have the motive.
And we poets have the weapon, too.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Weird, Wonderful Water

There is no pleasure in winter, without water.  Its weirdness and wonder takes my breath away.  When I took this picture I was in a hurry to get done with a hike... for I had hardly eaten that day.  Exploring a "short cut" along an old disused rail line (America loves to get rid of public transportation, while talking about another goal entirely....) not four blocks from my house, I pushed through some over grown Shagbark Hickories and Beech trees, and looked down at this little frozen still life.  Suddenly, I had all the time in the world.

The stream bed had risen during December's unusual level of precipitation.  The cold froze the top of the stream, and then the water table, when the snow stopped falling so much, fell.  This left small freezing, intermittent flows, which froze in the January evenings.  Melting and thawing, melting and thawing... weird, wonderful H20... in the Periodic Table of the Compounds, dear water, you are so very, very out of bounds.  And I too, am mostly, you.

How very much I miss this kind of thing in July.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

inside out

in the land of inside out
I felt awash in gentle rhythms
like a rinse cycle

danced a thousand tangos with toucans
I so wanted to understand their laws
of gravity and traffic

I kidnapped a cop
made him drive in circles
while I tossed apples at taxi cabs

the drivers cursed me in Dutch
gave me money 'til I was rich as a cat
and ate spider plants for water

I'll never own a fur coat
so fine as my cat coat
in the land of inside out

Friday, December 31, 2010

Fragment III

The rose faint with fragrance
has slowly begun to wilt
in the chaotic quietude
of deep, starless nights.

Zaina Anwar 2010

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Godless Room
38"x 26"

Sunday, December 19, 2010


digital photo

Friday, December 17, 2010

Ashes To Ashes

"Maybe when a kids screaming, they're just the only one allowed to speak their mind."

Born of a mind
To take down the world
As long as my dogs in the fight
I wiped every tear
And  patched every hole in sight

I didn't need........ a flag or a name
Pieces of  pleasure
Or beautiful things
All those shadows
Just abstracts and
Art in my eyes

The long nights of living
In places where knowledge
Could kill time
Put me straight in the arms of
Souls just as hungry for dreams

And wouldn't you know
That the love and the wine
Brought fertile flowers
That  knew how to climb
To, honey
this future of
Your mama and me

Baby you're born
And daddy's too late
To dwell on things that might never change
So what
Maybe that worlds out of sight

I'm just a fool
Born in a small town
Shakin' off dust
For the future I'm bound
I 'spose
Rubbin my neck and my eyes

Still up in the sky
The future glows
From the pastures
Of of plenty
That everyone knows
Yeah, we're dust
But don't we look pretty tonight?

Witness to Some Wishes Unearned

She had long taken heed of the shallower implications of her aging.   So much so, that these new circumstances... her widowhood, her isolation, her dependence on the few she wished, frankly, she didn't have to talk to at all... struck her, mostly, in their scale, more so than their substance.  "Here I am, " she thought, as she always knew she would.  The ugly formica paneling of a waiting room.  The caustic uncertainty with no one to soothe its burning.  The plain, unforgivable fact that she not only could have predicted this all, but long ago looked upon these prosaic objects that were all that remained, and said to herself, "this is what it will look like."  She had never looked away.  And now things looked just as she had thought.

"Mrs. Auburn, your sisters nearly done," said the very nice nurse.  And it was certainly good to be forewarned.  She used to flush with anger at the unexpected phone call, back when weeks would pass without incident.  Back when life, her life, was what anyone would recognize as normal.  Today though, Dilly was never surprising in any way at all.  Never surprisingly thoughtful. Never surprisingly lucid.  Never surprisingly resilient.  Well... she had never been resilient at all.  So, no surprise.

Dilly did come through the door, looking pretty and composed.  She was telling the nurse something about somewhere she'd never been.  It all sounded perfectly plausible.  The nurse clearly recognized which was the life of the party.  Anne hated parties.  The nurse wouldn't hate parties she realized.  And surely, like so many people, the nurse could not imagine disliking Dilly.

As Dilly looked into her eyes, with a subtle triumph that reflected her pretensions had fooled them all again, Anne knew she would say nothing to contradict her sister.  "Are you hungry?" were the only words she could even think of.  And, of course, they had the benefit of having something to do with her own circumstance.

"I don't know," said Dilly.  "We should go to a movie... what do you think?"

As always, "I think I'm hungry," said Anne, while they moved into the bright and ceaseless sunlight of the parking lot, to the car.

"We could eat popcorn, you know," said Dilly.  "You love popcorn."

Anne loved popcorn, yes.  But hadn't been able to stomach it in some years.  And, yes, she knew that old hunger for a movie and popcorn.  For a good time, just the two of them.

"We should go to the pharmacist.  And I have things I need to get done.  Though, one of them is off the list," Anne said.

"You need a worry board," said Dilly. "You should ask Bill to make you one.  He'd love to give you a gift."  Dilly smiled at this in the old way.  And, as always, Anne nearly blushed.

Closing the vehicles door she couldn't deny her sister, "I could probably use something to calm me, true.  And yes, he has never hidden his feelings.  I'm the one with that problem."

"If wishes were horses, you still couldn't accept him, Anne.  And he won't go begging forever.  Just say yes! Isn't that the  magic of a man?"  Dilly looked over the Hospital building, as if canvassing a crowd of beach bronzed body builders, nearly shivering at the thought.

"The fact that you are right, does not change my feelings, Dill," she said to her sister, pulling out into the street, toward no theater, no popcorn, and remaining, therefore, upon the the path she had seen already, long ago.  At the signal she stopped, it's color being red.  And she noticed, with the peculiar senses she had always been burdened by, that her sister had nothing else to say, and it satisfied her, this confluence of conversation and the obedient traffic.

Things certainly had grown complicated since Dilly's husband, Joseph, had died.  Joseph had never been someone Anne looked forward to seeing or spending time with when they were young.  His tastes extended to all manner of exotica, and Dilly was only one of the pleasures he'd taken as his birthright, being a man, and being indifferent to refinement of any sort.  It might have bothered Dilly to some extent, Anne surmised, very early on, with Dad and Mom and the Hoidays, in all the expected ways.  But Anne knew that once Dilly had recognized her fears of retribution from the family were never going to be realized, now that she was married, she completely quit thinking about it at all.  It was a friend that suggested to her that Dilly's lack of concern might actually be the rational response to her marriages tension with her family.  Like a half resolved, cloud covered spot of light on the horizon, Anne could imagine there being something virtuous, and heartfelt about that perspective, but there was never going to be a question as to whether their had been a betrayal or not.  Dilly walked away, from the family, and whatever her rationale, could not subsist simultaneously as a completely accepted member of their tribe, and a wife to Joseph.  They drank excessively. They cared nothing for principles, either generally recognized, or potentially held by strangers.  They offended, loudly.  They brought children into not only a dangerous world, but the heavily consequential orbit of their own worldview.  Were they train wrecks, these resulting memories, Anne would ask herself?  No, a train wreck would not be seen, predicted, and so much the fruit of causality.  A train wreck was a tragedy.  Jo and Dill's family were precisely what you'd expect them to be.  The phone calls were distressing, but there were never any questions to ask.  Only, "What can I do?"  Dill had certainly been interested.  Dill could not have comprehended that it wasn't a question, either.

As the years had passed, though, the callouses did thicken.  And there were times, Anne had marveled, where Jo seemed like nothing so much as a brother in law, and a predictable one in the end.  His pleasures, even he'd confide, had their costs.  Their marriage, they seemed to enjoy, like a foam mat upon deep, dark waters.  One side, in the sun.  The other, what? Out of mind?   After decades, and funerals, and troubles faded by time, the whole imposition of thier union in the face of that old fiction of a once so hopeful youth, had replaced the implacable old boundaries.  It was surprising certainly, to witness.  Though so oddly comforting.

There was Josephs treatment of Dad, for example.  Dad who sought to offend no one; Dad who had accepted this son in law, somehow.  Joseph delighted in the composure of her father, realized Anne.  Joseph certainly knew he had no desire to compromise his freedoms with his family, for the father of his wife.  But Dad had, in the ripeness of time seen something in his son in law.  Perhaps it was simply that way with men.  A lacking maliciousness proving some irrational bonhomie?  She'd been grateful in the end to Jo.  He shrugged off Dad's illness the way he shrugged off all mysteries, apparently.  He had strange riches of time to spend with Dad.  It seemed, often, they talked more to one another, near the end of Dad's life, than anyone else.  It helped Dad.

to be continued.....

Monday, December 13, 2010

Another Poem to read along

i woke up this morning and had this poem in my head, so i wrote it and finished it; i haven't had a day write in a long felt nice.

Religious Doctrine

I know, you’re still here
helping people see what is hard for us to grasp,
like babies reaching for a mobile
swaying above fragile, confused heads,
you give us hope in unattainable pieces—
it has always been easy to believe in faith,
but to have faith in understanding requires work.

I read a book once that created Heaven
in a world above my head, and Hell
in a land burning below my feet;
for awhile I closed my eyes and believed,
until another book defined the term “blind faith.”
The burning ideas beneath my feet left me cold,
the magic disappeared from the sky,
and I was forced to look around my life;
religion was being fed to children and adults alike,
starving them of reason, stealing their faith in one-another,
dividing families because subjectivity somehow became objective—
religion may not be the root of all evils,
but evil is certainly the root of all religions.

I read a book once that created a magic world
set behind a platform in a train station,
and my God, did I want to believe.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Encounter Down From Morton And Lime

I leave my door every single day
With my small cloth satchel underarm
Sometimes to the Church, to confess or pray
Sometimes to the dance hall to be charmed

Wither my memory of sadness and pain
Banish my concern for my own harm.
Passing by the church, I beg today
Can you see me to a young man's arms?

As the light in the sky, still so early fades
You'd not be too surprised if you could see
The figure of a woman, walking just your way
In the dim light passing by it would be me

"In the Sweet By and By" above me play the bells
My mind is nearly taken by the tune
Though just before they're done the music swells
Through yellow light that I am walking through

 But not in celebration of enduring pain
It comes from where I walk across the street
For the fiddle and guitars make a different claim
And I'm smiling for the friends I'm there to greet

Wither my memory of sadness and pain
Banish my concern for my own harm.
Passing by the church, I beg today
Can you see me to a young man's arms?

The crowd grows restless that they've yet to dance
In pairs they walk to the center of the room
When twinning fiddles have their way with darkness chance
What hearts of those assembled will refuse?

I took the hand of one named Johnny Bland
A sheepish sort of look on my face lies
As a witness from the window can see us dance
Out of four there is no blinking of our eyes

Wither my memory of sadness and pain
Banish my concern for my own harm.
Passing by the church, I beg today
Can you see me to a young man's arms?

Some of the songs call to twist and spin
I hold and trust from him I'll never fly
Some of the songs switch me to other men
And they're clearly not unhappy in my eyes

Then the waltz comes at last and some people sit
While I look for someone that I've never seen
And who should approach but the perfect fit
For a girl who doesn't mind the touch of dreams

He'd seen me coming with his kind and gentle look
Sadness drained from his dark and tender eyes
He offered his hand which I gladly took
And I shivered at the other on my side

Wither my memory of sadness and pain
Banish my concern for my own harm.
Passing by the church, I beg today
Can you see me to a young man's arms?

From a people that had searched over seas and hope
The fiddles found my footsteps in their sighs
I simply fell where led by the dark eyed bloke
With the light of every pilgrim in my eyes

It is difficult I knew, even then, to awaken
And meet, alone, the troubles of my day
The journey in the arms with him I'd taken
I feared would end when the fiddles ceased to play

Wither my memory of sadness and pain
Banish my concern for my own harm.
Passing by the church, I beg today
Can you see me to a young man's arms?

The fears of every mortal being far from wrong
The dancing ended as the sun will take a dream
The players of the instruments meant me no harm
When tradition broke the heart of Harmonie

I pulled my new beau to the side of the floor
A place I'd never had a reason yet to be
And as entwined the hands of other boys and girls
I asked the dark eyed stranger who was he?

He said, "Since there we danced, I can hardly dismiss
The sad and watchful man I came here as.
My name is Billy Faren, and it's a pleasure, Miss,
To meet and dance, but might we make it more than that?"

"Harmonie Jennings," is my name dear man,
The answers, yes I'll walk with you tonight"
So we passed through the sound of the fiddles and the band
To a starlit street before the town folks eyes

Wither my memory of sadness and pain
Banish my concern for my own harm.
Passing by the church, I beg today
Can you see me to a young man's arms?

We walked for a time that neither could discern
Amidst the woodsmoke, and other scents of life
So many dreams and yet what could we hope to learn
Whilst holding, there, each other in the night

We stopped beneath the lamp at Benders lane
And from his pocket he took his other hand
"Need I even tell you for what I pray?"
When with a touch and kiss he hoped I'd understand

"This is the house within which I was born"
Said Billy, sadly, to the shadows in the night,
"There's something I have yet to inform...."
But I kissed him then again beneath the light.

Wither my memory of sadness and pain
Banish my concern for my own harm.
Passing by the church, I beg today
Can you see me to a young man's arms?

Billy walked me gently in the darkness of the night
 Past an ending dance, where a last waltz sadly played
Past the steeple where the bells hid out of sight
Arm and arm to where it was my fate to stay

To part would be as silent as it was hard
So I simply turned from Billy to my home
There would be tears eventually even were we not to part
For till the morning... I  must now be alone

Wither my memory of sadness and pain
Banish my concern for my own harm
Passing by the church, I beg today
Can you see me to a young man's arms?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

28"x 35"
acrylic/fluted sbs

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

My First Video Post

Fishing for Fire

Lying in bed, I stared through your sleeping eyes,
wondering if soft blankets and words were enough to live,
whether shivering together would bring heat or just friction;
my cool fingers drew slow circles around your mouth,
but I could not feel or imitate the warmth escaping your lips—
freezing alone is not the same as freezing alone together.
I left that night as dreams of sailing beautiful oceans
turned into a painting of two children slipping over ice,
and like an ambitious autumn breeze catching the spring,
the unnatural season began to pour through my veins.
Soon, dead leaves fell like snow beneath my skin,
and covered the water I had saved for the ensuing sun,
lucid water that had promised to grow green futures.
I ate fire, drank fire, and smoked fire,
but nothing seemed to heat the frigid lake of leaves
as it grew slower and sharper beneath my skin,
pushing to break and speak out against the season.
Fragile and barefooted I wandered carelessly that night
searching for a reflection of my inverted world,
a mirror to talk to or simply a tongue to place down my throat,
anything to forget the potential burden of breaking alone.
...I found it, eventually, before the sun had begun to rise
at the edge of a night littered in matches and clothes;
it was in a pond, nearly placid, reflecting in the moon,
shivering alone with no one to see or break the surface.
I knelt down to touch and gaze beneath sleepy ripples,
and I saw beautiful flames sailing within the waves,
hiding their light beneath dead floating leaves.
That night, I decided to go fishing for my fire.
I dove head first into life's cool essence of darkness,
chasing scattered flames like old summer dreams,
and I watched the sun rise as we thawed alone and together.

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Sitting on the banks,
nay the frame of a river,
waiting for the dust to settle
on such a grievous and ill-mannered
alliterative appendix,
I once promised myself
I’d not give in
to the sorry belief in ghosts

But here they arise
wraiths out of the mist
with bowed buckled knees;
buried in the resting place
for remembered ribbons
Wearing wreaths to match
the twigs and leaves
caught in their long black robes

And gargle it goes
the sound of my voice as it tries
to make its way across the sands
to meet her

the strains of a
boy drowning in the river
cast there by those
who refused to acknowledge
the creases in his brow
Or the breadcrumbs
he had left in his wake
to lead him back to the very same spot
where his torment first began

And the queue refuses to move
Great mounds of dirt
collect on the toes,
wings and deck of the ship
Oh, how far the moon seems now.