Tuesday, June 30, 2015

long rope ladder

Full lightlessness may have been kinder. A sick sheen of frothing sweat gleamed in the ever-receding light of the oubliette. Feverish dreams haunted her beyond sleeping.

She lay splayed on the floor, trying to descend the hundred-fold steps into Hypnos’s Realm.
Somewhere above a madman laughed and gibbered in garrulous abandon. Between tittering madness and hot wretched thirst, she could effect no escape nor seek a moment’s succor.

Rosalind smelled him, even above the stink of that place. Desperate sadism made for a wretched fragrance, even against the rotted corpses of hope stacked deep in that terrible place.

Her weak-seeming protestations and struggles lulled him into the horrid routine he knew too well. She snapped the icy chains and released the seal within her chest. A righteous fire of self surged through her. White raging necessity overwhelmed her eyes.

When the icy chains reformed, when her vision returned, when normative reality remained, she withdrew her thumbs from his voided eye sockets. She tossed aside his ragged remains and stood on shaking limbs. Sometime later, she swallowed the terrible metal taste on her tongue.

It took ages, but she managed to gather her wits as well as the corpse’s ring of keys. She put one foot above the other and started up the long rope ladder.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Friday, June 26, 2015

topical poetry

Joyous variegated wings spread wide,
A surge of justice all too rare,
Emanates from unlikely halls.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

secret joy | part 1 (slightly edited) & 2

“The mines are murderous rough and the world is murderous tough, but still… Could ya see in the dark stink of our sleeping place, you’d see a smile split ‘cross my face.

“Ya, I toil for the Yellow King, slick little bastard. Came here together we did. Not my idea.

“I used to scrub shitters and mop floors for too many hours. (Actually, a slave in the sulfur mines ain’t too far off from Custodian.) Anyways, that other shithead did some kinda some damn thing with quantums.

“Then… there we was. He talked real fucking fast, got them long yellow bastards on his side, found me in-con-venient, ditched me to digging lighter yellow bullshit outta darker yellow bullshit.

“So naturally I stole a shovel - them fucking giants is way too trusting and none too bright – and starting digging to get to… well somewhere the fuck not in the sulfur pits.

“Anyways… shit they’re coming. Look Busy.”


“I dug for I don’t know how long in all sorts of directions. Always in the dark. Always had to hide it come ‘morning’. (That glowing yellow slime’s all the sunrise we’re gonna get, but I guess you got that figured, huh?)

“Then I dug all day, for Him. I was wearing myself to nothing, for nothing, in this great yellow nothin’.

“Then I broke through. Some kinda opening, pitch black as anything else, she was there, though. She was there.

“We touched then we hid. We were scared, at first, then we whispered and felt. She’s too long, too lean, teeth too sharp. We danced on our knees in the dark. We huddled into love, I guess.

“Ya, I s’pose I love her. I ain’t never seen her, but I know her, every strange, beautiful inch.

“She’s one of them, I reckon. Don’t matter none.

“Got drug to the yellow pits of hell, and that’s just fine, I reckon.

“Now we both dig. Now we’re getting somewhere.”


The Yellow King grimaced at the crude cathode ray tube. The screen shone with the frozen, amber image of Bobby Lawson chattering to the walls. Bobby and a local Confederation Captain had been missing for more than a week. Others in the area had begun to disappear.

A long-limbed, yellow errand boy obsequiously delivered the latest Incident Report. The King absently opened the package, still glaring at Bobby’s frozen image.

A shinning shard of starkly green glass tumbled onto the King’s flaxen desk. His lemon-white hand jerked away as though the color could strike him.

It took some time before His Majesty could calm his mind and still his racing heart. He was no longer alone. He was no longer safe. There was hope of return.


Other Yellow Stories:


high risk, high yield ventures

even split

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

secret joy | part 1

“The mines are murderous rough and the world is murderous tough, but still… Could ya see in the dark, stink of our sleeping place, you’d see a smile split ‘cross my face.

“Ya, I toil for the Yellow King, slick little bastard. Came here together we did. Not my idea.

“I used to scrub shitters and mop floors for too many hours. (Actually, a slave in the sulfur mines ain’t too far off from Custodian.) Anyways, that other shit did some kinda some damn thing with quantums.

“There we was. He talked real fucking fast, got them long yellow bastards on his side, found me in-con-venient, ditched me to digging lighter yellow bullshit outta darker yellow bullshit.

“So naturally I stole a shovel - them fucking giants is way too trusting and none too bright – and starting digging to get to… well somewhere the fuck not in the sulfur pits.

“Anyways… shit they’re coming. Look Busy.”

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

moonlight and laurel

The mist wrapped thick around her ankles, like some overly attentive cat.

Long quiet steps,
bare feet on concrete.

Daphne made her swift way down the dim alley. Every moment she remained sang with exquisite danger and thrummed with paramortal fear.

Moments of movement,
free from chthonic feet.

His sister had to have seen her. His servants would seek her.

Lead within her chest,
slid from fear to thrill.
Smiling fierce she pressed.

He would always hunt her. Though the earth became her captor, she remained, at least, free from he.

Her curse could be unrung,
on certain fogged nights.
Still, at least, was he, tethered to the Sun.

The Moon Maiden loosed her shot, sent her arrow fletched in radiance. Daphne in defiance threw up her arms and planted her feet.

Moonlight lit the laurel tree.

Monday, June 22, 2015

capitulation of color

Ecru, taupe, and muddied mauve, the room was a capitulation of color.

“Eating mints is something to do,” he suggested.

“But do we have anymore?” she asked without looking to the crystal candy dish.

The metronomic tic of the estate’s great clock, clicked slowly relentless.

“Afraid we do not, dear,” he informed her.

Dust sifted down, newly freed from his manicured chin.

“Must we do something?” she pondered aloud.

Despondent mice slowly gnawed the doily beneath her dried away, afternoon tea.

“Don’t suppose we must. Just might be dreadfully long, otherwise.”

Neither of them moved when the lathe and plaster began to warp and rot away.

His final words slipped out like a whisper as his heavy head lolled uselessly to the side.

“Oh, s’pose we do have mints, after all.”

Friday, June 19, 2015

sleepy free association

Fractured stilted without, without without
Slip slide, painful through,
Heavy tight chest, awake awake break,
Shallow lung and disjointed thoughts…
Falter. Verily, yea.
Bleary, shifting vision.
Verily, yea.
Awake awake beyond.
Bubbling numb. Sighing softly, slightly, still.
Disjointed lazy lacking and frantic.
Too. Punctuated. Truncated, through me.
Cool, quiet, crazed.
Dull doldrum mazed.
“Thy skin changes country and colour,
And shrivels or swells to a snake’s.
Let it brighten and bloat and grow duller,
We know it the flames and the flakes.
Red brands on it smitten and bitten,
Round skies where a star is a stain,
And the leaves with thy litanies written,
Our Lady of Pain.”

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

the weight of tomorrow

It was as though ten thousand fools had the same bad idea, all at once, and then each fool brought four friends.

The streets bloomed in riotous revelry. Women remembered themselves and made cheer. Children shouted incessantly and scampered through teeming streets. Men danced in doorways, mounted benches, and ran naked beneath the sun. Bakers forgot their wicked tricks and traded pies for song. Ale flowed from every direction. Ten thousand joyous words were sung, from all directions, in a dozen different tongues.

All doors were flung wide. All spaces made public. All faces broke in twain to smile; all the while they all tried to forget tomorrow. That one day the repression was lanced like a boil, to drain out that held within.

For they knew the next day must come. The stonefaced god would then open his jealous eyes.

They had only that day to be human. Every drink slowly soured. Every smile turned desperate, haunted by the specter of horrible god.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

prose poem 13 | frozen moments

As the landscape flew past too fast, he tried to hold on to whatever he could: the arrangement of branches on some particular tree, the speckled placement of wildflowers in grassy easements, the long shadow of a stone standing alone in a field. Cadway didn’t know why.

He pressed his forehead against the tinted glass and tried hold frozen each flashing moment in his racing mind. His small body burned with feverish ferment, untouched by the cold flow of conditioned air. Shallow, ragged breaths shook in chest, and the sounds all around him drowned down to distant pin pricks. The smell of the still-hot naugahyde and his mother’s floral fragrance distilled away into a distant dream of memory.

Cadway’s heart ceased to beat, or perhaps he no longer heard it. The sweat beading on his small, flushed cheek seemed so very far away. He tried to close his eyes as he fell many miles back into his seat, but still yet he saw. A crow cawed in quiet, on an open sunlit power line. He was nearly finished.

Cohesion or inertia vied to flee him first. Young Cadway dispersed into a perfect, entropic, and dancing expansion.

His final close-to-cogent thought was of a sepia stained cedar tree, tinted out of color; that, and the disjointed honeysuckle exuberance of his mother’s perfume

Monday, June 15, 2015

too many lines run parallel

The spectral insistence of fractal clastic lines
Denote delivery forward.
Flow, surge, hurdle through delimited space.
Bound about, a surreal mesh of expounding spirals,
surpassing Euclid.
Behind, all things fall away;
vibrant oscillating lines taper towards
The no-longer-extant || annihilation, colored a forgetful black.
Ahead: bright shining lines twist inside,
Collapsing into unapproachable radiance.

Each, in their own, may wrack and crash and half-blind force their causal tube.
Indelicately and broadly it may be turned to the honest horizon,

Friday, June 12, 2015

pastel and poison part three

Slick ordered his drink and pounded it flat in too little time. I sighed and tried to split my attention. I split it too many ways.

The crowd wasn’t what you’d call typical for a bottom bucket dive, too many clean faces and free movement. Must’ve rolled in with the sparkly-eyed gal just like flies follow the honey-truck. She’d been giggling; my head was spinning with the bright, high sound. Not that that’s an excuse.

I almost missed it. I couldn’t catch a glimpse of Slick, but I saw a flash of chrome swinging out the back door. My stomach dropped. I up and ran, not bothering to play at cool.

Outside, yellow mist was lit by some damn neon sign for some damn kind of food no one remembers. Slick was in chrome cuffs, attached to a light pole that never saw a bulb. Some dick in a new blue jack stood next to him.

 I didn’t wait. Two steps and three fast cracks, Blue-jacket’s skull opened onto the opposite wall. A bright silver piece clanged to the filthy orange street.

I dropped the corpse and desperately pulled up his shirt.

“Oh Shit!” me and Slick spat out in familiar unison.

There it was.

Slick slipped the cuffs and put a hand on my shoulder. We couldn’t stop staring at that blank, white belly. We’d killed a fucking vat-boy, a fucking pig.

We’d killed a fucking vat-boy. Fuck.

We spun on heel at the sound of a sudden click, and there she stood. Sparkle-eyes lit a cigarette (They ain’t extinct!) and looked at us pointed.

“Well fellas, who’s the money man?” she wanted to know

“Harry Hard,” said Slick without thinking.

I sighed and snatched the vapor stick from his fingers.

“You talked Harry Hard into handing you hard cash with a promise?” She was curious.

I took another drag and turned the dead law-boy’s pockets inside out.


“What was the score?”

“Glucose and glass,” Slick kept right on saying too much.

I picked up the dropped piece and turned towards the pretty lady.

“I just may have to keep you boys alive,” she mused.

I followed her shining eyes. A bright red line shot through the fog, ending in a deadly red dot. I remembered how to breathe again, when the dot disappeared.

It had fell apart, no surprise. Time to catch the shake.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

pastel and poison part two

Everybody’s got their poison, me included. I think mine’s pretty benign, but then I would. Wouldn’t I?

My partner, for instance, he’s addicted to tight spots. (That’s not an innuendo.) Maybe Slick’s just addicted to bad judgment or shitty people. I don’t know. He can pull a swag deal out of thin orange mist, though. Next fucking step, second fucking breath and he’s brought in the shakiest pill-jockey or most obvious quick-turn Tim within sight.

He’s been hounding potential and drowning it in bad ideas since we were kids. I just keep pulling him outta grates and catching the shake. We’ve been together since the orphanarium.

Anyway, so here’s how last night shook loose:

Showed up early to the Rusty Bucket. Chatted up a too-healthy Sally. She looked a little on the South End. More importantly: she had a sparkle in her eyes and smile on her lips I just couldn’t quit. She was slinging precut pharm-cards like tomorrow wouldn’t slide on through.

Then Slick Natural clanged on through the door, and trouble followed. I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I always am.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

pastel and poison part one

Goddamnit, we were in too deep.

The alley stretched on uneven and leaning like every other patch of this too-tight pill-stack of a nieghborhood. I reached into my pocket for the hundredth time. The pharm-cards were still there. I ran my soft fingers across the pass-codes, carefully cut into ‘em. That’s solid currency.

The neon fogs drifted from blue-green to mauve; I was nearly to the green-yellow glow of the Rusty Bucket. I was nearly to my partner.

I drew hard on my vapor stick, fed the hunger in them angry lungs. Night’s not good under the dome, too wet, too heavy. ‘Course it’s poison outside it, so...

Finally, I spotted the tilted doorway with the namesake nailed to it. The old, tin can wept crocodile tears in the saturated nighttime air.

Heavy’s early, no surprise; he was chatting up some one-up looker at the bar. I shook my head and dropped my synth-berry ticket at the bar. Moments later, Heavy’s coming on like his name, and I’m sipping bucket-vin with some kinda stim kicker. Fucking machines won’t make ya hooch, but they’ll give synth-fruit and bread to go mold. Time and bucket’ll do ya the rest.

Crowd’s too quiet. Everybody seems too clean.

A few minutes later and the supplier’s late. Fuck.

Harry Hard don’t take money back. He gets the units or your ass. Fuck.

I took a longer look at Heavy’s heavy-pet. She had too much meat on her bones to be on the level.

The long twisted light above the bar kept humming, hissing, and spitting out a bad rhythm to match my mood. Fucking stim-vin wasn’t helping either.

Fuck. Supplier must’ve seen Heavy and Too-much-meat. The walls were closing in. There wasn’t much time, now.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

vanishing point

He could disappear. It took no effort, anymore. He was losing control.

Walking alone, down crowded halls, he just slipped away. A naked eye, he was. He could see. He could not understand.

They kept on flitting, to and fro, singing, laughing, crying, hoping, dreaming, repressing, forcing back truths, eagerly eating lies. They just kept on in their mysterious dances.

He could not hear their melody. He’d watched for so long, unseen; he scarcely noticed when he was no longer quite there.

He could not affect the world when he was like this. Not that he affected the world much, anyway.

Sometimes he drifted to the teacher’s lounge. He watched them drink the black, bitter antidote to sleep. He saw how they sucked fire through tubes and sent carcinogenic smoke down their throats. If he looked hard enough, he could see the small, sad pleasure in their blinking eyes.

If he could make it before the door crashed closed, he could watch the girls cry alone behind bathroom stalls. This was dangerous.

If he saw too closely, he would be reminded of himself. He would be visible. He could be caught.

But there was little point in looking without seeing.

It mattered little, he thought. He hadn’t seen himself in ages. He was not certain he was still there.