Monday, August 31, 2015

from the scattered notes of Bertram Harrold

“…It was not simply the austere, earnest demeanor of young William which committed me to this endeavor. Despite the unyielding consistency of the boy’s claims, and his tired and almost numb delivery of the tale when pressed, the outlandish nature of his narrative would have predisposed me strongly against its validity. That is, of course, had I not begun dabbling in real estate.
Nevertheless, the lad’s story of glowing coal eyes, impossible infernos, and narrow escape beggared belief. Still though, I shall never forget the empty distance within the rough little fellow’s eyes as he described to me the terrible screams of his father. That such a young child could so vividly describe his own father’s agonizing final moments as a blanket list of emotionless facts, it twists knots into my chest still. Perhaps not all those bruises came from his tumble through the roof.
More shocking still, I had read such a tale before. In a dusty journal, inherited from a former tenant, I came across a astonishing account.
The unfortunate Mrs. Brinkley had lost both her husband and only son to the ravages of the relentless sea. Her parents, in-laws, and other possible relations remained a world away when she too passed. It was a sad story, netting me little beyond sighs.
I thumbed through a worn journal while my hired men carted away her meagre possessions. Therein I discovered a strange passage, situated within the normalcies (one imagines) of a young lady's diary…”

[This is in fairly obvious reference to Friday's post.  <-- Clickable]

---------------------------------------------

So I've added a tip jar to the blog, in the form a Patreon Campaign. 

If you've gotten any worth out of these poems and stories and experimental fiction and what-have-you, please consider donating. Any amount would be greatly appreciated and help to ensure I am able to keep doing this.


Thanks,
Edward

Friday, August 28, 2015

embers in the night

It began with a child screaming, in an isolated place of beauty. However, this story begins with children screaming in an isolated place of paranoid rage.

Past twisted, sticky pine boughs, far from other folk, a rough cabin leaned in contemptuous dilapidation. Behind it, in an unkempt garden, a drunken man unleashed his violent anxieties upon his children.

That night, twin smoldering embers asked the bruised boy questions in the imperfect darkness. It was a burnt and blackened thing. It stunk of smoke and crackling meat, but so did all human places. In the darkness it was almost never discovered.

The boy was afraid but used to fear. He was also lonely and cold, furthest from the fire, tucked away in the loft. His sister slept in what had been her mother’s place; she was warm but helplessly numb. Their father snored fitfully too near the fireplace.

It learned much as it befriended the boy within their island of whispering dark. It came quickly to its judgement and wished the boy a pleasant good night. Sooty footfalls made their quiet way down the creaking rungs.

The fire brightened and billowed smoke in recognition as the burnt thing approached. Sparks showered out from the newly roaring inferno. The burnt thing’s fists clenched and its jaw went taught at the sight of the monster still guiltlessly snoring away.

Heavier embers blew forth as cold night air raced down the chimney. The burnt thing sat firmly upon the man’s empty chest. Minor blazes already danced all around them, but it would allow no smoke to reach the sleeping man.

The monster would not die breathlessly in his sleep. The monster would die wide awake, surging in panic and wreathed in purifying pain, executionary flame.

The burnt thing gave no warning to the children. Their pains could end in the smoke, it told itself.

Really, it wished the boy to awaken just as the burnt thing once did. Secretly it wished for a friend, for knowing eyes to share its pain.

When the monster began to scream, the boy sat up with a start. There was nothing but the shadow of smoke back lit by white-hot heat. Panicked breath bought him only aching lungs.

As his father continued to scream, the boy remembered his wits and crashed through the thin thatch roof. He tumbled into cold night air and unforgiving ground.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Sick Day

[I am ill so I'm just going to free-style a bit before I go to bed. I almost called-in, but turned up anyway... not that I'll be much good.]

"Mrs. Windonthorpe is indisposed."

What he meant was: Lady Windonthorpe is poorly disposed towards you, you lout. Which is a fair enough assessment. Nevertheless, what must be done must be done.

I offered no protest but instead my calling card and turned down the alleyway. An upturned bucket and a garbage bin afforded easy enough access to the second story drawing room. For not the first time, I was glad to have a second pair of splats. Filthy business that, climbing soot stained walls. Whole damnable city covered in the wretched stuff, excepting respectable facades of course.

With a long sigh and a pounding hangover, I spent several minutes working the window free. The room was all red silk brocade, like drowning in dark panels and velvet. It was also a smoky, stained wreck. Christ's wounds! This would take far too long.

I finally found it, glowing, behind a vomit caked waste bin and that long opium pipe I'd spent too much time with yesterday. Gingerly I retrieved the twinkling thing, beginning to blink at my proximity. I carefully stowed it in my empty watch pocket.

Then I hopped out the window a little lighter on my feet. I hurried home to my fine brass syringe and loaded it up. With a hard sigh and some dizzying pain, I pushed the tiny star back into my veins.

I really must try to be more careful. It is rather rude to break into a widow's drawing room. More foolish still to leave one's soul laying about like that.

[hrrmm, maybe it didn't turn out so bad...]

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

honesty is

bleeding knuckles
festering wounds, opened to the air
long looks, hard lights, and mirrors
treks across and beyond, mediocrity and morass
relentless, ruthless, dogged pursuit
empty-eyes turning away,
hard-eyes always open
pain endured, pain sought, pain found
and pain overrun







---------------------------------------------

So I've added a tip jar to the blog, in the form a Patreon Campaign. 

If you've gotten any worth out of these poems and stories and experimental fiction and what-have-you, please consider donating. Any amount would be greatly appreciated and help to ensure I am able to keep doing this.


Thanks,
Edward

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

what i rememember

I can remember my middle school social studies book in vivid detail. The striking funeral mask of King Tutankhamen, all lapis lazuli blue and gleaming polished gold, adorned the cover. I can almost remember the title font, something utilitarian and not quite sans serif; I can’t quite see it, though. It was a cheaply made case-wrapped hardcover, like almost all the text books I would see until college. The cover was supposed to have a royal blue backround, I think, but shoddy printing rendered some muddy middle betwixt navy and country blue.

I can remember all that, but I might not remember your face. I will forget your name. I will lose your entire existence, without a narrative to keep you breathing in my mind. I just cannot remember. Like flour in a sieve, it may mound for a while, but every forward movement sends more of it to the floor. It will all sift away into nothing.

I have forgotten so many; I will forget many more.

With effort, in the shower especially, I can remember the candle soliloquy from Macbeth. I consult the memory of schoolroom maps to place world events as I read them.

But, I have forgotten nearly everyone with which I shared those schoolrooms. They are now simply shadows, and signify nothing to me.

My mind will not remember people. I am deeply confused by people, anyway; perhaps dysmemory is for the best.

I can barely remember myself from those days if it is any consolation.

Monday, August 24, 2015

slow joy, silver shining

Expanding, outward pressure set,
against such brilliant, vibrant, throbbing chest.
Swollen, turgid, heavy it rests, ||
lest we forget.

Exploding orange light and green suffuse
in arcs outside the sky black blue.

It sings old songs & slips between…
Ephemeral, Impossible, in motions rarely gleaned.
Like fingers slipping through held dreams.

Friday, August 21, 2015

lances and leeches, a syllabic poem

Exsanguination,
soft slips vitality, but
so too flows away

poor lessons best lost,
misplaced violent plagues so oft
rebounding anew.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

elemental

Elementalism harrows and takes toll beyond the price of any other path to power. To earn power over stone, one must be fully subsumed in it. The same is true for fire, water, and wind. The process remains brutally literal.

Pyromancers self-immolate. Geomancers have been crushed beneath rockslides or buried alive. All hydromancers have drowned. Cruelest, slowest, and rarest of all, aeromancers strip naked to the sky and cold wind. There they slowly succumb to exposure.

Those few willing students typically are taught to cast all doubts from their minds, that only pure surety can save them.

These are lies. Surety can be burnt, crushed, washed free, and carried away on the wind. It is that nagging kernel of doubt which keeps the wizard living.

Too much doubt and there can be no apotheosis. Too little doubt, and one adds only fuel to the elemental conflagration which surrounds and consumes.

But, when all that is left is that perfect scarred seed of unsurety, from that tiny piece will grow the
wizard.   

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

rusty chains and neon dreams

The day held on with rusty hooks and chains. Old wounds bore the familiar weight of consistent concession. A busted radio and long taupe drive home registered as null, a temporal suspension of being.

He tried to shake off the day, to smile at the ivy painting he found in that garage sale: purple, pink and vividly surreal. He tried to shed all the small lies and become once again a human being.

As 40 hours had turned to weeks and months and long vacant years, it became a decreasingly possible task.

His books felt too light in his fingers and music rang hollow in his mind. Television seemed a voided prospect and even Hitchcock portended an empty enterprise.

His listless gaze continued to trail towards the painting in the foyer. Broad, obvious brushstrokes begged the eye to follow the vivid energy of the ivy’s unreal neon being. It was a lesson of intent and procedure and vitality that clamored to be learnt.

Hadn’t Susan, his ex, left a bunch of nail polish under the bathroom sink?

Bill shot up and rushed down the hall, the hint of an unfamiliar grin twisting at his cheek.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

prose poem 18 | the impossibility of balance

An echo of freedom sings across the open moor, carried on petulant breezes. It calls with the promise of wild wet steps. It holds its dim lantern aloft, this will-o-wisp.

The manacles and noose whisper their securities, into every ear. The support of tight spaces cannot be doubted; short spans need no trusses. Just lay the boards across from bank to bank in parallel with the others, or better yet, join the queue at the covered bridge.

The traveler believes there is a Golden Mean: somewhere, out there, exists an honest in-between.

I will probably drown in the swamp, but ‘til then, one might dream.











----------------------

I've added a tip jar to the blog, in the form a Patreon Campaign. 

If you've gotten any worth out of these poems and stories and experimental fiction and what-have-you, please consider donating. Any amount would be greatly appreciated and help to ensure I am able to keep doing this.


- Edward

Monday, August 17, 2015

the wall | part 1 & 2 & 3

[The whole thing together for your reading convenience.]

He felt loose and dangerous. Steaming breath gave way to cigarette smoke as he limped down the decrepit alley. Crumbled buildings gaped like rotten teeth, drained of color. Time had long since chewed through the pavement; patches of brittle grass rustled ceaselessly in the reflected wind. The monochrome scene was lit only by moonlight, glinting against the massive dome behind him.

Rickart kept his city-eyes wary, always scanning the horizon for threats from a fog that wasn’t there. On the outside, night air blew raw, uncontrolled, free. He tried to imagine the newly liberated life that awaited him, outside the Dome. It helped to quell the bittersweet tension burning through his guts.
Though the cold had begun to attack his skin, Rickart smiled.

The weather was honest at least. When it came time to light another smoke, he cursed the honest wind.

If Rickart had known how to look, he’d have seen all that followed him in the wild outside.

---

Seledonna slid soundlessly through the bristling, half-dead thicket. Far above her, a white pool of glistening moonlight served for her beacon in the shifting maze of the ‘Twixt Wood.
Night chill meant little to her weather bronzed skin. Her chest sang in excitement. An uncommon smile rested lightly on Seledonna’s lips.

Another tree had died, a mighty cedar. It was old, for the ‘Twixt wood especially; it marked a sad passing. The poisonous influence of dome grew by the day. She spat. She sighed. She stopped reluctantly in her tracks.

Brambles blocked to surest way ahead. The cedar’s once broad branches clawed at the sky, dangling in dangerous thorns. She had no time to take the Stoneway. She had no permission from the Fish to walk their watery road.

Time pressed against her; the singing in her chest struck a sour chord. The wall awaited her, the wall and soft white fingers. Sister Moon was nearly at her crest.

So, Seledonna gritted her teeth and splashed into the creek. She had to hope for absent Fish, or forgiving Fish at the least.

---

It hurt, but not so much as it would. The real pain wasn’t there yet. The real pain would come slow then hang on like a bad habit.

Puncture wounds were like that. He let the tooth-torn holes bleed clean for a few moments and chewed some bitter pills. Then Rickart wrapped an old t-shirt tightly around his mangled forearm.

The wolf-dog looked so much smaller splayed dead on the pavement. The monster seemed ready to swallow him whole when it was choking on Rickart’s fist. He turned away from the wind and lit another cigarette, hoping against infection.

---

Seledonna grimaced, but bowed in wet acquiescence. Dutifully she dipped her fingers into the pool. Small teeth bit hard and marked her palm. Climbing free from the crystal waters, she watched the wound quickly scar.

She had bought her passage. Already the price tied stones to her steps.

A year in service to the Court of the Cobbled Well, the thought of such sameness of place and function for so long turned bitter on her tongue. She swallowed and stepped ahead.

Before her stood the wall: huge, abandoned, crumbling, and crenellated concrete imposed its distant memory of order. Seledonna walked into the deep shadow of battlements turning right. Sister Moon hung somewhere high above her.

---

He reached the wall and turned left.

Rickart remembered when first he saw Seledonna. He had found his way past the inner wall and through the wild maze of pipes and cables in between. He’d reached the dome’s outer glass sometime during dawn.

Through dust scarred glass he saw her.  She stalked fluidly through the dead city, naked and unafraid. She was movement and action, purpose and dynamic intent.

---

She remembered well how she slunk carefully through the dead city, looking for the source of its poison. There he had stood, beyond the clear stones. He was mesmerizingly still, so perfectly intent.
Their hands had pressed against the dome in hopeless separation and quiet exultation.

---

He remembered when he found the door and pried it free.

---

She remembered their first fleeting glimpse in the open air.

---

He remembered their first long kiss.

---

She remembered their bodies intertwined underneath the naked sun.

---

They both learned the marked dangers of the mazes they suffered.
---

And so they were to meet, one final time.

He pressed his shoulder past the broad gap in the wall, awkwardly reaching with his uninjured arm. She felt his soft fingers blindly brush against her face. They held tight to each other, in the cold dark of that jagged hole inside that needless wall.

One final time, for they would never let go.

Friday, August 14, 2015

sweat on brow, forgotten

[Sorry, Yo: Part 3 of "the wall" will have to wait. Had some highly emotive things hit this evening, not quite in the right mind to craft the complicated form I have planned. So here is a poem.]

The heat that pounds, behind the eyes,
That swells within the gut,
That burns throughout the mind.
O, fevered dream of what may come.

Trials that fail and falter,
Before the moment is done.
Darkening geas grows,
Beyond the sallow sun.

The feats that fall from History,
The moods that change the world,
The call unsaid, unanswered
Casting swine before the pearls.

Delicious Deceptive Desire,
To foil through loin to the Brain
To fill with void, perspiring,
The hand that cuts the vein



[Most of this poem I actually wrote 12 years ago, under the influence of too much pork roast and a massive hangover. 

I've rewritten it a bit, but most of it stands as it was. The final stanza was, however, excised in full. 

This piece remains by far the best thing I wrote during that vodka sodden epoch of my life.]

Thursday, August 13, 2015

the wall | part 1 & 2

[As per my new methodology on the multi-parters, I've glued 1 & 2 together here, with a tiny bit of cleanup from yesterday's part 1. Enjoy.]

He felt loose and dangerous. Steaming breath gave way to cigarette smoke as he limped down the decrepit alleyway. Crumbled buildings gaped like rotten teeth, drained of color. Time had long since chewed through the pavement; patches of brittle grass rustled ceaselessly in the reflected wind. The monochrome scene was lit only by moonlight, glinting against the massive dome behind him.

Rickart kept his city-eyes wary, always scanning the horizon for threats from a fog that wasn’t there. On the outside, night air blew raw, uncontrolled, free. He tried to imagine the newly liberated life that awaited him, outside the Dome. It helped to quell the bittersweet tension burning through his guts.

Though the cold had begun to attack his skin, Rickart smiled.

The weather was honest at least. When it came time to light another smoke, he cursed the honest wind.

If Rickart had known how to look, he’d have seen all that followed him in the wild outside.

---

Seledonna slid soundlessly through the bristling, half-dead thicket. Far above her, a white pool of glistening moonlight served for her beacon in the shifting maze of the ‘Twixt Wood.
Night chill meant little to her weather bronzed skin. Her chest sang in excitement. An uncommon smile rested lightly on Seledonna’s lips.

Another tree had died, a mighty cedar. It was old, for the ‘Twixt wood especially; it marked a sad passing. The poisonous influence of dome grew by the day. She spat. She sighed. She stopped reluctantly in her tracks.

Brambles blocked to surest way ahead. The cedar’s once broad branches now clawed at the sky, dangling in dangerous thorns. She had no time to take the Stoneway. She had no permission from the Fish to walk their watery road.

Time pressed against her; the singing in her chest struck a sour chord. The wall awaited her, the wall and soft white fingers. Sister Moon was nearly at her crest.

So, Seledonna gritted her teeth and splashed into the creek. She had to hope for absent Fish, or forgiving Fish at the least. 

---------------------------------------------

So I've added a tip jar to the blog, in the form a Patreon Campaign. 

If you've gotten any worth out of these poems and stories and experimental fiction and what-have-you, please consider donating. Any amount would be greatly appreciated and help to ensure I am able to keep doing this.


Thanks,
Edward "[makes fart noise with mouth]" Lockhart

[I expect this particular story will be concluded tomorrow, but these things do grow on me sometimes...]

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

the wall | part 1

He felt loose and dangerous. Steaming breath gave way to cigarette smoke as he limped down the decrepit alleyway. Crumbled buildings gaped like rotten teeth, drained of color. Time had long since chewed through the pavement; patches of brittle grass rustled ceaselessly in the reflected wind. The monochrome scene lit on by moonlight glinting against the massive dome.

Rickart kept his city-eyes wary, always scanning the horizon for threats from a fog that wasn’t there. On the outside, night air blew raw, uncontrolled, free. He tried to imagine the newly liberated life that awaited him, outside the dome. It helped to quell the bittersweet tension burning through his guts.

Though the cold had begun to attack his skin, Rickart smiled.

The weather was honest at least. When it came time to light another smoke, he cursed the honest wind.

If Rickart had known how to look, he’d have seen all that followed him in the wild outside.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Monday, August 10, 2015

prose poem 17 | touch, sound, and burning disgust

Dread twists its sliming knots, impossible to grasp and untangle.
The phone wrings fear from thin air.
The wretched world of men presses through walls, under doors, against the window, within the ear. Human contact exacts its burning disgust.
Serenity flows away, particles into space, leaving weakness in its place.
My gut wrenches so often, I do not bother with mint.
I do not bother.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Thursday, August 6, 2015

memorandum

Just a friendly reminder, the eggs are poison.

Happy Egg Day, everyone.

Please disregard previous company policies concerning all matters and surrender outdated Handbooks to the Inflammatory or Inflammable Bins.

All vacation, salaries, Workman’s Compensation Laws, and Federal Regulatory Committee Findings have been cancelled. 

Try to smile more; smiling is jogging for the soul.

All Corporate Gymnasiums have been converted into Funtime Recreational Work Pods.

If you have not, please see the Human Resources department to have your Sex Monitoring Funchips installed. Remember, injection site discomfort and feelings of meaninglessness against the vast backdrop of an uncaring universe are perfectly normal.

Just a friendly reminder, sunshine has been linked to inappropriate thinking. Please keep your Funtime Lightbreaker curtains closed at all times. Failure to do so may result in summary dismissal or execution.

And, don’t forget to have efficient and unquestioning FUN™ today, valued* employee.

*Please see Human Resources to find out your exact, numerical value within the grand equations of the Company.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

desiccation

Her head felt full of garbage while she stuttered and limped down the desiccated street. Between billowing clouds of dust and the empty eyes of the dead, she could barely remember who she was.

The glaring yellow-white light didn’t help.

She could nearly recall the wet world from some time before. She could almost remember what it was not to thirst. Which was the dream? The baked and brittle hell all around her? The sickeningly fecund place of choking vines, algal mats, and perpetual rain? Had she ever known a median existence?

Surely so? Or else she would not be able to wonder after it, right?

She stood perplexed beneath the baleful force of an unrelenting sun. Grating crystals were born out of her pores; her sweat evaporated subcutaneously under the surreal heat.

Then, scathing winds tore her feet free from the ground. She crashed to the blistering concrete and lay shaking with dry, strangled sobs.

Last she could clearly remember, Sleep’s Fire burned through her veins. Perhaps this was all just a terrible dream?

She doubted it when her skin began to peel away.

There was nothing more to do so she rose and walked painfully ahead.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

i am too tired, a haiku

The stones of sleep pull
hard down. || Art though buoyant lifts,
but not quite enough.

Monday, August 3, 2015

chain beyond breath

Tight panic rode his chest,
weighed upon his breath.
Each blinking moment,
wore more fraught with twisted guts.
There was no threat, but that
was not what his chest seemed to expect.
He hung too loose, he felt too tight.
He yearned to cover his eyes.
He wished for night,
to come at noon,
darken his door ere soon.
Pressure, pressure, pressed,
locked tight in ticking chest.

But even explosion would be an exposure,
best not to fret. Drown in regret.
Even when nothing’s been wagered or lost.
Difficult in quiet to remember the cost.

Remember to count. Remember to wink.
Dead-eyed smile to arise and thus to die.

“What happened to those iron bands wrapped ‘round my bones?
“What happened to the fiery brands settled in my throat?
“Where went my strength? How came me weak?
Can I no longer stand alone?”