Thursday, December 31, 2015

pony noir | part eight : float away

[part 1 : part 2 : part 3 : part 4 : part 5 : part 6 : part 7]

It turned sour like a popping kumquat; the thought came too late. I played the safe bet, and unsurprisingly, I lost. Every steaming breath was one closer., one closer.

I should've charged the door ten minutes before, but I held out. Now I was warm, warm and tired. Hypothermia had me.

I suddenly remembered work yielded heat, but it was too late. My legs were rubber, and I was about drift away. My muscles weren't mine any more. Took a tumble with the frigid air and lost it all.

That same damn thought was trying to force its way through, but I wasn't really there anymore.

"Work equals heat."
"All work produces heat.'
"All work..."

I was too loopy to feel the deck beneath me when I drifted away.

Cut to black, everypony.


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

I received your note

A bankrupt  center
implodes from hateful dead weight.
Post crash, I can grow.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

[fart noises]

Today I am feeling creatively drained.
Don't worry some token effort is on its way.
Or maybe it isn't.

Monday, December 28, 2015

leavings

Fallen leaves formed their mottled picture,
worn away underfoot, dissolved by bacterial imperatives.

Purpose completed they were shed, cast away for some short fall.
Some still lay, crisp edged, against their very roots,
propped by accident against their old entanglements.

They too will fade, it is a dead dream they cannot remember,
turning light into sugar. They too  will dissolve into smaller constituents.

New green things will come ere spring,
forgotten orange leaves, broken down,
reborn as grass or some slime-mold mass.

| |

'til the hungry yellow star goes red,
trees believe there will be more leaves to shed.

Friday, December 25, 2015

a walk in some park in portland

water fell and flowed in a thin sheet like glass
like a wet razor, carefully controlled

pigeons remain unimpressed

a man threw biscuits to birds

well-to-do red blouses coming out of red doors
they said goodbye with gold in their ears

a pile of coats slept on a bench

(in secret the biscuits spell death
but only in rare circumstance,
the antidote was delivered in time)



Thursday, December 24, 2015

tmi

"The man who alleges that he is not yet ready for philosophy or that the time for it has passed him by, is like the man who says that he is either too young or too old for happiness."
- Epicurus, "Letter to Menoeceus", O'Connor Translation 
I don't normally write like this, free(ish) flowing, train-of-thought, personal narrative things. Partly because I'm guarded. Partly because it quickly becomes an uninteresting subject to almost all but the author. However, I think this is a good exercise.

I've, rather, we've (my little family and I) cut our roots and floated out West. After some rambling we washed up in Portland. We're living in a van, but it's ok. There are plenty of rivers.

We fled conservative christian intolerance and steady, deadening economic depression to find a place we belong. (Oklahoma can suck a whole bag of dicks.) Secondary colors as hair colors, bisexuality, and many, many other things were plainly dangerous, powerfully incompatable. We were also leaving behind a dearth of mental healthcare access.

Though I may be clever, sometimes charming, sometimes erudite in casual conversation, I am probably exploding inside as you sell me gasoline or wait behind me at the pharmacy. I have Social Anxiety Disorder and Depression.

I've come to the conclusion that I've always had these issues. Even in the midst of my loud, high-school bravado, I was always wracked with fear, outside my few safe places. Alcohol was always a safe space. I self-medicated heavily from 13 to 30.

I feel like I'm currently encased in a chrysalis. My hair is pink and purple. My leggings are skin tight. I sashay a bit as I walk, in faux-patent-leather pink-soled rain boots. I smile at strangers and feel more myself than I have in ages. (Medication is a part of this, but only a piece of my puzzle. Fuck... I hope I manage to step down from xanax soon, but van living is a bit high on the stressful side.)

When I was in college, a friend gave me some clothes. I didn't ask for them, but she gave them to me, I wore them, these women's things, but almost only in secret. (Just twice otherwise: once a party turned into a make over the guys party, the other was plainly sexual with somebody I trusted.) I hid them away, just as I hid so much of myself away.

Guarded, wasting away, dying inside, piece by piece, day by day, dead end work-week by dead end day.

I gave up so much of myself in exchange for comforts I did not need (and couldn't properly afford, anyway). You can be a starving writer almost anywhere. I'm going to do it here, in the rain; I can bloom into fabulousness.

I can mix my love of My Little Pony and the Misfits. I can become and discover exactly who I want to be. I will learn how to live in the world as it is rather than as I wish it to be.

I will discover how to be a human being.


Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Airing of Grievances.

Fesitivus, For the
Rest of Us, is upon us.
Air those grievances.

Things I don't like about Portland:

  • Full service gas stations, that's a human interaction I could do without. Plus it just straight up takes longer.
  • We can now control the weather. When we go to switch the van from hobo-sleep to hobo-go (which involves moving things in the elements), rain will begin (or more likely just get heavier). When we're finished, it stops (lessens, really).
  • There are so many stores for dogs.
  • Trying to park anywhere near Portland.
  • There are roundabouts for some fucking reason.
  • Streets are not allowed to be straight for more than a single block. It's like trying to navigate in some non-Euclidean world where right angles don't exist.
  • Other things, probably, but I can't be assed to remember.
Last year's Festivus Celebration. 




Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Release Schedule...

Western Lights is already out and on secret Festivus sale. Get it while it's weird!

Ok. I still plan on releasing that big volume of stuff from the blog, but NOW it will not contain any of the Western Lights stories. I don't plan on double releasing anything.

Next, I have novellas planned for the Drowned World, Red Light Heavy, the colored worlds, and that setting where there are unmotivated zombies everywhere, stuck in aping empty cycles imitating the empty cycles of their previous lives.

These will either show up singly or paired in print books or some combination thereof.

So I expect the next release to be the big volume of short stories and poems from the blog, which also contains some new stuff, btw.

But if the muse grabs me, I won't argue.

memories from an unhappy new year

unbidden broken things slide surreptitiously towards the surface
loose thoughts slip knots and bubble upward,
old wounds cry fresh blood

I remember the tense ring of necessity I wrapped around my chest to drive us home,
I remember the long, empty quiet afterwards, as the room darkened around us

I remember my decision not to stab him, I remember regretting it.

I remember tearful phone calls, and drunk texts, and that quiet hug from a stranger,
(he smelled like patchouli, I think)

I broke beyond reason the night before the funeral,
I drank and drank and fell into one folly after another,
I made a hole in the wall above the place my son would much later sleep.

That red-faced fuck wouldn't honor her final wishes,

I mixed the soundtrack for her viewing.
How could she possibly be honored without songs with the word fuck in them?
I made someone who sucked cry at her viewing, too, I think she would've laughed,
but of course all her blood was cold and switched for formaldehyde.


I remember our long awkward ride to her grave, with a stranger in a blue Cadillac,
I used to pick her up at almost every meeting.
I picked her up one last time in a coffin.

She could throw a jab harder than most right crosses.
(I've been decked with a lot of right crosses.)
She drank whiskey like water.
She made me a drink once, that tasted like a chemical burn.
She had wicked eyes and a wide smile.

She died for kindness.
She lived for laughter.


Monday, December 21, 2015

fuck fuck fuck

A shuddering dream of what was followed along in wake of his present. That billowing algal bloom of old mistakes and horrors misremembered pulled him far from moment. The crushing indifference of the universe settled into the soles of his feet, a familiar pair of shoes. Each step pressed against the backwards pull.

Hope and the future remained outside his tepid grasp.

Friday, December 18, 2015

all kinds of tired


“There’s all kind’s a tired a fella’s gonna get in a lifetime, kid. 

“Seeing the blush of dawn next to some pretty young blushing guy or gal, watching that blush go all the way down, that’s a fine kind of tired, kid.

“Sometimes it just hurts, it’s heavy, and ain’t no grin to be got. Slodging through something ya hate, sometimes for years. That kind of tired ain’t no good, but it’s pretty damned common.

“Sometimes ya might hurt, in a bright kind of pain. The kind where ya pushed past and done something good. Catch yer breath, smile, and crash. Rough mornings but you’ll still probably grin, kid.

“Sometimes it long overdue, outstretched. Sometimes it’s quick, hits ya like a right cross from behind. 

“The fire in yer belly runs out, the coffee quits, or the thrill drops dead.

“But the kind yer gonna live with tomorrow, kid, that ain’t no kinda good. It’ll be like all of the tired of yer whole damn life, dropping in all at once. Painful, quick, sharp, drawn-out, dry, feverish, angry.

“Thing is you won’t get no sleep, kid. Don’t matter, that thing ya did a few minutes ago, well, won’t be undone for a spell yet. 

“Try to remember ain’t no tired lasts forever. Make sure you only turn that cycle once, kid. You hop on the carousel, you'll die of tired.”

Thursday, December 17, 2015

rain rain

Pitter-patter, pitter-patter, scatter, drip and drop, it simply would not stop. Samantha sighed quietly, fogging the tight space around her. It continued, unconcerned with her crushing boredom.

It took its sweet time, dripping, falling, sometimes plinking. She was dry, but cramped. Samantha was reasonably warm, but trapped.

She could just barely see a small child splashing on the other side of a bleary window. A tiny thing, she jumped and stomped and crashed. Enamored of puddles and soaking wet, the little girl would soon be whisked away to somewhere warm. The wet held no danger to her.

Oh she might be yelled at, roughly toweled, but hypothermia was nowhere near the little girl’s future – at least judging by her tiny designer jacket.

Samantha curled up and pulled her hood over her eyes. She twisted like a fetus in back of the van. She tried, in vain, to sleep through another day of rain.


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

this is just a tribute

Earlier today, a poem sprang into my mind. This near-perfect construction of rhyming, metered words coalesced. The pattern and themes and diction established themselves; it could have been expanded into something of depth, song, and meaning.

I almost pulled the car over to write it down. I should have pulled the car over to write it down.

And now the baby sings distractions into my ear.

I mean, I'm homeless, we're sans home, living in a van, We had no itinerary, the pawn shop was open all day. It was only the ghosts of chains, subconscious imperatives to go, achieve rapidity.

I am free, but not from memory.

(obviously I hold not copyright on the spudboy's image and masterworks

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

terror snail of the prismatic swamp

It eats with a terrible tinkling, shrapnel sounds of breaking glass. Watch as it glides, spiraling silver and taupe atop an opalescent trail. It is beautiful and dangerous, like so many things in this place. Best to be watched from a distance.

Step carefully above its trail; this scintillating snail turns to glass, all living things it does pass.

Monday, December 14, 2015

close your eyes, step left

Between tree branches reaching towards each other
Underneath overhanging, fractal archways
As the forest seeks to smother the path,
In shadow neither amber nor jet,
In half steps, blinking moments, winking memories,
Half-heard sounds hidden in back of a yawn,
Betwixt each ever-beating moment ||
There stands the doorway to dreams.




Friday, December 11, 2015

numb

ennui falls just like
,uh, a sigh or something else
what the fuck ever

Thursday, December 10, 2015

prose poem 23 | onrush perpetual

The Pacific is bombastic, but more pleasant than that sounds. She writhes not angry, though she thrashes into ecru-taupe foam – against slate brown. She persists, simply inevitable. She doesn’t roar, but rather thrives as an onrush perpetual.

Waves wring wind into furor.

Salt and grains of sand flung tirelessly against stone. Each sculpts, unsuspecting. Small furrows in aggregate build beauty from chaotic folds.



hope?

CLICK HERE FOR MORE ABOUT RED LIGHT HEAVY


There was something wrong with that shit-smelling man-thing, beyond the obvious. Under the heavy, nobody smelled great.  Maybe the ocean was trying to sneak in as humidity. Some of ‘em though, some of ‘em went wild in whole new way. 

Roy should’ve past that one by, he knew. It had the kid marked and cornered. Roy was not the kid.
Roy was nearly as surprised as the man-thing, when his grandfather’s chiv got buried in its chest. The thing scratched, bit, and kicked like a bastard before going down.

The kid was smarter than Roy; he wasn’t even around to mumble thanks by the time the deed was done.

Within hours every abrasion, laceration, and bite throbbed in fever. A fever was a hell of thing, in the hot house below. 

By the time Roy made it to his hidden access panel, pus oozed everywhere at the slightest pressure. Ragged breaths shook him to sleep.

He dreamed. Something about a woman in a long white coat, needles, and an onrush of cool air, was all he remembered.

He awoke sutured, fever-free, and surprisingly hydrated.

A strange and pleasant lightness resided in his stomach. He smiled, alone in the dark.

He had no word for the sensation filling his lungs.


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

accomplishments on the road


  • Someone had carved a swastika onto a washroom stall, I circled it and crossed it out. Like the ghostbusters logo, but fuck you nazi instead.
  • I have improvised many excellent meals. The aforementioned calamari, couscous with chicken sausage, turkey carrot ginger chili (yay Thanksgiving).
  • I built a fire (which I haven't done in a while) using only natural materials. Sad to say, it took two flicks of the bic to get going... rusty. Fucking burnt-ass hotdogs followed. If there's not a good char, there is no point in cooking with wood-fire.
  • Walked down an unlit murdery pedestrian underpass, without being murdered.
  • Jumped around on desert rocks, while technically trespassing, in winds severe enough to trip me.
  • Sex.
  • Got the van from hobo-sleep mode to hobo-drive mode single-handedly in winds severe enough to rip my rainpants to shreds.
  • Drank deeply of the sea's beauty.
  • Was reminded why I hate weed, but still managed layout my book. (It just slows me down, which feeds into depression, then amps my anxiousness up to 11.)
  • Watched Olan play in the ocean and finally get to enjoy a cupcake. Egg allergies are a bitch.
  • Stayed up way too late reading T. S. Elliot after a weird interaction with an aggressive beggar. The Wasteland does not aid in cases of anxiety and sleep deprived paranoia.
  • I've worn girl pants for like a third of the trip, and have learned to live w/o pants pockets. I totally lost my pocketknife from either my vest or my purse, though. So I've been carrying around a big ass sheath knife as needed.
  • I've also worn that raggedy ass nipple-riffic misfits shirt for like 1/4 of the trip.
  • Accrued significant amounts of credit card debt.
  • Published a book.
  • Drawn strange looks because I tend to say howdy. A long time ago, I said it often with a heavy dose of irony. The irony died. Same thing happened with obvi and amazeballs more recently.
  • Been living in a van, down by the river!

Monday, December 7, 2015

futility

The light of day died with a sigh, and the earth opened up with a crystalline scream.

His eyes shuddered with a stuttering flutter. Air shifted within his chambers for the first time in centuries. His clothes had rotted away; his flesh shriveled to dusty nothingness.

He must have died.

He might have shrugged if there was any interest left within his brittle bones.

The time had come. The portents had fallen. It was his moment.

The gate within beckoned to be release. Hellfire and horror and misery and disease clamored against his indifference. Power and long promised vengeance burned all around him.

He did not care.

Centuries of meditation had taught him futility if nothing else.

Let them have their tiny world for another cosmic iota, he thought. They are likely to destroy it themselves, anyway. 

Instead he slept, dreaming of void and forgetful time.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

buy my book

My novella Western Lights is totally for sale now.

Some pieces of it appeared on this very blog, in a rougher format.

If you liked the weird west stuff I've done so far, you'll probably really enjoy this.

http://www.lulu.com/shop/edward-lockhart/western-lights/paperback/product-22474802.html
CLICK HERE TO BUY IT!
It all started because I was thinking about the reality of coming back into civilization from long stays in the wild. The visceral bits of pain and filth that only come to mind at the sight of ordered streets,

Then it just kept expanding into something more and more and more. All this is no small part because of interactions with you, my wonderful readership.

Thank you all for reading. Now, please, gimme some money.

But seriously thank you so much for reading and talking nerd-words with me.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

doubt

We must be almost quiet or they will know. They can never be certain, big noisy things. It is very important: they must never know.

Hearing only echoes, seeing nothing but brief reflections, they wonder. They doubt. They question.

The milk was there, he knew, only minutes ago. Then, there it sat, spoiled in the cabinet,

An extra shadow flirted across the bathroom mirror before she blinked. In the obscuring steam, she shrugged, yet her heart quickened.

We are the whispered scream in silent rooms. We are the hot breath imagined on your neck. We are the doubt that breaks your peaceful dreaming.



----

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 (this is one of my only sources of income now).


Thanks,
Edward

Thursday, December 3, 2015

reader's response criticism of “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”"

This was going to be better (maybe). I took fucking notes and everything… but then the baby needed to sleep so the computer light is all I’ve got.

“The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” has always been powerful to me. It thrums with honest revulsion, the staggering weight of emptiness, and strangled flights of fancy, barely held back by “high collar” and “simple pin”.

It excited me in high school when first it was taught at me. It set me on fire in college.

I had a good professor. An expert in scansion, she held the deep passion such knowledge unlocks. A long hard look at the thing split it open, “like a patient etherized upon the table”, and the bloody wonders beneath laid bare.

She was especially smitten by the lines, “I should have been a pair of ragged claws/Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.” They enchanted me then; they burden me now.

That wish was such a mystery. Why? Why be less than a lobster, to only be the mindless claws, the simple tools of the simple beast? I know now why.

He already was a simple tool; he knew this well. Claws could never be burdened with such insight.

Of course then, Prufrock’s isolation and quiet desperation appealed to a version of myself who was just getting into Brand New, The Weakerthans, and Modest Mouse. Now, it resonates with all my many quiet explosions and stuttering mistakes.

I may not have “measured out my life in coffee spoons”, but that means little. I measured it instead in drams and pints and hangovers and 40 hour work weeks. I still threw so much away in “formulated phrase”.

And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall

I’ve spent a lifetime desperately grasping that pin, pulling it out by half measures, but never letting go. Afraid of success and new faces, afraid of failure and familiar disappointed faces, I languored in an unhappy middle. All the while I was dreaming of mermaids singing, but of course they never sang to me.

I shall not wait to grow old to wear “my trousers rolled”.

Mr. Prufrock (almost) finds imaginative solace in his small “cautious” and “politic” part. I settle no longer for such.

I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.
We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

light can speak such beautiful lies

Rough brown hills,
by sun and distance
transform:

Soft velvet, like some family pet,
buff-colored dog, folded fur,
curling in sleep, warming its back
in heavy daylight.