fool who shouldn’t walk the line

[This is meant to be hummed/sung as an exploration
of the blues through an omniscient narrator.
Think Pink Anderson, J.D. Short, Otis Rush, Sonny Terry]

Through the screen of a window, the sun shines brightly
illuminating leaves small and still dangling
from branches reaching far above the lazy streets.
Suddenly, a sweet female voice shouts with fury
to confront a gentleman whose tone’s so raspy.house on Farmington

Their argument resembles the blues
if two voices could be used
to show how emotions
can lead to such confusion.

Words are unclear until the woman exclaims,
“Boy, you’ve got me sitting idly
only to tell me someone’s waiting on you.
I said why you got me sitting idly
when someone’s already waiting on you?”

The gentleman sways his body weight to the other side,
flings his arms up, then loudly declares,
“Now, now, now don’t go chasing me with your insanity
just cause you couldn’t come to that party,
though I won’t deny seeing you then would have been mighty nice.”

To which the woman responds with an extraordinary howl,
“Don’t you dare try that move,
I hear about what you’ve been up to.
It’d be best to use less trickery
so I don’t keep feeling like such a fool.”

With disbelief, the gentleman replies,
“I wonder why you act so funny
but your words show me you misread
why I have to go run and hide.
I guess you don’t, no, you don’t know much about me.”

The woman can’t help but laugh with a bit of surprise,
“Honey, hasn’t there been enough time spent
reflecting on our likenesses?” Even as he nods his head,
with pity she says, “Don’t talk to me
like I’m a fool who shouldn’t walk the line.”

When the gentleman pauses, his eyes widen
and jaw drops so he can express,
“This only proves what wasn’t meant to be.
Damn, now I see what woes may come
in more forms ’an one by over thinking compatibility.”

Hidden behind her hands, the woman gasps incredulously,
“I can’t believe I wasted time
helping you find comfort in being divine.
Oh, why does this happen
whenever I help minds of a new light?”
house and tree on Cass
All of a sudden a car in the distance
screeches noisily to a halt
but the two continue bickering
as though nothing happened at all.

Before the gentleman opens his mouth,
he points to the smoky scene,
“Maybe that’s a sign you ought to consider
in saving some of that energy.
Yea, you may want to learn how to use that energy.”

This makes the woman cringe and reply abruptly,
“You take and take but stand without
any respect for my universal love.
So silly, oh, so silly to think
you’d be there in my time of need.”

Stomping her heel against the ground
making cement seem quite hollow,
she advised him, “Send me no more temptations
to things you know I like to doing.
Time enjoyed was heaven sent, was it ’cause I’m such fool?”

The woman repeated, “I said the time enjoyed was heaven sent,”
then the two said in unison,
“And I’ve met the self I’ve suppressed for so long.
Maybe you’re the reason why
it’s easy for it to be hidden and found.”

with a deep sigh

T: I don’t like it when my apples turn brown.
Y: You don’t eat enough apples to dislike when that happens.
T: But I still don’t like when they turn brown, is that a justifiable statement to make?
Y: I don’t see why not.
T: Oh, hell, why am I even asking you?
Y: Because I’m a figure of your imagination that tells you when it’s okay to think things and when it’s okay to think some things that you would otherwise deem unnatural.
T pauses for a few seconds, stares at the carpet, then at the corner of the desk, then at the plant upon the coffee table.
T: Ya know. This plant is in a very inconvenient place in your office.
Y moves his eyes slowly toward the plant and then moves his eyes back to meet the eyes of his patient.
Y: Is that so?
T: Well, yes. (pauses) You don’t want to block the link between the doctor and his patient.
Y continues to stare blankly at T but T doesn’t notice the absence of interest in the new theory.
T: You see there’s simply far too much to consider while I sit here and think about as you sit across from me. The plant would be too much to handle in the processing of information on either one of our ends!
Y: (with a deep sigh) Ah, yes, well I must say I haven’t considered that before.
T: Why thank you.
Y: What do you mean, “Thank you?”
T: I feel like I just gave you a piece of invaluable knowledge that I should be given a reward for. A thank you will do just fine in this instance.
Y: Right, well, I must be heading out soon and you should do the same if you would not like to be billed for more than one appointment.
T: I see, well, yes, I’ll be off then too. Thank you so much for helping me this week.

A week passes and T sits in the same seat and looking exponentially more distraught than the last visit to the office of Y.
T: I don’t understand why the hell things haven’t been going my way. I’ve read a significant amount of literature about the planets’ movements, have yet to see any negative implications of the retrograde movement of Venus, yet I still face complications with my collection of fruit!
Y: Is this a peculiar habit of yours, depending on literature of planetary movements to address your culinary affairs?
T: Well, I don’t think so but I haven’t taken two steps from my home since I had my last visit with you.
Y: WAKE UP!

[originally written October 7, 2010]

the man in purple

It’s happened again, said the man in purple,
The old habit’s gone and
the damned witch made me love
with a mental load big enough to make one scruple!
He hopped and sulked all in four seconds,
only to discover there was nowhere
a person with a solution for his ailments.
So slowly he walked toward the mountainous curve
even as clouds obscured his vision and only his breath was heard.
At first in a whisper, then accelerating to a shout,
the man in purple exclaimed,
I stare out my window
wondering where you could be.
During this morning hour, amidst dark shadows
your face is still all my mind sees!
Should I call or perhaps forget
any attempt to explore if you feel this stress?
I close my eyes and your face is near mine,
a pleasant sight for this late unrest.
Swiftly he continued up the nebulous route
only stopping momentarily to yell at the clouds,
These words are all I have
to sort through what you mean
within my heart even when it grows weary
every time I see you leave.

as last summer ended

I just burped. Now my mouth tastes like canned meat. Not the meat one sees at a deli but the sort of shreds in metallic protein taste that lingers in the back of my throat and upon the roof of my mouth. The sky is clear and pale blue while the leaves on the branches of the tree outside my window dawdle in the final weeks of the summer air. Birds chirp and there’s a cricket singing incessantly at quite an impressive pace. Then a car passes the north side of my parents’ home and continues west toward the main road adjacent to the subdivision. I close my eyes and hear my brother’s asthmatic cough resounding from the family room where the television and most likely computer screen are titillating his imagination.

[I remember reflecting on this August 6, 2012. I’m intrigued to learn how sounds will change as time progresses.]

many pages and half moons

The first warm breeze of the spring season
tickled a young boy’s ears for no apparent
reason. He watched the branches’ rigid
movements and let his nose be overwhelmed by
the scent of moist soil until upon a horizontal
current slid a screen door. When he turned
around and saw his playmate run from afar, he
felt in the pit of his stomach a desire to learn
what he’d heard once in the schoolyard.

“What is respect,” a young boy asked his
playmate in a sandbox who responded to the
interrogation with a face so coy.

“I read in a book with many a page and half
moons respect is something you feel if an
honorable impression is made.”

Staring at his toy and then at the sand, the young
boy inhaled and said, “The feeling I get when I
sit on a train, seeing trees and clouds whiz by in
the sky, is this an instance respect can be applied?”

The corners of the playmate’s mouth turned
upside down but he stayed calm for he enjoyed
the effect of a verbal merry-go-round. “When
you sit on a train respect could be felt, as long
as you’re not thinking of yourself.”

The young boy’s eyes widened with surprise.
“Not think of myself? Well, you must be joking!
I’m most happy and can twaddle for hours when
I see the world and it speaks to me.”

The playmate laughed heartily and exclaimed to
his friend, “Now you must be the one who’s
joking for the world does not use words to talk
to human beings! We’re on it because it’s only
here to be seen!”

“Take that back,” said the young boy in a fury.
“I’ll have you know the trees and grass have a
bond with the wind and rain as much as you and
I have in this sandy space.”

Shaking his head and peering around, the
playmate stood up and looked quite proud.
“This area is for everyone to use and enjoy,
not to…”

Before he could finish, the young boy inserted,
“Isn’t it everyone’s duty to employ gentle senses
when understanding all forms of nature’s beauty?”

The playmate answered quickly, “How do you
come up with a word like employ when you just
asked me to clarify simple terminology?”

“Words of that sort seem easy to understand
while terms of so common seem abused by the
absence of comprehension regarding the realm
imbued by simplicity.”

The playmate shrugged then looked toward the
heavens. “Maybe the self can be included in
thought when it comes to respect of this
wondrous environment.”

in Brooklyn

Early on Saturday morning, nine hours after toasting to the new year, I was on my way to the subway to visit a friend in Jersey City. My head was throbbing, my mouth was dry, and the bagel and cream cheese I got from the bodega made my stomach feel really strange but my eyes were wide open as the sun was shining and melting the snow piled along the streets. I couldn’t help but stop when I saw this.