Remember how it used to be, Holding the world in arms, Not rustling finger against it, And like all your best friends did, You would look at the world with grit, a soulfulness that could never fit Now that time's gone. But it isn't wrong to speak with what your skin keeps, What crawls thru the synapses and reaches you mountaintop head, Setting its flag of feeling on a proud pedestal. But maybe desire lives fast, dies young, And your feet creep thru the yards for some days, hide behind the sun rays. So, you can raise your gaze to the night when it lasts, the day is adjusted into your life. Sparks soar and collide, Dreams drive thru the highway, And your tragedy is more than home, Here's to comedy that stood thru the night's shades.
An alleyway stood beside a retail store once, Jim walked toward a glass box. It encased cigarette packs, a Gatorade, a Rolling Stone magazine all set against an Ocean’s Twelve poster backdrop that embraced the back of the box. Jim brought it, and carried on.
As his feet reached curves and corners of market squares, the street came to an end. It was followed by a bridge that led to another street, by this point he felt tired. It was the finale of his enthusiasm or so it seemed. Advertisements wavered on billboards about perfumes, and festivals. Pick-up trucks drove by with all their trashy glory bound to the back. A taxi hammered in from nowhere and escorted him home, the driver twisted his head, cracked his knuckles, crossed his legs, and somehow matched the movements of his vehicle.
Jim placed the box of December on the high shelf, amid stacks of birthday cards that he didn’t give, or maybe he received them, among his prized vinyl records and a lavender scented candle that glowed all it slight in yesterday’s dark, now flickered with a tiny flame on its miniature wick and melted body.
“Another year” he admired, knocking his body down to floor.
As you nervously chuckled behind a camera,
Your mouth widening on your face, your lips pushing your cheeks to your eyes, your skin wrinkling joyfully underneath,
The sky grew colder.
Cold and coolly separating the spectral bands of light in the skyline.
Tonight, you said, would be another night hiding behind the distance that buzzes alight on telephone wires,
Your mind fiddling with the reality, storing it at the front of your vision,
In the look that recorded the moments passing by, bolting, and yet collecting in a box of memories
That will rust with age, and marry with time to escape the brain that holds them,
To reach states of silence, quiet, and to hide forever in darkness.
A handful of curses slip from the cracks of your fist as it flies across air to punch the truth taking your dreams awa .
Aeroplanes line above, glittering in fluorescent imaginations,
But the stars grew dull.
Doors that were red, and blue and funky in Cuban styles, turned black and white, zebra-striped, waiting for that shadowed while,
To flicker in crying drops of rain,
To remind you of an upcoming movie- unwinding in celluloid banners, lapping over each strip as it falls to the floor.
Tragic. Is it not? That it will never revisit you. That magic.
In shadows or in skin, he felt he had hungered the gaze of the sea.
At bay, midnight, the day lost the sun to the night.
He mourned, bare chested, with the cold wind clawing at his shoulders,
his heart expanding underneath, eyes level to the fading horizon.
People soared thru the limestone cliffs, splashing feet in the face of the waters.
His head followed the images flashing in the pale fire of moonlight.
Then they receded to a house with a brick bedded ceiling, with thin walls.
Sounds came unstuck in the air, mingling with sweat and grains of burnt rollups.
And from behind those walls, morning hit his feelings,
He bowed in open wind.
His mouth whispered stronger than any word before “And love, be brave”
When the daylight began to flicker, he immersed his body in the sea,
fishing for some days he had before in each bubbling breath.
Then the uprising water delivered him to shore, with a smile hanging from his lips,
and his shivering body clutched in his fingers, heading home, or finding one.
“I feel that I’ve lived in a lonely shadow that has echoed across my thrills, resounding and reverberating to a zero whenever it wished. There’s been laughter, nights that grew faster, days that have clung on till my haircuts, and I’m headed a way that leads me to more. Sadness is fastened to my mind, and my hands are in seismic shakes of caressing my forehead, and hair. Moments are flung above my eyes, and I watch as they fly away, they look back, keep making me feel more of something that I have boxed and wrapped in dust so it can unravel in age, in time. Yet something empties me, wastes me somehow because the manner in which I narrate myself can’t navigate thru my desires, which are many and unclear. I can survive being alone, and move on, but with all this space in my mouth, my tongue flattened, stuck to my jaw, the air wrestles and flips in the abundance of space. So, I stare into the two or three stars in the night sky, feeling the chill on my vacant arms and legs, lights dripping oldly from the ceiling, draped in thin boundaries, fading into the walls like paintings struck into museums, still, lifeless, objective. My head bobs, my mind runs, my brain knits all these dreams, and makes me imagine scenarios that exhaust my satisfaction. I should sleep but instead I’ll watch Blade Runner”
He carried thru the day shuffling vigilant eyes thru the center stage of the sky where the sun wiggles in between the tip of clouds to set and end the day. The traffic unzipped on the road and paved way, so he could drag his bones in their pulsating skin to his destination.
He studied sanctuaries of mountainous papers, and libraries of secret prayers but all he found were stunts and glimpses, advertisements wrung in stapler pins, and zero meaning. Yet again.
Does this cycle of discoveries make him less afraid to die? Make him more capable of last goodbyes? Because now he measures time in his head, binds hours in handshakes, and dreams at the blink of an eye. And he dreams forevermore of visiting those place he failed to see, his fingers pacing, and hair tracing the corners of his memories, ailing to stomach that slight twitch of the body that lapses in between states of sleep and awareness, and districts of travel and stasis.
Scratches permeate the membranes of his imagination in the concise cut of hope, and as he looks onward the indigo sea on his calendar, focusing his vision as the pages flutter from the breeze. His weariness hurries to the top of his lungs, and he cannons an exasperated sigh into open air, burying the days marked on the calendar, waiting for a howl of release.
The water broke in past the walls,
And smashed onto the table tops, drowning flowers and shattering vases,
And as your eyes hid behind your parted fingers, curling into the corners of your couch,
Fetal and grey, lonely with static sounds in your flooded ear.
The matchboxes descended from atop the fridge,
And the calendars hanging on the adjacent wall crinkled within the moment,
Slowly, magically, vanishing into the airy fizzes that came off an empty bottle of milk that opened in fair mistake.
Soon, you awakened to dry land, furniture parched of smiles,
And bed sheets wryly writhing in unmade ways.
You don’t say anything.
Headed a street, vacancy occupying the conversations,
Memories still flowering in a brain gunning against runny desires.
All dreams are delivered to you in your sleep,
And you don’t say anything, because you’re still impartial of time to come.
Hoping to come off the boundaries, and whispering to disillusioned park benches,
That hope flakes on your skin, frailly dances across each synapse,
Binding each conclusion in measurements of consequences,
And setting you apart, sailing you across,
to happy, and softly lit lands of film festivals,
and clocks, and chocolates,
Between minutes of life and love and death.
The sadness sets in stone,
and in pebbled flings of hands, ripples the water.
My gaze meets each inch and and travels upward the sky,
where the clouds are melting and gurgling like white lightning,
and coming mistily down to screen the darkness.
It’s draped in white.
And my exploration trembles behind,
arms begin spacing, knees start to heel,
everything is a snapshot dragged across time in flaming orange,
pacing each wooden moment, floor to my feet.
Maybe in a million nights,
I could approach the fluttering sound of my heartbeats, and color my breath with Sharpies on an easel,
with water trapped in a petite bottle, shining like sapphires. Glimmering.
A hundred paper lamps were floating across the river as the sun was going down, scorching everything in moody orange. Jim touched the strips of sunset colors with his cheek, in shiny, shiny leather, and gazed at the magnetic plunges of serial suits and ties, boxer shorts, and bright shirts rolled up. The tender September moments fleeing into the mirroring glass of office buildings, and the chemise of the day was golden, with sneezes and smoke settling snugly into the sparkling air.
Things look different in this effervescent glow, like the light itself highlights the cheekbones of the riverbank, darkens its eyelashes and dilates it’s pupils. Some unreasonably complimentary filter that softens thoughts and faces, and a low electric hum crossing wires and connecting the disconnected souls on alternate sides of the riverbank. Floating frequencies and bridges where there were moats and dissolving moonless September nights in the glistening water.
With teeth like piano keys, children smiled, and faces came out of the horizon, as parents shuffled and bumped into each other to reach the riverfront. Jim had the unwavering faith of starting an adventure, seeking inspiration from the suburban parental, familial satisfaction, and the Christopher McCandless, exploration of the wild. He thought he had enough age on his head to have it all. And his compact home, he remembered, had seeping pipes and now it beckoned him to go bathe in waterfalls, and not showers; climb more mountains, and less beds. This dream in his mind collided with the clanging of the barefoot footsteps on the bridge. He stared wide-eyed, short dressed into the seams, where the blankness made him move slowly to complete a scene of revelry. Just roping him with the clutch of its happiness. Cartoons from newspaper stands flew in the animate the sky, and he propagated himself into the fields of long, brunette haired people.
There’s a shared frequency here, and Jim tunes in to the atmosphere and turns the radio waves up until he can feel the air grow loud with the sound of his favourite song. It’s the kind of coincidence that feels like destiny and reverberates from somewhere within his chest until he cannot help but hear the beat of his own heart and the sound of his own hum. It’s a realisation, and before he knows it, his vocal chords open to the tune of possibilities, happy birthdays and gratuities sung in some hidden place of adventure. He sees his name rolling in the credits, words tumbling everywhere ready for him to collect with his pen in the cinematic release surging through him as he dances in the sunrise of tomorrow.
This is my third time collaborating with the talented In Mind and Out. We sparked a sense of happiness and plugged it into the character I’ve focused on writing this month.
Off the western edge of his bed, there were boxes of broken light bulbs, and tapes binding teary fronts of books. And burnt pages were settled snugly into the air particles that scattered at the beat of a hand.
Face in, and tongue out, he hollowed the vessels in his eyes to be a screen for tears, for them to somehow appear, suddenly he felt blindes by his drowsiness, and his eyelids began closing in, lips quivering tragically. Wholly and coolly lit radium pumped stickers were killing the silhouettes of darkness, and he was living easily off the stars and the moon cut in quarters. He pushed everything away, and paused at the globe in the handles of his dancing fingertips, and so it came to a crash, and he came to be slow, and to lay beside his pillow, with his head clothed by his blanket, feeling Netflix infected.
He wanted blackness and surprise in the midst of his nerves and his tension, while the ceiling of his room wheeled above, the fan driving wind into his mouth open with a vacuuming yawn, and his legs still were seismic, and his stomach was folded as he curved and flipped in his throes of sleeplessness.