Blueberry Whine

Outside, the face of a sunny Monday has collapsed into darkness.  Inside, blueberry wine is poured into a stained coffee mug.  Because it was her favorite.  But I can’t even do that without somehow soiling it.   It was a long battle.  One she had fought previously on two occasions. And somehow managed to win.  But the third time was not her charm.  Those misguided percentages were just another fucking lie.   Through it all, I cheered for her.  Celebrated her songs.  Learned all the words.  Debated that cross-country trip when I first heard the news.  She helped me to live; I wanted to help her die.  But, I didn’t go.  Because when that idea was proposed, we were still lying to ourselves—everything would be okay. …

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Flapper Dreams and Other Strange Things

  There is nothing worse than finally meeting the woman of your dreams, in your dream, only to wake up and realize that you’ll never see her again.    And just to twist the knife a little bit more, when you do finally wake up, there are messages waiting.   Messages from a girl who has come the closest so far to meeting the imaginary benchmarks set inside the unpredictability of those dreams.   Much of it was washed out and ethereal, as dreams often tend to present themselves.  But some of the specifics stuck inside my head–hard.  And their lingering presence made me ache desperately to return to their simple, uncomplicated joy.   We were browsing at some ridiculously large antique mall.  Obviously on the hunt …

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Helplessly Hoping

Monday emails are always a mixed bag.    Sometimes, they are reminders about upcoming bills you’re not sure you’ll even be able to afford that month.  Occasionally, some marketing crap, making empty discounted promises, sneaks through the filters to clog an inbox already in a state of job hunting disarray.  But well into the evening hours an unexpected reply hit a phone I had honestly been trying to avoid.  Because it seemed like it was only full of rejections.   She said my recent writing “reminded her of…us.”  And that scared the shit out of me.  Even though it was just two little letters, they still carried a significance I haven’t yet fully mastered.  And that left me feeling a long-forgotten panic as questions began to …

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Kissing the Kankakee Goodbye

We pushed west burning out on crushed ephedrine energy, ignoring reflected cautions and riding the empty overnight hard.  Blackness yawned in fields of dead corn—just empty space where headlights punctured conversation.  And that blankness gave our demons more room to play.   Chain-smoking prepackaged intentions.  And drinking preconceived confessions.  Allowing angry bluegrass to help keep the time.  Leaving a window cracked to let the smoke merge with the first hits of an indignant dawn rising behind in a blurry Indiana rear-view mirror.    She sat quietly—a detached passenger, as Starke County disappeared.  I did my best to give chase—in-patient freedom waited, impatiently, just across state lines.  But only if I pushed hard enough.  Because I knew we had to gain the ground before those damn demons …

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The Green Eyes Have It

She took me by surprise.   It was shaping up to be just another cookie-cutter Tuesday night, here in the wintery flyover fields.   After having sent out another series of resumes in an attempt to keep looming homelessness at bay, I had settled in to put the final touches on a ridiculous poetry project I recently completed.  Outside the windows of a little blue house, the January winds blew in heavy heaves and sighs- there wouldn’t be any aimless wandering the city streets with weather like that threatening.  So I just hunkered here in a rented bunker to chew up the empty overnight hours with more literary shenanigans.   Then my phone bleeped.   At first, I figured it was just another rejection for a job …

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I Got Dem Ol’ Bubblegum Machine Blues

I woke up far too late in the day after having had far too many beers late into the night.  The spring sky was grey, threatening rain as I sat getting myself caffeinated, and had it not been for my voracious appetite for tobacco, I most likely would have stayed hidden away safely in the boredom of my little blue house for the day.  But, knowing the half of a pack that I had on hand wasn’t going to be nearly enough to get me through the night that I could already feel barreling my way, there was no choice but to head out into the world.  The local neighborhood market was its usual version of awfulness.  It was more crowded than normal, filled with pinballing …

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Total Ellipsis of the Heart…

It seems the whole of my existence is bound by the rigid principles of punctuation. All these tiny marks punched into thin paper help to anchor me, late into an unseasonably snowy spring night when the muffled blanket of unexpected purity strains to cover this sickly City of Wayne shivering alone in the dark.  Little tangible reminders, peppering the fragility of an entirely different whiteness, deeply regimented and somehow keeping time with the lullaby piano music echoing through an empty blue house teetering on new collapse, stand out to me and I realize just how deeply I am caught in their embrace.  Sometimes, they hit harsh and unforgiving.  Sometimes, like a heated, diasterous love affair tragically crumbling into that inevitable bittersweet nothingness, you simply cannot escape …

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House of Bullshit

House. Land. Property. Ownership. The ubiquitous american dream. Hunter went all the way to Las Vegas to find it, up on that little hill, with the right kind of eyes. My parents’ generation fought first to fuck it all up, then later to passively-aggressively nurse it all back to health. My generation lost it, though we had precious little claim on it from the beginning.

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