Twenty-four

30 SEP 2023 Little Red House Under the Stairs Sitting in front of an electric Underwood.  A 565.  It isn’t fancy. Or particularly pretty.  Functional.  Business.  Drab in its presentation. But, I can make it work. Some stickers.  A stencil here or there.  Perhaps some paint.  Or, maybe just let the kids free to have at it, with markers and paint pens.  Because why not? Colour never hurts.  Neither does another typewriter.  How many?  Who fucking knows…too many to count.  And, that’s okay.  As long as hers are hers and mine are mine.  Because we haven’t yet crossed that relationship threshold.  The one where collections are truly combined. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe next year. Or maybe never. And, that’s okay.  I don’t want her ever getting lost.  …

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The Neighborhood

Go on, boy.   Bang it out. Then drink it in–irony tastes refreshingly bitter on the leading edge of a fifth decade.  So better to keep drinking while grinding through.  Consuming the madness.  Choking on the chemicalization.  Calculating paths of least resistance across the face of an uncooperative schedule. Because what’s another day of mittened mania, here in the hostile land of QD Donut Munchers? Freaking out in the absence of never fitting in.  Always the weird one.  The one watching from the meadowed periphery of entanglement.  Living out of bags and boxes.  Running scared from a hunting Wolverine wolf pack of rabid mediocrity.  The native predators pushing out the immigrant fox at the expense of his gentle collaboration.  Pressing somehow past self-inflicted boundaries.  Fingers ready on …

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Literary Bad Boy

She was a beautiful mess in a pretty sundress. Bright floral print and provocatively translucent. Short enough to tease urges from lingering winter hibernation. And just long enough to project modesty.   Freckled skin smelled of girly things. Hair spray and perfume; make-up and lotions. All those mysterious concoctions that boys just don’t understand. But to which they find themselves inexplicably drawn. Like horny moths to the gleaming heat of a summer porch light.   Her imperfect beauty clashed with his ramshackle presence. A worn t-shirt advertising his favorite fictional band. Sneakers more holes than tread. Sunglasses hiding eyes that went to sleep smoking. And woke up on fire.     She smelled of flowers; he smelled like the streets. That odd mixture of cigarette smoke, sweat, …

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The Dirty Boulevard

I fought my way through hell. But, I was lucky enough to have kissed an angel. I felt the scaring prick of abuse. But, then I blushed hard against the curve of alabaster skin.  And delighted in her freckles counted there.  I wanted to give each a name.  And celebrate the imprint of their uniqueness. Forever. Instead, rough fingers traced the smoother edges of a dream right before the wake-up call of another scheduled good-bye. A clean dream.  One in which healthier avenues would eventually prevail.  And claim gentle victory over the forces of narcissistic intent. But being born to wander the dirty Boulevard leaves little room for acclimation.  Or even acceptance.  Not when legalities constantly threaten.  And commitment teeters under the influence of abusive memory.  …

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Deer Prints

Broken trees bend in a familiar meadow. A cloudlessly blue Mitten sky hangs bright. Covering unsteady ground. But not taking any notes.   Because nature keeps her secrets. Right along with mine. Not where the crawdads sing. But, down in the holler. Where foxes play.   Fresh deer prints on the trail; vines stripped from all the pines. The ones pulled free and trimmed, to spark warmth in the chill of a star-filled Clinton County night.   Anticipation hangs. Like frozen exhalations in winter. Impatient for growth; hungry for the spring.   Sounds carry strange, caught in the grip of a Capitol City December. Voices echo harder; vibrations, they linger.   The songs of nature rhyme–strange words for a city boy caught out of his elements …

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Smokestacks

A curious brutality is born whenever hearts combine.    It is often accidental. Seldom intentional. And if it is, that’s a type of abuse better captured by other, more competent, writers. My talents aren’t nearly impartial enough to ever capture that peculiar complexity.    It just sort of happens; no one is really at fault. Feelings and expectations combine as the commonality of mutual experience meld into a comforting pattern of disconnect. One that eventually erupts unexpectedly on some random Clinton County Wednesday morning.     It was a long time in coming, that breakdown of communication. There is only so much compassion one can find after only a few hours of sleep stretched out hard on thinly padded living room patio furniture. And before the strength …

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Harvest Moon

Michigan hardens tonight, leaving me to starve under a harvest moon.    The corn is ripe and ready for the reaping.  Bounty fills these flyover fields still strange to me, though at first glance, they were eerily familiar.  The new land of plenty and promise; opportunity and advancement.  Flourishing and thriving in the nurturing warmth of sharp Spartan sunshine.    But things are always different at night.    When the streets are deserted.  Save for the pinball shuffling of urban zombies caught juggling their burdens.  Be it addiction.  Or homelessness.  Or even mental illness.    I hand out smokes like a malignant Johnny Rotten Appleseed.  And I’m happy to help keep the cravings of strangers away.  Because I know what it is to do without.  Or …

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