Writing

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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Corn Stalks

Early on a Tuesday– they think it must have been after midnight– a good friend followed through on a promise.  A promise I had unfortunately heard often, and with shifting levels of conviction, over the last several years as personal challenges mounted.  But somehow, I always managed to talk her back from that ledge.   This year, though, it was different.     Instead of picking up the fucking phone, she first picked up the bottle– I wonder if she suspected I’d just use clever words to change her mind.  All I know for certain is that she wrote a note filled with regret on cheap motel stationery.  A brief synopsis of a life she felt she lived…wrong.  Nothing but naked regret and echoing apologies ringed in …

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Tennessee Romeo Blues

An alabaster neck and cinnamon eyes— the devil’s own playground.  Exposed skin yielding to softer touch and harder prose.  Caresses triggering supple submission to the heated spark of bedroom surrender.    A brittle, temporary love.  Unguarded and unrepentant— roguishly stolen.  Hesitant concessions spread bare on a mountain featherbed where hell came riding with me.   Unstained devils pretending to be angels; degenerate angels pretending to be clean.   Both consumed with fleshy sin and whiskey-breath promises until bodies collapsed under the weight of pale whispers.   Just another temporary Romeo— another convenient character briefly written into her script as an ersatz replacement for more permanent heroes.  Not the heart she needed. Just the one she managed to steal.  And under quilted blankets holding naked confessions, that was …

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Perfume

I stole my first real breath in the whisper of that perfume.  A scent powerful enough to loiter for decades.  A fragrance capable of surviving cold bottles.  And of sparking heated battles inside the furnace of old sin.   I catch hints of it in my blackout dreams. Or during my sobering nightmares.  It lingers there, hard and unapologetic.  No matter what I smoke.  Or drink.  Or fuck.  It reaches out across the memory of wasted years to remind and rekindle as I struggle to breathe free.   Instead, I am left alone to suffocate in the crush of stubborn recollection.   In desperation, I take to the low company of high-proof co-conspirators.  I hide inside polished words.  And scribbled prescriptions.   Anything to mask the sting …

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