Thursday, December 13, 2007

Leaving Tranquility: On and On

Left behind my safety pin,
Decisions higher piled than before,
Shel Silverstein was right,
Shoulda took that garbage out.
Enough of the others,
Let us get down and out
To the nitty gritty,
Goin’ on to the somewhere else you hear of.

Hairline fractures on green leaves,
Water drops of dew slip through to our mouths.
Holy Sawyer,
And Nigger Jim,
Mr. Finn as well,
Captain Kidd and Charles Darwin,
Elsewhere in the ether we’ve heard of.

No answers anywhere worth looking at,
So let’s find a cacti,
Let’s ditch class on life for life,
In its place now and always,
No more mucking about,
Leave the bastards back there,
Where we never will hear of again.

Old saints hold older lamps,
Better make the end worth the beginning,
Got the same birthday as Elvis and Jesus and America,
Got the same birthday as Biggie Smalls and John the Baptist and Alexander Pope,
Just trudge on and on,
Won’t be any great dreams, hallucinations, ah peaceful,
Not again, leaving tranquility.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

On Smoking Out Emotions

He blew a perfect smoke ring that circled my face before arcing into the air. This was back when people could still smoke in restaurants. If you didn’t like it you went somewhere else, that’s the hope for my future. I’m leaving next week for sure this time, to where is immaterial.

The waitress came over and warmed our coffees, an ashy cigarette dangling precariously from her red lips over the table.

“This coffee here is fresh, I don’t want to hear no complaining.” her smoky voice emoting feelings long lost, “That damn war has got me so depressed, I’m turning angery, it’s a long time coming… Revelations. Might as well not look anywhere for anythin’, it’s all evaporating, might as well lose all hope now so as to not lose it later. The plagues are returnin’ and I have to heat up people’s coffee. Don’t look too close but that man at the bar has the sickness, I can tell by the way he spits silver when he talks. This is when everything of value loses itself and this country of ours… you know? It’s all about oil. Everything. Even your life ‘n mine, they’ll sacrifice us for that stuff… I… goddamn it, he’s lookin’ around tryin’ to get my attention but trying to disguise it.” And she was off.

It’s sometimes worth it to be a regular, somewhere.

The first Gulf War was shitting all over the television. Looking back it was a simple time, as all of the past seems under the microscope, or telescope actually, of the present.

When he stumped out his cig I wasn’t aware that it would be the second to last time I’d ever see him smoke.

He struck a match. Some hotel he stayed at. I’d be gone next week. The man with the sickness ate uneasily.

As we all should have.

Friday, November 16, 2007

His Son

Well, I submitted the first draft of my book to Sanford J. Greenburger Associates in New York and they turned it down. Back to the writing room again. But for now.. a short story that I have never read once:


“He can have a sip.” Old beardy man said.

The boy proudly reached for the bottle of beer.

“One sip won’t hurt.”

A sip and a sup the boy was a-thinking, he wasn’t hearing the row between his parents. He continued to reach for the bottle and nothing was happening. It wasn’t coming closer but rather staying put with its bubbly sifting to the top and a-sweating mighty.

Must be some tripping of wires that connect his daddy’s brain with his
fingertips, hold up and hold up and waiting and this minute was taking a long old time.

Only a real man and his wife were talking heavy low tones sparkled flippant incidentals that put the boy in a wait. That wait was good for him, his arms stretched like two giraffe necks. Reachity-reach and unrequited tiring of one small-around arm, maddening if that youngster was the type that’d get mad over such inconvenience, he’s a coming back into the world and all its evilness.

“He’s too young to be having beer.”

“It’s one sip and it won’t hurt.”

“C’mon mom.”

Both: “Be quiet.”

“Watch this.” And old beardy man said a funny thing in those lapses of the brain. It woulda been a funny thing too if he wasn’t having a seizure as he said it. That beer dropped from his hand and that hand curled on up toward his face and neck.

His wife said a “Honey? Can you hear me?”

The boy being of sound mind and body said a “Daddy?” and for the life of his
father he couldn’t hear and certainly couldn’t answer his son.

“OH MY GOD!”

“GOD DAMMIT!”

Old beard was saying things that the boy had only heard when playing outside and happened to be within hearing distance of his father a-working.

That beer was a bubbled up and fizzing out. Draining from the bottle its life source like it was being drunk by the high-school alcoholic but instead spill-a-spill all over the carpet.

And then beard came back to, his pupils huge as god. Headache.

“What happened?” he croaked this slowly.

“You had a seizure.”

“God-fucking-damn-it.” He was just saving his best curse fo’ last.

Now it’s to that hospital. That means a drive and a drive and sooner or later you arrive at the hospital, this makes the third time in his adult life that the ol’ bread winner has had a seizure.
Four hundred years ago this would call for the burning of some witches or the lighting of some incense, a few prayers and a ‘depart from me ye cursed’ is implied, seizures were once signs of good ol’ fashioned demonic possession as recently as nineteen and fifty-seven. In some parts of fatty-arsed America that number changes to nineteen sixty-three, the kinds of places where “nigger don’t let the sun set on you here.” Fatty asshead sheriffs putting the final nail in that cross and saying “we warned him, we have a sign.” And if ever a trial… never a trial for asshead and his cousins.

Boy-o-boy. Beard and wife and son sitting in a room waiting and waiting and waited and waited until past and present are the same thing and future is some sort-of futuristic invention. Now white-coat smiley-tired doctor-man knocks, “come in”, this is his house.

What does he have to say? He says well you had a seizure. He says you can’t drive for six months. He says I’ll write you a prescription. He stresses that beardy man has to take it easy, that he has to make sure he takes the medicine, he must get sleep, he must… what’s that?... hmmm… You should cut back on your alcohol consumption, there’s a new study out says a man that drinks too much is more susceptible to those crazy flying neurons of the mind.

The bread winner and his wife and his son go home. He is downtrodden as a seizure is depressing. Well-o-well the wifey was happy about the doctor’s advice.
But ol’ bread winner will do what the hell he wants to do and after a day of work during which he can’t drive, he wants a beer, a rum and coke, a shot of Jack. One of those, all of those, any combination of those that he wants, he would be overreacting to not have a drink at the end of the day.

But his son? He hasn’t yet given his son a sip of beer.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

'as jazz died in the park?

Yesterday jazz in the park made a huge jump,
right before it was hushed up.

Saw a drummer, snare, hi-hat, crash, bass,
Two soloists, trumpet and saxophone.

It was cold as hell, I sat on a concrete lip,
I was wearing none but a hoodie and a thin one at that.

Those guys played pretty damn good,
the trumpeter was young and he ripped up the drummer's beat.

Then he stepped back after several minutes, great solo,
the old saxophone guy had just finished polishing his sax.

He started playing, the drummer was going mad,
he tried to keep up and the callous might think, he's too old. Too bad.

But all of a sudden the drummer played four beats really quiet,
taps, and the sax died down barely blowing, at the end of the beats,

Explosion of genius, the drummer makes it all over again,
the old timer ripped a solo right through the heart of that song.

The young trumpeter was standing back watching,
he played well but he just learned a hard, hard lesson.

Then the park security came and said you're playing too loud,
Shit. Is jazz in the park dead? The village is experiencing a new jazz movement.

I don't know, I stopped by the park today and only saw a hippie,
strumming his guitar, a few around him, but he was all alone.a

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Anticlimactic Iron and Wine look-a-like guy.

There was smoke or steam coming out of the roof,
the sun was setting and the weather was stereotypically fallish.

At first some classical wannabe guitarist was playing,
hooked up to an amp, it was impossible to ignore him.

I was reading a crappy book stuck between two crappy bands,
A jazz quartet that lost the beat and lost the plot.

I wish the jazz combo would come back,
but I guess they've moved on along down the hall.

After the guitarist left another guitarist came along,
he wasn't plugged in, at least he could be ignored.

He started singing, loud, "Clowns to the left of me..."
nervous, strumming nervously, loud timbre to his voice though.

He looked like the guy from Iron and Wine,
he sang that one song: "Who will sa-ave your soul?"

Then with a tint of irony that made the windows black,
"... Hit me baby one more time!"

Well, it wasn't so bad, he gave the song some credit,
but after only thirty minutes, he started the playlist over.

The same songs, except he didn't sing 'Purple Rain' twice,
what a damn shame, what a damnable shame.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

This Friggin' Cat That I Live With

Yesterday it rained 'til my levee broke,
went to the laundromat and didn't even smoke.

I'm living with a crazy goddamn feline,
it sleeps all day and tries to keep me up all night.

I think it's deranged because it stands guard over a dip in the floor,
and sometimes it gets the urge to do laps at three in the morning or four.

I'll wake up in shock and whisper/shout "Cat!",
and throw my flip-flop, if I was Dr. Dre it would be a ratatatat.

I won't let him sleep so he'll have to wait until later,
when I leave, but watch, tonight he'll spend an hour on top of the radiator.

Like I said he runs laps around my apartment, I've seen the track*,
Tonight I'll put a new obstacle up, it'll be my hand showing him what the five fingers said to the face. Slap!


* He starts in the middle of the room, then runs behind the couch, leaps on top of it from the floor, then under my bed, knocks over a plant, around my bed, sharpens his claws on the foot of the bed and my feet, and back to a crouched position near the dip in the floor.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Today I didn't even have to use an AK...

I couldn't believe that today was a good day,
Went to Gizzi's and drank a Red Eye.

Walked around today shaven and saved,
went to a thrift shop looked at the sunglasses selection.

Ha ha, the village is in a post-wayfarers slump,
glad I bought mine a year before all of you did.

Went to the park, don't go to the fountain so much anymore,
listened to a free jazz combo, editing my first book.

Saw the police and they almost crashed into each other,
riding bikes and profiling black folks gathering.

The Jazzbeats backing them up, ah,
saxophone man took that smoky note and held it.

The drummer switched it up today,
playing with a brush and a mallet at the same time.

Dropped a dollar, not much,
but everyone is poor in the new millennium.

Went to the hot dog stand on corner of 5th ave and Wash. Sq. North,
places all over the place, eighth street is a treasure chest.

Know what Jack White meant,
can't keep up with hipsters, better to be a country star.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Everything seems so close when you walk

It's been a while since I've seen that voodoo man,
Also been a while since I went to that Sushi Stand

But the violin boy had accompaniment playing accordion,
I liked it better when it was just him.

White boy funk band with a saxophone in Wash. Sq. Park
C-SPAN on the TV fighting about the war.

I was sitting on the fire escape,
New York has the biggest squirrels I've ever seen.

There was someone picking a Sitar in the park,
When I say picking, I mean it was like a cosmic banjo.

Walked up what was positively fourth street yesterday,
Wore a white jacket, just going to the grocery store.

Direct from Madison Square Garden the poster said,
I'm going there today to buy a bus ticket.

25 hours to get back to Huntsville,
and that's if I'm lucky.

Times Sq. Union Sq. Walking distance,
Just pull a Eustace Conway and walk home.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

A Mural Appears, Late

It's been two or three days since I saw that voodoo man
performing a hex on a sushi stand.

Was sitting in Wash. Sq. Park, guy with a limp going by
A violin boy was providing a soundtrack, not many tipped.

Went to Thompkins Sq. Park where? East Village
Walked there from the West Village, down 3rd, 4th, 10th streets.

When I left Thompkins I saw a Joe Strummer mural,
snapped a picture, now I shuffled and it went to "Lover's Rock"

People in the park always offering you a bag of grass,
it's really oregano most the time, you can find better connections

Really enjoy the Village, Kerouac years spent here,
been to Hemingway years spent here, gotta keep moving.

Walked everywhere since I got off that bus,
except the taxi ride from the bus station. Cost: Ten Dollars

Temp is 57 degrees, that's Farenheit.
Poetry finally coming together to form a picture.

Not stricken with paranoia nor hustle,
just gelling with the city, feeling it out.

Many people with white wires going into their ears, walking around,
not looking around, probably trying to drown out the sirens.

My friend said TV on the Radio sounds like traffic noises,
I don't think so really, but I do hear "city" jazz on the rooftop

I think I just may walk to Penn station when I leave, at end of Oct. '07
William Penn it was named after, naw shit, so was Pennsylvania

Ah, no spell check, just my cold hands, no gloves,
Lost ten pounds since I got here. I was 160, push ups every day.

One day I may write about this period, maybe not,
Only if I'm broke, or inspired, that will be happy.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Cops feel weird hearing rappers say "I run this city!".

Yesterday I saw a voodoo man
performing a hex on a sushi stand

There's always a woman tells me good morning,
on the stairs. When it's afternoon.

Bought a The New Yorker at a Barnes Ignobles
and every time I look at their magazine selection "I say Blugh."

(The cashiers can sense it too
Weird to be a writer away from your home, you know?)

The man on the street knows what you want
if you want a music magazine, Rolling Stone or Mojo?

He's got Snapple Lemonade and Payday candy bars
My eyes are red and a sniper has me in his sights.

Whatever you say is wrong, whatever I say is right.
Right? Wrong it's a bit of nomenclature. Write!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Telegraph From American University, Overdue

been on a greyhound bus for 20 hours stop gotta pull up the bootstraps and buckle the fuck down, no mucking about on the near or far shores that can't exist as far as my imagination will conceive.

my imagination has as of right now dried up into a stimpy sized pea, shriveled in the goddamn sun lie grape don't move til you're a raison cane wit booby traps, our traps can't be bothered with punctuation.

I'm late lazy stoned out of all mind and feeling gonna mull around numb as hell gotta catch the fall somewhere i may as well land where i can think softly and carry a big ol fat stick.

I was born a thousand times before i realized what the fuck was going on like what the hell is all this fluid and when it had a name i still didn't recognize and birth said you better recognize fool.

so i did and wished it was a binge on a subway hell a binge on hell and i've had enough fire and brimstone to be bothered with real life better flip that I'll I say I'll get on a case of real life taking durgs

aND YES yall i meant to not stop til when the break of dawn and not write again until the end of the day all day every day yes yes Yall ya don't stop with the body rock b-boys throwin down.

what i meant to say was i will write durgs instead of durgs whenever the mood hits me back and aa holly! that's a holla for the unintended uninitiated smack of dawn crack head leaned back.

eyesroll don't slap the biscuit from the hand that fed you, feed yourself and i'll clap like i'm a supposed to left the let down in a down trodden camp of okies longing for the nature of the hoovervilles.

if this was something else i'd say say goddamn to heavenly goddamn hellerific fantasmically oceanic universitality of the string theory and really i'd prefer the low end theory but when push come shove...

midnight marauder s by a tribe called quest that song steve bilko don't stop with the repeat on/repeat off this will never be put into a form that can be published and i'm fine with that stop.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Excerpt: From A Street Corner Screams God

This is an excerpt from one of the books I've been a-workin' hard on:

Hell on wheels got nothing on my white ass blowing smoke and steam down god’s own highway and fuck-all cuz I’m a jackrabbit going to avoid the coyotes and scavenger types that imprint their particular brand of type on my forehead and you can take that to the banks of the river Thebes, put it in a newspaper boat and sail it to the ocean and if you’re timeless in your approach then on my lonely -----, I’ll find it and read the headlines.

Shove off letterhead lumberjacks cracking knuckles so loud the forests shake and quake under their own leaves and needles and evergreen going, going gone, and the forest will speak in some ancient language that we can’t understand cuz we’re so shitfaced the swirls spin and their spins spin and the spins of the spins of the spins will whip about in hurricane fashion and I’m left meticulously saving my scruples for a rainy day.

Don’t rain this-a-way no, no, no, don’t you rain this-a-way, Imma sloping my shoulders in a hunchback southern drawl with my thumb out band-aids, warts and all for a last call to make it to awake it and sleep it off son, there exists things that don’t wish to be awakened and you don’t want to be the one to wake ‘em up, so do as I a-say and just sleep off whatever geek minded ideas you’re floating that melon.

Kick that can down the alley cat’s way and hold yourself and brace yourself and don’t be looking outward but downward cuz this is where them dope-heads scatter their needles and aluminum foil boats and fuck ‘em cuz when you switch on the light they scatter too into darker and darker holes and I’ve no time to help and you’ve no time to help and they don’t want no goddamn help, just a buck or five and they can get fucked up off of cough syrup like you did in your grade school daze.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Buy These Shits

This has been a great week for abstract hip-hop,
New music from M.I.A. and Aesop Rock.

So knock on the windows of the jetset's Hummers,
Or shake up the soil and the earthworm's slumber.

If the river's high then jump off the bridge,
Cut your bazooka teeth on Aesop's new mountain ridge.

And remember bitch, 20 dollars ain't shit to you,
So snap these up, they take plastic on iTunes.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Once Drawn, Now Drowning

-What are we gonna do with all this earth?
-Give it to the meek.

-Clint Eastwood and Lee Marvin


Soft flows the flat leaf floor,
Of riverbeds, long run dry.
Ear to the ground,
Cool, soft sand soothes the worry.

Don’t let the shadow of leafless tree canopies frighten.
Must there be no ground to scatter or cover,
Might there be a might and a will to slip off soft cover.

Not a well, not a hole in the ground.
Let “trip and stumble” float to its destination.
Callous trees blamed by carved hearts and initials.

There once drew water here,
For animals, for none.
The strong current, unforgiving,
So careless to have dove in.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Il Sommo Poeta

If you haven’t, well should you?
Is there a clamor to be held aloft on shoulders,
Hoisted in the depths of a protected painting,
Protected by time, for once old enough then beyond reproach.
I’d rather not be protected by history.
I’d rather not be protected by anything that will become me.
I’m no entry in a half-assed history book.
No surface disturbing biography,
That enlightens like shadows in footprints on the moon.

A soul wind blows captured shod-song
And personal whispers,
Answered and unanswered prayers alike,
Animals slipping on loose rocks,
The silence of the lover leaving and not looking back,
The waterfall roar shooting barrel-riding thrill-seekers over her edge,
And someone saying “it’s time for you to leave” to someone already gone,
And the whimpers of terrified little ones.
The soul wind blew these all into hurricanes and typhoons.

Il Sommo Poeta casts stepping stones for us to follow into an abyss.
You can’t be as good as him or them,
You followed the stones too.

Ill poet interlude:

Trap me in prestige,
Wrap me in a blanket grown cold from the last who used it.

Whether I asked for it or not is immaterial.

Once I wanted to be a big word.
Then a small word.
Then a period at the end of a sentence
Then a period piece at the end of a period
Then timeless
Then nothing

End Interlude.

She vibrates elegance and obscurity into air where vibrations have been stilled,
But can return the room to an absolute,
Shalom, young angel.

Shalom held on high at the highest point in this natural world.
Shalom held on high at the highest point in the next world.
Shalom held on high at the pointed shoes of the lowest point of Death Valley.
And no wonder that is a place in America close to the far coast.

And hold on to the scratched patches of green,
I will unbutton my shirt to the bottommost button
And I will walk toward the end of [unnamed] street
And I will take no notice of people pondering aloud
About why I’m so indecisive about my body-décor.

When in reality, I hopes I sinks to the bottom of the Marianas Trench,
You’re there to remind me that it has already happened,
And at the whims of the current I am snagged on a cliff
Suspended, weightless as it were, in the dark,
Looking up forever and downward forever,
Wondering if a ship on her Maiden Voyage will come tumbling through the brine,
And if she will be close enough for me to grab of her wreckage.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Birds and Spiders

Crack me open and fill me with crack.
The ghetto is a broke soft-soled shoe.
And look out for heavy editing.
They say numbers don't lie,
Except when the numbers go against the grain.

I'm going to pad my bra
And I'm going to clap overloudly and overlongly.
And I'll do my damndest to annoy the piss and wine right out of ya.

I will not vote.
Why should I tell those engulfed in flame that they are on fire?
There is no safety in numbers,
There is no power.

We are not la Neustra Senora de Atocha nor la Amistad,
And we are not Mel Fisher nor slaves.

We just lie on our bellies in springs and rivers,
Hoping beyond hope that we don't end up feeding birds and spiders.
So let me scare the hell and wine right out of ya.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Anonymous

I will not bandy words with philosophers,
They can be the same as false prophets.
I’ve been a philosopher before,
I nearly killed my friend with words.

There are greater ones than those great ones,
But instinctively they all try to be like the other ones.
I have been the other one and the unnamed,
And both are as anonymous as the great.

I once heard, “I was a lover before this war“,
And I will be again.
They’ve given up on Jesus where I’m going,
But still crucify him where I’ve been.

All will have to walk through the fire,
And all will have to be burned.
I can’t say I’ve been burned yet,
But meekly felt the heat off the fire.

Being obscure isn’t a sin,
Neither is being known.
Loyalty is heartfelt and given over and over again,
Disloyalty is showing colors to people you can’t see.

There are no spaces to occupy here,
You either are or you are not.
I’ve been and I have ceased to be,
I’m accepting both as a moral possibility.

Can’t you scream the blues at the empty world,
Or do you have to have someone listening?
When you do something do you imagine someone is watching secretly,
And do you act accordingly?

There’s a person living with a heart big enough for you,
And either you’ll leave them, or they’ll leave you.
It’s a great big city to see and be seen,
You’re leaving tranquility again.

Cell Phone Poem

Sorry about the long pause between blogs, I've been writing hard on two books and formulating a segueway for a third, I will be in New York soon.

Here's a cell-phone poem I wrote in a bookstore:


I don't want to paint words on canvas anymore.
But rather the underside of trains,
Speeding by in the night.

Friday, July 27, 2007

The Triumph of the Overdog

Sometimes it seems, this will last forever.
And what if it does?
With murderers posing as angels of mercy,
Superstitions making the unholy holy,
Death on a Tuesday, forgotten on Wednesday,
False friendships forged behind curtained handshakes,
Puppet regimes where black blood flows,
Where the cost of our lives is paid for by others,
And the worth of those lives is determined by bill-collectors,
When no one has a funeral as Hector,
But the bodies are piled where the earth will be charred,
Comparisons and metaphors are used on the good-guys,
And no one knows who the good-guys are,

The song of the few is sung by the many,
And flags are draped on coffins in rows,
Arlington raises her head in sad wonder,
And hell is hot but there is no fire,
Where fire isn’t started, but is said to be burning,
Where twelve honest men would stand on the gallows,
And the jury is composed of one man twelve times,
And liars lie under oath but no guillotine threatens,
And oaths are only for the people who follow them,
But those that don’t will be making the rules,
And being embattled means you don’t look into eyes,

Where the apple isn’t eaten they just chop down the tree,
And the tree is made into paper to quell the blind masses,
And the makers of the paper are elevated to gods,
As religion rots from the inside out,
‘Til even Jesus himself constructs half-truths,
If it’s true that his mouthpieces are who they claim to be,
Then it’s obvious he values a sword over the pen,
So his book must not have even been inspired by him,
But rather a do-gooder who was stoned twice,
And the second time they managed to finish the job,
So the job is now what drives those bloodthirsty,
Those so evil it screams of the devil,
Or at least a demon who wires their speeches,
There’s no angel on anyone’s shoulder but rather a rocket,
And bombs on the brain and fear in those bombs,
Those who aren’t afraid are viewed naïve,
Those who are afraid, they died before they could,
And would go die again if they only had courage,
The sign on the border read: “No Courage Allowed Here”,

So many people eager to be technological, so devoid of soul,
Technology is all relative, relative to losing ourselves somewhere,
We’re are all free-agents, under our own employ,
And the target is you, them, us, we are our own mark,
The only way to stop the killer bees is to kill the whole hive,
And a nest burns so quickly, so let them eat cake,

Your new opium makes you think you’re a part of something,
And that something lines the killer bees’ pockets,
No one was ever meant to be famous,
We should be content to be lost to the sands of time,
Mostly because we all will be lost to time,
And if your name is spoke in a thousand years,
No one will no how it should sound because language will kill it,
No one has any concept of loyalty anymore,
So don’t worry, you won’t be famous for long,

A man’s mind was poisoned against himself,
He was the decider for a short time,
He decided that freedom fighters make for good bogeymen,
Especially when people have forgotten what freedom is,
When it’s okay to bequeath your liberty to sustain your freedom,
I’ve just said things that would get me stoned four years ago,
But now the stoning won’t be in the public square,
Don’t disguise yourself and hide behind your newspaper,
Poison still gets people killed even if the voices don’t say it,
Those voices, unseen, the source a mystery,
But those voices carry so much weight,
You better be brave, everyone turns on everyone in the end,
“And even if I won’t give you up, I’ll give them up”.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I Hate the Mechanisms of War More and More Every Day

I was working on the apocalypse and then it came,
I forgot the lord’s name.

I couldn’t say anything as the dark skies broke,
When he asks me about that, I’ll blame it on my throat.

I’d rather die in my bed than fight in a war,
Especially the one they want me to die for.

I’ll volunteer for the volunteers, dieing against the clock in time,
To ensure they aren’t later charged with war crimes.

There must be a time to say that enough is enough,
And all the cowboy sneer isn’t going to make the weak tough.

If the Blackhawk helicopters land on our roof at night,
Then others must take up the residence to keep up the fight.

They’ll tell you to die for the freedoms of others,
Tell them to explain that to the children’s fathers and mothers.

I won’t tell anyone anything they don’t want to hear,
And that is exactly the reason we’ve wound up here.

A problem with war is that leaders will cut corners to preserve their salaries,
Open up the newspaper and look at the casualties.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Still, the Branches Lean on the Path to my Creek

Look at the flowers that bloom this spring.
Down by the creek at my house.
From the earth a symbol of friendship, love, sorrow.
And if only a rose then at least a rose for those,
Those that aren’t here to give anyone a rose.

Hark, at the same time the moon rises.
There you are against the horizon,
It bows to the illuminated wonder of your reluctance.
And not reluctance, but more than we can foresee,
At least until the unforeseeable can be foreseen.

Stilt my legs up, make me tall.
Hush, the creek water flows around my wooden legs.
A small wave of resistance splashes either side of my new leg.
And my real legs stay dry to the bone, and you were holding on,
but I don’t know if you held my old legs or my new legs.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Prayer

For Bob Dylan and everyone else who isn't him.

At the violet hour, the evening hour that strives
Homeward, and brings the sailor home from sea
-T.S. Eliot “The Waste Land”
lines 220-221


*

Break me off a piece of your reality.
Instead of read a name, ring a bell,
Let’s just remember everything we can,
Because the less we write down,
The less there will be to burn
when the burning commences.

There’s so much time and so much to forget
But you cannot fergit
That we will all be scholars of unnamed treasure chests.
And I will not tell you of the catacombs
Filled with pages and images and words and sounds
All the colour-coded swirls that reside in my mind.
And you will not reveal your catacombs
Let’s just pass them on.

I’m a rose in a wax paper storybook
And you’re a tulip.
We’re pressed and preserved and wink at guests turning pages.

Grapes sound good,
Feed them to me.
We’ll drink to them and drink them
Wine at the heart, held to your breast.
Moonlight and the image of you emblazoned against the moon.

I’m breathless, silent, tilted, impressed.
I’m captured, enraptured, jikhan, blessed.

This is only the place we slept
While visions of life appeared
And if nothing that happened really happened
Then I’ll step across the sands
And even still I’ll be stabbed.

Soon enough a self-coup will be paid for with our blood.
And we did it to ourselves, there’s always a chance for redemption.
No ego, no power-madness, no politics, no wanton war.
We did it to ourselves while it was all done to us,
That isn’t to say anyone deserves what’s happened to them
But it isn’t to say that people don’t deserve something.

It’s so easy to be disillusioned.
I know this darling.
It’s so easy to just go along.
I know this darling.
Because I did the same,
Today I can only see
Mountainsides in 2D
And I want to see the other side.

**

I went to sign up for the war,
And I found you’d already signed us up.
I wished you’d have just gone and won it yourself.

Sapere Aude.
Ah, but no one really does.
Let’s just leave the bed unmade.

Couplets, triplets, goblets, leaflets,
All miniaturized forms of
The -isms, -ics.

The romantics.
Can’t it all be that simple?
Just a haiku and war is dead?

Only mentioned the hopeless
Because we all have that in common.
It’s so easy to feel hopeless.

“I feel lost in the face of war.”
“I feel lost and dead and cryptic under its thumb
But I don’t knew if I feel hopeless.” Even if it is.

Let’s not assume oppressed heartbeats,
I want her head on my chest
Thump, thump. thump, thump.

And in the inclinations of the paintings’ eyes
We can spy a hint of sadness
Because those that render, have an eye for the hopeless.

It must be some kind of coincidence.
There has always been that coupled with ecstasy
And unburdened stars.

Everything is being born
Everything is dying.
All that was and wasn’t is born to be and not to be.

I’m sorry. Sorry that we haven’t done better
But eventually every method peaks.
Or else no one will come up with a new one.

Every idea, every last one is built on those previous,
Those often grievous things that preceded.
And the hope lies in the new creator.

I was a trooper and a warrior
Before this firefight.
I kept my weapon polished
Now I run naked through the night.

***

And I suppose, I supposed
That I needed something, but I don’t need anything.
I hope that doesn’t include her
There must be a way, even if there isn’t away.

We were all born on the day we were born
And everyday before that and everyday after that.
Luckily her wise provisions helped us.
And puppies raised by people try to use their paws like hands.

How could someone hear
And in their native tongue
And in their particular dialect
And by a mouth they can trust
While looking into eyes they are found in.
How could you hear and yet…
I wish everyone could be loved.

“She’s beautiful isn’t she?”
-Yes.
“You look like the kind of boy that might understand that.
But you might not understand and until you do, you keep yourself to yourself.”

She said, I hate that things happened backwards from what they should have.
I said, Like the letter s and question marks getting ?witchedS
She said, I don’t want to die.
He said nothing, because he’s never had to say anything for as long as I’ve lived.

I have known fear.

I have known it and kept it at a distant remove.
For if I’m afraid, then who else will be afraid?

But there is no middle ground on which to walk.
You must choose something to be your truth,
But I enjoy God and Bhudda and Jesus and Mohammed being interchangeable.
Well, so we meet again.
Let’s blow smoke to the gods.
And reminisce…

****

C’mon, a violin is creaking out an amelodic melody in an alley,
It calls to me, it’s calling to us, we should stop the small-talk and listen.
I can almost pick out the tune.
It’s on the tip of my tongue.
I guess it’s a harp being punched by hands stained with nicotine.
And not a violin after all.

Let’s ponder white flowers.
Let’s think about vines on trees.
Let’s converse in tongues forgotten by God himself,
And then he’ll hear it and say I remember when…

And the smoke we blew to him and to Zeus
And to Odysseus and Sisyphus and Orpheus,
And the Titans playing chess with Jesus,
And Bhudda, perfecting the art of not breathing,
While no one calls anyone by any name we could imagine.
And then the smoke we sent to their heaven
Will wrap itself around whatever it finds.
Blankets, fire, tall-tales, hurricanes,
And every possibility will rewrite every cause and effect.

But you and I will stand here, or sit, as time unfolds
We will be here.
Trapped in between two Ionian Islands,
Casting nets for fish but coming up with people asking about him.
And there will be hallucinations of armies walking on water.
And there will be everything darkening and shivering.
We will eat what we are fed, but nothing will taste good anymore.
There should be somewhere nearby.
Somewhere to relearn what we unlearned.
I remember you. You remember me.
Yet swords against pens against guns against bombs
And we all fight against the instant destruction.

An atomic bomb makes sense,
As everything becomes faster and faster
And our lives extend with each new discovery,
And as we run out of things to fill those years with…
Well, it makes sense to be destroyed in an instant.
But I feel sorry for all those animals who looked their food in the eyes.

A new smoke is sent to the gods then
By an anonymous pilot, employed by faceless shape-shifters,
Whose strings are pulled by people who have never been naked,
Who chase that hue of green that trees don’t produce.
Which gives meaning to names that don’t mean anything.
And everyone I know can’t imagine the world before it was like this.
If it ever was.

*****

Now here we are, because this is where we went.
The universe is expanding and contracting
And rotating one way and then rotating the other just as furiously.
And everything we are doing has never been done exactly as we are doing it,
Because nothing returns but only speeds toward that,

And you and me and we and us and them and those and all the others not ensconced
Are all twirling and spinning and running and screaming and dreaming and climbing
And falling and skipping and flinging ourselves down flights of escalators going up
While every other possible possibility is acting in its own way complimenting our motion
And working with us and against us to reach the same goal while the tunnel darkens
And as it darkens it lights up and enlightens and everything exists together, apart
And we all rush slowly and quickly toward the end of the enveloping tunnel that only
Can conclude at the only logical conclusion and that conclusion will be called oblivion
And the grace of that oblivion will be with us and within us forever and ever. Amen.

Friday, July 13, 2007

The War.

I was killed by Athena in the hallway.
There were framed pictures but I,
Stole the wood and made a boat.

Bad news in the alleys,
No more grates spewing steam.
No more Marilyn Monroe.
Not in the littlest sense of sensory perception.

But come on,
I’ve my wits about me,
And I’ve thought about suicide.
Not in the back of my mind,
Up front and center, that’s why I have a headache.

Everyday people think about it like sex.
Everyday people have headaches
That require a medication.
Then less sex, then less sex.
Then more medicine and they stillllllll have a headache.

You can’t figure out the swamp I’m in.
Shoddy lilac bog smoking hand-rolled cigarettes,
The smoke chokes me.
At least it was made by hand,
Not a million miles away by slaves.
I’m sorry. I paid those slave wages.
You too.

Hell if I ever want anything again.
Hunger pains are nirvana.
Nirvana is not worth solidarity
It can be found everywhere
In every place not looking for clammy hands,
And then you’ll find it in your hands at a school dance.

Could have danced with that Christian,
Might have should have.

Impersonal in all personal ads,
I’ll just advertise myself since I’m not enough in person.
How much per line?
I’ll keep it short. Even if my parents said I was priceless,
Personal ads cost money, then I’ll find someone to tell me I’m priceless.
And happiness abounds. Chivalry abides. White flower on my doorstep.

Take me into you
View my mugshot in profile.
Stand by your man.

Explain everything right away.
Everything.
No stone left unturned.
A good soldier never leaves a man behind.
I’ll leave every stone path upside down.
Every stoned path, everybody must get stoned.

Desert, airplane missiles.
I’m not made out for kamikaze kabuki theatre.
I just like the masks
I just like the masks.
Make me whole again,
You’ll be whole again.

And then you’ll be too heavy to walk on water.
So let’s leave time-travel in those woods,
The place where you and I almost died,
Too tired to sleep,
Paisley explosions in the sky of my mind.
I don’t want to listen to the radio in Texas.

I’m stoned. Wasted. Gone. Bloodshot right on the money.
William Tell and the apple.
I’m stoned without ingesting any stones.
I’m always happy to be glad to be experiencing things that only matter to me.
You don’t even have to care.

We is creeps.
Creeping tree lined lanes in places where Mockingbirds are safe.
It’s too scary to even look at the house.
I was scared. Of my imagination.
I was scared by my imagination.

So kill me, keel you.
Shipwright brothers.
First flight of fancy and you stuff the air with apprehension.
Caught in the missiles, I’m riding them to the ground.
Caught up in the explosions, the kids didn’t see it coming.
I was a kid and I watched it. And we will all go to hell.

And every human being should be drawn and quartered,
For crimes against humanity.
But in the U.S. they are protected by a piece of paper they ignore when convenient.
And we ignore transgressions when it’s convenient.
It’s always convenient.
No one should have been born.
We are all going to hell
And area rebirths, spiritual awakenings
Then go back to sleep.

Well it is the most convenient hour to sleep.
Eyes shut, breathing, paisley explosions killing children you’ll never see.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

You'll be okay

Imagine everything you’ve ever felt or done or haven’t felt or haven’t done and then imagine the best you ever felt, as in the limit on how great you’ve ever felt up until this point in your life. Then imagine the worst you ever felt, the bottom of the barrel on how bad you could ever feel ‘til this point in your life. Then imagine all of these things happening at the same time and moment from now until you can’t imagine imagining anything ever again. That could be your life, if you realize that everything is happening in this moment in space and time and you will feel greater and worse than this exponentially for the rest of your natural life. And these moments keep piling up until you feel like you’re sitting on a mountain of the greatest moments of your life, but then you realize that the mountain is your life. It’s everything you’ve done and haven’t done and will do and won’t do, and no matter how tall that mountain gets you will always be in the greatest moment of your life.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Tell Her I Did My Best

Phases of the moon says you
Makings of a month says I.
Neither an excuse.
You, Obtuse.
Dalliances , and I the dalliancee.

Then flowers wilt at your love.
Then flowers wilt at your toes.
And I resemble the wilted.
Torn pedals and bees skipping over us.
These times, these skies, always the same
Overthrown and your eyes the culprit.

I’ve cried in your arms.

I’m knifed up at last impressions.
Skies in cholo time piercing darkness of the mind
And I’m left unpierced,
Impervious to being a sheath.
I’m left is operative.
Be it whole, slashed, ashen-choked forest fire,
But I am left.

There isn’t enough ocean to drown it.

I’m a whiskey still
And I’m stilled at the quiet of death at night.
In the dead of night.
When quaking last minute ramshackles
Blast and beat their way through the superfluous fog.
And I’m broken enough, at least let me see.
To see where I’ll lay down to sleep,
Where my camp is already made,
Where fire awaits snuggled in the rock ring,
A roaring murder of silence sat stoic in shame.

Cut all your hair off.
Sometimes I miss the one I loved the most.
Sometimes I wish I was a sound from a saxophone,
Born and died in a room full or a room empty,
With lovers dancing or a lover missing.
But sometimes I wish I was a song
Only revived when the singer can move the stone.

What I would wish if I thought it had a chance of coming true.
All those prayers.
Good natured and otherwise.
I’d pray for you if I thought it had a chance
But we aren’t the chance-taking type.
And my hands aren’t going to be folded,
Rather clenched.

What if everything I did was exactly as it should be?
What if everything you did was exactly as it should be?
What would you do if everything was as it should be?
Nothing, but what might you think?
I’d be a thousand miles removed before I believed that,
And I’ll be a thousand miles yet.
Even if nothing is as it should be,
It’s not in the grasp of us to change ourselves.

I’d speak to your mother.
She remembers.
There were always tyrants,
There were always examples.

And I wouldn’t even take the time to piss on my tormentor’s grave.

***

I loved her. Once and again.
Tell her I loved her. More and more.
I didn’t send flowers, I had no means.
I was only asking for a message to be sent.
From the battlefield where I died a thousand times,
Carry back a message:

I’ll compose it everyday, the world my orchestra,
The birds are for your ears and hummingbirds are your favorite.
The sun will be for your blessed skin in cold and unforeseen.
The trees, mountains, clouds are for the unforeseen.
The sand is in between your toes and everywhere you step I’m there.
The wind will kiss you in thunderstorms.
The rain will kiss you in my absence.

I’ve no way home.
My compass and feet will not take me back to her.
I loved her. Once and again.
Tell her I loved her.

Friday, July 6, 2007

How To Have A Good Time

I’ve got the keeper to your tower here
But he won’t hand over the key deer
They die in droves every year
We do too, get in line, the masters make it clear

We tell children to lose the weight they packed on as a result of neglectful parents who took the easy way out of one of the most important things a parent can do for their children… Feed them. Now one day those children will be the adults and parents, teen mothers and fathers, and they won’t be able to feed their children right because they will be sifting through all the goddamn ash and mess of this era. And an era is not really an era rather than a continuation of phobias and fears and misguided slights of hand passed down from crap shooter to three card monty dealer ‘til an honest living is being dishonest because so many people lie that it’s just easier to assume that everyone lies. And all the while we tell kids to lose their fatty, lose that belly, lose the gut, it’s your fault you’re so fat, not your parents and grandparents who really accepted war, and I mean let it have tangible effects on their sensibilities and hospitalities and goddamn it no one has time to teach manners, so if you waste time holding that door then you lose time you could be ordering all-you-can-eat off the cheapest menu around. And then one day the cheapest menu in town will be the corpses of the dead. And war will have consumed us. And oil will have consumed us. And god will have consumed us.

Enjoy yourself. Because the only thing we knew how to pass down was how to have a good time.

Up

Bummed out
Not inspired
Not impressed
Not making fun
Not having it
Except in single servings

There’s got to be…

What a love
To admit to
Not loving someone
As much as they do you
If you’re that shook up
Then I’ll have mine stirred

I listen to Aesop
Don’t be laughing
Not when there’s nothing
Nothing to laugh at
And I won’t even
I won’t crack a smile

Nope the past is bad as dope
Then you end up
Sobering up with a bottle
And it’s not even an image
Sober, strung out
Halfway to oblivion
It’s no longer an image
Imminent public domain

Words have to be invented
To have any meaning
Meaning has to be invented
To have any weight

Leonard Cohen
Hallelujah
Make your victory march
Make it into a parade

Finding it hard to right
To write anything
That doesn’t have anything
Anything to do with her
And yet a future
Has nothing to do with her

I have nothing left for her
She has nothing left for me
Running on fumess

Smoke and naturally
The next word is plumes
And a rhyme scheme is born
But that’s rather scheming
And sneaky
Don’t you think

Only you’ll care what you think
Only you.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Ballad Of Leaving The South

Oh my eyes they burned without benefit of a flame
And the window which I left from was the one from whence I came
The girl that lay under the covers was through with my name
I wandered to the road in all kinds of shame

Well I slowly made my way back to my house
And my lips were burning from the cigarette in my mouth
I thought long about how we got from then to now
And then I decided that it was time to escape from the south

I packed my bags sparsely and I only took what I needed
I lay in bed awake until the night had receded
I guess it was around seven when I threw back the sheets
I told my parents goodbye and said I’ll see you next time we meet

I didn’t waste any time I headed for the bus stop
When the ticket man asked where I was going I said “Give me what you got”
I had an hour to kill so I looked to see where I would get off
Second thoughts were creeping up so I got ‘em out with a cough

And I was standing in the bus line waiting my turn
When I heard my name called out and it didn’t register coming from her
She said “Honey don’t you know? This bus ain’t going to Tennessee!”
I said “Yes it is!” and she said “Not until you talk to me!”

I was trapped and was holding up the line
So I stepped out and told her to get a ticket like mine
In a minute we were on the bus holdin hands like old times
She spoke first said I won’t lose you ‘til I’m ninety-nine

It was then that I woke up in the bus station once again
She was nowhere to be seen and I missed the bus by ten
At first I was gonna go buy the next ticket from them
But my wallet was gone it was snatched out like a hem

I didn’t know what to do, I walked back to my house
I knocked on the door no expression on my face
Said I should’ve known by now
That there’s no leaving the south

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Questions In Time With The Music

I’m through with every goddamn thing not worth continuing.

That’s the end in a way,
But an optimist would say “a beginning”
In spite of the ‘goddamn‘.

Well goddamn man anyway.
That was his plan that didn’t make it.

But both are so short,
The beginning and the end,
They’re so short in time
That I’ve forgone the journey.

The journey on down the crippled old Nile.

That’s a line from a song I wrote.
I’m 1/3 of a plagiarist,
Elvis still has that market cornered
So I can play second, third, fourth, fifth fiddle,
All the way to the end of Stradivarius’ being called fiddles.

But that’s enough about me
I want to tell you about goddamn Sam.
The firefly whose bulb was too bright,
So he stayed a kid…
There wasn’t a man amongst us.

Least of all Sam,
But he seemed like one.
So that was close enough for us.

I broke my leg when I was 5.
It didn’t heal right so I walked funny.

I say walked because before long everyone wanted to walk like me.

Dirty wheels.
Messed up girls.
Rusted scraps that we can’t chew
Because it’s made of metal. And rusted.
In the rain, the acid rain, the rain, the acid rain, the rain.

Our paths became so intertwined,
We beat the same two-trail into the dust.
And it blew away in the wind. All that wasted dust.

I wanted to destroy everything,
So that I might see the salvagers come out.
And watch them scurry(?), no, they aren’t rats.

I wanted to see something built from nothing,
A nothing that was a rupture from everything.

A tight rope made out of bicycle chains.

A GODDAMN CIRCUS?!?!

This is what the salvagers do?

Goddamn them for not being as romantic as I’d hoped.
No one ever is.
Especially not the romantics.

What happened to romanticism?
It’s floating down the Nile you called crippled.

Would Homer have spoke so well if he wasn’t blind?
The answer would put you in tears.

Was Aesop a real man who lived according to the dictates of his fables?
No one is a real man. They never were.

Are we real?
We aren’t real, we think we are, we think that makes us real. But we aren’t real.

I think, therefore I am?
You think that and you aren’t even thinking. Lazy.

But if we aren’t real, what’s the point?
Well, I’m the only one telling you that you aren’t real.

But why isn’t there an answer?
There never has been, the more we know, spelled with a capitol N, the less we kNow.

But you aren’t making any sense.
I’m not made of cents.

There isn’t a tree you want to sit under?
I want to sit under every tree.

You’ll die one day.
Yes I will.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I'm All Lost...

This morning I listened to a Clash song
It was "Lost In The Supermarket"
From London Calling

And when I listened to it
I thought of Saturday Morning Cartoons
This made me happy and nostalgic at the same time

Then I kissed someone I love,
Then I just felt happy

Sunday, June 24, 2007

I Left Out What You Wanted (But That's Not All)

I punched the keys on a typewriter
Then your name spewed across the page.
The one I was writing my manifesto on,
And at first I was going to start over.

But with only a sentence to go,
I finished it.
And the last line read longer than I intended it to.

It went like a
1
2
1
2
3
4

My ghosts are closing doors
And shutters on the wind
The gusts of the gale
Made it harder than they expected

I guess even ghosts have trouble concentrating
Procrastinating, those ghosts
And I’m sitting here sweating and smoking
Feverishly and methodically not getting a thing done

(Not getting a thing done)

Last thing I knew
Last time I checked
You were on your way to hell
I’m guarding your pumpkin carriage
But that’s not all

(I’m taking up the reins
But that’s not all)

The blues are porous
Everyone’s got ‘em
I’m getting bored
In the spring and the autumn
I’m your leaves changing colours
But that’s not all

(I’m the sun shining different shades
But that’s not all)

Your window was up
I thought I’d climb in
But if I had known
What I was getting in
I might have just went to the front door
But that’s not all

(I might have just burned my house down
But that’s not all)

And this is where
I say your name
You know want to hear it
I know nothing’s changed
But my closed lips are in the way
But that’s not all

(Sometimes you leave me speechless
But that’s not all)


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

James Joyce

A keen October wind was blowin’ round the bank
The drunkards stood waiting around the drunkard’s tank
And people spoke in whispers of the casket in the square
The stone-faced pall-bearers in two lines to lead the fair

And James Joyce is crying old Irish tears
In the corner of a pub, forgotten against the years
And Hemingway leans himself against the bar
He nods at the barkeep who pours him one more

Hell is spraying preachers who warn a coming storm
They sermonize all fears and shoot craps in the morn
But poker is a game for the honest man to play
Though he loses every hand that folds up to pray


Friday, June 15, 2007

he asked for a requiem

What did you expect…. In time everything becomes timeless
Once I knew that we would all look at this and say “Once it was like that”

And then I guess everything will seem incomparable
Nothing will add up, measure up, and the more we cut up…
Bloody noses…
And then the paranoia…

It’s always a tickle
Under the skin,
Goddamn I,
(scratch a broken record)

Hell must have it out for you to put so much in your way.,.,.,
::”””KK

Shelter from the storm and then storm is shelter.
Music better be long enough to be my ringtone.
I want a symphony in my pocket but it must fit.

What?

Class be damned!!! This isn’t class warfare, sorry to the poor
I was talking about respectability,
Do you have it in you to stand in front of a microphone
That’s
In front of a camera
That’s
In front of the world going by god,
Do you think you can do that and pretend to know what’s going on?

It must take some kind of suit and tie
To stand up and say “I KNOW WHAT’S GOOD FOR YOU”

I’m glad someone does, I was beginning to think no one did,
I suppose I could eat everything that is in eyesight.
Ah that’s cathartic.
I can destroy everything in front of me with a -------

And a -------- is all I need.
Ah that’s cathartic.

I’m the new Scarlett, shit, I’m the new Rhett Butler.
Now you excuse me cause I don’t give a damn, never did.
Ah that’s cathartic.

Can you do me a favor and act like the second coming isn’t coming?
Why?
Well it isn’t. is it?

LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLazarus, f*** you. He said it not me.

What the?>>> Where did the word go?

It’s called censorship Mr. Welles.

Give me a war, I need to feel good,
You do too?
I thought it was just a million people on P(oison)rozac.
Well let’s get it over now that we’re losing.

One thing about war,
It makes young people feel old.
Two things about war,
It makes young people old.
They aren’t young during it and then if it lasts long enough, [their] [there] they’re old.

We belong to someone else’s pocket.
That pocket what a sieve.
What a shore leave.
What a way to go.

HE ASKED FOR A REQUIEM

Even though I was young then, I had hoped to get back to who I was before I became who I am. The ashes of smoked cigarettes that once seemed a sign of being mature, now were a signpost to something I thought that I had lost. If I could have been satisfied where I was then, then I might be satisfied where I am now.

I suppose that this life, one of comfort and ease was not meant for me, but I stood at the crossroads of a paradox because I knew that I wasn’t cut out for the pain and hardship others had suffered before me. I had read books, I had heard songs, ones that spoke to me in a language that I understood but couldn’t speak myself. I’ve heard people speak and not just heard the words but heard the colors they spoke, I saw the hurt on their breath when a sad story was told and experienced the change in the air once happy stories were recanted. Stories of heartbreak, passion, friendship, stories of sleeping beside a river, of the open road and drunken beauty. I could see the road before me, I knew that I would never be intimidated, sometimes scared but never afraid, if I held on then my circle would come back around, I understood then that looking back was not an option, I knew that pushing forward blindly was not an option either.

I had found the balance.
I counted myself lucky that I was myself.


Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Hold Up: A Border Saga The End

Mason found himself at the most conspicuous border crossing in New Mexico, but no one was there. He was in a valley asking about hills but no hills coupled there was only one and he had to make the crest. He waited a flatbed truck out and then drove to the top of the hill. At the top he got out his binoculars and a high-powered rifle.

Scanning the desert in all its heat distortions and sunlit reverie, Mason drug the tramp Mexican through the mud in his mind. He painted pictures in the dirt for about an hour dusting off the desert every five minutes with his binoculars.

At one hour and thirty minutes and a stick broken into seven pieces a he spied a man hurting. He focused the binoculars. A sound clipping the air to pieces at every turn was showering itself behind him, a helicopter. Vehicles must be near and they were, the off-road aspect of them was in high pursuit. Mason felt a gripping sense of duty and he made the rifle an extension of himself… the song “Ghost Riders in the Sky”… Dick Dale… surf guitar… there was no time… there was no time…

***

In Gomez’s mind an invisible entity that marked the difference between two pieces of land on the same landmass was freedom and he was leaving the supposed beacon of freedom to be where his freedom was. Everything was nearly over and he knew the nearing loud noises were just a façade that would disappear in the courts.

He didn’t even hear the crack of the gun, he just felt something and then he felt nothing.

***

Head shot.

Something to be proud enough of to never talk about again.

Mason remembered getting in the truck and leaving, there was no way to avoid the trucks and the helicopter probably saw him putting his gun up. He had enough to time to drive ninety while they tried to figure out what had happened.

No fear, no regret.


Friday, June 8, 2007

The Hold Up: A Border Saga Part XI

Gomez waltzed.

Death halts. It halts before your dying form, it watches and takes in the last moments and those looks on your face when you realize that the end is the end and it’s near. When you’re sick it waits in the far corners of your room, if you die instantaneously it watches, inches and half-inches away from your eyes and it witnesses the pupils contract as unseen light fills them and it sees through your eyelids as they widen and then nothing. And if you’re unlucky enough not to die then it will just hang in the air, with its presence acclimating to where you’re going. Then when you die, you can be just as shocked as death and you’ll both turn white as the margins of your eyes. That’s only if you’re unlucky enough not to die.

For Gomez death would wait until dehydration made his cramping steps falter and walk backwards three feet in front of him. Then Gomez would crawl and death would walk backwards two feet in front of him. Then Gomez would stop moving except out of the need to not resign to his fate, and death would wait a foot from him. And Gomez’s final breath would be sucked in and stolen by death hovering inches from him.

But Gomez was miles from death and death had miles to go and many other promises to keep. And Robert Frost dies every time his poetry is consumed, but death waits not, watches less and never wants to witness that again, but the reason death remains so callous to its job? It has to watch the poets die. Over and over again.

***

Mason labored over shifting gears setting out for the stretch of invisibility that separates us from them. He kept a weather eye out for a haggard stretch looming in infinitesimal sadness that contained his sloth and his other sins. He kept his eyes on every new horizon in 270 degrees and a mirror on the rest.

Every sense was focused on that Mexican. He had fifteen minutes ‘til he hit the border at its closest point to Holden, no doubt a cavalry awaited armed to the teeth. And if he could match that man’s steps and ultimately overtake him. Then a weighted chest would be unburdened.

Could he buy his health at the cost of shells?

But lo, in the distance a growling limp with blood and sweat cursing at itself and all the sand around it was beating a path south.

Now for the hills.


Thursday, June 7, 2007

The Hold Up: A Border Saga Part X

Gomez hobbled in a hollow reverie for survival. He scurried as a rat and made his movements in the face of the sun beating down a world swathed in light. Gomez had five or six miles to go and no highway or river to follow.

There would be no Huck Finn to his escape. He was battle-battered and felt it, the cruel blow of the pistol still christened its likeness in his muscle memory. Gomez’s eyes searched as far as he could see, no sign of anything. The heat waves certainly made distance a game of catch and release, just as Gomez thought he had arrived somewhere another plateau set the bar higher.

He had been coming and going for nearly three hours when a homestead made its presence discernable in the masks of heat. Gomez trickled toward it, alone in the world in this corner with nothing to back against. This home seemed like a freedom that the invisible line at his country and this country couldn’t muster between them.

Gomez hid himself from any prying eyes that might be lurking in the unseen areas of this oasis. He bandied an arc to the watering trough of the livestock and plunged his head in. Immediately the world above disappeared, the sounds, the sights, the weather, his cuts burnt and cleansed in the abyss, the top of his matted head soothed by the coolness of the water, he drank and his stomach filled, his throat blew out the flame, he dipped his rough hands and rubbed his face clear of any dried blood. Then he broke the surface.

Water streamed down his front and back and sides, its cooling grace taking the oppressive heat everywhere but here. He cupped his hands and drank again, he brushed his hair back, he looked around for people, helicopters and the sun. When he cleared the sky of the first two then he made his direction and set off.

***

In a farm home a woman saw a bloodied Mexican dump himself into her horses’ water trough and look around wildly. She watched him and when she saw him walking away she grabbed the phone and dialed three numbers.

***

Gomez felt the water get heavier with each new step. He was two miles from the border and all the freedom that came with it.

He depended on how fast he could keep his feet shuffling ahead of everyone and everything that was after him. He knew that with each step he made they made two. The race was only midway through and already both sides were losing.


Tuesday, June 5, 2007

The Hold Up: A Border Saga Part IX

Gomez’s mind wandered to the knives in his boots.

Why hadn’t he remembered them in the basement? God damn it. He pulled his right pants leg as high as he could. Well here it goes.

Gomez grabbed the table under the edge and flipped it short-ways. Every paper flew through the air and the heavy desk landed on the priest’s feet just below the ankle. He threw his head up and Gomez punched him as hard as he could muster in the throat. He ducked and brought up the long knife. He jumped over the desk, as he and the priest fell downward he maneuvered his elbow over the priest’s wrist. When they landed he kept the pressure on the wrist and the knife sailed on the drifts and drafts in the room.

Father Thompson watched the knife coming. His life didn’t flash before his eyes. That never happens. What he was pondering was how could he possibly survive this situation?

***

A puppy wandered around the back of the church looking for some food. His pathetic form making headway despite the heat, despite no puddles to drink from, despite…

Gomez flung open the door and his pupils shrunk faster than the scared puppy who fled the scene. He heard the cuts and forming bruises screaming obscenities at his senses. He took off in a southwesterly direction if the sun was to be trusted at half past noon.

***

The market was always closed on Saturday, there was no patrol tonight. Mason sat in his home watching The Deer Hunter, he had the police scanner on in the kitchen. His wife was making some kind of Italian salad.

“Honey?” She called out.

“Yes?”

“I think they just called an ambulance for Father Thompson. You should come here and listen to this.”

There was something in her voice that kept him from groaning as he left his seat. The movie still playing as he entered the kitchen. The scanner crackled an ominous sentence.

“Calling all officers, murder suspect fled the church. Mexican, no word yet on build or any identifying features. Expected to be bloody and tired. Proceed with caution, suspect considered armed and dangerous.”

Oh my god. Oh my god.

Mason’s wife looked at him, he looked at her but not as reassuringly as he’d hoped.

“I’ll be back. I’m going to go to the church. Get the shotgun, if anyone shows up you make sure you know who it is before you open the door.”

She nodded. Mason walked out the door with a pistol and the truck keys. After he shut the door she ran to it and opened it.

“I love you!”

He looked at her from the truck. “I love you too.”


Friday, June 1, 2007

The Hold Up: A Border Saga Part VIII

Gomez heard the door open through his teeth. He flicked off the flashlight and held it like a club. In the temporary sunlight he hid behind a crate full of 1 lb. sealed bags of white powder. Two crates of cocaine, another crate of heroin.

Gomez did not dare to look outward at the unwelcome visitor with his purging sunlight. The shadow cast was lifted off the soil of the earthen floor when the form made headway down the steps leaving only the visage on the far wall and legs on the crates. He knew the arms would reach out for the flashlight and tentacles swabbed the columns seeming to hold the church above from coming down. I say seeming because they were wooden with three sprouts at the top and held in place by concrete ‘neath the addled dirt.

***

Father Thompson had no way to go but down and a narrow down it would be. The flashlight was missing, presumably still in the hands of the trespasser.

He began to speak aloud, enunciated to Homeresque proportions.

Our father which art in heaven. he took the first two steps.

Hallowed be thy name. more steps.

Thy Kingdom Come! His cadence rising in a sun-flare.

Thy will be done in earth. And his masked feet clapped the earth.

As it is in heaven. He walked to the heroin.

Give us this day our daily bread. A finger put into the top package with its slight cut, he tipped the finger to his tongue.

***

Gomez waned in bravado at the offering of the lord’s prayer, he crouched in form and demeanor at the proximity of which the robed man stood.

“And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” a sound of melancholy Macbeth in the man’s metronome ticking splashily against the sound of Gomez’s own hammering heart.

“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” the man’s footsteps had demured against his voice, a most potent voice.

“For thine is the kingdom. . . And the power. . . And the glory. . . For ever. . . Amen. He pronounced it ‘Ay-men’ Gomez considered this for but a moment, as the berobed figure pounced from the side of the crate at the shocked Gomez.

***

A scrap of meat is not so fiercely fought for between savage, hungry dogs.

Father Thompson tried to pistol whip his unknown invader so as to not have to alert anyone with a gunshot, Gomez swung the flashlight and connected with the attacker on his left eyebrow. A grunt but not a whimper.

Father Thompson brought the butt of the gun down on the man’s head but he ducked and the priest tore a hole in the packages of Cocaine and the fine dust floated in the air, the men unwittingly breathed it in.

Gomez slithered out from under the man and slammed his head into what looked like the hardest part of the crate. All that happened was more powder escaping into the air like a fierce asbestos. Gomez furthered this by punching the man’s ear and into the crate for a second blow.

Father Thompson crashed his formidable elbow into the man’s chest and delivered a second blow into his chin and neck. The man gasped and faltered for a second. It was long enough, Father Thompson reached for his gun in the dirt, somehow it had flown from his hands. At an inch from it, he was able to tap it with his finger when the man began punching him ferociously in the back of the head.

Gomez had the man in a headlock and hammered his large knuckles into the soft spot of his victim’s head.

These men were soundless ‘cepting a grunt of pain every four or five seconds.

Father Thompson reached again and he had the gun by the barrel, he was seeing spots, he felt as though he were about to pass out. He leaned his own head forward and then swung the gun backward into the assailant’s face, he heard the nose bone splinter and felt the man’s grip loosen.

A gush of blood escaped from Gomez’s face, he yelped, spewing more blood. The gun came back again and smashed into his forehead. Gomez unwillingly fell forward on the man’s back, spots of cocaine had gathered in the blood that was now bubbling with Gomez’s wheezes out his nose. Gomez put his shoulder into the back of the man’s head and pushed him into the dirt. His head dipped and bobbed aimlessly.

Father Thompson knew he had weakened the man but when your mouth is full of dirt and your face is threatening to make a fossil record, every victory doesn’t seem as fruitful. He was frantically trying to elbow the man’s ribs. When he felt the man’s head dip sideways into the crate he pushed upward with his body and the man slammed into the crate releasing more dust into the air. Father Thompson pushed again and felt the man’s chin digging into his spine. He jumped outward, spun around and tried to knee the man in the stomach, this didn’t do as much as he hoped.

Gomez reached into the dirt and threw it into the priest’s face. The priest tilted backward, then without warning the crate gave and toppled its contents on the floor and on them.

Father Thompson finally broke the sound barrier when a package hit him in the groin. He blindly felt around for his gun under the strewn packages. Instead he found the bloody man and they grew to their most animalistic. They kicked and punched, they bit, pulled hair, threw elbows as readily as knees, all the while rolling and ripping the cocaine bed.

Gomez put his hand down the priest’s throat and the man bit but went backwards. They punched each other trading wildly. Then the priest, in a adrenaline/cocaine fueled fury bit through Gomez‘s hand to the bone. Gomez lolled backward. He howled. After two seconds he was looking through the barrel of the gun. His wild red eyes had given up.

Breathing hard, they looked each other in the eyes.

***

Gomez went first out of the doors, the gun in his back. He checked to make sure no one was back there. When they cracked the door to the church the air-conditioning shocked them to the bone, the two bloodied men looked at every shut door and limped to the priest’s office as quickly and quietly as they could.

Father Thompson shut and lock the door all the while keeping the gun leveled at the bloody man. He sat Gomez down in the chair across from his desk and looked out the window. Then he turned around and picked up the phone. He dialed the sheriff.

“Robert?” He wheezed, then he snapped. “Put Robert on. (A pause). Robert, this is Father Thompson, just listen. I need you to get down to the church, bring a gun. I just caught a Mexican breaking into the church, he tried to kill me. No, no one else is here. Hurry.”

He hung up the phone, then he smiled a bloody, toothy smile.

“Now we wait.”


Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Hold Up: A Border Saga Part VII

Over the next week Gomez worked harder than Mason had anticipated. He took a load off of the aging man’s knees and allowed Mason to spend less time worrying about how fast the apples got off the truck and were replaced in the bins. He felt guilty going on the patrols with the other guys but he was able to stay alert longer as he was getting better sleep. He felt that as long as one illegal was helping to stop many illegals then it might be okay to keep Gomez around longer than he had originally wanted.

Besides, Gomez was very religious with going to the Catholic Church several times during the week, sometimes more than once a day. He was courteous to anyone who spoke to him and he knew enough about the food they were selling to help anyone that needed the help. Mason felt that Gomez was worth the seven an hour but he wished he would have started lower.

***

Gomez sat in the front pew facing the crucifix. He was watching the woman to his left out of the sides of his eyes casting long looks at her. She seemed not to notice for her head was bowed in prayer. After a minute or two she looked up and saw Gomez watching her. She quickly gathered her things and loped out the door.

Gomez silently looked around. No one. He rose and walked to the door on the right, he checked down the hall both ways, again no one. He noiselessly lumbered down the hall and checked inside each door. He couldn’t find what he was looking for.

Then on the other end of the hall he heard the door open, sunlight as bright as an angel flooded the hall and Gomez slipped into the room he had open and he hid behind a stack of bibles. There were so many bibles in this room, they were still in the plastic except for one column that was about halfway depleted.

Gomez scanned the room. What he was looking for wasn’t in here either.

***

Father Thompson stood in the doorway a moment, he tried to let his eyes adjust to the darker hallway but he compulsively looked back at the area behind the church to see if anyone was watching him. He didn’t see anyone so he walked into the building.

He walked down the hall to his office past where Gomez was hiding. When he got there he shut the door, a bit harder than he’d intended but he had a phone call to make. He pulled the blinds apart and checked the yard, then he sat down and began to dial that old familiar number.

***

When Gomez heard the door slam, he rose and walked to the hall. Staying close to the wall he mangled a walking motion to the door at the end.

Outside was brighter than he expected. After his eyes adjusted he spied what he thought he was looking for. Two wooden doors leading underground. They were locked. He kneeled and with his knife that Mr. Mason gave back to him he picked the lock. He swung open one of the doors and went down the steps, five steps down he turned and shut the door. It was too dark to make anything out so he turned and cracked the door enough to see, there was a flashlight hanging from a nail, he grabbed it and shut the door again. At the bottom of the steps he swept the flashlight from right to left and then he saw exactly what he was looking for.

***

Father Thompson left his office, he leaned against his shut door.

Son of a bitch.

He prayed to himself. Father let this end, let them come, I need this.

He walked to the door leading outside, he wanted to check on the basement again. Soon enough this would all be over. If Maxell will send the trucks, it will all be over.

He shielded his eyes against the sun. His heart stopped and started when he saw the lock on the ground, he picked it up. Scratches. Father Thompson rushed back to his office, he unlocked his desk and removed a loaded glock. He had been through too much already to take this chance.

When outside he grabbed the door handle. He breathed slowly through his nose and opened the door.


Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Hold Up: A Border Saga Part VI

Gomez looked straight ahead, he focused on not shaking.

The man held steady and he was focusing on not shaking.

“What’s your name?”

Gomez looked at him quizzically. He wanted to take the things out of his pocket and just leave. His scratches started to itch with no quarter. He noticed how quiet it got.

They looked at each other in the quiet until the A/C unit kicked on, two seconds later the man’s wife peaked into the door. She wasn’t surprised so much as scared for her husband.

“What’s your name?” the man asked again and again he was met with silence.

“Que . . esta . . . nombre?” the man’s wife asked in broken Spanish.

Gomez looked at her and quietly he creaked out “Gomez”.

The husband looked at her quickly and keeping an eye on the Mexican. “Ask him what he wants.”

“I don’t know how to say that. He probably just wants food or somewhere to work.”

The man motioned to the Mexican’s pocket, “What you got in there?”

Gomez nodded toward his pocket and looked at the man, he nodded, Gomez slowly reached to his left pocket with one hand and pulled out to potato, he dropped it on the floor, then he got out the Piñon nuts from one pocket and then the other. They scattered on the floor like shells from a gun.

“See, he just wanted something to eat.” the woman said.

The man looked at Gomez and saw his shirt was tucked in, “Lift up your pants’ legs.” he said. Then he did that and motioned for Gomez to the same.

“Mason. . .” The woman began to step forward, but he motioned for her to stay where she was.

Gomez reservedly bent down and lifted his right leg, he removed a long knife and tossed it on the floor, then he lifted his left leg and tossed another knife on the floor, it was shorter than the other and had an odd bottle opener cut into the blade.

Mason lowered the gun and he stepped forward to kick the knives away, he motioned for Gomez to come with him. As they walked to the back office he spoke to his wife, “Honey, can you pick that stuff up? Just wash it and. . . Put it in a bag.” She nodded.

Mason sat down and motioned for Gomez to do the same, the seats were comfortable, especially to Gomez who had been walking for nearly three hours.

“Thirsty?” Mason asked. He walked over to the mini-fridge and removed a bottle of water. Gomez drank a long greedy, needy gulp and then wiped his mouth, “Thank you.”

“So you speak English?”

Gomez nodded and said, “Little” he squished his fingers together to drive home the point.

Mason got out a piece of paper and a pen. “I want you to write your name and where you’re from.” He made motions as he told Gomez to do this. “Do you want to work?” Gomez nodded. “If you’ll start today, I’ll give you food, a place to stay and seven bucks an hour. Does that sound fair?”

Gomez was following everything the man said, one thing he had learned as a child was to never reveal everything you know at once. He perked up at ‘seven bucks’ and he acted a little confused, when the man stopped talking he smiled and nodded, “Yes, Señor.”

They smiled at each other, Mason because he knew he would turn this man over to the authorities and Gomez because he knew that he now had a foot in the door of this town. They shook hands. Both with firm grips. The handshake lasted a little longer than either had anticipated.


Friday, May 25, 2007

The Hold Up: A Border Saga Part V

The morning cracked slowly over Holden. There were no people mulling over the farmer’s market and no one minding it. A dusty, tired man was creaking his bones in a slow walking motion that was supposed to take him to this town but he didn’t know that yet. When he came to the abandoned farmer’s market he did a quick look up and down the street, he tried picking the lock with no luck.

He walked around the building and found a concrete block, he carried it back to the locked door. He hoisted the block above his head with both hands and swung down. The lock scratched but didn’t break, he repeatedly hit the lock until it broke, about seven swings. He tossed the block aside and opened the door.

When he walked in the market he was happily surprised to find it air-conditioned. Many markets just killed the air at night and hoped that the desert air would keep the place cold enough to keep the fruits and vegetables from dry-rotting. He breathed deep and took in all of the intoxicating scents that intermingled ’til they all conglomerated into one long memory. There are few things that will put your mind in a tilt-a-whirl like the scents of the past.

He walked toward the Piñon nuts and ate a handful, then he stuffed a couple of handfuls into his pockets, he walked toward the red potatoes and grabbed a red apple on the way, he stuffed a potato into his left pocket.

***

A dusty pickup truck rolled toward the farmer’s market.

Behind the wheel sat a clean-shaven man in his mid-fifties, in the passenger seat sat his wife, her silver hair pulled back into a pony-tail, you could tell she had been beautiful in her youth.

She looked over at her husband and smiled exactly how you’d imagine her to smile. Knowingly, lovingly, the most trusting eyes that crinkled around the ends. They’d been through everything you’d never know.

The truck bustled into its usual spot and they both got out of the truck, he saw the busted lock first.

“Get back in the truck.” he said. She obeyed.

He grabbed a shotgun from under the truck seat and walked back to the door. She watched the precarious situation. Then he disappeared into the door.

***

“Stop right there.” the man said loudly in no uncertain terms as he cocked the gun. Gomez dropped the homemade salsa from his hands. It shattered and salsa splashed onto his shoes and jeans.

The potato in his pocket suddenly became heavier than god. He turned slowly and in the curious darkness he was staring a ten-gauge shotgun down the barrel. There was no god here.

“Put your damn hands up.”


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Hold Up: A Border Saga Part IV

Gomez was a statue. His feet in concrete.

Twenty feet away a child was crying, its mother doing her level best to console it, a man answering questions in Spanish was speaking in a homely accent. It may have been put on, but Gomez was so nervous that he didn’t pay attention to the inflection in the man’s voice.

Two minutes ago he was dead sure that he was about to be found, now he was silently thanking the Virgin Mary, Jesus and God in that order. The headlights still stared straight ahead, unblinking and unfeeling, but the spotlights were showing the humanity behind them by bathing the trio of Mexicans and the duo of Agents. Gomez was sweating but he was coasting down from an adrenaline rush.

***

Mason called to the young man, “What ya got?”

“One man, one woman and a child.” he answered.

Shit. Mason thought. “Anything on them?”

“I don’t know yet.”

Shit.


When the agents and the men had hustled the immigrants up the hill they sat them down with blankets and water, then they called it in.

“HQ, we have three, repeat, three, one man, one woman, and one child, repeat, one man, one woman, and one child. Over.”

The radio crackled back. “Copy, number sixteen. Bring them in. Over.”

“Copy that, over.”

Mason and the other men watched the illegals carefully. There were no drugs found on their person, no reason to believe they were trying to do anything except restart their lives. Yet, on the border, everyone is suspect. There are no limits to the desperation of someone trying to provide for their family. For all the Minute Men knew, these people had thirty condoms full of cocaine in this kid’s stomach and were just posing as a family.

The border agents opened up the back of their truck and put the family in. “Thanks Mr. Mason, we’ll process these people and they’ll be back in Mexico by Thursday at least.”

“Just doing our part.” Mason replied, “Y’all take care.”

The agents nodded at the Minute Men and got into the truck.

“Well, let’s call that a night.” Mason said to everyone. It was about 4:00 in the morning. All night and the haul was three people, one man, one woman, and a crying child. Everyone measures success differently and by the usual scale this was a hell of a night.

Goodnights and goodbyes were passed around. Then everyone got into their trucks and Broncos and SUVs, all the engines started in a vague concurrence and all the headlights flickered in the same manner. The night’s silence was polluted by the roar of the convey going home.

***

Gomez stayed where he was until the last wind carried off the last motor. Then he checked the hill as his eyes had adjusted to the light. He kneeled, stood up warily and he was off. There was work to do.


Monday, May 21, 2007

The Hold Up: A Border Saga Part III

Gomez started as several pairs of headlights came on but quickly returned to his taciturn rapport with the natural camouflage around him. There were no anchors to his nervousness but to move would’ve taken a fire. He was deathly still as the spotlights played their game of tag amidst the headlights stoicism. He matched the headlights and held steady, if anything could have gotten him to move it wouldn’t have been the itch developing in his eyes and down his sides and back.

Gomez gave no movement to the sound of a diesel engine working up the hill then halting. The voices weren’t carrying right now, so all Gomez could hear in the straining stillness was a man guffawing.

He lay in that position another fifteen minutes before he looked in the direction of where the voices came from, three flashlights and a spotlight moved down into the flatland, he instinctively jerked his eyes away from them. It was a remnant of his childhood, kid’s logic: “if I can’t see them, then they can’t see me”. There was no time to waste and not much that could be done in that moment. Gomez slightly checked his feet to see if they were covered but tattered New Balances jutted out in muted tones. He was moving quickly to get them under some moss or something that would keep them well hidden from the prying flashlights of the American’s.

He slipped and kicked a bush, it shook slightly.

***

The four men made their way to the end of the hill.

“Alright, Mr. Mason, you and Mr. Ben wait here with the spotlight.” the younger border agent said this with a little apprehension. He hadn’t been on a call with the Minute Men before and wasn’t sure if they were as hands-on as the news reports were saying.

Mason stopped and looked at Ben, he turned his eyes to the young man who was eyeing them despite the headlights and spotlights. Mason nodded.

The young man walked into the flatland and had to navigate his way around the scrub brushes. After several minutes he got to the well lighted area where the person or people were supposed to be. He looked around, squatted, got up, walked around the area in ten foot circles with his partner.

***

The Minute Men looked on from the top of the hill unwaveringly albeit nervously and hoped that the illegals hadn’t given the slip. It seemed impossible considering how lit up the place was.

After two circles one of the border agents gave a call to the other and he ducked down into what looked like a hole, they both scuttled about without too much struggle. The Minute Men gave a whoop and high-fived each other.

At the bottom of the hill Mason and Ben looked on eagerly and got ready to make a run to help the border agents if the drug smugglers tried to put up any struggle. Mason fingered his 9mm pistol.

At the top of the hill one of the Minute Men removed his .308 with a scope and lay down in the dirt like he had been trained to do so many years ago. He leveled his scope on the agents. They were moving quickly but not so that he couldn’t keep his sights.

He aimed at their hands until they hoisted a man up off of his knees.


Friday, May 18, 2007

The Hold Up: A Border Saga Part II

Gomez was mostly running. He watched for holes and for lights, if there were any floodlights sweeping the low area he was crossing then he would have to duck fast and hide well to keep from being detected. He heard a coyote’s call cut short as the crack of a bullet carrying over the hills sounded in his ears. He looked skyward and the sliver of a waning moon grinned back at him. Then a light as bright as god swept the brush thirty feet from where he was, he dropped like both his knees blew out at the same time.

He slid under a scrub brush the best he could. And waited as several spotlights lit up and played in sweeps across the field. He could hear the faintest snippets of conversation being carried by the wind. He stayed deathly still

One minute went by. His eyes itched.

Two minutes. . .

Three. . .

Four. . .

***

At the fifth minute one of the spotlights caught someone trying to move to a better hiding spot. They kept going like they hadn’t seen him but several cell-phones were produced on the top of the hill and the border patrol was called by an older Vietnam Vet named Mason.

“Hey Chuck, we’ve got what looks like two here. Rough looking, might be drug smugglers. You should send someone down, give me just a minute and I’ll give you the coordinates.” Mason checked the GPS in his Bronco. “Hey, you know Holden. . . Yeah, five miles directly south of it. . . Yeah, as the crow flies. . . We took 81. . . Don’t worry we’ll keep it lit up ‘til your boys get here, hold on.” he turned to the other men. “Go ahead and turn on the headlights. Alright, we’ll wait. How’s Jane and the kids?” He listened for a minute then he spit and laughed. “That’s one smart girl. . . Yep. . . Ha ha. . . Yep you take care too Chuck. . . Alright.”

Mason shut the phone. “They’ll be here in about ten minutes.” he said to no one in particular.