Haunting in the End of October

October 2012 Update    Ghost edition

Create a Face

She was a subway ride

at an errant hour

in an empty car

after a weekend track work delay.

She had yesterday’s headlines

and muttering motormen

in newsprint eyes

She was red lighted just out of the station platform

stalled on the tracks.

No announcement of a temporary delay.

Nothing.

She was silence.

If the lights were to go out in the car

She was going to cry

If those doors stayed sealed shut

she was going to scream.

And when service resumed

and they dumped her at the empty platform

in that station that gave her the special creeps

the express roared through the station

and she was so sorry

that train didn’t stop to take on passengers.

She was walking backwards

and sighing in the bedroom

She was deep purple sheets

She was on her elbows and knees

when the curtain billowed full

from the street light lit room

that brushed against her cheek.

And she was annoyed

to still have memory of all this

She was paper thin walls

She was her past tomorrow

and only herself

in the passing night whistle

of a lover’s yesterday.

*

                                                                      Circa late 80s  Collected in The Terrible Now

*

*

Mask

Masks in 2 Movements

(Live audio link from Singing Mr. Cedric)

*

What faces suggest

as the mind’s eye flesh mask

the interior silent stream

of thought world

the running life voice

a perception stream

mere symbol enabled

siphoned directly off the meaning rack

of the memory warehouse

where experience traces

square dancing schema

twirl electric circuits

in choreographed interaction

approaching intersections

between eye contact

in Matter’s timetable

where subjective judgment

debating

the objective reality

negotiates some

precarious balance

supplicating a tenuous sanity

ensues, perhaps endures

passing pinpoint after pinpoint

of a secondary journey

through a portal

of a sideways glance

pressing the mask

as transitory vehicle

temporal and venal

like a show time curtain

ascending and descending

between the local listings,

live programming and coming attractions

of what happens next

to the freshly skin shed

to wit how (or will?) we know

then the object of ourselves

and for just how long?

 *

6/08   -The Terrible Now

*

In the End of October

 

The day had been the kind of grey

that elected itself spokesman

for the afternoon.

The voice chilled with a certain

knowledge of pale blue diluted

into a chilly white that promised lassitude.

The voice is saying the seasons

are in collision and we are in the locking in.

 

Fall has spent weeks gathering on the ground

and Winter as of yet is disinterested

in the whole business

refuses to go to work

so the ground shuffles the leaves like

a card shark ready to

deal ice cube deuces for your hand.

 

The time of the mask comes and goes.

 

So the night fills and drains costumes.

Stalking Quick Bank; Celebrity hero murderers,

Syntax gender victims seeking damages; Purple

suited stunt person blubbering compassion and

politeness; decapitated rock stars, mutilated

millionaire ex-cheerleaders and just plain folks

caught in the crossfire, car jacking drive-by

random acts of brutal insanity of choice or chance.

Legions of green, yellow, red, black and white

three foot high grunting kicking punching power

midgets morphing into respected connected influential

public officials and politicians that are shaping the

course of personal liberty in your lives.

 

The traditional allotment of vampires, ghouls, demons

and blood thirsty fetus snatching liberal aliens.

What freedom the night affords.

All the secretaries become waitresses, the waitresses

begot actresses, the actresses begot whores, the whores

begot Raggedy Ann  princesses, who begot

gypsies and then as the dawn breaks they all turn back to

secretaries.

 

The great hangover of our self-deception on

all souls night.

I watched you swim the twilight

while the trees are stripped of their delicate garments.

You are swallowing the dusk in buckets

drowning in a swirl of mad flight as the undertow of

the wind sucks and pushes brittle leaves dragging

their finger nails along the sidewalk.

 

On the way home, I’ll buy you a pumpkin

and we can carve a face into it and take turns

guessing whose it is.

 Another Rubber Eden  92

 *

*

In October when the Price was Right

*

In October      Audio Link

*

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YFWyduM8Ko      Video Link

*

In October when the Price Was Right

*

 Outside that night sounded like

they were moving the whole damn thing

by engaging deep gears to grind.

While gyrating iron teeth to filings

drained lubricants dry for thick couplings

deliberately pulling something apart in the darkness.

There is the smell of diesel fuel everywhere.

It almost works.

Now if there’s no sparks……we’re in business.

The faces watching, glow vacantly, flushed with excitement

of actually being in the studio audience.

The camera pans slowly the entire length of the raisers.

Squeals of gaiety as a wireless microphone is passed

around and everyone got a chance to identify themselves,

where they were born and one special shallow wish.

When the red light clicks off.

The stage hands reappeared with the bull whips

and the host pulled back a lever and that sound

and that smell filled the room once more.

If it hadn’t been for that short in the applause sign…

The price would still be right.

 

Another Rubber Eden  10/92

 

October Fingertips

*

 The hills are alive

with the sound of deafness

a resplendent stubbornness

that has thrived for a thousand years.

You must

sing that color silent.

 Listen.

Silent color is singing

 where your voice goes begging

eyes and ears.

                                                                          Attitude House   10/00

*

Tonight’s Benediction

*

Sing me a song of October

include all the alternative lyrics

of your estrangement

the stanzas of loneliness

choruses of anger.

The perpetual distraction

of ordinary dreams

fading in this twilight.

 

The nod of time missing you.

Not getting you.

You not getting it.

The big “take away”

Of everyday.

 

The coming night

making mincemeat

of the day’s light

and of course it’s

always Halloween

down this end of the bar.

 

You in your costume

to die for.

All dolled up

somewhere between

a Vampire’s victim

and a hooker

without expressly

a “heart of gold”

 

The regulars at the “Village Idiot”

All scramble for position

upon the beachhead of our misunderstanding.

And as you looked away from me

toward some unknown inner coordinates

of the barroom’s emotional interior and remarked,

 

“I don’t know why I’m sharing this with you,

but I was raised a Jehovah Witness till I was fifteen.

Then I cut loose from the Kingdom hall.

 

Then the silence that ensued

posted a rather lengthy causality list.

 

And in that unspoken conversation

We resided apart inside

the interment camp of each other

Where from a razor wired perimeter

I watched the side of your face.

 

That left me thinking

time for a cab at this point

not having the courage

to drink slowly enough

to wait you out till

you snapped out of it.

 

Is there nothing left

for me to say

to break you out

of that lockstep

that takes you away ?

 

No word music to tempt you back.

I’m left to carve a face in the pumpkin

of your dissatisfaction

and my desire to capture that expression

of every thought

you were always afraid to think.

 

I used to think.

Believe.

That once before everything else failed

and you lost all taste,

hope, idea and sensation

you might let me share

a shiver with you.

 

A simple obvious formula

prescription for your disappointment

 

You bring the flesh

I’ll provide the goose bumps.

 

Greetings from Gridville     Fall 98

 

Your Next Page

*

My silent notebook

sits there on the bar

grinning up at me

naked, without a mark

a word, so much as

a stray pen stroke

daring me to

put something down

on one of its lines.

I can’t fake it here

with mere words.

This notebook

knows what I

want to

put down on it

without so much

as an entry.

These blue lines

have come alive of late

and sometimes

I’ll look away from

the empty space

for just a second

and when I look

back down

sentence after sentence

has appeared.

So my silent notebook

just stands there

in front of me

tapping its foot

grinning at me

daring me

to say it

or

write

or

put up

or shut up.

                                                                                        CyberStein 10/05

 

Color Madness

Color Madness   Audio link

 

 *

                                                                              (For V. VG)

Now I think

I understand

what the colors

did to him

while I was driving

upon stained asphalt

fog banked ribbons

along the Lake Shore

that morning

and this burning bush

of October ran in

front of my car

like a deer in heat

burning scarlet

ignited in orange tongue

points slicing into

cinders the coming days

to a shower of gray ashes…

But in this second

those days that take

and don’t give back

seemed so far away.

Held at bay.

Between the twilight curtain

and the shroud lost at dawn

that matched the intensity

of a simple dying roadside shrub

that grew legs and ran for its

life ablaze into your eyes.

Tonight in the deep black sky

blue/while clouds will extinguish

all this under a full stark

pockmarked bone yard moon

that watches never blinking.

*

Terrible Now         10/08

*

October Pages

 

In a forest of

missing moments

where silence

sticks slicing time

detains the daily drain

to whisper just before

the feet of Fall

one chilly scarlet

morning kiss

bestows upon the tall lush

green to infect with

gray invades the scalp.

The dead give away of seasons

yet in transition

but for you for the first time

truly yourself now diminishing

there everyday in the flesh.

The expiration date expressed

as clearly in numerical terms

as on any common calendar page

 

Then only the wishful thinking

of speculation in the power of faith

implies eternal reward in lieu

of the chilling possibility

the prospect of being

no more

Totally extinguished

of self

beyond perhaps mortal comprehension

You are gone.

Not enduring

Not returning

merely over

Gone.

 

And if the concept of infinity

endows the faithful with such endurance

then the Cannon of the common

is where the mortality of fate

and all its earthly symbols of meaning go to die

mocking the concept of eternal reward

while left to swing

on a shadowy exit gate.

Sometime Grief    10/1/09

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