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.
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
(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
between eye contact
in Matter’s timetable
where subjective judgment
the objective reality
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
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
The hills are alive
with the sound of deafness
a resplendent stubbornness
that has thrived for a thousand years.
sing that color silent.
Silent color is singing
where your voice goes begging
eyes and ears.
Attitude House 10/00
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”
The coming night
of the day’s light
and of course it’s
down this end of the bar.
You in your costume
to die for.
All dolled up
a Vampire’s victim
and a hooker
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.
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.
knows what I
put down on it
without so much
as an entry.
These blue lines
have come alive of late
I’ll look away from
the empty space
for just a second
and when I look
sentence after sentence
So my silent notebook
just stands there
in front of me
tapping its foot
grinning at me
to say it
or shut up.
Color Madness Audio link
(For V. VG)
Now I think
what the colors
did to him
while I was driving
upon stained asphalt
fog banked ribbons
along the Lake Shore
and this burning bush
of October ran in
front of my car
like a deer in heat
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
In a forest of
sticks slicing time
detains the daily drain
to whisper just before
the feet of Fall
one chilly scarlet
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
beyond perhaps mortal comprehension
You are 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