Call of the Balls

photo of a group of friends lying on a pool table
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I enjoy the smell of blue Play-Doh
it reminds me of childhood wounds
so give me a piano bar
and let me sigh eternally
amongst the dark, doldrums beat
where man is nothing but an enclave,
a water dish for God’s mighty piss
it’s time machine day
watch all the lovers fall forward
into another happy moment
of ashes on carrots
and whimpering in designer hallways
tape these bleeders closed
I’m leaking to much embryonic fluid
I will never forgive the doctors
for letting me live
they should have stabbed me
when they had the chance
rhythm isn’t all that
and why is my cigarette all wet
she must have sucked on it too long
like a crimson call of the balls
a jungle gym for her hands and mouth
and what is it all about
when the pressure rises
and the beat rises
and the teeth chatter
and the hands shake
and all you want to do is
pound! pound! pound!
every senseless array of light
pound it into the ground
and play blind man on the street corner
with a couple of dimes
and a couple of cobs of corn
to boil in a pot of your own soul

Forget history
forget the curds and whey
forget the memories of your lullabies
let me rephrase that —
there is never any hope in love
when you’re banging the drums on Skyline Drive
shooting asphalt high in her eyes
it’s a rhythm that means nothing
except to her unfaithful hips
her hungry lips
the javelin rodent prays to Mary
the metal plate in his skull
sends messages to his doldrums
let me feel your hair,
come sit on my lap
come swallow shotgun shells at sunset
and watch cowgirls on Texas junk

Do the mice really care
how intricate the tapestries in Babylon are?
Does anyone care
that Teddy bears aren’t real?
What is the basis of all our motives
what grips the brass ring in your belly?
The tug of a lover
the tug of a memory
the tug of a prophecy
dialing up in your brain
making you spit down the drain
where is my lumber?
where is my sword?
step aside whilst I stricken you with damage
who will care for the bloody mouth
who will stare at the red wine running south
who will submit to my need
and not be forsaken because of it???


Refrigerated Dreams (Act 4)

The boy from the refrigerator was perched upon a steel beam like a vulture high above them in the old shoe factory. His slick black hair was more slick than usual. The dead eyes of alien blue that punctuated his pale face swirled like a spiral arm galaxy as he looked down at them. He cocked his head in an odd manner as he listened to them talk beneath him. Adam Longo recognized the boy as one of them that was there when they locked him in the old refrigerator that day. He was one of them that held him roughly by the arms as they led him down into the pit of the dump. The girl was someone he recognized from that school he knew as his living hell. She was the one he stared at when she wasn’t looking. She was the one he thought about at the closing of the day when he would lie atop his bed in his quiet room at home. She was his only good memory.

Then Adam Longo recalled how the other one, the red-haired one, their leader, had laughed without remorse, how he had gotten right in his face and said something like, “Are your balls all shriveled up… Is that why you don’t ever talk?” His breath was overpowering. Rusty was his name. He hated Rusty. And now here was one of his rooks and that girl thinking they were all alone in this immense place lost in time. He thought about leaping out into the air and floating down and he would come upon them in a fury of revenge. He could do that now. Something drastically changed after he went into that refrigerator unwillingly. Sheer human cruelty had given him a power he never expected.


Veronica took a step back from him. “You were part of that?” she wanted to know.

Andy paused for a moment. “I was against it.”

“But you still allowed it to happen.”

Andy looked up and sighed with frustration.

“What!?” the girl snapped. “You’re angry because I’m upset you let a boy get locked in a refrigerator? He could have died.”

Andy bent down and picked up a metal rod and tossed it into the void. It tumbled and clanked loudly. “Why are you getting bent out of shape? Let’s just get high.”

“I think I want to go home,” Veronica said.

Andy’s demeanor suddenly changed, and he grabbed her by the shoulders. “What’s your problem?”

“Let go of me!”

He pushed her away and turned. “Fine. Do what you want,” he said, and he started to walk away.

She called after him. “Where are you going?”

“Just go home,” he called back, and then, like the sudden snap of a bone, something fell from above and was on top of him. It attacked him with the ferocity and conviction of an angel bred by animals, and the boy struggled and shrieked as he was mercilessly beaten and clawed.

In the epilogue of the boy’s torn moans, a panting Adam Longo turned to look at her through the dim light. He was mystically aglow, and his gaze froze her in place, and like in a dream she struggled to run but her legs refused to receive and follow the command. Veronica had no control over her own self now and could only watch in wonder as the figure stood. He was just a boy, but nothing like a real boy. He looked down at Andy twitching on the dirt-strewn floor of the factory. Then he looked up, toward the place from where he came, and he suddenly ascended in a completely inhuman way.

Her legs became free from their dream burden and Veronica ran toward the lighted frame of the doorway they had entered. She burst into the outside world and leapt down the iron stairway, past the loading bays and toward the hole in the chain-link fence. She scrambled through, a piece of metal bit into the top of her shoulder and she winced as she dove into the sea of weeds and tall grasses on the other side. She went for her bike, lifted it up and got on. She pedaled toward town with an urgency and fear she never knew she could possess.

Once she was long gone, her scent and heartbeat now carried away to the place where the terrible people were, Adam Longo curled into himself for comfort and warmth as he perched on the wide beam. He watched the day turn to night through the broken factory windows. Living had been lonely enough he thought as his eyes set on the few stars he could see, but now, now this, whatever it was, whatever he now had become. It was lonelier than death itself — lonelier than the dirt piled upon the lost ones.

MORE TO FOLLOW

Read the previous part of this story HERE.


A Cemetery Scrawl, Like Litter in the Wind


Zombie in sweatpants jogging in the ghetto
arms stuck out lean and mean
cold soles slapping the greasy street
and my little girl thought she had just escaped
from the cylinder, the bilingual,
the catastrophic farm of listless stones
the graveyard
a cold and misty day
cold and teary and smelling of sludge
who was to judge
the importance of the non-potable headache
swimming in my tender sockets
man, I am a rambling’
like some loose-geared jalopy on the old road,
but I found a letter to the dead
full of things left untold

I and my two cases of flesh and blood
we stormed the dam
doodled in the cool, green waters of some lake that is really a pond,
but in an area where water is practically non-existent
even a pinprick of piss is considered a lake,
but we clambered the slick geometrical stone
the water skimming off the surface
flushed through the portals
and we shook on our balances
feeling the fluttery wings in our bellies
as we did ballet on the precipice of the sun in our eyes
clutching hands
skipping stones
hopping logs
and life was a memory of ice cream
dripping down sticky baby faces
and now they were being brave and curious
and interested in the lives of the dead


We climbed a hill
shagged it rotten
like cotton candy
between the legs of an angel
and at the top of the hill
we found a flat, gravely place
I wanted to name the place Ashley
because it looked burnt and turned over
and all that remained was the ashes of destruction
and great piles of tumbled trees
and mountains of unraveled gravel
and off behind us was a fence
a chain-link fence topped with rusting barbed wire
and beyond the fence
acres of dead —
it was a cemetery
and the fence encircling it
was cluttered with the debris
of loved ones’ tokens,
tokens of love
tokens of regret
plastic and paper flowers
rolling in the wind
candied tumbleweeds smashed against the wire
and in this lot called Ashley
I found a letter
in a plastic bag
and the words were intact
and all a hush fell about my brood
as I began to read to them
this letter to the dead


It was a mom speaking to a daughter
and from the letter I gathered
the daughter’s life had come to an end
in a most tragic way
suicide it seemed
perhaps gunfire
or violence extreme
and in the letter
the mother was very weepy
very weepy and full of regrets
regrets, weeping and wondering why
why? why? why? dear daughter
why did you have to die
so, I felt kind of bad
that this piece of weepy sad writing
was like litter in an open field
and my youngest slice of flesh and blood
my youngest elixir of greed and breed
wanted to comb the graveyard
to find the stone
of the girl in the letter
but there was only a first name —
SHARON
and how could I find one Sharon in a field of thousands of dead
and so, I simply put the letter
still encased in its plastic
over the edge of the fence
believing the wind would carry it back,
back to the place it belongs
and we felt better for that
and we carried on with our journey
watching the jogging zombie sweat through her velour
and the world smelled dirty
and the sky was gray
and Sharon was free
and so were we


Radio-free Lamp Ray

This frustration of motion
this inept spinning of my tangled web
all the deceptions we weave
all the arrows we sling
at ourselves
when there is no reason
and I am empty without her
as lovers fill the home
and I still spark the sunset
bewildered and alone

I come from a place not known
a high hill tucked far away
behind the sugar plants
and the factories
belching out babies
in bleached Red Radio Flyers
bleached by the sun
bleached by the burn of innocence aged
and I am an astronaut floating untethered
a radio-free lamp ray
looking for a light bulb to suck and swirl

I came upon a disillusion
a fair lady needing to escape
and I have the power at my foot
but I am empty and frayed
for love is a magic trick
something splayed secretly in the shadows
and I have knife points in my heart
slowly choking on the trickle
a scissor slice
an orange wave
salting the wound
and when I am brought down by Paris
will I ever be enough?

Where has my patience gone
where has the image in the mirror dissolved to
and the bottle keeps me warm
as I pace restlessly in a chill
and maybe when I meet God
I’ll just come out and ask her
when is love ever real?

So nothing ever works out as planned you see
winds up being just Gallo and me
my empty need
raining through the moon
sparks dripping off the razor’s edge
and me bleeding helplessly
until she comes to me
but my fate is drowning
so stop being so pained and jealous
but I can’t help the shiver inside
that nervous twitch of wonder
left adopted by the night sweats
so why don’t I just give in
and count all my blessings in disguise?

I am not an iron cross
I am not a thermostat
so what am I?
the unexplainable
the paintable tab in a ghost story
the sexed up frolic
on a smooth hardwood floor
come on
give me a moment
to explain my reckless stance
and I know I feel too much baby
broken clouds weep my name

I don’t understand
maybe I don’t need to understand
this ritual of disturbances
I just want to care

I could tell when I walked in the door
that I was motionless moving
some parade of wrecked divinity
caught off guard
by the sizzle frying my heart
an empty line
an empty space
a tent stake
forced through my handicapped resistance
I don’t want to feel the shock again
of another love left abandoned
just whisper to yourself
it’s all right
it’s just life
it will all end someday soon

So fuck this feeling game
it will never be the same
I’ll always be capsized
my soul is a hurricane
aimed directly at myself
and I am not some Wizard of Oz
with a magic touch and spit
my road isn’t yellow brick
I’m getting sick
in a Denver trash can
you can see how my madness wanes
then comes back again in waves
I’m just crazy about her
sticky needles in the haze
I’m just a camel with no Baghdad
a radio-free lamp ray
electrifying the endless sea.


Wallflowers of Chemistry

You invented love
like dragons spit fire
the longing when you are gone,
is an immediate reaction
I’m drawn to your eyes
I’m drawn to the night
the full vibrato of darkness
the stars splashed so randomly across the universe
we can touch them if we try

Candles melt away so quickly here
this otherworld, this neverwhere
We are a collision of chemistry
wrapped in coils of electricity
The ache of our day
becomes the joy of our night
empty wine glasses and ghosts
the bluest tears,
the reddest blood

The valve has been wrestled loose
the drips drop incessantly throughout the house
Impenetrable venom
impenetrable malaise
Someone broke the switch on the furnace
and it’s coughing up hot laughing gas
and I choke on my own experiences
Am I sad?
Am I happy?
Am I a supernova,
Or just merely a simple star,
blinking randomly
from within this skull of space?

Am I a colored moon
peacefully napping
with a nightcap perched upon my point
Or am I a black hole,
sucking on everything that exists?
Or am I merely a chemical byproduct
that sits in an empty room,
waiting for night to pass
and day to begin,
when I can talk to you
and feel my heart thunder against the world

But sometimes,
I just want to be a rocking chair,
swaying gently
amidst the dust of a long-gone grandparent’s den,
listening to the easy tick of the clock on the mantle,
watching the footsteps fade deeper into the carpet,
waiting for the sounds and smells
of a childhood lost forever
lost in the woods of autumn,
across the icy bridge of winter,
into the wet grass of spring
and along the thick dreams of summer
on some Midwestern small-town porch

And so,
when do dreams end
and reality begin?
When is night’s finale
and day’s birth?
One fluid sweep of time
and the Earth still tilts
and I still stare at the ceiling,
catching glimpses of you
in my mind’s eye
the baby’s breath in my fist falls,
landing in a blanket of fresh snow,
you pull up into the white gravel
and I can see your smile through the windshield
my heart still rattles
as the sun breaks through the clouds, and your hand clutches me in dreams.

Sun of Dirt

Why is this world so dirty?
why are the lumps playing King?
I look around, look around
can’t see anything
can’t avert my eyes
to all the splashes of filth
that survive

Dirty walls and dirty streets
a laundromat full of dirty sheets
stained with all those lovers’ dreams
helpless infants, toddlers too
drinking from dirty bottles
with their dirty little mouths
wet with the slobber
of an ineloquent tongue

The dirty gravel lots
lie like flattened skeletons on the grid
littered with glass eyes,
broken bottle-rocket lies
there is no festival here
this is the Kingdom of Broken Dreams
where failed, exhausted lives retire
and bed down in this filthy hole called:
A MEANINGLESS DOT ON THE MAP

The sky is gray but bruised with some blue
there’s a Latin girl walking
she’s overstuffed in a pair of dirty jeans
Does she see it too?
with those frightened eyes,
wayward and crooked eyes void of concern
does she see how dirty the world really is?
or will it all vanish
when she crumples up nice and tight
in front of her dirty TV screen
before goodnight

To my far left
a crumbling beauty shoppe
so, this is irony
a beauty shoppe
left half-eaten by a bulldozer
crumbling beneath this wide, empty sky
the shingles reaching out from the torn edges
like broken fingertips
the guts of beauty torn asunder
again, left to rot on a dirty lot

All these crumbling houses
shelters with fractures
pained monsters dwell within
clutching scepters of whiskey
and bashing out teeth

No scuba diving today
the water has all dried up
leaving us with ink spot scars
on the brown land
it’s all so BROWN here
where is my lovely GREEN?
luscious, wet green
Luscious wet BLUE
it’s just all brown and gray
like the trees themselves
spindly, gray skeletons
in their slow-motion seizures
prying the horizon open
with their brittle, wayward branches

The desolate ranches
plots of invisible earth
miles and miles out into the void
how do they live there?
how do they breathe there?
when the relentless summer sun
pounds at them with its golden fist.


Cologne of the Ghost

I sat in the broken window and looked out onto the burnt grass and the weeds; the sun was gone, the moon was gone, the stars were all gone; a blank, hollow shell of a world and this scratchy ticking in the background behind me and so I strolled across the creaking floorboards and met up with my ghost in the broken mirror hung crooked above an old dresser.


The needle on the record player beside me dug rhythmically into the last grooves of some wobbly, distorted album a century old; dusty glass bottles of old colognes were neatly placed on a cloth on top of the dresser, half empty and oily, I opened them up and smelled them – memories of daddy drown in the deep eye of the now bitter liquid.


A stirring wind rushed in through the broken windows, cutting itself on the jagged edges of glass and howling off through the paper walls in pain; something rattled the pots and pans in the kitchen down below and before I went to the stairs, I looked at myself in the mirror and suddenly I wasn’t there – the linoleum was curling and stained with dust and dead bugs who had come in for some type of shelter from the rain, the weeds outside had grown tall and unruly; an old dirty engine sat in the grass, beat to hell, old and used and rusting away… The breeze belted away and went howling off to the woods to hide and cry, to slither up the trunk of a tree and rocket off to space, to dissipate.


And I stood in the doorway, knowing I could never step outside again, destined to forever look out windows and watch the world lose itself in the waves of time… I cannot leave, I will never leave; I will forever wander this old, broken-down house, try to catch the wind before it so rudely rushes away. I’ll listen to the needle dig into the record for eons, I will smell daddy’s cologne until it completely evaporates, unlike me, I will never evaporate; I will forever be the blind reflection in the mirror, and I will wait painfully without food or sleep or company for heaven’s hand to finally sweep me away.