Okay, so this is admittedly a little rushed. I’m trying to wrap Inktober up while really getting into prep for both of my #NaNoWriMo challenges AND my November Call of Cthulhu campaign launch.
October 22, Ghost
Like a shiver, move in the erratic places,
hands & feet & seawalls, an occupation
of particles where particles already where
& weren’t. Ain’t space a kick? Manifest
or don’t, someone’s bound to feel you there.
October 23, Ancient
It could be nothing & probably was, but he tucked the stone into his pocket just in case.
Judio occasionally feared he was going a little mush-brained in his old age, & his critical mind was quick to pipe up & tell him so.
“It’s hard to stir the blood in this old heart, but once it gets going it’s difficult to control.” He murmured to himself, tapping the outside of his pocket to feel the stone again.
It would do him no good to stir the law — it would do no good to call them all to arms over what, a girl?
A pretty one, sure. That Winterburne girl was like a fine painting — the likes of which a fellow wouldn’t see in these outposts. In fact, she reminded him of one he’d seen long ago Baton Rouge. It had hung in a cluttered front parlor that belonged to a French family of his father’s acquaintance.
He thought that perhaps she had reminded him of that, the composition so vivid and lifelike that he could still see it now nigh on 70 years later.
Nah, they weren’t the same, Winterburne and that painting, she was a creature in three dimensions and the painting was a two dimensional expression of someone who had become worm food long before he’d laid his young eyes upon it.
The girl was the ideal and the painting was a copy of something that had always been, timeline be damned.
He eased himself up out of his chair and walked inside, spurred to movement by the restlessness his of his internal dialogue — yet his steps seemed smaller than they’d ever been, his joints stiffened by spending a good part of the afternoon on watch, stupidly believing she would return.
He shook his head and patted the stone in his pocket again, “It’s nothing.”
October 24, Dizzy
The cups have all overturned
& fed the earth that became
oversaturated & stagnant —
unable to process the energy
& it passed through to the sea
& fed her screaming tides,
the insignificant contents
of eight or nine or ten cups
made new in her fury —
the howl of birth & death
breaking against the rocks
that propel the fool out,
away from its rage; sun-blessed
& new as the reborn sea —
all energy & inertia,
all his lives gather below.
October 25, Tasty
Don’t make me wonder —
would I eat my own face if,
if, if? I can’t imagine twelve-steps
that could set me far enough
away from this; All crumbling
in my hands like the teeth
that rattle around in my jaw,
my blood as thick as syrup,
same as all who came before,
eating our way into the ground —
don’t make me wonder if,
if, if — please don’t make me go.
October 26, Dark
He finished with a smile that swallowed the side of his face — his lip curling until it bleached, with all blood directed out of his head and into the fists that swung at his side like pendulums. Steady as a clock. A reminder that under this mall-goth wrapper there is sinew & struggle. Fury that had not yet been marketed, commoditized and lined with cheap, drug-store kohl.
One would think that what we just experienced was a sort of exorcism, a theatrical production of sage & rage & sweat. But an exorcism is a cleansing & there was no lightening in this release, the mottled skin around his mouth returning to the same mass-market pallor with no change, not even a frown-line cut from an emotion he performed but did not feel.
I do not have enough stamina to count the things that go wrong when capitalism’s grubby hands reach out to smear shit on a canvas & call it art. But somehow it all persists, too often taking the form of an indignant, inauthentic, Hot Topic goblin marketing emotions while it is incapable.
All too often he shits & fucks & rages where he eats. Watch it at your own peril.
October 27, Coat
The wind fills it, picks it up, & for a moment it seems as if it was walking across the highway on its own before settling into a pile in the far lane.
Commuters watch it as if it were a show — this light is overlong & our minds so relentlessly conditioned to seek anything to watch.
We glance around, looking for that car — the one that has a dash cam or a restless passenger. We hope someone broke off a conversation about pork chops for dinner or winterizing the lawn to pull out a camera and catch the wind acting like people.
It’s such a novelty when abstract things solidify & flounce with shoulders wide across a congested intersection — so much better to watch nothing playing at something than to indulge the sinking feeling that we are all something playing at nothing after all.
October 28, Ride
Six stars, clean air, & a feeling
of peace as long as I’m moving;
got no time for pause or pretense,
got no time for prayers or small talk.
I don’t give a fuck about the cold
or the sighing rain — it’s a shower
without needing to pay the note.
Got a thumb & two legs pumping,
got no time to stand still.
October 29, Injured
They’re coiled machines, those two. Lazer-guided & clicking each second — one-two-three — with a length of tail — four-five-six.
Hind leg hydraulics drilling claws & paws into the sill at the flap of wings and the release of a head snapping against the window.
October 30, Catch
See it there! It’s coiled in his eyes,
darker for the length of it —
maybe the hook pokes out
of his mouth & scrapes against
the long line that separates
his lips from his cheek
or clicks against the jagged cliff
of his jaw as he speaks.
October 31, Ripe
Whatever good is, this isn’t it —
tastes of green algae & wasted
summers; of cyanosis & uncaring;
of the way cash smells & the dirty,
dirty way we crave it anyway;
tastes like rot, this does —
an industry too long on the vine,
too deep in the pockets
& unrecognizable; ripe
& waiting to be plucked
& tossed away.