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14 May 2008 @ 09:14 pm

A spot of homework no one heard


 

A Dollars Worth

 

            The jangle of the Super’s keys filled the concrete and tile hall, “This rooms been empty almost six months now, people round here are willing ta pay a bit more for silence.”

            “I’ll take what I can get,” the man replied.

            It took the Super several times to get the door open, “you gotta jiggle the handle just right,” he smiled as he spoke, “think of it as a second lock, no extra charge. The renovations crew is next store between eight and four, the lease is only six months, this’ll be a maintenance room when they’re done.”

            The door swung open and he saw the brick wall of an adjacent building framed by a bare twelve by twelve room of stucco walls and faux wood floor tiling. The Super spoke but the man could not hear him, he just stared on toward the apartment’s red brick view, his one dimensional vantage of the outside world, and he pondered how he had arrived here.

He had seen the horizon hang over his skyline view of the city, all the champagne and cashmere… the cashmere, he had given so much of it away over the years, Salvation Army, Veterans of Foreigner Wars, tax write offs – what he’d do for that luxury against his skin again. Standing in his wife’s walk in closet, while taking stock of what his wealth had afforded him and his ungrateful shiksa, his cell phone rang, “The fund is belly up! Where are you?”

            He said he’d be in soon, but his face told a different story, a tortured and scared story of regret and self-pity. A story he omitted, hidden behind that fabrication, “I’ll be in soon.”

            “All these stupid trinkets own you, you think you own them, you think you own me, but neither, you have neither, you lying bastard. My mother told me not to marry you, but did I listen? No, I was being lavished: I was in love,” His wife Mary snarled cynically, “just a stupid child!”

            He stood in the closet, silent to her assaults, feigning stoicism.

            He lingered in the dust and chinchilla furs, wondering how long he had left before his finances collapsed. He spent the better half of his youth accumulating his wealth and influence, in a self-imposed ignorance of the fickle markets and minds of men. He had clung miserly to his properties, many he’d never step foot on, and to assets he’d never considered the content of.

            An existence paved by privilege and good genes, never had he worked for wealth or affection, though nothing less than a gun would give him peace now. Unsure whether he was suicidal or homicidal, the thought passed through him as his wife’s wrath once again filled the already crammed closet.

            Extending his ankles, with burning in the ligaments of his back calves, he grasped at the top shelf of his wife’s walk-in, where there was a box. He almost fell backward from the force he used pulling, gripping with his fingers’ tips.

            “Not much to look at,” interjected the Super, flipping the light switch.

            And there wasn’t, “Where’s the bathroom?” he asked earnestly.

            “Only door in the place.”

            “No closet?”

            He disappeared into the bathroom, leaving the Super and his fretful jangle of keys loitering impatiently in the studio. Hesitating, he stood for a moment in the unlit, windowless bathroom before flipping the single switch to the hums of the florescent light and ventilation fan. His reflection glared back at him, he searched his dark eyes before fidgeting with his fly. Urinating he thought back to his penthouse with pangs of bittersweet release.

            He brought the unassuming box down from the shelf as his wife ripped open the closet door, “What in Jehovah’s name are you doing in there?”

            Skirting past her, box in hand, he headed straight for their bathroom door, locking it behind him. “I am packing to go to my mother’s, I am taking Bryan with me, you selfish sonofabitch!” She banged repeatedly on the door.

            His stream stopped as he heard a knocking.

            “Are ya taken it? Gotta load of piping to work on… Jesus’son don’t flush, oh and you’re gonna have to wait till noon ta’marrow ta wash your hands!” He wanted him to go away, but committing to a lease behind a locked door didn’t seem kosher.

            “I’ll be out momentarily sir”

            A shiver went up his spine staring down into the yellow plaque of waste lingering on the edges of the toilet bowl. Placing his left hand against the wall, shifting his body weight on to his shoulder, instantly the stream began again.

            The box is where he had kept his close money, and as he opened it he realized his wife had been snooping about while he was out fiddling with willing younger men and women. Little was left but a few first edition books, and at the bottom, affixed in its glass case was his grandfather’s 1880 Carson City silver dollar, the start of two and a half generations of affluence. Estimating the weight of the vintage coins wealth set him on edge, what’s a dollar worth?

            He sighed and stepped out of the bathroom, “I’ll take it.”

            “Good, names Felix, I’ll be around to pick-up security ta’marrow.”

 

 
 
16 April 2008 @ 02:18 pm

The Gravity of Stars
Or: How to crash without even trying

 Scene - Curb side in the Valley, LA, @ night, two boys are sitting up the street (downhill) from their new car, outside their decrepit

ranch, smoking cigarettes in silence.
M– What are we gonna do bout this car?
N– Bought the owners guide for the ‘85 Prism - Corolla - Nova at the NAPA, if were out every morning, our hearts into, if we get Rich’s

help, we can get it running again
M– Sure as hell hope so… we could have spent that on rent, know what I’m saying?
N– Yeah I know what you’re sayin, and a couple hundred is a lot less than five
M- As if it was your eight
N- Yeah, it was
M- (of handed) or dad’s
N- As if you didn’t have it, if you hadn’t dropped so much on that girl
M- you don’t know anything bout that
N- Sure I do, it’s all you ever talked about for three months straight, “oh she’s busy, school, work, a play, she wants to hang-out but…”
M- It wasn’t like that!
N- Like hell it wasn’t!
M- Cause you had to take care of your parents, cause you had responsibilities, security guard at Six Flags right?
N- Yeah, and I saved every cent till I got here
M- Cause you had me to pick up the diner tabs, I can’t help it if the fucking government plugged up the gravy train after graduation.
N- Expensive restaurants, vinyl, espresso, that’s where the gravy train made its stops
M- (starting to cry) Shut the fuck up, Mercer, rent, groceries, that’s where it went, as if somehow being the roommate to a widowers son

means you’re owed something
N- Nothing but equality
M- Mommy Daddy, it so much harder than I thought it’d be, barista doesn’t tip the way I thought it would, can you wire me another care

package?
N- Fuck this!
M- (bawling) yeah, fuck you!
Nick stands up and walks back inside.
M- This isn’t how it was supposed to happen, this isn’t how it was supposed to be. What’s the weather if all you do is unbox trinkets

sunup sundown? Why does half the world want to live here if it’s all the same all over?
(end scene)
 
Scene - Inside, living room w/kitchen area, separated by an island. Michael enters from front door, Nick is standing center stage.
M- Give me the keys!
N- No, it's my car
M- Like hell it is
N- Next week, after I cash my check I’ll gladly give you back the two hundred
M- Another collect call home, bet you still have at least an eighth, Western Unions for zips and cars?
N- Yeah (defensively)
M- You know who Summer asked Brit about first? you know that? Just second string, just a substitute, you can run away cross the country

but you can’t get away from yourself Nick, you are a natural born stand in.
N- Like hell I am!
M- Ask her, she’ll be home any minuet. Give me the keys.
R- (Enters Stage Right from the kitchen) Other people live here, you two remember that don’t you?
M- Rich who’s car is that outside?
R- Oh, you mean the piece of shit that doesn’t run? The one I told Prick not to buy?
M- Yeah.
R- I don’t know, I don’t care. What does it matter, it only starts on hills in neutral, who the hell would want to own it?
N- My name is on the title; It’s not registered or insured, I am the only one driving it.
M- Four hundred, you owe me four hundred, I gave another two so you’d get insurance
N- Yeah, cause that’s what it costs, cause hell that’s even HALF of what it costs!
M- Four hundred, next week
R- Summer is pulling in
N- I am famished, thank god
(Summer Enters)
S- Hey honey (to Nick) I brought home some Del Taco… Hey Rich (After only glancing in Michael’s direction on entering she otherwise

ignores his presence)
(Protracted silence, Nick rummages)
N- Oh, what happened to In and Out?
S- It was out of the way, I was tired when I got off, would you rather I gave Rich your meal?
(Summer gives an extra taco to Rich)
S- Well than shall we eat in our room?
N- Yeah
M- (yelling after) Yeah go eat in front of your TV, and crank up the AC while you’re at it, please. It’s on me, really.
R- Man just stop
M- She is the one who wanted to split the utilities, electric is in my name, everyday that bitch leaves her unit on ten, the only one in

this shit hole, with the door locked. She pays cable, I don’t even watch it…
R- Man I told weeks ago, never mind bummer and prick.
M- I don’t think I’ll make it till the lease runs out
R- Your name isn’t on it
M- Like I can forget, I am going out.
 (Tim slams the door behind him as he leaves)
R- Inconsiderate, kids so damn loud.
(end scene)

Scene – Front yard, noon next day, Rich is sitting in one of many plastic lawn chairs
(Michael walks onto stage from audience)
M- You're all smiles
R- Lets just say its been a product day-where'd you been
M- Wandered some
R- Glass?
M- No man it wasn't on my mind... (sits) oh, you mean...
R- Yeah man
M- I haven't had that punched in the nose feeling in awhile, anybody home?
R- Oh Shitt, you don't know, you wandered, Prick wreckeda against pole, I heard it from my room, just there past the intersection
M- He's in there, right now?
(Nick walks out, unlit cigarette already in his mouth, his eyes are almost crossed, fixed on the smoke in his lips)
N- I don't owe you anything
(he fails several times before lighting it, he is smiling, as he does this Rich stands up and begins stacking the plastic lawn chairs onto

one another until only Michael's remains.)
M- You mean, you don't owe me four hundred dollars
N- You can be so sensible sometimes
M- Listen you cocky little freak what happen to next week
N- We had a car last night, now its impounded or in a junkyard, I really don't know.
M- Okay, I didn't do it!
N- We went in on it together, we lost it together
M- Everthing I"VE ever lost was on my own
N- Then think of it as a growing experience
R- I'm inside (Rich Exits)
N- So what did we learn?
M- ...I am buying a plane ticket tomorrow, I am done - Los Angeles can keep my dreams
N- What do you mean you’re leaving, we got into this together
M- and I am leaving alone
N- You can't
M- Why, why can't I, this isn't a team effort, you have Summer and I sure as hell don't need you
N- I Need an audience
M- Don't we all
(End Scene)

Scene - Inside the tube of an Airplane, Michael is somewhere in the first row in front of the audience, many extras sit around him.
Stewardess- We will be preparing to land at Atlanta International momentarily, if you'd please gather your belongings and clear off your

tray table placing it in the upright position, that would be wonderful, if you rented earphones for the Direct TV service or XM radio

please place them back in their bag, they will be collected shortly. Thank you for choosing to flying with us.
M- (Talking to a sleeping old man next to him) Gone for a year, the only two people meeting me are my mother and a brother-in-law I’ve

never met. I haven't a clue as what to do with myself, I am such a waste, long enough cheap thrills get expensive, you’re no spring

chicken, you must know what I mean?
 (Realizes error)
M- You turned off your hearing aid, again? Fine, somethings gotta be on TV. I can't be trusted to think alone.
 (Fasten Seatbelt tone)
M- My headphones!
 (Incoherent mumbling and humming [as he channel surfs facing the audience])
(D)Anchor- And this bulletin just in, a flight bound for Atlanta is currently stuck in a holding pattern above the city as the landing

gear appears to have jammed.
Std- Excuse me sir but I’ll be collecting the/
M- These are mine
(D)An- …is that nothing essentially can be done at this point, we have now, with us Aeronautical Engineer…
Std- Sir I don't mean to sound presumptuous but they look/
M- Pretty standard
(D)E-… refueling would just be delaying the inevitable, the plane has to come down eventually, now this model, like many others was

designed to…
Std- Sir!
M- Don’t you have more important things to do!
(Stewardess walks off in a huff)
(D)E-… and glide into what we call a controlled crash landing
M- (Much louder then intended) What the fuck is a controlled crash!?
 (The person behind him kicks the back of his seat)
An- If you are just joining us we are following the drama of Transcontinental flight 939 to Atlanta as…
M- Holy shit, holy shit
(Seat is kicked repeatedly)
(D)P- Folks, we seem to be having critical technical difficulties with our landing gear, shortly we will be releasing all remaining fuel

reserves, and then perform an emergency landing at our final (clears throat) destination.
(Oxygen Bags Drop)
(off stage, behind audience)Std- Now as we said on take off please secure your own mask before help children or the handicapped, this is

merely a safety precaution, there is no need for alarm, after landing please depart via your assigned emergency exit, as we will not be

taxiing to a terminal.
M- Hey wake up (nudging old man), I am not going to do this for you, wake up.
O- what's the idea, I told you... what's this... (to Oxygen bag)
M- It's a safty precaution, IT'S. A. SAFETY. PRECAUTION.
O- I can hear you
M- They are telling us to put them on
O- Well I'm not
M- You have to, they are professionals, they know
(Extras are silently fixing their masks)
O- I'm in no panic, I've lived long enough to know not to get hysterical about things which I have no control
M- I am glad you're at peace
(Michael puts on mask, the set goes black save a strobe light flickering at a relatively low tempo, extras flail)
M- (in the hectic darkness) There was never anything that I couldn't have fixed, everyday, everyday I had a choice to decide who I was,

what I was, and I just made the same mistakes every time, toothless cog I kept on slipping, I guess its fair I be defined by an accident.
stagnation invites death, all I've ever done was spin in circles, even when I was going some place, I was always here, on the brink... one

more day, I could have gotten up with the sun, I would have done push ups first thing, I'd been sober, restraint, discipline. I was alive.
(Lights come back up, extras are stone faced, Michael is sitting still holding himself he slowly lifts his head up, he smiles weakly,

curtain)

 
 
29 February 2008 @ 05:38 pm

Quick note: changes between teachers hardcopy and livejournal, the last line of the first poem is now hou'ors rather then hours, which I feel makes my intentions more translucent as well as more appropriately fits the form. I retracted "the same" in ink inc to one stanza to further the three line theme.

 Hi, you
 
Mephistopheles
Somnambulant stray
Stalking these nefarious
 Nocturnal hou'ors
 
White Noise
White, the color of pure driven snow
White - shade of baby's breath
White, the beacon for ships in the night
 
In science the colors
 collectively coalesce to
 create what we see as White
 
White is the color of most any
 pharmaceutical ground to a pulp
 for insufflations .
 
White is the occidental symbol of life,
White is the oriental symbol of death.
 
  Ink Inc.

 Synapsis to synapses
Chemical screens -
 Sentient in-betweens
Nucleic Memories

 Evolution dreams!

Fractal fate -
   every daze is all
 the same.

Fine folds,
  all it holds
       is a heart
    that's too big.
 
Cityscape at eyelevel
Sidewalks bare the burden
September leaves scatter, the city
  is an alcove.
 
Christmas (Bazaar)
The only thing I ever won,
 was a sterling silver tea set
 at the saint rose bazaar.
 
How perfectly those serving saucers
 framed my face, fetched
 from raffle for my mother.
 
They were sold at yard sale
 on eve of foreclosure
who'd bought them, no idea.
                                
Born and baptized, gifted to no avail -
                     To come and go,
As if god had ever known.
 
Hey Cassandra

Of Lampshades and lighthouses
 that wander vermillion  skys,  that
  Dash and Bash the brains
of any quiet passer-by.

  Local Stars careen across a canvas
              empty paper casket

Inverted living rooms in kind
 benign sympathies resigned,
 what weight was ungifted,
Sisyphus dismissed it.  - And died
 

 
 
Current Music: The Weakerthans
 
 
22 February 2008 @ 11:47 pm
Hey Cassandra

Of Lampshades and lighthouses
 that wander vermillion skys, that
  Dash and Bash the brains
of any quiet passer-by.

  Local Stars careen across a canvas
              empty paper casket

Inverted living rooms in kind
 benign sympathies resigned,
 what weight was ungifted,
Sisyphus dismissed it.  - And died.
 
 
Current Location: Bed(va)room
 
 
07 February 2008 @ 06:51 pm

  Ink Inc.

 Synapsis to synapses
Chemical screens -
 Somber inbetweens
Nucleic Memories

 Evolution dreams!

Fractal fate -
   every daze is all the
                           same.
Fine folds,
  all it holds
       is a heart
    that's too big.

 
 
Current Location: Bedroom
Current Music: Kevin Drew
 
 
 
25 January 2008 @ 07:25 pm
Timothy, admits the leaves of grass
stands tall, casting its violet hues
amoungst the hay.
Timid tiny tim shackled with Dickens
stigma, it means fearful of god -
the irony abounds.
But what of Micheal, Murry, or Zacharia
 for that matter?
 
 
Current Location: Bedroom
Current Music: Sigur Ros - ()