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Pea soup on the stove
stinking up the place.

If someone were to pop in right now
I’d say “I’m making pea-soup” to explain the smell
Save from embarrassment.

I’d invite them to stay and eat
I always make too much soup.
Who makes just enough?
Is there such a thing?

If they came over they’d notice the piles of papers.
I’d apologize.
I’d say “I’m normally cleaner”. And mean it. Because that’s how I see myself.

How do people maintain their paper piles?
Does anyone? Are there small files that the rest of people hide in another room?

The papers sit next to the boxes to be considered for recycling.
They get walked out incrementally. There’s no rush aside from the guilt
So much tree-waste.
I bought reusable cloths dipped in beeswax to use in lieu of foil.
My tupperware collection is nothing to sneeze at.
This throw-away culture is shame.

If a tree came over right now
I’d extend my sincerest condolences and I’d blush and admonish my own self
I’d say “I try”, though I’ve heard there is no trying.

There’s doing
and there’s not doing.

Once I had a teacher who pulled a tissue from the box.
He told us to try to pick it up, as he let it fall from his hand.
We scrambled for it.
I don’t remember who picked it up, but it was safe and upon the return to his hand
he said “See? There is no trying. You do or you don’t do”.

The tissue was used only for a lesson.
If that tissue walked through my door right now
I would refrain from rubbing my nose on him.
I’d fear him absorbing too much pea soup, so I don’t think I’d extend the offer.
Plus I need to slumber peacefully
without perplexing dreams about animate tissues eating my home cooking.
Though I’d say something like “I’m sorry for your purposeless life and that you must go
hungry
dry
and used in nothing but a questionable metaphoric lesson”.

If someone came over at the same time as the tissue and tree came
I’d have a lot of explaining to do.
And I’d have to do it, according to law, as there is no try.

Maybe I could blame it on the pea soup.
Distract them with health food.
Apologize to it later.

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Eves-dropping on neighboring cloud watchers across the isle:

–Young girl- maybe age 7- speaking in absolutes: “I see a hand.”
–Man beside her- maybe mother’s boyfriend: “I see it.”
Pause. Watch. Stillness. “I see some mashed potatoes.”
–Girl -calm: “Oh yeah. Yeah.”
“I see a coyote without legs. Do you see it?
Planes are huge. Almost bigger than the world. We’re almost to space. Did you know that?”
–Man attempts an explanation about atmosphere, stratosphere… starts out strong. Flounders. Reverts to talking about library books on the subject.

Girl turns her head from the window of Largest Views. She finds a heated shaft of sunlight taken to sitting on the top of her hand from the other side of the plane. My side.
Reflection projection.
Steady she holds it; her sun-hand. Her free hand whirling small fingers atop its partner’s radiance. Spinning a small dance above orphic golden. She wants to show her mother who sleeps;
Looking back and forth from mother to glow, mother to glow, mother to glow.
She is a kind child. I can tell. Her mother rests on, while dutifully with providence, she hosts the light.
Girl sees me looking and offers a soft-kid smile my way. It’s too late to look away. I’ve been indulgent in my dreamy observing.
Down she puts the sun.

Back to cloud-watch; the line between boredom and the ease of nothing else to do, giving call to the deciphering of true existences.
High game, low stakes.
Infinite interpretive possibility.
A pooh-bah baby; she tells what’s what. The crown in passing light.
In a flash I’m brought back too.
Times no linear thing when you’re suspended in the air and have exhausted your ink pad and reading resources and suddenly… I’m young again, head-scratching, squinting wonder, looking for what’s really out there.
By and by eking out that dolphin pattern of automatic coordination involving focus, locus and vergence.
If I’d stare hard enough… If she’d stare hard enough…

Now the mother’s eyes are opened and the three talk of sun. I hang on their words like heavy warm suds sky bath; well intentioned interloper that I am.
They share curiosities over cardinal directions; the great Atlantic acting to anchor the origin. Wondering just what they’re flying over. Wondering where the man’s house might be very right now.

In an instant the plane tilts- revealing a ground covered in snow. A secret held from us by the simple act of sheltering our eyes. Covered in snow, dotted in trees. All small far down. Snow inside of snow.

The clouds have begun to thread, actively uniting, they soon mimic the land below as a blanket and a few levels higher measured by hundreds of feet, or thousands if you’re good at guessing jelly-bean-jar-quantities; filtering sun, laying across us fly-ers, dressing us in riches of watermelon and orange juice two hues.

Girl, Man, Mother are quiet. My mind quite quiet. And the clouds- speak silence full into the figures we see of them. Wipe away to white. Begin again if you please.

stard

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There is a well of surface-scraped-depth within me.

I know.

And maybe you too.

I need to know what gems lay deep, bound by body basalt; encased in black rock; kidney crystal. Clinging to crags. Affixed & sturdy.

Formations of luster; robust & ripe; uncomprehended in fullness.

And it worries me.

How to mine myself for precious bounty?

Am I made of softer stone? Might I chip?

What earthly instrument would act as chisel?

How much wonder, precision & intent is required for self-extraction.

To mother words.

Arrange them & categorize.

The placement in a great pantry of order, positioning strategic visions; moving over pink salt, second hand plates, glass jars, almond flour, the old orange juice press, wayward spices- to arrange enigmatic & even alien feelings that can use the generosity of air-time to dry upon the lacquered, shaded kitchen shelves still shieldable from light with manageable doors.

That can benefit from this. To breathe & to steady.

The place my private mind has kept sacred & mysterious, precisely where X marks the spot, though barely tended to- not having intended to gloss over them or feed the deterring, fleeting, faux shiny distracting forces; shielding fears of my own discoveries & the responsibility that comes from choking- one day- upon an throat full of undigested diamonds.

How do you do bounty?

We are each equipped with inherent, ancient farming techniques.

How to learn treasure.

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lightening house

Forty years.
Forty frosty, colorless years where which the silence had built, grown, & settled upon them like a heavy, deep-season blanket.
Forty years.
Forty of them; where the walls observed no good morning, hello, how was your day, did you hear about this, did you hear about that.
No congenial exchanges muttered.
The couple passed each other in the hallway, or might occasionally find themselves waiting for the frying pan, the television, or shower to be ready for their own use, impatiently. Wordlessly.
The beginning of the descent into the static, mute, existence resulted from no particular fight, but more of a long, blue-hot-burning that built, seemingly to the point of no return, & a terrible, despairing feeling of being stuck together in the house of pulled, private shades & blackened, hollow photos.
The house with the yard where the neighborhood children wouldn’t fetch their balls from. The house of anger. And the house of dashed dreams.
Throughout the time of the Big Freeze, one had taken up quilting. The other had become an origami savant of sorts. One had developed a fancy for cherry everything: pies, ice cream, liquors, preserves… The other: a determined reader intent on hungrily devouring all on the topic of the Ottoman Empire & it’s collapse.
Still- no sound uttered.
Their love for music had once untied them. United them.
Like sun slathered honey, smelling of dewy mornings, feeling like cut-back-fresh wisteria vines pointing & sun bound, they’d  listened with their then-warm-hearts & looked with soft-watery-eyes to the other half play. Nimble fingers. Fluid attachment to sound, to manipulation of keys, breezy build ups, unpredictable yet so-good-wow-crescendos.
Life times had come. Gone. Come. Gone.
There they were, embroiled in a semi-coexistence where none was to share any thought; the icey quiet had crept into all the pockets of possible return, all too long ago.
But. If. Ever.
And never with a nod or a pre plan- they were ever to find themselves on the porch at the same time…
The music. The sound generated. Together by the dueling keys. The compliment of their knowing hands crashing down upon the ivory.
Creating the wildest, sensible cacophony of exquisite sounds, speaking leagues through keys into the sky; could’ve convinced the ethers to rain. They would. They wanted.
Would have the porch sitters abandoning stoops.
Would stymie the squirrels in their gathering.
The birds would settle in. And watch. And absorb. And the music was goddamn living.
All the lives that were tampered down & tucked in & brutalized with nothingness through out the years.
There & then.
Life.
And then.
Without nod, or gesticulation, the songs would conclude.
And the door would creak open.
The floor boards would give their predictable sighs.
The television would roll on in careless fashion.
But those: the only sounds that remained.

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A walk around the blocks.
At night.
When the lights are on in apartments within eyeshot bright enough revealing each illuminated box of walls, furniture, and lives taking place.
Where conversations abound, or peter-out.
Where honesty lays across the table, or secrets stay tucked under lightly-used to heavily saturated napkins.
Where sauces boil
and bubble and forgotten pies burn crisp.
Where old shoes line the entrances and extend into halls, tripping the innocent,
and plants curl yellow in the condensation of windows.
At night.

Where sounds of closing car doors echo louder in the hush.
And cats scramble with their better, dark-favored vision to the other side of the road. And skinny rats develop false confidence, obeying their hunger, scampering out of dirt holes to snatch fallen promise-crumbs.
Where people sleep in dingy, unforgivingly-hard, once-lustrous-marble doorways beneath blankets that once belonged to generous beds; and dream of colorful fantasy pictures, or terrible monsters, or vacations that they’ll take some other life time, or things that they’ll have forgotten by morning. Bother not.

Where pasty, sun-deprived gamers sit in fluorescent, 24 hour donut shops tactically moving board pieces, tantalizing early onset diabetes -dirty flirt-, gorging on fried-sugar-dough, systemically solidifying certainty of never getting laid again beyond glory-holes. Where cups of stale coffee tip and splash spotty pants from shaky hands, and ashy floors, and blurry eyes and sour breath.

Where new couples cruise the banks of the lake, holding hands, kissing at each bench, butterfly bellies.
Where cargo trucks roll about, containing clandestine items of unknown sourcing to half of the drivers. Do tell do tell.

At night.

A walk around my neighborhood.
Around blocks that have begun to encircle a sense of home.
At night where my dog and I walk in wonder.
And contribute to the spectacle of the quite observers observing.

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What’s the method to your madness? You know- the one where you pick at the scab or reactivate the cut again again, or bang your ever forever perma-bruise; only this time instead of puss coming out you get a fine, silky, viscous magic thread of your own musical splash.
Splash splatter shit.
All over your walls.
Hope your carpets’ not too absorbent, ma’ dude.
This welcomed mess; The kind you’ve been keeping your chin up for and doing all your positive visualization practices and your “this too shall pass” breaths. You’re totally pumped because boOm- your muse showed up just when you were trying to name it and give it form, and now all you want to do is make it suiting, stitchy clothes and dress it up like an angel. But it’s no angel, darling. You traded your soul for you art. And you knew that already.
Why do artists carry the cross? Why so encumbered? So fickle and burdened? I’m feeling a Stevie Ray Vaughn song coming on… something about sales… so dust off the wax and we can get those memory cells back on board. I don’t know that you’ll need them if you’ve got the right momentum, but a brain buzzing and flexing with optimal potential only services the rest of us too.
Good luck riding the rocket. And naming the fuel source. And being aware of when you gas up. Because the moon- she waits and the broom is busy.
Draw a picture for me when you get a second. I’ll be here trying to identify my own individual sound. For now all I know is that it’s likely set in minor chords… and probably a really sexy rhythm section.

ed40

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Some people will never know peppermint tea.
There will be a wedge between them and this.
These are the same people who seldom see downy pillows, subject to innocent giggle-moment feather loss where that one puffs out. Where your head lays down, and then out it comes, or put on a fresh pillow case, and out it comes. Hardly a thing to notice; yet a subtle representation of rest and comfort. And it falter-sways to the floor. Maybe it’ll attract the curiosity of the nearest dog, causing a little head cock, that feather.
Perhaps these people saw and knew those pillow-feather moments once, but that was a long time ago and many trades have been made. Far, ever farther from places with such bed-luck.
The people of no tea. On land where whistles represent alerts grander than hot water proclaiming readiness. More of a can-cup, heat sourced from over shabby fire scraped together with treated lumber that busies itself turning concerning hues. The tea peace idea replaced with Jimmy Dean’s neans with factory in Milwaukee, where disgruntled employees full of creaks and muscle spasms (who also remain in the dark on peppermint tea) slowly mill. Replacing tea-soft-moments in nuzzling chairs with pink cheeks, down the line to dusty denim around the fire and hardened cheek bones. And scrapes and scratches and scars. And hobo songs. And plastic bottles and hooch. And whiskey-wet ground in respect to those gone before.

Hobo hobo hobo song. A life unknown and not very long. Plenty adventure, enough wrong. Find a quick home, then move along..

Where hopes of red headed waitresses taking orders in diners in light blue dresses for 3 lucky dimes worth bring steaming cups of bottomless black coffee and extra sugar packets in the next town- soon to dream about her on the way to the next one after that. Though no rush of course, though not slow enough for that dern peppermint tea.

Tea has to be held just right. Tea is open wide and higher maintenance than one might realize without being given the right platform. It’s booze that comes in a bottle neck. And it’s booze that warms longer. It’s swishless. It’s tip resistant. You can’t hold tea in an open train car. The racket movement that stays rumbling in kidneys even with two feet on solid earth. Tea wouldn’t know how to act. The stars governing the sky with exposed souls beneath it, roofless, riding rails, bargaining, whittling, asking for mercy, sharpening shank, or challenging the night’s deep abyss with a staring contest.
Tea wouldn’t know this life. Too soft and soothing. Never told in conjunction to characters like Nebraska Pete or Bozo Rider.
Some people will never know peppermint tea.
There will be a wedge between this and them.


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