The Artist’s Winter

urban-13-500x333dust covers every key on the piano
spiders have taken over the easel
no one creates here anymore

rain pattering window’s glass
even on a sunny day
the doors stay closed

no one comes to knock or call
newspapers stacked outside the door
recall how long it has been thus

a cat wanders this floor’s hallway
nobody seems to know where it lives
suspiscions grow it’s been locked out

everyone waits for a dull thud
then the smell in coming days
denoting the prescence of death

I myself, try to believe
the newspapers will disappear
the door will open

typewriter-with-cobwebsthe cat will come home
the cobwebs will be swept
the dust will lift

the rain will stop
the music will start
writer’s block will end

and beauty
will be created
again

BSB

 

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Broodwood

Part One.

Now’s when you tell me why you killed me, the man says from his resting place, slumped and halved and bleeding against the wall of the cabin.

The walls and floors and roof are cedar, and they smell fragrant in the summertime, but in the winter they smell like the bitter, indifferent cold which possesses them.

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She, the lady that is, bends to her knee a safe distance from the man. Her knees, along with feet and shins and legs entire are made amorphous by the dark brown cloak of her long skirt. Squatting there, her skirt is like a round sprout of fertile earth. The black shawl that hangs about her shoulders she clutches with her left hand, an act which always seems to occur instinctually, intrinsically, while her right hand that clutches the man’s own knife appears anything but.

The blade shines in orange fire-light. It shines through the man’s blood, still wet and dripping.

Do you want a drink?

The man breathes hard for a long minute, but he doesn’t say a word.

The lady cranks her neck sideways, stiffly like an old bird, and gives the slightest of nods.

The weakling steals from where he had been pacing furiously, arms crossed with fingers drumming, head wilting forward on a long, bent neck atop the question-mark of a spine, steals forward and grabs up the bottle of shine from the table, and the glass.

He comes forward a few more steps and stops abreast with the lady’s radius of safety from the man. He pours a drink and sets it on the floor of the cabin, then backs away.

I can’t reach that.

The weakling comes forward, pauses at the lady’s side.

Come on, the man hangs his head and mumbles the words into his chest. He wheezes, and coughs, and spits.

The lady grips the hilt of the knife tighter, and the weakling creeps in and picks up the glass and reaches it forward a foot.

The man doesn’t move, just lays there crumpled and bleeding and breathing hard. The glass goes forward another half foot.

The man’s right arm, the one closest to home, shoots out like a rattlesnake, shoots out and nabs the weakling’s wrist. The man’s hand clamps an iron-grip, as steady and remorseless as the weather-rusted animal traps that hang from the cabin’s ceiling.

His eyes which moments before sagged in sunken sockets, half-closed and glassy and a thousand miles from shore, now glow with a brilliantly terrifying luminance, a hate-filled inferno with dark grey pupils surrounded by a crackle of rose and crimson.

The large and hard hand of the man grips the other, fair and frail, as the weakling pulls, the leather soles of his shoes planted on cedar planks, body bent backward and away like a tree rocked by wind but anchored unrelentingly to the ground in the face of its death.

The man forms a hideous grin of victory and gives not an inch for all the weakling’s feeble pulling and bent-bodied contortions. A word begins to form on the man’s red, grinning lips but before it can croak out, the knife whips out like cruel, sharp lightning.

It cuts the air itself and then the skin, and thin, stringy muscle of the man’s wrist.

He lets out a yelp like a winged coyote, sharp and fierce and over as quick as it starts, and he lets go of the weakling’s hand and retracts the wounded limb deep into the tartan wool of his bosom. The other hand leaves the bloody mess at the man’s side and goes to hold his wrist, but the wound now pulses with new fervor as a result of this newest flash of effort.

He closes his eyes and goes back into himself. His red lips quiver, the muttering of curses can be heard rumbling like a hive of angry bees from deep in the man’s heaving chest.

I’ll cut you up all day and never tire, the lady says. You want in? I’m game. Tomorrow is Sunday.

The man continues to mutter under breath, eyes closed and head back against the cedar wall of the cabin. The muttering becomes a groan which pitches into a fit of raspy laughter.

Look at me.

The fit quiets on the man, and his head still back on the wall he lets it flop to the side, to face the lady dead-on, and he opens his eyes.

Do you know who I am?

I know, he says and spit runs in a string from his bottom lip. You’re a bitch. You’re just some stupid bitch. You’re angry at me. Probably because I beat up your husband. Or your father. Or your brother, or your boyfriend. Or maybe you don’t even know me. Maybe you think I got some gold hiding under the floor. Maybe you think you get some nice treasure by doing me in. What’s it matter who you are, I don’t care a shit for you. Or your two pups!

He kicks his leg out, and it stamps down on the cabin floor.

He curses the new pain in his side the action births with a fury, but seems to feed from its heat, gaining a measure of power, for his eyes become clearer, wider, with a strange calm that seems alien in the chaotic scene unfolding.

The kick was meant for the ox, whose over two hundred-pound body lay face-down, just out of reach of the man’s boot, in a pool of dark blood, his dull and pale face mercifully hidden from sight by stark shadows cast sideways from the brightly burning wood-stove.

I’m going to tell you who I am, the lady says.

She does.

 

To be continued…

Hammering the Bored

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“I have problems,” he says
“Oh yeah?” I say, “Tell me.”
“My wife is driving me crazy,” he says
“You should fuck her more,” I say
“She doesn’t like to fuck,” he says
“You should tell her to get a hobby,” I say
“I also hate my job,” he says
“You should quit and be a farmer,” I say
“My boss is such an asshole,” he says
“You should quit, then kill your boss,” I say
“My house needs repairs,” he says
“You should burn down your house,” I say
“I’m not insured,” he says
“So get insurance, then light a match,” I say
“I don’t like your attitude,” he says
“Then you should stop talking to me,” I say
“You shouldn’t give advice,” he says
“Then stop asking it from me,” I say
… no one speaks
for a long moment …

bloody_hammer_by_skeats

“What’s that hammer for?” he asks
“To bash my hand in when I get too bored,” I say
“I would never do that,” he says
“I know you wouldn’t,” I say
“That’s grotesque,” he says
“You’re just like the rest of them,” I say
“going on and on about your problems,
not one of you willing to
bash in your own hand
with a hammer.
That’s why you’re all
so god-damned boring.”

-BSB

Of Turtles and Birds

quiet-pond

They walked to the pond
and the sun was warm,
it encouraged them to sit on a bench
and they sat awhile and talked.

A turtle sat on a log that lay
like a waiting crocodile in the pond,
while herons tred in outward arcs
in search of primordial nourishment.

“True enlightenment,” he said, “is a turtle sitting on a log.”

“Yes,” she said, “but reality is birds pecking your face.”

-BSB

It’s How (and If) You Play the Game

This isn’t my game anymore
I was told to go home
I kick the ball around once in a while still
But I stopped playing the game
They don’t want me in
Unless I follow the rules
And make a line for the pros
But it’s not my game
I’m no pro
I don’t follow the rules
I shouldn’t play
It was good that I got out
Before I got injured
Or worse; got really good at playing

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I have a new gig, a new game
One with fewer rules
No coaches, bosses or teammates
This is my game now
And when though I’m still a loser
I’m winning

-BSB

Gnashing Teeth Outside the Chained Gates

Suck dog water, you itchy scum.
I can’t believe your kind have survived this long.

You probably hold not a clue how reviled you are,
cushioned in your own delusion by a skull thick with illusion.

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I hope you choke.
You fucking toad.

You won’t get away with your hateful game too long.
The wolves will hunt you down, make no mistake.

How you made it this far, you tainted scrap of humanity, I haven’t a clue.
Shouldn’t you have died off with the seven-legged mud crabs and trilobites?

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You’re scum.
You’re worse than malaria.

Exile would be too kind.
What you deserve is incineration.

Death by massive fire-blasting until your hair crisps and skin curdles.

Your blackened crust will feed the urchins,
and any fortune you and your wretched ilk
will sink into the murky mire of obscurity.

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When each of you swine meet your demises, I will dance and sing.

BSB