Æ and Parçigal took today off

What would you want to know? Ask it.

Do you remember telling me of how you called forth the wrath of the Holy Roman Empire?

Of course.

Okay. I was wondering if I made that up.

No. Æ did. Is that your question?

No. My question remains “May I ask additional questions?”

If I say “no.”?

I ask myself “Can I ask additional questions?”

We both know you have a metric fuck-tonne of questions at any given nanosecond.

Thus, of course, I can; so, if I may not, I’ll simply compel your response with my high quality kind of curiosity.

~

Take the day. Grease your lips. Tend your nails.

Past time of prettification?

A’yup. A’purposed this time.

Our conversations must seem odd to the outsiders.

That is why they listen.

They often see themselves as you.

Æ know. Æ am your subliminal signaling, your beloved shadowy unconscious. I’m your other half.

My sneaky roommate in this skin.

And, a strange heaviness settles into her heart.

Pulling a momentary black hole that causes her stomach to ache.

Surprised at your own impatience?

Patiently, yes.

And, that restlessness is why we took today off.

Hosting tuesday

I walk in the back door of the kitchen to the little bistro.

Announcing hellos to the line and the singing chef.

“What are we going to do today, Casey?” the chef asks me.

“Same thing we do everyday day, Hector. Try to take over the world,” I reply.

He resumes his singing in Spanish.

Ponchito sings harmony.

~

The Beach Preservation Busy Body Society is buzzing on coffee at 10:00 a.m.

“Thanks for asking, Judy. Not great, but I’ve switched to Metamucil,” says Jeanie, still recovering from hip surgery, amongst other things.

“Perseverance!” says Judy.

~

I start a fresh pot of decaf. I snatch up the urn of caffeinated, good stuff (Tony’s, Songbird blend).

I go around warming up people’s morning cup as a priest pouring sacrament.

Paul, an ex-New York state prosecutor, is holding court at table one. A two top right by the window.

“What the hell are you doing at this table?!” I tease.

He never eats at Table 1. He does breakfast at table 6 when playing chess and he does his business lunches at table 21. Both in the back, albeit opposite sides of the dining room. Table 21 is in the bar. Table six is not.

“Well, I figured if I sat up by the window, I’d attract people in for you,” he says.

I don’t recognize his companion, but after five months I know Paul well enough to say, “You are a pretty thing.” Turning to his companion, I say, “He is, right?”

The man squirms; Paul cracks up.

“He usually eats there or there,” I say motioning directly. “Fancies himself something of a local celebrity,” I add, walking off.

~

Coffees warmed, tables reset, and empty plates cleared, I perform my morning ablutions: sweeping the front mat in the entryway, cleaning the glass free of sticky smudges from syrupy fingers.

Showing the nearly hundred year old building extra love and attention.

It’s all in the details, innit?

Polished brass and dusted, wooden ledges.

Thriving atherium.

Persevering.

~

I sweep the outside mat, leading directly off of Main Street.

“Hey, it’s the auctioneer,” one of a pair of joggers says.

The locals finally accept me.

The line to the bistro regularly overflows onto the high street.

I usually run a waiting list by ten a.m.

The best system I’ve uncovered is to yell from the sidewalk:

Table for so-and-so going once.

Table for so-and-so going twice.

Table for so-and-so SOLD to the next party.

It is a pragmatic thing.

For when that absentee party I called, invariably returns, angry that their table has been given away, I have multiple witnesses who will enjoy laughing and saying, “Oh, she tried to call you.”

The other jogger notes the unfilled dog bowl we leave out.

“You need to put water in that,” says Jogger two.

“Why? You feeling thirsty?,” I think, but do not say.

Perseverance, right?

~

I slowly reset table four in order to better eavesdrop on table three’s conversation.

What writer doesn’t revel in moonlighting as a thief of the conversations of others?

“She never asked me not to leave,” he says.

“Didn’t you say anything?” she asks.

“No. It wasn’t my place.”

I overhear

I think

Persevere.

Dreamt of whom chasing who

It is a moonlit night in the forest. I am running.

I wear a black lace dress, giving only a pretext of covering my body.

Breasts bouncing freely, pointed appendages of low lying bushes ripping the delicate fabric grasping my thighs, allowing my legs to stretch farther apart in their stride.

I hear the sea gull behind me. One moment its call is a mocking laugh, the next it is hysterical crying.

Laughter and tears.

But, the gull is actually the moth. And, this realization makes my runner’s stride spark into a frantic sprint.

Because, the moth is actually the last man I fell for.

“Turn and face me. See my eyes again,” the moth/seagull cries.

“No. You will wreck me again,” I holler.

I want to feel you chase me: I howl, telepathically.

Peals of laughter erupt from his beaked mouth.

“You are chasing me, heyoka!” he bellows.

And, I send my perception into the starling flying overhead, my shadow spirit.

And, I see,

from on high, looking down on myself and him below.

I see how we run in circles. It becomes impossible to tell who is chasing whom.

And I realize: We’ve been doing this for multiple lifetimes.

A tree limb snatches the collar of my shredded lace nightie and I trip from its unexpected pull.

The gown tears away and I am laid bare and naked.

The forest melts away and now the moth and I are in a horse’s lunging pen.

We are tethered. One moment he lunges me in tight circles, tapping my ass with a long whip. The next moment, I lunge him.

We work each other out.

Jimmy (tha motherfucking) King appears, peaking over the fence of the pen.

He is furious and hurt. I’ve not seen this lover in over a decade.

He accuses, “This is what you are doing? This is preferrable to life with me?”

“I never wanted to bear your children. You wanted twins. To dress up identically and take to an Easter Sunday church service. You broke me when you told me that desire. I was twenty two. I would have taken that dream from you if I stayed,” I pant out.

The lunging pen melts away and I find myself at the little bistro where I work.

Seated at table six. The four top table at the very back of the dining room.

Moth, Jimmy, Sam, and I sit there.

I see Kim. sitting alone at table 7.

I’ve not seen you here: I say to her mind telepathically.

I’m here to play mediator: she says to my mind.

She smiles and I feel safe and held dear in her mind.

Moth’s mouth hangs open in a grotesque grin. Tongue hanging out of his lips. I lean in and suck his tongue into my mouth like I’m giving head.

Jimmy shudders in disgust.

Sam looks completely disengaged and tells me, “I hated you for years. I hated you before I asked you to marry me.”

“You abused my loyalty and I am glad you came clean and we never made it official,” I tell him.

“But, I’m rich now, thanks to you,” he challenges.

“I loved you when you had nothing. I could not care less about your liquidity.”

“Tell moth the truth,” suggests Kim.

“I showed you the story I was telling myself. You showed me how to deconstruct it, edit and revise it. I shall never forget you. And, it hurts, so I howl. Thank you.” I whisper.

“I did nothing but enjoy you,” he responds.

Moth suddenly cries out in pain.

“My ankle! My leather brogues!”

I look under the table.

A sweet, little one of a man is curled up on my feet like a dog. He wears vinyl short pants and a cotton sports bra with a lovely crisscross over his back. (The bra I lost on day two of visiting moth.)

I discover I am holding a leash connected to his collared neck.

“Don’t worry about him. He is mine,” I say.

Jimmy, moth, and Sam look stunned and scared.

The man at my feet growls.

I toss chicken bones under the table to occupy him.

“Careful, pet, they may catch in your throat,” I coo lovingly.

Kim’s laughter is so loud it awakens me.

I sit up suddenly and feel the pit of my stomach ache.

I am thirsty and the water tastes like ecstasy.

shortlisted

What if they all hate you? Æ challenges.

How can they hate me? They don’t even know me.

Thinking you hate anything outside your skin is a misperception.

You hate yourself for hurting.

Just like I do. Just like them

So, when I think “go to hell” what I mean to say is:

I’m sorry you ever had to ever hurt.

Because I know that feeling.

Because the whimsy arc of time’s arrow, once arched, can be cruel.

When I think “you are exasperating”, what I mean to say is:

Thank you.

Because, patience requires testing to find its grace.

Because, I know what it is to find out someone thinks you’re exasperating.

When I am stupefied in surprise or fury, or admiration, at you, what I mean to say is:

I care for you.

Clearly.

Because, I have an opinion at all.

That turned sappy fast: is all with which Æ can counter.

Well, you posed a ludicrous question.

Tao of one footed standing

Dont push it.

I push it til my body clicks when I stretch.

Scraping bones of shoulder blades against muscle knots until dissolved.

Popping joints forward, backward until the clicking stops.

Somedays the clicking does not stop, so I stretch until my mind leaves me.

And, if nothing clicks inside, I simply revert to the Tao of standing on one foot.

Just try to multitask when stood upon the toes of one foot.

Bipedal locomotion is already ineffective and bizarre given our physiology and anatomy.

The ego fails to engage when you take postures to the extreme.

All you can do is not fall over.

But, here’s open secret x: people falling over is one of the highest forms of comedy.

So either you don’t fall and you get to forget yourself

Or else, you fall over because your ego distracts your attention,

in which case, you get to laugh at yourself.

Win

Win.

where the players lick their wounds

I look over at the guy next to me.

“Last one, Kimber. Four fingers with a splash,” he says.

He turns to look at me.

“My nightcap. Whaddaya take to help you sleep?” he asks, patting his pocket.

“Two peanut butter sandwiches on white bread. Creamy,” I reply.

“Hugrhm?” is this noise he makes.

“Yeah, crunchy is more of an a.m. thing for me.”

“So you don’t wanna buy something?” he says, again patting his pocket, like I had missed his question’s point.

“I’ll buy your nightcap, there, if you can give a good answer to a dumb question,”

His pupils dilated as soon as he heard “I’ll buy.”

He swirls the spirits against three ice cubes, as if contemplating the offer.

As if he had something to lose.

“Okay,” he says after an impotent dramatic pause.

“What is the meaning of life?”

Without pause, he responds, “To find an answer to the question ‘what’s the meaning of life.’ “

“Put that one on my tab, Kimber,” I say.

~

I’m here to hear loud music.

I’m here to feel the second-hand smoke hurt my lungs.

I’m here for a headache.

I’m here to be alone in a crowd.

I’m here to eavesdrop.

People chasing highs; People stalking thighs.

Licking each other’s wounds.

I am here because it will help me to sleep.

A tantra of shared breath

Open secret x for meditation: we cannot depend on our lovers to prove to us that we are not broken because actually, in some way, we all are. Wounded, anyway.

Perhaps such a small and silly thing could be one of the biggest tasks we face on this marble: to see and touch the world around us and to try to not harm what we see and touch.

(This vision came to me after sleeping. I am a bit uncomfortable sharing it; thus, I choose share it freely).

Penetration through breath work. We penetrate the whole universe with our being when we simply inhale and then exhale. We penetrate each and everybody else that was, is, and will ever be, as we breathe.

What does it mean to breathe for one another?


Suite in Curiosity

A tantra of connection for our breath. Sitting on the ground. Our legs crossed Indian-style but around each other. A pillow beneath me to hold me a bit over your legs. So, we can wrap better. My cunt pressed to your hound. We feel the heat of each other radiate back into ourselves. We just try to breath with each other. Match our breath so we can inhale together.

And then exhale. In simultaneous time.

Rhythm building.

And, we try to hold our gaze into the other’s eyes. It will feel awkward at first. Forced effort to sit and just stare. Too much eye contact. Giggles involuntarily escaping.

How long do we sit here?

Long enough to fully feel the discomfort of our active choice to inaction.

Intimacy doubled initially until time passes and our discomfort becomes a pulse. An entrancing rhythm.

~

I say: I imagine in this moment, that I can see so deeply into you, as I gaze, that I am able see you, beloved beast, way back.

Before you were ever wounded.

Innocent, clean, unafraid, sacred.

As I do, I imagine you looking in to me and seeing me the same way.

Entranced. We could easily make love or fuck with ferocity from this place.

Enter me with air. Undulate against me.

There are as many ways to touch

As there are many ways to love.

Put on Hildegard von Bingen ‘Canticles of Ecstasy’.

I will quicken in front of you. Fill up with energy. I will magnetize your charge.

~

I put a hand over your mouth to take control of your sweet breath. To try out something new. Letting you know when you are to breath and when you should not.

Your eyes glaze. You look a bit dizzy.

Let us share one breath.

Now, cover my mouth and uncover it again.

Feel how you adapt to my heart rate? You begin to know when I need air. You start feeling my shortness of breath within yourself. You sync to my breath as you control my breathing.

As you watch my body live before you.

You feel like you breath for me.

Or, perhaps, I am breathing for both of us.

I want our lungs to breath together.

Feel your breath as it is.

While I tell you this, I’d like you to take a slow, long inhalation.

Deep in and out.

Imagine the air you draw in as ocean blue. It moves like cold, clean water into you. Without holding it in, lean into me as you prepare to exhale.

Feel that nanosecond before you complete your inhalation, but have not quite begun to exhale.

The flux of air pressure shifting with your muscles.

Open your mouth.

Kiss my lips, open mouth.

Now, exhale slowly out of your mouth into my mouth.

Fully empty your lungs of air into my mouth. I will suck your exhalation into my lungs.

As you breathe life into me, feel the exhalation pull your discomfort and pain and antsy from you.

The air feels hot in your lungs now.

Humid and warm.

Imagine it flowing out of you like a hot orange lava flow.

Clear your lungs and send your uncorrected energy into me.

I let a bit of fresh oxygen enter as I breath you in. Inhaling deeply, but not at an unnaturally slow pace. My body will convert your exhaustion into usable parts. I will take in your breathy tangles as hot lava and in that moment between inhale becoming exhale, I drive the unwelcome energy into the void of my being where it is tempered into green smoke, cool like mint. You will wait the three and four seconds and then I will return your breath to you.

And, it clears your chest of tightness. Careful to pull a bit of new air in so we do not fully deplete this breath we share. I feel dizzy. Light. Tranced.

I feel dizzy. Light. Tranced.

I put my palm over your heart to support you. Holding you up and pushing you against your heart. Back and forth. Push. Hold.

You swing away and then back towards me to the rhythm of our breath.

In this way, seated, we somehow walk right along our ledge together. Foundation for future magical enchantment. Quiet. And completely loud.

Ritual of consecration of our feast of famine.

Held(,) dear.

Rip me from the spotlight.

The show is ended.

The backstage scene now begins.

My knees and legs unable to support my dizzy delirium.

Help steady my body.

The depths below begin churning as strange sediments begin to arise.

Let me.

I want to mine this precious mineral vein,

to see what visions will come.

Hold me(,) dear in my spelunking.

I feel weightless.

Perhaps, if you wrap yourself around me, we may float together.

{in the subterranean ether}

I fly off this edged state easily into deep space.

Tether and balance me.

I always seem to land safely

because I can exercise control.

Let me exorcise a lack of control and cushion me when I fall.

I will coo into your ear and call forth trembling, hopeful, goosebumps from your salacious, salted flesh.

melting moon.

The moon drips its reflective countenance of liquid mercury, onto the shimmering shape of the Sound’s watery face.

Gazing into the Smokey Mirror.

Particles of snow issuing down in waves that look like how the pealing of bells sounds.

With my right hand, I slide my ballpoint pen behind my ear;

I sink my nails into the binding of the journal held in my left hand.

°

Recalling the conversation from my dream of talking to spiders.

We were in the orange, rocky desert.

There were seven but they were all of the same. A single mind working the seven bodies in tandem ala a Greek chorus.

I know you, trickster: I tell him.

But, see the form I take? Not everyone has me come to them in this guise: he tells me.

I see a feather rising slowly over his left shoulder.

The plumed serpent uncoiling from the stalking position.

A creeper crawling and a lengthy lurker.

°

I push my open palm into the loose powdery snow at my feet.

The icy give of the precipitation accepts the impression of my hand, creating a glove of cold.

I suddenly see the luminosity of this bardo.

I yawn; Æ questions.

Why do you whisper ‘thank you’ everytime you yawn?: Æ asks.

Because, for me, such a breath is a true ethereal blessing. Portentous of the ability to enter the sleeping, dreaming, state.: I respond.

The strangest, subliminal inhalation i know, akin to the exorcism of an involuntary, sneezing exhalation.

Magick-ally mundane.

Ice queen lunches.

Convince me with your theatre, Ishmael. There! I’ve called you by the sobriquet of your own request.

What if the difference between AD and BC occured when we split that first atom; and, now, we all live in the year that never was.

Perpetual year zero?

And the sun is Janus.

And the moon is Janus?

Æ surfs the space between the crest and the trough which forms this wave of now; I sleep.

Æ asks: did you dream in my absence, last night?

Aye: I respond.

I dreamt manager/server J. took a reservation for one for this Friday morning lunch. Which she would never do. Which she would fuss at someone for doing. I read the book of reservations and see:

1- The ice queen. 12:00

The other servers fuss at J.

The dream succinctly ends.

~

In waking lucidity

I bequeathed her the name: the ice queen. She is a once a month or so regular at the bistro.

Perhaps late sixties. Strangely beautiful in an unconventional sense. Odd eyes. But, her presence is thicker than most. Her gravity is a strange currency. Her aura strikes me as a juxtaposition of sharp black and crisp white. No hint of true colour.

She dresses in full capes and cloaks, seemingly tailored for her, specifically. Scarlets, golds, and greens scantily distributed over dense black threads. She always dines alone. She speaks purposeful and hardly at all. It took me four visits to elicit a hint of a smile or any warmth from her voice.

On the other hand, it took server K. one visit to make her smile!

I think of her as the ice queen because I doubt she is ever cold, despite appearances to the contrary.

~

And?: Æ queries, foot tapping in impatience.

And, at lunch service today, I had exactly one available table. Every table was sat except this one table for two, in the back of the dining room and adjacent to the servers’ station.

In strolls the ice queen. Unannounced, of course, as the reservation was just a dream and not in the book.

I seat her. The table is in server J.’s section.

I tell J. this story. She seems less than impressed.

As I clear the empty soup bowl from her table, the ice queen asks me: have you entered this clam chowder in the Clam Chowder Cook-Off?

Hum. I don’t know. I did not know there was such a thing!: I reply.

She says: Well, it happens in February but the deadline for entry applications may already be closed. You should look into it, though. This is excellent.

And, before I can ask, she proffered: Talk to B. X. You can find him…{she gestures up the street and left across the avenue.}

Outsider-Insider speak.

Three Smartass Hostess Hums

Can I make them laugh at themselves?

Instead of just me laughing at them or me howling silently at them, with a smile, as I eat shit?

Giggle. People act strange towards the staff of restaurants.

Especially when they feel decorous enough to go to a destination restaurant.

I host the front of house. Like it is one big dinner party and all the diners are my invited guests.

But, it is my dining room, punks.

HUM ONE

Two people are seated at table 9.

Seat 1 flags me over with an urgent come-hither wave.

How can I help?: I ask.

Yes. Is this all you have right now or are there other things available?: she says motioning to our lunch menu clutched between her paws, and held open.

I smile an I’m-sorry-to-disappoint smile.

Yes. There is another menu available. Unfortunately, it’s only available to our special guests, at this time.: I rib her.

She laughs.

HUM TWO

Two girls in their late teenage years wear way too much makeup for 9 a.m.

They try to order alcohol unsuccessfully.

As they finish their breakfast, I stop by to ask how everything was.

Fine, I guess: says seat two.

Would you like me to wrap your leftovers to take home?: I ask.

Are you gonna spit in them?: she asks.

I pause.

I lean in.

Do you want me to?: I ask too quietly, with a strange smile.

No. You can wrap it.: she responds with downcast eyes.

Her friend snorts.

HUM THREE

There are thirteen people total milling around the front of the restaurant,

on the list,

waiting for a table to become available.

Three tables leave at the same time.

One of those is the best table in the house.

I have the busser clean it first,

anticipating.

I do panto with the next table on the list.

We’re just about ready for you. Best table in the house opened up.: I chat.

Oh. Um, actually…see, we’re trouble makers. We were hoping for this table.: one says.

They motion to the newly vacated, worst table in the house. Right by the front door with its constant draft of frigid, rainy air. Loudest place in the joint, too.

Bemused they would turn down the window adjacent, water-overlooking table, I sincerely say: Oh, we like troublemakers here! No problem.

I bus, set the table, and seat them.

I’ll be back with water. Do you like ice?: I ask.

Actually, she will have a lukewarm water, with a quartered lemon. Not multiple smaller wedges. I would like freshly made coffee. Please throw out the pot and boil a fresh one. We’re known to send things back.: the man says.

Certainly: I say.

The coffee was just made and no restaurant slices lemons in quarters: I think.

His lady smiles: he meant to say we are high-maintenance.

I laugh: Thank you for the heads-up. Now, I won’t feel bad if I have to tell you ‘no’ in the future.

They both crack up.

I cut a lemon and prep his coffee.

I return to the front of the restaurant.

I tell the next table waiting: Your timing is impeccable; that table is yours.

I, again, motion to the best table in the house.

They nod and smile.

The high maintenance man steps over and interrupts.

I know we said ‘no’, but it’s hard to hear. Can we move to that table?: he asks.

Motioning to the table I’d previously offered him, the table he just heard me offer

to another party.

No.

: I, simply, say.

Æ smile with a pointed, closed mouth grin and

arched eyebrows.

Bad dog: I think.

He does not laugh.

In sight unseen.

Living level with a parking lot.

The true danger of always opening windows is

what the neighbors must think during the winter.

It is not about the thieves, that which you worry.

How strange you, too, recall that same thing that never happened.

A sweet rendezvous in a town of busybodies,

where it is both

easy and hard

to remain in sight yet unseen.

A’bridged nuzzling.

The sun made like a runaway today.

Let me lay you on your back, bare.

Crawl up on you like a curious, hungry animal,

and occupy myself with sniffing your scent.

Smells of you.

Because, the smell of the skin below your wrist

is not the smell of the skin stretching over your ankles

is not the smell of the thumping skin above your jugular

nor that of the skin behind your ear.

It will not smell of the skin between your legs

which will not smell as does the stench of your armpit.

Or the smell of your open mouth.

And, my incessant humming

will become Sygyt.

The strangely drone of polyphonic overtone singing.

And once I’m done,

I would pad circles on you

, like a dog preparing to sleep

, of tossing and turning

, and

, wrapping round you.

For warm comfort.

Finding the right proper position of

a deep winter nuzzle.

Dreamt the Within from Without

I recall a big, yellow, American-style school bus,

in the middle of the desert.

I just arrived.

There are extraordinarily beautiful, tall, elegant people about, maybe fifteen total, leisurely milling. They have nothing pressing to which they attend.

I am alone and new, per se.

I am acutely aware of this.

I feel disapproval.

I receive an unfriendly welcome; this I derive from the expressions of the others as they take notice of me, for the first time.

A stunning, pale-skinned blonde approaches, motions to the school bus, and, with perfectly calculated ‘disinterest’ says:

They can teach you the ways of death.

As though this was that which I sought.

Of course, you’d need to talk to Kimberly first.: she says.

I say: Kimberly is actually my cousin. She is already dead.

I intuit this disarms her through surprise.

My immediate understanding and audacity to speak it to her face.

And, (no shit) I think: Nice try, you silly bitch. I wilt not fall for your maleficent insinuation. I am just barely pretty and charming enough, in a strangely colloquial way, to have made it to this place of your people. I know your resentment of my prescence leads you to seek my removal, but I am in no rush to die. I certainly will not seek my death at your subliminal request. You feel threatened by my uncultured, odd intelligence. There is no reason for this. I do not want to mess with the circles within which you run. I am no threat. If you were slightly less self-involved, you would perceive this and make me your ally.

I’m the proud-beauty of your worst night-mares.

I say to her mind, in mine silent stillness: Æ ain’t leaving on that short, yellow bus. You may try to trick this fool into it; but,

Æ see through this mirage you call an oasis.

She walks away.

I pull out my stakes, canvas tarp, and tenterhooks.

Pitching camp before the freezing night comes.

I come from the water: a voice of my head suddenly says.

(I briefly become lucid in the dream, before losing the thread.)

I recall: there are four, fundamental groups: Water, Earth, Sand, and, blood.

Æ am a blood, but no-one can tell, unless Æ tell them.

I had reached the Sand after arising from distant Water.

We all came from Earth, but I had not been there or seen them in ages.

And, as Æ am thinking these things, I feel an intensifying heat rising in both hands.

Fingers and palms burning in sensation, not flames.

I think: I have the power to raise intense heat from my hands. I can emit it into the world around me, perhaps as a weapon. I feel over-confident.

I examine the feeling more closely.

I discover that Æ am not radiating the heat from within myself.

Heat is being emitted from an invisible sphere outside myself.

The orb is somehowl held in place between my palms, as if strung upon a string.

Like a diabolo.

I reach this revelation after experimenting. Moving my hands closer together/farther apart. Noting small changes in nerve sensitivity.

What I first thought was coming from my Within to the Outwards is actually being generated from the Outward and perceived and wielded by mine Within.

Dreamt of déjà vu .

I saw it while dreaming of the restaurant.

Seating parties of varying sizes to tables;

Assembling a dynamic loop of a jigsaw puzzle.

Chess like square-dancing.

Moving quickly whilst not appearing to hurry.

A skeletal, thin, blonde woman wears a strange stow made of scraps of many types of fabrics.

When she stands and puts her hands on her hips,

the effect is she appears like a plush, red heart.

When she appears as such,

those I’m seating, I seat without menus.

They are different and seem to be unperceived by the menued others.

A menuless and short but muscular man, fiftyish perhaps,

looks at me,

as my stride slides alongside

his seat at a table for two.

He leans his neck back slowly as I approach.

I stretch my torso forward and past my legs;

{anticipatory}

I crane my neck.

I watch his head twist a dramatic 90° as I find myself directly aside him.

I am mid stride and passing him by

and, somehow when he parts his licked lips, I find my mouth upon his,

four eyes smiling like two idiots.

A fast pair of deep kisses.

I withdraw, not missing a step.

I am shocked at how seamlessly and seemingly naturally, I warmly dropped my professionalism.

I intuit any other diner or employee perceptive enough to have noticed this exchange, would have found themselves smiling.

I am stunned at the strange pride felt at

his bidding my kiss so publically, innocently, and nonchalantly.

And, within this very non-lucid dream,

I felt dream jà vu.

I’d not met him before; but I

knew him still.

A limbering

The shadows in the room grew.

Dipping the length of my leg into this newly found darkness,

like a penknife pushing it.

Stretching and testing.

And, I do not smile because I do not want to, despite feeling quite well and glad.

{in spite of bronchitis}

In my space, for the moment, there is simply, only No-One here to signal, unconsciously, with subconscious microexpressions.

My face enjoys

this fleeting freedom from observation.

My ears need not hear.

My eyes need not look.

My nostrils will choose when they wish to smell.

There is no thing I wish to taste or touch outside of my skin

right, exactly, now.

Just my own internal limbering.

So, I shift my body slowly to the rhythm generating; and,

feel my muscles begin to give.

I feel my inside/s.

It feels good and well warm/ed.

Hands raise above my head.

Breathing, not breathing.

(Resumption)

(Concession)

My heart keeps on beating.

And, my movements mirror

myself imagining me

as the serpent coiling ’round the Caduceus staff.

The toes of my dexterous foot, the finality of my snaking tail.

Inhale.

The fingers of my a gauche hand,

the small extremity of my fanged head.

Spiraling, in place.

My neck pops loose whilst

stalling in the suit of wands

and a decade of venom releases from muscle memories long forgotten.

I drain the venom out of my feet.

Exhale.

I raise the newly freed energy into my fangs.

I suddenly recall:

When playing a kazoo,

remember,

to hum;

don’t blow or you’ll

tear the wax paper.

exchange

I say: you seem like the kind of guy who, if famous, would make his address public to encourage trespassers who could then be legally shot on site/sight.

He laughs: that could be my remake of The Most Dangerous Game.

I say: when you say “don’t tread on me,” I hear, “don’t tease me, I’m sensitive.”

I’m no bully.

Consider: Lordosis behavior and (bow)ties as the doses being titrated according to the response.

High heels were originally designed for men riding steeds. Heels hold stirrups, see. Push your heels down to get a proper seat in the saddle.

Today, the cost of the high heel is in its signal communicating desire. Done so with a bit of nonchalance.

It creates a slight spinal arch indicating receptivity.

Consider a (bow/neck) tie again.

You can get choked out easily, if the knot is grasped and twisted.

I cannot effectively run away, quickly, in heels.

Subliminal symbiotic signaling of an exchange.

Moving Smells.

I think I feel you rest your hand on my knee.

The neighbor makes breakfast for her dinner;

and, my flat smells like the last time I was in your home and you made toast.

Heyoka thinks of Tulpa.

Æ whispers: I miss him, too.

The previous tenant left crystals on the sill of each window and a geode in the cabinet under the sink, along with strange, laminated sheets of paper bearing strings of seemingly arbitrary numbers and strange affirmations written in broken, American English.

I choose to not disturb the relics.

The clock on the stove is incorrect;

yet, it reads 11:11 the moment after I sign the final leaf of a new lease, the landlord leaves, and I find myself alone in this new space of mine.

I walk to buy lightbulbs.

I pass a dog carrying the leash in its own mouth.

And, I feel, simultaneously, not old enough yet too old to please you.

And, though the sun returned this morning, it cannot warm the air.

And, I suddenly feel like a silly girl because I never get cold.

My heater is off.

My windows are open.

The overhead, bedroom fan spins.

Stirring the air.

Swirling the vapour of my exhalations.

I loathe sucking my own exhaust fumes.

An unuttered question yells at me as “the old man upstairs” rambles about and creaks my ceiling, his floor.

I begin fidgeting with my fingers after setting down my pen.

My orchid’s blooms burst open, pridefully, last night.

Two bulbs remain,

still and clasped tight,

with a promise of what is to come.

Serving Specters

Come.

Sit by the fire in the hearth.

I will put my chin on your knee, stare into the ether and let my thoughts run.

Perched upon your feet, keeping your toes warm.

Sitting on the floor.

Closer to the earth.

The storm passes, the rain relents, and the sky above the Sound nearly recovers.

The air outside remains cold.

Locals say this place is cursed.

I’ve seen enough tragedies in others in my four months here, to believe it.

Heard of even more.

Yet, here shall I establish my residence.

A mid-thirty year old,

amongst the retirees still seeing themselves as inhabitants of Stellar Street.

Mick and Keith working the corner shop.

The wealthy snow birds hum, at the restaurant where I work, about migrating to the South for the winter.

Winter homes.

“Guess how old I am”: he says.

His wife giggles.

Howl I loathe this game.

But, this pair is old enough to not take anything personally.

78: I guess.

The correct answer is 97.

He proceeds to tell me experiences from both the first and second world wars.

I am captivated.

They do not take their leftovers to go. They turn down the offer of free bread.

°

The less well-to-do appear even more non-corporeal.

No winter homes to which they may abscond.

Disembodied spirits of bodies that no longer exist.

To serve and host at this restaurant requires second sight.

Many of these people long ago became invisible to most.

Are you Irish?: he asks.

No, I’m from the South.

Oh, I was stationed there with the good old boys. They went to bars during their off-time. I went to museums and landmarks. But, I was odd.: he tells me.

He shares stories of being an 18 year old from Montana who ended up in the South during George Wallace days.

I am captivated.

He and his wife take their leftovers home in a box and ask for extra free bread

which they are given.